Opposition to Sensenbrenner Drug Bill Reaches Australia
Bad news travels fast. Rep. James Sensenbrenner's proposed new drug bill, which reads like a parody but unfortunately isn't, with its provisions providing for two year jail terms for college kids who don't snitch on a transaction within 24 hours of observing or learning of it-- and five years for passing a joint to a person who has recently been released from drug treatment--is even news in Australia. From a Jack Marx column in the Sydney Morning Herald:
In case you haven’t noticed, the war on drugs is accelerating. In America, a controversial bill - H.R. 1528, Defending America's Most Vulnerable: Safe Access to Drug Treatment and Child Protection Act of 2005 – gets a hearing again this week. The bill is troublesome for a number of reasons, which you can read about here and here and here. But the most alarming aspect of H.R. 1528 is that it provides for a two year jail sentence for anyone who observes or come across information about drug distribution near learning institutions – that’s universities and colleges, too - and does not report it to authorities within 24 hours and provide full assistance investigating, apprehending, and prosecuting those involved. This is an interesting proposition, because if it were enacted in Australia, almost everybody I know would be going to jail, and those who remained outside wouldn’t be worth knowing.
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