US Marijuana Party

Friday, September 30, 2005

FARC Shoots Down Coca Spraying Plane

BOGOTA, Colombia, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Left-wing Colombian rebels shot down a small police airplane near the Venezuelan border on Friday as it sprayed coca crops with defoliants, killing the Colombian pilot, police said.

The attack happened in Norte de Santander province in northeast Colombia where Marxist insurgents and far-right paramilitary militias fight over control of land used in the Andean country's lucrative drug trade.

Loretta Nall Announces Run for Governor of Alabama
WSFA TV Montgomery, AL Sep 29, 2005

Prison reformer to run for office
Montgomery Advertiser Sep 29, 2005

Hatter spots marijuana plants at funeral

Demopolis Times, AL
By Rick Couch / Demopolis Times writer

LIVINGSTON-The Sumter County Sheriff's Department recently took Laterrace Wade, 23, of Emelle into custody on charges of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance after Sheriff Johnny Hatter discovered marijuana plants inside Wade's vehicle near Emelle.

According to Hatter, he was attending a funeral at St. Peter's Church on County Road 20 when he walked past a black Oldsmobile Cutlass parked nearby and spotted an ice chest sitting on the front floorboard of the vehicle. There appeared to be several marijuana plants growing in the ice chest.

Hatter said the bust was definitely a first in his law enforcement career.

"I used to work in a funeral home and I have attended a lot of funerals," Hatter laughed. "But that's the first time I have ever seen anybody show up with those kind of flowers."

Wade, who also goes by the alias "Boo Sue," was taken into custody and placed in the Sumter County Jail. His vehicle was seized by the Sheriff's Department and impounded.

Hatter said a search of the vehicle incidental to the arrest revealed a semi-automatic handgun and a sawed off shotgun concealed inside the vehicle. The department also discovered drug paraphernalia and a bag of an unknown type of pills.

Wade was later released on bond and is awaiting a court appearance in the case.

Semi Driver Faces ‘Pot’ Charge; Rig Searched For Explosives By Feds

Warsaw Times Union, IN

Law enforcement had a scare during a traffic stop Wednesday on U.S. 30 near CR 250N.

Around 11:25 a.m. Wednesday, an Indiana State Police officer observed a disabled semi-tractor-trailer on the side of U.S. 30.

The officer spoke with the driver and observed signs of possible drug activity in the cab of the truck.

The driver, Adel Hasan Jado, 39, of Evergreen Park, Ill., agreed to let the officer search the trailer of the vehicle. Marijuana reportedly was found in the trailer, and Jado was arrested for possession of marijuana and booked into the Kosciusko County Jail. He is being held on a $15,000 bond.

The truck was moved to a towing company in Warsaw where drug- and explosive-sniffing dogs from Kosciusko County, Winona Lake and Fort Wayne were called to the scene and detected possible explosives.

Bomb squads, the state fire marshal and the National Guard were called to the scene because the chemical found in the truck showed possible signs of being a nerve agent. After testing, the substance was proven not to be a nerve agent.

The truck was returning to Chicago after making a delivery in Fort Wayne. The truck was used to deliver one trailer to Fort Wayne, then picked up another trailer filled with plastic recyclables to take back to Chicago.

The Indiana State Police was assisted in the investigation by the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department, the Warsaw Police Department, Winona Lake Police Department, the Fort Wayne Police Department, the Allen County Sheriff’s Department, the Indiana State Fire Marshal, the Department of Homeland Security, the National Guard, the FBI, Secret Service, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

New charges may help pot activist

Globe and Mail, Canada
Thursday, September 29, 2005 Posted at 6:40 PM EDT
Canadian Press

Vancouver — A private citizen says he's filing charges Friday against pot activist Marc Emery and two of his associates, partly because that will throw a wrench into the United States' plans to extradite the trio to face drug charges in that country.

“If he gets charged in Canada that will have major legal consequences for that extradition request,” said David McCann, a local philanthropist and businessman.

Mr. McCann said he has hired prominent lawyer Peter Leask in filing three charges of conspiracy under the Controlled Drugs and Substance Act and the Criminal Code of Canada.

Canada has been hypocritical in allowing Mr. Emery to sell marijuana seeds and collecting thousands of dollars in taxes while the city of Vancouver gave him a business licence for his pot paraphernalia store, he said.

“We have let him operate and now we let the Americans walk into our country and charge a man who they will probably lock away for the rest of his natural life in the United States for doing something that the government of Canada condoned. And you know, I got a problem with that as a Canadian.”

Mr. Emery, along with his co-accused, Michele Rainey-Fenkarek and Greg Keith Smith, were arrested July 29 after police raided Mr. Emery's store following an 18-month investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

ADHD drug may be linked to suicidal thoughts

St. Petersburg Times, FL
By wire services
Published September 30, 2005

WASHINGTON - The Food and Drug Administration warned doctors Thursday about reports of suicidal thinking in some children and adolescents who take Strattera, a drug used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Manufacturer Eli Lilly & Co. announced that a black-box warning will be added to the drug's label in the U.S. Such a warning is the most serious that can be added to a medication's label. The company said a study showed instances of suicidal thinking were rare.

The FDA said it "is advising health care providers and caregivers that children and adolescents being treated with Strattera should be closely monitored for clinical worsening, as well as agitation, irritability, suicidal thinking or behaviors, and unusual changes in behavior."

Documents: Break up plans made before rave

Utah Rave-RaidHeidi Toth
Provo Daily Herald, UT

Recently released documents show Utah County Sheriff Jim Tracy made plans to break up an August party in Spanish Fork Canyon days before he had officers raid the event.

The pages of documents, including police reports and memos from officers involved to co-workers and the sheriff's office, indicated Tracy knew about the party as early as Aug.18, two days before it happened, and contacted other law enforcement agencies for assistance in shutting down the event.

Several days after the raid, the Daily Herald sent a request to Utah County under the state Government Records Access Management Act for any documents relating to tactical planning received or sent by the Utah County Sheriff's Office. Chris Yannelli, an attorney in the Utah County Attorney's Office, told the newspaper at the time the documents didn't exist.

But those documents do exist, and indicate law enforcement's intent in advance to shut the party down. The Utah Department of Corrections has released memos it addressed to the Utah County Sheriff's Office detailing the raid planning, dated the day of the event. Those memos were obtained through the Utah Department of Corrections by Brian Barnard, attorney for party promoters Nick Mari and Brandon Fullmer and landowner Trudy Childs.

"What those records initially show me is the sheriff planned to do what he did substantially in advance," Barnard said. "He knew that this was gonna happen, and he wanted to come in and frighten the hell out of everyone."

The lawsuit, which was filed Sept. 2, alleges illegal search and seizure and violations of the plaintiffs' right to be secure on their property, due process, freedom of association and freedom of expression. It also asks a judge to declare Utah County's mass gathering law unconstitutional because it allows law enforcement too much discretion. The American Civil Liberties Union has announced it will act as co-counsel for the plaintiffs.

Marijuana beats wheat


SEPTEMBER 30: Canada's marijuana dealers are converting suburban homes and abandoned warehouses into pot farms, creating a C$10 billion ($8.5 billion) market that's three times the size of the nation's biggest legal crop, wheat.

Cities such as Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto may each have as many as 20,000 pot factories, said Rich Baylin, former national coordinator for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

The “grow-op” business has created a rift with the US, where police say much of the weed is sold. Efforts by Prime Minister Paul Martin to decriminalize marijuana are a bigger threat to US relations than the softwood-lumber dispute, according to a Compas Research poll of 146 Canadian chief executives in March.

“The US is taking the border a lot more seriously than in the past,” said Tom Riley, spokesman for the White House Office for National Drug Control Policy. The increase in Canadian marijuana production risks harming all trade between the two countries, he said.

Almost half of all adult Canadians smoked pot at least once in their life, according to a survey last year by Health Canada.

The same proportion support decriminalization of possession, compared with a third of their US counterparts, a November Ipsos-Reid poll found.

Pot stories have been a staple of newspapers such as the Globe and Mail and the Vancouver Sun, covering drug busts and the fight by legalization activist Marc Emery to avoid extradition to the US He faces life in prison if convicted after a July arrest for selling marijuana seeds.

Canada's annual pot harvest is as much as 5.3 million pounds, according to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Federal agents raid Illinois lab linked to BALCO steroid

San Francisco Chronicle

Federal agents Thursday raided an Illinois laboratory where the steroid that ignited the BALCO scandal is suspected to have been created -- signaling that the three-year investigation is continuing.

In raids led by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation division, search warrants were served on the Champaign, Ill., offices and home of chemist Patrick Arnold, who authorities believe produced the steroid that came to be known as "the clear" in the BALCO case.

During the September 2003 raids on BALCO, owner Victor Conte and vice president James Valente both identified Arnold as the source of the once-undetectable steroid called "the clear," according to government memorandums detailing the interviews. Conte, Valente, track coach Remi Korchemny and Greg Anderson, personal trainer for Barry Bonds, recently pleaded guilty to steroid distribution charges and are awaiting sentencing next month.

France asks Colombia permission to see rebels

BOGOTA, Colombia, Sept 29 (Reuters) - France has asked Colombia for permission to meet leftist rebels in order to seek the release of dual French-Colombian national Ingrid Betancourt, who was taken hostage while running for Colombia's presidency in 2002, a French emissary said on Thursday.

The request from French President Jacques Chirac came a week after Colombia protested to France over unauthorized talks between French representatives and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC.

"We want to continue acting, in coordination with the Colombian government," said French emissary Nicole Guedy in Bogota.

Betancourt, 43, was taken hostage by the FARC after ignoring military warnings and taking her campaign for a small left-wing party to a dangerous part of southern Colombia in February 2002.

She is now one of 63 hostages the FARC want to swap for guerrillas held in government jails. Other prisoners include politicians, soldiers, police officers and three Americans -- civilian U.S. Defense Department contractors captured when their light plane crashed on a mission to find drug crops in 2003.

Inventor Of Valium Dies At 97

All Headline News
September 30, 2005 6:35 a.m. EST

Hector Duarte Jr. - All Headline News Staff Reporter

Trenton, NJ (AHN) - Leo Sternbach, the inventor of a string of tranquilizers that included Valium, dies at his North Carolina home at the age of 97.

Sternbach, an award-winning chemist who helped the Swiss maker Roche Group build its U.S. headquarters in Nutley, N.J., after fleeing the Nazis during World War II, dies in Chapel Hill, N.C., after a short illness late Wednesday.

Sternbach led development of more than a dozen important drugs during a sixty-year career with Roche. His other breakthroughs include sleeping pills Dalmane and Mogadon, Klonopin for epileptic seizures and Arfonad for limiting bleeding during brain surgery.

From 1969 to 1982, Valium was the country's most prescribed drug, nicknamed "Mother's Little Helper" after the Rolling Stones song. It was three times more potent than its predecessor, Librium.

Roche sold nearly 2.3 billion Valium pills during the drug's peak in 1978.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Loretta Nall Announces Run for Governor of Alabama

Contact: Loretta Nall
Nall for Governor Campaign
ph: 251-650-2271
cell: 334-415-9174
fax: 251-217-9175
Nall for Governor website

Loretta Nall Announces Run for Governor of Alabama

Alexander City, AL September 29, 2005 – Internationally known drug policy and prison reform advocate Loretta Nall has announced that she will be running for Governor of Alabama in the 2006 election.

Mrs. Nall has devoted the last three years of her life to learning about U.S. Drug Policy both at home and abroad after local police targeted her for writing a letter to the editor.

In that letter Nall encouraged Alabama voters to change the drug laws. It was published two days after the last gubernatorial election between then Gov. Don Siegelman and current Gov. Bob Riley. Nall was arrested and jailed six days later. The affidavit in support of the arrest warrant was based on her letter.

Loretta has traveled throughout the U.S., Canada and even Colombia, South America bearing witness to the devastating effects of "zero-tolerance" drug policies.

“Here in Alabama, the drug war has given rise to the current Alabama prison crisis, which is costing Alabamians millions of dollars a year with only negative returns in exchange. It is destroying families and putting our children at greater risk by allowing unrestricted access to drugs," said Nall.

Nall stated that she is running for Governor because drug policy is a crucial Alabama issue and the other candidates are too afraid to engage in a rational, scientific discussion. She says she wants to make it clear that her campaign is not about using drugs, as her detractors are almost certain to claim, but about critically examining current policies to determine whether or not they are reaching their stated objectives.

“The other candidates are not up to addressing these important but controversial issues surrounding drug policy because they have built their political careers on meaningless slogans like ‘Tough on Drugs’ and ‘What about the children?’ which, in fact, do nothing to deter drug use or protect children," said Nall.

Nall also states that the current elected officials are afraid of losing corporate campaign contributions from alcohol, tobacco and pharmaceutical companies, who ironically, are the largest funders of the failed drug war.

"The drug war is nothing more than a government jobs program, which creates the crime it claims to protect us from while destroying the Bill of Rights in the process. Alabama politicians are addicted to drug war money and Alabama families and children are simply cannon fodder for the politicians who promote this failed and destructive policy for their own political gain," said Nall.

In addition to drug policy and prison reform Nall's other platform planks include:

* States Rights

* Non-compliance with the Patriot Act and REAL I.D.

* Alabama Out of Iraq - Bring the Alabama National Guard Troops Home.

* No Gun Control.

* Check Box Style Governing System. - Let the voters decide how their tax money is spent

* Legalizing Lottery and Casino Gambling.

* Giving Parents more Choices and Control in the Education of their Children.

* Ballot Access Reform

*Initiative and Referendum for Alabama Citizens

Loretta will embark on a walk across Alabama during her campaign where she will meet voters, speak at local Town Hall style meetings and other venues and gather signatures for ballot access. Details and a tentative schedule will be announced soon.

Nall is currently seeking the nomination of the Libertarian Party of Alabama.

Loretta is the mother of two children, 13-year-old Alex and 8-year-old Isabella. She and her husband Terry Nall have been married for 15 years.

Probe deepens at gun maker Taser


Shares of Taser International, the US company that makes stun guns, have dropped 4.4% after US regulators stepped up an inquiry into the firm.

Taser has been criticised over the safety of its weapons and is facing a range of lawsuits from shareholders and families of Taser victims.

The company's stock has lost more than 80% of its value so far this year.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has now expanded its inquiry, allowing it to seize documents.

The SEC had already opened an informal investigation into the company over the safety of its stun guns and the accounting for a distribution deal struck late in December 2004.

Google News Search: Taser

Marijuana design attracts sales, flak

Billings Gazette
Associated Press

GILLETTE, WY - Victoria Moren, owner of M+M Imports, is used to taking flak for the blankets she sells outside her stores. Designs such as a Confederate flag or a Corona bottle often attract attention, but it's the one that resembles a marijuana leaf that draws the most fire.

A police officer stopped by and asked her to stop displaying it outside her store because it promoted drugs, although he told her it was not against the law to do so.

Moren rejects the accusation that she is promoting marijuana. She calls the design a slightly altered version of the Canadian maple leaf and said the company that sells it calls it "The New Canadian Flag."

"I felt offended by (the officer's request). It's just a blanket," she said. "It's not like you can do anything with the blankets."

Sheriff's Sgt. Steve Hamilton is quick to say he supports the free speech behind the products.

"There is certainly no problem as an example to all of us of the free speech portion of the Constitution," he said. "While this is not a statement I would like to make, I would support free speech."

However, he said the blankets were harmful in their own way: Marijuana-emblazened merchandise promotes a criminal act, and a medically risky one as well, in addition to reflecting on the person using the product.

"Too many people don't understand that these statements are a measure of the person making the statement," he said.

The products have been lucrative. Moren sold out her first shipment of blankets in less than a week. She raised the price from $50 to $60, but still had trouble keeping them in stock.

"I made $7,000 in less than a week on one blanket. That's all I'm selling," she said. "Once I got this in, they aren't buying my NASCAR (blankets)."

Man charged after drug raid

Durham Herald Sun, NC
Sep 28, 2005 : 10:06 pm ET

DURHAM -- Police arrested a 42-year-old Durham man on drug charges Wednesday afternoon after a search of his residence yielded evidence he was selling cocaine out of his home, according to reports.

David Cornell Thompson, 42, was arrested at his residence at 1202 Evergreen St., and charged with possession with intent to sell or deliver a half gram of cocaine, possession of paraphernalia and felony maintaining a dwelling for the purpose of selling a controlled substance.

Thompson was held on 15,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear in court today.

Detroit council puts brakes on police bid for armored assault vehicle

September 29, 2005, 12:40 AM

DETROIT (AP) -- First there was the mayor's Lincoln Navigator. Now this.

The Detroit Police Department wants to use $743,000 seized from drug dealers to buy an armored assault vehicle.

But two City Council members are balking at the request. They're asking whether the department should be spending money on "The General" -- a 10-wheeled, 16-passenger, amphibious, war wagon -- when 150 of its officers are being laid off.

The vehicle -- land mine-resistant and tricked out with, among other things, periscopes and thermal cameras -- is no frill, an incensed police Chief Ella Bully-Cummings said.

Members of the Special Response Team asked for a replacement for their 18-year-old armored vehicle, which is used in drug raids, barricaded-gunman incidents or hostage situations, she said.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Cannabis Based SATIVEX® Significantly Reduces Central Neuropathic Pain in People With Multiple Sclerosis

Medical News Today (press release), UK
28 Sep 2005

The cannabis based medicine, Sativex®, is effective in reducing central neuropathic pain and sleep disturbance in people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in a UK study published today in the medical journal, Neurology 1.

This randomised, controlled trial demonstrates that Sativex® was significantly superior to placebo in reducing the mean intensity of pain (p=0.005) and sleep disturbance (p=0.003) amongst people with MS1.

The study was conducted in 66 patients, 65% of whom required support to walk or were wheelchair bound and were suffering from moderate to severe central neuropathic pain which had not been alleviated by currently available medications. Patients continued to take their existing medication throughout the trial1.

Sativex® was administered as an oromucosal spray allowing flexible dosing which is ideally suited to the variable nature of MS. Sativex® was generally well tolerated in the study, although more patients on Sativex® than placebo reported dizziness, dry mouth and somnolence. Cognitive side effects were limited to long-term memory storage1.

Dr. Carolyn Young, principal investigator and Consultant Neurologist based at the Walton Centre for Neurology and Neurosurgery in Liverpool said, “Central neuropathic pain occurs frequently in people with MS. It can be tremendously debilitating and unresponsive to existing therapies. Our findings demonstrate that Sativex was effective in reducing both central pain in MS and pain-related sleep disturbance in a population with moderate to severe central pain inadequately relieved by existing medication”.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Big Fun With Netdisaster

Poop on the ONDCP!
Switch from "auto" to "mouse" for precision pooping.

DRCNet's Phil Smith in Afghanistan

My friend and colleague, Phil Smith, of DRCNet is reporting for the next two weeks from Afghanistan.

I think very highly of Phil. He is a superb wordsmith who can capture a personality with his pen like nobody's business.

Phil, do take care over there. Especially be on the lookout for those Black Water mercenaries.

Here is a bit from Tuesday's report.

Tuesday, September 27:

I am not well. Must have eaten bad kebab somewhere. Not well, but not bedridden. Sorry no pics, no time, off to conference soon; I'll send some tonight. For today:

The Senlis Council yesterday officially unveiled its report on the feasibility of licensing Afghan opium production for the legitimate medicinal market, but UN and Afghan anti-drug officials didn't wait to read the study before dismissing it. In yesterday morning's newspapers, Afghan Counter-Narcotics Minister Habibullah Qaderi was quoted as saying, "As far as the licensing at this moment is concerned, I am saying no. I'm not in favor because it jeopardizes the whole of our effort. There would be anarchy in the country now. It would create a lot of problems."

Click HERE for more.

Medical marijuana user banned from regatta

By Eliot Kleinberg
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Irvin Rosenfeld, the South Florida stockbroker who gained national attention for his fight to freely use marijuana as medicine, has run into resistance from one of the nation's top sailing events for the disabled and expects to be barred from next year's event.

The reason: an independent group that monitors use of drugs by athletes won't exempt the pot Rosenfeld uses to treat tumors that would otherwise leave him bedridden and in pain.

Rosenfeld, who has sailed in three races of the North American Challenge Cup in 11 years, has asked the race's organizers and the U.S. Sailing Association to overrule the United States Anti-Doping Agency and let him sail in the 2006 regatta. He said an event that celebrates overcoming disabilities is in effect discriminating against a disabled person.

The USADA, the official anti-doping agency for Olympic, Pan American and Paralympic sports, gave no reason for its rejection, Rosenfeld said in a Friday e-mail to the sailing officials.

Agents Raid Muslim Campground

September 24, 2005
Hartford Courant

EAST HADDAM, CT -- Federal agents raided a Muslim campground in Moodus Friday morning, seizing specimens and seeds from what they believe is datashak, a plant native to India.

Members of the FBI and U.S. Department of Agriculture said in documents that they also seized 19 computer discs and an assortment of documents from the 18-acre Town Street property, owned by Darul Uloom Shady Brook Inc.

Property caretaker Mojibur Rahman said that he was awakened about 9 a.m. by banging. It was agents, who demanded all datashak seeds on the property, he said.

A short time after the raid, a shaken Rahman walked over to a large garden of lush, viny datashak, also known as amaranth, and other vegetables.

Rahman, who is from Bangladesh, said he was perplexed as to why seeds and specimens of a plant eaten by Muslims at the property was confiscated.

Documents that the agents left with Rahman for the property owners said the focus of the search was any and all seeds, plants - whether growing or harvested - of datashak. The warrant was signed by U.S. Magistrate Donna F. Martinez.

The agents noted in a document that Bank of New York deposit slips, books and documents were seized. They also sought maps, directions, and gas receipts relating to travel.

FBI spokeswoman Lisa Bull would confirm only that agents conducted "investigative activity" at the Moodus property, in support of the agriculture department.

War on Drugs Impedes New Beginning for Some Hurricane Victims

Drug Policy Alliance, DC

Easily Amused

Ok I admit it...I am generally easily amused so when I came across this in my inbox on an otherwise gloomy day it lifted my spirits and I thought I would share it with my readers.

Bored at Wal-Mart?

1. Get 24 boxes of condoms and randomly put them in people's carts when they aren't looking.

2. Set all the alarm clocks in Housewares to go off at 5-minute intervals.

3. Make a trail of tomato juice on the floor leading to the rest rooms.

4. Walk up to an employee and tell him/her in an official tone, 'Code 3' in housewares.... and see what happens.

5. Go the Service Desk and ask to put a bag of M&M's on lay away.

6. Move a 'CAUTION - WET FLOOR' sign to a carpeted area.

7. Set up a tent in the camping department and tell other shoppers you'll invite them in if they'll bring pillows from the bedding department.

8. When a clerk asks if they can help you, begin to cry and ask 'Why can't you people just leave me alone?'

9. Look right into the security camera; use it as a mirror, and pick your nose.

10. While handling guns in the hunting department, ask the clerk if he knows where the antidepressants are.

11. Dart around the store suspiciously loudly humming the "Mission Impossible" theme.

12. In the auto department, practice your "Madonna look" using different size funnels.

13. Hide in a clothing rack and when people browse through, say "PICK ME!" "PICK ME!"

14. When an announcement comes over the loud speaker, assume the fetal position
and scream "NO! NO! It's those voices again!!!!"

15. Go into a fitting room and shut the door and wait a while; and, then, yell, very loudly, "There is no toilet paper in here! '

ACLU joins suit by rave organizers

New Utah, UT

The organizers of last month's rave-turned-raid say they got a boost Monday when the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah announced it was joining the lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of law enforcement's actions.

Brian Barnard, attorney for concert promoters Brandon Fullmer and Nick Mari and landowner Trudy Childs, said joining forces with the ACLU would
help the lawsuit in several ways.

"One is that that means we have more resources to prepare the case and present the case," he said. "The other thing is that a national organization is taking note of what good old Sheriff Tracy is doing and questioning the way these two raids were handled."

The lawsuit was filed Sept. 20 against Utah County Sheriff Jim Tracy and one of his officers, the county commissioners, Utah County Attorney Kay Bryson and Utah County. It alleges illegal search and seizure and violations of the plaintiffs' right to be secure on their property, due process and freedom of association and free expression.

The lawsuit addresses two parties, both on 350 acres of land in Spanish Fork Canyon. The Aug. 20 concert was broken up by numerous law enforcement officials. Dozens of people were arrested on various charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor,
resisting arrest, drug possession and disorderly conduct. Childs also was arrested.

A similar concert on July 16, which was planned by a member of the Childs family, also was broken up by law enforcement. Barnard said no reason was given for this party to be shut down.

Rethinking the war on drugs

By John Simpson
BBC world affairs editor

The drugs business offers one of the best returns on investment of any commodity on earth. It operates according to the pure, undistorted laws of the market.

And its greatest, though unconscious, supporters have been the governments of the European Union and the United States.

A few years ago I went with a camera crew to a frightening little drugs town in north-eastern Peru, where the farmers mostly grew coca.

I assumed they would be violent and aggressive. Not at all: they were the ones who were scared.

Every week or so gangs of armed, drugged-out tracateros, or buyers, would erupt into the town, forcing the growers to sell their coca paste to them at rock-bottom prices.

"So," I asked, "Why don't you simply grow something that won't get you into trouble? Maize, or wheat, or something?"

As it happened, we were close to a little shop. The chief spokesmen of the coca growers took me by the arm and led me inside.

There were all sorts of foods and vegetables for sale, mostly imported from the United States or the EU.

He told me how much each item cost; it was clear that every one of them had been dumped on the market at a fraction of its real value.

"We're just poor peasants," he said.

"We can't compete. We can't afford to grow these things so cheaply."

The only commodity they could grow which wasn't fiercely undercut by the artificially cheap produce of Europe and America was coca.

Monday, September 26, 2005

I'm Behind Bars by Gary North,
There is nothing like a weekend in a maximum-security prison to enable a person to appreciate the blessings of liberty.

'I was in prison' Shelby Star, NC
Why invest this much effort with men who may never be free again? Walls said he and other volunteers feel bound to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, as related in Matthew 25:36 (NIV): “I was in prison and you came to visit me.”

Prison ministry offers inmates cookies, caring, lifelong change Shelby Star, NC
The non-denominational, international work is bringing men who are dedicated to Christ face to face with men at Alexander who are convicted of violent crimes — rape, murder, aggravated assault — offering them friendship, home-cooked meals, homemade cookies and a short course in Christianity.

The Child Pornography Protection Act of 2005

Among other provisions, the bill targets adult citizens who record visual images of consensual sexual activity in the privacy of their own homes, adds nudity and clothed images of pubic areas to the definition of "explicit sexual activity". The bill's enforcement provisions empower law enforcement with the power to seize the assets of violators.
The bill was passed by the House, with a vote of 371-52, and now moves to the Senate Judiciary Committee for consideration.

Read more from Radley Balko at The Agitator

Normally I would have to have some pot before they could seize my home, children, car and bank account. Now, apparently, a picture of me in my boxers will be enough to do the trick.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Al. Sen. Sessions Appears at Pro-War Rally

"The group who spoke here the other day did not represent the American ideals of freedom, liberty and spreading that around the world," Sen. Jeff Sessions, an Alabama Republican, told the crowd. "I frankly don't know what they represent, other than to blame America first."

Dear Senator Sessions,

If your idea of American "freedom and liberty" is forced "theocracy", illegal wars for oil and profit, illegal occupation of another country and the sacrifice of everyone's children except your own as cannon fodder for said illegal war...then you are DAMN RIGHT (quite likely for the first time ever) that WE DO NOT REPRESENT YOUR IDEA OF AMERICAN FREEDOM AND LIBERTY!

You are an embarassment of the great state of Alabama. If you love this war so much then grab a gun and head on over you greedy, gluttonous SWINE!

I'll vote for that!

Very Sincerely Yours,
Loretta Nall

Afghanistan not ready for legal opium - minister

By David Brunnstrom

KABUL, Sept 25 (Reuters) - Afghanistan, the world's biggest producer of illicit opium and heroin, is not ready to adopt a controversial proposal to use its opium to help ease a global shortage of painkillers, its counter-narcotics minister says.

The Senlis Council, a Paris-based non-governmental organisation, has suggested licensed Afghan opium production could be used to produce morphine and codeine and is to a launch a feasibility study on the proposal in Kabul on Monday.

Speaking to Reuters on Sunday, Counter-Narcotics Minister Habibullah Qaderi said he was happy for Senlis to do studies, but it was too early to consider such a proposal when Afghanistan was still struggling to cut massive illegal production.

"As far as the licensing at this moment is concerned, I am saying no," he said. "I'm not in favour because it jeopardises the whole of our effort ... There would be anarchy in this country now. It would create a lot of problems."

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has also rejected the Senlis Council proposal, saying it risked creating confusion among farmers and raising false expectations.

Senlis has estimated the worldwide shortage of morphine and codeine at about 10,000 tonnes of opium equivalent a year, while Afghanistan produces roughly 4,000 tonnes of opium a year.

However, the UNODC, while conceding there is a shortage of narcotics for medical purposes, says lawful production of opiates worldwide had considerably exceeded global consumption in the past years and could be increased should demand increase.

The U.N. body argues that licit production of opium would send the wrong message to farmers in Afghanistan, would be impossible to control, and would not offer a viable economic alternative.

DEC to help the children

Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil, IA

The prospect of armed men wearing black facemasks storming into your home is frightening. Imagine what it must look like to a child.

But those armed men only show up to a home when it has been identified as a drug house. Those men may be that child's only salvation, and that is where the Iowa Alliance for Drug Endangered Children comes in.

A decontamination trailer from Polk County's DEC was on display at Ameristar Casino-Hotel during "Meth Affects," a training seminar offered by the Iowa Department of Human Services, on Friday.

Prairie Meadows Racetrack, the Division of Narcotics Enforcement and the Polk County Sheriff's Department and County Attorney Office purchased the $22,000 trailer that is used at drug bust sites where children are involved.

The trailer contains showers to wash off chemicals, a television and various toys and blankets to comfort children. The trailer can also be a place where multiple interviews of the child can occur.

Sens. Tom Harkin and Charles Grassley both support the program, and have earmarked federal dollars for Iowa DEC.

DEA Microgram Bulletin

August Edition


OPD mistakenly kills UCF officer

By Jay Hamburg, Erin Cox and Susan Jacobson | Sentinel Staff Writers
Posted September 25, 2005

A pre-game party before the University of Central Florida football home opener turned deadly Saturday when an Orlando police officer shot and killed an undercover university police officer working with state agents to stop illegal drinking.

The dead UCF officer was identified as Mario Jenkins, a four-year veteran with the university police who was in his late 20s.

He was shot by Dennis Smith, a reserve officer for the Orlando Police Department who had retired after 25 years on the force. Smith was placed on administrative leave Saturday night, standard procedure in all shootings by police.

A UCF student also was wounded in the fracas and was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center. He was identified as Mike Young, in his early 20s, by Rachel Neal, an 18-year-old UCF student who said Young was her boyfriend.

Cruel & Unusual

The News Journal, Delaware

Anthony Pierce was known to cellmates as "the brother with two heads."

Pierce was serving 14 months for a parole violation stemming from a burglary charge at the Sussex Correctional Institution in Georgetown when a small lump appeared on the back of his head. It was January 2001 and a prison doctor employed by a private medical contractor said the marble-size lump was most likely a cyst or an ingrown hair.

Seven months later, when the growth had become like a second head, Delaware's contract prison medical director, Dr. Keith Ivens of Correctional Medical Services, stabbed the bulging tumor five times with an 18-gauge needle, withdrawing a bloody fluid.

Rather than keeping the sample for analysis, Ivens emptied the syringe into a trash can, according to Michelle Thomas, a former prison counselor who was holding Pierce's hand during the examination.

The News Journal gained access to Pierce's medical file through his family, and there was no record of a biopsy performed before cancer ate into the 21-year-old's skull.

Asked about the case in a telephone interview, Ivens said, "I'm trying to remember who Anthony Pierce is." He declined to comment further.

Near the end of Pierce's life, the tumor stretched the skin around his face, pulling his right eye closed, causing muscle spasms and crippling pain. The medical staff still ordered no tests or treatments, claims a lawsuit that Pierce's family filed against Ivens, CMS and the state of Delaware.

Ten Commandments Judge Roy Moore to Announce on October 3

From NBC 13

GADSDEN, Ala. -- Former Chief Justice Roy Moore will announce October 3 whether he will run for governor next year. The chairman of the We Need Moore 2006 Committee -- George Hundley -- says Moore will make an announcement at 1 p.m. that day in his hometown of Gadsden. A spokesman for Moore confirmed the plans.

Moore served as a circuit judge in Gadsden before being elected Alabama's chief justice in 2000. He had a homemade plaque of the Ten Commandments in his Gadsden courtroom. But after he became chief justice, he put a 2 1/2 ton monument of the Ten Commandments in the state judicial building.

Moore was ousted from office in 2003 for refusing to abide by a federal judge's order to remove the monument.

The Second Commandment:

You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath.You shall not bow down to them nor serve them.

Now, if Roy Moore believes so much in the Ten Commandments then why did he turn them into a carved (graven) image and proceed to worship them thereby disobeying in the highest fashion the Second Commandment?
And why do people who claim to be Christian follow him?

I actually hope Moore gets the Republican nomination because that will raise my chances of winning the election exponentially!

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Thousands Gather in Washington for Antiwar Rally

New York Times

WASHINGTON, Sept. 24 - Thousands of protesters from around the country poured onto the lawns south of the White House on Saturday to demonstrate their opposition to the war in Iraq, pointedly directing their anger at President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.

A sea of anti-Bush signs and banners flashed back at a long succession of speakers, who sharply rebuked the administration for continuing a war that has cost the lives of nearly 2,000 Americans and as many as 20,000 Iraqis. Similar rallies were held in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and other cities in the United States and abroad.

Alabama Says: Stop the War on Iraq!

Anti-war demonstrators stage day of protest


WASHINGTON - Opponents of the war in Iraq marched by the tens of thousands Saturday in a clamorous day of protest, song and remembrance of the dead, some showing surprisingly diverse political views even as they spoke with one loud voice in wanting U.S. troops home.

Bush holes up underneath the Rocky Mountains.

Make money, not war, say libertarians

The Auburn Plainsman Online

By Chase Mitchell
Assistant Campus Editor

September 22, 2005

Saturday, the Auburn University Libertarians will join with the Libertarian Party of Alabama, as well as several non-partisan groups for a peace rally in downtown Birmingham.

The Libertarians want to make it known that Democrats are not the only political party taking a hard line against the war in Iraq, said Dick Clark, representative of Alabama’s Libertarian Party and former president of the Auburn Libertarians.

“Frankly, our take on this is, while we agree with the conclusions (liberals are) drawing, like that this war is illegitimate, we think their reasoning isn’t all that great as to why,” Clark said. “As Libertarians, we’re saying there’s serious economic reasons that we shouldn’t be in this war.”

His party’s stance veers away from Republicans, he said, who believe that war helps the economy, but it also stops short of the Democrats’ moral objection to war in general.

“We’re not pacifists,” Clark said. “We just believe that only defense is legitimate, and if you’re trying to sell something as defense when you’re actually going and invading a country, then that’s B.S.”

full article

Dumbass Govt. Official of the Week Award

And this weeks "Dumbass Award" goes to J. Michael Dorsey for the following gem of government wisdom.

Dorsey said the proposal was misguided, partly because voters should not establish law enforcement priorities. He also objected to a second portion of the initiative, which would declare that Telluride would approve if Colorado decided to legalize, tax, and regulate marijauana use.

Please read the story this came from HERE

That has to be the dumbest, most incredibly fucking stupid line I have yet heard from a "government official".

If voters don't get to decide what laws police enforce, then pray tell, who does?
The police?

I think NOT!
The police work for the CITIZENS (or at least they are suppossed to) and NOT for the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT!!

Hopefully the voters of Telluride will vote to kick this moronic, government-loving, bastard out of their FREEDOM LOVING CITY!

A Less Fashionable War

A Less Fashionable War

by Charles Shaw

Malcolm X once said, “Any person who claims to have deep feeling for other human beings should think a long, long time before he votes to have other men kept behind bars—caged. I am not saying there shouldn’t be prisons, but there shouldn’t be bars. Behind bars, a man never reforms.”

On Friday September 9th I became one of the roughly 25,000 people released from an Illinois prison this year—600,000 nationally—after completing only 10 weeks of a one year sentence due to extreme overcrowding. My crime was victimless, simple possession of a controlled substance, specifically a small amount of marijuana and MDMA.

But as the rare upper-middle class educated White American in prison, I found myself in a truly alien, self-perpetuating world of crushing poverty and ignorance, violent dehumanization, institutionalized racism, and an entire sub-culture of recidivists, some of whom had done nine and ten stints, many dating back to the Seventies. Most used prison as a form of criminal networking knowing full well they would be left to fend for themselves when released. We were told on many occasions that an inmate was worth more inside prison than back in society. Considering it costs an average of $37,000 a year to incarcerate offenders, and the average income for Black Americans is $24,000, and only $8,000-12,000 for poor Blacks, one can easily see their point.

But unlike the vast majority of ex-offenders, I was fortunate enough to return to an established life and work, and a support system of friends, family, and colleagues.

The Chicago Tribune reported this year that about two-thirds of the more than 600,000 ex-convicts released in 2005 will be re-arrested within three years, and about half will return to prison for a new crime or violation of parole. Despite having “paid their debt to society”, once released their punishment is not nearly over. These days there is little to no hope of any real reform, as within the various Departments of Corrections, “correction” is a painfully misleading euphemism for the warehousing of offenders. There are few, if any, re-entry programs for ex-offenders and virtually no jobs or social services to help keep them afloat in an increasingly difficult and unforgiving society. Thus, most ex-offenders have no choice but to return to their old crime infested neighborhoods, destitute and desperate to survive any way they can. A significant majority of the new crimes or parole violations are drug related, often nothing more than testing positive on a monthly drug screen.

This lack of any employment, training, or rehabilitative opportunities has created a permanent underclass of ex-offenders who remain trapped in poverty, unable to provide for themselves or their families without resorting to the few, generally illegal means available to them. Faced with their very survival, most have no compunction about engaging (or re-engaging, as the case may be) in drug dealing rather than starving.

What may be even worse is that for some, their ongoing “crimes” are only those of association, or in some cases, the consequences of being black and poor. Laws prohibiting ex-felons from associating with other ex-felons and gang members, such as the Illinois Street Gang Terrorism Omnibus Prevention Act, or those preventing ex-offenders from being in areas designated as “high crime” or where “controlled substances are illegally sold, used, distributed, or administered” means that many ex-offenders are in violation of their parole simply by going home, where the majority in their neighborhood, including family members, have criminal records, and drugs are sold on almost every corner.

I cannot begin to recount all the men I met, particularly those with prior records or those on parole, who were re-incarcerated for crimes they did not commit, simply because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong people. Gasps! Not possible! Lies! Propaganda! Our system is just! True it is, for those who can afford justice in the form of a bond and a private lawyer, or for those whom the system is not already unduly prejudiced. But in a system with corrupt cops eager for arrests, zealous State’s Attorneys eager for convictions, jaded and overwhelmed Public Defenders eager for quick pleas, and rigid bond judges eager to set bail far beyond what anyone in their socio-economic class could reasonably afford, there is little opportunity for a fair trial. For so many, including myself, the conditions in the penitentiary were preferable to those in Cook County Jail—where some 30,000 detainees languish awaiting the resolution of their cases—so a quick plea is the lesser of all evils and the shortest route to freedom. Had I chose to fight my case, there is little doubt I would still be there today. In the end, what does that say about our criminal justice system?

Instead of correction and rehabilitation, what we have is what University of Nevada-Las Vegas Criminal Justice professor Richard Shelden calls a "criminal justice industrial complex" where “the police, the courts and the prison system have become huge, self-serving and self-perpetuating bureaucracies, which along with corporations, have a vested interest in keeping crime at a certain level. They need victims and they need criminals, even if they have to invent them, as they have throughout the ‘war on drugs’ and ‘war on gangs,’”

Thirty years ago Gore Vidal noted that “roughly 80% of police work in the United States has to do with the regulation of our private morals…controlling what we drink, eat, smoke, put into our veins…with whom and how we have sex or gamble.” Then there were roughly 250,000 prisoners in the nation. Today there is more than 2 million, with another million in county jails awaiting trial or sentencing, and another roughly 3 million under “correctional supervision” on probation or parole. The total national cost of incarceration then was $4 billion annually; today it’s $64 billion, with another $20 billion in federal money and $22-24 billion in money from state governments earmarked for waging the so-called “War on Drugs.” Nationally, around 60% or more of these prisoners are drug criminals. Yet, throughout all this time and expense there has not been the slightest decrease in either drug use or supply.

And amidst all the talk of race as a factor in the Katrina disaster let us not forget a bigger disaster: One in every 20 black men over the age of 18 is in prison compared to 1 in 180 White men. Despite African Americans comprising only 12% of the total population, in five states, including Illinois, the ratio of Black to White prisoners is 13 to 1. The U.S. Department of Justice reports that Blacks comprise 56.7% of all drug offenders admitted to state prisons while Whites comprise only 23.3% (in my Illinois prison—one of 28 in the State—of the 1,076 inmates, 689 were Black, 251 were White, and 123 were Latino). Based upon these numbers, a full 30% of African-Americans will see time in prison during their life, compared with only 5% of White Americans, even though White drug users outnumber Blacks by a five-to-one margin.

Anyone familiar with these facts was not surprised by the response to the largely poor and black victims of Katrina. It was simply a further affirmation of their invisible status within our society, further proof of the Third World existing within the First in America. What may be the biggest shame in all of it is how New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin himself reinforced all the most miserable Black stereotypes by characterizing the looters as “drug starved crazy addicts wreaking havoc” in an attempt to expedite Federal assistance and justify a declaration of martial law. It spoke volumes to what resonates within the public consciousness, stirring up some of our deepest fears.

It’s time to realize, once and for all, that this war is lost. It’s akin to trying to empty the flooded New Orleans streets one teaspoon at a time. But sadly, Americans have forgotten this war amongst the multitude of more fashionable, media-friendly others that have arisen in the last five years. As peace groups mobilize for a national march on Washington later this month to end the Iraq War, a few miles away from the Mall the Drug War is still raging. The Sentencing Project and the Schaffer Library for Drug Policy reported that at one point in the 1990s half of all of Black men 18-35 in Washington D.C. were either in jail or on probation or parole, and more than ninety percent had arrest records.

No matter how much money the government pours into the War on Drugs, it doesn’t appear to make a dent in drug use or drug-related crime. The body count in this “war” still rises. Dead and corrupted cops, dead gang youth, dead traffickers and couriers, dead innocent bystanders—the urban “collateral damage”—devastated families, addiction, disease, overdoses from unregulated, poor quality drugs, exploding prisons, crushing costs, corrupt officials, craven politicians, sensationalist media, and a limitless harvest of offenders. Where does the madness end?

We cannot address poverty and race in America nor can we talk about needless death and expense without addressing the Drug War. If we don’t stop the direction in which we are heading, by 2020 there will be over 6 million people in prison, and thousands more lives extinguished in the crossfire of a domestic war that we had no chance of winning in the first place.


Charles Shaw, a writer and activist, is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Newtopia. A Contributing Writer to many publications including Alternet, Guerrilla News Network, and The Next American City, he is currently writing a series on his recent prison experience.

Y'all come back now ya hear?

September 24, 2005

The use of 'y'all' is spreading northward

The Montreal Gazette

Espied at the newsgroup alt. usage.english:

"I hate it when people, predominately Northerners, look down their noses at Southerners, as if they spoke some bastardized form of English. Our forefathers came to this country speaking English as their native tongue whereas most Yankees learned English as a second language ... and the end result is a cold, nasal sounding speech that irritates the ear. Now, we have the experts from up North coming down here telling us how wrong we are speaking as we do, and making fun of the way we talk."

Alas, we northern city slickers do tend to make fun of Southern U.S. speech patterns.

I remember many years ago seeing a skit performed by New York comedian Lenny Bruce in which he played Albert Einstein doing a Southern accent. His punch line was "Y'all wanna hear about nooclear fishin?"

Well, you'd better get used to a proliferation of "y'alls" emanating from south of the border. A recent U.S. survey found that "y'all" was inundating the United States. Outside of the South, the survey showed that "y'all" (or "you all") was used by almost 80 per cent of Americans ages 18 to 24, and even by more than 40 per cent of those over 65.

Does this statistic point to a dumbing down of America?

A little history of the word "y'all" is in order. The term was first used at the beginning of the 19th century among blacks living in the southern United States, and it quickly spread to southern whites of all social classes. From there it became more widespread in U.S. English, particularly as black people moved into the northern states after the Civil War.

Some linguists believe that the term "y'all" may have antecedents in local creoles, especially Gullah, which was spoken by many slaves who lived along the coasts of South Carolina, Georgia and northern Florida. Surprisingly, however, there is a school of thought that sees the term's origins in the early Irish and Scots American usage and points to the fact that the parts of the United States that have the widest usage of "y'all" are those areas where black and Celtic immigrants have long coexisted.

Critics of the term "y'all" may be surprised to learn that it actually fulfills a grammatical function. The English language used to distinguish between the singular you and the plural you. "Thou" was used to refer to one person, and "you" to more than one, but when the use of "thou" became largely obsolete in the 18th century, a new term was needed to indicate that a plural was required. One of the pluralization solutions was the use of "youse," common in Ireland and in areas of Irish settlement in Canada, the United States and Australia. Another alternative was the use of "you all," which morphed into "y'all."

Many Southerners hotly reject the idea that "y'all" is ever used in a singular sense, but there is evidence that it occasionally is used to refer to a single person.

For example, someone might say "See y'all" to a person who clearly is unaccompanied . In The Stories of English, linguist David Crystal relates that while buying a Stetson for his son in Fort Worth, Tex., the salesperson asked the unaccompanied Crystal "What can I do for y'all?"

That being said, the word is usually reserved for addressing more than one person, though sometimes the people are viewed as a single body. Someone who asks, "How y'all doing?" might be wondering not only about you, but about the well-being of members of your family, that is, "you and yours." "Y'all come over this afternoon, you hear?" implies that even if you are alone at the time, you will have someone else accompanying you later.

In The Stories of English, Crystal points out that dialects that make use of words like "y'all" are actually "richer in their possibilities of expression, than Standard English." Saying "What can I do for y'all?" as opposed to "What can I do for you?" is regarded by many as a friendlier, more inclusive form of communication.

But just as "y'all" is spreading northward, there is an infusion of corrupting elements from large urban areas into the "y'all" heartland. Garner's Modern American Usage reports that in recent years, there has been a noticeable tendency among people living in Southern U.S. cities to replace "y'all" with "you guys." In an article three years ago in the Dallas Morning News, one writer characterized this term as a "horrid Yankee construction."

Y'all come back for next week's column, you hear?

whereas most Yankees learned English as a second language ... and the end result is a cold, nasal sounding speech that irritates the ear.

Can I get an AMEN brothers and sisters? Not to be offensive to my Yankee friends but man that accent GRATES on ones eardrums and nerves something awful! I think I'd rather listen to nails on a chalk board.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Blackwater Down

By Jeremy Scahill, The Nation. Posted September 22, 2005.
The frightening -- and possibly illegal -- presence of heavily armed private forces in New Orleans only demonstrates what everyone already feared: the utter breakdown of the government.

Drug War, Iraq War, Hurricane War. It's all the same when you are a hired killer.

State prisoners overstay welcome

State prisoners overstay welcome
Thursday, September 22, 2005
News staff writer
The Birmingham News

Alabama counties say they're again footing the bill as sentenced prisoners linger for months in county jails, and they want Gov. Bob Riley to fix it.

Though jails have been forced to house a backlog of state prisoners off and on for years, the situation has pushed county officials to send a resolution to Riley calling for an immediate solution.

"We can't continue this piecemeal solution," said Sonny Brasfield, assistant executive director of the Association of County Commissions of Alabama. "We're really weary of doing the same thing over and over again."

County jails now house 1,153 state prisoners ready for transfer into the Department of Corrections, including 644 who've been ready longer than 30 days - the time allowed before the state violates a long-standing court order.

Among other problems, the inmates can't be transferred until DOC employees enter inmate sentencing transcripts into a computer system, and those transcripts are piling up untouched.

County officials believe the state doesn't start counting it's 30-day limit until the records are entered. But prisons spokesman Brian Corbett said the clock starts when DOC receives the paperwork from the court.

"If it is received today and entered 31 days later, we immediately show that that inmate is over 30 days. We are not using this to buy time and keep inmates in county jails without penalty," Corbett said.

Brice Paul, director of jail services for the Alabama Sheriffs Association, said he's learned that only one DOC employee is entering the transcripts, though Corbett said three positions are allotted to that work.

"All of a sudden we've got three stacks over there, 27 inches tall, that have been sent over there by clerks at the circuit courts, that have never gotten into the computer," Paul said. Because of the disarray, prisoners whose paroles have been revoked sometimes get stuck in county jails past the date they're supposed to go free, he said.

`Vastly understaffed':

Cuts in state court budgets also have left fewer employees in Circuit Courts, so the transcript work required on that end has fallen behind, as well.

"The clerk's offices are vastly understaffed," Paul said. "It can be a month to six months from when the clerk's office gets it to the DOC."

State courts have laid off 212 circuit clerk employees since 2003. Almost half remained vacant through 2004, according to the Administrative Office of the Court.

The bureaucratic backlogs are somewhat of a blessing to the state, but a burden to counties. The state pays county jails $1.75 per inmate per day for food, a fraction of what it pays private prisons where it is housing inmates.

"They'll pay $24 and change a day to keep 200 and something inmates in Louisiana, and they won't pay my sheriffs anything," Paul said.

The Jefferson County jail houses 148 sentenced prisoners, including four who have been there longer than 30 days, said sheriff's department spokesman Randy Christian. He estimated that it costs county taxpayers $62.50 a day to house each state prisoner.

Pushing for a plan:

The Association of County Commissions passed the resolution at its August meeting and sent it to Riley's office this week.

"The State of Alabama prison system has endured years of inadequate funding, tough-on-crime sentencing laws, lack of effective alternative sentencing programs and general neglect," the resolution reads.

It asks the governor to call a special session of the Legislature, if necessary, to develop an immediate plan with long-term solutions to the chronic problems.

Riley has said he's considering a special session to address prison issues.

He's also appointed the Task Force on Prison Overcrowding that's been meeting several months and will soon have a list of recommendations, said Riley spokesman John Matson.

Under Riley, the backlog disappeared for about a year and has stayed below 2002 levels, Matson said.


Good to see the county commissioners giving it to Riley in this fashion. When Bob Riley was running for governor one of his "promises" was that he would abide by the recommendations of the sentencing commission with regard to prison overcrowding. That did not happened.

Later Riley commissioned a second group of "experts" which included prison guards, police, judges and district attorneys but no average citizens, to look at the prison crisis and what was causing the overcrowding.

And now we are on our third group of experts which goes by the lovely name "Task Force on Prison Overcrowding" (why does everything have to be a "task force"?) who are currently wasting our money studying the same things the first two studied.

There couldn't possibly be anything they do not already know with regard to why prisons are so overcrowded.

I guess when Riley said he would "abide by the recommendations of the sentencing commission" he failed to mention which commission that would be. Apparently he plans to keep forming them until they tell him what he wants to hear and then he will abide by their recommendations.

You are a naughty boy Bob, and the citizens of the great state of Alabama do not hold naughty boys in high regard.

Charges dropped in Corral pot-possession case

Santa Cruz Sentinel

Misdemeanor pot possession charges against local medical marijuana advocate Valerie Corral were dropped Thursday, but the fight isn’t completely over.

Aided by the American Civil Liberties Union, Corral said she will battle to get back the confiscated pot and seek a change in how the city of Burbank addresses medical marijuana laws.

Corral was charged July 27 for possessing a small amount, about 5 grams, of pot while passing through security at the Bob Hope Airport in Burbank.

She along with husband Mike are co-founders of the Santa Cruz-based Wo/men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana.

Though only a misdemeanor that carried a $100 fine, Corral planned to fight the charge and go to a jury trial.

At a pre-trial hearing Thursday in Los Angeles County Superior Court the charges were dropped, said Anjuli Verma, advocacy director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Drug Law Reform Project in Santa Cruz.

"What would have come out in court is that the city of Burbank has a policy of prosecuting medical marijuana patients they know are innocent," Verma said.

A green light to grow

24 Hours Vancouver, Canada
By Robyn Stubbs

The legal avenues for growing pot legally in B.C. are more convoluted than a corn maze.

People with licenses issued by Health Canada to use marijuana for its medicinal benefits not only deal with municipal bylaws and Health Canada regulations, but they have to surrender their personal information to police so they won't get busted.

And all this red tape is driving people with legal permits to obtain their marijuana illegally through Compassion Clubs, said the founder and director of the Vancouver Island Compassion Society, Philippe Lucas.

"Compassion Clubs (across Canada) are serving about 10,000 people right now," said Lucas. "And we supply over half of the legal exemptees in Canada. Ironically enough, after going through the onerous application process, you still end up at a Compassion Club to get a good source of (marijuana) medicine."

According to the latest national tally by Health Canada, there are 943 people licensed to have pot for medical purposes, 181 of whom live in B.C.

But only 18 per cent subscribe to government-grown weed, while 74 per cent are allowed to grow their own. That means nearly 700 home-grow operations in Canada, and more than 100 in B.C.

"If Health Canada allowed people to grow co-operatively, it would be very likely they would have to monitor far less grow operations," Lucas said.

Vancouver police spokesman Tim Fanning said yesterday that legal pot grow-ops have been busted several times, and while they try to check with Health Canada on the status of a suspected grow op, they aren't always able to get confirmation of a license.

However, Christopher Williams, Health Canada's spokesman for medicinal marijuana, said they share personal information about a licensee with law enforcement, and recent amendments to the Marijuana Medical Access Regulations Act force all applicants to share their information with police.

Bear chase leads to pot bust

Seattle Post Intelligencer

CLARKSTON, Wash. -- Two people were arrested after police chasing a runaway black bear stumbled into a backyard pot-growing operation.

Kim H. Bedwell, 52, and Gladys P. Bedwell, 50, both face charges of manufacturing marijuana and possession of marijuana with intent to deliver.

On Wednesday, Asotin County Superior Judge Ray D. Lutes set bail of $250,000 for Kim Bedwell and $100,000 for Gladys Bedwell. They were being held at the Asotin County Jail.

According to police reports, a black bear being chased by law enforcement officers jumped a fence Tuesday afternoon and landed in the Bedwells' backyard.

During the commotion, Kim Bedwell allegedly tried to stash some marijuana plants under a vehicle in his garage, according to the report.

After he was spotted by police and told to stop, he allegedly ran out of his garage and tossed a plant over a fence.

Clarkston police officer Scott Wohl was pursuing the bear when a large marijuana plant sailed over the fence and landed on him, police said. Deputies jumped the fence and arrested Kim Bedwell, according to the report.

Officers searched the Bedwell home and found four bags of marijuana in a refrigerator in the garage, and a grow room, according to the report. Inside the residence, police found two bags of marijuana in the refrigerator.

The 300-pound black bear was later captured and killed.

National group seeks legalize pot in Maine, six other states

Boston Globe
September 22, 2005

MESA, Ariz. --A pro-marijuana group based in Washington, D.C., is looking for activists in Arizona to build grass-roots support for legalized marijuana, with the eventual goal being to get the drug legalized here for all adults.

The nonprofit Marijuana Policy Project is targeting seven states: Arizona, Delaware, Idaho, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon.

The effort is in its infancy, and project officials emphasize they have no master plan for the seven states.

Instead, the group is looking for local activists whose efforts would be funded by the project's grant program. The eventual goal is to put marijuana in the same category as alcohol, with the same kind of taxes and regulation.

A request for proposals has been issued in the seven states, where grant applicants are asked to list "escalating tactics that would lead to a change in state law in three to five years via the state Legislature or the statewide ballot initiative process," according to a job listing on the Internet.

Tactics could include organizing demonstrations, lobbying state lawmakers, building a coalition of supportive organizations and generating favorable news coverage.

Fascist free-Association

The Fourteen Defining Characteristics of Fascism

Opiates of the Iranian people

Despair drives world's highest addiction rate

By Karl Vick
Washington Post Writers Group

Thursday, September 22, 2005

FBI: Lennon too stoned to be a threat

John Lennon was dismissed as a Communist threat to the US only because he was always stoned, secret FBI papers revealed yesterday. The ex-Beatles singer was thought to be a ringleader of revolutionaries plotting to hijack a Republican conference, the documents show.


Well....I wish the hell they'd dismiss me as whatever kind of threat they have me labled as!

Birmingham this Weekend

Bush to meet evacuees in Birmingham
Update: Bush ditches Birmingham trip and heads to Texas

Anti War March and Rally
List of Sponsors and Endorsers

The 7th annual Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival

A True American Patriot!

Claire Wolfe has a fantastic post on her BLOG today from Liz Michael who, after reading this post, strikes me as a True American Patriot.

I do wonder how it is that she is able to post this and avoid the gestapo showing up at her door????
Perhaps they do not come because they know she will shoot?

(disclaimer (borrowed from Claire's site): Public proclamations of intent, however, are another matter. Neither Ms. Michael nor I have picked up arms and marched off to follow Ms. Michael's advice. I don't intend to die today unless the battle comes to me.

Here is an excerpt from Liz's site:


"They Shot the Bastards!!!"

"Gee, she sounds like a radical" you say. And I suppose I am. But what example am I following? The example of the American Revolution. Beyond all the flowery words, beyond the toil and struggle to build a constitution, beyond the love of liberty, the longing for religious freedom, the spiffy tri-corner hats, everybody forgets the one thing that both initiated, and finished, the American Revolution. That rather inconvenient, for many, fact. That fact that makes the modern devotees of Martin Luther King and Mohandas Gandhi squeamish. What fact? This fact.


Let me repeat that for effect. When the Founding Fathers set upon establishing a free republic, the first order of business was...


When the English general demanded that the colonials turn over their flintlocks, what was the response of the colonials?


Every July 4th. We celebrate the fact that THEY SHOT THE BASTARDS!!! Every Veteran's Day. Every Memorial Day. Yes, we honor the troops. But what do we honor the troops for? We honor them because THEY SHOT THE BASTARDS and often died TRYING to shoot the bastards! Every time you sing "The Star Spangled Banner", you celebrate the anniversary of your forebears SHOOTING THE BASTARDS!!!

Obviously all this talk about "shooting the bastards" make the people who have BECOME the bastards, very nervous. Well, as Thomas Jefferson, that wild eyed radical, said, "When the government FEARS the People, there is liberty, but when the People fear the government, there is tyranny." I frankly am sick of the tyranny, and am up for a little liberty... actually, a lot of it. How about y'all?


Three indicted in Madison County jail sexual assault

Three indicted in Madison County jail sexual assault

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) -- Three Huntsville men have been indicted on sodomy charges for a sexual assault that allegedly occurred while they were in the Madison County jail.

A grand jury returned the indictments against Darius Montes Hampton, 25, Kelly Lavar Rashad Brooks, 18, and Javorr Aswon Fletcher, 22, who are accused of fabricating a metal weapon to threaten a 22-year-old cellmate while they assaulted him in May 2004.

The grand jury also recommended the jail use a classification system to separate violent and nonviolent inmates. A spokeswoman for the Madison County district attorney's office said the victim was being held on a misdemeanor domestic violence charge, while the three alleged attackers were being held on charges involving violence.

Brooks, who was being held on a murder charge, later pleaded guilty to manslaughter. Hampton, who was being held on a sexual assault charge, later had it dismissed. Fletcher was being held for assault and breaking and entering, charges that were later dismissed.

Sheriff Blake Dorning said it is not possible to automatically categorize inmates with the crowded conditions he has at the jail. Madison County's two jails have beds for 530 prisoners, but were housing 879 inmates Tuesday.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Woodbridge prison guests attack inmates

New Brunswick Home News Tribune, NJ

WOODBRIDGE — They call the program at East Jersey State Prison "Scared Straight."

But yesterday the group lesson that attempts to shock young offenders into staying out of prison backfired when three "guests" listening to the hardened inmates attacked two of them, badly beating one, authorities said.

It was the guests, not the inmates, who had to be restrained, one corrections officer said.

The incident at the medium-security prison for men in the Avenel section of the township was believed to be gang-related, said a state Department of Corrections official and a corrections officer in the prison.

Ex-Inmate Sues Texas for Alleged Gang Rapes

By Tracy Stokes, Staff Writer

Posted Sept.21, 2005 – An eight-man, six-woman jury has been seated in federal court in Wichita Falls, Texas in the civil trial of a a former inmate who alleges state prison officials ignored his pleas for help when he was repeatedly raped.

In opening statements Tuesday, attorneys for 37-year-old Roderick Keith Johnson argued how their client was also sold as a sex slave by other inmates, The Houston Chronicle reports.

Johnson's suit describes how he was sexually assaulted almost every day for 18 months and how gang members negotiated fees of $5 to $10 for sex with him. "He was told that if he refused, he would be beaten and killed." The suit also charges that the prison's all-White classification committee told him "he needed to learn to fight" or find a defender.

Fatal police shootings are on unprecedented pace

By Andrew Marra
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Thursday, September 22, 2005

Fatal police shootings, usually a rarity in Palm Beach County, have surged to become an almost monthly occurrence with seven in the past eight months.

Officers have pulled the trigger on a variety of targets, including teens in fleeing vehicles, suspects accused of reaching for weapons and unstable men who apparently wanted to die.

The sheriff's office also has been criticized for not releasing more information about a fatal shooting during a federal drug operation in West Palm Beach in early August. Sheriff's deputies are investigating a Jupiter officer's decision to shoot and kill Donovan Brooks, 40, on Aug. 5 in a motel parking lot.

In an extraordinary move, the sheriff's office has refused to identify the officer or reveal the apparent reason for the shooting. A spokesman said the officer's identity was being protected for his own safety, and circumstances surrounding the shooting were not being released because the Drug Enforcement Administration asked the agency not to make those details public.

The Strange and Seedy Case of Marc Emery, Canadian

Facing life in a U.S. prison, the ‘Prince of Pot’ sparks an extradition war that could test the limits of the War on Drugs – and legalize pot in Canada at last

LA City Beat, CA

Doctor indicted for giving steroids to NFL players

The State (Columbia, S.C.)

COLUMBIA, S.C. - A West Columbia alternative medicine doctor, who prescribed steroids to members of the Carolina Panthers, was indicted Wednesday on nearly 30 counts of violating federal law.

A federal grand jury accused Dr. James Shortt of conspiring to dispense two kinds of steroids and a human growth hormone during a 3 1/2-year period.

The indictment alleges Shortt illegally prescribed drugs on 28 occasions between February 2001 and June 2004. All but one of those involved the steroids Stanozolol and Nandrolone. The other count deals with the human growth hormone Somatropin.

Another count contains the charge that Shortt intentionally conspired to dispense the drugs.

If convicted, he could be sentenced to as many as five years in prison and $250,000 in fines per violation.

Drug raid puts dozens into custody

By Suzanne Gamboa, Associated Press
September 22, 2005

WASHINGTON - Drug enforcement agents said they arrested at least 18 people and halted prescription writing by dozens of doctors and a pharmacist in a crackdown Wednesday on illegal sales of medications over the Internet.

Thirteen arrests were made in Texas and five in Florida. The Drug Enforcement Administration suspended the registrations of 20 doctors and 22 Internet pharmacies in the U.S., including Puerto Rico, to stop them from writing or filling prescriptions.

Agents also shut down at least 4,600 Web sites the suspects controlled, and seized 2,400 checks and money orders written by individuals for $200 each. They also seized seven luxury cars and boxes of cash that had not yet been counted in the yearlong multi-agency investigation dubbed "Operation CYBERx."

They have started legal procedures to seize several homes belonging to those arrested, valued at about $7.85 million.

Soros dives into midterms

The Hill, DC

Billionaire financier George Soros hosted a fundraiser for Senate Democrats last week at his Manhattan home, making his first foray into politics after spending $25 million of his money in an effort to defeat President Bush last year.

Soros gathered about 60 of his friends and acquaintances in his Upper East Side home Thursday to hear a presentation from Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, according to a knowledgeable source. The event raised an estimated $250,000 for Senate Democratic candidates.

“I think it is shocking that Democrats would treat him as a mainstream force of Democratic politics,” said Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.). “He has an agenda that transcends American interests.”

Soros is known for making provocative statements and is often associated with hot-button issues that most politicians would rather avoid, such as drug decriminalization, assisted suicide and voting rights for felons. Soros, for instance, has helped fund numerous initiatives that would soften criminal penalties for drug use.

“I believe that a drug-free America is a utopian dream. Some form of drug addiction or substance abuse is endemic in most societies,” Soros wrote in a 1997 Washington Post op-ed. “Insisting on the total eradication of drug use can only lead to failure and disappointment.”

A cop campaigns to legalize durgs

Oneida Dispatch, NY

ONEIDA - Howard Wooldridge is taking an old-fashioned approach to spreading his message about the benefits of drug legalization.

For the past seven months the 54-year-old retired police officer has been riding on horseback across the United States, calling for an end to harsh legal penalties for American drug users.

"I want to bring awareness to the failure of our policy of drug prohibition and try to get Americans to agree that we need to sell all drugs in a state-regulated store," said Wooldridge, who is from Fort Worth, Texas.

Having worked as a police officer in Bath Township, Mich., which is near East Lansing, Wooldridge is now a member of the international organization Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. Founded in 2002, LEAP is an organization comprised of current and former law enforcement officials who advocate for national systems of drug regulation instead of prohibition.

"What I've seen across America is that with tremendous consensus people agree this policy is a failure, people agree that prisons are worthless, and people agree that nobody should go to jail for personal amounts of an illegal drug," he said.


Mexico security minister killed in helicopter crash

By Eduardo Quiros

HUIXQUILUCAN, Mexico (Reuters) - Mexico's public security minister, a key figure in the war against drug cartels, was killed along with eight others on Wednesday when his helicopter went down in mountains near the capital.

Rescue workers found the burned wreckage of Ramon Martin Huerta's aircraft six hours after contact was lost early into a flight from the capital to a high security prison.

In a televised address, President Vicente Fox vowed to push on with his fight against violent gangs running drugs into the United States.

Martin Huerta, a former governor of the central state of Guanajuato, was a top figure in a battle launched this year on drug-related crime on the U.S. border and western Mexico, where violence has spiraled.

More than 1,000 people have been killed this year as drug gangs fight over lucrative smuggling routes to the United States.

War declared on designer drugs as Chinese middle class gets high

Jonathan Watts in Beijing
Thursday September 22, 2005
The Guardian

A "people's war" on narcotics in China has turned into a campaign against designer drugs after police found a surge in usage of ecstasy, ketamine and methamphetamine, or ice, among urban professionals.

In a shift that may be down to a booming economy and the growing influence of globalised culture, Chinese authorities said this week the focus of their anti-drugs campaigns has widened from disadvantaged social groups - such as minorities, prostitutes and the unemployed - to affluent white-collar workers.

According to the domestic media, the public security ministry launched a campaign against "new drugs" - synthetic stimulants and hallucinogenic chemicals - which are popular in nightclubs and karaoke bars in the fast-growing cities such as Shanghai and Chongqing.

In November, the government will introduce new rules to crack down on the use of such narcotics, which are not clearly covered by existing laws. The new policy follows a sharp rise in seizures of laboratory-made drugs.

Jonathan Magbie Family Files Lawsuit!

Attorney Donald M. Temple speaks at the announcement of the lawsuit, accompanied by Jonathan Magbie's mother, Mary Scott, left; brother, John Magbie; and sister, Regina Magbie. "No one should have been treated like that," Scott said of her son. (By James M. Thresher -- The Washington Post)
Local Katrina Relief

Mother Sues Over D.C. Inmate's Death
City, Hospital Accused Of Not Giving Proper Care

By Carol D. Leonnig
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, September 21, 2005; Page B08

The mother of a quadriplegic inmate who died after suffering breathing problems at the D.C. jail has filed a lawsuit accusing the District government and Greater Southeast Community Hospital of failing to give him proper care.

Standing on the courthouse steps yesterday, nearly a year after her son Jonathan Magbie died of acute respiratory failure, Mary Scott said she wants justice -- and $50 million in damages -- for what her suit called the repeated failures and "brutal insensitivity" of the city and hospital.

"My baby lost 40 pounds in four days, and they never lifted a finger. No one should have been treated like that," Scott said. "He needed medical attention, and they turned their backs on him."

Magbie, 27, of Mitchellville, was paralyzed from the neck down after being hit by a drunk driver when he was 4. On Sept. 20, 2004, he sat in his mouth-operated wheelchair as D.C. Superior Court Judge Judith E. Retchin sentenced him to 10 days in jail for a misdemeanor charge of possession of marijuana. He was a first-time offender.

Magbie was taken to the D.C. jail, and within hours he was having difficulty breathing. He was moved to the emergency room at Greater Southeast; the hospital released him to the jail the next day. On Sept. 24, he again was taken to the hospital, where he died that day.

I am most pleased to see this family filing a lawsuit. I wish that Judge Judith Retchin, who could have prevented this unspeakable cruelty altogether (had she had more than a black hole for a heart), had somehow been held responsible. Unfortunately, she still sits on the bench waiting to pounce on the next hapless, helpless, quadriplegic, medical marijuana smoker with the unfortunate luck to get rolled into her courtroom on hearing day.

We have to end the drug war.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Agency treats more children 12 and under for drugs

Agency treats more children 12 and under for drugs

By Mike Linn
Montgomery Advertiser

The number of preteens who have sought counseling for substance abuse through the Alabama Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation has increased dramatically in the past few years. I am to believe a kid under the age of 12 walked into a drug treatment center and asked to be treated? This would not be legally possible as parents must be the ones who sign permission forms for anyone under the age of 18 to be treated. DUH!

The numbers are relatively small: 18 children between 6 and 12 years old last year received drug counseling compared with five in 2002.

These figures are unusual in that before 2000 it was rare for anyone under 13 to seek substance abuse counseling, according to Kent Hunt, associate commissioner for substance abuse at the state Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation.

"For years and years we never had anybody admitted to treatment (in this age group)," he said. "Every once in a while, we'd have a kid who was 13. For us, it's a huge increase percentage-wise for kids ages 6 to 12."

The number of high school age children seeking treatment is also up slightly, from 1,556 in 2002 to 1,587 in 2004, statistics show. But the percentage of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25 who sought treatment declined by 5 percent.

Juveniles between the ages of 13 and 17 charged with drug offenses increased by about 7 percent from 2000 to 2004.

But Cary McMillan, juvenile technology manager for the Alabama Office of Administrative Courts, said some years there's a spike in drug complaints and other years they dip, so it's not necessarily a trend.

That more youngsters are getting treatment, she said, is likely due to more youth being screened for drug problems in the juvenile court system.

"Even if the youth is not held on drug charges, a screening may show they may have a substance abuse problem. Even if it's not a drug charge, they can send them to drug treatment," she said.

Courtney Green, a junior at Booker T. Washington Magnet High School in Montgomery, estimated at least 40 percent of high school students have tried marijuana and about 20 percent drink alcohol on the weekends.

Rachel Wismulek, a freshman at the school, said teens can get drugs relatively easily in Montgomery, and that many high school students have tried drugs like marijuana.

"People behind gas stations will give people our age drugs and stuff like that," she said. "It's really easy to get a hold of certain things. If anybody wanted to try it, they could."

And there you have it folks. Due to prohibition of certain drugs kids have unfettered, unrestricted access to them. Your laws to stop drug use are responsible for this as well as responsible for the prison crisis in Alabama. Maybe it is time to realize that approaching drugs from the point of regulation and harm reduction is not the same as condoning drug use.
If this is about keeping your kids safe then I would have to say your current plan is an abysmal failure. It will be your kids who are the next generation of Alabama inmates unless you do what is necessary to change these laws.