81 years for weed?

Carol

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http://www.vice.com/read/eighty-one-years-for-weed

A local activist, Rich Paul, is facing 81 years in the big house for selling weed and LSD to an FBI informant. Rich denies selling LSD (saying whatever it was, was a legal compound), but freely admits to selling the weed.

Rich is hoping for jury nullification. Like self-defense, such a strategy is an affirmative defense. The defendant admits that he broke the law, but shouldn't be charged because of xxxxx. In Rich's case, he doesn't think he should be charged because the law is unjust. In the state of NH, the defense has the right to inform juries that they may reach a not guilty verdict should they object to the law.

Personally? I don't like weed. But I can't get behind sending ol' Rich away for 86 years because he likes his green cigarettes.

What do you all think?
 
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Carol

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Over a pound. I don't know how much over a pound. But as this is the FBI, these are federal charges, not the typical state charges...in fact the state House of Representatives just approved a decriminalization bill.
 

Makalakumu

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you don't get that much for killing people....

Yeah, usually you get a medal for that. :flame:

Seriously, what a crazy world where we glorify killers and lock people up for the wrong vegetations. Thor help us all...
 

DennisBreene

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I suspect that New Hampshire is as likely a place to nullify in a situation like this as any. Everyone I've ever met from New Hampshire (that would be 2 people) has been a contrary SOB just on principle.
 

Tgace

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What do I think?

I think there is more to this story than weed....hell the DEA (who I work with routinely) won't even look at a weed case less than 50 lbs worth here.

Sent from my SCH-I405 using Tapatalk 2
 

Tgace

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What do I think?

I think there is more to this story than weed....hell the DEA (who I work with routinely) won't even look at a weed case less than 50 lbs worth here.

Sent from my SCH-I405 using Tapatalk 2

Add to this..the article is implying that a lone FBI agent is the driving force behind this prosecution. It doesn't work that way. Unless a US Attorney argees to prosecute the case a federal charge goes nowhere. These Feds dont do ANYTHING without the approval of an AUSA.

I (as a municipal LEO) can simply arrest someone whenever I have PC. In some cases we consult with the DA to be sure that they will prosecute for what we intend to arrest for. In almost ALL federal contacts I have had, these federal agents rarely do anything without the approval of their districts Assistant US Attorney.
 

celtic_crippler

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Priorities…

It’s all about our priorities isn’t it?

What’s a good indicator of where our priorities are in regards to “crime”? How about the average punitive action in the form of jail time assigned to each “crime” on average? I’d say that’s a good yard stick, wouldn’t you?


  • The average sentence for a person convicted of child molestation is four months and five years probation.
  • Though punishment for rape is not uniform in the US, the average time spent in jail by convicted rapists is 5.4 years.
  • Your first DUI will likely not land you in jail without there being other factors involved (say manslaughter for example), but your 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] DUI will and the sentence varies drastically from state to state and is largely up to the discretion of the judge.
  • Possession of an illegal firearm by a convicted felon is punishable by 5 years in prison without possibility of parole on average. An unregistered sawed off shotgun or fully automatic weapon can get you 10 years in the Federal Pen.
  • Laws regarding prostitution and soliciting a prostitute vary widely, but it seems in most cases it takes more than one arrest to get you jail time. And like DUI, the sentence may be at the discretion of the judge.
  • 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] Degree Vehicular Manslaughter can get you anywhere from 1 to 10 years. Involuntary Manslaughter under Federal guidelines usually carries a sentence of 10 to 16 months.

Based on sentencing, it would seem that selling marijuana is a much more heinous crime than child molestation in the eyes of the average US citizen. Yet we have had presidents who have smoked it and they aren’t in jail. We’ve even had presidents who used cocaine. But if the sentencing of the offense is any indicator of our values, it would seem a president who molested children would be preferable. Interesting, isn’t it?

If you’d like to compare other crimes, simply perform an internet search. The information’s available with minimal effort.
 

pgsmith

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It sounds to me like an unwilling informant. The FBI was probably trying to get an informant into a larger drug smuggling ring and the fellow that they hoped to use balked, so they are carrying through their threatened prosecution. Just what it seems like to me.
 

Drasken

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I agree that I think there is more to this story. Also, just because this guy says he wasn't selling LSD doesn't mean he wasn't. I knew someone caught with mushrooms. He tried to draw it out in court and keep having them retested hoping the compounds in the mushrooms would degrade and test negative so he could get out of his felony charge. Which of course isn't going to work.

Most cops I know, and keep in mind the conservative state I live in, won't even arrest people for weed anymore unless it's a large quantity or it's obviously a distributing charge. Cops here are focusing more on the meth and psychedelics problem.
If he WAS selling LSD that would account for the large amount of time. And if it is tested and comes back negative, his possible sentence will likely be drastically reduced.


I think charging that harshly just for weed is starting to become a thing of the past. But keep in mind that other drugs, guns in hands of criminals, violence... They all go hand in hand with the drug dealers. So don't just assume weed is the key factor here. The media seems to be omitting details to push an agenda.
 
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Carol

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It sounds to me like an unwilling informant. The FBI was probably trying to get an informant into a larger drug smuggling ring and the fellow that they hoped to use balked, so they are carrying through their threatened prosecution. Just what it seems like to me.

Me too. According to Rich, he was offered a plea from the FBI before trial that would have involved no jail time had he agreed to wear a wire around his activist center and convince the other folks there to buy drugs from him. He was not willing, and was very public with his unwillingness. I doubt the center in question is a smuggling ring but there are plenty of people there who like their smoke, and don't like LE.
 

ballen0351

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81 years is the max sentence for all the charges he is facing. He will NEVER EVER get the max. I've locked up guys whos max penalties are in the 500+ year mark and they and up getting 3 to 5 out in 2 years. Huge difference in maximum penalty and what someone is sentenced too.
I also wonder why everyone is so quick to dismiss the LSD charge since that's where the bulk of the 81 penalty is coming from not the marijuana.
They also have guidelines that set the sentence they look at prior arrests and convictions for same charges. More convictions for same thing the more the sentence is going to be
 
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Carol

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I also wonder why everyone is so quick to dismiss the LSD charge since that's where the bulk of the 81 penalty is coming from not the marijuana.

I don't know if everyone is being so quick to dismiss the LSD charge, I think the focus is on the marijuana because Rich is being so open to admitting its use. Naturally we don't have counterpoint from the FBI's side.

Are the bulk of the charges really from the LSD? This is a lot more in your area of expertise than mine.
 

ballen0351

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I don't know if everyone is being so quick to dismiss the LSD charge, I think the focus is on the marijuana because Rich is being so open to admitting its use. Naturally we don't have counterpoint from the FBI's side.

Are the bulk of the charges really from the LSD? This is a lot more in your area of expertise than mine.

Well if I remember correctly the penalty for selling 10 grams or more of LSD is min 10 yes max life in prison. Under 10 grams not less then 5 us not more then 40.
So depending on how much and how many times he's charged with it. If I buy 1 gram from you on 2 different days my max charges would be 80 years.
Now for the exact same sentences you would need 100 kilos of marijuana for the 5 to 40 yes. For the 10 to life you would need more then 1000 kilos.

Now I might be off a little because I don't have the sentence guidelines in front of me I'm going off memory. I can look up actual numbers later.
 

granfire

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Well if I remember correctly the penalty for selling 10 grams or more of LSD is min 10 yes max life in prison. Under 10 grams not less then 5 us not more then 40.
So depending on how much and how many times he's charged with it. If I buy 1 gram from you on 2 different days my max charges would be 80 years.
Now for the exact same sentences you would need 100 kilos of marijuana for the 5 to 40 yes. For the 10 to life you would need more then 1000 kilos.

Now I might be off a little because I don't have the sentence guidelines in front of me I'm going off memory. I can look up actual numbers later.

are they still weighing the paper as part of the LSD?
 

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