Think 4/20 is a waste of money? Try the war on drugs
In the wake of another successful 4/20 smoke-out on the University of Colorado Boulder’s campus, some folks are whining about the $50,000 CU spent on law enforcement to ensure the event, which CU unwillingly hosts each year, remains safe. Think of everything that money could go toward if it weren’t being wasted on police keeping an eye on a bunch potheads, they say.
Apart from traffic and crowd control, it is stupid to bring law enforcement in to watch over the smoke-out. These are pot smokers, not crackheads. The worst thing they’ll do is eat the hell out of a bag of Cheetos and litter.
Still, having more than 10,000 people gather in a single spot might create traffic and crowd-control issues. Perhaps there’s a role for law enforcement there.
But when it comes to wasting money, 4/20 isn’t even a blip on the monetary radar compared to the failed war on drugs. Already this year, the federal government has spent almost $5 billion on the war on drugs. Last year it spent $15 billion.
If $50,000 could be spent to better benefit CU students, imagine what we could do with the money we’d save if marijuana were decriminalized.
This isn’t popular with federal and local law enforcement, however, because the money we wouldn’t be spending would come out of their budgets. The war on drugs is job security to everyone from the beat cop to the correctional officer to the parole officer.
Land of the free? Not quite.
Colorado GOP hits new low
This week, 11 Republican state senators introduced a last-minute bill that would require any elected official to provide proof of citizenship before taking office. Yes, they introduced a “birther” bill. WTF?
Apparently, Colorado’s GOP is trying to compete with Arizona’s when it comes for rampant insanity. By introducing this bill, they’re lending credence to the racist conspiracy theories that swirl around President Barack Obama.
So who are the Stupidest of the Stupid, the 11 Republican senators who introduced this bill? They are Sens. Kent Lambert, Bill Cadman, Scott Renfroe, Mark Scheffel, Keith and Steve King, Nancy Spence, Kevin Grantham, Ted Harvey, Mike Kopp and Kevin Lundberg. Do they really believe in what they’ve done, or were they just seeking publicity?
But the donation business is whacked. The campaign actually began in secret in 2006 and has already raised $900 million. Even more curious are reports that the previous campaign raised $1 billion from 1997 to 2003.
Why not count the current campaign tally starting from 2003, when the last one ended? And is CU counting in these totals the gifts that, um, never fully materialized, like the much-ballyhooed $250 million commitment from Claudia and Bill Coleman in 2001, or the $92.7 million pledge to the dental school from Gasper Lazzara in 2003?
As of press time, we were still waiting for the CU president’s PR apparatus to produce answers to these and other questions. We’ll let you know. In the meantime, just give, people, give.