Prosecutor Defeated By Stupidity Of Pot Laws

Submitted by: Cajun247 4 years ago
http://reason.com/blog/2012/08/14/kansas-prosecutor-defeated-by-glaring-st

Jury revolts in response to possession charges, forcing the prosecutor to drop the charges.
There are 24 comments:
Male 10,845
But, as Angillion puts it though, it is the proper role of government to protect people from the tresspasses of others. But when it tries to protect people from themselves does it become detrimental to peace and prosperity.
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Male 10,845
[quote]The last thing we want to do is give a ticket to say ok to that by legalising it, we already have nicotine and alcohol.. so if we do this, next thing we`ll be seeing meth abusers saying how it should be legalised because alcohol, nicotine, and weed are legal, and explaining all the benefits of meth use, and how it`s meth`s turn to be leagalized..[/quote]

That would be problematic if it weren`t for the fact that criminalizing such drugs has been the very thing that has made the problem worse. The "abusers" are rightfully afraid that if they admit to their problems one of two scenarios will play out:
a)They will go to jail for a long time.
b)They will undergo a draconian drug treatment program that wouldn`t be very effective and at worst would cause them more problems than before. If it fails than they`re back to scenario "A".
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Male 10,845
[quote]Anarchy is a nice idea...if everyone was nice[/quote]

Who in the world was suggesting anarcy?
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Male 12,365
Anarchy is a nice idea...if everyone was nice. But they`re not, so your ideas would lead to a very oppressive society and probably revolution. If given free reign, people with power will abuse those without it. So, for example, your society would very quickly develop what was effectively indentured servitude. Most people would be paid the minimum needed to keep them functional as a resource for their employer and they`d probably pay most of their wages back to their employer anyway. Although nowadays it would probably be possible to keep most people unemployed and use machines instead. Which would be a death sentence in your society, since unemployed people wouldn`t have water, food or shelter. Obviously, hardly anybody would have opportunities to gain skills because they wouldn`t be able to afford to do so.

Extremes almost always lead to horrible societies.

Faced with that, revolt is likely. May as well if you`re going to die anyway.
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Female 349
I think the government needs to get their noses out of peoples business. I think that the min wage needs to be abolished so even junkies can get and maintain a job even just to support their habits, and/or gain skills so that they may better themselves. The only laws that should be enforced are the ones that are necessary. Violent crimes, thefts, laws that will help keep up an INDIVIDUALS RIGHTS to live the life that they choose to lead.
Not everybody is shaped to fit inside of the same box. Though democracy can be great if done right, individual liberty is more important than anything. People should have the right to do what they please without a nanny government breathing down their neck, as long as you`re not hurting anyone or their life in the mean time. I`m not talking about having an "ugly lawn" either. If the government wanted people to be self sufficient, they`d stop coddling people and allow more opportunities.
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Male 12,365
I think we should have experts, and I mean actual experts, study the evidence to decide on how recreational use of different drugs should be handled and make laws based on their findings. It`s silly to lump different drugs together based largely on things other than expert knowledge.

But, rather weirdly, I find myself in broad agreement with TheGuySmiley. Weird because I think he`s either a troll or insane.

I think some changes regarding alcohol would be a good idea too. I heard an interesting suggestion: Allow drinking in licensed premises from 16 but restrict it to 21 outside them. So people can drink in a civilised way (otherwise they get barred) and get used to doing so before they`re free to buy and use at will.
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Male 1,243
I think they should decriminalise so people don`t go to jail for it, but not legalise it. Plus i think if they commit crimes while high it should be taken into consideration for the sentencing.. either in the form of more time, or mandatory drug counselling. Drug abuse destroys minds and lives. The last thing we want to do is give a ticket to say ok to that by legalising it, we already have nicotine and alcohol.. so if we do this, next thing we`ll be seeing meth abusers saying how it should be legalised because alcohol, nicotine, and weed are legal, and explaining all the benefits of meth use, and how it`s meth`s turn to be leagalized..
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Male 7,123
I`ve read of this happening more than once. IIRC each case involved several charges with a trivial possession charge thrown in. It was that to which the panels objected.

In England in the early 19C penalties for poaching were so out of proportion (transportation for a brace of rabbits for the pot) that convictions were very difficult to get. Once penalties were dropped to a more sane level the law worked better.
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Male 316
Legalizing it would most likely lead to corporatizing it. Do you guys really want to give more money to wall street? Seriously though, it should be legalized and taxed like the other vices. Vices like gasoline and breakfast cereals.
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Male 15,832
Well, that`s one way of getting out of jury duty.
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Male 2,390
legalize it already. Hell I don`t even smoke and i think it should be legal. i`ve seen far worse reactions from other things that need more policing than this..
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Male 37,889

[quote]"I still think marijuana should be illegal" [/quote]
Then you don`t believe in individual liberty or freedom.
You have made up your mind what other people can or cannot do.
Thank you for savings us from making up our own minds.

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Male 37,889

Sure. This was on the interweb so it must be 100% true.

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Male 10,845
Furthermore the situation you describe was more of a problem of selection rather than the decision itself.
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Male 10,845
@Angillion

That is an unfortunate risk we must accept, to allow for every possible check against prosecutors. But back then it wasn`t even legal to mention the right of jury nullification. That just goes to show how despicable such racists were back then. The desire of whites to purge their communities of blacks was so strong, the law wouldn`t even stand in their way.

Technically though this isn`t a case of "nullification" rather the jury has deliberately decided to disqualify themselves from hearing the case.
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Male 12,365
[quote]Why are they so scared of ordinary people exercising their rights, I wonder?[/quote]

Having the law made by randomly selected groups of 12 totally unqualified individuals has major disadvantages.

Imagine this scenario:

The prosecution asserts that the defendant is guilty of murdering someone because the victim was "black" and the defendant is an extremist racist. The evidence is overwhelming. Witnesses, forensics, maybe even a confession. Not that they`d see it in terms of a confession - they`re proud of what they did.

Absolutely definitely guilty.

The jury are also extremist racists. So they acquit the defendant because they support the murder.

That happened in the USA. More than once.
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Male 10,845
[quote]I still think marijuana should be illegal[/quote]

How many people behind bars is it going to take to change your mind? How much more money wasted?
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Female 2,602
I wonder how much more often this would happen if it were even legal to inform juries of their right (some might say moral obligation) to nullify corrupt laws. But, if you even mention the right to jury nullification in a Court, you`ll be summarily convicted of contempt and the jury will be dismissed. Why are they so scared of ordinary people exercising their rights, I wonder?
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Male 3,894
This is an expected potentiality of court procedure--we learned about it in my American Legal History course. This is possible as a means of rebellion against laws a jury feels is unjust--if a law is so stupid that all juries refuse to convict someone under it, then the law becomes rather moot.
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Male 2,578
I wonder what this jury would`ve done for OJ.
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Male 3,427
Though I agree that most of the pot laws are ludicrous, I still think marijuana should be illegal; however, this is the way things are changed.

Back before the start of the American Civil War, a jury in Pennsylvania did the exact same thing except the case was about slavery. The entire jury voted the same way, against what the current laws were.
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Male 1,497
That should happen every day.
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Male 429
Power to the people.
Laws should be based in reason.
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Male 10,845
Link: Prosecutor Defeated By Stupidity Of Pot Laws [Rate Link] - Jury revolts in response to possession charges, forcing the prosecutor to drop the charges.
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