The war on artificial drugs

There are a lot of things out there today that are bad for you. You shouldn’t eat fatty foods. You shouldn’t stay up late. And you definitely shouldn’t smoke an artificial designer drug version of cannabis.

Sixty-four servicemen in the Navy aboard the USS San Francisco, USS Carl Vinson and the floating dry dock Arco didn’t pay attention to that advice. They were caught red handed selling and consuming a designer drug called “Spice,” a synthetic version of cannabinoids that mimics marijuana.

The Navy has a very simple policy regarding drugs and drug use: zero tolerance.  Use drugs and you’re out. Simple enough. These men deserve this punishment to the fullest extent, but my problem isn’t that they got caught or kicked out. It’s the lack of attention garnered by the public. I believe that law enforcement needs to investigate the creators and producers of this terrible drug.

This dawned on me while I was watching “Wild Justice” on the National Geographic Channel the other day. The show was following California Wildlife Fish and Game, as they tracked illegal activity in the woods of northern California. The highlight of the show was when a task force was sent out specifically to find and capture the growers of marijuana, and to bust their operations while processing any environmental damage they caused.

I watched, mesmerized, as these brave men faced the ferocity of the California outdoors while they raided an abandoned campsite in search of the illegal drug farmers. It was pretty boring actually. No one was there to arrest and they didn’t really accomplish anything. But it made me realize the severity of the situation. There are multiple organizations out there to combat the war on drugs. What about the war on fake drugs?

The Marines and other branches of military made Spice illegal last year. The DEA is trying to control the market and is making emergency procedures to make it illegal. For good reason, in the few studies that have been concluded, one thing has been made clear — the use of this product is unhealthy.

Dependency issues and emotional complications are some of the effects of this drug. Many states still haven’t passed laws to make it fully illegal, including Florida. I think it should be a bigger concern to the public if our servicemen can lose their jobs over this garbage. I think some sort of effort should be taken to minimize the amount of synthetic cannabinoids that are available to the public.

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