The Failed War on Pot Users 

The Failed War on Pot Users 
Posted by CN Staff on October 20, 2005 at 07:31:43 PT
By Debra J. Saunders
Source: San Francisco Chronicle
USA -- In 2004, law enforcement officials arrested 771,605 people for marijuana violations, according to federal statistics. Bruce Mirken of the Marijuana Policy Project was so alarmed he sent out a press release noting that there were more arrests for marijuana charges than all violent crimes combined. The number of arrests for possession alone was 684,319. Said Mirken of the 771,605 statistic: "This is, in fact, an all-time record. This number of arrests is the equivalent of arresting every man, woman and child in San Francisco."
Some 40 percent of Americans say they have used marijuana or hashish in their lifetime, and 34 percent of high-school seniors say they have used marijuana in the last year -- even though the last decade has seen a huge spike in marijuana arrests, according to federal research. When the number of marijuana arrests exceeds the population of some states, the country should be asking: Does it make sense to keep millions of otherwise-law-abiding citizens on the dark side of the law? A few notes about those numbers. Federal officials told me that they don't track how many of these arrests result in convictions, or how many total drug-possession convictions (including misdemeanors) occur in the United States. I asked Tom Riley of White House drug czar John Walters' office if he thought the high arrest figure was good. "Yes," Riley responded. "Marijuana is a much more serious drug than most Americans realize. It's a more potent drug than it was in the past." Riley referred me to material from his office that explained that many first-time users serve no jail time and often see their records expunged if they don't re-offend. He added, "Anybody who has watched 'COPS' knows that the way so much retail-level policing goes -- someone is violent, or causing damage, and they get arrested -- it's hard and complicated to prove a lot of crimes like assault and battery," while it is "easy to prove" marijuana possession. Snipped:Complete Article: Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)Author: Debra J. SaundersPublished: Thursday, October 20, 2005 - Page B - 9 Copyright: 2005 San Francisco Chronicle Contact: letters sfchronicle.comWebsite: Marijuana Policy Project -- Cannabis Archives
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Comment #7 posted by John Tyler on October 21, 2005 at 17:54:44 PT
Wow, runruff you are a better person than I am. There was an old civil rights song that said, “If you have been to jail for freedom, you are a friend of mine.” I wish you and your family the best.
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Comment #6 posted by OverwhelmSam on October 21, 2005 at 05:10:43 PT
It's Hard To Prove Assult and Battery?
So the official position of the US ONDCP is that marijuana offenses are a higher priority than domestic violence. He pretty much says it right there.
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Comment #5 posted by ekim on October 20, 2005 at 18:52:36 PT
runruff ------dam man==you have earned that name.
can your wife keep us informed as to how you are doing.thank You for all you have done to help the people.I can see a book of your story which helps educate millions.
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Comment #4 posted by Max Flowers on October 20, 2005 at 18:43:21 PT
Man your attitude is so amazing! You're some kind of saint...? I'm afraid I'd be burning with rage were I in the same situation as you. Before you go in, take my address and give me yours where you'll be. I want to be one of your friends/sponsors. If you need anything at all while in there, you let me know. We'll write.Email me at kamandha (at) hushmail.comcheers
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Comment #3 posted by Hope on October 20, 2005 at 14:46:35 PT
"Very creepy."
I can imagine it was very like having a shackle welded around your neck.My teeth hurt from the years of gritting my teeth over the travesty of the War on Drugs.
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Comment #2 posted by runruff on October 20, 2005 at 14:16:51 PT:
Very creepy.
Thats how it feels to be in court before a federal judge hearing the words, 24 months incarceration and 4 years supervized probation with manditory dna submission. The people, the judge, the probation officer, the prosecuting attorney were all so self righteous. The judge said our time apart would give my wife time to reevaluate our relationship. Judging of course that I was not good enough for her. The probation officer suggested that a minimum of 5 years incarceration should be my sentence with 6 years probation. The judge told my lawyer that it didn't matter to her that I had changed my life style that I needed to 
pay for my crime with real time. The expierence was sureal. I'm thinking, crime? Providing cheap and better medicine to my mothers senior friends who prefered cannabis over the poison the were otherwise forced to take to sleep, stop pain, have an appetite, is a crime? The law is the crime!
I've never hurt anyone n my life. Don't steal, don't rob,
don't cheat, don't hurt, always help. I'm a great guy for heaven sake! Just ask my wife! So is this a miss use of justice or what? Still I'm not mad. I am proud to be persecuted for a righteous cause. I would do it all over again the same way. I believe god has her plan and I must in some way be a part of it. I feel the innerstrength of something greater than myself inside of me. I want to see where this is all going and I am greatful that I have all of you to share it with.Namaste,peace
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Comment #1 posted by cloud7 on October 20, 2005 at 11:44:14 PT
" it's hard and complicated to prove a lot of crimes like assault and battery," while it is "easy to prove" marijuana possession."And here I was under the impression that my taxes were stolen from me for someone to do a JOB, usually involving WORK. I expect that much, much more effort be put forward for any case involving a violent crime. For any effort at all to be diverted to proving possession of a plant is disgusting at best.
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