THE TRUTH ABOUT POT
Author: Luke Malek, Kootenai County native and an attorney.
On a fall day in 2002, my childhood friend, Brendan Butler was left dead along a rural road in Kootenai County, strangled to death, and throat slit for good measure. It is still hard for me to envision Brendan as a drug dealer, because most of the images I have in my head of him are of snowball fights and sledding at his parents’ home in Hayden, or debating the coolest cars and trucks with him. But I have no illusions: Pot killed Brendan.
In fact violence, whether through the organizations that compete to supply demand for the product or through the negligence and clouded abilities of its users, is a defining characteristic of marijuana. The argument that legalization will debilitate cartels is erroneous; a fiction devised by the cartels themselves to profit from the hatred of their existence. The fiction is furthered by advocates’ stating that enforcement of drug laws is the enemy of the vulnerable. The Elks Club has a drug awareness page, and it states, among other things, the following: “An early major marijuana smokers’ lobby, NORML ( National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws ) admits receiving drug dealer money.” NBC reported in April 2010 that the effort is now a multi-million dollar, bipartisan effort.
Monte Stiles, former Deputy United States Attorney addressed this very issue in Coeur d’Alene for the Kootenai Alliance on Families and Children last month. His mission is simple: Combat the misinformation campaign around marijuana. Part of this battle is keeping “medical” marijuana out of our state. As he says on his website, through his work as a prosecutor, he has “been an eyewitness to one of the darkest sides of society – organizations that traffic in human misery” through the sale of substances. Whether or not we are winning the war on drugs right now, he argues, but we can’t afford to lose it. Taking government out of the picture is not the lesser evil.
The very reason that American’s are skeptical of government is because of the power that is exerted over us. The irony of the libertarian argument for legalization of marijuana is that the power behind the drug trumps the evil of our government. The power behind the push to legalize marijuana is not comprised of the dimwitted foot soldiers in rainbow colors blubbering on about rights. These people are the public face of the campaign, and an inaccurate faade. The power behind the marijuana is the millions of dollars of those who stand to profit from the misery of the vulnerable.
And just as the argument that legalization will dampen that power is erroneous, so is the oft uttered comparison of cannabis to alcohol. The Elks awareness page says it well: “A majority of adults who use alcohol on occasion as a beverage avoid intoxication… Marijuana and illegal drugs are used solely for their intoxicating effects by adults and youth.” Use for intoxication is abuse.
As one Kootenai County judge tells the youth that are sentenced in front of him for drug offenses: There are two ways to really mess up your future: “Do poorly in school and develop a substance abuse problem.” Marijuana is the first step to a substance abuse problem and one that the marijuana lobby would seek to have normalized. Why? Because once the marijuana damage has occurred to the human brain that allows for lowered inhibitions, addiction and escalating abuse can thrive. And there is no better customer than an addict.
Activists and proponents that frame this issue as a freedom issue are wrong. This struggle is about power and money. The money behind the pro-marijuana movement would have you believe that legalizing marijuana opens up to a bright government-free future. The truth is that normalizing pot use is a dark abyss. With drug cartels, there is no due process. Ask Brendan.
This Post Has 5 Comments
Your story and Brendan’s story is insane and truly something to learn from. I’d love you talk to you and ask you more questions! Let me know and I’m sorry for your loss.
Your story is truly inspiring and something to learn from. I saw the movie have and have done research on the events that took place that day. I’d love to ask you some questions about everything if you’d be okay with that. I’m sorry for your loss, let me know through email.
You’re story is really good and I have seen the movie and have done research on this case. I really wanna know more about Brendan and how you believe he became involved in the pot smuggling ring.
Guaranteed he was drunk when he wrote this.
You’re entitled to your entitlement, and your xenophobic views on medicine, but don’t pretend the real killer here isn’t first world racism.
When was the last time this kids parents had anything to do w him? When they signed the adoption papers?
He just as equally could have never done weed and still tried to put a hit on a rival water polo player or something.
This website sucks I’ve re written this like 3x, it almost just refreshed and erased me again so I’ll quit while I’m ahead.
You should prob shove your xenophobic rich kid views on medicine to yourself, unless you’re an economist or a medical professional?
Sorry your friend was a spoiled brat who’s racist adopted parents didn’t care enough
About to care about..
But something also has to be said for the psychology at play here, I’ve grown up around weed my whole life, basically everyone I know has sold it at some point or another, and no one has ever even been in a fight over it.
And this isn’t backyard bullshit, these people have made careers out of it.
So odds are your idiot friend had psychological issues, he lacked empathy or concern for human life and imo he got what he deserved.
I mean I’m sure it’s heart breaking to leave behind your real family…
For one who doesn’t care about you anything past bragging about their adopted visible minority children,
The guilt alone after experiencing third world poverty and then first world excess would crush anyone I’d imagine,
Be as quick as you want to point fingers at a plant, that’s like saying water is the enemy because people drown.
It’s a sad story of an unloved kid, but he had high scores, he went out of his way to cause destruction. Lol he couldn’t even fight his own fight..
That’s honestly really pathetic.
And so are you for blaming anything you can wrap your head around before you take a look at who this dude really was, where he came from, and why there’s literally no mention of his adopted parent anywhere, except in the movie, the news guy says they adopted other kids.
Which is also darkly poetic, as in sure they told everyone who would listen about their saving orphans from around the world, but are no where to be found when one of them turns out to be a psychopathic, string out spoiled little fuck?
Sorry you’re too self involved to see this for what it is, and I bet You go home and drink every night, so honestly, get yourself a tissue and get on with your life.
Or don’t, I’ve already wasted way too much time on this for what it’s worth.
And I doubt that you could have been that good of friends if you had no idea he was that involved or whatever.
This whole article makes no sense, luckily you have your trust fund I’m sure.
What was the reason that Brendan was killed? Like why did the people that killed him turn on him?