Attempting to make marijuana laws resemble alcohol DUI laws, a new Washington State law will ban open containers of marijuana in vehicles starting on September 26, 2015 That means loose joints, open bags of bud or partially consumed packages of marijuana-infused edibles will need to be kept in a vehicle’s trunk or behind its rearmost row of seats to avoid violating the new law. The law also prohibits the smoking or ingesting of marijuana while in a vehicle on any public roadway. House Bill 1276 makes several changes to the state’s impaired driving statutes. It restores the state Department of Licensing’s ability to automatically suspend a person’s driver’s license if a blood test shows he or she is legally impaired by marijuana. (more…)
President Barack Obama commuted the prison sentences of 46 drug offenders, saying in a video posted online Monday that the men and women were not “hardened criminals” and their punishments didn’t match the crimes they committed. Obama said the move was part of his larger attempt to reform the criminal justice system, including reviewing sentencing laws and reducing punishments for non-violent crimes.
More than 2.2 million adults are imprisoned in the United States, the most in the world, and the incarceration rate is between five and 10 times higher than in Western European countries, according to the National Research Council. More than 100,000 people are currently in federal prison for drug-related crimes, at a cost of about $30,000 per person each year, the United States Sentencing Commission said in a May report. (more…)