Department of hypocrisy.com: marijuana, our "right-to-work" Indiana state legislature, and lots more

Something in today’s local Herald-Times caught my eye, but then, when I went back to find it later, I could not. Musta been extremely tiny and hidden. So I googled it, and sure enough, found this, thanks to theagitator.com:

Funny How That Works

January 28, 2012

The Indiana legislature was considering a bill sponsored by state Rep. Jud McMillin to require drug testing for welfare recipients. But then my new favorite state-level politician (hey, it’s a low bar!) Rep. Ryan Dvorak engaged in some top-shelf legislative trolling.

Apparently running with the notion that taxpayer dollars shouldn’t go to abusers of drugs and alcohol, Rep. Dvorak’s amendment requires legislators to submit to drug tests and a random breathalyzer test. They would have to reimburse the legislative council for the costs of these tests. If the legislator refused or failed the test, he or she would be subject to discipline or an assessed penalty by his or her chamber.

And it passed! Here’s the punchline:

I’m hearing that, with this amendment, Rep. McMillin is no longer so enthusiastic about the bill and will not be moving it forward.

Well of course it won’t. If anything, there’s a much stronger argument for drug testing the people who write and vote on laws than there your average welfare recipient.

(Thanks to Zach Wendling for the tip.)

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A.K. Last night, an image somebody put up on Facebook caught my eye, so I saved it on my desktop. Then couldn’t find it this morning. So googled and got these two instead.

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Next question: how many of those incarcerated are there because of simple marijuana possession?

Found this, from norml.org.

Incarceration Nation — Marijuana Arrests For Year 2009 Near Record High

September 15, 2010

by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director

Police prosecuted 858,408 persons for marijuana violations in 2009, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s annual Uniform Crime Report, released today. The arrest total is the second highest ever reported by the FBI, and marks a 1.3 percent increase in the number of arrests reported in 2008 (847,864).

  • According to the report, marijuana arrests now comprise more than one-half (approximately 52 percent) of all drug arrests reported in the United States. A decade ago, marijuana arrests comprised just 44 percent of all drug arrests.Approximately forty-six percent of all drug prosecutions nationwide are for marijuana possession.

    “The numbers tell the story; the enforcement of criminal marijuana laws and the prosecution of marijuana offenders, in particular minor marijuana possession defendants, is driving the present drug war,” NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano said. “Those who claim otherwise would be better off advocating for a long-overdue reprioritization law enforcement resources and concerns.

    “It makes no sense to continue to prosecute Americans for their use of a substance that poses far fewer health risks than alcohol or tobacco. A better and more sensible solution would be to legalize and regulate cannabis in a manner similar to alcohol, as is presently being proposed in California byProposition 19.”

    Of those charged with marijuana violations, approximately 88 percent (758,593 Americans) were charged with possession only. The remaining 99,815 individuals were charged with “sale/manufacture,” a category that includes virtually all cultivation offenses.

    Regionally, the percentage of marijuana arrests was highest in the Midwest (62 percent of all drug arrests) and southern regions (56 percent of all drug arrests) of the United States, and lowest in the west, where pot prosecutions comprised only 40 percent of total drug arrests.

    In 2007, the FBI reported 872,721 marijuana prosecutions in the United States, the highest total on record.

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A.K.: And, this morning, I see from Abby Zimet on commondreams.org.

Good Question

January 30, 2012

by Abby Zimet

A question advocating marijuana legalization and regulation from a retired LAPD deputy chief of police won twice as many votes as any other video question in the White House’s ‘Your Interview with the President’ online competition this weekend. A member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), Stephen Downing said his 20 years of experience convinced him the country’s drug policies are “a complete waste of criminal justice resources.”

“What do you say to (the) growing voter constituency that wants more changes to drug policy than you have delivered in your first term?”

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