Penalty Zone

|

Today Concerned Citizens for Appropriate Justice, a coalition formed in response to an undercover drug investigation in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, is holding a press conference to protest the local district attorney's decision to charge seven small-time marijuana sellers, all in their teens or early 20s, with violating the state's drug-free school zones law. The charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of two years. The pot sales occurred in a downtown parking lot near a movie theater, but the location is within 1,000 feet of a church that has a preschool program in its basement.

NEXT: Rejected By Creationists, Monkey Embraces Polytheism

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Damn those activist prosecutors!

  2. In other words, these idiot kids didn’t even know they were in a school zone. I know the purpose of the law is that almost every site is within 1000 feet of some sort of school, but shouldn’t intent be part of the interpretation of the law? It’s not like they were selling to children with impugnity.

    Anyway, I’m sure two years in prison will make harmless citizens of these dangerous criminals. Wait. strike that, reverse it.

  3. Woodbury is the county seat of Gloucester County, NJ. The Woodbury High School is less than 1000 feet from the County Jail. They are both old buildings bulit before 1900, possibly much older. NJ has drug free school zones with enhanced penalties. Some of the prisoners in the jail got drugs smuggled to them and when they were caught and prosecuted they were subject to the enhanced penalties for possesing drugs within 1000 feet of a school.

  4. What if somebody sells drugs within 1000 feet of a homeschooler?

  5. Thoreau,

    Congratulations on introducing the idea of random, movable school zones to the Drug Warriors.

  6. Maybe it’s for the best. The only way this idiot war on drugs will end is by collapsing under its own weight, and having ten percent of the American populace paying taxes to support the ninety percent that’s in jail sounds like one way to do it.

  7. You folks are obviously missing the most important point: it is for the CHILDREN that we do these things!

  8. Every time one of these atrocities occurs, though, we do get another anti-drug-war organization, this time it’s “Concerned Citizens for Appropriate Justice.” For each kid busted we get approximately two concerned parents with their eyes bugging out. Perhaps those eyes were clamped shut before, but now they’re wide open.

    How many bugged-out eyes does it take to change a drug war? Stay tuned to your local parking lot to find out.

  9. Won’t work. Their acronym is all wrong. CCAJ? How is that going to stand up to D.A.R.E.?

  10. From the article:

    “Some of those arrested are facing multiple school-zone charges.”

    So if you’re somewhere within a thousand feet of a number of schools they can charge you with multiple “school-zone charges.”

    So, ala thoreau, if there are, say, a hundred home schoolers within a thousand feet of that joint you just sold to your friend, then you could get 200 years!

    Ah, sweet justice…

  11. THe school zone law has turned the entire city of Boston into a schoolzone for all intents and purposes.

    The idea is that you charge the school zone, then break it down in consideration of a plea on the plain old drug charges. Only problem is a guilty on possession of class D (weed) with intent has severe collateral consequences like no federal school financial aid.

    Didn’t the GB prosecutor realize this type of thing is really only supposed to happen to city kids? Pretty entertaining to hear the white suburban parents whine about ruining their kid’s futures. Why are we ruining anyone’s future over marijuanna?

  12. Or move to Maine where possession for personal use is a civil infraction that carries a fine, provided the quantity is less than 35 grams (28 grams = 1 oz).

  13. Why are we ruining anyone’s future over marijuanna?

    Well, what else IS there to ruin futures with?

  14. Well, what else IS there to ruin futures with?

    Hoods.

  15. “Only problem is a guilty on possession of class D (weed) with intent has severe collateral consequences like no federal school financial aid.”

    Hmmmmm??? I wonder if in the spirit of the war on drugs, and saving the children, we could expand the penalties to include never being able to collect social security, medicare, medicaid, and welfare.

    But they could avoid any prison time, by getting 10 of their friends convicted.

  16. “Hmmmmm??? I wonder if in the spirit of the war on drugs, and saving the children, we could expand the penalties to include never being able to collect social security, medicare, medicaid, and welfare.

    But they could avoid any prison time, by getting 10 of their friends convicted.”

    Nice try, Sensenbrenner.

  17. “For over 13 years, (former) District Attorney (Gerard) Downing and I pursued a policy of charging and prosecuting school-zone cases, whenever the facts supported them,” the statement reads. “This past year, I have continued that policy because it is even-handed and fair, and because it has proven effective. I intend to continue that policy.”

    Spoken like a true Nazi. This man is clearly enjoying the power he wields, and perhaps destroying people’s lives. He may be under the delusion that he’s “serving the public good”, and that he’s merely protecting “us” from “the bad guys”. Pathetic.

    “He is making the right decision and he is doing it at the right time,” said Massimiano. “I understand the anguish these parents are going through and I sympathize with them. But think about the parent whose child has never used drugs and bought it — who speaks for them? The district attorney speaks for them.”

    If kids were caught drinking, it would not be an issue. Boys will be boys. But alcohol can kill you. Pot, though certainly not something that should be consumed by kids, CAN NOT kill you. My main question: is this simple insanity, or are these people aware of the evil and destruction they are causing?

  18. “My main question: is this simple insanity, or are these people aware of the evil and destruction they are causing?”

    Man, I go back and forth on that one all the time…dumb or evil…dumb or evil…

    I think one of the reasons I’ve had so little success arguing against the War On Drugs is that I really don’t understand why so many people support it.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.