Now is the time for Utah to decriminalize marijuana, writes Robert GehrkePosted by On


Our arcane, ineffective and unfair law has punished too many Utahns with no tangible benefit

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) This photo depicts marijuana plants growing in a Utah medical cannabis nursery on Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020. With the U.S. Senate considering legislation to decriminalize possession of marijuana, is it time for Utah to do the same?

Over the last several years, Utah police have arrested someone for marijuana possession every hour of every day.

That means in the time it takes to watch a Jazz game, three Utahns are popped and face the prospect of a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail for having a dime bag or a couple edibles in their possession.

At the national level, New Jersey Sen. Corey Booker and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer are pushing legislation that would decriminalize marijuana, rolling back an arcane relic from our failed War on Drugs.

There are plenty of good reasons to do it.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Robert Gehrke.

A criminal conviction for marijuana possession carries with it a host of other collateral consequences, some of them severe. It can impact the ability to rent a home, impact student loans or government assistance, affect professional licensing — fallout disproportionate to the severity of the supposed crime.

“As defense attorneys, we see first-hand how people’s lives are destroyed by the overcriminalization of marijuana,” Steve Burton, president of…

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Our arcane, ineffective and unfair law has punished too many Utahns with no tangible benefit

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) This photo depicts marijuana plants growing in a Utah medical cannabis nursery on Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020. With the U.S. Senate considering legislation to decriminalize possession of marijuana, is it time for Utah to do the same?

Over the last several years, Utah police have arrested someone for marijuana possession every hour of every day.

That means in the time it takes to watch a Jazz game, three Utahns are popped and face the prospect of a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail for having a dime bag or a couple edibles in their possession.

At the national level, New Jersey Sen. Corey Booker and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer are pushing legislation that would decriminalize marijuana, rolling back an arcane relic from our failed War on Drugs.

There are plenty of good reasons to do it.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Robert Gehrke.

A criminal conviction for marijuana possession carries with it a host of other collateral consequences, some of them severe. It can impact the ability to rent a home, impact student loans or government assistance, affect professional licensing — fallout disproportionate to the severity of the supposed crime.

“As defense attorneys, we see first-hand how people’s lives are destroyed by the overcriminalization of marijuana,” Steve Burton, president of…



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