Posted by on 1 Apr 2012. Filed under Current Affairs, Legislation, Top news. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

No More Jail Sentences For Weed Smokers?

Just a few days before taking up the post of Prime Minister for the second time, Robert Fico has given way on one of the progressive topics promoted by the liberal Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) party, with a change in how recreational marijuana use should be punishable by law.

Cannabis Sativa (c) Psychonaught

In talks after the elections, SaS party chairman Richard Sulik approached the PM in-waiting with the proposal of decriminalising marijuana, but Fico made it clear that he would not be willing to bend to that extent, but that would consider revising punishments.

Lecturing to students at the weekend, Fico disclosed his idea about possible ways of punishing the use of the illegal herb. He is now proposing reclassifying marijuana use to being an offence rather than a crime, punishable at present by a prison sentence of around 3 years for an amount for 3 joints worth.

It is an issue that has long been ignored in Slovakia, and the attempts of the SaS party to deal with it in the short-lived four-party coalition were futile, opposed by its more conservative coalition partners from SDKU, KDH and Most-Hid. Sulik’s SaS party always had it as part of its agenda, and so it is taking the credit for Fico’s latest comments.

“Young people risk three-year sentences, five-year sentences. Everyone is getting stoned anyway, smoking marijuana, so what good does it do?” SITA newswire cites the future PM as saying. Fico added that the system doesn’t work and so needs fixed, so some other form of punishing young people should be found.

Instead of trying to stuff weed smokers into the already bursting jails in Slovakia, the hope now is that the offence will be punishable with community service or some other form of deterrent. It will now be up to Fico’s elected justice minister Tomas Borec to come up with the concrete proposals.

10 Comments for “No More Jail Sentences For Weed Smokers?”

  1. Hello

    First of all A Big Respect for (Mr. Fico) Why?

    Every one know that Alcohol And Cigarets Are harmful for Human Body and its a Big Crime Issue for the Humanity (if you want to get more information’s about this Issue: just Visit a (hospital), And you will see how people Suffer from this Issue).

    Every one was talking about democracy (I LOVE DEMOCRACY), but not the democracy what they was talking about.

    Cigaret:
    Imagine if some one is smoking and he feels Relax :) only for 1 min. what about if the person who don’t smoke is siting near to hem in the coffee shop or (in a environment place) :) he will suffer for 1 min. (is this really democracy) !!!!!!!!!!!!!.

    As i understand that DEMOCRACY is: to do thing (communicating, working, ………) with no harming Humanity. or you judge your self . or your responsible of Every think you do to yourself. you are the leader of your self.

    As i understand from (SaS): that you can do what you want Also you can harm Humanity, is this really democracy !!!!!!!!!!!.

    marijuana:
    As i heard from friends that marijuana is a poison for the human brain, most of my friend they lost focusing (the dead of the brain cell).

    From my Experience in Slovakia i Saw that Slovak Man and Women are all healthy people and intelligent and cleaver (you can see what the Slovaks made during this Short years even when its not that reach :D ).

    Marijuana is a Medicine only for SICK PEOPLE, who really need treatment from some specialist people (Doctors), and the treatment must Be in some Special place. The treatment cant be Done in the street in Front of the people.

    I believe Every one must Love hes Country and work for hes Country And hes people. and country with no healthy nation is not a country, (it will be the destruction of the country) :D .

    Do they really love this country or they Love MONEY? :D

    For me ill find a solution how to Make a Reduction or decreasing the level of the Smokers or …… in my Country. no to make increasing of the level of marijuana (Sick People) or to make the Distraction of the country.

    (Bad people Selling Drugs and Grow Rich, Good people Suffer from there Criminal Issues) :D .

    Enjoy

  2. [...] As every year, the event has invited experts from various fields, including politicians, in the hope of discussing the decriminalisation of marijuana. Invited guests include PM Robert Fico, who recently said his new government would consider revising penalties and the classification of recreat…. [...]

  3. Dave Crawford

    James, both you and George have valid points. The principle problem is the SK legal system and its application to offenders. It would appear that in the Sk if you commit a crime the judge is obliged to pass sentence, BUT in the SK there no room for the application of “common sense” Two recent, similar cases, highlight this – Case 1, Homeless, unemployed, young man robs a shop with a gun of 15 Euros – sentenced to 7 years. Case 2, State Police officer commits 4 armed bank raids, His haul was 10s of thousands – sentenced to 7 years. Thats justice SK style.
    Reform of the legal system, with judges having a choice of punishments and more leeway in sentencing would be a good start. As George says, the current law is the law, its not a bad law its just the way it is applied.
    Personally I would like to see youngsters get a recorded police caution for a first offence, a heafty fine for a second or subsequent offence, maybe with CS if it is run correctly and prison sentences only for habitual offenders. As to the concern with regard to youngsters having a criminal record as the result of being caught in possession of drugs, firstly, if you can’t do the time don’t do the crime and secondly, less reactionary, why not introduce something similar to a rehabilitation of offenders law – offences only stay on your record for a set period of time after which, although still recorded, they are not reportable to prospective employers. That way you at least offer an incentive to people not to reoffend.

  4. George M

    The problem is when this becomes an addiction and does poor to the streets because people were not stopped beforehand . Punishing people with a prison term, or CS, just for using a soft drug is a not nonsense – the law is the law as it stands. But I do feel each case should be judged on their merits …not because of a ridged law .

  5. James Baxter

    Just to make clear, though it ought to be obvious – if you commit a crime while under the influence of any drug, including marijuana, you should be punished for that crime, just the same as you should be if you commit a crime while under the influence of alcohol.

    But punishing people with a prison term, or CS, just for using a soft drug is a nonsense – IF they’re not doing any harm otherwise.

  6. George M

    Blimmy , a high brow conversation if ever I saw one . Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrr !

    Getting to bit of a love affair , but I tend to agree with DC . What an individual does in their own home is their business but if it spills out into public places and starts causing problems for the non-drug using majority ( hurmmm, that includes smokers, beer drinkers, alcoholics and any old people that dont wash or shower or smell of garlic breath , that I have to sit near on the bus ) then we have the right to demand swift action, whether in relation to crime, anti-social behavior or the strain it puts on police ( I did smile there, the police here are never strained ) and medical resources.

  7. James

    You said, ‘what do you decriminalise next (after recreational marijuana use, which was what the article was all about) – robbery, assault, rape?’

    That’s a profoundly silly statement.

    I would agree that enforcing the law with stronger sentences for certain crimes would be in order, but I would start with causing death or injury by drunken/reckless driving, assault, robbery, various forms of corruption, and – of course – dealing in harder drugs.

    You say the Dutch and Swedes are now paying a high price for their liberal attitudes to marijuana. Are you also going to try to claim that the US have got it right with their zero-tolerance? Because it doesn’t seem like it from here.

  8. Dave Crawford

    Ah!….. A Stary Eyed liberal. I am pretty sure that, if a member of you family is wiped out by some drug using driver, or relieved of their wallet, phone etc. by someone looking for their next hit, or you have to wait in A&E to get your child treated while the medical staff deal with some clown who in their drug induced fantasy world, thought they could fly, you will become a reactionary if not part of the lynch mob.
    As for your suggestion that what I originally wrote puts responsible beer drinkers in the same group as robbers or rapists – comprehension is not your strong point.
    Drink alcoholing and smoking are not illegal in the SK – having and using drugs is – your laws, passed by your politicians who have a duty to enforce them. Going soft on law breakers is the easy , typically Slovak, option. It hasn’t worked anywhere else in the world – fact. What an individual does in their own home is their business but if it spills out into public places and starts causing problems for the non-drug using majority then we have the right to demand swift action, whether in relation to crime, anti-social behaviour or the strain it puts on police and medical resources.

  9. StaryJazvec

    What a specious load of reactionary old cock. How about a jail-building program for alcohol and tobacco users as well. I shall be sure to remember every time I sip my pint that I am no better than a robber or a rapist.

  10. Dave Crawford

    Community Service!!!! Ha! has Bobby no Mates been on the Ganja? CS requires strong supervision. The current record of State Employees actually doing the job their supposed to do is a joke – so we will now have organised groups of low lifes, wondering around, unsupervised. Where exactly does he propose these people do their CS? in schools? – I think parents might be a tad concerned, in OAP homes – hang onto your handbag granny!, cleaning up public areas? – the staff employed to do this, don’t. Then there is the ever present spectre of some SK “wide boy” in charge seeing a nice little earner and selling CS work time to the highest bidder.
    “the system doesn’t work” – why, because is isn’t a strong enough deterent, how about some harsh fines, say 1000 Euros a spliff. How about doubling or tripling the health insurance payments of drug users and alcoholics so the rest of use no longer have to subsidise their immediate and long term medical treatment. Ask the Dutch and Swedes the true cost of their previous liberal drugs policies, increased crime, soaring medical costs, social breakdown etc.
    ” already bursting jails” – Whoever introduced the original law should have realised that they would need extra jail space – or are they all stupid? The fact SK doesn’t have enough jail space is not a reason to go soft on criminals – what do you decriminalise next – robbery, assault, rape? Build more prisons, lock up the scroates and protect the rest of us from their activities. It is bad enough trying to avoid drunks – both in and out of vehicles – without the added “pleasure” of being confronted by some dribbling moron out of his head on weed or other “recreational drug” or is BnM suggesting the rest of us should stay indoors while the dickheads rule the streets. I shall be applying that well tried and proven deterent – any dopehead who annoys me will get a short, sharp taste of Ekkythump!

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