Cincinnati Post, OH
Cincinnati City Councilman Cecil Thomas plans to propose tougher penalties for marijuana possession - a move that could re-ignite a debate that stalled a similar proposal last summer.
Thomas, the new chairman of Council's Law and Public Safety Committee, said stiffening the punishment would give police more tools to combat the city's drug problem and bring Cincinnati's code in line with neighboring Indiana and Kentucky, where penalties are much more stringent.
The change in Cincinnati's code would allow officers to make arrests and perhaps find harder drugs and weapons, Thomas said.
"It would give the officers an additional tool for law enforcement purposes, one of which may be to search the car when they wouldn't be able to otherwise," said Guy Guckenberger, presiding and administrative judge of Hamilton County's Municipal Court.
Councilman Chris Monzel said he would also support the initiative. Newcomer Chris Bortz said he would probably support it as well.
"I trust Cecil Thomas to make the appropriate calls for law enforcement," Bortz said. "Though marijuana possession in itself isn't of greatest concern, if increasing the penalty leads to greater enforcement of the broader drug problem, then it's a positive thing."
At least these people admit the truth. They don't really see pot as a problem. It's that pesky Bill of Rights that they see as a problem, and pot prohibition is a convenient way around it.