Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsDecriminalization
IN THE NEWS

Decriminalization

FEATURED ARTICLES
NATIONAL
June 7, 2013 | By Devin Kelly
Vermont has become the latest state to remove criminal penalties for the possession of small quantities of marijuana with legislation signed into law.   Civil fines will replace criminal penalties for possession of up to an ounce of marijuana or 5 grams of hashish. “This change just makes common sense,” Vermont Gov.   Peter Shumlin   said in a statement after signing the legislation on Thursday. “Our limited resources should be focused on reducing abuse and addiction of opiates like   heroin   and   meth   rather than cracking down on people for having very small amounts of marijuana.” Possession under the age of 21 will be treated the same as underage possession of alcohol -- a court referral for a first offense, possible civil penalties and/or license suspension, and criminal penalties for a third offense.
ARTICLES BY DATE
NATIONAL
March 12, 2014 | By Jenny Deam
GOLDEN, Colo. - The instructions seemed simple enough: nine steps forward, heel to toe, a quick turnaround, then nine steps back. But for the guy swaying a bit as he walked, his face slack, his eyes half closed, it was all too much. He made the nine steps forward and stopped, forgetting what came next. "Wait. What?" Colorado State Trooper Jason Morales dutifully marked it down in his report, just as he had a few minutes earlier when the suspect closed his eyes and tilted his head back to guess the passage of 30 seconds.
Advertisement
WORLD
May 17, 2013 | By Chris Kraul
BOGOTA, Colombia - The Organization of American States said Friday that countries should consider decriminalizing drug use, a shift backed by several Latin American leaders but opposed by the United States. Decriminalization could be one of many “transitional methods” in a public health strategy that could include “drug courts, substantive reduction in sentences and rehabilitation,” according to a report released by the OAS on the possible liberalization of drug polices. The report, presented by OAS Secretary-General Jose Miguel Insulza in Bogota, was commissioned during the April 2012 Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia, in response to many leaders' complaints that U.S.-driven drug prohibition policies of recent decades had failed to stem the illicit drug business.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 8, 2014 | By Lee Romney
SANTA ROSA, Calif. - As a cold rain pelted the parking lot, the gates opened and the cars began to roll through. In an aging Nissan was a 74-year-old longtime farmworker whose landlady had booted him to raise the rent. A 65-year-old disabled woman pulled her Ford Fusion up to the small trailer, where she could at last plug in her sleep apnea machine. Then there was Patsy Perez, 55, who had learned about the fledgling "Safe Parking" program at the county fairgrounds lot after pleading to spend the night in her Volvo outside a downtown shelter.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 4, 1988
As a criminal lawyer with over 20 years of experience dealing with the fallout from the illegal use of drugs, I found Jerome Skolnick's article on decriminalization of drugs (Op-Ed Page, June 22) both thoughtful and timely. His point that decriminalization must take place within a larger sphere of social activism is certainly well taken, but I doubt whether his list of recommendations goes far enough. I think that in order to have an impact on drug usage in this country, it will still be necessary to make the use of drugs illegal.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 27, 1990 | JACK CHEEVERS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
With a mini-blizzard of phone calls and faxed press releases, the issue of decriminalizing marijuana was injected Monday into the race between Republican Assemblywoman Cathie Wright of Simi Valley and her GOP challenger, Hunt Braly. And when the smoke had cleared, Braly was denying that he supports decriminalization, Wright's camp was denying that she planted the allegation and a conservative GOP activist was carefully adding up all the media outlets he'd alerted to the whole imbroglio.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 9, 1995 | LESLIE EARNEST
In a move toward what one councilman called the "decriminalization of skateboarding in Laguna Beach," the City Council has given preliminary approval to an ordinance that would allow skateboarding on some city sidewalks. Currently, skateboarders can legally enjoy their sport only on city streets, an option some believe is unsafe. "Staff recognizes that, much like the surfboarding and bodysurfing conflicts of years ago . . .
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 12, 1993 | Dana Parsons
" In relation to society and government . . . new ideas are rare ." -- Henry Cabot Lodge The first thing you noticed was that it wasn't a hippie crowd. There looked to be at least a couple hundred people, and by my unofficial eyeballing most were middle-aged or beyond. Radicals? Hardly. There were too many Oldsmobiles in the parking lot. Dangerous godless subversives out to undermine the government? I don't think godless subversives meet Tuesday nights at the Crystal Cathedral, the Rev.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 2, 1992 | ERIC YOUNG, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Legalizing narcotics would be an intolerable mistake that could lead to more drug addicts, crime and health problems, said members of an Orange County drug advisory board Tuesday. "In my opinion, anyone that would propose legalization of drugs is out of touch with the community," said Santa Ana Police Chief Paul M. Walters, a member of the Orange County Advisory Board on Drug Programs.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 27, 1992 | LYNN SMITH, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The nation is winning the battle against drugs, and proposals to decriminalize narcotics would lead to wider use and increased crime, the county's top criminal justice official said Sunday. Orange County Dist. Atty. Michael R. Capizzi called for more law enforcement and a program to win the minds of America's youth as ways to continue fighting drugs.
OPINION
January 4, 2014
Re "Why execs, not companies, should face prosecution," Column, Jan. 1 Michael Hiltzik and U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff get it right. The lack of will to prosecute crooks goes back at least a decade, when our anti-tax members of Congress made the government too weak to prosecute the privileged and wealthy. White-collar crime has been effectively decriminalized. Most instances of government weakness can be blamed on inadequate funding. Part of this is because we have the poor and middle class hit the hardest by sales taxes while a transaction tax that hits the investor class is a no-no.
NATIONAL
December 17, 2013 | By John M. Glionna
LAS VEGAS - Advocates for so-called plural marriages are applauding a ruling by a U.S. District Court judge that struck down key segments of Utah's anti-polygamy law, saying they violated constitutional rights to privacy and religious freedom. In a 91-page decision issued Friday, Judge Clark Waddoups effectively decriminalized polygamy in Utah, ruling that a central phrase in the state's law forbidding cohabitation with another person violated the 1st and 14th amendments. The ruling, which distinguishes between polygamy and bigamy, was the result of a lawsuit filed in 2011 by Kody Brown, star of the reality series "Sister Wives," now in its fourth season on cable TV's TLC. Brown has four "wives" - who together have 17 children - but is legally married only to his first, Meri Brown.
NATIONAL
June 7, 2013 | By Devin Kelly
Vermont has become the latest state to remove criminal penalties for the possession of small quantities of marijuana with legislation signed into law.   Civil fines will replace criminal penalties for possession of up to an ounce of marijuana or 5 grams of hashish. “This change just makes common sense,” Vermont Gov.   Peter Shumlin   said in a statement after signing the legislation on Thursday. “Our limited resources should be focused on reducing abuse and addiction of opiates like   heroin   and   meth   rather than cracking down on people for having very small amounts of marijuana.” Possession under the age of 21 will be treated the same as underage possession of alcohol -- a court referral for a first offense, possible civil penalties and/or license suspension, and criminal penalties for a third offense.
WORLD
May 17, 2013 | By Chris Kraul
BOGOTA, Colombia - The Organization of American States said Friday that countries should consider decriminalizing drug use, a shift backed by several Latin American leaders but opposed by the United States. Decriminalization could be one of many “transitional methods” in a public health strategy that could include “drug courts, substantive reduction in sentences and rehabilitation,” according to a report released by the OAS on the possible liberalization of drug polices. The report, presented by OAS Secretary-General Jose Miguel Insulza in Bogota, was commissioned during the April 2012 Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia, in response to many leaders' complaints that U.S.-driven drug prohibition policies of recent decades had failed to stem the illicit drug business.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 3, 2012 | By Meredith Blake
On Monday night, the always-opinionated director Oliver Stone paid a visit to “Piers Morgan Tonight” to promote his latest film, “Savages,” which tells the story of two pot-growing Southern California friends who clash with a Mexican drug cartel. Not surprisingly, the conversation turned to the subject of the war on drugs, which Stone opposes. “Fifty percent of our prison system is victimless crimes,” he claimed. “People who've never hurt anybody, they're in for marijuana and it has nothing to do with punishment.
WORLD
April 13, 2012 | By Christi Parsons and Brian Bennett, Los Angeles Times
CARTAGENA, Colombia - President Obama will highlight trade and business opportunities in Latin America at a regional summit in Colombia this weekend, but other leaders may upstage him by pushing to legalize marijuana and other illicit drugs in a bid to stem rampant trafficking. Obama, who opposes decriminalization, is expected to face a rocky reception in this Caribbean resort city, which otherwise forms a friendly backdrop for a U.S. president courting Latino voters in an election year.
WORLD
March 25, 2012 | By Chris Kraul and Alex Renderos, Los Angeles Times
A conclave of Central American presidents meeting in Guatemala to discuss a major overhaul of their drug laws — including legalization or decriminalization — failed to arrive at a consensus Saturday and agreed to meet again soon in Honduras. Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina had invited five counterparts to discuss what he described as growing frustration with Washington's anti-drug policy, which many in the region say is exacting too high a price in crime and corruption.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 11, 2012 | By Lee Romney, Los Angeles Times
Heroin shooters, speed users, pot smokers and even some men and women who now are drug-free convene regularly in this city's gritty Tenderloin district — not for treatment, but to discuss public health policy and share their experiences free from shame or blame. On this particular evening, the dozen or so in attendance had some pressing questions, including how those heading to a users' conference in Oregon this fall would obtain their methadone or safely procure other drugs to use in a supervised injection room.
Los Angeles Times Articles
|