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POLITICS: Texas Ponders lenient Pot Laws to Save Prison Space

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posted on Mar, 3 2005 @ 03:47 PM
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In a bid to stave off costly prison construction members of the Texas state legislature are looking at reducing the penalties on possession of marijuana. Texas state Representative Harold Dutton, a Democrat, has proposed that possession of up to 2 ounces of the drug would be ticketed and assessed a fine. He indicated that prison beds should be used for more serious criminals. Some Republican lawmakers have expressed support particularly if the amount is reduced from 2 ounces.

 



www.foxnews.com
DALLAS — Texas spent the past decade earning a tough-on-crime reputation, and Republicans and Democrats alike are now finding ways to maintain it while still making sure to leave space for hard criminals in state prisons.

Texas has spent billions of dollars building more facilities, and since the early 1990s has doubled the number of inmates to 155,000 men and women in its 18 prisons. It was part of a national trend to lengthen prison sentences, mandatory minimum punishments and toughen drug laws.

But now, some lawmakers are trying to rewrite crime laws — not to be lenient with criminals but to save money and prison space.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


Its an interesting plan and all the more surprising coming from Texas. House arrest may be a better choice in my opinion. The advent of GPS enables one person to track many and it would be much more cost effective. Also tack on alot and I do mean alot of community service and I would support the bill.




posted on Mar, 3 2005 @ 03:51 PM
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Originally posted by FredT
In a bid to stave off costly prison construction members of the Texas state legislature are looking at reducing the penalties on possession of marijuana. Texas state Representative Harold Dutton, a Democrat, has proposed that possession of up to 2 ounces of the drug would be ticketed and assessed a fine. He indicated that prison beds should be used for more serious criminals. Some Republican lawmakers have expressed support particularly if the amount is reduced from 2 ounces.

 



www.foxnews.com
DALLAS — Texas spent the past decade earning a tough-on-crime reputation, and Republicans and Democrats alike are now finding ways to maintain it while still making sure to leave space for hard criminals in state prisons.

Texas has spent billions of dollars building more facilities, and since the early 1990s has doubled the number of inmates to 155,000 men and women in its 18 prisons. It was part of a national trend to lengthen prison sentences, mandatory minimum punishments and toughen drug laws.

But now, some lawmakers are trying to rewrite crime laws — not to be lenient with criminals but to save money and prison space.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


Its an interesting plan and all the more surprising coming from Texas. House arrest may be a better choice in my opinion. The advent of GPS enables one person to track many and it would be much more cost effective. Also tack on alot and I do mean alot of community service and I would support the bill.


This sounds like a sensible move really. I think they could reduce that from 2oz. to something more akin to 1oz or less and garner more support. They would need to ensure that there were still good measures against sell and cultivation, but that's do-able.

X



posted on Mar, 3 2005 @ 03:54 PM
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I think it's a great idea.

Pot was ticketing offence in Ontario for a while, but I think they repealed that when the McGuinty government came in. I'm not sure of the status now, but I think it's a great idea, and more states should follow suit.



posted on Mar, 3 2005 @ 03:55 PM
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Does anybody wants to move to TX already ?


Does anybody think that's a beginning of a national trend?



posted on Mar, 3 2005 @ 04:01 PM
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House arrest may be a better choice in my opinion.


For smoking a joint? Gimme a break
Decriminalise it under a half oz. and stiffen up the penalties on dealing and cultivating. Of course not as good a pure legalization, taxation and awareness campaign much like what is done with Tobacco today. The fact is Marijuana is only illigal because of selfish reasons, its all on the record if you doubt me. Prohibition of soft narcotics like Tobacco, Alcohol and Marijuana will always be a bad idea as it creates huge black markets and sets up crime lords with God like powers. For instance in British Columbia alone, the Pot trade is estimated to be around 3-4 Billion Dollars a year. Thats alot of money, and its probably dwarfed by the USA anyway. No country in the world has legalized and taxed Marijuana before in modern times, its high time(no Pun intended) to try different strategies as the current method of dealing with these so called "Criminals" is putting a strain on Prisons, Jails and Police Departments all across North America. I am in the camp that the police should be hunting real criminals, like Heroin dealers, gun smugglers, orginized crime etc. If they are continued to be distraced by this "problem" it's going to get harder and harder to combat the true problems of society.




I think it's a great idea.

Pot was ticketing offence in Ontario for a while, but I think they repealed that when the McGuinty government came in. I'm not sure of the status now, but I think it's a great idea, and more states should follow suit.


Actually McGuinty has little say over Federal drug laws. The vote has to be Federal I believe and that has not happened yet, what with a Minority gov't and all. Remember back in the 90s the Supreme Court of Canada told the Cretien Gov't to revise its Pot laws or it was going to make Pot completely Legal by court ruling. I found that very funny.



posted on Mar, 3 2005 @ 04:02 PM
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www.NORML.com the trends are ready rolling. Check out the articles on Hemp and be amazed at it industrial wonder.



posted on Mar, 3 2005 @ 04:16 PM
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couldn't this really be seen as a "tax - if caught" law?

i personally support legalization with fairly heavy taxation. just like tobacco smoking and alcohol, but it's proceeds would go to addiction programs. there are many wonderful things on this earth that can be abused. let's help society learn moderation.

anywho, this "pot fine" seems almost better than a straight tax, unless it mars your legal record too much.

btw, i've never smoked, nor intend to.

daved



posted on Mar, 3 2005 @ 04:21 PM
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The plant from which rope and other materials is made still grows wild in some parts of the Midwest, a remnant of WWII subsidies for the cultivation of the crop. It's referred to as "ditch weed" and I think you might have to smoke yourself to death to get even the slightest buzz.

The movement to legalize hemp is a transparent movement to make smoking pot legal, because hemp is a useful plant. Only adolescents fall for this reasoning.

Still, it appears that in the near future, smoking pot is likely to become a misdemeanor punishable by fine, not only in Texas, but in most of the US. It's not as good a development as many think. Pot screws up a lot more lives than is readily observable, but not for the reasons, most have been lead to believe.

Pot alters judgement and it is easy to maintain a buzz nearly all day without noticeable effect. The problems will manifest only after prolonged use and especially in those who start to smoke during their years of development.

Like all psychotropic drugs, pot is not only fun, but it is self-reinforcing. Unfortunately, one has to live with the consequences of the decisions one makes while cognitively impaired.

"Civil disobedience" is winning this battle, but the chickens will come home to roost in due time.



posted on Mar, 3 2005 @ 04:22 PM
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Originally posted by sardion2000
For smoking a joint? Gimme a break
Decriminalise it under a half oz. and stiffen up the penalties on dealing and cultivating


Its still illegal is it not. Rather than house them is a county lock up why not keep them in thier homes. And community service will do wonders. Nothing like picking up trash in an orange suit to shape you up eh?



posted on Mar, 3 2005 @ 04:25 PM
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Originally posted by FredT
Nothing like picking up trash in an orange suit to shape you up eh?


...and they'll probably top of that most stressful day by going home and having a nice, relaxing smoke.



posted on Mar, 3 2005 @ 04:37 PM
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Pot alters judgement and it is easy to maintain a buzz nearly all day without noticeable effect. The problems will manifest only after prolonged use and especially in those who start to smoke during their years of development.


Anything in Moderation I always say. Did you see this piece on Tabacco?

Smoking could make you stupid

Anything in which you smoke that contains "Free Radicals" (Including Marijauna) can damage brain cells and a whole host of other cells. Does that mean we should make Smokes illigal? Any arguemnt against making Pot legal can also be applied to Tobacco.



Its still illegal is it not. Rather than house them is a county lock up why not keep them in thier homes. And community service will do wonders. Nothing like picking up trash in an orange suit to shape you up eh?


Illegal yes, Criminal yes. Should it stay that way? NO! If the person was say caught driving under the influence of Pot then yes Jail time or House arrest would be a good idea as well as alot of Community service. If the person was say caught smoking in public, a similiar fine to Public Drunkeness should be applied. Drunks in Public are more dangerous then Pot Heads in public.

[edit on 3-3-2005 by sardion2000]



posted on Mar, 3 2005 @ 04:42 PM
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Originally posted by John Nada
...and they'll probably top of that most stressful day by going home and having a nice, relaxing smoke.


Thats cool, we will have a perpetual adopt a highway force and keep out highways and byways clean. Better yet a graduated system could be evolved. Say you get triple hours for doing voulenteer forrest fire work.



posted on Mar, 3 2005 @ 04:42 PM
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It's just a $100 civil ticket here in New York for up to 1 oz.



posted on Mar, 3 2005 @ 04:45 PM
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Originally posted by sardion2000
Actually McGuinty has little say over Federal drug laws. The vote has to be Federal I believe and that has not happened yet, what with a Minority gov't and all. Remember back in the 90s the Supreme Court of Canada told the Cretien Gov't to revise its Pot laws or it was going to make Pot completely Legal by court ruling. I found that very funny.


Are you sure, Sardion?
I remember distinctly that they repealed the ticketing once McGuinty came in.. because shortly after someone close to me was charged with posession. He had less than a gram on him and if the ticketing was still happening that's what he would have gotten...

Maybe I'm mistaken about who repealed it?? Is it even repealed? lol. I don't really keep up with those laws as I don't smoke it...

I do remember the supreme court ruling... It was actually a good one



posted on Mar, 3 2005 @ 04:46 PM
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Originally posted by djohnsto77
It's just a $100 civil ticket here in New York for up to 1 oz.


They want to have(In Canada) a $ 150 fine for someone over the age of 18 caught with under half oz. someone under would be fines $200 which the parents would be obligated to pay.


parrhesia,

Nope its a federal issue. It has to go under a vote and Cretien promised that he would do so before the election, then the Sponsorship Scandel erupted and everyone forgot about it. Right now the unofficial policy for Toronto cops is to only target BIG produces and distributors and leave the consumers alone. I can't even count the amount of times that I was walking down Young street with my friends who just happened to smoke a joint and sometimes a Cop would walk by us and not say anything. Sometimes we got smirked at but thats about it. I feel for your friend, he/she must've been busted by some green rookie or some A-hole having a bad day heh.

[edit on 3-3-2005 by sardion2000]



posted on Mar, 3 2005 @ 04:48 PM
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Originally posted by FredT
House arrest may be a better choice in my opinion. The advent of GPS enables one person to track many and it would be much more cost effective. Also tack on alot and I do mean alot of community service and I would support the bill.


You want to put pot heads under house arrest? That's like encouraging their 'crime.' If you saw a fat guy, and his personal choice made you mad enough to criminalize him, first off you're mean, but more importantly, would you punish him with a burrito?

I can't understand wasting taxpayer resources on incarcerating non violent offenders. I agree house arrest is a wonderful punishment for crimes like fraud, petty larceny, property crimes in general. Violent offenders belong in prison because they've proven themselves a real and present danger to their fellow citizens.

I hear the same old argument every time someone wants to keep pot illegal. The line is " I don't want to be driving with those people on the roads." My feelings on this are simple. We have laws against Driving Under the Influence, D.U.I.. I support those laws, and I think we can all agree it's for the best. That's an example of sensible, reasonable law, by the way. Keep that law. Let's just get rid of all the laws that DON'T make sense. The money saved would be..noticeable to say the least.

We've spent 120 billion in the war on drugs during George Bush's tenure, according to this speech by Ross Anderson. Nowhere near all of that funding could be eliminated,
web.ask.com...

A letter from prison that illuminates an interesting component of the problem few care to discuss - life after prison and what that might mean for someone in 2013. The article also claims Justice Kennedy placed the cost of our the American prison system at 40 billion annually. That would mean 160 billion (if someone has the actual yearly figures or the combined total sans estimate please correct me.)
web.ask.com...

This doesn't factor in the courts or any of the other costs which probably double or treble the figure. The innapropriately named Justice System is an out of control juggernaut that needs to be brought to its knees, not to kill it, just for repairs.



posted on Mar, 3 2005 @ 04:53 PM
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Originally posted by sardion2000
parrhesia,

Nope its a federal issue. It has to go under a vote and Cretien promised that he would do so before the election, then the Sponsorship Scandel erupted and everyone forgot about it. Right now the unofficial policy for Toronto cops is to only target BIG produces and distributors and leave the consumers alone. I can't even count the amount of times that I was walking down Young street with my friends who just happened to smoke a joint and sometimes a Cop would walk by us and not say anything. Sometimes we got smirked at but thats about it. I feel for your friend, he/she must've been busted by some green rookie or some A-hole having a bad day heh.



[edit on 3-3-2005 by sardion2000]


Ya, I see people all over the place smoking it, cops or not... It's not a big deal, nor should it be. I guess I musta been on crack and got things all mixed up
Thanks for the clarification, though.

As for my bud... he certainly did get some A-hole, bad day or not... I think they just wanted to nail him for something. It was in Orillia, no less, land of the OPP. I hate going to bars there.... the cops are like flies.. they're EVERYWHERE.



posted on Mar, 3 2005 @ 04:58 PM
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As for my bud... he certainly did get some A-hole, bad day or not... I think they just wanted to nail him for something. It was in Orillia, no less, land of the OPP. I hate going to bars there.... the cops are like flies.. they're EVERYWHERE.


Ah that explains everything. Small towns always get the Bored A-Holes heh



posted on Mar, 3 2005 @ 05:13 PM
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You want to put pot heads under house arrest? That's like encouraging their 'crime.'



"I hereby sentence you to house arrest... Feel free to have your dealer stop by and drop off a 1/4 ounce of cannabis anytime."

Personally I feel prisoners should be alowed to grow weed inside the prison yard because it would chill them out and make them not want to lift weights and become bigger, more hardened criminals. Hell, give them buckets of guacamole and Doritos for that matter. I want fat, heart-diseased stoners in my prisons. I guess I'm one of those liberal types.

Hopefully Texas will pass this, at least for one-ounce posess. Let the cops get on to other duties and stop the ridiculous prosecution of Americans who clearly do smoke and enjoy this plant.



posted on Mar, 3 2005 @ 05:16 PM
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Sounds good to me but maybe possesion of less than 8oz be fined and more be an arrestable offense. Way too much time, money, and wasted prison space is wasted on pot possesion. It sure sounds like a step in the right direction to me.




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