Lake County, FL — In a move that he will likely regret, Lake County Sheriff Peyton C. Grinnell will soon be internet famous for a threatening and poorly thought out Facebook video. The video, which is ostensibly meant to ‘scare’ drug dealers, has since begun to go viral — but for all the wrong reasons.
Claiming to have received multiple calls about heroin overdoses from the citizens, Sheriff Grinnell pledged violence and intimidation against those who’d dare sell the dangerous drug. As silly as the video may look, however, its implications and the ignorance behind its creation are no laughing matter.
“The gang in green with masks on. Probably worse than ISIS with their unconstitutional no knock raids,” wrote one Facebook user.
Surrounded by his deputies in their tactical vests, who stare into the camera through their sunglasses and face masks, the sheriff encourages citizens to snitch on their neighbors who may be selling heroin. The video is produced in the same fashion as an ISIS or al-Qaeda video, and those with enough sense are calling the sheriff out for it.
” I thought it was an ISIS recruitment video at first glance! So glad we both moved out of Florida. This DOES NOT make me feel safer!” said one Facebook user.
“Chill out Peyton, you’re not Liam Nesson. 😀 Whats with the masks, yeah undercover, then why are you putting them in front of camera at all? Why not put officers behind you that the community knows & likes? This just reminds me of 1 of those horrible ISIS videos, with a bunch of masked men.”
The sheriff is so misinformed and blinded by the profitable war on drugs that he clearly fails to realize it’s his very tactics that lead to epidemics of overdoses like we are currently seeing.
Because of police departments incessantly waging a violent war on arbitrary substances, the trade is forced into the black market. Because the war on drugs does nothing to curb demand, the black market, without the proper consumer checks and balances, fosters criminal behavior, substandard, and essentially, dangerous products. The silver lining to this horrendously ominous blunder is that many people aren’t buying it.
“Thugs. No different than any other street gang committing violence against innocent people. They are the reason heroin is so dangerous. They keep legitimate manufacturers from producing safer alternatives.”
The sheriff fails to realize that the recent heroin epidemic is due largely in part to the fact that legal heroin, aka opioid painkillers like oxycontin, have hooked millions of people in this country. When these pain pills became harder to get, through more strict legislation, addicts then turn to heroin to feed their pharmaceutically induced addictions.
“What about the “legal” opiates that kill more then heroin and Cocaine combined no one ever wants to go to war against that”
Actual heroin is not nearly as deadly as the bathtub drug cocktails being sold on the street in its place. ‘Heroin,’ today, contains mostly fentanyl — a pharmaceutical compound upwards of 50 times more potent, and far deadlier, than actual heroin.
Because sheriffs like Grinnell refuse to study actual data — opting for armored MRAPs, AR15s, and violence instead — the problem of opioid overdoses has gotten seriously out of hand.
“How about you actually study the problem sheriff. This is a social issue, not criminal. It was created by the pill epidemic caused by weak laws and legislation. Then we realized the issue after they all became addicted. Now that pills are hard to get, and they turned to heroin. Many of the dealers are addicts themselves that are paying for their habit. But hey, let’s just arrest everyone, and create more institutionalized criminals with records and further inundate the already backed up system. But who needs that? What does research know? Screw proactive and modern approaches, let’s dress like ninjas and threaten them. And we wonder why trust in law enforcement is low. Stay safe.”
Grinnell would do well to read a study or two. As the Free Thought Project has reported at length, heroin overdoses can be stifled by doing the opposite of what he’s advocating for. In states with legal marijuana, heroin overdoses plummet.
The following comment sums it up perfectly and was likely written by someone who is an avid reader of the Free Thought Project.
We’re tired of you black-masked drug warriors. Go home and bring back the police who investigate real crimes.
Americans want prohibition ended and addicts treated by medical professionals not Jack-bootes thugs that LITERALLY stole more from Americans last year (through civil asset forfeiture) than all the thieves in America.
End the drug war.
Treat addiction as the medical issue it is
Instead of filling up jails and bolstering the police state, like Grinnell wants to do, they should be solving actual crimes like murders. Instead of kicking in doors in the middle of the night, his deputies should investigate the backlog of more than 13,000 untested or unprocessed Florida rape kits — currently collecting dust in departments across the state. Instead of pledging violence against individuals for their substance abuse problems, this sheriff should advocate for the decriminalization of all drugs, which would allow for safer alternatives and treatment for addiction.
Sadly, it appears that this sheriff has no intention of changing. The good news, however, is that Grinnell is a dinosaur. Sheriffs like him are becoming obsolete as society continues to demand an end to the drug war.
An example of this paradigm shift comes from Gloucester, Massachusetts. As the opioid epidemic came into full force in recent years, one police chief in Massachusetts had a novel idea – help drug addicts instead of throwing them in a cage. This led to the creation of the Angel Program.
The concept of helping addicts instead of criminalizing them has shown such success, it’s been adopted by 200 police agencies in 28 states. This encouraging phenomenon shows that it’s possible for law enforcement to listen to reason when it comes to drug abuse and actually helping communities. Grinnell should take notice.
Below is the video which epitomizes the sheer insanity that is the war on drugs.