The Hawaii Tribune-Herald has published a piece, “Pot growers given light sentences“, emphasizing the light-sentencing usually faced by Marijuana growers on the Big Island.
“A 50-year-old Ainaloa man was sentenced Wednesday to 30 days in jail for growing marijuana,” the article begins. “Hilo Circuit Judge Greg Nakamura ruled that Edwin Robert Lively can serve his jail time on weekends.”
The Tribune-Herald seems to want its readers to calm down over the latest Hawaii State Marijuana Eradication effort. With all this light-sentencing going on, you’d think Marijuana enforcement is no big deal. Well, that’s a relief! Farmers still get jail time for growing plants, but not really all that much — as long as they cop the plea.
And if they don’t cop the plea? Try 20 years in a state penitentiary.
Has anyone at the Tribune-Herald noticed that sentencing of this sort puts an inordinate amount of power into the hands of prosecutors? And what a time saver! No one ever goes to trial, because the penalties for conviction are simply Draconian.
I am disappointed that the Tribune-Herald neglected to point out that “copping the plea” usually means entering a plea of “guilty”.
A plea of “guilty” is all the DEA and police require to legally seize the homes of local farmers — and to hold them for a stiff ransom under forfeiture laws.
In one case I am personally aware of, a homeowner copped the plea of guilty, whereupon his home was seized by the government.
Then they offered it back to him for mere $70,000. It was that, or the street.
BTW, has anyone noticed that the State of Hawaii is paying for the latest Marijuana Eradication project?
I wonder where the State of Hawaii gets money for Marijuana Eradication at a time when civil servants and school children state-wide have been “furloughed on Fridays” for the last two years?
I wish the Herald-Tribune would spend more time investigating these details instead of publishing apology pieces for The Drug War.