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Barney Frank's "Make Room for Serious Criminals Bill

Old 03-23-08, 12:01 PM
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Barney Frank's "Make Room for Serious Criminals Bill

Rep. Frank says he'll file bill to legalize marijuana

BOSTONóRep. Barney Frank said he plans to file a bill to legalize "small amounts" of marijuana.

more stories like thisFrank announced his plans late Friday on the HBO show "Real Time," hosted by Bill Maher.

"I'm going to file a bill as soon as we go back to remove all federal penalties for the possession or use of small amounts of marijuana," Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat, told Maher.

Frank didn't define "small amounts." Efforts to reach Frank on Saturday were not immediately successful.

Frank said he'd filed a similar bill in the Massachusetts Legislature in the 1970s, but hasn't tried since he was elected to Congress.

"I finally got to the point where I think I can get away with it," he said.

Frank said he thinks "its time for the politicians in this one to catch up to the public. The notion that you lock people up for smoking marijuana is pretty silly."

He told Maher he'd call the bill the "Make Room for Serious Criminals" bill.
http://www.boston.com/news/local/mas...ana/?page=full

I think this would be a great law. Too bad it will never make it out of committee.
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Old 03-23-08, 12:16 PM
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It makes too much sense thus will never happen.
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Old 03-23-08, 12:20 PM
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I've always felt that the only crimes that should earn jail time were those involving grand theft or violence. All the rest should be out there under house arrest and working/paying fines/paying taxes. But yeah, this won't fly unfortunately.
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Old 03-23-08, 12:44 PM
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more stories like thisFrank
to unnecessary editorializing by the reporter.
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Old 03-23-08, 12:47 PM
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I'd rather have a pot head on the street than someone who robs, assaults, etc other citizens.
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Old 03-23-08, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by pedagogue
I'd rather have a pot head on the street than someone who robs, assaults, etc other citizens.
'specially if they share!
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Old 03-23-08, 12:59 PM
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I've never smoke pot but at this point I'd be ok with it. As long as we tax it heavily and send the tax money to public schools and orphanages...yeah right.

But seriously, I'd be open to Legalizing pot.
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Old 03-23-08, 01:14 PM
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Why doesn't he wait until it has even a remote chance of being signed into law? The odds of this reaching the president's desk are slim enough, but there's no way in hell bush would ever sign a bill like this.

Unless it's designed to fail in the first place.
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Old 03-23-08, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by pedagogue
I'd rather have a pot head on the street than someone who robs, assaults, etc other citizens.
Has it ever occurred to you that that pot head on the street just might be committing robberies, assaults, etc. on other citizens to pay for more pot?

Note: It's doubtful if it makes it out of the committee. It's even more doubtful that it would pass the full House. There's not a snowball's chance in hell that it would pass the Senate.
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Old 03-23-08, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
Has it ever occurred to you that that pot head on the street just might be committing robberies, assaults, etc. on other citizens to pay for more pot?


Has it ever occured to you that people who collect Hummel figurines just might be committing robberies, assaults, etc. on other citizens to pay for more Hummel figurines???
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Old 03-23-08, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
Has it ever occurred to you that that pot head on the street just might be committing robberies, assaults, etc. on other citizens to pay for more pot?
This is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever read on this forum.
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Old 03-23-08, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Tracer Bullet
This is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever read on this forum.
Agreed, a pothead doesn't have the energy or willpower to get off the sofa, unless it's for taco bell
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Old 03-23-08, 03:18 PM
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Pretty crazy that it's still illegal (or was even criminalized in the first place). As someone who smokes every day, and still manages to keep busier than most people, this paranoia of a baked nation coming to a standstill after legalization is laughable. The sheer variety of "stoners" out there suggests to me that it has very little negative influence on people's behavior (not that it can't, especially among younger people). The drug warriors' arguments for the continued criminalization of cannabis are pretty appalling, mostly because people still by into them - even though I've yet to hear one that really makes sense. By far the most dangerous aspect of the drug is simply getting caught with it by the wrong person.

I'll stop since it looks like I'm preaching to the choir here.

Other posters in this thread are correct though, this bill won't get anywhere. As the most widely used illicit drug, there is way way way too much money to be lost in the event of decriminalization.

Nevertheless, it's a good first step. To my knowledge, this is the first time an attempt for legalization in some form has occured at the federal level in some time. The grass roots activists have the right idea though. This is a battle that is going to need to won on a state-by-state basis before it ever gets any traction on a federal level.

Last edited by Nausicaa; 03-23-08 at 03:24 PM.
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Old 03-23-08, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Tracer Bullet
This is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever read on this forum.
What's ridiculous about it? You don't think potheads commit crimes?

Quickly - try to think of one of your usual nonsensical retorts.

Last edited by classicman2; 03-23-08 at 04:41 PM.
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Old 03-23-08, 04:35 PM
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Why don't you inform us of the heinous crimes potheads commit, Cman.
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Old 03-23-08, 04:40 PM
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Where did I say heinous? Of course if you are a victim of a property crime, you might think that's rather heinous. It certainly isn't pleasant.

Is it your position that there's no statistical difference between the crime rate of marijuana users as compared to the crime rate of non-users?
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Old 03-23-08, 04:50 PM
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Excuse me, but unless you're smoking in a National Park (or somewhere else that the Federal Governments laws hold sway) aren't you held to the state law, thus making this law moot? How many people are spending big time in federal prison for user amounts of marijuana?
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Old 03-23-08, 05:01 PM
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Whatever happened to the idea of reducing the penalties for possessing user amounts of crack cocaine to match the penalty for possessing user amounts of power cocaine? Did that go anywhere?
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Old 03-23-08, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by crazyronin
Excuse me, but unless you're smoking in a National Park (or somewhere else that the Federal Governments laws hold sway) aren't you held to the state law, thus making this law moot? How many people are spending big time in federal prison for user amounts of marijuana?
The federal possession laws, if the numbers I'm looking at are accurate, are probably not contributing much to the prison population. 1st offense carries no minimum sentence, with a mandatory of a year. The 2nd is a 15 day minimum sentence with a 2 year max, and subsequent offenses carry a 90 day minimum and a 3 year max. State laws seem to vary greatly. I see cman's home state sends you to prison for a minimum of 2 years for your 2nd, or subsequent, conviction of possessing any amount (10 year max!), as an example.

While I'm fine with the proposed bill (understanding that it will go nowhere) and while it would probably serve as an example to some states, it's only a small step in getting to the heart of the larger problem. And that is the off-shoot issues and punishments stemming from the black market itself.
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Old 03-23-08, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Nick Danger
Whatever happened to the idea of reducing the penalties for possessing user amounts of crack cocaine to match the penalty for possessing user amounts of power cocaine? Did that go anywhere?
I think they passed it, it's a small step - but it's not solving the real issue.

I never thought I'd see people (or person) trying to argue that there are hordes of marijuana users trawling the streets to feed their addictions.

And if there aren't a great deal of federal arrests for marijuana (though there are continuing raids against medical marijuana dispensaries), there exists significant pressure on state agencies to continue those prosecutions (not to mention federal funding for those operations). Over 800,000 arrests in the past year, unless I'm mistaken, over 80% for mere possession alone. Tell me that isn't clogging up our court system.
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Old 03-23-08, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
Where did I say heinous? Of course if you are a victim of a property crime, you might think that's rather heinous. It certainly isn't pleasant.

Is it your position that there's no statistical difference between the crime rate of marijuana users as compared to the crime rate of non-users?
Your quote:

Has it ever occurred to you that that pot head on the street just might be committing robberies, assaults, etc. on other citizens to pay for more pot?
Are you shootin' for a false positive to back up your argument? You seem to imply pot users commit just as many violent crimes as other drug users of heroine and meth.

And you would be wrong.

So, what exactly are you trying to say? I'm confused. On the one hand you give a statement implying violence from marijuana users as a whole, then come back and ask me if pot users commit less crimes than non-pot users.

What I can say, is a pot user is unlikely to mass murder people in a mall, church, or any other place. Why? Because he's getting his fulfillment from other means than chronic depression and schizo episodes which marijuana has a much less potential of doing versus any other drug. Additionally, a pothead is less likely to commit a violent crime than any other crime group, period. I think only the Amish have a lesser violence rate than pot users.

We've debated the marijuana thing before. The only way you could argue pot users are violent as the rest of the drug users is by miscategorized association. And by this I mean a guy on meth is arrested with a bong in his car, and about $20 of marijuana on him. Sure, you'll have exceptions, but exceptions shouldn't be writing the legislation. Common sense has a hard time of getting into legislation as we know, so it's no surprise we have a President and a bunch of older grandpas who still believe the Mary Jane Myth.

And if you want to use stats, then tell me how many tobacco users commit violent crimes versus marijuana users. They both are grown naturally. You smoke them both. And both have their own inherent mind-altering qualities.

Last edited by DVD Polizei; 03-23-08 at 06:56 PM.
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Old 03-23-08, 07:13 PM
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Do you have a problem with reading or merely reading comprehension?

Where did I imply that the marijuana user committed as many violent crimes as other drug users?

Where did I even mention the word 'violent?'

I again ask you - is the crime rate the same for marijuana users as it is for non-marijuana users?

I never thought I'd see people (or person) trying to argue that there are hordes of marijuana users trawling the streets to feed their addictions.
If you're speaking of me, I challenge you to show me where I said or implied that there were 'hordes of marijuana users trawling the streets to feed their additions.
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Old 03-23-08, 07:21 PM
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I just have a problem comprehending your statements, which are a mind-altering drug in and of itself.

You're back-tracking. Why did you even post about crimes of pot users, if you weren't attempting to prove they are just as bad as other drug users.

Has it ever occurred to you that that pot head on the street just might be committing robberies, assaults, etc. on other citizens...

I'm assuming Robbery and Assault, are violent crimes.
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Old 03-23-08, 10:31 PM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
Where did I say heinous? Of course if you are a victim of a property crime, you might think that's rather heinous. It certainly isn't pleasant.

Is it your position that there's no statistical difference between the crime rate of marijuana users as compared to the crime rate of non-users?
I think you are confusing marijuana and meth.
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Old 03-24-08, 04:57 AM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
I again ask you - is the crime rate the same for marijuana users as it is for non-marijuana users?
The answer is that the crime rate is higher for marijuana users, but marijuana use is not a statistically significant cause of crime.

If the supply of pot was completely cut off, there would be no noticeable change in the crime rate of the (now former) marijuana users. I don't think the same thing can be said about alcohol.
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