Memorial: Wesley Pomeroy, Law Enforcement Professional, Outspoken Advocate of Reform 5/10/98

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- Kevin Zeese, President, Common Sense for Drug Policy Foundation

I write today to pass along the sad news of the death of one of our greatest allies -- Wes Pomeroy.

Wes was an outspoken supporter of reform and brought with him the credibility of being a former police officer. He was the first recipient of Drug Policy Foundation's annual achievement award for police officials: The H.B. Spear Award for Achievement in the Field of Control and Enforcement. Below is the award statement, which was primarily written by his long-time friend Arnold Trebach, retired President of the Drug Policy Foundation.

"Wes Pomeroy has had a remarkable career in law enforcement and government. At the federal level he has served as the Associate Administrator of the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration, Special Assistant to the Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration, and Associate Director of the White House Office of Drug Abuse Policy.

"At the local level, he has served as Undersheriff of San Mateo County, Chief of Police of Berkeley and Chief of Security at the Woodstock rock festival. Today, he is the Executive Director of the Independent Review Panel of Metropolitan Dade County in Miami. Thus he serves as the ombudsman for the people of an area much troubled by drug problems.

"Throughout his career, Wesley Pomeroy has demonstrated that he is a committed law enforcement professional who was sworn to uphold the law, including the drug laws. At the same time, he sought to seek compliance with the law by emphasizing persuasion and human relations skills. He also is an advocate of cautious drug law reform through open dialogue and the democratic process."

Editor's Note: For those who are interested in honoring Wesley Pomeroy, his family requests that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the following organizations, earmarked Wesley A.C. Pomeroy:

    National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
    P.O. Box 315
    Opa Locka, FL 33054

    Unrepresented People's Positive Action Council (UP-PAC)
    P.O. Box 693117
    Miami, FL 33269


5. CALIFORNIA: DAVE HERRICK DENIED MEDICAL DEFENSE

- Barrington Daltrey for DRCNet

Causing concerns about his impartiality, Orange County Superior Court Judge William Froeberg on Thursday, May 7, 1998 refused to allow Dave Herrick to present a medical defense to charges of "selling" marijuana. Rejecting Herrick's effort to present a Proposition 215 or medical necessity defense, the judge sarcastically asked public defender Sharon Petrosino, "Does he think he's Mother Theresa?"

Herrick, a former police officer, has been in jail for a year on charges of selling marijuana in the course of volunteer work with the Orange County Patient / Doctor / Nurse Support Group. The volunteers gave away marijuana to patients with confirmed doctor's recommendations, requesting a $20.00 donation for the co-op, but providing the marijuana regardless of whether the donation was made.

Herrick reportedly suffers from chronic back pain due to a dislocated disc, but has been allowed only four Tylenol a week during his incarceration. His hearing was attended by about 30 medical cannabis supporters, who carried signs and wore buttons supporting the defendants. Canes and crutches of the participants were taken by the bailiffs, due to concern that these items could be used as "weapons." The judge further prohibited the signs and the wearing of the buttons in the courtroom and the hallways, possibly to avoid contamination of the jury.

Denied her proposed defense, public defender Sharon Petrosino indicated she would have no witnesses other than those called by the prosecution.

Proceedings are still pending for other defendants on related charges, Marvin Chavez and Jack Shacter.

-- END --
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Issue #41, 5/10/98 Large Swath of Appalachia Declared High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area | Federal Marijuana Eradication Program Seizes Nothing but Ditchweed, State Auditor's Report Says | Indiana Reporter Arrested after Exposing Drug Task Force Corruption | Memorial: Wesley Pomeroy, Law Enforcement Professional, Outspoken Advocate of Reform | California: Dave Herrick Denied Medical Defense | Student-Activist Arrested at RIT | Jurors Outraged at Mandatory Life Without Parole for Woman after First Offense | Australian Study: Marijuana Decriminalization Has No Impact on Rates of Use | Editorial: Substances, Substances
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