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NCJ Number: 118809 Find in a Library
Title: Constitutional Limits on the Criminal Sanction (From Drug Abuse and the Law Sourcebook, P 8.1-8.72, 1988, Gerald F Uelmen and Victor G Haddox, -- See NCJ-118803)
Author(s): G F Uelmen; V G Haddox
Date Published: 1988
Page Count: 91
Sponsoring Agency: Clark Boardman Company, Ltd
New York, NY 10014
Sale Source: Clark Boardman Company, Ltd
435 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10014
United States of America
Type: Training (Aid/Material)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This chapter addresses constitutional limits on the criminal sanctioning of drug-related behaviors in the areas of religious freedom, the right of privacy, cruel and unusual punishment, and vagueness.
Abstract: In considering cases involving the claim that State intervention to punish drug use may violate religious freedom, the issue involves the moderate use of a drug in the context of a ceremony or experience perceived by the users as part of their religious beliefs. The chapter advises that the State may abridge religious practices only upon a demonstration that some compelling State interest outweighs the defendants' interests in religious freedom. The cases at issue involve Indians' use of peyote as part of their religious ritual and the moderate use of marijuana to enhance what is perceived by the user as a religious experience. The case involving right to privacy is based on the claim that there is no legitimate State interest in prohibiting possession of marijuana by adults for personal use in view of the right to privacy. Claims of cruel and unusual punishment have been used in cases where the defense claims that the penalties attached to various drug offenses are disproportionate to the harm caused by the offenses compared to offenses with lesser sentences. The case involving drug laws that are unconstitutionally vague focuses on a drug paraphernalia ordinance claimed to be unconstitutionally vague and overbroad.
Main Term(s): Drug law offenses
Index Term(s): Cruel and unusual punishment; Religious freedom; Right of privacy
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