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Hip Hop Star Releases Anti-Rockefeller Drug Law Video for Forthcoming Documentary

Gabriel Sayegh blogs about it for the Huffington Post...
United States

Goodell apologizes to prospects outed for pot use

New York, NY
United States
ABC12 (MI)

Feature: Punk Rocker's Jailing Raises Questions About Field Drug Tests

Don Bolles, drummer for the legendary punk band the Germs, was going to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting with his girlfriend, 21-year-old Cat Scandal, after picking her up for "a day off" from drug rehab, on April 4, when they were pulled over in a traffic stop by Newport Beach Police. During a search of the vehicle -- to which Bolles unwisely consented -- police found a bottle of peppermint Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap. According to a police field drug test, the soap contained GHB (gamma hydroxyl butyrate), a so-called date rape drug illegal under state and federal law.

GHB -- Don Bolles and Dr. Bronner's don't have it
Despite Bolles' disbelieving protests of innocence, he was arrested and charged with possession of GHB. The aging punk spent three and a half days in a series of Orange County jails before being bailed out, and another 10 days facing felony charges before a confirmation test done by the Orange County Sheriff's Department Crime Lab came back negative and prosecutors announced they were dropping the charges.

The field test was performed by a kit manufactured by Armor Forensics/ODV called the Narcopouch 928. Armor Forensics/ODV did not respond to calls from the Chronicle about the false positives reported by its product. One man at ODV who refused to identify himself said only that he could not comment because of possible legal action.

The Drug and Alcohol Testing Industry Association did not respond to Chronicle queries about accuracy standards within the industry. In the group's defense, however, it should be noted that they were all out of the office this week attending a national drug testing industry convention.

The Newport Beach Police Department did not respond to calls from the Chronicle about the accuracy of the GHB field test.

Bolles is out from under the long arm of the law now, but he's not happy about his experience. Neither is Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, whose president, David Bronner, is also a leading figure in the hemp movement and a friend of drug policy reform. Bronner offered Bolles legal assistance when he heard the news, and Dr. Bronner's began a public campaign to clear its name and put the drug testing industry on the defensive.

NarcoPouch Squad Pack Kit -- not an accurate test for GHB
Bolles couldn't believe he was being arrested for drug possession, he told the Chronicle. "I knew it wasn't GHB, I knew it was soap; I used it that morning," he said. "It was ridiculous."

Ridiculous it may have been, but Bolles' three and a half day journey through the jails of Southern California was no laughing matter. "They kept me in several different jails, and it was a pretty hardcore experience for me," he said. "There was some 28-hour, weird booking procedure; you have to sit around in a concrete cubicle with other prisoners, they wake you up every half hour. It was pretty horrifying."

When Dr. Bronner's heard about Bolles' predicament on April 9 it issued the first of a series of press releases decrying his arrest and flatly denying that its product contained GHB. "This clearly is a case of profiling by the Newport Beach police of a person who doesn't look like the people who live in that town," said vice-president Michael Bronner. "We are paying the cost of Mr. Bolles' lawyer, and we demand the charges be dropped or proof from the police forensics lab of GHB contamination be immediately provided to us," he stated.

David Bronner derided the police for their bizarre notion that soap was a good place to put GHB. "We cannot imagine anyone putting GHB, or any other drug for that matter, into a rinse-off soap product that is lathered and rinsed off the body immediately," he said. "The Newport Beach police should see how much of a buzz putting beer in their shampoo gives them, and get a grip and apologize on their hands and knees to Mr. Bolles."

"This is ridiculous," Bronner told the Chronicle. "Not only is drug testing an incredible intrusion into people's privacy -- countries like Canada and Europe don't allow this -- but this test is completely unreliable, causing false positives with things like soap. What kind of standards are these tests subject to before they are placed on the market?"

Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps -- not a useful medium for consuming GHB
"The testing of substances for drugs is basically unregulated," Kevin Zeese, a prominent long-time drug reformer and political activist with expertise in the intersection of law and drug testing. "If it were the feds, the DEA would set the standards, but at the local level, it's state and local police who make the decisions. This all takes place within the criminal justice system; there is no regulation by the FDA or any other agency apart from law enforcement agencies," he told the Chronicle.

"There have been lots of cases of these sorts of tests not being accurate and causing problems, so this is not surprising," said Zeese. "Now, the local police are going to have to do something to correct their standards so they don't falsely accuse people. If they don't, this kind of thing ends up being regulated by the courts."

Bronner had another, disturbing question. "What else can cause a false positive, and how many people have been thrown in jail because of that?" he asked. "Don came under a whole lot of pressure to just plead. According to the drug testing company literature, you can get a conviction based on just a field test and a confession. The confirmation tests have lower cut-offs, so the cops try to get you to confess based on the field test."

Bronner's campaign isn't ending with Bolles' exoneration. At least four other soaps have resulted in false positives in the Narcopouch 928 GHB test kit, including Neutrogena and Tom's of Maine. "We are testing more products and videotaping those tests. Products from Johnson & Johnson and Palmolive are testing positive, so we'll go to the Cosmetics, Toiletries and Fragrances Association, show them these products are testing positive, and then work through them to explore options for addressing the situation with these field drug test kits. Ideally, we could force a product recall, but we need at least a disclaimer if this product is going to continue to be sold. If they don't know soap tests positive, what else don't they know?"

He is also calling for law enforcement to quit using the Narcopouch 928. "Police departments across the country should stop using that immediately," he said.

Bolles rose to fame in the late 1970s as a member of the LA punk band the Germs, whose influence was widespread in the scene and who are credited with popularizing the Mohawk haircut. The band broke up in 1980 after lead singer Darby Crash killed himself. The surviving members reunited two years ago and will tour this summer.

Bolles has not washed his hands of the case yet, either. "The lawyers and David and I have been consulting about our best legal strategy," he said. "We haven't decided which direction to go yet. But what happened to me shouldn't happen to anybody else."

Punk Rocker Jailed -- Over Soap!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Adam Eidinger April 9, 2007

"Germ" Wrongly Jailed Over Soap

Absurd GHB Drug Charges for Don Bolles, Drummer of the "The Germs", Stem From a Bottle of Dr. Bronner's Peppermint Soap Found in Van During Police Stop ESCONDIDO, CA – The Bronner family, makers of the popular organic Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps are shocked and disturbed by musician Don Bolles' April 4th arrest for felony drug possession after police alleged an 8oz bottle of peppermint Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap tested positive for the illicit drug GHB (Gamma Hydroxy Butyrate). The notion that anyone would put GHB in a rinse-off liquid soap product is beyond belief, and the police field test used must have been flawed or tampered with. GHB, which produces euphoria and is an alleged aphrodisiac when ingested, of course has absolutely no effect in a soap product that is rinsed off the hands and body. Mr. Bolles, drummer of the legendary punk band The Germs, was arrested following a police traffic stop and spent three and half days in various jails in Orange County before being released early Easter morning. During a consented search of Mr. Bolles vintage 1968 A-108 van, Newport Beach police found a bottle of peppermint Dr. Bronner's soap which is made with organic coconut, olive, hemp, peppermint and jojoba oils. Felony drug possession could mean 20 years in prison if convicted. A pretrial hearing is scheduled for Friday, April 13, 2007 at the Harbor Justice Center, 4601 Jamboree Road Newport Beach, CA at 8:30am. "I've used only Dr. Bronner's soap for 35 years," says Mr. Bolles. "I use it for everything - bathing, washing my hair, washing my clothes - it goes everywhere I go. I'm scheduled to go to Europe to tour with The Germs this summer, but these felony charges could keep me from traveling out of the country. This whole thing could be really devastating to a 50 year old guy just trying to make a living. I told the officer 'its soap, it smells like peppermint soap,' but he seemed intent on arresting me." "It is totally outrageous that the police could be this malicious and idiotic," says Michael Bronner, Vice-President of Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps. "This clearly is a case of profiling by the Newport Beach police of a person who doesn't look like the people who live in that town. We are paying the cost of Mr. Bolle's lawyer, and we demand the charges be dropped or proof from the police forensics lab of GHB contamination be immediately provided to us," said Bronner. Adds brother David Bronner, President: "We cannot imagine anyone putting GHB, or any other drug for that matter, into a rinse-off soap product that is lathered and rinsed off the body immediately. The Newport Beach police should see how much of a buzz putting beer in their shampoo gives them, and get a grip and apologize on their hands and knees to Mr. Bolles." At the time of the arrest Mr. Bowles was driving his girlfriend, and fellow musician Cat Scandal to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in Newport Beach. "I had heard of GHB but the police had to tell me what it was," said Bolles. "I'm going to fight these charges." To arrange an interview with Don Bolles, Michael Bronner or David Bronner please contact Adam Eidinger at adam@drbronner.com. ###
Newport Beach, CA
United States

Kirsten Dunst Admits She Smokes Marijuana

Los Angeles, CA
United States

At 'less political' Hash Bash, an Arquette cameo

Ann Arbor, MI
United States
The Michigan Daily

CT Press Conference: Montel Williams Joins Patients and Legislators in Support of Medical Marijuana

MEDIA ADVISORY: March 22, 2007 Contact: Lorenzo Jones 860-270-9586 or Gabriel Sayegh 646-335-2264 Special Guest Montel Williams Joins Legislators, Patients, Caregivers and Advocates to Support Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act Press Conference Scheduled for Friday, 23 March 2007, 11:00 a.m. Momentum Builds as Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Legislation, HB 6715, Passes Judiciary Committee Hartford—Connecticut’s Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana legislation, House Bill 6715, cleared its first hurdle yesterday when it passed the Joint Committee on Judiciary. The bill would allow seriously ill patients access to medical marijuana with a doctor’s recommendation. A 2004 UCONN poll found that 83% of Connecticut residents support allowing patients to access medical marijuana for relief of symptoms associated with debilitating and deadly conditions such as HIV/AIDS, cancer and multiple sclerosis. Special guest Montel Williams, Emmy Award-winning talk show host and New York Times bestselling author, will join supporters to discuss his use of medical marijuana to relieve multiple sclerosis symptoms and his support of the Connecticut legislation. Also speaking will be families of Connecticut medical marijuana patients whose suffering and symptoms were relieved by medical marijuana and the sponsors of the Connecticut Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act. The Senate Health, Senior Services and Human Services Committee will hold informational hearings on Senate Bill No. 88, The Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act, on Thursday, 8 June at 1p.m. What: A press conference to release poll results on New Jersey voters’ attitudes about medical marijuana Who: -Montel Williams, Emmy Award-winning talk show host and New York Times bestselling author -Rep. Penny Bacchiochi: 52nd District: Sommers, Stratford, Union -Rep. Mike Christ: 11th District: East Hartford and South Windsor -Deputy Speaker of the House Representatives Marie Kirkley-Bey: 5th District: Hartford -Mark Braunstein, patient, paraplegic with a spinal cord injury -Andrea Comer, Hartford resident and former president of African American Alliance -Tim Black, Ph.D., caregiver and Hartford Resident -Dawn Marie Fuller Ball, caregiver and A Better Way Foundation Board President -other Connecticut State Legislators, advocates, and patients When: Friday, March 23, 2007, 11:00 a.m. Where: Connecticut Legislative Office Building, Room 2D
Hartford, CT
United States

CT: Medical marijuana bill gains support

Hartford, CT
United States
The News-Times (CT)

Party with Tommy Chong & Help Ed Rosenthal

Dear Friend, I would like to invite you to come join Tommy Chong and myself at my home in Oakland, CA for a great party to raise money for my defense fund. The party will celebrate how far we've come in legalizing Medical Marijuana as well as provide me with the money I need to fund my current trial that is defending all of our rights. Come out for some great food, groovy music and a great time. Purchase tickets online at http://www.green-aid.com or Contact Kristine (510-338-8115) or Rod (510-533-0605, ext 3#) to reserve in advance. First 100 tickets are $100 in advance; General Admission is $125. Space is limited. Hope to see you there! Ed
Sun, 03/04/2007 - 3:20pm - 8:00pm
9 Lake Avenue
Peidmont, CA
United States

Europe: Legendary Irish Broadcaster Says Country Should Debate Legalizing Drugs

Former Irish talk show host and current head of the Road Safety Authority Gay Byrne has called for a national debate on legalizing drugs. As host of the Late Late Show in Ireland from 1962 to 1999, Byrne was a leading catalyst in the transformation of Irish society, tackling such taboo subjects as abortion, homosexuality, the sexual abuse of children by priests, divorce, and AIDS. Now, he is speaking out on drug policy.

Gay Byrne
In remarks reported over the weekend, Byrne said he had arrived at the point where he believed fresh thinking on Irish drug policy was needed. "This is a mighty chasm for me to leap," he said, "but I've come to the conclusion that the possibility of legalizing drugs should be looked at."

Byrne said Irish police are spending millions of dollars trying to stop the drug trade and have been doing so for years, without much success. "Dead bodies are being found every day of the week. All I am saying is maybe there is another way of doing it," he said. "Do you keep on trying to solve a problem that has been with us for 40 years, or should we be looking at legalizing the bloody thing?"

Drug prohibition leads to increased criminality, Byrne suggested. "You do not find people killing each other over a packet of cigarettes or a can of Heineken," he argued. "How long do you keep on repairing a car that is not working before you say maybe there is another way of doing this?"

Forever, if the Irish government has its way. Despite growing concerns over prohibition-linked crime, high rates of drug use, and drug overdoses, the government was quick to respond to Byrne's comments with a firm negative. "I'm entirely opposed to legalizing any drug," said Noel Ahern, minister of state responsible for drug policy. "At different stages, different people have tried to make an argument for legalizing drugs. But it's not a suggestion that can work. Drugs are illegal, and that's the right way to have them. Any talk about liberalizing drugs is irresponsible."

Right. Better to continue down the merry path of failing prohibitionist policies than even discuss alternatives, one supposes. But given Gay Byrne's history as a catalyst of change, Ahern and his colleagues in the government might want to think again.

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