Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Congress to impose 5 years for passing a joint

Filed under
Legal

The U.S. House Judiciary Committee will soon consider a bill that would create draconian mandatory minimum sentences for a variety of nonviolent drug offenses, including marijuana. If this bill becomes law, anyone convicted in federal court of the crime of "enticing" someone "who has previously been enrolled in a drug treatment program" to "possess" marijuana will receive a five-year mandatory minimum sentence.

In addition to the shocking joint-passing provision described above, the bill would also create a 10-year mandatory minimum sentence for a first-time conviction of distributing a small amount of marijuana to a person under 18 years of age ... and a 10-year sentence for a second offense of distributing marijuana to a person under 21. By comparison, the average time served by convicted rapists in this country is about seven years.

MPP does not condone the distribution of marijuana to minors, nor do we advocate the use of marijuana by people recovering from substance abuse problems. But we do believe that judges should have the discretion to determine whether or not offenders in these circumstances deserve to be imprisoned for sentences as long as five or 10 years. If these mandatory minimum sentences are enacted, judges' hands will be tied.

This bill has traction because it also contains a section that serves as the House Republican leadership's response to a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that made the Federal Sentencing Guidelines advisory, rather than mandatory.* The Republican leadership is highly motivated to pass this bill - and with it, the harsh new penalties related to marijuana.

The "Defending America's Most Vulnerable: Safe Access to Drug Treatment and Child Protection Act of 2005" (H.R. 1528) was introduced by House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) on April 6, and it has already passed out of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security.

The bill will now be debated and voted on by the full House Judiciary Committee and - if the committee passes the bill - the full House will then vote on it.

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

No Ubuntu Back Doors, Windows and Mac Migrations

Today in Linux news Microsoft's market share has dipped below 90% and Mac is disappearing from Linux conventions. Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth said in an interview today that security and encryption are a commitment of Ubuntu's. Jesse Smith reviewed the latest version of Ubuntu and OMG!Ubuntu! shared some glimpses of Ubuntu in the wild. Bryan Lunduke listed 12 "Linux geeks" all users should follow on social media and Sandra Gittlen highlighted six colleges that "immerse students in Open Source." Read more

pfSense 2.3 Open-Source BSD Firewall Gets Patch That Fixes NTP Security Issues

pfSense developer Chris Buechler announced the availability of a small update for the stable pfSense 2.3 open-source firewall platform based on the FreeBSD operating system. Introduced as pfSense 2.3 Update 1, this is a small patch that only fixes the recently discovered security issues in the Network Time Protocol (NTP) packages, upgrading them from version 4.2.8p6 to 4.2.8p7, and it shouldn't be confused with pfSense 2.3.1, which will be released in the coming weeks as the first maintenance build. Read more

Contributing to open source software with Ian Varley of Salesforce

With open source, you're expanding the sphere of people who might potentially care a lot about your code. You find others who have similar problems, and who can leverage your work and maybe even extend it. The knowledge that you've helped someone avoid "rebuilding the wheel" is really gratifying, and it's amplified when those people actually start getting so involved that they give you contributions of code or ideas. The project picks up steam, and you might even get unforeseen help tackling those issues you didn't have bandwidth to tackle yourself. Really, it's the gift that keeps on giving. Read more

IPFire 2.19 Core Update 101 Patches Cross-Site-Scripting Vulnerability in Web UI

The development team behind the IPFire software have announced the general availability of the Core Update 101 of the IPFire 2.19 Linux kernel-based firewall distribution. Read more