I am an Ultra-Conservative, Alpha-Male, True Authentic Leader, Type "C" Personality, who is very active in my community; whether it is donating time, clothes or money for Project Concern or going to Common Council meetings and voicing my opinions. As a blogger, I intend to provide a different viewpoint "The way I see it!" on various world, national and local issues with a few helpful tips & tidbits sprinkled in.
Marijuana and Punishment: Debunking Pot Proponents' Prison Myths
Marijuana crusaders have waged an excellent public relations campaign convincing people America's prisons are overflowing with "nonviolent, petty" drug users and that an inordinate amount of tax money is spent arresting people for marijuana use.
Many politicians and journalists have taken this as gospel. They probably should not.
According to the United States Sentencing Commission (USSC), during 2008, 25,337 people were sentenced in federal court for drug crimes under six offense categories. Marijuana accounted for 6,337 (25%). Of the 6, 337 people sentenced, only 99 people or 1.6%, were sentenced for "simple possession" of marijuana.
According to an October 2006 Bureau of Justice Statistics survey of state and federal prisoners, approximately 12.7% of state prisoners and 12.4% of federal prisoners were serving time for a marijuana-related offense
Between October 1, 2005 and September 30, 2006, U.S. Courts sentenced 6,423 offenders for marijuana-related - approximately 95.9% of the cases involved trafficking.
During Fiscal Year 2006, 25,814 offenders were sentenced in federal court on drug charges. Only 1.6% (406 people) were sentenced for simple possession.
The Center for Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University reported in 2010 that "few are incarcerated for marijuana possession only."
Even esteemed, nonpartisan academicians will tell you that prisons are not filled with petty drug users or those arrested for small amounts of marijuana possession. This is true in Pennsylvania and elsewhere.
"It is a very small percentage of inmates who are in jail or prison for marijuana possession," said Stephanos Bibas, a professor of law and criminology at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. "That is not to say that people are not arrested and hassled for it, or that defendants do not sometimes plead down to that. But the overwhelming majority of inmates in for drugs had some role in distribution or sale."