Safe Access to Drug Treatment and Child Protecti

hardheadjarhead

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I thought this might spark a discussion. The following is a critique from the Drug Policy Alliance on and about the Safe Access to Drug Treatment and Child Protection Act:

H.R. 1528, Defending America's Most Vulnerable: Safe Access to Drug Treatment and Child Protection Act of 2005, is one of the worst drug war bills that Congress has ever considered.

Among other things, HR 1528:

--Virtually eliminates the ability of federal judges to give sentences below the minimum sentence recommended by federal sentencing guidelines, essentially creating a mandatory minimum sentence for every federal offense (including both drug and non-drug offenses).

--Expands the federal three strikes and youre out law to include new offenses, including mandating life imprisonment (with no possibility of parole) for anyone convicted a third time under the RAVE Act.

--Mandates a 10-year minimum sentence for anyone 21 or older that gives marijuana or others drugs to someone under 18 (i.e. a 21 year old college students gives a joint to his 17-year old brother). A second offense would be life in prison.

--Expands what is considered to be a drug-free school zone to include almost any place in an urban area, and increases penalties for selling or distributing drugs in that area. (The result will be enhanced penalties for people in inner cities, while people in rural and suburban areas get less time for the same offense).

--Mandates a 5-year minimum sentence for any person that commits a drug trafficking offense near the presence of a person under 18 or in a place where such person resides for any period of time. The sentence is 10 years if they are parent. (I.e. a mother that sells her neighbor a joint will get a 10-year minimum sentence, even if her kids were at school at the time).

--Creates a new offense for persons who witness or learn about certain drug offenses that fail to report the drug offender to the police within 24 hours or fail to provide full assistance to the police in tracking and prosecuting the offender. Offenses that would get someone a 2-year minimum sentence, including failing to report a neighbor that is storing or selling drugs when that neighbor has kids, failing to report anyone that gives a joint to someone under the age of 21, and failing to report a college student that is selling marijuana on a college campus.

--Mandates a 5-year minimum sentence for any person that offers, solicits, encourages, or induces a person enrolled in drug treatment, or previously enrolled in drug treatment, to purchase, possess or receive drugs.

--Makes it a federal crime to provide "drug paraphernalia" to anyone. While the goal is to make it a crime - punishable by up to three years in prison - to give someone a bong as a birthday present, it would also make it a federal crime to provide someone with sterile syringes (except where it is explicitly authorized by local or state law). If enacted, it would essentially criminalize many needle exchange programs.

The full text of H.R. 1528 can be viewed by going to http://thomas.loc.gov/ , entering HR1528 in the search box, checking the enter bill number circle under the search box, and clicking search.



Thoughts on the bill? Thoughts on the critique?


Here's the bill:

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?c109:1:./temp/~c109I4fH8F::


Regards,



Steve
 

Cryozombie

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Did they define "drug paraphernalia"?

What if I purchase a Hookah and some Shisha to smoke in it? Is the hookah still "drug paraphernalia" despite the fact I am using it to smoke a legal substance?

What if I buy a Pie Pan for the express purpose of making "shroom" pizzas, will they arrest every housewife with a pie pan?

Give me a break.
 

bignick

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The way I've always understood it is that it's only parephenalia if there's residue of illegal substances.
 

ginshun

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bignick said:
The way I've always understood it is that it's only parephenalia if there's residue of illegal substances.
Thats what I thought too. Otherwise how would they be able to sell them at all?

And as for the whole thread. Ya great idea, make some more drug laws, because its obvious the ones we have now are working so well. [face_roll_eyes]
 
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hardheadjarhead

hardheadjarhead

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The examples cited by the critic are not unusual. I know middle class parents who smoke an occasional joint. If they sell a joint (at cost) to another person--say a brother in law--while in their own home, they face ten years. I fail to see how depriving their children of parents is going to help the children.

If they tell me about the sale, and I do nothing, I face two years imprisonment. If my new neighbor tells me offhandedly that she sold some dope to her boyfriend...a college student (who isn't a minor)...and I don't call the police, I face two years imprisonment. If they know nothing of the law in telling me these things, which is probably why they would tell me they sold dope, then I am placed in the position of HAVING to narc on them regardless of my feelings about the act.

This is going to criminalize a very large section of America's population.


Regards,


Steve
 

Ray

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hardheadjarhead said:
The examples cited by the critic are not unusual. I know middle class parents who smoke an occasional joint. If they sell a joint (at cost) to another person--say a brother in law--while in their own home, they face ten years. I fail to see how depriving their children of parents is going to help the children.
Yup, I have to agree with you. I'd rather have the children at home with their parents, smoking dope, drinking, telling jokes and selling joints wholesale to other family members.

On second hand, I might not agree with you.
 
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