Newsbriefs 3/26/99

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Marc Brandl, [email protected]
San Diego, CA: Steven McWilliams and Dion Markgraaff, who ran the San Diego Cannabis Caregivers Club (medical marijuana provider), pleaded guilty on Tuesday to maintaining a place of distribution for a controlled substance. In exchange for their pleas, local prosecutors have dropped seven more serious felony charges. If convicted the men will face three years in prison each. The two were busted in January of 1998 with eleven marijuana plants at a checkpoint in eastern San Diego county that searches for illegal aliens and drugs that have made it passed the US-Mexico border checkpoint.

Austin, TX: Two drug bills sponsored by state Senator Florence Shapiro (R-Plano) passed the Texas Senate on Tuesday and await consideration in the state House. SB41 mirrors federal legislation that would give dealers a maximum life sentence if use of their illegal products causes loss of life. SB 43 would set up a state wide database of drug overdoses. Two other bills, also sponsored by Shapiro, are expected to come up for consideration in the Senate very soon. SB 42 would allow parents to request drug tests of their children by the public school. SB 44 would prevent 16-17 year olds from checking themselves out of a drug treatment program. The drug legislation is seen as a response to over two dozen young people dying because of heroin overdoses in the affluent community of Plano in the last year.
Drug Policy Forum of Texas,

New Zealand: Earlier this year a government selected panel studying the issue of cannabis policy found that the legal status of cannabis in New Zealand should be reconsidered and that cannabis should be on a par with legal products such as as alcohol and tobacco. Last week the government responded to the findings of the panel by announcing that cannabis will not be legalized or decriminalized and that drug paraphernalia will soon become illegal. The government will also be cracking down on doctors who prescribe too many drugs and will make Ecstasy a schedule A drug, the most prohibitive schedule under New Zealand law.
New Zealand Drug Foundation,

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Issue #84, 3/26/99 Announcements | New Report Finds One Million Americans Incarcerated for Non-Violent Offenses | IOM Findings Strengthen Administrative Challenge to Repeal Marijuana's Prohibitive Status | Alert: Support California Syringe Decriminalization Bill | American Pharmaceutical Association Adopts Syringe Deregulation Position | Vancouver Needle Exchange Study Clarifies Previous Study's Results | Newsbriefs | Editorial: Rolling Back the Tide
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