Whitney Houston and the Push to Legalize Drugs: A Perspective From the Street and a Reality Check

I love music. Music has been a big part of my life. I drove around in a patrol car listening to everything from jazz to rock to classical, often depending upon how my calls progressed on a given day. Music provides an escape for me, helps me relax and inspires me in many ways.

Today, I watch story after story about the passing of Whitney Houston. Everyone seems to be so shocked that this 48-year-old woman passed away. LEOs are not surprised. We see first hand thousands of people who never live to the age of 48. We see lives torn apart, children abused and people killed by illegal drug users driving under the influence. While the media is dancing around the reason for her cause of death and whether or not it was drug related, we all saw the effect of drugs on her life.

So, imagine if drugs could be purchased at every grocery store or gas station. People could pick up a hit of speed on the way to work or a six pack of ecstasy on the way to a party. Perhaps you’re having trouble sleeping. You could get 50 morphine tablets to help you get some rest. The possibilities are endless. So are the effects.

People who use illegal drugs have friends and families….at least for a while. They drive on the roads that we all use everyday. They make the products that we use, the cars that we drive, and provide the services we need to live in our society. We all suffer a tremendous cost, both financial and personal, based upon the effects of illegal drugs. Talk to the children of people who are too high to feed them, the parents who lose track of their children who would rather get high than anything else or the people injured by drivers who are high behind the wheel. LEOs see this every day.

Drugs are not bad because they are illegal. Drugs are illegal because they are bad. I do not know what caused the death of Whitney Houston. Perhaps it was a congenital disorder completely unrelated to her past. Perhaps she fell in a common household accident. Or perhaps her body simply had enough. We may never know.

Whitney Houston was an American treasure. Her voice was a gift from God. Her short life reminds us of tragedies played out in our country every day. Families destroyed, people killed and many more permanently injured, the proof is right there for anyone to see. However, we will not see a condemnation of drugs in the aftermath of Whitney’s Houston’s demise. We will instead see people talking about how sad they are about her passing, how unfortunate it is that she passed away at such a young age and how she will always be remembered. Then Monday, the political machine advocating for the legalization of drugs will crank up and move forward.

If you want to know about the effect of illegal drugs, ask any LEO. Ask them about the children in protective custody, the parents who receive death notifications about their children and the innocent motorists whose lives changed forever in an instant.

Ask any LEO because they are on the front line and see the effects of illegal drugs every day. Ask the families of the fallen LEOs killed by drug dealers and users. Ask them. They will tell you. Will you listen?

Stay safe.

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