Some might look at the US’s $600 billion annual military budget and say that the land of the free spends a little too much on defense, but what these naysayers don’t take into account is the trickle down effect of this spending that benefits so many other worthy endeavors. For instance, arming ISIS or ridding the streets of dangerous dime bags.
The Department of Defense isn’t always known for its soft side, but from time to time it likes to show a little generosity by over-arming local police departments to a frightening extent. Among the excessive gifts the DoD has given out of the years are the 35 assault rifles and 10 tactical trucks bestowed upon the police department of Johnson, R.I., population 29,000, and the 40 M-16 rifles, eight M-14’s, and 10 .45-caliber automatic pistols to Delaware’s Department of Natural Resources.
But no less important than giving police departments of small town New England enough weapons to enforce marshal law on its citizens or the DNR enough firepower to wage an extended firefight with a small army is the empowering of local police departments to reign a hail of bullets on anyone fool enough to grow a plant recognized as medicine by over half the states in the country.
Mother Jones recently obtained 465 requests made by local law enforcement for MRAP (mine resistant ambush protected) trucks. The most common reason cited for the need of weaponry was to crack down on drugs. Twenty-five percent of departments petitioning the defense deparment said they needed military vehicles for drug enforcement, way, way more than those requesting MRAPs for potential riots, hostage situations or active shooter situations.
Of the drugs said to be in need of enforcing the most, there was a tie between the horrifically addicting, life-ravaging narcotic methamphetamine and the plant that makes you laugh and cures cancer known as marijuana, according to statistics from the Washington Post. Here are some real quotes from requests to use military armaments to plug the flow of doobage to our streets:
- Shasta County, CA – “The Armored Tactical Vehicle will be used during apprehension of suspects in both Marijuana eradication and during high risk search warrant service for drug offenders.”
- Trinity County, CA – “The Sheriff’s Office has applied for HIDTA designation, due to the abundance of marijuana and cultivation and trafficking. Additionally, the increase in marijuana production has resulted in an increase in violent crime.”
- Polk County, OR – “The vehicle will be used for the eradication efforts of those large scale [marijuana] grows that are becoming more and more prevalent.”
The good news is that most of the police departments probably know marijuana is harmless and just want to bulk up their armory so they can play around with it. Because the one thing the police of this nation (who have killed at least 500 people so far this year) need is more weapons.