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Sen. Boucher: Decriminalizing Marijuana Is "Wrong Prescription"

State Senator Toni Boucher says marijuana is the "wrong prescription for Connecticut."

Senator Toni Boucher (R-26) asked the CT General Assembly not to pass proposals before it that would decriminalize marijuana and allow medical marijuana in the state. She addressed the legislature on Monday.

“We must not give Connecticut a ‘soft on crime’ reputation where it becomes easy to obtain a get out of jail free ticket,” Boucher said in a press release issued by her office Monday afternoon. “Marijuana is a harmful, Schedule I, federally illegal drug that does not save or improve lives. It can undermine the seriously ill’s best prospect of recovery and is the  for Connecticut.”

According to the release, Boucher was joined by Wilton resident Ronni McLaughlin whose son Dan died of a drug overdose in 2004, at the age of 20.

 “If lawmakers approve this marijuana legislation it will be a grave mistake,” McLaughlin said. “I’ve seen first hand the damage this gateway drug has on individuals and families.” 

If proposals to decriminalize marijuana are passed, the release said, possessing less than one ounce would no longer be a criminal offense. Instead, offenders would be fined  up to $90. Also, if proposals allowing doctors to recommend medical marijuana pass, an eligible person would be allowed to grow four pot plants, no taller than four feet, in their home. The release said that current proposals would move the drug free zone around schools and day care centers from 1,500 feet to 200 feet, “allowing dealers to do business right in front of our children’s eyes.”

“I am tremendously grateful and proud that we have fought repeated attempts in the past to take our state down this dangerous path and have not broken a trust with our constituents of doing no harm,” said Boucher said. “Let’s all work to continue to keep our children and neighborhoods safe.”

Boucher represents Bethel, New Canaan, Redding, Ridgefield, Weston, Westport and Wilton.

John McNicholas March 15, 2011 at 10:29 PM
The facts are the facts. They appear to be accurate but then again these number can be used on any crime and not just marijuana. This is a shabby excuse. If it is not controlled the cost will skyrocket like all other crime.
BradKeller March 15, 2011 at 10:43 PM
Some of the posters here are not from our region. They e-roam the country lamenting the drug laws on many chat boards across the nation. Gentlemen, please don't try to use your anonymity to foist the legalization of drugs on our upstanding community. You don't live here. Sorry, but that means you get no say in our local drug policy. Please go post in your own local community.
pfroehlich2004 March 16, 2011 at 02:22 AM
@John McNicholas: I didn't claim (nor do I believe) that decriminalization of marijuana is the primary reason why those states have lower crime rates. My point is that the available evidence overwhelmingly contradicts your belief that decriminalization leads to increased violence or other criminal activity. It has not done so in any other state, therefore there is no logical reason to believe that it will in Connecticut.
Roger Sherman March 17, 2011 at 03:16 PM
Emily, Have you ever heard of Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire? Go and read that decision and reconsider what you wrote. There are not, as you seem to think, unlimited Freedoms under the 1st Amendment.
Roger Sherman March 17, 2011 at 03:22 PM
John, I still haven't seen the correlation between decriminalization of marijuana and an increase in crime rates. I think there is mounting evidence that the opposite actually happens. Still if the CT legislature doesn't want to consider that, it should at lease reconsider sentencing guidelines to minimize the financial and personal impact of this non-violent crime.
Esq March 17, 2011 at 03:35 PM
Sometimes the Supreme Court gets it wrong. Chaplinsky was not our nation's finest moment. If the event was about who is better, the Mets or the Yankees, Chaplinsky would never have even been arrested, let alone convicted. But since he spoke out against religion, I believe the laws were corrupted to unfairly protect Christian values. The irony being an injustice was done to a man which in turn proved that others are "good" Christians. One day the Chaplinsky verdict will be undone. But not until we get out of our own way.
Roger Sherman March 17, 2011 at 04:19 PM
Esq, I still think that Justice Murphy's capture what many still want, is a decency in the public discourse -- He wrote ... "lewd and obscene, the profane, the libelous, and the insulting or "fighting" words those which by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace. It has been well observed that such utterances are no essential part of any exposition of ideas, and are of such slight social value as a step to truth that any benefit that may be derived from them is clearly outweighed by the social interest in order and morality." I mean the court was unanimous in its decision. You could be correct that religion polarized the court. I guess time will tell.
Betsy Thompson March 17, 2011 at 07:22 PM
I'd be interested in knowing which posters are from out of state and what is it they are saying that is inaccurate. If some are indeed from out of state, they certainly have no vote in the state matter, but the sharing of accurate information is always of benefit to anyone searching for the truth and the best ways to proceed.
John McNicholas March 17, 2011 at 08:03 PM
Emily: I think you have crossed the line of common decency but then again it is clear you dont know the bounds anyway. I will excuse your discourse and mark it as being from a person with serious adjustment problems and hatred for any position of authority or respect. I grew up in the 60's and regularly saw this in demonstrations that ultimately turned ugly. I think a visit to a therapist sometimes helps and maybe even a visit with some clergy to remove the negative thoughts and the hatred .!!!!
Donna Pajamas March 18, 2011 at 07:55 PM
Marijuana is quite fun. Nothing bad has ever happened when ingesting it. Personally I think alcohol is more dangerous than it in comparison. I've been smoking it for a little while and I do not want to try Crack any time soon. Are you suggesting we ban cigarettes any time soon too? Those cause lung cancer don't they? Wait, people don't HAVE to smoke those either...so why should the government dictate what I can and cannot ingest. If I want to light up, I should be able to. I've been in a car a couple time where the driver was high and nothing happened in the slightest. If this passes, I'm getting a medical card ASAP. Kush is great, maybe if the government tried some they'd realize it's not as bad. Hatred comes from ignorance, and I think someone needs to light up a bowl soon....THINK OF THE MONEY CT COULD GET IF WE LEGALIZED MARIJUANA. Maybe we could get out of debt....finally....
Pierre Valentine March 18, 2011 at 09:58 PM
I would just like to say that Donna Pajamas is the only one who has the right mind set on this argument. The fact of the matter is, our prescription drugs, and legal vices are by far more damaging than a little weed. Even non prescription drugs have to be regulated, such as robotussin because our youth ingests entire bottles in order to cause hallucinations. The facts are facts and they favor both ends of the argument. The only question that should be asked is, "Is it the governments place to decide what we consume and what we do not?" Any person who TRULY believes in freedom would say "No, Sen. Boucher, it is not." On another not whether it is illegal or not the youth will ALWAYS find it, no matter how hard you try to keep them from it. Any highschool student knows you can throw up as many signs as you want, they are never really drug free.
Pierre Valentine March 18, 2011 at 10:34 PM
Point being, no matter how hard you try, we will always find a way to get high. Crystal Meth can be made from products found in the grocery store, should prohibit that too? What about benadryl, motion sickness pills, nyquil. Oxycontin, loratabs, percacets, all contain opium, which is used to make heroine should those drugs be outlawed as well? Especially since many of our youth have direct access to these in their home and some are even prescribed for bs issues like fibromialgia, or after going through surgeries.
Donna Pajamas March 21, 2011 at 02:26 AM
Agreed. One time, my friend took too much nyquil and saw dementors. That's a lot more scary than hanging out in a room and eating massive amounts of taco bell and a bong.
face 045 March 23, 2011 at 12:10 PM
Emily has strong opinions and why shouldnt she......politicians are elected to be the voice of the people.....represent the majority of constituents.....When rogue politicians become a mouthpiece for BIG Pharma and the Alcohol/tobacco lobby, it easy to loose faith in our "democracy".......Law enforcement cause the transition to legalization to move slowly....human nature dictates this.....they have families and careers who depend on the continued prosectution of minor drug offenses......As cannibus becomes legal or decriminalized DEA and police know they no longer have job security...... DEA ignoring the words of the President and Eric Holder not to raid med pot stores operating legally under state law is a outcropping of this realization. WITHOUT THE WAR ON DRUGS THE EXISTENCE OF MANY IN LAWENFORCEMENT QUICKLY COMES INTO QUESTION.......survival and self preservation become the priority.......insubordination, harassment, and contradictary federal and state laws are some of the results.... many pigs are pure parasites.....corrupt and chained to the excessive ways of the unions who represent them.......my guess on reading your many posts twisting and spinning facts speaks volumes........I know your M.O..... U think u are smarter than the people and know what is best for them.....regardless of the majority! CHECK YOURSELF pig.....your not a judge and you have one vote like everyone else...... your condecending rhetoric in all your posts makes you easy to hate! PIG!
jsknow March 29, 2011 at 04:08 AM
John McNicholas, You obviously know NOTHING about the ILLEGAL status of marijuana being the direct cause of ALL the violence associated with marijuana. The “major authorities” I referred to are ANY authority that can read statistics! MARIJUANA DOES NOT CAUSE VIOLENT BEHAVIOR! That’s a FACT not an opinion! Did Al Capone kill people because he was drunk? No he killed them because they got between him and his illegal drug money, just like the illegal drug dealers do today! Illegal dealers can’t call the police when they have a problem, so they get violent to protect their illegal business. Didn’t alcohol prohibition teach you anything? Alcohol is well known to CAUSE violence, MARIJUANA DOES NOT CAUSE PEOPLE TO BE VIOLENT! NO one ever killed anyone because of the effects of marijuana except in the lying propaganda movie “Reefer Madness”, which you obviously believe. Marijuana causes people to calm down, relax and be nonviolent, exactly the opposite effects of alcohol, which causes far more violence committed by people under its influence than all the other legal and illegal drugs combined. I WILL DEBATE YOU OR ANY OTHER MARIJUANA PROHIBITION SUPPORTING SELF PROCLAIMED EXPERT ANY PLACE ANY TIME! PREFERABLY ON NATIONAL LIVE TV! You got one thing right, the FACTS speak for themselves! ALL the anti-marijuana propaganda LIES being spewed by folks like you have been debunked decades ago!
jsknow March 29, 2011 at 04:09 AM
John McNicholas, I know the facts about kids and marijuana very well! It’s far easier for kids to get marijuana than alcohol because illegal dealers don’t ask for ID. Also, when a kid does get alcohol there has to be an adult involved. Since alcohol is legal it’s far easier to track down how the kid got the alcohol and put a stop to it. Proper parenting and rational regulation of a legal marijuana trade will do far more at keeping kids from using marijuana than criminalizing it ever has! Want some proof? I’m glad you asked! “The World Health Organization Documents Failure of U.S. Drug Policies”: http://www.alternet.org/drugreporter/90295/ I truly hope you’ll set up a debate over marijuana prohibition with me! I assure you I will mop up the floor with you and your prohibition hogwash in a factual debate! I suggest you read over some of the material published by Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) http://www.leap.cc/cms/index.php I also suggest you watch this LEAP video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LayaGk0TMDc Maybe that will give you an idea of what you’ll be up against if you dare to debate me on marijuana prohibition! Nothing would make me happier than to embarrass you or any other marijuana prohibition supporter publicly about marijuana prohibition and all the waste and harm it has needlessly caused! Let me know if you’re brave enough to face me! ANYWHERE ANY TIME!
jsknow March 29, 2011 at 04:30 AM
Many government studies have cited the safety of marijuana but rather than base rational marijuana policy in science and facts, our government ignores science and facts and promotes lies and fear mongering. On March 22, 1972 the Richard Nixon-appointed, 13-member National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse recommended the decriminalization of marijuana, concluding, “[Marijuana's] relative potential for harm to the vast majority of individual users and its actual impact on society does not justify a social policy designed to seek out and firmly punish those who use it.” Richard Nixon chose to ignore the advice of his own well qualified, expensive, taxpayer funded, commission and start the modern escalation of criminalizing marijuana consumers. The lies he promoted have done much harm! He started the “war on drugs”, which is actually a violent unconstitutional war against nonviolent citizens, which are no threat to their selves or society and a war on everyone’s Constitutional rights and liberties. He did this acting as a tyrant, in response to nonviolent anti-Vietnam war protests by We The People, which largely consisted of young American marijuana consumers. No president we have had since Nixon has sought to right these unconstitutional presidential actions, instead every one of them has allowed this unlawful unconstitutional tyranny to continue.
jsknow March 29, 2011 at 04:34 AM
The Constitutional right to freedom of religion, free speech, a free press, to keep and bear arms, to be secure in your person, house, papers and effects against unreasonable search and seizure, to life, liberty and property, to be protected from having your property taken by the government without due process of law and without just compensation, to confront the witnesses against you, to be protected from excessive bail, excessive fines, cruel and unusual punishment, to vote and others have been unjustly denied to tens of millions of Americans in the name of marijuana prohibition.
John McNicholas March 29, 2011 at 10:46 AM
JSKNOW: You have a right to disagree but dont accuse me of not knowing what I am talking about. I never attacked your credibility so dont attack me. Address the issues with facts and personal experience. I dont have time to continually address your posts when all you are doing is "REHASHING" what has been discussed. Goodbye
jsknow March 29, 2011 at 06:46 PM
John McNicholas, You don't know what you're talking about! That's a FACT not an opinion! Anyone that thinks marijuana causes violent behavior is WRONG! Anyone that doesn’t know marijuana PROHIBITION causes ALL the violence associated with marijuana is WRONG! Anyone that thinks prohibition keeps kids from using marijuana is WRONG! Anyone that thinks marijuana causes serious health problems is WRONG! Anyone that thinks there is ANY just reason for criminalizing marijuana consumers/sellers and violating their constitutional rights is WRONG! Anyone that’s in favor of forcing sick people to use FDA approved poisons instead of a SAFE effective natural low cost God given medicine is WRONG! Anyone that thinks they have a right to discriminate against people that are doing no harm is WRONG! I could go on all day about how wrong you and prohibition are. Can you even post one good thing that has come from marijuana prohibition? Of course you can’t because marijuana prohibition is based on greed, lies and racism not justice and science. I doubt if you even considered any of the information I posted links to because you think you know everything. I don’t blame you for ending our discussion, you have NO just reason for your position, so you run and hide when confronted by the truth. I knew you wouldn’t debate me, YOU KNOW YOU’RE WRONG! Once they know the truth 80% of law enforcement and even more of the public favor legalizing. That’s why the laws are changing!
jsknow March 29, 2011 at 07:13 PM
John McNicholas, There is NOTHING you can say because everything I posted are well documented FACTS. If you can disprove ANYTHING I posted then do it. Corporate and Government corruption, lies, greed and racism are exactly what started marijuana prohibition and they are the reasons it has continued but as the public learns the TRUTH the voters are demanding an end to marijuana prohibition. Lies, greed and racism can't stand against the TRUTH!
jsknow March 29, 2011 at 07:23 PM
John McNicholas, When was the last time you heard of alcohol dealers getting into a shootout? I bet it was when alcohol was PROHIBITED! Doesn't that tell you ANYTHING?
John McNicholas March 29, 2011 at 07:59 PM
I have my position and you have yours. What ever reason I believe in is my business and you yours. Have a nice day
jsknow March 29, 2011 at 10:53 PM
In other words you have NO legitimate reasons or facts to support your position, so you've decided not to discuss it further. That's a HUGE victory for those that support legalizing. Every time one of you anti-marijuana propaganda pushers gets shut down in public it shows everyone just how weak your argument really is! Who do you think won this debate?... The same side that wins every fact filled marijuana prohibition debate... THE SIDE THAT TELLS THE TRUTH AND SUPPORTS LEGALIZING! You have a nice day too but stop posting lies and hogwash and pretending to be an expert on an issue you know NOTHING about! You were duped into believing anti-marijuana propaganda lies. It's not a shame to get duped but it's certainly a shame to choose to remain duped after you know the truth! Educate yourself! I posted a lot of good information here. Look at the facts with an open mind and be man enough to admit you are WRONG. Then get on the right side of this issue like many others from law enforcement have done. Prohibition is un-American and unconstitutional. Stop promoting this harmful wasteful prohibition and work to fix some of the many problems you and many others have wrongfully promoted. Man up! That’s the bottom line. In your own first post here you ADMITTED that the ILLEGAL TRADE was what caused the murders you spoke of. Stop blaming marijuana for problems PROHIBITION is causing!
jsknow March 31, 2011 at 11:55 PM
Bob J, You and anyone else with an open mind might find these links interesting: Watch Irvin Rosenfeld who gets his marijuana from the Federal Government destroy all the lies about marijuana consumers being lazy and unproductive. Watch him destroy all the lies about long term heavy marijuana use being harmful: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvzX8aNwxgM Watch this documentary about marijuana curing cancer! There are 7 parts, watch them all! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjhT9282-Tw Interested in the many medical uses for marijuana, read: Granny Storm Crow’s List http://forum.grasscity.com/medical-marijuana/436257-granny-storm-crows-list-july-2009-a.html It’s more like a library than a list! Cannabis Reduces Infant Mortality: http://www.salem-news.com/articles/june272010/marijuana-infants-sc.php This is a great example of information drug war prohibitionists suppress every way they can. If babies are getting natural cannabis like substances in mother’s breast milk, do you still believe marijuana is harmful at any age? If you want a good look at how far the government will go to promote its illegal anti-marijuana drug war message read this: http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2000/03/31/magazines Protestant, Catholic and Jewish Clergy Speak Out Against The War On Drugs http://www.csdp.org/news/news/clergydvd.htm
David Landers June 24, 2012 at 12:34 AM
You are an idiot.
Leoj June 24, 2012 at 12:35 PM
Seems this discussion has not addressed the use of so called recreational drugs leading to use of harder, clearly non recreational drugs (and associated crime of all kinds) ... we see that locally here in Ridgefield. I believe WestCon has even done a recent study ... bottom line of study ... the harder drugs are cheaper than the recreational ones. So ... the entire issue of what is being called entry level drugs is important and hemp is definitely one of those.
John McNicholas June 24, 2012 at 04:49 PM
Leo: I think you are one of the few who realize the dangers and potential of "dumbing down"penalties for illegalities. Thanks for the remarks
jsknow June 24, 2012 at 05:37 PM
Clearly you have NO knowledge of drugs or what’s REALLY causing so called “drug related” crime. Marijuana is NOT addictive and it does not cause violence, bad driving or crime. ALL the crime and violence blamed on marijuana is 100% the result of its illegal status. ALL the crime associated with marijuana is over the astronomical prices and profits that ONLY exist because marijuana is illegal! Al Capone didn’t kill people because Al was drunk, he killed them because they got between him and his illegal drug money. When was the last time you heard of a shootout between alcohol dealers? I bet it was when alcohol was ILLEGAL. Once marijuana is re-legalized, it will be no more valuable than any other easy to grow plant. Legalization and ONLY legalization will end the crime and violence associated with the PROHIBITION of marijuana. Blame the PROHIBITION not the plant! Who’s going to rob or be able to sell marijuana at astronomical profit levels once adults can buy it like beer or wine, or grow their own? Your argument is absolutely preposterous! Just FYI “hemp” refers to the commercial strains of marijuana used for food, fabric, paper, building materials, fuel and other NON-drug uses. The drug war is a complete failure and here’s some of the BEST proof I’ve seen: The World Health Organization Documents Failure of U.S. Drug Policies http://www.alternet.org/drugreporter/90295/
jsknow June 24, 2012 at 07:41 PM
John McNicholas Leo is just as WRONG about this issue as you are... maybe you'd like to post EVEN ONE valid reason for marijuana prohibition. It can't be done because there are NONE! I have proven just how WRONG marijuana PROHIBITION is beyond any shadow of doubt, you have posted NOTHING but pure NONSENSE, just like every other brainwashed marijuana prohibition supportung sheep always does!

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