Life In Prison For 51 Cannabis Plants?

At a time of heightened national security post-911, a near-depression economy and state government budgets bleeding red coast to coast, what is the moral and economic imperative that compels some in law enforcement to seek lifetime sentences for small-time cannabis growers?

Again, cannabis consumers and activists should never shrink back from prohibitionist (and some in the media) arguments that “no one gets arrested for cannabis in the US (it’s practically legal!)” when over 755,000 cannabis consumers are busted annually for simple possession (94,000 others were charged with cultivation, distribution or conspiracy therein).

Even more so when there are outrageous claims made that ‘no goes to jail or prison for pot’.

Unfortunately for a Jackson Mississippi man named Ronald Sekul, he can attest to how wrong these false claims are as he stares down a lifetime sentence for cultivating 51 cannabis plants.

Man could get life in pot bust, Jackson resident was growing 51 plants, officials say
A 33-year-old Jackson man accused of growing marijuana in his apartment could get up to life in prison if convicted.
In the case of Ronald Christopher Sekul, the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics intends to ask prosecutors to apply a law called the “kingpin” statute, MBN Director Marshall Fisher said.
The statute can be applied to Sekul’s case because he allegedly had a drug operation for longer than 12 consecutive months and had more than 10 pounds of marijuana, Fisher said.
Sekul was arrested Wednesday for allegedly growing 4-foot marijuana plants in the back bedroom of the fourplex he lives in at 1510 Myrtle St., according to MBN.
He is out of jail on $50,000 bond.
Read the entire article here.

Think about, life in prison for cultivating one of the most popular agricultural products in America–arguably the number one commercially cultivated commodity in the country. Think about the annual expense incurred by the taxpayers of Mississippi for the incarceration of Mr. Sekul: $22,000-30,000 a year; think about the total cost to the taxpayers if Mr. Sekul spends 10 years in prison (approx. $275,000), 20 years (approx. $600,000) or 30 years (approx. $1 million).

Rather than tax and actually control cannabis like more dangerous and addictive government-sanctioned drugs like tobacco and alcohol products, is it not remarkable beyond words that the state and federal governments still engages both massive number of annual cannabis-related arrests and the incarceration annually nationwide of an estimated 45,000-65,000 cannabis-only offenders, while still not achieving any of the stated goals of prohibition (view a comprehensive NORML report analyzing cannabis arrests in the US here, read page 45 to see where none of the government’s stated goals are achieved).

Feds Are The Ones Still Stirring Pot With Taxpayers’ Money

However, there is a potential policy silver-lining to buttress the expense to the taxpayers and tragedy of what our society is trying to do Mr. Sekul and that is that President Obama’s new drug czar, Gil Kerlikowske, along with Attorney General Eric Holder, can stop these kinds of foolish and expensive incarcerations for cannabis by de-funding the federal grants provided to local law enforcement and their ‘multi-jursidictional anti-drug task forces’, like JET, the Jackson Enforcement Team, which boasts of Mr. Sekul’s arrest.

How many fewer Americans would be arrested annually if the federal government didn’t fund local arrests?

Exactly how many taxpayer dollars could be saved if the expense and trouble of local cannabis arrests were not subsidized by the feds?

0 thoughts

  1. JACK AUFF youre completely right. The mexican economy cannot sustain itself without the billions of dollars in drug money. If you removed all drug money from Mexico’s economy they would go belly up.

  2. ONE DAY POT WILL BE LEGAL, I truely believe in the next 10-20 years we will see it happen. I hate to put it this way, but as the older more conservative anti-pot generation dies out, the new younger,more informed generation even if they dont use pot will want to see it legalized.

  3. 10-20 years?? Excuse me but this next november California will likely vote to legalize and tax cannabis similar to alcohol regardless of Federal law. When other people in other states see what the will of the people is capable of, amazing things will begin to happen. Federal law will be forced to change or be nullified. We are now the majority according to the latest nationwide poll and many, many of us vote with a passion! Current elected officials and future elected candidates had better understand that it is now an advantage to them to be on our side and to re-evaluate their position of cannabis legalization. No, not 10-20 years, 4 years tops! And as California proves to the rest of us that cannabis really doesn’t make black men want to look at white girls and life pretty much goes on normally with the exception of the state reaping millions upon millions in taxes from the taxing of cannabis, how long do you think it will take for the other states to catch on? Cannabis legalization is much more that the recreational use of the plant. The commercial use of the rest of the plant will generate even more revenue for the state! Money moves the nation and the potential money from legal cannabis is staggering. People get ready for theres a train a coming!

  4. denbee i really think that 4 years is too optiimistic. California, might legalize, because people are doing it anyway so why not save california’s economy with pot.. I’m all for it but look at the pot laws around the country and we still have many ass backward states, including florida where i live. I think it’ll take a lot longer than 4 years

  5. In 1968 I got 1 year hard labor in Greencastle Ind. I was 18yrs and I had pulled up some Indiana Hemp ( thc practly zero and used to make rope in the old days. Ind. was the Hemp capitol of the US and still grows wild there. I was charged,convicted and sent to a notorious labor camp. Charlie Manson had every official in the US angry and I was charged / convicted for NAROCOTICS. Which in 68 it was considered. In Mo. I faced Life ( still on the books I think ) for ” intent to deliver to a minor. I was also under 21 and beat the case. In the mid 70 I got 2 to 5 and 1 to 10 run concurently and sent to Menard State Pen. for Possession of more than 454 grams of local weed. Im not in the least surprised to hear what they want to do to this poor sod! In a time where politicians are some of the worst criminals in the US we still have many States with archiac Laws that ruin lives. I moved to Ca. and bought my medical marijuana in Oaksterdam a block from the cop shop!Lawfully! Now I have to live in this state where a pipe will get you arrested! We should all Pray for this guy! Her grew some pot, big deal! BOOZE is still considered Fine even though it’s addicting and kills tens of thousands every year and nicotine is more addicting than Heroine. Check it out.
    And here we have a President that did pot and coke and admitted It! Good thing statute of limitations ran out before he wrote his book and Confessed!! zman

  6. “Our nation can acknowledge the dangers of cigarettes, alcohol and marijuana while still permitting their use. The only logically and morally consistent argument for marijuana prohibition necessitates the criminalization of all harmful recreational drugs, including alcohol, nicotine and caffeine. We can agree that such an infringement on personal freedoms is as impractical as it is un-American. The time has come to accept that our nation’s attitude toward marijuana has been misguided for generations and that the only rational approach to cannabis is to legalize, regulate and tax it.”
    Dr. Nathan, a psychiatrist in Princeton, N.J., is a clinical assistant professor at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

  7. RE: Mark Anthony;
    I have always viewed you as a bag of wind. You have about as much fight in you as a worm, which actually fits your personality. The world I come from is one that you stand with your brothers, not watch them get fucked while you stand on the side lines with your fucking bullshit weed the feds feed your rat ass. Who the fuck are you to investigate, and or make recommendations of any sort. I guess I can’t figure out how you weren’t shut down years ago. I served in Nam while your whining ass was crying. Fuck you you piece of shit!

  8. Why is every body missing the point of this artical that I see?
    This shows how this fucked up this country is that I still call home.The USA people got there heads so far up the governments ass we as a nation can’t even think straight. Our founders believed in individual FREEDOM and PRIVACY from government. Also they belived that every preson has the right to vote and speek freely.
    So, with all that lets use this forum (internet)to unite our outrage and pull our collective heads out of the ass of government.Vote out of office these greedy,selflothing politicians and start electing forward thinking,realist that understand the will of the people. Untill we understand that all politicans in government right now are nothing but crooks and liers, we will as a socioty be so fucked over, day in and day out and issue after issue.
    Right now I am so pissed off at this country i am seriously thinking about moving to canada.(That was a Joke)
    I got on this website after loosing my job after a positive random test the day after returning from New Years vacation. Now I am skrewed by unemployment insurance, cobra insurance, and i was FIRED. Real good for my job hunt in a crappy economy that gets worst by the minute. The other thing that sucks is that I wasn’t even stoned when i took the test. But because i puffed-up three days earlier at a New Years Eve party,it showed up on this UNCONSTUTIONAL invation into my privacy.
    The only answer to all of the foolishness is newly elected government officials that are scrutinized by the people before they are even considered for a nomination.

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