Skip to Content

Mandatory Minimums

More Headlines

DrugSense
Categories: Mandatory Minimums

US TN: OPED: There's Something Missing From Our Drug Laws:

Mandatory Minimum Sentencing (MAP) - Mon, 05/23/2016 - 07:00
Commercial Appeal, 22 May 2016 - Congress and President Obama are under pressure to reschedule marijuana. While rescheduling makes sense, it doesn't solve the state/federal conflict over marijuana (descheduling would be better). But more important, it wouldn't fix the broken scheduling system. Ideally, marijuana reform should be part of a broader bill rewriting the Controlled Substances Act. The Controlled Substances Act created a five-category scheduling system for most legal and illegal drugs (although alcohol and tobacco were notably omitted). Depending on what category a drug is in, the drug is either subject to varying degrees of regulation and control (Schedules II through V) - or prohibited, otherwise unregulated and left to criminals to manufacture and distribute (Schedule I). The scheduling of various drugs was decided largely by Congress and absent a scientific process - with some strange results.
Categories: Mandatory Minimums

US MA: A Drive To Rethink What Incarceration Is For

Mandatory Minimum Sentencing (MAP) - Sun, 05/15/2016 - 07:00
Boston Globe, 15 May 2016 - The tomato seedlings in the urban garden were sprouting. The basketball court was filled with men in blue, gray, and brown uniforms shooting hoops and doing pushups. Inside, at vocational classes, men learned the art of tailoring a suit while a group of women studied toward their GEDs. In many ways, the South Bay House of Correction has become a microcosm of the country's evolving attitudes toward drug abuse and drug-related crimes. The facility just off Interstate 93 in Boston is a different place compared with the early 1990s, when leaders in Washington passed a stringent crime bill that authorized stiff penalties for drug crimes and nearly doubled the country's prison population.
Categories: Mandatory Minimums

US: Obama Commutes Dozens Of Drug Sentences

Mandatory Minimum Sentencing (MAP) - Fri, 05/06/2016 - 07:00
New York Times, 06 May 2016 - WASHINGTON - President Obama commuted the sentences of 58 nonviolent drug offenders on Thursday, the latest in a series of efforts to address what he has called the overly long and harsh sentences of an earlier era. Most of the prisoners whose sentences will be cut short were serving decades behind bars for drug possession and distribution, the result of a crackdown on drug-related crimes in the 1980s and '90s that affected many African-Americans and other minorities.
Categories: Mandatory Minimums

Chronicle AM: ME to Vote on Legalization, AK "Pot Cafes," AL Passes CBD MedMJ, More... (5/2/16)

Mandatory Minimum Sentencing (STDW) - Mon, 05/02/2016 - 20:55

Lots of Maine news today, Alaska could see "pot cafes," a New Hampshire asset forfeiture bill gets gutted under police pressure, and more.

[image:1 align:right caption:true]Marijuana Policy

Alaska Marijuana Draft Regulations Include Pot Cafes. Alaska could become the first legalization state to actually allow social marijuana smoking in designated businesses. The state's Marijuana Control Board has crafted draft regs that would allow users to toke up inside retail stores. The draft regs are now awaiting public comment. While "public" marijuana use is banned, the regs create an exemption for retail stores to seek an "onsite consumption endorsement" to their licenses. Stores with that endorsement could then set aside an area for people to consume marijuana.

California GOP Opposes AUMA Legalization Initiative. The state Republican Party voted at its convention over the weekend to oppose the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) marijuana legalization initiative. "We must not turn this plague loose on our children and the people of California," said Sen. Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber, who also called marijuana an "entry-level" drug that leads to addiction. California Democrats have endorsed the initiative.

It's Official: Maine Will Vote on Legalization in November The final obstacle to a popular vote was removed last Friday, when state legislators punted on their chance to act on the citizen legalization initiative, opting instead to send the question to the voters instead. Earlier, the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, which organized the state's legalization initiative had to go to the courts to force recalcitrant state officials to properly count all the signatures, and they did so.

Vermont House Takes Up Marijuana Legalization Today. The House is considering legalization today, albeit in a roundabout fashion. One House committee rejected the legalization measure, Senate Bill 241, while another amended it to legalize possession and personal cultivation, but not regulated, legal marijuana commerce. The Senate responded by pasting SB 241 into another bill, House Bill 858, which the House is considering today. Stay tuned!

Medical Marijuana

Alabama Passes CBD Medical Marijuana Bill. Both houses of the legislature have now approved "Leni's Law," which would allow people with seizure disorders or other debilitating medical conditions to use CBD cannabis oil to treat their ailments. Gov. Robert Bentley (R) is expected to sign the bill into law.

Connecticut Medical Marijuana Expansion Bill Passes Legislature. A bill that would allow children with certain debilitating medical conditions to use medical marijuana has passed out of the legislature after a final Senate vote last Friday. Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) is expected to sign House Bill 5450 into law.

New Hampshire's First Dispensary Opens. The Sanctuary Alternative Treatment Center opened in Plymouth last Saturday. It's the first dispensary in the state to open for business. It only took nearly three years after the state's medical marijuana law was approved for this to happen.

Asset Forfeiture

New Hampshire Asset Forfeiture Bill Scaled Back Under Police Pressure. The state Senate last Thursday stripped a provision from an asset forfeiture reform bill that would have directed funds seized by police to the state's general fund rather than to the agency that seized them. The move came after police chiefs said not letting them keep the goodies would "handcuff" them.

Oklahoma Governor Signs Asset Forfeiture Reform Bill. Gov. Mary Fallin (R) last Thursday signed into law a bill that will allow people whose property is subject to asset forfeiture to recover attorney fees when they challenge the seizures. The new law goes into effect November 1.

Drug Policy

Maine Decriminalizes Drug Possession, Moves to Adopt Pre-Arrest Diversion Program. Last Thursday, a bill that would make simple drug possession a misdemeanor instead of a felony passed into law without the signature of Tea Party Gov. Paul LePage. The bill, LD 1554, decriminalizes the possession of up to 200 milligrams of heroin. Earlier this month, the legislature also approved a bill that would fund Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) programs, which have proven successful in Seattle and other cities.

Harm Reduction

Maine Legislature Overrides Governor's Veto of Overdose Reversal Drug Bill. The legislature voted last Friday to override gubernatorial vetoes of LD 1457 and LD 1552, which would allow access to naloxone without a prescription and provide public funding for needle exchange, respectively. Gov. Paul Le Page had claimed "naloxone does not save lives, it merely extends them until the next overdose" and complained that the $70 cost would not be repaid.

International

Canada Supreme Court Throws Out Mandatory Minimums for Drug Traffickers. In a decision last Friday, the high court ruled mandatory minimums for repeat drug offenders are unconstitutional. The case is R. v. Lloyd.

Categories: Mandatory Minimums

CN BC: Column: Getting Blunt On The Legalization Of Weed

Mandatory Minimum Sentencing (MAP) - Mon, 04/25/2016 - 07:00
Penticton Western, 22 Apr 2016 - It's not easy being green, man. However, thanks to a cheekily-timed announcement by Health Minister Jane Philpott on April 20, the international cannabis-infused counterculture holiday and coincidentally Hitler's birthday, it may be getting a bit easier.
Categories: Mandatory Minimums

US MD: OPED: A Time Of Renewal

Mandatory Minimum Sentencing (MAP) - Sun, 04/24/2016 - 07:00
Baltimore Sun, 24 Apr 2016 - History will remember April 2015 as a time of rebirth for Baltimore and for our nation It has been nearly one year since I spoke at Freddie Gray's funeral - and since our city found itself in the throes of unrest. During the past year, I have had the opportunity to work with many people who are dedicated to securing a better future for our city and our nation. Yet, at this one-year mark, we are still seeking the answers to the question that I asked when facing the cameras in the pews at New Shiloh Baptist Church. Freddie Gray, who died from injuries sustained in the back of a Baltimore police van, is shown here in an undated family picture. We all know his name in death, but did we truly see him when he was alive?
Categories: Mandatory Minimums

CN ON: Column: Blow To Mandatory Minimums

Mandatory Minimum Sentencing (MAP) - Wed, 04/20/2016 - 07:00
Ottawa Sun, 17 Apr 2016 - By striking down mandatory minimum sentences for repeat drug trafficking offences Friday, the Supreme Court of Canada sent Parliament a clear message: Mandatory minimums that apply universally to all offenders, regardless of the circumstances, will not survive constitutional scrutiny. The specific sentencing provision at issue in Joseph Ryan Lloyd's appeal was a section of Canada's Controlled Drugs and Substances Act that mandated a one-year minimum jail sentence for drug trafficking offences where the offender had been convicted of another trafficking offence within the previous 10 years.
Categories: Mandatory Minimums

CN ON: Column: The Rulings Have Righted Historical Wrongs

Mandatory Minimum Sentencing (MAP) - Wed, 04/20/2016 - 07:00
Hamilton Spectator, 19 Apr 2016 - Court Trashes Harper Laws In decisions released last week, Canada's Supreme Court has accomplished two things. First, it has cocked a snook - again - at the law-and-order agenda of Stephen Harper's previous Conservative government.
Categories: Mandatory Minimums

Canada: Tory Mandatory Minimums Killed

Mandatory Minimum Sentencing (MAP) - Wed, 04/20/2016 - 07:00
Winnipeg Free Press, 16 Apr 2016 - Supreme Court strikes down previous government's laws OTTAWA - The Supreme Court of Canada has struck down two federal laws from the previous Conservative government's tough-on-crime agenda, ruling both to be unconstitutional.
Categories: Mandatory Minimums

Canada: Supreme Court Rules Against Tough-On-Crime Legislation

Mandatory Minimum Sentencing (MAP) - Wed, 04/20/2016 - 07:00
Toronto Star, 16 Apr 2016 - OTTAWA- The Supreme Court of Canada has struck down two federal laws from the previous Conservative government's tough-on-crime agenda, ruling both to be unconstitutional. The decisions mean an end to rules for minimum sentences for specific drug crime convictions and limits on credit for pretrial detention in certain conditions where bail is denied, giving trial judges more leeway in how they deal with offenders.
Categories: Mandatory Minimums

CN ON: Column: Supreme Court Trashes Tough-on-crime Laws

Mandatory Minimum Sentencing (MAP) - Wed, 04/20/2016 - 07:00
The Record, 19 Apr 2016 - In decisions released last week, Canada's Supreme Court has accomplished two things. First, it has cocked a snook - again - at the law-and-order agenda of Stephen Harper's previous Conservative government.
Categories: Mandatory Minimums

Canada: Court Strikes Down Two Laws

Mandatory Minimum Sentencing (MAP) - Wed, 04/20/2016 - 07:00
The Sun Times, 16 Apr 2016 - Supreme Court rules two tough-on-crime laws unconstitutional OTTAWA - The Supreme Court of Canada has struck down two federal laws from the previous Conservative government's tough-on-crime agenda, ruling both to be unconstitutional.
Categories: Mandatory Minimums

CN ON: Editorial: Scrap These Laws

Mandatory Minimum Sentencing (MAP) - Tue, 04/19/2016 - 07:00
Toronto Star, 18 Apr 2016 - Supreme Court Tears Down Another Harper-Era Crime Law Bit by bit, the Harper government's punitive and discriminatory "tough on crime" agenda is being dismantled. And not a moment too soon. The Supreme Court of Canada tore another brick out of the wall on Friday when it struck down two Harper-era laws. One was a mandatory minimum sentence of one year in prison for repeat drug offenders. The other prevented a person with a previous conviction from getting extra credit for time served in custody before trial.
Categories: Mandatory Minimums

Canada: Editorial: No Longer Mandatory

Mandatory Minimum Sentencing (MAP) - Tue, 04/19/2016 - 07:00
Globe and Mail, 18 Apr 2016 - Two criminal-law decisions from the Supreme Court of Canada last week mark the end of a war between the judiciary and the federal government. The judiciary, not surprisingly, won. Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin has helped restore a balance in "credit" for accused people who are held in jail awaiting trial. The Conservative government, with one of its characteristically rhetorical names for laws, the Truth in Sentencing Act, set stringent limits on how much credit an accused person could earn for jail time before conviction. It seemed to be based on the idea of the more imprisonment, the better.
Categories: Mandatory Minimums

CN ON: Column: Historic, Banner Week For Supreme Court

Mandatory Minimum Sentencing (MAP) - Tue, 04/19/2016 - 07:00
Toronto Star, 17 Apr 2016 - In decisions released last week, Canada's Supreme Court has accomplished two things. First, it has cocked a snook - again - at the law-and-order agenda of Stephen Harper's previous Conservative government.
Categories: Mandatory Minimums

CN AB: Column: Court Ruling Just Plain Wrong

Mandatory Minimum Sentencing (MAP) - Tue, 04/19/2016 - 07:00
Edmonton Sun, 17 Apr 2016 - Striking Down Canada's Mandatory Minimum Drug Sentence Was Not Necessary The Supreme Court got it wrong. Not spectacularly wrong. After all, this is no longer the court of former Chief Justice Antonio Lamer. During Lamer's tenure (1990 to 2000), the court frequently made up new laws and new rights out of thin air.
Categories: Mandatory Minimums

CN AB: Column: Supreme Court Gets It Wrong On Mandatory

Mandatory Minimum Sentencing (MAP) - Tue, 04/19/2016 - 07:00
The Calgary Sun, 17 Apr 2016 - The Supreme Court got it wrong. Not spectacularly wrong. After all, this is no longer the court of former Chief Justice Antonio Lamer. During Lamer's tenure (1990 to 2000), the court frequently made up new laws and new rights out of thin air.
Categories: Mandatory Minimums

CN AB: Editorial: Supreme Court Has No Agenda, So Charter

Mandatory Minimum Sentencing (MAP) - Tue, 04/19/2016 - 07:00
Medicine Hat News, 16 Apr 2016 - On the eve of the 34th anniversary of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Supreme Court of Canada has made two significant decisions regarding the constitutionality of legislation passed by the federal Conservatives. On Friday, the country's top court ruled that mandatory minimum sentencing for repeat offenders in drug offences and the denial of enhanced pretrial custodial credit for accused denied bail were unconstitutional.
Categories: Mandatory Minimums

Canada: End May Be Near for Tories' Tough-On-Crime Sentences

Mandatory Minimum Sentencing (MAP) - Tue, 04/19/2016 - 07:00
Globe and Mail, 16 Apr 2016 - The Supreme Court of Canada has sounded a death knell for mandatory minimum jail sentences passed by the former Conservative government, indirectly sending a message to the Liberal government to get on with the job of undoing Harper-era laws that put judges in a sentencing straitjacket. In two separate rulings that stress the importance of judges' discretion, the court struck at the heart of former prime minister Stephen Harper's crime agenda.
Categories: Mandatory Minimums
Syndicate content