Missouri NORML Legislative Alert
A bill is rapidly moving through the Missouri Senate which would drastically increase the penalties for sharing a joint within 2/5 of a mile of any public or private park. The term private park is not defined.
The bill proposes to make a Class A felony of the offense of sale, distribution or delivery of any amount of marijuana in or near a park. Presently, the transfer of less than 5 grams is a Class C felony carrying a fine of up to $5,000 and/or prison for up to seven years. Sale, delivery or transfer of more than 5 grams is currently a Class B felony which carries 5 to 15 years.
Senate Bill 107 would make the sale, delivery or distribution of any amount of marijuana in or near a park a Class A felony with a range of punishment of 10 years to LIFE in prison!
The insanity of putting ever more of our fellow citizens behind bars must be impressed on members of the Missouri Senate. We have doubled the Missouri prison population in just twelve years, due primarily to non-violent offenses. Our nation ranks first in the world in the proportion of its citizens who are behind bars, again mainly because of laws like this one. Our country has only 5% of the world's population, but we have 25% of the world's prisoners!
Every dollar spent on putting people behind bars is a dollar denied to education, medical care and other legitimate public needs.
We each have one Senator in the Missouri General Assembly. Please contact your Missouri state Senator immediately and urge him or her to oppose Senate Bill 107 or any other bill with this provision in it.
You can send an e-mail through NORML's website. In addition to doing that, please also consider making a telephone call, sending a fax or sending a letter via the U.S. Postal Service. Any of these actions have an even greater impact than an e-mail message. Even a few communications from constituents can make a big difference in how a state Senator votes.
To locate your elected policy-makers in MO and contact them via NORML's webpage:
Sincerely, Dan Viets, NORML Missouri NORML Coordinator 15 NORTH TENTH STREET COLUMBIA, MISSOURI 65201 (573) 443-6866