Monday, July 6, 2009

Rhode Island Studies Marijuana Decriminalization

Posted by Doug Bandow

Criminalization of marijuana use never did make sense. Surely the results of the Drug War–billions of dollars wasted, tens of millions of regular users, millions of people arrested–have made it even more obvious that prohibition is a failure. And now,with the U.S. suffering through a nasty recession, it is even more foolish to waste resources in a vain attempt to stop recreational drug use.

Before heading home for the July 4th weekend the Rhode Island Senate set up a committee to study the idea of decriminalization. Reports the Providence Journal:

Weeks after legalizing the sale of marijuana to sick people, lawmakers have voted to explore how much Rhode Island might collect in revenue if it were to make all sales of marijuana legal and impose a “sin tax” of $35 per ounce.

During the General Assembly’s aborted rush to adjournment Friday, the Senate approved a resolution — introduced earlier the same day — to create a nine-member special commission to study a swath of issues surrounding marijuana. Among them: “The experience of individuals and families sentenced for violating marijuana laws … The experience of states and European countries, such as California, Massachusetts and the Netherlands, which have decriminalized the sale and use of marijuana.”

Drug prohibition has failed. Rhode Island legislators have an opportunity to help the nation change direction in the way it deals with drug abuse.

Via: .Cato@Liberty

Teenage Girls Forced to "Jump Up and Down" During Marijuana Search

Posted in Chronicle Blog by Scott Morgan

Following the Supreme Court's recent decision that school officials violated the 4th Amendment when they strip-searched a 13-year-old girl, another similar lawsuit has been filed and the story is equally sickening:

According to the complaint, the incident began when the bus arrived at the school and two employees boarded it in order to resolve a dispute in which the girls were not involved. The employees "smelled what they thought was marijuana," the complaint states, and five girls seated at the back of the bus, including Gaither and S.C., were detained and searched.

During an interrogation that lasted the entire school day, and after being denied repeated requests to call their parents, the girls were required to "remove their shoes and socks, unbuckle their belts, unbutton their pants, and unzip their pants," the complaint says. They also had their "waistlines physically touched and searched" by a male employee while their pants were undone, and were made to "lift up their bras while their shirts remained on and jump up and down."

The searches were all performed behind closed doors and without the presence of police offices or female staff, the suit says. No marijuana was found. [Courthouse News]

The whole thing is so perverse and disturbing, it really ought to be examined in criminal court as well as civil. By the time a group of teenage girls was ordered lift their bras and hop up and down, it wasn't just a drug search anymore. This was something much sicker than that. But you can thank decades of propaganda-fueled marijuana hysteria for creating the environment in which school officials think they can get away with stuff like this.