Lawyer Gal's Blog

A Young Lawyer's Perspective

A joint, a Jeep, and a guileless General Assembly

I’ve briefly skimmed lawyer’s blogs.  Note that I have never actually read a lawyer’s blog.  And I am not the type of person that under books on facebook says “I don’t read.”  Indeed, reading can be a highly pleasurable endeavor.  But I have yet to reach the pedantic snobbery that seems so synonymous with blogs penned by people with advanced degrees.  After all, anyone that openly admits to using Wiki to understand many an esoteric legal term or someone that eschews a commercial Bar prep course [hey, i saved $3 grand!] can’t possibly have any academic prowess, right?

Whether I graduated from Akron or Case, first or last, on law review or not, has no bearing on one simple tenet that seems to so frequently elude legal professionals:  people don’t care about statutes, cases or legislative material.  People want to know in a straight forward way how this minutia translates into their lives.  Just like when a client comes in facing criminal charges: they are scared, anxious and self-consumed.  They want to know how you will solve the problem, in simple terms, often repeated multiple times.  It is my theory that a blog should follow this model, lest it become just another “lawyer” blog.

Returning from that little foray, which actually has some bearing on the subject for today.  I am going to define the 3 terms:

-a joint is a rolled marijuana cigarette [lol not sure if this is known by all, but i assume it is]

-a jeep is a vehicle, often used by people who smoke joints

-the General Assembly is Ohio’s legislative body

-guileless= naive, artless

Ok, so how do these terms connect?  In a logical way, they absolutely don’t.  A joint has nothing to do with a Jeep; a Jeep should mean nothing to the General Assembly; and the majority of General Assembly members believe marijuana should be medicinally legal [but just lack the wherewithal to pass legislation].  Yet in its amazing mental acuity, the GA decided that it should somehow create a link to joints and jeeps [or any vehicle for that matter] through Automatic License Suspensions [herein referred to as ALS]. So, since I mentioned my adherence to straight-forward translations of legal minutia into effects on everyday life, here is an example:

A couple of young guys and gals are passing a joint in the woods at a local park. They had walked to the park.  A cop cruising around looking for this very behavior smells smoke [yes, cops will say in court that they recognize the smell of weed from “their professional training.” ehem. ya. ] The cop cites the youngins for marijuana possession.  This is a minor misdemeanor…no big deal, right?

Wrong, because when these folks go to court, the judge is going to hit them with an ALS for a minimum of 6 months.  Plus the court fine [which is usually $250].  Plus the $40 reinstatement fee.  Plus the cost of petitioning the court for driving privileges [either pay an attorney for a motion in some courts, or $15 at Stow].

It is absurd that the General Assembly gets involved with two completely unconnected things.

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May 12, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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