Friday, March 7, 2008

On people who don't obey the law.

It's long been said that few laws affect criminals, because they -per definition- break the law, they do just what they want.

Well, not just criminals, it would appear.

My country of residence, Belgium, has long been pleagued by various tyes of criminals. Being a very high-traffic country, there has always been a lot of smuggling (illicit drugs, fake cigarettes to Brittain), there's eastern European gangs focused on credit card fraud, burglary and other offences. Essentially, the courts are flooded with important criminal cases.

At some point, we the people decided that the criminals mentioned should be put higher on the courts priority list than -say- people smoking pot. Having their hands full with dangerous criminals, people arrested with cannabis simply had their trials moved back, and back, untill it expired, reasonable term for a court case was exceeded.

Logical consequence: If the police catch you with some pot -which is illegal in Belgium- and there are no minors involved, nor are you making a public disturbance, they won't file charges against you. Policemen too have bigger fish to fry than people who are already fried.

Not so in Denver! Even though the people have clearly shown that they want marihuana offences kicked down to the lowest spot on the priority list. Since then, arrests for possessing the drug have gone UP! To the great discontent of the people, the voting publics bidding is being disregarded by local law enforcement authorities, who claim obedience to federal regulations.

Is democracy being trampeled, or should the penal system come up for review?

No comments: