cannabisnews.com: Holder Expands Changes in Drug-Case Policy
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Holder Expands Changes in Drug-Case Policy
Posted by CN Staff on September 19, 2013 at 16:56:47 PT
By Pete Yost, The Associated Press
Source: Associated Press
Washington, D.C. --  The Justice Department is expanding a major change in federal drug sentencing policy to cover pending drug cases, Attorney General Eric Holder said Thursday.Last month, Holder said certain low-level, nonviolent drug offenders  those without ties to large-scale organizations, gangs or cartels  no longer will be charged with offenses that impose severe mandatory minimum sentences.
Holder said he now has broadened the new policy to cover defendants who have not yet been convicted in drug cases that could involve lengthy mandatory prison sentences. The policy also may be applied, at the discretion of prosecutors, to a defendant who has entered a guilty plea, but has not yet been sentenced. Mandatory minimum prison sentences, a legacy of the government's war on drugs, limit the discretion of judges to impose shorter prison terms.Holder says the government should reserve the most severe prison terms for serious, high-level or violent drug traffickers."Some federal drug statutes that mandate inflexible sentences  regardless of the individual conduct at issue in a particular case  do not serve public safety when they're applied indiscriminately," Holder told a criminal justice issues forum of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation.At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing this week, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said that in one case, a first-time offender arrested with less than 2 ounces of cocaine was sentenced to 10 years in prison because of mandatory sentencing guidelines. Paul has drafted legislation along with committee chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., that would give judges wider sentencing discretion as one way to relieve prison overcrowding and bring down the exploding costs of operating prisons. Source: Associated Press (Wire) Author: Pete Yost, The Associated Press Published:  September 19, 2013Copyright: 2013 The Associated PressCannabisNews  Justice Archiveshttp://cannabisnews.com/news/list/justice.shtml 
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on September 21, 2013 at 13:21:45 PT
The Party of No
They really need to listen to the people not the lobbyists.
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on September 21, 2013 at 13:20:35 PT
mexweed
It takes a brave politician to say that knowing the votes would go to Dems. What is right should be said even if it throws the vote against themselves. That is what we want in elected officials.
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Comment #8 posted by mexweed on September 21, 2013 at 12:27:33 PT:
Check out Rand Paul quote
I didn't check out the video, Sen. Paul mentioned "large number of those who cannot vote"-- surely he knows a large number of them would vote Democrat if they got the vote. The number of Dem voters that got knocked out by marijuana felony convictions might have swung many elections over the last decades. Rep voter base reportedly 20 percentage points more anti-cannabis than Dem.
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on September 21, 2013 at 10:24:52 PT
Hope
I haven't been fond of Rand Paul when he first got into serious politics but I listen to what he says and he is changing and that is a good thing. When he says something that makes sense to me I say to myself way to go fella! It isn't the political party of a person that I like or respect but the reasoning of the person.
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Comment #6 posted by Hope on September 21, 2013 at 10:12:15 PT
Also...
I think that young man they speak of with the fifty year sentence for selling cannabis might be the same one I was thinking about that got like three hundred years, and it got whittled down to fifty in a 'stop the insanity' bid. If it is the same case, I don't blame him for not mentioning that it was once even worse than fifty. It's just so ludicrous. 
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Comment #5 posted by Hope on September 21, 2013 at 10:04:32 PT
ekim. Thank you. That's amazing.
I've only been able to watch about twenty minutes of it so far. But it is amazing. FoM, you will be delighted with the things Rand Paul says about President Obama. You should watch it when you can. Especially that. He feels the same way about the President as you do, I think.Funny how Grassley wants sentencing to be so "Fair".... when he's actually looking like the perfect example of "The unmerciful judge".It's the Judicial Committee's website, a government website, and go to webcast in the upper right hand corner of the update... at the top of the page. Judicial Committee's Congressional website.http://www.judiciary.senate.gov/hearings/hearing.cfm?id=d3ddc8eaa9b9f780d5af0a554e5fcf98I'll watch more of it later. It's long, apparently. But that first twenty minutes ... so far... is pretty amazing. They are addressing injustice. They are really addressing some of the injustices of the "War on Drugs". If you've been watching for this for as long as I have, you'd be amazed to.I hope this kickstarts congress. They need to stop dragging their feet on all this. Lives are probably at stake.Grassley is unhappy. Of course he's always unhappy. He's Grassley.
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Comment #4 posted by ekim on September 21, 2013 at 08:09:37 PT
please watch 
Sen. Paul tells of huge number of those that can not vote.http://www.judiciary.senate.gov/hearings/hearing.cfm?id=d3ddc8eaa9b9f780d5af0a554e5fcf98
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Comment #3 posted by MikeEEEEE on September 20, 2013 at 20:18:23 PT
The idea
When these mandatory minimums were created, the idea was that if an offender committed 3 crimes, then that person cannot be cured, therefore, throw away the key--incarcerated for life.Of course this law put the prison census over 2,000,000. This zero tolerance move made the USA tops in prison population, as compared to any other country in the world.
Economically, this policy has become too expensive.
 
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Comment #2 posted by Hope on September 20, 2013 at 16:26:49 PT
Look what was done to Will Foster
even before so called "Mandatory Minimums".12 plants in Oklahoma. Ninety Nine years in the pen.Enough outrage got him released eventually, but my gosh.How could they not know how insane all that sort of sentencing is? It hasn't been that long since I heard about a young man getting three hundred years because of selling some weed to a narc and his history... and the state he was in. And those two at least lived. Some didn't.
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Comment #1 posted by mexweed on September 20, 2013 at 12:15:33 PT:
Offworkable SENTENCING proposal
Imagine prisoners reducing their sentences by working off the time in an international forest-protective DEADWOOD HARVEST BRIGADE (to prevent $billion dollar fires), clipping, chopping, sawing off dead branches and picking up downed branches all over the US west and many other participating nations. Instead of sitting in jail, out getting some exercise and fresh air doing something for their country.
 
(Many former cannabis prisoners will probably join up as volunteers in this first festive ongrowth of real LIBERATIVE government on the planet.)Work includes hauling this bio-material to dry streambeds, ravines, gullies in drought-stricken areas, and piling huge mounds of it (dust and chips at bottom, bundled stalks at top) up millions of miles of creek for purpose of retarding stormwater runoff and keeping evaporation and rainfall going locally.Here's where HEMP gets into it: seed these long gullymounds with fast-rooting HEMP plants which will hold the mass together and, in a season or two, deposit rich litter serving as topsoil for future TREES! Then seed with fast-growing invasive droughtproofing species-- willows, cottonwoods, ailanthus, eucalyptus depending on your climate. Noble hardwoods and pines a decade or two later for your children to live among. Total rieferforestation of entire continent by 2222!Benefit to inmates: this particular kind of work, requiring physical exercise and thousands of separate where-to-cut, what-to-bundle decisionmakings a day, REHABILITATES the minds and bodies of offenders better than any other work on the planet, and OH YES I think Holder has indicated the govt would not intrude on the Occupational right of Brigade workers to have a modest 25-mg VAPE TOKE now and then depending on the Inspirational needs at any stage in their project. Obama can appoint George W. Bush to be the first Czar of this BUSHWATER program (bushes hold water, get it), who has also famously compared dry dead wood in the forests to kindling and was pictured axe in hand in a wirephoto under the caption, "Bush Takes a Whack at Forest Fires".
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