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Bill to Lessen Penalties for Some Drug Offenders Clears Kentucky Senate Panel

Location: 
KY
United States
A Kentucky Senate committee has approved legislation aimed at reducing the state’s fast-rising prison population by bolstering drug treatment and alternative sentences for non-violent offenders. The bill cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee without opposition. Supporters say the bill would produce net savings of $147 million over 10 years.
Publication/Source: 
The Gleaner (KY)
URL: 
http://www.courierpress.com/news/2011/feb/24/bill-lessen-penalties-some-drug-offenders-clears-k/

Keep the Pressure On (Action Alert)

We Are the Drug Policy Alliance.

Tell your Senators to approve spending cuts to the drug war!

Take Action!

Email the Senate

Dear Friends,

Thanks to the overwhelming response Congress received from supporters like you, huge drug war spending cuts have been approved by the House! Hundreds of millions of dollars used by state and local law enforcement agencies for ineffective drug war policies will be cut, and the ridiculous and ineffective national anti-marijuana ad campaign has been cut completely. Now we need to do the same for the Senate!

Tell your Senators to approve the House's spending cuts to failed drug war programs!

The new budget is still not set. The Senate has generally been unsupportive of scaling back the drug war in years past, so they need to hear from you! Now is the time to let your Senators know we cannot afford to wait any longer to end the drug war!

Please take a minute to write your Senators and tell them to approve these necessary spending cuts immediately!

Sincerely,

Bill Piper
Director, Office of National Affairs
Drug Policy Alliance

Former Baltimore Narcotics Cop Testifies for Bill to Decriminalize Marijuana in Maryland; Tuesday Hearing on Lowering Marijuana Penalty to $100 Fine (Press Release)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 22, 2011

CONTACT: Tom Angell at (202) 557-4979 or media@leap.cc

Former Baltimore Narcotics Cop Testifies for Bill to Decriminalize Marijuana in Maryland; Tuesday Hearing on Lowering Marijuana Penalty to $100 Fine

 

ANNAPOLIS, MD -- A former Baltimore narcotics cop will testify before a Maryland House of Delegates committee today in favor of a bill that would decriminalize marijuana possession. The bill, HB 606, sponsored by Del. Curt Anderson (D-Baltimore City), will be heard by the House Judiciary Committee at 1:00 PM EST in Room 100.

Neill Franklin, who did narcotics work with both the Maryland State Police and the Baltimore Police Department over a 34-year career, will testify that, "The current laws force police officers in Maryland to waste hour after hour processing marijuana possession arrests. Can you imagine how many more burglaries, rapes and murders we could solve if we put these wasted man-hours toward good use? Marijuana prohibition constitutes a serious threat to public safety."

Franklin is executive director of the organization Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), an international group of police officers, judges, corrections officials, border agents and other criminal justice professionals who have witnessed the failures of the so-called "war on drugs" firsthand.

The Maryland bill will lower the penalty for possessing an ounce or less of marijuana from a criminal misdemeanor to a civil offense punishable by a fine of up to $100. In addition to Del. Anderson, HB 606 has bipartisan support from 20 co-sponsors and has been officially endorsed by the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland.

Maryland spends over $236 million enforcing its marijuana laws every year, according to Harvard University economist Jeffrey Miron.

Del. Michael Smigiel (R-Cecil County), a co-sponsor of the decriminalization bill, says that many cops are privately approaching him in support of the idea. "Many police who come before the judiciary say they don't want to have to spend all that time taking someone in for less than an ounce, booking them and going through that whole process, when there are other people out there that they could be spending their time on that are committing serious crimes," he recently told WBAL-TV.

The full text of HB 606 and other information can be found at http://mlis.state.md.us/2011rs/billfile/HB0606.htm

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) represents police, prosecutors, judges, prison wardens, federal agents and others who want to legalize and regulate drugs after fighting on the front lines of the "war on drugs" and learning firsthand that prohibition only serves to worsen addiction and violence. More info at http://www.CopsSayLegalizeDrugs.com.

# # #

Videos of LEAP cops: http://YouTube.com/CopsSayLegalizeDrugs
LEAP on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/CopsSayLegalize
LEAP on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CopsSayLegalizeDrugs

Location: 
Annapolis, MD
United States

Congressman: Eliminate the War on Drugs

Colorado congressman Jared Polis wants to drastically reduce the federal government's funding of the war on drugs. He has introduced amendments to the Full Year Continuing Appropriations Act of 2011 that, if passed, would virtually eliminate money spent to fight drug crimes. The first amendment, No. 501, proposes to eradicate funding of the drug czar. The second amendment, No. 427, would prohibit the investigation and criminal prosecution for the possession, manufacture or distribution of marijuana. Polis believes that the drug czar's office is not only unnecessary, but has proven to be more harmful than helpful in the case of marijuana.
Publication/Source: 
Gather (MA)
URL: 
http://politics.gather.com/viewArticle.action?articleId=281474979065488

Obama Proposes 43 Percent Cut for Murtha's National Drug Intelligence Center

Location: 
Johnstown, PA
United States
A project championed by the late Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) got the axe in the fiscal year 2012 budget proposed by President Barack Obama. The National Drug Intelligence Center is slated to receive 43.2 percent less money in 2012, going from a budget of $44 million to $25 million.
Publication/Source: 
Talking Points Memo (NY)
URL: 
http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/02/obama_proposes_43_percent_cut_for_murthas_national_drug_intelligence_center.php

Cut Funding for Failed Drug Policies (Action Alert)

We Are the Drug Policy Alliance.

Tell Congress to cut funding for the drug war!

Take Action!

Email Your Representative

Dear Friends,

I need your help to talk some sense into Congress. While they preach fiscal responsibility, they want to keep giving piles of money to state and local governments to prioritize low-level drug arrests – especially for marijuana possession. Even worse, they want to put the cost on the nation's credit card. You and I will be paying off this foolishness for decades to come if we don't act now.

Tell Congress: No more money for failed drug policies.

As I write this, Congress is working on a new federal budget. Right now we have a unique opportunity to cut the funding that helps keep the drug war alive at the local level. If we can get enough people to email Congress, I'm hopeful that we can cut spending, reduce marijuana arrests, and push states to embrace drug policy reform. It would be a three-for-one victory.

Please take a minute to write Congress and tell them to stop spending your tax money on the failed war on drugs.

Sincerely,

Bill Piper
Director, Office of National Affairs
Drug Policy Alliance

The Addled Piorities of US Drug Policy: As Cities Like Camden, New Jersey Are Forced to Cut Policing, It Is Nonsensical for Law Enforcement to Pursue Prohibition (Opinion)

Jennifer Abel opines on policing priorities given that the state of the economy is forcing cutbacks in law enforcement.
Publication/Source: 
The Guardian (UK)
URL: 
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/feb/10/new-jersey-police

Medical Marijuana Meets Social Couponing with Denver Company

Location: 
Denver, CO
United States
Denver-based mmjDailyDeals.com is picking up where other social couponing sites don't dare to go, offering deals of up to 80 percent off on medical marijuana in your inbox everyday. Founder John Molinare said his company is filling a void for medical marijuana patients who stand to benefit through increased accessibility and affordability.
Publication/Source: 
The Denver Post (CO)
URL: 
http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_17350109

Cut Drug War Spending (Action Alert)

Hi Friends,

In a recent Q&A with YouTube viewers, President Obama said that U.S. drug policy focuses too heavily on law enforcement. He also took a huge step forward calling drug legalization an "entirely legitimate topic for debate." If you haven't taken action on the email alert I sent you last week, please take a minute to do so now. We have a great opportunity to cut funding for arrests and incarceration by treating drug use as a health issue instead of a criminal issue.

Sincerely,

Bill Piper
Director, Office of National Affairs
Drug Policy Alliance

We Are the Drug Policy Alliance.

 

 

Tell President Obama to stop wasting money on the failed war on drugs.

Take Action!

Email the President

Dear Friends,

In his State of the Union address a few days ago, President Obama said it is time for the federal government to tighten its belt and stop wasting so much money. One of the biggest – and most destructive – wastes of money is the war on drugs. President Obama is working on a new federal budget – urge him to stop wasting money on the failed war on drugs.

In these times of deficits and budget cuts, let’s send a clear message: no more money for marijuana arrests. No more money for laughably stupid anti-marijuana ads. No more money for random drug testing. No more money for SWAT raids on people's homes for suspected drug law violations. No more money for long prison sentences for low-level, nonviolent drug offenses. No more money for the drug war. Period.

Tell the President that our tax dollars should be spent more wisely.

With your help we can eliminate or cut drug war waste and dismantle the war on drugs. Please take a minute to write the White House and tell President Obama to stop wasting your tax dollars on failed drug policies.

Sincerely,

Bill Piper
Director, Office of National Affairs
Drug Policy Alliance

Arizona Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Introduced by GOP State Rep John Fillmore

Location: 
AZ
United States
Under a bill introduced by Representative John Fillmore possession of two ounces or less of marijuana -- by anyone -- would become a petty offense and carry a fine of only $100. Fillmore says that marijuana isn't a gateway drug, as critics unscientifically claim, and all the money and time wasted by law enforcement on marijuana prohibition enforcement would be better spent elsewhere.
Publication/Source: 
Phoenix New Times (AZ)
URL: 
http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/valleyfever/2011/02/marijuana_decriminalization_bi.php

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