You = Educated.
Too many people think police should keep drugs off the streets. People haven't kept it off the streets and they never will. They just hide it which puts law enforcement in a bad situation enforcing something that can't be stopped. You can get high off of practically anything, but a few companies and fearful lawmakers decided to declare a "war" at everyone's expense on a few things.
The idea of outlawing drugs is preposterous in my humble opinion. Imagine if we outlawed everything someone could get high from. Paint, glue, markers, oxygen (yes), coffee? That barely scrapes the top of the list. First they try to outlaw alcohol, then a plant that grows like a "weed," then synthetic drugs, then it's "bath salts." What about paint? Paint huffing was pretty prevalent for a couple years there. Did we have to outlaw it? No. We educated people and gave it reasonable restrictions in some situations. The same goes for markers.
About 3 seconds of education with a simple Google search will keep most people from ever considering huffing paint. See below:
Tax dollars spent = 0.
Imagine what education you could spread with a buck?
No one has ever needed to give people jail-time for drug possession. More than anything it hurts them in the long run and hurts society as a whole by punishing one member so severely. If you don't realize how severe a "minor" punishment for marijuana can be. Please read through this common series of events:
1. At Young Age Caught with some drugs
2. Arrested and maybe miss work
3. Back home
4. Explain to home and work why missing
5. Maybe get fired, maybe keep job, maybe kicked out of school
6. Court case
7. Found guilty 1st Offense
8. Maybe probation, community service
9. Re-enroll in school ~ One year behind the age group
10. Try to get a promising job, but can't due to being a "federal criminal"
11. Try to go to college, but can't get financial aide for being a "federal criminal"
1. Older person gets caught with more drugs
3. Misses work
4. Explains to home and work why missing
5. Maybe get fired
6. Court Case
7. Found Guilty 3rd Offense
8. Does time in jail
9. Loses job
10. Family loses income
11. Family on welfare
12. Family separates
13. Federal criminal lost 5 years of opportunity to grow
14. Federal criminal gets out of jail
15. Federal criminal can't get a decent job due to criminal record
16. Federal criminal can't get a decent job due to lack of experience
17. Federal criminal can't get educational aid due to criminal record
18. Federal criminal has to start building experience from the lowest positions of the least respected jobs often "managed" by younger bosses which is often further humiliating
All of this because someone was caught with some drugs? The law is not only to keep the public safe, it is to help direct the criminal be a constructive member of society. A sledgehammer to a drug users life does not a good member of society make. Again, in my most humble opinion, such severe penalties for such harmless crimes is torture. People don't realize being found guilty for drug possession is more than punishment itself due to Government and private restrictions put on drug offenders. Anything extra just rubs it in.
I understand For Profit Prison Systems and Pharmaceutical Companies stand to lose a lot of money by treating members of society as such, but I don't care about any business. It's the people within the businesses that matter. Everyone has something to offer- something to teach. In that regard, why create more prison guards when they could create more teachers? Why not make existing prison guards teachers? When a member of society breaks a rule, educate them, don't destroy them and don't use the funds of an uninformed public to destroy their neighbors. I hope you are now more informed.