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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Time to Change Oklahoma's Marijuana Laws

It is time for Oklahoma to change the punishment for felony simple possession of marijuana. Our prisons our overcrowded and we our cutting funding to education, while the taxpayers pay to incarcerate individuals caught with small amounts of marijuana.

Over the last 10 years I have witnessed multiple defendants receive multiyear sentences for simple possession of marijuana. It makes no sense to spend our precious resources locking up people convicted of possessing a marijuana joint. We should focus our limited resources incarcerating those we are afraid of, not those we are mad at.

In Oklahoma, first time simple possession of marijuana is a misdemeanor. The second simple possession of marijuana is a felony punishable up to 10 years in prison.

The first felony offense DUI only carries a term of imprisonment of up to 5 years in prison. Every year over 200 people are killed in Oklahoma by drunk drivers and zero deaths result from smoking marijuana. So why does felony possession of marijuana carry twice as much time as felony DUI?

The punishment for aggravated assault and battery, which has a requirement of great bodily injury, only carries up to 5 years in prison. So under the current law an individual who commits aggravated assault causing great bodily injury only faces up to 5 years and an individual caught with a marijuana cigarette faces 10 years.

Every time someone is incarcerated for simple possession there is less money available to educate our children., build roads and provide public service.

1 comment:

  1. What about the case of Robert T. Elton (2003-2004) who received 60 years for Aggravated Assault with no prior felonies, jury trial? What can be done to get a commutation? He has accomplished more than anyone in the State Prisons and the alleged crime took place when he was in his early 20's? He has been in Dick Connor's for almost 10 years. That in itself is a crime.


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