Pubdate: Tue, 1 Sep 2009
Source: Coastal Post, The (CA)
Copyright: 2009 The Coastal Post
Author: F. Aaron Smith


The California Legislature is convening from summer recess this week
and one hot item on their agenda is making mandatory reductions to
prison spending. The state's recently adopted budget relies on $1.2
billion in unspecified cuts to corrections spending and the governor
and legislature will be deciding just where to cut in the days
ahead.  Please tell Gov. Schwarzenegger and the legislature that
nonviolent marijuana offenders shouldn't be taking up space in our

A federal court recently declared that conditions in California's
overcrowded prisons constitute "cruel and unusual punishment." In
fact, the state is under court order to reduce the prison population
by 27%. I trust that you agree that the more than 1,500 marijuana
prisoners should be first in line for release.

In July, Governor Schwarzenegger outlined a spending reduction plan
that would downgrade penalties for several property crimes including
certain vehicular and grand theft offenses. Shockingly, the governor's
plan makes no changes to marijuana penalties. If you find it morally
objectionable to consider going soft on car thieves before easing up
on victimless marijuana offenses, please take action today! Growing
even a single marijuana plant or selling one joint are still felonies
under California law, which could land an offender behind bars
alongside murderers, thieves, and sex offenders. Amending our
marijuana laws would be a safe and sensible part of the upcoming
overhaul of the prison system.

Writing the legislature and the governor is easy using MPP's online
action center. Just enter the requested information and send a pre-
written or custom message to your representatives in Sacramento.

Thank you for supporting MPP and humane marijuana policy. Please be
sure to pass this message along to other Californians who support
reform, so that they too can take action.


F. Aaron Smith

California Policy Director
Marijuana Policy Project
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake