Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Scales of justice out of balance

Here's a study in contrasts for you. First we have a 50 year old former prosecutor who is pulled over for speeding, a couple of blocks from the party he left at the Chief State's Attorney's home and is subsequently busted for DUI, possession of less than 4 ounces of marijuana (What does that mean exactly? That he had more than three ounces?), possession of drug paraphernalia and possessing a loaded firearm while intoxicated. He's applying for diversion to a first time offender program that could result in the charges being dismissed. He'll probably get it. (By the way, the AG denies that any marijuana was smoked at the party. If you believe that, I have a bridge in Brooklyn available now at a bargain price.)

Then you have an 18 year old kid selling one batch of pot brownies outside of the school cafeteria at lunchtime. He was charged with distributing marijuana within 1,000 feet of school property. If convicted, he could be sentenced to 15 years in prison and fined $10,000.

There is something very wrong with a system that would jail a child for the better part of his life for eating a plant while a grown man can endanger the public with drunk driving and a loaded weapon and walk off scott free.


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