Pubdate: Fri, 15 Oct 1999
Source: Isthmus (WI)
Author: Jim Allard
Note: Subject line by MAP
Also: Our author is a member of the Drug Policy Forum of Wisconsin, one of
a number of state and issue oriented mailing lists that DrugSense supports.

In a recent editorial by Diane Nicks, she makes the claim that
marijuana-possession cases are not a high priority and that she does
not favor decriminalizing marijuana.

She then makes a statement about the potency of marijuana and cites a
number of recent marijuana-possession cases to support her claims.

I've researched her premises and found that they are either false or
they don't support her conclusions.

First for her claim that "there are strains available today far more
potent than those of a generation ago": Many such assertions (if not
all) originated from a study done at the University of Mississippi.
I've reviewed various reports from this study and various independent
analyses of the findings. From all the information I have read, the
conclusion that marijuana is more potent today is false at best and
"really not true at all" at worst.

Next Nicks states that, "Marijuana-possession cases are not a high
priority" and refers to a case where a person was arrested for
possession of pot pipes. She states the defendant was found to have
0.17% blood alcohol content. I read through the police reports, which
state that officers sat and watched the defendant's car for three
hours after they spotted pot-pipes on the dashboard.

Priorities? Why would officers spend three hours watching a parked car
so they could bust someone for pot pipes, then pull the driver over,
discover he smells of alcohol and tested nearly twice the legal limit
- -- and not even change him with drunk driving?

Instead he's charged with having pot-pipes on his dashboard and
one-fifth of a gram of marijuana.

Priorities? I have to question whether Nicks or the police understand
that driving drunk is a greater threat to the public's safety than
smoking marijuana.

Jim Allard

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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake