Thursday, April 24, 2008

Pot smoking prison population and politics

I doubt you can argue that law enforcement in America is probably the best in the world. There are a few bad apples, but overall they do a damn good job.

We have 5 percent of the world’s population and almost 25 percent of the world’s imprisoned population.

Is this something we should be proud of? How can we fix it?

I reckon we start by legalizing drugs. We should start with the “casual” drugs like marijuana. We legalize marijuana and tax the hell out of it. It’ll still be cheaper than buying on the streets. And, it’ll be safer (if you trust the FDA).

From 1992 to 2002 45 percent of drug arrests were arrests involving marijuana.

Legalizing marijuana saves money by easing the jail and court systems. It saves lives by giving our police force something more pertinent to focus on. And it makes money in taxes. Would you believe that Canada’s marijuana crop is estimated to be worth somewhere between 4 billion and 7 billion dollars? I didn’t even know Canada had a marijuana crop. I wonder what Mexico’s crop is worth? If you tax marijuana like a cigarette, I suspect that’s a lot of money that could go towards cancer research or feeding the world’s hungry.

Another way to fix the jail population is to make them less comfortable without being “cruel”. I think that’s easily obtainable. We make jails less pleasing so people don’t want to get in and once in try harder to get out on good behavior. I think our incarceration system today is too “politically correct”. We’d save money by not building comfortable entertaining facilities. We’d also save money because destitute people wouldn’t be trying to get in to get 3 good meals and a good night’s rest. We could use the savings to build more shelters for the homeless.

1 comment:

  1. Not putting people in jail for writing a bad check might be a good idea too.