There are still thousands of people in Colorado and Washington state prisons as a result of criminal possession or sale of marijuana– which has been legal for the last year. These states have already amassed several million in tax revenue by legitimizing recreational use of cannabis. Why not save even more money by removing non-violent criminals from the justice system entirely?
The government wouldn’t even need to apologize for arresting them in the first place. While it would probably be nice for them to hear, we could just release them with the knowledge that they are no longer criminals and be done with it. But, for some reason, the United States has a love affair with imprisoning
black people. It’s going to be difficult for society to release these people into the land of the free after having committed acts as heinous as possessing a plant that makes you feel kind of good if you smoke it.
Personally, I would like to see the entire country free all of the hacktivists in jail for attempting to establish an information ethics code while protecting free speech and human rights. Maybe we could also release some of the Guantanamo hunger strikers and Chelsea “Brad” Manning while we are at it. Although, technically, all of these people have violated US laws (the bullshit ones) in some way. Then we have these other poor bastards behind bars for marijuana possession in states where it’s perfectly legal. That legalization should retroactively makes them upstanding citizens and eligible for a normal life again. Unless there is something I am missing, I think this may very well be a human rights issue. Then again, maybe prison is a total blast.
I’m actually a bit surprised that they haven’t been released, or at least their cases aren’t being put up for appeal now that it is legal… There is probably something in the law about the timing of the action – when we jailed you, it was against the law, therefore you must still serve your time for breaking that law – but, you’d think some entrepreneurial lawyer would already have already started working on loopholes for that or some sort of amnesty to get these people out of prison… Seems wrong to keep them locked up for something that is now legal…
I first read about mandatory sentencing, in even the most minor of drug offences, many years ago in Rolling Stone magazine. Massive prison sentences given by judges who would be crying because they have no choice but to give some poor bastard a ten or twenty year sentence for some very minor drug offence. So what has been done is the creation of criminals through incarceration. Or at least people who have been damaged due to a punishment that does not fit the crime. ATTICA! ATTICA! ATTICA! ATTICA! (I hope I spelled Attica correctly).
All of the really bad crimes that people commit, and we lock up pot smokers instead, because we can. Let’s just legalize it at the Fed level and be done with it. Hemp is very useful and can make us millions, and prisons should not be housing drug dealers when there are so many murderous maniacs out there who could use three hots and a cot.
I literally asked someone today what has happened to the people incarcerated for marijuana in states where it is legal – I assumed they would have had to release them. I don’t think I would have preferred to hear the answer to this anywhere else than right here. I love your snideness- it agrees with me.
If you could email this and sign it, it would held me out in a lot of social situations where people have gotten angry with the aforementioned snideness.
Consider it done.
I can’t wait for them to legalise it in the UK, but the politicians are scared to look weak in the face of Major crime.
Yeah politicians suck… :(
God Bless! :)
Politicians spend a lot of time worrying about doing what’s popular with the “right sort of people” instead of what’s right.
This article is promoting vape culture but I think I like it.
Wow! I had no idea. Thanks for posting this!
I think The System needs to decide what it wants prison to be for, and whether that changes for certain groups of crimes. If it thinks there’s a chance for rehabilitating so-called ‘career criminals’, then they should be taking steps to do that thing. If prison is simply a kind of adult time-out, it needs to be approached that way. Maybe it has two streams – rehab and punishment.
I think it’s high time The System looks at answering these kinds of questions rather than applying yet another bandage to the surface of the problem.
Some of the more well received prisons actually offer even life-time inmates jobs and they seem to have less problems with gangs and violence overall. Others that have received work training and build real connections see fewer repeat offenders as they tend to be more employable when they get out.
I think the worst thing about going to prison is the knowledge that it bars you instantly from a lot of jobs and life paths. This is especially harsh due to a lot of the reasons people might become criminals in the first place.
Disgusting that anyone would go to gaol for pot, much worse that they are still in gaol when it is legalised. They should be let out and have it wiped off their records.