Federal judge: I won’t throw ex-cons back into jail over marijuana

Southern Oregon Courts

This is a really high court decision.

A maverick Brooklyn federal judge on Thursday decreed that he will no longer throw recently released convicts back behind bars when they’re caught smoking pot.

In a 42-page decision, 96-year-old jurist Jack Weinstein wrote that since supervised release is meant to rehabilitate, not punish, former inmates, sticking them back in the slammer for toking up will only thwart any progress they’ve made on the outside.

And besides — all the kids are doing it now.

Marijuana use, through law, policy, and social custom, is becoming increasingly accepted in society,” wrote the liberal appointee of President Lyndon Johnson, who first took the bench in 1967.

“For some supervisees, who are otherwise rehabilitated, a marijuana habit can derail progress as they end up in an almost never-ending cycle where they oscillate between jail and supervision.

“Effectively, courts are faced with a choice: imprison a marijuana user on supervised release or cut short supervision, forcing an attempt at further rehabilitation on the supervisee’s own,” continued Weinstein, the longest sitting judge in New York state.

Marijuana use, which is illegal under federal law, is a violation of supervised release and would typically require incarceration.

Anti-wacky tobacky laws are still on the books in New York state as well — although Mayor Bill de Blasio announced in May that he wants the NYPD to stop arresting those blazing in public and instead issue summonses.

Weinstein’s tokin’ gesture came as he reviewed the case of Tyran Trotter, 22, who served two years behind bars for heroin possession with intent to distribute.

Trotter, a member of a Bloods-related gang the Paper Chasing Goons, violated the conditions of his three years of supervised release when he was busted getting baked.

But instead of revoking release, Weinstein, a lifelong New Yorker who grew up in Brighton Beach, said he’s terminating supervision of the Queens man completely, writing that “its continuation would inhibit rehabilitation.”

“He must attempt to lead a productive life on his own,” the judge said.

This is hardly the first time Weinstein’s rogue decisions have left people wondering what he’s smoking.

A decade ago, he tried to get around a mandatory minimum five-year sentence for a man convicted of possessing child porn that he felt was too “harsh” by declaring a mistrial.

Weinstein was ultimately forced to cave in to the sentence a few years later — but declared it “grossly excessive” and unconstitutional.

He has since doled out slaps on the wrist to several other kiddie-porn-watching creeps.

Last month, he let an ISIS turncoat walk free, saying the informant jihadi “will be doing much more for society than if a prison sentence were imposed.”

Weinstein famously refuses to wear judicial robes or sit at the judge’s bench — instead joining litigants around the courtroom.


By Emily Saul

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Read more from the source: NY Post

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