Congress

RSS Feed for this category

National Call-In Alert: The National Criminal Justice Commission Act

US Senate
In 2009, Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) and 15 Republican and Democratic cosponsors introduced the National Criminal Justice Commission Act, legislation that would create a bipartisan Commission to review and identify effective criminal justice policies and make recommendations for reform. The House of Representatives and the Senate Judiciary Committee have passed the bill, which now has 39 Senate cosponsors, but the bill still awaits final passage during these last few weeks of the Congressional session. If NCJC doesn't pass this year, it will all have to be done over again in 2011.

Today is the National Call-In Day for Passage of the National Criminal Justice Commission Act. Please call the following Senators to ask them to prioritize and support Senate passage of the NCJC Act, H.R. 5143 and S. 714, this year:

  • Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), 202-224-3542
  • Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), 202-224-3135
  • the two US Senators from your state -- call (202) 224-3121 or click here to look them up.

The following is a message for your call to the Senators' offices:

I am calling to ask the Senator to prioritize and support immediate Senate passage of the House-passed National Criminal Justice Commission Act, H.R. 5143/S. 714, because:
  • Having a transparent and bipartisan Commission review and identify effective criminal justice policies would increase public safety.
  • The increase in incarceration over the past twenty years has stretched the system beyond its limits. These high costs to taxpayers are unsustainable, especially during these tough economic times.
  • The proposed commission would conduct a comprehensive national review -- not audits of individual state systems -- and would issue recommendations -- not mandates -- for consideration.

Write back if you have any questions, and please let us know if you learn anything about your Senator's intentions from your phone call. Thank you for taking action.

Washington, DC
United States

It's Up to You (Action Alert)

We Are the Drug Policy Alliance

Senate leadership is sitting on a bill that would pave the way for criminal justice and drug policy reforms. Tell them to call a floor vote!

Take Action!

Email Sens. Reid and McConnell

Dear friends,

Today's the day.

This is our best chance to get Congress and President Obama to establish an important commission that could provide recommendations on how to reform our marijuana laws, as well as other criminal justice issues.

The Senate is considering a bill that would establish a national commission to make recommendations on improving the criminal justice system -- but Congress is dragging its feet.  They need to hear from reformers around the country in support of this bill. Send a message to Senate leadership now!

This bill has already passed the House. It has also passed the Senate Judiciary Committee. All we need is for Senate Leadership to bring it to the floor for a final vote. We’ve got the bill to the ten yard line, but we need you to score the touchdown. Please take just a few minutes today to contact Senate Leadership and tell them to pass the National Criminal Justice Commission Act this week.

This is our last chance this year to pass this important reform bill. Please take action and forward this email to your friends and family.

Sincerely,

Bill Piper
Director, Office of National Affairs
Drug Policy Alliance

Location: 
Washington, DC
United States

Medical Marijuana Advocates Bring Attention to DEA Confirmation Hearings: Acting DEA Head Michele Leonhart, a Bush-holdover, Led Aggressive Campaign Against Medical Marijuana (Press Release)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 15, 2010
9:28 AM

CONTACT: Americans for Safe Access
SA Government Affairs Director Caren Woodson 510-388-0546 or ASA Media Liaison Kris Hermes 510-681-6361

Medical Marijuana Advocates Bring Attention to DEA Confirmation Hearings

Acting DEA head Michele Leonhart, a Bush-holdover, led aggressive campaign against medical marijuana

WASHINGTON - November 15 - After more than two years as acting head of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Michele Leonhart, who served as Deputy DEA Administrator during George W. Bush's presidency, is scheduled to be confirmed by the Senate Judiciary Committee this Wednesday, November 17th at 2:30pm EST. No friend to medical marijuana patients, Leonhart along with her former boss, DEA Administrator Karen Tandy, were responsible for more than two hundred paramilitary-style raids on patients and their providers. As Acting DEA Administrator, Leonhart has continued to raid dispensaries, growers and medical marijuana testing labs despite a change in federal policy under President Obama.

Although Leonhart is expected to be easily confirmed, advocates want to hold her feet to the fire, and are encouraging Senate Judiciary Committee members to ask tough questions about adherence to President Obama's Justice Department policy and her plans for addressing the growing divide between federal and state medical marijuana laws. "Leonhart's track record of causing untold harm to patients and their providers over the years is cause for a serious lack of trust in the medical marijuana community," said Caren Woodson, Director of Government Affairs with Americans for Safe Access, the country's leading medical marijuana advocacy group, which has submitted questions to be asked of Leonhart during the confirmation hearing. "We need to know that Leonhart has a plan for medical marijuana and the protection of patients and that she will be held accountable for her actions."

What: Michele Leonhart's confirmation hearing to be the next DEA Administrator
When: Wednesday, November 17th at 2:30pm
Where: Senate Judiciary Committee, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 226, Washington, DC

In October 2009, the Obama Administration issued a memorandum to U.S. Attorneys discouraging the use of federal resources to prosecute individuals who are in "clear and unambiguous compliance" with their state medical marijuana law. Since then, ASA has tracked more than 30 federal enforcement raids in California, Colorado, Hawaii, and Nevada, all medical marijuana states. By contrast, local and state governments are recognizing the need for, and authorizing methods of, distribution of medical marijuana. In a grassroots push over the next two days, medical marijuana advocates across the country are calling on Senate Judiciary Committee members to ask hard questions of Leonhart. "Leonhart must look at this as a public health issue and do more to reconcile the conflict between local, state and federal laws," continued Woodson.

In addition to enforcement, as head of the DEA, Leonhart will have authority over an unanswered marijuana Rescheduling petition that has been pending since 2002. Filed by the Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis (CRC), the petition originally argued before the Bush Administration that marijuana has medical value and should be rescheduled. Now before the Obama Administration, advocates and coalition members are expecting more rigorous scrutiny on an issue that has been progressively moving toward scientific and mainstream acceptance. This past week it was confirmed that Arizona, which narrowly voted for Proposition 203, would become the country's 15th state to pass a medical marijuana law.

Under the authority of the Controlled Substances Act, Leonhart has significant control over medical marijuana research in the U.S., and has used her position as Acting Administrator to obstruct the scientific advancement of this important therapeutic substance. In January 2009, days before President Bush was to vacate his office, Acting Administrator Leonhart thwarted an effort to end federal obstruction of medical marijuana research, ignoring an 87-page recommendation from her own DEA Administrative Law Judge Mary Ellen Bittner, who ruled that such research was "in the public interest." The DEA and the National Institute for Drug Abuse (NIDA) have colluded to obstruct medical efficacy studies by prioritizing research on the supposed harmful effects of marijuana.

Further information:
Leonhart confirmation hearing notice: http://judiciary.senate.gov/hearings/hearing.cfm?id=4850
ASA Questions for Leonhart: http://AmericansForSafeAccess.org/downloads/ASA_Leonhart_Questions.pdf
ASA Memo to Senate Judiciary Committee: http://AmericansForSafeAccess.org/downloads/ASA_Leonhart_Memo.pdf

###
Location: 
Washington, DC
United States

The Republican House and Drug Reform: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly [FEATURE]

Last week, a resurgent Republican Party retook control of the US House of Representatives, giving the Democrats a drubbing the likes of which has not been seen for decades. The Democrats lost 61 seats, seeing their side sink to 189 seats to the Republicans' 240. They needed 218 to take over again.

The change in control of the House has some serious drug policy implications. There's bad news, but maybe also some good news.

Reform measures passed in the current Congress, such as repealing the bans on federal funding of needle exchange programs and implementation of the Washington, DC, medical marijuana program, could see attempts to roll them back. And pending reforms efforts, such as the battle to repeal the HEA student loan provision, are probably dead. Reform friendly Democratic committee chairs, who wield considerable power, have been replaced by hostile Republicans.

But the incoming Republicans made slashing the deficit and cutting the federal budget a winning campaign issue for themselves, and will be looking for programs they can cut or eliminate. That could open the door to hacking away at programs that support the ongoing prosecution of the drug war, but it could also open the door for cuts in prevention and treatment programs.

As the Chronicle noted here earlier this week, it's not just Tea Party types who want to wield the budget ax. The mainstream conservative Heritage Foundation issued a report just before election day laying out a whopping $434 billion in federal budget cuts, including eliminating the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the drug task force-funding Justice Assistance Grant (JAG, formerly the Byrne grant program) program, and the Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities state grant program.

"Budgetary issues is where I'm most optimistic," said Bill Piper, veteran national affairs director for the Drug Policy Alliance. "Given the fiscal climate, there could be real cuts in the federal budget. Next year is probably an unprecedented opportunity to de-fund the federal drug war. These new Republicans are a different breed—anti-government, anti-spending, pro-states' rights, and some are proven to be prone to bucking the leadership. If the Republican leadership votes to preserve the drug war, they may rebel," he said.

"We can go after the Byrne grant program," Piper enthused. "That's a very important deal. If we can cut off drug war funding to the states, the states won't be able to afford their punitive policies anymore. During the recession in the Bush administration, when the administration was cutting money to the states, a lot of states passed reform measures because they couldn't afford to lock people up. This time, the federal government has been bailing out state criminal justice systems, but if we can cut or eliminate Byrne grants, the states won't have money for their drug task forces and imprisoning people. Then they will have to consider reforms like cutting sentences and making marijuana possession an infraction."

"Sentencing reform on budgetary grounds is possible," said Kara Gotsch, director of advocacy for the Sentencing Project. "From our perspective, that is a way to reduce government spending. If you want to reduce drug war spending, you reduce costs by investing in prevention and substance abuse programs. That will be part of our talking points, but the reality is, to be successful they're going to have to be bipartisan."

Eric Sterling, former House Judiciary Committee counsel and current head of the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation was less sanguine than either Piper or Gotsch about the urge to cut the deficit leading to progress in drug reform. "The prospect of saving money leading to criminal justice and drug policy reform is remote," said Sterling. "In state legislatures where they have to balance the budget, everyone recognizes what has to happen. But in Congress, they know there is still going to be a deficit."

Sterling also questioned just how different the Republican freshman class will be from traditional Republicans. "That's a big question mark," he said. "They are younger and bring with them different experiences about drug policy or marijuana in particular, but most of these men and women won by using traditional themes that most incumbent Republicans used, too. I think for them, cracking down on drugs and crime will have more value than trying to save money by funding diversion or correctional programs that aren't about harsh punishment."

But Piper remained upbeat. "Next year is probably an unprecedented opportunity for the movement to defund the drug war. The stars are aligning. A lot of tax groups are already on record for cutting some of these programs," he noted. "Given the fiscal climate, we could see considerable cuts in the federal budget. The type of Republicans coming into office, as well as Obama's own need to show he can practice fiscal discipline, means a real chance to cut or eliminate some of those programs," he said. "The down side is that funding for prevention and treatment is likely to come under fire, too."

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) -- no friend of drug reform.
While budget battles will be fought in appropriations committees, criminal justice issues are a different matter. One of the most striking changes  comes in the House Judiciary Committee, where pro-drug reform Democrats like chairman John Conyers (D-MI) and Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security chair Bobby Scott (D-VA) are being replaced by the likes of Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), who will head the Judiciary Committee. Smith, a conservative old school drug warrior, was the only congressman to speak up against passage of the bill to reduce the disparity in crack and powder cocaine sentences.

He also authored a bill this fall that would have made it a federal offense for US citizens to plan to commit acts outside the US that would violate US drug laws. While that bill was allegedly aimed at large drug trafficking organizations, it could have made federal criminals out of college students making plans to visit the coffee shops of Amsterdam. He took to Fox News last month to lambaste the Obama administration as insufficiently tough on marijuana law enforcement, a clip he displays on his web site (scroll over the small video screens; the title will pop up).

"The fact that Rep. Smith is going to be the chair will definitely have an impact," said Gotsch. "He was the only vocal opposition to the crack cocaine sentencing reform, and the fact that he is now going to be chair is discouraging. It indicates that he won't be thoughtful about sentencing reforms for low level drug offenders."

"The Democratic committee chairs were good on drug policy and unlikely to advance bad drug war bills," said Piper. "Now, with Conyers and Scott gone and Lamar Smith in charge, we can expect stuff like Smith's foreign drug conspiracy bill to come out of that committee."

"You couldn’t find bigger champions for reform than Scott and Conyers," said Gotsch. "We won't have them as chairs now; that's probably the biggest disappointment to our community."

"Smith has been quite out there in his attacks over the drug issue," said Sterling. "My hunch is that we will take advantage of the political attractiveness of the drug issue to try to have both oversight hearings and legislation that would be embarrassing to Democrats."

And don't expect too much from the Democrats, either, he added. "The Democratic caucus is going to be more reluctant to deal with the drug issue in a progressive way than it has been," said Sterling. "They see it as a distraction from the heart of the message they need to bring to retake power in 2012."

With people like Smith holding key House committee positions, the drug reform agenda is likely to stall in the next Congress. Instead, reformers will be fighting to avoid reversing earlier gains.

"In terms of passing good things, there probably wasn’t a lot more that was going to happen with Democrats before 2012," said Piper. "The important low hanging fruit of overturning the syringe ban, the DC medical marijuana ban, and the crack sentencing bill had already gotten through. We might have been able to achieve repeal of the HEA drug provision, but probably not now."

The drug reform movement's job now will be not only blocking bad legislation, but also fighting to prevent a rollback of drug reform victories in the current Congress, such as the repeal of the bans on syringe exchange funding and implementing the Washington, DC, medical marijuana law, said Piper. 

"They're unlikely to go backwards on crack, but the syringe ban and the DC medical marijuana ban were both repealed with some, but not a lot, of Republican support," he said. "The syringe ban repeal barely passed, and that was in a Congress dominated by Democrats. Will they try to restore the syringe funding ban and overturn DC's medical marijuana program? That's our big fear. Hopefully, we can scrape up enough votes to defeat in the House, or stop it on the Senate side," he said.

Piper also dared to dream of an emerging Republican anti-drug war caucus. "We don't know who these new Republicans all are, but some have probably been influenced by Ron Paul (R-TX)," he said. "If only 10 of them stand up against the drug war, that's a huge opportunity to raise hell in the Republican caucus. Almost a third of Republican voters want to legalize marijuana, and that's an opportunity for us, too. Maybe there will be Republicans we can work with and create a truly bipartisan anti-drug war coalition in Congress. That's a foothold."

For Piper, the future looks stormy and cloudy, but "the silver lining is in appropriations fights and opportunities to organize an anti-drug war movement in the Republican caucus. We just have to play defense on a bunch of stuff," he said. 

"The activist community is going to have to figure out what the recipe for our lemonade is," advised Sterling. "That requires first a redoubled effort at organizing, using themes such as the wise stewardship of the scarce resources we have, and what works and what is effective," he said.

"It also requires mobilizing people not involved in this issue before, whether it's the business community or people who see their rice bowls been broken by the Republican approach," Sterling continued. "Teachers, nurses, people asking how come the part of the public work force this is protected is the police and the police guards. Drug policy reform activists have to think about what are the alliances they can make in this time of public resource scarcity."

Washington, DC
United States

Heritage Foundation Says Cut Drug Czar's Office, Byrne Grants, More

In an attempt to provide some specifics for Republican promises to reduce the budget deficit by cutting federal spending, the conservative Heritage Foundation has issued a backgrounder report saying Congress should eliminate the Office of National Drug Control Policy (the drug czar's office), the Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities state grant program, and all Justice Department grant programs, except those for the Bureau of Justice Statistics and the National Institute of Justice. That means the drug task force-funding Justice Assistance Grants (JAG, formerly known as the Byrne grant) are on the chopping block, too.

http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/files/director_kerlikoske.jpg
Goodbye Gil?
The report said the federal government could cut a whopping $434 billion and the savings could come from eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and outdated or ineffective programs;consolidating duplicative programs, targeting programs more precisely, privatization, and "empowering state and local governments" by reducing federal funding for them.

Taxpayers could save $30 million by axing the "duplicative" drug czar's office and $298 million by eliminating the Safe and Drug Free Schools state grants, which are used for violence and drug and alcohol prevention programs. The Byrne grant program, which can also be used to fund drug treatment and prevention, is set at $598 million in the Obama administration's FY 2011 budget request. 

The drug budget cuts are only a tiny fraction of  the $343 billion that Heritage said should be cut. The report takes the budget ax to nearly $20 billion in agriculture funding, nearly $8 billion in community development grants, nearly $8 billion in federal education spending, more than $7 billion in energy and environmental spending, nearly $92 billion from federal government operations (including federal employee pay freezes), and nearly $7 billion by cutting federal job training and Job Corps funds.

If the cuts proposed by the Heritage Foundation in its entirety were to be enacted, they would radically shrink the federal government and redraw the picture of what the people expect from government. But the Republicans only control one chamber of Congress, some of the proposed cuts could lead to dissent even within GOP ranks, and Democrats and people who stand to lose out are sure to fight them.

Still, it would be nice if the spirit of bipartisanship could prevail long enough to begin closing the book on decades of wasted and counter-productive federal drug prohibition spending, even though we wouldn't want to see proven prevention programs slashed.

Washington, DC
United States

New Federal Sentencing Guidelines for Crack Cocaine Now in Effect

New federal sentencing guidelines for crack cocaine offenses went into effect Monday, a week after the US Sentencing Commission promulgated them. The commission acted on a temporary basis to implement the Fair Sentencing Act, which was passed into law last summer. It will vote in May to make the changes permanent.

The Fair Sentencing Act was passed in the face of growing uneasiness over racial disparities in federal drug sentences. From the 1980s until the act was passed, people caught with as little as five grams of crack cocaine faced mandatory minimum five-year prison sentences, while people caught with powder cocaine had to be caught with 500 grams before being hit with the mandatory minimum. More than 80% of federal crack prosecutions were aimed at blacks, even though more whites than blacks used crack.

Under the new law, it will take 28 grams of crack to trigger the mandatory minimum five-year sentence. Under the old law, 50 grams of crack earned a mandatory minimum 10-year sentence; under the new law, the threshold rises to 280 grams. That means the old 100:1 sentencing disparity has been reduced to 18:1.

That's not enough for groups like the November Coalition and Families Against Mandatory Minimums, which have fought for years for federal drug sentencing reform. Still on the agenda for reformers is eliminating the remaining sentencing disparity and making the law retroactive to benefit people already serving draconian federal crack sentences.

It's not all good news. The new guidelines will also add months to some drug offender sentences. "Aggravating factors" such as intimidating girlfriends or elderly family members to sell drugs could earn drug gang leaders extra prison time. On the other hand, some low level offenders who were intimidated into participating in drug sales could see months shaved off their sentences.

Washington, DC
United States

Alcohol Industry Contributions Net Anti-Marijuana Spokesman on the Hill (Press Release)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 21, 2010

CONTACT: Mason Tvert, SAFER executive director, 720-255-4340

Alcohol Industry Contributions Net Anti-Marijuana Spokesman on the Hill

Congressman speaking out against marijuana and Obama's approach to it has received at least $20,000 from the beer and liquor industry this cycle

DENVER -- A national marijuana advocacy organization is calling on U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) to explain why he is speaking out against marijuana and accusing the current administration of encouraging its use when he is in fact receiving money from the alcohol industry, which produces, distributes and promotes a far more harmful substance.  Late last week, revelations that the alcohol industry is funding the campaign to defeat a marijuana legalization initiative in California resulted in a number of headlines nationwide and sparked outrage amongst supporters of marijuana policy reform.  See <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/21/this-buds-not-for-you-bee_n_732901.html?ref=fb&src=sp for the whole story.

According to a blog post published this afternoon on The Hill's website:

"The administration is clearly sending the message that they don't think it's bad to use marijuana," Smith said on Fox News. "So they're encouraging the use of marijuana. And that simply is not a good thing to do."

See: http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/120035-top-republican-obama-administration-encouraging-use-of-marijuana for the whole story.

"Marijuana is becoming more acceptable and the alcohol industry is defending its turf," said Mason Tvert, executive director of Safer Alternative For Enjoyable Recreation (SAFER), a non-profit organization that highlights the relative safety of marijuana compared to alcohol.  "The booze industry and its good friends in Washington recognize that marijuana legalization is imminent and it is fighting to maintain alcohol's status as the only legal intoxicant.  This, despite the fact that it is far more harmful than marijuana to the user and society."

SAFER and marijuana reform supporters nationwide are now calling on the congressman to explain his opposition to marijuana in light of his acceptance of campaign contributions from the alcohol industry.  According to OpenSecrets.org, his current campaign has received at least $20,000 from the beer, wine, and liquor industry, including a $10,000 donation from the National Beer Wholesalers Association, a $5,000 contribution from the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America, and $5,000 from Constellation Brands Premium Wine and Spirits Company.

"For Rep. Smith to accept money from the alcohol industry and then work to stifle that industry's competition is unethical and hypocritical," Tvert said.  "It's time he explained his reason for preferring adults use alcohol -- a substance whose use alone kills more than 30,000 Americans per year -- instead of marijuana, which has never resulted in a single death in history.

"Unlike marijuana, alcohol use contributes to domestic violence, sexual assaults, and other serious problems," Tvert said. "If Rep.

Smith is so concerned about public safety, why is he helping Big Alcohol drive Americans to drink?  He should be thrilled that more Americans are making the rational, safer choice to use marijuana instead of alcohol when they relax and recreate."

# # #

SAFER (Safer Alternative For Enjoyable Recreation) is a national non-profit organization based in Denver and dedicated to educating the the public about the fact that marijuana is safer than alcohol for the user and society.  Its social welfare lobbying arm, the SAFER Voter Education Fund, advocates for laws and policies that reflect that fact and no longer steer people toward drinking and away from making the safer choice.  For more information visit http://www.saferchoice.org/

Support the National Criminal Justice Commission Act!

Wednesday, September 15, was a National Call-In Day supporting S. 714, Sen. Jim Webb's bill establishing a National Criminal Justice Commission to do a full, top-to-bottom study of the wreck that is the US criminal justice system. But the work has just begun! If you haven't already, please call your two US senators to urge their support for this important and historic bill. The House of Representatives has already passed their version of the commission bill, so if the Senate passes S. 714 it will be almost law!

You can reach your two US senators (or find out who they are) by calling the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. You can also look up their numbers using your zip code, and download a set of talking points, at a page set up by the group Families Against Mandatory Minimums, available here. (If you are not from the United States, please forward this to drug policy and justice reform supporters you know who are.)

Thank you for taking action for JUSTICE. Please let us know if you get any good feedback from your senators' staff members that we should know about.

Criminal Justice Commission National Call-in Day September 15

National Call-in Day to Support Senate Passage of the National Criminal Justice Commission Act

BACKGROUND INFO:
In 2009, Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) and 15 bipartisan cosponsors introduced the National Criminal Justice Commission Act, legislation that would create a bipartisan Commission to review and identify effective criminal justice policies and make recommendations for reform. The House of Representatives reviewed and favorably passed the bill, and now the bill awaits passage by the United States Senate. We need your help urging the Senate to prioritize and pass this important legislation!

ACTION NEEDED:
On Wednesday, September 15th, individuals nationwide will urge passage of this legislation by calling their Senators to ask them to prioritize and support Senate passage of the house-passed version of the National Criminal Justice Commission Act, H.R. 5143/S. 714.

We hope that you will join us in making these critical calls! To contact your Senators, call the U.S. Capitol Switch Board at 202-224-3121.

MESSAGE TO SENATORS:
•    Prompt consideration of the House-passed National Criminal Justice Commission Act is critical as the Senate winds down its legislative calendar.  I urge you to endorse this legislation and prioritize its passage.
•    Having a transparent and bipartisan Commission review and identify effective criminal justice policies would increase public safety.
•    The increase in incarceration over the past twenty years has stretched the system beyond its limits.  These high costs to taxpayers are unsustainable, especially during these tough economic times.
•    The proposed independent commission would conduct a comprehensive national review of effective criminal justice policies and would issue recommendations for consideration at the state, local and federal level.

If you have any questions about the Wednesday, September 15th National Call-In Day,
please contact Kara Gotsch at kgotsch@sentencingproject.org.

Date: 
Wed, 09/15/2010 - 12:01am - 11:59pm

Tell Chairman Conyers It's Time for Truth! (Action Alert)

 

Dear friends,

US Rep. Congressmen Sam Farr (D-CA) and Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) have sent a letter to Chairman John Conyers requesting that the Committee on the Judiciary hold a hearing to consider adoption of the "Truth in Trials Act" (H.R. 3939). This legislation would permit someone acting properly under state medical marijuana laws to use that fact as an affirmative defense in federal court proceedings.

Take Action Now: Tell Chairman Conyers that it's time for the Committee on the Judiciary to hold hearings on the "Truth in Trials Act!"

The Committee on the Judiciary has a unique opportunity to consider implementation of the "Truth in Trials Act."  Medical cannabis patients and advocates are leading the call for protections for medical cannabis users and caregivers and they need your help. 

Take Action Now:  Email Chairman Conyers today! Your e-mails does make a difference!  Please forward this action request to your friends, family and networks across the country. 

Together we can change federal law!

Steph Sherer                          Caren Woodson
ASA Executive Director         ASA Director of Govt. Affairs

Renew your membership to ASA!

Americans for Safe Access

Please support ASA!

On The Web:

ASA's Mission

ASA Forums

ASA Blog

Take Action

ASA's Online Store

"Gear up" for medical cannabis activism with ASA's new T-shirts, hats, stickers, bags and more! All proceeds go to ASA advocacy

 

Drug War Issues

Criminal JusticeAsset Forfeiture, Collateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Court Rulings, Drug Courts, Due Process, Felony Disenfranchisement, Incarceration, Policing (2011 Drug War Killings, 2012 Drug War Killings, 2013 Drug War Killings, 2014 Drug War Killings, 2015 Drug War Killings, 2016 Drug War Killings, Arrests, Eradication, Informants, Interdiction, Lowest Priority Policies, Police Corruption, Police Raids, Profiling, Search and Seizure, SWAT/Paramilitarization, Task Forces, Undercover Work), Probation or Parole, Prosecution, Reentry/Rehabilitation, Sentencing (Alternatives to Incarceration, Clemency and Pardon, Crack/Powder Cocaine Disparity, Death Penalty, Decriminalization, Defelonization, Drug Free Zones, Mandatory Minimums, Rockefeller Drug Laws, Sentencing Guidelines)CultureArt, Celebrities, Counter-Culture, Music, Poetry/Literature, Television, TheaterDrug UseParaphernalia, ViolenceIntersecting IssuesCollateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Violence, Border, Budgets/Taxes/Economics, Business, Civil Rights, Driving, Economics, Education (College Aid), Employment, Environment, Families, Free Speech, Gun Policy, Human Rights, Immigration, Militarization, Money Laundering, Pregnancy, Privacy (Search and Seizure, Drug Testing), Race, Religion, Science, Sports, Women's IssuesMarijuana PolicyGateway Theory, Hemp, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Marijuana Industry, Medical MarijuanaMedicineMedical Marijuana, Science of Drugs, Under-treatment of PainPublic HealthAddiction, Addiction Treatment (Science of Drugs), Drug Education, Drug Prevention, Drug-Related AIDS/HIV or Hepatitis C, Harm Reduction (Methadone & Other Opiate Maintenance, Needle Exchange, Overdose Prevention, Safe Injection Sites)Source and Transit CountriesAndean Drug War, Coca, Hashish, Mexican Drug War, Opium ProductionSpecific DrugsAlcohol, Ayahuasca, Cocaine (Crack Cocaine), Ecstasy, Heroin, Ibogaine, ketamine, Khat, Kratom, Marijuana (Gateway Theory, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Medical Marijuana, Hashish), Methamphetamine, New Synthetic Drugs (Synthetic Cannabinoids, Synthetic Stimulants), Nicotine, Prescription Opiates (Fentanyl, Oxycontin), Psychedelics (LSD, Mescaline, Peyote, Salvia Divinorum)YouthGrade School, Post-Secondary School, Raves, Secondary School