Letter: Hard time should be reserved for hard crime - East Valley Tribune: Opinion

Letter: Hard time should be reserved for hard crime

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Posted: Friday, July 20, 2012 5:47 am

I’m writing about Bill Richardson’s not-so-thoughtful column: “Targeting addicts the more effective way to reduce crime in our cities” (July 12). Even though caffeine is an addictive drug and potentially lethal in very high doses, we have absolutely no crime associated with it. Why? It’s legal. Nicotine is a very addictive substance that is very deadly, yet we have almost no crime associated with it. Why? It’s legal.

A couple of weeks ago, I watched one of the Lock Up series on MSNBC and they were doing a prison cell search in a California prison. They found among other things, a package of cigarettes. They mentioned that in California prisons cigarettes sell for $400 to $600 a pack. Why? Because inside California prisons cigarettes are illegal. By the way, inside California prisons cigarettes are controlled by prison gangs.

If meth addicts could buy a hit of meth for pennies per dose at any pharmacy would they need to rob or steal to pay for their habit? No.

Hard drug use is stupid. Stupidity should not be a crime that sends people to jail or prison. Our jails and prisons should be reserved for people who intentionally harm others against their will. Not gardeners. Not people who use, buy or sell to willing buyers unapproved substances.

Kirk Muse

Mesa

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