We often make the case that some law enforcement officials want to maintain marijuana prohibition because enforcing it provides them with job security and bigger budgets. This Texas Monthly article quotes a former Texas judge making that case for us while discussing his support for a bill that would reduce penalties for possession of up to one ounce of marijuana.
Bryan-College Station Judge John Delaney reported that probation officers in Brazos County had told him that passage of the bill, with its removal of incarceration and therefore of probation, would devastate their offices. Why? Because almost half of the county’s misdemeanor probationers have been convicted of possession of less than two ounces of marijuana. “We live off our under-two-ounce misdemeanor guys. They pay the rent.” [MPP emphasis added]
Recently, MPP posted a billboard in Portland (OR) to coincide with Alcohol Awareness Month and upcoming beer and wine festivals, touting the relative safety of marijuana compared to alcohol. Unfortunately, someone apparently didn’t like that and tore it down within the first 48 hours!
We aren’t going to let that get in the way of our our public education efforts, though, and we conveyed that with the replacement billboard we unveiled today. It appears like the original, but with a very large red rip through the middle and reads: “Our original billboard was vandalized, but… The truth cannot be destroyed.” It’s already getting attention in the media.
Help us get this truth out to the public by sharing the image of the billboards on Facebook and Twitter.
After years of work, a bill that would stop the criminalization of Vermont’s marijuana users is headed to the floor of the Vermont House of Representatives. It could get a vote as early as Friday.
VT Attorney General William Sorrell
Over the last week, the House Judiciary Committee heard testimony on both sides of the issue. Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell, Public Safety Commissioner Keith Flynn, and many others testified in support, and the committee listened. Yesterday, it voted 9-2 in favor of reform.
But the opposition is making their voices heard, too. Yesterday, several police are lobbying against this modest proposal to impose a civil fine — not possible jail time — on possession of up to an ounce of marijuana. It’s vital that lawmakers hear from the 63% of Vermonters who believe police have better things to do than to arrest and book marijuana users.
If you live in Vermont, please write your lawmakers today. Politely ask them to support reducing the penalty imposed on Vermonters who possess a substance that is safer than alcohol. Then, share this message with other sensible Vermonters so that they, too, can speak out for reform.
Congratulations to Liz Wohl, this year’s adult runner-up in the Denver Post Peeps diorama and sculpture contest. Wohl’s “Peeposition 64: Peeps’ Bake-Off” depicts Peeps responsibly enjoying the newly legalized marijuana in the comfort of their own home.
She says she thought about dressing her Peeps in tie-dye and dreadlocks, but “didn’t want to be cliche. It’s a nice house, they’re in compliance — they have their six plants,” says Wohl. She added a Gov. Peepenlooper to the party, complete with Goldfish crackers and Cheetos. Judges liked the topicality, details and humor of this one.
(Photo: Kathryn Scott Osler, The Denver Post)
Rep. Cory Williams
Oklahoma has some of the harshest penalties for marijuana possession in the nation. A second offense for possession of any amount of marijuana is a felony punishable by a mandatory minimum of two years imprisonment and a maximum of 10.
Fortunately, legislation awaiting action on the House floor would introduce a dose of sanity. H.B. 1835, sponsored by Rep. Cory Williams (D-34), would make first and second offense possession of marijuana a misdemeanor. Subsequent offenses would remain a felony, but the possible jail time would be reduced to a maximum of five years. Continue reading