A Small Victory in the War Against the Drug War

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Virginia is for potheads?

As a resident, I am happy to report that last night the city council of Charlottesville, Va. struck a tiny, but welcome, blow against the insanity of the drug war. By a rousing 3 to 2 vote the council managed to pass a resolution stating: 

Be it resolved that the Council call on the Virginia General Assembly and the Governor of Virginia to revisit the sentencing guidelines that merit jail terms for simple possession, do away with rules that suppose intent to distribute without evidence, and give due consideration to sponsored state bills that would decriminalize, legalize, or regulate marijuana like alcohol.

The citizen proposed resolution that did not pass the council would have instructed city police to make enforcing marijuana possession laws their lowest law-enforcement priority.

According to our excellent weekly newspaper, The Hook, Charlottesville Police Chief Tim Longo objected to the resolution in favor of lowering marijuana enforcement priority, noting that only 113 of the more than 5,000 arrests last year involved marijuana possession. That's 113 too many.

In any case, the majority of the council declined to support the deprioritization resolution because of the message it would send to the kids. Nevertheless, the resolution that did pass (wimpy as it is) represents a bit of progress. Two cheers. 

NEXT: "It is good to see that after intense political pressure that President Obama has finally come around to the Dick Cheney position on marriage equality."

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  1. Didn’t MS decrim cannabis under an oz? VA’s not even first in the goddamn south.

  2. RB: I am abashed. Yes, MS has decriminalized, but many cities and counties still prosecute under local ordinances apparently. Like I said, a “small victory.”

    1. Bailey! You go to Barracks rd shopping center (btwn Harris Teeter and the Post Office) or to the Fashion Square Mall or to the ABC store on Main St. (near the Greyhound Station and the Abortion clinic) and we… we will smoke the cannabis together. I mean, what’s wrong with Cheif Longo? Aren’t there any cases of lacrosse player murder or Foxfield drunkenness for him to investigate.

      Seriously, they could just have the ABC stores distribute the cannabis and the state would get rich and we’d keep most of the MaryJane out of little kiddies’ hands.

      1. I think Foxfield would be in Albemarle County (i.e., outside of the Chief’s jurisdiction).

      2. d: thanks for the invitation – btw, it’s a “crisis pregnancy center” – kind of the opposite.

  3. As a resident, I am happy to report that last night the city council of Charlottesville, Va. struck a tiny, but welcome, blow against the insanity of the drug war.

    That’s not “tiny”, that’s chickenshit. We’re past insincere meaningless rhetoric now. The resolution that did not pass would have been a mosquito bite against the insanity that is the WOD.

  4. When governments prohibit drugs they effectively and knowingly hand a monopoly on their sale to dangerous criminals and terrorists. Without a legal framework in which to operate, these black-market entities can always be expected to settle their disputes violently, while terrorizing many peaceful and innocent citizens in the process. Were the users of alcohol to blame for the St Valentines massacre in 1929? Of course not! It is just as naive to assume that one can compel all the users of Marijuana or Cocaine to simply quit, as it is to assume that all the users of Alcohol should have stopped drinking after the introduction of alcohol prohibition in 1919.

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