Stebben84 wrote:Did it ever occur to you that they are profiled more heavily by the police, hence having the likelihood of being arrested that much greater.
Add to that WI already has some of the stiffest penalities in the nation for such petty crimes as minor pot possession - being caught with any amount 2nd offense in your entire lifetime can bring a felony and a 3.5+ year long prison sentence.
Add to that the majority of blacks arrested don't have the resources to hire good attorneys so they get stuck with a public defender, end up pleaing to a terrible deal and end up doing time. Then they get out on probation, fail 1 drug test and wind up back behind bars. All for pot. WTF?
I know people who have been caught up in WI's incarceration system and it does not surprise me one bit we have such a problem in this state. Not only do we lock up twice as many blacks and non-violent offenders, we also spend twice as much doing it. And that should piss off EVERYONE.
Sure it started back when Thompson was in office (and Doyle was AG) and the drug war and prison building was out of control. Filling WI prisons with low-level offenders continued under most of Doyle's term, but right before he left office he made significant changes to allow early release for non-violent (primarily drug) offenders. In the few short months it was saving tax money with few problems. One of the first things Walker and Republicans did when they took office was kill the early release program.
If only we were doing something to try and change things or fix the problems it might not be so bad. Many "backwards-ass" southern states have medical marijuana bills that are moving forward. Louisiana not long ago reduced minor pot possession penalties throughtout the state. KY passed a hemp bill. Countless other states are seeing benefits to lessening pot and other drug laws.
So what are we doing in WI? The EXACT opposite of what we should be doing. The EXACT opposite of what the rest of the nation and world is doing: All Senate Republicans and MANY DEMOCRATS are passing laws that make it easier to charge people for low level pot crimes when the charges are initially dropped by the DA.
Yes I do understand that simply changing, reducing, or completely eliminating WI's marijuana laws will not magically fix this problem. But can anyone suggest anything else that would do it? At the very least it would be a change for the better, a step in the right direction, a way to reduce prison populations, a way to lessen the bloated incarceration costs in the state and follow public opinion and simple common sense. Does anyone truly believe someone should be charged with a felony, lose their ability to vote, and go to prison for less than 1 gram of pot?