Ever since the hippie days of the ‘60s and ‘70s, drugs have slowly emerged to the forefront of American consciousness. The War on Drugs began in the 1980s and has continued for the last 30 years or so without a whole lot of change or reform – except to employ a bit harsher penalties, which has had little impact. There’s a bill moving through the Senate Judiciary Committee that will reduce sentences and penalties for minor drug offenders. The main goal of this bill is to lighten the load of the federal prison system, which is currently full of non-violent drug offenders. Unfortunately, this bill is meeting some resistance, though not from a particular party, but an age group.
The average age of Republicans who voted for the bill was 45, while those who voted against was 69. Older senators frequently got voted in because of their stance on the war on drugs – that isn’t so much the case anymore. Younger senators are interested in funneling money places other than federal prisons and see the benefits in getting minor drug offenders out of the prison systems. Many democrats are behind the law, but it’s interesting to look at the age breakdown of our senators and their opinions on drug legislation. Because of the age breakdown in the senate, it may be a while before minor drug offenses see shorter sentences.
There is a bright side to all of this, though. With states like Colorado and Washington legalizing marijuana and Maryland’s recent decriminalization, states are moving towards decriminalizing minor drug behavior. This will save the government massive amounts of money on the prison system and allow them to reallocate assets where they are needed. Older senators may start to lose elections in the next few years as the War on Drugs evolves and changes. There isn’t a whole lot of room for intolerance anymore, especially with the state that the economy has been in, not to mention the substantially increased tax revenue. There is hope that this bill will reach the Senate and House floors before the end of June and some would say, the sooner, the better.
For now, minor drug offenses are still problematic and marijuana is still illegal. If you’ve been charged with possession or intent to distribute, you need an aggressive criminal defense lawyer. Bruce Robinson & Associates has the experience and knowledge to help you deal with these charges and get through what can be a particularly trying time. If you have any questions about drug charges in Maryland, give Bruce Robinson & Associates a call at 443.524.7395 or visit our website. We’re here to help when you need it most. Call today for a free consultation, anytime day or night.