We place our articles on a variety of internet and crime news sites. We find that there are professional and blog sites where we have wonderful conversations about the materials we create.
On one recent article we addressed the issue of society controlling itself rather than having the justice system exert so much control. The premise was that citizens and communities decide for themselves as to behavior that’s acceptable. We used Marijuana as one example. We stated
“We seem to be moving towards decriminalizing marijuana or legalizing its medical use. This movement is not coming from the justice system because we understand that there are millions of people that should not touch anything stronger than aspirin; they do violent and stupid things under the influence. The effort to decriminalize or legalize is coming from citizens and advocates and we hope they know what they are doing.”
Some responding stated that we were off base—that everyone knows that marijuana is an extremely soft drug with no connection to criminal use.
Before we begin our rant, few if any in the justice system want to see people arrested for possession of marijuana. It’s also clear to us that the tide is turning as to the legalization or decriminalization of marijuana. Legislation for pot as a medical intervention is popping up around the country. We within the justice system have serious issues to tackle. Arrests for issues like possession of marijuana just seem to get in the way. We have bigger fish to fry.
Our objection, however, is the dishonest discussion as to the impact of millions of new marijuana users if legalized or decriminalized. Marijuana is a serious drug with serious consequences.
Yep, so is alcohol, but we don’t kid ourselves about the damaging consequences of alcohol use and its multiple connections to violent crime, spouse abuse and child abuse.
The bottom line is that there are millions of people who just cannot handle any drug. Regardless as to your personal experiences; they don’t necessarily translate to all other human beings. OK, so you can smoke pot and drink and do just fine. Problem is that others can’t. Lots of others can’t.
People high on marijuana beat their wives and children. They smoke and drive and kill people. They engage in violent crime. They do it all the time.
This is how USA Today reported on a recent federal study drug testing people after they were arrested:
In Chicago, 87% tested positive for drug use and in Sacramento, 78% tested positive. Many of the men — 40% in Chicago and 29% in Sacramento — tested positive for more than one drug.
Marijuana is the most common drug in every city where testing was done except Atlanta, where cocaine is most prevalent, the study found.
And this is from a press release from the federal government:
Marijuana is the most commonly detected drug at the time of arrest. The percentage of arrestees testing positive for marijuana ranges from just under a third in Atlanta and Washington, D.C. to about half in Charlotte. Additionally, arrestees who are using marijuana use it frequently: in seven of the cities, marijuana users used the drug on average every other day during the past month.
Again, we do not want to return to the bad old days of locking people up for smoking pot. It’s a medical issue, not a criminal justice issue.
We just want an honest discussion as to the public health consequences and what legalization or decriminalization of marijuana really means.
And it probably means much more than you realize. But we do not seem capable of a rational discussion. So many have done it without consequence and believe that their experience is everyone’s experience. It isn’t.
Crime in America.Net staff.