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Press Release: Religious Leaders Endorse Petition to Protect Landmark Drug Treatment Law

For Immediate Release: Friday, July 7, 2006 Contact: Anthony Marsh (213) 989-1630 Religious Leaders Endorse Petition to Protect Landmark Drug Treatment Law Elected Officials Ignore Prison Crisis, Scrap Country’s Most Effective Prison Diversion Program. Clergy Announce An Immediate Backlash. Los Angeles, CA – Over 50 religious leaders throughout Southern California joined Progressive Christians Uniting in urging Governor Schwarnzenegger to protect the landmark drug treatment law known as Proposition 36. Clergy representing Los Angeles County, Orange County, San Bernardino and surrounding regions have endorsed a petition asking the Governor to veto a bill which would unconstitutionally alter the program designed to provide drug treatment rather incarceration to nonviolent substance abuse offenders. Six years ago, over 60% of California voters overwhelmingly passed the drug treatment initiative Proposition 36. Now it is in jeopardy of being changed. “Changing a voter approved ballot initiative is not only unconstitutional,” says Progressive Christians Uniting Executive Director Rev. Peter Laarman, “but it is morally unconscionable. The law is successfully saving lives and repairing families.” Since the treatment-instead-of-incarceration initiative (Prop. 36) passed, 60,000 people have graduated from Prop. 36 program drug treatment. Far fewer people are in jail or prison for drug use as a result. A recent study by UCLA researchers showed that taxpayers have also saved over $1.3 billion dollars through prison diversion. In a recent poll, over 70 percent of voters say they would vote for Prop. 36 if it were on the ballot today. Even the legislatures’ own lawyers and the Legislative Analyst Office (LAO) have declared that certain provisions of the bill are unconstitutional because they violate the true intent and purpose of Prop. 36. The bill (SB-1137) proposed by Senator Denise Ducheny of San Diego sits on the desk of the Governor to decide. If he fails to veto the bill, he is likely to see a long and costly legal battle over the constitutionality of the bill. He will certainly see a backlash from religious leaders seeking to help rather punish people for their addictions.
Location: 
United States

New Jersey Racial Profiling Archive

This section presents the racial profiling documents released by the New Jersey Attorney General's office on Monday, November 27, 2000, amid controversy and acrimony.

SF Commission Denies Permit for Fisherman's Wharf Pot Club

Location: 
United States
URL: 
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2006/07/13/state/n230614D08.DTL&type=politics

Judge Blocks Law that Changes Treatment Initiative (California)

Location: 
United States
Publication/Source: 
Associated Press
URL: 
http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/breaking_news/15033430.htm

Drug Policy Group Sues Governor for Altering Proposition 36 (California)

Location: 
United States
Publication/Source: 
Associated Press
URL: 
http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/breaking_news/15024278.htm?template=contentModules/printstory.jsp

Tennessee Judge Throws Out State's Drug Tax Stamp Law

Publication/Source: 
Associated Press
URL: 
http://www.wbir.com/news/regional/story.aspx?storyid=35986

New Jersey Medical Marijuana Legislation

Location: 
NJ
United States
Publication/Source: 
Atlantic City Weekly
URL: 
http://www.atlanticcityweekly.com/view.php?id=4714&issue_id=135_

ACLU Alaska press release

And another ACLU item, this one about the Alaska victory that came as expected -- hopefully not just a short term victory, but only time will tell about that. Read our feature story in the Chronicle from about a month ago.
Adults Have Privacy Right to Use Marijuana in the Home, Says Alaska Judge in Landmark Ruling ACLU Wins Multi-Year Battle to Protect Alaska Residents From Drug War Excesses FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 11, 2006 JUNEAU - In a landmark ruling, an Alaska state court judge has upheld adults' right to possess and use small amounts of marijuana within their homes. The American Civil Liberties Union, which challenged the law, said the ruling confirmed that the state constitution protects adults who use and possess marijuana in their homes from police surveillance, searches, arrest and prosecution. "The drug war has wreaked havoc on the Bill of Rights and the U.S. Constitution, but fortunately many state constitutions still shield individuals from drug war excess," said Allen Hopper, an attorney with the ACLU Drug Law Reform Project. "This ruling is incredibly significant from a national perspective, because there are a number of states with similar privacy rights in their constitutions that may afford protections to adult marijuana users." With the court's ruling, Alaska remains the only state in the nation in which adults are legally free to possess and use small amounts of marijuana within their homes. "The state of Alaska has charted a different course from that of the federal government's failed policy on marijuana," said Michael MacLeod-Ball, Executive Director of the ACLU of Alaska. "This ruling affirms Alaska's commitment to fundamental privacy rights over reefer madness." The ACLU filed suit against the State of Alaska after it passed a law earlier this year that would have re-criminalized adult use and possession of small amounts of marijuana within the home. Since 1975, the Alaska Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that the state constitution's privacy provisions protect adults' possession of small amounts of marijuana in the home, and the state court's ruling relied in part on those decisions. A similar law was proposed in 2005 by Governor Frank Murkowski, but failed to pass following testimony by international, national and state scientific experts that adult use of marijuana is no more dangerous today than it was in 1975. In the 1975 ruling, the Alaska Supreme Court ruled in Ravin v. State that the state constitution's right to privacy protects adults who use and possess marijuana within the home from criminal prosecution. Judge Patricia Collins of the Juneau Superior Court relied on the Ravin decision to reaffirm that the relatively minor dangers associated with adult possession and use of small amounts of marijuana within the home do not justify government surveillance and searches of homes or criminal prosecution. Her ruling was issued late yesterday. The State of Alaska argued that since the 1975 Ravin decision, marijuana has become more potent and dangerous, justifying a revisiting of the Supreme Court's previous ruling. Judge Collins disagreed, stating in her opinion that the "[Ravin] decision is law until and unless the supreme court takes contrary action." The ruling is online at: www.aclu.org/drugpolicy/decrim/26112lgl20060711.html The ACLU's legal papers are available at: www.aclu.org/drugpolicy/decrim/26060lgl20060630.html Additional background information on ACLU of Alaska v. State of Alaska can also be found at: www.aclu.org/drugpolicy/decrim/26076prs20060630.html
Location: 
Juneau, AK
United States

Judge Invalidates Alaska Marijuana Recriminalization Law, As Expected

Publication/Source: 
Associated Press
URL: 
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2003118645_webpot10.html

Methamphetamine Sold Openly In Stores

This is the kind of mundane story that doesn't make it into the Chronicle, but it is an example of the misreporting that plagues drug policy journalism. Meth isn't being sold in drugs stores, but that's what the misleading headline in a story about the availability of ephedrine says. Bad, bad, bad headline writing. http://www.abcnews4.com/news/stories/0706/343456.html
Location: 
United States

Drug War Issues

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