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US: Garrett's Ganja Gambit - Folio Weekly

Found: Fri Feb 14 18:29:49 2020 PST
Source: Folio Weekly (Jacksonville, FL)
Copyright: 2020 Folio Weekly
Webpage: [translate]

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Garrett's Ganja Gambit

Last year's move to decriminalize failed. But this year?

Posted Tuesday, February 11, 2020 1:40 pm


This week's Garrett Dennis profile touched on a number of topics, but our meeting ended with a discussion of the councilmember's efforts to decriminalize cannabis in Jacksonville. "I don't participate in marijuana," he said, but he sees no value in locking up those who do. Bill 2019-0330 would have reduced the penalty for possession of 20 grams of cannabis or less to a $100 fine or 10 hours of community service. A UNF PORL poll from June 2019 puts local support for decriminalization at 84 percent, making it about the lowest-hanging fruit you can find in this city. In theory, it should have been easy. But contrary to the slogans, not everything is easier here.

Besides the usual civil libertarian appeal of such legislation, there is a practical financial benefit for cities, as Dennis told Florida Politics at the time. According to Dennis, it costs about $864 to process an inmate and an additional $60 per day to house them, which comes to about $22,000 over the course of a year. This is money that can be put to much better use, such as overpaying for The Jacksonville Landing or paying ransom to Shad Khan so he doesn't move the Jaguars to London. That, in addition to the windfall profits seen around the country by cities and states that have already moved in that direction, creates a strong, compelling argument for increasing appeal to free-market, small "c" conservatives.

The bill was introduced mid-May, and the councilmember pushed his proposal through a series of four town hall meetings held during July and August. On the Northside, Southside, Westside and the Beaches, the rooms were always full, and the audience spoke mostly in favor of the bill. Hardly a representative sample, but with nearly 70 percent of Floridians favoring outright legalization of recreational marijuana, according to recent polls, there is clearly a consensus already in place.

But all that was ultimately irrelevant, and the initiative became collateral damage in a broader conflict. Bill 2019-0330 was thus given the ooh-la-la by a five-to-two vote of the Neighborhoods, Public Health and Safety Committee in August 2019. Dennis claims that several colleagues expressed support in private but refused to do so publicly, fearing blowback from the mayor's office. Had someone else introduced the bill, Dennis thinks it stood a good chance of a narrow passage by the full council.

"Everybody supported it," he said, "even the sheriff, but he was squeezed, politically. He knew about it before I went public, and he said, 'I'm already working on something like that. I think it's the right thing to do.' He shared stories with me about how it ticks police officers off. But as soon as Garrett Dennis introduced the bill, it became a target. I even had council members say to me, after the fact, 'I got worked on it.' I'm going to reintroduce it, after the 12 months are up."

As a FAMU grad, Dennis took note of Tallahassee's recent decision to decriminalize: an evolution of policy quite similar to what he proposed last year. As noted above, Dennis plans to reboot the bill later this year, like Charlie Brown kicking the football, but he is open to passing the ball to a colleague, which frankly would be ideal. If that happens, it might actually get over. Otherwise, nope.

Keywords garrett dennis, UNF, Florida, marijuana



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analysis of article text

prohibitionist hits:0 government drug warrior (prohibition_agency) hits:0 propaganda (drugwar_propaganda) hits:20 legalization hits:6 drug_reformer hits:0 reform_referenda hits:0 cannabis hits:9 stimulant hits:0 narcotic hits:0 hallucinogen hits:0
    prohibitionist     prohibition_agency     drugwar_propaganda     legalization     drug_reformer
    reform_referenda     cannabis     stimulant     narcotic     hallucinogen

incarceration/prison mentioned? yes .

propaganda analysis

explicit prohibition propaganda (explicit_propaganda) hits:0 hated group (propaganda_theme1) hits:0 madness, violence, illness (propaganda_theme2) hits:4 survival of society (propaganda_theme3) hits:4 gateway, use is abuse (propaganda_theme4) hits:0 children (propaganda_theme5) hits:0 demonize, war, epidemic (propaganda_theme6) hits:0 total prohibition (propaganda_theme7) hits:12 dissent opposed (propaganda_theme8) hits:0
EXP - explicit prohibition propaganda (explicit_propaganda) GRP - hated group (propaganda_theme1) MAD - madness, violence, illness (propaganda_theme2)
SOC - survival of society (propaganda_theme3) USE - gateway, use is abuse (propaganda_theme4) KID - children (propaganda_theme5)
WAR - demonize, war, epidemic (propaganda_theme6) TOT - total prohibition (propaganda_theme7) DIS - dissent opposed (propaganda_theme8)

 drug of abuse implied / mentioned

drug related
[news] [concept]

drug reform party legalization illegal drugs  
drugwar_propaganda : a drug war propaganda event, campaign release, slogan, or themepropaganda

drugwar propaganda
[news] [concept]

propaganda theme2 propaganda theme3 propaganda theme7 Why Are Americans So Easy to Manipulate? (Bruce E Levine, 2012)
Classic Modern Drug Propaganda
Themes in Chemical Prohibition
Drug War Propaganda (kindle edition)
propaganda_theme2 : drug war propaganda theme: madness, violence, illness caused by drugsmadness, violence, illness

propaganda theme2 70%
[news] [concept]

"damage" "profits" "fearing" "Health and Safety"4Madness Crime Violence Illness (propaganda theme 2)
Distortion 18: Cannabis and Mental Illness
No, marijuana use doesn't lower your IQ (10/2014)
propaganda_theme3 : drug war propaganda theme: survival of societysurvival of society

propaganda theme3 75%
[news] [concept]

"community" "Neighborhoods" "Public Health" "the country"4Survival of Society (propaganda theme 3)
The "Nation" as a Device To Create a Psychological Crowd
propaganda_theme7 : drug war propaganda theme: total prohibiton or accesstotal prohibition

propaganda theme7
[news] [concept]

"legalization" "decriminalize" "decriminalization" "legalization of recreational marijuana" legalization6Total Prohibition or Access (propaganda theme 7)
 drug of abuse

illegal drugs
[news] [concept]

 drug reform party 55%
[news] [concept]
[news] [concept]
"decriminalize cannabis" "decriminalize" "decriminalization" "legalization"
 psychoactive plant

[news] [concept]

[news] [concept]
cannabis : cannabis (marijuana) product or usecannabis
[news] [concept]
"marijuana" "cannabis" "Ganja" "weed"9Cannabis: Religious and Spiritual Uses
Cannabis-Driving Studies Cannabis Link DB
Schaffer Library: Marijuana
U.S. Prisons Thriving on Jim Crow Marijuana Arrests (2013)
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"inmate"1Prison Hell in America (Stephen Lendman, Oct. 2011)
Understanding the U.S. Torture State
this is what a police state looks like
Torture and the United States and... drugs.htm
US Official Prison Policy: Encourage Men's Rape (2014)
Profit Driven Prison Industrial Complex (2012)
The Top Five Special Interest Groups Lobbying To Keep Marijuana Illegal
Sing a Little Louder
Prison Rape Widely Ignored by Authorities
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"town hall meetings" "meeting" "meetings"3TAKE ACTION - Here's how!
Delphi Technique - Fake Consensus (2016)

st:0.01 fo:0 s:0 d:0 c:0.01 db:0.147 a:0.27 m:0.11 t:0.71 (f)

text of article used for CRITICAL ANALYSIS, under FAIR USE provisions of the Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. § 107, et al.

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    article tags


    meeting concept - scheduled meeting, talk, or conference
    incarceration concept - Prisons, Jails and Probation
    cannabis concept - cannabis (marijuana) product or use
    intoxicant concept
    plants concept - Plants listed in this section are those which have been used by humans for their mind- or emotion-altering properties.
    legalization concept - drug decrim. or legalisaton
    drug_reform_party concept - political parties that support drug reform
    illegal_drugs concept - drugs of abuse, so-called
    propaganda_theme7 concept - drug war propaganda theme: total prohibiton or access
    propaganda_theme3 concept - drug war propaganda theme: survival of society
    propaganda_theme2 concept - drug war propaganda theme: madness, violence, illness caused by drugs
    drugwar_propaganda concept - a drug war propaganda event, campaign release, slogan, or theme
    drug_related concept - related to illegal drugs and prohibition