To the editor:
The most compelling points in your four-part story on the recent marijuana sweep were: (1) the sweep’s huge cost, (2) the minimal effect it had on the supply, and (3) what was not discussed. One question is what will be the cost to prosecute and imprison these people. I have read it costs between $24,000 to $50,000 a year to imprison someone. What part do our marijuana laws play in our country imprisoning a larger percentage of people than any other country? Are the effects of marijuana so terrible that we should waste money like this? And how will the confiscated property and cash be used?
This story is a primer for how stupid the war on marijuana is. A plant that grows wild, is now legal in Colorado, will generate taxes there and is a valid medicine for serious illnesses. Years ago, my now-deceased brother’s doctor told him marijuana was the only thing that would allow him to endure his horrific attack of shingles caused by cancer treatments.
I was in the Topeka federal building in 1993 when Gary McKnight entered the building setting off bombs and shooting people, including killing a security officer. McKnight had been convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana and possession of a pistol. He faced a sentence of 10 to 40 years and went there intending to kill the prosecutor. None of that made any sense.
Politicians would not be “soft on crime” but sensible if they followed Colorado’s example.