Thursday, July 31, 2008

It's Time to Rethink America's Tough on Everything Policies.

Just as the U.S. has one of the highest murder rates in the world despite the ultimate punishment, the death penalty, the U.S. also has the highest rate of marijuana use in the world despite some of the harshest penalties.

829,625people were arrested for marijuana law offenses in 2006 for possession and we, the taxpayers are stuck with the multi- billion-dollar bill for these marijuana arrests, which "consume 4.5 million law enforcement hours — the equivalent of taking 112,500 law enforcement officers off the streets". I guess this is part of America's "Tough on Crime"
policy...locking up the truly dangerous...terminal patients and chilled out potheads.

Barney Frank (D-Mass.) announced the details of the legislation to eliminate federal criminal sanctions for possession of small amounts of marijuana.

"The U.S. should stop arresting responsible marijuana users. Current laws targeting marijuana users place undue burdens on law enforcement resources, punish ill Americans whose doctors have prescribed the substance and unfairly affect African-Americans, said Frank, flanked by legislators and representatives from advocacy groups." -- Barney Frank
So, why couldn't the billions of dollars we spent/spend on tracking down and prosecuting harmless potheads and sick people, whose only transgression is getting ill, go toward supplying health care for those who legitimately can't afford it? As we all know actions speak louder than words. Although no one likes illness or disease, it seems Americans fail to distinguish between the pathogen and the person unfortunate enough to encounter the pathogen. We've already "settled" the West, therefore, we no longer need to cast aside the weak in order to survive, yet, that's exactly what we do. Once again, I wonder if we've evolved all that much.

Send a message to your Congressional Representative.

2 comments:

Brad,  22:00  

We have a far less generous economy now. Our frontier spirit, every man for himself, prevailed, prior to the 1980s, but was balanced by an economy that provided safety nets to catch you when you fall. Now, it seems that it's every man for himself without any type of buffer.

Our national character is now being tested.

bleute 09:18  

As America evolved, the "frontier spirit" evolved as well becoming more spirit and less a reality, as "safety nets" were made more readily available. For example the liberal bankruptcy laws created in the 19 C., I believe. Back then, our government knew how important it was to provide back up so people felt better about taking the plunge and creating new sources in order for our economy to grow. Now that we're to the point we can offer a safety net to everyone we yank it away. Doesn't make sense.

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