Sunday, February 11, 2007

Ladies undies and the cost to incarcerate potheads

My dear friend Jules Siegel resurrected his blog, Newsroom-I. It's looking pretty spiffy over there and he's posting some great stuff. With Valentine's Day fast approaching, check out his post on the latest lingerie for the technogeek girl in your life. And he's got lots of other technotalk for the technosmart readers so scroll around.

Jules also points us to this excellent piece by veteran reformer Paul Armentano in Alternet. The latest figures are in and show "nearly 800,000 Americans were arrested on marijuana charges in 2005. Multiplying these totals by U.S. DOJ prison expenditure data reveals that taxpayers are spending more than $1 billion annually to imprison pot offenders."
The new report is noteworthy because it undermines the common claim from law enforcement officers and bureaucrats, specifically White House drug czar John Walters, that few, if any, Americans are incarcerated for marijuana-related offenses. In reality, nearly 1 out of 8 U.S. drug prisoners are locked up for pot.

Of course, several hundred thousand more Americans are arrested each year for violating marijuana laws, costing taxpayers another $8 billion dollars annually in criminal justice costs.
Think about that for a minute. Nine billion dollars a year to arrest, prosecute and imprison mainly harmless potheads. How insane is that?


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