Pubdate: Thu, 01 Feb 2007
Source: Equinox, The (NH Edu)
Copyright: 2007 The Equinox
Bookmark: (Cannabis)
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)
Bookmark: (Mandatory Minimum Sentencing)


What do Tom Cruise, the Fox News Channel, Rush Limbaugh and Keene 
State College's own Chuck Weed have in common?

Not much, unless you ask Keith Olbermann, political pundit for 
MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann, who, on every show, counts 
down the top three worst people in the world.

Weed, who is also a New Hampshire state representative, recently had 
the distinct honor of holding the nightly title of "one of the worst 
persons in the world" for his proposed House Bill 92, legislation for 
the decriminalization of marijuana in the Granite State.

Predictably, Weed's support of marijuana has been an easy headline 
target. But despite the blatantly ironic connotation with Weed's 
name, many are missing the big picture.

Marijuana reform is a serious matter, as Weed told the Equinox. 
Although he does not expect the bill to pass, legislation for the 
decriminalization of marijuana on the state level is the way to 
change federal drug policy.

While many are skeptical that the bill has any reasonable chance of 
passing, The New Hampshire Coalition for Common Sense Marijuana 
Policy (NHCCSMP) supports HB 92 and has started an online petition 
( to send to the NH state government.

The NHCCSMP contests that New Hampshire's prisons are overcrowded as 
is, and with mandatory minimum sentences for marijuana possession, 
the problem continues to grow. It costs roughly $20,000 annually to 
keep a prisoner detained. According to a 2004 Bureau of Justice 
Statistics survey of state and Federal prisoners, approximately 12.7 
percent of state prisoners and 12.4 percent of Federal prisoners were 
serving time for a marijuana-related offense.

Until then, people should keep themselves informed on issues 
surrounding marijuana reform and policy. The individuals of New 
Hampshire should have right to choose to Live High or Die.
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MAP posted-by: Beth Wehrman