NEW YORK - Police busted nearly 400,000 people for carrying small amounts of pot in the last decade, making New York City the world leader in marijuana arrests, civil rights advocates said Tuesday while unveiling a study criticizing the war on drugs.
Police officials _ who have long argued that the low level drug arrests help drive down more serious crime _ countered by saying the report's data was flawed and its findings misleading.
The study by Queens College sociologist Harry G. Levin, titled "Marijuana Arrest Crusade," accused police of purposely singling out minorities during the 10-year crackdown. It said that data provided by state Division of Criminal Justice Services showed that between 1997 and 2007, 52 percent of the suspects were black, 31 percent Hispanic and only 15 percent white.
The findings are further proof that "racial profiling is a fact of life on the streets of New York," Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, told a news conference at the group's Manhattan headquarters.
NEW YORK - Police busted nearly 400,000 people for carrying small amounts of pot in the last decade, making New York City the world leader in marijuana arrests, civil rights advocates said Tuesday while unveiling a study criticizing the war on drugs.
Washington - A 56-year old man has been taken off of a transplant list because he used Medical Marijuana. He is dying of a failing liver.
The University of Washington Medical Center has stated that since the man used Medical Marijuana, he cannot be considered for a transplant.
He used the Medical Marijuana for the relief of hepatitis C symptoms.
Doctors stated that they use Medical Marijuana as a way to gauge whether or not a patient can handle the treatment needed for a full transplant.
Needless to say though, the man, Timothy Garon, could now die because he has been denied his transplant.
April 25, 1894: The Indian Hemp Drug Commission concludes that cannabis has no addictive properties, some medical uses, and a number of positive emotional and social benefits.
April 27, 1937: In a statement before the US House of Representative Ways and Means Committee, Clinton Hester testifies that a Washington Times editorial published shortly before Congress held its first hearing on the marijuana issue argued: "The fatal marihuana cigarette must be recognized as a deadly drug and American children must be protected against it."
May 1, 1972: Nobel Prize laureate for economics Milton Friedman is quoted in Newsweek: "Legalizing drugs would simultaneously reduce the amount of crime and raise the quality of law enforcement. Can you conceive of any other measure that would accomplish so much to promote law and order?"
April 25, 2000: Despite the formal opposition of the Hawaiian Catholic Church, the Hawaii State Senate passes medical marijuana legislation, joining California, Oregon, Washington, Maine, Alaska, and Arizona in shielding medical marijuana patients from criminal prosecution.
May 1, 2003: The Illicit Drug Anti-Proliferation Act of 2003 (IDAPA) is signed into law, among other things amending a section of the Controlled Substances Act to target rave organizers. It shifts the statute's emphasis from punishing those who establish places where drugs are made and consumed, such as "crack houses," to those who knowingly maintain "drug-involved premises," including outdoor events such as rock concerts. In addition to the criminal penalties in the original statute, the amended statute adds a civil penalty, thereby lowering the standard of proof from beyond a reasonable doubt to a preponderance of evidence.
Bill Would Forbid Employers From Firing Based on Medi-Pot Status
Sacramento, CA: AB 2279, a measure that would protect Californians from being fired from their jobs for their state-licensed medical cannabis use outside of the workplace was approved by the Assembly Labor Committee in a 6-2 vote on April 17th. It will now head to the Assembly floor for a vote in the near future.
The bill seeks to reverse a January California Supreme Court ruling in Ross v. RagingWire that held that an employer may fire someone solely on the basis of their medical cannabis use during non-work hours. In that decision, the Court ruled 5-2 against plaintiff Gary Ross.
The measure would not change existing state law prohibiting medical cannabis consumption at the workplace, and would exempt safety-sensitive positions from the new requirements.
For more information, contact NORML Legal Director Keith Stroup at (202) 486-5500. Constituents in California can write their Assemblymembers in support of this bill at: http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=11090156.
This from Drug Policy Alliance :-
In an important blow to the White House's efforts to expand student drug testing around the country, the Washington State Supreme Court on Thursday, March 13, 2008, unanimously held that the Wahkiakum School District's student drug testing policy targeting student athletes is unconstitutional and violates students' rights under the Washington State Constitution.
The Drug Policy Alliance was joined by the Washington Education Association (WEA) in contributing to this important decision by filing an amicus curiae (friend-of-the-court) brief arguing that random student drug testing is unsupported by scientific research, may deter students from participating in extracurricular activities, undermines trust in student-teacher relationships while creating a hostile school environment and may evoke oppositional behavior in students who may try to "beat" the test, among other concerns.
"The Washington State Supreme Court should be praised for making a principled decision based on the State's constitution that random student drug testing is a serious and unwarranted intrusion by the state on the bodies and privacy of students," said Jennifer Kern, Youth Policy Manager at the Drug Policy Alliance. "The decision, while grounded in constitutional principles, is all the stronger for coinciding with good public policy. Random student drug testing is ineffective, unreliable and counterproductive. Such programs waste valuable resources and distract from developing proven interventions that prevent and reduce harmful drug use by students."
Thanks to Stopthedrugwar.org
A perverted Oklahoma sheriff gets indicted, an Atlanta narc goes on trial, an Indiana jail guard goes to jail, a Santa Fe narc doesn't -- and a cop who made these pages three years ago is found not guilty.
We do try to follow these stories to their endings, but we don't catch everything. If there is anyone else out there who has an update we haven't mentioned, please send it on to us. In the meantime, let's get to it:
In Arapaho, Oklahoma, the Custer County Sheriff resigned April 16 as state prosecutors filed a 35-count indictment charging him with coercing and bribing female inmates to participate in sex acts. Now former Custer County Sheriff Mike Burgess faces 14 counts of second-degree rape, seven counts of forcible oral sodomy, and five counts of bribery by a public official, among other charges. A federal lawsuit filed by 12 former inmates alleges that Burgess and his employees had them participate in wet T-shirt contests and gave cigarettes to inmates who would flash their breasts. He also allegedly had sex with a female drug court participant after telling her she would be sent to prison if she didn't satisfy his sexual demands. Another prisoner alleges she was given trusty status after agreeing to perform a sex act on Burgess, but lost that status when she later refused. He also faces two counts each of sexual battery, rape by instrumentation, and subornation of perjury. It being Oklahoma, Burgess now faces 467 years in prison.
In Atlanta, an Atlanta police officer involved in the November 2006 raid that resulted in the death of 92-year-old Kathryn Johnston went on trial this week in connection with her killing. Officer Arthur Tesler was one of three officers charged in the case, in which they ginned up a story to get a search warrant at her address, did a no-knock entry, then shot and killed Johnston after she opened fire on them as they burst through her door. They then planted marijuana in her basement and asked another informant to lie in an attempt to cover up their errors. Former officers Gregg Junnier and Jason Smith pleaded guilty to state charges of voluntary manslaughter and a federal charge of violating her constitutional rights and are now in federal prison awaiting sentencing. Tesler, the only one to go to trial, is charged with the lesser crimes of making a false statement to an investigator, violating his oath of office and unlawful imprisonment. He faces up to 15 years in federal prison if convicted.
In Pendleton, Indiana, a Pendleton Correctional Facility guard was arrested April 15 after police found 3.2 pounds of marijuana in his car. Tracy McGrady faces charges of bribery, trafficking with an inmate, official misconduct, and possession of marijuana over 30 grams. Police say she hid drugs in containers of frozen food to smuggle them into the prison. McGrady went down after another guard inside the prison tipped off authorities.
In Santa Fe, New Mexico, a former Santa Fe police detective was sentenced April 17 to three years probation for stealing money seized from a drug suspect. Former Det. Danny Ramirez, 48, had pleaded guilty January 22 to one count of theft after being caught stealing $5,000 during the May 2006 drug arrest. He was also fined $1,000.
In Chicago, a former Maywood police officer was acquitted April 15 of charges he tipped off a local gang leader about a police drug raid in 2005. Former Officer Arian Wade, 36, had been charged with criminal drug conspiracy and official misconduct after an investigation by the Cook County state's attorney's office and Cook County sheriff's police. The misconduct charge was dropped before trial. During the two-week jury trial, prosecutors alleged that phone calls between wade and a drug suspect were aimed at helping him evade law enforcement, but the defense successfully argued that Wade was grooming him as an informant and feeding him false information to ingratiate himself. The jury deliberated for four hours before delivering the not guilty verdict.
Amsterdam - The chairman of the Dutch police union NPB Hans van Duijn says it is pointless to fight against the supply of cannabis. He thinks it only leads to more crime and he would much rather see soft drugs legalised in The Netherlands. Further, Hans van Duijn is in favour of letting long time addicts use hard drugs under supervision. In his opinion this is the only way to effectively fight drug related crime.
Drug crimes take up a great deal of the police's time and energy and other crime issues suffer from it, says the retiring NPB chairman. He thinks most senior police officers feel the same way.
According to Hans van Duijn, Dutch politicians are reluctant to look at the possibilities of legalising soft drugs. Under international pressure they prefer to put their heads in the sand, says Mr Van Duijn.
Photo not Ron Oveson
In his blog a guy named Ron Oveson tells his story and why he hopes the Minnesota Medical Marijuana bill should go through:-
"In my family, we don't break the law. But what should I do when marijuana does more to ease my disease than any other drug?" Ron Oveson.
Since 1989, I've been fighting a rare disorder called neurosarcoidosis, which causes my body to produce antibodies to my own tissues, including my spinal cord and brain. My symptoms are severe and have included sporadic paralysis in my legs and left arm; nausea and vomiting; extreme pain in my extremities, and muscle spasms, some of which cause me to freeze in bizarre positions because opposing muscles contract simultaneously.
In the spring of 2001, the disease began to affect my thyroid gland. My heart rate increased dramatically, and my digestive system sped up, moving food through my system so fast it was largely undigested. My body's reaction was to violently expel any food I attempted to eat. I spent weeks in the hospital, losing about 70 of my 190 pounds. We tried dozens of drugs, to no avail.
Finally, my doctor suggested I try marijuana. He felt that even a small dose could relieve my nausea and potentially enable me to gain back some of my weight.
It was unlike any of the other drugs my doctor had prescribed. Not only did it stop my nausea, but it enabled me to eat a meal for the first time in months.
The fact that I was breaking the law was deeply troubling, however. In my family, we simply don't commit crimes.
Luckily, my thyroid gland eventually returned to normal, and I was able to discontinue using marijuana, which was a relief. I hated the whole process of dealing with an illegal drug.
The thyroid problems have returned several times, and I've had only the occasional ability to obtain marijuana. When I had it, I could live a functional life. When I didn't, I had to use the prescription drugs, which basically reduced my nausea by making me sleep all the time. How absurd that I had to make myself nearly comatose in order to get relief!
It's been two years since I used marijuana, because I simply can't stand to participate in the criminal market. I have to be at my wit's end -- miserable to the point where my upbringing and my law-abiding personality are trumped by my agony. No one should be forced into that position.
Ron's full story can be seen here http://www.startribune.com/opinion/commentary/18023789.html
Auburn police officer Jamie Douglas and his drug-sniffing dog Gunner, walk past containers of fertilizer during an investigation inside Scitek Garden Supply in Auburn.
The owners of two garden supply shops, charged with conspiracy and money laundering, appeared before a U.S. Magistrate today while police and Drug Enforcement Administration agents searched more than two dozens cars and homes during early morning raids.
At a news conference this afternoon, First Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Bartlett, flanked by DEA Special-Agent-in-Charge Arnold Moorin, said the 13-month investigation involved seizure of more than 15,000 marijuana plants — more than 800 this morning alone — and $65,000 cash. A number of cars and homes were seized and agents expected to arrest more than dozen others on state and federal charges by the end of the day.
The investigation also led to the search of a Kent mortgage company. Agents say 19 of the 27 marijuana grow-houses raided in the past year were financed using the services of the mortgage company. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Vogel, who has overseen the investigation, said no charges have been filed against mortgage company officials, but that the investigation is ongoing.
Agents raided and shut down Scitek Garden Supply in Auburn and Greenhouse & Garden Supply in Tukwila. Between August 2006 and February of this year, agents allege more than $1 million moved through personal and business accounts associated with Scitek Garden Supply
The defendants are charged with conspiracy and money-laundering.
Already in custody before today's raids were Thiet Van Tran and Quyen The Nguyen. The indictments identified Nguyen as the owner of Greenhouse & Garden Supply, and is accused of providing horticultural supplies to indoor marijuana growers, including "starter marijuana plants." Similar allegations are made in the indictment against Scitek and its various owners.
An out-of-state group opposed to medical marijuana is already airing a television ad attacking the Michigan medical marijuana initiative. This outrageously false ad lies to the public, claiming that “every major health organization rejects” medical marijuana.
To the contrary, numerous major health organizations support medical marijuana access and even call on the government to change the law and stop arresting medical marijuana patients – including the American College of Physicians, American Nurses Association, American Public Health Association, American Academy of HIV Medicine, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Lymphoma Foundation of America, AIDS Action Council, American Academy of HIV Medicine, National Association of People With AIDS, and many others.
Since our well-financed opposition is swarming the airwaves with false and fear-mongering ads, it's crucial that we have the funds to fully execute our campaign plan,
If you want to donate $10 to fight the lies, let sick people decide for themselves which is the best medicine without fear of arrest and possible imprisonment you can donate here :- Michigan Coalition for Compassionate Care P.O. Box 20489 Ferndale, MI 48220
Washington, DC: US Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA) introduced legislation in Congress Friday to strip the federal government of its authority to arrest responsible adult cannabis consumers. The measure, H.R. 5843, known as an “Act to Remove Federal Penalties for Personal Use of Marijuana by Responsible Adults,” is the first federal decriminalization legislation introduced in 24 years. Frank’s pending bill, co-sponsored by presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), seeks to eliminate all federal penalties prohibiting the personal use and possession of up to 100 grams (3 1/2 ounces) of marijuana. Under this measure, adults who consume cannabis would no longer face arrest, prison, or even the threat of a civil fine. The bill also eliminates all penalties for the not-for-profit transfers of up to one ounce of pot. All are encouraged to write their representatives in support of this important legislation via NORML’s online advocacy system.
Enough is Enough: Petition to Stop the Reckless Drug Raids
In November 2006, 92-year-old Kathryn Johnston was killed by police during a raid conducted at the wrong house. Ms. Johnston fired at the police officers as they were breaking in through her living room window. Three officers were injured, but Ms. Johnston was struck 39 times and died at the scene.
In July 2007, Mike Lefort, 61, and his mother, Thelma, 83, were surprised and thrown to the ground when Thibodeau, Louisiana police burst into the wrong house with a "no knock" warrant. Thelma suffered from a spike in her blood pressure and had a difficult time overcoming the shock.
In March 2007, masked police officers in Jacksonville, Florida, mistakenly burst into the home of Willie Davis, grandfather of murdered DreShawna Davis, and his mentally disabed son. The pair were forced to the ground, where they watched helplessly as police tore apart the memorabilia from DreShawn's funeral. The drug sale that never happened was said to involve all of two crack rocks worth $60.
One would think after Atlanta police killed 92-year-old Kathryn Johnston, that they would get the idea, but they haven't. On Friday, 1/4/08, a SWAT team, serving an ordinary drug search warrant, invaded the Ohio home of Tarika Wilson -- an innocent woman -- shot and killed her, and shot her one-year-old son. "They went in that home shooting," her mother said at a vigil that night. The boy lost at least one of his fingers. Two dogs were shot too.
SWAT teams were created to deal with extreme situations, not routine ones. Yet police now conduct tens of thousands of SWAT raids every year, mostly in low-level drug enforcement. The result is that people like Wilson and Johnston continue to die in terror, with many thousands more having to go on living with trauma. But it's all for a drug war that has failed and can't be made to work.
It's time to rein in the SWAT teams. Please sign our online petition: "Enough is Enough: Petition to Limit Paramilitary Police Raids in America." A copy will be sent in your name to your US Representative and Senators, your state legislators, your governor, and the president. When you're done, please tell your friends and please spread the word wherever you can.
This is a first step. Take it with us today, and there can be more. Enough is enough -- no more needless deaths from reckless SWAT raids!
Visit http://stopthedrugwar.org/policeraids for more information about this issue, including our October Zogby poll showing that 66% of Americans, when informed about the issue, don't think police should use aggressive entry tactics when doing routine drug enforcement.
StoptheDrugWar.org (still known to many of our readers as DRCNet, the Drug Reform Coordination Network), is an international organization working for an end to drug prohibition worldwide and for reform of drug policy and the criminal justice system in the US. Visit http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle for the latest issue of our acclaimed weekly newsletter, Drug War Chronicle.
In March 2008 DC police unveiled the Safe Homes initiative, this would send police officers door to door in high crime areas asking residents for permission to search their homes for illegal guns.
In response, local groups ACLU, ACORN and Flex Your Rights also went door to door in one of the targeted neighborhoods, Washington Highlands, the goal was educate residents about the 4th Amendment right to refuse these unwarranted police searches.
This from the video makers :-About 1:35 into the video, a woman mistakes us for the police and gives us consent to search. It's funny, but it also proves our point about why this information is needed. For all she knows, someone could have left some marijuana under her couch cushion that could get her kicked out of public housing. Giving consent is never the smart choice during a police encounter. If you need a refresher, watch this.
Thanks to Stopthedrugwar.org
Problems in the crime lab in Tucson, a small-town Georgia cop gets caught redhanded, and a Georgia sheriff's deputy follows in his father's not so illustrious footsteps. Let's get to it:
In Tucson, a police crime lab supervisor has resigned after being accused of stealing drug evidence. Steve Skowron, a veteran of the department for more than two decades, went down after requesting leave for personal reasons on February 27. When a fellow lab employee went to his work station to get items needed for testing, he discovered unsealed packages of drugs with the drugs missing. Tucson police said Skowron was taking the drugs for his personal use. Still, the Pima County Attorney's Office now plans to reopen up to 200 cases Skowron was involved in. He is currently accused of mishandling evidence in six criminal cases between December 2004 and January 2006. No charges have yet been filed.
In Homerville, Georgia, a Lakeland police officer was arrested April 10 for possession of powder cocaine, crack cocaine, and other drugs. Lakeland Police Officer Brian King, 25, will be charged with four counts of possession of drugs with the intent to distribute, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. King was fired last week.
In Rome, Georgia, a former Bartow County deputy sheriff faces sentencing next month after pleading guilty to federal embezzlement charges. Former Deputy Brenton Garmon stole $80,493 in money seized in drug busts between 2004 and 2007 while making a reputation for himself as the department's best narc. He is now working for an industrial services company while awaiting sentencing. Garmon is upholding a family tradition: His father, James Garmon, was a veteran Georgia Bureau of Investigation officer when he was arrested and ultimately convicted of bribery for collecting $1,600 in cash from a pawn shop that bought 81 guns seized by his son's drug unit. He did a year in a federal prison camp before getting out last fall.
Today, a bill to eliminate all federal penalties for marijuana possession was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.
"The Personal Use of Marijuana by Responsible Adults Act of 2008," introduced by Congressman Barney Frank (D-Mass.), would eliminate the threat of arrest and prison for the possession of up to 3.5 ounces of marijuana and/or the not-for-profit transfer of up to one ounce of marijuana. It would not affect federal laws prohibiting selling marijuana for profit, importing and exporting marijuana, or cultivating marijuana. It also would not affect any state or local laws and regulations.
Because almost all marijuana arrests are made by local and state police, the primary impact of this federal bill is twofold: First, it would offer protection to people who are apprehended with marijuana in federal buildings or on federal land (such as national parks); and, second, the bill sends a message to state governments that the federal government is now open to the notion of states reducing their marijuana penalties, too.
This historic legislation comes 36 years after the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse made a similar recommendation to President Richard Nixon, suggesting that he decriminalize small amounts of marijuana.
MPP has worked closely with Congressman Frank’s staff over the last year, helping to craft the legislation and build political support for the proposal on Capitol Hill.
Now that the bill has been introduced, members of Congress need to hear from their constituents who want to see it passed. It takes only a minute or two to use MPP’s online action system to send a quick note to your member of the House.
Thanks so much for your help.
This is the first in a series of ads being released in Minnesota, featuring patients urging Governor Pawlenty not to veto the Medical Marijuana bill. The first ad features Medical Marijuana patient Lynn Rubenstein Nicholson of Minneapolis, who suffers intractable pain after enduring 10 surgeries following a severe back injury.
Please take a minute to e-mail Gov. Pawlenty and urge him not to veto the medical marijuana bill.
You can also click here to send the governor an e-mail using our automated system.
You can contact Marijuana Policy Project HERE
NANAIMO -- Pam Edgar has won her fight to have the provincial government pay for a device she says is needed for her to use marijuana to ease symptoms of multiple sclerosis.
The government, which earlier refused to pay for a $200 marijuana vapourizer, has been forced to reverse its decision following the unanimous decision of an appeal tribunal.
Pam Edgar has been legally using marijuana for two years to help reduce the pain of her multiple sclerosis, but as an asthmatic, the smoke causes other health problems. Vapourized pot allows her to inhale cannabinoids from marijuana without any of the carcinogens that tighten and block the airways to her lungs.
Edgar is one of 2,200 Canadians who carry and smoke pot under the marijuana medical access regulations, but she could be the first in B.C. to have the province pay for a device that allows her to obtain the benefits of the plant without any smoke.
Given the minimal cost of the vapourizer, she wonders why she had to endure such a "daunting" tribunal.
After the Ministry of Employment and Income Assistance denied her request for a vapourizer, Edgar appealed the decision and went through a three-month tribunal process that cost more than double the price of her $200 Vapor Daddy.
This from an article in Times Colonist wwwcanada.com
For info on Vapourizers there is a blog dedicated to them written by the Medical Marijuana user in the story above HERE
Health Canada served notice Monday it will soon invite firms to bid on a contract to cultivate and distribute medical marijuana, which is now being done in Flin Flon, Man., by Prairie Plant Systems Inc.
The winning firm will be expected to deliver a steady stream of government-approved dope to certified medical, users starting in the fall.
Health Canada has said it plans to eventually end its licensing of home-grown weed. That would force all medical users to buy their supplies directly from Ottawa, perhaps through pharmacy distribution, Ron Marzel, a Toronto lawyer who recently brought the matter before the Federal Court on behalf of a group of medical users, says he's concerned about any monopoly on legal production and supply of the drug.
"The government's just had such a horrible track record in terms of supplying medication to patients," he said "There are many different strains of cannabis out there and the government's position to date has been, 'Well, we're growing one strain and we've got one supplier and that's it. Live with it, "The pharmacological evidence is that different ailments require, and different symptomology require, treatment with different strains. And the government hasn't paid heed to that at all".
The Federal Court decision in January struck down a key restriction in the government's pot program.
A judge's ruling eased Ottawa's grip on medical marijuana by allowing growers to supply the drug to more than one user. Prior to the ruling, each licensed grower could supply only one licensed user.
The Marijuana industry in British Columbia generated about 7 billion Canadian dollars last year ($7 billion U.S.), making it one of the most lucrative industries in the Canadian province. Now the easygoing attitude that has long surrounded marijuana in Canada is under attack.
Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper is calling for a cultural shift, to be enforced by what his political opponents are calling an American-style 'war on drugs'. He has introduced legislation that would set mandatory minimum jail sentences for marijuana growers and traffickers, and stepped up enforcement of laws already on the books and is seeking more money for enforcement and prosecution.
What we are up against ... is a culture that since the 1960s has at the minimum not discouraged drug use and romanticized it or made it cool, made it acceptable," Harper said
Starting with the efforts of a group of American war resisters in the 1970s, British Columbia has been at the forefront of Canada's marijuana industry. By 2000, pot was grown in 17,500 homes in the province, said a study by Simon Fraser University economist Steve Easton. In 2001, the Canadian government showed a tolerance for cannabis by becoming the first nation to regulate its consumption for medical reasons.
According to the United Nations' 2007 World Drug Report, Canadians use marijuana more than any country in Europe, Asia or Latin America.
Providence, RI: The Rhode Island Senate Committee on Health and Human Services unanimously approved Senate Bill 2693 Wednesday. S 2693, along with its companion bill, House Bill 7888, would regulate the distribution of medical marijuana by allowing a non-profit state-licensed facility to provide medical marijuana to Rhode Island's licensed patients. Earlier in the week, the committee heard testimony in favor of the bill from state-licensed patient Buddy Coolen of Warwick, who was recently robbed at gunpoint while attempting to obtain the cannabis he is permitted under state law.
Meanwhile, the Rhode Island House Health, Education, and Welfare Committee held a hearing, but took no action on House Bill 7888 on Tuesday.
While the Senate version was approved overwhelmingly in committee, the reception was decidedly cooler on the House side. Chairman Joseph McNamara (D) said that he "didn’t see a lot of general support for this legislation at this time," while chief sponsor Rep. Thomas Slater (D) said that as a compromise, the creation of a commission to study the problem was likely, with an emphasis on passing legislation next session based on its recommendations.
Governor Carcieri vetoed the initial legislation to create a medical cannabis statute in Rhode Island, which was overridden by the legislature. The Democrat-dominated legislature has regularly overridden the Governor’s anti-medical cannabis veto in the past.
If both the House and the Senate pass different versions of the bills, a conference committee will have to come up with a compromise bill. Given that any bill will likely need the votes to override a veto, it is likely that the final bill would be similar to the House version.
Thanks to Stopthedrugwar.org
A sticky-fingered Pennsylvania cop causes a DA to drop some drug cases, a pill-pushing Massachusetts cop resigns, and an unnamed New Mexico narc is under investigation for undeclared misdeeds. Let's get to it:
In Erie, Pennsylvania, an Erie police officer's theft of cocaine from the evidence locker has led to the dismissal of cocaine trafficking charges against four men. Erie County DA Brad Foulk dropped the charges April 3 after a police inspector testified that Lt. Robert Leibel had admitted stealing 28.5 grams of cocaine that was evidence in the case in November. Foulk said the charges should be dropped because the theft broke the chain of custody of the evidence in the case. Liebel, 46, has not been charged in the November theft, but is awaiting an April 29 preliminary hearing on charges he stole another 12 grams of cocaine on February 10. The disappearance of the cocaine in November led to the investigation that resulted in Liebel's arrest in the February case.
In Swampscott, Massachusetts, a Swampscott police officer facing federal drug charges has resigned. Officer Thomas Wrenn, 37, resigned Saturday, thwarting any disciplinary action by the town and leaving him entitled to resignation benefits, including pay for unused vacation and personal time. Wrenn had been placed on leave last month after he was arrested on federal charges he possessed oxycodone with the intent to distribute. Wrenn was busted after buying 50 Percocet pills from a snitch. He subsequently admitted to providing pills to five other people, including a former Nahant cop and four young women. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison.
In Albuquerque, a Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department narcotics officer is on paid leave while the department investigates claims of misconduct. Neither the officer's name nor the specifics of the misconduct have yet been revealed. The investigation began April 4.
MPP surprised all the political pundits when the final Minnesota House committee passed our medical marijuana bill with a 13-4 vote yesterday! The bill — which would protect Minnesota’s medical marijuana patients from arrest and jail — now heads to the House floor for the final battle ... meaning that Minnesota could be just two or three weeks away from becoming the 13th medical marijuana state.
We’re also making historic progress in Illinois, where our medical marijuana bill — which Illinois voters support by a whopping 67% to 27% margin — has cleared a major hurdle, passing the Senate Public Health Committee by a 6-4 vote last month, and is now slated for the Senate floor.
Anyone wishing to donate to MPP to fight Marijuana laws and put an end to outrageous sentencing as in the case of Tyrone Brown please go here
Tyrone Brown served 17 years of a life sentence for testing positive for marijuana while on probation for a $2 stickup committed when he was 17. No one involved was ever able to explain the severe penalty. Brown's victim in the holdup said he rarely thought about the incident, but pointed out that he was unharmed, that Brown returned the wallet to him after removing the $2, and that police apprehended Brown and recovered the money that same evening. Neither Brown's attorney in the trial nor the court-appointed lawyer who handled his appeal said they could even remember the case. Brown was released from prison on March 15, 2007.
HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif.—Acting on court orders, Huntington Beach police returned 30 grams of pot taken from a medical marijuana patient last year.
An appellate court ruled in a Garden Grove case that seized medical marijuana must be returned to a patient, and three weeks ago the California Supreme Court declined to review the appeals court ruling.
That meant Huntington Beach resident David Alan Lucas could retrieve his high-grade purple urkel marijuana and a couple of smoking pipes. The 43-year-old man, who uses pot to relieve stress, says he's surprised to get it back.
Police Capt. Chuck Thomas says the department is complying with the court order. California voters in 1996 approved the Compassionate Use Act allowing medical marijuana use.
BOSTON (Reuters) - Drug dealers looking for extra profits apparently added lead flakes to packets of marijuana, inflating their value while causing dozens of cases of serious poisoning, doctors in Germany reported on Wednesday
Franzika Busse of University Hospital Leipzig reported.
"One package contained obvious lead particles; this strongly indicated that the lead was deliberately added to the package rather than inadvertently incorporated into the marijuana plants from contaminated soil," the researchers wrote in a letter to the New England Journal of Medicine.
The problem was discovered last year when the first of 29 patients, aged 16 to 33, started showing up in four Leipzig hospitals with abdominal cramps, fatigue, nausea and varying degrees of anemia. One was ill enough to be suffering from hallucinations.
It took eight weeks to uncover a common pattern: all were young, smoked, had body piercings and were either students or unemployed. All regularly used marijuana.
Three patients brought in their stashes. All samples tested positive for lead contamination, with one having lead flakes that were obvious under a microscope.
After two more weeks, an anonymous screening program for marijuana users uncovered 95 other people who needed treatment.
Of course if you let Al Capone's descendants supply Marijuana to the world the purity can never be assured, you can bet that somewhere in Europe, there is some ruthless bastard turning lead into a powder that wont be as easily detected on the shipments, frightening huh!.
Judge rules search warrant served on CannaHelp invalid; D.A. to appeal (lets hope it isn't overturned)
The criminal case against the owner and managers of a Palm Desert medical marijuana dispensary was dealt a setback Friday when a judge invalidated the search warrant used to investigate the defendants, Prosecutors said they will appeal the ruling.
If the ruling is not overturned, the case will likely be dismissed for lack of evidence.
CannaHelp owner Stacy Hochanadel and his managers, James Campbell and John Bednar, all 31, were arrested in December 2006 and charged with felony possession of marijuana for sale, transport and sale of marijuana and keeping a place to sell controlled substances.
Marijuana and financial records were seized at CannaHelp, 73-359 El Paseo, in December 2006 during a raid by the Riverside County Sheriff's Department.
Riverside County Superior Court Judge David B. Downing said he looked at the facts carefully and concluded the three defendants were in compliance with the state's Compassionate Use Act, and that they were operating a "legitimate business."
He further concluded that the affidavit in support of the search warrant was flawed because Robert Garcia, the sheriff's investigator who prepared it - although familiar with drug cases - was not adequately trained in handling medical marijuana cases.
Tom Cruise is far from being over the moon after hearing that his name and image has been associated with a new strain of medical marijuana. The actor is even preparing a lawsuit against the manufacturers, as the New York Daily News reported.
The new strain of marijuana is marketed under the name of “Tom Cruise Purple,” also sporting a photo of the actor laughing hysterically. The drug is currently being commercialized in licensed marijuana clubs in Northern California, however employees of the Californian clinics declined to disclose any of the herbal varieties they make available for their clients.
There have been reports describing the strain as very strong and producing hallucinations.
Cruise is an adept of the Scientology religion, which forbade the use of any psychotropic drugs. Therefore the star’s attorneys are preparing a case against the strong brand of bud.
The “Mission: Impossible” star gave up Catholicism and became a member of the Church of Scientology in 1990, after he was cured of dyslexia by the Scientology teachings. He wedded his present wife Katie Holmes in 18 November 2006 in a castle in Italy and the ceremony was performed
April 6, 1995: ABC News airs a special entitled "America's War on Drugs: Searching for Solutions" in which legalization is presented as an alternative to the failing war on drugs.
April 6, 1998: Dr. Dennis Rosenbaum's six year study of 1,798 students, "Assessing the Effects of School-based Drug Education: A Six Year Multilevel Analysis of Project DARE," finds that "DARE had no long-term effects on a wide range of drug use measures," that DARE does not "prevent drug use at the stage in adolescent development when drugs become available and widely used, namely during the high school years," and that "DARE may actually be counterproductive."
April 9, 2002: NORML launches a $500,000 campaign featuring bus shelter signs and telephone booth posters carrying a quote from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who when asked whether he had ever tried marijuana said, "You bet I did. And I enjoyed it." NORML used Bloomberg as the centerpiece of its campaign to urge the city to stop arresting and jailing people for smoking marijuana. "Millions of people smoke marijuana today. They come from all walks of life, and that includes your own mayor," said NORML Executive Director Keith Stroud
April 10, 2003: In the wake of the federal conviction of medical marijuana grower Ed Rosenthal, US Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA) and 27 other members of Congress introduce H.R. 1717 (the "Truth in Trials Act").
With an initiative known as the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act headed for the November ballot with strong popular support, Michigan is poised to provide a major breakthrough for the medical marijuana movement. If the initiative passes, Michigan would be the first state in the Midwest to approve it and, with 10 million people, it would be the second most populous state to approve it, behind California.
Sponsored by the Michigan Coalition for Compassionate Care (MCCC), the campaign has already gathered the necessary signatures and had them approved by the state election board. Under Michigan law, the initiative is now before the legislature, which is half-way through a 40-day window it has in which to act. If, as is expected, the legislature does not act, the initiative goes to the voters in November.
Los Angeles, CA: The Los Angeles City Council voted 9-1 Wednesday to support SJR 20, a resolution in the California Legislature that asks "all federal law enforcement agencies to enforce federal drug laws relating to medical marijuana dispensaries and collectives in a manner consistent with the laws of the State of California."
The council urged the DEA to allow the city to regulate dispensaries. "We have put a moratorium in place on all new clinics until we develop regulations," Councilman Dennis Zine said after the vote. "Our goal is to bring the sale of medical marijuana under control so it is accessible to people who truly need it."
The DEA maintains that since marijuana continues to be illegal under federal law, raids will continue.
Councilwoman Janice Hahn deplored the DEA stance, saying, "We want to regulate [dispensaries] and we will. We want the DEA to respect the compassionate-use laws of California and other states."
Well another Friday, another bunch of bent cops
Thanks to Stopthedrugwar.org
Our corrupt cops are all southern-fried this week. An Atlanta narc cops a plea in fallout from the Kathryn Johnston case, a Mississippi cop heads for prison, a pair of Florida jail guards will be looking out from the other side of the bars, and a Florida sheriff has some problems in his department. Let's get to it:
In Atlanta, an Atlanta police narcotics sergeant pleaded guilty Monday to a federal civil rights charge for searching a residence without a warrant and trying to make it look like a break-in. Sgt. Wilbert Stallings, 44, a 23-year veteran of the force, faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for an October 2005 raid where his unit had a search warrant for marijuana for one apartment, but failed to find any inside. The team then broke into an adjoining apartment, but failed to find anyone or anything, and Stallings told the team to leave the apartment and shut the door so it appeared there had been a break-in. Stallings' demise is part of the fallout from the shooting of 92-year-old Kathryn Johnston in 2006 by Atlanta narcs. One of the narcs involved in that killing, Greg Junnier, was part of Stallings' team and had obtained the apartment search warrant. Prosecutors said the break-in was part of a pattern of misconduct by Stallings and his team.
In Natchez, Mississippi, a former Vicksburg police officer was sentenced Tuesday to 15 years in federal prison for taking bribes to protect what he thought were drug shipments. Kevin Williams, 37, was convicted of extortion last October in federal court. Prosecutors said Williams took bribes totaling $3,000 from undercover officers between November 2002 and May 2003, when he was serving as a sergeant in the city's narcotics division. He was indicted in March 2007 and arrested in Hawaii, where he was serving as an Army military police officer.
In Bartow, Florida, two Polk County Sheriff's Office detention deputies were arrested March 20 for smuggling marijuana into the Polk County Jail. Detention deputies Michael Redmond, 23, and Jarrett Brice, 34, are accused of accepting marijuana from the girlfriend of an inmate and delivering it to him. The girlfriend was also arrested. Cell phone text messages between the girlfriend and the inmate showed that six deliveries were made. Brice is also accused of altering inmate visitation records to cover up visits between the prisoner and the girlfriend and of warning Street that an investigation was underway. Both detention deputies have resigned, Street is in jail awaiting trial, and Brice is out on bail.
In New Port Richey, Florida, the arrests of two Pasco County sheriff's deputies on drug charges is leading the sheriff to evaluate hiring and drug-testing policies. Both deputies have been fired. Former Cpl. Donald Riggins is accused of conspiring to possess and distribute hydrocodone after using his patrol car to help steal $25,000 in drug money earlier this month. Former detention Cpl. Rodney Philon is accused of dealing anabolic steroids after getting caught selling 10 Dianabol tablets to an undercover informant. The Pasco County Sheriff's Office does not currently drug test its employees except when there is "reasonable suspicion," but may now consider random tests, the sheriff said.
A man charged with illegal cannabis possession needed to use the drug to treat symptoms of his HIV infection, a jury of a Texas court has found. Jurors deliberated less than 15 minutes before reaching a not guilty verdict for Tim Stevens, 53.
His attorney used the defense that cannabis use was a necessity to treat nausea and vomiting of his client. It is believed that this is the first successful use of the necessity defense in a Texas cannabis case. Texas does not belong to the twelve states of the USA that have legalized the medical use of cannabis.
Stevens, who was diagnosed with HIV in 1986, suffers from nausea and cyclical vomiting syndrome, a condition so severe that it has required hospitalization in the past. He was arrested in October sitting on a front porch of a house smoking cannabis.
Among the witnesses for the defense was Dr. Steve Jenison, medical director of the Infectious Diseases Bureau for New Mexico's health department. He testified that Stevens needed to use the cannabis to ease his symptoms.
FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) - A Fort Collins couple is opening a store to sell medical marijuana.
Store owners James and Pat Fleming say they plan to serve the needs of people who suffer from chronic pain and other illnesses and that they're "not out to be legal drug dealers."
The EnerChi Healing Center store would be the first of its kind in Fort Collins. Other services they will offer include yoga, hypnosis, nutrition and meditation.
Fort Collins Police spokeswoman Rita Davis says what the Flemings are doing is legal as long as they are certified to grow marijuana and they sell it to users with a doctor's prescription and a state-issued registration card.
Marijuana use for medical purposes became legal in Colorado when voters approved Amendment 20 in 2000.
The store opens Monday.
Information at http://www.coloradoan.com