Pubdate: Wed, 17 Nov 2004
Source: Mountain Xpress (NC)
Copyright: 2004 Mountain Xpress
Author: Bernard B. Carman


I appreciate getting updates
from the City of Asheville regarding the various issues we must face
locally. From various articles I have read, and correspondence I've
had with Dr. Carl Mumpower, it has become apparent to me that there is
a serious hard-drug problem in our area.

However, based on the drug-suppression-activity data link that I
received (,
I have to wonder why it seems that our Asheville Police Department
seems to be continuing to focus on marijuana.

Based on this data, since Aug. 1 of this year, the APD seized almost
14,000 grams of marijuana as compared to the 83 grams of cocaine, and
the 1,625 "rocks" of crack seized. I don't know what a "rock" equals
in grams, but it seems that the amount of marijuana seized is
substantially greater than the hard drugs combined!

How many of these marijuana-arrest victims are violent criminals? Are
our local government and police really concerned about the serious
drug problem and real crime, or is this simply a concern about
complying with the failed federal "war on drugs" and [associated] money?

By and large, Asheville has attracted many people to this area who do
not see marijuana smokers as criminals. Many other American cities and
states .. have taken steps to end their "local war" on marijuana,
admitting that this drug is less dangerous than alcohol and tobacco,
and that those who use marijuana are likewise harmless.

When will the APD reform its drug enforcement so that it goes after
hard drugs - and even more so, those committing crimes as a direct
result of the misuse of [drugs] - rather than hassling peaceful
Ashevilleans who simply wish to smoke a God-given plant and be left in
peace to do so? Will it take some kind of [ballot] initiative from
local voters ... to decriminalize marijuana use? If so, this just
might be possible in Buncombe County!


Vice Chair

Libertarian Party

Buncombe Asheville 
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