Topic

drug war

24 petitions

Update posted 3 weeks ago

Petition to President of the United States, Lawrence Kupers, William N. Taylor II

Please Don't Let Jason McClure Live 17 Yrs in Prison for 1st Time Non-Violent Drug Charge

Jason McClure is a kind and generous person who's made positive impacts on so many people's lives (see a few in his testimonials), but he'll be spending the next 17 years of his life in Federal Prison for a first time, non-violent drug charge instead of living these years with friends and family who love him dearly for the person he is and all the good he's done. Jason grew up in a Mormon family with high moral values. He lost his father when he was 10, leaving his mother to care for 5 children on her own, and it wasn't an easy life. Jason vowed to work hard and save money before having children of his own to afford them a comfortable life. He worked many jobs alongside family and friends to help grow their various businesses. When synthetic drugs first emerged there was huge financial potential in this untapped market. Jason and a few friends started working in distribution of synthetic drugs such as spice and, eventually, methylone which at the time were new and legal, and in huge demand. The DEA began classifying these substances to get them off the streets. Anytime a substance became criminalized, Jason and his business partners halted selling it. Except that in 2012 Jason personally filled another methylone order after its banning for a good customer who was working as an informant after getting into trouble of her own. He was apprehended in a parking lot with no weapons of any sort and used no violence during his arrest, and yet that one transaction he was about to make would cost him 17 years of his life. 17 years. A person can do a lot in 17 years. Jason will be 52 years old when he's released. He will have lost the opportunity to have the children he's always wanted. Is that teaching him a lesson? For a man that has not once, not ever hurt anyone, but has given so much of himself to others, is this justice? For a person that believes so firmly in the sanctity of marriage and family that he, rather than irresponsibly father children as so many others do, has waited until he’s ready for marriage, this is the ultimate punishment. Why is Jason being stripped of 17 years of his life while there are rapists who get to go home after 6 months and start over? Why doesn’t he get a second chance? I know it won’t take Jason 17 years to learn from his mistake. I think rather than rob him of a chance at a fulfilling future and embittering him against the judicial system, he needs to be given a chance to prove it. Jason has been an amazing friend and has helped me (and countless others) through difficult times. Please help me now during his difficult time, to give him that chance.  

Cheryl Michel
373 supporters
Update posted 1 month ago

Petition to U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate

Pass the Justice Safety Valve Act

When my brother was sentenced to 55 years for a nonviolent marijuana offense eleven years ago, the judge who sentenced him strongly opposed sending a father of three to prison for so long. But because of mandatory minimum sentencing, he had no choice. Now, a new bill in Congress will give judges the authority to give sentences lower than the mandatory punishment in certain cases where the sentence is excessive. The Justice Safety Valve Act will finally let judges do what they're supposed to: judge! It would allow judges to sentence a person to less prison time than the mandatory minimum law requires whenever the mandatory minimum sentence is unjust or excessive. Federal judges are currently bound to sentence offenders in compliance with mandatory minimum sentences, resulting in unfair sentences and an explosion in the prison population.  My brother's judge called the sentence “unjust, cruel, and even irrational.” He's not the only one. There are judges all over the country who oppose mandatory minimum sentencing because these laws prevent them from using their discretion to hand out the appropriate sentence and often force them to destroy families.  In a recent interview, Weldon's judge said, “If he had been an aircraft hijacker, he would have gotten 24 years in prison. If he’d been a terrorist, he would have gotten 20 years in prison. If he was a child rapist, he would have gotten 11 years in prison. And now I’m supposed to give him a 55-year sentence? I mean, that’s just not right.” The Justice Safety Valve Act has bipartisan support in both the Senate and the House -- but your lawmakers need to hear from you. We can pass this bill and greatly improve the criminal justice system. Please sign my petition calling on Congress to pass the Justice Safety Valve Act.

Lisa Angelos
69,421 supporters
Update posted 3 months ago

Petition to Vermont State Senate, Vermont State House

Vermonters Want Comprehensive Marijuana Legalization

Vermonters have a history of being on the moral side of history by opposing unjust law.   A leading example is the Habeus Corpus Law of 1850 which was passed by the Vermont Legislature to command state law enforcement agents and judges to assist captured fugitive slaves.  In response to Vermont's Habeus Corpus Law, then U.S. President Millard Fillmore threatened Vermont with a military occupation for essentially nullifying the Fugitive Slave Act within Vermont’s borders.  Vermont was not intimidated. Marijuana prohibition is another example of an unjust law we Vermonters oppose.  While federal code criminalizes the voluntary use, cultivation, and exchange of marijuana by informed and consenting adults, jurisdictions such as Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and the District of Columbia, have taken independent measures apart from the U.S. Congress to decriminalize and/or re-legalize the consumption, cultivation, and trade of marijuana for medicinal and recreational purposes.      Vermonters who support marijuana decriminalization and legalization do not necessarily condone drug use.  However, we do oppose the dangerous practice of criminalizing consensual and victimless behavior by responsible adults.  We the undersigned Voters of the State of Vermont, petition the State of Vermont to uphold it's constitutional duty to promote the general welfare through public health and safety policy, by defining reasonable regulations around personal marijuana use, cultivation, and commerce, such as product safety standards and product labeling requirements to facilitate informed consumer choice. We believe marijuana has not been empirically proven to be a significant danger to public health and safety justifying criminalization.  No negative physiological health effects have ever been proven to be caused by consuming tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or cannabidiol (CBD) found in marijuana.   Since legalizing recreational marijuana in 2012, Colorado violent crime rates have declined, and the growth rates in impaired driving and marijuana use by minors are statistically insignificant.  We believe marijuana prohibition is not a reasonable form of regulation, but the abdication of regulatory authority by the State of Vermont, whereby public courts become closed to a minority group of  consumers for adjudicating civil and business disputes, arguably in violation of the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, and whereby state regulatory authorities cease to protect Vermont consumers by defining product safety standards and product labeling requirements. We recognize the collateral damage caused by marijuana prohibition as a greater danger to public health and safety than personal marijuana use, cultivation and regulated trade. Our conclusion is based on the large number of otherwise law abiding, functional, and peaceable human beings having their private property confiscated under civil asset forfeiture law, and whose prospects for future prosperity are harmed after being labeled criminals for life over a marijuana related arrest and conviction.   We require expungement of all nonviolent marijuana related arrest and conviction records.  Over 80,000 Vermont residents surveyed by the RAND Corporation admit to regularly using marijuana. This suggests a narrow jury pool for Vermont prosecutors who wish to convict persons for the victimless acts of possessing, growing and voluntarily transacting for marijuana.      We affirm every human being has natural authority over their mind and body, whereby the free exercise of informed choice, voluntary consumption, consensual trade, and cultivation of marijuana among responsible adults must be protected by Vermont state statute and municipal ordinance.   We believe moral ends require moral means, and we recognize marijuana prohibition as both an ineffective and immoral means of promoting public health and protecting public safety.  Our belief is based on overwhelming evidence from legal and policy research groups dating back to landmark finding of the 1972 National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse (aka The Shafer Commission), showing unreasonable collateral harm being done to individuals, families, and society from marijuana prohibition enforcement. We believe police lives matter. Marijuana legalization reduces demands on law enforcement to confront otherwise law abiding individuals over behavior as personal possession, consumption, cultivation, and consensual trade, which enhances officer safety by reducing officer exposure to harmful risk, and reserves crime-fighting resources for allocation towards solving and preventing genuine crimes having genuine victims. We believe responsible adult Vermonters have the moral right, civil right, and legal right to grow marijuana at home for personal use.  If the people do not have a right to grow marijuana at home for personal use, no representative of the people in government may commercialize and license-out a nonexistent right of the people for profit.   Lawmakers shall not turn the people into a captive market and divorce them from their values and capabilities,  by commercially licensing-out the people's right to grow marijuana, while denying the same people the same ability to personally exercise this right for themselves.  We believe genuine marijuana legalization restores civil rights. Racial and political minorities are arrested at higher rates for illicit marijuana not because police are inherently biased or racist, but because prohibition laws were designed to disrupt minority communities under the guise of public safety. President Richard Nixon's domestic policy chief John Ehrlichman, admitted on public record about the Controlled Substance Act (CSA) saying, "We knew we couldn't make it illegal to be either against the [Vietnam] war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities." Therefore, We the undersigned Voters of the State of Vermont, pledge to support political candidates who back comprehensive marijuana legalization.  We pledge to oppose any political candidate in Vermont’s upcoming state, county, and municipal election cycle(s), who explicitly or implicitly opposes passing a comprehensive marijuana legalization bill.     Thank you for signing our petition. Our goal is to get 10,000 voters to sign before Vermont's 2017 legislative session closes.  Please share our petition with your friends and family over Facebook, Twitter and email.  Doing so helps improve petition visibility which brings us closer to our goal.

John Cisar
2,009 supporters