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Vote for Kim Ogg Because Weed

Vote for Kim Ogg Because Weed
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By Omar Afra

Sometimes I ask myself if it is possible for me to get any more disenchanted with the political process. I think it is apparent to everyone that we live in a country where we get the best democracy money can buy. More of the same is easy to imagine: our county continues to lead the country in executions, maintains a sham of a criminal justice system, every day chips away at women’s rights and access to proper medical care, and more of the most rigorous and draconian marijuana laws in the country.

However, right here, right now in Houston we are teetering on the precipice of being able to change course away from the typical Republican right wing white-male patriarchy which has dominated the state for too long. We have the opportunity to change course here, even for a little bit.

Kim Ogg, who is running for District Attorney, wants to flip the script when it comes to misdemeanor marijuana prosecutions in Harris County. Her hook is, “No jail. No bail. No permanent criminal record.”

You have to love that. With a state criminal justice system that is plugged up with non-violent possession offenders, it just fucking makes sense. She has articulated the drain on our criminal justice system by marijuana offenders and let’s be honest here, everybody smokes weed.

Marijuana is no longer a pastime of the brown and left, but smoked by right wing libertarian rednecks and  soccer moms and frat boys and punk rock kids and grandmothers all the same. Why the fuck are people still going to jail over weed?

In November 2013, even the American Medical Association amended their official policy regarding marijuana possession, calling for “public health-based strategies, rather than incarceration.”

Ogg is one of the first District Attorney candidates in Harris County history to delve into what she calls the “economics of prosecution.” This refers to how much it costs to bust criminals and prosecute them and what that financial burden entails.

You will find when comparing various crimes that the priorities of our prosecutors are clearly out of line with public opinion, common sense, and even common decency. Last year, the State of Texas spent $2 million on burglary prosecutions but only $150,000 on rape prosecutions. Let’s just call that what it is. A goddamn shame.

Ogg says she plans to “prioritize investigation and prosecution of violent, professional criminals, instead of filling the jails and prisons with young, nonviolent offenders.”

That makes sense to me and I can’t remember the last time I read something a politician said that made sense to me.

On the personal tip, I have met Ogg several times and she did not come off as one of these insincere bags of shit that the majority of politicians I have met come off as. She was cool and caring and she really knows about the city and our county and community.

In 12 years of publishing this newspaper I have never endorsed a candidate. I am endorsing Kim Ogg here and now.

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