Target: Offices of the United States Attorneys
Goal: To urge U.S. Attorneys to use the recently announced ‘Smart on Crime’ initiative to help further marijuana legalization.
The ‘War on Drugs’ has ultimately failed, and the Obama Administration is now recognizing this. Attorney General, Eric Holder, has released a new ‘Smart on Crime’ initiative, completely changing Department of Justice policies. The new initiative hopes to prevent low-level, nonviolent drug offenders from entering the federal prison system by curbing the mandatory minimum sentences for those whom the punishment seems too harsh. These changes would relieve overcrowded prisons and reduce taxpayers rates to keep unjustified offenders in prison.
While Holder has directed U.S. attorneys to “develop specific, locally tailored guidelines–consistent with our national priorities,” we should also urge U.S. attorneys to focus their attention on protecting drug offenders who are being prosecuted for soft, naturally-occurring drugs such as marijuana. With these efforts, a path could be paved toward destroying the black market demand for such drugs, and lead to their legalization, allowing for controlled distribution of the drugs that have been proven to be safe, time and time again. The specifics of the initiative boil down to lending more power to the state and local levels of government to deal with problems in a more appropriate way. To keep unjustified offenders out of the federal prison systems, all U.S. attorney offices have been informed that prosecutors may not reveal the amount of drugs the offender had on them when detained. Instead, the prosecutors may only reveal that the offender intended to distribute the drug, allowing the court judge to determine the penalty based on the severity of the charge, and not an immediate predetermined sentence served in a federal prison.
Unfortunately, this new initiative allows drug offenders the possibility to avoid lengthy prison time or other fines, even for the distribution of drugs such as cocaine, methamphetamines, and heroin, that is, if the state attorney deems it unnecessary. These known ‘hard-drugs’ have a long history of destroying families and communities and shouldn’t be treated quite the same as softer substances. In the case of simple possession of these harder drugs, prosecution should be along the lines of fines or required rehabilitation attendance. However, in relation to distribution, offenses should be taken more seriously. We should urge U.S. attorneys to keep focused on protecting the soft-drug offenders from severe punishment, and use this new ‘Smart on Crime’ initiative to help further the legalization of marijuana.
Dear United State Attorneys,
With the recent policy changes to the Department of Justice, low-level and non-violent drug offenders are being treated with way less severity than they once had. This is great news for taxpayers, seeing as how the less incarcerations of low-profile drug offenses means less crowded prisons and less money it takes to keep them there for no real reason. It appears that the federal government is beginning to rethink the so called ‘War on Drugs.’
A large majority of drug offenders are in prison because of marijuana possession or distribution. Marijuana, however, has been deemed completely safe for human consumption time and time again. In fact, there is increasing amounts of evidence that support that marijuana is safer than tobacco and alcohol all-together, which results in no logical reason for marijuana to remain an illegal substance. I urge you to use everything in your power to help our nation take the next step toward the legalization of marijuana, simply by developing prosecuting guidelines in the favor of those who are unjustly treated as a criminal for possession or minor distribution of a substance that should have never been illegal in the first place.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: muyuy74 via Flickr