Little Opposition Seen To Decriminalization of MJ

Little Opposition Seen To Decriminalization of MJ
Posted by CN Staff on March 24, 2009 at 05:57:52 PT
By John Hill, Journal Staff Writer
Source: Providence Journal
Providence, R.I. -- No one seems to be getting worked up about a bill before the General Assembly that would decriminalize possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, making it a civil violation punishable by fine rather than jail time.At a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, only three people — a former New Jersey police detective, a spokesman for a convict assistance agency and a representative of the American Civil Liberties Union — testified about the bill. All were in favor of it.
No one from the attorney general’s office, the governor’s office or any other state agency appeared to oppose it. Nor was there anyone from the state’s law enforcement agencies to speak a negative word.Amy Kempe, spokeswoman for Governor Carcieri, said it would be premature for the governor to comment on a bill that has not been voted on by either the House or the Senate, since it could change in any number of ways during that process. If it’s approved, she said, the governor would take a position on the bill as passed. The state Health Department, which had opposed last year’s medical marijuana bill, had no position and the state’s drug court officials declined to comment as well.Attorney General Patrick C. Lynch’s spokesman, Michael Healey, said with literally hundreds and hundreds of bills introduced each session, Lynch had to pick the ones that most closely affected his office’s operations or legislative priorities. He said the marijuana decriminalization bill was not one of them. Healey added Lynch had supported the medical marijuana law.Pawtucket Police Chief George L. Kelley III, president of the Rhode Island Police Chiefs’ Association, also declined to comment, either personally or on his organization’s behalf, saying the bill “is not on our radar.”The Assembly last year overrode a Carcieri veto to legalize marijuana for medical uses. A new bill sponsored by Sen. Leo R. Blais, R-Coventry, would not make possession of an ounce or less of marijuana legal, but it would reduce penalty for such possession from up to a year of jail time to a civil violation with a maximum $100 fine and forfeiture of the marijuana. The laws concerning possession with intent to sell would not be changed.Sen. Charles J. Levesque, D-Portsmouth, vice chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he thought that with the state facing such a difficult time with its budget, fiscal issues might shunt the Blais bill aside, at least this year.Blais said he thought his bill had a 60-percent chance of passing this session. He attributed the lack of vocal opposition to last year’s passage of the medical marijuana law, saying it showed support for easing the penalties concerning a small amount of the drug.“We approved medical marijuana,” Blais said. “That was the fight. That horse is already out of the barn and in the next field.”Source: Providence Journal, The (RI)Author:  John Hill, Journal Staff Writer Published: Tuesday, March 24, 2009Copyright: 2009 The Providence Journal CompanyContact: letters projo.comWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives
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Comment #12 posted by fight_4_freedom on March 25, 2009 at 08:35:34 PT
Today's Article in our local newspaper article abovePolice, witnesses disagree on what happened as police used Taser on teenWednesday, March 25, 2009By TOM GILCHRISTtgilchrist | 894-9649Bay City Police Chief Michael Cecchini said officers ''immediately rendered aid'' after using a Taser on 15-year-old Brett Elder, who died Sunday after the incident. With Bay City Mayor Charles M. Brunner and City Manager Robert V. Belleman standing behind him in the Bay City Commission Chambers on Tuesday, Cecchini offered condolences to Elder's family during a press conference.City police, however, didn't allow relatives of the late teen into the room to hear the police chief read from a prepared written statement.Wendy Elder, 34, the late teenager's sister-in-law, said Cecchini's account of events is not accurate.''I was there, and the police didn't do anything,'' said Elder.''The police didn't do (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and they didn't let us do CPR,'' Elder said. ''I don't have a CPR certification any more, but I wanted to help him.''Brett Elder died Sunday morning after a Bay City officer used a Taser to subdue him about 3:40 a.m. inside an apartment at 210 S. Catherine St.His funeral takes place at 4 p.m. Thursday at Ambrose Funeral Home, 1200 Garfield Ave.Relatives and friends said Brett Elder had consumed alcohol before police encountered him while responding to a report of a fight at the apartment.Cecchini said police officers found Brett Elder arguing with another male. Police tried to verbally defuse the dispute but Brett Elder ''attempted to go after'' the person he argued with, the police chief said in his prepared statement. 
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Comment #11 posted by fight_4_freedom on March 25, 2009 at 08:15:47 PT
Thanks for writing to our p.d. I'm hoping we can get some kind of protest or demonstration going at some point. It's completely heartbreaking to see the balloons and cards on his family's porch a couple of blocks away. This should have never happened.
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Comment #10 posted by fight_4_freedom on March 25, 2009 at 08:05:45 PT
Our Police Department is in for it now Fieger to Represent Family of Tasered TeenSouthfield (WWJ) -- Geoffrey Fieger and his law partner Ven R. Johnson announced Tuesday that they will represent the family of 15-year-old Brett Elder who died shortly after police used a taser to subdue him.Amnesty International, an outspoken critic of Tasers, said that Elder's incident illustrates the dangers of the weapon.Bay City police answered a disturbance call about 3:40 a.m. Sunday and said an officer used a Taser on Brett Elder after he tried to fight with them. An autopsy was conducted on Monday, but a cause of death has not yet been determined, said Lt. John Card, commander of the state police's Bay City post. He said the investigation into the incident is ongoing.Amnesty International's London office issued a statement Tuesday saying the death ``reinforces the need for greater caution'' before Tasers are distributed more widely.The group issued a call for further tests of the safety of the weapon.``Tasers should only be used in life-threatening situations, and this doesn't appear to be such an instance,'' said Oliver Sprague, director of Amnesty International's arms program in Britain. ``Surely another form of restraint could have been applied in this case.''
Bay City police turned the case over to Michigan State Police for investigation and placed one officer on administrative leave while it conducts an internal probe of whether its rules were followed.City police Chief Michael Cecchini defended his officers' actions at a news conference Tuesday.Cecchini said officers were trying to settle a verbal dispute between Elder and a man. Officers stepped in when the youth became unruly and took a ``fighting stance'' against the police, the chief said.
The youth ``attempted to go after the other man he was arguing with,'' Cecchini said. ``Officers intervened, and a Taser electronic control device was deployed for one five-second cycle to subdue Brett.''The officers handcuffed Elder but saw he was having a medical problem and gave assistance while calling an emergency medical crew.Attorney Fieger said in a statement Tuesday, "Less that 48 hours since Brett's death and the Bay City Police Department has already cleared the perpetrator. Even worse the Michigan State Police is conducting an independent investigation into this matter and it was improper for Bay City to announce any conclusions without an independent investigation."Fieger also stated that although the results of the autopsy are pending, he expects that they will show the Elder died from being electrocuted by the taser causing his heart to defibrillate.
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Comment #9 posted by Hope on March 25, 2009 at 06:06:52 PT
This article.
"No one seems to be getting worked up about a bill before the General Assembly that would decriminalize possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, making it a civil violation punishable by fine rather than jail time."What's going on? Are Joyce and Nora and the rest of them tied up and gagged somewhere? You know they don't want to stop imprisoning people or persecuting them one iota less... I mean... what kind of "Message" would that be sending?
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Comment #8 posted by Hope on March 25, 2009 at 05:54:15 PT
So many people have been killed by the cursed things. It seems like someone in the line of approving, designing, creating, selling, or using them would have had the brain storm by now that maybe the wretched things ought to be made in a lower caliber or something, if at all.If it's supposed to be "Non-Lethal"... why in the world isn't it?I was thinking the other day about the cops and agents that have killed and wounded the children in the War on Drugs. Do they ever think about it? Do they ever toss and turn at night thinking of the child they killed? Does their conscience bother them much, if at all?That cop, good man and upright citizen that he is, that shot that baby boy and killed his mother... do you suppose he'll get that little boy a ball glove someday and teach him to play catch with that maimed hand? Could he ever look him in the eye? Does his sorrow and regret extend beyond his own sorry self pity?That man that shot eleven year old Alberto Sepulveda at close range, in the back, with a riot gun... a shot gun... does he ever see it in his mind against his will? I do know that one of the agents that killed fourteen year old Ashley Villereal... was known to have made the comment that "Hispanics mature early"... so, to his perverted mind, it wasn't like she was really an innocent fourteen year old child. 
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Comment #7 posted by GeoChemist on March 25, 2009 at 04:20:26 PT
I couldn't help myself, I had to send this e-mail to Bay City:
Chief Michael Cecchini said his department would conduct an internal investigation into whether the officer followed policy when using the Taser.Policy? Your THUGS tased a 15 year old child! a 5' 6" 140 lb 15 year old CHILD. The heros involved deserve to be placed in a state prison, in gen-pop with Tee shirts that read "baby killer" . We all know what happens to those types in prison, let's see how tough they are in that situation. I hope the three of them ROT IN HELL!
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Comment #6 posted by GeoChemist on March 25, 2009 at 04:10:07 PT
Those three
PIGS belong in prison, gen-pop would be a great place for these three cowards. We all know what happens to baby killers in prison......I am f&*king livid, they need to try that s*%t on the chemist! DAMN PIGS........I hate cops
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Comment #5 posted by Cheebs1 on March 24, 2009 at 23:10:22 PT:
Video from Mike C's Post He did a fairly good job. He kept his cool and didn't take the bait :). It's in the news everday and it seems as if more CNN anchors are getting behind the movement and actually reporting facts instead of making things up. Peace, Love, and Pot 
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Comment #4 posted by fight_4_freedom on March 24, 2009 at 18:27:18 PT
Thank You Hope...I Will Short Charles Lynch video recorded after he came out of the courthouse yesterday.
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Comment #3 posted by Hope on March 24, 2009 at 10:07:46 PT
Comment 1 Fight_4_Freedom
Be careful, Fight_4_Freedom. It seems the devil's really on a tear in Michigan... and he's wearing jackboots. Be careful.
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Comment #2 posted by MikeC on March 24, 2009 at 09:34:31 PT
CNN Commentary - Legalize Drugs?
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Comment #1 posted by fight_4_freedom on March 24, 2009 at 08:49:39 PT
Another Tragic Taser Death
Here in my hometown. First it was the 20 year-old shot at Grand Valley State, now a local 15 year old tasered to death by police a few days from his 16th birthday. Sickening. BLAMES COPS FOR 'KILLING MY BOY'
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
By Tom Gilchrist
tgilchrist | 989-894-9649Eugene E. Elder Sr. figures police killed his teenage son unjustifiably with a Taser, and he plans to fire back with a lawsuit. "I'm going after the city. I don't care," said Elder, 55, of Bay City. "There's no reason for killing my boy. He didn't do nothing wrong."Elder conceded his 15-year-old son - Brett L. Elder - had been drinking alcohol Saturday night before police subdued him early Sunday morning with a Taser following a disturbance in a Bay City apartment.But relatives said Brett "Dewey" Elder stood 5-foot-6 and weighed about 140 pounds. They said he was no match for three Bay City Police Department officers who encountered him in Cindy Hernden's apartment at 210 S. Catherine St."I believe they killed him," said Hernden, 40, a close friend of the Elder family."I believe his heart couldn't handle it," Hernden added. "I just figured that Taser was too strong for that small of a kid. He's tiny, and there were three grown police officers."They could have subdued him without handcuffs, but they handcuffed him and then Tasered him."Bay City Deputy Police Chief Thomas P. Pletzke denied Hernden's allegation, saying Brett Elder wasn't in handcuffs when an officer fired the Taser. Police planned a press conference about the incident at 10:30 a.m. this morning at Bay City Hall. 
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