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P.G. Sittenfeld on Drugs

 

 


Reform outdated marijuana laws that penalize possession

It is outrageous that nearly 1/3 of all black males will spend at least part of their lives in prison. And not because they are violent criminals: of the more than 2 million people who are now in American jails, a significant percentage are low-level offenders who were sent there for minor drug crimes, petty parole violations, or simply because they are awaiting trial.

I believe we can do better. That will mean rethinking arbitrary, mandatory minimum sentencing, especially for low-level, non-violent offenses that are more effectively handled through probation and diversion programs. We need to stop using our prisons as mental health facilities, and put more resources into treating psychological illness. And yes, I believe the time has come to revise and reform outdated state and federal marijuana laws that harshly penalize personal possession and make criminals out of otherwise law-abiding citizens.

Source: 2016 Ohio Senate race: Center of Hope Baptist Church speech , Aug 9, 2015

Marijuana legalization & tight regulation

One issue Sittenfeld emphasized: Legal marijuana. The councilman endorsed the ResponsibleOhio plan for legalization and commercialization: "Sittenfeld said that, in general, he favors 'decriminalization, legalization, and tight regulation' of marijuana. Keeping marijuana illegal, he said, leads to brutal drug dealers, keeps cancer patients from alleviating their pain, and results in a disproportionate amount of black people going to jail."

Ted Strickland's spokesman said the former governor supports medical marijuana but has not yet taken a position on the ResponsibleOhio plan or competing proposals.

Republican Sen. Rob Portman, whom Strickland or Sittenfeld would face next year, opposes legalization, reports NEOMG's Stephen Koff.

Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer coverage of 2016 Ohio Senate race , May 15, 2015

Other candidates on Drugs: P.G. Sittenfeld on other issues:
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