States and cities allover the U.S. are lowering penalties for marijuana offenses because we have seen the devestating effects of the war on drugs and are finally deciding that the punishment does not fit the crime. Unfortunately for a man in Reading, PA law enforcement still saw it necessary to dispatch a helicopter and a bulldozer in pursuit of a man growing 10 cannabis plants out in PA Game Commission land. This pursuit of the grower ended in his death after he was run over by the bulldozer while law enforcement was looking for him. The punishment for the man's partner was 30 days in jail and 6 months house arrest, but due to harsh prohbitionist tactics they both will not have the chance to pay their dues. Change is happening around the U.S. as the cannabis industry continues to flourish, but we must act quickly in assigning proper methods of law enforcement and punishment before more people are unnecessarily harmed in pursuit of a plant that never should've been prohibited how it was.
Hopefully, the tragic deaths of people like Longenecker will continue to shine a light, both in Pennsylvania and across the nation, on the nightmarish consequences of the war on marijuana. In Pennsylvania, arrests for marijuana violations are at record levels, even though 59 percent of Pennsylvania voters last September said marijuana should be legalized. More than 20,000 adults were put into handcuffs for less than 30 grams of cannabis in 2017.