Doing Life for a simple pot bust
A new report on the severity of convictions for marijuana possession concludes that the after-effects in essence mean a life sentence of penalties. "Long-term sanctions for drug crimes, even for relatively benign drugs like marijuana, can exceed those of violent crimes like premeditated assault, rape and murder, says the author Richard Boire.
It appears hopeless to argue that criminal sanctions are effective in the struggle against drug abuse, and the next best thing is to help warn casual users to be very mindful of the repercussions.
The severity of these residual punishments depends on the state. "Life Sentences: The Collateral Sanctions Associated with Marijuana Offenses," a report released in July by the Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics (CCLE), ranks Florida, Delaware, Alabama, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Virginia, Utah, Arizona and South Carolina as the 10 states with the worst records for continuing the punishments of people who have already served their time.
Job applicants must inform potential employers, upon request, of past felonies, no matter how long ago they happened. The resulting job discrimination pushes many former prisoners back into the underground economy, contributing to the fact that two-thirds of former prisoners recidivate.