Monday, April 7, 2008

Perfect Example of What a Mess Our Drug Policy Is

These were decent people minding their own business, growing a few pot plants for their own use, and now their careers are ruined and they almost lost their house because they had five pot plants. Cannabis must be evil stuff if five plants warrant all that.

I know something about Reading, Pennsylvania, because I grew up there. It routinely ranks as one of the most dangerous cities in Pennsylvania (in 2003 it was THE most dangerous.) Crime in Reading is associated with gang activity, marginalization of immigrant populations, and crack, not with individual personal-use growers like these folks. Imagine the law enforcement and legal resources of this small economically struggling city that were used on this case instead of dealing with murder and armed robbery.

Meanwhile one well-placed phone call will legally get me amphetamines, because despite no evidence in support and overwhelming evidence to the contrary, the DEA considers amphetamines less dangerous than marijuana.

If we want to down a few Heinekens and get silly watching the game, that's our own business. So how is this different? Maybe it's time we re-evaluated our priorities? Corporate America is already on this. On its job applications Genentech specifically states that when listing criminal convictions, you should exclude misdemeanors and marijuana-related offenses.


Squid said...

You should exclude felonies? Sewiouswy? I mean, what's the point of the question if you don't include felonies?

"Here at Genetech, we ABSOLUTELY REFUSE to associate with speeders and misdemeanor thieves!"

As far as the drug bust goes, I think the line of thought would be something like "I need some drug busts on my record before my performance eval, and these people are a lot less likely to shoot at me."

Thomas Paine Jr. said...

That was a typo; I meant misdemeanors. I made the correction - thanks for reading closely.