Rhode Island May Do Away with Jail Time for Marijuana Possession
Two bills have passed the Judiciary Committee in the Rhode Island House and Senate, bills that would make possession of up to an ounce of marijuana punishable by only a fine, whereas right now offenders could get up to one year in jail.
Under H 7092 and the Senate version, S 2253, possession of up to an ounce would only get the offender a $150 fine in most cases. A poll taken in the state in January showed 65% of likely voters favored a reduction of penalties for simple possession of marijuana.
“My forty years as a public health advocate have convinced me that decriminalizing marijuana possession is a sensible move for both public health and public safety,” said Dr. David Lewis, professor of community health and medicine and founder of the Brown University Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies. “From a public health perspective, marijuana presents far fewer health risks than cigarettes or alcohol. Public safety will benefit after a shift from criminal to civil penalties for marijuana possession because law enforcement officials will be able to attend to more serious crimes. Contrary to common fears, the evidence from many states shows that decriminalizing possession does not result in a significant rise in marijuana use. I’m grateful that Rhode Island is moving toward a less punitive policy.”
Dr. Glenn Loury, professor of social science and economics at Brown University said of the bills, “H 7092 and S 2253 represent the beginning of a new way forward for marijuana policy in the Ocean State – an approach that moves away from punitive law enforcement tactics by placing a greater emphasis on public health.”
Small steps, but steps in a positive direction. The less marijuana users go to jail, the better. Both bills now have to be voted on in their respective chambers.
Man Tries to Pay for Dinner With Marijuana
Gary Johnson on Pardoning Non-Violent Drug Offenders
Former New Mexico Governor and Libertarian Party Presidential candidate Gary Johnson has been very outspoken about his feelings that marijuana should be legalized, and legalization will be great for millions of cannabis users when it comes, but what about the people already in jail?
More to the point, what about all those people in jail for non-violent drug offenses? Those who never hurt anyone else and yet for some reason languish in jail, what happens to them?
Each individual marijuana legalization law throughout the states will hopefully have provisions for releasing those who are only there for marijuana. And as other drugs are legalized, the same will be true for those offenders. If provisions are not written into the law, each Governor and President will have to be the ones to take things on a case-by-case basis, a rather inefficient way of granting freedom to those who deserve it.
After all, why should people be locked up if they haven’t infringed on the rights of another? What is the justification? That they might commit a real crime in the future? You might as well, should the police come take you to jail right now?
Here are candidate Johnson’s feelings on the issue.
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The War on Bongs
As many of you know, marijuana can be smoked out of just about anything with two holes. Youtube is filled with videos showing cannabis being smoked out of fruit, all manner of bottles and even out of the ground.
But of course law enforcement knows cannabis smokers prefer glass. No matter that tobacco smokers may enjoy it too, it’s a known symbol of the marijuana movement and it must be eradicated.
Such is the hatred of marijuana that infests the government. All instances of its cultivation, distribution, possession and use must be menaced with the threat of law enforcement action.
But it goes beyond that, as seen in the video below. Capitol Hemp in Washington D.C. was told to remove some of the books they had displayed for sale in the store; those dealing with marijuana activism and knowing your rights when dealing with police.
Some will say that the illusion that the glass products are for tobacco is ruined by the books, but banning books in any form is always a slippery slope to tyranny. And maybe that’s the point.
Is this what law enforcement is spending time on? Glass bongs and books about weed? There’s nothing more important that needs police attention?
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