[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif] NEED MONEY FOR NEW JAIL? STOP WAR ON DRUGS
by Thomas A. Vance, (Source:Cincinnati Enquirer)
[/FONT] [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]15 Oct 2007[/FONT]
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[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]I recently sent the following letter to every state legislator in Kentucky, and it occured to me that the same solution would help Hamilton County out of its jail problem. After applying it they will either not need a new jail or will save enough to build one.
The federal government has made it pretty clear that with the exception of emergencies, the states have to come up with their own money for aging infrastructure. It also expects the states to spend money prosecuting the government's War On Drugs.
Considering that the War On Drugs is a failure and that Kentucky wastes upwards of $70 million a year arresting and prosecuting adults for simple possession of marijuana, we should opt out of the government's war and put that money to better use.
Kentucky arrested 16,913 citizens for marijuana in 2005, and if the national percentage of 88 percent holds true, then Kentucky arrested roughly 14,800 people for simple possession. Let us say that on average a possession arrest costs the taxpayers $5,000. Then these arrests cost us about $70 million. Now, I don't know what it costs to follow a possession arrest to its conclusion, but you get the idea. Nevada tried to pass a ballot initiative to legalize possession and use of marijuana for adults. Even with the federal government sending the drug czar to campaign against it, the initiative almost passed. If it had passed, it would have garnered $28 million in taxes and fees. Couple that with the money saved from not arresting people, and you've got almost $100 million in just one year.
If the government won't help with our deteriorating infrastructure, we shouldn't help them with their war on drugs. Opting out will put Kentucky in her rightful place among the states, as a people of the FRONTier, not the backwoods! If we choose to continue supporting this failed policy of prohibition, then could we at least create a state medical marijuana law so we could get the sick, dying and disabled off the battlefield? [/FONT]