Today, Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee (I) signed legislation (PDF) into law that will reform how Rhode Island penalizes the simple possession of up to an ounce of marijuana (PDF). Currently, simple possession can be penalized with a criminal misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and/or a $200-$500 criminal fine. Under the provisions of the new law – which will take effect on April 1, 2013 – most violations of possession of up to an ounce of marijuana will be penalized with a simple civil fine of $150!
Via Transform Drug Policy — the Danish Parliament yesterday officially passed a law allowing safe injecting rooms.
The dog ate my homework. In police department full of failures to properly track and store evidence, cop takes marijuana evidence home (!) and then claims the dog ate it.
African American Church Leaders Endorse Initiative 502 To Legalize, Tax, and Regulate Marijuana for Adults
SEATTLE – Today Rev. Leslie Braxton of New Beginnings Christian Fellowship, Rev. Carl Livingston of Kingdom Christian Center, and Rev. Steve E. Baber of Skyway United Methodist Church announced their endorsement of Initiative 502, which would tax and regulate marijuana for adults 21 and over, dedicating revenues to healthcare, research and education, and substance abuse prevention. I-502 will appear on the November 6 general election ballot.
“It’s no longer enough to say the War on Drugs has been a failure. We have to recognize that it has done damage, especially to black Americans, and we have to change course,” said Rev.Braxton. “Marijuana law enforcement has become a pretext for pushing people into the criminal justice system where they get branded with criminal records that turn them into second-class citizens facing additional barriers to education and employment.”
NYPD Police Officer Indicted in Ramarley Graham Killing
A New York City police officer has been indicted on manslaughter charges in the Bronx shooting death of 18-year-old Ramarley Graham. Graham, a young black man, was shot and killed in the bathroom of his own home after a team of NYPD narcotics officers followed him home, broke in, and confronted him. [...]
Although the indictment has not been officially unsealed, the New York Times reported that a grand jury has indicted Haste, 30, on charges of first- and second-degree manslaughter. More charges could be pending.
Graham was shot and killed after he and a pair of friends caught the attention of narcotics officers who had staked out a bodega on White Plains Road. They radioed their colleagues and said they believed he had a gun in his waistband as he walked toward his home. Officer Haste dashed to the scene, broke into Graham’s apartment, and shot and killed him in his bathroom.
No weapon was found, but police did say they found marijuana in a plastic baggie in the toilet bowl, suggesting Graham may have been trying to get rid of the evidence to avoid becoming another New York City pot bust statistic.
The shooting has provoked anger in the community and led to numerous calls for justice for Graham and other victims of overzealous policing in the city. It has also focused attention on the aggressive tactics of the NYPD’s Street Narcotics Enforcement Unit, teams of officers who surreptitiously surveil the streets looking for drug deals before bursting in to bust dealers and customers.