One of my colleagues mentioned today that he got a plea offer on a misdemeanor marijuana case for nearly 10 months in jail. Take into consideration tha tit costs over $30 per day to lock somebody up in county jail in Florida, and that prosecutor wants to spend about $10,000 to incarcerate somebody for a little bit of pot. Since the case is a misdemeanor, that means it must have been a small amount of pot. I’m sure the guy has a record, and I recognize that marijuana is still illegal in the state of Florida, but is that the best way for the money to be spent? How many people are serving extensive sentences like that for a little weed?
Naturally, my colleague did not accept the uninviting plea offer, and the case will continue in the system, incurring more cost as the prosecution runs more weeks or months. Plus, the state will suspend the defendant’s driver’s license if they are convicted. While the continued criminalization of marijuana may be a questionable policy, it remains good business for defense attorneys.