3/12/2009

AZ Legislature Continues Slide into Stupidity...


Mark this up to watching the rest of the United States move forward while Arizona's crazy Republicans manage to screw up in every way possible.

H.B. 2568 was introduced by the Chair of the Judiciary Committee, Rep. Adam Driggs (R-Phoenix), and it seeks to waste taxpayer dollars by creating new felonies with which to charge Arizonans who intentionally use a building to cultivate marijuana. Under the proposed provisions of H.B. 2568, any lessee or occupant of a building that intentionally uses that building for cultivating marijuana can be charged with a class 6 felony, which is punishable by six months to one-and-a-half years in prison and up to $150,000 in fines. Additionally, any lessee or occupant of a building that "fortifies" a building with the intent to suppress law enforcement entry for the purpose of cultivating marijuana can be charged with a class 4 felony, which is punishable by one-and-a-half to three years in prison, and up to $150,000 in fines.

This additional crime proposed by H.B. 2568 is overkill and simply not needed, as cultivation is already punished very harshly under Arizona law. An Arizonan charged with cultivation of less than two pounds of marijuana (which includes all plant material except for mature stalks) can already be charged with a class 5 felony, which is punishable by nine months to two years of prison time and up to $150,000 in fines. Thus, if this law is enacted, a person cultivating merely one marijuana plant could face prison time not only for cultivation, but also for this building offense, continuing to overcrowd jails with nonviolent offenders whose only crime is growing marijuana for personal use. The Arizona tax dollars used to further incarcerate these individuals would be better spent paying down Arizona's recent budget deficit, which, at 24.2% of its general fund, was the worst in the country.

MPP has set up a quick way to send your legislators an email.

Please visit: Marijuana Policy Project -- Arizona: Urge your legislators to oppose H.B. 2568

You can also give Mr. Driggs a call at: Phone Number: (602) 926-3016 Fax Number: (602) 417-3007


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