Senate Majority Leader Martin Looney, explained the raison d’etre of the bill: "We are not enforcing the use of illegal drugs. We strongly disapprove of their use, but we're trying to realign their punishment that is more appropriate.” Mr. Looney said the state, which apparently can’t chew gum and walk at the same time, “should be focusing its scarce criminal justice resources on dangerous offenders,” according to a story in the Stamford Advocate. It’s not clear how anyone might “enforce the use of illegal drugs.” It is clear that sloppy thought leads ineluctably to sloppy language.
Sen. Toni Boucher, who opposes the legalization of marijuana, was able to prevail upon her Democratic colleagues to amend the bill so that persons caught three times with less than a half ounce of the once illegal substance would be required to seek drug treatment. The Democratic majority in the senate entertained Ms. Boucher’s unenforceable provision, some suspect, because she was not a Republican.
Governor Malloy praised his Democratic colleagues in the Senate for having passed the pot bill:
“I applaud the Connecticut State Senate for passing these common sense reforms to our criminal justice system. The punishment should fit the crime. Let’s be clear – we are not making marijuana legal and we are not allowing people who use it and get caught to avoid the repercussions. But we are acknowledging the reality that we are doing more harm than good when we prosecute people who are caught using marijuana – needlessly stigmatizing them in a way we would not if they were caught drinking underage, for example, and disproportionately affecting minorities. As a former prosecutor in Brooklyn, my opinion on this issue was formed a long time ago. While our focus will continue to be on prevention and juvenile offenders will be referred to court officials for treatment, this proposal frees up more of our police and prosecutors to fight violent crime. I’m pleased that the Senate took this action, and I urge the House of Representatives to take up the measure and pass it, as well.”
“Now, 23, Ben Malloy has had legal problems since his father was mayor of Stamford. On Feb. 27, 2007 he was charged with possession of less than four ounces of pot in Greenwich. Malloy received no jail time but was placed on probation, which he violated on Mar. 3. 2009 when he was arrested again, this time in Darien, when he and a friend were charged with first-degree armed robbery (they tried to rip off some weed using a BB gun). Malloy pled guilty and was given five years' probation.”It has been a busy week for Democrats in the General Assembly. In addition to decriminalizing the possession of small quantities of pot, majority Democrats in the legislature also passed, over the futile objections of social conservatives and mothers against unseemly bathroom incidents, a bill granting, in the words of Mr. Malloy’s press agents, “protections from gender identity discrimination.” The precise meaning of this phrase, found in one of Mr. Malloy’s press releases, is uncertain. The bill does not offer protection for women who wander into men's bathrooms; nor does it offer protections for men who wander into women's bathrooms. In both cases, gender differences will continue to be observed in polite society, and the law will punish those who fail to make proper distinction between men and women. The bill supported by majority Democrats in the General Assembly obliterates such useless distinctions and offers protection to people whose gender identity is indiscriminate. Perhaps, celebrating the immanent passage of the pot bill, Mr. Malloy’s press agents were indulging in small quantities of the stuff when they wrote their release. A message from Mr. Malloy was clearer:
“This bill is another step forward in the fight for equal rights for all of Connecticut’s citizens, and it’s the right thing to do. It’s difficult enough for people who are grappling with the issue of their gender identity, and discrimination against them has no place in our society. Connecticut has lead the way in other civil rights issues and I’m proud to be able to support and sign this bill.”No one yet in the General Assembly has produced a bill protecting polygamists from discriminatory laws, even though polygamy is practiced in such enlightened corners of the world as Saudi Arabia. Indeed, Islam looks with favor on polygamy, and a fair reading of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which protects religious freedom, would seem to support a social convention enshrined in law in many countries where the religion of Islam is practiced. Perhaps Mr. Looney and Mr. Malloy might turn their attention to such antique and unjust laws here in the United States as prohibit polygamy. Social prohibitions of this kind can only be unseemly in a state that has courageously lead the way on other important civil rights issues.