Pubdate: Fri, 19 Oct 2007
Source: Daily Reporter, The (MI)
Copyright: 2007 GateHouse Media, Inc.
Author: BJ Mallen
Bookmark: (Cannabis)


To the Editor:

I noticed that Roland Stoy's article "25 jail inmates set free due to 
overcrowding" contained a partial solution to the overcrowding problem.

Jail Administrator Fred Blankenship stated that in September there were 25 
incarceration for possession and two for selling marijuana. He didn't 
mention a figure for probation violation involving failed drug tests for 
marijuana, but I would guess there are several. He also stated that usually 
marijuana bookings are double that of meth. I remember a summer not to long 
ago when motorcyclists in Branch County wore helmets at their own 
discretion, due to the actions or threatened inactions of a Branch County 

Why not do the same with marijuana? It's responsible users pose no threat 
to our county, certainly no more than a responsible drinker. They certainly 
do not deserve to be occupying valuable jail space, away from their 
families. This is especially true of people who use marijuana for medical 
or religious purposes.

The DEA's own Administrative Law Judge Francis L. Young said marijuana, in 
its natural form, is once of the safest therapeutically active substances 
known. It's unnatural and shameful that marijuana's most harmful side 
effects all involve the criminal justice system.

Why shouldn't it be treated similarly to alcohol? Reducing marijuana 
offenses to law enforcement's lowest priority would free up time and 
resources allowing officers to focus on offenses that involve victims and 
actually pose a threat to you and me. It would free up valuable jail space 
and reduce the tax burden on us all.

It seems barbaric to still have and enforce laws that came to be in 1937 
based on racist lies and yellow journalism about marijuana causing axe 
murders and other depraved acts. And after 70 years of prohibition, 
marijuana is more readily available at unnaturally inflated prices, which 
support criminal enterprises. It is almost no different than our mistake 
attempt at alcohol prohibition, unfortunately we don't want to see it for 
what it is - a cure worse than the disease.

Making marijuana illegal is like saying God made a mistake! If any plants 
should be outlawed, it should be poison ivy or nettles. I've experience 
both this summer and if an plant could cause violence it would be those two!

It is time to stop arresting adults that use marijuana responsibly. It is 
time for peace in the war on marijuana.

BJ Mallen

- ---
MAP posted-by: Jo-D