I just recently ran across a very interesting article about Barry Cooper, a former Gladewater and Big Sandy, TX police officer who was once the best drug officer in West Texas, according to his former superiors. Cooper was an eight-year veteran of law enforcement and drug interdiction. Consider what his old supervisor said about him:
Tom Finley, now a private investigator in Midland, said he was Cooper's boss in the 1990s and said Cooper was the best drug interdiction officer he had ever known. "He was even better than he says he was [....] He had a knack for finding drugs and made more arrests, more seizures than all of the other agents combined. He was probably the best narcotics officer in the state and maybe the country during his time with the task force."
So what's the issue? Cooper believes marijuana should be legalized and regulated by the government which he says will cause the crime rate to drop.
Marijuana makes you happy, then intoxicated, then sleepy [...] It doesn't make you crazy. [....] The 'gateway drug' label is a fallacy. If there was a gateway drug, it would be alcohol [....] When I was raiding houses and destroying families, my conscience was telling me it was wrong, but my need for power, fame and peer acceptance overshadowed my good conscience.
Cooper aruges that Prohibition was a failed American experiment when the state tried to outlaw alcoholic beverages. Ultimately, that policy merely empowered criminals, and he thinks the same thing is now happening with prohibition of Marijuana.
I find this all very ironic. (Disclaimer: I'm a member of a Christian denomination that helped start the Prohibition movement.) The real gateway drug was rightly banned in America, but that ban nevertheless failed. But the fake gateway drug is currently banned, yet that ban seems to be failing also. What's of further intest is how Cooper readily acknowledges that "cocaine and crack should be eradicated from the earth because they are dangerous drugs." So he's not an advocate of the full legalization of drugs, but only of drugs that, on his view, do not have malevolent consequences to society. However, and on my view, a quick survey of recent scientific literature, where the full effects of Marijuana are studied under controlled conditions, still shows that recreational use of this drug is a bad cognitive risk.
Yet I'm happy to report that in gloriful wisdom God has instead sent us caffene
 "The residual cognitive effects of heavy marijuana use in college students" et. al.
Journal of the American Medical Association (Accesed 12/31/06)
Labels: Caffene, Drug legalization, Marijuana, Police