Maybe we should just lock everybody up for life

Drug sentences excessive, expert says.

University of Kentucky professor Robert Lawson has issued a report on Kentucky’s criminal justice system.

Kentucky’s 35-year drug war has led to unfair, “brutally harsh sentences,” overcrowding the state’s prison system with non-violent offenders, a study says.

That has helped push the state budget to the “outer edge of fiscal distress,” said Robert Lawson, author of the 60-page study.

The (Louisville) Courier-Journal reported Lawson’s study is seen as a step toward revising drug punishments, which he claims have “failed miserably” by not distinguishing between minor offenders and major drug dealers.

This is potentially very good stuff. I’m anxious to read the report, and have contacted Lawson and asked if I could see it. If anyone else knows where I can get it online, please let me know.

And, of course, this is smart stuff, not only fiscally for the state, but in terms of proper focus of criminal justice system for it to be effective.

Naturally, the UPI report managed to find the knuckle-dragger who would give the most ridiculous response:

Fayette County Commonwealth’s Attorney Ray Larson disputed Lawson’s findings.

“You have to understand where Lawson is coming from,” Larson said. “He thinks government shouldn’t have as its primary function the safety of the public, and I do.”

This is both stupid and offensive. Offensive in that it’s like saying “My opponent doesn’t mind if terrorists blow up children in a day-care center, while I do.” Stupid because it isn’t about disputing findings, but rather about a knee-jerk response to any suggestion that any amount of sentencing might be excessive.

So I guess if someone suggests that we just lock everybody up for life if they commit any crime at all, then we have no choice but to do so, since apparently reducing sentences for any reason means that you don’t care about the safety of the public.

The truth, of course, is that bad sentencing policy doesn’t help public safety in any way, and is extremely likely to endanger it, as criminal justice resources are used inefficiently or without proper focus.

More at the Louisville Courier-Journal.

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51 Responses to Maybe we should just lock everybody up for life

  1. Paul says:

    It is not so much about safety from crime, which is certainly important, but about safety from the criminal justice system itself.

    I feel much more worried that I will somehow become entangled in the criminal justice system than that I will be a crime victim. Both are worries, but I now view the cops as a more likely source of danger.

    So do a lot of other people, I suspect.

  2. allan420 says:

    heck… get the Big Fence built and we’ll be locked in! Which isn’t far from locked up. Which rhymes with knocked up… which is right because basically we’d all be screwed.

  3. DavesNotHere says:

    This Republican Larson fellow also opposed Drug Courts in Ky favoring the jail only option and he’s been in office for like 25 years. Has Larson’s jailing of drug offenders been successful at ridding his commonwealth (county) of drugs after 25 years under his watch? I’d bet he’s prosecuting more people now than 25 years ago, making him a poster boy failure at giving anyone safety from drugs. If only those stats were readily available at his website, where its pretty obvious he really enjoys controlling and punishing other people.

    http://www.lexingtonprosecutor.com/

    Lots of good info in that L C-J article.

    But Allen Trimble, president of the Kentucky Association of Commonwealth’s Attorneys and the top elected prosecutor in McCreary and Whitley counties, said that while he respects Lawson, “his recommendations overall would hamstring law enforcement and prosecutors all over the state.”

    Hamstring? Oh NOOOOOOO we can’t have that! What does that even mean? Reforming the drug laws would indeed hamstring their efforts to lock everyone up for life even if they have done no harm to others.

    Trimble specifically cited Lawson’s call for graduated penalties that would allow lesser sentences for small quantities of drugs.

    “Small amounts of drugs cause vast harm,” he said.

    That is the twisted logic that explains this;

    Unlike in other states, in Kentucky a person is guilty of possessing cocaine and other drugs with intent to sell regardless of whether he has a trace or a pound.

    Trafficking within 1,000 yards of a school carries an additional sentence of one to five years in prison, even if the defendant was in his home or a bar. None of the 42 defendants charged in Fayette County with that offense were found to be selling to schoolchildren or on school grounds. And the enhancement applies regardless of the drug.

    And forget about getting caught with a joint and having a gun in your home in Kentucky, that is some serious harsh time. Its good Lawson is getting wiser in his old age, but he’s still not wise enough. Rearranging the chairs a little quicker is all he’s proposing with a lot of money going for drug court treatment. Its all stuff that’s been done elsewhere, Kentucky is just late getting there.

    They should free the hemp again in Kentucky and cash in.

  4. Duncan says:

    Well I’ve often heard more police officers will cut down on crime, but that they can’t be everywhere. I ask ‘why not?’ Eliminating crime should be simple. Just swear in half the population, and then handcuff them to the other half. Since everyone will be in sight of a police officer at all times, this should eliminate crime. I know many will first think of themselves and the minor inconvenience of having a police officer handcuffed to you but I beg you, please, think about the children! They deserve a crime free society!

  5. Earache My Eye says:

    Maybe Jello Biafra was right when he said the only solution was to ban everything. Mandatory minimum sentences are why we have more people locked up than any other place in the world. Prisons and the security state are the last bubble, the last growth industry so look for more privatization of prisons and small anus of the world towns crying that no one will have a job if the prison leaves town.

  6. kaptinemo says:

    “Prisons and the security state are the last bubble, the last growth industry so look for more privatization of prisons and small anus of the world towns crying that no one will have a job if the prison leaves town.”

    That is, they will until the very last bit of the DrugWar’s ‘champagne days’ funding runs out.

    It’s already happening in States hard-pressed economically, and very soon it will hit more fiscally flush States that the DrugWar is an economic sink-hole. No matter how much you try to fill it, it’s practically bottomless…and the taxpayer’s wallets are not. And no amount of lobbying is going to change that. Especially when pols are increasingly faced with angry, desperate unemployed people who need the money being p*ssed away in chasing and incarcerating non-violent drug users.

    The DrugWarriors still don’t get it. They’re so used to never having to tighten their belts that they don’t see that when everyone else does, they’d better act as if they’re doing it, too, or it gets noticed the way a fat man does in a place undergoing a famine. And they risk getting treated the same way.

  7. claygooding says:

    When you have any law enforcement give you their opinion of ending the prohibition,you have to look at it from their perspective.
    Ending the prohibition of drugs means no more drug enforcement monies from the DEA,a very substantial amount goes to every law enforcement agency in our country,and the ending of the search and seize funds and goods,that they can now do too every felony charged criminal,if they can even hint that the money or goods were purchased for or with funds from a felony crime.
    And although(maybe)these funds are not going in their pockets,
    it provides them with funds for better and more equipment without having to argue with their city councils or county commissioners for it.

  8. Cannabis says:

    The C-J story notes the:

    changes that University of Kentucky law professor Robert Lawson recommends in Kentucky’s drug sentencing laws:

    * Adopt a graduated scale of punishments for each illegal drug, based on weight or quantity.

    * Prohibit using the persistent-felon law in drug prosecutions, which already allow enhanced punishment for repeat drug offenders.

    –Restrict second-strike drug law enhancements by eliminating the penalty for possession offenses, or where the prior offense is less than the current offense. Punish more serious offenders by giving them sentences at the high end of the penalty ranges. In other words, if a penalty is one to five years, give them five years.

    * Restrict firearm enhancements to cases in which there is a connection between the gun and the drug offense.

    * Restrict school-zone charges to trafficking in a school yard or within 1,000 feet, rather than 1,000 yards, of a school, and exclude offenses inside of homes and apartments.

    * Reduce drug-paraphernalia possession to a fine or restrict it to possession of drug paraphernalia for profit, rather than personal use.

  9. ezrydn says:

    All schools should be 1000 yards or more OUTSIDE city limits! That won’t happen any more than their current “1000 yard” restriction. It’s a “money catcher” restriction.

  10. Just me says:

    All schools should be 1000 yards or more OUTSIDE city limits! That won’t happen any more than their current “1000 yard” restriction. It’s a “money catcher” restriction.

    Ya its all about extracting more money when you boil it down.

  11. Cannabis says:

    Money, conviction rate and a “it’s for the children” quote for politicians, law enforcement and the DAs. Plus, the fundies get to exact their pound of flesh for just being human here and now instead of in the hereafter.

  12. Cliff says:

    “The DrugWarriors still don’t get it. They’re so used to never having to tighten their belts that they don’t see that when everyone else does,…”

    Dear Drug Warriors;

    The gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’ is steadily widening, leaving those of us in the middle just barely hanging on and being stretched on the petard of inflation, taxation and wage deflation. We are asked to endure these economic conditions while paying your exorbitant salaries as you lock more of us up and lobby more states to repeal thier medical cannabis laws.

    You mistakenly think you are indispensible and our society will collapse in your absence. Sure hate to break it to you DrugWarriors, you are a guilty pleasure to those who wish to control American’s cognitive liberties and you are too expensive for us to keep you on here in America. So we’re going to have to let you go, you understand, its all business and you aren’t pulling your weight.

    We heard that China is hiring, there is little concern for human rights and liberty in that country, you’ll fit right in.

    Sincerely,

    The American Middle Class

  13. I don’t believe we should just lock everyone up for life, but I do believe someone should stick a sock in Rob Kampia’s mouth.

    In a statement reporting he was taking a 3-month detour down Sensitivity Lane, Rob is quoted as saying he believes he is just “hyper-sexualized.” Really? That’s the best you could come up with after all this time to think about it?

    If we circle the wagons around this guy and act like nothing’s happened, we should be ashamed of ourselves. There is no credible spin for this.

    Rob Kampia should stay gone.

  14. aussidawg says:

    “Ending the prohibition of drugs means no more drug enforcement monies from the DEA”

    Okay, I have a solution for the law enforcement agencies worried about losing money. First, we need to convince them that it isn’t the recreational drug users who are reaking havoc on Americans, including themselves. It is the financial industry that is fucking everyone who makes less than $1,000,000/yr. Therefore I propose changing the DEA to the FLEA (Financial Law Enforcement Agency) and use them to enforce all existing laws pertaining to the financial industry and enforce them with the same rigor they currently enforce drug laws. Then, we will all be happy, except the Wall Street fatcats.

  15. DdC says:

    Fossil Fools states have always been harsh on cannabis…
    Can’t have Biraq Obomba pissing off Mr Peabody…

    Then the coal company came with the world’s largest shovel
    And they tortured the timber and stripped all the land
    Well, they dug for their coal till the land was forsaken
    Then they wrote it all down as the progress of man.
    And daddy won’t you take me back to Muhlenberg County
    Down by the Green River where Paradise lay
    Well, I’m sorry my son, but you’re too late in asking
    Mister Peabody’s coal train has hauled it away…

    Obama administration won’t end mountaintop mining
    In places like Appalachia, mining companies blow the tops off mountains to reach a thin seam of coal and then, to minimize waste disposal costs, dump millions of tons of waste rock into the valleys below, causing permanent damage to the ecosystem and landscape.

    Hemp vs Dioxins
    Plastic plumbing pipe (PVC pipes) can be manufactured using renewable hemp cellulose as the chemical feedstocks, replacing non-renewable coal or petroleum-based chemical feedstocks.

    Hemp for Ethanol in Kentucky U2b Craig Lee

    Uses for Hemp youtube collection

    Industrial Use of Trees vs Hemp
    in most cases paper comes from trees and trees come from Ancient Forests. In fact: Globally, 71% of the world’s paper supply is derived from ecologically valuable, biologically diverse forests rather than from tree farms. Approximately 40% of the trees logged in Canada’s ancient rainforests (trees up to 1,400 years old) and 65% of those logged in Canada’s boreal forests are used to produce pulp and paper. Global paper consumption has increased by a factor of 20 this century and has more than tripled over the past 30 years. Global paper consumption is projected to grow roughly 77% by 2020.

    Fossil Fuels vs American Homegrown
    About 6% of contiguous United States land area put into cultivation for biomass could supply all current demands for oil and gas without adding any net carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.

    The Elkhorn Manifesto
    Before the Gatewood Galbraith for Governor Campaign in 1991, few Kentuckians knew that the plant that the federal government had demonized for over 50 years as “Marijuana – Assassin of Youth,” was, in fact, Cannabis Hemp, the most traded commodity in the world until the mid-1800s, and our state’s number one crop, industry, and most important source of revenue, for over 150 years.

  16. kaptinemo says:

    About the Kampia/MPP imbroglio: I don’t know enough to comment intelligently on it, so don’t ask me to.

    But this looks like what I keep railing on and on about WRT egos and drug law reform. It was partly the damnable egotism of certain critical personages involved in drug law reform in the late 1970’s that derailed efforts to change the cannabis laws, and that egotism was partially responsible for condemning us to the Reagan phase of the DrugWar which caused vastly more misery than all previous phases combined.

    We don’t need this happening now, not when we’re getting closer than ever before to the finish line. Not again, dammit, not ever again!

    This issue is too big for any one person’s ego to be allowed to screw it over it again. Too much is at stake. People literally have their lives on the line. So, for those in the movement who think they’re ‘too important’ to be replaced, well, Charles de Gaulle said it best: “The cemeteries are full of ‘indispensable men’ “.

  17. Pete says:

    I, too, am unwilling to talk at length when I don’t have all the facts, which is why there has been no post from me on this topic. But Kaptinemo expressed my feelings well.

  18. There are significant facts already in the public arena. The latest are reported in the Washington Post, quoting both Rob’s statement and that of the board.

    I doubt there are many more facts yet to be disclosed, unless you’re interested in the salacious details of the sex in question, or those throughout his tenure at MPP.

    I agree with kaptinemo that the movement is “too big for any one person’s ego be allowed to screw it over again.” But that seems not to be the thinking of Peter Lewis and other MPP board members, as they sound willing to take Rob back after he completes his 90-day sensitivity sojourn. Will Rob’s only requirement to get his job back be to inform Lewis and the board that he’s no longer “hyper-sexualized”?

    And with all due respect to Pete – and that’s a lot of respect – many stories “in progress” have been reported here. If this were happening to anyone in our opposition, I’m wondering if such restraint would be evident.

  19. Hope says:

    Oh no!

    “The latest are reported in the Washington Post, quoting both Rob’s statement and that of the board.”

    Kaptinemo is right, as usual.

  20. Hemp says:

    Check out Time4hemp.com for more information and our weekly podcast about what is going on. Lots of great information all for free.

  21. Hope says:

    FoM just posted this over at Cannabis News.

    Rob Kampia is apparently “stepping down”.

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/reliable-source/2010/01/mpps_rob_kampia_taking_three-m.html

  22. kaptinemo says:

    Hope, I wish I were ‘right, as usual’. But I have ‘feet of clay’ like anyone else.

    ‘Pride goeth before the fall’, and I’m as prideful as any here. But I paper-trained my ego long ago, and don’t let it make messes on the public carpet. I can only wish that others in critical positions within the movement will gain that kind of discipline.

    Because we are closer than we ever, ever have been before to winning this. For the first time in 3 decades, the conditions have come full circle again. ‘The stars in their courses’ have come round, the combination lock is on its’ last tumbler, and the key’s in the ignition. We can finally kill this monster called drug prohibition…if we don’t use the weapons we now have on ourselves in fratricide.

  23. Pete says:

    Daniel, it’s true that I report many stories with partial detail, but those are specifically drug policy stories. I’m just not comfortable jumping on to this kind of story. In fact, I’ve pretty much gone out of my way not to read what’s out there. I’d rather talk about other things. (I’ve had good friends with lives wrongly ruined in similar situations from both sides.)

    If he has decided to step down, I support that decision, and hope that will allow us to move on.

  24. Hope says:

    “But I have ‘feet of clay’ like anyone else.”

    No you don’t. You better not. My esteem for you is high.

  25. Hope says:

    “‘Pride goeth before the fall’, and I’m as prideful as any here. But I paper-trained my ego long ago, and don’t let it make messes on the public carpet. I can only wish that others in critical positions within the movement will gain that kind of discipline.”

    Yes. Self control is a good thing.

  26. I dunno, Pete. You are one, if not the best, voice of reason in the drug policy debate. To shy away from this story by saying, in essence, “there’s nothing to see here folks, move along,” is a disservice to your devoted followers and, more importantly, the movement as a whole.

    This is not a pretty story – but it is a story. And it has significance. Yet I’ve not seen any comments from drug policy leaders regarding this story, although the grassroots comments have been near unanimous in calling for Rob to resign.

    The drug policy movement must address this issue, if only to say we must maintain the high road we so often claim as our own. No double standards allowed.

    This is one instance where silence is not golden.

  27. allan420 says:

    aaah kap… feet of clay indeed. Sometimes mud on the hands too. A great part of the “success” (I have yet to be convinced, tho’ I am hopeful) of the drug policy movement is the endurance running of so many of us. Think Transform and MAP. Don’t think High Times (part of the problem, imho) or NORML, think random piratic-hearted volunteer citizen patriots.

    And Hope… consider that we’ve (you and I) been at this for a decade and a decade ago we were able to converse in real time with folks like Judge Gray in the DrugSense chatroom. We were speaking with folks in Europe, Australia, Canada and all over the US – and occasionally passing the virtual bong or doobie dutifully at 4:20 (and when online w/ activists from around the globe 4:20 happens once an hour) – and I think those associations and all that have developed in the wake of those convivial chats are what makes us so strong. It was a pleasure on Sunday late afternoons to log into the chat and hang out, laugh a bit and be serious a bit. Folks like the good kap’n and you and BB – and obs! – made up for inspirational (and sometimes silly) dialogue. Of course we had to deal w/ the occasional LEO posing as a teenager asking about drugs. We gave folks like Roxanne a place to vent and find some common ground.

    I think Pete’s couch is the current equivalent to that, just not a real time chat. (many of those celebrity chats are archived in the DrugNews)

    re kampia… fyi for you linda taylor fans – she demanded he resign (and perhaps be persecuted, rrr… prosecuted) and I’m sure will take credit for his leaving. Rob’s pecadillos are part of the male tradition, sad as that is. But it points out that we are a movement not of our leaders, this is a movement where truly the forces on the ground – the NCOs and grunts, the med folks and admin types, chow hall cooks and midnight floor buffers, and university types(!) – have traditionally led the way.

    It is the constant chipping of our hammers that has led to this weakening in the walls of Prohibition’s Mordoric castle. Our “leaders” don’t lead, they occupy positions.

  28. allan420 says:

    @Daniel… seems that meme zipped by here whilst you was busy typing. Our comments are pretty contextually similar.

    I think because we are a movement of the people, by the people, incidents such as Kampia’s will have little to no effect. (other than to give the busybody Prohib types some juicy fantasy to chew on)

  29. Pete says:

    Sorry, Daniel, I didn’t mean to imply “there’s nothing to see here, move along.” I know that’s not the case. I just said that I’m uncomfortable commenting on it. I probably will, but not in a hurry (as I implied, a very close friend had his life ruined due to false accusations — not the case here as I understand it, but I use this as partial excuse for my reticence.) I’m also much quicker to condemn hypocrisy politically (ie, those who preach against sexual freedom but are caught up in sexual scandals). This was clearly not the case.

    My not speaking up will not in any way delay the proper course of justice as regards the individuals involved. There is a process in place for that and it should be followed, and I have no involvement in that.

    MPP should make the right decisions as the clear facts emerge, and drug policy leaders should address this. But I don’t agree that it needs to, or should, be done in the frenzy of the 24-hour cable news cycle.

  30. It would appear as though MPP has addressed the issue. Quotes from both Peter Lewis and Rob Kampia (in the most recent Washington Post piece) make that clear.

    And we shouldn’t expect to hear any more from MPP until Rob has completed his 90-day sensitivity training. And then my money says Rob will be deemed newly sensitive to women and no longer “hyper-sexualized,” then welcomed back to his leadership position. How nice.

    Every time we see and hear Calvina speak we always roll our eyes and thank the gods she speaks for the prohibitionist faction – and then rip her a new asshole. Drug policy reform tempts the same fate should we not demand Rob Kampia exit the stage. It is politically naive to believe this scandal will not diminish whatever good work MPP has done and, by extension, cast a pale over the entire drug policy movement.

    It’s your joint, Pete. So run it any way you wish. But I’m looking forward to when your comfort level rises to the point where you will comment on this story.

  31. Hope says:

    Allan. I was just thinking of Roxanne, recently. I hope she and her kids are ok. She was stronger, I hope I was right, than she thought.

    And of course, I’ll never forget Barry McCaffrey and his contributions to the conversation and pow wow.

    BB. I just went to his Facebook page the other day. I hope he and his son are thriving.

    Once you stick your neck out in this fray, you can’t just drag it in because it’s taking a long time. It’s too important. It’s too serious.

  32. Hope says:

    And my dear, dear Patiently Waiting.

    He was. He still is.

    Bravo, you old Barbarian!

  33. Hope says:

    I will say this. “Hyper-sexualized,” is a new way of saying it. A new line describing the same load of whatever.

    Well, for the sake of something… anything… I hope he quits sexualizing himself so much.

  34. Hope says:

    Linda Taylor is interesting. She looks like a big ol’ pretty doll. Her bright blond hair and her perfect little ruby lips. She’s cute… in appearance.

    Not so cute of her attitude towards those who disagree with her about the War on Drugs as we know it. I think, on some level, she likes and appreciates reformers, especially you and Kaptinemo.

    I know she would object to that idea, but I think she does.

    Intelligent, patient people that have been willing to speak with her and hear and consider what she’s saying… I think she appreciates it more than she would ever say.

    Maybe.

    Then again. Maybe she just hates your guts and a lot of other people’s guts and is doing her best to chew you down to nothing.

  35. allan420 says:

    old Linda… I’ve criticized her hard, but like th old saying advocates, I stand up for her right to spew. It disappoints me that reformers go in there and criticize her weight, her hair… because that’s nothing, less than nothing and a waste of time and bandwidth and denegrates us by association.

    I still believe we are a far more polite and better ejimicated group over all.

    Hope, have you heard from old Patiently Waiting recently? I love that guy… sharing long-tailed rabbit recipes, talking about the need to buy a town somewhere so we can have our own medical and law enforcement that are truly our friends. I still say someday someone will figure out that we can have care facilities designed and established for medical cannabis patients. I like the name Cannabis Palms© myself… but instead of palm leaves on the logo…

  36. kaptinemo says:

    Hope, Linda Taylor definitely does not like me. She doesn’t like any drug law reformer. To her, we’re perverts. Or worse.

    ‘Intelligent, patient people’ have heard her out…and rapidly grown exasperated with her obviously deliberate obtuseness. She’s a classic low-level authoritarian studying to become a mid-level one. The few videos I’ve seen of her efforts illustrate that when it comes to discourse, her only tack is “Why aren’t you agreeing with me yet?”

    Like most of her (intellectually dishonest) ilk, when cornered for playing fast and loose with factual information, she simply refuses to admit she’s been wrong. She’s even attempted to use outdated and disproven scientific studies (such as the Zhang study) which seemed to support her beliefs in the hopes that someone won’t bring up studies which refute her position (such as what the Tashkin study did to the Zhang study).

    In short, to my mind, she’s a typical bottom-feeder on the prohib organizational chart, and the only purpose served in debating her is to provide a novice reformer with their first experience of sharpening one’s own mental blades by using a very coarse stone; the fine edge and the polish comes from crossing swords with much more able opponents.

  37. Hope says:

    “In short, to my mind, she’s a typical bottom-feeder on the prohib organizational chart, and the only purpose served in debating her is to provide a novice reformer with their first experience of sharpening one’s own mental blades by using a very coarse stone; the fine edge and the polish comes from crossing swords with much more able opponents.”

    That’s of value. Most of them won’t even stick their heads out.

    You and Allan reasoned with her and relayed the truth to her so diligently for such a long time.

    She’s stubborn in her stance. She really hates some “Druggie” somewhere.

    I’m not that stubborn at all. I personally question my self and my stance regularly.

  38. Hope says:

    I didn’t talk to her. I pretty much thought she might be Wonder Witch of the West.

  39. LTR says:

    I know people don’t want to comment on this too much, but I have to add something about the MPP situation.

    I have been a firm supporter of MPP’s style and actions since the early 2000’s. With that said..

    The story states that Rob Kampia will only step down for 3 months and then the board will reevaluate him. After reading what information there is to be had, and some of the comments underneath the said discussions, some of which include people that claim to be MPP staffers or former employees, I am cautiously convinced that Rob Kampia should be removed from being Executive Director. I do not accept that his actions were predatory, merely that they were probably inappropriate and made things awkward. Such actions are unprofessional and someone doing such things should not lead the MPP and be the face of it.

    1) How can he represent an already tainted movement with this on him? He admitted to being hyper sexual. If 20% of what former MPP staffers are quoted as saying is true, such as inappropriate treatment of women at work and sexual comments towards female employees going back years, then I can’t stand for it and neither should anyone. It is unprofessional and makes our whole cause look bad.

    2) It has been said elsewhere that without Rob, Peter Lewis will pull his funding for the MPP. Peter Lewis is the $ behind legalizing marijuana. He does more for it than anyone (I believe). I’m saddened that he would stand behind Rob and defund the MPP all over Rob leaving. I am impressed with what Rob has accomplished, but this is reckless. Lewis needs to realize that the MPP will lose massive PR credibility with the public if they retain Rob. There has to be another intelligent, passionate, organized, hard-working leader that isn’t hyper sexual that can lead the MPP in the future. If Lewis will just turn his back ons this cause over Kampia, I’m at a loss of words. They must have a strong friendship, but the cause is greater than the man, and egos have DESTROYED this movement before. I strongly hope that Lewis has the foresight to realize that this issue will never go away and Kampia CANNOT lead now that his behavior has been apparently exposed.

    As I see it, Rob didn’t exactly deny that his behavior was unprofessional and inappropriate. As much as an asset as he may be, he can only hurt us now. I strongly urge Peter Lewis to not abandon efforts to legalize marijuana for adults whenever the movement is on brink of success over a single man.

    **Note: I respect that Pete doesn’t wish to comment on this issue yet as information is somewhat sketchy (however they may remain so indefinitely. He speaks with more authority by writing it on the front page. But I hope it isn’t ignored should more facts be brought to light or if nothing else comes out over the next 6 months.

  40. DdC says:

    Marijuana Policy Project’s Rob Kampia takes therapy leave after sexual misconduct

    It is true I had consensual sex with a female employee and I exhibited poor judgment in doing so,” said Kampia.

    Prudes for Pot? I’m not a Kampia MPP or NORML fan per say, I support individual efforts and know the rotten system may require political correctness and selling the product of reform. But I don’t like it. Truth would have removed the bogus CSA scheduling 40 years ago. Appeasing the drug thugs is the game they play.

    But what hell does having consensual sex have to do with anything? If this chick didn’t agree to have sex then its rape. If she did then its nothing more. How does it look crap is how we got prohibition and lack of truth in the first place. Just because someone takes a job position it shouldn’t be determined by non violent consensual activities out of the workplace.

    Same old shit if someone brings up heroin, or mentions recreational. Oh ghee what would the WoD germs and maggots think? How it looks is more important to the plastic people than reality. So what, he had sex. I don’t even buy the dyke libber PC defense of going along to keep her job. Thats just gutless weaselness and it shouldn’t be rewarded. If you don’t want to have sex, don’t. If your job is threatened get evidence and bust his ass. Not after the fact because some Aldridge ambulance chaser sees a way to cash in and hurt another man at the same time. Bet that ain’t PC.

    I can fault Kampia and MPP on fucking up Nevada’s elections with their elitists political agenda shunning stoners. But quick to grab the pic with Cheech and Chong. The Ganjawar political scene is so corrupt and phony MPP may feel it has no choice but to play by the status quo rules. Peter Lewis is fronting this write-off and probably has some say in office decorum. I don’t think they even make billionaire Puritans. Elections are lies and cover up, while cases of lipstick gets smeared on hordes of pigs lips. Pity.

    TV programmed news was all we got for so long, it probably mattered what someone looked like. That they having a squeaky clean record meant something, even if it wasn’t true. 10 years of the net and not much is “programmed” for we the people. It pretty much is the free-est speech in History. “Ideas” given to the masses was so protected for so long. Now truth is available and the “public” was cautious but now it seems the truth is prevailing. The word is being spread and so I believe the people are ready to join in and not just be told what.

    Time to end the BS PC inch by inch perpetuation. I’d suggest firing Kampia for Incrementalism may be worthy of discussion. What he does out of his pants is his own business. Ain’t Nobody’s Business if You Do. Unless maybe someone actually thinks it was wrong because the church didn’t authorize or get a fee for it, lol

  41. LTR says:

    The issue isn’t so much about the actual sex outside the workplace. I am more concerned with what some of the ex employees of the MPP said about Rob’s behavior WITHIN the workplace towards women. I cannot know for sure that it’s true, but him going to sex therapy certainly doesn’t make this seem as trivial as a one-time mistake. There had to have been some type of pattern that the board thought was semi-destructive.

    I personally support incrementalism as THIS juncture but don’t wish to debate it.

  42. DdC says:

    I am more concerned with what some of the ex employees of the MPP said about Rob’s behavior WITHIN the workplace towards women.

    The key word is “ex” employees. If Kampia is hyper-sexualized what ever that is, they used to call it being horny. It was never a crime and to my knowledge never thought of as deviant or an addiction. If it does have control over his actions, it doesn’t have control over the other employees who obviously didn’t think it was of great enough concern to deal with it. Would you let some suit molest your little sister and then whine about it or deal with it? If Kampia was inappropriate then when it happened was when it should have been dealt with. This sounds more like a prohibitionists swifboating. Why does this come out now? Was the chick forced or feel threatened, yet continued to work there. Weasel justice is all I see.

    I personally support incrementalism as THIS juncture but don’t wish to debate it.

    Well you’re not alone but you are responsible for the Ganjawar. Avoiding the truth to gain political seats is cowardice. But I don’t want to debate it either. No debate. Ganja is or it ain’t. Thousands of years has proven it is. Only debates are by those ConPromising or Profiting on perpetuating the war, not ending it.

  43. LTR says:

    I’m not sure what you meant by that last paragraph “ganjawar” etc.

    I will reserve judgment on the MPP, it’s whatever. It just angers me that at such an important time bad press is coming out about an organization that does a heck of a lot to end marijuana prohibition.

    Kampia, if the allegations are true, acted recklessly enough to tick off quite a few employees. There is a difference between being horny, and being horny and acting on those feelings and sexually harassing employees. It looks bad if nothing else which is disappointing, but I suppose we don’t know with a good deal of certainty.

    The thing is, I can completely understand why the employees would not come forth before. It’s because everyone working at the MPP wants marijuana legal and believes it with a passion. They COULD have been struggling between what they saw as an injustice in Rob’s behavior towards women vs. the need to keep Rob going because he is important to the cause. They saw this last action as the straw that broke the camels back perhaps?

    This is speculation, but from what I gather, this seems reasonably accurate based on the evidence at hand, albeit insufficient evidence.

    I’ll reserve judgment and take back what I said before for now. Let’s see what comes of it.

  44. allan420 says:

    this is what friends are for. A friend would have said “Rob, you’re acting like a dick, literally. Knock that shit off.” Sorry for Rob he doesn’t have better friends…

  45. Hope says:

    “Sorry for Rob he doesn’t have better friends…”

    Yeah. Probably from “acting like a dick”.

  46. DavesNotHere says:

    I don’t know anything about this but it doesn’t “look good”. One thing to consider also is that running him out of MPP isn’t the only possible punishment. If MPP is tainted, take them out with a new organization that does what they do, only better. If this “thing” matters, supporters will come. If they don’t come, change the focus to something MPP isn’t doing, such as a candidate focus.

    Cannabis Policy Project? Anyone in? Give me $50,000 and I’ll give it shot.

  47. Hope says:

    DavesNotHere. What would you do if you got a shot at it?

  48. DavesNotHere says:

    Hope, that was funny. Probably because its spot on.

    First, I wouldn’t sexually harass any co-workers. But I think MPP has a pretty good model for attacking the issue actually. Grab all the low hanging fruit you can, which has been referendums and initiatives and going after some state legislation. Identify places you can get wins, go out and get them, and repeat. And now that marijuana legislation is actually being introduced and voted on, expanding to candidate questionnaires, grades, and voting records and doing more model legislation for every state. A knowledgeable board of directors could consider the options and define the mission statement, until the donors start telling you what to do anyway.

    I pulled $50,000 out of my ass, but for that you could probably assemble a diverse board with experience and enthusiasm, form the org, get a website going, start internet outreach, build a fund-raising campaign, and see if it flies. Off the top of my head.

  49. Hope says:

    “First, I wouldn’t sexually harass any co-workers.”

    Good idea right off the bat.

    You do have a bit of a plan. It looks pretty good.

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