Beth Curtis MSW
100 Hale Rd.
Zanesville, OH. 43701
Life for Pot
740 452 2867
                                                                                                     March 5, 2017


Dear Senator - - - - - - - - ,

 The work of Congress determines the quality of life for all the citizens of our country.  Security is an important consideration, but should not alter our basic values of freedom, civil liberties and also the need for fiscal responsibility. 

 1.  The enclosed material supports two suggestions that can save billions of dollars.
This cost saving can be accomplished with two executive actions, or two legislative actions.

 2.  Please consider these two suggestions.  Addressing the issue of marijuana prohibition will immediately save billions of dollars.  It will also give you a legacy of mercy and compassion. 

 3.  While the government is spending billions on harsh and needless enforcement, prosecution and incarceration of nonviolent  marijuana offenders, there are business leaders and venture capitalists who are investing heavily in various aspects of marijuana businesses.

4.  Billions of dollars are being made on this fledgling industry and State and Local Governments are preparing to receive billions in new tax money from this newly legalized product.

5.  Consider changing federal policy and making it compatible with the reality of the cultural and fiscal changes that are becoming main stream in much of the country.

6.  There will be push back from public employee unions, businesses with vendor contracts For prisons, those who use fear mongering to continue these big government policies.  Surprisingly, lobbyists for businesses and non-profits in the re-entry and recovery industry may oppose this reform as well as lobbyists for alcohol and spirits.

7.  We believe this would be the right thing to do to restore freedom and fiscal responsibility, and incidentally build a legacy of mercy and compassion.


A Plea for Fiscal Responsibility And Also Mercy

 Two Actions that Would Save Billions

1. Remove marijuana from the Controlled Substance Act.  It is safer than alcohol and should be treated as such

2. Enact retroactive legislation that gives sentencing relief to all nonviolent marijuana offenders who have served 10 years of their sentence in federal prison.

Each Year we Spend $182,000,000,000.00 on Mass Incarceration - investigation, arrest, prosecution, incarceration.  parole supervision.

Enforcing Marijuana Prohibition Costs 42 Billion Dollars per Year

There are nonviolent marijuana only offenders in Federal Prison serving sentences of life without parole.  This is a sentence that does not fit the crime, is fiscally irresponsible, and destroys families and communities.

Twenty eight states have legalized marijuana to some degree.

71% of the population does not support enforcing Federal Marijuana Prohibition in States that have legalized to some degree

Marijuana is a Schedule I Drug on the Controlled Substance Act Schedule

It is scheduled as more dangerous than cocaine, meth, OxyContin, fentanyl, amphetamine etc.

Marijuana is safer than alcohol – a dangerous drug that is not scheduled.

Congress needs to act responsively and correct this prohibition that is so fiscally irresponsible and so destructive to families and communities.  Please be part of the solution.

Beth Curtis MSW
Life for Pot

                                                                   I am Beth Curtis, Director of Life for Pot.

Life for Pot spotlights and advocates for nonviolent marijuana offenders serving sentences of  life without parole.

When President Obama announced Clemency Initiative 2014, we were sure that these nonviolent marijuana offenders in federal prison serving egregious sentences would be the first to receive the mercy and compassion of an Executive Clemency.

That was not the case.  Out of 1,715 Presidential Commutations, we only found 39 that were granted to nonviolent marijuana only offenders.  The vast majority were for cocaine, crack, meth and heroin.  They all needed sentencing relief, but why were any nonviolent marijuana offenders left behind?

The families and friends of these nonviolent marijuana offenders are bewildered and heartbroken that their loved ones – many over the age of 60 are left to die behind bars.

One of these offenders is my brother, John Knock.  John is 70 years old and has been incarcerated for over 20 years.  He has an impeccable prison resume and a supportive family that wants him back in their lives.

He is not unlike so many nonviolent marijuana offenders in federal prison who have life sentences.  These sentences are not fiscally responsible, compassionate or just.