Smoking gun: Bell a callous enforcer, say pot reformers
Supporters of two bills on marijuana–- one to decriminalize possession of small quantities and one amending Virginia's on-the-books medical marijuana law–- accuse Delegate Rob Bell in a YouTube video of leading the charge to derail legislation that might have provided relief to cancer victims.
Michael Krawitz, with Virginians Against Drug Violence and Patients Out of Time, complains that Bell ignored human suffering and used "straw man" arguments during a January 27 subcommittee hearing by alleging that the measures would lower the penalties for an adult selling pot to a third grader–- an "inflammatory" allegation bearing little connection to the real world, says Krawitz.
Bell, however, says he remembers a respectful hearing, and that he questioned a witness who claimed decriminalization would save $75 million a year by keeping Virginia's 20,000 pot arrestees out of jail for 30 days.
"That was inaccurate," says Bell. "I can't recall a case where anyone spent 30 days in jail for pot."
The makers of the video "had an agenda," says Bell. "I am not as important as they think."