I have not used K2/Spice and do not plan to use K2/Spice. However, prohibition has never worked and will never work. In fact, prohibition of marijuana is directly responsible for the emergence of K2/Spice. I've just sent the following letter to the sponsor, co-sponsors and members of the House Judiciary Committee where this bill will come up on March 24. Please take a moment and send a letter of your own. Contact information is at the bottom.
Dear Sponsor and Co-Sponsors of HB697 and Members of the House Judiciary Committee,
I am writing you today to ask that you rethink your efforts to ban the chemical known as K2 and add it to the Schedule I controlled substances.
I would like to ask all of you the same question and I would like you to answer me honestly.
What is one stated objective that has ever been met by outlawing/prohibiting a substance?
History has taught us that prohibition never works as intended and, time after time, it makes things much worse. Prohibition does the following:
1) Drives use underground where there are absolutely no regulations of controls to govern the use of any substance.
2) Makes any drug of any quality and questionable purity available (some unscrupulous people will add things like PCP or formaldehyde to whatever they are selling...both of which are deadly) to anyone who wants them, especially children, as drug dealers don't ask to see ID.
3) Increases crime because prohibition drives up prices which leads to those who become addicted stealing to support their addiction.
4) Crams our prisons with non-violent people while turning child molesters and murderers loose on the street to make room for the non-violent drug offenders.
5) Increases the spread of preventable deadly disease.
6) Saddles young people with criminal records for the rest of their life and bars them from receiving federal student financial aid thereby nearly ensuring that they will not get an education and will be a lifelong burden on society.
7) Increases violence because prohibition fuels turf wars in inner cities.
8) The lucrative profits made from prohibition draw in young, impoverished people who would rather make $500 a day than $200 a week at a regular job.
9) Allows the government to selectively apply drug laws. All you need to do to prove this is look at the racial disparity in the Alabama prison system with regard to drug offenders. Blacks and whites use drugs at the exact same rates. Yet, one look at the prison population will show you that blacks are far more likely to do prison time than whites for the same drug offenses.
10) Enriches violent drug cartels and places drug control directly in their hands.
11) Causes an increase in the creation of designer chemicals like K2. For example; when alcohol was outlawed we saw an increase in liquor consumption because liquor is more concentrated and more could be smuggled in the same space formerly used to smuggle wine and beer. In the 1980's when cocaine was the major drug in the news we saw crack cocaine emerge as the new demon drug for the very same reasons mentioned with regard to alcohol. After over the counter sales of stimulants were outlawed in the US in the 1950's we saw the beginning of what is currently known as meth. Outlawing marijuana, which has never cause one death in recorded human history, brings us things like K2. The more you outlaw substances the more you increase the likelihood that some new designer chemical like K2 will emerge to take it's place.
What prohibition doesn't do:
1) Stop people from using drugs or alcohol.
I know that you mean well with your prohibition laws. Or perhaps you want to pass a drug bill which stirs complex emotions during an election year so that you can trumpet your 'success' on the campaign trail. Either way, all you are really doing is creating more problems, contributing to the destruction of more family units and cramming more non-violent people into our dilapidated, violent, overcrowded and inhumane prison system, which is currently operating at nearly 200% over capacity and costs Alabama tax payers $132 million dollars a year just to house the drug offender population, while doing nothing at all to address the root causes of drug addiction. Prohibition does not work and never will. If you truly want to reduce drug use and the problems associated with it then you have to begin approaching this issue in a whole new way.
Please rethink your decision to sponsor/co-sponsor or yes vote to pass this bill.
VOTE NO ON HB697.