Daily Archives: June 2, 2014

Wow AG Matt Denn stepping up to the plate re: Marijuana

Matt Denn: Legalized marijuana is unnecessary/ Jonathan Starkey, The News Journal

Lt. Gov. Matt Denn, who is currently running unopposed to become Delaware’s next attorney general, says he doesn’t support jailing Delawareans for possessing small amounts of marijuana. But legalizing up to an ounce of the drug for personal use, the goal of legislation filed by Democratic lawmakers in Dover, also is unnecessary, Denn says.

“While I don’t support the legalization of marijuana, I don’t think we should be utilizing the limited resources of our criminal justice system to put people in prison for mere possession of small amounts. With scarce criminal justice resources, we need to focus those resources on dangerous violent criminals and as Attorney General, that would be my focus,” Denn said in response to a request for comment on the issue. “We don’t need to legalize the drug to accomplish that, we just need to better prioritize our resources.”

Denn doubts claims that many Delawareans are sitting in jail for petty marijuana possession, saying he wants to see “hard statistics” on the number of people incarcerated. “I am told by current prosecutors that there few, if any, Delawareans in jail solely for possessing marijuana in the quantities described in the bill,” he said.

Perhaps Denn makes a good point! If the intent is to legalize marijuana via decriminalization because too many people are going to jail for possession shouldn’t the bill’s sponsors provided the number people currently incarcerated on possession?

My concern is, even if possession of marijuana were legal what about the sale of marijuana. Will possession with the intent to delivery still be illegal? Perhaps Denn is saying rather than make marijuana possession legal add $$$ fines rather than jail time for simple possession. I’d say, $100.00  first offense, $200.00 second offense and $300.00 third offense. Then an extra $1000.00 for each offense after that.

I think if we’re going to tackle this issue we need to address all aspects. Really, how could you legalize possession and turn your back on the distribution? Somebody is going to profit big time! What happens when a dealer is busted for selling 1 ounce? Will the buyer whom the law says can posses an ounce be forced to testify against the seller? 

I am leaning towards fully legalization but with state sponsored “taxed” distribution. But for sure, something has to give!  

Another blow to Delaware charter schools coming today re: SB #209

147th General Assembly
Senate Bill # 209 w/SA 1

Primary Sponsor:

Townsend

Additional Sponsor(s):    Sen. Sokola & Rep. K. Williams & Rep. Scott

CoSponsors:

Sens. Blevins, Marshall, McDowell, Peterson, Venables; Reps. Barbieri, Baumbach, Bennett, Bolden, Brady, Carson, J. Johnson, Q. Johnson, Keeley, Kowalko, Longhurst, Mitchell, Mulrooney, Osienski, Potter, Schwartzkopf, Viola

This bill requires the Department of Education to promulgate regulations to further define the meaning and process for consideration of impact in the charter school application review process, to be considered and approved by the State Board no later than its October 2014 meeting. It also clarifies the conditions that an authorizer may place on an approved application, and provides that the State Board of Education may place or modify conditions to address considerations of impact.

I don’t see this a direct attack against charter schools in Delaware but rather an attack on those serving DE DOE for the sake of political agendas. This legislation cuts a few Rodel and Markell puppet strings.

The demand for charter schools may be artifical proven by the fact three charter schools approved to open next school year 2014-2015 couldn’t even fill 40% of approved enrollment. Senator Dave Sokola is an additional sponsor of Senate Bill #209 but look close at the legislation in the pipeline that questions his sincerity on SB #209.  See this post on SB #234 Hiney (Rep. Scott) and Hole (Sen. Sokola) stealth legislation to allow charter schools with less than 200 students Posted on  by kilroysdelaware. SB#234 is on the Senate Education Committee agenda for 06/04/2014 and Senator Sokola is Committee Chair. If he cares about how charter schools have impact on local school districts why is he advocating for micro-charter schools? One reason he is, is to throw a political rope to three charter schools approved to open next school year 2014-2015 that failed to meet enrollment requirements where none of the three even secured 40% of enrollment promised for their first year and failes to meet state charter school enrollment laws. Passage of SB #234 would legally allow those charter school failing to meet enrollment prescribed by current law to open. Many House Republicans are set to vote no against SB#209 but are foaming at the mouth to vote yes for SB#234.