US Marijuana Party

Monday, July 31, 2006

Bob Riley & Bill Johnson = Hypocrites & Political Opportunists

I have been remiss in covering the latest development in the staffing changes in Gov. Bob Riley's campaign. Of course, in the last week I have been in two meetings in Montgomery, three in Birmingham and had one speaking engagement in Birmingham also, which has made for a very busy girl with little time for blogging.

What has happened in Riley's campaign is that he has appointed Bill Johnson as his grassroots coordinator. What makes that particularly fascinating for me is Mr. Johnson's colorful past an his stances on legalizing drugs and prostitution. He sounds a great deal like a point. You see, Bill Johnson ran as an Independent for Senate against former Atty. General John Ashcroft in Missouri.

He also worked on Bob Riley's campaign for Congress going all the way back to 1996 and worked on his campaign for Governor of Alabama in 2002. In 2005 Riley placed Mr. Johnson in the position of Director of ADECA.

That seems incredibly contradictory because ADECA was responsible for handing out BYRNE Grants which were used to fund drug task forces.

The fact that the following article points out Mr. Johnson refused to pay his taxes for 14 years because he disagreeed with what government did with his money raises the following question.

If you refuse to pay your taxes because you hold a moral opposition to how that money is being spent then why would you take a position handing out government grants to law enforcement to form drug task forces when you say that you also disagree with the drug laws?

Mr. Johnson sounds like a hypocrite of the highest order and a political opportunist to me. Not that any of that is surprising. For any of you thinking that Riley's appointment of this guy as his grassroots coorinator and the media's decision to focus on his drug policy stance is an indication that Riley might wise up and fix the drug laws and prison crisis in this state....think again. This is simply the R's trying to steal back what Republican support I have (which is actually pretty impressive considering all of the things I support). DON'T BUY IT!

Vote Nall Y'all...It's Just Common Sense

Riley moves campaign staffers
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Capital Bureau
MONTGOMERY -- Bill Johnson has left his Cabinet post as head of the Alabama Department of Community and Economic Affairs to become the grass-roots coordinator for Gov. Bob Riley's re-election effort.

Johnson takes over for Don Fisher, who held the title "state team leader" and headed the governor's grass-roots efforts during the Republican primary campaign. Fisher, according to Riley campaign spokesman Josh Blades, remains with the campaign as Johnson's deputy. Blades said Fisher will also coordinate ballot security efforts and the wooing of veterans.

"Don did a fantastic job coordinating the state (grass-roots) team through the primary -- just look at the numbers," said Blades, referring to Riley's near 2-to-1 defeat of ousted state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore in the June 6 GOP primary.

Johnson also ran Riley's grass-roots efforts in 2002, eight years after the Spring Hill College graduate's own unsuccessful U.S. Senate bid in Missouri. In that campaign, Johnson ran as an independent, advocating the legalization of drugs and prostitution and disclosing that he had failed to pay federal income taxes for 14 years because he refused to finance an "arrogant, unresponsive and corrupt" government.

He has since served as a Birmingham City Council member.

Johnson became ADECA director in May 2005. He succeeded John Harrison, who became the state banking superintendent.

Riley administration spokesman Jeff Emerson said that Doni Ingram is now acting director of ADECA, a clearinghouse for many federal and state grant programs for community development. Ingram had been assistant director since February. Johnson is officially on unpaid leave until Nov. 16, Emerson said.

Johnson initially linked with Riley in 1995, joining the first congressional campaign of the Ashland businessman who served three terms in Washington, D.C., before winning the governorship.

He ended up as campaign manager of Riley's 1996 campaign and was named chief of staff by the congressman-elect. Johnson ended up resigning, however, after press accounts and public pressure concerning the views he expressed in Missouri during his 1994 campaign. Johnson said in 1996 that he changed his views of the federal government after Republicans won congressional majorities in 1994.

After finishing at Spring Hill, Johnson dropped out of medical school before traveling the world for several years, which included stints as a volunteer medic for the Mujahedeen in Afghanistan and Contra rebels in Nicaragua.

As for his role in the 2006 Riley campaign, Johnson will effectively serve as the boss in the Montgomery office, which is the headquarters of the grass-roots operation, Blades said.

Riley's Birmingham office, Blades said, comprises his fund-raising operation. Riley's daughter, Minda Riley Campbell, often works in the Birmingham office, which is located near the law offices of Riley's son, Rob Riley. The governor's media strategy, meanwhile, is being coordinated by the Washington, D.C.-based Stevens & Schriefer Group, which worked for President Bush in 2004.

Blades said there is no individual with a title such as "campaign manager" or "campaign director." Riley essentially had both in 2002, as does his Democratic opponent, Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley, this year.

Asked who's running the governor's re-election effort, Blades responded, "Bob Riley."

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Innocent man haunted by decades in prison

Duluth News Tribune, MN
By Laurin Sellers
The Orlando Sentinel

PORT ST. JOHN, Fla. - Wilton Dedge hits the brakes every time he sees a patrol car, even if he's driving under the speed limit. He keeps boxes of receipts from gas stations, stores and fast-food places - just in case he might have to prove where he was.

And he rarely goes anywhere alone.

Nearly two years after being freed from prison, the man who served 22 years for a rape he didn't commit is terrified of being sent back.

"I still get nervous around police," said Dedge, 44.

Twenty-four years ago, he was a high-school dropout who loved to surf and party when a sheriff's agent came looking for him at his parents' home in Port St. John. He ended up being convicted twice and sentenced to life because a 17-year-old girl said he attacked her Dec. 8, 1981, and he couldn't prove he was somewhere else.

Dedge finally was released in August 2004 after DNA testing confirmed his innocence. But nearly two years later, he remains scarred by all those years in jail as an innocent man.

Rethink tactics of drug war?

Bill Piper

BILL PIPER is director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance

Saturday, July 29, 2006

National Drug Roundup Day

National Drug Roundup Day
Operation Byrne Drugs
organized by the
National Alliance of State Drug Enforcement Agencies

Image by Terry
Click to enlarge

Riley aide defends his past stands on pot, taxes

Montgomery Advertiser, AL
By Bob Johnson
The Associated Press

Bill Johnson says don't believe everything you read or hear about his colorful adventures as a world traveler, his views on the Taliban or taxes, or his controversial run as a Libertarian for the U.S. Senate in Missouri.

But when Johnson took leave as a member of Gov. Bob Riley's Cabinet this week to become a top Riley re-election campaign official, the move brought new attention to what the 47-year-old Johnson did and said before settling in as an affable Alabama Republican in Montgomery.

In an interview Friday with The Associated Press, Johnson said he was touting the Libertarian Party line when he took a stand favoring legalizing marijuana and prostitution during the 1994 Missouri race. And he said he paid all back taxes a decade ago after going 14 years without filing a federal tax return.

He was living in Springfield, Mo., in 1994 when he ran for the U.S. Senate as a Libertarian, finishing third in a race won by former two-term Gov. John Ashcroft. Johnson said his primary campaign issue in that race was campaign finance reform. But the part of that race that he still finds himself defending were his statements about legalizing marijuana and prostitution and admitting he had not paid federal taxes in 14 years.

Johnson said he was then and still is opposed to prostitution and drug use, but following the Libertarian platform "I just thought there were better ways to attack the problem than through the legal system." He said he did not campaign on those issues and mostly in campaign speeches talked about campaign finance reform and welfare reform.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Students learn Police Work 101

Mary Beth Lane

The instructor here, Officer Rod Glazer, said he received so many questions about police work from students in the D.A.R.E. anti-drug classes he teaches during the school year that he thought a junior police academy would draw interest.
"It’s really, actually, quite a lot of fun," said Tyler Hall, who will enter sixth grade at Willis Intermediate School this fall. The 11-year-old has boyish braces on his teeth and manly plans for his future.

"I’ve thought about being a Marine, and when there’s no war going on, I’d be a cop."
Yesterday, the students snapped shut their study binders for their next, eagerly awaited lesson — firearm safety and target practice.

They put on protective goggles and aimed a .40-caliber semi-automatic handgun and then an M-16 rifle at a paper target and drilled it with plastic bullets that carried pellets of red paint.

Tyler, a good marksman, was exuberant as his shots tore through the target in red dots.

"Yeah, baby! " he said. "I feel like a young James Bond."

Blackhawks patrolling our skies, surveilling the citizens and directing the home-invading ground troops. Our children being seduced into the new Hitler Youth. How much longer will we deny the obvious?

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Famed hacker felled by the flu


BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) -- This Andean highlands capital has twice felled famed hacker and security consultant Kevin Mitnick.

"I'm looking forward to getting on the first plane to the United States," Mitnick, 42, said Wednesday from his hospital room in the Colombian capital, where he said he'd been laid up for about three days with a bad flu.

On a separate visit back in May, the author of "The Art of Intrusion" and "The Art of Deception" said, he spent a day in the hospital for tests after experiencing chest pains and elevated blood pressure.

Mitnick blamed Bogota's 8,700-foot (2,650-meter) elevation and a prescription drug he was taking for that trip to the hospital.

This time it was simply a nasty flu, accompanied by a fever reaching 40 degrees centigrade (104 degrees Fahrenheit), that prevented Mitnick from attending a big weekend hacker's conference in New York.

Loretta Nall in Bogota, Colombia

Schedule of Controlled Substances

Tour De France Winner Flunks Drug Test

LONDON (AP) -- Tour de France champion Floyd Landis tested positive for high levels of testosterone during the race, his Phonak team said Thursday.

The statement came a day after the UCI, cycling's governing body, said an unidentified rider had failed a drug test during the Tour.


If you are wondering how it is illegal to have balls, check out the above link to the Schedule of Controlled Substances.

Under schedule III you will find testosterone.

Why doesn't the list include estrogen?

Officers Must Explain Missing Money From Drug Raid


(KDKA) PITTSBURGH The Glassport Police Chief along with several officers has been ordered to be in court today, after thousands of dollars from a drug raid went missing.

When officers raided Chuggers Bar in Glassport, they arrested the owner Greg Cegelski after finding 69 grams of cocaine, plus a small amount of drugs in his car.

Police also confiscated $4,000 in cash.

But charges were dropped when the case fell apart, and Cegelski tried to reclaim his money with a court order, but it was gone.

The Glassport Police Chief wouldn’t talk to KDKA Investigator Marty Griffin about what happened to the money.

But the chief and the officers will have to produce the money, explain what happened to it, or they could face charges.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Montgomery Police Department's SWAT Team Learns Israeli Tactics

Stacy Neumann

As the fighting continues overseas, some lessons from the Middle East conflict are hitting home right here in Alabama. Members of the Montgomery Police Department SWAT team are in a five day counterterrorism school taught by a former Israeli servicemember.

Out at the practice range, the 12 member team learns that timing is everything. SWAT team member Todd Wheeler notes, "The way the Israelis do it, it's extremely dynamic. It's extremely fast and that's the only way to fight counterterrorism."

That's also why the Montgomery SWAT team is training with Aaron Cohen. He's a veteran of the Israeli counterterrorist unit. Now his four year stint with that team will work for this team. Cohen says he wants, "to be able to help them reduce risk while responding to terrorist threats while in crowded areas." Cohen says these drills and the current situation in the Middle East are a powerful combination for him. He explains,"It's tough. It hits home for me because my unit is working there right now."

Montgomery officers say, if they can absorb the tactics of one of the world's premier counterterrorism teams, they'll learn to move faster and become smaller targets. It's an international lesson racing to the heart of Alabama crime fighters. The Montgomery police say counterterrorism training has become essential for all law enforcement in the wake of 9-11. They say this school fills a real need in their department and the new techniques will be applied to everything they do.

What is the number one use of SWAT teams? Invading the homes of peaceful American Citizens. The Federal Government has taken control of our local police and perverted them into nothing less than an Occupying Army. The War On Drugs built the framework and the War On Terror has accelerated the pace. Who will they come for next? If you do not speak out now there will be no one left to speak out for you when you are drug from your home.

Murder By Numbers

Written by sting & andy summers

Once that youve decided on a killing
First you make a stone of your heart
And if you find that your hands are still willing
Then you can turn a murder into art

There really isnt any need for bloodshed
You just do it with a little more finesse
If you can slip a tablet into someones coffee
Then it avoids an awful lot of mess

Now if you have a taste for this experience
And youre flushed with your very first success
Then you must try a twosome or a threesome
And youll find your conscience bothers you much less

Because murder is like anything you take to
Its a habit-forming need for more and more
You can bump off every member of your family
And anybody else you find a bore

Now you can join the ranks of the illustrious
In historys great dark hall of fame
All our greatest killers were industrious
At least the ones that we all know by name

But you can reach the top of your profession
If you become the leader of the land
For murder is the sport of the elected
And you dont need to lift a finger of your hand

gif by Terry
Takes a minute to fully load

Package Of Marijuana Delivered To Warehouse, FL

POMPANO BEACH, Fla. -- Employees at a GE Supply warehouse in Pompano Beach were surprised to find a package containing 39 pounds of marijuana Tuesday morning.

The package delivered by UPS was discovered after a receptionist noticed it had no invoice. She took it to a salesperson who opened it. They then called the Broward Sheriff's Office.

The package was addressed to someone named Ralph. The warehouse currently employs no one named Ralph, reported NBC 6's Carlos Vergara.

The box was insulated with plastic foam to hide the smell.

The package was shipped from California and delivered by UPS but was sent through an independent mail store.

BSO has launched an investigation to find out who sent the package. Drug agencies may later become involved if BSO cannot find the sender, authorities said.

Troopers, deputies seize marijuana plants in three counties, AL
The Associated Press

OPELIKA, Ala. (AP) — State troopers and sheriff's deputies destroyed dozens of marijuana plants this week in Lee, Tallapoosa and Chambers counties.

Authorities said the illegal crops were spotted yesterday and Monday by an Army National Guard Blackhawk helicopter. Officers uprooted 50 plants in Lee County; 20 plants in Tallapoosa County; and another 50 in Chambers County.

No arrests were made.

Trooper Donald Frazier, a spokesman, said the Alabama Bureau of Investigation's marijuana eradication program has destroyed 28,000 plants in the state's 67 counties since January. He said in 2005, the A-B-I seized more than 92,000 pot plants.

Overall, Alabama ranked seventh in the nation in the number of marijuana plants seized last year.

WTVM reporter gets to ride in the blackhawk. Note: This article featured video of the reporter and camera man riding in the blackhawk but now the video is gone and mention of the trip has been erased. Maybe someone didn't want the general public to catch on to the fact that their property was being searched without a warrant.


By Toya Graham
Rock Hill Herald, SC

YORK -- Tosca, a nearly 70-pound Belgian Malinois canine, leaped up on her hind legs and parked her paws on a library bookshelf. Then she forced her black nose between two book spines.

One book tumbled to the floor. Two more met the same fate.

Then she found it -- a small black case filled with cotton balls that had been exposed to marijuana odor -- hidden behind the books.

"She will alert on the faintest of odor," trainer Joel Raines said as Tosca sat and wagged her tail.

Around a dozen York school principals and assistant principals watched Tosca on Tuesday during a staged RAID (Resistance Against Illegal Drugs) inspection at York Comprehensive High School. Tosca, a five-year drug and gunpowder sniffing dog, is a new weapon school leaders will use to combat drugs and weapons in York schools.

Colombia to aid in Afghan drug war

Rowan Scarborough

The chairman of the House International Relations Committee said yesterday that a contingent of Colombian narcotics fighters is due in Afghanistan this week to share its expertise in combating powerful drug lords.
"Two separate groups coming from different environments attacking the same problem are bound to produce some new ideas," Rep. Henry J. Hyde, Illinois Republican, said in an interview.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Nall to Speak in Birmingham July 28


Loretta Nall for Governor Campaign
2330 Highland Ave. S
Birmingham, AL 35205

Libertarian Party Gubernatorial Candidate, Loretta Nall, to Appear at Speakers Corner

Birmingham, AL – July 25, 2006 – On July 28, 2006 Libertarian Party Gubernatorial Candidate Loretta Nall will be the guest speaker at Speakers Corner in Birmingham, AL. This event will begin at 6:30 p.m. and will consist of a 20-minute speech from Mrs. Nall about her platform for Governor and her ideas for Alabama and will be followed by a question and answer period from the audience.

The address is:

The Safari Cup Coffee House
300 Richard Arrington BLDV
Birmingham, AL 35203

All supporters and media are encouraged to attend. For more information please contact the Loretta Nall for Governor Campaign at 205-328-8683 or 256-625-9599 or you may email them by clicking here.


Canada's 'Prince of Pot' ties the knot in sunny, smoky Vancouver park

Tiffany Crawford, Canadian Press

VANCOUVER (CP) - Marc Emery, Canada's so-called Prince of Pot, got married Sunday to a woman who apparently doesn't mind the idea that her new husband could spend large parts of their marriage in court or in jail as part of his mission to legalize marijuana.

"I will support him no matter what happens in any situation," Jodie Emery, 21, said shortly after the wedding. "I'm just so happy right now to be married to him."

She said she married Emery, who has been arrested 21 times, knowing full well he may spend many years in a U.S. jail.

Emery, 48, heads the B.C. Marijuana Party and publishes Cannabis Culture magazine. He is currently charged with selling marijuana seeds to Americans through the mail, conspiracy to manufacture pot and conspiracy to engage in money laundering.

He was arrested last July along with Michelle Rainey-Fenkarek and Greg Williams after police raided Emery's pot paraphernalia store in Vancouver following an 18-month investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

The wedding ceremony took place under a white tent in the city's Queen Elizabeth Park where about 100 guests sat in suits and dresses continually passing around joints.

Thomas DiLorenzo: The other war

Thomas DiLorenzo
The Examiner

BALTIMORE - With election season upon us, we soon will be bombarded with political plans to “cure” all of society’s ills, from anorexia to obesity. What to do about crime is always a hot topic in election years.

Many cities have successfully reduced crime in the past decade, but an epidemic of violence still plagues America’s cities. The reason: the government’s “War on Drugs.”

Morales calls drug-war certification `blackmail'

Miami Herald, FL

LA PAZ - President Evo Morales on Monday described as blackmail the U.S. policy of drug certification that evaluates the cooperation of foreign countries.

''We need international cooperation that's unconditional, without blackmail,'' Morales said as he marked the 19th anniversary of Bolivia's Special Drug Fighting Force.

The remarks came one day after Vice President Alvaro García Linera wrapped up a trip to Washington to try to persuade the U.S. Congress to extend a preferential trade pact set to expire at the end of the year.

The pact, called the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act, was meant to reward Andean countries, including Bolivia, for their cooperation in the drug war.

Congress is unlikely to renew the act because the U.S. government favors individual free trade agreements with countries in the region.

Monday, July 24, 2006

The Lebanon Cedar


"Jewish priests were ordered by Moses to use the bark of the Lebanon Cedar in circumcision and treatment of leprosy."

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Greenades, Marijuana Gumballs, Identified by Maryland Police, Used by High School Students

PR Web (press release)

"Most experts agree that there is enough THC (the active chemical in marijuana) in one gram of high grade marijuana to produce a lethal overdose that could result in death if swallowed by a toddler."

Narconon is telling more lies to try and drum up some business.
For pictures and analysis of the gumballs, see the May 2006 DEA Microgram Bulletin.

Nall Looks to Ride Colorful Campaign

Nall looks to ride colorful campaign
By Brian Lyman
Star Capitol Correspondent

MONTGOMERY — Loretta Nall speaks frankly. She is an atheist, a marijuana smoker and, recently, an escort for women attempting to get abortions.
She's also a candidate for governor on the Libertarian Party ticket, and her positions don't seem to jibe with mainstream Alabama thinking.

So when Nall says getting 250,000 votes — equivalent to about 18 percent of the vote in the 2002 gubernatorial election — would be a good result, it sounds ambitious.

“It is,” she said over lunch at Davis Café, a soul food restaurant in Montgomery. “I'm an ambitious girl.”

Nall's platform addresses a wide range of issues; among other things, Nall supports gay marriage, tax credits for families with children in private schools and repealing annual property tax assessments.

She also accuses the major parties of ignoring Alabamians' daily needs, arguing — as a recent radio spot put it — that the Democrats and Republicans sacrifice the good of the state in an attempt to “out-Jesus and out-anti-gay” each other.

The drug war, however, is her biggest issue. Nall supports the legalization of marijuana for those 21 and older. Nall would regulate and tax its sale — which she says will bring in additional revenue and help reduce the state's 200 percent overcrowding in prison.

“I chose to run for governor because I need a statewide audience,” she said. “And with the present situation as it is in Alabama, I think a candidate needs the largest audience possible.”

Nall was convicted of misdemeanor marijuana possession in 2004, a conviction she is appealing. A mother of a 14-year-old and 9-year-old, Nall said she smokes marijuana but claimed she does not smoke in front of her children and discourages them from doing it.

According to a study by the New York-based Drug Policy Alliance in 2005, drug and alcohol offenses make up more than 38 percent of prison admissions in Alabama. In 2004, more Alabamians were jailed for possession of marijuana than for first- and second-degree assaults combined.

Many sheriffs, including Calhoun County's Larry Amerson, have been pushing for greater rehabilitation services for prisoners in jail. But Amerson “strongly disagrees” with drug legalization and argues controlled substances, including alcohol, need to remain tightly controlled.

“The decline in many of society's standards is very apparent,” he said. “So anything we can do to improve or reduce those items that lead to problems I think would be a good thing.”

Philosophically, Nall describes herself as a “classic liberal” who wants as little government interference in private life as possible. Nall said a lot of “great things” are in the Bible but insists on a strict separation between church and state.

“As far as religion influencing politicians, I think it's an insult to both,” she said. “If you have the rule of God and the rule of man, one is eventually going to overtake the other.”

The candidate said she knows “zip” about politics but argues the Democratic and Republican parties have created a Montgomery power structure that has encouraged the erosion of personal liberties — one reason she supports initiative and referendum measures.

“The way we have it now, people are not involved in politics,” she said. “I think initiatives and referendums will get regular people interested in local government.”

Those who agree with Nall will have to take initiative and write her name on their November ballot. Nall's name won't appear on the ballot because the Libertarian Party failed to garner the 41,012 signatures needed in the state to place a candidate's name there.

“The state of Alabama basically says before we can dedicate resources to outreach and educating voters, we have to jump over this hurdle,” said Dick Clark, chairman of the Libertarian Party of Alabama and a state House candidate. “It's kind of like picking the biggest, strongest kids and giving them a 20-yard head start in a 100-yard race.”

Clark believes Nall can attract national attention to the party but said he doesn't agree with all of her positions. A born-again Christian, Clark said he believes Nall's abortion-rights stand will be “counterproductive” in her attempt to reach voters in Alabama. But he added most voters should realize her election would not affect the legal status of abortion.

“I don't think that's something weigh too much on people's minds because it's not something that's going to change if she is elected or is not elected,” Clark said.

The Libertarian Party may have played a role in the outcome of the 2002 gubernatorial election: Candidate John Sophocleus, who appeared on state ballots, received 23,000 votes — more than seven times the 3,120 votes that separated Gov. Bob Riley and the former governor, Don Siegelman.

But with Riley leading Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley by 10 points in the latest polls — and Nall relying on write-in status — a repeat of that performance may not be possible. Still, Clark said he would like to see Nall “build on Sophocleus' accomplishments.”

Nall's campaign has been colorful. In May, she placed an advertisement called “Stripping for Dollars” on her Web site, which garnered national attention. Nall said she's gotten requests to run for office in several states, including Alaska, New York and California. She said she's not interested.

“I think they have people like me in California,” she said. “There's tons of me out there.”

Not exactly the article I was hoping for. She sounds frightening.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

The Japanese Beetle: A Pot-Munching Mo-Fo

Greenfield man rolls pro-pot ideas into mock plants

Eyewitness News, RI

GREENFIELD, Mass. A Greenfield man is turning his pro-marijuana activism and business savvy into a growing operation.
But don't worry, Joseph White's home-grown stash won't get you high.

During the past two years, White's start-up company has been selling make-believe pot plants online.

The lifelike botanicals are made of silk and wood.

White won't say whether he smokes pot or has in the past. But he began pushing for marijuana legalization about seven years.

By getting his artificial plants into private residences and public spaces, White is betting that more people will start appreciating the natural beauty of the real thing's jagged, seven-point leaves, instead of thinking of marijuana as evil.

He's even getting attention from Hollywood, where directors have purchased his product when they needed realistic-looking weed for movies.


Agents make 'visits' to medical pot shops

Marijuana seized, warnings given; nobody arrested

By Jeff McDonald
San Diego Union Tribune

Federal agents paid “courtesy visits” to nine or 10 San Diego medical marijuana dispensaries yesterday, warning operators that they consider the shops illegal.

No arrests were made, although agents seized an undetermined amount of marijuana. Agents made it clear that the government will no longer tolerate retail storefronts selling pot.

“Those dispensaries are operating in violation of state and federal law,” said Dan Simmons, a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration special agent. “These were courtesy visits to remind the dispensaries that are still open that they're operating illegally.”

Medical marijuana activists painted a different picture of what happened.

According to Steph Sherer, executive director of the advocacy group Americans for Safe Access, drug agents barged into the dispensaries and threatened to arrest employees and patients before seizing whatever marijuana they could find.

“They're basically going in and taking everything,” Sherer said. “They said, 'Shut down or we're going to come back and arrest you.' ”

Friday, July 21, 2006

Drug Roundup Nets 37 Suspects, TN

Marijuana, crack cocaine and methamphetamine were all seized.

Charges included the sale and delivery of a controlled substance, prescription fraud, TennCare fraud, reckless endangerment involving a child and criminal impersonation.

The Williamson County Sheriff's Department has worked hard with the 21st Judiciary District Drug Task Force to get the criminals off the streets.

“It's a war. Drug dealers on our streets, is in a war against law enforcement officials. But it's a war that we're going to win, and we're going to work hard to stay on top of this. We're going to continue these kind of operations,” Williamson County Sheriff Ricky Headley said.

Headley said his department has been working on this roundup for several months.

Million dollar find

Captain Miller Breaks A Sweat

By Patrick McCreless
Alex City Outlook

It is not every day one comes across $3 million growing in the wild.

Members of the Tallapoosa County Narcotics Task Force and other agencies spent much of their time tending to someone else's garden near Camp Hill Thursday, where they recovered 1,742 marijuana plants worth $2,000 apiece, for a total of $3,484,000. The illegal garden was located off of Germany Ferry Road and Highway 89 North.

"It was spotted in the air by pilots," said Investigator Jay Turner of the task force.

Turner said the helicopter pilots were part of the marijuana eradication program run by the state. "They come by twice a year for two days a year," he said. "It's usually a state or national guard helicopter."

Although the marijuana was not growing near a residence, Turner said it was definitely taken care of by someone. Many of the plants were trimmed. Also, the plants were surrounded by pieces of burned lumber, which would add nutrients to the soil. "

Someone was maintaining it," Turner said.

However, that someone has yet to be determined. No suspects have been listed.

Still, the seizure was significant to be sure. The plants were very mature, which you normally see grown near residences, Turner said. He said discoveries like this vary from year to year. Some years large gardens of marijuana are found in fields, while other years they are found near residences.

It took several agencies to locate and collect all the plants. Besides the marijuana eradication team, members of the Chambers County Narcotics Task Force, the Alexander City, Dadeville and New Site Police Departments, and the Alexander City Fire Department all pitched in. The personnel all donated their time for this, Turner said.

"I'd like to thank everybody for being involved in this," said Chief Avery Morris of the ACPD.

For Morris, the seizure was completely legitimate, but he did not want any lingering doubts.

"If you feel like your marijuana was taken by mistake, you can call me," he said.

Turner said the helicopter pilots were part of the marijuana eradication program run by the state. "They come by twice a year for two days a year,"

---------Two days a year? They usually spend at least that much time in my community.

Does this mean we're not gonna get raided this year? Damn, I feel kinda neglected. Don't they love us anymore?

So far they have seized my catnip and my horsemint and so this year I have prepared a special crop of hibiscus that I figured they would really enjoy stealing but they don't even bother to show up.

I hate to see my work go unrecognized.

Well, I can always hope for September.

Loretta Nall 2004 Trial Transcript

Thursday, July 20, 2006

State to check on residents' health

By Warren King
Seattle Times medical reporter

Washington state health officials will soon start asking detailed questions about the health of some state residents — and even give them brief physical exams.

The door-to-door survey of 1,100 randomly selected households across the state will try to learn more about our health, and especially about our risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes, to better target preventive educational programs.

Big Brother door-to-door. What's next, random colonoscopy checkpoints?

Bus Driver Pleads Guilty To Being High On Job

CLEVELAND -- A man who said he had only had apple juice on the rocks pleads guilty in court to drug abuse charges.

Emil Grandbouche was accused of being high on marijuana while on the job pleaded guilty, NewsChannel5 reported.

In June, students at Perkins Middle School told a guard that they thought Grandbouche was drinking. At the time, Brandbouche said he only had apple juice on the rocks and blamed his shoes for failing a sobriety test.

Police searched his backpack and found a half-smoked marijuana cigarette.

Grandbouche was with the Akron School District for 15 years. He also had a clean record before this incident.

Akron Municipal Judge Alison McCarty ordered him to pay a $150 plus court costs.

He also must write a 400-word essay on the effects of marijuana on the body.

Mobile state senator's son pleads guilty to crack cocaine charge, AL
Associated Press

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — The 23-year-old son of state Sen. Vivian Davis Figures has pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine and could face 10 years to life in federal prison.

Akil Michael Figures, who was arrested in September, accepted a plea agreement Tuesday that could lower his sentence by cooperating with law enforcement in other cases. A sentencing date was not immediately set.

Figures' mother, a Mobile Democrat, did not attend the hearing.

The defendant's lawyer and uncle, Thomas Figures, would not speculate about how long the prison term may be.

"I don't think it would be in his best interest to comment on any aspect of the case," he said as he departed court.

Akil Figures was arrested in 2002 for possession of marijuana and cocaine. He pleaded guilty to the cocaine charge in 2004, and the marijuana charge was dropped, according to court records.

In May 2005, he was shot several times in north Mobile on the day he returned home from Kilby Correctional Facility.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Potent Form Of Marijuana Shows Up In Milwaukee

Milwaukee, WI

MILWAUKEE -- An extremely potent form of marijuana is showing up around Milwaukee County.

Sheriff David Clarke Tuesday announced the department confiscated more than 25 pounds of hydroponic marijuana.

A tip led deputies to a residential area on Milwaukee's northwest side on Sunday.

The sheriff said they found an even larger supply earlier this year on the city's south side.

The Drug Enforcement Agency said that users who can afford it prefer this type of marijuana.

The potency level can reach up to 40 percent. That is compared to 8 percent for common types of the drug.

"The thing that's a big concern for us is the potency of it. When kids experiment with marijuana, it's not the stuff we want them to be experimenting with," Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke said.

The sheriff's Department said hydroponic marijuana can cost up to $6,000 a pound.

No one is in custody at this time, but the sheriff said they know who they are looking for.

Look at these clowns claiming that hydroponics increases potency. They know that potency is determined by genetics and correct harvest times but they promote the myth of increased potency through hydroponics in order to support their campaign of home invasions.

Lakewood officer wounded by colleague during drug raid

Newsday, NY

LAKEWOOD, N.J. (AP) _ A bullet fired by a Lakewood police officer during a drug raid struck a fellow officer Tuesday night, causing non-life-threatening injuries, authorities said.

Ocean County Executive Assistant Prosecutor Robert Gasser said at least three Lakewood police officers entered a home as part of the county's Drug Strike Force when a dog described as a pit bull terrier jumped on one of the officers, mauling his face.

A second officer shot and killed the dog, but a bullet ricocheted and struck a third officer in the leg. Gasser said that officer was hospitalized with injuries that were not thought to be serious.

Gasser said he had no identifying information about any of the officers, nor the condition of the officer attacked by the dog.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Loretta Nall

Picture created by Terry Posted by Hello

Alabama Prisons

A two-part column by Richard F. Allen

State's prison system faces four major problems

Inflow of inmates must be slowed

Richard F. Allen is commissioner of the Alabama Department of Corrections.

Scott A. Allen: Abuse in prison: Stanford revisited

Providence Journal, RI

Scott A. Allen is the former Medical-Program Director of the Rhode Island Department of Corrections.

Former prison guard sentenced to five years

2TheAdvocate, LA
Associated Press

ALEXANDRIA — A former prison guard has been sentenced to five years in prison for having sex with an inmate, then lying about it to the FBI.

John Charles Roberts, 43, who once worked at the Winn Correctional Center, coerced a male inmate to perform oral sex with the threat of confining him with dangerous inmates, prosecutors alleged.

U.S. District Judge Dee Drell on Friday also fined Roberts $5,000.

The incident took place in December 2001, authorities said. The inmate has a civil suit pending against Roberts.

Knoxville man arrested after federal agents raid his downtown businesses, TN
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) -- A prominent downtown businessman surrendered to authorities Sunday after federal agents raided three of his businesses.

Scott West, the owner of several Market Square businesses is being held in the Blount County after turning himself in to authorities Sunday afternoon in his lawyer's office.

He was arrested on charges of conspiracy to distribute marijuana and money laundering.

His brother, Mike West and a sister- in-law have also been charged.

Scott West was in Atlanta on business when he got word that agents from the Internal Revenue Service's Criminal Investigation division, the U.S. Department of Treasury, and the Drug Enforcement Agency were raiding his home and businesses.

Officers were seen carrying boxes of papers and computer equipment out of the businesses in Market Square and loading them into a rental truck.

One eyewitness, Jonathan Nicolosi, described the raid, saying, "It kind of felt like a terroristic raid in a sense."

Nicolosi, who lives above Oodles Uncorked, said loud banging on the door next to his woke him up at 8:00 Sunday morning. "I saw the door to my landlord's loft battered open by a battering ram, with a big dent hole in the door, if you will."

Abbeville Drug Loitering Ordinance Enforcement


You could be arrested just for hanging around certain people, vehicles and neighborhoods in one Acadiana town.

It's part of a new plan to make Abbeville streets safer.

One by one, Abbeville police made arrests during a Saturday night drug raid, but most of the charges weren't for possession.

Instead, they were for drug loitering..

It's a charge allowed by a new city ordinance.

Chief Rick Coleman says this is not about arresting people, it is about public safely and making the public feel that they can go to the store in the middle of the night and get a coke and a gallon of milk without thinking they'll be harassed on the corner.

The ordinance makes it a misdemeanor to be caught hanging around a person, vehicle or an area that's known for drug activity.

Bill's Authors Are Trying to Rope In Support for Hemp

Los Angeles Times, CA
George Skelton:
Capitol Journal

AB 1147 is not the biggest bill of this legislative session, but it is one of the most intriguing — and most fun.

Start with its purpose: to legalize the growing of hemp, a cousin of marijuana — both members of the notorious cannabis family.

Their bill would sanction the growing of hemp in California for sale within the state, but forbid interstate commerce of "viable" seeds — those that can germinate — in an effort to keep the feds from nosing around. No doubt federal courts ultimately would sort it all out.

"There's no more THC in hemp than the poppy seed on your bagel has opium," asserts Leno. "Beyond that, industrial hemp is marijuana's natural eradicator." Cross-pollination with hemp takes the kick out of pot, experts report.

Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids in America

Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids in America

July 17, 2006
by Radley Balko

Executive Summary

Americans have long maintained that a man’s home is his castle and that he has the right to defend it from unlawful intruders. Unfortunately, that right may be disappearing. Over the last 25 years, America has seen a disturbing militarization of its civilian law enforcement, along with a dramatic and unsettling rise in the use of paramilitary police units (most commonly called Special Weapons and Tactics, or SWAT) for routine police work. The most common use of SWAT teams today is to serve narcotics warrants, usually with forced, unannounced entry into the home.

These increasingly frequent raids, 40,000 per year by one estimate, are needlessly subjecting nonviolent drug offenders, bystanders, and wrongly targeted civilians to the terror of having their homes invaded while they’re sleeping, usually by teams of heavily armed paramilitary units dressed not as police officers but as soldiers. These raids bring unnecessary violence and provocation to nonviolent drug offenders, many of whom were guilty of only misdemeanors. The raids terrorize innocents when police mistakenly target the wrong residence. And they have resulted in dozens of needless deaths and injuries, not only of drug offenders, but also of police officers, children, bystanders, and innocent suspects.

This paper presents a history and overview of the issue of paramilitary drug raids, provides an extensive catalogue of abuses and mistaken raids, and offers recommendations for reform.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Aristocrat to be extradited to Alabama

Giles Carlyle-Clarke
BBC News

Women's Rights & Jericho Horns

by Loretta Nall

I recently joined the Montgomery, AL chapter of NOW. I've never really considered myself a feminist but decided that my involvement was needed when our infamous, idiotic, dunderhead Senator Hank Erwin introduced an anti-abortion bill that replicated South Dakota's. Referring to the bill's ban on abortions where the pregnancy was caused by rape or incest, Erwin said:

"I don't think you need to penalize the unborn child when something like that happens."

As if growing up a retarded, deformed, incest victim in Alabama isn't punishment of the most cruel variety. What planet are these goofy bastards from anyway?

I asked myself then "What business does this MAN have making decisions about a womans reproductive rights?" The answer of course is NONE WHATSOEVER. Even if he opened "Hank's Home for Alabama's Inbred" and funded the entire thing from his own deep Christian pockets he still would have NO SAY in the matter. So, being a girl of action, I signed up with NOW.

I attended my first monthly meeting last Saturday during which we discussed the escort service that NOW provides to the Womens Health Clinic. I volunteered for a turn and my first assignment was on Wed. July 12, 2006.

As always, I arrived early and no one was there yet. At first, I parked in the clinic lot but decided that was probably a bad idea for what should be obvious reasons. So, I cruised the block a few times and waited for someone else to show up then joined my fellow escorts on the grass in front of the clinic. They gave me a brief run down of how everything works and a sign to hold for shielding the patients. They said it was best not to speak to the anti-choice protesters other than perhaps to say good morning. I found that extrodinarily difficult to do as you will see.

We spread out and take our accustomed spots and wait. The air is charged with a weird kind of electricity and it dawns on me that this is serious stuff.

A few minutes later a most bizarre sound rents the peaceful morning air. I had heard about Jericho Horn woman at the last meeting...but nothing can fully prepare one for such a sight.

I look down at the corner and see an old woman, who looks like she might dance with snakes on Sunday morning, blowing a horn that looked like it was wrenched from a Satanic goat on steroids in some epic battle. It made a sound like a rutting bull elephant. Gawd what a racket!! It appears our protesters have arrived and their mission is to blow down the walls of the womens health clinic with that horn. This should be fun to watch.

Along with Jericho Horn Woman there is a young girl (teens) with a violin. They set up shop on the sidewalk in front of us (they aren't allowed on the grass where we are) and the young girl begins to play songs like 'Jesus Loves the Little Children' and 'Jesus Loves Me'. It was a very sad and mournful sound and part of me kept hoping she would crank up the tempo a few notches and make that violin into a fiddle. Would have been cool to hear the bluegrass versions of those old hymns. Anything sounds good in Bluegrass. Jericho horn woman just stands there and holds up a small red piece of cloth with the word JESUS in white.

Pretty soon a patient arrives and I decide to try out this escort thing. I walk out to the car and introduce myself. I tell them that I am with the clinic and that there are protesters here today so I will be escorting them to the door. I tell them that the protesters may try and hand them information and that they do not have to take it if they do not want to. I also tell them that for security measures no bags, purses or cell phones are allowed in the clinic. Then we make our way towards the door.

As soon as we get near the protesters one starts asking, "Are you here to have an abortion? I'd like to help. Jesus loves you. There's hope." I felt like telling the protesters, "Ya know if any of these ladies wanted your help then chances are they would have called you before they made an appointment here....did you receive such a call?"...but held my tounge...mainly because snake-dancer, Jericho Horn woman looked like she might be able to kick my ass if it came to blows....the goat she ripped that horn from probably didn't fare to well and the horn gave her a definite advantage.

If the patient was African-American the protesters would say "They kill more black babies than any other kind."

One patient made it to the door with her cell phone in her pocket. We told her she would have to leave it in the car due to security reasons. One of the protesters said in a sweet, soft voice full of righteous indignation "What kind of people are these...they don't even want you to be able to call for help." What the they have Karl Rove writing the one liners for anti-choice protesters in Alabama these days? I came very close to saying, " The reason they don't allow cell phones in is because freakazoids like you use them to blow up places like this." It was a very close call which resulted in a sore tongue.

These scenes repeated throughout the morning. One protester walked up and down the sidewalk. Perhaps she was the accompaniment to Jericho Horn and thought if she walked that sidewalk enough and Jericho Horn woman blew loudly enough that the walls would come tumbling down as they did in the bible story.

And they say I'm stoned! I'd really like to know what kind of drugs these people are taking so I can be sure to avoid them in the future.

A TV camera suddenly appears on the scene and sets up across the street. Our group leader goes over to inquire about this new development. When she comes back I ask her if the News usually covers this circus and she tells me no, that this is actually the first time and that she didn't know they were coming. The camera seemed to spend an inordinate amount of time aimed in my direction and when I saw the 5 pm News piece it appeared I was in every shot save the one where they interviewed the protesters. I had posted on my blog a few days before that I would be acting as an escort in MTGY on that day and, being who I am, I tend to think the News showed up to get footage of a Gubernatorial candidate escorting women at an abortion clinic. The camera man asked to interview me at one point but I deferred to the group leader because I am new to this group and not familiar enough with their policies to be doing interviews. The news never identified me as the LP candidate and since I was in a T-shirt, corduroys and sun glasses with my hair pulled back I am not sure any viewers picked up on the fact that it was me. I am in no way ashamed of helping at the clinic and it would be perfectly ok with me if they publicly identify me the next time around.

While our group leader was being interviewed I heard her asked the following question, "How do you feel personally about abortion?" What an odd question I thought. My answer to this question is this;

This is a medical procedure and the only people with any rights to feelings on the matter are the woman and her physician. Politicians and Christians who are against abortion do not ever have to have one if they choose not to and they have absolutely no right to prevent the rest of us from obtaining a medical procedure based on their personal feelings. I think it is also important to point out that these very same people protesting abortion are the same ones who vote Republican and bitch about "welfare n****** havin' babies one right after the other so they get bigger welfare checks" and one of their favorite and terribly unoriginal lines is "Well if they can't afford to feed'em then they shouldn't be a havin'em." DUH! That is what the abortion clinic is for you dumbass. Don't you just love their circular logic?

I felt very sorry for the patients who came that day...having to battle their way past the Jesus freaks yelling all that emotionally charged horseshit. I wondered what situations led them here. Were they raped by a stranger, a family member or were they just not at the point in their lives where they felt they could properly care for a child? I, being a mother, can't really imagine what it would be like to have to make that decision. It can't be easy...not by any stretch of the imagination. Such a personal decision should never be used as a political football. How traumatic and unnecessary.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Lower than Dogs

by Loretta Nall

A few months ago a gentleman named Don emailed me to inquire about medical marijuana in Alabama. He told me he is a cancer patient with Stage 4 Hodgkins Lymphoma, diabetes and neuorpathy and that since his insurance stopped covering marinol he had been forced to resort to aquiring his own medicine. That led to his being arrested and he is now facing prison time. Tuesday was his first court appearance and I wanted to be there to make sure he was treated with dignity and for moral support. So I took a little road trip to Butler, AL.

Butler, AL is the county seat of Choctaw County which lies on the border of Mississippi in the Southwestern part of the state. It is literally on the back 40 of absolutely nowhere. To get there you travel down I-459 to I-20/59 and then just I-59 until you are about 60 miles south of Tuscaloosa. Then you take HWY 17 (a two lane blacktop) south for about 40 miles and eventually you arrive in Butler.

I was amazed by the lack of absolutely anything on HWY 17. There was one small town called York at the very beginning. About ten miles further on there was a gas station. I needed to get a notebook so I decided I would stop and grab one and also get some cash to have on hand....just in case. However, this store had neither notebooks nor an ATM machine so I went on my way. Was a good thing I had plenty of gas in the car because it was 28 miles to the next store.

In that 28 miles I saw some of the saddest and most dismal living conditions I have ever witnessed outside of a third world country. For miles and miles there's nothing but red dirt banks, kudzu and pine trees broken only occasionally by tiny, 1960's circa trailers and shotgun shacks that look as if one good puff of wind might knock them down as easily as if they were made of cards.

This would have been almost unbearably sad but for the interminable human spirit that occasinally manifested itself in the form of shotgun shacks painted in wild bright shades like pink with red trim or purple with yellow trim. Sitting there all flashy, bright and in complete defiance of the gloom around them they seem to say;

"Yeah, maybe all I am is a shotgun shack but, by god, I will not be a gloomy one. I will be colorful and I will bring cheer in spite of my surroundings."

The color of those houses makes me wonder about the occupants and whether or not there is some special meaning behind it all. I found that seeing the splashes of outlandish color gave me an odd sense of gaity and is still making me smile as I write this. I guess the moral of this part of the story is "Even if all you got is a little paint you can still make the world a tad brighter."

After what seemed like a journey of forever through nowhere I begin to see the tell tale signs of life in a small, rural Alabama town. A tiny, brick Church of Christ that looked as if it would be uncomfortable to sit in for any length of time. I'd bet ten to one their pews are of the unpadded variety and their air conditioning consists of the old tyme fan on a wooden stick tucked in the backs of pews along with the hymnals, usually courtesy of the local insurance man or the funeral home. The houses started to look a bit more sturdy, street signs begin to pop up and soon I pass a sign welcoming me to Butler, Alabama.

I see a store up ahead and decide to make a pit stop. It looks more promising for both a notebook and cash and it also has a restroom. As I close the restroom door and take a seat I am confronted with this.

And I won't lie to made me wonder about the inhabitants of the town of Butler. I left the restroom and began searching the asiles for a notebook. Would you belive that this store did not have one either? I figured they must not be real big on writin' in the town of Butler but pretty big on wife beatin' and cancer patient harassin'. Looking around more revealed that there was also no ATM. Everyone in the store was giving me the "You ain't from roun' here are ye?" look and I, a proud native of Alabama, began to get a little uncomfortable. I have never been to any town in Alabama where I felt like I did not belong or fit in. Oh, the outrage!!

I left and decided to try my luck across the street at Fred's Dollar Store and Pharmacy. As soon as I walk in and, to my utmost delight, there is a whole row of 70 sheet, single subject, notebooks bound with the kind of wire that likes to catch on everything, lined up just as pretty as you please. I gather a few more things and make my way to the check out where they are able to give me cash back on my debit card, thereby knocking out two birds with one stone.

Once I am settled back in the car I call Don, the man I have come to see. We decide to meet at the courthouse and chat a little over coffee. The courthouse is in the middle of the town square and reminded me of the town I grew up in Ashland, AL. The town of Butler also had a town square with a Bill's Dollar Store just like the town where I grew up.

Bill's Dollar Store

It also has a very old water tower adorned with the ever clever Smiley Face.

The only visible industry is Bulter, AL is pulpwood.

Meet Don.

Don is a 56 year-old former specialty carpenter by trade. Divorced father of two. Lives alone. Don is a cancer sufferer with Stage 4 Hodgkins Lymphoma, diabetes and neuropathy. Every day Don injects himself with insulin in the morning and evening. He takes two diabetes pills in the morning and evening, 10 mg of Oxycontin twice a day, 7.5 mg Loratab four times a day and 40 mg of Prozac once a day. His chemo treatments are currently every three months.

He is a small fellow who appears at the courthouse looking pale, weak and walking with a cane. I am immdeiately angry that our government would dare to pick on someone so sick and helpless and defensless. What BASTARDS!!

I get out of my car and call over to him. After we shake hands we go across the street for lunch and he tells me more about his case and how it came to be that someone as sick as he is suddenly found himself facing a very long time in prison for felony possession of marijuana in the first degree. I won't discuss details of that conversation here.

We finish lunch and make our way back the courthouse, which is blessed with a nice air conditioning system. While we are waiting on the proceedings to begin I ask him what kind of symptoms he has with Hodgkins Lymphoma. Don raises his right arm and reveals to me a lymph node the size of a tennis ball. I held it in my hand. It was a monster. I gasped at the size of it.

"I'm just really tired all the time and these lymph nodes swell up under my arms, my groin and on the side of my neck. When I first started to get sick back in the 90's it was just fatigue. I kept going to the doctor and he kept telling me fatigue was the most common complaint he heard. He kept giving me antibiotics and sending me home. My wife didn't believe I was sick and after a few years she left me and sued for child support. I had no choice but to go back to work and pay it or go to jail. One day in 2000 I woke up and the lymph nodes all over my body were huge and I was in a lot of pain. I took the morning off work and went to the doctor. He drew blood for the first time in all those years and told me he would call me Friday with the results. I went back to work. On Friday his nurse called and said "You have cancer and you need to check into the oncology clinic right away."

"I started chemo soon after and at first I took it every month. Oh, but it makes you so sick. The doctor prescribed Marinol which worked well for my nausea and I was on it for a while. Then my insurance decided they wouldn't cover it no more. It costs over $700 a month and I can't afford it. I was left without anything to help ease the pain and sickness from the cancer and the chemo. Then somebody told me about people using marijuana for this kind of stuff and I was desperate so I tried it. And it worked, not only for the nausea from the chemo but the pain from the cancer and neuropathy and for the depression that comes with terminal illness. It was a miracle....until the cops came."

Two women came into the courtroom and sat down at one of the tables in the front. They began calling the accused two at a time. Don was called third and I walked up with him. He had no attorney and this hearing was to determine if he qualified for a court appointed one or if he would have to hire his own.

Clerk: "State your name."

"Don ... ..."

Clerk: Will you be hiring an attorney or do you need one appointed?"


Clerk: "Are you employed?"

"No. I am on disability."

Clerk: "How much money do you draw a month?"

"$$$" (tiny insignificant amount that it would be hard for a nun to live on)

Clerk: "Do you receive food stamps or Medicaid?"


Clerk: "Do you have any money in the bank?"


Clerk: Do you own your home?"


Clerk: "Do you own any land?"

"I'm buying what I live on but was hopin' to leave it to my kids so they'll have somethin' when I'm gone."

I don't really have any words to describe what it felt like to watch this poor, sick, little man have to answer questions about his property for the purpose of asset forfiture, I'm sure. Do police in my state actually arrest cancer patients who are near death and send them through the court system in hopes of seizing their land?
Yes, apparently they do.

The clerk scribbles something on paper and tells us to have a seat and wait for the Judge. Half an hour later the judge finally shows up. He begins to explain that this is a rights hearing. He asks if everyone has been informed of the charges against them? He then tells them that they have the right to remain silent, the right to a preliminary hearing and the right to an attorney. He says that their court appointed attorney is listed on some of the paperwork they have been given and that it might take a few days for the documents informing the attorneys of their appointment to reach said attorneys. Then he said everyone was free to go home.

As we make our way outside to a shady spot we pass an inmate doing edging work along the sidewalk. Don looks at me and says "I wish it was me doing that work. I always loved to garden and do yard work but now I can't be in the sun."
"I am so sick. I often pray to just go ahead and die. It ain't right for the law to make me a criminal. It ain't right that on top of dyin' I have to be drug through the court system and battle the cops. What's wrong with people that they let this kind of stuff go on? What kind of country do we live in?"

You're right Don. It ain't right. To lose your wife and children due to your cancer. To be so sick with an incurable disease that you can no longer do any of the little things in life that you once found pleasure in. And for trying to ease what must be near unbearable suffering you are humiliated and stripped of any remaining bit of dignity in front of strangers in the courtroom who want to know every thing but your drawer size. To know that you likely have only months to live and that you must spend those precious remaining months battling asshole cops and judges in order to spend what remaining time you have a free human being just BEGS the questions of what kind of people are we that we allow this shit to go on? We certainly aren't civilized nor compassionate nor humane nor fair nor just. Since dogs wouldn't treat each other this way it stands to reason that those making and enforcing these kinds of laws in our society are lower than dogs.

Part of me firmly believes that this is allowed to go on because people don't really know about it. They see in the paper "Man busted growing marijuana" and they think it's good that he is caught. What the paper doesn't report is that the man is dying of cancer and that the marijuana he may have been growing was to help ease him out of this miserable world. The paper shows pictures of big, beefy, healthy cops all smiling and acting like fucking heros...but they leave out the ones of sick, yellow, emaciated cancer patient, where the largest things on his body, save his head, are the damn tumors which are killing him. So, I have to think people don't know or I will go crazy.

But what about the ones that do know yet do nothing to stop this madness? What about the cops who knew this man had cancer and targeted him anyway? What does it say about them? I know what they will say when asked why they did it.."We was just following orders." Please keep in mind that is the same thing Nazi soldiers said when they were brought up on war crimes charges. A cop who enforces a bad law is a bad cop. An American who does not purposely break a bad law is not really a true American.

I know that I do everything within my power every single day to end this kind of maddening cruelty.

Do you?

About 40 Arested in Massive Drug and Weapons Crackdown


WOODBRIDGE, Va. (AP) - Authorities in Prince William County are hoping a recent crackdown on guns and drug trafficking is just the beginning after roughly 40 arrests were made during a two-day sting.

The operation dubbed "The Highway Men" started making arrests on Tuesday. By Wednesday they had made about 40 arrests and seized more than 31 firearms. Various amounts of cocaine, marijuana and other drugs were also seized in the crackdown.

The round-up was designed to reduce drug dealing and gun sales along Route One in Prince William County - including areas like Woodbridge, Dale City and Dumfries.

Authorities are still searching for more than 20 people as a result of the investigation.

That's a hanging offense

Ravenna police pull over driver for having air freshener dangling from mirror

By Rick Armon
Beacon Journal staff writer

Charles Kay never thought that smelling berry fresh was a problem.

Until last week.

While cruising along state Route 14 around noon in Ravenna, Kay was pulled over by police. He found the traffic stop puzzling. He wasn't speeding. He hadn't gone through a traffic light. He wasn't swerving.

The officer pointed to the small, leaf-shaped air freshener dangling from the rearview mirror, politely telling him to remove it because it was obstructing his view of the road -- a legal no-no. After looking over Kay's license and registration, the officer let him off with a warning.

``I think it's ridiculous,'' said Kay, 42, of Edinburg Township in Portage County. ``I could understand if my vision really was obstructed.''

Motorists may not realize it, but having air fresheners, parking passes, fuzzy dice, beads, hats, rosaries, handcuffs or garters hanging from rearview mirrors may be an invitation -- a flimsy and improper one, according to civil-rights groups -- for police to stop your vehicle. Ohio law requires drivers to have an unobstructed view of the roadway, meaning anything hanging from a rearview mirror is a potential misdemeanor.

The State Highway Patrol issued 23 citations last year involving the rearview mirror law and seven so far this year.

But Jeff Gamso, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio, said any traffic stop based solely on a small item dangling from a mirror would be improper.

``There's no question about it,'' Gamso said. ``It's not even a close call.''

Police will make up any reason to justify a traffic stop, Gamso added. He said some police surmise that air fresheners are masking odors such as marijuana.

Trooper Convicted Of Stealing From Drug Room

Boston, USA

DEDHAM, Mass. -- A suspended state police sergeant was sentenced to 15 years in prison on Wednesday after being convicted of stealing about 13 kilograms of cocaine and other drugs from a department evidence room.

Timothy White was convicted of cocaine trafficking and larceny by a Norfolk Superior Court jury after a 12-day trial and a day and a half of deliberations. He was acquitted of marijuana distribution and conspiracy charges. He was also sentenced to 10 years of probation.

Hillsdale police officer arrested for delivering pot to undercover informant

By Valerie Schremp Hahn

Police have arrested a Hillsdale police officer who showed up in uniform to deliver marijuana to a female undercover drug informant in exchange for sex, officials said.

William Carl Toy, 46, of the 10100 block of Clairmont in unincorporated St. Louis County near Dellwood, was charged today with distributing not more than 5 grams of marijuana, a class C felony. The incident happened early this morning at a hotel in St. Charles.

"This is terribly unfortunate," St. Charles Police Chief Tim Swope said. "We are expected as police officers to hold the line, more so than even the normal, everyday person. This is ridiculous judgment on this guy’s part."

Swope said the incident happened after the officer finished a shift as a security officer at a local convenience store. Prosecuting Attorney Jack Banas said that officers with the St. Charles County Regional Drug Task force stood by as the officer delivered the marijuana, which was under 5 grams.

Penn State professor, wife, arrested on pot charges

Centre Daily Times, PA

READING, Pa. - The theater director of a Penn State campus and his wife, a local arts center director, were arrested on drug charges after marijuana plants were found in their home by police responding to a burglar alarm.

Arriving at the home of Karen and Steven Haver early Saturday, police entered through a bay window which they found open. Seeing lights in the basement, they found five 3-foot marijuana plants with their own watering system, said Jose Colon, a Reading police investigator.

The Havers, who were not home, were charged with manufacturing and possessing marijuana, possessing drug paraphernalia and conspiracy. Colon said the marijuana was being grown for personal use.

Karen Haver, 36, was fired Tuesday as director of the Sovereign Performing Arts Center, a post she had held since 2001.

"We're held to a very high standard," said Robert Cavalieri, the center's general manager. "We are a very public business."

Steven Haver, 45, is a professor at Penn State's York campus and theater director of the school's Pullo Family Performing Arts Center. A Penn State spokeswoman said she could not discuss his status because it was a personnel matter.

Bail was originally set at $1 million for Steven Haver and $500,000 for his wife. The couple spent two days in jail and were released on their own recognizance Monday.

Allan Sodomsky, the Havers' attorney, called the original bail amounts "patently absurd."

"Bail is not a penalty," Sodomsky said. "There is no flight risk. There is no danger to anyone. This is two upstanding people in the community."

A hearing is set for Aug. 18.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

California dogs to become bulletproof

Mail & Guardian Online, South Africa

More and more US police dogs are enjoying similar protection as their human partners in fighting crime.

The latest group are the dogs of one Southern California town who will be strutting the streets this week with the new bulletproof vests.

Prompted by the shooting death of a local police dog last year, an anonymous donor in the city of Glendale, 16 kilometers (10 miles) north of Los Angeles, gave funds to bulletproof the four dogs of his community's K-9 unit.

"People tend to think that the police and the military use dogs as something expendable, but we don't believe that at all," Sargeant Tom Lorenz of the Glendale Police Department told AFP.

Police dogs are trained for narcotics investigations, search and rescue, explosive detection, and to track and catch suspects.

"Our dogs increase our efficiency," said Lorenz. "They save us countless man hours in search situations where we can send in one of our dogs with their keen sense of smell."

Last week, one of the Glendale dogs' sharp nose sniffed out half a million dollars of opium during a routine traffic stop. The 21-month-old German Shepherd named "Yudy" was hailed with the biggest opium bust ever in the city.

At a time when police departments across the United States are experiencing increasing difficulty wooing new recruits into careers in law enforcement, trained dogs are valuable tools.

"We are all hurting for recruitment, we all would like more police officers, but the dogs definitely make things easier, and they will all be equipped with kevlar protection," said Lorenz.

Review due out on US human rights violations

Spero News

The American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker human rights organization, and a coalition of more than 140 U.S.-based non-profits and organizations and 32 individuals have released what it claims is "the most comprehensive review of human rights violations in the United States ever compiled."

The 465-page "shadow report" was assembled for the United Nation's Human Rights Committee as part of its review of U.S. human rights abuses later this month.

The U.N. review is a routine procedure that occurs every four years for countries that have ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The ICCPR is one of two treaties that together are the equivalent to an international "Bill of Rights." The U.S. signed and ratified the treaty in 1992, but the U.S. review - its second - is more than seven years late due to the State Department's delay in submitting its own official report.

Last year, the U.N. warned that it would commence reviewing the U.S. without the official report if it were delayed any longer. The State Department submitted its official report on October 21, 2005.

"The U.S. has been previously cited by the United Nation as an egregious human rights violator," said Tonya McClary, national coordinator of the American Friends Service Committee Criminal Justice program, which questions the morality and monitors the effectiveness of the United States' penal system. "The principal offender is the prison system. Because prisons are a closed system, operating in secrecy, the public does not comprehend the extreme forms of abuse, violence, and racism practiced daily behind bars."

"Prisons are one of the largest growth industries in the United States," according to McClary. "With only 5 percent of the world's population, the U.S. holds an astounding 25 percent of the world's prison population."

"To make matters worse, race and poverty drive public policy and law enforcement. Police brutality, racial and gender profiling and use of excessive force are commonplace," McClary adds. "U.S. prisoners are mostly poor and working-class people who need jobs and education."

The "shadow report" is a rebuttal to the official U.S. report. Among the issues it documents are:

- Persistent and widespread abuses by law enforcement agents across the U.S.: Ongoing police brutality and abuse, in the form of unjustified shootings, use of excessive force, including excessive and abusive use of TASERs, extraction of coerced confessions, and rape, sexual assault, and unlawful strip searches by police and other law enforcement officers, including immigration authorities, as well as racial and gender profiling;

- Immigration: The physical and sexual abuse and the intimidation many immigrants face when they are detained at the border, at airports, and by federal, state, and local law enforcement and immigration officers; the failure of U.S. immigration law to adequately protect refugees, asylum seekers and immigrant families and respect their right to due process, and discrimination against migrant workers;

- Hurricane Katrina: The racially discriminatory evacuation of New Orleans, the failure to protect against unnecessary loss of life, pervasive abuses by law enforcement and military personnel in the days and months following the storm and discriminatory policies in the hurricane's aftermath that have restricted residents' right to vote, ability to participate in the rebuilding process and access to basic necessities;

- Juvenile Justice, Domestic Use of Torture and Prison Conditions within the United States, such as the sentencing of youth and teens to life in prison without the possibility of parole; shackling women prisoners during childbirth, limitations on prisoners' access to courts, lack of access to adequate health care, rape and discrimination against minorities that violate international human rights standards.

Six Police Officers Charged With Protecting a Drug Ring

New York Times, United States

PATERSON, N.J., July 11 — They started out as friends, some as far back as childhood. They shared an interest in bodybuilding and hung out at the same gym.

But according to the authorities, two of the friends were drug dealers who fancied fast cars, boats and women. Six others were police officers in Passaic County. Prosecutors now say the officers conspired to protect their friends, and to cover up their own efforts to shield them in order to continue living in the fast lane.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Pink Floyd's Barrett dies aged 60

BBC News

Syd Barrett, one of the original members of legendary rock group Pink Floyd, has died at the age of 60 from complications arising from diabetes.

Vermont judge rejects U.S. Supreme Court search ruling

Boston Globe, United States

GUILDHALL, Vt. --A Vermont District Court judge has rejected a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the power of police to search a private home, concluding that the state offers greater protections in such cases.

Judge Robert Bent said that under the state Constitution police must knock and announce themselves before conducting a search, even if they have a warrant, or face the prospect that any evidence they find could be thrown out.

The Supreme Court said June 15 that evidence obtained without first knocking could be used at trial, but Bent said that would not apply in Vermont.

"Evidence obtained in violation of the Vermont Constitution, or as the result of a violation, cannot be admitted at trial as a matter of state law," Bent wrote, citing an earlier state case as precedent. "Introduction of such evidence at trial eviscerates our most sacred rights, impinges on individual privacy, perverts our judicial process, distorts any notion of fairness and encourages official misconduct."

Hallucinogen found to have diverse effects

Terror, mystical experiences found in Hopkins research

By Chris Emery, FL

The hallucinogen in the "magic mushrooms" of the 1960s can produce terror, paranoia and schizophrenia, but it can also spark a religious and mystical experience that leaves the user feeling kinder and happier, Johns Hopkins University scientists reported today.

In a federally funded study, Hopkins researchers gave 36 volunteers pills containing psilocybin, a hallucinogen occurring naturally in some species of wild mushrooms. The volunteers then slipped on eye covers, put on headphones playing classical music and followed instructions to "look inward."

Afterward, many reported an altered state of mind similar to experiences recorded over the centuries by religious faithful whose numbers have included Buddhist monks, Sufi whirling dervishes and Christian saints.

Cannabis is a First-Line Treatment for Childhood Mental Disorders

CounterPunch, CA

Aristocrat faces US drugs charges

An aristocrat is to be extradited to America to face drug smuggling charges.

BBC News, UK

Giles Carlyle-Clarke, 48, could get a long prison sentence if he is found to have been involved in a £60m deal to import drugs into the US in the 1980s.

Mr Carlyle-Clarke's family has owned the Winterborne Clenston estate in Dorset since 1066.

The father-of-two denies all the allegations and has fought a legal battle against extradition for over eight years.

The European Court of Human Rights rejected his case two weeks ago and he had previously lost a legal challenge in the High Court.

Mr Carlyle-Clarke is due to be flown to America on Wednesday to face trial in Mobile, Alabama.

He was arrested in December 1997 when it was alleged he brought a ship loaded with four tonnes of cannabis into Alabama.

Mr Carlyle-Clarke's solicitor, Graham Compton, said he was "pretty depressed" by the final court decision against him.

Judge strikes down part of Alaska pot law

Seattle Post Intelligencer

JUNEAU, Alaska -- A judge on Monday struck down part of a new Alaska law criminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana, saying it conflicts with past decisions by the Alaska Supreme Court.

Under the ruling, people could legally possess less than an ounce of marijuana in their homes.

The state was expected to quickly appeal to the high court.

Superior Court Judge Patricia Collins said a lower court can't reverse the high court's 1975 decision that said the right to privacy in one's home included the possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use.

Collins granted a summary judgment to the American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska, which sued when the law took effect in June.

She limited her decision to possession of less than 1 ounce of marijuana, even though the new law increases penalties for other amounts. Before the law took effect in June, it had been legal in Alaska to possess up to 4 ounces of the drug.

Pleas expected soon in Bibb deputy's killing

By Tim Sturrock
Macon Telegraph, GA

During the next three days, the five people charged in the killing of a deputy are expected to appear in Bibb County Superior Court to enter pleas.

Four of them will be making their first appearances in the Superior Court in connection with the death of Bibb County sheriff's deputy Joseph Whitehead.

Whitehead was fatally shot in the face March 23 while conducting a drug raid on a house on Atherton Street. Investigators seized drugs and guns at the house, authorities said.

The alleged shooters, Antron Dawayne Fair, 21, and Damon Antwon Jolly, 20, were indicted on murder charges April 4, and face the death penalty if convicted. Fair's attorney, Brian Steel, said Monday that Fair did not fire the bullet that killed Whitehead, but would not comment further about the shooting.

Also indicted on murder charges in the case were Cynthia Greene, 20, Thomas Mason Porter Jr., 21, and Hassan Shirell Harclerode, 29.

Harclerode wasn't at the home at the time of the shooting, but authorities say he was charged because, as the person renting the home, he is responsible for activities there.

Landmark Ruling In Drug Raid Case

From Live5 News

A landmark decision has been handed down in the class action lawsuit over a drug raid at Stratford High School. A settlement brings about $1.2 million to 120 students.

But this case has a deeper meaning—attorneys say it means students don't shed their constitutional rights by entering a school house door.

The images remain in the minds of many—dogs, guns, and police looking for drugs. The raid garnered national attention. But no drugs were found.

Now three years later, the lawsuit is finally put to rest. The judge ruled that no one can come back individually, obtain council, and sue in the case. We’re told that four people opted out of the settlement, and won’t receive anything.

Also part of the settlement, the Goose Creek police department will have training on drug raids. The school district has to report how such raids are carried out, and the principal is no longer at the school.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Two Memphis Police Officers Arrested

Eyewitness News Memphis, TN

Two Memphis police officers are under arrest for stealing money from drug dealers. The arrests were announced Monday morning as a part of "Operation Tarnished Blue".

Terrance Harris and Ted Williams were arrested on Sunday.

Harris is 32-years-old and works in the Southeast precinct. He is charged with attempting to possess with the intent to distribute at least six kilograms of cocaine. In the affidavit, investigators found Harris was spending way more than he was earning with MPD. He owned at least one, maybe two, Dixie Queen fast food restaurants, a house in Southaven, MS, a Hummer, a Corvette and deposited at least $132,000 in cash in a bank account over a two month period in 2004. Those large deposits continued until this year.

The affidavit also says an informant asked if Harris would help him deal cocaine. Harris agreed. During a meeting in February, Harris paid the informant $5,000 to help the informant buy three kilograms of cocaine. A video was made of Harris transferring cocaine to a bag to sell it. Harris then met with a man at a truck stop near Jackson to sell it. That man was actually an undercover DEA agent. He has been with the force since 1997.

Ted Williams is 43*years-old and works in the Traffic Enforcement Unit. According to the affidavit, Williams had several discussions with an informant about robbing drug dealers. The conversations were recorded. In November of 2005, Williams, who was in uniform and using a police department vehicle, stopped a car being driven by the informant. The car had $10,000 in government funds inside that were put there by undercover agents. Williams got the money (it was recorded on video) and later on handed over half the money to his informant. This meeting, according to the affidavit, was also videotaped.

Williams and the informant also talked about a plan to break into a hotel room to steal money from a drug dealer. The affidavit goes on to say Williams dressed in police raid gear broke into the hotel room and took a case that had $9,000 in government funds in it. The FBI says this too was videotaped. Agents say the informant and Williams also made a deal for him to safely escort drug dealers on I-40 until they were able to make it through Memphis. Williams was given $500 for each escort. Ted Williams had been with MPD for 12 years.

Harris faces at least ten years in prison. He could get life in prison, a $4 million fine, plus five years supervised release.

Williams faces 15 years in prison with $500,000 in fines.

19 officers have been arrested so far in the ongoing Operation Tarnished Blue.

This is a bump and update on this story from May due to the interesting new comment. A Chrome (not silver) Corvette with Blue Ostrich interior and 4 TV's in it?

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Hip Hop founder gets prison time

United Press International

NEW YORK, July 6 (UPI) -- 1970s black consciousness activist, Gil Scott Heron, was sentenced to two to four years in Queens Supreme Court for violating a plea deal on a drug charge.

Heron violated the deal by leaving the drug treatment center he was placed in, the New York Post reported Thursday.

The 56-year-old musician, poet and singer, regarded as a founding father of Hip Hop, stirred the political pot with his 1970s hit songs "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised," "Johannesburg," about apartheid in South Africa, and "The Bottle."

Heron said the in-patient rehab clinic stopped giving him his HIV medication and since Heron is HIV positive, he left. The prosecution noted Heron once left treatment for an appearance with singer Alicia Keys.

Main Jail restricting use of stun grenades

By Dorothy Korber
Sacramento Bee, USA

New rules that strictly curtail use of stun grenades at the Sacramento County Main Jail are the latest reverberation of its "flash-bang" incident, initially defended by the Sheriff's Department even though it left two inmates burned.

The jail's revised policy also requires video documentation of incidents involving the use of force or resulting in injuries. And it instructs deputies to always consider nonviolent tactics such as negotiating with inmates, or simply waiting until a situation simmers down.

The Dec. 1 flash-bang episode was an eye-opener for the Sheriff's Department, Lt. Scott Jones said Friday. Following an inmate protest, deputies tossed the grenades into six cells as inmates lay prone on the floor. One exploded between a prisoner's legs, another between the inmate's arm and chest.

Flash-bangs -- louder than a jet at takeoff and brighter than 6 million candles -- typically are used as distractions in riot or hostage situations.

Deputy doing time for inmate rape

KRQE News 13

CLOVIS, N.M. -- A former Roosevelt County sheriff's deputy will spend five years in prison for raping a female inmate.

Gary Adkins, 47, was sentenced this week in Clovis. The victim was in the Roosevelt County jail for a probation violation last year when Adkins drove her to a rural road and assaulted her.

The 24-year old woman was in her jail clothes and in handcuffs during the incident.

Adkins has served five months in jail which will be credited toward the five-year sentence.

Sheriff's Officer Charged With Molesting Inmate

North Country Gazette, NY

YULEE, FLA---An officer with the Nassau County Sheriff's office has been charged with molesting an inmate in the department's evidence room.

Authorities say Jarrett Wade Hodges, 36, allegedly asked a 24-year-old male inmate into the evidence room, grabbed him and fondled him, offering to perform oral sex on him.

Hodges has been charged with official misconduct, tampering with evidence, battery and unnatural and lascivious acts and is being held on $100,000 bond.

Reports indicate that Hodges was allegedly playing pornographic tapes during the incident and told the prisoner if he didn't cooperate, he would get in trouble. A pornographic video was found in the evidence room and Hodges admitted to touching the inmate improperly.

The inmate was wired with a microphone and recorded the incident.

When confronted, Hodges submitted his letter of resignation. Upon questioning, he admitted that the incident was not his first with an inmate.