Our Prison Planet Can Be Made Bonnie Blue

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Colorado has been in the news a lot lately and it has nothing to do with ski-season. No, Colorado is riding high now that it’s the only place in the United States to buy marijuana legally. Not surprisingly, the early reports show the wild success of this initiative with out of state purchasers making up a substantial portion of the weed-trade. Who Dats traveling to Colorado can purchase 1/4 ounce at a time but you’re on your own once you leave the Buffalo state and return to the Land That [fun] Time Forgot. You see, seventeen other states have some form of legal consumption laws and you can be assured that number will grow, so, will Louisiana join that number?

To answer that we need only look back at the Legislature’s despicable treatment of the subject last June. When Senator Austin Badon (D-New Orleans) proposed a measly reduction in the prison sentences for possession and the bill came to a vote, members could be heard mimicking the sound of smoke inhalation and snickering. But Badon has a point: Louisiana is Prison Planet. We lead the known universe in people incarcerated for simple marijuana possession. Even the Chinese and the Iranians don’t have the kind of prison populations we have. Of course, with that population comes jobs in the incarceration and law enforcement business, two strong lobbying groups made lucrative by marijuana and alcohol consumption. Badon estimates the cost of locking up weed smokers to be $2.2 million per year.

If the northern parishes wish to remain southern versions of Amish country, I have no problem with that but that coalition makes accomplishing many other things, statewide, an impossibility. Maybe it’s time for southeastern Louisiana to get reacquainted with original flag of the Florida Parishes, the Bonnie Blue, high time.
1. http://www.summitdaily.com/news/9560857-113/marijuana-state-colorado-ounce
2. http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/09/us/alaska-recreational-marijuana-push/
3. http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2013/06/marijuana_pot_weed_bill_la.html
4. Ibid
5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florida_Parishes