Life for Nonviolent Juveniles Proposed in Virginia 1/29/99

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Virginia's whirlwind legislative session has begun. Once again we are working with Virginians Against Drug Violence to hold the line against the expansion of the drug war and steer things in a positive direction. We request that residents of Virginia fill out our online registration form at https://www.drcnet.org/cgi-shl/drcreg.cgi so that we can let you know if you live in a key legislative district where your letter or phone call would make a special impact. We ask that all Virginians take a moment to act on this alert, as Virginia's legislative is very short and will be over before you know it. Contact information for the state legislature and places to get more information are included at the bottom of this article. Please send us a note at [email protected] and let us know what actions you've taken in response to this alert.

We are supporting the following four GOOD BILLS:

  • HB 1524 softens "smoke a joint, lose your license" by giving judge's discretion as to whether or not to apply it in a given case.
  • HB 1489 would prohibits strip searches of students.
  • SB 610 would revise the zero-tolerance policy for grade school students -- e.g., no more suspensions for Tylenol.
  • HJ 94 is a bill for an industrial hemp study.
We are opposing the following BAD BILLS:
  • HB 1699, 1808 & SB 880 would provide for life sentences for juveniles involved in drug sales.
  • HB 1796 &1819 would increases marijuana felonies by adding the weight of seeds and stems to charges.
  • HB 1517 would create additional penalties for drug sales within 100 yards of a bus stop.
  • HB1548 would implements asset forfeiture in cases of selling drugs to inmates.
  • HB 1718 would creates additional penalties for drug sales within 1000 feet of a preschool.
  • HB 1896 would provide jail time in certain circumstances for imitation controlled substances such as oregano and baking soda.
  • SB 820 would deny bail if a firearm (even legal) is present at the scene of arrest.
  • HB 1850 & SB997 would add three new drugs to the list of those that are illegal.
  • HB 2159 would require all felons, and many convicted of misdemeanors, to undergo substance abuse screening or urinalysis, even where the offense was not substance-related.
You can call your legislators via the Constituent's Hotline at (800) 889-0229. You can fax the House of Delegates at (804) 786-6310, and fax the state Senate at (804) 698-7651. Contact info for individual legislators can also be found online at http://legis.state.va.us/, and information on the pending legislation is available on the web at http://leg1.state.va.us/lis.htm. The ACLU of Virginia has information on drug bills in the privacy section of their web site at http://members.aol.com/acluva/privacy.htm.

Last but not least, Lennice Werth of Virginians Against Drug Violence can be reached at (804) 645-7838, or e-mail to [email protected]. Michael Krawitz of VADV can be reached at [email protected]. There's lots of work to do, including opportunities to show your support or even testify in favor of drug policy reform and against the escalation of the drug war. Let Lennice or Michael know if you'd like to get involved!

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Issue #76, 1/29/99 Your Tax Dollars at Work: US Developing Fungi to Kill Narcotics Plants | Higher Education Act Student Reform Effort | Rep. Ron Paul to Introduce Financial Privacy Legislation to Block Intrusive "Know Your Customer" Banking Rules | Hemp for Victory | Israel to Set Standards for Medicinal Use of Marijuana | Life for Nonviolent Juveniles Proposed in Virginia | The Lindesmith Center Drug Policy Seminar Series, January through April | Conferences and Events | Harm Reduction Training Institute, Winter '99 Calendar | Report: Militarized Democracy in the Americas | Editorial: Strange Logic
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