US Marijuana Party

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Retired judge says drug war has failed

Proclaiming a “war on drugs” is an interesting choice of words, retired Florida Judge Eleanor Schockett said.

“Nobody in their right mind starts a war on their own territory,” she said. “The last people to do that was the Confederacy, and look what happened to them.”

Schockett, who served two terms in Miami-Dade County, spoke to about 100 members of the Rotary Club on Monday about how that war has failed and why the nation’s drug policies must be revamped.

Today’s drug laws demonize the person and not the purpose, said Schockett, who represents the nonprofit group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, commonly called LEAP. People who drink alcohol get in trouble only if they do something wrong, not for the act of drinking.

“You punish the conduct. That’s what we should be doing in this situation,” she said.

The problem isn’t the drugs, but the addicts trying to get the money to buy them.

She said they should be provided the drugs without moral judgement but with the counseling to break the habit. Drug dealers need to be put out of business.

She urged support for a bill that will be introduced in the state legislature that supports the use of medical marijuana.

People dying of a painful disease shouldn’t be denied the use because of the fear they might become addicted.

“We shouldn’t be making criminals out of them,” she said.

Pointing out pharmacies, Schockett noted that the country will never be completely drug-free.

And she isn’t in favor of all drugs being very easy to buy. Viagra should require a prescription, she said.

She ended the 45-minute talk with a laugh: “Try to take that off the market, folks.”


  • Ohio has an 8 year mandatory sentence for 20,000 or more grams. That means if you have 50lbs you get 8 years, and if you have 5 million pounds you get the same 8 years. It's really bad there. If you take your case to trial, the judge has no choice but to give you the 8 years and you have to do everyday of it! (truth in sentencing)Guilty or innocent, you can't afford to take a case to trial.

    I was charged with 100lbs in 1995. I pled guilty and then I went to Vancouver. After a few years, the US Marshal Service finally found me and I had to do fed and state time. I spent all the money I had getting out in three years.

    I'm glad your doing something to help people who have gotten stuck. I've never really met a marijuana guy in the joint that I'd consider to be an asshole.

    I'm researching a story I'm doing on my blog about mandatory minimums and growing pot. The guidelines seem to have changed. 1 plant = 100grams. But then there's the 100 plant mandatory minimum of five years. I can't figure out if it has changed. That's how I found your blog.

    Anyway great blog and well done.

    By Blogger Tom Joad, at 8:40 PM  

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