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Decriminalizing Pot Would Cut Burden On Justice System Without Side Effects

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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 07:52 AM
Original message
Decriminalizing Pot Would Cut Burden On Justice System Without Side Effects
By PAUL ARMENTANO
The Hartford Courant

9:17 p.m. EDT, April 1, 2011


Gov. Dannel P. Malloy should be commended for throwing his political weight behind pending legislation to amend the state's draconian marijuana penalties. Let's hope that lawmakers have the courage to follow his lead.

Members of the General Assembly's Judiciary Committee recently heard testimony in favor of a pair of bills that would reduce the possession of small amounts of marijuana by adults from a criminal misdemeanor now punishable by up to one-year in jail and a $1,000 fine to a civil offense punishable by a fine only. This proposed "deprioritization" is a common sense, fiscally responsible alternative that will cut costs, improve public safety and have a positive impact on the quality of life of thousands of Connecticut citizens.

State arrest statistics (as of 2007) indicate that police make 7,500 arrests annually for marijuana violations. Ninety-one percent of these prosecutions are for possession only, not sale, cultivation or trafficking. Passage of this legislation would spare these thousands of minor marijuana offenders from criminal arrest, prosecution and incarceration, as well as the emotional and financial hardships that follow including the loss of certain jobs, student loans, federal and state subsidies, and child custody rights.

Most adult marijuana users act responsibly and consume marijuana solely within the privacy of their homes. They are not part of the crime problem and they should not be treated like serious criminals. Deprioritization would maintain the monetary sanctions for marijuana possession violations, but would spare offenders from being saddled with lifelong criminal records. This change would continue to discourage marijuana abuse, while halting the practice of permanently criminalizing thousands of otherwise law-abiding citizens. ..............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.courant.com/news/opinion/hc-op-armentano-mar...




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Scuba Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 07:57 AM
Response to Original message
1. I disagree....
...thre would be numerous positive side effects.
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ixion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 08:26 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Indeed... many positive side effects
a massive reduction in the prison population, just for starters.
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WatsonT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 08:37 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Increase in employment
as otherwise law abiding citizens are no longer prohibited from working in certain areas or removed from consideration due to a drug offense.

That would increase the tax base.

Also it would reduce some crime along the border.

And we'd start growing the stuff like crazy and exporting it. So more jobs, more money.

Really not downside unless you own a prison construction business.
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hardcover Donating Member (109 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 08:46 AM
Response to Original message
4. Making criminals out of pot smokers is a crime.
It's insane for the government to spend time and money on something so petty and worse yet, to give people criminal records for it.
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Buddyblazon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 10:35 AM
Response to Original message
5. But then...
who would be the easy targets for the For-Profit prison system?

You know, they throw busted growers in with the general prison population.

Isn't that awesome? Murderers, rapists....and gardeners. Because you know...Gardeners are well known tough guys that can hang with an outrageously violent general population in todays prisons.
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DEMGOP Donating Member (6 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 10:41 AM
Response to Original message
6. Good Idea!
Legalizing marijuana would affect a lot of corporate dominated industries that could suddenly be created by anyone with a decent-sized back yard. And why would anyone pay for sleeping pills, anti-depressants, nausea treatments, when its' cheaper to buy some weed, AND there are no side-effects? Legalizing marijuana gives too much power to individuals.
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Phoenix63 Donating Member (93 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 10:43 AM
Response to Original message
7. The drug laws in this country border on
Edited on Tue Apr-26-11 10:44 AM by Phoenix63
insane. Legalizing would reduce crime, bring in massive tax revenue, create jobs, reduce the prison population, relieve the burden on the courts and justice system, and turn 40 million Americans from criminals to citizens.

That doesn't even take into consideration the things we could do with legal Hemp, which multitude of uses are well documented.


You'd think the damn snack food industry would be lobbying for this :)

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