Milwaukee Journal Sentinel columnist Jim Stingl is dubious about a big pot bust this week in the city’s suburbs. Five people were arrested, and more than 2,000 plants were discovered in four homes. Police always call in the media, he says: It was, in the words of one police official, a once-in-a-career bust. The question is whether the problem of drug abuse is any closer to being solved. Is this sweep anything but the tiniest dent in the availability of marijuana for people who want it, Stingl asks?
Stingl suggests using prison space instead for the repeat drunken drivers whom we’re reluctant to charge as felons because there’s no room to lock them up. They’re a real menace. Show me some news video of a roomful of drunk drivers connected together in leg irons. That’s a lot scarier than these weeds that make people giggle and crave junk food. Stingl concludes that harder narcotics should remain illegal, but marijuana should be regulated and taxed. He believes that alcohol is much more dangerous and deadly and ruinous to families, and it flows legally just about everywhere you go. Marijuana rarely kills anyone, except when users unwisely and illegally drive high, but its evil is assumed to be self-evident.