Congressman Proposes 25 Years In Prison For Pot

They say that every action spurs an opposite reaction. Well, that certainly seems to be the case in Congress.
Just days after Massachusetts Democrat Rep. Barney Frank, along with 13 cosponsors, reintroduced HR 2835, the Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act of 2009 in Congress, Republican Rep. Mark Kirk (Illinois) has called for federal legislation to sentence certain first-time marijuana offenders to up to 25 years in prison.
UPDATE!!! UPDATE!!! It gets even worse. Check out some of the comments and coverage from Rep. Kirk’s press conference (WTF is “koosh?!”), which took place this afternoon. You can also offer your opinions regarding this misguided and mean-spirited proposal on and the ever-popular Huffington Post blog. You can also send Rep. Kirk and his colleagues a strong message by making your thoughts known on The’s Congress blog here.

U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk to push tougher sentences for more-potent marijuana
via The Chicago Tribune
U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk will call for legislation Monday that would toughen drug-trafficking laws regarding a highly potent form of marijuana, with penalties of up to 25 years in prison for a first-time offense.
The law would target offenders who sell or distribute marijuana that has a THC content exceeding 15 percent.
… Drug dealers are increasingly cross-breeding plants to produce high-potency variants of marijuana, which are called “kush” in street slang when they have 20 percent THC, Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran said. “When you amplify the strength of it, you are increasing the harm to the system,” said Curran, who supports the legislation, which would amend a federal law. “They are more dangerous behind the wheel of a vehicle. It’s not a good idea to have people that messed up.”
… The Republican North Shore lawmaker said he plans to release more information during a news conference in Chicago on Monday, where he will be joined by representatives from the Lake County Sheriff’s Department, the Lake County Metropolitan Enforcement Group and Waukegan Police Department.

Okay, where to begin? Well, we can start with U.S. Representative Mark Kirk. According to the Congressman’s website, Rep. Kirk is “pro-personal responsibility.” Unless, of course, we’re talking about allowing responsible adults (or patients) the choice to relax (or medicate) in the privacy of their own homes with a substance that is objectively safer than alcohol (or most prescription pharmaceuticals). Then, naturally, all bets are off.
Representative Kirk’s website also alleges that the five-time-elected Congressman is “pro-science.” Unless, of course, we’re talking about cannabis — in which case he is actually “pro-ideology” and “anti-science.” After all, if Rep. Kirk was truly interested in the science of cannabis he would already know that:
1) According to a 2008 review (see page 12) of marijuana potency by the University of Mississippi, the average THC in domestically grown marijuana — which comprises the bulk of the U.S. market — is less than five percent, a figure that’s remained unchanged for nearly a decade.
2) THC — regardless of potency — is virtually non-toxic to healthy cells or organs, and is incapable of causing a fatal overdose. Currently, doctors may legally prescribe a FDA-approved pill that contains 100 percent THC, and curiously, nobody among Rep. Kirk’s staff or at the Lake County Sheriff’s office seems to be overly concerned about its potential health effects.
3) Survey data gleaned from cannabis consumers in the Netherlands—where users may legally purchase pot of known quality—indicates that most cannabis consumers prefer less potent pot, just as the majority of those who drink alcohol prefer beer or wine rather than 190 proof Everclear or Bacardi 151. When consumers encounter unusually strong varieties of marijuana, they adjust their use accordingly and smoke less.
Of course, if Rep. Kirk (write him here!) was really concerned about potential risks posed by supposedly stronger marijuana, he would support regulating the sale of drug (as opposed to jailing first-time pot sellers for a quarter of a century) so that its potency would be consistent and this information would be publicly displayed to the consumer. This same advice applies to the members of the Lake County Sheriff’s Department and the Waukegan Police Department — who claim “we don’t make the laws; we just enforce them” — yet seem to have no problem whatsoever lobbying for increased federal pot penalties while on company time.
Fortunately, the likelihood is that Rep. Kirk’s proposed legislation will be all bark and no bite. One, I suspect that few if any of Rep. Kirk’s colleagues in Congress will even consider supporting such an asinine measure. Two, even if such legislation were to become law (and it won’t) — who would test each and every seized marijuana sample for THC potency and who would pay for it? Currently, only the University of Mississippi engages in such potency testing, which is highly expensive and requires the use of a gas chromatography mass spectrometer device. In short, it appears that the misguided Congressman from Illinois is simply trying to make headlines.
One can’t blame him for trying. After all, across the pond, unsubstantiated claims regarding the dangers of often-talked-about-but-never-actually-defined supposedly “lethal” ‘skunk’ weed caused a national frenzy and resulted in Parliament hastily deciding to reclassify pot possession offenses from a verbal warning to up to five years in jail. Never mind that, under Britain’s short-lived experiment with decriminalization, marijuana potency actually fell — as did the number of adolescents using the drug.
Of course, as the latest actions of the so-called “pro-science, pro-personal liberty” Congressman show, facts play virtually no role in political drug policy debate, and ignorance hardly disqualifies someone from holding elected office.

0 thoughts

  1. This was introduced because the people who voted for him want him to do this. He wants to stay in office just like the rest of them and suck off the tit of the tax payer and to help enrich their lobbyist friends

  2. “The law would target offenders who SELL or DISTRIBUTE marijuana that has a THC content exceeding 15 percent.”
    He’s only targeting dealers, not users. Given this fact, 25 years is still a RIDICULOUS amount of time, especially considering that no one has died from marijuana use, regardless of THC levels.
    People who smoke pot with higher THC % smoke less of it to achieve the same high, meaning that their lungs are exposed to LESS carcinogens overall. Moreover, vaporizers allow people to smoke marijuana without absorbing those same carcinogens, making it safer, although it’s considered drug paraphernalia (i.e. illegal). It seems like they want to make marijuana seem as dangerous as possible so they can keep it illegal.

  3. can somebody say fucking DEWB ,,lmao what a fucking lame. all the shit in the world and this boot licking fag wants me to smoke dirt!! can somebody get him some kush please

  4. Hello, I am from the United Kingdom, Britain (England). We are now in the grips of a Cannabis witch hunt, with a very heavy handed police crack down on what our government and press have deemed ‘The Killer Skunk Weed’, Now 25 times stronger than traditional Cannabis! We have been classed Skunk Junkies!
    Our own (now very weak standing) Prime Minister Gordon Brown came out on a national T.V. interview last year and said “It’s Lethal Now!”… go Figure!. The general public are being told we are in the grip of Cannabis psychosis, and must inform the police of any one even thought to be smoking cannabis even if it turns out to be a false alarm. Drug detection machines are being used in bars and clubs with finger swabs being taken to detect drugs, undercover cops with sniffer dogs on the streets, officers handing out cannabis awareness leaflets, speical skunk Crack down week. Our own Cannabis community are now living in real fear! In the last week there have been reports of British police ‘Water Boarding’ Growers for information! Medical users being abused in custody, the list goes on.
    You need to stamp this blatant lie out before it gets hold in the U.S.A., Prohibition will stop at nothing to tighten it’s strangle hold, and continue this war on a harmless herb!
    Peace, Pot and Love from the U.K.!

    More than possible…it’s probable…that ???? will know exactly what I’m about to post…so…this one is for ????
    what religion, politics, gender, even what country or
    planet we’re from…WE are all…”ONE PEOPLE”…
    connected by a common “three strand thread.” WE are woven together by that thread.
    to the natural rights of mankind as the foundation of an unobstructed constitution. Whether for religious, medical, or recreational purpose…”WE CLAIM”…
    cannabis as our natural right of mankind…which guilty itself…prohibits regulation.
    WE of single minded purpose…will present our tapestry at the next ballot box…and…if not at the ballot box…WE will…at the top of our lungs… shout it out from the highest mountain, beat the jungle drums, send up smoke signals. WE will send the
    message around the world…the natural rights of mankind may not be regulated. ???? does not have We the People’s permission.
    Cannabis has only been “illegal” in the U.S.since 1937.
    It was “legal” for 1,936 years before that…and…God only knows how long before that. So…all of a sudden,
    man makes it a “POLITICAL PAWN AND MONEY MACHINE WITH A BAD REP”…while WE of a common thread…”ONE PEOPLE”…are deprived of our natural rights of mankind.
    Prohibition will be defeated as it has always been defeated…ever since Adam & Eve in the Garden of Eden and that first “Thou Shalt Not.”
    “IT DOESN’T MATTER”…what comes after “THOU SHALT NOT.”

  6. Wow I haven’t seen this many comments on a NORML blog post in a while.
    This is perhaps one, if not the, most mean-spirited movements against the American people, and particularly its youth, that I have seen any Senator/Congressman/lawmaker attempt to put into legislation since I have been consciously aware of my own existence.
    This is hateful and would criminalize the impoverished and the youth of this country all at once. Let’s not even go into the racial implications…
    It seems that almost NO ONE in the lawmaking community seems to have any preoccupation or concern over the development of the nation’s youth, or for reducing the number of harmless and non-violent offenders in our jail system.
    We, no THEY, are creating a generation of Americans who will forever have tarnished records from pot offenses that will follow them through each job they carry. An offense at age 18 will never disappear. There’s no such thing as expunging/quashing these records. Eventually, employers will be forced to ignore “Marijuana possession” offenses on prospective employee’s background checks simply because EVERYONE WILL HAVE THEM!
    I am disgusted that such a person as Mark Kirk is even in elected office.
    I find this insulting, enough to make me post a comment for the first time since tracking NORML’s blog for over three years.

  7. I’m certainly not one to advocate violence but if there was a candidate for for a sharp punch to the teeth, he has certainly taken the express route to the top of the list. I’ve never even heard of the guy before today. With any luck I will never hear anything about this doorknob ever again. It’s fairly clear that he loves the job more than the people he serves. (added by Mobile using Mippin)

  8. Have you heard the new Ad obviously put out by the Big three ( Alcohol / Pharma / tobacco Companies ) ? It starts out with a ” mother ” asking her son if he’s ever tried marijuana ? Her son says ” No ” . She then says , Cocaine , heroin , mexican speedballs ? What these Companies are doing is misleading you the public & naive by tying in marijuana w/ hard drugs . That way when you think of marijuana you’ll think of heroin , etc . More bullshit in their attempt to pursuede people from using marijuana so , their sales don’t plummet & so , people will continue to buy their deadly drugs . These are the same Companies who brought you the ” Drug testing Kits ” .

  9. These politicans are so stupid, you can’t stop marijuana it will thrive everywhere and everyone who tries it likes it, you just can’t stop it.

  10. someone didnt graduate middle school-even a little kid could understand the fact that prohibition doesnt work this guy needs a C.A.T. scan that and every cent used for this legislative piece of a***ipe (given that it becomes law ) needs to be taken strictly and exclusively out of HIS pocket!!! HA HA HA!!! fat chance come election time you ignorant pathetic blaspheomous-sorry waste of a politician

  11. 25 years? Ill give you 25 seconds to get out of office before a Molotov cocktail goes through your window…

  12. dff,
    For a person with poor grammar skills, I doubt you are qualified to call marijuana “tobacco that makes you stupid”.
    Anyways, what really chaps my ass is how so many of our youth are on some sort of psychological medication. Ranging from adhd to depression, and as young as 4 years old. This country is creating little addicts. And its really sad to know that countless teens are abusing pharmacuticals, and they say nothing about that. They are too busy lolly-gagging around about how dangerous pot is to our youth, and hiding whats really dangerous to them. I have a family member who has been snorting prescription pain killers since she was a young teen, now in her twenties, and she does not smoke pot.
    Have we forgotten our role in this country? Why are we as a people sticking our heads in the sand? Enough is enough! Wake up! WE as a PEOPLE need to stand up, free what nature has given us and stop the politicians shenanegans! Did we forget that we pay their salaries? Everything going on against us, were paying for! That alone should be enough to stir up action! We praise norml and MPP for doing what they do, but what are we doing? Sitting back and letting them do all the work. What happend to the free thinking mentality we once had?

  13. Well Rayvyn, that is our capitalistic society for you. Anyway to get money, do it. People will destroy our youth to get money. The sooner they are on drugs, the more they will need when they are older, they more they need the more money for pharmaceutical companies. The U.S. seems to be the only country where ADD and ADHD are diagnosed. 10% of our kids in grade school are diagnosed with one or the other. This is very alarming. It is also extremely over diagnosed.
    Also, fuck you Mark Kirk. If I want to put some potent ass weed in my body I’m gonna do it. 15%, 20%, 5% THC, I don’t care. I’m gonna do it. 25 years for selling weed, one time. Weed is weed is weed is weed. You wouldn’t get jailed for longer for having relations with a more attractive hooker would you? It’s my body, fuck you.

  14. I didn’t vote for this guy, I voted for the Green Party candidate. Unfortunately Illinois is one of the most corrupt states in the nation, and I’m sure he bought his way to victory. Dan Seals would never have even considered a publicity stunt like this. I really hope he just guaranteed his defeat next year!

  15. I just watched the documentary “The Union” again. In the documentary, two growers were asked, “What do you think of increased senteces for marijuana”?
    They said, “That’s great! It raises the price and we make more money”!

  16. Yellow Teeth and he’s damn proud to be an all-american….. apple pie eatin ….DRUG ADDICTED , “BUTT SUCKER” .
    Hey MARK , …SUCK IT …

  17. Anyone knows…and if they don’t know…should absolutely know…based on scientific research (not political opinion)…including government’s own research, that the cannabinoid system and the cannabinoid receptors…
    of cannabis. The system will shut down, put you in a nocturnal state…provide you an excellent nights sleep
    …waking refreshed in the morning. This is precisely why Cannabis has…
    If,I were to commit suicide, I’d do better with aspirin.

  18. WHERE IS
    Change is not good if it is blocking valid-comments!!!!
    Change is not good if it is blocking valid-comments!!!!
    Change is not good if it is blocking valid-comments!!!!
    Change is not good if it is blocking valid-comments!!!!
    Change is not good if it is blocking valid-comments!!!!
    Change is not good if it is blocking valid-comments!!!!
    TO HELL With your DAMN blog and

  19. NEVERMIND!!!
    Change is not good if it is blocking valid-comments!!!!
    Change is not good if it is blocking valid-comments!!!!
    Change is not good if it is blocking valid-comments!!!!
    TO HELL With your DAMN blog and

  20. #148 Deborah M Says:
    June 16th, 2009 at 2:52 pm
    This guy is a friggin’ moron. I just read a story about a guy in Oklahoma who admitted to viciously raping and sodomizing a four-year-old girl. He got one year in prison. YES, I SAID ONE YEAR!
    So, this yahoo Kirk wants to lock up pot smokers for 25 years.
    HMMM… now tell me again why we don’t have room in our prisons for animals like Oklahoma Rapist Guy?! OH YEAH… because our prisons are full of pot smokers who know good bud when they smell it…
    Yeah… Justice in the good ol’ U.S. of A.
    In Ucklahoma
    Cannabis, (supposedly),
    according to Anslingerism,
    is “worse than murder” therefore
    pedifillia is only a 2-year-offense…
    by comparison…
    That dumbass-state ought to be removed from the map…

  21. What the hell is wrong with the Republican party??????
    Seriously, are they trying to self destruct, or do we really have a political divide where ~50% of the country supports this kind of BS?

  22. Derek your absolutely right. A few examples of our public schools. My kids’ school sent home a paper asking me for permission to give my kids flouride tablets. I wrote on the slip “NO, I will not allow you to poison my kids”. Another thing they are pulling, is having the police go to the schools to “educate” the kids about drugs, they show them a baggie of weed, let them smell it, and then prompt them to call 911 or tell their teachers if they ever see or smell it at home. I remember in high school sitting in a health class, and it was “drug education” month. By that time I had already started smoking pot, had excellent grades, and the one video they showed step by step instructions on how to process coke, crack and meth. I thought to myself “why are they showing us how to make it?”. I came to the conclusion, and wrote an essay in school on this conclusion that they know that a small percentage of these kids will take that knowledge and use it. The prompting starts young and in our public schools. As far as ADHD goes, sure there may be a very small precentage if any that actually have it, as for the rest, they dont need ritalin, they need a good butt whoopin’ and a set of rules to follow. But in this society, thats no longer acceptable.
    Welcome to america, the land of double standards. They would much rather kill you and rake in profits then give you freedom to chose on your own how to self medicate. And were supposed to be “patriotic?” HA!

  23. this guy looks like a baby, who the hell elected this baby, he is the real life version of stewie from family guy. I bet when he got that head shot done, either the photographer laughed or molested him because he is a baby

  24. He wants marijuana smokers to look bad, so when he gets a few years for molesting and raping little boys, he can say “at least I didn’t smoke weed!”

  25. The fact that this arrogant small-time secure-seat congressman would go to China to advance his status at the expense of inviting financial ruin upon Americans, says a lot about this man’s selfishness. The fact that he would consider it just to inflict the level of human suffering that 25 years in prison represents for distributing quality cannabis to willing adult buyers, shows his cruelty.
    When I heard the things he said in China, I thought he must be dumb. When I learned that the opposite is true, i realized that Mark Kirk is a dangerous fool. He has made little mark in congress and he is intent on making up for his undistinguished record at other people’s expense. Support whoever runs against him.

  26. #162 jack Says:
    June 16th, 2009 at 6:40 pm
    NeuroGenesis1:29—-My bad, thanks for the input. I stand corrected. A wise man admits when he’s wrong ,not that I’m a wise man. 🙂
    you are ALWAYS a wise man if you choose
    25 percent THC pot over
    anything containing alcohol…

  27. With so much emphasis on addiction (of any kind) this stooge must be addicted to a laxative…which by all standards is more addictive than cannabis. I will pay strict attention to Kirk to see if the laxative is working.

  28. 153 CDXX June 16, 2009…It gives me great pleasure to see your use of CDXX (roman numerals for 420). But more so…CDXX is CDXX Communion, and Manna is the Holy Sacrament. So…if you are of the faith in a creator and his gift to creation…have a good communion. If not…
    have a good communion.

  29. Hey…207 Manny…here. Check it out.
    Mark Kirk…you’re an ignorant, pathetic, blasphemous – sorry waste of a politician. PLUS…you’re getting played like a violin.
    God bless you Mark Kirk. Even though in the majority…
    disregard that “culture and its customs.” Keep up the good work. Slam those “terrorist supporters” behind bars, and throw away the key. Show them no mercy. Put a mark upon them, and cast them out
    This guy didn’t get where he is at solely because of his baby face. CAUTION: VIOLINIST AT PLAY

  30. the law is the law.. you should abide by it.!! duh dudes.. that will keep you out of jail(quit smoking pot)
    its not good at all..

  31. If this law passes theres serious potential for the rest of the country to move towards creating legal posession for small ammounts. Like alcohol there will be issues with the irresponsible, but imagine if medical marijuana was nationwide… its a huge step to get this law passed.

  32. well… when it comes down to it. this country needs hemp/gonja 80,000,000 people smoke pot (at least the people in this country that admit it), and if it became legal , with in that one day lets say the 18000 {or so} Marijane clubs with in the country had only 1 per customer
    80,000,000 people
    x 18,000 clubs that have 1 per person that will spend $100 for a quarter ounce [regular rate for kush in CA]
    this will mean with in the next month of this going on that this country will have the money to get the whole country out of debt and all of the taxes will then drop o say 4.25% in {ca} in stead of this near depression of 10% tax rate. Also more money flows to the american people, then the average person will have more money to spend , that being said within this month we would recover $2.2 ~ $2.4 trillion.
    Then brains another topic….. how controling this country is.
    this is supposed to be the country to be free for man kind, the why the F^%$ dose the government still have OLD RELIC LAWS & RELIC DIVISIONS TO PROTECT NOTHING ANYMORE… LIKE THE FBI AND CIA. these divisions were made to keep the country safe and free.. now.. if the government wont allow us to decide and they make all the laws that we the people think that the government is right.. in which this means that the people will trust FALSE information then those peopple that get the wrong information think that us people that smoke pot look at us like we are meth users. . . now pot is 98% harmless, unlike cigarettes or boose. now… when the government makes the dicisions on what we the people should or shouldn’t do, we all the people should already know the TRUE differences between cigs, boose, pot, meth, obviously we shouldn’t be doing 3/4 of these things “cigs ,boose ,meth .” however i see it this way, If we are listening to the government on what they think “ignorantly” we all will make start thinking like them by influence on kids to say now to any drug safe or not. as far as what they were teaching in CA. but truly if anything grows out of the ground is useful, like marijane. but if it is known to kill then don’t smoke it. . . like meth. . . dont smoke meth. . or any other kind or “BS” drug. . . i hope all you congressmen that read this will now understand where i am truly coming from and not haveing an oppisite view by the time ur read and understand this.
    your average gonja lover&smoker EQR CA

  33. Glad I’m not the only one who hadn’t heard of “Koosh”.
    25 years of partisan freedom fighting and I’ve never heard the term, thought I was missing out on something!!

  34. To dff #244 – laws are human creations, and like their creators, prone to great faults. All true Americans share a duty to oppose bad law any way possible, and support good law any way possible. Our current cannabis laws create more problems than they fix, and should therefore be changed. If the way to do that is to violate the law and hound our politicians until they realize the current laws can no longer be upheld, so be it. As far as your comment “it is not good at all” – what about the multitudes of studies showing cannabis can help alleviate many diseases? What about the fact that several FDA approved medicines exist which are composed solely of compounds analogous to those found in cannabis? Judging by your comments, if we still lived in the good ol’ days of Jim Crow, you’d be holding the far end of the rope while your buddies tied a noose for some poor black guy caught looking at a white woman. It would have been legal, right?

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