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Arrests for Marijuana Use Ruins Lives Needlessly

LdyLunatic

i wanna be cool too!
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Florida -- Our war on drugs literally makes me nauseous with disgust. On June 20th, 18-year-old Eli Strunk of Fort Pierce was arrested for having less than an ounce of marijuana in his car. He faces a felony conviction that will follow him for the rest of his life and a possibility of spending five years in prison.
Each year, there are 700,000 marijuana arrests made in this country, mostly for possession or low level sales. As a result, hundreds of thousands of young people are sent to prison and their lives ruined. Our justice system and our police should hang their heads in shame for this injustice.


I am not alone in my views. Walter Chronkite has declared that "The war on drugs is now causing more harm than the drug abuse itself." Other sources, including many newspapers, the mayor of Chicago, the former governor of New Mexico, federal judges, police officials and even Dear Abby have expressed dismay over our war on drugs.
The Wall Street Journal's editorial on March 7 stated: "Its (the war on drugs) collateral damage is fostering anti-Americanism throughout the globe, particularly in South America, and at home, it has trashed the Fourth Amendment and is filling our jails with people whose only crime is to find pleasure in ways that other people don't like."
The Arizona Republic Newspaper in Phoenix did extensive research on illegal drugs and reported that "Alcohol is the most widely used and most commonly abused drug in the United States. It's detrimental impact on society is far greater than that of illegal drugs."
Canada and Mexico were close to making small quantities of drugs legal but changed their minds because of intense pressure from the United States. The Netherlands has virtually no drug problem even though it has legalized drugs. Alaska has legalized the use of marijuana. Rhode Island just became the 11th state to legalize medical marijuana. And last November, Denver citizens voted to make possession of small amounts of marijuana legal.
John P. Walters, our current drug czar, has said that 16 million Americans regularly use marijuana. Thus, if the horrible effects claimed for this drug were true, we should be seeing our hospitals filled with desperately ill addicts. We should be seeing thousands of highway accidents due to crazed addicts driving under the influence. We should be seeing untold amounts of violence by the pot-heads.
But this is not happening.
The truth is that virtually all of the government's adverse claims about marijuana are false or greatly exaggerated. Of interest, one of Dr. Peter Gott's columns stated "Marijuana is now viewed by many authorities as being a relatively minor hazard to health."
Yes, there is violence associated with illegal drugs but that is simply a result of their being illegal. Our $50 billion drug appetite fuels the criminal aspects of the drug trade resulting in clashes between rival drug cartels and the dealers and the police. From our experience with prohibition, we know this would end if drugs were legalized.
A long-term review of the "police blotter" in the Port St. Lucie News shows that more arrests are made for simple non-violent "drug possession" than for theft, assault, rape, murder or other violent crime. No wonder there is overcrowding in our jails. No wonder we don't have the resources to protect abused wives. No wonder we don't have the resources to investigate child abuse. No wonder we don't have the resources to keep track of sexual predators.
Now for a serious question for you to ponder: If the police suddenly were able to prove marijuana use by the 16 million people referred to by Mr. Walters, would you want all of them arrested and sent to jail?
Would you want Bill Clinton sent to jail because he admitted smoking pot?
If not, why should Eli Strunk or any other young man be the fall guy?
Iliff, a retired engineering manager and a member of MENSA, is a Port St. Lucie resident. He is author of the handbook, "The War on Drugs, or Rx for Failure." Newshawk: Mayan
Source: TCPalm (FL)
Author: George W. Iliff, Guest Columnist
Published: August 12, 2006
Copyright: 2006 Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers

 

Mutt

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Great Read. This kind of thing should be all over the news. Educate people on what is really happening.
You now what I don't see much of still. Prescription drug abuse. I mean I can get Vicadin, Oxycottin, you name it just as easy as a 5th of alcohol. I mean, its rampant. Drug abuse is everywhere. but to fill the jails with some working class joe for smokin a doob is rediculous. I give a freind an 1/8th of weed. Thats distribution and a felony ***??? But these Dr. hand out Prescription drugs like they are candy, I don't see them under review.
 

LLCoolBud

Stoned Activist
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Thank you LL, and George W. Iliff.

We need more articles like this to truly show the people the truth not a bunch of lies. Can't wait to read more.
 

Legend

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As long as the U.S. Government makes no profit off the green, they're gonna keep it illegal and continue to "wage war" against it.

I think arrested people for pot is absolutely ludicrous though. And jail time? Don't even get me started.
 

ChRonic

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I seriously doubt it will happen because anything that can be grown at home and be used as medicine at the sametime MUST BE BANNED because how is the government gona push its own drugs when we are growing the purest cure in the privacy of our own homes, and what will happen to alcohol sales?
 

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