Monday, January 26, 2009

Looney & Harp want to revisit drug laws

When it comes to prison crowding... in Cheshire most of us know of the back'n'forth between the co-Chair of the Legislature's Judiciary Committee, Rep. Mike Lawlor, and the Governor, Jodi Rell, that occured over the past 18 months.

Now state Senators Martin Looney and Toni Harp are advocating an issue that may impact prison populations.

From the Courant's Daniela Altimari:

According to a report produced in August by the nonpartisan Office of Legislative Research, there were about 10,000 prosecutions in 2007 for possession of controlled substances, including less than 4 ounces of marijuana. About 35 percent of the cases resulted in convictions. First-time offenders face up to a year in prison, as much as a $1,000 fine or both; subsequent offenses can result in up to five years in prison, a fine of as much as $3,000 or both.

But critics say there's more at stake than money. "We're starting down a slippery slope," said Anthony Salvatore, police chief in Cromwell and legislative liaison for the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association.

I agree that it's a slippery slope. And this issue would need to be addressed carefully. But the bottom line to me still is that I want violent, predatory offenders behind bars... and personally I don't care if an adult wants to get stoned... though I think it's pretty stupid would discourage friends from doing so.

Tim White


Anonymous said...

Something is terribly backwards when we lock up people for marijuana, and continue to release repeat, violent offenders.

Marijuana should have the same legal status as alcohol: adults only, and not while driving. Otherwise, it's none of the government's business.

Anonymous said...

Too many lives have been ruined by heavy handed sentences for possessing small amounts of marijuana and the high costs for prosecution and internment are ridiculous.

The only people benefiting are judges, lawyers, police, social workers, bondsmen, prison guards, etc. Change the law and we can save a lot of unnecessay expenses.

The best solution would be to legalize it and sell it just like tobacco that kills over 400,000 peoople a year and alcohol.

Anonymous said...

Massachusetts just legalized, or I should say decriminalized small amounts of marijuana, and the sky has not fallen down.

This was approved by two-thirds of the voters in a statewide referendum which was able to override the resistance of legislators and prosecutors.

Too bad Connecticut doesn't have an initiative petition process that can put binding questions on the ballot and override the legislature.

Anonymous said...

The previous post hit the nail on the head. It's the legal status that is the issue and what is clouding the judgement on this.

Bravo to Senators Looney and Harp for the courage to point out this hypocrisy. They are not asking for legalization, there will still be fines.

Aren't there bigger problems in this state that could be addressed by getting these prosections out of the court system?

A bottle of vodka and an ounce of pot have the same destructive power if used incorrectly. Why the year in prison for one and a slap on the wrist for the other?

(answer: Because one is illegal!)
(rebuttal: WHY?)

Slippery slope? Don't believe the scare tactics. Maybe Salvatore should host a screening of "Reefer Madness" for the state legislature to make sure this does not pass!

Ask this question: Was anyone hurt by this person's action or could someone have been harmed by this person's bahavior? If yes, punitive action should be taken. Does it matter if taht action was sipping a drink, smoking a joint, or swallowing pills?

Anonymous said...

legalize marijuana for those 40 and older..the older the more is allowed