busted: america's war on marijuana
Discussion

Dear FRONTLINE,

This topic really highlights how our government feels it is necessary to control every aspect of our lives. Where are the victims of this crime? Government should worry about protecting the freedoms and individual rights of the tax payers not leading some moral charge!

Paul Rondelli
Gainesville, Fla

Dear FRONTLINE,

It's "not right" that violent criminals serve less time than someone who "harms" only himself. Mandatory minimum sentences are only to "send a message", they do not fit the "crime". The "war" on pot is too expensive.

Let the states decide.

Gary Michaels

Dear FRONTLINE,

I feel that if the government wants to protect our well being, then they should start with alcohol. I have never heard of anyone over-dosing on marajuana, and most people who smoke marijuana do not become violent like with drinking.

The government should not tell me what I should be permitted to do, when They are so out of touch with the real world.

We as a country need to realize that this is all about money and that if marajuana became legal, it would be taxed and would save countless tax-payers millions we waste bringing such petty crimes into the already over-crowded court systems.

If we are such a "free" country, then why is it that the Government even controls what we can do with our leisure time. Hopefully soon the Government will realize that we are educated enough to make our own choices and allow us to do so........

George Familette

Dear FRONTLINE,

Cannabis marijuana reform is long overdue. As your program pointed out, there's many people doing more time in prison for cannabis related crimes than for murder. And yet cannabis has never directly killed anyone and over 70 Million Americans have consumed it at least once including President Clinton, Al Gore, Newt Gingrich, and other famous politicians.

See http://www.cannabis.com/hypocrites/ for references.

However, the bigger issue is do people have the right to use/consume what they wish, especially when it's a naturally growing plant such as cannabis. Even George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew cannabis and the U.S. Declaration of Independence is written on paper made from it.

Overall, I felt it was a well done and balanced program and look forward to seeing Frontline doing more reports on cannabis related issues.

Ron Bennett
Wyomissing, PA

Dear FRONTLINE,

Marijuana and all drugs are a medical issue. Law enforcement has no place in treatment of a medical problem.

New and creative ideas need to be embraced for some soloution to the current drug issues.

The truth must also be told about all drugs, that is, alcohol, caffine, nicotine, and all illicit drugs.

People will always use drugs. It is a source of pleasure and a means of relief of the daily pressures of life.

Our general attitude towards drugs needs to change.

Our children are at the forefront of all of these issues. For them to be justly served we really need more intelligent soloutions than just cramming people in jail and forgetting them. It proves nothing. Sure, it scares the heck out of some, but for the most part it is more destructive than useful.

It should not be a 'war'. The law should not be used in such a manner against its citizen's.

In the future, we will be judged harshly for the way we have dealt with this issue.

Enough said.

Concerned Citizen

Dear FRONTLINE,

If GM went out of business tomorrow the remaining auto makers would quite easily fill the void. This is the nature of free enterprise. So why should our government waste our money and thier time in an attempt to cease the manufacture of a product?marijuana

The answer is quite simple. The effort is in its' self an industry. This holds true on both sides of the law.

A wise old man once told me that if drugs suddenly ceased to exist, our country would be thrown into economic turmoil.

Infrared search is illegal. It is obviously an invasion of ones privacy. Perhaps a movement should begin where hundreds of people plant heaters around thier yards to draw agents into illegal searches resulting in law suits against the prosecuters.

Eric Palson
Brewster, NY

Dear FRONTLINE,

I feel that the public should be educated on Marijuana. People automatically think that it is a "bad drug". It has been used for a long time for many reasons. I have a younger sister who has Glaucoma. She found out when she was nine years old. I think she and anyone else has a right to use Marijuana if they want to. The laws are way too strict on "pot heads". Someone who smokes it is less likely to rob a store for money to get more pot. There are more people who are killed on the road by a drunk driver than someone who has smoked a joint.

Teresa R.
Kansas City, Missouri

Dear FRONTLINE,

I have mix emotions, iam upset Cannabis is even illegal, a sooting, relaxing substance

should not be illegal, your show hit home,

in alot of ways. Cannabis cultivators are

a non threatning group of people. Holland has

had no problems with its laws. It is

great for mood elavation, spiritual, and

pyshicdelic experiences, yes to mary.

Sincerly, andrew bishop

Andrew Bishop
Fallston, MD

Dear FRONTLINE,

Firstoff, I think one should be able to grow marijuana for one's own use. I'm all for sharing, but I don't think one should sell marijuana quite yet. Society isn't ready for that. Later on, we may see it as a comodity much like carrots or mangoes, or worse, like cigarettes - AND TAXED. Perhaps we'll see the latter first. It was interesting that you didn't draw upon more of the similarities to prohibition and alcohol and the public response thereof. Also, I would not have hesitated to question more fully the role of any drugs, over the counter, prescribed, caffein, alcohol, sugar, et cetera, after all, there is no real limit to what you prohibit and what you allow - no-one has passed a law that says you cannot eat lead paint chips!! I believe that laws are far too influenced by human whim and not by human intelligence. I enjoy my legal beer and, quite possibly but not admittedlymy good chocolate thai, the fine radiation from my computer screen as well as my television. A fine, fine broadcast! Thank you for being fair and evenhanded, as always. You have my financial support through my parents. Be well one and all!

Mark Economos

Dear FRONTLINE,

I was appalled to learn that one could be sentenced to life in prison, without parole for growing marijuana. I also find the fact that agents encourage children to tell on their parents to be so like Stalin"s communism as to be deeply disturbing.

what has Orrin Hatch wrought?

Lester Rowland
Bethesda, MD

Dear FRONTLINE,

Punishment for marijuana offenses should be more flexible. All of the jailed people you interviewed could provide much to society and instead they cost society. Community service would be a more fair and sensible punishment to this type of nonviolent crime.

Jim Kerndt

Dear FRONTLINE,

First when you look at Private Prison and the backers of these mandatory sentence's you see that they have a vested interest in Jailing Marijuana users to line there pockets!!! How long will it take befor America see's what is happing 1.7 million in jail today and McCafrey is planning a 50% increase over the next 10 years. So with a 5 year return on the investment for Private Prison I dont see this slave labor market ending.

Brian Murphy
Chantilly, Virginia

Dear FRONTLINE,

I am a former marijuana smoker who for personal reasons has not smoked for over 12 years. In spite of this I strongly support efforts to decriminalize its use. I am etremely alarmed at what I see as increasing government encroachment into controlling our personal lives and slowly stripping away our freedoms. I chose to smoke marijuana and without becoming involved with other serious drugs I chose to quit when I felt it was time to do so. In a society where the government 'Still' pays farmers to grow tobacco,which has done far more harm to the health and well being of it's citizens; it stands as blatent hypocracy that it spends so much of it's time and our resources atempting to eradicate marijuana use. I think it outrageous that so many languish in federal prisons for crimes that in many cases did no harm to others. I strongly resent that as a tax payer I am called upon to pay for the incarceration these people at cost that, per prisoner, that exceeds my annual gross income. This is but one reason among many that I, like so may others in this country have lost so much faith in our government and the ability of those to govern intelligently.

Joseph Carter

Dear FRONTLINE,

First when you look at Private Prison and the backers of these mandatory sentence's you see that they have a vested interest in Jailing Marijuana users to line there pockets!!! How long will it take before America see's what is happing 1.7 million in jail today and McCafrey is planning a 50% increase over the next 10 years. So with a 5 year return on the investment for Private Prison I don't see this slave labor market ending.

Brian Murphy
Chantilly, Virginia

Dear FRONTLINE,

The punishment of marijuana is just to harsh and the manditory sentences are a misjustice against the American people. When violent criminals are recieving lighter sentences than victimless criminal activity something most be ethically wrong with the law. I feel that some local law-enforcement agencies take advantage of the seizure of money and property to promote the wealth of their department and then the victimless crime is punished serverly. This is not right and citizens need rise up against a unjustly punishment.

.

 

 
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