17 Year-Old First Time Offender Faces 10 Years for Role in $20 Marijuana Sale: Excerpt from the Norml Weekly News Bulletin 1/23/98

Drug War Chronicle, recent top items

more...

recent blog posts "In the Trenches" activist feed

SUBSCRIBE TODAY!!!

(From the NORML Weekly News, 1/22, courtesy the NORML Foundation, http://www.norml.org)

January 22, 1998, Fayette, MO: A Missouri judge sentenced an adolescent first time offender to ten years in state prison after finding him guilty of selling $20 of marijuana within 2,000 feet of the Central Methodist College. State law classifies the offense as a Class A Felony that carries a sentencing range of ten years to life.

Billy Polson, 17, helped Alex Martinez acquire 3.4 grams of marijuana from students at the Missouri college campus. Martinez -- who dated Polson's sister at the time -- later revealed that he was working undercover for the Boonville Police Department. He also admitted purchasing malt liquor for the defendant shortly before Polson agreed to sell him marijuana.

Missouri attorney and NORML board member Dan Viets -- who represented Polson -- called the felony conviction "horribly unfair."

"I told the judge that if he wanted to help Polson get along with his life, then giving him a felony conviction record was the worst thing he could do," Viets said. He explained that the judge had the option of placing Polson on probation without a conviction. Viets also said that the prosecutor in the case, Greg Robinson, could have charged Polson with a lesser offense to avoid the excessive sentence. Viets said that Robinson wished to make an example out of Polson before the upcoming elections.

Attorney Tanya Kangas, Director of Litigation for The NORML Foundation, questioned why law enforcement would use its limited resources to target someone like Polson. "Alex Martinez was a reserve officer with the Boonville Police Department," she explained. "He was paid to become intimate with a young woman to gain the trust of her younger brother. The police department paid Alex to encourage a minor to drink alcohol. The department paid Alex to arrange a transaction close to the college to increase Bill's sentence under a law designed to protect elementary school children from drug dealers. Except here in this case, the law served to incarcerate a kid who is younger than the attendees of the nearby school. Since when is this the proper role of law enforcement?"

Polson is presently serving his ten year sentence in a Missouri Department of Corrections bootcamp facility. The judge has the option of placing Polson on probation within 120 days.

For more information, please contact either Tanya Kangas of the NORML Foundation @ (202) 483-8751 or Dan Viets of The NORML Legal Committee @ (573) 443-6866.

-- END --
Link to Drug War Facts
Please make a generous donation to support Drug War Chronicle in 2007!          

PERMISSION to reprint or redistribute any or all of the contents of Drug War Chronicle (formerly The Week Online with DRCNet is hereby granted. We ask that any use of these materials include proper credit and, where appropriate, a link to one or more of our web sites. If your publication customarily pays for publication, DRCNet requests checks payable to the organization. If your publication does not pay for materials, you are free to use the materials gratis. In all cases, we request notification for our records, including physical copies where material has appeared in print. Contact: StoptheDrugWar.org: the Drug Reform Coordination Network, P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 293-8340 (voice), (202) 293-8344 (fax), e-mail [email protected]. Thank you.

Articles of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of the DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.

Issue #26, 1/23/98 New York City Mayor Giuliani is Caught Suppressing Report Of His Own Aids Commission On Needle Exchange | ...But Gets $120 Million from Clinton For More Cops For His New Zero Tolerance Drug War | Justice Department Report: 100,000 More Americans Behind Bars | Two Southern California Medical Marijuana Clubs Targeted by Law Enforcement | 17 Year-Old First Time Offender Faces 10 Years for Role in $20 Marijuana Sale: Excerpt from the Norml Weekly News Bulletin | HHS to Conduct Binding Review of Marijuana's Prohibitive Status: Excerpt from the Norml Weekly News Bulletin | Legal Marijuana Smokers Testify at Institute of Medicine's Public Hearing on Medicinal Marijuana | Forums: Boston 1/29, Minneapolis 2/5, San Francisco 5-Feb | New Hampshire Man Kept Behind Bars for Refusing to Acknowledge God in his Recovery | Penn State Professor Protests Pot Laws with One-Man Smoke-in | Miami School Drug Test Plan Altered | Editorial: From Dr. King's Dream to Drug War Nightmare
Mail this article to a friend
Send us feedback on this article
This issue -- main page
This issue -- single-file printer version
Drug War Chronicle -- main page
Chronicle archives
Subscribe now!
Out from the Shadows HEA Drug Provision Drug War Chronicle Perry Fund DRCNet en EspaŮol Speakeasy Blogs About Us Home
Why Legalization? NJ Racial Profiling Archive Subscribe Donate DRCNet em PortuguÍs Latest News Drug Library Search
special friends links: SSDP - Flex Your Rights - IAL - Drug War Facts

StoptheDrugWar.org: the Drug Reform Coordination Network (DRCNet)
1623 Connecticut Ave., NW, 3rd Floor, Washington DC 20009 Phone (202) 293-8340 Fax (202) 293-8344 [email protected]