NORML's Weekly News Bulletin -- November 12, 2004

  NORML's Weekly News Bulletin -- November 12, 2004

Posted by CN Staff on November 13, 2004 at 13:21:53 PT
Weekly Press Release 
Source: NORML 

America's Prison Population Hits All-Time High November 12, 2004 - Washington, DC, USAWashington, DC: Recently released prison population figures by the Bureau of Justice Statistics indicate an annual increase as well as demonstrate a 31-year trend of rising prison populations. Despite falling crime rates in the U.S. since 1991, the rate of incarceration has increased 49%.
Currently, the 1,470,045 prisoners in 2003 in state and federal prisons represent a 2.1% increase over the previous year. Principally driven by the federal government's aggressive 'war on drugs' approach, there was a 5.8% increase in the federal prison population-with 55% of the 173,059 prisoners serving time for drug-related, non-violent offenses. The number of women in prison and jail in 2003 also reached historic levels at 101,179 and 82,169 respectively. The United States continues to lead the world in incarceration with a rate of 714 prisoners per 100,000. Comparatively, with a declining rate, Russia has the second highest incarceration rate of 584 per 100,000; Mexico (169), England and Wales (141), and Japan (58). NORML Foundation Executive Director Allen St. Pierre laments that "America's policy-makers need to immediately stop arresting and incarcerating such a huge portion of the citizenry, most notably for possessing and cultivating small amounts of marijuana. Rather than waste valuable public resources on introducing otherwise law-abiding citizens into the criminal justice system, the government should establish legal controls which tax and regulate responsible adult marijuana use." For more information, please contact NORML Foundation Executive Director Allen St. Pierre at (202) 483-5500.DL: of Every 75 U.S. Men in Prison, Report Finds American Gulag in The Making Hears Drug Sniffing Dog Case November 12, 2004 - Washington, DC, USAWashington, DC: On Wednesday the U.S. Supreme Court (USSC) heard oral arguments on a case that tests the scope and limit of the Fourth Amendment and personal privacy. The question at hand: When is a sniff a search? The USSC took the case on Illinois' appeal from a Illinois Supreme Court ruling, where the court ruled that police overstepped their bounds by running a drug-sniffing dog around the car of Roy Caballes. Caballes was a motorist initially pulled over by law enforcement for a simple speeding violation resulting in arrest and a 12-year sentence for possessing $256,000 worth of marijuana in the trunk of his car. Caballes' lawyer, Ralph Meczyk argued that a traffic stop did not give Illinois state troopers probable cause to search Caballes' car for drugs. "It's a search. A limited one, but still a search," Meczyk said. "They invaded a private space where he had a reasonable expectation of privacy." Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan countered, "dog sniffs are unique in that they only reveal the presence or absence of contraband. And there is no right to privacy for drugs." NORML Foundation Executive Director Allen St, Pierre commented on the case that "with the justices' skeptical questioning of the defendant's legal reasoning and if the past serves as prologue, the USSC is unfortunately likely to rule in favor of more expansive drug-sniffing dog searches." "In recent years the USSC has generally given broad search powers to police holding that police only have to wait 15 seconds to knock a door down after announcing their presence; police can arrest all the occupants of a car where drugs are found and that having dogs sniff airport luggage does not require probable cause because the dog-sniff is not intrusive and airline passengers have no reasonable expectation of privacy concerning the smells from their luggage." For more information, please contact NORML's executive Director Keith Stroup, Esq. or Foundation Executive Director Allen St. Pierre at (202) 483-5500.DL: Considers When Cops Can Use Canines City Doubles Tax On Rolling Papers November 12, 2004 - Alexandria, LA, USAAlexandria, LA: A new tax on cigarette papers that nearly doubles the cost of the product has been approved in Alexandria. The new tax funds anti-drug and youth programs, but according to The Courier some are hoping the new tax may dissuade marijuana users. "That's the subliminal reason for it," City Councilman Chuck Fowler said. Alexandria police chief Daren Coutee conceded that profit margins are so high that sellers of marijuana won't be deterred by the tax. "Especially…when you can sell a marijuana cigarette for $5," he said. The chief estimated that as many as 4,000 packs of cigarette papers are sold each month in Alexandria. The law specifies that 50 cents of the proceeds from the tax go to the Sheriff's D.A.R.E. program. Allen St. Pierre, Executive Director of the NORML Foundation commented that “Alexandria's elected officials attempts to raise needed tax revenue are far better served by actually taxing the sale of marijuana, rather than imposing a tax simply on rolling papers. Now that would raise some serious tax money for the public coffer!” For more information, please contact NORML Foundation Executive Director Allen St. Pierre at (202) 483-5500.DL: Paraphernalia Archives for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) is hosting its 6th Annual National Conference at the University of Maryland at College Park November 19-20, 2004November 12, 2004 - College Park, MD, USASSDP's 100 chapters actively lobby Congress to repeal the Higher Education Act Drug Provision, which denies federal financial aid to students with drug convictions. Invited conference speakers include U.S. Representative Dennis Kucinich, Kris Krane of NORML, Ethan Nadelmann of the Drug Policy Alliance, former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, and spoken-word artists Climbing PoeTree. For more details call (202) 293-4414 or visit --  -- for on-line registration or to view the conference schedule.DL: Protests Drug Laws Fights To Eliminate Drug Provision NORML Foundation (DC)Published: November 12, 2004Copyright: 2004 NORML Contact: norml Website:'s Weekly News Bulletin --Nov. 04, 2004's Weekly News Bulletin -- Oct. 28, 2004

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Comment #7 posted by afterburner on November 16, 2004 at 06:24:26 PT

Beautiful Summary, Roger
"The harder the prohibition = the harder the drugs."This one is worthy of a bumper sticker.
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Comment #6 posted by rogerchristie on November 16, 2004 at 02:43:34 PT:

 Pot eradication caused poverty and 'ice'
Hello out there - wherever you are,Aloha. This federal study concluded that marijuana eradication in Hawai'i caused the conditions for poverty and 'ice' abuse. The same is true for wherever you live. The harder the prohibition = the harder the drugs.Marijuana eradication causes poverty, hard drugs and worse. Whenever any study proves it - the study gets hidden or covered-up like this one that I 'dug-up'. Why doesn't the prohibition stop? This is a huge prejudice we face. It's deep and it's wide ... but it's very vulnerable, too. In my opinion, whenever it becomes commonly known that Jesus used cannabis in the holy anointing oil - the 'war on marijuana' is over and the good times begin. Hallelujah! it for yourself. The facts are only slightly different in your state. Mahalo.All the best to you,Roger###

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Comment #5 posted by rogerchristie on November 16, 2004 at 02:24:42 PT:

 A built-in 'defense to prosecution' for life
Hello everyone,Aloha. The new arrest numbers for 2003 are tragic - again. How can this be? How can we (baby boomers are STILL the majority of the US population) be letting this happen here? Where is any blessing in this? As much work as so many good people do to prevent and reduce these numbers they have risen to a new record level - again. This is beyond unacceptable. I have an idea to legally protect all cannabis enjoyers immediately. 90% or so of the marijuana arrests every year (about 685,000) are for 'simple possession' of herb. At the very least there should be a readily available 'defense to prosecution' for each one of them (us).  'Getting high' is a religious term + the Bible says that God made all the herbs on page one + cannabis is an herb + the First Amendment to the US Constitution and the Constitutions of ALL 50 states guarantee 'religious freedom' in writing + there is now evidence that Jesus used cannabis in the holy anointing oil = a 'religious exemption' for all sincere users of cannabis sacrament.So far so good. With over 20,000 members we've had over 44 successful cases with only one loss - and it's on appeal with the help of the ACLU. At this rate I believe that we can dramatically increase the ability of 90% of the cannabis culture people to defend themselves anywhere in the USA. See our website for details. Mahalo.All the best to you,Roger###
 The Hawai'i Cannabis (THC) Ministry
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Comment #4 posted by Dankhank on November 13, 2004 at 14:59:02 PT

Meth Mess
Here's some eyeopening info re: Meth War. Note the references to Oklahoma and the three LEO deaths from "cookers." This is why Harm Reduction is an alien concept 'round here.Epidemic on Aisle Six
Not Meth
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Comment #3 posted by 13th step on November 13, 2004 at 14:54:25 PT

This is just getting even more absurd...
..Iodine? Iodine?Ugh. You have to be kidding me.Now when i have a need for Iodine, I'm gonna get thumbprinted and photo-ID'ed and have to sign for it...just as if I were buying sudafed.All pharmacies, and general stores in my area, now make people show a photo ID and sign for sudafed, and there is talk of making it a county wide law to *thumb print* people for it.Geeze, I guess now I'll just suffer through my congestion, and not bother with being a potential meth maker.*bangs head on desk repeatedly* ouihaglb.hnoljljm
oops, my head hit the keyboard..Sorry 'bout that..
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on November 13, 2004 at 14:15:07 PT

JR That's Interesting
I buy iodine when I need it to make a special bath ( he's allergic to flea bites ) for my dog. Now I know why we had to sign for it at the pharmacy.
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Comment #1 posted by JR Bob Dobbs on November 13, 2004 at 14:07:25 PT

Man arrested for selling iodine
Apparently because iodine is an ingredient in meth...
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