Guest post by Bob Newland

With gratitude to South DaCola for the opportunity…

South Dakota law enforcement have arrested a person for possession of “marijuana” every 90 minutes since at least July 1, 1998. The total number of arrests is 82,402. The average number of possession arrests per year is equal to about .05% of the population of South Dakota.

Even though only 24,637 of the charges led to convictions, that’s still somebody convicted of possession every 5.5 hours. For 14 years. For what?

Even the 57,765 not convicted were punished. For what?

Cannabis is more available, better (in most folks’ minds), and cheaper (counting inflation) than it was 14 years ago. And more folks are using it. W? T? F?

Take a look at the numbers.

We don’t know how much it costs to arrest someone for possession or distribution. We don’t know how much is recovered in the form of fines and property forfeitures to offset that cost. If it costs more to arrest someone for doing something that doesn’t hurt someone else than we, as taxpayers, get back, we should stop doing it. If we, as taxpayers, make money arresting people for doing something that doesn’t hurt someone else, we should stop doing it.


9 Thoughts on “Still the carnage continues. For what?

  1. For something that isn’t addictive, Mr. New land sure spends a lot of time obsessing over pot. Reading about it, writing about it, thinking about it, and probably smoking it.

  2. Even though only 24,637 of the charges led to convictions, that’s still somebody convicted of possession every 5.5 hours. For 14 years. For what?

    Is this a rhetorical question? Seems obvious… they were punished for breaking the law.

    Even the 57,765 not convicted were punished. For what?

    Sort a moot point if they were’t convicted. They were inconvenienced perhaps – in some cases they probably dropped charges as part of a plea and/or lack of evidence so it is hard to say whether these people were punished or not. Punishment comes in many forms to many different people, and I’m sure some people feel that a police officer asking them for ID is punishment enough.

    I understand the sentiment behind thinking laws against marijuana and/or hemp are stupid. I understand the sentiment to legalize not only because of personal desires to partake in the hobby, but also to ease overcrowding in our prison system, to eliminate government abuses, to lower costs etc, etc.

    However, I doubt I will ever understand some of the poor logic and silly tactics employed by the legalization crowd. In my mind the only group which does a worse job at selling their viewpoints are the pro-lifers. These groups really need to invest in some spokespeople to control the message instead of letting just anyone ramble on about perceived injustices which turn more people away from the movement than toward it.

  3. Craig – I am going to go out on a limb, and defend Bob. While I don’t always agree with him on logic, I do agree that marijuana being illegal is ignorant, and I don’t care what you use it for. It would be like making growing cooking herbs in your garden illegal. But narcotics like prescription drugs and alcohol are perfectly fine. Go figure.

  4. Pathloss on September 22, 2012 at 10:30 pm said:

    If u can’t afford health insurance I can see why you’d resort to pot. If u need health care, get busted & become a ward of the state. It’s the new way of life if you’re not a government worker.

  5. PL – I have ‘met’ people who would commit petty crimes so they would be thrown away for a few months so they could get some medical care.

  6. bob newland on September 22, 2012 at 11:57 pm said:

    “Perceived” injustices? Putting people in jail for committing an act that doesn’t harm anyone is not a “perceived” injustice. It’s injustice.

    Pathloss, if your comment is at all indicative, I get why you call yourself that.

    Scott, some folks across the water back in the ’30s and ’40s were denigrated for “obsessing” over the cops putting their Jewish neighbors in jail.

    As the SS Sergeant said, “I like you Jews. But laws is laws.”

  7. bob newland on September 22, 2012 at 11:59 pm said:

    And no one volunteered an answer to the question.

    For what?

  8. Perhaps bob should lay off the product for a while and read the posts a tad slower. I’m quite sure I did answer the question.

    l3wis – I agree with you 100%. I’m not anti-pot and even though I don’t partake in the hobby I could care less if anyone else does. I’m all for legalization because I don’t feel it is any more harmful than tobacco or alcohol (probably less harmful actually) and the industrial and commercial applications of hemp are incredible.

    Again it isn’t about the movement, it is about the methods. Sort of like how bob here gets upset that I used the phrase “perceived injustice”. He feels because the crime doesn’t harm anyone that it must be an injustice, so of course I’d ask him what he thinks about fudging the numbers on your taxes a bit… heck it doesn’t hurt anyone right?

    What about running a red light in the middle of the night when nobody is looking? No harm, no foul? How about prostitution… no victim there right?

    The truth is there is no such thing as a victimless crime. Just because someone can’t draw a line between a crime and the actions that lead up to said crime is no reason to suggest there aren’t victims… because there are. Granted there are victims surrounding alcohol as well, but I wouldn’t run around saying it is an injustice when someone gets busted for DUI even if they didn’t kill anyone in the process.

    Maybe I have a different view on things, but I associate injustice with more important matters like an Iraqi Gulf War vet who comes home with PTSD and the VA lacks sufficient funds to treat him. I associate injustice with a homosexual couple who can’t get married and who is overlooked as adoptive parents because of their situation.

    I reserve the term injustice for situations where people are forced out of their homes because a private developer bribed the local government to grant them imminent domain. I do not associate it with people who knowingly broke the law knowing full well what the consequences were when it could so easily be avoided.

    I’m not going to even give the reference to Nazi’s any credence, because last I checked most people didn’t “choose” to be Jewish but rather they were born into it, and even if they didn’t practice the faith, they game from Jewish parents and had a Jewish last name which was more than enough for any SS agent to use against them. People don’t choose their heritage or their skin color or their gender or their sexual orientation (no matter what some of the right might suggest).

    So maybe I’m an asshole for not putting a bunch of pot smokers into the same category as those who are honestly oppressed due to how they were born, but I’m surely not going to apologize for doing so.

  9. bob newland on September 26, 2012 at 1:32 pm said:

    Craig, you’re a stupid fuck.

    Why pot illegal? Because it’s illegal, right?

    When people defied the fugitive slave act (committing a crime), who was harmed? Who was the victim?

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