Pubdate: Wed, 28 Nov 2007
Source: Burlington Free Press (VT)
Copyright: 2007 Burlington Free Press
Author: Fritz Langrock
Note: Fritz Langrock lives in Burlington.
Bookmark: (Marijuana)
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)


I am writing in support of Robert Sand, the Windsor County state's
attorney, for offering diversion to Martha Davis, a 61-year-old woman
without any criminal record.

I do not know Ms. Davis, but it appears that she is not a drug dealer
and is not a threat to anyone.

I do know Bobby Sand. He is a good prosecutor with years of experience
dealing with all types of cases.

He is tough when necessary, but also fair, honest and

In my experience, Bobby Sand's goal is to do the right thing in each
case. Sometimes that means jail. Sometimes it means diversion.

A good prosecutor is more interested in seeing that justice is done
than in getting convictions. A state's attorney should base
prosecutions on what is right and just in each case, within the bounds
of the statutes. The attacks on Bobby for being soft on drugs, or
biased in favor of a fellow attorney or otherwise offering diversion
for less-than-honorable reasons appear to me to be missing the point
or to be reactions to his public position criticizing the continued
war on drugs.

Bobby Sand has been an eloquent and public critic of current drug
policy. As a state's attorney he has come to realize after years as a
prosecutor that the current policy is not working.

Drug use is not a simple problem and cannot be solved by a simple
punitive approach.

It is time to move away from our costly war on drugs and take a
rational approach to the real social and medical problems that come
with drug abuse. This includes the decriminalization of marijuana,
which would, among other things, allow treatment for people who abuse
marijuana without the threat of criminal conviction, and free up law
enforcement and prosecutors time to focus on more serious issues.

I support Bobby Sand's decision to offer diversion in Martha Davis'
case, and I support Bobby's concern about our drug policies.

More importantly, whatever one's views of marijuana may be, I know
that Bobby is acting honestly, without bias and doing what he believes
is right. That he is doing so in the face of political pressure is
something to be admired, not derided.

Finally, the voters of Windsor County have elected their state's
attorney. They alone will decide whether he should continue to
prosecute cases in Windsor County. Gov. Douglas' directive to bypass
Bobby Sand not only interferes with the independence of the office of
the Windsor County state's attorney but with the rights of the voters
of Windsor County in choosing their elected officials.
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