Saturday, September 17, 2005

It's a war on plants

I missed linking to this one and it's a must read. In Smoked Out at Alternet, Silja J.A. Talvi takes us through the facts and fallacies on marijuana. Read it for yourself, but here's one excerpt.
Pointing to the fact that marijuana-related arrests added up to nearly half of 1.5 million drug-related arrests annually, the authors of this report noted that marijuana arrests actually increased by 113 percent between 1990 and 2002, while overall arrests in the nation decreased by 3 percent.

By way of spin control, the ONDCP has gone out of its way to say that the people being locked up are the real criminals: the money-making dealers and traffickers who operate in one of the nation's biggest and most lucrative underground economies.

The Sentencing Project's research refuted this easily. Of the marijuana arrests in 2002, nearly 9 in 10 were for possession, not dealing or trafficking. In addition, traffickers and dealers were actually getting shorter prison terms than those sentenced on possession charges: People sentenced for trafficking received a median of 9 months in prison, while those sentenced for possession received a median of 16 months in prison.
Prohibition is pointless and its only tangible accomplishment has been to create the largest prison system in the world. You wonder how they can still call this a free country.


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