Incarceration, Asset Forfeiture, Arrests, Informants, Police Raids, Search and Seizure

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Mexican official plans more extraditions to U.S.

Location: 
Mexico City
Mexico
Publication/Source: 
The Mercury News (CA)
URL: 
http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/world/16517027.htm

Medical marijuana raids are criticized

Location: 
CA
United States
Publication/Source: 
Los Angeles Times
URL: 
http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/california/la-me-pot19jan19,1,1262748.story?coll=la-headlines-pe-california

Op-Ed: It's time to end pointless war on drugs

Location: 
OH
United States
Publication/Source: 
Zanesville Times Recorder (OH)
URL: 
http://zanesvilletimesrecorder.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070119/OPINION02/701190335/1014/OPINION

Medical Marijuana: Washington State Group Raided

Washington state drug enforcement agents raided the headquarters of CannaCare, an Everett-based medical marijuana advocacy and support group Wednesday. Agents with the federally-funded West Sound Narcotics Enforcement Team seized what they said was more than a thousand marijuana plants, as well as computers containing medical records and other personal information on about 200 people authorized to use the herb under state law. No one has yet been arrested or charged with a crime.

It is the second raid in a week at addresses linked to CannaCare. Last week, agents raided the Renton home of John Worthington, an associate of CannaCare head Steve Sarich, a prominent Washington medical marijuana advocate who, according to the Seattle Times, provoked police by "aannouncing that CannaCare will provide pot plants to patients."

In the Renton raid, police seized six marijuana plants, and Worthington screamed foul. "They went after me because I'm an activist, and I've been terrorized out of growing," Worthington told the Post-Intelligencer. "I can't have my kids frisked like they're criminals. That was disgusting. I'm not Al Capone -- I'm a dad."

Sarich, too, remains unrepentant. "Since they don't like medical marijuana, this is an attack on the people that support it," Sarich told the Seattle paper while insisting he is no drug dealer. According to Sarich, only a few ounces of marijuana were found in the raid, and most of the seized plants were unrooted clones and starter plants. The slightly more than $1,000 cash police seized was to pay his utility bill, he claimed.

But the network of patients around CannaCare and local privacy watchdogs are concerned about patient records falling into the hands of police. "Who knows what they're doing with our information?" said Steve Newman, who has multiple sclerosis and has been using marijuana, obtained through CannaCare, for two years. "It makes me concerned -- really, really concerned. But we're pretty helpless. Nobody can say much about it," he told the Post-Intelligencer.

"CannaCare had a lot of records related to patients they were providing cuttings for," said Alison Chin Holcomb, director of the Washington ACLU's Marijuana Education Project. "We are not real comfortable with law enforcement having the ability to disseminate information from people's medical records," she told Drug War Chronicle.

The group may move to restrict police access to those records, Holcomb said. "We're investigating what legal grounds we might have for requesting that a judge issue a protective order, or maybe even an order sealing those records," she said. "We want to minimize patient exposure."

But if CannaCare and Sarich were providing marijuana to more than one patient, there could be a tough legal battle ahead of them, Holcomb said. "Under Washington law, a designated caregiver can provide for only one patient. If it turns out he is providing to large numbers of people, that could be a real problem for him."

City of West Hollywood Officials Decry DEA Raids on Five Marijuana Dispensaries

Press Release Source: City of West Hollywood City of West Hollywood Officials Decry DEA Raids on Five Marijuana Dispensaries Wednesday January 17, 9:52 pm ET WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--City of West Hollywood officials reacted swiftly today to news that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) had raided and shut down five medicinal marijuana dispensaries located in West Hollywood. "The City of West Hollywood has had a long-standing commitment to the compassionate use of medical marijuana for those persons who are facing catastrophic illnesses," said City Manager Paul Arevalo. The DEA's enforcement of federal drug laws against the dispensaries conflicts with Proposition 215, a ballot measure approved by the California voters in 1996 decriminalizing the use of medical marijuana. The following five marijuana dispensaries located in West Hollywood were raided by the DEA today: 7828 Santa Monica - Alternative Herbal Health 7825 Santa Monica - Medical Marijuana Pharmacy 7901 Santa Monica - West Hollywood Caregivers 8464 Santa Monica - California Cannabis Pharmacy 8921 Sunset - West Hollywood Center for Compassionate Healing Just last night the West Hollywood City Council introduced an ordinance establishing permanent regulations to mitigate the impacts of medical marijuana dispensaries, following a two-year moratorium. "The DEA raids came as a complete surprise to the City," said Arevalo. "It is regrettable that the federal, state and local governments cannot work together on this issue." The City of West Hollywood has been a long-standing supporter of the use of marijuana that is prescribed, dispensed and used for medicinal purposes. West Hollywood is home to a disproportionately large percentage of seniors afflicted with a variety of chronic illnesses, and people with HIV and AIDS, for which medicinal marijuana diminishes suffering. Here are comments regarding today's DEA action from two West Hollywood City Councilmembers: "The state of California voted to allow marijuana for medical purposes," says West Hollywood City Councilmember Abbe Land. "The City of West Hollywood along with other cities across the state have established regulations to govern the dispensing of medical marijuana, so that people whose lives depend on this drug can be assured of safe access to their medicine. The DEA should spend their time going after dispensaries that are not operating in accordance with local ordinances, as well as unscrupulous doctors who write illegitimate prescriptions," she continued. "Today's actions again demonstrate the skewed priorities of the Bush administration and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration," says West Hollywood City Councilmember Jeffrey Prang. "Providing safe access to medical marijuana for those living with serious and often painful illnesses such as HIV/AIDS, cancer and other terminal diseases is something this City supports. We have worked closely with our community to insure these establishments operate safely and comply with the spirit of Proposition 215 adopted by the voters of California," he continued. Contact: City of West Hollywood 323-848-6431 Fax: 323-848 6561 Tamara White Public Information Officer twhite@weho.org or Helen J. Goss, Esq. Director, Public Information and Prosecution Services hgoss@weho.org
Location: 
West Hollywood, CA
United States

Agents raid medical marijuana advocacy office

Location: 
WA
United States
Publication/Source: 
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
URL: 
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/300191_potbust18.html

DEA Raids Medical Marijuana Clinics

Location: 
Los Angeles, CA
United States
Publication/Source: 
Los Angeles Times
URL: 
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/wire/sns-ap-marijuana-clinics-raid,1,3670402.story?coll=sns-ap-nation-headlines

Law Enforcement: Florida County Will Pay for Manhandling Men in Errant Drug Bust Caught on Videotape

Florida's Pinellas County has agreed to pay $100,000 to two men mistakenly arrested and roughed up by deputies from the sheriff's department's narcotics division. Fortunately for the men, Desmond Small, 26, and Christopher Lobban, 20, the incident was caught on videotape from a camera in a car rental office where the bad bust went down.

The August 17 incident occurred when deputies following a vehicle thought to be carrying drugs lost track of it. Minutes later, another pair of deputies spotted what they thought was the same vehicle and followed it to the car rental agency. When the vehicle's occupants got out and entered the car rental office, the deputies burst in with guns drawn and forced Small and Lobban to the floor. One deputy put his foot on the back of Small's head and and repeatedly pushed his face into the floor. Small suffered abrasions to his face and a cut to his mouth that required stitches. Rental agency employees said the carpet he was lying on was so bloodstained they had to throw it out. The video also showed two officers exchanging high-fives over their big bust, and one of them apparently stomping on Small's leg as he lay cuffed on the carpet.

Although rental agency employees who witnessed the arrest said Small and Lobban did not resist, the deputies accused Small of not cooperating. "I don't think they were resisting other than just being kind of shocked," rental employee Brad Bess told the St. Petersburg Times.

"I was like, 'What the hell is going on?'" Small said in an interview with sheriff's investigators released Wednesday. "I said, 'Sir, I didn't do anything.'"

The $100,000 pay-out to the two men was approved by County Attorney Susan Churuti. She said that given the results of the sheriff's department's investigation, the pair could have sued the county for civil rights violations, wrongful arrest and personal injury.

The two narcotics deputies, whose status as undercover agents apparently protects them from having their identities revealed, are now serving 12-day suspensions without pay and are on workplace suspension for a year.

But at least one county commissioner doesn't think that's enough. "If I were sheriff, I think I would send a stronger message that that kind of conduct is unacceptable," Commissioner Kenny Welch said. "And I'm not sure I want to see those two particular officers working narcotics in South County. I plan to raise that issue with the sheriff."

Miami-Dade Green Party Drug War Forum

On Saturday, January 27, the Miami-Dade Green Party and The Wallflower Gallery is going to be hosting a Forum on the Drug War. This educational event is going to gather various proponents for drug law reform and work to enhance some communication between various organizations and individuals. As part of this Forum, there will be panel discussion, information tables and question & answer sessions. In addition, there will be musical and spoken word performances by a selection of independent artists including Sweetbone. The Miami-Dade Green Party Forum on the Drug War will cover various topics including medical marijuana, mandatory minimums, treatment vs incarceration, privatized prisons, reform strategies, public outreach techniques, current reform legislature and other related issues. Feature are Elvy Musikka (legal medical marijuana patient), Toni Latino and Kurt Donley from Florida NORML as well as members from the Miami-Dade Green Party. Other speakers and presenters will be listed as they continue to be confirmed. The Miami-Dade Green Party Forum on the Drug War is still open for other organizations to be included in this presentation. For any speakers or organizations who wish to be included, please contact Flash at The Wallflower Gallery - 305-579-0069. The Miami-Dade Green Party is working to reach out to people in the community who wish to participate in progressive change and reforms on social issues. The event starts at 4:00 p.m. There is a $5 admission. This is an all ages event. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. Thank you for your interest and your effort. Flash Funk Finder, The Wallflower Gallery www.wallflowergallery.com www.myspace.com/wallflowergallery www.myspace.com/medmj www.mdgp.org
Date: 
Sat, 01/27/2007 - 4:00pm - 8:00pm
Location: 
10 N.E. 3rd Street
Miami, FL 33132
United States

Meeting: New York Campaign for Telephone Justice

NYCTJ Monthly Meeting Meetings are open to all friends and family members of people incarcerated in NYS prisons, ally organizations, and anyone concerned about this critical issue. Light refreshments served. Email Lauren Melodia at lmelodia@ccr-ny.org or call 212.614.6481 to RSVP. Monthly meetings are held the last Tuesday of every month.
Date: 
Tue, 01/30/2007 - 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Location: 
666 Broadway Room 602 (between Bleecker and Bond Streets)
New York, NY
United States

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