Wednesday, September 07, 2011



I previously showed you the Indian town of Dulce, NM---but forgot the most interesting story: The council debate and decision regarding alcohol on the reservation.

Here's what made the debate so interesting:  There is a dangerous 18 mile stretch of mountain road between Dulce and the nearest liquor store---Chama, NM

Just look at all that inebriating stuff---only one of two well stocked aisles.  Are you beginning to get the drift of the problem?  There are a fair number of alcoholic Indians in Dulce who really, really want a drink and so they drove the dangerous road to Chama and too many of them did not make it back---so many---that the council met to consider the problem.  Perhaps improving the road would help! Or persuading the drinkers to become Christian---Or a bus run to Chama---or designated drivers---or a billboard campaign about the dangers of drunk driving.  AND THEN-----AND THEN---one brave soul said: WHY DON'T WE JUST ALLOW ALCOHOL TO BE SOLD HERE IN DULCE?  No doubt a strained silence fell across the room.  PRINCIPLE AND PRACTICALITY clashed! ERADICATE AND ACCOMODATE squared off !  ABSOLUTIST AND RELATIVIST waged war! Guess who won:

The PRACTICAL, RELATIVISTIC, ACCOMODATORS won and now there is a liquor store in Dulce. Drunk driving deaths are down.

RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES:  This was a wise decision I think. They opted for HARM REDUCTION--and I hope our government will adopt a similar strategy for marajuana and other drug use. I do not use drugs but millions do --and making them legal would reduce their harm---and our prison population.  


Boonie said...

I'm confused. Isn't Dulce on the reservation? Hasn't the Great White Father in Washington DC decreed that liquor is illegal on any Indian reservation? So what does a local council have to say about it?

Randy said...

Yes Dulce is on the reservation---My info came from the guy I interviewed---I guess the council has the authority to allow or prohibit alcohol. Will look into it.

Tesaje said...

If there is one thing history shud have taught us is that you can't effectively legislate morality. Prohibition didn't work in the 30's and it doesn't work now but the side effects are truly horrible.

I've read that alcohol is a problem for only about 10% of the population. I don't know if the Amerindians have the problem at a higher rate or if it is simply lore and racism. Sell the stuff (including presently illegal drugs) and tax the hell out it, I say. Use the taxes for treatment and non-use programs. I've never used illegal drugs either but what we are doing sure isn't working.

vincent said...

Boogie, you haven' t read the very important exception in the law . Alcohol is forbidden with the exception that states can decide if alcohol is allowed or not . The state again can decide if reservations can decide themselves or not . Most people read laws half way .

Paxie said...

All I know is that I'm part Cherokee and if I drink dark liquor...look out. I'll fight anything and everything in my path LOL

So I don't drink it.

I'm for saving lives. You're not going to get them to stop drinking. Tax, tax, tax.

Anonymous said...

Legalize weed and teach the Indians to smoke it instead of killing themselves with fire-water.


Brad said...

Randy, I know you enjoy reading books on philosophy, so I will suggest that you look into getting a Kindle from Amazon (they're actually sold at walmart and other stores now). Amazon has a number of FREE books on philosophy that you might be interested in (actually, any book copyrighted before 1923 is usually free on Kindle). Enjoy,

castello said...

Weed isn't just for drug abusers. This is a long video but very good.

Randy said...

I'm posting another thoughtful comment from kerry that I received elsewhere:
Message body

Randy, you are welcome to post my reply. Another tangent with this dilemma is our basic human psyche and our relationship with entitlement. I have several close family members who fail to fit the right wing stereotype of welfare abusers, yet have come to see the funding of their existence by government agencies, family members and even the reckless availability of credit, as some sort of inalienable right. It is fascinating how one can be surrounded by self supporting family and friends, yet allow oneself to quickly reach the delusional state that you are somehow "owed" a reasonable standard of living.

Unfortunately, the BIA has done a wonderful job of nurturing such a mentality in multiple generations of Natives. In the 90s we did a project of twenty new homes on the edge of a rez town. Friends of mine stayed on for another year as missionaries of sorts, to support the fledgling local Habitat for Humanity chapter. They spent a great deal of time and effort explaining to the new homeowners that they were no longer wards of the BIA, but real, honest to God, flag waving, home owning Americans. This meant that you had to pay your (very modest) mortgage every month, fix your own broken windows, cut your own grass and pay your own utility bills. Sadly, many just couldn't follow the program of having a safe affordable home to call their own. It was almost too foreign to comprehend. As with many things on the rez, it was far less successful than it could of been. That said, I would go back and do it again tomorrow. I guess it's the Buddhist mentality of easing the suffering of others. I have been back to that project several times in the last 16 years. It isn't pretty, but it's a place when a hundred folks end up with warm dry roofs over their heads, and families have a better shot of raising kids in a relatively decent environment.

I believe you could find a path out of this mess by spending wisely and using successful outcomes to determine where future money flows. The current system is obviously a failure, yet turning the funding faucet off is both cruel and unlikely. I think the answer is to see what functions properly, and there are some examples of highly successful native enterprise, what are the worst examples of wasted resources, and start flowing the money in the right directions. Currently there are enormous amounts of money going into the BIA system and ending up where it always has. It is lost in a system that makes corrupting, nepotism and failure key points of it's mission statement

Ed said...

I would not only make drugs legal but ALL drugs would be FREE to any adult user. The price if taxes were included would be more than the user is paying now.

If they were free the user would not need to rob and steal to support their habit. If their habit became such that they are incapable of working, not just the passing of a drug test, then they go on SSI and Food Stamps or maybe a government run addicts 'home'.

This would be cheaper than the cost of enforcement now and it would cut down on other crime as well.

A win-win for everyone!