Local Opinions On Pot
With the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Law's annual conference taking place in San Francisco this week, the Times Standard has decided to do some coverage of local political and law enforcement folk's opinions on the issue of marijuana legalization. Good to see the subject brought out in the open as I think all the discussion of "medical marijuana" really misses the point.
County D.A. Paul Gallegos is quoted as saying there should be some way to regulate marijuana without making it illegal. Wayne Hanson, of the Sheriff's Department, said he enforces the laws and, if it's made legal, they'll stop raiding the pot gardens. Good for both of them. It will be interesting to see if any real blue noses come out of the wood work with this news coverage. There's sure to be somebody around here that will call for increased penalties for smoking or growing pot.
I'd actually rather not see pot made legal in the conventional sense, that being something taxed and regulated. If I had my druthers, I'd just have most, if not all, of the laws against pot use, cultivation and possession, stricken from the books. If someone wants to grow it and smoke it, have at it. But we don't want to see pot go the way of alcohol and tobbaco and have pot smokers be the latest whipping boy whenever someone wants to come up with a new tax. Just leave the pot folks alone.
Gallegos said something along the line that pot cases don't account for too much of the work load of the D.A.'s office. I was surprised to hear that as the police reports in the local papers seem to list a fair ammount of pot arrests. Maybe they just don't take that much time to deal with in court. I still wonder, and will have to find out one of these days, just how much the booking fees are in the County Jail? Every time someone gets booked in jail, the agency that brought him in has to pay a booking fee. Is it worth it to book a pot smoker or dealer? I don't think so.