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Man Gets 55 Years for Selling Pot!!!

argexpat

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People of America, when are you going to legalize marijuana??? This is lunacy!!!

From the Marijuana Policy Project :

Last month, Twenty-five-year-old Weldon Angelos was sentenced to 55 years in prison for selling marijuana to undercover police officers. As U.S. District Judge Paul Cassell pointed out at sentencing, that's more time than he would have received if he had hijacked an airplane (25 years), beaten someone to death in a fight (13 years), or raped a 10-year-old child (11 years).

In fact, the maximum sentence for all those crimes combined is less
than the federal mandatory minimum sentence for a drug felony
involving a gun. (Angelos was carrying a gun at the time of his
arrest, although he never brandished it or threatened anyone.)

The assistant U.S. attorney prosecuting the case justified putting
Angelos -- a first-time offender and father of two -- behind bars for
55 years by saying that he was a "purveyor of poison" who got what he
deserved. (The "poison" was marijuana, which has never killed anyone.)

Angelos isn't alone in having his life destroyed by the government's
war on marijuana users:

Jonathan Magbie died three months ago while serving a 10-day sentence
for marijuana possession in a jail in Washington, D.C. Magbie, a
27-year-old quadriplegic, used marijuana to treat his chronic pain. He
was unable to breathe on his own, and the jail -- unequipped to meet
his medical needs -- allowed him to die while in custody.

And last year, a 19-year-old Florida college student was brutally
raped by his cellmate while serving the first of four weekends in jail
for a small-scale marijuana offense.

And the year before that, 20-year-old Jose Colon -- just months away
from being the first in his family to obtain a college degree -- was
shot and killed by police in a raid in which eight ounces of marijuana
were seized. Colon wasn't even a suspect. He just happened to be
visiting the house being raided, and he had no drugs or weapons on
him.

Every week, we at the Marijuana Policy Project confront extreme
government abuses like these, as the war on marijuana users rages on,
with the government arresting law-abiding citizens, seizing their
property, locking them up for decades, and even killing them.

With the help of our 18,000 dues-paying members, MPP is working to end
the persecution and destruction of people like Weldon Angelos,
Jonathan Magbie, and millions of others. You can help us bring sense
to our nation's marijuana policies by making a financial contribution
to our work at http://www.mpp.org/donate1097 today.

Your help is desperately needed. The government is arresting more than
700,000 marijuana users a year -- that's one arrest every 42
seconds -- which is more than the number of arrests for robbery and
all violent crimes combined.
(And about 88% of all marijuana arrests
are for possession, not sale or manufacture.)

This holiday season, let's remember the many, many victims of the
government's war on marijuana users -- the cancer patients living in
fear of arrest for using marijuana to quell their nausea and help them
keep food down ... the college students losing their financial aid for
smoking a joint ... the AIDS patients using medical marijuana to ease
the pain of their final months, terrified of losing their homes if
caught ... and the thousands staring at empty cell walls for doing
nothing more harmful than possessing marijuana.

We can and will put an end to this cruel and unjust war. Please visit
http://www.mpp.org/donate1097 to stand with us in the fight.
Thank you.

____________________________

"Weed promotes peace, and the Man don't like that..." -The Kids in the Hall
 
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Schweddy

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How much was he selling?
 

LiberalFINGER

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It was obviously enough to get hit for intent to distribute. That and he sold to an undercover narc. I think the key thing is that he was carrying at the time.

Personally, I see weed as the ultimate time stopper. I still have yet to know anyone who is making serious head-way in life while blazing, but by the same token, if they don't want anything out of life but weed, then that's really their thing because I'm tired of our resources being wasted on weed when we have other issues that desperately need attention.
 

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vauge said:
How much was he selling?
I don't know anything about this case. But I can say I know for a fact two years ago anything over 4 ounces would get you federal "possession with intent to distribute" charges and would require a minimum 22 year sentence, 50 plus if you use or possess a weapon during the crime (sell). I know for a fact we were letting child molesters, bank robbers and rapists out to make room for these low level dealers. There's only so many rooms at the Inn as we used to say. Someone goes in, someone's got to come out. In 16 years I can't tell you number of times I picked up a parolee in violation who was an SO (sex offender), called the "Inn" only to be told they didn't have any room from him. So back out on the street he goes. BTW 4 ounces would fit in an average quart jar or two glad sandwich bags.

This is something that drove me nuts in my previous occupation. I had a case where a young women, I think she was 22, got involved with some guy. Isn't that always the story? He was dealing. She knew it and lived with him. He got popped. He turned states evidence got probation. But she didn't have any info to sell, she didn't know anything. Well other than the fact that her boyfriend was dealing pot. As far as I know she's still serving on her 18 year sentence. Manatory minimum sentencing! What a plan! Claps my butt the think my tax dollars are being used this way.
 
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argexpat

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vauge said:
How much was he selling?
Unknown, but does it really matter? It's a plant, for Christ's sake. How can a plant that grows naturally be illegal. It's insane, I tell you, insane!!!
 
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Pacridge

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argexpat said:
Unknown, but does it really matter? It's a plant, for Christ's sake. How can a plant that grows naturally be illegal. It's insane, I tell you, insane!!!
I agree. But the real insanity is the amount of resources we're putting into trying to stop people from using something they're not going to stop using. This didn't work with alcohol and it isn't working with marijuana. Letting out rapist to keep in marijuana growers is completely f**king insane.

Also the fact that the federal government is going after pain patients, many of whom have registered with their states and hold legal documents saying the state and their doctors approves of their use of marijuana to control pain, is especially appalling to me. I went and read the article concerning Jonathan Magbie. He didn't have any state registration, mainly because his area (DC) doesn't have a program, but his doctor was aware of his use of marijuana and his medical records clearly showed he was using it for medical purposes. As far as I'm concerned the DA that put him in jail, ultimately causing his death, should be disbarred and charges should be brought against him.

Personally I'd vote for someone if they'd come out and support, at a minimum, medical marijuana use. I'd even support legalizing it completely and taxing it. Put the same restrictions on it we put on alcohol. But somehow this has become the second third rail of politics and no politician is willing to touch it. If you look at the backers, big money backers, of the anti-marijuana people, you'll find two main groups- alcohol and drug companies. Huh? I wonder what could possible be their motivation?
 

Schweddy

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You guys sure like to go to the extream.

There is an element missing in this story.
Did he kill his wife?
Did he shoot at an officer?

Since they will not make drugs legal, I have not issues with putting the distributers in jail - for years - let them rot. But, I do have issues with the normal folks wanting a little entertainment and getting put in jail.

The difference I see is that regular folks that want to smoke a little at a party will do it in moderation. Sellers would sell thier soul to the devil for a buck.
 

Pacridge

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vauge said:
You guys sure like to go to the extream.

There is an element missing in this story.
Did he kill his wife?

No
Did he shoot at an officer?

No

Since they will not make drugs legal, I have not issues with putting the distributers in jail - for years - let them rot. But, I do have issues with the normal folks wanting a little entertainment and getting put in jail.

The difference I see is that regular folks that want to smoke a little at a party will do it in moderation. Sellers would sell thier soul to the devil for a buck.
I got no problems putting dealers in jail either. I do have a problem letting violent criminals out to make room for them. And I've seen this lunacy at work.

So you don't really take issue with "regular folks that want to smoke a little at a party will do it in moderation?" You just have an issue with sellers who, by your account, "would sell thier soul to the devil for a buck." So where would your regular folks get the smoke to use it in moderation? Not sure I can follow your logic here.
 

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Pacridge said:
So where would your regular folks get the smoke to use it in moderation? Not sure I can follow your logic here.
This would make it more difficult to get. Really don't care where/how they get it. Folks that are dumb enough to sell it could be locked up - it's a catch 22. Get the sellers off the street, you get the drugs off the street. (As thought it were really that simple)

I do have a problem letting violent criminals out to make room for them. And I've seen this lunacy at work.
We agree here.
 

Pacridge

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vauge said:
This would make it more difficult to get. Really don't care where/how they get it. Folks that are dumb enough to sell it could be locked up - it's a catch 22. Get the sellers off the street, you get the drugs off the street. (As thought it were really that simple)


We agree here.
It is a catch 22 and the tax payers are stuck in the middle paying the bill for a failed policy.

I don't understand- you thought it was really simple?

And you and I agree on something? I'm writing this day down- Jan 1, 2005. What's next you're going to agree W's made mistakes?
 

argexpat

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vague said:
You guys sure like to go to the extream
What's extreme is the madness and needless cruelty of this futile "war on drugs." It's a war on poor people, plain and simple.

If this guy had killed his wife or shot at a police officer, those would be real crimes meriting such a harsh penalty. He got popped for selling pot while in possession of a gun (which are legal). And thanks to these ridiculous minimum sentencing laws, which prevent judges from administering sentences commensurate with the crime and the person (hence, "judging"), we've got pot dealers sitting in jail while wife killers and police shooters roam free. This is f*#@ing crazy!!!

vague said:
Since they will not make drugs legal, I have not issues with putting the distributors in jail - for years - let them rot. But, I do have issues with the normal folks wanting a little entertainment and getting put in jail. The difference I see is that regular folks that want to smoke a little at a party will do it in moderation. Sellers would sell their soul to the devil for a buck.
Sorry, Vague, but this doesn't make any sense. Someone has to distribute the stuff to normal folks. Legalizing pot would take a lucrative commodity off the black market and its profits out of the hands of criminals. It could be regulated and distributed just like alcohol and tobacco, which kill hundreds of thousands of people each year.

Why can't I get a simple amen on this from you, Vague? As a conservative, this kind of overweening, jack-booted government thuggery should drive you as crazy as it drives me. :confused:

The "War on Drugs" wears no clothes!!!
 

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I always find the current incarnation of the war on drugs ironic when I think about its origins. Vietnam vets were returning from the war addicted to everything under the sun. Nixon, bless his psychotic little heart, initiated the war on drugs to help those guys. The program Nixon put together revolved around treatment and an information campaign. He even solicited the help of celebrities to spread the message. Remember the now infamous Elvis-Nixon picture? It was a war on drugs promo.

Then something happened. Under Reagan the war on drugs shifted to interdiction and away from treatment. It was a purely political maneuver to show that he was “tough on drugs” during the 1984 election campaign. It was, however, the beginning of the morass we find ourselves in now. The political tactic worked. Every politician in the country jockeyed to appear “tougher on drugs” than the other guy. Federal funds poured into drug traffic interdiction.

Suddenly the prison industry was booming! With all the two-bit junkies getting tossed in jail we had to build more prisons. Prison construction, management and supplies became a growth industry… a very profitable industry. Meanwhile, with the advent of laws that forced those who were merely ACCUSED (not convicted) of drug trafficking to surrender all their property and cash to local police, the law enforcement community had a lucrative new source of funding.

And so it began. Politicians, the prison industry, and law enforcement all worked together to brew a perfect storm. The politicians created laws to make it easier put people in jail and take away their possessions. The prison industry gleefully accepted the new inmates and strong-armed all levels of government to subsidize their work. Law enforcement sold off the possessions of those they arrested and went berserk with their new windfall to become more militarized. When the drug pushers, not surprisingly, also became more militarized a mini arms race ensued. Therefore, the politician created new laws to make it easier to put people in jail… and so on… and so on…

Yep. Insanity.
 

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argexpat said:
Sorry, Vague, but this doesn't make any sense. Someone has to distribute the stuff to normal folks. Legalizing pot would take a lucrative commodity off the black market and its profits out of the hands of criminals. It could be regulated and distributed just like alcohol and tobacco, which kill hundreds of thousands of people each year.

Why can't I get a simple amen on this from you, Vague? As a conservative, this kind of overweening, jack-booted government thuggery should drive you as crazy as it drives me. :confused:

The "War on Drugs" wears no clothes!!!
Your right. The whole idea of drugs being illegal is crazy. But, drugs will not be legal anytime soon. If congress were to legalize all drugs tommorrow, many extreamists would bitch and complain that thousands of policeofficers would loose thier job. It would not be a good political move. As we all know, regardless of the majority - the sqeeeky wheel gets the grease.

Because of this, I do not see an issue with putting the dealers behind bars. I am talking lbs not ounces.
 

argexpat

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vauge said:
Your right. The whole idea of drugs being illegal is crazy. But, drugs will not be legal anytime soon. If congress were to legalize all drugs tommorrow, many extreamists would bitch and complain that thousands of policeofficers would loose thier job. It would not be a good political move. As we all know, regardless of the majority - the sqeeeky wheel gets the grease.

Because of this, I do not see an issue with putting the dealers behind bars. I am talking lbs not ounces.
I still don't understand how you go from "the war on drugs is crazy" to "dealers should be busted." This is a non-sequitur.

Either the drug war is crazy and dealers should not be busted, or
The drug war is legitimate and dealers should be busted.
 

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I still don't understand how you go from "the war on drugs is crazy" to "dealers should be busted." This is a non-sequitur.

I am trying to say that the current war on drugs is pathetic and we should only be going after the dealers, not the normal users. Legalization of drugs will not happen anytime soon. It would be ok in my book if they were indeed legal. There would be many avenues of revenue for the gov to explore.

Because it will not happen soon, putting the BIG drug dealers behind bars is an option that I would opt for instead of putting the laymen on the street wanting a quick high.

Legalizing drugs would put large drug cartels out of buisness. Those fiends would find other illegal means to get locked up. These folks commit voilent crimes along with the drug ones.
 

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>I am trying to say that the current war on drugs is pathetic and we should only be going after the dealers, not the normal users. Legalization of drugs will not happen anytime soon. It would be ok in my book if they were indeed legal. There would be many avenues of revenue for the gov to explore.<Vague

Uncle Sam would have so much money, we wouldn't need an income tax...

Then we wouldn't have all these little kids trying to shoot eachother in the backs....

We wouldn't have to lock our doors, or be afraid anymore.

This ain't no science fiction...

They could probably find a cure for my addiction! LOL

Hoot
 

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argexpat said:
People of America, when are you going to legalize marijuana??? This is lunacy!!!

I don't know. From all you write, it seems that quite a few people have died as a result of activities involving marijuana.
 

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Fantasea said:
argexpat said:
I don't know. From all you write, it seems that quite a few people have died as a result of activities involving marijuana.
Tons of people that die in marijuana-related activities are the gang members that compete in the not-so-friendly black market because they can't legally sell marijuana and want the inflated-price profits.

Legalize drugs. Our species is the smartest on the earth. I think we deserve to decide what we consume by ourselves.
 

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Gabo said:
Tons of people that die in marijuana-related activities are the gang members that compete in the not-so-friendly black market because they can't legally sell marijuana and want the inflated-price profits.

Legalize drugs. Our species is the smartest on the earth. I think we deserve to decide what we consume by ourselves.
If our species is the smartest on earth, why is it that so many of them prefer an intoxicated stupor of one kind or another to being fully alert to all of the beauties of life?
 

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To each his own.

You and I may prefer to remain toxication-free, but does that mean you and I have the right to force the entire nation, at gunpoint, to do what we think is right? The entire point of our nation's founding was a country where people had the right to make their own decisions. When drug laws were first created they were to forde the minorities to stop using their drugs.

A crime is an event in which someone infringes on someone else's rights.

Now explain how victimless crimes are crimes at all when they hurt no one but yourself.
 

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Fantasea said:
If our species is the smartest on earth, why is it that so many of them prefer an intoxicated stupor of one kind or another to being fully alert to all of the beauties of life?
If you have to ask this question, you've obviously never fired up a stupid phat spliff.

 

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Gabo said:
To each his own.
Really?

You and I may prefer to remain toxication-free, but does that mean you and I have the right to force the entire nation, at gunpoint, to do what we think is right?
Since when has intoxication been considered right? Isn't it a duty of government to protect all of its citizens from harm?

The entire point of our nation's founding was a country where people had the right to make their own decisions. When drug laws were first created they were to forde the minorities to stop using their drugs.
I guess it was observed that, at that time,they had enough other problems to contend with without adding intoxication to their misery.

A crime is an event in which someone infringes on someone else's rights.

Now explain how victimless crimes are crimes at all when they hurt no one but yourself.
Victimless? You write too well to be suckered in by an absolute untruth.

However, since you insist on an explanation, read on.

Consider the homeless who are that way because their habit consumed all of their assets and has rendered them unemployable.

Consider the businesses that suffer losses due to absenteeism, employee pilferage, shoplifting, etc. either to support, or because of, a habit. These losses have to be recouped by increasing the prices that consumers must pay for the goods or services.

Consider adolescents who can't finish high school because they have to get a job flipping hamburgers to afford their alternative 'high'.

Consider the high school graduates who can't get into a college because they couldn't get their SATs as high as they were at the time.

Consider those who succumb to the peer pressure of their new found friends in freshman year to light up together. Not only do they flunk out together, but they have a student loan upon which they will probably default.

Consider the marriages that go bust because one spouse can't put up with a habit of the other.

Consider the hungry kids whose food money, either earned or welfare, is used to feed a habit of either or both parents.

Consider that of the fifty thousand highway fatalities each year, half the drivers are found to have been intoxicated on something.

Consider the aged parents whose retirement nest eggs are stolen or begged away to support a habit of their children.

Consider the numerous prominent names who owe an untimely demise to something that wasn't supposed to hurt them.

The argument that pot doesn't hurt anyone ignores the fact that it is often the first step down the slippery slope.

If you can't see the victims in the few groups described above, it is because you don't wish to.

Every taxpayer is a victim, too, because of the direct burden placed upon the health care system by the user and those victimized by the user.

Alcohol is not 'victimless' either. However, that's another story.
 

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Fantasea said:
Consider the homeless who are that way because their habit consumed all of their assets and has rendered them unemployable.

Consider the businesses that suffer losses due to absenteeism, employee pilferage, shoplifting, etc. either to support, or because of, a habit. These losses have to be recouped by increasing the prices that consumers must pay for the goods or services.

Consider adolescents who can't finish high school because they have to get a job flipping hamburgers to afford their alternative 'high'.

Consider the high school graduates who can't get into a college because they couldn't get their SATs as high as they were at the time.

Consider those who succumb to the peer pressure of their new found friends in freshman year to light up together. Not only do they flunk out together, but they have a student loan upon which they will probably default.

Consider the marriages that go bust because one spouse can't put up with a habit of the other.

Consider the hungry kids whose food money, either earned or welfare, is used to feed a habit of either or both parents.

Consider that of the fifty thousand highway fatalities each year, half the drivers are found to have been intoxicated on something.

Consider the aged parents whose retirement nest eggs are stolen or begged away to support a habit of their children.

Consider the numerous prominent names who owe an untimely demise to something that wasn't supposed to hurt them.

The argument that pot doesn't hurt anyone ignores the fact that it is often the first step down the slippery slope.

If you can't see the victims in the few groups described above, it is because you don't wish to.

Every taxpayer is a victim, too, because of the direct burden placed upon the health care system by the user and those victimized by the user.

Alcohol is not 'victimless' either. However, that's another story.
To answer each statement individually:

1) They're homeless BECAUSE drugs are illegal. If drugs were legal, and thus a sane price, people could afford to maintain their habit with honest work just like smokers and drinkers maintain their habits.

2) Once again, stealing to support a habit wouldn't be an issue if drugs were sanely priced and legal. Also, if there is absenteeism then the employer can go ahead and fire the person for being stupid.

3) Another one with the money issue. If drugs were legal the teenager could get a part time job to get enough cash to support their habit.

4) If you decide to take your SATs while high, that is your choice to do so. I believe we are supposed to live in a world of CONSEQUENCES for our actions. If someone decides to be high while taking SATs, it's themselves they are hurting, not anyone else.

5) Peer pressure will always exist. It's still your own choice whether or not to light up.

6) Now your saying the government should be interfering with our marital affairs? Divorces happen all the time. Why should someone have to hide their affinity for drugs? It's who they are, and if the spouse can't accept it that's their own problem.

7) With all the restrictions forced on government to the unemployed, including the pitiful welfare system, people are unable to get back on their feet. Also, this again is with the money issue of how legal drugs would be affordable.

8 ) So what? They go to jail for crashing their car. Under your same logic here we could prohibit any and all forms of food, drink, and communication used while driving because it also impairs the driver's awareness. The point is people should go to jail for what they've done to others (such as car crashing) not what they've done to themselves (cell phone, drugs, coffee). Also consider that 6 out of 10 people in jail are in for NONVIOLENT drug crimes. This means they've done nothing to anyone but are wasting valuable jail space instead.

9) Once again the issue with money.

10) If drugs were legal, I'm sure the companies would put labels like "may cause harm to you" or "sideffects: loss of awareness, possible death" to prevent people from suing them over hurting themselves. Through awareness programs people are informed about what drugs do to them.

11) A step you choose to take. People are aware of what drugs can do. It's their decision whether the risks are worth the benefits of feeling 'high'.

If I came to your house and forced you to give up coffee at gunpoint, how would you feel? Wouldn't you wonder why I get to choose for you? How is it any different then when the government comes to your house at gunpoint arresting you for possessing drugs? Plenty of things in life are dangerous, and people always have the right to choose the less dangerous way out. Whether they make that decision is their own choice.

Fantasea said:
Isn't it a duty of government to protect all of its citizens from harm?
No, it's the duty of government to protect its citizens from violation of their natural rights. Harm is included in this, in the way of harm from others. Harming yourself is in no way unconstitutional. Drug use is an example of harming yourself.
 
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