Chronicle AM: NYPD Targets Addicts for Felony Dealing Busts, DC Cannabis Club Ban, More... (4/5/16)

Bernie talks pot in Wisconsin, Pittsburgh is a mayor's signature away from pot decriminalization, the DC city council votes to ban social consumption, NYPD narcs are targeting street addicts for felony trafficking busts, and more.

Marijuana Policy

Bernie Sanders Talks Marijuana Legalization in Final Wisconsin Speech. Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders sought to win votes in Wisconsin Sunday night by not only hitting his standard themes of economic inequity, but also emphasizing his progressive marijuana and drug policy approach, including removing marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act. "Today, under the Federal Controlled Substance Act, marijuana is listed as a schedule one drug alongside of heroin," said Sanders. "Now we can argue when scientists do the pluses and minuses of marijuana, but everyone knows marijuana is not a killer drug like heroin." The Vermont senator also addressed racial disparities in marijuana law enforcement: "(Criminalization of marijuana) becomes a racial issue as well, because it turns out that blacks and whites smoke marijuana at equal levels," Sanders said. "Blacks are four times more likely to get arrested for marijuana than are whites."

Pittsburgh Council Approves Decriminalization. The city council voted 8-1 Tuesday to make small-time marijuana possession a summary offense rather than the misdemeanor mandated by state law. Mayor Bill Peduto now has 10 days to sign the ordinance. Possession of small amounts will now be punishable by a $25 fine, with a $100 fine for smoking in public.

DC Council Votes to Ban Marijuana Social Clubs. The council voted 7-6 Tuesday to uphold a ban on marijuana consumption outside of private homes, making the ban permanent. The move is a reversal from the council's earlier position, which was to enact a temporary ban and set up a task force to study the issue.

Medical Marijuana

Marijuana Reform Groups Call for Hearings on CARERS Act. The Drug Policy Alliance, Americans for Safe Access, and the National Cannabis Industry Association have all issued calls for the US Senate to take up the CARERS Act (Senate Bill 683), which would protect state-legal medical marijuana activities from federal interference. The bill, filed by Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Rand Paul (R-KY) has been stuck in the Senate Judiciary Committee for more than a year. Committee Chair Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) has refused so far to let it move.

Oklahoma CBD Bill Advances. Last year, the legislature approved a bill allowing children with epilepsy to use CBD cannabis oils, and now it is moving to allow adults to use it as well. A Senate committee approved House Bill 2835, which would remove the age restriction. The measure has already passed the House and awaits a Senate floor vote.

Law Enforcement

NYPD Is Busting Low-Level Addicts for Small-Time Drug Sales, But Ignoring Dealers. The NYPD is using undercover narcotics officers to seek out drug addicts, ask them for help in scoring drugs, give them money to make the buy, and then arresting them on felony drug trafficking charges. The narcs didn't even bother to go after the dealers the small-time addicts were scoring from, the New York Times reports. Last year, nearly 5,000 people were charged with dealing small quantities of heroin or cocaine.

International

Europe Spends $27 Billion a Year on Illicit Drugs, Monitoring Agency Says. The European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) said in a report Tuesday that EU citizens shell out about $27 billion for illicit drugs each year."Illicit drug production and trafficking remains one of the largest and most innovative criminal markets in Europe," Europol director Rob Wainwright said in a statement.

(This article was prepared by StoptheDrugWar.org"s lobbying arm, the Drug Reform Coordination Network, which also pays the cost of maintaining this web site. DRCNet Foundation takes no positions on candidates for public office, in compliance with section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and does not pay for reporting that could be interpreted or misinterpreted as doing so.)

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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NYPD Undercover busts

you guys have no idea. its a really big thing but this is once again one of those side effects of the drug situation where the NY Times is a bit late to the dance but I am both greatful and upset about this article and Ill explain.

It's been awhile but allow me to just remind some people that I am the guy who is an often homeless heroin lover in the LES, I have been involved in online drug reform communities now since about 2011 I'd say which is to say when I was last dealing with a serious arrest. It was at that time that I was lucky enough to realize all those ridiculous guilt questions us users tell ourselves "this is the last time" when it really isnt, "i dont want to do this anymore" when I really do, etc, when those burdens were taken away from me and I realized I love shooting dope, I dont ever want to stop, and the fact that I dont think that there's absolutely anything wrong with that. I wanted, at the time, to find out as much as I could about the drug itself and the prohibition of it, the history, the chemistry, everything. And I've met lots of great people, friends really, through this world online.

 

But in my real life, things have been hectic, as you can imagine, trying to procure lots of money everyday its a very difficult thing to do, and as you may know from experience, there really is no days off with this, lol.

 

So being homeless and when I say that, I mean, yes, homeless, meaning when you find out the real definition of starving, like when you actually have physical pain from lack of food and water, but at the same time, if you should ever pay for any food or water you will hate yourself because that dollar couldve been used for what you really want. And yes, at night, before bed, scrounging the streets in the LES for cardboard to sleep on, I know some people have said to me, "whats up with the cardboard, why always cardboard" and I guess if you dont think about it, or whatever, it seems strange but its because the concrete is painful to sleep on the cardboard is a buffer and it makes an insane difference when you sleep on the ground. Panhandling without a dog or girl to make you any decent money, its the life man.

 

So this NY Post story. Its a shame but its so true. And it is actually one of the main main things I and so many of my friends would be worried about out there.

 

You see, and especially in the summer, what these undercovers are doing, its not at all uncommon. The area is known for its homeless drug users. And while you sitting infront of McDonalds or Two Bro's pizza or wherever you are, spanging that money, you will be approached, for me there was a period where it was happening everyday and you have to understand what it means.

 

Because for me, not having had a dog, being good looking, not having a girl to spange with or for me, it would take an average of 4 hours to make 10 dollars and if youre sick because A. you didnt do anything in awhile or B. the stuff was just awful and had no legs or whatever, that is a brutal 4 hours and its depressing as hell. Some homeless people have been out there for years and its so degrading a feeling and just miserable that they still wont spange/panhandle. But you dont necessarily have to be spanging or panhandling for this to happen as the article says. They will come up to you. That cop IS A LIAR to say that she "randomly" approached a "random table" in that McDonalds. I am telling you, you piece of garbage woman, and believe me, I think I know who you are too, atleast what you look like, you kinda chubby blond piece of garbage.

 

Its such a relief when someone approaches you saying they need something and can you help them. Because, unlike the NY Times article, the rule is you will get a bag for doing it. Look, theres ABSOLUTELY NO WAY anybody is doing it for less than a bag, and to be honest its actually still 50/50 because depending on your mood or how bad things have been you may just totally beat the person and take all their money and run. I can say Ive only ever done that once when the guy refused to even give me 5 bucks for what i was doing. But anyway, yeah so it happens alot but yes, there are cops coming up to you and the NYPD has been doing this for YEARS.

 

I will never forget the summer of 2013. It was a very busy year in NYC homeless druggie world. The past few summers not many people have shown up, not as many as used to anyway, some have died, some have changed their lives, whatever but that year was crazy because so many people came in and some got out of jail and some were new etc. That was the summer we had to deal with the Big Lebowski, as we called him. You still hear once and awhile that he comes around but lets give the devil his due this guy got so many people it was insane and let me tell you something NOT ONE OF THE PEOPLE THAT HE GOT WAS A SERIOUS DRUG DEALER. NOT ONE. HE DID NOTHING BUT BUST HARDCORE USERS, *USERS* and the NYPD glorified in this and what they were doing. Locking up NON VIOLENT, low level users already in the depths of depravity and pain and hell and just destroying life after life.

 

He started off with Mark and Mary. Everybody loves Mark, hes a loveable guy hes a funny dude too but hell do anything and so he didnt really ask alot of questions. He got them then he got Charlie Brown and someone Im not gonna name. The next one was gonna be me, he used this persons name, he used all those names matter of fact, and usually when people do that, you think, oh so they know so and so who I saw a few days ago and they hooked this person up so theyre ok. He used their names and I thought he was cool. The beautiful thing for me though was, though I was living in the LES, at the time I was copping in BK. He told me he'd done a painting job and had 100 bucks, hed hook me up, he was about to be sick (like the girl in the article) and that his main guy,(the friend i wouldnt name) he couldnt find him. I told him so and so had just got locked up (not knowing he had been the guy to lock up said friend) and he acted. he made this big to do "OH NO! REALLY? SO AND SO GOT BUSTED? NO!!" like wow man you slimy son of a gun.  So I said I'd help him but that wed have to go to BK and his whole demeanor changed. he wanted nothing to do with me then. He couldnt go to BK. Nope. A guy about to be sick, has no other means to get anything, Im willing but we gotta take a subway ride (a simple thing in NYC) I immediately knew something was up. I left him. The funny thing is a little while later that same day I saw him walking with a well known junkie somewhere and he waved at me... maybe thinking hed get me eventually. F that. But that summer he nailed everybody. At least 20 people probably way  more.

 

It's disgusting to use the power of the NYPD to do this. That jurist who wrote that letter to that DA i am SO PROUD of that man. Because this is a war crime, what theyre doing to us.

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