Save the Children: Send Their Parents to Prison

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California Assemblyman Greg Aghazarian (R-Stockton) has introduced a bill that would make it a felony to smoke pot or use other illegal intoxicants in the presence of your kids. Even though the offense need not involve exposing minors to any actual harm, notes Dale Gieringer of California NORML, the penalty Aghazarian wants, 16 months to three years in prison, is much harsher than the penalties for child endangerment–and surely more harmful to children than witnessing illicit drug use.

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  1. Yes, I am truly blessed to live in the golden state, home of the most sane & reasonable legislature in the nation.

  2. Can someone define to me what “in the presence of” means? Does it mean the kid is right there looking at you doing it, or could the youngling be asleep way at the other side of the house?

    If the former, how can they prove it, short of actually catching someone in the act? Leaning on the kid for testimony that will put his/her guardian in jail? Perhaps testimony from a disgruntled ex?

    Another dumb question.. can the “child” be 17 years, 11 months, and 23 hours old?

  3. Excerpt from AB253:

    This bill would provide that any parent, guardian, or caregiver of
    a minor child who knowingly and unlawfully consumes, smokes,
    inhales, ingests, or otherwise uses any controlled substance, if the
    act occurs in the presence of, or is witnessed by, a minor child
    under his or her care, is punishable by imprisonment in the state
    prison for 16 months, or 2 or 3 years.
    Because this bill would create a new crime, it would impose a
    state-mandated local program.

  4. “punishable by imprisonment in the state
    prison for 16 months, or 2 or 3 years.”

    What kind of language is that?

    “Because this bill would create a new crime, it would impose a
    state-mandated local program.”

    That’s just wonderful.

  5. This may be the California legislature, which has a great love of stupid ideas, but I don’t think that this bill will pass. Anyway, the guy is a Repub from Stockton. He’ll likely have little sympathy from all the Dems from the BA and LA.

    SF, CA

  6. For that matter, can someone define what “controlled substance” means, in this context?

    Will popping a Claritin in front of the kids get daddy three years in a pound-you-in-the-ass prison?

  7. Will popping a Claritin in front of the kids get daddy three years in a pound-you-in-the-ass prison?

    Oh, please, the worst that can happen is we’ll spend six months in a minimum-security federal resort! Do you realize that guys in those places get conjugal visits? Michael Bolton’s a free man and he hasn’t had a conjugal visit in six months.

  8. How about a law prohibiting legislators from sponsoring idiotic legislation? Maybe they make me the judge, just to keep it simple.

  9. I didn’t think the guy in the next cell coming over to “introduce” himself counted as a conjugal visit…

  10. Let’s recap. It is already illegal to possess and use “controlled substances”. It is already illegal to endanger a minor. It is already illegal to “contribute to the delinquency” of a minor.

    What new ground does this bill propose to cover?

    This is the hysterical right’s version of the “hate crime”, adding penalties to pre-existing crimes just because the sponsor doesn’t care for the context of the crime.

    However, the hysterical right can pass this bill with the aid of the hysterical left if tobacco is included in the list of substances. Never underestimate the power of hysteria.

  11. This bill would provide that any parent, guardian, or caregiver of a minor child who knowingly and unlawfully consumes, smokes, inhales, ingests, or otherwise uses any controlled substance, if the act occurs in the presence of, or is witnessed by, a minor child under his or her care, is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for 16 months, or 2 or 3 years.

    Assuming for a minute that a controlled substance is, in fact, an illegal substance and not just some prescription medication….why do they need this law at all? Aren’t illegal substances already illegal? And why target “any parent, guardian, or caregiver”? Is it more traumatic for the minor in question to see Mommy smoking a joint than it is to see her boyfriend doing it?

  12. Is it more traumatic for the minor in question to go 2 to 3 years without a mommy or daddy or to see said mommy and daddy smoking? (I hear State run foster care is a great way to be brought up.)

  13. “This is the hysterical right’s version of the “hate crime”, adding penalties to pre-existing crimes just because the sponsor doesn’t care for the context of the crime”

    Except the “hate crime” covers actual evil deeds. This one covers those deeds perceived to be evil by fascists from Stockton.

  14. Another valiant Republican small-government heard from.

    I can swallow this shit from Democrats more readily–they’ve been fucking statists from the New Deal. The hypocrisy of the modern “conservatives”, however, is truly stomach-turning

  15. Given that heavy MJ use can be linked to sterility, I’d like to see the legislation go the other way, frankly. Have too many kids? Sucking off the welfare teat to take care of them all? By all means, smoke up, early and often! Dry up those gametes before there’s another precious little accident. Do, please, smoke in front of the kids; the sooner they pick up the habit, the fewer wee crumb-crunchers they’ll burden us with.

  16. Sometimes I suspect anti-drug-use laws have the hidden purpose of “more for me”. Maybe our politicians are just trying to protect their stash…

  17. Jacob Sullum,

    Saw you on Bullshit recently. Like your woodstove. Do you ever use it? 🙂

  18. Thanks, Gary. We use the stove only occasionally now that we have two convection space heaters in the den.

    No questions about the dartboard or the foosball table?

  19. Jacob Sullum,

    He he he. I recommend a soapstone woodstove if you ever buy another stove in the future. They retain heat for many more hours than a traditional woodstove. That way you can wake up to a still warm house if the stove is your sole source of heat. That is if some of the folks at the EPA don’t get their wish and regulate woodstoves out of existance (I met some of these fucks this summer).

    So have you met any of the “drug warriors” featured on the show (one was named Weiner as I recall, and is a former ONDCP prat)? If so, did you feel the same urge to smack them that I had?

    In related news Burlington, Vt. has outlawed smoking in private clubs.

  20. zeroentitlement,
    Last time I check, Rastafarians had no problems in the baby making department.

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