Mandatory Minimums a Smoke Screen

  Mandatory Minimums a Smoke Screen

Posted by CN Staff on May 22, 2005 at 10:01:17 PT
Source: Journal Standard 

USA -- Lost in the debate over Terri Schiavo and the filibuster - two less harmful examples of the new GOP judicial obsession - is Congress' latest push to do an end-around a recent Supreme Court ruling that found the draconian sentencing guidelines imposed during the crime and drug war hysteria of the 1980s unconstitutional. One of those new creates a stricter definition of "gang crime," allowing alleged gang defendants to be federally prosecuted. Another imposes insanely harsh sentences for a variety of low-level drug crimes, even though alcohol and cigarettes still kill far more people each year in America - legally.
Both bills have drawn fierce opposition from human rights, religious and civil rights groups, and are vehemently opposed by the American Bar Association. But in their zeal to bang the old "tough on crime" drum, the GOP rages forward, undaunted and oblivious to the obvious hypocrisy.For example, even as states across the nation, not to mention Great Britain, Canada and Russia, move toward decriminalization of small amounts of cannabis, the proposed new law requires anyone convicted in federal court of passing a joint to someone who ever set foot in drug treatment to prison for a minimum of five years - 10 years for a second offense.Meanwhile, the average time served by convicted rapists in America is about seven years.What's more, despite its obsession with low-level drug offenders of all stripes, Congress has done nothing to reverse the sentencing disparity for possession of crack - a scourge disproportionately found in black communities. Federal sentences for crack defendants remain far harsher than those for powder cocaine, a drug of choice favored by white America, including lawyers and Wall Street types with money to blow.The Congressional push comes amid news last week of a dramatic shift over the past decade in U.S. drug policy from the most dangerous substances - cocaine and heroin - to the least harmful, diverting precious resources away from the prosecution of violent and white-collar crime. That has contributed to a U.S. prison population that has swelled to 2.1 million, placing the U.S. far ahead of communist China in putting its people behind bars. We and USA Today, along with a growing number of conservatives and liberals alike, agree that all drugs use should be discouraged by a healthy society. Period. Big-time dealers of heroin, opiates, cocaine and methamphetamine, should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, and users sentenced to treatment."But it's a smoke screen to suggest that rising arrest numbers (of low-level offenders) show the war on drugs is working," writes USA Today, in a May 17 editorial. "It's time for a serious debate on whether massive arrests of low-level users are worth the cost or having any benefit."Ronald Reagan sold the nation on a "drug war" targeting cocaine cartels and hard drugs in crime-infested inner cities. Now it's a self-perpetuating and profitable de facto war against the nation's young people - rural, urban and in between.No, the real threat to America isn't "judicial activism."It is the insanity of putting more and more Americans in prison for low-level drug crimes - leaving millions of broken families, newly dependent on government handouts, behind.The issue: Congress defies Supreme Court on sentencing rulesOur view: GOP obsession with low-level offenders is unjust and costly.Source: Journal Standard, The (Freeport, IL)Published: Sunday, May 22, 2005 Copyright: 2005 The Journal StandardContact: tim.crosby journalstandard.comWebsite: Articles:War on Drugs Gone To Pot Rekindles Battle on Mandatory Sentences War on Pot: Wrong Drug, Wrong War Report Exposes Futility of Drug Policy 

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Comment #35 posted by FoM on May 30, 2005 at 14:38:12 PT
Thanks! There's no rush. I hope you are having a nice Memorial Day.
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Comment #34 posted by Dankhank on May 30, 2005 at 14:32:54 PT:
FoM, I'll check ...should have mailed you one years ago ...sorry ...Toker00, try THIS e address ......
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Comment #33 posted by Toker00 on May 24, 2005 at 16:55:52 PT
Thanks, afterburner!
I may just be having a moment of "oldness". lol. All this energy it takes to conquer the enemy draws me down sometime. But I can tell you one thing. My generation will leave the next generation with more tools to fight with than what we had in the beginning. Untill six years ago, I had no idea Cannabis did anything but get you high. A lot of us had no idea. And a lot of young people contributed to my enlightenment, so I guess I mean you younger folks will be able to fight longer and with better effect than us old dogs. But hey! I got lots of fight left. And I intend to do just that.Peace. Legalize, then Revolutionize!(medicine)(energy)(nutrition) 
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Comment #32 posted by afterburner on May 24, 2005 at 16:10:36 PT
Tired of typing your signature? Just copy it and paste it into a Notepad file. Then, copy it from your Notepad signature file to your latest post."Peace. Legalize, then Revolutionize!(medicine)(energy)(nutrition)"
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Comment #31 posted by jose melendez on May 24, 2005 at 14:52:01 PT
Cool! If you get stuck, you can try some tools under linux to remove spyware that keeps restarting, boot up a stubborn machine and go online and find troubleshooting hints even when your operating system is acting flaky . . .http://www.ubuntulinux.orgTry the Live CD!
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Comment #30 posted by Toker00 on May 24, 2005 at 14:43:12 PT
Thanks Jose
I'm functioning fine for now, but will take the time tomake adjustments and pull maintenance.Peace.
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Comment #29 posted by jose melendez on May 24, 2005 at 10:53:47 PT
troubleshooting . . . 
Of course, those lines were supposed to read PC users sick of fixing stuff may _wish_ to start here . . .try using a browser for mostly text pages, with _java_ and javascript off . . .Here's more on the XP Big Fix, hope you've all got your windows OS discs:,aid,117422,00.asp Tweak Windows XP SP2 Security to Your Advantage Fine-tune the settings in Microsoft's recently released Windows XP Service Pack 2.
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Comment #28 posted by jose melendez on May 24, 2005 at 10:44:20 PT
toker00, are there any other symptoms? A wiggling screen might just be an old monitor, or perhaps your cpu's heat sink and fan are clogged with dust?PC users sick of fixing stuff may wih to start here, in safe mode: a firewall: and run AdAware (May conflict with adAware, go slow and save the restore settings as the product directs)try using a browser for mostly text pages, with jva and javascript off:http://www.opera.comNow try the Big Fix:,aid,116996,00.aspWindows XP's Big Fix With Service Pack 2, Windows gets an array of much-needed patches, tweaks, and tools, all rolled into one free download. Here's what's in it for you.Paul ThurrottFrom the September 2004 issue of PC World magazineIt's an unsafe world out there for Windows-based computers. Microsoft wants to address the problem with its new megapatch, Service Pack 2 for Windows XP. Does it succeed?Not entirely. But the big fix does so much to close security holes and to make protecting your PC simpler that it's still an essential upgrade.As we went to press, Microsoft was predicting that SP2 would get to consumers in August. This giant patch--the biggest single update since Windows XP itself was released--promises to cure many of the known security ills that have befallen XP since it debuted in late 2001, and to preemptively put a stop to a still-unknown number of others.But it's not just a big security fix; SP2 makes Wi-Fi and Bluetooth networks easier to navigate, adds new features to Tablet and Media Center PCs, and updates XP's multimedia components. It all comes in a 220MB package that (at press time, when we saw only the Release Candidate 2 beta version) installs in under an hour over broadband.
We tested a beta version of SP2 on a handful of systems and encountered no major problems. However, it's impossible to know how the finished product will do when people load it on millions of different computers built in millions of different configurations.****You should be sure to take the usual precautions whenever making a major update: Back up crucial files, create a System Restore point before you start--and don't begin the installation if you have a pressing deadline looming. Microsoft will provide free phone support for SP2.
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Comment #27 posted by FoM on May 24, 2005 at 09:38:10 PT
Toker00 and Everyone
If anyone is having trouble posting on CNews please let me know. I don't like to bother Matt but if there is a bug in CNews I know he would want to know.
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Comment #26 posted by Toker00 on May 24, 2005 at 09:37:24 PT
I, too, use Firefox alternately with IE now. The problem exists with both. I restarted and it works now. But this is not the first time I had this problem. I get updates for virus protection and firewall protection constantly.Peace. And I'm getting tired of typing the rest of my signature, so I may just shorten it to Peace. 
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Comment #25 posted by Toker00 on May 24, 2005 at 09:32:28 PT
How can I e-mail you? I tried but my puter says something about having to run something from the original application or some such. I appologize for my computer illiteracy.I am speaking with other groups who are organizing protests for similar reasons against oppression. One group has agreed to support our cause. Others will follow. We have the Anti's on the run. They are spewing desperation in all their actions against us. We must realize that the braver we become in this battle and the more actions we take against unjust laws, the possibility of some of us "dissappearing" is quite possible. Please don't let fear of this stop your actions. Be brave, and if we stand united we cannot be defeated. Peace. Legalize, then Revolutionize!(medicine)(energy)(nutrition)
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Comment #24 posted by Hope on May 24, 2005 at 09:31:59 PT
"wiggling" screen.Sounds like the whole system is weakening. I'd do a restart before it crashes.
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Comment #23 posted by BGreen on May 24, 2005 at 09:31:01 PT
No problem here with Firefox Version 1.0.4
Do you use an anti-virus program and keep it up to date?Do you run SpyBot and Ad-Aware and keep those definitions up to date?The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #22 posted by Toker00 on May 24, 2005 at 09:25:13 PT
My computer is freezing up when I visit cannabis sites, any and not letting me post certain messages or post to certain messages. This is my third attempt right now to post.Anyone else have a "wiggling" screen? 
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Comment #21 posted by ekim on May 24, 2005 at 09:12:01 PT
Freethinkers could use a copy DankHank
May 25 05 Sertoma Club of Colorado Springs 07:00 AM Howard Wooldridge Colorado Springs Colorado USA 
 Board Member Howard Wooldridge and his horse Misty breakfast with members of the Sertoma Club of Colorado Springs. Discussion during breakfast time will focus on Howard and Misty's cross country mission to educate the country about the failure of drug prohibition. Topics to be explored will be the relationship of prohibition to crime, the human and financial costs of the drug war and specific issues related to the Colorado Springs region of the country. Stay up to date on Howard and Misty's journey at:: May 25 05 Freethinkers of Colorado Springs 07:00 PM Howard Wooldridge Colorado Springs Colorado USA 
 One of the best free thinkers around, Board Member Howard Wooldridge, will be meeting with the Freethinkers of Colorado Springs to discuss issues related to the failure of drug prohibition and the mission of his cross country tour. This free event is open to the public. Expect to hear one of the most interesting and thought provoking discussions of the year. This may be your only opportunity to meet a member of the Longrider's Guild. Location: Centennial Hall , 200 South Cascade. To stay up to date on Howard's journey, go to:
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Comment #20 posted by FoM on May 24, 2005 at 07:32:17 PT
Could I please have one? Do you still have my address.Thanks in advance. 
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Comment #19 posted by Dankhank on May 24, 2005 at 07:11:32 PT:
direction ...
Toker00,the offer of a CRL is to you also, and any who want one, send me a snail mail address ...
Truth ...
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Comment #18 posted by Toker00 on May 24, 2005 at 04:06:38 PT
requires educating the ignorant before any change can come. We can't blame ignorant people for electing an ignorant politician, can we? If people truly seek the evidence that our Culture is a victim of Genocide, they will find it Here. If they seek the other side of the story, they will find it Here. If they simply seek the Truth, they will find it Here.Thank you FoMPeace. Legalize, then Revolutionize.
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Comment #17 posted by FoM on May 23, 2005 at 19:33:34 PT

Oh yes please do! Thank you!
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Comment #16 posted by Toker00 on May 23, 2005 at 19:18:52 PT

I have a question for you, FoM.
If I create a classy flyer directing people the truth about Cannabis, may I have your permission to direct them here? I'm talking thousands of flyers.Peace. Legalize, then Revolutionize!(medicine)(energy)(nutrition)
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on May 23, 2005 at 19:01:14 PT

Off Topic: News Article from
Mothers in ChainsMay 23, 2005Why keeping U.S. women prisoners in shackles during labor and delivery is the real crime against society.Complete Article:
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Comment #13 posted by mayan on May 23, 2005 at 17:48:02 PT

Cannabis club may be opening its doors locally - Dispensary planned for Hacienda Heights:,1413,207~12026~2882331,00.htmlCalifornia awaits decision on medicinal marijuana: accuses Britain over Afghanistan's heroin crops: WAY OUT IS THE WAY IN...The 9/11 Commission Report: A 571-Page Lie: Christian,Muslim,Jewish Alliance Pray Every Friday At Noon For Truth To Be Revealed About 9/11: 7 Smoke & Mirrors On 9/11: STORIES THE AMERICAN MEDIA HOPES YOU FORGET:
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Comment #12 posted by Dankhank on May 23, 2005 at 17:10:03 PT:

PainWithNoInsurance in Souder's District ...
I sympathize with you as I had J C Watts as mine a while back.If you would like to see and have a copy of the "Cannabis Research Library," E me a snail mail address, Seems like the media in your area need to see it, too.ABS ... anybody but Souder ...Peace to all who educate ...  
Now offbyone friendly ...
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Comment #11 posted by mayan on May 23, 2005 at 16:21:37 PT

Sinking Ship
Yes, the media is slowly starting to "get it".When folks like Sensenbrenner and Souder start screaming louder and louder in an attempt to bolster the failed drug war it's because they know their ship is sinking. I hope they choose to go down with the ship because it IS going down.
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on May 23, 2005 at 16:04:35 PT

Cannabis Compounds Blamed for Bone Loss
May 23, 2005 
Cannabinoid compounds found naturally in the body could accelerate the bone-wasting disease osteoporosis, according to British researchers.The research raises hopes that a class of osteoporosis drugs could be developed to stop cannabinoid chemicals binding to receptors on the surface of cells, which might prevent bone loss.About one in two women over 50 years old will be affected by osteoporosis at some point. Scientists think that the sudden drop in oestrogen levels they experience during the menopause can trigger the disease. Although hormone replacement therapy can help to slow the onset of osteoporosis, scientists are searching for a drug that will completely stop the disease without the side-effects of these hormones. Previous research has linked hormone therapies to increased risks of breast cancer and stroke.Complete Article:
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on May 23, 2005 at 09:07:00 PT

Off Topic: LSD
Psychedelics in Rehab Byy Steven KotlerSummary: Should psychedelic drugs be used for tough-to-treat conditions? Studying contraband substances are on the upswing, and many say it should have happened sooner. Back in the early sixties, Harvard psychologist Timothy Leary snuck LSD out of campus laboratories and into the mainstream. Soon, tie-dyed hell broke loose in popular culture, and psychedelic drugs were quickly banned. By decade's end, they had all but vanished from the psychological research scene. Now, for the first time in some 30 years, human studies of such contraband substances are on the upswing. Many researchers say it should have happened sooner. "The banning of psychedelics has been an absolute disaster for consciousness and medical research," says Rick Doblin, head of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, a nonprofit pharmaceutical company funding much of this new work. Complete Article:
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on May 23, 2005 at 07:58:00 PT

No Raich Today
They did do some cases but not ours.
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on May 23, 2005 at 07:49:38 PT

Max Flowers
Here's an article about the cut.County Cuts Pot Plant Allowance:
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Comment #6 posted by potpal on May 23, 2005 at 07:24:54 PT

ot - slow news day 
So much for an aspirin a day pushers...
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Comment #5 posted by kaptinemo on May 23, 2005 at 05:33:40 PT:

First a few drops, then a trickle
then a stream, then a flood. More and more media outlets have tumbled to the fact the Adminsitration has inexplicably moved resources and manpower away from attacking real killers like heroin and cocaine to non-lethal cannabis. The Adminsitration's rationale for doing so is becoming increasingly criticized for the obvious reasons.The question is: do those proposing this latest weird twist in the DrugWar realize thay are threatening to cut their own political support bases out from under them?Imagine: Joe Nascar, George Bush's and the Republicans' best friend electorally because of a lack of (ahem) 'politcal sophistication', has his kid arrested on cannabis possession charges. The nightmare of courts, lawyers, jail, inability to get a school loan (the only way out of 7 dollar an hour poverty jobs short of dealing itself), a job, etc. begin. Joe Nascar realizes his more whacked out Republican buddies like Souder and Sensenbrenner are to thank for this. Scratch one voter for the Repubs. Multiply this by tens of thousands. I've said a hundred times before: when the children of the Middle Class get savaged by the laws, the laws will change. And mandatory minimums are at the heart of the matter.Mandatory minuimums are themselves products of a time of comparative wealth; the (ha-ha) 'Justice' system could afford to lock up anyone it wanted, and used the most specious of reasons - enshrined into law - for doing so. Now, the well has gone dry. Government has to return to a period of relative (fiscal) sanity in choosing just who will fill the jail and prison cells...and appropriating the ever dwindling amount of money to maintain them. (I don't expect any 'Saul of Tarsus' conversions on their part; they care more about money than about compassion for what the Drugwar has done. We mention all those innocents who've died as a result of the DrugWar and they yawn. Talk dollars and cents, and they sit up and take notice.) For Mr. Sensenbrenner to propose this ratcheting up of mandatory minimums is just one more example of how far from reality politics in DC has strayed. A reality that has acquired a busted-glass edge to the bottom level of his supporters, who can't afford to have the equivalent of their yearly salary BEFORE taxes taken from them...just to lock up a pothead.
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Comment #4 posted by OverwhelmSam on May 23, 2005 at 05:16:43 PT

America Is Not A Democracy People!
Time to derail this activists Judges hype. It's not Judicial Activism we have to worry about; The courts are doing what they've been trained and mandated to do - protect the Constitution. It's the Legislative Activism of anti-marijuana Congress Members, and holier than thou Religious Activists and Extremists that are taking over our country and attempting to turn the US into a purely Christian state to the detriment of all other Americans. Overwhelm Uncle Sam
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Comment #3 posted by Max Flowers on May 23, 2005 at 00:04:20 PT

Heads up for medical growers in Sonoma County CA
This is bad news for Sonoma County people who had gotten set in their growing methods... I hope we can get this reversed back to how it was (99 plants in 100 sq ft)================================================Press ReleaseFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEDate: 05-10-05 Contact person(s): Sheriff Bill Cogbill, 565-3917             District Attorney Stephan Passalacqua, 565-3098CHIEFS' ASSOCIATION ANNOUNCES NEW GUIDELINESFOR MEDICAL MARIJUANASonoma County Chiefs' Association announced today that after careful reflection and extensive input from Public Health officials, the Sonoma Alliance for Medical Marijuana, and community members, the guidelines for medical marijuana have been modified. The new guidelines, which will be effective July 1, 2005, allow a patient to have in his or her possession three pounds of marijuana and grow twenty-five plants in a hundred square foot canopy. Over the last nine months there have been a number of meetings with members of law enforcement, County Public Health, members of the Sonoma Alliance for Medical Marijuana, and other countywide officials to discuss the modified guidelines.Chiefs' Association President Sheriff Bill Cogbill stated, "We reached the decision to have guidelines that are more consistent with the state guidelines, taking into consideration the patients' needs and increased public safety concerns."
Last year the California State Legislature passed SB420 (Health & Safety Code Section 11362.7) which was designed to have uniformity throughout the state. The legislation allows a qualified patient or a primary caregiver to possess "no more than 8 oz. of dried medical marijuana per qualified patient, and no more than 6 mature plants or 12 immature plants." SB 420 was sponsored by Senator John Vasconcellos, who was a proponent of Proposition 215, the Compassionate Use Act of 1996.District Attorney Stephan Passalacqua said, "Medical marijuana is a public health issue and these modified guidelines will continue to ensure that patients receive the proper level of medical marijuana for their needs." Dr. Mary Maddux-Gonzalez of Sonoma County Public Health stated, "These new guidelines are reasonable and meet most patients' needs." Dr. Maddux-Gonzalez further indicated that according to the new legislation, there is a provision that allows a patient to have in excess of the guidelines with a doctor's recommendation. 
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Comment #2 posted by PainWithNoInsurance on May 22, 2005 at 12:16:28 PT

Souder The Wise One
 I am from Souder's district and get to see some of the bright ideas Souder has to offer. He resently renamed a highway in the Fort wayne Indiana area the "Ronald Reagan Highway" and now it has two names I-469 and The Ronald Reagan Highway(confusion out of towners will we). This was a waste of money putting up signs giving a highway a second name. He surely could use his time and our money more wisely. A while back he was on the local news saying gas prices really aren't that high because they have been at about the same price for years and when you consider inflation they are still cheap.I wish we could get Souder voted out. Their is a doctor thinking about running against him in the next election and I am interested in his views if he does.
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Comment #1 posted by global_warming on May 22, 2005 at 11:48:23 PT

2 Views re:The Honorable Mark Souder... folks in Indiana have the 2 views to compare.Though one was nEWS and the other an opinion, shucks even a dumb ass mule will figure it out eventually.
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