A prison official in New Hampshire is calling for marijuana legalization, Vermont Public Radio reports.
Richard Van Wickler (not Winkler, as VPR misprinted) heads the Chesire County Department of Corrections in New Hampshire, a post he's held since 1993. "The fact is policies like mandatory minimum sentencing, drug war issues have meant that the United States has had to build over 900 jail beds every two weeks for the last 20 years, this while violent crime in our country is at a 30 year low,” he told VPR.
Van Wickler pointed to voter-approved pot legalization in Washington and Colorado, and called on other states to follow suit. “The sky is not falling, you did not see an increased police presence, there was not rioting in the streets."
He said prison space should be reserved for those who are a threat to public safety, that legislators should be pleased with legal pot tax revenue, and that constituents should be happy to not incarcerate their otherwise law-abiding neighbors over a beneficial flower.