For Profit Prison Pot Ponder


Within a heartbeat of California legalizing marijuana, attorney general Jeff Sessions rescinded Obama administration sentiment to stay out of pot friendly state law. Sessions put America on notice, federal law trumps state fancy – federal prosecutors have been instructed to replace hands-off State decriminalization of pot with an aggressive approach to prioritizing resources in a crack down of possession, cultivation and distribution of marijuana in states were it is legalized.

“In deciding which marijuana activities to prosecute under these laws with the department’s finite resources, prosecutors should follow the well-established principles that govern all federal prosecutions,” Sessions said in a memo to all federal prosecutors. “These principles require federal prosecutors deciding which cases to prosecute to weigh all relevant considerations of the crime, the deterrent effect of criminal prosecution, and the cumulative impact of particular crimes on the community.”

A ponder was born – why now, why California, has Trump been extra naughty prompting another pathetic news bomb diversion? Then it hit me – duh! American for profit prisons are tossing a fit, a raging tantrum punctuated with threats of dwindling campaign contributions.

Major players in the for profit prison industry are GEO Group and Corrections Corporation of America ( CCA ). In 2014, CCA wrote in their annual shareholders report –

“The demand for our facilities and services could be adversely affected by the relaxation of enforcement efforts, leniency in conviction or parole standards and sentencing practices or through the decriminalization of certain activities that are currently proscribed by our criminal laws. For instance, any changes with respect to drugs and controlled substances or illegal immigration could affect the number of persons arrested, convicted, and sentenced, thereby potentially reducing demand for correctional facilities to house them. … Legislation has been proposed in numerous jurisdictions that could lower minimum sentences for some non-violent crimes and make more inmates eligible for early release based on good behavior.”

GEO and CCA report a combined annual income of more the $3 billion. For profit incarceration contracts stipulate local and state government maintain a minimum occupancy of inmates (typically 90%) or taxpayers  pay for empty beds.Contracts of 3 private prisons in Arizona demand 100% occupancy. Sweet deal that goes a long way toward explaining why America has more prisoners per capita than any nation in the world. Hardly surprising that over 75% of inmates are jailed on drug charges.

So what do for profit prisons do with contractually guaranteed inmates? Rehabilitation, education? Hell no. Try forced labour under contract with Federal Prison Industries ( aka UNICOR ), a government owned corporation who in 2015 reported total salaries paid to all inmates combined $33,538 , and annual profits from textile, agriculture and manufacturing $558 million, up $90 million from the previous year. Check out this link – http://all-that-is-interesting.com/private-prisons-us-stats

Make no mistake, American profiteers demand an uninterrupted supply of marijuana possession felons to satisfy their bottom line. Legalization of pot threatens to decimate profitable chain gangs. America is anything but a great nation.

Image result for chain gang

 

Canine Quandary


Now that possessing up to an ounce of marijuana is legal in Colorado and Washington state; state law enforcement is scrambling to solve the problem of drug sniffing dogs. Washington in particular has a border to deal with – one that  has spent decades formulating plans to keep out the notorious “B.C. bud”. Pot isn’t legal in B.C. but you wouldn’t know that by visiting Vancouver, dubbed “Vansterdam” – numerous “pot cafes” allow patrons to bring their own marijuana and openly consume it.

So what to do with all the drug sniffing dogs? To begin with, how do you train a dog to differentiate between quantities of pot? On the Washington side of the border; a search undertaken as a result of an alert by a canine detective could possibly turn up unexpected contraband – perhaps illegal weapons were found but the amount of marijuana setting the play in motion was less than an ounce – strictly speaking, a judge could toss that evidence out of court as an “illegal search and seizure”.

Logically,  Washington state is training new dogs, ones not taught to recognize pot. Fair enough, but isn’t the whole marijuana question wearing thin? Up to an ounce is now legal in Washington and Colorado if you’re 21. In Vancouver where pot isn’t even legalized – pot cafes are allowed to operate without question as long as they don’t sell marijuana. Anyone can get a medical marijuana ticket, dispensaries as prevalent as drug stores.

Glaucoma, MS. Parkinsons, insomnia, chronic pain, seizures  – the list of ailments doctors can “prescribe” Cannabis for is longer than my arm. Governments allow sale and possession for medical reasons yet won’t allow you to grow a few plants at home. Criminal records tarnish lives for eternity, gangs shot each other over turf, prisons fill up with people caught with a “little too much” and organized crime reaps the benefits.

There are much bigger fish to fry – why not legalize marijuana, put people to work growing it, sell it as you would cigarettes, collect taxes and only go after those who think they can make a living outside these parameters. What’s the big deal? There are a lot of confused dogs without jobs who think it’s just as silly.

4/20 at the Vancouver Art Gallery (origin of 4/20 is a little clouded but at exactly 4:20 on April 20 of each year Cannabis enthusiasts light up) No – there isn’t a house on fire – simply a collective exhale.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/20/420-weed-day-marijuana-april-holiday_n_3122359.html