cannabisnews.com: Compromise in Works on Pot Law 





Compromise in Works on Pot Law 
Posted by CN Staff on May 27, 2005 at 16:58:48 PT
By Katie Fretland of the Tribuneís Staff 
Source: Columbia Daily Tribune
Missouri -- The two people who have argued most vociferously about the consequences of a new city ordinance that mandates more lenient punishment for possessing a small amount of marijuana are negotiating to amend it.Sterling Infield, president of the Columbia Police Officerís Association, or CPOA, and local attorney Dan Viets, a decriminalization advocate, agree that the ordinance is too easy on repeat offenders.
In November, voters passed an ordinance that requires police to send offenders in possession of as much as 1ľ ounces of marijuana to Columbia Municipal Court for a maximum fine of $250. The offense leaves no mark on their criminal records, and the ordinance suggests waiving the fine in place of community service and drug counseling.Infield, a former Jefferson City narcotics detective, and Viets are engaging in negotiations, mediated by Boone County Prosecuting Attorney Kevin Crane, to ask the Columbia City Council to modify the ordinance. The city council can amend the ordinance, City Attorney Fred Boeckmann said, even though it started as an initiative petition approved by voters.The problem with the ordinance, Infield and Viets agree, is that it treats repeat offenders the same as first-time offenders. The CPOA has argued that parolees convicted of previous marijuana-related offenses, murder or rape would be less likely to have their parole revoked if caught with a small amount of the drug. Infield and Viets will approach the city council about changing the ordinance if they can come to an agreement. They would propose changing the ordinance so it would not apply to some people who have prior marijuana convictions or other felonies on their records, Viets said. The wording has not yet been decided, Crane said, and the parties will continue debates on what should be included in the amendments. What defines a multiple or repeat offender versus a first-time offender is one area they have been looking at. "Iím hopeful we can all get along and reach an agreement without going out to the electorate every two or three years," Crane said.Infield said Crane became the middleman because they consider him an unbiased outside source. Crane expressed concern about the ordinance after it passed, citing the same concerns Infield has about felons on parole. "I donít want to categorize myself as being on one side or the other," Crane said. "Iím not out passing out petitions."The CPOA has been collecting signatures since March for a petition to overturn the ordinance, and the organization plans to continue that effort. Officers need 2,275 signatures to place a measure to repeal the ordinance on the ballot. There is no deadline for the petition, but City Clerk Sheela Amin said she wants to have it by late June or early July for it to appear on a November ballot. While his organization will continue petitioning until it reaches the required number of signatures, Infield said, he is optimistic about discussions with Viets. "Negotiations are still ongoing, and hopefully we can get to a good compromise for both sides," Infield said. Note: Sides negotiating to tweak city ordinance.Newshawk: Jose Melendez Source: Columbia Daily Tribune (MO)Author: Katie Fretland of the Tribuneís Staff Published: Friday, May 27, 2005Copyright: 2005 Columbia Daily TribuneContact: editor tribmail.comWebsite: http://www.columbiatribune.com/Related Articles & Web Site:NORMLhttp://www.norml.org/Deal Sought for Pot Lawhttp://cannabisnews.com/news/thread20730.shtmlMarijuana Ordinance Defendedhttp://cannabisnews.com/news/thread20538.shtmlPolice Pot Petition Challengedhttp://cannabisnews.com/news/thread20537.shtml
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Comment #1 posted by global_warming on May 27, 2005 at 17:36:34 PT
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"The problem with the ordinance, Infield and Viets agree, is that it treats repeat offenders the same as first-time offenders. The CPOA has argued that parolees convicted of previous marijuana-related offenses, murder or rape would be less likely to have their parole revoked if caught with a small amount of the drug."Thou shall not cage an innocent and peaceful human being, for using any plant or herb.There is no corporeal or sentient species that owns this world, that owns their existence, for this world is ours, and we are the chosen, and the foundations of of our reality reflects and remembers our history and our covenants with God.Make peace,Come to terms,Be aware,Our bargain with God,Embraces all the angels,The sacrifices of our blood,Will, foreverIlluminate the future,A future that will embrace,Every breath and word,From the littlest children,From the animals and insects,From all the livingWho have "breathed" and have reached for the opportunity to come close to the Holy Spirit, who have had the chance to reach for that ultimate glory.praise to Godgw
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