Newsbrief: Radical Party Moscow Activists Go to Trial for Marijuana Legalization Rally -- Free Speech at Heart of Case 8/9/02

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The Transnational Radical Party (TRP) is giving Russian authorities fits as it agitates against that country's onerous drug laws. Just two weeks ago, the Radicals held a sidewalk poll on cannabis legalization, prompting howls of protest from Russian anti-drug officials ( This week, the Radicals began an internet petition drive to legalize cannabis and provoked Moscow authorities into banning a planned cannabis legalization rally, transmuting their drug reform effort into a broader struggle over free speech in the former Communist heartland.

On Monday, the Russian Radicals kicked off their petition drive with a rally at Pushkinskaya Square in Moscow -- despite local authorities' earlier orders that the rally not be held. As the Radicals noted in a press release from Moscow: "As was promised earlier, the Radicals decided not to obey the illegal prohibition by the [local authorities] of the anti-prohibitionist rally demanding to legalize hemp and its derivatives. For the first time, the authorities prohibited a rally of Radicals on openly political grounds, having violated the basic constitutional right to freedom of demonstrations and expression of one's opinion."

According to the Radicals, the press conference went off despite the presence of several burly Moscow special militia. Radical leader Nikolaj Khramov told the cops and assembled bystanders that the order to bar the rally violated numerous sections of Russian law. But when the press conference was finished and the participants tried to unroll a banner saying "To legalize marijuana," they were placed under arrest by the militiamen.

Russian Radical Party members Khramov, Anna Zaytseva, Alyona Asayeva, Ilya Malkov and Leonid Positselsky were detained in the Tverskoy militia station before being released later Monday evening. They were charged with violating Russian laws regulating assemblies, rallies, demonstrations and similar events. The Moscow Five faced trials Thursday. (This article went to press before DRCNet could confirm the results of the trials.)

Read the text of the Russian cannabis legalization petition at on the Russian Radical Party web site, and visit to learn more about the TRP.

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Issue #249, 8/9/02 Nevada Marijuana Initiative Endorsed by State's Largest Police Group | DC Board of Elections Rejects Medical Marijuana Petitions -- Admits One of Seven Valid Signatures Ignored but Refuses to Correct Error | Democratic Governor Candidate Calls for Repeal of NY Rockefeller Laws | Switzerland Defends Cannabis Decrim, Tells UN Narcocrats to Buzz Off | Which War Am I In? DEA Meth Offensive Continues as US Pilots in Afghanistan Gobble Speed | Libertarian Party Launches TV Ad Campaign Targeting Rep. Bob Barr on Medical Marijuana | Drug Czar Picks Beer-Promoting NASCAR Hot Rodder to Carry Anti-Drug Message | School Anti-Drug Programs Get Failing Grade, Study Says | Drug Dog Terrorizes Native American Kindergartners in South Dakota, Lawsuit Filed | Newsbrief: South Dakota Lakota Successfully Harvest Hemp Crop | Newsbrief: Peru Backs Off on Coca Eradication, Again | Newsbrief: Radical Party Moscow Activists Go to Trial for Marijuana Legalization Rally -- Free Speech at Heart of Case | Newsbrief: Federal Judge Deems Utah Asset Forfeiture Initiative Constitutional | Newsbrief: Canadian NAFTA Suit Over Hemp Restrictions Enters Arbitration | Newsbrief: More than One Million in Drug Treatment in US, SAMHSA Says | Newsbrief: Budget Woes Close Detox, Treatment Facilities in NC, Iowa | Newsbrief: Stiffer Ecstasy Penalties Would Hit Penn State University | Newsbrief: Study Finds THC-like Chemicals Useful for Certain Disorders | Newsbrief: Archeological Evidence of Bronze Age Drug Trade | Web Scan: Narco News, Nature, Cato | Legislative Alerts: Rave Bill, Medical Marijuana, Higher Education Act Drug Provision | The Reformer's Calendar

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