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March 26, 2007 - Huffington Post (US Web)

18-Year-Old Gets Two Years for One Joint

By Tony Newman, Drug Policy Alliance

Thursday, March 22, marked the one-year anniversary of 18-year-old Mitchell Lawrence's imprisonment on a two-year jail sentence for selling about one joint's worth of marijuana to an undercover cop.

Mitchell received two years of hard time because a heartless Great Barrington district attorney, David Capless, chose to prosecute the teen under the draconian drug-free school zone laws of Massachusetts, which carries a two-year mandatory minimum sentence.

The community of Great Barrington formed a grassroots organization, Concerned Citizens for Appropriate Justice, that has spent the last two years fighting for justice on behalf of Mitchell Lawrence and other teenagers, who have been the targets of the poorly crafted and ineffective mandatory school zone laws of Massachusetts. They took out a quarter-page ad in their local paper, The Berkshire Eagle, on Sunday, timed with Mitchell's one-year anniversary of going to jail.

The Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) is working to educate people about the Mitchell Lawrence injustice!

You can view a short video of ours on YouTube.

DPA's Anthony Papa has an informative piece on Mitchell's case and the need to reform these ineffective and inhumane laws.

Posted 4/25/07

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