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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

It takes a village to fight the drug war

By Ricky Stutt | Published Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The latest tactic on the “War on Drugs” is to legalize marijuana. We did this with alcohol, and it did create tax revenue and cut down on crime related to the sale of alcohol – but alcohol-related crime still thrives.

According to the Department of Justice (DOJ), 37 percent of almost 2 million convicted offenders currently in jail report that they were drinking at the time of their arrest. In 2007, more than 1.4 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, which represents less than 1 percent of 159 million self-reported incidents of alcohol-impaired driving in the U.S. each year.

Each year, more than 600,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking. Ninety-five percent of all violent crime on college campuses involves the use of alcohol by the assailant, victim or both, and 90 percent of acquaintance-rape and sexual assault on college campuses involves the use of alcohol by the assailant, victim or both.

Every day, 36 people die, and approximately 700 are injured, in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. Drinking and drugged driving is the No. 1 cause of death, injury and disability of young people under the age of 21.

Not surprisingly, jail alone has had little effect on reducing drug addiction or promoting recovery. Holding someone in jail, without access to treatment, with no specific plans for treatment and recovery support upon release, is not only expensive, it’s ineffective. (from www.ncadd.org)

The connection between alcohol, drugs and crime is clear, as is the connection between alcohol, drug addiction and crime. We need to break the chain that links drug addiction and crime.

In 2010, 66 percent of children under 17 lived with two married parents, down from 67 percent in 2009 and 77 percent in 1980. Compared to teens in families with strong family ties, teens in families with weak family ties are four times likelier to have tried tobacco or marijuana and almost three times likelier to have tried alcohol.

Compared to teens who have five to seven family dinners per week, those who have fewer than three family dinners per week are twice as likely to say they expect to try drugs (including marijuana and prescription drugs without a prescription to get high) in the future (17 percent versus 8 percent).

The growth of incarceration in America has intergenerational impacts that policy makers will have to confront. According to this analysis, more than 1.2 million inmates – over half of the 2.3 million people behind bars – are parents of children under age 18. This includes more than 120,000 mothers and more than 1.1 million fathers. (from Drug War facts.org)

The Wise County Sheriff’s Department and local school districts are doing their job. It is the community that is failing. It was a common statement years ago: “It takes the whole village to raise a child.” But where is the village when students get in trouble? As a village, do we really care?

We have forgotten the importance of family values. We need a system that is willing to fix the broken and break the cycle, but this takes personal time – personal time for your family and personal time for your community.

A thought: Why not spend a few dollars and time teaching personal and family values instead of millions on a large Band-Aid? Schools can help, but the real problem lies in the heart.

To show someone you really care means so much. So many of the people in jail/prison did not, or do not, know how to love or be loved. Their parents or siblings did not teach this for various reasons. This is what they really need.

Ricky Stutt
Decatur

11 Responses to “It takes a village to fight the drug war”

  1. Rusty White says:

    Ricky,

    Well said! I agree with some of your beliefs, but you might want to go to http://www.getmadd.com to get the “other side” of the story on alcohol. You raise a very valid point those that are a minority that can’t handle alcohol do stupid things, yet those who smoke pot do not get violent. So here again a plant that has “NEVER” taken a life any where on this planet from an overdose, is illegal and used to justify attacking homes and destroy families!
    .
    I also have to say the harms and wrongs you speak of are a “minority” of those who drink or make other choices you or I would not. To claim there is a lack of love and caring in “”ALL”” the homes of those making these choices is not correct. Sadly you are 110% correct as to these families being destroyed and turned in to homes with no parents “BUT” this didn’t happen to the majority because of their actions that harmed others!

    It is our failed policy and enforcement tactics that causes this to happen not the choices of the majority of our citizens. You are also correct as to the minority that let their choices get the better of them needing treatment instead of jail. But what is missing from your article is the vast and overwhelming majority does not want or need anybody forcing their beliefs as to how one should live their lives or raise their children, they just want to be left alone! In the “supposed” freest country on earth, one founded upon the principles of “Individual” Freedoms we see more and more people violated and their families terrorized, homes attacked and violated and sadly many times innocent citizens from infants to the elderly “KILLED”! Go to http://www.drugwarvictims.org by “DrugWarRants”

    For us to every find the right and just path we must first reveres 40+ years of mind conditioning and propaganda while returning to laws and policies that hold people accountable for their actions that harm others, PEROID! Not as it is today which is policies and tactics that are “fear” based and manipulated in to being by those that believe they have the “right” to force their beliefs and self serving agendas on all others!

    Our prisons (people ranches) jails, courts, and probation offices should not be over loaded with those that have “no victims” nor “violence” in their supposed crimes, nor should we the tax payers be manipulated by “fear mongering” in to paying for this debacle any longer.

    When we all set down to our turkey dinner today, say a prayer for the “millions” of fathers, mothers and their children who had their lives and families destroyed by this failure known as the war on drugs! Also pray for those families that can’t afford to celebrate this day due to losing their jobs along with any chance of meaningful employment in the future, and the fines and punishment forced upon them. Last but not least say a prayer for we the tax payers and families to come to our senses and seek the wisdom and compassion to put an end to this madness!

    There Has To Be A Better Way, help us find it!

    Rusty White
    Speaker for http://www.leap.cc

  2. Great article Ricky

  3. Judith Stutt says:

    My wife has the subscription in her name.
    Rusty,
    I totally agree, we are talking about minority in most every scenario you and I have spoken about. Most of the drug/alcohol abuse and dropout rate at high schools are the minority. If you look at the number of inmates in our jail, we are talking about the minority vs population in Wise County. But you will have to agree the squeaking wheel gets the grease. When a family member or friend gets harmed and it is in anyway directly or indirectly related to drugs, wheels start squeaking and politicians take notice.
    I personally don’t drink or smoke but responsible use of alcohol can be acceptable. Marijuana currently is illegal. I in my younger years indulged in both and never got trouble for either. Both have adverse affects but that is not our topic this evening. I will say this if anyone I know sees me drink and because of that says it is OK because Ricky Stutt did, and they become addicted and abuse it, is not something I want to think about.Therefore I choose not to.

    I do not want anyone telling me how to raise my kids, especially the government.But we do need some sort of standards because right is right and wrong is wrong.

    I read an article a while back that stated family units are down and the people that attend church is down. The Bible was a place to search for wisdom and prayer for guidance on how to raise YOUR children in the way they should go.
    we have a free will, but you said it, we need to pray for wisdom and discernment. Our system needs help and what we are going to do about it is not an answer I have right now.
    Maybe i do!We need a system that if someone makes a bad choice for whatever reason that would truly care and help break the cycle. Incarceration does not help many. Our probation system is in need of repair. And the family of victims on both sides need the right kind of help to break the cycle.
    I would like add. The majority could care less about what we are talking about. But you let the Cowboys make a bad trade or the high school hires a bad coach, then lets see what the majority thinks.Some how we need the majority of people thinking about what is really important. Ricky Stutt

  4. Rusty White says:

    Ricky,

    Thanks for sharing your opinions and your willingness to stand up. Nobody has all the answers, but anybody that is honest “knows” what we have been doing for the last 40+ years isn’t working and will not work. In fact our policies and enforcement tactic are doing far greater harm than the drugs themselves, how can we accept this truth? While many countries around the world are refusing to be bullied, bribed or manipulated in to following this failed policy, they are having great success in doing so!

    We tax payers can no longer continue to watch as our tax dollars help to ruin families while creating second class citizens with no future and their only option are to survive on the dark side!

    There Has To Be A Better Way, help us find it!

    Rusty White
    Speaker http://www.leap.cc

  5. robert cox says:

    We should legalize drugs right away because God knows, drug use hasn’t affected Wise County!

    Right………

  6. Rusty White says:

    Robert,

    If you look at our policies and enforcement tactics you find the war on drugs has caused way more harm than drugs themselves have in this county. Many of our citizens were never a problem, until “some” manipulated their self serving beliefs and agendas in to our laws, fact! Many of those in our county that are caught in this never ending circle, were created by our policies not their choices. Yet with no victims or violence in their supposed crimes, they are treated and given “life time” criminal records as “real criminals”!

    They have been “forced” in to making a living on the dark side by “others” self serving agendas and beliefs. Not from their actions that harm others but simply for their choices “others” have been manipulated in to believing are all the same and all wrong!

    Until we can return to holding people accountable for their actions that harm others this circle will never end. There is “big money” being made by “both” sides of this failed war, with each gaining job security and power of others, fact! Sadly our nations young and old and their families are pay for it, as are all us the tax payers, fact! There are wrongs on both sides of this issue, yet only those who started out with “no victims or violence” in their lives are blamed for all the wrongs, and that is a LIE!

    Prisons and jails and our courts as well as our tax dollars and resources are for those with “victims and violence” that commits crimes against others, not for those that simply make choices others have been manipulated in believing are “all“ wrong! It is a sad day when jails and court houses and probation departments are the biggest and newest building in our communities! All expanding year after year while being fed and funded by those they are supposedly serving and protecting!

  7. The problem is not with the alcohol or the drugs. It is the people who use them. Pot growing on a plant is not a problem. Smoking it is. Kids sniff glue, freon, you name it. The problem lies with the broken down families, the demise of the moralities of our country, and parents that don’t give a rip about their children until one of them gets in trouble, then they seek to blame everyone else for the problem instead of themselves. I go back and forth on the legalization of pot. The stuff DOES harm you, I do NOT want it to be available, but it being illegal doesn’t stop it from being used. People under 21 aren’t legal to drink either, but the leading cause of death among teens is alcoholism. Explain that.

  8. Rusty White says:

    Craig,

    “”The problem is not with the alcohol or the drugs. It is the people who use them.””
    There is a minority that let their choices get the better of them, but the majority do not. To claim all who make choices you or I would not is at best intellectually dishonest, that would be like claiming all who drink are drunks, and everybody knows that is a lie.

    “”Pot growing on a plant is not a problem. Smoking it is. “” That is your personal belief, why should others be forced to live by your perception, do I have the same right to force you and others to live by my beliefs?

    “”Kids sniff glue, freon, you name it. “” Could it be because there is not test that will show what they are doing? Instead of doing something that will not harm them or kill them, our policies no matter how well meaning are forcing our young and old alike to things that are addictive and killing them!

    “”The problem lies with the broken down families, the demise of the moralities of our country, and parents that don’t give a rip about their children until one of them gets in trouble, then they seek to blame everyone else for the problem instead of themselves.””

    You again speak of a minority, the truth is the majority do not have any less morals than any others and they love and care for their kids, fact! How do you think these kids feel when they are told in school all those that do drugs are worthless and demons, then they KNOW that is a lie, because they see their families are not like the lies they are being told!

    “”I go back and forth on the legalization of pot. The stuff DOES harm you, I do NOT want it to be available, but it being illegal doesn’t stop it from being used.”” I suggest you go to http://www.drugwarfacts.org and see the documented facts as to how harmful it is. This again is “your” belief, so why do others have to live by them? If you have the right to force your beliefs on others, do they have the same rights?

    “”People under 21 aren’t legal to drink either, but the leading cause of death among teens is alcoholism. Explain that.”” I suggest you go to http://www.getMADD.org and see some more truth! There are “millions” of young and old that would much rather smoke pot than drink, but they are forced to by our policies fact! There always be those that make poor choices, but we should not hold millions accountable for the ignorance of a few, should we?

    There Has To Be A Better Way, help us find it!

    Rusty White
    Speaker http://www.leap.cc

  9. Rusty, once again you speak like a true doper.

    Your facts are miscued, as usual.

    You’re an fool if you really believe that “Nobody ever died from using marijuana”….

    35 years on the streets as a law enforcement officer, I can assure you that I’ve seen many, many deaths… car accidents, etc. that the consumption of weed was the contributing factor.

    I get it… you want marijuana legalized.

    But be factual in your arguements, instead of mirroring the asinine comments from the dopeheads websites.

  10. Rusty White says:

    bart,

    Sadly your typical, your lame attempt to slander me DOES NOT support your beliefs, if you had went to http://www.leap.cc you would know how wrong you are about us and our beliefs. But that would require you to be open minded and accept other opinions, which you have shown all you can’t do, wish ya luck!

    There are far more members of http://www.leap.cc with more years of service than you claim. The facts are “documented” at http://www.drugwarfacts.org, some people do stupid things but that DOES NOT represent the majority, does it? It is a “FACT” never in the recorded history of this planet has anyone ever over dosed on pot, do you refuse to accept this fact?

    Sadly one can tell you have a closed mind and can’t accept reality, it is a hard thing to admit you have been wrong and your actions have caused so much unwarranted misery. You speak of being factual, yet claim to know that pot was “the contributing factor”??? I suggest you go back to the link and try and provide PROOF of anything being false, GAME???

  11. Rusty White says:

    bart,

    I invite you to go to http://www.leap.cc on the home page you will find a link to our speakers. Scroll down them and see those you wished to slander, many who spent their entire adult lives fighting this failure known as the war on drugs! See if your years of service and vast experience out weights just the speakers, that doesn’t count the “thousands” of members WORLD WIDE, game!

    While I salute you for your service, your not the only one that has seen life, are you not? Attack me all you want, it does nothing to help find the right path nor does it change the facts, reality, and documented history of this known failure, does it?

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