Judge Rejects Rastafarian Faith As Defense In Marijuana Case

INDIANA:  An Indiana judge has rejected an argument by a man who asked that his marijuana possession charge be reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor because he follows the Rastafarian faith.

Jerome Scott that he was being charitable to others by cultivating marijuana to ease ailments from chronic back pain to cancer, the South Bend Tribune reports. St. Joseph Superior Court Judge Jane Woodward Miller said he still broke the law.

“I understand there are many people who agree with you that marijuana should be legal, but you’re in the wrong state for that,” she said. “What you knowingly and deliberately did in Indiana is break the law by not only cultivating it, but also distributing it.”

Followers of the Rastafari faith, developed in Jamaica in the 1930s, believe cannabis is a holy herb, and smoking marijuana is considered a sacrament that brings peace, wisdom and a spiritual connection to nature.

Washington State Lawmakers Mull Bill To Defelonize Simple Drug Possession

WASHINGTON:  Arrests for simple drug possession would no longer be a felony if state lawmakers approve a measure that received its first hearing Tuesday at the state legislature.

Proponents of the bill say the war on drugs has needlessly ruined lives.

Sponsors of the bill (HB 2116) claim two million people have been locked in prison for simply possessing a controlled substance. And after these people have served their time, they emerge with a chance at very few jobs. It’s all because of the label “felon.” [Read more…]