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This is just another post focused on America's least important multi-billion-dollar boondoggle and ongoing civil rights violation and a couple of half-steps towards, maybe, correcting it someday.

The important part is that DEMOCRATS are pushing the changes.

It is over the Socialist Cheeto.

Lincoln Chafee and RHode Island get it, and I find that rather unsurprising.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee has signed legislation rolling back criminal penalties for the possession of small amounts of marijuana.

Chafee announced the signing Wednesday night after the General Assembly ended its formal session. Chafee, an independent, had been expected to sign the bill into law.

Adults caught with an ounce or less of marijuana would face a $150 civil fine. Minors would also have to complete a drug awareness program and community service.

Of course, decrim is a halfassed baby-step on the road to doing the actual correct thing. Politics HATES the correct things usually because it inconveniences somebody making money off of the scam that was the original situation.

And with marijuana, there has been a reefer mad culture in AMerican politics, with politicians WAY out of step with the people. Currently Time Magazine has a poll showing

a solid majority of Americans supports legalizing marijuana for recreational use: 56%, according to the most recent Rasmussen poll. Support for legalization has been growing steadily since the 1990s; in 1994, just 25% were in favor.
Go read that whole article, unless you think it will conflict with your pre-established anti-reform notions. Which it probably will.

So, to keep this as short as possible, I am really unsurprised with Chafee and Rhode Island.

The big surprise is Rahmbo, Mr. Throw-The-Hippies-Under-The-Bus.

Yes, even Rahm Emanuel is voting for decrim in Chicago. The times ARE a-changin'

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) said in a release on Thursday that he’s decided to back a proposal that would decriminalize marijuana possession, lowering the penalty for getting caught with up to 15 grams of the drug to a ticket instead of an arrest.

Emanuel, President Barack Obama’s former chief of staff, said he backed the proposal to free up police for more important work, like tracking down violent criminals instead of spending hundreds of hours on misdemeanor arrests.

We have only been pointing that our for decades; I am unsure how such a reality-based message got through, but I don't care: at least it got through.

Rahm is exactly right (other than opting for decrim over proper regulation): marijuana prohibition is a HUGE waste of money and law enforcement resources, especially when there is REAL CRIME not being addressed while cops arrest 800000 people a year (across America).

However, he's not at risk of donning tie-dye and growing his hair out just yet: his shirt is still quite starched:

“When the ordinance was first introduced, I asked the Chicago Police Department to do a thorough analysis to determine if this reform balanced public safety and common-sense rules that save taxpayer dollars to reinvest in putting more officers on the street,” Emanuel said in prepared text. “The result is an ordinance that allows us to observe the law, while reducing the processing time for minor possession of marijuana – ultimately freeing up police officers for the street.”
Yes, we have to evaluate the safety of a 'drug' far, far safer than alcohol or tobacco, but whatever gets us to the correct answer is, I suppose, what we have to tolerate, given that politics is about making sure simple, correct solutions are tried last.

In closing, I want to direct your attention back to the Time post: Supporting Marijuana Reform Is No Longer Political Suicide

Some politicians are slowly discovering that lingering fears about being labeled “soft on crime” for supporting marijuana reform are unwarranted.

In May, two Democrats upset Establishment favorites by running in favor of marijuana reform. Beto O’Rourke, who favors the total legalization of marijuana, won the primary to run for Congress from Texas’ 16th Congressional District, a safely Democratic district that borders Mexico’s drug-violence-ridden Ciudad Juarez. Ellen Rosenblum won the primary for state attorney general in Oregon and has no Republican challenger; she beat her Democratic opponent largely on a platform supporting medical marijuana and opposing federal interference with it.

It will still take time for reality to seep in to people's minds, which have been filled with propaganda horseshit over the ages, horseshit a lot of people still believe, without any ability whatsoever to rationally defend the nonsense they believe.

But, the important takeway here is that the absymal situation is showing real signs of changing. If Rahm Emanuel gets it, perhaps there is hope.

Originally posted to DKos Cannabis Law and Drug War Reform on Sun Jun 17, 2012 at 05:46 AM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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