See, Willie Nelson and The
Anyway, anytime Johnson's name comes up, it's a good time for pot jokes. And a lot of it's funny.
But there's nothing funny about this.
KFOR-TV reports an Oklahoma woman is serving a 12 year prison sentence. For $30 worth of pot.
Dee Starr, who was facing more serious charges, two felony counts for dealing drugs and for having drugs in front of children, got 30 years probation, again no jail time. Patricia Spottedcrow pleaded guilty to her crimes as well. She faced the very same two felony charges as her mother, Dee Starr. However, Spottedcrow got a 12 year prison sentence, no probation.The four children are living with their grandmother. They'll be denied a mother for twelve years of their early lives. And I'm not hearing "don't do the crime if you can't do the time". Twelve years in prison for what basically amounts to a few joints is barbaric. And how can you justify the costs?
This year Oklahoma taxpayers will pay about $40 a day for Patricia Spottedcrow's minimum-security incarceration, that's appoxirmately $14,000 a year.So that's what...? $168,000 over the course of her sentence? Oh, wait... I'm not factoring in the raises in organized prison labor costs over that stretch. So the cost will come somewhere closer to... say... a gajillion dollars sound right?
But surely we're talking small numbers here, right? How many prisoners like this are we talking about?
Oklahoma leads the nation in the incarceration of women. We imprison women at a rate twice the national average. And the number one crime for which Oklahoma women are in prison is drugs.It's time to have a grown-up conversation about our marijuana laws.
We can laugh together. And we should also be able to have a serious discussion. According to the WHO, 42% of Americans admit to having tried pot. As have the last three Presidents. And what, half the candidates or would-be's? Santorum, Palin, Gingrich, Daniels... Oh yeah, and Johnson.
It's time to stop acting hysterical (or laughing hysterically) every time the subject comes up. (And just by the way... if marijuana were truly a scourge, would we be making jokes in the first place?)
We need to talk about this, and we have one candidate willing to do so. Fortunately, that candidate also has an impressive record in both the private-sector and public office.
Cross-posted at Republican Redefined.