NJ Needle Exchange Continues Legal Battle: Medical Necessity Defense Rejected By Judge 11/15/97

Drug War Chronicle, recent top items

more...

recent blog posts "In the Trenches" activist feed

SUBSCRIBE TODAY!!!

Late last summer, DRCNet reported that Diana McCague and Thomas Scozzare of the Chai Project needle exchange program in New Brunswick, New Jersey had been convicted of violating state law by providing a sterile syringe to an undercover police officer, and asked our members to respond in the media (http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1997/8-13-1.html).

On Friday, November 7, McCague and Scozzare went before the Honorable Joyce Munkasci in State Superior Court, Middlesex County. According to McCague, Judge Munkasci claimed to come to the case with an open mind, but then refused to grant an extension when their attorneys asked for more time to prepare briefs, stated that they had not proven that needle exchange is effective (despite testimony from well known scientists Don Des Jarlais and Ernest Drucker), openly questioned McCague's veracity and indicated that the medical necessity defense did not apply since the undercover officer who requested syringes did not present as someone who was in imminent danger country. McCague commented, "I believe that I am being punished for my audacity -- not because I caused anyone any harm."

Judge Munkasci also refused to stay the penalties while the case in appeal -- $1,446 in fines, and a six month driver's license suspension. McCague makes a living driving a taxi, hence a license suspension would be a severe hardship. The appellate court granted an emergency stay on the license suspension, pending appeal, leaving the $1,446.

Grassroots support for the Chai Project in the way of donations to cover the fine would help the Chai Project continue, and would also make good PR. If you would like to help the Chai Project, call Diana McCague at (732) 247-7014 or e-mail [email protected].

-- END --
Link to Drug War Facts
Please make a generous donation to support Drug War Chronicle in 2007!          

PERMISSION to reprint or redistribute any or all of the contents of Drug War Chronicle (formerly The Week Online with DRCNet is hereby granted. We ask that any use of these materials include proper credit and, where appropriate, a link to one or more of our web sites. If your publication customarily pays for publication, DRCNet requests checks payable to the organization. If your publication does not pay for materials, you are free to use the materials gratis. In all cases, we request notification for our records, including physical copies where material has appeared in print. Contact: StoptheDrugWar.org: the Drug Reform Coordination Network, P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 293-8340 (voice), (202) 293-8344 (fax), e-mail [email protected]. Thank you.

Articles of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of the DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.

Issue #19, 11/15/97 NJ Needle Exchange Continues Legal Battle: Medical Necessity Defense Rejected By Judge | Virginia Pushes Envelope on Pain Control: Medical Society Calls For Greater Acceptance Of Narcotics | Marihuana The Forbidden Medicine: Revised and Expanded Edition of the Landmark Book by Grinspoon and Bakalar | Media Alert: Magazine Does Hatchet Job on San Francisco's Reform-Minded District Attorney | Events: The Reformer's Calendar Updated -- Events Coming Right Up! | Junior High Student Suspended for Supplying Cough Drop | Drug Czar "Sends a Message" to the Pentagon Over Anti- Drug Budget: Military Reluctant To Expand Drug War Involvement | Shultz And Friedman Tell California Cops "Drug War is a Dismal Failure" | Undercover Federal Narc Shoots Teen Holding Candy Bar | Consumption of (Legal) Alcohol Plunges | 18 Students Share Needle in Science Class | 51% of Canadians Favor Decriminalization of Marijuana | Clinton Removes Syria, Lebanon from List of Problem Drug Trafficking Nations | Rheumatoid Arthritis Sufferer Gets 9-Month Suspended Sentence in England | Colorado Governor Calls for Sentencing Reform: Prefers Alternatives to Incarceration and Educational Spending | Editorial: Youth are Victims of Drug War
Mail this article to a friend
Send us feedback on this article
This issue -- main page
This issue -- single-file printer version
Drug War Chronicle -- main page
Chronicle archives
Subscribe now!
Out from the Shadows HEA Drug Provision Drug War Chronicle Perry Fund DRCNet en EspaŮol Speakeasy Blogs About Us Home
Why Legalization? NJ Racial Profiling Archive Subscribe Donate DRCNet em PortuguÍs Latest News Drug Library Search
special friends links: SSDP - Flex Your Rights - IAL - Drug War Facts

StoptheDrugWar.org: the Drug Reform Coordination Network (DRCNet)
1623 Connecticut Ave., NW, 3rd Floor, Washington DC 20009 Phone (202) 293-8340 Fax (202) 293-8344 [email protected]