Boondoggle

One blogger’s personal bridge to nowhere

Happiness = marijuana = child soldiers

UN peacekeepers in Liberia are doing some great things.  They are training police, restoring people’s confidence, rebuilding the justice system, and helping the country recover from years of civil war.  But one thing they do not need to be doing is modeling the United States’ extremely foolhardy “War on Drugs.”

The United Nations is assisting Liberian National Police (LNP) tackle the drug trade in remote areas of the West African nation, with the latest joint raid bringing the total amount of marijuana seized to almost 1,000 kilograms.

The stated rationale for these raids?

“Marijuana makes people happy,” said LNP anti-narcotics officer Flomo J. Tomkollie. “To combat the problem, we need to find other ways to make them happy – we need to train people and help them find a job.”

The perpetuation of the myths of marijuana constantly flummox me.  Here, though, the explanation partly lies in a particularly insidious backdrop — the country’s history of child soldiers, who were pumped full of harder drugs, and also given marijuana “in a bid to create dependency.”  Dehumanizing and addling the minds of child soldiers obviously being reprehensible, it is nonetheless ridiculous to claim that “many youth[s] [are] still addicted to [marijuana] five years after the end of the war [my emphasis].”  Marijuana is not a physically addictive drug, it has no natural tendency to lead toward senseless murder, and it is absolutely not antithetical to being “trained” and having a job.  This concentrated anti-marijuana campaign is counter-productive, a waste of resources, and a complete distraction from the real problems that former child soldiers face.

And yes, marijuana can make people happy.  At risk of sounding like a hippy, let’s take that as a starting point, not a symptom.

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October 23, 2008 - Posted by | UN | ,

2 Comments »

  1. Not to detract from the seriousness of the child soldier problem, but it is funny that they called it a “joint raid”.

    Comment by Kenny B. | October 24, 2008 | Reply

  2. […] iceberg of cocaine is definitely worse than an iceberg of marijuana, I must […]

    Pingback by A “Cocaine Iceberg” « Boondoggle | October 30, 2008 | Reply


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