This Week in History 5/14/04

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May 14, 1993: The New York Times reports that Judge Whitman Knapp said, "After 20 years on the bench I have concluded that federal drug laws are a disaster. It is time to get the government out of drug enforcement."

May 15, 1928: Arnold Trebach, founder of The Drug Policy Foundation and widely regarded as the father of the modern drug policy reform movement, is born.

May 15, 1988: Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke and others call for a national debate on decriminalizing illicit narcotics. Schmoke is quoted by the Washington Post, "Decriminalization would take the profit out of drugs and greatly reduce, if not eliminate, the drug-related violence that is currently plaguing our streets."

May 15, 1997: Conclusions from a comprehensive, long-term study by Kaiser Permanente (Oakland, CA) show no substantial link between regular marijuana smoking and death, but suggest that marijuana prohibition may itself pose a health hazard to the user.

May 15, 2001: Governor of Hawaii Ben Cayetano is quoted by the Associate Press, "I just think that it's a matter of time that Congress finally gets around to understanding that the states should be allowed to provide this kind of relief [medical marijuana] to the people. Congress is way, way behind in their thinking."

May 16, 2001: Regina McKnight is convicted and sentenced to 12 years in South Carolina for using crack during a pregnancy that ended in a stillbirth. It is the first time in US history that a woman is convicted of homicide for using drugs during a pregnancy.

May 20, 1997: In Redford, TX, eighteen year-old Ezequiel Hernandez, Jr. is shot on his own property by camouflaged Marines who were involved in a Joint Task Force-6 border drug interdiction operation. Hernandez becomes the first American citizen killed on American soil by US soldiers in peacetime. No drugs of any kind were found on the young high school student's body or in the immediate vicinity. Hernandez had never been suspected of or arrested for any criminal or drug-related activity.

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Issue #337, 5/14/04 Editorial: Always Another Angle | Russia Enacts Sweeping Reforms in Drug Laws: No Jail for Possession | Maryland Treatment Not Jail Bill Signed Into Law | Canada Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Dying as Government Prepares to Call Elections, Few Mourners | Calls for Sentencing Reform Grow in Arizona | Announcing: "The New Prohibition: Voices of Dissent Challenge the Drug War" -- New Compendium by Sheriff Masters Features David Borden and Numerous Other Thinkers on Drug Policy | Newsbrief: Local Prosecutor Tries to Block Atlantic City Needle Exchange, Would Be New Jersey's First | Newsbrief: Pennsylvania Attorney General Hops on Prescription Drug Abuse Bandwagon | Newsbrief: Ohio Appeals Court Upholds City's Harsh Marijuana Penalties | Newsbrief: Congress Defeats Effort to Abolish Cap on US Troops in Colombia | Newsbrief: Anti-Drug Ads Pique Curiosity, Researcher Finds | Newsbrief: Alcohol Prohibition Coming to Nigerian State | Newsbrief: Study Finds "No Increased Risk" for Marijuana-Using Drivers | Newsbrief: Hip-Hop Summit Announces Mass Rally Against Drug War at GOP Convention | Newsbrief: Finnish Green MP Causes Flap with Admission of Cannabis Use | Newsbrief: Million Marijuana Marches, Continued -- Rocking in Rosario, Repression in Russia and Israel | This Week in History | Job Opportunity: Program Coordinator, International Harm Reduction Development Program, OSI | The Reformer's Calendar
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