Sunday, August 23, 2009

Satirical Sundays: decriminalizing criminals

There is a new "trend" among lawmakers and rulebreakers- it's called "decriminalizing", and it's making illegal things legal.

On August 21 in Mexico, the government voted to decriminalize the posession and use of small quantities of marijuana, heroin, and cocaine. The official platform for this is that more resources will be available to bring down big-time drug dealers.

My question about this is, and the one I pose to you: if the government has decriminalized the use of these drugs, then how does that incline the drug cartels to stop selling? Those small amounts? Are a part of the big amounts.

But who knows: maybe this new law will boost tourism?

Another situation in which criminals are being decriminalized is in California. Right now, there is legislation going through that hopes to let out between 27-37,000 small-time (non-violent) criminals from state prisons. Ostensibly, this is to free up space due to overcrowding, but also to allow the state of California law-enforcement resources to be used on bigger time (violent) criminals, as well as to save a ton of money (between 524 million and 1.2 billion).

I think that letting out non-violent criminals just because they are non-violent sends out the wrong message. These things are against the law for a reason, and they carry jail time for a reason. It's not like they throw every 14-year old who steals lipstick into juvie. These are bigger law-breakers, they just haven't hurt anyone physically. And to let those people out before their time has been served in order to save the state money kind of makes California a criminal. Would you want to live in a state where law-breakers can say, "well, I didn't hurt anyone" and use that as their get out of jail free card?

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