Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Leave Pot Smokers Alone

The Tuscaloosa News printed the following LTE from me today regarding the expansion of drug courts in Alabama.

Thanks T-Town News!


Dear Editor: I want to thank Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb for her
efforts to ease prison overcrowding and address drug addiction with a
more compassionate approach. It is so important for society to
realize that addiction is an illness that can be treated and not a
crime that needs punishing.

Many of you know me as a voice for drug policy and prison reform in
Alabama and as a candidate for governor in 2006. I am also a family
member who has witnessed the devastating impact that drugs and
alcohol can have. I have two brothers, one in prison and one who just
overdosed for the ninth time on methadone provided to him by the
Veterans Administration. I know for a fact locking them in prison
does not work.

While I am happy to see drug courts expand in Alabama, I fear that
they will simply round up pot smokers to fill their treatment beds.
Marijuana should be exempt from all criminal sanctions, police
involvement and court oversight when used responsibly by adults. We
all know it is safer than alcohol and not addictive to the degree
that anyone actually suffers withdrawals if they quit. I say unless
people who smoke pot are doing something to endanger others, there is
no reason for the police or the courts to be involved. Taking
responsible, adult pot smokers out of the drug court equation will
greatly enable the drug courts to better help the people that really need it.

Loretta Nall

Alexander City

1 comment:

alapoet said...

Right on, Loretta!

Thank you for being willing to speak out. What Alabama needs right now is a voice of reason, and that is exactly what you are providing.

Keep up the good work!