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Drug Policy Forum of Kansas: Medical Marijuana Action Alert

Would you please take one minute to call your member of Congress and ask him or her to vote in favor of the medical marijuana amendment that the U.S. House of Representatives will be voting on next week? Rep. Dennis Moore is the only Kansas Representative to vote last year in favor of the Hinchey amendment [pronounced HIN-chee]. If he is your Representative please let him know you appreciate his vote to prohibit the DEA from wasting taxpayer money to arrest medical marijuana patients in the 12 states where it is legal, and hope he will vote Yea again. Please call now: (202) 224-3121 Give the operator your zip code and ask to be connected to your representative’s office or call them directly: Rep. Jerry Moran 202-225-2715, fax 202-225-5124 Rep. Nancy Boyda 202-225-6601, fax 202-225-7986 Rep. Dennis Moore 202-225-2865, fax 202-225-2807 Rep. Todd Tiahrt 202-225-6216, fax 202-225-3489 When the receptionist for the congressperson — not the Capitol switchboard operator — answers, say something like: "Hi, this is [name]. I live in [city], and I'm calling to ask that my representative vote for Rep. Maurice Hinchey's [HIN-chee's] medical marijuana amendment to the Justice Department's spending bill, which I understand will be considered on the House floor next week. The amendment would prohibit the Justice Department from spending taxpayer money to arrest medical marijuana patients in the 12 states where medical marijuana is legal." Then, please follow up by using the Marijuana Policy Project’s easy online legislative system to e-mail your member of Congress. Calling and e-mailing take only one minute each. The House of Representatives has voted on this amendment the last four consecutive summers, but — since last November’s midterm elections provided the most favorable conditions for passing federal medical marijuana legislation — this year the amendment has the best chance it has ever had of passing. Would you please take one minute to call your congressperson today? Doing so could have a huge impact on the outcome of next week's medical marijuana vote. Please help us promote innovative drug policies by sending your tax-deductible donation today. Become a member -- add yourself to our mailing list by going to our web site www.dpfks.org.
Location: 
Washington, DC
United States

ASA: Tell Congress to STOP Funding Medical Marijuana Raids

Dear ASA Supporters, My name is Toby. In 2005, my partner David Harde, a patient and caregiver, and I were raided by local authorities in an investigation. In light of the fact that case could not successfully be prosecuted given California state law, our case was turned over to the federal government. The reason I am sharing my story with you now is because the U.S. House of Representatives will soon debate the Hinchey-Rohrabacher Amendment. This amendment could have prevented the devastating story I want to share with you. A few days prior to July 4, 2006, eight federal agents arrived at our door. We were handcuffed and carted off to the Federal Court House in Sacramento. The only thing this experience has taught me is that the federal government will use fear and intimidation to tear families apart. The details of this experience are still overwhelming. We are not dangerous people, or are we a threat to anyone. It's estimated that the federal government spent nearly $200,000 on the eight agents and other resources used to conduct this “sting” operation. This is why the Hinchey-Rohrabacher Amendment is so important to both taxpayers and patients alike. Knowing that the federal government does not recognize state protection of medical marijuana patients and providers, David and I, like so many others made the difficult decision to resolve the case against him as quickly as possible. We chose to take a plea bargain. To my devastated surprise, David was sentenced to years of prison time, will have to serve a lengthy probation, pay astronomical fines. It feels like an eternity will pass before we will have our lives back. To David’s credit, his friends, relatives and local community members sent letters to the judge, appealing for a more lenient sentence. As a result, the judge issued a sentence for David well below the minimum sentencing guideline - the first time the judge had taken such action during his tenure on the federal bench. Still, 30 months is a long time to be away from those you love. Sadly, our story is only one of dozens of cases (http://www.safeaccessnow.org/section.php?id=184) that could have been prevented by the passage of the Hinchey-Rohrabacher Amendment. It is up to compassionate people like you to educate your representatives on this amendment. On behalf of David, myself and all the victims of the federal attack on medical cannabis, I ask you to contact your representative today. We are under a time constraint so I am asking you to take action now. Here are two ways to contact your representative: 1. E-mail Your Member of Congress. Visit ASA’s action page (http://www.safeaccessnow.org/article.php?id=3471) to send your Congressional Representative an e-mail urging him/her to support the Hinchey-Rohrabacher Amendment. 2) Call Your Member of Congress. Every single phone call counts! Call your Congressional Representative and tell them if adopted this amendment will do two things: (a) Conserve taxpayers’ money by blocking funding for DEA raids in legal medical cannabis states against state certified medical cannabis patients and caregivers. (b) Protect legal medical cannabis patients from having their homes and workspaces unnecessarily raided by the DEA. For phone numbers of your representatives, visit www.house.gov or call the congressional switchboard at (202) 224-3121. Give the operator your zip code and ask to be connected to your U.S. Representative. This experience has changed our lives, broken our hearts, mended our love and taught us to be open with our needs and know that family, friends, and community will respond with abundance and love. Please help prevent further stories like mine from happening to other patients and providers. Please do the compassionate thing and contact your representative today (http://www.safeaccessnow.org/article.php?id=3471). Thank you, Toby
Location: 
Washington, DC
United States

Bans on hallucinogen spark drug debate

Location: 
United States
Publication/Source: 
The Politico (VA)
URL: 
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0707/4889.html

Pot Group Sues to Make Feds Eat Words

Location: 
CA
United States
Publication/Source: 
The Recorder (CA)
URL: 
http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1184144802024

We Want Pardons: Petition to Save Bush's Legacy by Persuading Him to Pardon Thousands of Nonviolent Drug Offenders

Don't just pardon turkeys, President Bush! We, the undersigned, ask you to save your legacy by releasing thousands of nonviolent drug offenders from federal prison before you leave office. Short of taking such a measure, you will be doomed to go down in history as a hypocrite. Unlike President Clinton, you cannot point to a record of mercy toward people caught in the criminal justice system. While the overall Clinton record in criminal justice was not lenient, he did commute the sentences of 63 people, most of them neither wealthy nor powerful, including 29 nonviolent drug offenders. You, by contrast, commuted only three prisoners' sentences prior to helping Scooter Libby, one every two years. You have pardoned four times as many Thanksgiving turkeys as people you've released from prison. Even worse, in 2003 your attorney general, John Ashcroft, issued guidelines requiring federal prosecutors to always seek the maximum possible amount of prison time for defendants, with only limited exceptions permitted. The measure we've called for will undoubtedly be controversial, but you will have defenders from across the political spectrum. Advocates will assist your staff in finding appropriate cases -- reopening cases you've previously rejected would give the project a good head start. Clemency petitions will undoubtedly start to pour in once you put the word out. You can answer critics by saying we need to redirect our resources toward national security instead. And it will be consistent with the sympathy you've expressed in the past, based on your personal experiences, for people who have struggled with substance abuse. In the nation that is the world's leading jailer, which incarcerates a far greater percentage of its population than any other nation yet calls itself "land of the free," the president who helps to reverse that pattern will ultimately be recognized for it. Indeed, the "tough-on-crime" laws that have led us to this situation were mainly enacted for political reasons. Please pardon or commute the sentences of thousands of nonviolent drug offenders; please rescind the aforementioned Ashcroft directive; renounce your support for the drug war (at least in its current form); and call on Congress to repeal mandatory minimum sentences and authorize downward revision of most federal sentencing guidelines. You have a year and a half left to prove that justice is for everyone -- not just for your friends. Will you rise to the occasion? History is watching.
Please click here to send a copy of this petition in your own name to President Bush, Vice-President Cheney, and your US Representative and Senators if you live in the US.
Location: 
Washington, DC
United States

DEA Pain Hearings Tomorrow

The House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security will be holding oversight hearings tomorrow on the DEA's Regulation of Pain and Medicine. This is long overdue. Our position is that DEA is effectively causing the torture by denial of opiate medication of millions of pain patients around the country, by prosecuting doctors and thereby frightening other doctors into not being willing to prescribe them. See our topical archive on the issue for further information. Among the presenters to the committee tomorrow is our friend Siobhan Reynolds, head of the Pain Relief Network. She has posted the prepared version of her testimony here. The Judiciary Committee makes live video feeds of all hearings available on its home page here.
Location: 
Washington, DC
United States

S.D. Farmer Struggling to Grow Hemp

Location: 
SD
United States
Publication/Source: 
Forbes.com (NY)
URL: 
http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2007/07/11/ap3901737.html

Heavy time for drug lightweights

Location: 
United States
Publication/Source: 
San Francisco Chronicle
URL: 
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2007/07/10/EDG6QQ4VGJ1.DTL

Opposing the Drug War Doesn’t Make Us "Pro-drug"

As recently as Friday, ONDCP has continuously described drug policy reform organizations as "pro-drug groups":
For years, pro-drug groups have been alleging that "nothing can be done" about the world's illegal drug problem.
Nothing could more perfectly illustrate ONDCP's inability (or unwillingness) to acknowledge the stated goals of the drug policy reform movement. For starters, "nothing can be done about the world's drug problem" is the precise opposite of what we believe, and is an ironic accusation to receive from people who specialize in accomplishing nothing.

We've identified many things that need to be done with regards to the world's drug problem, starting immediately. It's true that we want the government to stop doing several things it currently does, but that doesn't mean we advocate illegal drug use or want nothing done. Our message is positive: drug abuse can be handled better than this.

Moreover, the difference between advocating something and opposing the arrest of its practitioners is plainly evident in the case of religion, sexual preferences, sky diving and so on. It is utter nonsense to equate opposition to the drug war with advocacy of drug use, and ONDCP's compulsion to falsely describe our motives merely demonstrates the difficulty of actually responding to our arguments.

Ultimately, the magnitude and diversity of the drug policy reform movement overwhelms any attempt to simplify our agenda. DPA's Ethan Nadelmann said it best at the 2005 International Drug Policy Reform Conference:
Who are we? We are people who love drugs. They say we like drugs. It's true. Especially marijuana. Marijuana has been good for us. God put it here for a reason and we need to find a way to live with it in peace. But we are also people who hate drugs. We have suffered from overdoses and addiction. But we know that drugs are here to stay, and prohibition and the criminal justice system is not the way to deal with it. And we are people who don't care about drugs. People who care about the Constitution, who care about 2.2 million Americans behind bars, who care about fundamental rights and freedoms.
Indeed, opposition to the drug war emerges from a thousand perspectives, but it is for precisely this reason that ONDCP still endeavors to boil down our position into one silly soundbite: "pro-drug groups." It is one thing to create caricatures of our movement and mock us in a blog that doesn't allow comments. It would be quite another to stand up and defend this catastrophic war before each and every constituency that suffers by its hand.

So for the record, no, we are not "pro-drug." We are pro-freedom. We are pro-justice. We are pro-health, pro-equality, and pro-constitution. And we will continue to stand for these values openly and despite the certainty of being called things that we are not.

Location: 
United States

Ed Rosenthal scheduled to be sentenced this afternoon

Location: 
San Francisco, CA
United States
Publication/Source: 
KGET TV 17 (CA)
URL: 
http://www.kget.com/news/state/story.aspx?content_id=702e21b1-f4c7-434e-a189-9ce1b58b4682

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