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wyoming-hotel-trashedThe headline at the Daily Mail was eye-catching: “Squatters take over Wyoming city: Vagrants leave millions of dollars worth of damage to motel and 500lbs of human feces in downtown area – as Casper fights off a homeless invasion.”

It was an image at odds with how we think of Wyoming; that is, a clean, naturally beautifully conservative state. But the homeless plague is everywhere, and the situation in Casper reminds us that most of today’s homeless are not just ordinary people down on their luck; they are dysfunctional drug addicts who are the inevitable result of 60 years of leftist drug policies.

The Daily Mail has the details behind the headline:

  • Squatters have taken over a Wyoming city after some left millions of dollars worth of damage to a motel and others left 500lbs of feces in the downtown area.
  • Casper, the second-largest city in the state, is home to 60,000 residents but now also has about 200 homeless people.
  • Some have seized various properties that are empty or abandoned, including an abandoned Econo Lodge motel that hasn’t operated since November.
  • Casper Mayor Bruce Knell described the extent of destruction as akin to ‘third-world-country stuff’.


The remainder of the article explains that the hotel, after suffering water damage, was foreclosed upon and boarded up. However, homeless drug addicts broke into the 300-room hotel and used it as a giant latrine and shooting gallery. The mayor is at his wit’s end:

City officials admit they have run out of ideas with how to effectively deal with the growing numbers of vagrants and note that fines and arrests do not seem to be working when it comes to sorting out the problem.


‘We know very well we cannot litigate our way or arrest our way out of the problem, but our police need some teeth to start dealing with the squatting,’ Mayor Knell said. ‘They’re just causing so many problems.’


‘In desperate times people do desperate things, and unfortunately we’re the ones left having to deal with it,’ he continued.


Did you catch the error in the mayor’s thinking? He says that the homeless people occupying Casper are victims of “desperate times.” But it’s apparent from the destruction in the hotel that these people are not the victims of the Biden economy. These are the same people who have taken over the streets in Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles: They are drug addicts.

One of the things the left has pushed since the 1960s is lax drug policies. Indeed, Biden is contemplating loosening restrictions around pot. But the reason Western culture developed its drug policies wasn’t because every political office was filled with a joy-hating religious fundamentalist. It’s because promiscuous drug use destroys people and, by extension, destroys societies.


Sure, as hippies loved to argue, the Indians used peyote, but they did so in a controlled way through religious ceremonies. What we’ve created now is a bacchanal of substance abuse.

The Daily Mail has reported on what’s become apparent ever since Colorado and Washington state legalized pot: It’s terribly damaging, with links to severe mental health problems, such as depression, bipolar disorder, suicidal ideation, psychotic breaks, and schizophrenia. (That doesn’t even count its role as a gateway drug for other, harder drugs.) Additionally, for every Louis Armstrong and Lee Child who uses pot as a creative engine, there are thousands of people who simply become inert, for pot turns most people into slackers.

Back to Casper: If desperately poor people destroyed by the Biden economy had broken into that hotel, they would have done their best to treat it like a home. They would have created a latrine area outdoors, in the back, and would have preserved the rooms so that they were livable. The people who broke in, though, were merely focused on protecting themselves from the elements while they engaged in the behaviors flowing from their addictions. Their drug use reduced them to animal status.

Casper is experiencing the results of a deliberately created national drug policy intended to destroy America. I have no advice for Casper beyond warehousing these people (literally putting them in a warehouse) and depriving them of drugs. Then, the ones who are still crazy should be institutionalized, while those who are merely dried-out drug addicts should be imprisoned. But basically, one damaged town is just a pebble trying to block the raging stream of an intentionally broken culture. (Having said that, now that I’ve learned that Casper has an LGBTQ+ advisory committee, meaning the city has gone woke, I’m less sorry for it than I was before.)


Andrea Widburg is deputy editor of American Thinker.