Pubdate: Thu, 16 Jul 2009
Source: Florida Today (Melbourne, FL)
Copyright: 2009 Florida Today
Author: Kirk Muse


I’m writing about FLORIDA TODAY’s Sunday editorial, “Caution needed in
prison reform.”

While Florida and many other states are trying to figure out how to
close their massive budget shortfalls, the Dutch in the Netherlands
are trying to figure out what to do with their closed prisons.

While the Netherlands has a total population of about 16.5 million, it
has only about 12,000 prisoners. On the other hand, Florida, with a
total population of about 18.3 million, has more than 100,000 prisoners.

Why the glaring disparity? I suggest it’s our drug policies.

In the Netherlands, adult citizens can use, buy and possess small
amounts of marijuana without criminal sanctions. In the United States,
adult citizens are subject to arrest, and jail or prison for buying,
selling or possessing various amounts of marijuana.

Kirk Muse

Mesa, Ariz.
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