(The following letter writing request was submitted by Kevin Zeese,
President of Common Sense for Drug Policy. For a full copy of the original
article, e-mail your fax number to [email protected].)
Terence Hallinan, the District Attorney of San Francisco, has had a
hatchet job of an article published about him in San Francisco magazine.
("Crime, No Punishment," November 1997, cover story.) Terence
was the only DA in California to support Proposition 215 and when the DEA
raided Flower Therapy and threatened doctors he stood up against them.
It is time for activists to stand up for him by writing the magazine at
Some of the areas where Terence was criticized were:
- Being the only prosecutor in the state to support Proposition 215.
(He should be complimented for being the only prosecutor to think like
the people he represents. In SF, 215 passed with a landslide vote. He represents
- Describing as "legendary bad-boyness" his history as a civil
rights activist, defense lawyer and two term member of the Board of Supervisors
who proposed legalization of prostitution. (This sounds like a history
that could produce an excellent prosecutor who prioritizes cases with violent
offenses on top and victimless crimes on the bottom, plus corrupt cops
who abuse peoples rights will be watched by a DA who enforces the law against
all people -- including police.)
- Failure to prosecute misdemeanor cases because "the diversion
of most misdemeanor cases means fewer trials to hone prosecutorial skills..."
(as if the purpose of prosecution was to teach trial technique -- this
is not a sport, peoples lives are at stake).
- For standing up to the DEA when they raided Flower Therapy and threatened
California doctors. (Terence was doing his job, he was enforcing the law.
Prop. 215 is the law and the DEA needs to know that they cannot violate
the will of the people. The DEA needs to learn to obey the law, hopefully
Terence can begin that training process.)
- For diverting first time, low-level crack dealers to an education program
where they are required to go to school (whether high school equivalent
or college), write book reports, learn to function in jobs and are given
hope for the future. (The article quotes conservative criminologists like
James Q. Wilson while ignoring the success rate the program has already
shown. It is about time a law enforcement official put education above
incarceration. California's incarceration rate is something to be embarrassed
about not proud of.)
Every letter should not focus on all of these issues. A short letter
of two to three paragraphs should focus on one or two issues. Pick the
issues near and dear to your heart and write about them.
-- END --
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
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