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June 05, 1971 - Image 1

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1971-06-05

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. ZSi e f rli~tan aittj
Vol. LXXXI, No. 23-S Ann Arbor, Michigan-Saturday, June 5, 1971 Ten Cents Twelve Pages
0House clears reduced pot penalties

Measure will
face difficult
fight in Senate
The state House of Repre-
sentatives passed sweeping
legislation Thursday, which
would r e v a m p the whole
system of state drug control
and reduce the penalty for
possession of m a r i j u a n a
from a felony to a misde-
meanor punishable by 90
days in jail or a $500 fine.
The bill has been hailed by
supporters for drastically reduc-
ing the penalties for first-time
offenders and distinguishing be-
tween casual users and peddlers
of Illegal drugs.
Rep. J. Robert Traxler (D-
Bay City), author and leading
supporter of the bill, said the
measure "is the best piece of
drug legislation this Legislature
has seen in years." Critics con-
demned it as "hysterical."
T h e "Controlled Substance
Act," cleared by a vote of 77-20
and sent to the Senate Thurs-
day, provides for a comprehen-
sive program for uniform regu-
lation of distribution and manu-
facture of all drugs and nar-
Under the bill, second and
subsequent convictions for pos-
session of marijuana would also
# be misdemeanors with a maxi-
mum jail term of one year or a
$1,000 fine. "
It also would give a judge the
option of imposing a special pro-
bation for up to one year before
he enters a conviction on a
first-time offender's record. If
the offender fulfills whatever
probation conditions the court
orders, the judge would dismiss
the case without conviction.
Present law permits up to 10
years in jail and a $5,000 fine
for the first offense, up to 20
years for the second offense and
a mandatory 20-40 years for
subsequent convictions.
Sale of marijuana, now a
felony punishable by a 20-year
to life prison sentence, under the
new bill would carry a penalty
of up to five years and a $5,000
fine. Distribution of marijuana
as a gift or not for profit zvould
carry a penalty of up to one
year and a $1,000 fine.
The bill would also reduce
penalties for possession of hallu-
cinogenic drugs such as peyote,
LSD and mescaline to six months
in jail or a $5,000 fine, while un-
lawful distribution would be sub-
See HOUSE, Page 7

* * * * * *
Senate vetoes draft end;
two-year renewal likely

SEN. GEOiGE McGOVERN (D-S.D.) leaves his hospital bed yesterday to be present for the Senate
vote on the Hatfield amendment to the draft extension bill. The amendment was defeated. McGovern
was recovering from minor surgery.
everl states join movement

toward more lenient
By The Associated Press The action by the states this
Though the move by the year continues a trend of the
state House of Representatives past four years toward milder
to lower penalties for the pos- laws for simple possession.
session and sale of marijuana States that reduced penalties in
and other illegal drugs c a m e 1971 include Arkansas, Color-
rather unexpectedly, o t h e r ado, Florida, Idaho, Indiana,
states have already passed even Minnesota. Nebraska, Utah,
more lenient legislation for drug Washington and West Virginia.
offenders. An Associated Press survey in-
As a result, marijuana users dicates, however, that states
nationwide are less likely to are holding firm, or in som e
wind up in jail in 1971 as in- cases stiffening, the penalties
creasing numbers of states leg- for marijuana dealers.
islate reduced drug sentences. A few states continue to hold

pot laws
the line against relaxing tough
criminal statutes in marijuana
cases. All states have balked
at implementing the recom-
mendation of a national com-
mission to legalize the drug.
There is a noticeable trend to
separate marijuana offenses
from the existing body of nar-
cotics laws. In Washington
state, pot has been designated
a "dangerous drug" rather than
a narcotic.
Nebraska has some of the
mildest laws. A judge there
might impose a penalty as light
as a $1 fine for possessing less
than one pound of marijuana.
In Nevada first offenders un-
der 21 may be charged o n1y
with a gross misdemeanor, and
may be penalized by losing their
driving license for a year.
In contrast, states such as
Texas still have tough laws. The
penalty for possession in Texas
is from two years to life on the
first offense, 10 years to life on
the second. A couple of pro-
posals to lower the Te xa s
penalties never got out of com-
mittee this year.
The Rhode Island law makes
it a felony to possess marijuana
in that state.
Meanwhile, Michigan ad-
heres to stringent laws t h a t
impose penalties up to 10
years for possession and 20 for
sale. But as it has in so many
others, the trend towards len-
iency is catching up on- the
state Legislature and liberalit-
ed marijuana provisions that
passed the House are now being,
given a strong chance for pas-
sage this year,

jecting t w o amendments
that would terminate or lim-
it its duration, the Senate
cleared the way for the
probable approval of Presi-
dent Nixon's proposed two-
year extension of the draft.
First, by a vote of 67 to 23,
the Senate rejected an amend-
ment by Sen. Mark Hatfield
(R-Ore.) to stop all draft calls
July 1. The Hatfield proposal
would have led to an all-vol-
unteer army two years ahead of
the administration's mid-1973
Then, by a vote of 49 to 43,
the Senate also rejected a pro-
posal by Sen. Richard Schweik-
er (R-Pa.), to limit the d r a f t
extension to one year.
The votes today seemed to in-
sure that the draft bill that will
come up for a final vote will
contain the same two-year ex-
tension already enacted by the
Still to be voted on is the
McGovern - Hatfield amend-
ment. This amendment is ex-
pected to touch off a major de-
bate on President Nixon's Indo-
china policies.
Acthored by Sens. George Mc-
Govern, (D-S.D.) and Hatfield,
the proposal would cut off funds
for U.S. operations in or over
Indochina after Dec. 31.
Revised from last year, their
proposal would permit some
flexibility for the President in
protecting American troops dur-
ing the withdrawal process.
An 'agreement is being worked
out for a June 18 vote on the
amendment.uFormal debate on
it would begin next week.
The amendment currently has
about the same support it had
a year ago when it was rejected
55 to 39 by the Senate. Bacers
are counting on a concerted lob-
bying campaign here next week.
The revised version drops an
earlier provision that stated a
goal of withdrawal of all U.S.
troops by Dec. 31. It says no
funds shall be spent after that
date to support the deployment
of United States armed forces in
or the conduct of United States
military operations in or over
Indochina." It goes on to say
that nothing in this section af-
fects presidential authority "to
provide for the safety of Ameri-
can armed forces during their
withdrawal from Indochina."
Rock and roll
music set for
park Sunday
The Ann Arbor Summer Con-
certs are not dead! Tomorrow
at 3 p.m. the wilds of Diana
Oughton Park (Gallup Park)
will reverb again to the sounds
of heavy rock and roll music.
Sponsored by the Ann Arbor
Tribal Council, people through-
out the community have contri-
buted to make the concerts free.
Featured will be the Pride, the
Guardian Angel, and Ann Ar-
bor's own, the tUp.

,janitors' protest continues
Some of the more than 50 union janitors who were present during a four hour demonstration picket
in front of the University's Administration Bldg. yesterday. It was the second day of protests against
the University Plant-Dept.'s decision to cancel paid lunch breaks for some 280 AFSCME janitors.

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