Nevada is the only state
where simple possession of small amounts of marijuana is a felony.
Now, once again, a judicial commission there has recommended that the penalty
be reduced to a misdemeanor. An earlier version of the commission,
empanelled in 1993, made the same recommendation, but the legislature failed
The Judicial Assessment Commission,
formed by the Nevada Supreme Court to recommend changes to the state's
justice system, was reconvened by the court last year. In its first
incarnation, its recommendations to the state legislature resulted in the
passage of a medical marijuana law and expansion of the state's drug court
Commission member Justice
of the Peace Nancy Oesterle was careful, in remarks to the Las Vegas Sun,
to point out that the commission does not favor marijuana legalization.
But, she said, most people
charged with marijuana possession felonies eventually plead to lesser charges.
Citing them with misdemeanors in the first place would save the state the
cost of defendants' jail stays pending trial, court costs, and prosecutors'
"Nevada is the only state
that treats these crimes as felonies," Oesterle said. "The committee
specifically does not condone these crimes, but it wants the law to be
applicable to what's really happening in the court system. This is
a realistic approach."
-- END --
Issue #163, 12/8/00
Now He Has Something To Say? Clinton Supports Marijuana Decrim, Sentencing Reform in Rolling Stone Interview | More New Jersey Racial Profiling Fallout, Appeals Court Says Convicted Drug Offenders Can Appeal Based on Practice | In the Wake of the Initiatives: Asset Forfeiture Reform Comes to Oregon and Utah | Doors Manager/Best-Selling Author Danny Sugerman Comments on Addiction, Hollywood and Drug Policy | Missouri Sheriff Overrules Supreme Court on Roadblocks | Canadian Marijuana Party Gets Some Votes, More Attention | Newsbrief: Nevada Panel Recommends Marijuana Misdemeanors -- Again | Governor Johnson Makes Drug Policy Reform Pitch in Playboy Interview | Colombia: Mr. Wellstone Goes to Barrancabermeja | The Reformer's Calendar | Editorial: Should We Laugh, or Cry?
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