As a resident, I am happy to report that last night the city council of Charlottesville, Va. struck a tiny, but welcome, blow against the insanity of the drug war. By a rousing 3 to 2 vote the council managed to pass a resolution stating:
Be it resolved that the Council call on the Virginia General Assembly and the Governor of Virginia to revisit the sentencing guidelines that merit jail terms for simple possession, do away with rules that suppose intent to distribute without evidence, and give due consideration to sponsored state bills that would decriminalize, legalize, or regulate marijuana like alcohol.
The citizen proposed resolution that did not pass the council would have instructed city police to make enforcing marijuana possession laws their lowest law-enforcement priority.
According to our excellent weekly newspaper, The Hook, Charlottesville Police Chief Tim Longo objected to the resolution in favor of lowering marijuana enforcement priority, noting that only 113 of the more than 5,000 arrests last year involved marijuana possession. That's 113 too many.
In any case, the majority of the council declined to support the deprioritization resolution because of the message it would send to the kids. Nevertheless, the resolution that did pass (wimpy as it is) represents a bit of progress. Two cheers.