Judge blasts ‘ridiculous’ 18-year sentence for marijuana | FOX6Now.com
BATON ROUGE, La. — Is 18 years in prison without the possibility of parole too harsh for a man arrested with 18 grams of marijuana? The Louisiana Supreme Court’s chief justice thinks so, and she blasted her colleagues for upholding the punishment.In a withering dissent Wednesday, Chief Justice Bernette Johnson called it “outrageous” and “ridiculous” that the state’s highest court affirmed the lengthy prison sentence for such a small amount of marijuana — enough for at least 18 marijuana cigarettes.
Source: Judge blasts ‘ridiculous’ 18-year sentence for marijuana | FOX6Now.com
U.S. judge says government view on marijuana raises ‘equal justice’ concerns – baltimoresun.com
A ruling handed down by a federal court this week strongly suggests that recent changes in state laws governing marijuana are now being reflected in how federal drug laws are enforced and will further change the conversation about marijuana use in America.
U.S. District Judge James K. Bredar acknowledged that new reality when he sentenced Scott Russell Segal this week to nearly five years in prison for his role in smuggling hundreds of kilograms of marijuana to Howard and Anne Arundel counties from California and New Jersey. Under federal sentencing guidelines Mr. Segal could have received eight to 11 years behind bars.
But the judge used his discretion to cut that penalty nearly in half, saying the federal government’s response to the legalization of marijuana in some states had raised concerns of “equal justice” if federal law mandated significantly harsher punishments than state laws for the same crime. In doing so he clearly had in mind the Justice Department’s recent announcement that it would not seek to block state laws legalizing marijuana for medical or recreational use.
U.S. judge says government view on marijuana raises ‘equal justice’ concerns – baltimoresun.com.