Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Quick mix on legalization and more

Speaking of, there's always something on the sidebar worth reading. From a Philly newspaper comes a mixed piece on LEAP's Peter Christ's latest appearance before a local Rotary Club. The author gives some lip service to Christ's argument for legalization but then proceeds to imply it probably wouldn't work here. Good candidate for an LTE I'd say.

Preston also points us to a video from our old friends at Salon Chignon on Colombian Aerial Fumigations and Their Effects on Ecuador and an op-ed by a right winger that bases his premise on some convoluted numbers ($20 a gram for pot - in his dreams) but makes an interesting appeal for legalization of cannabis nonetheless.

Of greatest interest to me, being a new resident of this state, a former state Supreme Court chief justice came out for legalization of all illegal drugs.
Burley Mitchell, the state's top judge from 1995 to 1999, said the war on drugs in North Carolina and nationwide has been "a total failure" that has filled up prisons. The money saved if police no longer made arrests and courts no longer handed out sentences could be used to treat drug addicts, he said.

"What if we decriminalized drugs? Then you'd knock out all of the profits of every dealer and more to the point, the big producers," Mitchell said at a Raleigh luncheon crowd interested in prison reform. Drug demand also would go down due to lower supplies, and drug-related crimes such as robbery and murder also would fall, he said.
Another former legislator is calling for at least reform of mandatory minimum sentencing. As is every state of the union, they just can't build prisons quickly enough to house all the drug defendants. It's good to see some common sense permeating the debate from the law enforcement side.


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