As a member of the writers bureau of the California Perspective of the Libertarian Party of California I wrote the following op-ed which is now on it's way to a distribution list of 3,000 publishers, editors and reporters and so on.
It's basically about the two main victimless crimes of personal pot possession and consensual sex work and sex between consenting adults. These two "crimes" waste 500,000 hours of police time and the taxpayers are fleeced of some $200 million through court time and prison time.
The repeal of these "criminal" laws should make it possible for the police to be more effectively redeployed to chasing down murderers, rapists and armed robbers and save the taxpayers some $200 million.
Yes - there is a whole lot more to the issues like " sex slave rings " and forced teenage runaways prostitution and growers/dealers of medical cannabis and how much personal possession is too much personal possession - but space requirements in publications means addressing the highlights of the problem - mainly the criminalization of pot and sex. Then hoping for MSM publication and then to at least possibly even maybe start a dialogue for repeal of those "criminal " laws governing personal pot possession and consensual sex workers.....
Five Simple (Victimless Crime) Sentences
by Ron Getty
Mon, 18 Jun 2007
When personal possession of marijuana, the smoking of marijuana, and purchased sex between consenting adults were criminalized by the California legislature, the only crime committed was the enactment of the laws making these things crimes.
No one forces adults to engage in so-called vices. When adults willingly indulge in a vice, no one is personally harmed. No financial harm is created by indulgence in a vice; such behavior only represents a free market exchange of payment for a product or a service. Individuals are not harmed by marijuana smokers and consensual sex workers.
The legislature decided to protect citizens from these vices by imposing an unworkable code of morality. Adults smoking marijuana and paid-for sex between consenting adults are not inherently criminal activities, and the legislature had no right to declare that they are. Perhaps the legislature couldn’t figure out how to tax marijuana smokers or consensual sex workers. If you can’t tax—and criminalize and jail violators for not paying the tax—then appearing as though you are tough on crime is a reliable way to look good at election time. However, there are costs associated with the police enforcement and court time wasted.
The latest available crime report statistics (2005) from the California Attorney General’s office shows a disturbing picture: 125,000 felony arrests for homicide, rape, armed robbery, and aggravated assault and 160,000 misdemeanor arrests for personal possession of marijuana and prostitution. Conservatively, 500,000 hours of police time—through arrest, transport, booking, and paperwork—were spent on cases involving personal possession of marijuana and consensual sex workers.
And the rest of the justice system is clogged with these cases. In California, marijuana enforcement fritters away $150 million a year in police, court, prison, and probation expenses. With consensual sex worker arrests included, another $50 million is squandered. All told, $200 million of taxpayers’ money is misspent protecting our morals.
From the crime report statistics, of the 189,000 reported felonies in California, only 83,000 were cleared (i.e., resulted in an arrest or charges were dropped). This leaves 106,000 uncleared felonies and the unarrested criminals who committed those felonies. To show how intolerable this situation is, add the previous four years of still uncleared felonies and you get 500,000 uncleared felonies of homicide, rape, armed robbery, and aggravated assault.
Focusing law enforcement’s efforts on marijuana smokers and consensual sex workers doesn’t protect you or me while tens of thousands of felons roam free like wild wolves looking for stray deer. Imagine how high the clearance rates would be if police officers arresting pot smokers and consensual sex workers were redeployed to tracking down felons.
District attorneys get into the act as well, using a ruse to puff up their hard crime conviction figures. If a marijuana user is arrested who was inveigled to sell his personal possession marijuana to an undercover officer and the person pleads out to stay out of jail, the D.A. claims this as a felony conviction of a drug dealer. If an undercover officer gets a street person to point out a seller of marijuana, both get arrested for felony possession of narcotics for sale—the possessor for selling and the street person for aiding and abetting.
The legislators who originally criminalized personal possession of marijuana and paid consensual sex were guilty of political arrogance. Today’s legislators must bite the political bullet and enact a major reform of personal possession of marijuana and consensual sex worker laws.
Enacting reform legislation requires only five simple sentences:
All criminal laws governing personal possession of marijuana use are repealed.
All criminal laws governing paid sex between consenting adults are repealed.
All command staffs of police agencies are to redeploy their personal possession marijuana drug user and consensual sex worker detail officers to hunt major crime felons.
All charges and specifications in pending or current court cases for personal possession of marijuana use and sex between consenting adults are to be dismissed with prejudice.
All persons serving time for personal marijuana possession use or as consensual sex workers are to be immediately released, absent convictions on other charges.
If we are to be taxed to have the police protect us, the least we can ask is for them to concentrate on protecting us from dangerous felons—not pot smokers and consensual sex workers.