Tennessee: Governor's Task Force Wastes Taxpayer Dollars In Annual Marijuana Boondoggle
By Steve Elliott
What has the American mainstream press come to? To get the real story behind a "marijuana eradication" article from Tennessee, readers have to go to the comment section.
In a futile, expensive annual boondoggle, National Guard and Highway Patrol helicopters are circling the skies of Tennessee. Are they looking for prison escapees, or perhaps dangerous terrorists? No; they're searching for flowers.
"THP, Alcoholic Beverage Commission, National Guard counter-drug unit work every year to eradicate marijuana, which is a gateway drug," LaFollette Police Chief Jim Jeffries said, demonstrating his inability to complete even one sentence about cannabis without lying. (The so-called Gateway Theory was scientifically disproven years ago.)
Tennessee, you see, has a Governor's Task Force on Marijuana Eradication comprised of several law enforcement agencies, reports Stephanie Beecken of 6 News. For several months each year, law enforcement officials search the state for marijuana plants; they are currently focused on East Tennessee, where much of the state's cannabis crop is grown
But what Stephanie Beecken didn't seem to find room to include in her story -- which is inaccurately headlined "Governor's Task force eradicates marijuana in Easte Tennessee," and is chock full of simpering approbation for law enforcement's quixotic war on pot -- was any hint that perhaps these expensive "marijuana eradication" operations don't enjoy widespread public support.
To learn that, you have to read the comments below Beecken's (non-)story.
"These guys don't get it," commented Shawn Christopher. "Their job right now is to actually protect a black market for murderous drug kingpins and cartels to thrive. HEY GUYS, YOU'RE ACTUALLY HELPING THEM. This is a virtually non-toxic harmless plant. You're turning yourselves into the enemy of the American people."
"Roofs falling in on our schools, towns going broke, the environment in schools is that of prisons," commented "constructionist." "But there is no way that people are going to make money from pot and spend it locally, creating more tax money, feed more people and create wealth. 'We the people' won't allow it."
"Chief Jeffries is a moron," offered commenter "Doe John." "The only thing MerryWanna is a gateway to is bigger budgets for his stupid task force. These task forces have been operating for 30 years trying to eradicate the herb, and last year they killed 150,000 plants; who in their right mind calls that a success?"
"if you are going to waste tax payer money killing weeds you would be better off 'eradicating' poison ivy or kudzu," commented "Eddie." "This waste of resources is really getting old."
"They waste money going after a plant that was deemed illegal because of racial reasons," commented "Jcollins91." "It's a Schedule I drug which means it has no medical value but our gov has a patent (U.S. Patent 6630507) on the plant for medical use in disease like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and HIV dementia. Yet I can go out and buy as many packs of cigs as I want and have cancer in no time. Eighteen states have approved the use of cannabis for medical use. TN needs to get with the times!"
"It's like watching a group of drunken chimpanzees smoke tobacco in rolled up 100 dollar bills," commented "JoeDaWig." "The funny part is the chimps keep patting each other on the back for a 'job well done.' Too bad we have to pay these idiots, they literally get paid to burn our tax money. You couldn't make this up if you tried."
"This is so stupid, what a waste of taxpayers' money!" commented Patrick Higgens. "Our prisons are overflowing now because of these petty laws. Again, corruption is the way to go in politics."
"What a joke," commented "Joseph." "A huge waste of money and resources, but I guess it makes the Gov. look good to a certain constituency. Chief Jeffries calling marijuana a 'gateway drug' that leads to harder drugs is like saying mother's milk leads to alcoholism."
"Clap... Clap... Clap," commented "H." "Let's do a shuffle on the priorities while cities like Jellico go broke, and other counties struggle with unemployment and education costs. Think about the cost to fly a helicopter for eight hours..."
"Yet our schools go without proper maintenance and have too many kids per class," added "etnguy." "There are FAR better ways to spend those funds other than the drug war the US is losing. Legalize it... and spend the money on better avenues!"
As of 11 a.m. Pacific on Thursday, 16 of 16 comments to Beecken's story opposed the "marijuana eradication" effort; zero commenters supported it. All of the comments had multiple "thumbs up" votes, some with as many as 30.
Perhaps next time, Stephanie Beecken might want to cover the real story instead of just working as a cheerleader for law enforcement?