I'm sick of the lack of understanding of the drug problem in Yellowstone County. I'm also tired of this talk of more of my tax dollars going to the county jail. Enough.

Enough of my taxes be raised for something else. Talk to your state legislators about changing how we raise money to pay for things.


You just can't, in good faith, ask for anymore from the property taxpayers.


But, I'm headed in a different direction. Back to my original thought.

Make the criminals pay their own dang way. Currently, a person convicted of first time marijuana possession is fined between $100 and $500 and can be imprisoned in the county jail for no more than six months. Second offense is only $1,000 and no more than a year in the joint -- If you'll pardon the pun.

How about this? First-time offenders pay a mandatory $1,000 and spend one year in jail, except with this new rule, you could buy down your jail time at, say, $500 per month. So, if you were looking at a year in jail, you could pay the original $1,000 and if you wanted to buy your way out of jail, 12 months would be another $6,000. Total money in would be $6,000.

Take those dollars and split them among money toward operation of the jail, money toward more officers on the street and, ideally, pay the property taxpayers back for our lifetime of support.

I realize that the last one will never happen, but I'm dreaming here anyway, right?

Let's turn it back to those who are costing us the most. Time to make the bad guys pay their own way.