There was a recent story involving a young man who could be
sentenced to 99 years in prison for selling pot brownies. Unfortunately, that is not a
misprint. A 19-year old Texas man
is facing what is essentially a life sentence.
When the police entered his apartment, they found a pound of
marijuana, a pound and a half of brownies and 145 grams of hash oil. There is now an argument over the
weight of the ingredients, as the police are counting the total weight of the
brownies as part of the illegal substances.
It really shouldn’t matter whether you count the entire
weight of the brownies because a potential sentence of life in prison for
selling marijuana is absolutely insane.
I guess the guy might have been better off legally if he had committed
rape or murder.
The good news is that there are many people who are
protesting the charges against him and they are petitioning for reduced
This is another episode where bad government laws are taken
to the extreme. It shows the
absurdity of the laws in the first place that it would even be possible to get
sentenced to life in prison for what is essentially a victimless crime.
While I believe the whole war on drugs is crazy, this is
especially painful to see because marijuana is virtually harmless. We are not talking about crack-cocaine
here. Marijuana is a relatively
harmless drug. Alcohol and
cigarettes are far more dangerous (not that I am advocating to make those
We really have to return to the question of who owns your
body. Do you own your body or does
the state own your body? Based on
these absurd laws, apparently the state believes it owns your body.
It does not matter if you think marijuana is really bad for
you. It doesn’t matter if you
think that marijuana will result in less productivity or a bad attitude. You do not have to use it any more than
you have to drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes.
The point is that we don’t live in a free society when you cannot
choose what to ingest in your own body.
This case is even more ironic now when you think that
someone could go to Colorado and do this type of thing legally. If you commit a violent crime in any
state in the U.S., you will likely get treated about the same wherever you
are. There are certainly
variations with states in terms of the death penalty and mandatory sentencing,
but you will generally see some consistency.
With marijuana, we are now in a position where it is
perfectly legal in one state and you can face major prison time in
another. I believe we will see a
narrowing in this disconnect.
Fortunately, I see more marijuana legalization in other
states in the future. I think this
is a good first step in gaining at least a little rationality.
Even for drugs that are harmful, I see no benefit in locking
people up, even if they are hurting themselves. If someone commits violence because of a drug problem, then
that person would be held responsible for the violent crime. There are laws to deal with that
without needing the drug laws.
Ironically, drug prohibition causes violent crime to
skyrocket. Instead of buying drugs
in a drug store, there are shootouts in back alleys. It was the same thing during the period of alcohol
prohibition almost a century ago.
When alcohol was legalized again, violent crime went way down.
We should strive to live in a more peaceful society. Sentencing a guy to a long prison term
for selling pot brownies has no benefits for anyone, other than the drug
warriors working for the state.