Decriminalization The Right Move for New Hampshire

Decriminalization The Right Move for New Hampshire
Posted by CN Staff on March 31, 2008 at 08:01:11 PT
Source: Tufts Daily
N.H. -- The New Hampshire House of Representatives' recent passing of Bill 1623, which would decriminalize the possession of a quarter-ounce of marijuana or less, is a logical - if controversial - decision, and one that the Daily supports.New Hampshire would be the 13th state to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana. Under current New Hampshire law, possession of a quarter-ounce of marijuana is punishable by a $2,000 fine and up to a year in jail - a punishment that supporters of the bill say is too harsh.
They are right. If the bill passes, possession of the same amount would be punishable by a $200 fine and lead to no criminal charges. Transport or sale of the drug would still be a criminal offense.The main argument of the bill's supporters relates directly to college students: The current law prevents students with drug convictions from receiving federal financial aid. Marijuana has many harmful effects and can lead to damaging and even deadly behaviors, and the government certainly should not encourage its use. But it is a fact of life that many young people choose to experiment with the drug, and their youthful indiscretions should not prevent them from being able to receive an education.Bill 1623 offers a happy medium between legalization and criminalization. While marijuana should not be without regulation, it simply does not make sense to punish people for the rest of their lives by slapping them with criminal records for a non-violent and usually non-lethal activity.Besides the educational benefits, Bill 1623 also makes financial sense. Overcrowding in jails is a serious problem, and keeping people in prison is an extremely expensive process. Taxpayer money could be put to far better uses than locking up a college student caught with a joint in his pocket.Sadly, it is doubtful that decriminalization in New Hampshire will actually occur. Senate Majority Leader Joseph Foster (D-Nashua) has stated that the Senate will defeat the bill, and Governor John Lynch's spokesman announced that the bill will be vetoed if it reaches the governor's office.It is unfortunate that those against the bill seem to think that it supports or promotes marijuana. Decriminalization is not the same as legalization. Marijuana use in small amounts would still be illegal - however, its penalty would be far more appropriate in comparison to the offense.The bill does not promote marijuana use. It promotes higher education, a goal that the government should be doing all it can to support.Source: Tufts Daily (MA Edu)Published: March 31, 2008Copyright: 2008 Tufts DailyContact: letters tuftsdaily.comWebsite: Articles & Web Site:NH Common Sense Penalties Vary Widely Right To Reduce Marijuana Penalties
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Comment #4 posted by Sam Adams on March 31, 2008 at 15:10:26 PT
great story!
This really restore my faith in the USA.  All is not lost with the younger generation, some are still willing to fight back.This story reveals so much: how today's teens live in a police state (nothing virtual about it). The contents of their bloodstreams are in the public domain. They have no right to assemble! That's what this is really about. The alcohol was never really the issue, was it? The goal is to never allow the 60's to happen again, to brainwash each new generation to believe it's normal not to have any personal freedom or civil rights against the govt.Well, the brainwashing didn't take on these kids:, Wis. - Cars lining the street. A house full of young people. A keg and drinking games inside. Police thought they had an underage booze party on their hands.But though they made dozens of teenagers take breath tests, none tested positive for alcohol. That's because the keg contained root beer.
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Comment #3 posted by dongenero on March 31, 2008 at 14:45:53 PT
right,.... usually non-lethal
Unless the local SWAT team guns you down in your living room.Sometimes these college journalists do ok and other times it's painfully obvious why they are still in school.I guess some kudos for at least being for minor positive change.....naw,....belaboring such baby steps is ridiculous, and really decrim is barely a more defendable position than prohibition.
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Comment #2 posted by Yanxor on March 31, 2008 at 10:07:09 PT
"Marijuana has many harmful effects and can lead to damaging and even deadly behaviors"Marijuana SMOKING likely has some harmful effects."[Cannabis consumption is a] non-violent and usually non-lethal activity." ... USUALLY non-lethal?
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Comment #1 posted by goneposthole on March 31, 2008 at 09:21:45 PT
The Thirteenth State
"Did the Founding Fathers of the United States of America smoke cannabis? Some researchers think so. Dr. Burke, president of the American Historical Reference Society and a consultant for the Smithsonian Institute, counted seven early presidents as cannabis smokers: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, Andrew Jackson, Zachary Taylor and Franklin Pierce. "Early letters from our founding fathers refer to the pleasures of hemp smoking," said Burke. Pierce, Taylor and Jackson, all military men, smoked it with their troops. Cannabis was twice as popular among American soldiers in the Mexican War as in Vietnam: Pierce wrote to his family that it was "about the only good thing" about that war." Bush is a descendant of Franklin Pierce.If cannabis was good enough to use by American presidents, then it can't possibly be that bad.It would be a really, really good idea to accept its use among the hoi polloi and forget about prohibiting its use.It doesn't take a rocket surgeon to figure it out.
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