There’s a must-read article by Marc Caputo in the Miami Herald today:
Crist wants to maintain drug penalties
Check out the well-constructed lede:
Though he has admitted to smoking marijuana, Gov. Charlie Crist said he still favors Florida’s tough drug laws and doesn’t support legislative plans to review whether to lessen penalties for some crimes such as non-violent drug possession.
There’s an incredible amount of meat in that one sentence — the hypocrisy of Gov. Crist, the fact that Florida’s drug laws are tough, the fact that the legislature is actually considering reform, and that many locked up for drug possession are non-violent offenders. This is a real breath of fresh air in a news piece.
The state’s prison population is expected to swell at year’s end to a record 100,000, about 20 percent of whom are non-violent drug offenders convicted of crimes such as trafficking and simple possession.
And some legislators have wondered aloud and in private how the state can afford to pay for it now that Florida’s economy is sagging and crime is rising. It costs more than $19,000 a year to lock up an inmate, not counting the millions it will cost to build two prisons per year through 2013 to keep up with prison-population growth.
Two prisons per year. Wow. See, this is the kind of reporting that can really make people sit up and take notice. And it’s an article where the “smart on drugs” crowd really look like they’ve got it together much more than the “tough on drugs” Governor.
Of course, the two questions that I wish had been asked…
First, the Governor said:
”And what I support about the law is the deterrent effect”
So why didn’t the law deter him?
Second, the standard question to hypocrite politicians: If you had been caught, it’s likely your life would have been ruined and you probably wouldn’t have become Governor. So why is it OK for you to do that to others?