In November, for the second time in a decade, California voters will once again be presented with the opportunity to go to the ballots and vote on the legal recreational use of marijuana for adults. The first ballot initiative was only marginally defeated.The current one, proposition 64 - also known as AUMA -is all bad.It would potentially be harmful for poor youth under 21, particularly youth of color. For this demographic, being arrested with an ounce and/or not having money to pay a fine would immediately land them in jail.
Its tough these days. The economy has been rough for years. Especially for low income residents of the city, mentally and physically disabled folk, and an under educated youth. These are the people who have made up the back bone of the Cannabis industry for the last 10-15 years. Many landowners, growers, and field workers in the Cannabis industry in Northern California are on government disability and use the cash economy to ‘cheat’ the government so they can live a decent living. Its hard to even get a space in a trailer park when your only income
Like thousands of people, I have worked, cultivated and planted seeds, never to see or enjoy the fruits of our labor. We have made and cleaned the most beautiful gardens that I have seen in my life in the mountains of Berkeley for people with money. Earning $10 an hour, we have built and managed houses with immense beauty, only to never see them again.
America’s Other Death Penalty Problem and Life Without the Possibility of Parole (LWOPP) and The Absolute Prohibition of Torture and Cruel, Inhuman, and Degrading Treatment or Punishment- Notes from the Inside
America’s Other Death Penalty Problem
What does it say about a country that can condemn 50,000 men and women to the slow, grinding death in prison of life without the possibility of parole? In 49 of these United States, the sentence of death by imprisonment is a well-used option. In several states- California, Florida, Louisiana, Michigan, and Pennsylvania- there are thousands of individuals suffering under this sentence, in the worst prisons, with the greatest restrictions, and the fewest privileges.
There are several reasons why the prison industrial complex (PIC) continues to grow in America, and I will focus on two of the most important. The first is that in punishing people we as a society attempt to appease the fearful side of our own human nature. The second is that vested interests keep this very unsuccessful system going. Just as steel companies need iron and timber companies need trees, so prisons use people as their raw material.