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Posted by: thepinetree on 03/13/2017 01:09 PM Updated by: thepinetree on 03/13/2017 01:09 PM
Expires: 01/01/2022 12:00 AM
:

Week Two Op-Ed By Former Calaveras County Supervisor Tom Tryon On The "War On Drugs"

Angels Camp, CA....Letter written by Tom Tryon to the Citizens of Calaveras County in the summer of 1985: In recent weeks I have been asked by many of my constituents to respond to statements I have made as a County Supervisor regarding the legalization of illicit drugs. Let me state emphatically I am not in favor of drug usage. I am only interested in trying to minimize the human tragedy that exists within our current policies. If we look at the historical reasons for placing many of the drugs in an illegal classification, the reasons are racial bigotry against particular ethnic minorities. Heroin laws were directed against the Chinese; marijuana laws against the Mexicans in the Southwest; and cocaine laws against Blacks in the South. These drugs were their drugs of cultural preference over the alcohol preferred by the white majority. The government assumed a very important role with the passage of the Harrison Narcotics Act of 1914. The Chief of Narcotics Enforcement was Harry Anslinger who constantly lobbied for a more activist government role, for inclusion of additional drugs to the list of illegal drugs, and for the expansion of his department. Unfortunately, he achieved unlimited success and with that success the drug problem has grown to epidemic proportions.




Let us step back for a moment and discuss the moral issues as they relate to our current government policies. When an individual decides to purchase a drug and another wishes to sell the drug and there is no force or fraud involved, a moral crime has not been committed. No individual rights between the parties themselves or between the parties involved and other outside parties have been violated. The above statement is particularly true if one accepts the axiom of self-ownership; the axiom upon which any concept of freedom or liberty must necessarily be founded. Certainly there is no moral difference between the grower (producer), the marketer (pusher), or the consumer (drug user). No one of these three can survive without the other two. Our current government policies are oriented to concentrate the attack on the first two groups: the grower and the pusher. We shall not, however, repeal the laws of economics; as long as a profitable demand exists, someone will produce and sell the drug. The drug problem will only be solved by addressing the demand side of the equation. We must develop policies which will diminish demand. One must remember that competition in illegal markets is based on violence, not consumer satisfaction. I would further submit that this moral dilemma is undermining our entire system of justice. A system of justice cannot help but be significantly negatively impacted when such a moral void exists.

Let us now take a pragmatic look at the results of our current policies. The major beneficiaries of our current policies are organized crime and law enforcement agencies – organized crime, since they reap the benefits of exorbitant profits, and law enforcement agencies, since the illegality of the drug make not only criminals of the grower, marketer and user, but creates many related crimes due to high prices, money made available to fund organized crime efforts in other areas, and the breakdown of moral restraint. I make this statement with no malice toward law enforcement. They are responsible for enforcing the laws, not making the laws. Who today believes that the answer to the drug problem is to spend more money to build more jails to arrest more people; or, conversely, that we would not have a drug problem today if only earlier we had spent more money to build more jails to arrest more people. In our country today there are approximately 32 million marijuana users, 5 million heroin users, 5 million cocaine users, and 5 million other illicit drug users. We couldn’t build enough jails even if we had the money. Currently we spend well over a billion dollars annually to interdict drugs at our borders with less than a ten percent success rate. The foreign results are equally catastrophic. Certain foreign countries, particularly in Latin and South America, e.g. Colombia, are being controlled by drug dealers as a consequence of our drug policies. As we look at the constantly escalating drug war, we find we are constantly escalating the war in response to the negative consequences of the war itself. The drug war has been a self-perpetuating effort in human destruction. Recently, a high government official of the Johnson administration, in reference to the Vietnam War, made the statement that on reflection the administration made a big mistake in not creating a war hysteria. That statement ruined my entire day. Yet, that is exactly what the government has created as concerns the war on drugs; a war hysteria which prevents a rational alternative from being pursued. The legalization of drugs to the extent alcohol is legalized and controlled is a rational alternative. Legalization as currently enjoyed by alcohol, would remove the organized crime element, the crimes associated with high prices and the breakdown of moral restraint (since one is already a criminal, there is less moral restraint not to commit other crimes), would remove the pushers from campuses, would dramatically reduce the tax burden associated with all crimes related to our present policies, would eliminate the largest cause of corruption in our government, would not make criminals of basically honest and peaceful people, and, by far most importantly, would diminish the harmful effects of drugs to the user himself. A substantial if not majority of the harmful effects of using illegal drugs comes from three sources; contaminants within the drugs, not knowing the purity of the drugs and thereby overdosing, and being caught and placed in jail.

We tried our great experiment known as Prohibition to control our drug of preference. The experiment failed for very sound and fundamental reasons, for the same sound and fundamental reasons the drug war has failed. During Prohibition, alcohol consumption actually increased. I believe the drug war experiment has lasted so long due to drugs being a preference of mostly young people, as opposed to alcohol being the drug of preference across the age spectrum, and most young people don’t vote. We have tried oppression, coercion, and intimidation as a solution to the drug problem, and the problem only grows. We shall not solve what is basically a health and personal mores problem through the police department. We must resort to an education and health policy which respects the integrity of the individual. This policy must focus on two objectives; minimize the inclination of people to want to use drugs, and, if drugs are used, to minimize the harmful health effects.

There shall always be a “generation gap” between the young citizens and the older citizens. We must realize the young people tend to test conventional wisdoms and, as such, when they walk through the garden, they are often inclined to taste the forbidden fruits, whether the fruits be alcohol, tobacco, drugs or sex. Let’s not purposely kill them or permanently harm them, or make criminals of them, but rather assist them in becoming productive, caring human beings.

Sincerely,
Tom Tryon, Supervisor District 4

“On the plains of hesitation
Bleach the bones of countless millions
Who, at the dawn of victory
Sat down to rest,
And, resting, died.”

It has been a long battle ---Please vote NO on MEASURE B!


Comments - Make a comment
The comments are owned by the poster. We are not responsible for its content. We value free speech but remember this is a public forum and we hope that people would use common sense and decency. If you see an offensive comment please email us at news@thepinetree.net
No Subject
Posted on: 2017-03-13 13:31:54   By: Anonymous
 
Stop identifying yourself as a county Supervisor, you are not one now.
As you are involved in the pot industry I can only take your paid article as propaganda. I will vote against drugs as a commercial source of income, and continue to discriminate against drug users.

[Reply ]

    Re:
    Posted on: 2017-03-13 13:37:01   By: Anonymous
     
    But he was a supervisor in 1985, when this letter was written.

    [Reply ]

      Re:
      Posted on: 2017-03-13 13:51:29   By: Anonymous
       
      Kids What Time Is It ?? It's Howdy Dowdy Time

      [Reply ]

        Re:
        Posted on: 2017-03-14 07:04:42   By: Anonymous
         
        Who the hell is Howdy Dowdy?

        [Reply ]

          Re:
          Posted on: 2017-03-14 08:03:34   By: Anonymous
           
          OMG!!!! Blasphemy!!!!

          [Reply ]

    Re:
    Posted on: 2017-03-13 13:53:47   By: Anonymous
     
    It is an op ed not a paid ad

    [Reply ]

      Re:
      Posted on: 2017-03-13 14:26:06   By: Anonymous
       
      He is in the industry, so he profits from the op ed. Or someone like the CCA paid him to write it (highly likely) because of his highly recognized name in the county. Either way, he benefits from the article and will be profiting from it.

      [Reply ]

        Re:
        Posted on: 2017-03-13 22:58:48   By: Anonymous
         
        Tom T. is a grower............look it up on county website.

        [Reply ]

          Re:
          Posted on: 2017-03-14 07:05:30   By: Anonymous
           
          Tom is ruining the Tryon legacy. Fact.

          [Reply ]

            Re:
            Posted on: 2017-03-15 16:56:55   By: Anonymous
             
            He has never cared all he wants is the money.

            [Reply ]

    Re:
    Posted on: 2017-03-13 14:40:46   By: Anonymous
     
    Actually once he was elected (actually over and over again) as a Supervisor, he will always be referred to as a Supervisor. Just like a former President. You do not have to like him, but it is what it is.

    [Reply ]

    Re:
    Posted on: 2017-03-13 16:55:29   By: Anonymous
     
    BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH

    [Reply ]

    Re:
    Posted on: 2017-03-13 17:15:48   By: Anonymous
     
    AGREE,HE WAS NOW HES JUST ANOTHER IDIOT WANTING A PIECE OF THE GOLD.

    [Reply ]

      Re:
      Posted on: 2017-03-13 23:00:15   By: Anonymous
       
      Green gold aka drugs

      [Reply ]

    Re:
    Posted on: 2017-03-13 18:38:02   By: Anonymous
     
    He was a great supervisor for 28 years

    [Reply ]

      Re:
      Posted on: 2017-03-13 22:14:28   By: Anonymous
       
      Murphys would not have become Murphys without Tom. Fact

      [Reply ]

        Re:
        Posted on: 2017-03-14 08:05:15   By: Anonymous
         
        Sure. Good 'ol Tom did all by himself.

        Location and economic growth in California had nothing to do with Murphys becoming a town.

        [Reply ]

          Re:
          Posted on: 2017-03-15 20:02:43   By: Anonymous
           
          No but he made sure it was allowed to grow organically. Lined up off street parking. Allowed peer pressure for self policing of types of businesses and made it a safe are to invest capital and expect a reasonable return.

          Compare that to Angels Camp or Arnold.

          Merita allowed the "Planned Development" overlay which almost insured there was no development or Murphys developed and Arnold didn't.

          Capital flows where it is treated best. Even locally

          [Reply ]

        Re:
        Posted on: 2017-03-14 23:07:34   By: Anonymous
         
        Your bragging about that??? Go back to Ripon.

        [Reply ]

    Re:
    Posted on: 2017-03-20 09:10:04   By: Anonymous
     
    Glad to see I am not the only person thinking these same exact thoughts. He is a joke and a hypocrite. Talk about the "War on Drugs" while you have your own little pot farm growing on your ranch. He is old news, a wash out, and a dick!

    [Reply ]

No Subject
Posted on: 2017-03-13 14:10:13   By: Anonymous
 
Revisionist Clap Trap. Take your pro-doper evil propaganda and shove it where the sun does not shine.

[Reply ]

    Re:
    Posted on: 2017-03-13 14:36:51   By: Anonymous
     
    clapp trap. Go bury your sorry grumpy head back in the sand where you fell safe

    [Reply ]

      Re:
      Posted on: 2017-03-13 17:31:03   By: Anonymous
        Edited By: thepinetree
      On: 2017-03-15 19:58:39


      [Reply ]

    Re:
    Posted on: 2017-03-13 17:01:58   By: Anonymous
     
    Yeah, let's all go to the bar and discuss this over some drinks, and get plowed. Then we'll go protest or something, because drugs are bad, legal or illegal. We all know alcohol isn't a drug, cause it's legal and has no side effects what so ever, but that marijuana......ohhh it's evil....even if it is evil.
    Marijuana is a gateway to harder drugs. And I will tell you, that no drug user has ever had an alcoholic drink that's a fact. I can prove it, Bill and Dave told me so, so there.

    [Reply ]

      Re:
      Posted on: 2017-03-13 23:04:44   By: Anonymous
       
      Pot workers next to me bring the bar back to their homeless encampment of tents, as they do everyday, drinking their beer, hoot n and a hollering all the while they continue to build their 6 foot plus tall pile of garbage for all the neighborhood to admire. Cheers.

      [Reply ]

        Re:
        Posted on: 2017-03-14 08:49:50   By: Anonymous
         
        and shoot their guns to let us know they are armed and their dogs are always on other's property, vote yes on B, we don't need to people who have no regard for their surroundings here!

        [Reply ]

    Re:
    Posted on: 2017-03-14 04:57:47   By: Anonymous
     
    How can you argue against the rights for other people while promoting rights for yourself? The essence of freedom is allowing other people to make their own choices, even if it is choices that you disagree with or find morally offensive.

    [Reply ]

Tom Tryon
Posted on: 2017-03-13 15:53:28   By: Anonymous
 
I totally agree with your summary here. I commend you for your common sense (which you cannot put a price on). Thank you for sharing these wise comments.

[Reply ]

    Re: Tom Tryon
    Posted on: 2017-03-13 23:07:22   By: Anonymous
     
    Bahahahahaha!!! Right….

    [Reply ]

No Subject
Posted on: 2017-03-13 16:43:12   By: Anonymous
 
Why is a letter written in 1985 by a supervisor of that time, being posted here now, 32 years later?
And who requested it be posted?

[Reply ]

Past is in the Rear window now
Posted on: 2017-03-13 16:48:38   By: Anonymous
 
These are old and outdated ways to look at a situation. All drugs now effect all kinds of people. We should not legalize any of them.
Thanks

[Reply ]

    Re: Past is in the Rear window now
    Posted on: 2017-03-14 04:50:38   By: Anonymous
     
    Times change but people, human nature and common sense do not

    [Reply ]

Good Luck Tom
Posted on: 2017-03-13 17:06:12   By: Anonymous
 
Nice looking throat Tom, hope the Mexican cartel doesn't slash it.

[Reply ]

    Re: Good Luck Tom
    Posted on: 2017-03-13 18:37:11   By: Anonymous
     
    You are a sicko. Obviously the same controversy has been around for a while. You can not ban it Regulate Make it above board. The registered growers are compliant and hard workers


    [Reply ]

      Re: Good Luck Tom
      Posted on: 2017-03-13 19:33:39   By: Anonymous
       
      Hard Workers, Well then I have a Hard On for your mooching kind!

      [Reply ]

        Re: Good Luck Tom
        Posted on: 2017-03-13 19:35:10   By: Anonymous
         
        Yes on BBBBBBBBan.

        [Reply ]

    Re: Good Luck Tom
    Posted on: 2017-03-13 23:09:34   By: Anonymous
     
    El Chappo?

    [Reply ]

      Re: Good Luck Tom
      Posted on: 2017-03-14 08:31:09   By: Anonymous
       
      Tom has big jugular veins easy to get to.

      [Reply ]

No Subject
Posted on: 2017-03-13 21:00:12   By: Anonymous
 
I bet your are even more stupid looking in person then in your photo. Shut your hole pot head grower.

[Reply ]

    Re:
    Posted on: 2017-03-13 21:22:34   By: Anonymous
     
    Give me a break Tryon. You were a gravy trainer for decades, now you are one again. Will you be able to stay awake now, or fall asleep like you did during meetings? Will you poo poo people who disagree with you, and talk down to them as you did as a supe? You may hoave some newcomers fooled, but not us that have seen your tired act before. Go grow you pot, and just STFU..............your stale dude.

    [Reply ]

      Re:
      Posted on: 2017-03-13 23:13:09   By: Anonymous
       
      AGREED. VOTE YES, YES, YES, YES on B = Ban

      [Reply ]

        Re:
        Posted on: 2017-03-14 05:05:09   By: Anonymous
         
        Boy, those were well reasoned, thoughtful, reasons for the ban :), I think I am beginning to like the growers more!

        [Reply ]

No Subject
Posted on: 2017-03-14 16:59:42   By: Anonymous
 
You are correct about one thing...Certainly there is no moral difference between the grower (producer), the marketer (pusher), or the consumer (drug user). No one of these three can survive without the other two
That is why we support Measure B, it eliminates the grower (producer) which stops the pusher getting it to the drug user. How about that??

[Reply ]

    Re:
    Posted on: 2017-03-16 10:43:19   By: Anonymous
     
    Measure B does not eliminate the grower. If measureB passes, there will be illegal growers in Calaveras County and legal and illegal growers in all the other counties in California. The supply of Cannibis in our county will not be curtailed one iota. Those of you who believe the availability and accessibility to cannibis will be diminished in our county are wrong. Commencing in 2018 cannabis will be legally available for recreational use in the entire state of California. The better option is to make cannabis growing legal in our county.

    [Reply ]

      Re:
      Posted on: 2017-03-16 10:45:17   By: Anonymous
       
      Forgot to sign my name. Tom Tryon

      [Reply ]

No Subject
Posted on: 2017-03-24 22:42:31   By: Anonymous
 
It would be best and more forthcoming if Mr. Tryon would identify himself as profiting from this industry - and hence the reason for this piece. It would be even better if he just would have paid for advertising. Clearly commercial cultivation only benefits one segment of this county, and it is those who profit from it directly. (Forget about trickle-down. We know from our expenses to not expect a profit here.)

[Reply ]


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