Drug Policy

The Men Who Shoot at Goats

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Catching up on my email, I came across a wonderful little A.P. story from last month about Utah towns that are following the latest drug policy craze by banning "spice" (a.k.a. K2), dried herbs sprayed with chemicals that are supposed to produce a marijuana-like high. A few excerpts:

"I just wish we didn't have to legislate people out of stupidity," Cache County Councilman Cory Yeates said.

The Herald Journal of Logan reported that Yeates' colleagues were quick before Tuesday's vote to invoke the case of a man reportedly intoxicated on spice who fired a handgun randomly and shot a neighbor's goat four days ago.

"It's pretty sad," Council Chairman Gordon Zilles. "That's crossing the line."

Zilles added, "Better a goat than the neighbor himself."…

Taking spice has no benefits, according to Dr. Jim Davis, executive director of Utah State University's Student Health & Wellness Center.

"As a doctor, I usually look at things like medicines or even treatments in the respect of risk versus benefit," he said last month at a public hearing in Logan. "I can't find a benefit of taking spice. So I would urge the council to work by whatever means … you can to ban the substance."

Councilman Yeates has a legitimate complaint. The people of Cache County should vote him out of office so he no longer has to legislate stupidity.

In case you want to know more about the goat shooting (and who wouldn't?), here are some details. Even if you're unmoved by the plight of our caprine compatriots, you cannot easily dismiss Dr. Davis' medical testimony that anything he sees no benefit in should be banned. A similar attitude underlies the crusades against Salvia divinorum and online gambling.

A.P., by the way, claims that K2 "is a blend of herbs and spices sprayed with the active ingredient in marijuana"—i.e., delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol—which would be totally cool if true. But since THC is already a prohibited substance under state and federal law, A.P. may have gotten that part wrong.

[Thanks to Ryan Ellis for the tip.]