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Archive for Sunday, October 30, 2005

Wrong message

October 30, 2005

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To the editor:

Our family has read with great interest developments surrounding the proposed ordinance moving prosecution of marijuana users from district court to municipal court.

Interesting, too, are efforts by some city commissioners to alleviate minimum fines under a new ordinance for these drug offenders. Seemingly, the Kansas Drug Policy Forum and some commissioners seek to minimize the consequences for law-breakers. Attempts to validate this move by citing the existence of a similar ordinance in Columbia, Mo., bears no value or validity. City officials in Columbia clearly made a poor decision.

Comments by certain members of the Kansas Drug Policy Forum quoted in a Journal-World article of Oct. 26, opposing establishment of any minimum fine or enforcement of a new ordinance reveal their true motives. Though the rhetoric we've heard indicates a desire to remove the "burden" of "trivial cases" of first-time drug offenders from our district courts, their position indicates it is really a desire to see marijuana decriminalized.

How can this community rationalize this ordinance while our schools seek to educate our children about the dangers of drug and alcohol use and abuse? Would we choose to send a message to our children that as a community we wink at those dangers by minimizing the consequences of such offenders? Which is it? Are we seeking to change the law for the safety of our community or are we bowing to special interest groups that wish to promote drug use in our community? To our commissioners: Just say no!

Bob and Amy Zook,

Lawrence

Comments

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 3 months ago

What some have proposed would be for no mandatory minimum fine. At the descretion of the judge, a fine of up to $2500 could still be levied at any offender, which is the current maximum even if prosecuted in district court.

Richard Heckler 9 years, 3 months ago

All of the laws in the world have not stopped humans from seeking pleasure one way or another. We have spent billions or maybe trillions on the so called drug war yet the business of drugs continue. Law enforcement agents are bought off everywhere because of the big time money factor. Making certain things no longer illegal removes the big bucks of illicit drug trafficking. No more smuggling thus the romance is over. Money money money is why drug trafficking is so attractive.

There is a fair amount of DEA money used for oil pipeline protection. Oil is also a drug.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 3 months ago

There are many who support this measure, and not all have the same motive(s,) but the motives are irrelevant. This is not legalization or even decriminalization, and commissioners should not be swayed by what are essentially ad hominem and strawman attacks, which is what this letter amounts to.

Skeptic 9 years, 3 months ago

The schools are trying to teach that bad laws are good, and that's justification for not changing bad laws?

Jamesaust 9 years, 3 months ago

I agree with the author's general insight - opposition to anything greater than a token fine does reveal a decriminalization goal rather than an efficiency goal in this proposal.

The objectionable fine, if I remember correctly, is $300. I do not find that an improper number for a felonious act, especially when the criminal is already catching a significant 'break' under the proposal. But then, I do not have an agenda of removing the felony from the act.

Those who do should be honest enough to just say so.

craigers 9 years, 3 months ago

That is true jabotb. However, I think with treatment that drug dealers and offenders have received in this city in general we know that the fines will end up on the lower end of the scale.

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