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Family Sues After Man Dies In Jail For Marijuana Possession Charge

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jail prison michael saffioti washington marijuanaI have always said that no one should have to go to jail for marijuana possession. There are real criminals out there that need to be locked up for violent offenses. So why are we reserving jail beds for marijuana possession? Future generations will look back on marijuana arrests one day, and they will wonder why we got it wrong for so many decades.

Everyone knows that Washington and Colorado legalized marijuana possession in 2012. What a lot of people don’t know about is that a man died in a Washington jail while serving time for a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge. Michael Saffioti, 22, had turned himself in to the jail for an outstanding misdemeanor warrant for marijuana possession in July of 2012. Michael Saffioti suffered from extreme food allergies, and died after jail staff assured him his food was OK to eat, even though it clearly wasn’t.

The jail staff are clearly to blame, but marijuana prohibition itself is also to blame. Michael Saffioti should have never been in that jail in the first place. Had Michael Saffioti been caught possessing a personal amount of marijuana today in Washington, he would have been let go. But because his arrest was before the 2012 Election, he was considered a criminal. How is that right?

Video footage has surfaced from the jail on the day that Mr. Saffioti died. You can view it here. Be advised that it’s footage of a man dying from a food allergy. It’s extremely sad and painful to watch. My prayers are with the family. I hope that they win their lawsuit for the full amount of $10 million dollars, although it will never be enough to get their family member back.

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6 Comments

  1. I dunno, it seems like power and ego are part of the job description for guards and COs, police and judges, politicians and bankers, doctors and lawyers… Sorry, got carried away. :)

  2. That said I see no logic in prison for possession cases, 1 time drug possession and I get time? Made no sense and had no postive benefits for me. Very sad how many great people rot away for no logical reason.

  3. As far as all authority figures are concerned I’d say around 10% genuinely care. Most of which or CO’s or county deputys . Most work 12 hour days and are in that environment too and from my experience very few dehumanized me, most COs in Colorado are just trying to get through the day. Not enough pay or recognition to let ego, power, and drive a person to work that job.

  4. robb32……..
    I am a corrections officer. Not in the state of Washington but another state on the east coast. We are very aware of food allergies at my facilities and offer regular, diet, and special meals to all 2200 prisoners we feed. The negligence of some should not reflect on all. I take pride in my job and support the legalization of marijuana because I see what it has done to people and their lives. I see it everyday. This is a sad story and I hope those who are responsible are held responsible.

  5. do you really think they care about prisoners food allergies? Only when it costs them money individually

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