Carol Forsloff – In Oregon, a state that legalizes marijuana for medical purposes, there is a felony arrest for possession or distribution of the drug weekly, often leading to incarceration of those arrested, at a time when the number of inmates in American jails exceeds that of Stalin’s during the time of his worst efforts to control Russian citizenry through imprisonment and torture.
We are, as Fareed Zakaria points out, “the incarceration nation.”
Even some religious leaders, like Pat Roberts, according to Zakaria, are taking a second look at their beliefs about marijuana and the rapidly growing number of people going to jail for drug possession or for crimes involving drugs. Recent estimates place the number in American jails at 6 million.
This comes also at a time, when the State of Oregon has reaffirmed the right to bear arms in almost every place, including on college campuses. This occurs despite the fact that research has proven over and over again that it is not the violent thinking and behavior of people that drives gun violence, but the availability of guns everywhere. Many of these firearms are obtained from the drug lords and through individuals at gun shows or on roadsides that come from drug-related activities. These guns for drugs trades are happening everywhere, as recent arrests reveal.
It’s guns for drugs, and its guns and increased violence as well. And its drug laws that don’t discriminate and often are contradictory that continue to create problems for law enforcement and the American citizenry, experts tell us. It is the evidence about gun availability that Zakaria had examined in an earlier article.
The Rogue Area Drug Enforcement (RADE) team had been investigating the Wolf Creek area which led to the arrest Wednesday of a man who lives in the area and is the owner of the Grants Pass business “Get Your Hemp On/Southern Oregon Cannabis Club”. Fifteen pounds of marijuana were taken by law enforcement along with 300 small marijuana plants. Richard Larry Lacey, age 62, has been charged with multiple felonies resulting from his arrest for marijuana with an estimated street value of $37,500.
The State of Oregon legalizes marijuana for medical use. That medical use requires state registration of the users and growers, but still conflicts with the federal mandate that outlaws the sale and possession of the drug.
It also means more and more people are arrested for possessing the drug despite the state mandates allowing its distribution legally within Oregon borders. And it also means the possible incarceration of another individual, adding to the increase in state budgets for jails and to the Stalinized methods of jailing American citizens.