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Opening Arguments

Pot prisoners

At first glance, this doesn't seem right, and yet . . .

You'd have to be living under a rock to not know about what's happening in Colorado - it's marijuana mayhem! Weed has finally become legal for retail sale in that state, and more might follow. And yet, there are still hundreds of marijuana convicts sitting in jail.

And apparently, not granting "retroactive ameliorative relief" is official policy.

We know about the inappropriateness of ex post facto laws. If I do something on Wednesday, and it's made illegal on Thursday, the cops shouldn't come looking for me on Friday. Shouldn't it work the other way, too? If I do something that's illegal on Wednesday, and it becomes legal on Thursday, shouldn't I be let out of jail on Friday?

On the other hand, I am still a criminal, because I knowingly violated the law. Even if the act has since become legal, I've demonstrated that I'm willing to ignore the law. Wouldn't it be risky to turn me loose?