Jail Time Sentence for Marijuana Possession – 20 Years

At this time in history when our legislative body is so dysfunctional, they are unable to appropriate the necessary funds to run the government, try this one on for size. After you read this, tell me, have we lost our cotton-picking minds?

Consider the following, Colorado and Washington have sanctioned the recreational use of marijuana, a number of other states are considering following suit, and 20 states allow use for medical purposes. Are these indicators that society evolving? I’ll let you be the judge.

However, if you’re of the mind that this trend signifies that society is evolving, please move to Louisiana to spread the word. Recently, a man was sentenced to serve “twenty years hard labor” for possessing 15 grams (a little more than ½ an ounce for those of you who are metrically challenged) of marijuana.

The defendant, Corey Ladd, was no babe in the woods when it came to marijuana possession convictions. In Louisiana, a person can get up to six months in jail for his first marijuana conviction, up to five years in prison for the second, and up to twenty years for the third. Ladd’s case involved the application of Louisiana’s Habitual Offender Law which triggers a 20-year mandatory minimum sentence for the “fourth or subsequent felony.” Sorry to break the news, but it was Corey’s fourth! Juxtapose how this same possessory offense for the same quantity would be treated under Ohio law–a $150.00 fine.

I hope the citizens of the Pelican State have second thoughts about such onerous penalties for a non-violent offense such as marijuana possession. Assuming that it costs $25,000 per year to incarcerate Ladd, Louisiana’s taxpayers will be paying about $500,000 for his stay in the Iron Hotel (this figure assumes that costs remain stagnant, which we know they won’t). The math works out so that the taxpayers are paying about $33,333 per gram to get Ladd’s weed off the street. Must be some good stuff!

To read more, take a look at this article in the Huffington Post, The Insanity of Marijuana Arrests.