Author: USA Today

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It was 2012, and Ferrell Scott was watching television inside Pennsylvania’s Allenwood federal penitentiary when he learned that the sale of marijuana, something he was given a life sentence for just four years earlier, was becoming legal in two states.

Colorado had approved its recreational use, the inmate learned from the broadcast, and so had Washington.

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The USA TODAY Opinion section publishes analysis, argument and essays on a wide variety of subjects. We’re looking for timeliness (pegged to news), persuasion pitched to the other side, new information, novel arguments, revelatory insights, passion without partisanship, first-person experience, original reporting that reveals fresh angles and makes news, expert knowledge, and/or a topic that will drive conversation on social media and in the real world.

We only accept pieces that are submitted exclusively to USA TODAY.

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