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posted by martyb on Wednesday August 02 2017, @12:39PM   Printer-friendly
from the smoke-screen? dept.

New Jersey Senator Cory Booker has introduced a bill (alt) that has been described by Marijuana Majority as the most far-reaching marijuana bill ever filed in either chamber of Congress. It would legalize cannabis federally by removing "marihuana" and tetrahydrocannabinols from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. But it would go much further by withholding money from states with racially or financially disparate arrest and incarceration rates for cannabis-related crimes (effectively all states where cannabis is illegal):

The bill would legalize marijuana at the federal level and withhold federal money for building jails and prisons, along with other funds, from states whose cannabis laws are shown to disproportionately incarcerate minorities.

Under the legislation, federal convictions for marijuana use and possession would be expunged and prisoners serving time for a marijuana offense would be entitled to a sentencing hearing.

Those "aggrieved" by a disproportionate arrest or imprisonment rate would be able to sue, according to the bill. And a Community Reinvestment Fund would be established to "reinvest in communities most affected by the war on drugs" for everything from re-entry programs to public libraries.

Booker says that he will work towards bipartisan support for the bill.

Serious legalization attempt or just advertising for a 2020 U.S. Presidential Campaign?


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  • (Score: 1, Flamebait) by tangomargarine on Wednesday August 02 2017, @05:43PM (14 children)

    by tangomargarine (667) on Wednesday August 02 2017, @05:43PM (#548020)

    Simply put, anyone who still believes that MJ should be illegal is, by extension, supporting this (obviously racist and ridiculous) claim.

    Or they just have other reasons. Do you believe anyone who's against affirmative action is a bigot, too? Drop the guilt by association.

    --
    "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Grishnakh on Wednesday August 02 2017, @06:32PM (10 children)

    by Grishnakh (2831) on Wednesday August 02 2017, @06:32PM (#548046)

    Oh bullshit. It's not "guilt by association", the actual reasons given for banning marijuana by Harry Anslinger (thanks to Thexalon for the quote) are:

    There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos, and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz, and swing, result from marijuana use. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers, and any others.

    This is exactly why it was banned in the first place. Therefore, if you support the continued ban, this is exactly the reasoning you're standing for.

    I'll make an analogy: suppose, in a slightly different alternate universe, Germany under Hitler banned coffee and tea, subject to strong criminal penalties, saying that the caffeine caused Aryan women to seek sex with other races, but meanwhile alcohol (esp. beer) stayed perfectly legal. Then of course, Germany loses WWII, and fast-forward to today, and caffeine is still highly illegal in Germany, even though there's zero evidence that caffeine has any serious negative effects (esp. compared to legal alcohol), and modern society doesn't buy into Nazi racism. What, then, is the reason it's still illegal? It must therefore be the original reasons given.

    It's the same with MJ: there's no valid and scientific reason for it to be illegal, so if you support its ban, then you must automatically be a racist. There's no other reason possible. Unless you'd rather admit to being a complete moron, or completely corrupt (i.e. you're profiting from the ban somehow).

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by tangomargarine on Wednesday August 02 2017, @08:21PM (6 children)

      by tangomargarine (667) on Wednesday August 02 2017, @08:21PM (#548099)

      What the hell? You could support the ban for a completely different reason. If the status quo happens to align with how you want the world to be, you're not going to repeal the law "because their reasoning is wrong" then pass another bill to do the exact same thing "but this time the reasoning is right!" I dunno, maybe *you* would.

      You seem to be saying pragmatism is outlawed in this context.

      --
      "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Grishnakh on Wednesday August 02 2017, @08:40PM (1 child)

        by Grishnakh (2831) on Wednesday August 02 2017, @08:40PM (#548104)

        Except there IS no valid reason to support the ban. If you disagree, I'd like to hear the reason, because I've never heard one, other than "it's illegal". The reason it's illegal is because of Anslinger and the anti-marijuana movement which was founded on racist ideas as discussed before, and also (thanks to 'turgid' for this quote):

        Working with a newspaper magnate, William Randolph Hearst, he created hysteria around the impact of cannabis on American youth and proclaimed an invasion of marijuana-smoking Mexican men assaulting white women. The ensuing public anxiety led to the drug being banned. The US then imposed its anti-cannabis stance on other western countries and this was finally imposed on the rest of the world through the first UN convention on narcotic drugs in 1961.

        You have a great point: the law should be repealed because the reasoning is wrong. If there is valid reasoning, then they can pass another bill to do the exact same thing, but with valid reasoning. But since there's no valid reasoning, the new bill won't pass. Yes, *I* would do this, because it's a better way to have public policy. We clearly aren't going to get it legalized easily just because it doesn't make sense to have it criminalized, it costs society a fortune in incarceration and enforcement and lost productivity, etc. etc., so maybe that's the approach: attack the original reasoning used to pass the laws in the first place, and have it repealed on that alone. After that, it'll be much harder to ban it because they'd need a much better reason than "it makes white women have sex with 'Negroes' and entertainers" to actually get the new bill passed. After all, it's generally hard to get new legislation passed, especially if it's controversial, so maybe we really do need a mechanism in government so that laws are repealed if the original arguments for the laws are found to be bogus.

        • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Wednesday August 02 2017, @08:50PM

          by tangomargarine (667) on Wednesday August 02 2017, @08:50PM (#548110)

          Oh, I'm in favor of legalizing weed, too. I just take issue with your claim that anybody who doesn't agree, automatically holds a specific argument and that makes them a bad person.

          --
          "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
      • (Score: 2) by hemocyanin on Thursday August 03 2017, @03:11AM (1 child)

        by hemocyanin (186) on Thursday August 03 2017, @03:11AM (#548208) Journal

        I just can't comprehend other people thinking they have right to tell other people how to live their lives when it comes to innocuous behaviors. Obviously I'm not talking about murder, rape, and pillage -- it's OK to tell people they can't harm others -- I'm not talking about all of the victimless crimes out there like smoking pot, which probably has a lower societal cost than horseback riding (broken necks), skiing (broken legs), or mountain biking (shattered shoulders).

        Where do these type of prohibitionist people get off? I don't smoke pot because I don't think it is fun. I know people who do because they enjoy it. BFD. You don't like pot, don't smoke it -- that should be the end of the question. Instead, the prohibitionists have to rob me via taxation for prisons, police, and military actions -- ruin people's lives over bullshit -- create a violent and deadly class of black marketeers -- spawn death through untested impure products making it in to the public's hands ... for what? Because you're a better Puritan than Jeff Sessions? Shove that attitude up your ass and choke to death on it. Fucking Puritans cost us as a society, way too much.

        • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Thursday August 03 2017, @04:01PM

          by tangomargarine (667) on Thursday August 03 2017, @04:01PM (#548406)

          For the record, I agree with you.

          I'm just taking issue with Grisnakh being some sort of arbiter declaring everybody has the same motivation and are therefore evil.

          --
          "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
      • (Score: 2) by dry on Thursday August 03 2017, @05:50AM (1 child)

        by dry (223) on Thursday August 03 2017, @05:50AM (#548240) Journal

        There's still the original reason for the ban. It's just too useful. Hearst got it banned due to needing to protect his pulp paper business. They'd just invented a machine to separate the fiber from the rest and hemp is a much better source of cheap paper then wood. There has been a lot of other uses for Marijuana (a word invented to replace hemp because no one would ban such a useful substance). From the high quality oil to the high quality cellulose to the high quality food source in hemp seed to all the medical uses for a plant that is hard to patent. Lots more I'm forgetting such as a handy way to repress minority votes in a land where a criminal record means no vote (no job either).
        Sadly there will always be resistance to something that can fuck up various industries.

        • (Score: 2) by dak664 on Thursday August 03 2017, @01:08PM

          by dak664 (2433) on Thursday August 03 2017, @01:08PM (#548324)

          Oil magnates also wanted to eliminate competition from hemp oil (as they had done earlier with ethanol, for long enough to force Ford to make gasoline-only cars). We are paying in many many ways for the greed of those captains of industry.

          http://www.ozarkia.net/bill/pot/blunderof37.html [ozarkia.net]

    • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Thursday August 03 2017, @01:58PM (2 children)

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday August 03 2017, @01:58PM (#548343) Journal

      " Therefore, if you support the continued ban, this is exactly the reasoning you're standing for."

      Sorry, but no.

      Gubbermint has had the past 80 years, plus, to brainwash people. Maybe some people are still fearful that their daughter might grow up to want a black man. Maybe. But, there ARE other reasons to oppose the legalization of MJ. The bit of brainwashing that had the most effect on me, personally, was that MJ was a "gateway drug". Literature when I was growing up established as "fact" that people who tried MJ were about 20 zillion times more likely to go on to "hard drugs" as those who never tried cannabis. And, again, personally, I believed that shit.

      As for the original versions of anti-MJ propaganda, I always thought it was corny and stupid, even as a little kid. Well, at least from about age 10. I watched the stupid video, and I thought it was a comedy, FFS.

      I would suggest that you ASK PEOPLE who are opposed to legalization WHY they are opposed. And, I suggest that you take their word, and don't try to read RACISM into every reason you hear.

      All of that said - I voted for the legalization of MJ in Arkansas in the last election. Not because I really "want" to see MJ on the store shelves, but because I'm simply sick of government waging war on my neighbors. Stupid fuckers want to spend their money getting high - that's their business. No need to kick their doors down, kill their dogs, put the kids in the hospital with serious concussions, and jail the parents for decades.

      • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Thursday August 03 2017, @02:28PM (1 child)

        by Grishnakh (2831) on Thursday August 03 2017, @02:28PM (#548356)

        I would suggest that you ASK PEOPLE who are opposed to legalization WHY they are opposed. And, I suggest that you take their word,

        That would be pretty difficult, because I literally don't know anyone who's opposed to it these days. Yes, a lot of people believed the "gateway drug" BS decades ago, but these days I don't think there's much support for that. I don't know Jeff Sessions personally, so I can't talk to him, and he's really the only person I know of who's still opposed to legalization, though I can gather from the public things he's said is that he ties it to a big surge in violent crime (though this surge is completely fictional), but I can't follow your advice and take him at his word because politicians are infamous for lying and spouting such BS when their real motivation is something else (like supporting industries that bribe them, such as the private prison industry that Sessions likes so much).

        • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Thursday August 03 2017, @02:48PM

          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday August 03 2017, @02:48PM (#548367) Journal

          Well, I did say "ask people", as opposed to "ask the subhuman lizard people in Washington".

  • (Score: 1, Troll) by aristarchus on Wednesday August 02 2017, @07:24PM (2 children)

    by aristarchus (2645) on Wednesday August 02 2017, @07:24PM (#548071) Journal

    Do you believe anyone who's against affirmative action is a bigot, too?

    Why, yes, I do! Why do you ask, bigot?

    • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 03 2017, @01:59PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 03 2017, @01:59PM (#548344)

      typical aristarchus faggotry