Tuesday, January 22, 2008

HELP: Nebraska

Note: even if you don't live in Nebraska, you can still click here to Digg this article. This will at least help us bring the bill to the public's attention. Thank you for all your support!

TO: Friends of MPP
FROM: Nathan Miller, MPP legislative analyst

Please help defeat a bill that seeks to increase penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana

This Thursday, the Nebraska Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on LB 844 in Room 1113 at 1:30 p.m. This legislation is a step backwards for Nebraska as it seeks to impose harsher penalties than already exist for those found to be in possession of small amounts of marijuana. Please take a few minutes to read on about this horrible piece of legislation and then act to help defeat it.

Currently, a conviction for possessing less than one ounce of marijuana subjects offenders to a $100 fine and a drug education course — a civil infraction. LB 844 would not only raise the fine to $500, but it would also carry with it three months in jail — a class III misdemeanor. This unnecessarily harsh bill would raise the severity of penalties not one, not two, not three, but four levels of criminal liability. Interestingly, this bill actually takes away the ability of the sentencing judge to determine whether or not it is in the best interest of the offender to attend the aforementioned drug education course.

For good measure, this malicious piece of legislation also raises the penalties for possession of between an ounce and one pound of marijuana, as well as for possession of paraphernalia used in the consumption of marijuana. All of these penalty increases are not for manufacture or sale of marijuana, but for mere possession.

To read an article about this dreadful bill, click here.

Please send the members of the committee an e-mail today letting them know that if Nebraska considers marijuana legislation, it should be positive rather than negative. When writing your legislators, remember that a marijuana conviction can affect a person's ability to obtain public housing, receive student aid, and adopt a child. Quite simply, this bill is a step backwards that Nebraska doesn't need to take.

Thank you for supporting the Marijuana Policy Project. Please pass this on to your friends, family, co-workers, and anyone else who might be interested in keeping people out of jail, in school, and employed as productive members of society.

Please click here to Digg this article, even if you don't live in Nebraska. This is especially important in this case, since we really need people to be aware of this bill!

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