Pubdate: Thu, 13 Nov 2008
Source: Ukiah Daily Journal, The (CA)
Copyright: 2008 The Ukiah Daily Journal
Author: Carol S. Wolman


To the Editor:

Mendocino County law enforcement is reportedly conducting a major 
sweep of marijuana growers, big and small. I've heard reports that 
there are so many marijuana arrestees in jail that people are 
sleeping on the floor. Some have been arrested for a single plant!

Meanwhile, the epidemic of heroin overdoses in the county among young 
people continues. I know of two in Fort Bragg in the past couple of 
months, and one probation officer tells me she's lost 9 probationers 
to drug overdoses in the past year. Methamphetamine continues to 
plague our young families, leading to domestic violence and removal 
of children from their parents due to neglect by meth-using parents.

Why is law enforcement concentrating on marijuana, a medicine for 
many people, rather than on pernicious drugs like heroin and 
methamphetamine? I know of no deaths from marijuana overdoses, no 
DUI's from unsafe driving due to marijuana, no families broken up 
because of marijuana use.

My answer to this riddle is speculative -- I believe it's a 
combination of money and politics. When a marijuana raid is made, the 
arresting officers confiscate whatever cash is lying around, 
sometimes thousands of dollars. Sometimes the money is not returned, 
but goes into the coffers of the sheriff's department. The same is 
sometimes true of property where marijuana is being grown. I've heard 
that the sheriff's department depends on this sort of confiscation to 
supplement the money given it by the county.

Politics also plays a big role. The Prop B campaign, aimed at 
marijuana growers, was funded by developers who want the culture of 
Mendocino County to turn from hippie to yuppie.

The federal government's war on marijuana is part of the picture; 
it's rumored that in Humboldt County, several hundred DEA agents 
showed up specifically for the purpose of rooting out marijuana 
cultivation. This may be part of the plan to integrate local law 
enforcement into the federal government, to ensure cooperation if the 
Constitution is suspended and martial law declared. This may seem 
exaggerated, but in fact the Dept. of Homeland Security has been 
training local police forces for years toward this end. There have 
been several exercises called Project Falcon, documented by Peter 
Phillips, in which nationwide sweeps of petty criminals take place, 
conducted by local law enforcement, but coordinated by the Feds.

In any case, the concentration on marijuana rather than killer drugs 
like heroin and methamphetamine is hurting our community in many ways.

I call on the voters of Mendocino County to let the Sheriff and 
District Attorney know our displeasure, and direct their efforts 
toward the drugs that are breaking up families and killing our youth.

Carol S. Wolman

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