Newsbrief: Two Suicides Enough for One Pot Bust, Says Wisconsin Judge, Orders Probation for Son of Dead Couple 3/7/03

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Last fall, DRCNet reported on the case of Dennis and Denise Schilling of Waukesha, WI, who hung themselves in a Madison motel room after being threatened with prison sentences and the seizure of their home for growing marijuana ( They, along with their 20-year-old son Joshua, had been arrested after a snitch and a narc bought a total of $120 worth of marijuana at the house. On September 25, five days after federal officials filed asset forfeiture papers against their home -- why the feds were involved with a penny-ante grow-up bust is yet to be explained -- the Schillings ended their misery.

In a suicide note, Denise Schilling wrote that she used marijuana to cope with a mental condition and for back pain. "I had tried every politically correct route, from religion to psychotropic drugs, and none of those avenues helped in any way. I cannot go back to the life of insanity which I had before. Perhaps someday, people like me will not be persecuted."

Someday, perhaps, but not yet. On February 28, the Schillings' son, Joshua, was sentenced for his role in the operation. While Waukesha County Circuit Judge James Kieffer spared Schilling a trip to prison, he did sentence him to three years probation, $2,000 in fines, a contribution to DARE, and the loss of his driving privileges for 18 months. Schilling would have to live forever with the deaths of his parents, said Kieffer.

No word on how local law enforcement and prosecutors are coping with the weight of the double suicide.

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Issue #277, 3/7/03 50 Years for Stealing Videotapes? No Problem, Say Justices -- Supreme Court Upholds California Three-Strikes Law | Medical Marijuana Update: Bill Killed in New Mexico, New Ones Introduced in New York and Rhode Island | Australia: NSW Green Party Drug Platform in Tabloid Exposé Furor as Election Looms | "Seeds of Peace" Released in Brussels as Prelude to Vienna UN Conference | Medical Marijuana Supporters Demonstrate at Fundraiser for Presidential Candidate Howard Dean | Alert: HEA Reform Legislation Re-filed, Needs Your Support | Newsbrief: Swiss Lawmakers Give Okay to Continued Prescription Heroin | Newsbrief: Sweden's Drug Head Calls for Needle Exchange Programs Across Country | Newsbrief: This Week's Corrupt Cops Story | Newsbrief: Oxycontin Not So Deadly, Researchers Find | Newsbrief: California Highway Patrol Settles Racial Profiling Lawsuit | Kansas Legislators Consider "Treatment Not Jail" Bill | Newsbrief: In Surprise Move, Judge Changes Mind, Declines to Jail Oakland Cannabis Co-op Head | Newsbrief: Two Suicides Enough for One Pot Bust, Says Wisconsin Judge, Orders Probation for Son of Dead Couple | Media Scan: New York Times, The Economist, The Independent, Washington Times, Change the Climate Ads, HRC Newsletter | Drug War Vigil Film Festival Seeking Submissions | The Reformer's Calendar
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