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Title: I Became a Pot Felon at 18. I'm Owed More Than an Apology.
Source: Reason
URL Source: https://reason.com/archives/2017/08 ... y-isnt-enough-for-the-millions
Published: Aug 24, 2017
Author: Zoltan Istvan
Post Date: 2017-08-25 07:22:40 by Deckard
Keywords: None
Views: 1461
Comments: 9

Maybe reparations from the federal government are in order.

When asked why I advocate for legalization of recreational drugs, I give a simple answer: Because the government doesn't know what's best for me or others. But there's another reason, and it's far more personal. Twenty-five years ago, as a college freshman, I was arrested by undercover cops for selling $80 worth of marijuana to fellow students. I was convicted of two felonies: distribution and possession of a narcotic. I spent a month in jail.

Long after the ordeal, I feel resentment at the United States government and the old conservative guard who still mostly run it. It's important to understand that becoming a felon, even for a minor non-violent crime, is no small issue when you're 18 years old. In addition to the government taking away your voting and gun rights, and forcing you to submit to random drug tests, a felony makes it extremely difficult to ever get a normal job. A criminal rap is a serious and derogatory social badge.

You'd think there would be some consolation that since my run-in with the law in 1992, America has been slowly withdrawing from its conservative anti-drug fervor. Currently, 28 states allow medical marijuana use, and eight states now have made recreational use legal. Eventually, pot will likely become legal everywhere, including $80 amounts to students on college campuses.

So all is well, right? Wrong.

Millions of other minor drug offenders like me are left holding the bag. It wasn't just the defamatory criminal sentence many of us received. The government confiscated my Jeep Comanche and my beloved Honda motorcycle during the ordeal. What little money I had I spent on lawyers and judicial filings in our convoluted court system. My total financial loss a quarter of a century ago was $20,000 dollars. Had I been able to invest that money in the stock market, for example, I'd have over $100,000 now.

The American Civil Liberties Union reports that 8.2 million people in America were arrested between 2001 and 2010 for marijuana offenses. The Washington Post says at least 137,000 people sit in US jails on any given day of the week for weed.

Now that the country is on its glacial way to likely legalizing marijuana and taxing the sale of it like it does beer, where is the official apology, to me and all those others? For many of us, an apology—and the government's inevitable habeas corpus when they likely make pot legal across the land—won't be enough.

Some of us also want compensation for the financial damage forced upon us—for the literal theft of our property. Maybe that means a class action lawsuit insisting on government reparation for all damage caused, maybe in the form of tax credits or proceeds from the sale of unused Federal land, so as not to abuse the American taxpayer further over the drug war. It's safe to say—given the damage caused and the lives affected—such a suit would likely be in the billions of dollars.

Whatever happens, don't expect minor drug offenders to forget the harm Uncle Sam has caused now that smoking a joint is finally becoming legal and acceptable.

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#1. To: Deckard (#0)

Whatever happens, don't expect minor drug offenders to forget the harm Uncle Sam has caused now that smoking a joint is finally becoming legal and acceptable.

Given the long term resentment and desire for revenge, perhaps the best thing to be done with felons is to execute them all in the first instance. No recidivism. No revenge. No social stigma and long-term unemployment.

Vicomte13  posted on  2017-08-25   7:55:16 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#2. To: Deckard (#0)

He may have become a pot felon. But was he always a kook?

TRANSHUMANIST BILL OF RIGHTS

Presented to the United States Capitol on December 14, 2015 by Zoltan Istvan, founder and US Presidential candidate of the Transhumanist Party

Preamble: Whereas science and technology are now radically changing human beings and may also create future forms of advanced sapient and sentient life, transhumanists establish this TRANSHUMANIST BILL OF RIGHTS to help guide and enact sensible policies in the pursuit of life, liberty, security of person, and happiness.

Article 1. Human beings, sentient artificial intelligences, cyborgs, and other advanced sapient life forms are entitled to universal rights of ending involuntary suffering, making personhood improvements, and achieving an indefinite lifespan via science and technology.

Article 2. Under penalty of law, no cultural, ethnic, or religious perspectives influencing government policy can impede life extension science, the health of the public, or the possible maximum amount of life hours citizens possess.

Article 3. Human beings, sentient artificial intelligences, cyborgs, and other advanced sapient life forms agree to uphold morphological freedom—the right to do with one’s physical attributes or intelligence (dead, alive, conscious, or unconscious) whatever one wants so long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else.

Article 4. Human beings, sentient artificial intelligences, cyborgs, and other advanced sapient life forms will take every reasonable precaution to prevent existential risk, including those of rogue artificial intelligence, asteroids, plagues, weapons of mass destruction, bioterrorism, war, and global warming, among others.

Article 5. All nations and their governments will take all reasonable measures to embrace and fund space travel, not only for the spirit of adventure and to gain knowledge by exploring the universe, but as an ultimate safeguard to its citizens and transhumanity should planet Earth become uninhabitable or be destroyed.

Article 6. Involuntary aging shall be classified as a disease. All nations and their governments will actively seek to dramatically extend the lives and improve the health of its citizens by offering them scientific and medical technologies to overcome involuntary aging.

A K A Stone  posted on  2017-08-25   8:08:02 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#3. To: A K A Stone (#2)

He may have become a pot felon. But was he always a kook?

Maybe he's a cyborg. That would explain his "Transhumanist Bill Of Rights".

Them robots is dangerous - just ask Will Smith.

“Truth is treason in the empire of lies.” - Ron Paul

Those who most loudly denounce Fake News are typically those most aggressively disseminating it.

Deckard  posted on  2017-08-25   9:39:39 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#4. To: Deckard (#0) (Edited)

The American Civil Liberties Union reports that 8.2 million people in America were arrested between 2001 and 2010 for marijuana offenses.

Yeah. And 8.1 million were let go with a slap on the wrist. The remaining s scumbags were drug dealers. Like the author of this article.

misterwhite  posted on  2017-08-25   9:51:03 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#5. To: Deckard (#0)

Twenty-five years ago, as a college freshman, I was arrested by undercover cops for selling $80 worth of marijuana to fellow students.

Oh, I bet you sold a lot more than that and were prepared to sell even more. Probably figured to pay your way through college with drug money. You couldn't care less how many lives you were screwing up as you used them to get ahead.

misterwhite  posted on  2017-08-25   9:56:37 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#6. To: Deckard (#3)

His crime should have been a misdemeanor. A felony if as described is excessive.

A K A Stone  posted on  2017-08-25   10:10:22 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#7. To: A K A Stone (#6)

His crime should have been a misdemeanor. A felony if as described is excessive.

Perhap. But we don't know all the details:

1) He was arrested for selling $80 worth of marijuana to fellow students. How much did he possess?

2) Was this his first arrest?

3) Were other drugs in his possession?

4) 25 year years ago was 1992. He attended Columbia University in New York City. The Rockefeller drug laws were in effect. I'd say he was lucky to get only 30 days in jail.

misterwhite  posted on  2017-08-25   11:33:20 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#8. To: Deckard (#0)

I Became a Pot Felon at 18.

You were an idiot then. You don't seem to have improved much.

rlk  posted on  2017-08-25   14:29:15 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#9. To: wankerWillie gangGreen, fredbot, hondope, zulu, mau mau, hutus, lice, druids, morloks, 666ers (#0)

in The drug - alcohol

deaTh noose - chain

These criminal - murderers need To be sTopped

DuarTe in The Philippines is doing

a good Thing

love
boris

If you ... don't use exclamation points --- you should't be typeing ! Commas - semicolons - question marks are for girlie boys !

BorisY  posted on  2017-08-25   14:44:53 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


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