Good Judge or Bad Gamble in Nevada: Judge Orders Defendant To Write Report Criticizing Drug Policies as Punishment

Nevada Judge Dave Gamble has issued a curious sentence to a drug defendant. Matthew Palazzolo, 25, was ordered to write a report on the “nonsensical character” of medical marijuana laws and how pot is a gateway drug. In my view it is an improper sentence that should result in not just a reversal but a review of Gamble’s conduct.

Palazzolo works in a California law firm and was arrested in a casino parking lot in February after trying to sell a quarter pound of marijuana to an informant. While people have fought for the right to use medical marijuana, Palazzolo abused the process (and endangered its continuation) by securing a medical marijuana card based on his proven back pain. He admits that he got the card to sell pot — making him not just remarkably dishonest but callous.

However, that does not give a judge the right to order defendants to write reports supporting the judge’s political views. Gamble stated “[i]f this isn’t testimony to the absolute asininity of medical marijuana laws in California and the path Nevada is choosing. Here’s a young man with a bachelor’s degree and a rosy future and now is a potential felon. It’s just the height of stupidity.”

I have previously written (and here) about the increasing abuse meted out by judges using such novel sentencing. Here the judge is ordering a defendant to write a report supporting his opposition to a law and a general policy on medical marijuana. It not only violates the defendant’s constitutional rights but basic principles of judicial ethics.

Source: Courier Mail

Jonathan Turley

9 thoughts on “Good Judge or Bad Gamble in Nevada: Judge Orders Defendant To Write Report Criticizing Drug Policies as Punishment”

  1. Gamble is bad and should be disbarred. He lost in own children, went and adopted another one, and now none of his kids will have anything to do with him. He blame his ex-wife because he can’t take responsibility for his own chauvanistic controlling behavior. He has taken numerous children away from mothers to get back at his ex-wife. He is using personal bias as a way of manipulating the system to his own ego. He should be disbarred

  2. mespo,


  3. I imagine the essay goes something like this:

    Judge Dave Gamble has ordered me to write this essay of my own free will detailing my new-found (but entirely sincere and reason-based) criticisms of the wacko policy of legalizing or decriminalizing the use of marijuana for purely medicinal or private purposes. Prior to my encounter with this giant of the bench, (whose talents are grossly under-appreciated and under-utilized in this lowly state court position, I must say), I was under the delusion that freedom meant the right to do things that were pleasing or beneficial to me unless it imposed some restraint upon, or interfered with the unalienable rights of other of my fellow citizens. Judge Gamble has shown me the error of my thinking. He has disabused me of that piffle Jefferson’s thoroughly outmoded notion, that, “The freedom and happiness of man… [are] the sole objects of all legitimate government.”

    Through Judge Gamble’s guidance I have come to understand that promoting the pleasures or self-interest of its citizenry isn’t the sine qua non of my government — it’s promoting the tenets of the prevailing religion, of course, and happily– but quite unexpectedly– it happens to be Judge Gamble’s religion, too. You see the Good Book that sits right on the Judge’s bench says pleasure is a “sin,” and “sin,” well that’s to be avoided at all costs.

    We here in America hate “sin” or at least we do now ever since Jerry and Pat and Jimmy went on TV on Sundays to explain to us that our every waking and sleeping moment is under the watchful eye of an ever-present nanny, bent on chronically our every mis-step or fall into pleasure. To avoid the stern rebuke of this nanny, that damns us to unquenchable fire and nightmarish suffering when we die, the good people of the U.S. have set in motion an entire machinery designed to stop sin in its tracks and gently encourage –through decades of imprisonment — the faithful to remain just that.

    As that bastard, atheist Sam Harris correctly quoting secular scripture for his own nefarious purposes:

    Each year, over 1.5 million men and women are arrested in the United States because of our drug laws. At this moment, somewhere on the order of 400,000 men and women languish in U.S. prisons for nonviolent drug offences. One million others are currently on probation. More people are imprisoned for nonviolent drug offences in the United States than are incarcerated, for any reason, in all of Western Europe (which has a larger population). The cost of these efforts, at the federal level alone, is nearly $20 billion dollars annually. The total cost of our drug laws—when one factors in the expense to state and local governments and the tax revenue lost by our failure to regulate the sale of drugs—could easily be in excess of $100 billion dollars each year. Our war on drugs consumes an estimated 50 percent of the trial time of our courts and the full-time energies of over 400,000 police officers. These are resources that might otherwise be used to fight violent crime and terrorism. ( The End of Faith)

    So what if we spend ourselves into oblivion? So what if we incarcerate every adult person for any manner of pleasure seeking? Why should we care about the broken families, the lost resources, or the societal good we could do with an extra 20 Billion or so dollars, each and every year? It’s the root of all evil, you know! We have kept faith with our celestial watcher, and in doing so we have insured our place in the magical kingdom where the rivers flow with milk and honey.

    As that heathen Harris notes, “Anyone who believes that God is watching us from beyond the stars will feel that punishing peaceful men and women for their private pleasure is perfectly reasonable.” And alas it is reasonable to about 80% of our population and too the good Judge Gamble who has opened my eyes, raised my consciousness, cleansed me of my sins, and made me anew in his own image.

    Thank you, Judge Gamble. I am one with the flock, and like that prodigal child of old,I have returned to the straight and narrow, with the zeal of the true believer. I will not tolerate ideas challenging any first century morality or theology, content in the knowledge that time, experience, and scientific achievement could not possibly add one thing of importance or one iota of improvement on the beliefs of illiterate, tribal, nomads crisscrossing the Mid-East desert fleeing from savage marauders, all the while searching for their god who would lead them to the paradise they now enjoy nestled between their legions of admirers.

    I now know the way, the truth, and the life I must lead as I walk with the faithful to our inevitable reward. That revelation was the point of this exercise, wasn’t it my dear jurist?

  4. QUOTE “that they are going to go out on a killing spree of innocent people for.”

    that they are NOT going to go out on a killing spree of innocent people for

  5. QUOTE “how pot is a gateway drug”

    Yeah, thanks to our government that lumps ALL drugs together. Then kids try pot & see it’s not that bad, so then think they may have been lied to about other drugs as well.

    Its time to stop the useless “War on Drugs”. It has been ‘officially’ going on for DECADES, and there is no end in sight.

    It took 13 years of prohibition, to find out it was never going to work. They didn’t repeal prohibition because booze was determined to now be healthy for people. They repealed it to get rid of all the crime & corruption associated with it.

    And all the cost in policing, prosecuting, and imprisoning people.

    Would you send a buddy that offered you a beer from his six pack to prison for as many years as some get for drugs?
    Basically that’s what you are doing with drug laws. And might have done during prohibition when it was illegal. The morality of the situation never changed, ONLY THE LAWS.
    And since when is having the punishment worse than the offense done any good?

    You can NOT regulate something that is illegal. The only way to regulate something is to legalize it.

    Somehow, we haven’t learned that lesson on the “War on Drugs” yet.

    Lets get rid of the gangs, the disease, the corruption, the expense, & the abuse of rights associated with this problem.

    Legalize them all and regulate them, so we can get the freaks off the worst of them, and get them medicated on something that they are going to go out on a killing spree of innocent people for.

    You can’t continue to do the same thing and expect a different result, that would be insanity.

  6. write a report? as in go to your room and don’t come out till you see whatcha did wrong?

  7. The report should have been on how marijuana prohibition laws are as ridiculous as a judge handing down a sentence to write a report.

  8. I would make him write a report on the effect of fetal alcohol consumption and becoming president. I think W could have an entire book written…..

    This sentence is a little excessive.

Comments are closed.