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March 6, 2010

"Changing Marijuana Laws Could Save Millions"

The title of this post is the headline of this notable political dispatch from Florida.  Here are excerpts:

At a time when California is releasing thousands of small time drug offenders from prison, Florida could consider reducing its penalties for people caught with small amounts of marijuana and cocaine.  As Whitney Ray tells us, lessening the penalties could save the state millions and help fill a three billion dollar budget gap.

Courtney Scout admits she smokes marijuana about once a week. “It’s a plant, it grows from the earth.  It’s not a chemical someone concocts in a room.  It’s a plant and I don’t think it should be criminalized,” said Scout.

She thinks Florida’s drug laws are too harsh.  A person caught with 20 grams of marijuana in Florida can go to prison for five years. In California 28 grams or less will just get you a misdemeanor. In New York offenders caught with less than 25 grams are given a civil citation.

Florida TaxWatch says the state could save 10 million dollars a year if it stopped sending low-level offenders to state prisons.  Even Florida’s Attorney General admits changing the law could help fill the state’s three billion dollars budget gap.  “If you got simple possession of a small quantity, I think there are innovative ways to deal with simple possession that don’t always require going to prison,” said McCollum.

Victor Crist, the chairman of the Senate’s Criminal Justice Appropriations Committee says it’s an idea worth discussing.  Crist wants to reexamine all sentencing guidelines, not just those involving marijuana.

March 6, 2010 at 11:57 AM | Permalink

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Comments

Not only that: deregulation of ALL drugs would save billions, would have made the Afghanistan war unnecessary, could reduce police forces (and prison populations and property insurance rates and ...) by half (!) as it dd away with organised crime it would further curb terrorism, make Colombia and Mexico safe places, drive economic growth rates through the roof and mch more. All that's needed is a strong personal and corporate liability law and exclusion of drug related disease from (average) health care (it could still mean there was a market for add-on policies bought at extra premiums etc.). Still, if furloughing in California and Greece is any guide, the equally bankrupt US
will eventually have to curtail law enforcement in this area inevitably.

Posted by: CrisisMaven | Mar 6, 2010 4:27:54 PM

As I've repeatedly said, for believers in intelligent design and all God-fearing Christians, marijuana has to be legalized. After all, if God Almighty lets it grow virtually everywhere, it cannot be bad for us.

Posted by: anon 14 | Mar 6, 2010 11:50:31 PM

Same with poison ivy and tobacco. They grow naturally, so they cannot possibly be bad for us. (I'm generally a supporter of looser marijuana laws, but not for anon 14's reason, which (assuming s/he is serious) makes no sense.

Posted by: lawyer | Mar 7, 2010 12:38:20 PM

"Same with poison ivy and tobacco. They grow naturally, so they cannot possibly be bad for us. (I'm generally a supporter of looser marijuana laws, but not for anon 14's reason, which (assuming s/he is serious) makes no sense."

Thank you for bringing up these two plants. You are correct in that they are not bad.

Poison Ivy has medicinal and industrial uses. Please see http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/i/ivypoi17.html
for details.

Also, tobacco juice (nicotine) is one of the best insecticides.

Both can be very useful to us when used wisely.

Ask yourself this...

Why can you buy Opium Poppy seeds and even grow the flowers legally in the USA?

Why can't you buy Cannabis seeds and grow the flowers legally in the USA?

To me, this says that cannabis is not illegal because of it's potential as a drug. It is illegal because of its long and well established use in industries that would be threatened by the competition.

It is time to end the industrial prohibition and start putting millions of people back to work!

-John
Garden Nursery Owner

Posted by: John Novak | Mar 8, 2010 11:30:04 PM

Also fight against terrorism, Colombia and Mexico, safe places, determine the rate of economic growth through the sleeves of the roof and more. All you need is a right of personal responsibility and strong corporate and exclusion of care for health conditions related to the drug.

Posted by: cannabis seeds | Feb 3, 2011 5:45:07 PM

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