Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Snitch or Go to Jail!

Apparently I missed this story...for the past year. But better late than never I say. Republican Congressman James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, who successfully worked President Boosh and the rest of Congress into passing the Real ID Act, and who now wants to regulate fucking cable for indecency, is at it again.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you, H.R. 1528, the "The Safe Access to Drug Treatment & Child Protection Act of 2005," which creates a new group of mandatory miniumum penalties for non-violent drug offenses.

The thing will never pass, and in fact it's been around for a while now, but I think it's interesting to see how ridiculously close-minded some Congressmen are. Check out this shit for yourselves here, and I'll excerpt some of my favorite parts:

--This bill would "make the sale of any quantity of any controlled substance (including anything greater than five grams of marijuana) by a person older than 21 to a person younger than 18 subject to a ten-year federal mandatory minimum sentence."

So as this article says, "Your 21 year old gives a joint his 17 year old sister. He gets a 10 year mandatory minimum sentence - for a first violation. With a prior felony drug conviction, it's life in prison, no parole."

--This bill "virtually eliminates the ability of federal judges to give sentences below the minimum sentence recommended by federal sentencing guidelines, essentially creating a mandatory minimum sentence for every federal offense (including both drug and non-drug offenses)."

--"Makes it a federal crime to provide 'drug paraphernalia' to anyone. While the goal is to make it a crime - punishable by up to three years in prison - to give someone a bong as a birthday present..."

Now look, I'm against drugs for children, against using in the presence of children, against drugs for reformed addicts, etc. I strictly advocate moderate usage of benign drugs like marijuana (OK, and some others, but let's just talk about pot now). As I've stated here many times before, social conservatives freak out about pot for no good reason -- they only think it's bad because the people before them categorized it as such and they're stickin' to it.

I'm all for clinically treating the heroin addicts and coke bingers and locking up the violent and repeat offenders. But if we don't get a good grip on defining what's good and what's really harmful, we'll never have a serious drug control policy in this country. And as Congress gets more and more conservative, that worries me to no end.

The United States imprisons a higher percentage of its citizens than any country in the world, and that number is going to skyrocket if trash like this becomes mainstream belief. I'd start a letter-writing campaign against this, but for some reason I have no motivation to get it going.


At 2:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think its far simpler than not liking pot. Or that there is something wrong with it. Far from it. It helps with cronic pain, depression, concentration, just to name a few. But who would we hate if not pot....not alchol and surely not tobacco. These are too important to are life and offer so much benifit to the individual.

At 2:47 PM, Blogger John Howard said...

This is ridiculous. Mandatory sentencing like this doesn't work at all. All it would do is fill up the prisons. They really should be thinking about going in the opposite direction and putting less people in jail for drug crimes. Obviously, this War on Drugs crap doesn't work.

At 2:57 PM, Blogger Gypsy Rose said...

I think the anonymous poster makes my point about drugs for me. Well said anon!

At 3:33 PM, Blogger Ace Cowboy said...

And I agree with all of you bitches. But I definitely think we need to re-examine our War on Drugs and our prison population. Have we tried treatment? Recidivists and violent offenders should be jailed, as I said above, but a guy who sells a handful of grams to friends and gets high on occasion need not be locked up on a mandatory sentence.

I think we're all in agreement on that, so I'll stop talking.

At 3:44 PM, Blogger Gypsy Rose said...

I guess. All I know is that there is some seriously (unitentionally) funny sh*t right there. I'm still giggling, but I'll stop talking too. God knows my grammer and spelling leave a lot to be desired. Gee hee hee hee. Still giggling.

At 4:34 PM, Blogger Matty Mac said...

I think Gypsy is stoned with all that giggling. And to think, she's pregnant and all.

Her son is going to come out of the womb with a hacky sack and hemp shoes on.

At 5:47 PM, Blogger Gypsy Rose said...

Actually. I've been weirding out a lot lately. My husband keeps telling me that I'm going to turn into one of those housewives that smokes pot all day. Even though I don't smoke it at all. I asked him yesterday if he thought the technology would ever exist to spontaneously break down the particles of inanimate objects and have them materialize into something else. He just said, "That's Star Trek shit." Followed by, "Are you high?"

At 11:09 PM, Blogger Teddy said...

you missed the whopper of that whole bill: a 2 year mandatory minimum sentence if you see someone with or using MJ and you don't report him/her to authorities within 24 hours. So, this douche-rocket Sensenbrenner essentially wants just about every college kid in the country snitching on each other, or going to jail for 2 years. Awesome. Welcome to Stalin's Russia.

Really though, mandatory minimums for drug offenses do not work and disproportionately affect minorities.

Asshatorama Sensenbrenner also abruptly shut down a PATRIOT Act hearing this week, shut off the mics and exited the room. Check out the vid:


There was just a resultion introduced today to rebuke the senator's actions:


Good to see people are fighting back.

At 11:34 PM, Blogger Teddy said...

Pardon me, that's Representative Sensenbrenner. I gave him way too much credit thinking he was a senator.

At 10:44 AM, Blogger Ace Cowboy said...

You go get 'em, Teddy.


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