Wednesday, December 13

Should a Grandmother's Home be Taken Over a Positive Test For Marijuana?

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Marc Anthony Laquinn Buchanan, 27, was arrested Wednesday after testing positive for marijuana use, according to court records.

Buchanan was out on bond after being arrested in 2009. Buchanan’s grandmother had posted the $50,000 property bond.

Buchanan is awaiting trial on charges of attempted murder, first-degree assault, fleeing and evading police, possession of    a handgun by a convicted felon, possession of a controlled substance and tampering with physical evidence. These charges stem from an incident where Buchanan is accused of shooting and causing “serious physical injury” to Officer Nicholas Whitcomb during a footchase.

The Commonwealth Attorney’s Office wants Judge Ishmael to revoke his bond. This would most likely lead to the loss of Buchanan’s grandmother’s home. Judge Ishmael has refused to do this and, I believe, rightly so.

Mr. Buchanan stands accused but is presumed innocent until proven guilty. I don’t know all of the details of the case, however, bonds are set to make sure the accused show up for their court date. I believe the bond was appropriate and efficient. The comments left after the article posted on Kentucky.com tend to disagree. http://www.kentucky.com/2010/09/23/1447397/lexington-man-charged-in-officers.html?mi_pluck_action=comment_submitted&qwxq=7993217#Comments_Container

The issue at hand is the positive test for marijuana. Should a grandmother’s home be taken because Buchanan tested positive for marijuana while awaiting pre-trial?

I could argue for days about mis-information regarding marijuana. However, I’ll just point out that the last thing marijuana would do is make Buchanan violent or dangerous. I’ll leave it up to the comments section to debate the pros and cons of marijuana and whether or not it should be legalized.

Judge Ishmael made the right decision by weighing the issues and making a calm, level-headed ruling. Buchanan knew the rules of his release, yes. Testing positive for marijuana was a violation of his release. However, did the marijuana make Buchanan dangerous or more likely to evade prosecution? No. Would justice be served by taking away the home of his grandmother? No. Would the judge be causing more pain, grief and heartache for the grandmother, family and friends of Buchanan by doing this? Yes.

I tend to be critical of the Lexington courtrooms and the legal community due to past and present experience. Today, I praise Judge Ishmael for realizing that sometimes rules and laws are not written in stone. Justice is best served with a touch of wisdom.

Thank you, Judge Ishmael, you’ve got my vote.

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