Law Enforcement Ranger (Ret.), National Park Service
"The war on drugs has failed, and I am disturbed by our tendency to dehumanize our fellow man once he is labeled a ‘drug addict.’ I believe the time is ripe for a change."
Tim Younce is a retired law enforcement ranger with the National Park Service. He has lived and worked in park areas across the country including Colorado, Utah, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. As a ranger for 15 years, he was involved in drug interdiction efforts conducted both inside and outside National Park Service areas. He has participated in inter-agency drug task forces and detection overflights, and he investigated drug offenses ranging from simple possession to sale and distribution.
One of Tim’s major duties as a ranger was to protect the natural resources of the various parks from outside threats and encroachment, including the illegal cultivation of marijuana on park land. “I spent countless hours hiking in dangerous, remote areas looking for grow operations, and I participated in hazardous helicopter flight operations in order to access remote areas to detect and eradicate these grow operations,” Tim explains. “My chief aim in becoming a ranger was to be a protector of the natural, cultural, and archeological resources found within the National Park System. Yet my fellow rangers and I risked our lives in order to stop the cultivation of a plant.”
Tim witnessed the dangerous and wasteful aspects of prohibition firsthand, and he is calling to end it. “The amount of money and man hours spent in these efforts could have been better used protecting the visitors of our national parks from such crimes as assault, theft, and homicide,” Tim says. “The war on drugs has failed, and I am disturbed by our tendency to dehumanize our fellow man once he is labeled a ‘drug addict.’ I believe the time is ripe for a change.”
Tim was a three-term president of the 800 member-U.S Park Ranger Lodge, and was founder and president of the United States Ranger Alliance, a nationwide collective bargaining unit for law enforcement rangers, criminal investigators, and special agents. During his tenure in the Park Service, he was also involved with the Fraternal Order of Police, rising up through the ranks to achieve the national office position of Chairman of the Federal Officer Committee. He currently lives near Cincinnati, Ohio with his wife Tanya.