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Pot Fee Too High For Buying Some Mary Jane?

April 17, 2015

I had to smile while reading about the decision that Dane County Executive Joe Parisi wants to take regarding the fine for buying pot.  I smile because I too saw the irony in the matter and am glad Chris Rickert makes everyone aware of it in his newspaper column.

Parisi wants to lower the financial penalties for certain low-level offenses, and thereby lessen the possibility that poor people — who in Dane County are disproportionately people of color — get caught up in a vicious cycle of unpaid fines, extra penalties and jail that can do some serious damage to their life prospects down the line.

Befuddling to me, though, is why Parisi would kick off his effort by lowering the fine for getting caught with small amounts of marijuana to no more than $10, which for anyone with the resources to drop a couple hundred dollars on a bag of pot isn’t much more than a modest user (so to speak) fee.

As one really believes that pot is a gateway drug and has many qualities that makes it unhealthy I am not in favor of lowering the fine people should be required to pay if caught with the illegal substance.   But to see the irony in writing of the fee being somehow so onerous in relation to the cost of the drug is priceless.

Thanks to Rickert for making it clear to all.

2 Comments
  1. Solly permalink
    April 20, 2015 9:06 AM

    Happy 4/20!

  2. Skip permalink
    April 17, 2015 12:29 PM

    It is time to decriminalize, if not legalize, marijuana use in this country and decriminalize everything else. Sam Harris did an interesting interview with Johann Hari who wrote Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs. It can be found here:

    http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/a-war-well-lost

    With regards to the decriminalization of drugs in Portugal Hari says: “It’s been nearly 15 years since this experiment began, and the results are in. Drug use by injection is down by 50%, broader addiction is down, overdose is massively down, and HIV transmission among addicts is massively down.”

    The War on Drugs needs to end. Period. And decriminalization, treatment, and programs such as Portugal’s which integrate recovering addicts back into society need to be implemented.

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