The war on drugs is a failure. President Obama even stated this when he was campaigning to be president. In the past year the Federal Government has accelerated their agenda against medical marijuana, despite assurances 3 years ago that medical marijuana policies would be considered a states rights issue.
Even dispensaries who have complied with state laws have been attacked by the Federal Government by utilizing the IRS, going after banks who work with marijuana dispensaries, to sending letters to landlords of property in which a dispensary is located threatening to seize their property if they continue to rent out their property to dispensary operators.
The goal of the dispensaries in the 15 states that medical marijuana is legal is to provide a safe clean location where someone can purchase medical marijuana without having to deal with the black market. That is harm reduction.
Somewhere along the way in the name of harm reduction, we have seen a trend which has taken it hostage by the Dept. of Justice.
For example when you have a paramilitary supplied SWAT Team busting down your door and shooting unarmed civilians suspected of possessing marijuana. The balance of harm reduction is thrown out the window, and it causes resentment against the police.
Pablo Escobar is not going to be behind 99% of the doors that deals marijuana in suburban America. It is most likely going to be someone who sells a little bit to their friends so they can afford to have some for themselves.
Pulling up to houses in armored vehicles with semi automatic assault weapons and flash bang grenades is a good way to induce fear in the American public who do decide they are going to use marijuana, but it is not doing anything towards harm reduction because people are still going to use it no matter how afraid they want the people to be.
More harm is done by over zealous prohibitionist than has ever been done by a marijuana plant.
American's are tired of seeing dirty cops planting marijuana on innocent civilians, selling guns to drug cartels, receiving billions of dollars to incarcerate more people than any other country, getting kick backs for seizing property, and using fear as a tool to make us stop using a plant.
If harm reduction was the main priority for law enforcement they would be doing the right thing by making marijuana a health issue instead of a crime issue. If they would divert the billions of dollars they receive every year and give it to health professionals there would be substantially less harm for American citizens.
To accomplish harm reduction the Dept. of Justice needs to rethink their strategy and realize that fear is not the way to go. They tried it and it has not worked, people will continue to use marijuana despite their questionable motivations which comes across as fascist and constitutionally challenging.
Unlike a lot of the younger generation, I still remember what it was like during the cold war against the Soviet Union. I remember all the propaganda against the communist's trying to control every facet of a persons life and I even volunteered in the Navy to stand up against that type of oppression from spreading across the globe and affecting other countries. It seems like nowadays I have to fight the same oppressive ideology in my own backyard.
People who use cannabis in the U.S. is in the millions, and they are being treated similarly to some of the same Gestapo tactics used to round up the Jews in WWII. We are being treated like second class citizens over the use of a plant.
The majority of American citizens who use cannabis want to be law abiding citizens. We want to see our streets safer, we want to see violent crime go down, but we are not the problem, and we do not deserve to have the brunt of police policies pushing us into oppression over a marijuana plant. This is not in any way "harm reduction."