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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: 2) by SanityCheck on Wednesday August 02 2017, @07:38PM (8 children)

    by SanityCheck (5190) on Wednesday August 02 2017, @07:38PM (#548083)

    Yeah I know Oxycontin should just be legal. If we made it legal, people would stop dying from overdoses of legal drugs they used to substitute for this illegal one.... Oh wait I got that backwards, Oxycontin is LEGAL and people substitute it with illegal drugs and die in record numbers, FML!

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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by urza9814 on Wednesday August 02 2017, @10:51PM (5 children)

    by urza9814 (3954) on Wednesday August 02 2017, @10:51PM (#548148) Journal

    Yeah I know Oxycontin should just be legal. If we made it legal, people would stop dying from overdoses of legal drugs they used to substitute for this illegal one.... Oh wait I got that backwards, Oxycontin is LEGAL and people substitute it with illegal drugs and die in record numbers, FML!

    Seriously? Do you have any understanding of how the US Controlled Substances Act works? People aren't just leaving half a bottle of oxy unused in the cabinet to go seek out heroin. People switch when the oxy is no longer legal -- ie, when their prescription runs out and they can't get another. You can't just go buy this stuff from the corner drugstore, you need a prescription, otherwise it ISN'T legal. What often happens is people get a prescription for a legitimate reason, then they get addicted but whatever injury they had heals so the doctor won't give them any more pills. THAT is when they turn to the black market. If you'd just let them keep taking oxy I highly doubt they'd be switching to anything else.

    Also, consider what it means that they switch to other drugs precisely because they can't get the oxy. It's "legal", but they can't get it! Yet they CAN get the stuff that's illegal! So if you want to stop someone from taking a drug, making it illegal doesn't seem like the best strategy, does it? It's a fine line, but what you want to do is make it sufficiently available so that there's not enough profit in black market sales (including sales of "alternatives"), but keep it sufficiently regulated that you can keep some control over the stuff. Also makes it easier to find and treat addicts and abusers -- a lot more addicts would probably seek treatment if they weren't afraid of being arrested for doing so.

    There's a couple different positions you can take, almost all of which are better than outright prohibition. For more dangerous stuff you probably do want to use something like the current prescription system. You can track who prescribes what to whom, and know if certain doctors are over-prescribing or certain patients are taking too much or too irregularly. But people who have a legitimate need are still able to get it. Plus the addicts can still potentially get it from a doctor, which means they're more likely to TRY to get it from a doctor, which gives the doctor more opportunities for medical intervention and treatment of the addiction. On the other end of the spectrum you've got stuff like cough medicine, where anyone can buy it but they still won't let you buy cases of the stuff because that's a sign that you're probably abusing it in some way. Or maybe you could say the other end of the spectrum is alcohol, where you just have to be old enough to be responsible for the consequences.

    • (Score: 2) by hemocyanin on Thursday August 03 2017, @03:21AM

      by hemocyanin (186) on Thursday August 03 2017, @03:21AM (#548211) Journal

      People aren't just leaving half a bottle of oxy unused in the cabinet to go seek out heroin. People switch when the oxy is no longer legal -- ie, when their prescription runs out and they can't get another.

      I had a client who ODed from this exact scenario -- prescription runs out, can't get refill, replaces with heroin, one night took too much and died. A big problem with street drugs is that dosing is difficult because there is no standardization -- one of the reasons to support legalization is that people will know what they are getting and accidental deaths would fall.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 03 2017, @05:22AM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 03 2017, @05:22AM (#548238)

      It shouldn't be legal in the first place. Lot of people get addicted because they take that shit thinking since it is legal it must be OK. A lot more shitheads are going to start smoking pot because they think since it's legal it must be OK. You can't ignore the problem got out of hand because of the gateway effect of legal Oxycontin, which was prescribed for EVERYTHING. There is no legitimate reason to take this shit unless you are not gonna make it till end of the week and addiction is not really a long term problem.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 03 2017, @07:13AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 03 2017, @07:13AM (#548252)

        Found the Presbyterian.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 03 2017, @09:40AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 03 2017, @09:40AM (#548278)

        A lot more shitheads are going to start smoking pot because they think since it's legal it must be OK.

        And, then, according to your ill-informed and butt-headed logic, they will "overdose" on pot? Do you know how hard that is to do? Have you ever tried to commit suicide by excessive pot smoking? Aspirin is easier, and aceitomeitophin is way easier to OD on. So, here is an idea. I want you to go home, drink a fifth of Vodka, flavored if that helps you, and then attempt to drink a second, oh, in the space of a hour or so. It's OK, it's legal. Take a handful of Tylenol, too. But at least we will not have to read your idiotic posts on SoylentNews anymore.

    • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Thursday August 03 2017, @02:43PM

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday August 03 2017, @02:43PM (#548365) Journal

      You did leave out a detail. Ocycontin and other drugs are over prescribed by doctors, because of some asinine false statistics spread around by the pharmaceuticals.

      My last ride in an ambulance, I was shot full of morphine. I wasn't in any real pain. Yeah, I hurt a little, but crap, not real pain. The ambulance crew hooked up their tubing and crap, and I was pretty much out of things. Kind of aware, but not really with it - just hanging in there. And, of course, they administered the morphine. Fek, I didn't need a pain reliever, I just needed to see a doctor, who could have made things all better without a potentially addictive drug being administered.

      But, that's what the medical profession does. It dopes people up. If you get addicted, that's your problem not ours.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 02 2017, @10:54PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 02 2017, @10:54PM (#548151)

    Nah, no self life procreation please. It's actually more proof that no amount of law will fix the drug problem this country and by extension the world currently faces. So just legalize it and use the cash that would have gone to policing pursuits to fund detox and recovery programs.

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 03 2017, @06:29AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 03 2017, @06:29AM (#548244)

    You do realize that the illegal drugs are unregulated, right? People have no idea what they actually contain, which often leads to overdoses when some much more powerful drug is mixed in.