US Marijuana Party

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

The Loretta Nall Show

After a brief period of downtime Pot TV is back up and running.

In this edition of the Loretta Nall Show, Loretta recaps her day in court, talks about the medical marijuana bill being introduced in the Alabama Legislature on March, 31, the NORML conference coming up this weekend in San Francisco, her spring and summer speaking schedule and tells you about a recent visit from the FBI.
My Day in Court
FBI Pays Loretta Nall a visit
Nall for Governor Gear is Here!

Loading time continues to be very slow due to the rebuilding but have patience and it will pop up eventually.

If we're in a drug war, we certainly are losing

Huntsville Times

Our conventional wisdom says strict enforcement and harsh punishment will root out drug abuse and the crimes and wasted lives it fosters. The evidence before us, though, shows us the conventional wisdom is hogwash.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Prisoner Abuse

Saginaw County must end indecent jail treatment
Detroit Free Press
March 29, 2005

The Saginaw County Board of Commissioners, or even the state, ought to review immediately and monitor all of the county's jail policies and practices, following reports that prisoners were routinely stripped -- often by officers of the opposite sex -- and detained nude in a segregated cell.

A federal judge has already ruled that the Saginaw County Jail policy violated the constitutional rights of pretrial detainees who were confined without clothing or covering and sometimes forcibly stripped.

Staff members and even inmates of the opposite sex could allegedly observe the nude prisoners through a food slot or video monitor while they were in segregation. How would anyone feel sitting naked under a closed-circuit camera for hours, wondering who is watching?

Correctional facilities generally require the officers conducting any kind of strip search to be of the same sex as the inmate. But in the Saginaw County jail, officers of the opposite sex sometimes conducted the strips and nude detentions.

On Monday, the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan joined a suit on behalf of 22 former prisoners arrested for minor offenses between mid-1999 and the end of 2001. According to the suit, one young woman was left naked in segregation for three days during her menstrual cycle. The guards tore the stitches of another woman, the victim of domestic abuse, as they stripped her, the suit alleges.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Video Game Used To Lure New Recruits

Charlotte Observer
March 4, 2005

This is scary and maddening. Unable to get the necessary recruits for the military the old-fashioned way, the U.S. Army has sunk $16 million into a government-sponsored video game that blurs the line between fantasy and the reality of war.

It doesn't take much to confuse some in the 13-to-24-year-old demographic that's the prime audience for the video. Many are consumed with playing video games -- the more violent, the better. They equate the virtual thrill they get from the video game to real-life situations. Some tragically play them out in real life. For too many, the game gives an illusion of competence and control over their circumstances that kids who lack self-esteem or live in challenging situations badly need.

"America's Army" preys on such vulnerabilities. The game is a hit on the Army's Web site, with up to 4.6 million registered players and 100,000 new ones signing up each month. According to Time, this summer the Army will roll out the game to gaming consoles such as Xbox or PlayStation 2 to reach a broader audience.

Recruiter accused of sex assaults
By James A. Gillaspy and Dan McFeely
March 1, 2005

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. -- Investigators say he picked out teens and young women with backgrounds that made them vulnerable to authority. As a military recruiter, he had access to personal information, making the quest easier.

Indiana National Guard Sgt. Eric P. Vetesy, 36, Westfield, was jailed Monday, accused of sexually assaulting six female recruits -- most of them Noblesville High School students -- he met during his 18 months as a full-time recruiter. No child left unrecruited To get federal money, schools have to give students' names and numbers to military recruiters. But some schools, claiming invasion of privacy, are fighting back.

The ongoing "war on terror" pushes the need for fresh cannon fodder, and the army's recruiters are feeling the heat.
New York Times
These men, and occasionally women, spend several hours a day cold-calling high school students, whose phone numbers are provided by schools under the No Child Left Behind Law. They also must “prospect” at malls, at high schools, colleges and wherever else young people gather.

Psycho Feds Target Children

by Rep. Ron Paul, MD

Every parent in America should be made aware of a presidential initiative called the “New Freedom Commission on Mental Health.” This commission issued a report last year calling for the mandatory mental health screening of American schoolchildren, meaning millions of kids will be forced to undergo psychiatric screening whether their parents consent or not. At issue is the fundamental right of parents to decide what medical treatment is appropriate for their children.

Forced mental health screening simply has no place in a free or decent society. The government does not own you or your kids, and it has no legitimate authority to interfere in your family’s intimate health matters. Psychiatric diagnoses are inherently subjective, and the drugs regularly prescribed produce serious side effects, especially in children’s developing brains. The bottom line is that mental health issues are a matter for parents, children, and their doctors, not government.

So remember kids always D.A.R.E. to resist drugs and violence.

OraSure pushes saliva drug tests

Associated Press

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Its rapid HIV test has made its name known throughout the world.

But OraSure Technologies of Bethlehem also is pushing the emerging science of oral diagnostics in another direction: drug testing. It has two products that can detect the likes of marijuana and cocaine in saliva.

One, Uplink, is a portable device that European law enforcement agencies are using to screen drivers. A roadside test takes about 20 minutes from the time a saliva sample is taken until the analysis is complete.

The other, Intercept, dispenses with urine cups in the workplace. It allows employers who test for drugs to take a saliva sample from job applicants and employees, rather than sending them to a clinic that collects urine.

BBC Documentary on American Prison Abuse

I have not had a chance to watch this yet but hear it is a very graphic and disturbing video of abuse in American prisons.

Windows Media File

Thanks to Thor/Marijuana Man/ROLAND A. DUBY for hosting this video in the interest of promoting social justice. Traffic is very heavy at the moment. Also he links to a page from the Patrick Crusade which has the video embedded.

Armored K-9

By Dwayne Pickels

Ando's sensitive nose can find a marijuana seed lodged in a car seat or track human scents to find people who are lost. And the dog's mere presence has helped to calm unruly crowds.

The dog looks even more commanding in his new outfit.

But Ando apparently isn't sure yet if he likes the six extra pounds of protective gear strapped around his torso when he's on duty.

"He's still getting used to it," said township Officer Eric Eslary, who was trained to work with Ando at Castle's K-9 Inc., of Mechanicsburg.

Child seized along with grow-op

CALGARY -- For the second time this month, authorities have seized a child after police found a marijuana grow operation during a raid on a home. A 27-year-old woman was arrested at the house in the city's southeast on Saturday, and faces charges of drug cultivation and possession, theft of electricity and child endangerment. A one-year-old child was seized from the home earlier in the day.

PJP addresses minimum sentencing

Adrian Ross
Princetonian Staff Writer

The Princeton Justice Project (PJP) held its second lecture in a series titled "An Unjust Sentence?" Saturday to highlight the negative aspects of mandatory minimum sentences for drug-related crimes.

Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, and Angelyn Frazer of Families Against Mandatory Minimums were the guest speakers.

Nadelmann said that while the United States includes five percent of the world's population, it houses more than 25 percent of the world's prison population.

He also focused on the increase in drug-related incarcerations, noting that in 1980, 10 percent of prisoners were incarcerated for drug-related charges. Today the figure is more than 30 percent.

"Do not punish people for what they put in their bodies if it doesn't harm anyone else," Nadelmann said. "The reason we attack some drugs but not others isn't because the health risks are that different but because the people who use them are different."

He attacked "racism against druggies" and said "the desire to alter consciousness is innate to human consciousness."

The speakers also addressed the U.S. government's "war on drugs," which Nadelmann described as "a cancer in society."

Frazer played video footage from a CBS News special on mandatory minimum sentences in which a young female driver was sentenced to life in prison for carrying more than 650 grams of heroin, placed in the car by her boyfriend without her knowledge.

"This [woman's sentence] is more than rapists get," Frazer said.

The mandatory minimum, under which the woman was sentenced, was enacted to "catch the big fish," Frazer explained. Eighty-five percent of those in jail sentenced under mandatory minimum laws have no previous criminal record, she said.

Frazer and Nadelmann both advocated treatment over incarceration and attacked the use of prisoners for labor.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Meth cases involving young children on increase

Associated Press

BILOXI, Miss. - Law enforcement agencies here say methamphetamine production in homes where children live is growing problem that must be addressed.

That's why South Mississippi law enforcement officials, narcotics agents, social workers and hospital personnel are now working together to address the plight of drug-endangered children.

In 1999, the state passed a law making it illegal to possess two or more of the ingredients used to make meth. The law requires authorities to prove intent, and convicted offenders could go to jail for up to 30 years.

Methamphetamine ( Desoxyn ) an amphetamine used to treat narcolepsy and attention-deficit-disorder in children. In some cases but rare this drug is used to treat depression. This drug is from a family of drugs known as central nervous system stimulants.

Colo. students: lighten up on pot

Boulder, CO, Mar. 27 (UPI) -- A Colorado student group is urging the University of Colorado and Colorado State University to reduce or eliminate penalties for using marijuana.

The students, claiming marijuana is safer than alcohol, have circulated petitions to have measures that would equalize penalties for both substances voted on during student elections in April, the Denver Post reported Sunday.

Clinical trials for cannabis drug

Andrew Bushe

A BRITISH drug firm is carrying out clinical research trials in Ireland to determine the effectiveness of a cannabis extract in controlling severe cancer-related pain.

GW Pharmaceuticals, a market leader in pioneering the use of medicines containing cannabis extract, has received a licence from the Irish Medicines Board under the Control of Clinical Trials Acts 1987 and 1990.

Sativex, which lists a cannabis extract containing THC and cannabidiol as its principal components, is administered using a mouth spray. Regulatory approval is being sought in Britain and Canada.

Iran Stockpiling High-Tech Small Arms

Associated Press

VIENNA, Austria -- Iran is quietly building a stockpile of thousands of high-tech small arms and other military equipment -- from armor-piercing snipers' rifles to night-vision goggles -- through legal weapons deals and a U.N. anti-drug program, according to an internal U.N. document, arms dealers and Western diplomats.

The buying spree is raising Bush administration fears the arms could end up with militants in Iraq. Tehran also is seeking approval for a U.N.-funded satellite network that Iran says it needs to fight drug smugglers, stoking U.S. worries it could be used to spy on Americans in Iraq or Afghanistan -- or any U.S. reconnaissance in Iran itself.

Iran says it needs the satellite network, high-tech small arms bought on the European arms market and night-vision goggles, body armor and advanced communications gear through the U.N program to fight drug smugglers pouring in from neighboring Afghanistan.

Inmate says she was tied naked to chair in Union City jail

The Associated Press - UNION CITY, Ga.

A former inmate is suing the city for $10 million because, she says, jailers stripped her naked, strapped her to a chair and left her to be ogled for hours by male prisoners and guards.

"I had never been treated like that before in my life," said Perdue, who was booked into the jail last summer on a drug charge. "It was a traumatic experience. It has messed up my nerves."

Nurse Arlene Campbell wrote in the report that when she arrived at work five hours after Perdue's arrest, the inmate was still naked and strapped in the chair, her genitalia exposed. Men throughout the booking center "were laughing and making remarks under their breath," Campbell wrote.

Solving issues the libertarian way

Edited by Edward H. Crane and David Boaz
Cato, $24.95, 703 pages



Other striking chapters include "The War on Drugs" and "The International War on Drugs." Analysts David Boaz and Timothy Lynch recall how Congress, armed with the 18th Amendment, prohibited alcohol consumption in the 1920s. But prohibition failed abysmally, corrupting many courts and police forces, eliciting gangsters across the United States, much violent crime, swelling prisons, and hardly slowing down drinking, as the speakeasy replaced the saloon.

Was the lesson learned? Mr. Boaz and Mr. Lynch say federal drug laws are constitutionally weak, breed high levels of crime, waste manpower (the Drug Enforcement Adminstration alone has 9,000 agents and support staff), spend some $19 billion at the federal level, and in effect funnel more that $40 billion a year into our criminal underworld run by base politicians, felons, police on the bribe, and even terrorists. Yes, drug abuse is a problem for those involved in it, say the authors, but it is more of a moral and medical than a criminal problem. To the extent it is a criminal problem, they'd shift it to the states.

Cato analysts Ted Galen Carpenter and Ian Vasquez similarly find the foreign side of the war on drugs counterproductive and very expensive. As they say, ". . . the international drug war is both undesirable and unwinnable." They would terminate Plan Colombia and other anti-drug programs in the Andean region of South America. They censure efforts of the U.S. government to pressure Afghanistan's fragile government of president Hamid Karzai to crack down on drug crop cultivation.

William H. Peterson is an adjunct scholar at the Heritage Foundation and the Ludwig von Mises Institute.

UN Survey Sees Early Strides in Afghan War on Drugs

By Simon Cameron-Moore

KABUL (Reuters) - Afghanistan has made strides in its war on narcotics according to a U.N. survey released on Sunday that showed poppy cultivation in most of the main growing areas down on last year's record levels.

And the survey said the ban and threat of eradication were major reasons behind the fall in area under poppy, though higher wheat prices also helped persuade farmers to switch crops.

The opium harvest will begin next month and run through June.

For a description of legal opium production see this Drug Intelligence Brief from the DEA. (scroll down to opium)

Home-grown inmate


"Who else do you know who's in jail growing pot?" she asks, as her point is illuminated under 1,000-watt bulbs bathing plants with sun-bright light moving on electric tracks.

Thanks to a curious conversion of Canadian punishment and compassion -- or an example of how ridiculous the "war on drugs" can become -- the 40-year-old Cramahe Township woman is under house arrest for pot possession, even as she continues to legally grow the stuff in her basement.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Colombia Police find Cocaine Sub

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) -- Authorities have discovered a submarine-like vessel still under construction by drug traffickers who planned to use it to smuggle cocaine, the head of Colombia's secret police said.

Eduardo Fernandez said the fiberglass submarine was nearly complete when police found it near the Pacific Ocean, in Tumaco, 370 miles southwest of Bogota.

"The ingenuity of drug traffickers is amazing," Fernandez told The Associated Press on Friday.

He said the vessel would have been used to carry cocaine to speed boats offshore, which would then take the drugs to Central America or Mexico, for eventual delivery to the United States.

The discovery came after authorities were tipped off to pieces of fiberglass and other construction material being transported to where the submarine was being built.

Fernandez didn't provide details of its size. But Colombian authorities have caught drug traffickers using subs on a few occasions. They have been small, fiberglass vessels that travel just below the surface.

But in 2000, police on a raid of a warehouse near Bogota were stunned to find a 100-foot-long steel submarine being built to transport up to 150 tons of cocaine.

"The ingenuity of drug traffickers is amazing," Fernandez told The Associated Press on Friday.

Billions of dollars motivates people to be ingenious. This is a classic example of what prohibition has given rise to.

Friday, March 25, 2005

FBI Pays Loretta Nall a Visit

Some really hyper dude with pinpoint pupils and a tightly-knotted necktie came onto my property Wednesday March 23, 2005 with no warrant and threats of what would happen to me if I did not answer his questions. He said he was FBI and was backed up by a local sheriff's deputy.

Since I am recovering from a mild case of the flu I slept in a little later than usual that morning. Somewhere between 9 and 10 am a silver Crown Victoria pulled up in the front yard. My husband alerted me to the fact that we had company. I didn’t really think anything about it and told him to find out who it was.

“They look like Jehovah’s Witnesses,” he said to me.
“They have briefcases and are walking around back.”

“Deal with them,” I said to him “I don’t feel like it today.”

About that time our guests make it to the back door and a loud, intimidating knock ensued.


I decided after hearing that knock that either these were the most aggressive Jehovah’s Witnesses on earth and they were here to save my soul TODAY or it was law enforcement of some sort or another.

The second guess turned out to be correct.

I wander out of the bedroom in my fluffy pink house robe and hear my husband ask, “Do you have a warrant?”

I assure you that is very last thing anyone (especially foggy headed from sleep and the flu) wants to hear when just greeting the morning.

I hear a male voice say, “No I do not have a warrant but if I have to leave here without talking to Loretta Nall I’ll have a subpoena issued for her to testify in federal court.”

Husband: “What’s this about?”

Agent: “A website called Cannabis Culture and a threat to a Federal Judge.” “Can I please speak to Mrs. Nall?”

Agent said it was in reference to Judge Retchin.

Husband: “Oh, so it must be about the Jonathan Magbie case.”

Agent: “So you are familiar with the case?”

Husband: “Yeah, it’s the one where they killed that quadriplegic guy.”

By this time I was standing behind my husband peering at the agent. My husband looked at me and said, “You want to talk to this guy?”

Rule #1: Never allow a cop to question you without your attorney present.

So why did I talk anyway?
Well, to be perfectly honest, I wanted to know why he was here. Curiosity always gets the best of me.

Me: “Yeah, I’ll talk to him but I need to get dressed first.”

After I dressed I joined the man claiming to be from the FBI out back.
He flashed a badge that did indeed say FBI in large lettering and asked me if I was Loretta Nall. I responded that I was.

Accompanying him was the same female deputy who ran the metal detector last week when I went to court.

The FBI agent’s speech was rapid-fire, rambling, vague and generally confusing. Many of his questions seemed designed to draw me out on topics without committing himself to specifics.

As nearly as I can recall, the discussion went something like this:

Me: “Please excuse my appearance I am recovering from an illness.”

Agent: “Was it the flu?”

Me: “Yes it was.”

Agent: “You won’t mind if I take a few steps back then?”

Me: “Actually, you could get back in your car and leave completely and that would be fine with me.”

Agent: “Chuckle”

Me: “What can I do for you today?”

Agent: “Do you know about a website called Cannabis Culture?”

Me: “Yes. I work there.”

Agent: “Well there was something posted on that website about a Federal Judge and she feared for her life because of it.”

Me: “What are you referring to? What was posted?”

Agent: “Well I am not good with technical things or computers or anything.”

Me: “What are you referring to?”

Agent: “What kind of website is Cannabis Culture? Is it like a message board or a chat?”

Me: “It is a message forum.”

Agent: “There was a message posted there about a judge and needing to be shot. I mean that is just what they told me…I haven’t seen it or anything.”

Me: “Could you be a little more specific about what you are talking about?” The Cannabis Culture forums have thousands of messages.”

Agent: “Is it an American website?”

Me: “No. It is Canadian.”

Agent: “Is the server hosted in Canada?”

Me: “Yes.”

Agent: “Someone with the handle of ****** posted in a message that Federal Judge Retchin in Washington DC should be shot. I’ll have to paraphrase but it was something to the effect of “Somebody ought to shoot that bitch of a judge, but she’ll probably get a reward.” Do you recognize that name or anything?”

Me: “The handle rings a bell.”

Agent: “What does an administrator do on the forums?”

Me: “My duty is to approve or disapprove of new accounts.”

Agent: “So if I wanted to open an account there what would I do?”

Me: “Well, you’d go to the site and click on “New User” and follow the instructions.”

Agent: “And what would you do?”

Me: “Well I’d get an email telling me that someone had registered a new account and then I would either approve it or not approve it.”

Agent: “Yea ok I’m not good with technical stuff…like I said.”

Agent: “Do you know who this person is in real life?”

Me: “No. I have no idea who it is.” “So this is about the judge in the Jonathan Magbie case?”

Agent: “Yes.” “It was posted back in October.”

Me: “Yes. I protested in front of her courthouse with a banner that said, “Judge Retchin is Guilty of Judicial Homicide” for a number of days in October. As head of the US Marijuana Party I often travel and organize protests in response to these kinds of things.” “I’m not sure that handle was registered in October….I think it might be relatively new but I am not certain of that.”

Agent: “No. It was posted by ****** in October.” “This isn’t about free speech. Free speech only goes so far and if you cross the line then there are consequences.” There is a difference in saying “someone ought to be shot” and saying you are going to “shoot someone” and that is what we are trying to figure out here. Do you think there was any real threat in what was posted?”

Me: “No. People were outraged over what happened to Jonathan Magbie and I think whatever post you are referring to was just someone venting that frustration. If I thought someone was out to harm a judge or anyone else I would be the first one to call you.”

Agent: “How did Jonathan Magbie die?”

Me: “Mr. Magbie was a quadriplegic who required a ventilator at night and 24 hour nursing care. He was arrested and charged with marijuana possession, his first ever offense, and Judge Retchin sentenced him to 10 days in jail over the objections of the prosecutor. Mr. Magbie drown in his own fluids on the 4th day.”

Agent: “Well, this isn’t about free speech. This kind of stuff makes us beat our heads against the wall. We have to take these things seriously.”

Me: “I understand.”

Agent: “Thank you for speaking with me today.”
Sheriff’s Deputy: “Thanks Loretta.”

Me: “Sure”

The rambling vagueness of the Agents questions makes it hard to remember parts of the conversation so this is somewhat incomplete. I remember the agent repeatedly referred to the fact that he was technologically illiterate, as if that were one of the most important things about this conversation. Somehow he seemed intent on convincing me that if he didn’t have help that he would not even be able to turn a computer on. Then a little later on he mentioned that they could get all of the technical information they needed “back at the office”. Hmm.

Further, I feel like the Agent didn’t ask me any questions that he did not already know the answers to, which leads me to believe that the only reason they came to my home is because they want to drag me into the middle of something that I have nothing to do with.
Perhaps it has something to do with my court case. Perhaps not.
Either way I fear that a plot is in the works to seize my computers and anything else they feel could benefit them in locking me up or silencing me.

I’d like to add here that since the 15th of March the police have visited my home three times.
Twice to deliver summons on old medical bills and now this incident with the FBI Agent.
The 15th was the day before my court appearance last week. Two days after my court appearance another deputy showed up with another summons on an old bill. As he walked past the window around back he intently peered in, as if what was there was his business, and said to my husband “Boy, you sure got a lot of plants.”

If I didn’t know better I would think they were trying to terrorize me.
I’ll be looking for my subpoena in the mail or, if recent history is an indicator, I suppose they will hand deliver it to me.

Indiana police restricted on searching trash

By Kevin Corcoran

IN - Criminal investigators can't root through Hoosiers' garbage on mere hunches of finding evidence, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled unanimously today.

Writing for the high court, Justice Theodore Boehm set a new, higher legal standard in which police must offer specific, legitimate reasons for trash searches that include a reasonable expectation of turning up evidence.

"The police can no longer, out of curiosity, come out to see what's in your trash," Indianapolis defense attorney Robert Hammerle said after reviewing the ruling. "We now require more of police officers than we do of raccoons."

In the case, State Police went through the trash of Patrick and Susan May Litchfield of Marshall County. Their names had been obtained from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, which had come across the Litchfields in records subpoenaed from companies advertising in High Times, a magazine for marijuana growers, according to court records.

Amputee sues police department for confiscated scooter

The Associated Press

PORTLAND, OR - Vicki Marie Tyler, a diabetic amputee with a medical-marijuana card, says she was asleep on her couch when 13 police officers raided her North Portland home looking for drugs.

Although officers found less than an ounce of marijuana during the 2003 raid, they seized her electric scooter on the grounds that it was bought with drug money.

A jury last year acquitted Tyler of drug-dealing charges.

Now Tyler is filing a federal lawsuit against the Portland Police Bureau because it kept her scooter for more than three months -- until a Multnomah County judge ordered the bureau to give it back.

Pentagon to aid Afghan war on drugs

By Thom Shanker

WASHINGTON - The U.S. military will significantly increase its role in halting the production and sale of poppies, opium and heroin in Afghanistan, responding to bumper harvests that far exceed even the most alarming predictions, according to senior Pentagon officials.

The military will support efforts by Afghan and U.S. agencies, rather than lead them.

It will move anti-drug agents by helicopters and cargo planes and assist in planning missions and uncovering targets in a stepped-up war on the trade and on the heavily armed forces that protect it.

The Drug Enforcement Administration is already conducting missions with Afghan law enforcement officers.

Pentagon and military officials caution that support for the coalition's overall mission in Afghanistan could become unhinged if U.S. forces are seen eradicating a crop that is the only livelihood for many Afghans, and they stress the importance of allowing Afghan forces to take the lead.

Thursday, March 24, 2005


Ceci Connolly and Dana Hedgpeth, Washington Post

Those willing to be interviewed described Weise as a young man who drifted among various homes on the reservation, listening to heavy metal music, proclaiming his affinity for Adolf Hitler and periodically showing up at the high school, even though Stuart Desjarlait said that six months ago he had ordered Weise to stay at home for tutoring.

He was taking the antidepressant Prozac and at least once was hospitalized for suicidal tendencies, said Gayle Downwind, a cultural coordinator at Red Lake Middle School, who taught Weise.

Ex-detention officer convicted of sodomy

Ex-detention officer convicted of sodomy

MOBILE -- A jury Wednesday convicted a former juvenile detention center officer of sodomy involving boys at the Strickland Youth Center in Mobile.

The Mobile County jury deliberated for about two hours before returning a guilty verdict for Adric Lashaun Bush, 27, who maintained his innocence. He could be sentenced to 10 years to life in prison in May.

Two boys, 12 and 14, accused Bush of sodomizing them in the bedroom of his home.

In tearful testimony Tuesday, Bush called his accusers liars.

Bush was on trial in the case of the 14-year-old's accusations, but both boys swore Monday that he took them to his home in late 2003 and attacked them sexually.

Official charges involving the older boy include enticing a child for immoral purposes, furnishing alcohol to a minor and first-degree sodomy

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Teen Tasered 16 Times For Choking on Sandwich


Davlantes: It was an evening last November. Jim was eating a sandwich at Sarah's house when he began to choke.

Bool: He wasn't comprehending what was going on.

Davlantes: Sarah and her mother, Mary Lou Bool, say Jim looked disoriented -- possibly from a lack of oxygen.

Davis: They had him hogtied, his hands and feet were tied together. His face was all red and swollen. His eyes were swollen shut. And he was just kind of like shaking back and forth trying to get loose. And then all these copper wires that were coming off his back, I had no clue what they were.

Davlantes: These documents obtained by Unit 5 show police tasered Jim 16 times in 12 minutes. This printout from the Taser's memory chip shows how many times it was fired and the duration of the electrical shocks.

Bower: One shot was 14 seconds and another one was 11. These are far longer than what's recommended.

Davlantes: And these records show he was Tasered inside the ambulance, even though the manufacturer says Tasers should not be used on someone in a medical emergency.

Stephen Bower: They also sprayed him in the face with pepper spray.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005



Lawmakers are studying a set of proposals to bring order and sense to Alabama sentencing procedures.

We hope the proposals find favor with the lawmakers, for they would address a situation that makes no sense at all.

In short, this is it: Alabama does not have enough revenue to operate its Department of Corrections. Prisons are overflowing with inmates. There is a chronic shortage of guards. Facilities are deteriorating, posing health and safety hazards for the communities in which they are situated. And there is not enough money to build more prisons.

Yet the state's rate of incarceration is the fifth highest in the nation. Too often, we make no distinction between cold-blooded murderers and drug abusers. We pack them all off to prison.

More people go to prison for drug possession, in fact, than they do for murder, rape, robbery and manslaughter combined. None of the five top reasons for which inmates are incarcerated in Alabama involves a violent crime.

We're all for punishing offenders, but the state has reached and passed a breaking point. Gov. Riley's desperate attempt to deal with the relentless inmate overflow -- speeding paroles for non-violent offenders -- has crashed and burned. Though hundreds of inmates have been released, prisons remain jammed. Complaining that some criminals were released who should have stayed in jail, legislators are considering dismantling the program.

Again, it doesn't make sense.

But consider the alternative before the lawmakers.

Called Sentencing Standards, it would inaugurate a point system based on the current offense and criminal history of the convict. It would cover 26 crimes and determine who goes to prison ( someone with eight points or more ) and who is a good candidate for alternative sentencing.

The standards would send fewer non-violent offenders to prison while offering more effective ways of dealing with drug-related crimes, including treatment programs for offenders.

While it would be voluntary for judges, the proposed system also could bring some order to what is now a sentencing disparity bordering on chaos if it is widely adopted. Instead of seeing an inmate sentenced to 10 years for a drug crime in one county and another meted 18 months for the same crime in another, the proposed new system would offer a logical uniformity.

Some critics say uniformity is needed as well to end racial disparities in sentencing. White men, for example, are much more likely to be convicted of felony DUI. Black men, however, account for 59 percent of the people imprisoned for marijuana possession in Alabama.

There is yet another potential benefit that Sentencing Standards offers. It would require convicts to serve their full sentences without getting early parole.

This concept -- truth in sentencing -- has been a goal of the state law enforcement community for years. Given the state's dire corrections situation, it's an idea whose time has come.

Easing strain on prisons

Birmingham News

The first sentence of News staff writer Carla Crowder's story in last Wednesday's paper tells much about why Alabama prisons are in such a world of hurt:

Alabama courts have sent more people to prison for drug possession than for the violent crimes of murder, manslaughter, rape and robbery combined, Crowder wrote, then followed up with the numbers to prove it.

The statistics cry out for a change in the way the state deals with nonviolent criminals. Simply locking them up - and in the process, filling up our prisons - isn't working.

Change must include a reform of the way courts sentence nonviolent offenders, making use of alternatives such as drug treatment and community corrections programs. That's the heart of a recommendation by the Alabama Sentencing Commission; a proposal that is now working its way through the Legislature.

There is compelling reason for action.

In 1979, prisons incarcerated 6,000 convicts. Today, the number is 27,000 - twice what the prisons were built to house.

Much of the reason for the swollen prison rolls is the state's tough but dumb approach to nonviolent criminals. We throw them into prison at a much higher rate than most states, and we keep them locked up longer.

Alabama's treatment of drug offenders is particularly telling. Last year, for example, drug possession was by far the crime that sent the most people to prison - 1,531, according to the Sentencing Commission. None of the top five categories was what could be termed a violent crime.

Over the past two decades, the number of people locked up on drug charges has increased 478 percent. And while the average length of sentence for drug offenders nationally is 4½ years, in Alabama the average drug sentence nets eight years.

Such a disparity clearly shows we're not doing something right. The state must find saner ways to punish offenders without overburdening our prisons.

Under the Sentencing Commission's proposal, a point system based on the offender's criminal history is used to help determine appropriate punishment.

For example, a person convicted of a nonviolent offense but who otherwise has a clean record could be sentenced to work release, probation, drug treatment or another alternative to incarceration. A history of other criminal activity means he's likely to go to prison.

A side benefit, but not a minor one, is that the standards could lessen sentencing disparities, since all judges could draw on the same guidelines in determining punishment.

The standards are voluntary - meaning judges can use them as a guide, but aren't required to do so. That leaves room for judges to exercise discretion where appropriate.

Bills to adopt the sentencing standards already have passed the judiciary committees in both the state House of Representatives and Senate. Both chambers should give them their OK.

While new sentencing standards won't solve all that ails state prisons, they are a smarter approach to dealing with nonviolent criminals than continuing to stuff them into already overburdened prisons.

Court: No expert needed to show harm of eating illegal drugs

Associated Press

March 21, 2005

STAMFORD, Conn. -- Ingesting raw marijuana or crack cocaine is bad for children and you don't need an expert to tell you that, the Connecticut Supreme Court said Monday.

In two separate drug cases, the high court reinstated convictions on charges including risk of injury to a minor that had been thrown out by the state Appellate Court.

Both cases involved the possession or sale of drugs in homes with children. The Appellate Court had ruled that prosecutors should have introduced expert testimony to show that eating the drugs would have been harmful to the kids.

The high court said the effects of ingesting the drugs were common knowledge and common sense.

"It is still a widely known fact that marijuana is an illegal drug that will adversely affect the recipient, whether the drug is smoked, baked, sauteed, infused into alcohol, brewed in a tea, eaten raw, or consumed in any other inventive manner," Chief Justice William Sullivan wrote for the majority in one case.

Three justices disagreed with that decision, saying the state was required to prove that harm probably would have come to the children had they ingested raw marijuana within their reach. They said authorities should have been required to present an expert because the effects of eating the drug were unclear.

Chief Justice William Sullivan is declaring that science does not matter, facts do not matter and that reality does not matter.
If Connecticut Supreme Court Chief Justice William Sullivan were to go to the home of the people he is sentencing and stand before their kitchen counter where the government found marijuana, he could point his finger in any random direction and he would be pointing at something potentially more harmful to ingest than the raw (uncooked) marijuana on the counter before him.

Pot issue brought to Senate by state

Anchorage Daily News

JUNEAU -- State officials, desperate to overturn Alaska court rulings that at-home pot is legal here, took their case to the Legislature on Monday.

Assistant attorney general Dean Guaneli told the Senate Health and Social Services Committee that the state has hit a dead end in the courts. The Alaska Supreme Court has refused to hear arguments for criminalizing small amounts of pot, and the governor has made the issue a priority, he said.

"This is the only forum left for this subject," Guaneli told the legislators.

Kelowna's drug dealers put carts before their hoards

The Globe and Mail

Police in Kelowna, B.C., are going after a new target in their war against drugs: shopping carts.

Declaring that these stolen carts are being used by drug dealers pretending to be homeless, police plan a citywide sweep to reclaim carts on April 1.

The proposed sweep has alarmed community workers and the homeless who worry that the crackdown will target the meagre possessions owned by street people.

Inspector Cam Forbes said people who are genuinely homeless in the Okanagan city of about 95,000 have nothing to worry about.

"Our concerns are the drug transients who have been inundating the city and camouflaging as homeless so they can sell drugs," Insp. Forbes said yesterday. "Sometimes they even steal carts from the real homeless to use as a cover and we are getting calls for help in retrieving them."

Monday, March 21, 2005

Student undergoes brain surgery after scuffle with cop

Jason Bergreen
Salt Lake Tribune

A 17-year-old Riverton High School student who struck his head Friday during a scuffle with the school resource officer later underwent emergency brain surgery. The boy remained in critical condition Sunday, according to a University Hospital spokeswoman. David Stoddard, the Jordan School District area executive director, said school administrators who are in contact with the boy's family told him of the operation, though he didn't know when it occurred.

The Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office is conducting an internal investigation to determine whether Deputy Ben Bolduc used excessive force on the boy, who had been sent to his office to discuss a truancy issue, Sgt. Paul Jaroscak said Saturday. The boy had wandered away from Bolduc's office, and the skirmish occurred as the deputy was escorting him back. Bolduc grabbed him by the arm when the student stopped to talk to friends, and the boy pulled away, Jaroscak said. The deputy then wrapped his arms around the boy from behind and lifted him off his feet. The pair fell, and the boy landed on his head.

Bolduc, an 11-year veteran with the sheriff's office, also teaches law enforcement classes at Riverton High School, where he has been a resource officer for the past year. He has not been placed on administrative leave and is expected to return to work this week, Jaroscak said.

Got the munchies?: Baker says she's a 'good girl,' only sells cannabis cookies to those with a doctor's note

Nicholas Kohler
National Post

To the marijuana grow-op underground that police say is dominated by gangs, guns and booby traps, she brings baking trays, butter and chocolate chips.

And if "Joey" is the only name she'll provide the National Post, it's because this cannabis cookie-maker knows sprinkling her not-so-secret baking ingredient into the mix is a crime.

This article even includes the recipe:


This is how Joey makes her cannabis butter, which replaces ordinary butter in traditional cookie recipes:

- 1 lb unsalted butter

- dried cannabis ground up with a coffee grinder (the amount used depends on the marijuana's potency and which part of the plant is used: for mild, smokeable bud, use 14 to 28 grams)

- 4 to 5 litres of water

- 1 stock pot

- a large bowl

- a colander

- cheesecloth

- one large spoon and one potato masher

1. Put all the ingredients in the stock pot and place on very low heat.

2. Simmer the mixture for six to eight hours, stirring every 30 minutes or so.

3. Next, place the cheesecloth-lined colander over the large bowl and slowly pour the mixture through.

4. Tightly wrap the mixture in the cheesecloth and squeeze out all the liquid. Use the potato masher to squeeze the juice from between the leaves.

5. Throw out the contents of the cheesecloth and refrigerate the liquid in the pot. The "butter" and water in the bowl will soon separate, with all the THC (the active ingredient in marijuana) now in the butter. Store the butter in the fridge or freeze it if you don't plan to use it within a week.

Police warn of pot-club dangers

By Gary Scott
SGV Tribune

PASADENA, CA -- Pasadena police and planners want to prohibit medical marijuana dispensaries, or "cannabis clubs,' from locating within the city, saying such establishments breed crime and degrade neighborhoods.

They cite as evidence a report from Mark Siemens, police chief of the small Northern California town of Rocklin. Siemens compiled a list of complaints from four city police departments where pot clubs exist.

His report paints a picture of illicit drug dens that attract an "underground culture' of street criminals, drug dealers and "dopers.'

A dispensary in Hayward sold hashish, the report states, and one in Roseville let people smoke pot inside the facility. Residents of Upper Lake complained "the people coming to Upper Lake for marijuana look like drug users ('dopers'),' the report continues, and a shoe store in Oakland saw its business drop when a club opened next door.

S.D. medical marijuana proposal forming

Argus Leader

PIERRE, SD - A Hermosa man who supported an unsuccessful attempt to legalize industrial hemp in 2002 said last week he is preparing a ballot initiative to allow medical marijuana in South Dakota.

Robert Newland, who also ran for attorney general as a Libertarian candidate in 2002, said Montana voters in November legalized marijuana for medical uses.

"When I saw that Montana did it, I decided to start a campaign in South Dakota," Newland said. "There is no question we can get the signatures in fairly short order. The fact is, medical use has never failed on an initiative."

Newland can expect strong opposition from Attorney General Larry Long's office if his proposal reaches the ballot. A spokesman for Long said the office's position is contained in statements made at the House hearing by Charles McGuigan, an assistant attorney general.

"We are in opposition to any plan to legalize marijuana in any form, whether it is medical marijuana or industrial hemp or any other concoction that would give credence to this substance,'' McGuigan said.

Ten states have some form of medical marijuana laws now. California's law is being challenged in a U.S. Supreme Court case. Other states with such laws are Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington. Arizona also has a law permitting marijuana prescriptions but no active program.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Debate on NarcoSphere

Don Henry Ford Jr. defends his position on hard drug prohibition.

1980s carmaker DeLorean dies at 80

(CNN) -- John DeLorean, developer of a futuristic sportscar that captured the country's attention in the 1980s, has died. He was 80.

DeLorean died Saturday at the Overlook Hospital in Summit, New Jersey, from complications from a stroke, said Paul Connell, owner of Desmond and Sons funeral home in Michigan.

DeLorean's stainless-steel, gull-winged car, which bore his name, became more engrained in American culture after director Robert Zemeckis used a DeLorean as a time machine in the 1985 film "Back to the Future" and its two sequels.

Car Mogul John DeLorean Dies

Eric Malnic
Los Angeles Times

John Zachary DeLorean, the dashing former General Motors executive whose flamboyant lifestyle faded into obscurity after charges that he tried to use drug money to salvage his own fledgling car company DeLorean Motor Car Co., has died. He was 80.

DeLorean, the innovative car maker-tall, handsome, charismatic, known for his flashy clothes, his lavish tastes and the beautiful women who accompanied him-was acquitted in 1984 of the drug and conspiracy counts against him, but his DeLorean Motor Co. had been fatally wounded.

Despite being videotaped in the act of apparently buying cocaine-and pronouncing it "better than gold," DeLorean never admitted guilt in the case that led to his arrest in a Los Angeles hotel room on Oct. 19, 1982.

Inmate health care to be privatized

Charlotte Observer

NC - A private company will begin providing health care for Union County Jail inmates April 1, saving the county about $140,000 and bringing increased services and staff hours to the jail.

County commissioners Monday unanimously approved a contract with Tennessee-based Prison Health Services (PHS), one of three firms vying for the job.

The company is the nation's largest private provider of inmate health services and serves jails in Mecklenburg and Gaston counties. But PHS has been under fire for some of its dealings in other states, where critics have accused it of providing subpar care.

For-profit companies serve about 40 percent of the nation's inmate population. PHS leads the field, with an estimated $690 million in revenue last year and more than 375 jail and prison sites in 36 states, according to its Web site.

Results of a yearlong investigation of PHS published Feb. 27 in the New York Times show the company provided "flawed and sometimes lethal" care, sometimes sacrificing safety for profit.

Investigators in New York found the company culpable in two deaths, and it has paid millions of dollars in fines and settlements, the article said.

The article also says that since 1992, at least 15 inmates have died in 11 Florida jails "where Prison Health appears to have provided inadequate care."

CU, Boulder huddle to snuff pot rally

Associated Press

Boulder - University of Colorado administrators and local public health officials are trying to figure out ways to make an annual campus pro- marijuana rally blow away like a puff of smoke.

Every April 20, pot enthusiasts gather in the middle of CU's Farrand Field to smoke copious amounts of marijuana. Typically, police don't intervene.

But given the scandals currently rocking the school, Ron Stump, vice chancellor for student affairs, said he thinks tolerating crowds of hundreds of people cheerfully getting stoned definitely sends the wrong message.

"I think there's some students who feel that it doesn't represent them and it's not appropriate on our campus," Stump said. "I think they'd like to see us do something."

Stump, who discussed the issue with city and county officials during a meeting last week, said he doesn't yet know what concrete steps the administration will take to discourage students from going ganja next month.

Medical marijuana bill dies at session's end

By Karen Polly
Carlsbad Current-Argus

CARLSBAD — Senators from Eddy County voted against a bill that would allow access to marijuana, but it passed the Senate on a 27-11 vote. After a week of being stalled on the House floor, though, their votes were twice moot.

Senate bill 795 was on the House floor since Monday, but was skipped over each day. According to lobbyist Reena Szczepanski, the bill was the last item addressed Saturday before the House adjourned, but she said Speaker Ben Lujan said the bill was too controversial and would take up too much time.

“It wasn’t that we didn’t have the votes,” Szczepanski said Saturday afternoon. “It was that somehow, we were trapped in the middle of a game.”

Senate bill 795, named the Lynn Pierson Compassionate Use Act, provided for the production and dispensing of marijuana within the state of New Mexico for people suffering from debilitating conditions such as cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS, epilepsy and spinal cord injuries.

Szczepanski said state Rep. Daniel Silva, an Albuquerque Democrat, was to blame for the hold-up.

According to the Santa Fe New Mexican, Silva held up the bill because he could not get a bill that would help his constituents to build homes more cheaply in southwest Albuquerque heard in the Senate.

“I don’t want that bill heard,” Silva told the Santa Fe New Mexican regarding the medical marijuana bill. “My bill is a lot more important to my constituents.”

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Officer loses gun at court

Roach, key figure in '01 riots, left his weapon in restroom

By Sharon Coolidge
Cincinnati Enquirer

An Evendale police officer involved in a civil trial on allegations that he violated a suspect's civil rights lost his loaded handgun in the Hamilton County Courthouse.

Stephen Roach reported his personal .40-caliber Glock missing at 1 p.m. Monday, 2½ hours after he left it in a fourth-floor restroom, according to a Hamilton County Sheriff's Office report.

He didn't immediately realize that the gun was missing, the report said. When he went back to the restroom looking for it, the gun was gone.

This is not the first time an officer has lost a gun at the courthouse, Hamilton County Sheriff Simon Leis said. He said it has happened at least twice before.

Medical lapse caused death of inmate, autopsy finds

Yesterday should have been Ricky Douglas' 40th birthday.

Rather than a day of celebration, it was the day Douglas' autopsy report was released, revealing for the first time that the diabetic Metro Jail inmate died after not receiving medicine to treat his illness, even after requesting it from his cell.

His autopsy report follows a recent admission by the city's private health-care provider for inmates, Brentwood-based Prison Health Services, that the company made critical errors in providing care for Douglas in the hours before his death Jan. 19.

''It does appear that there were individual failings in following policies, and you had this adverse result,'' said Bob Eadie, deputy director of the Metro Department of Public Health. ''Whatever consequences come from Mr. Douglas' death, Prison Health Services will be held accountable for those.''

Douglas' family has retained the Memphis law firm led by famed attorney Johnnie Cochran. Archie Sanders III, the attorney who is investigating the death for Cochran's firm, said the autopsy report indicates that Davidson County sheriff's staff, the Metro Public Health Department and the private contractor all bear responsibility for the death.

Somerest County Prison Abuse

Somerset County, PA -- As an investigation into violence claims by Somerset County prisoners, the number of reported incidents is increasing. According to the Somerset Police Chief, Randy Cox, there may have been as many as 50 cases in the past two years. Cox said there have been 30 identified victims with information to back up their stories. Police are looking in to reports of at least 20 other unidentified victims. Cox said other inmates and jail visitors have mentioned other inmates being assaulted, but police have not been able to confirm that information.

According to Cox, some victims do not want to press charges. "We're running into about 40 percent of the victims don't want to prosecute. They're fearful if they do prosecute they'll invite retaliation from the person who assaulted them in the first place."

Donaldson health care administrator fired

Birmingham News

AL - The administrator over health care at Donaldson Correctional Facility was fired for failing to improve medical care at the beleaguered lockup, but not before issuing repeated warnings about inadequate staff.

Stephanie Lawson, a registered nurse employed by the private contractor Prison Health Services, said she was especially frustrated that no full-time physician was assigned to the western Jefferson County prison, which houses about 1,625 men.

"I was terminated for lack of progress at the site, and it's an impossible site to manage with the staff that PHS has allocated for health care," Lawson said. "It's just wrong."

Lawson, 36, was fired the first week in March, the same week Donaldson Warden Stephen Bullard was placed on administrative leave after writing a memo about inadequate staffing and poor conditions. Department of Corrections officials have said Bullard was placed on leave because of his own complaints about the stress and health problems associated with his job.

Lawson's staffing complaints are similar to those raised by Dr. Valda Chijide, the former HIV doctor at Limestone Prison. Chijide resigned earlier this year after sending PHS several memos detailing inadequate support and staffing at the north Alabama prison.

Lawson's firing leaves Donaldson minus experienced staff in the two top posts, overseeing the prison and the health care unit.

Considered by many people in the Department of Corrections to be the toughest prison in the state, Donaldson houses mentally ill inmates and men on Death Row. It is so crowded the sewage system is overloaded.

The corrections department has temporarily transferred Warden Terry McDonnell from Kilby Correctional Facility to Donaldson.

Pharmacist charged in lucrative drug-for-sex swap

By Boston Herald staff
Saturday, March 19, 2005

A 70-year-old Palmer pharmacist has been charged with stealing prescription drugs and swapping them for sex with a woman half his age, said police.
Paul A. Lussier of East Longmeadow pleaded innocent Thursday in Palmer District Court. He is charged with six felony counts of larceny of a controlled substance, trafficking of more than 200 grams of a class A drug, and two counts of possession of a firearm.
Lussier, a married father, was allegedly trading the addictive pain killer Vicodin for favors from a local woman in her 30s, police said.

Planted drugs may be key to man's release

By Matt Birkbeck
Allentown Morning Call

PA - Drugs planted by two former Panther Valley police officers and used as evidence to send a Coaldale man to prison could be used to set him free after a Schuylkill County judge questioned whether prosecutors knew of the officers' actions before he accepted a guilty plea.

Judge Jacqueline Russell raised her concerns at a hearing Friday for George Becker, 45, who was arrested March 18, 2003, after cocaine and heroin were found in his home during a police raid.

Becker, a reputed low-level drug dealer, later was convicted and sentenced to 21/2 to six years in state prison.

But the officers involved in his arrest — former Lansford Patrolman Jeremy Sommers and former Coaldale Patrolman Michael Weaver — in 2004 were indicted by federal authorities on charges of planting the evidence found in Becker's home.

Sommers and Weaver pleaded guilty to violating Becker's civil rights. They were fired from their jobs and are awaiting sentencing.

Jurors decline to indict in fatal drug raid

Glenwood, Ia. - A seven-member Mills County grand jury declined Friday to indict Tim Fulmer, a member of the Southwest Iowa Narcotics Enforcement Task Force, for fatally shooting a rural Glenwood man during a Dec. 29 raid of the man's home.

But the victim's family called the two-day grand jury proceeding and outcome a cover-up by law enforcement to protect one of its own. Family members said they plan to file a wrongful death suit against Fulmer, a Council Bluffs police officer.

Brett Lynn Pace, 46, was watching television with a friend about 6:15 a.m. Dec. 29 when members of the narcotics enforcement task force burst into his farmhouse, looking for drugs and weapons. Pace was shot twice in the chest by Fullmer, 33, and died.

Medical Marijuana Bill Awaits House Approval

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Medical marijuana advocates continued to wait Friday for a bill to allow the growing and/or possession of medical marijuana to clear its final hurdle: a debate on the House floor.

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson said Thursday that he would sign the bill, which has been passed by the Senate.

"This is for those who are in extreme pain and danger. I think we can have enough safeguards. I would be prepared to sign it," said Richardson.

The medical marijuana bill is sponsored in the House by Rep. Cisco McSorley.

The bill would allow patients with cancer and other debilitating diseases to use marijuana to ease their symptoms.

From the DPA: Urge Your Senator to Hear Medical Marijuana Bill!

Clarke orders rethink on cannabis

BBC - The Home Secretary has ordered a review of the decision to downgrade cannabis, as new studies suggest a strong link between the drug and mental illness.

Cannabis was downgraded from class B to class C in January last year, based on a recommendation from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs.

Charles Clarke has now asked the body to consider whether the fresh research would lead it to change its position.

The Tories said the government had recognised "they got this wrong".

Friday, March 18, 2005

Magbie Murderer Cleared

Report Clears D.C. Judge of Misconduct in Inmate Death

By Henri E. Cauvin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, March 18, 2005

An inquiry into the death last year of a 27-year-old quadriplegic inmate has
concluded that D.C. Superior Court made only a "limited and uninformed" inquiry
about the man's medical needs before ordering him to serve a 10-day sentence for
marijuana possession.

But the investigation by the Commission on Judicial Disabilities and Tenure
cleared the judge in the case, Judith E. Retchin, of judicial misconduct,
concluding that she acted within the law and made an effort to ensure that a
D.C. jail would be able to care for Jonathan Magbie.

The report cited "failures of communication among the participants in this
tragic sequence of events."

The commission's report, released yesterday, is one of three official inquiries
into Magbie's death Sept. 24. An earlier investigation by the D.C. Department
of Health faulted Greater Southeast Community Hospital for failing to provide
adequate care to Magbie after he was brought there from the jail. The Office of
the Inspector General is examining the actions of the jail staff.

From the beginning, Magbie's family had focused its fury on the judge, who
rejected probation -- a common sentence for a first-time misdemeanor offender
-- and instead ordered him jailed for 10 days.

In a demonstration outside the courthouse in the days after Magbie's death, his
mother, Mary Scott, called Retchin a killer and demanded her removal from the

Retchin, a judge for almost 13 years and a top federal prosecutor before that,
was interviewed by the commission, and the report provides the most extensive
public account of her thinking in the case beyond what emerged in court

The judge told the commission that she was leaning toward probation but
reconsidered after Magbie told court investigators that he would continue to
use marijuana because it alleviated the discomfort of his disability. Retchin
said Magbie's attitude and the fact that he had been arrested with a gun -- a
charge that was dropped as part of the plea -- convinced her that he should
receive more than probation.

That is the theory I have maintained from the very beginning. Is it any wonder people are afaid to speak out in favor of medical marijuana?

According to the commission, she and her staff made an error in trying to
determine whether the jail could accommodate Magbie.

Retchin told her law clerk to find out from the chief judge's office whether the
jail could care for a paraplegic. Magbie was almost a total quadriplegic, having
slight use of one hand but otherwise paralyzed from the neck down.

According to the commission, a staff member in the chief judge's office who is
the court's liaison with the jail incorrectly assumed that Magbie was a
sentenced felon and faced at least a year in prison, which would have meant he
was headed to a federal prison and not a D.C. jail. The result was that Retchin
was told that the jail could accommodate Magbie.

Retchin told the commission that if she had known at the time about Magbie's
acute medical needs, she would have come to a different decision, "a period of
home confinement, rather than a jail term, would have far better served her
sentencing objective," the report states, paraphrasing the judge.

Instead, Magbie, who was paralyzed at age 4 when he was struck by a drunken
driver, was taken to jail in his motorized wheelchair.

Five days into his sentence, Magbie of Mitchellville died at Greater Southeast.
It was his second trip to the hospital, having been taken there on his first
day in jail. After the first hospitalization, a doctor at the jail tried
unsuccessfully to have Magbie returned to the hospital, fearing that he would
again need urgent medical care. But Magbie did not make it back to the hospital
until the next day, when he was already in distress.

Greater Southeast has said Magbie received "appropriate care."

The commission found that the judge, court staff and Department of Corrections
did not know at the time of Magbie's sentencing that his compromised
respiratory system was "susceptible to swift deterioration requiring acute-care

Last night, Scott said Retchin should have known.

"If she wanted to know if they could accommodate him, she should have tried to
find out what his needs were," Scott said. "How can you say someone's going to
take care of you if you don't know what they need?"

The judge told the commission she did not know that Magbie regularly used a
ventilator to help him breathe, especially when he was sleeping. He had not
used one in court and his lawyer, Boniface Cobbina, made no mention of his
needing a ventilator, which jail officials later said they were not equipped to

In an interview yesterday, Chief Judge Rufus G. King III said the court had
taken steps to improve the way it handles defendants with serious medical
conditions. The medical alert forms that are completed for such defendants have
been revised to require more information. Judges have been told that in the most
serious cases, they should handle the inquiries directly, not leave them
exclusively to court staff.

"It's definitely a lesson for all of us," King said.

Thanks Lew

My friend Lew Rockwell of the Ludwig Von Mises Insititue and published a version of My Day in Court
Thanks Lew!!
I hope they are reading this on Capitol Hill today!

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Marijuana Only Option, One Alabamian Claims

Lara Campbell Posted by Hello

Marijuana only option, claims one Alabamian

By Cara Parell
Senior Reporter

March 17, 2005
Some mornings Laura Campbell wakes up with pain so severe that leaving her bed hardly seems like an option. But unlike most sufferers of chronic pain, Campbell can’t reach over to her nightstand and pop a pill.

She is allergic to nearly 95 percent of pain medications, including morphine, Demerol and Codeine.

So she finds relief with a drug that isn’t available with a prescription — at least not in Alabama.

To manage her pain, Campbell, a 32-year-old mother of three and Cullman resident, smokes marijuana several times a week.

Campbell said the illegal substance is her only option for pain management.

“If I take pain medication, I’m going to vomit and go to sleep,” she said. “With three children, I can’t do that.”

Campbell’s only other options are Marinol, a pill formulation of the active ingredient in marijuana, THC and methadone.

Campbell said she and her doctor considered Marinol, but its price— $400 a month— was too expensive. And Methadone, a synthetic narcotic used to treat drug withdrawal, seemed too extreme to Campbell.

“Isn’t methadone for people coming off crack?” Campbell responded to her doctor after mention of the drug. “It’s pretty much ruled out.”

She started getting sick four and a half years ago and suffers from three forms of arthritis, which cause pain throughout her body and in all of her major joints, she said.

She has fibromyalgia syndrome, a muscoskeletal pain and fatigue disorder, with ailments that include fevers, achiness, irritable bowel syndrome and lack of tolerance to extreme sunlight.

Campbell also has chronic fatigue syndrome and idiopathic hypersomnia, which is similar to narcolepsy and causes excessive sleepiness during the day.

In connection with the idiopathic hypersomnia, Campbell has restless leg syndrome, which makes her legs twitch at night and prevents her from experiencing deep sleep.

“There’s no cure,” she said. “It’s like having a bad toothache. It won’t kill you, but sometimes you wish it would.”

Campbell already takes six prescription medications for her multiple health problems.

After researching her options, four months ago Campbell chose marijuana to treat her pain and has been happy with the results.

“Marijuana helped the irritable bowel syndrome, and I was able to keep weight on,” she said. “I sleep better, my nerves are not as bad and it stops the pain without any other negative side effects. The only downside is the smoking thing.”

Campbell said she mainly smokes the drug because it produces the fastest results.

Campbell said her three doctors support her choice and have noticed change.

She said sometimes she has to travel to Birmingham to get her marijuana.

“Unfortunately that’s the seedy part, instead of going to the pharmacy where it’s safe,” she said. “I could lose my kids, my house, my car.”

In an effort to legalize the drug, Campbell has sent letters to federal and state lawmakers like President George W. Bush; Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala.; and Gov. Bob Riley. She has yet to receive a response.

“If they have an answer, they won’t say it,” Campbell said. “They don’t want to be pot advocates, but they know there are people who could use it.”

She also contacted the district attorney’s office, whose advice, she said, was to have the marijuana delivered to avoid arrest.

“I’m stuck being a lawbreaker, but I have no other choices,” she said. “Either I can have a quality of life and be a lawbreaker or not break the law and not have a quality of life.”

Campbell’s next step is to testify before state lawmakers when the House considers a bill in the next few weeks to legalize medicinal marijuana use.

The Compassionate Use Act for Medical Marijuana will be introduced by Rep. Laura Hall, D-Madison, and if passed would add Alabama to a small but growing list of states that allow medical marijuana use.

The bill stipulates the use of marijuana with a doctor’s prescription, and the drug could only be prescribed for certain conditions like AIDS.

“The fact that a single mother of three children is willing to risk arrest, prosecution and jail in order to obtain pain relief should speak volumes to Alabama state legislators about the effectiveness of medical marijuana,” said Loretta Nall, founder of the Alabama Marijuana Party and president of the U.S. Marijuana Party. Nall is engaged in lobbying legislators to approve the bill.

Dr. Michael Saag, Director of the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Center for AIDS Research, works with AIDS patients who are outlined in the bill as potential benefactors of legalization of the drug.

He supports legalization for medicinal purposes, saying marijuana as a medicine has “definitive medical benefit for patients who have wasting, loss of appetite and persistent nausea.”

“Testimony to its medicinal effect is the development and approval of Marinol for those indications,” Saag said. “I cannot imagine a logical rationale regarding why marijuana is not allowed as a prescription drug.”

Saag said risks associated with smoking marijuana on a regular basis include lung irritation and long term potential hazards like asthma and bronchitis.

Drug Czar Blames Canada for Pot Problems

U.S. drug czar John Walters said that illicit imports of potent Canadian pot are contributing to increases in marijuana addiction among American youth, the National Post reported March 11.

Walters called on Canada to crack down on marijuana growers. "The question that is always on our side of the border, and on theirs, when these problems arise is: 'How many more people will suffer until we are able to change the trend line?'" he said.

Putnam County property seized to pay drug tax

A Bloomington Springs house and the land surrounding it are believed to be the first real estate in Tennessee to be seized for unpaid taxes on illegal drugs.

The property, owned by Jerry Palk, is being taxed for the marijuana authorities found growing inside the unoccupied house last month — 80 marijuana plants 3 to 4 feet tall.

The taxing of the marijuana and the seizure of the property Tuesday to force payment of the taxes are not connected to criminal charges pending against Palk. The tax is a civil matter handled by the Tennessee Department of Revenue, the total amount of which is not publicly disclosed in individual cases.

The taxes are levied under a new law that went into effect in January taxing ''unauthorized substances'' such as marijuana, cocaine, crack, methamphetamine and untaxed liquors and spirits.

Tennessee's Unauthorized Substance Tax, levied per gram, is $3.50 for marijuana, $50 for cocaine, and $200 for meth and crack cocaine.

When the Revenue Department taxes an alleged drug possessor, that person has an opportunity to pay the tax. If it is not paid, agents may seize and auction off anything of value the person owns.

The taxing of the illegal substance does not have to await criminal conviction of the owner. The possession of the substance alone triggers the tax.

Seventy-five percent of the taxes collected goes back to the law enforcement agency handling the case, with the remaining 25% going to the state's general fund.

Police try booking pot busts in squad car

Chicago Sun-Times

A pilot program in the Chicago Police Department's Shakespeare District is exploring whether cops can save time by processing marijuana arrests in their squad cars rather than in the police station.

"We're trying to streamline things and reduce the amount of time our police officers are spending processing arrestees," First Deputy Supt. Dana Starks said.

It works this way: When an officer in the Shakespeare District makes a misdemeanor arrest for marijuana possession, he or she fills out an arrest report and a more detailed case report on a computer terminal in the squad car.

The officer weighs the pot on one of the small scales recently provided to the district.

Then a police wagon shows up to take the arrested person to the station. The officer checks the pot in to evidence at the end of the shift.

It Takes Money to Feed Your Head

Wired News

An organization that supports psychedelic drug research is hosting an eBay auction featuring ecstasy icon Alexander Shulgin's lab glassware, LSD blotter paper art and a week of "tanning, dancing and trancing" on Ibiza, among other mind-bending items.

The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, or MAPS, launched the eBay auction, which runs until March 21. The group aims to raise money for administrative expenses, which have increased thanks to the group's recent successes, said Rick Doblin, MAPS president and founder.

ACLU Report: U.S. Drug Laws Harm Women

By DAVID CRARY AP National Writer

NEW YORK (AP) -- America's war on drugs is inflicting deep and disproportionate harm on women _ most of them mothers _ who are filling prisons in ever-rising numbers despite their typically minor roles in drug rings, the American Civil Liberties Union and two other groups contend in a major new report.

The report, "Caught in the Net," is being released Thursday as the focus of a two-day national conference in New York, bringing together criminal justice officials, sentence-reform activists and other experts to consider its package of proposed legislative and policy changes. The report recommends expansion of treatment programs geared toward women, says incarceration should be a last resort, and urges more vigorous efforts to maintain ties between imprisoned mothers and their children.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Loretta Nall Court Update

I appeared in Tallapoosa County Circuit court on the morning of March 16, 2005 at 9 a.m. My husband and I arrived at 8:30 and went upstairs to the courtroom. It seems that the Atlanta courthouse shooting of last week has given these small town Alabama cops and court personnel "beefed up security fever".

It is difficult for me to imagine anyone in Alexander City, AL losing their mind and opening fire in the courtroom. Then again when I think about how badly people get screwed over in the Alabama court system I begin to wonder why that very thing doesn't happen every day.

There was a new metal detector outside the door to the courtroom and the line was backed up to the stairs. Everyone who went through the metal detector set it off. They were then given the wand treatment.

The lady deputy finally decided that the machine was set too sensitive because everyone was triggering it and the male deputy proceeds to dink around with it. He didn't appear to know what he was doing so he just pushed buttons and pretended he did.

What is the point of having these things in courthouses if you are not going to train personnel on how to properly operate them?

When it got close for us to pass through I looked at my husband and asked him "Are you prepared to be violated?"

I passed my handbag to the female deputy and walked through the detector. It did not go off. It didn't go off with my husband either.

I then knew my suspicions were correct about "Deputy Dink" not knowing what he was doing with the metal detector because my husband had on a metal belt buckle larger than his head. The deputy caught the fact that the machine didn't go berserk and looked at my husband and said "Do you have a knife?"
As if a person actually trying to sneak a knife in the courtroom is going to answer yes to that question!
We made our way in and found our seats.

I have always found court to be both exhilarating and terrifying at the same time. I love watching the legal process. It fascinates me.
I hate being the object that will suffer the outcome of said process.

It all seems so unbalanced. The poor, the ignorant and the minorities filled the benches in today's court. Most of them looked too poor to even have a set of "Sunday clothes" to wear. Meanwhile, the judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys were all dressed in power suits and carrying fine leather briefcases.
It looked for all the world like the rich and educated vs. the poor and uneducated.

Apparently the metal detector decided to be unruly again because for the next half hour it beeped and buzzed and bonged relentlessly. The courtroom became packed. In fact, I have never seen that many people in court before. Pretty soon people had to stand in the back against the wall because there was nowhere to sit.

A deputy walked to the back and said “Sit Down!” “There will be no standing allowed in the courtroom.” However there was nowhere to sit so people continued standing. This deputy continued to walk around and bellow at all of us in the courtroom like we were already inmates in his jail….never mind the fact that none of us had yet had a trial by jury. To him we were already his prisoners.

After a few minutes of this pointless ordering about of people who had no way to follow the order it was decided that family members and witnesses had to wait outside the courtroom. So the same deputy said “EVEROBODY THAT HAS A CASE ON THE DOCKET TODAY RAISE YOUR HAND” (as if we were all in kindergarten) and then he ordered everyone else outside.

One girl sitting next to me was the girlfriend of a defendant and she decided she wasn’t going anywhere and began the process of evading the detection of Deputy “Bullhorn” and his relentless pursuit of “family members and witnesses” to kick out of the courtroom.
I was rooting for her. She was successful.
I love a rebellious spirit.

By the time all of this was starting to settle down my coffee hit and I had to well….I had to pee. I looked at the door and saw that a female and male deputy guarded it. I asked the female if we were allowed to go out and use the restroom.
She responded
“If you go outside the courtroom you will not be allowed back in and we will not come and get you when you are called.”

I’ll be honest here, which is likely to get me into some hot water, at least that has been the trend…but I really felt like smacking her.
I thought “Can they really order you to hold your water for an indefinite period of time and, if you are unable to do so, can they make it so that you can’t get back into the courtroom when you are called?”
The thought that I was already being held against my will came to me and it made me very angry.

I actually, very briefly considered pissing in the floor.
Not because I couldn't hold it, but simply to show them the result of their unreasonable anti-pissing policy.
I wonder what they would have or could have done?

I held my tongue though and my water too, for about 4 hours.

About 20 minutes later an old woman who appeared to be in her 70’s approached the female deputy and asked to be let out to go to the restroom and was given the same line. I couldn’t believe it. She turned around and obediently hobbled back to her seat. But then she got up again and went out anyway. I did not see her come back in.

Maybe it is just me but all of the uniformed personnel today from the metal detector morons to Deputy “Bullhorn” to the “NO URINATING ALLOWED” female deputy seemed to me to be in that mode all the time. Controlling, commanding and enjoying every last second of it.

That has to be a miserable way to live your life and I almost feel sorry for them. But not quite.

Finally the judge comes in. I had heard some good things about this judge but after witnessing the way the deputies treated us all morning I did not have a lot of hope for the possibility of good outcomes for myself and my fellow accused.

However the judge just looked cool and laid back and the first thing he did was smile big say “Good Morning Y’all”. I about fell off the bench. He had actually shown the accused in his courtroom respect by addressing them in a friendly manner. I answered back with a hearty “Good morning Judge” and was surprised to find myself the only one to do so.

The judge began by telling us that today was our last chance to plea out and if we did not take a plea-bargain today we would not have the chance to change our minds later. Not only that but the prosecutor was making everyone do something called “Pleading Blind” with no offer of probation or parole if they refused his plea bargain offer.

The judge then went on to inform everyone of their constitutional rights. That was the first time I had ever seen a judge do that. He told us all that when we came before the bench we would have to say that we either understood our rights or we did not. He then said that he would ask us what we did that landed us in court.

I got very excited at the sound of that prospect and began to anxiously await my chance to blurt out
“I wrote a letter to the editor of the Birmingham News disagreeing with current Alabama drug policy with regard to marijuana and apparently that did not sit too well with the Tallapoosa County Narcotics Task Force and they obtained a warrant based on said letter and raided my home when no one was there and claim to have found .87 gram of marijuana.”

But I never got that chance.

The judge decided to call the cases of the people currently in jail who were all sitting on the front row in their stripes and handcuffs.
The first case was a 1st degree marijuana possession case and I almost fainted when the judge told the black male defendant “60 day suspended sentence and 2 years unsupervised probation…you can go home today” and from that point on he proceeded to release everyone who came before him on marijuana possession charges and give them much the same sentence as the first one. Some got supervised probation. Some did not.

Getting through all of the cases of people currently in jail took up the whole morning so near noon one of the deputies said “If you are pleading not guilty then please form a line at the front of the room.” So those of us who were demanding a jury trial (and I am pleased to report that there were a LOT of us doing just that) got up and got in line.

When it was my turn to go before the judge he smiled at me and said “What’s your name and where is your lawyer?”

I said, “Your honor I am Loretta Nall and my attorney Charles Salvagio talked with you last week and…”

"Oh yes, Oh yes Mrs. Nall. Yes I did talk with your attorney. I believe the prosecution made you and offer of" (he looks over at the DA and says what was that offer again ?) and the DA pipes up, "8 months prison no probation your honor." and the judge says “8 MONTHS?” in a very surprised way.
He then looks at me and says “I assume you will be rejecting that offer Mrs. Nall?” and I said “Absolutely your Honor.” Then he smiled again and said “I’ll set the trial date for the week of April 11 and you are free to go.”

And that’s all there was to it.

I feel much better after spending the day in the courtroom of the judge who will be in charge of my case. He seems liberal, intelligent, uncorrupt and fair and I now believe my case actually stands a great chance of being thrown out.

Hope springs eternal.

District to require parents to attend drug seminars

Associated Press

SOUTHLAKE, Texas - A North Texas school district will require parents to attend hour long seminars about teen substance abuse in order for their children to play sports or participate in other extracurricular activities.

The policy starts next school year at the Carroll Independent School District and will affect the parents of students in grades seven through 12.

The classes will address substance-abuse trends, warning signs, prevention and district drug policies.

Nonviolent convicts fill state prisons

Birmingham News staff writer

Alabama courts have sent more people to prison for drug possession than for the violent crimes of murder, manslaughter, rape and robbery combined. Second to possession is drug distribution.

None of the top five crimes for which people are sent to prison are violent offenses, according to an analysis of five years of data in the Alabama Sentencing Commission's 2005 report.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Loretta Nall Goes Back to Court

Evidence Posted by Hello The above photo is the "marijuana" the police claim to have found in my home.

I have to appear in Tallapoosa County Circuit Court before Judge Tom Young on March 16, 2005 at 9:00 a.m. From what I understand this is a pre-trial hearing wherein the prosecutor will offer me 8 months of prison time in exchange for my guilty plea. I find that interesting as the Judge in the District trial did not even impose as stiff a sentence as that. I won't speculate as to what I think may be responsible for that sort of "deal". Probably best not to.

A trial date has already been set for April 11, 2005 so I am uncertain why I have to show up. But the judge said be there and so I will.

For those of you not familiar with my case, which launched my entire career, details can be found at the following links.

How I Got Started
What I Have Done Since (this is in need of an update)
Current Projects
Future Plans
And for a real gut-splitter of a read check out the transcript of my circuit court trial Here

Will post updates as I am able.

Guard gives inmate laxative as a prank

Associated Press

PARAGOULD, Ark. -- A jailer gave a laxative to an inmate who had requested cold medicine, then taunted the man as he suffered severe diarrhea, authorities said.

Johnnie Dallas Pruett, 27, was fired and charged with battery in the March 1 incident involving 19-year-old Darryl R. Bartlett.

Sheriff's Capt. Jamie Martin said that after Bartlett asked for cold medicine, Pruett brought him three pink pills and a cup of water. The inmate took the pills, and Pruett began laughing and showed him a box of over-the-counter laxative pills.

Bartlett said that after an hour and a half, he developed severe stomach pains, vomited and had severe diarrhea. He said Pruett taunted him throughout the night and asked if he needed a diaper.

SSDP and Health Ed to open new drug education center

The Brown Daily Herald

Students for Sensible Drug Policy and Brown Health Education are combining their efforts to create a student-run Drug Education Center for Brown students. The center, which will open later this semester, will provide students with information on the effects of drug use and referrals to drug abuse counseling services.

The impetus for the center came from SSDP, said Trevor Stutz '07, president of SSDP. "I think it's important for people to look at drugs objectively and look at why they're using them and what they're using," Stutz said. "We don't want people just relying on their friends' experiences and maybe some government Web site" for information about drug use.

"After DARE (and other government-sponsored drug education programs), people have mistrust of information (about drug use) coming out of institutions," Stutz said.

The Brown Drug Education Center is being modeled after the Drug Resource Center at the University of California, Berkeley, which was started a few years ago and has proven successful.

`Fortress America' sparks new fears

Toronto Star

WASHINGTON—Canadians are being offered a new vision of a Fortress North America in which the continent is wrapped in a security perimeter from the Arctic all the way to the Guatemalan border.

A trilateral commission yesterday unveiled a series of proposals which also urge Ottawa, Washington and Mexico City to create a high-tech, biometric security system to speed passage of law-abiding travellers across borders that would ultimately diminish in importance, much as they have in the countries of the European Union.

The commission calls for trilateral threat-intelligence centres and would jointly train law enforcement agents in the three countries. It would also expand NORAD with an eye to Mexico's defence and even swap bureaucrats among the countries' respective homeland security departments.

The report, written for the U.S.-based Council on Foreign Relations, an independent but influential organization that specializes in the study of international affairs, is the work of Canada's former deputy prime minister John Manley, American William Weld, the former governor of Massachusetts, and Pedro Aspe, a former Mexican finance minister.

"The security of North America is indivisible," Manley said, stressing in an interview that the commission hopes to influence the trilateral summit taking place in Texas March 23.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Andrew Card once Supported Legalization

White House Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card, Jr. served in the Massachusetts House of Represenatives from 1975 to 1983. In 1982, Mr. Card was named Legislator of the Year by the National Republican Legislators Association and received the Distinguished Legislator Award from the Massachusetts Municipal Association.

* * * *
Added fact:

In 1981, State Representative Andrew Card, Jr. introduced, by request, Massachusetts House Bill 1737, the Massachusetts Cannabis Revenue and Education Bill, to create a Cannabis Control Authority to regulate the commercial production and distribution of marijuana, with different licenses required for importation, cultivation, processing and retailing activities. Marijuana would be retailed in three different potencies: less than 2 percent, 2-5 percent, and 5 percent and more, and taxed accordingly. Half the net revenues would be earmarked for drug education. The bill prohibits all marijuana advertising.
(Summary from Stanley Neustandter, "Legalization Legislation: Confronting the Details of Policy Choices," in Fish (ed.) How to Legalize Drugs (Aronson: Northvale, NJ, 1998).

Juvenile justice study says youthful offender laws failing

By Greg Sukiennik
Associated Press

BOSTON - Treating offenders under the age of 18 as adults in the criminal justice system makes it more likely they will re-offend when they emerge from prison, according to a national study of youthful offender laws.

The Coalition for Juvenile Justice, in a study titled "Childhood on Trial," said "adult time for adult crime" policies have failed.

The organization called for changes in state and federal laws to restore the authority of juvenile court judges to determine if juveniles should be tried as adults and to hold the boundary between childhood and adulthood at age 18.