Newsbrief: Eleven Years for Selling Baking Soda 10/3/03

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A judge in Ohio's Stark County sentenced a Massillon man to 11 years in prison Tuesday for selling fake cocaine to an undercover police officer. Kenyan Chandler, 22, was convicted of cocaine trafficking after selling a small bag of bogus crack -- actually baking soda -- in July. The bag was supposed to be a sample for a larger, 4.5 ounce deal valued at $8,000.

Although no cocaine was involved, a jury last week convicted Chandler of cocaine trafficking. Under Ohio law, trafficking is defined as selling or offering to sell the drug. Stark County Assistant Prosecutor Joe Vance told the Associated Press that the fact Chandler sold baking soda, not cocaine, made no difference. And because the supposed deal was for more than 100 grams, that qualified Chandler as a "major drug trafficker" subject to a 10-year mandatory minimum sentence.

"It's absurd," Chandler's attorney, Rick Pitinii, told the AP. Chandler was convicted of the wrong crime, Pitinii said. Under Ohio law, selling fake drugs or "counterfeit controlled substances," is a crime. That is what Chandler should have been charged with, he added. Chandler will appeal, Pitinii said.

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Issue #305, 10/3/03 Editorial: Rush Limbaugh and Oxycontin | Hurwitz Arrest Galvanizes Opposition to Justice Jihad Against Pain Doctors | Swiss Marijuana Legalization, Prescription Heroin Blocked by Parliament | "Rough Riders" Go Free For Now: Suburban Jury Fails to Convict Oakland Police Rogues | Drug Czar Office Safe for Now: House Votes for Five More Years of Same Old Drug War, Senate Vote Pending | Newsbrief: Hemp Food Industry Sees Looming Victory in DEA Battle | Newsbrief: New Hampshire Supreme Court Says Garbage is Protected Property | Newsbrief: Canadians Smuggling Marijuana in Garbage Exports to United States | Newsbrief: Alaska Marijuana Initiative Back on Track | Newsbrief: Eleven Years for Selling Baking Soda | Newsbrief: Barbarism in Office -- Australian Mayor Calls for Lethal Injections for Drug Users | Newsbrief: New South Wales Medical Marijuana Approval | Newsbrief: This Week's Corrupt Cops Story | DRCNet Temporarily Suspending Our Web-Based Write-to-Congress Service Due to Funding Shortfalls -- Your Help Can Bring It Back -- Keep Contacting Congress in the Meantime | Perry Fund Accepting Applications for 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 School Years, Providing Scholarships for Students Losing Aid Because of Drug Convictions | The Reformer's Calendar
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