Search Results: three strikes (22)

Los Angeles Times
California’s badly overcrowded prisons and jails are one of the most visible signs of the failure of mandatory minimum sentences

Proposition 36 Puts End to 25-to-Life Sentences for Minor Drug Law Violations and Other Nonviolent Crimes
California’s voters appear to have voted overwhelmingly to reform their state’s draconian “three strikes” law. The measure, Proposition 36, which enjoyed a huge lead in early returns, will close a controversial loophole in the law so that life sentences can only be imposed when the new felony conviction is “serious or violent.”
Three strikes laws, often known as “habitual offender” laws, grew out of the “tough on crime” era of the 1980s and 90s. Between 1993 and 1995, 24 states passed some kind of three strikes law, but California’s 1994 three-strikes ballot measure was especially harsh.
While the law required the first and second strike to be either violent or serious, any infraction can trigger a third strike and the life sentence that goes with it. Therefore, petty offenses – such as stealing a piece of pizza – have led to life imprisonment for thousands of people.

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A Louisiana bill to reduce crimes for repeat marijuana offenders and rid the state of abhorrent “three strikes” laws for possession of any amount failed to pass the state Senate yesterday.
House Bill 103 had already cleared the state House late last month, but Senate members refused to call the bill up for a vote on three separate occasions.

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An amended version of a bill that would end Louisiana’s draconian three-strikes law for some marijuana crimes has finally made its way through the house.
But it could be a tight squeeze to get the bill through. The Louisiana Senate adjourns next week, leaving little time to have the bill heard, debated and voted on before the politicians leave Baton Rouge for the year.

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As we reported back in March, Louisiana legislators are considering a bill that would have dropped marijuana possession from the mandatory minimum sentencing laws that help in the clogging of state prison systems.
House Bill 103 is gaining momentum, moving through committee this week and on to the House floor. The Advocate reports it was a pretty lively discussion, with several legislators pointing out the stupidity of sending people away for 20 years or more for a single joint to other, more pig-headed colleagues hell-bent on punishing pot users.

Photo: Alejandro Mejía Greene/JubiloHaku via Flickr Creative Commons

The Public Safety Committee in the California state legislature shot down AB2500 last week, a bill crafted by Assemblyman Jim Frazier that would have made driving with any trace of THC in your system illegal, and punishable by DUI conviction.
Frazier attempted to lump cannabis in with actual drugs like meth, cocaine, and heroin in a bill that was unreasonably strict, even after Frazier’s original language for it got slashed for being so unjust.

Photo: Matt Mernagh
The case was brought by prominent Canadian cannabis activist, patient and writer Matt Mernagh, above, a contributor to Toke of the Town.

An Ontario court has struck down Canada’s marijuana laws. The court struck down laws against possessing and growing cannabis as part of a ruling that found the country’s medical marijuana program is failing to provide access to the herb for patients who need it.

BUT. (And don’t you hate this?) That doesn’t mean smoking pot is legal yet, reports Adrian Morrow at The Globe and Mail. The federal government now has three months to launch an appeal or change its regulations to fix the problems identified by the court.
Justice Donald Taliano of the Ontario Superior Court struck down the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations, arguing they aren’t doing enough to ensure patients can obtain permission to use cannabis.

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Marijuana possession would not be included in Louisiana’s draconian mandatory minimum sentencing laws if a bill introduced earlier this week manages to find approval in the state legislature.
State Rep. Austin Badon, a democrat from New Orleans, introduced House Bill 103 on Tuesday which in addition to removing marijuana possession a qualifying offense for the state’s three strikes law.

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As we predicted when we reported on San Diego’s restrictive new medical marijuana ordinance that was passed back in February of this year, pro-cannabis advocates in the city filed a lawsuit late last week to attempt to stop the new proposal in its tracks.
Earlier in the month of February, Toke of the Town reported that a California judge in Kern County had ruled in favor of cannabis activists who argued that a recently approved and highly restrictive ordinance had created a de facto ban on storefront medical marijuana dispensaries in the region.
Those activists then took it a step further, citing the California Environmental Quality Act, arguing that the new ordinance was literally making people drive too far to get their weed, in turn creating undue amounts of air pollution. Lo and behold, the judge bought it and the ban was lifted.

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Attorney General Eric Holder.

Attorney General Eric Holder yesterday told NPR that too many people are in jail for nonviolent drug crimes and that there is a great need for federal drug sentencing reform in the United States.
“The war on drugs is now 30, 40 years old,” Holder told NPR. “There have been a lot of unintended consequences. There’s been a decimation of certain communities, in particular communities of color.”

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