Monday, February 04, 2013

Deborah Daniels Against Legalization of Pot To Protect Our Kids

I had to chuckle while reading a column authored by Deborah Daniels in the latest edition of the IBJ. Daniels, of course, is the sister of former Gov. Mitch Daniels, who used his political muscle to get her appointed U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indianapolis during President George H.W. Bush's administration. Daniels never met a public corruption case she would prosecute during her tenure as U.S. Attorney, but she was obsessed, like so many occupants of that office, with prosecuting drug offenders.

According to Deborah, it's essential that we keep in place our federal and state laws outlawing marijuana if we want "to protect our children from harm and prepare them to live productive and successful lives." She says marijuana use causes a decline in IQ and leads to the use of other drugs and mental health problems. Pregnant mothers who use pot will give birth to children who will never fully develop or be born with learning disabilities or attention deficit disorder she says. "So my question to the legalization advocates is, do you really want to do this to our kids?" Daniels asks.

I laugh at Deborah's column because her brother Mitch was a big-time pot user and more while he was attending college at Princeton on a student deferment while many other young males of his generation were drafted into military service and shipped off to the jungles of South Vietnam, where tens of thousands lost their lives and tens of thousands more returned home from military service permanently scarred for life, both physically and mentally.

Her brother Mitch's dorm room was raided on May 14, 1970 after a five-month investigation by New Jersey State Police and local police determined that Mitch and his two roommates had been dealing pot, LSD and prescription drugs. The Daily Princetonian reported at the time that police seized during their raid of their dorm room "enough marijuana to fill two size 12 shoe boxes and quantities of prescription drugs." An undercover police officer involved in the sting visited Daniels' room "eight or nine times" and "observed narcotics paraphernalia, saw marijuana and hashish being used, and purchased marijuana, prescription drugs and LSD." At the time of his arrest, Daniels told the Daily Princetonian that "any goal I might have had for competing for public office were shot."

As it turned out, Daniels was lucky enough to have a wealthy father who worked as an executive for a pharmaceutical company who could afford a high-priced lawyer and work out a plea agreement that allowed him to get off with a slap on the hand for a simple misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct for using marijuana for which he paid a $350 fine and spent no more than a couple of nights in jail. When Daniels later ran for Indiana governor, he dismissed it as a minor youthful indiscretion, a characterization never challenged by a very forgiving media.

As a U.S. Attorney, his sister Deborah never afforded persons in the Southern District of Indiana the lenient treatment the New Jersey prosecutor afforded her brother back in 1970, and her views have apparently not changed over the years. Yet in spite of brother Mitch's pothead days at Princeton, he still managed to get a law degree, serve as a special counsel to one President, be appointed OMB Director by another President, become a high-ranking executive at Eli Lilly, get elected twice as Governor of Indiana and now become President of Purdue University.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not advocating that anyone take up smoking pot. I don't believe its use serves any better or worse purpose than drinking alcohol or smoking cigarettes. I also don't believe anyone should abuse drugs of any form for recreational purposes or otherwise, including a lot of the even more harmful stuff legally peddled by major drug companies for alleged medicinal purposes. I just find a lot of hypocrisy on the part of the people who are always advocating the loudest and strongest for strong anti-drug laws. I'm willing to strike a bargain with them. When the CIA is forced to stop partnering with the drug cartels in the trafficking of illegal drugs to fund its black operations all over the world, then perhaps I'll consider going along with the government's war on drugs. Until that time, competition through legalization is the only way the people can take the profits out of government-sponsored drug cartels, much the same way ending prohibition successfully removed the profits from trafficking in banned alcoholic beverages by criminal syndicates sanctioned by elements within our government. License and tax them. Share the wealth.


Flogger said...

All can say is WOW. You hit the nail on the head and drove it into the board with one stroke.

Jon said...

The war on drugs is what 40+ years now? The only winners are the prosecutors and police forces who either seize everything or buy new toys from all that federal drug war money.

Cato said...

" At the time of his arrest, Daniels told the Daily Princetonian that "any goal I might have had for competing for public office were shot."

What kind of wired-in rich boy thinks he's got an inside track for public office while merely being 18-22 years old?

Is the political arena and the social outcomes of Americans this rigged and foreordained?

If every there was an argument for 100% inheritance tax and name-blind college admission, Daniels' quote proves it entirely.

Marycatherine Barton said...

A+ report, Thanks, Gary. When will the voters ever learn!