Archive for Sunday, June 2, 2013

Letter: Marijuana laws

June 2, 2013

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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.

Comments

915_Stroker 1 year, 10 months ago

couldnt have said it better jayhawkfan1985, people need to get out and vote, turn this red state into a blue state. register and VOTE all this crap out of our lives.

Cait McKnelly 1 year, 10 months ago

BS, weiser. I've never heard of someone shooting up any place because they were high on pot. Drunk, yes. Same with domestic violence. I've never heard of anyone "beating up his old lady" because they were high. But how many stories have you heard of some guy coming home drunk and putting his wife in the hospital? I've heard more than I can count.

Liberty275 1 year, 10 months ago

"Why do so many druggies make the claim"

It doesn't really matter does it? If anything makes them commit a crime we put them in the hole or we put them on probation with drug use forbidden. Either way, consuming drugs will be made harder for them.

"The dope made me did it" is not a defense to anything if you took the drug (not counting acute adverse reactions to prescribed drugs).

Matthew Herbert 1 year, 10 months ago

Claims of "the drugs made me do it" are NEVER in reference to pot. The effect meth or crack or heroin has on the body cannot and should not be compared to pot.

Crazy_Larry 1 year, 10 months ago

The guy went off because his life was ruined by the tyranny that is our failure called the"war on drugs", not because he was high on weed.

Cait McKnelly 1 year, 10 months ago

They can't legalize marijuana. Where would they get prisoners for all of those privatized prisons and where would they get their kickbacks from?

James Minor 1 year, 10 months ago

The legalization of marijuana needs to be considered carefully. Like most laws in any government once it is implemented, it is difficult to reverse or amend. America continues to have serious problems with guns, alcohol, cell phones while driving, and providing health care to everyone. One thing we don't want to add to American society is a penalty for "Under the influence of marijuana, alcohol and texting while operating a vehicle".

Ron Holzwarth 1 year, 10 months ago

Arizona doesn't have a problem with that at all. If you are driving with any evidence of the use of marijuana in your system in the past four weeks or so, you can be convicted of a DUI. The law has tremendously boosted state revenues.

Clipped from:
http://www.azcentral.com/news/politics/articles/20130213arizona-court-ruling-upholds-dui-test-for-marijuana.html?nclick_check=1

PHOENIX — An appeals court has issued a ruling that upholds the right of authorities to prosecute pot smokers in Arizona for driving under the influence even when there is no evidence that they are actually high.

The ruling by the Court of Appeals focuses on the chemical compounds in marijuana that show up in blood and urine tests after people smoke pot. One chemical compound causes drivers to be impaired; another is a chemical that stays in people’s systems for weeks after they’ve smoked marijuana but doesn’t affect impairment.

The court ruled that both compounds apply to Arizona law, meaning a driver doesn’t have to actually be impaired to get prosecuted for DUI. As long as there is evidence of marijuana in their system, they can get a DUI, the court said.

solerift 1 year, 10 months ago

"He faced a sentence of 10 to 40 years and went there intending to kill the prosecutor. None of that made any sense."

Makes perfect sense to me. If you told me that I was going to be placed in a cage for the better part of my life for the offense of growing and selling a plant, I would not be inclined to just go gently into that good night. There are a lot of things a person can "man up" to and face the consequences of. When the laws are not just, when non violent, non-crimes become the target of the legal profession - then they deserve to find themselves in immanent danger and I applaud all who resist with lethal force.

bad_dog 1 year, 10 months ago

"...when non violent, non-crimes become the target of the legal profession..."

Albeit a non-violent crime; it is nonetheless a crime. Enforcing laws as they are written is the responsibility of the judicial/legal systems and not merely a matter of becoming a target of the legal profession.

I don't disagree with the sentiments regarding the stupidity and senselessness of marijuana laws (particularly Arizona's...) but work peacefully to overturn them. In the alternative, life might not be so bad in Colorado or Washington state...

Liberty275 1 year, 10 months ago

You can make all the financial arguments you want, but the legalization of pot shouldn't turn on petty matters like money, but rather on the government respecting the personal choices the citizens make and the lack of real jurisdiction had by the federal government.

jay_cheese 1 year, 10 months ago

What a good, well thought letter. For all of those "budget" hounds...what do you think of all of this money wasted on this cause? What about all of the taxes lost on some of the 43 peeps that had real jobs too (or used to)? I wonder what the families of these 43 people involved think? They might deserve something but I doubt any think they deserve anything serious over a wild plant. But watch, they are going to lay the book thick on this one....and if they do they do. hopefully the general public will start to wake up and demand a stop to this nonsense.

Think the private prison system comment is a stretch? It's not. The fact that judges spouses can own into the private prison system is not only wrong, it's flat criminal. Nothing like $$$$$ truly getting in the way of justice system. Fair? Capalitism doesn't value fair when things are all said and done. Do you think that overcrowding prisons with non violent offenders is a problem? I do. Is anybody finally ready to start demanding a change in policy?

jack22 1 year, 10 months ago

There are many good reasons why we need to legalize marijuana. Marijuana or hemp, is a renewable crop that can be used to make clothes and rope that last longer than the products we use today. Hemp can also be used to make better and longer lasting paper products for books and newspaper without damaging old growth trees. Hemp oil can be used as a source of cooking oil and a non-lethal oil for paint products. Not to mention marijuana's proven pharmaceutical uses, such as relieving nausea and stimulating digestion in cancer patients.

Our founding fathers, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, all grew hemp. In fact, during the Revolutionary War it was illegal to not grow hemp. The government required that all farmers set aside at least 10% of their land to grow hemp to help with the war effort.

As late as World War II, the government saw the benefits of growing marijuana and actively encouraged farmers to grow it. See the government's "hemp for victory" campaign if you don't believe me.

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