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Hinchey-Rohrabacher

Alex Coolman has a nice summary of the Hinchey-Rohrabacher amendment and its history over at Drug Law Blog. I haven't heard yet about this year, but will let you all know when I do... Read our '06 Hinchey-Rohrabacher coverage here and here.
Location: 
Washington, DC
United States

FAMM urges Congress to heed message from Commission, New report finds crack disparity unjustifiable, up to Congress to fix the problem

WASHINGTON, D.C.: Federal crack cocaine penalties overstate the harmfulness of the drug, apply mostly to low-level offenders, and hit minorities hardest, concludes the U.S. Sentencing Commission in a new report to Congress, "Cocaine and Federal Sentencing Policy," released today, May 15. Based on these findings, the Commission maintains it's consistently held position that current crack cocaine penalties significantly undermine the congressional objectives of the Sentencing Reform Act, including fairness, uniformity and proportionality. The solution? Congress should act, says the report. Mary Price, vice president and general counsel of Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM), a national, nonpartisan sentencing reform organization, says, "The prisoners, children and families torn apart by these unjustifiably harsh penalties are watching closely and will welcome crack sentencing reforms that restore some justice to crack penalties. Only Congress can change our harsh mandatory minimum crack laws. Lawmakers should not squander the important opportunity presented by the most recent set of findings and recommendations by the Sentencing Commission. The time is ripe for reform, especially given the bipartisan support for crack sentencing reform that has emerged in recent years." In its report, the Commission again unanimously and strongly urged Congress to act promptly on the following recommendations: (1) Increase the five-year and ten-year mandatory minimum threshold quantities for crack cocaine offenses to focus the penalties more closely on serious and major traffickers, (2) Repeal the mandatory minimum sentence for simple possession of crack cocaine and (3) Reject addressing the 100-to-1 disparity by decreasing the five-year and ten-year mandatory minimum threshold quantities for powder cocaine offenses, citing no evidence to justify such an increase in quantity-based penalties for powder cocaine offenses. In addition, the Commission seeks authority to incorporate any future changes to the mandatory minimums for crack into the federal sentencing guidelines. FAMM strongly supports these recommendations and looks forward to working with members of Congress to implement these reasonable and long-overdue reforms to crack cocaine sentencing. Visit www.ussc.gov to read the report. --------------------------------------------------- Note on Second Chance Act H.R. 1593, the Second Chance Act, was pulled from the floor of the House of Representatives before it was voted on. FAMM is investigating this unexpected action and will follow up with more information on www.famm.org and ealerts. --------------------------------------------------- What is FAMM? FAMM is the national voice for fair and proportionate sentencing laws. We shine a light on the human face of sentencing, advocate for state and federal sentencing reform and mobilize thousands of individuals and families whose lives are adversely affected by unjust sentences. For more information, visit www.famm.org or email famm@famm.org.
Location: 
Washington, DC
United States

Congressional Staff Briefing (Senate): Reforming Crack Cocaine Sentencing

On May 15, the United States Sentencing Commission (USSC) updated its 2002 Report to Congress on Federal Cocaine Sentencing. The USSC report once again finds that there is no rationale for the sentencing differences between the two forms of the drug. Under current law, possessing or selling 5 grams of crack cocaine results in the same five-year mandatory minimum sentence as selling 500 grams of powder cocaine. The law harshly punishes low-level offenders, and has had a disparate impact on African-American and low-income communities. Join us in a frank discussion on avenues for reform of this unjust law. Speakers to include: Lisa Rich, United States Sentencing Commission Hillary Shelton (Invited), NAACP, Washington Office Pat Nolan, Prison Fellowship Moderated by Marc Mauer of The Sentencing Project & Jesselyn McCurdy of the ACLU RSVP by May 18 to Vee Campbell (vcampbell@osi-dc.org) or call (202) 721-5649.
Date: 
Mon, 05/21/2007 - 2:00pm
Location: 
Washington, DC
United States

Congressional Staff Briefing (House): Reforming Crack Cocaine Sentencing

On May 15, the United States Sentencing Commission (USSC) updated its 2002 Report to Congress on Federal Cocaine Sentencing. The USSC report once again finds that there is no rationale for the sentencing differences between the two forms of the drug. Under current law, possessing or selling 5 grams of crack cocaine results in the same five-year mandatory minimum sentence as selling 500 grams of powder cocaine. The law harshly punishes low-level offenders, and has had a disparate impact on African-American and low-income communities. Join us in a frank discussion on avenues for reform of this unjust law. Speakers to include: Lisa Rich, United States Sentencing Commission Hillary Shelton (Invited), NAACP, Washington Office Pat Nolan, Prison Fellowship Moderated by Marc Mauer of The Sentencing Project & Jesselyn McCurdy of the ACLU RSVP by May 18 to Vee Campbell (vcampbell@osi-dc.org) or call (202) 721-5649.
Date: 
Mon, 05/21/2007 - 9:00am
Location: 
Washington, DC
United States

Ganja Guru retrial begins

Location: 
San Francisco, CA
United States
Publication/Source: 
AXcess News (KY)
URL: 
http://www.axcessnews.com/index.php/articles/show/id/11002

Full Investigation: Army Recruiters Pre-Screening for Drugs

Location: 
TX
United States
Publication/Source: 
WOAI (TX)
URL: 
http://www.woai.com/mostpopular/story.aspx?content_id=38060e5c-48f1-469e-8332-a9e2164ffe3c

Gaia-Murdering Psychopath

Peter Guither of Drug WarRant explains to drug czar John Walters why it is his prohibitionist policies that bear the root blame for endangering a rare hummingbird species in the Andes, not the coca growers as Walters' agency claims on their own blog.
Location: 
United States

Initial Hurwitz Prosecutor Resigns from DOJ #2 Post

good riddance to Paul McNulty!!!!! One of the big news stories today was the resignation of Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty as part of the US Attorneys firings scandal. I commented on the possibility of a McNulty firing on March 20th here in the Speakeasy, pointing out his history as the prosecutor who initiated charges against pain physician Dr. William Hurwitz, got the DEA's pain FAQ pulled to influence the trial, as well as his role in getting parole abolished in the state of Virginia. McNulty was present last month when the new Hurwitz verdicts -- more limited than the original, though still negative -- were read. Good riddance to Paul McNulty. May this mark an end to his evil works once and for all.
Location: 
Washington, DC
United States

DRCNet Member Offer: The Trebach Trilogy

Update to original offer: Trebach has agreed to sign all copies of his books that you get from DRCNet! Also, add just $22 or more to your donation to get a copy of Lies, Damn Lies, and Drug War Statistics too! (Make a note in the comment box to let us know you're requesting this.)

http://stopthedrugwar.org/files/trebach-shadows.jpg
Arnold Trebach at 2003 press conference on which DRCNet collaborated
We are pleased to announce that our latest premium book offer for members is the "Trebach Trilogy" -- two re-released classics by Arnold Trebach -- a long-time friend of DRCNet, founder of the Drug Policy Foundation and known to reform cognoscenti as the father of the modern drug policy reform movement -- and one newly-minted volume:

  • The Heroin Solution: "A blockbuster," says Publishers Weekly. "Eloquent and persuasive," according to The New York Times.
  • The Great Drug War, and Rational Proposals to Turn the Tide: Two decades ago, in what was a heartfelt indictment of the Reagan-era war on drugs, Trebach identified and brought to vivid life all sorts of abuses derived from the effort to enforce drug prohibition and began to elaborate a strategy for escaping from drug war and achieving "drug peace." (Drug War Chronicle)
  • Fatal Distraction: The War on Drugs in the Age of Islamic Terror: [T]he distillation of a life's work in the trenches of drug law reform... a book grizzled reformers and bright-eyed newcomers to the cause alike will want to read and absorb. (Drug War Chronicle)

Please help DRCNet's work with a generous donation. If your donation is $35 or more, we'll send you a complimentary copy of any one of the Trebach books -- or donate $65 or more and choose two, or $90 or more for all three.

Your donation will help DRCNet as we advance what we think is an incredible two-year plan to substantially advance drug policy reform and the cause of ending prohibition globally and in the US. Please make a generous donation today to help the cause! I know you will feel the money was well spent after you see what DRCNet has in store. Our online donation form lets you donate by credit card, by PayPal, or to print out a form to send with your check or money order by mail. Please note that contributions to the Drug Reform Coordination Network, our lobbying entity, are not tax-deductible. Tax-deductible donations can be made to DRCNet Foundation, our educational wing. (Choosing gift items will reduce the portion of your donation that you can deduct by the retail cost of the item.) Both groups receive member mail at: DRCNet, P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036.

Read Chronicle editor Phil Smith's review of The Great Drug War here, and Phil's review of Fatal Distraction here, and Phil's review of The Heroin Solution here.

In the opium capital of the world, very late lessons in drug enforcement

Location: 
Kabul
Afghanistan
Publication/Source: 
International Herald Tribune (France)
URL: 
http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/05/15/asia/opium.php

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