Three and a half years ago when I began writing to express my pains and thoughts on many subjects, I never imagined it to have taken me as far as it has. I never imagined I would ever sell one book, I have sold thousands. I never imagined to have made this a business, it has become one. The thing I did imagine was to help our society stear away from the pot holes on the road to becoming successful. G Publishing’s company motto from day one has been Education, Motivation & Inspiration for a Hip Hop Generation. That short summary holds alot of meaning behind it, it is my pains, struggles, failures, victories and everything in between wrapped into one, I bring that to you so that maybe you can avoid those pitfalls.
I just ran into a very interesting article written very tastefully by Fred Grimm of the Miami Herald. I am shocked at these new developments in Marijuana Laws. I believe that cigarettes and alcohol are far worst drugs than marijuana but yet if you get caught cultivating more than 25 plants, under the new law you will be facing 15 yrs… Wow… I won’t say no more, just read on and please get educated so you or someone you know doesn’t hit this pitfall.
Tougher marijuana laws are bad economics
Posted on Sun, May. 04, 2008
By FRED GRIMM
The house on Northeast 18th Street was well landscaped with lush tropical plants beyond the arched brick entranceway.
Very nice. Of course, accomplished landscaping would be the least you’d expect of a grow house: palms, birds of paradise and purple orchids out front; 79 hydroponic marijuana plants inside.
”No. No. That couldn’t be true. Not here,” a neighbor protested. “He’s lived here for years. There’s his pick-up truck.”
It just didn’t compute. Not for her. Not in her neighborhood on the eastern edge of Victoria Park in Fort Lauderdale. Not that nice middle-aged fellow across the street whose house was worth about $670,000.
NOT THE ONLY ONE
Indeed, his pickup truck was parked by the ornamental iron gate. A John Lennon bumper sticker had taken on new meaning after Wednesday’s raid: “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.”
John Storelli, 47, was not the only one. He was among 135 swept up in Wednesday’s statewide operation. About 3,400 plants were confiscated. Forty-nine houses in Miami-Dade led to 2,220 plants and 50 arrests. Nine houses in Broward yielded 302 plants and 10 arrests.
SENDING A MESSAGE
The DEA called this the culmination of a three-month investigation and it certainly looked as if the feds had squirreled away three months worth of grow house leads for one big shebang. For maximum impact.
It worked. On Thursday, the Florida state Senate took up a bill, already approved by the House, to toughen penalties for — you guessed it — marijuana cultivation. News of Operation D-Day was still reverberating around the state. Growers had been nabbed in 40 of Florida’s 67 counties. The senators voted 36-0 to lower the threshold for a second-degree felony from 100 plants to 25.
Someone caught with 79 plants, like the house on Northeast 18th Avenue, will be slapped with a 15-year stretch. Getting tough on pot growers after a spectacular statewide media splash makes for dandy politics. And insane economics.
PRICE OF PUNISHMENT
It was if no one in the Legislature noticed that the budget they just crafted, with brutal cuts in funding for foster kids, nursing homes, education, also included $305 million in new money to build three more prisons.
Florida spent 9.3 percent of last year’s budget (about $2.5 billion) to keep 96,000 prisoners in state lock-ups.
A study conducted last year by the Pew Charitable Trust found that national spending on prisons was rising six times faster than spending for public education. Florida’s get-tough policies, of course, were singled out as an extreme example of wasteful, ineffective, economic craziness.
It costs about $20,000 a year to house a single prisoner in a state system that skimps on rehabilitation, education and the other amenities meant to discourage recidivism. Twenty percent of Florida’s prisoners are nonviolent drug offenders, who in most western societies would have been diverted into cheaper alternatives. Instead, we pop thousands of non-violent druggies with long prison sentences that devour even larger chunks of our tax dollars. Last year, Florida spent 66 cents on inmates for every dollar appropriated for higher education.
Barely two months after the Pew report, legislators forgot all about it, voting to hang 15-year sentences on yet another category of non-violent drug offenders.
Stupid economics for sure. But on the day after Operation D-Day, it made for brilliant politics.
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