By Dan Viets, J.D., SMCR Board Chair
Governor Nixon, despite a general budget crunch in the state of Missouri, and a lack of funding for education and health care, is urging the Missouri General Assembly to appropriate $3,000,000 in tax money to provide additional funding for state "drug task forces." This is to replace an anticipated substantial reduction in federal funding.
At a recent press conference, the Governor talked about how important these "drug task forces" are in enforcing the laws against methamphetamine. However, in reality, the majority of arrests made for drug offenses involve only marijuana.
While politicians and the press like to talk about methamphetamine, the fact is that most tax money squandered on drug prohibition enforcement does nothing but disrupt the lives of otherwise law abiding citizens whose only crime is the consumption of cannabis.
We should all contact our state Representative and our state Senator and urge both of them to oppose any effort to increase state funding for drug prohibition enforcement. If the state has extra money lying around, it would be far more productively spent funding drug treatment and rehabilitation for people who actually need that help. That would be primarily people who consume alcohol, tobacco and pharmaceuticals and others who have a true addiction to other substances, legal or illegal.