I 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.