Letters to the Editor

Varnes letter: Marijuana

As a retired police officer from the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s, I was interested to see Wayne Hoffman’s thoughts on Idaho and marijuana. Attitudes toward pot have changed greatly over the years. To give an idea of how much, the first felony arrest I ever made was for possession of two joints. Today, that would be as serious as littering. Based upon my experiences, I suggest that current Idaho laws remain in force, but that Idaho police develop a protocol for the seizure of marijuana entering the state, and rather than making an arrest, the police provide the subject in question with a printed protocol for return of the contraband. Such protocol would involve a nonjudicial hearing of a petition for return of the seized material. Since for most people, it wouldn’t be worth the time and money to contest the forfeiture, after the person failed to show, the marijuana would be destroyed. Following a plan like this, constitutional rights would be protected, because due process of law would be upheld by the hearing procedure. Rather than just giving up and saying, “Everyone else is doing it,” isn’t this idea at least worth a try?

Walter Varnes, Nampa