Stop Jailing Pot Smokers And Let's Go After The Real Criminals

Categories: Luke's Gospel
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Uncle Luke, the man whose booty-shaking madness once made the U.S. Supreme Court stand up for free speech, gets as nasty as he wants to be for Miami New Times. This week, Luke -- who is a candidate to replace more-boring-than-bread-pudding ex-Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez -- makes a campaign promise that will light up county residents.

Once I am elected mayor, I am going to ease up on marijuana enforcement. Folks caught holding 20 grams or less won't have to go to jail. We have bigger problems. These arrests will be a low priority. This should allow police to tackle problems -- such as violent street crime, mortgage fraud, and public corruption -- that have kept Miami-Dade down for too long.

I will also support a ballot measure that would classify possession as an infraction, which amounts to a speeding ticket. As the largest county in the state, Miami-Dade needs to take the lead in reforming Florida's hard stance against marijuana. After all, we are the second largest pot-producing state after California.

And last year, before leaving office, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger -- a Republican -- signed a law that allows cops to issue a $100 ticket instead of arresting a person for pot possession. The Terminator went on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno afterward and said, "No one cares if you smoke a joint or not." He is absolutely right.

A similar law was passed in Massachusetts in 2009. Last year, a pro-marijuana group called Sensible Florida almost got a measure to decriminalize small amounts of pot possession on the ballot in Miami Beach. The organization is still at it too, gathering close to all the signatures needed to let the voters decide.

 
Plus a University of New Hampshire study published last year by the Journal of Health and Social Behavior drew an interesting conclusion: The idea that marijuana use leads to harder drug use is overblown. The study surveyed 1,286 young adults who had been enrolled in Miami-Dade public schools in the '90s.

I'm not a toker or a smoker, but I know that arresting people for holding a dime bag only fills prisons and lines the pockets of Gov. Rick Scott's buddies in the private prison business. This policy will allow folks busted for pot possession to find jobs. Any arrest on your record can keep employers from hiring you. We need to focus on getting people to work, not nailing them for nothing.

Follow Luther Campbell on Twitter at: @unclelukereal1.

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.
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6 comments
Canadianhobo
Canadianhobo

ayo dawg, this brotha knowz what on the up n up, keep fightn the green fight.

Eric
Eric

www.sensibleflorida.comWe have a petition to decriminalize 20 grams or less on Miami Beach, We have collected over the number needed to put the issue on the ballot this November for voters and are currently out collecting overage to make sure we submit way over the number required. Not everyone can sign only Miami Beach residents who are registered to vote here since moving here

Email eric@sensibleflorida.com to get involved if you can help us collect the final ones!!!And if your not from Miami Beach then go on and DONATE to support us on 4/20

MiamiNative81
MiamiNative81

Well I thought Unlce Luke running for mayor was a joke. This article leads me to believe that while he may not be the best candidate for mayor, he is certainly motivated to tackle the serious issues that impede Miami-Dade, rather than wasting tax dollars on locking up someone for a little 4 and 20. Besides tokers are harmless..alcohol which is a legal drug is MUCH MUCH worse.

Grant Stern
Grant Stern

If you really want to curb mortgage fraud, and as a practicing Mortgage Broker since 2005, I do, the best start would be to hire trained people to investigate and prosecute financial criminals. Right now, there is little or no enforcement personnel to expose these "victimless" crimes which harm our communities and public institutions.

PuffDaddy
PuffDaddy

Thank you Luke. Alcohol is magnitudes more dangerous than weed.

Kierre Hodges
Kierre Hodges

You really think this clown might have a chance? I'm not so sure... lets see what he takes on next. He's slowing winning me over.

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