Thursday, October 13, 2016

Few In Jail For Pot?

This Washington Post article caught my attention because its story is contrary to what I've been hearing as of late. Whenever discussion of drug use, or legalzing drug use comes up, I've heard time and again lately that very few people are in prison of possession of marijuana alone. 

I'd take their word for it although years ago the story I'd hear was along the lines of the Post article:

 "... police make more arrests for marijuana possession alone than for all violent crimes combined."

Of course, that says arrests. Whether that also means incarceration is unclear, although they also point out, "The report reinforces its point by noting the lengthy sentences handed down in some states for possession of small amounts of drugs.". Again, not too specific.

I suppose it's a moot point since we're still referring to people being arrested or jailed for something they eat, drink or smoke, but it still leads to horrific consequences for those arrrested:

 "In Texas, for instance, 116 people are currently serving life sentences on charges of simple drug possession. Seven of those people earned their sentences for possessing quantities of drugs weighing between 1 gram and 4 grams, or less than a typical sugar packet"

Seem to me, the bottom line is rather than nitpicking the specifics of what illegal drug was involved, we should stop getting involved in what people decide to eat, drink or smoke.

Along that line, there was some discussion the other day over at the Santa Rosa Press- Democrat over the Adult Use of Marijuana Act. One gal commented that legalizing marijuana would likely encourage users to try other, more harmful, drugs.

I replied I doubt that would be the case, although there's no accounting for the ways individuals react to situations and various stimuli. I felt it would likely end up with the opposite effect: Since users would be dealing with legal substances, the dealer might well be, too, so the user might not be exposed to illegal drugs. 

With it illegal, the dealer is essentially a criminal (even in his own eyes) so wouldn't see it that much of a leap to get involved with other illegal substances and might turn the user on to other things. 

No way of knowing unless we end the war on drugs, although looking at the two most popular presidential candidates now, it won't be happening soon.


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