Illogical Reasons for Decriminalizing Marijuana

Source: Paul Hammel, "Ideas to ease pot laws just blowin' in the wind," Omaha World-Herald, 20 November 2012.

People continue to promote illogical fixes to problems. Iowa representative Bruce Hunter wants to decriminalize marijuana possession. His reason? "He is pushing decriminalization of pot because sending users to prison contributes to overcrowding. It also doesn't make sense, he said, to put nonviolent pot users behind bars." By that illogic, we should remove all crimes from the books because they are contributing to the overcrowding in prisons.

Overcrowding is not caused by the law, but by the number of people breaking the law. The problem is society's acceptance of drug use, especially marijuana use. As Peter Komendowski, president of Partnership for a Drug-Free Iowa, said, "What we are doing is sending a mixed message to our kids that some drugs are OK and some aren't OK."

If it is determined that nonviolent crimes ought not to have jail time, then doesn't it make more sense to punish crimes in some other manner? Decriminalizing nonviolent crimes doesn't make the crimes better. The fact remains that marijuana is a controlled substance because it causes harm to the user and can cause the user to be harmful to society.