Wasting Money Fighting Pakalolo

Bob Jones
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Wednesday - November 11, 2009
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A 1936 anti-pot film poster

So, the feds have decided not to bust buyers and sellers of medicinal marijuana in the 14 states that permit it. Santa Cruz, Calif., now has 250 medical marijuana shops and 3,000 registered users!

I’ve never been a druggie. Through the early days of my old KCCN radio talk show I promoted heavy drug-use penalties. Then something started seeping into my brain. I was not persuaded that marijuana in limited amounts was dangerous, nor that it was a “gateway” to use of other drugs.

The science wasn’t there. And it seemed we were spending too many law enforcement resources to catch small-time users and jail them without having adequate rehabilitation programs. People got out of jail and went back on drugs.

I come from an era when parents warned us that Gene Krupa was America’s ace drummer only because he was stoned on marijuana. I suspect he often was more stoned on booze. But booze is legal so it gets a free ride. Cigarettes are legal and they get a free ride.


Arresting every drug user no longer made sense to me. It was costly and had no visible effect on drug use. We were raiding marijuana patches more than shutting down meth kitchens. But the beat goes on in U.S. law enforcement. Mexico recently decriminalized small amounts of all drugs. I’ve grown more tolerant of the marijuana trade because it’s everywhere. Don’t fight what you can’t possibly win.

I’m still for throwing the book at major dealers in cocaine, heroin and meth, not the guy selling small-time on a street corner or the small user suckered in by cops posing as dealers or buyers. Waste of time.


three star

Have you even been to the back of Kamilo Nui Valley in Hawaii Kai? It’s a gorgeous expanse. The largest parcel of undeveloped land in east Honolulu. Farmers and nursery owners lease about 90 acres there from Kamehameha Schools.

The leases expire in 2025. Rent renegotiates next year. Developer Stanford Carr has been trying for five years to do houses there.

Kamilo Nui Valley should stand as is - a monument to our old ahupua’a system where we bring agricultural tourists to see our nurseries and our grandeur.

So I appeal to Kamehameha Schools CEO Dee Jay Mailer to preserve Kamilo Nui Valley and do what she said she’d do when she took the top job: “heal some old wounds, forge new bonds and move on.”

Developing Kamilo Nui would open new wounds, destroy old bonds, and only move on in the sense of bulldozing some of the best of Hawaii in order to fatten the endowment.


three star

The Nov. 3 pedestrian accident on King Street in Moiliili provides the perfect opportunity for a victim and a plaintiff’s attorney to go after the city on something I’ve preached for years in this column: installation of those pedestrian-in-the-crosswalk lights implanted in the pavement at six-lane streets such as King and Beretania.

The problem’s known and ignored. If you’re a car driver and a van, bus or truck is adjacent to you coming up on a six-lane crosswalk, you cannot see a pedestrian.

The flashing lights-in-pavement system triggered by the pedestrian solves that.

Rick Fried, where are you when we need you?


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