The decision by Mart police to arrest people stopped with any usable amount of marijuana, including misdemeanor amounts that could be addressed with a ticket and court appearance, sparked strong reaction from our readers via Facebook. Some of the comments:
Michael Loesch: “Hey, ya know, this is Mart. We gotta take a stand! Why don’t we take about 10 steps back from the rest of the country?”
Wendy L. Pethtel: Wow, Mart, way to try to get some extra money out of people. Really —ticket, confiscate and let them move on. It’s pot, not crack!
Jill Parsons: It’s dumb, yes. Marijuana should be legal, yes. It’s not, though. Easiest way to not go to jail is to not break the law. Don’t ride around with it on you. Simple as that! Anyway, if people really care so much about money being wasted on arrests for marijuana, then do what you can and contact your representatives about it. The law is never gonna get changed by posting comments on Facebook.
Mandi Harn Bunch: Oh, that’s smart. Divert even more funds from a small town that could surely use them elsewhere to prosecute any little piece of marijuana you find to the fullest extent of the law. That sounds like the most effective way to use the city’s resources. Why not take a stand on something that actually matters?
Jimmy Hall: So while an officer is forced to waste his time with a Spicoli type, a Mike Brown type is assaulting innocent people and robbing store owners. But at least you get a joint off the streets!
Loretta Burford: It’s all about the revenue, keeping courts busy and private prisons full. One day they will answer to God for this. Oh, happy day! I am sorry, but the people have spoken. Legalize it already. There is nothing wrong with marijuana.
Calyssa Sims: I just assumed everyone still went to jail for any amount of weed. That’s how it was when we were teens, but I guess things have changed. I had no idea.
Sonny Hedge: More reason for me to get the hell out of this armpit of Texas. All due respect to [Mart Police Chief Paul] Cardenas, I’ve met him and he’s helped me once, he seemed nice, but this is ridiculous! Marijuana usage is not all it’s claimed to be unless it’s abused. I’m borderline OK with recreational usage, but there has to be a limit as well. I’m 100 percent fine with it for medical usage. I’ve got back arthritis and mild sclerosis which gets to the point of not being able to get it to calm down. Not even medication helps most of the time. My back pain gets intolerable, especially after a full day at work. What is the least addictive substance that I can take and use in moderation naturally? Marijuana. Do I like the fact it’s illegal? No. I’m tired of Big Pharma getting huge profits and hopping us up on Hydrocodone, OxyContin, Tramadol and such. Those are addictive as all get out, plus there’s the hassle of getting prescribed and the cost, which not everyone can afford, much less through insurance.
Clark Keller: I don’t think weed should be illegal but to paint enforcement as a zero-sum game seems pretty disingenuous.
Kraig Mohinney: Clark Keller, most police departments have a rape kit backlog, though. “No time to investigate” they say. And yet....