The War on Drugs recently generated some odd skirmishes.
First, we learn that if Illinois legalizes marijuana, we might need to kill Officer Fluffy.
It seems that police dog training is pretty specific, and drug traffickers could go free if police dogs alert on a legal drug and lead to an unwarranted search. If pot is legalized, retraining the dogs to ignore it is costly and might not be effective. Easier to get fresh dogs.
So what about the 275 certified drug-sniffers in Illinois that can cost $20,000 each? Well, they are trained to be anti-social so they stay focused on the job.
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They can't become just anyone's pet. Some might need to be euthanized, one trainer speculated.
Not so, say the marijuana advocates. Overstated scare tactic.
Which brings us to drug issue No. 2: A guy in Red Bud died from an overdose of the anti-diarrhea medicine Imodium. The over-the-counter drug apparently contains a small amount of an opioid, which can get a person high if they take enough pills.
Randolph County's prosecutor, sheriff and coroner all used the revelation to put out a warning for resident to watch for excessive use of the medicine. They also suggested it be placed behind pharmacy counters to guard against overuse or theft.
Roughly two-thirds of us want to see marijuana legalized in Illinois. The other third see it as a path to harder drugs.
With all the possibilities for abusing and numbing our bodies, and all the creative addicts out there, we continue to believe it is a bad idea to make marijuana a profit center for state politicians and as easy to get as alcohol. It will take years to understand the costs to society, but we immediately know the cost of replacing Officer Fluffy. It's about $5.5 million.