Drug Policy

Let's Lock Up Mom and Dad—for the Heck of It

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Nevada state Sen. Joe Heck (R-Las Vegas) thinks people who grow marijuana—even one or two plants for personal consumption—in homes where children are present should do serious time. A bill he has introduced would send them to prison for up to 15 years. Heck recently explained his reasoning to the Senate Human Services and Education Committee:

You are exposing children to dangers when you are selling any illegal substance out of your house or growing any illegal substance out of your house, so you should be held to the higher penalties. If a guy has a couple of [marijuana] plants in there [now], he could be out in a week. But if there is a child present, with this, now he could serve five to 15 years for exposing that child to the dangers of this activity. The very behavior of small children puts them at risk around these materials, including marijuana. As any parent knows, the first place a toddler places anything they find is in their mouth. What if this object is a marijuana plant?

The dangers associated specifically with growing an illegal substance, of course, stem from the fact that it is illegal. Hence growers run the risk of arrest and imprisonment, which certainly would have a negative impact on their children. Heck's solution: Put the parents away for 15 years instead of a week. As for the risk that toddlers might munch on the marijuana while it's growing, the legal substance known as liquor poses a far more serious poisoning hazard, but most parents somehow manage to keep it away from the kids, along with the drain cleaner and the handguns.

[via the Drug War Chronicle]