Should Marijuana be Legal in the United States?

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Should Marijuana be Legal in the United States

Yes, completely legal to everyone
25
27%
Yes but with restrictions
31
33%
No, not at all
36
39%
None of the above
1
1%
 
Total votes : 93

Re: Should Marijuana be Legal in the United States?

Unread postby DreamGoddessLindsey » Wed Jan 07, 2015 8:20 am

Well there is a known fact that the rich get far less punishment than the poor. Celebrities rarely get more than a slap on the wrist when committing crimes that would get any of the rest of us 5-10 years in prison. You can't claim that the police don't target the poor when the number of poor people in prison is disproportionate to the population.
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Re: Should Marijuana be Legal in the United States?

Unread postby Shikanosuke » Wed Jan 07, 2015 12:52 pm

DreamGoddessLindsey wrote:Well there is a known fact that the rich get far less punishment than the poor. Celebrities rarely get more than a slap on the wrist when committing crimes that would get any of the rest of us 5-10 years in prison. You can't claim that the police don't target the poor when the number of poor people in prison is disproportionate to the population.



Well, one can. For one, what the judicial system hands down as sentences and what law enforcement does as policing tactics are two entirely different things. For another,the poor vastly outnumber the rich so there is little reason to every assume the prison population numbers would be proportional.

Speaking about the judicial system, what you seem to be doing here, the wealthy often do receive punishment, we often just don't hear about it. More to the point though, the wealthy have access to better legal representation than the indigent, which one would assume will largely end in a better outcome for the defendant.
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Re: Should Marijuana be Legal in the United States?

Unread postby James » Wed Jan 07, 2015 7:07 pm

DreamGoddessLindsey wrote:Well there is a known fact that the rich get far less punishment than the poor. Celebrities rarely get more than a slap on the wrist when committing crimes that would get any of the rest of us 5-10 years in prison. You can't claim that the police don't target the poor when the number of poor people in prison is disproportionate to the population.

I suspect there are two primary factors involved here.

1) The wealthy have access to far more competent legal representation and are also far more likely to use that legal representation as soon as they get in trouble. Even if someone poor ends up with good legal representation they're going to be far less effective for their client if their client has, for example, already interviewed with the police without a lawyer. Prosecutors are going to be less likely to pursue wealthy with a questionable case because the wealthy are going to be far more difficult to prosecute. And in courts the better legal representation is going to be more effective.

2) The wealthy are less likely to commit the same sort of low-hanging-fruit crimes that the poor do.

But sure, there are other problems at play here. Police are going to be far less likely to press for drugs or searching a vehicle when the person behind the wheel is wearing a suit or driving a nice car. At least based on statistics we've seen in NYC.
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Re: Should Marijuana be Legal in the United States?

Unread postby DreamGoddessLindsey » Thu Jan 08, 2015 12:14 am

If one's financial access to lawyers is a factor in criminal cases, then the system is completely broken. Every case should be brought on merit, nothing more.
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Re: Should Marijuana be Legal in the United States?

Unread postby Shikanosuke » Thu Jan 08, 2015 12:46 am

DreamGoddessLindsey wrote:If one's financial access to lawyers is a factor in criminal cases, then the system is completely broken. Every case should be brought on merit, nothing more.


What? I don't even know what this sentence means. Cases are of course brought to trial and tried on the merits. But, in case you were unaware, defendants in America have a constitutional right to legal defense in most criminal cases. So much so that we (the taxpayers) pay for indigent citizens to have such an attorney bought for them. Like most things in the world, you get what you pay for. More money means access to better lawyers, and better lawyers increase your chances of reaching a favorable outcome. Doesnt matter if its in a speeding ticket case or a murder trial. The fact defendants are allowed and do have access to legal defense is a indicator the system is actually working.
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Re: Should Marijuana be Legal in the United States?

Unread postby DreamGoddessLindsey » Thu Jan 08, 2015 6:19 am

Shik, I don't think you'll find even one person to agree with you on this. When a person's wealth is a factor in weather they go to prison or not, that is plain wrong.
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Re: Should Marijuana be Legal in the United States?

Unread postby Shikanosuke » Thu Jan 08, 2015 10:42 am

DreamGoddessLindsey wrote:Shik, I don't think you'll find even one person to agree with you on this. When a person's wealth is a factor in weather they go to prison or not, that is plain wrong.


Im not a idealist. We have a good system which is based on defendants being able to procure defense for themselves. All attorneys are not created equal and wealth will inevitably buy better defense. So will influence and networking.

Sometimes even this doesn't affect the outcome however. But it has little to do with our system being broken.
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Re: Should Marijuana be Legal in the United States?

Unread postby DreamGoddessLindsey » Thu Jan 08, 2015 10:59 am

Doesn't mean we should just sit back and accept it, though. It is a problem, and needs to be fixed somehow.
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Re: Should Marijuana be Legal in the United States?

Unread postby Shikanosuke » Thu Jan 08, 2015 2:42 pm

DreamGoddessLindsey wrote:Doesn't mean we should just sit back and accept it, though. It is a problem, and needs to be fixed somehow.


I can't speak for European court systems, but that is just going to be a fact of any system in which attorneys exist. I'd suggest that in fact we do have to sit back and accept it. The only remedy, and I use that word loosely mind you (as its more of a band-aid), is to pay public defenders and court-appointed attorneys more in the hope of attracting attorneys to such positions and enhancing their abilities. At the end of the day though the system will remain the same. Either way, we can't use that as an indicator that the system is broken.
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Re: Should Marijuana be Legal in the United States?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Thu Jan 08, 2015 4:03 pm

I don't think the rich/poor issue is a "police are doing something evil" issue, more a general issue. I may not have the clothes and haircut or the wealth but my childhood including my accent has given me a helping hand, that little extra 5% from others be it workman or nurses. If I hadn't got those advantages but had a comp education or different parents, I suspect I would not have have got that 5%.

A rich 23 year old may well have confidence, accent, cut of clothing and hairstyle, the way that rich person speaks, sits and carries him or herself. That creates a positive impression which gains them the little pieces of advantage and that works in the judicial system. It is that little extra piece of persuasiveness that will get the benefit of the doubt from a policeman or a juror then someone who can not present themselves well. Being able to call on connections to have a word in the right place, the "if s/he faces that charge then their education and prospects will be wrecked" card, among many other little things that give a little extra advantage that adds up.

It's hard to do much about that (and no, connections shouldn't help but good luck in getting human nature to stop). It is also hard to do much about the rich being able to hire the best lawyers, pay for extra legal costs that a poor person won't have access too unless a judge awards the funding. It happens, it happens in America and as far as I know, it happens across the world. It sucks certainly but even things like better education, more funding and working on police culture will only have a limited effect.
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