Pubdate: Sat, 15 Mar 2014
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Copyright: 2014 Los Angeles Times
Author: Jim Weyant


Re "New rules for medical pot," Editorial, March 12

I spent more than 32 years as an officer with a local police 
department as well as an additional six years as a deputy district 
attorney with Los Angeles County. During those nearly four decades, a 
significant percentage of my time and effort was devoted to 
investigating, arresting and prosecuting countless narcotics and 
illicit drug offenders.

Within my initial few months as a cop, I made an arrest for 
possession of one partially smoked marijuana cigarette, a crime that 
was classified as a felony at that time. Early on as a prosecutor, I 
sent one individual to prison for 25 years to life (a "third 
striker") for possession of a tiny bindle of heroin under the seat of his car.

Looking back on all those years of kicking doors, serving search 
warrants, removing drug-trade participants from their homes and 
presenting drug-related cases in court, I am left with one question: Why?

The amount of tax money spent on this (obviously futile) effort could 
be better used on enhanced education of our youths about the perils 
of substance abuse (including alcohol) as well as on rehabilitation 
programs for those who "slip through the cracks." We'd likely still 
have money left over for other worthy programs.

Jim Weyant, Big Bear City
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