Pubdate: Thu, 06 Jan 2005
Source: Illinois Times (IL)
Copyright: 2005 Yesse Communications
Author: Richard J. Rawlings
Bookmark: (Opinion)
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)
Bookmark: (Cannabis)


Take the story last month of 25-year-old Weldon Angelos, who was
sentenced by a Utah federal judge to 55 years for selling marijuana to
an undercover agent. He will be 80 when he gets out, if he lives that
long. One receives 25 years for hijacking an airplane.

Jonathan Magbie, who died just three months ago, was serving a 10-day
sentence for first-offense marijuana possession. Magbie, a 27-year-old
quadriplegic, used marijuana for his chronic pain. Magbie, who was
unable to breathe on his own at times, was locked in a jail unequipped
for his medical needs. [District of Columbia Superior Court] Judge
Judith Retchin handed Mr. Magbie a death sentence. You can get 13
years if you beat someone to death. Jonathan died at the hands of
Judge Retchin. Saddam Hussein is being treated better than Jonathan
Magbie was.

Two years ago, 20-year-old Jose Colon of Bellport, N.Y., was just
months away from being the first one in his family to receive a
college degree. He was shot and killed in a raid that netted 8 ounces
of marijuana. He wasn't even a suspect, just at the house when the
raid went down.

[The courts]are locking up 700,000 marijuana consumers a year -- 80
percent are nonviolent criminals -- while handing down mandatory
minimums on drug offenses, filling the prisons with nonviolent
criminals. A child rapist will walk out in 11 years to make room for
marijuana consumers.


Richard J. Rawlings

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