Drug Law

Oklahoma: Life in Prison for Hash, 1 Year for Child Rape

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By "Radical" Russ Belville

While I was out at the NORML Conference, this bombshell of a story exploded in Oklahoma:

OKLAHOMA CITY — Converting marijuana to hashish could land Oklahomans a life prison sentence under a bill approved in the Oklahoma Senate.

Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs spokesman Mark Woodward said the goal of the bill is to “send a message” that illegal drugs won’t be tolerated in Oklahoma.

Conviction of a first offense of cooking hashish would result in a prison sentence from two years to life in prison. Sentences would be doubled under a second offense, and those convicted would not be eligible for a suspended sentence or probation.

Read more from this Tulsa World article at http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=336&articleid=20110420_336_0_OKLAHO247887

Ah, yes, the OBNDD, the people who brought you the marijuana “fact sheet” that claims pot today is 30 times stronger than Woodstock Weed and it damages brain cells and reproductive organs.  Apparently, they feel hashish is so much more dangerous than raw cannabis that we must enact a life sentence for it.  Hash is much more potent than cannabis, so I wonder how the OBNDD will react when they discover Schedule III dronabinol (legal even in Oklahoma) is even more potent than hash?

When I read these stories about stiffer sentences for cannabis, I like to compare them to the sentences that most of us will agree are heinous crimes.  It turns out that if you make cannabis into hashish or if you serially and violently rape five adult women, you can get a life sentence in Oklahoma.

(Slane & Phillips) An Oklahoma City man who pleaded guilty to five charges of first degree rape in Oklahoma County District Court last October was sentenced late last week.  John Earl Stepney, Jr., 33, was given a life sentence without parole for each of the five rapes of which he was convicted.

Oklahoma County District Judge Kenneth Watson sentenced Stepney to life in prison without parole for each of the following Oklahoma City rape incidents:

  • the November 17, 2008, rape of a woman who was asleep in her apartment
  • the December 7, 2008, rape of a woman who was attacked as she walked home from work
  • the December 23, 2008, kidnapping and rape of a woman who was shopping for Christmas at Penn Square Mall
  • the January 5, 2009, rape of a woman who was doing laundry at her apartment complex
  • the January 7, 2009, rape of a woman who was vacuuming her car at a car wash

Stepney is accused of forcing two of the women to withdraw cash from their bank accounts at ATMs.  He reportedly used a BB gun that looked like a handgun to threaten and coerce his victims.

But if you plead no contest to first-degree rape and forcible sodomy of a four-year-old girl, you may get by with one year in prison.

(USA Today) ALESTER, Okla. (AP) — Two state lawmakers are questioning a plea agreement that will allow a man to serve only one year in jail on a conviction for raping a 4-year-old girl.

Nineteen of the 20 years of a sentence against 64-year-old David Harold Earls were suspended as part of a plea agreement reached with Pittsburg County prosecutors.

Earls pleaded no contest on May 13 to first-degree rape and forcible sodomy. He has spent nearly nine months in jail already and is scheduled to be released Sept. 24.  He would serve the remaining 19 years of his sentence under supervised release and would have to register as a sex offender.

(News9.com) The daughter of a convicted rapist speaks out, saying he deserves more than one year behind bars. She says her father deserves a life sentence. David Earls’ rape conviction made national headlines this month after a Pittsburg County judge sentenced him to only one year in prison.

“My father is a monster and he needs to stay, he needs to stay in prison,” said Denise Earls.

Denise Earls says when she was young Earls raped her. She hoped he was finally going to get the punishment he deserved.

“Well I was completely outraged because it brought back all the memories that I went through as a child and just to know that he only got a year when I have a life sentence to deal with this,” said Denise Earls.

Maybe somebody can convince David Earls to make some hash so Oklahoma will seriously consider keeping him in a prison for life.

By the way, in case anyone thinks that hashish is somehow different or more dangerous than raw cannabis, it isn’t.  It is still non-toxic with low risk of dependency and tolerable side effects.  Here’s the basic difference between regular old pot and hash:

Pot = puff, puff, puff, puff, puff, puff, puff, puff, puff, puff, puff, puff… whoa, I’m high!

Hash = puff, puff… whoa, I’m high!

That’s it.  Hash is a concentrate.  It’s not “cooked”, it’s extracted.  It’s not transformed into something else.  Hash is to cannabis as a frozen can of orange juice mix is to an orange.  And for some patients who need extremely high dosages to achieve medical effects, there isn’t the time or lung capacity to take all the puffs of cannabis one needs.  For these most-vulnerable patients, hash is a medicine, pure and simple.

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