Decriminalize Pot: "The Punishment Doesn't Fit the Crime"

My object all sublime

I shall achieve in time

To let the punishment fit the crime


- Gilbert & Sullivan: The Mikado

15 Democrats and three Republicans in the Assembly have joined to sponsor a bill to decriminalize possession of up to 15 grams of marijuana. There will be a Judiciary Committee hearing for the bill (A-1465) on Monday at 10:00 AM in the State House Annex. The effort, led by Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-15), already has an impressive number of initial bipartisan sponsors. However, 23 additional assemblypersons are needed to assure passage. The complete list of sponsors so far appears below the fold.

As the Star Ledger points out, "Currently, those caught with small amounts of marijuana for personal use face up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine, in addition to a possible driver's license suspension and hundreds of dollars in court fees. While possession of more than 15 grams and less than 50 grams constitutes a disorderly charge, possession of 15 grams or less under this bill will only call for a fine and possible drug treatment.

Three members of the Judiciary Committee are already sponsors: Chair Peter Barnes (D-18), Ralph Caputo (D-28), and Michael Patrick Carroll (R-25). You can call or email the other members: Vice Chair Annette Quijano (D-20), Gordon Johnson (D-37), John McKeon (D-27) and Holly Schepisi (R-39).

As Assemblyman Gusciora says, "The punishment really doesn't fit the crime."

For some nifty graphics created by OnLine Paralegal Programs with reasons to support this bill and ultimately legalize marijuana contine beyond the fold.
A1465 Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  REED GUSCIORA District 15 ; Assemblyman  MICHAEL PATRICK CARROLL District 25; Assemblywoman  BONNIE WATSON COLEMAN District 15; Assemblywoman L. GRACE SPENCER District 29; Assemblyman PETER J. BARNES, III District 18

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman Vainieri Huttle, Assemblyman Coutinho, Assemblywoman Tucker, Assemblymen Caputo, O'Scanlon, Diegnan, Assemblywomen Stender, Lampitt, Assemblyman Johnson, Assemblywoman Jasey, Assemblymen Ramos, Coughlin and Assemblywoman Casagrande

Reproduced with permission from OnLine Paralegal Programs:

Going Green
Created by: Online Paralegal Programs

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