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Bill would lessen punishment for marijuana possession
News 8 Austin ^ | 2/18/2003

Posted on 02/19/2003 12:41:21 PM PST by new cruelty

A state lawmaker from Houston wants to change the punishment for possession of marijuana.

Right now it's a Class B misdemeanor in Texas, punishable by a fine not to exceed $2,000 and/or confinement for a maximum of 180 days.

Rep. Harold Dutton, D-Houston has written a bill that makes possession of less than an ounce of marijuana a Class C misdemeanor.

It would also be the equivalent of a traffic ticket.

"You wouldn't lose your drivers license, you don't lose any of these other things that you do in a Class B setting," Dutton said.

Dutton doesn't condone marijuana use, but he says his bill would provide many people a second chance.


TOPICS: Heated Discussion
KEYWORDS: drugskill; drugwarskill; gunskill; speedkills; wodlist
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Dutton doesn't condone marijuana use, but he says his bill would provide many people a second chance... to get hiiiiigggghhh.
1 posted on 02/19/2003 12:41:21 PM PST by new cruelty
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To: new cruelty
Good.
2 posted on 02/19/2003 12:48:20 PM PST by BrooklynGOP (...speaking of dumb....)
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To: new cruelty
I think it's a good idea, it shouldn't have the legal punishments that it currently has.
3 posted on 02/19/2003 12:49:09 PM PST by HELLRAISER II
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To: All
I left out the link addressed in the article, here it is: Representative Harold Dutton, Texas House of Representatives
4 posted on 02/19/2003 12:51:53 PM PST by new cruelty
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To: new cruelty
Good. We need the jail space for more important criminals.

So9

5 posted on 02/19/2003 12:54:01 PM PST by Servant of the Nine (Republican's for Sharpton)
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To: new cruelty
If it is a small amount and they are not #1 Dealing, #2 Growing & #3 Haven't killed/hurt anyone driving badly or at work.... a ticket for a first or minor offense should suffice.
Never legal though, would not suggest we give an impression of approval to chemical vices. We've had hard enough time with drinkers. Don't need to compound it any further IMO!

But a ticket for minor stuff does make total sense.
6 posted on 02/19/2003 12:57:24 PM PST by A CA Guy (God Bless America, God bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
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To: A CA Guy
A fine not to exceed $2,000 and/or confinement for a maximum of 180 days. That is a lot of money, money that could be used to buy some quality s#!t. ;)
7 posted on 02/19/2003 1:01:29 PM PST by new cruelty
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To: new cruelty
Sounds like a good idea to me.
8 posted on 02/19/2003 1:07:24 PM PST by Britton J Wingfield
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To: new cruelty
Right now it's a Class B misdemeanor in Texas, punishable by a fine not to exceed $2,000 and/or confinement for a maximum of 180 days.

$2,000??? That's alot of money! Guess what happens if you can't pay it?

There have been so many incidences of where these "fines" end up leading to jail. Many people do live paycheck to paycheck. They get fined for this or that, many have no real way of paying the fine. When it goes unpaid for so long, a capius(sp) is issued. A cop decides to pull you over for not signaling, he finds out. The person gets arrested. Many times, the person is trying their best to make ends meet already. They get arrested, they get fired from work. Then they can't pay fines or anything.

Too many people have this erronious mentality that a fine is really less than being jailed. Its not, really. You don't pay the fine, then you are jailed. Its not a lesser punishment, its just extortion. Its no different than the school bully saying "give me your lunch money or get a black eye".

9 posted on 02/19/2003 1:11:22 PM PST by FreeTally
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To: FreeTally
You're right, if you are living paycheck to paycheck and cannot afford the penalty, as the law stands now, it is best not to do the crime at all.
10 posted on 02/19/2003 1:16:36 PM PST by new cruelty
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To: Servant of the Nine
End the Drug War and cops will then have to find something to do with their time, like actually finding violent and dangerous people. As evil as some drug runners are, they are basically smuggling contraband. Take away the illegality, and most of the turf war and debt collecting violence goes away. True evil is in murderers and rapists, and the solution rate for these crimes is declining. And if you want to shut up a cop ranting about drugs, ask him what the solution rate for burgalries is in his town.
11 posted on 02/19/2003 1:18:42 PM PST by eno_
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To: new cruelty
Drug use is at most a vice. How does it fit the commonsense definition of a crime? Just because something is illegal does not make it a crime. And if you think so, I guess you wouldn't mind having the EPA or state enviro cops take a look at what you store in your garage, whether any oil has been spilled around your oil tank, etc.?
12 posted on 02/19/2003 1:21:31 PM PST by eno_
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To: A CA Guy
How arrogant are we to declare one of God's creations "illegal"?
13 posted on 02/19/2003 1:22:02 PM PST by axxmann
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To: eno_
ROTFLOL,... you're a riot.
14 posted on 02/19/2003 1:23:17 PM PST by new cruelty
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To: new cruelty
You're right, if you are living paycheck to paycheck and cannot afford the penalty, as the law stands now, it is best not to do the crime at all.

You miss the entire underlying point.

In what rational, logical way, do I "owe" anyone a certain amount of money for possessing an object? I have caused no monetary harm to anyone. If possessing the object is a direct threat to someone(and it isn't), then why is the person not jailed so that they can not harm the person they were attempting to?

You speak of a system of justice that essentially ends up punishing people based upon their economic status. No level of government has the legitimate power to say "Give me money for doing something we said you couldn't, or go to jail".

In a correct system where people are punished for violation of indivual rights, economic status matters not. People who are for, and pass such laws that fine people for actions which do not violate rights know damn well that the law will result in the jailing of anyone who can't pay it. Hell, drug laws were originally targeted at minorities, so I know this is the mentality of those in power and those who seek power.

15 posted on 02/19/2003 1:24:30 PM PST by FreeTally
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To: new cruelty
"You're right, if you are living paycheck to paycheck and cannot afford the penalty, as the law stands now, it is best not to do the crime at all."

"And that's the name of that tune"..."Keep your eye on the Sparrow."

16 posted on 02/19/2003 1:26:13 PM PST by bigfootbob
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To: eno_
Drug use is at most a vice. How does it fit the commonsense definition of a crime?

It doesn't, and anyone with an IQ of 50 knows it. People only support such laws for two reasons: A)They directly profit from the laws or B)They wish to force everyone to live how they want people to live.

17 posted on 02/19/2003 1:26:23 PM PST by FreeTally
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To: axxmann
How arrogant are we to declare one of God's creations "illegal"?

Exactly. God declared one and only one of his creations "illegal", and that was the "Tree of knowledge of Good and Evil". When men make God's creation's "illegal", they set themselves up as gods. And I remember something in the Bible about "Thou shalt have no other gods before Me".

18 posted on 02/19/2003 1:28:53 PM PST by FreeTally
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To: axxmann
How impractical are we to declare a weed that is a mild intoxicant and less harmful than beer to be illegal? The scriptures contain much wisdom, and none of them suggest we ought to be teatotal.
19 posted on 02/19/2003 1:30:20 PM PST by eno_
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To: new cruelty
The dictionary is so big for a reason. "Vice" and "crime" are different words, with different meanings. Police that can't tell the difference are, if it can be believed, perhaps too stupid to be police.
20 posted on 02/19/2003 1:32:34 PM PST by eno_
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To: FreeTally
hehe, great points. im convinced.
21 posted on 02/19/2003 1:32:53 PM PST by new cruelty
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To: new cruelty
hehe, great points. im convinced.

Are you being serious, or just a typical jerk with no legitimate argument to make? Its hard to tell with you.

22 posted on 02/19/2003 1:37:24 PM PST by FreeTally
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To: eno_
Don't be so sensitive, barbara.

Reread the post that has you all bunched up. I'll rephrase it for you if it helps you relax: You're right, if you are living paycheck to paycheck and cannot afford the penalty, as the law stands now, it is best not to do the crime have the vice at all.

23 posted on 02/19/2003 1:37:36 PM PST by new cruelty
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To: A CA Guy; *Wod_list
Never legal though, would not suggest we give an impression of approval to chemical vices.

So you must support banning the chemical vice of alcohol, so as not to give an impression of approval. Right?

24 posted on 02/19/2003 1:37:47 PM PST by MrLeRoy ("That government is best which governs least.")
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To: FreeTally
It doesn't, and anyone with an IQ of 50 knows it. People only support such laws for two reasons: A)They directly profit from the laws or B)They wish to force everyone to live how they want people to live.

You forgot:

C) They don't want to clean up or pay for other people's indulgences.

25 posted on 02/19/2003 1:56:39 PM PST by IncPen
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To: FreeTally
Exactly. God declared one and only one of his creations "illegal", and that was the "Tree of knowledge of Good and Evil". When men make God's creation's "illegal", they set themselves up as gods. And I remember something in the Bible about "Thou shalt have no other gods before Me".

Actually, one of the tenets of sobriety in the 12 step program is to replace the 'god' of addiction with a 'higher' power.

26 posted on 02/19/2003 1:58:08 PM PST by IncPen
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To: eno_
How impractical are we to declare a weed that is a mild intoxicant and less harmful than beer to be illegal? The scriptures contain much wisdom, and none of them suggest we ought to be teatotal.

The scriptures mention alcohol; do they mention recreational drug use?

27 posted on 02/19/2003 1:59:38 PM PST by IncPen
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To: new cruelty
That is a lot of money, money that could be used to buy some quality s#!t.

Pot will get you through times of no money better than money during times of no pot.

28 posted on 02/19/2003 2:01:47 PM PST by TightSqueeze (From the Department of Homeland Security, sponsors of Liberty-Lite, Less Freedom! / Red Tape!)
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To: new cruelty
That is a lot of money, money that could be used to buy some quality s#!t.

Pot will get you through times of no money better than money during times of no pot.

29 posted on 02/19/2003 2:02:23 PM PST by TightSqueeze (From the Department of Homeland Security, sponsors of Liberty-Lite, Less Freedom! / Red Tape!)
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To: new cruelty
We are never gone to get smart about the drug war. Punish the USERS not the SELLERS. Otherwise, make it legal. Punish the supply side of the equation and you will end up with a blackmarket, because as long as there is demand, there WILL be Supply. Drug-trafficking is economically predictable, its not a moral decision. IF you can make $5/hour doing something or $1000/hour doing something else alot more risky, then, despite the risk, someone will play that game every time.
30 posted on 02/19/2003 2:03:14 PM PST by Blackyce (Who woulda thunk it 2 years ago???)
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To: IncPen
The scriptures mention alcohol; do they mention recreational drug use?

Ah yes
Alcohol is consumed for its nutrional and health benefits
especially on all the college campi
American students are the healthiest around

Of course adult males use it because it helps them meet all the good lookin chicks in the bars and least that is what the TV commercials tell me
31 posted on 02/19/2003 2:05:27 PM PST by uncbob
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To: FreeTally
Sorry, I was kidding, I'm not really convinced. I don't agree with you 100% and I hope you can live with that.

Its great that you want to fight for the good of mankind and all that flowery stuff. I may be there with along side you at the ballot if this issue ever comes to that. For now, I am of the mindset that if you can't afford the high price (be it money, time in jail, rehab, etc.), don't do it. If you can, knock yourself out.
32 posted on 02/19/2003 2:08:09 PM PST by new cruelty
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To: TightSqueeze
lol, i'll remember that.
33 posted on 02/19/2003 2:08:49 PM PST by new cruelty
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To: IncPen
C) They don't want to clean up or pay for other people's indulgences

Like all those beer cans and bottles along life's highway or those car wrecks from the druken drivers
34 posted on 02/19/2003 2:08:56 PM PST by uncbob
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To: IncPen
C) They don't want to clean up or pay for other people's indulgences

Who do you think pays to arrest, prosecute, and imprison drug users? And while they're in prison they aren't paying any taxes, guess who gets to make up the difference?

35 posted on 02/19/2003 2:10:13 PM PST by ThinkDifferent
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To: ThinkDifferent
Who do you think pays to arrest, prosecute, and imprison drug users? And while they're in prison they aren't paying any taxes, guess who gets to make up the difference?

Which is a known entity.

And the solution is to set all the drugs free on society, and there will be no consequences.

Riiight. Gotcha.

36 posted on 02/19/2003 2:12:59 PM PST by IncPen
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To: FreeTally
I can tell you are a Libertarian.

All rights resolve to:- I want to smoke dope.

Its a one note samba.

37 posted on 02/19/2003 2:19:14 PM PST by Dan(9698)
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To: IncPen
And the solution is to set all the drugs free on society, and there will be no consequences.

No consequences? Of course not, and nobody claims that. But a number of studies have found that treatment is much more cost-effective than law enforcement as a way of controlling the drug problem. If your concern is truly about the costs to society of drug users, you should oppose the WOD.

38 posted on 02/19/2003 2:23:16 PM PST by ThinkDifferent
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To: BrooklynGOP
Yeee Hawww I loved the stuff in college. I never touch it now, as a respectable adult and parent... but if it were legal I would stop drinking wine and smoking cigarettes and I would have a Friday night joint, yes indeedy.
39 posted on 02/19/2003 2:29:04 PM PST by buffyt (Can you say President Hillary - Mistress of Darkness?.......Me neither!!!!!!!!!)
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To: buffyt
I never really liked pot. I had at an ecstasy stage for a while though :)
40 posted on 02/19/2003 2:54:20 PM PST by BrooklynGOP (...speaking of dumb....)
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To: IncPen
They do mention herbs, many of which are psychoactive in ways that are inside or outside whatever today's drug warriors think are evil, as God's gift. Psychoactive plants and plant extracts and preparations are far older than any religious tradition, and Christian scriptures recognize what was a contemporary reality at the time they were written, and promote knowledge and use of the natural pharmacopeia.

Compare this with the very recent invention of marijuana as an "evil" in order to keep Prohibition-era federal LEOs employed. This current prohibition is directly connected to the old and failed Prohibition, is anti-Constitution, and, at best, ignores scriptural reccommendation - at worst it perverts it.
41 posted on 02/19/2003 3:25:14 PM PST by eno_
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To: eno_
< yawn >
42 posted on 02/19/2003 3:27:51 PM PST by IncPen
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To: Blackyce
We are never gone to get smart about the drug war.

Yeah, a mouthful indeed, did you write this by yourself, or did your local NARC help you?
You know, if they weren't pissing away so much money on this bogus WOD you might have revived a better-than 6 grade writing education.

43 posted on 02/19/2003 3:32:59 PM PST by TightSqueeze (From the Department of Homeland Security, sponsors of Liberty-Lite, Less Freedom! / Red Tape!)
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To: new cruelty
Looks like I am going to have to call my state rep.
44 posted on 02/19/2003 3:38:02 PM PST by Houmatt (Users are losers. Losers are users.)
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To: new cruelty; eno_; FreeTally
Q: What do the war on drugs and the public schools have in common?

A: The more money and power thrown at them, the further they get from their stated purpose. The war on drugs was has been given a lot of our money and power over us to curb/end drug use...drug use is much higher than before the WOD. The public schools were given a lot of our money and power over us in the name of educating the children...we have the most ignorant kids on the planet now.

I see a pattern.
45 posted on 02/19/2003 3:44:19 PM PST by Orangedog (Accept No Substitutes)
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To: IncPen
You're probably the same cop who shows up to take away the kids when the parents don't want Ritalin shoved down their kids' throats. A Drug Warrior in more ways than one.
46 posted on 02/19/2003 3:49:36 PM PST by eno_
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To: eno_
You're probably the same cop who shows up to take away the kids when the parents don't want Ritalin shoved down their kids' throats. A Drug Warrior in more ways than one.

What is your basis for this comment?

47 posted on 02/19/2003 3:51:01 PM PST by IncPen
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To: Orangedog
Actually the pattern goes deeper than that.

Drug War addled PDs suck at solving burglaries and muggings, and are even losing effectiveness against rape and murder. In some cities you have a better than even chance of getting away with murder. Policing is going down the same road as public education.

Look at Chief Moose of the DC sniper case. He could be interchangable with any inner-city high school principal, cheap Ph.D. and all.
48 posted on 02/19/2003 3:54:36 PM PST by eno_
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To: Houmatt
Is Rep. Harold Dutton, D-Houston your rep.?

Let me know how the call goes.
49 posted on 02/19/2003 3:55:05 PM PST by new cruelty
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To: IncPen
You blindly follow orders.

You'll be there to confiscate guns, too.

Why not? It will be the law one day.
50 posted on 02/19/2003 3:56:46 PM PST by eno_
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