San Francisco Dropping Marijuana Convictions


San Francisco Dropping Marijuana Convictions

I grew up in the 80's where we had this famous program spear headed by president Ronald Reagan called D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education.) It was part of the war on drugs effort to start young, by attempting to keep the kiddies from drugs because this was also the era where crack cocaine became a huge problem. You got a fancy black D.A.R.E. t-shirt with red lettering, you talked to cops who dealt with the horrors of drug abuse, you sang D.A.R.E. themed songs, and you'd literally practice someone approaching you and offering you drugs, and you always had to stand there and scream back, "NO! I don't do that stuff!!!"

Now, I've never done a drug, but I can 100% tell you D.A.R.E. was never as effective as the fear of God my parents put into me about what drugs would do to me, to them, to our entire family, to the world; they were quite dramatic, though, not as dramatic as singing: "D.A.R.E. to keep the kids of drugs, D.A.R.E, to keep the kids of dope." But D.A.R.E. wasn't just about dope, it always billed it's little brother marijunana as the gateway drug. If you took that, 5 seconds later you'd be a crack head. That is "literally" how it worked.

Fast forward a couple of decades later, and that over reaction to marijuana has put people in jail for years wasting our tax payer money to help keep them alive (does anyone not recall prohibition?!?). Now, I'm no drug advocate. I don't want people freely doing things like meth, running through the streets, fighting cops, and blowing up houses when things get out of hand, but there has been no real proof that marijuana is the destroyer of humanity the way meth or crack have the potential to be. (Forgive my lack of knowledge on this, but I'm going to assume that )if all that happens is a person mellows out and becomes a little loopy, I don't think a 10 year prison sentence is warranted. In fact, neither do a couple of states and cities who have now, like San Fran, made the stuff legal.

San Francisco has decided to clear thousands of marijuana convictions dating all the way back to 1975.

San Francisco Dropping Marijuana Convictions

"The San Francisco District Attorney’s office said it will retroactively apply Proposition 64, which this year legalized the recreational use of marijuana for adults who are 21 and older. California voters approved the measure in 2016, and the law took effect this year.The District Attorney’s office said it will review, recall and re-sentence as many as 4,940 felony marijuana convictions, in addition to dismissing 3,038 misdemeanors.

“While drug policy on the federal level is going backwards, San Francisco is once again taking the lead to undo the damage that this country’s disastrous, failed drug war has had on our nation and on communities of color in particular,” San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón said in a statement on Wednesday." (TIME)

San Francisco Dropping Marijuana Convictions

This war on drugs has destroyed a lot of people's lives who's only crime was to do a little pot or sell it. How does it help that young man or woman or whomever to put a drug charge on them that will follow them on any background check for the rest of their lives? How does it help if a person then has trouble finding housing? How does it help a family if a father/mother is sent to jail? I understand the health and safety risks of harder drugs and why this is often a necessity, but clearly, having legalized this stuff in many places, it is not a drug where one is out causing massive harm to others/self and due to the many regulations now on the drugs, I gather that they have been made safer because of them.

San Francisco Dropping Marijuana Convictions
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  • NearlyNapping
    This debate always seems to revolve around two extremes. On one end, criminalized pot with lengthy jail terms. On the other end, full legalization.

    I'm in favor of decriminalization, but not legalization. In my state, pot has been decriminalized since the mid-late 70s. Up to 200 grams is a slap on the wrist. That's assuming they actually enforced it, which they don't. It's less serious than a minor traffic ticket.

    With decriminalization it's still illegal, but doesn't give people a criminal record. By remaining illegal, it still sends a message that it is not OK.

    Full legalization sends an implied message that's it safe. The thought process is that if the government legalized it, it can't be that bad, right?

    Wrong. Pot is not safe. A lot of pot heads will claim otherwise. And that's one of the major reasons I don't think it should be fully legalized. In my mind, anyone who says it's safe is hurting their own cause.

    Anyone who believes pot is safe is not using it responsibly. The first step to being safe with anything, is knowing the dangers, and taking precautions to minimize those dangers. Anyone who believes it's safe is not taking that crucial step.

    Now about the "war on drugs". I started smoking pot around 1972-73. The term "war on drugs" wasn't used yet, but there was still a lot of anti-drug education. It was pretty ridiculous. Smoke one marijuana cigarette and you'll end your killing your mother and father, rob five banks, become a heroin addict, and die puking in the gutter. Not exactly a believable story, so we just ignored it and did drugs anyway.

    But just because it's not at one extreme, doesn't mean the other extreme is true either. Just because you aren't going to take one hit and kill your parents, doesn't mean it's safe.

    As far as people in prisons, I don't know how many people are in prison for simple possession. What I do know is that I used to be a party animal and knew probably thousands of pot smokers. Not once have I personally heard of anyone going to prison for simple possession.

    I find stories about all these people in prison for simple possession just as absurd as the stories about taking a ht and killing your parents. It's a non argument in my opinion. Similarly, arguments comparing to alcohol are non arguments.

    I suspect that if people are in prison for pot, it's mostly because of a third strike, which is a whole different issue. Three strikes should not be used that way.
    Is this still revelant?

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  • just_tired
    Wonderful news, most nonviolent drug offenders should be released. The war on drugs has not worked at all and has even made things worse (same as war on terror, funny enough..). The largest prison population is not something to brag about and it's removing a large amount of people from the work force. The US prison system practically makes sure the prisoners will never become normal working citizens again and will have to resort to crime, when they can't find jobs.
    Like 2 People
  • edwardhiedler
    A degenerate society that can't even bring itself to sanction degenerate life styles. People who built America were too busy working 10 hours a day to even take drugs. And they raised a bunch of kids as well. Now we have infantile, single, useless slobs whose main concern in life is being able to get high. Well, that's gonna end well, I'm sure.
    Like 3 People
    • *slow clap* Couldn't have said it better

    • 10dsw

      Lol agreed. Don't care for marijuana but can't stand lazy stoners.

  • goaded
    Good on San Francisco! The war on drugs increases harm.
  • love_conquers_lust
    Marijuana has a tendency to make people lazy. It's certainly more benign than hard drugs like narcotics. Neither are good for a society if you are trying to get people to work hard in a constructive way. You better believe crack and meth heads have incredible drive in short spurts to sate their itch. But they resort to destructive ways to do it. Potheads are just kind of mellow and lazy. Like they could smoke a joint in front of their own burning car and just be okay with it.

    Should marijuana be punished as severely as hard drugs, I'd say no. Should it be legalized, I'd also say no. Punishment should fit the crime and being lazy has it's own consequences. I also think smoking tobacco in public establishments or community housing shouldn't be legal either. Cigarette smoke is disgusting. Go smokeless. I also don't really like alcohol. I'd be willing to give prohibition another go. Buuuut, God help a man who stands between a woman and her wine.
  • Sabretooth
    they destroyed their own lives-and those who smoke have caused harm
    Like 1 Person
    • goaded

      How? Who did they harm, except, minimally, themselves?

    • Sabretooth

      @goaded they knew the risks and knew what it could cost them-if you don't care about your own life and the life of those who could be effected by your habit-how can you expect others who don't even know you to?

    • Sabretooth

      @goaded. Many have harmed under the influence. I remember2 times on the news where a guy thought he was being followed, another was a group of people riding around and shooting, wrecks, neglect, destruction of property, abuse, over pot'

  • Waffles731
  • Anonymous
    SEEN , soo many people were put in the criminal justice system over that,