"Marijuana fans are calling it the Mutiny in Montana.
It all began last Thursday, when a group of prospective jurors in Missoula were seated for a two-day trial of a repeat offender by the name of Teuray Cornell, whom the local police had arrested and charged with selling marijuana, a felony, and possession of a small amount of the drug, a misdemeanor.
To seat a 12-person jury, Judge Robert L. Deschamps III of Missoula County District Court had called a passel of Montanans to serve, and 27 had arrived at court on Dec. 16. So far, so good.
But after the charges were read, one of the jurors raised a hand.
“She said, ‘I’ve got a real problem with these marijuana cases,’ ” Judge Deschamps recalled on Wednesday. “And after she got through, a couple more raised their hands.” All told, five jurors raised questions about marijuana prosecution.
And so it was that Mr. Cornell soon became the lucky recipient of a case of almost-a-jury nullification, as prosecutors soon found themselves cutting a deal to dismiss the misdemeanor possession charge out of fear that they would not be able to find 12 jurors in this marijuana-friendly state to convict."
New York Times
I think smoking dope should be legal. Treat it like alcohol and move on. I think some other drugs, such as meth, should have the death penalty attached to them for the sale and manufacture and the county farm and years of hard labor for use. Inconsistent? I don't think so.
We've all got brains so let's apply them to the situation. Smoking dope, as almost everyone born from 1950 on knows, really doesn't do any more damage than drinking does, in an adult population. Lots and lots of people have smoked it for years with little or no affect on their day to day lives. Some small percentage may have problems with it but then this is true of alcohol, too. There seems to be a normal and I would argue healthy human desire to catch a buzz every once in awhile to relax and relieve stress. As long as you aren't abusing it, no harm, no foul.
However, drugs such as meth and a few others are so dangerous that they transcend this normal desire to relax. The use of these drugs is so destructive in such a short period of time to the vast majority of the people that use them and the families and communities they are a part of that society cannot allow their use to be condoned. The use of these drugs nearly always result in destruction of the value of human life if not the life itself. And it's not just a matter of personal choice, either. Living in what was one of the largest meth producing counties in one of the largest meth producing states has left me with no illusions about how this drug effects everyone that it touches. We don't have a choice when the meth cooker robs and steals to support his business or when the meth user robs and steals to support his habit. We don't have a choice when the neighbors house explodes or when the renter uses our property to cook and contaminates it so badly that for all intents and purpose it needs to be completely stripped down and rebuilt. There's nothing we can do when the guy driving next to us is high as hell or when a minor argument turns into a shooting because some crack head loses his mind and pulls a gun over a bump in a parking lot.
So, for drugs like meth, and I'd put crack cocaine in this category,too, the solution is tough laws designed to make sure few will risk the penalty for the meager reward. Not politician tough, real tough. As I said above, I would make the manufacture and sale of these drugs punishable by death. And I'd have the penalty carried out in the square at the county courthouse for all the men, women and children to see. Make sure that there is no doubt about the serious intent of the people to rid themselves of this scourge.
For the user of these drugs I'd be more lenient. We all make mistakes. So dry 'em out and to the county farm they go. We need to go back to the system of county farms like we used to have, places where the inmates grow their own food and support their own lives and imprisonment through labor, hard physical labor. But no worse than what many of us that do hard physical jobs, like farmers and construction workers, do everyday. I want to see them on the sides of the roads in their orange suits, trimming and digging and picking up trash. But more importantly, I want the kids to see them doing it. I want the kids to understand that there are consequences to their actions. And I want the people that use these drugs to see them.
We need to be honest about drugs if we want to end the "drug problem".
The other thing I want to point out about the story above is a simple fact that we all seem to overlook. If we don't like the system, if we don't like the law, if we just want a change, all we have to do most of the time is just say no. Look what those jurors did by simply refusing to cooperate in the prosecution, by just questioning the premise of the prosecution. So many times in life we just go along and we get screwed and pissed and feel powerless when all we really had to do was just be honest and refuse. Whether drugs or traffic laws or just about anything else we have power in this country to gum up the works anytime we want to if enough people just say no.
We need to keep this in mind.