There hasn’t been a good constitutional amendment on the ballot in Ohio as long as I’ve been voting. Mostly because it’s hard to do- and when the politicians do it, they screw things up. (See Medical Marijuana and the Casino amendments).
What we really need to do to solve the drug problem is have health care for all, including dental, vision and mental health. That way we wouldn’t be using jails as detox facilities. But, since we’re too stupid to realize that this current system of mostly employer supplied health care is more like indentured servitude to many, and we haven’t overthrown the system, let’s talk about what prison is for and what it’s not for.
Prison is for people who are a threat to society. If you need to read about someone, here’s a prime example from today’s news: Casey Pigge . Mr. Pigge has a low IQ, and apparently zero moral compass. Since he was sent to prison for murder, he’s managed to murder a few other inmates. None of these people should be dead, but, Mr. Pigge seems to have no problem playing judge, jury and executioner. Unfortunately, it’s unconstitutional to kill him, but, we can’t seem to stop him from killing people, even behind bars. This is the kind of person who needs to be behind bars for life.
Now, we could talk about child molesters, rapists, drunks who kill people driving. Yep, all of them too, prison. We can go after people who steal large sums of money from other people, but, putting them in prison usually doesn’t bring the money back. Making them work like dogs to pay people back for the rest of their lives- might be better.
But, when it comes to drug addicts, drug sellers, and the rest, we have a real problem. One, it takes up a lot of resources to arrest them, to charge them, then it costs a lot to jail them, and in the meantime, it doesn’t really change things much. Other people will use drugs, others will sell it- and the problem continues. Yet, the crimes in above- it’s not quite the same except stealing large amounts of money- anyone can do that.
But, we’ve seen the wizards of Wall Street rob our entire country blind- and none of them went to jail. Damn shame. Maybe the prison threshold for theft of cash should require it to cause harm to more than 5 people- and enough that someone can lose a home. I don’t really know. But, what’s that got to do with dope fiends and dealers and issue 1?
The problem with drug laws in Ohio is that they are guaranteed to be applied harsher to minorities. If you’re black with crack, you’re going to the big house. If you’re white with coke, your probably going on probation. This shit has to stop. We need to stop pretending to run some kind of justice system that only seems to penalize people of color.
Need a local example?
A visiting judge sentenced two men, including the son of a former area official, to probation for convictions of conspiracy and illegal cultivation of marijuana on Friday.
Thomas Betz, 39, the son of former Miami Valley Crime Lab director Ken Betz, and Michael Dorley, 41, could have faced more than a decade in prison. Some of their crimes carried an assumption of prison, but that was not mandatory in a case in which law enforcement seized more than 44 pounds of marijuana.
Betz pleaded guilty to first-degree felony conspiracy, illegal cultivation and money laundering. Visiting Judge Thomas Herman, who retired from Clermont County, said a potential prison sentence will hang over Betz if he violates his community control of up to five years, asking, “We’re up to 17 years, Mr. Betz, do you understand that?”
Dorley also received up to five years’ probation and could face 11 years for his second-degree felony conspiracy charge and up to 36 months for the cultivation charge.
“Our job as prosecutors is to make sure that defendants are held accountable for breaking the law,” said Butler County assistant prosecutor Jon Marshall, who was named as a special prosecutor to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.
And I rest my case. Ain’t no black man getting probation for 44 lbs of weed- he’s going to jail, directly to jail, he will not pass go…
and for that reason, and that reason alone, it’s time to end the racist laws and vote YES on Issue 1.