Bill Could Reduce Punishment for Marijuana 

Bill Could Reduce Punishment for Marijuana 
Posted by CN Staff on March 08, 2007 at 07:06:19 PT
By Jeffery D. Hooten, The University Star
Source: University Star 
Texas -- The penalty for possession of small amounts of marijuana could be reduced if a bill in the Texas House of Representatives is passed.House Bill 758, introduced in January by State Rep. Harold Dutton, D-Houston, is currently being reviewed by the Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence. The bill would reclassify possession of up to one ounce of marijuana from a Class B to a Class C misdemeanor.
Class C misdemeanor offenders do not receive jail time for a first offense, and instead would only be required to pay a fine. The current law states possession of up to two ounces is considered a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a maximum fine of $2,000. “I feel the (current) penalty exceeds the crime,” said Giancarlo Pearson, head of the Texas State chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. Pearson, Spanish senior, said he believes the bill could reduce the number of inmates in Texas’ over-crowded prisons.“I think it would reduce unnecessary incarceration in county jails,” he said.According to statistics released by the FBI in September 2006, approximately 88.5 percent of the nearly 800,000 marijuana related arrests in 2005 were for possession only. Officer Otto Glenewinkel of the University Police Department said arrests for marijuana on campus are common.“We see (marijuana violations) almost daily,” Glenewinkel said. He estimated as much as 75 percent of individuals arrested for marijuana violations at Texas State are in possession of an ounce or less.He said it would be impossible for UPD officers to completely control marijuana use at Texas State. “We can’t devote 100 percent of our officers’ time to drug violations,” Glenewinkel said. He predicted the passage of a bill reducing the penalty for minor marijuana offenses would not significantly increase the amount of marijuana use in Texas. He said he believes many are more concerned with the idea of breaking the law than with the actual penalties.“You have people who use marijuana and people who don’t,” Glenewinkel said.Despite this, he said he did not support the bill.“I can’t say what the ramifications would be — an ounce of marijuana can be quite a bit,” Glenewinkel said. “(Legislators) don’t know what they’re getting themselves into.”He said an offender of a Class C misdemeanor — such as those found in possession of an ounce or less of marijuana under the proposed bill — is issued a citation and forced to sign a statement promising to appear in court.This would be similar to what occurs with traffic violations now.Glenewinkel said depending on the way the proposed law is worded, an officer would have the option of making an arrest, but this would not be mandatory. In most circumstances, the citation itself would be recognized as an arrest. John Yum, communication design sophomore, recently had a friend arrested for possession of less than one ounce of marijuana.“I think (the current laws) are too harsh,” Yum said. “Texas should follow the lead of other states that have decriminalized marijuana.”He said he did not believe a change in marijuana laws reducing the penalty of small amounts would affect usage on campus. “I don’t think it would change that much — you could still get fined,” Yum said.Complete Title: Bill Could Reduce Punishment for Marijuana Possession Source: University Star (Texas State University - San Marcos, Edu)Author: Jeffery D. Hooten, The University StarPublished: March 8, 2007Copyright: 2007 The University StarContact: starletters txstate.eduWebsite: at Texas State601 University DriveSan Marcos, TX 78666-4603Phone: (512) 750-0277Contact: Gian PearsonE-mail: gp1022 txstate.eduCannabisNews -- Cannabis Archives
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Comment #8 posted by Toker00 on March 08, 2007 at 15:11:47 PT
They're starting to get it in Texas.
They already get it several other states. The DEAth haven't ever gotten it. That's because they've never wanted to get it. I got it a long time ago, because I wanted to get it. 36 years ago. You guys get it. Most of the people who read here get it, or are getting it. FoM wanted to get it and so she got it a long time, too. We all want it. We all get it. They could get it, if they wanted to get it. Everyone could and should be able to get it. I'm glad we get it. You think the Feds will ever get it? I think they get it but just won't admit it. Get it. CANNABIS is Food, Fiber, Farmaceuticals, Fuel, Fun, Sacrament and Major Competition to the Korpses that can no longer be DENIED! WE WANT A CANNABIS ECONOMY! Re-Legalize and Re-Realize!Toke.  
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Comment #7 posted by taylor121 on March 08, 2007 at 14:38:39 PT
Texans: Call Committee Members!
Please take the time to call the committee members and urge them to support this important legislation.
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on March 08, 2007 at 08:11:07 PT
Press Release From The Marijuana Policy Project
British Commission Urges Drug Law Overhaul
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Comment #5 posted by ekim on March 08, 2007 at 07:58:47 PT
Lou Dobbs last night
showed film clips of upcomming show on addiction on HBO.Lou said he would like to see every school and home in the country that has children show this film.
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Comment #4 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on March 08, 2007 at 07:51:32 PT
John Popper, Blues Traveler frontman arrested?
Inside the black Mercedes SUV, officers found a cache of weapons and a small amount of marijuana, the Patrol said.While the two men were administratively booked into the Adams County Jail in Ritzville, they were released on their own recognizance.... say, man with song on radio, not get ink on hands.
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Comment #3 posted by Hope on March 08, 2007 at 07:46:36 PT
Dutton's Bill
I'm glad he's trying to get his bill into law. He introduced this same bill, I believe, last session and something happened to it. Like it was left somewhere to die or something.I hope it does better this time. As I remember, there was no real opposition to this bill last time. We'll see, once again, who has intestinal fortitude and who's afraid of the feds and propaganda and prohibition mongers.You know, if there is some great secret that we don't know about that is a good reason for keeping the herb illegal and out of the hands of mankind...why don't they tell us what it is? Or is it just because they are the "boss of us" and we're just "children"that absolutely must have them for "keepers"?
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Comment #2 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on March 08, 2007 at 07:27:48 PT
Marijuana smuggler gets life in prison. No parole.
Roberto G. Medina, ICE special agent in charge in El Paso, called the life sentence a "wake-up call" for drug traffickers.
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on March 08, 2007 at 07:23:31 PT
Way To Go Texas
Thank you State Rep. Harold Dutton. Little by little the walls are crumbling.
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