FIGHT PROPOSED 'DRACONIAN' DRUG LAWS
Thanks for your excellent editorial regarding the latest GOP obsession and smoke screen: HR 1528. I am becoming more and more alarmed at the workings of our federal government. It's almost like Washington, D.C., is no longer a part of the United States.
And it's time people wake up and got involved!
The legislation proposed by our neighbor to the north ( Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin ) is draconian and the implications chilling.
And while some say, "It's just a starting point for discussion," and given the current behavior of the U.S. Senate Majority, I think we need to be concerned.
I think that it's worth reviewing the potential of this proposed legislation which has already cleared the sub-committee.
* Increases penalties for every drug offense ( including the new ones created by the bill. )
* Mandatory two-year prison term for anyone who knows someone who sells marijuana on college campus and fails to report it to police within 24 hours.
* Mandatory five-year prison term for someone at a part who passes a joint to someone who has ever been in a drug treatment program.
* Expands federal "three strikes" law to include new offenses, including mandating life in prison with no possibility of parole for anyone convict a third time under the RAVE Act.
* Providing a person with sterile syringes gets up to three years in prison, mandatory two years if the person is a minor.
* Requires you to spy on family, friends and neighbors, reporting their drug possession and/or use: if you "witness" or "learn" that it took place, you must report it to the police within 24 hours and provide "full assistance" in the investigation, apprehension, and prosecution of the people involved. Penalty? Mandatory prison sentence of not less than two years, possibility of up to ten years. Unless Americans speak up, this bill could become law.
It's already passed out of sub-committee. Sensenbrenner is lining up the votes he needs to get it out of the full committee at this time. Then it goes to the floor for a full House vote.
This isn't a scare tactic.
This is reality. Under the guise and deceptive title of "Safe Access To Drug Treatment and Child Protection Act," HR 1528 is a frightening prospect.
And, as you so aptly pointed out, this failed "Drug War" waged by our government has turned into a "self-perpetuating and profitable de facto war" against the people of our country.
Within the last month, you ended your editorial "Bad Civics Lesson For Teens, Society" with the reminder that punishing everyone and trampling on basic Constitutional rights seems easier than making real change that would meaningfully address drug use.
Again, thank you for your editorials and your leadership on these very important issues. I hope that you will continue to do so and to urge the people to become informed and active.
Elizabeth Wehrman, BSN, RN
Journal Standard, The (Freeport, IL)
Copyright: 2005 The Journal Standard