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Ballot Measures 2012: Death Penalty, Legal Marijuana, Bargaining Rights

November 06, 2012  | 

Flickr_CC: farlane
Flickr_CC: farlane

Today, voters in three states will decide whether to legalize recreational marijuana and in California will consider reshaping sentencing for violent offenders.

Measures in Colorado (Amendment 64), Oregon (Measure 80), and Washington (Initiative 502) would make marijuana a legal commodity, moving beyond decriminalization. People ages 21 and higher could purchase marijuana from special stores taxed and regulated by the state. Medical marijuana initiatives appear on ballots in Arkansas and Massachussetts.

As expected, Law Enforcement against Prohibition (LEAP) supports the initiatives. The group of retired and active officers called the measures "drug law reform" on their Web site.

Nine former directors from the Drug Enforcement Administration urged the U.S. Department of Justice in a letter to oppose these measures. "To continue to remain silent conveys to the American public ... a tacit acceptance of these dangerous initiatives," reports the News-Tribune.

In California, three propositions propose banning the death penalty, softening "three strikes" sentencing, and increasing penalties for human and sex traffickers. Proposition 34 would repeal the death penalty and give death row inmates life sentences.

A long list of prosecutors and law enforcement officials support Proposition 35, which would punish sex trafficking of a minor with force or fraud with up to a life term in prison—a crime currently punishable with a maximum eight-year sentence. It would also increase the fine for trafficking crimes to up to $1.5 million and expand the definition of human trafficking to include creation and distribution of child pornography, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Proposition 36, which would soften the state's "three strikes" law, emerged out of Gov. Brown's "realignment" of state prisoners mandate that would shift less-violent offenders to local jails from state prisons. If passed, some 3,000 inmates serving life sentences would be eligible for resentencing if their third conviction was not violent or serious, reports the Los Angeles Times.

An esoteric measure in Montgomery County, Md., has drawn a heated debate about police bargaining rights. Question B has pitted county officials against the police union.

Voters will decide whether the Fraternal Order of Police will retain "effects bargaining," which allows the union to negotiate with county officials not only on wages and benefits but also over day-to-day duties, such as regularly checking e-mail. The union has sued the county, claiming public funds were used to support the initiative, reports the Gazette.


California's 'Realignment' Toward Higher Crime

Comments (4)

Displaying 1 - 4 of 4

Rainer @ 11/7/2012 1:44 AM

Well, medical marijuana is a good idea. And it´s not a new idea.
It also brings tax and a regulation. It doesn´t make sence to criminalize people only because of using marijuana for their personal use.
In Netherlands police tolerate (not legalize) the use , but people only can smoke it in so called "coffeeshops". And police still has a very close look on these shops. It works now for a long time.
And by the way Alcohol as a legal drug destroys more lifes than marijuana, kills more people as marijuana ever can.
And legalizing it may be a step to fight the drug cartells.

S.S @ 11/7/2012 6:36 AM

Prop.34 in Calif. to repeal the death penalty and give death row inmates life sentences this is BULLSHIT! Yeah and in the meantime we pay for them to live a better life on the inside than on the outside. They're on deathrow for a reason. They made their choices. Screw that put em down!!!Give the victim's families some justice. They deserve it.

Ann @ 11/7/2012 7:13 AM

SS @ 11/7 6:36 am-I AGREE COMPLETELY! If there was absolute proof the person convicted did the crime WHY should we Taxpayers have to pay for their free Room & Board, Medical, Education, etc!! I know someone sentenced to Life w/o parole - He has had better medical care than my chronically ill daughter; who we had to fight tooth & nail just to get government medicaid assistance when she was getting too sick to continue to work!! RIDICULOUS! Free up the jail space for the rest of the criminals!

S.S @ 11/7/2012 8:36 AM

Sorry to hear that about your daughter. But it's so unfair on how these inmates live in the prison, and who knows how many people's lives they destroyed and they're basically catered to. It's a damn shame. Well hopefully this won't pass. I'm praying it won't. In the meantime my thoughts and prayers go out to your family and your daughter especially. Keep your head up.

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