The Baltimore Sun is reporting that Baltimore City may have to lay off 125 firemen next year. Perhaps I am a bit conservative, but I think that the main purpose of government is to protect life. Certainly putting out fires and the like ought to be a priority for any government. Having spent a few years in the State's Attorney's Office in Baltimore I certainly saw lots of waste. I spent (or rather wasted) countless hours fighting the drug war. I recall a lot of time and money that I once helped to spend on a simple marijuana possession case. The officers in question were on overtime when they made the arrest. They got overtime when they came to court. A judge and jury were tied up with this petty case. After the guilty verdict (the only time I got a jury in Baltimore to convict on marijuana charges. I tried a few other times.) for this one small bag of marijuana, the defendant was sentenced to one (1!) year (although he had a horrible and violent record). And, of course, the case was later overturned on appeal.
So sure, go ahead, and slash the Fire Department's budget. Let the people of Baltimore die in fires. We have to protect them from potheads. And we can't have violent criminals walking around stoned, they might hurt someone.