There are two types of sentences one receives when busted for marijuana. Punishment by a judge, and collateral sanction. Usually sentences are judge imposed, collateral conviction charges sometimes harsher than violent crime convictions. Something I found incredibly outrageous in this book is how harsh they can be. Sometimes, marijuana sentences are harsher than rape, murder, and kidnapping.
Sentences may lead to loss of employment, loss of educational aid, loss of federal aid, loss or suspension of drivers license, or loss of professional license. Sometimes, food stamp rights are taken away for life, but only do drug charges get this serious.
The ten states with the heaviest punishments are: Florida, Delaware, Alabama, Massachusetts. New Jersey, Oklahoma, Virginia, Utah, Arizona, and South Carolina.
States with the least severe are New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, Missouri, Maine, Vermont, District of Columbia, Pennsylvania, Kansas, and California.
A felony in 12 states results in a lifetime ban in food stamps for needy families. In three states, a misdemeanor does this. Remind you, only drug offenses do this, not rape, murder, or kidnapping.
In 20 states, occupational licenses are taken away, or suspended.
In 28 states, federal and student aid is denied for a year.
In 21 states and the District of Columbia, a misdemeanor results in a license suspension.
In 47 states, growing marijuana results in voting ability being lost.
None of this includes fine and jail time though.
In 46 states, any marijuana conviction or arrest can result in public housing loss, which lasts for around 3 years.
This seems a little harsh, doesn’t it?
For more information, be sure to check out “The Pot Book”, edited by Julie Holland at the link below.