I Am Wondering…
After attending last night’s March 7,2017, meeting on the Legalization of Marijuana in the Virgin Islands, after all the research, financial, economic, social and health benefits have been presented to our Elected Government Officials, after it has been voted for in a general election, that some of them are still refusing to act on the Will of the Voters.
Sin Tax! The Youth allude to their crimes committed in this community as, “Street Tax.”
Here are 3 major sins that I feel are associated with the Criminal Marijuana Laws here in the Virgin Islands, there are many more…
Health Issue: Some of the biggest opponents to the legalization of marijuana are drunk on alcohol and intoxicated on prescription drugs for aliments attributed to their poor diets and their sedentary lifestyles. For these individuals to continue to deny others the right to their choice to use natural alternative herbs/medicines is the real crime.
A major concern I have is how physicians have children on dangerous, addictive drugs with life threatening side effects to control and modify their sometimes disruptive and destructive behavior. Those same children can be given the same assistance with the ingredients from an organic herb like marijuana.
Imprisonment Issue: Most of the petty and the felony crimes that are committed in our society can be prevented. Today’s educational system is outdated and underfunded. We graduate thousands every year and the thousands of dropouts are sent out into our communities with a certificate / diploma. Some are barely able to fill out an application for a job. It puts a lot of them in a survival mode, quoting, Malcolm X said, By any means necessary.
I retired in 2000 as a vocational art instructor, they have taken trades out of the schools, we had 14 teachers for 12 trades on the Jr. HS level, today maybe 2 or 3.
What about, pardoning those Youth incarcerated, and giving them a clean criminal record for simple possession and simple sale of Marijuana, an unjust law at best, when they have been given very few options.
A loss and a waste of talent are those youth arrested for selling drugs. Some of them with serious business marketing skills: supply and demand, pricing, quality control, customer relationship, distribution, marketing, etc… but with the wrong commodities. The missed opportunity here is that their rehabilitation should be training in accounting, business administration, financing and sales. This would provide these offenders with the opportunity to still work independently and they would be able to legally offer their services back into their communities, peer entrepreneurs and the public at large.
To tell a kid, Just Say No to Crime/Drugs/Sex/Violence is meaningless.
There has to be alternative, creative and productive options to engage them, now there will always be those few who will rebel and challenge authority. What is needed are the P.A.L.s and other interactive community based programs, my generation had access to as kids, back in the neighborhoods. With all the many churches in our communities / neighborhoods, what happened to that good old Christian proverb,” Idle Hands are the Devil’s Workshop?”
The laws are and should be essential in the protecting of our children from self-destruction and from being preyed upon or being victimized by adults.
Welfare Issue: Another ill effect of the current laws, for the use and possession of Marijuana, are the destroyed lives. Too often families are the true victims. When a productive parent is jailed, taken from the home, loses their livelihood, and then further handicapped by a criminal history, the children end up wards of the state and on welfare. Worse yet, too often these were working, tax paying citizens, who sit idle in prison, while the community has to support them.
What happened to Retribution? I have a serious problem accepting that it is cost effective to house and feed someone for the possession of Marijuana. A fine, or even better community service hours appropriate for their offense, should be their penalty.
What has been unfair and unjust is that we never here of White residents, tourist and/or visitors being arrested in the territory for possession, sales or for cultivating Marijuana.
What, only the locals use Marijuana?
… How Many Would Vote Them Back into the Senate?
Ivan Butcher II, St. Thomas