NORML's Weekly News Bulletin -- June 24, 2005

NORML's Weekly News Bulletin -- June 24, 2005
Posted by CN Staff on June 24, 2005 at 14:22:23 PT
Weekly Press Release
Source: NORML
Feds Begin Crackdown Against Medical Marijuana DispensariesJune 24, 2005 - San Francisco, CA, USASan Francisco, CA: On Wednesday, June 22, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and other federal agencies raided three medical marijuana dispensaries in San Francisco. Apparently more than 20 residences, businesses and cultivation sites were searched and at least 13 individuals were arrested.
In a separate and ongoing investigation, a federal grand jury in Sacramento indicted Marion (Mollie) Fry, MD and her husband Dale Shafer, Esq. of Cool. They were arrested at their home, charged and have pleaded not guilty in federal court to charges of distributing and manufacturing at least 100 marijuana plants. Both Dr. Fry and her husband Dale have been speakers at recent NORML conferences in California.The New York Times reports that the raids and arrests were the first large-scale actions against medical marijuana clubs and providers since the Supreme Court upheld federal authority over marijuana on June 6. The Times coverage captures what may be an ominous change in federal law enforcement policy. According to Gordon Taylor, special agent from the Sacramento office of the DEA: "We will not turn a blind eye to serious and flagrant disregard for federal law. There may be those who think we can disregard the court and Congress. DEA will not be among them.""One fears this is the beginning of a massive federal crackdown to close the medical marijuana dispensaries currently serving California's patient community; one hopes that common sense will yet prevail, and the tens of thousands of medical marijuana patients in California will not be forced to search for their medicine on the black market," said NORML Legal Counsel Keith Stroup. "This looks as if the federal law enforcement officials may have misconstrued the Raich/Monson decision as a mandate to treat patients and their providers as criminals."A spokesperson for the San Francisco Police Department, Sgt. Neville Gittens, said in a statement that its officers "did not take part in any investigation of these clubs or take any law enforcement action against these clubs." A spokesperson for San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom said that federal investigations reinforced the importance of "trying to protect the legitimate uses of medicinal marijuana in the state."For information about the state of MMJ laws post-Raich, please visit: Officers Organize To Fight Bush Administration's CutsJune 24, 2005 - Washington, DC, USAWashington, DC: Claiming to 'need a voice' in Congress, 33 directors of High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA), along with the National Narcotics Officers' Associations' Coalition, let their opposition to proposed White House cuts to the HIDTA program at a news conference today on Capitol Hill. The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) proposes to cut the current $227 million funding to $100 million and moving the program to the Department of Justice. In response, a few pro-drug war legislators, representatives from HIDTA programs and numerous state and federal narcotic officers, held a press conference today calling for the White House to restore the HIDTA funding."Created in the early 1990s, the original scope of the HIDTA program made a semblance of sense where state and federal law enforcement agencies were to target very specific cities and stretches of interstate highway with demonstrably high levels of drug trafficking. Today, HIDTA encompasses virtually the entire United States which clearly undermines the program's purportedly narrow geographic scope thereby rendering it another 'war on drugs' boondoggle funded by taxpayers," said NORML's Executive Director Allen St. Pierre, who, favors ending all HIDTA funding.Further, St. Pierre notes, "I find it ironic that when narcotic officers believe they are going to lose some of their taxpayer funding, they band together to challenge policy-makers' funding decisions and crow most notably about their focus on methamphetamine labs demonstrate a clear law enforcement priority to arrest cannabis consumers; 755,000 in 2003, 88% for possession only."For more information about HIDTAs, check out: General For The Netherlands: "I Believe Because It Is Absurd"June 24, 2005 - The Hague, NetherlandsThe Hague, The Netherlands: Last week, in the major Dutch newspaper NRC-Handelsbad, the Attorney General for The Netherlands severely criticized his country's cannabis policy as "an ineffective form of law enforcement" and the efforts to enforce cannabis prohibition as "extremely thankless" and that "law enforcement struggles with an unworkable mandate."In an as yet unpublished 'conclusion' prepared for The Netherland's Supreme Court of Justice, J. Wortel, Director of Public Prosecutions and a career-long prosecutor, laments that even The Netherlands' official policy of tolerating small-scale sales and personal possession of cannabis is an "unworkable" policy that undermines other law enforcement activities and public health priorities. Quoting religious leader Tertullianus, Wortel writes, "'Credo quia absurdum' (I believe because it is absurd). For a long time I have kept this to myself, as ... a respectable law enforcement official. But now I give in to the temptation to [acknowledge] that this [Latin] saying comes to my mind every time I have to do my duty in a law case regarding hashish or weed."While not overtly advocating for legalizing cannabis products outright, Wortel chooses to place blame on the Dutch government for creating a prohibition that can not be readily justified to the public and therefore should not be left to law enforcement institutions, such as the police and judiciary, to implement. Wortel points to the subjective nature of cannabis law enforcement by commenting on "a remarkable government anomaly in government attitudes: the human craving for nicotine proven harmfulness levying of excise-duties, while cannabis products continue to be forbidden."Wortel further muses, "I am convinced that a future historian describing our period, with regard to our official relationship with cannabis sativa will express astonishment about the money-squandering obstinacy with which we, the law enforcement community, keep struggling with our unworkable mandate.""Wortel's conclusions about the unworkable nature of cannabis prohibition in The Netherlands (and in North America), as the country's attorney general is notable for it's basic common-sense approach. Marrying the social acceptance of cannabis to a pragmatic tax-and-control scheme makes perfect sense (similar to both countries' well-established controls for alcohol and tobacco-related products)," said NORML Executive Director Allen St. Pierre. "NORML would hope to begin to hear similar public remarks questioning the wisdom of current cannabis policies from elected officials in the United States."DL: NORML Foundation (DC)Published: June 24, 2005Copyright: 2005 NORML Contact: norml Website:'s Weekly News Bulletin -- Jun. 16, 2005's Weekly News Bulletin -- Jun. 09, 2005's Weekly News Bulletin -- Jun. 02, 2005
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Comment #2 posted by AOLBites on June 24, 2005 at 19:56:25 PT
PROTEST SUPREME COURT RULING ON MEDICINAL MARIJUANAJune 25th in Los Angeles, CA from 12 noon to 4 pmThe AAMC (American Alliance for Medical Cannabis) and Suburban Noize Recording Artist the Kottonmouth Kings have joined forces for an upcoming demonstration and protest on June 25th in West Los Angeles, CA at the US Federal Building.The protest is a direct reaction to the recent Supreme Court ruling that prohibits doctors from prescribing medicinal marijuana to terminally ill patients. In a 6-3 decision, the court ruled the federal prosecution of pot users under the federal Controlled Substances Act was constitutional. The closely watched case was an appeal by the Bush administration in a ruling involving two seriously ill California women. 
Protest at the US Federal Building in West Los Angeles, CA
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Comment #1 posted by mayan on June 24, 2005 at 18:18:47 PT
Got Carrot?
The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) proposes to cut the current $227 million funding to $100 million and moving the program to the Department of Justice.The feds have wars to fund and kids to soon draft into service. The increasingly unpopular Iraq war is draining resources from the folks who helped Bush get re-selected. The entire Republican party is breaking into factions and will soon implode because there just aren't enough carrots to go around. The only thing that can save them is another "terror attack".THE WAY OUT IS THE WAY IN...WTC Basement Blast And Injured Burn Victim Blows 'Official 9/11 Story' Sky High; Eye Witness Testimony Is Conclusive That North Tower Collapsed From Controlled Demolition: Rove's "Understanding of 9/11" - by Kristen Breitweiser: Was an Inside Job - A Call to All True Patriots:
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