Government Shows No Compassion for Medical Pot 

  Government Shows No Compassion for Medical Pot 

Posted by CN Staff on June 16, 2007 at 06:02:25 PT
By Patrick McCartney and Paul A. Lee, AlterNet 
Source: AlterNet  

California -- On the morning of January 13, 2004, Tehama County prosecutor Lynn Strom unexpectedly announced that the state of California was dropping charges against Cynthia Blake and David Davidson for possessing and growing cannabis with the intent to distribute. While the two medical marijuana patients waited in the courtroom, Strom and the defense attorneys disappeared inside the judge's chambers to discuss the motion to dismiss. Moments later, more than a dozen sheriff's deputies pounced on the hapless couple, handcuffed them, and shoved them into an unmarked police car waiting outside the courthouse in the Sacramento Valley town of Corning. They were already en route to jail in Sacramento when Strom informed their lawyers that the state was bowing out because the Feds were taking over the case.
It was a devastating blow for Blake, a retired Federal Reserve employee, and her sweetheart, Davidson, a retail shop owner. Both in their early fifties, they were booked on federal drug charges and transferred to the jurisdiction of the Eastern District office of US Attorney McGregor Scott. If convicted, they each faced a mandatory minimum of ten years to life in prison for exercising a right they thought they had gained with the 1996 passage of Proposition 215, the California ballot measure that legalized cannabis for medical purposes.Both had a physician's recommendation to ease their ailments with marijuana, and neither had a criminal history. They had been tending three dozen pot plants in a remote garden, which they shared with other patients; their attorneys insist that no money had exchanged hands for the herb. But none of this would matter in federal court, which treated all marijuana as equally illicit, making no exceptions even for the seriously ill.The well-coordinated Blake-Davidson hand-off was not the first time local authorities in California had turned over a medical marijuana case to federal authorities. But it is perhaps the most dramatic example of ongoing, secret collusion between various levels of government to prevent the implementation of the Compassionate Use Act, as Proposition 215 was called on the ballot.For the past ten years, state and local officials sworn to uphold the state ballot measure have instead proven to be willing -- sometimes eager -- accomplices in a concerted U.S. attack on a state law. Now, a half year past its tenth birthday, the landmark California law remains under siege.Within days after Prop 215 was enacted in the fall of 1996, top California law enforcement officials huddled privately with America's drug war high command in Washington, DC, where they plotted to sabotage a voter initiative they were unable to defeat at the ballot box.On Dec. 3, 1996, in Sacramento, 300 district attorneys, police chiefs, sheriffs, and narcotics officers attended an "Emergency All Zones Meeting," at which they were advised, basically, to continue arresting and prosecuting as before. Then-Attorney-General Dan Lungren and his deputies maintained that the new law did not shield marijuana suspects from arrest but merely provided them with an "affirmative defense" to invoke at a trial. Under Lungren's "narrow interpretation," local narcotics officers could exercise unilateral power in deciding if med-pot growers had more plants than they, the officers, believed justified by their medical condition.Enforcement of the Compassionate Use Act varied dramatically across California's 58 counties. Where ballot support was strongest, especially in the San Francisco Bay Area, patients could obtain locally issued ID cards and purchase their medicine from storefront dispensaries that had begun opening even before Prop 215 passed. But beyond an hour or so drive from San Francisco, in the Other California -- Red-State California, as it were -- local police and prosecutors conducted a reign of terror against patients and caregivers that went largely unnoticed by the state's metropolitan press corps.Operating with federal anti-marijuana grants that increased by 50 percent in the first five years after passage of Prop 215, a dozen regional task forces worked with DEA and IRS partners to target marijuana growers regardless of medical use. "Prop. 215 might fly in San Francisco, but not here," a Placer County deputy told the target of a 1998 arrest and prosecution.Nowhere did local authorities repress medical users more than in the Eastern District, the sprawling federal court district spanning California's San Joaquin and Sacramento valleys and the Sierra Nevada, where Blake and Davidson faced charges. Targetting the Pot DocsDrug War strategists had pegged physicians as the weakest link in the med cannabis supply chain. Gen. Barry McCaffrey, Clinton's drug czar, took aim at the doctors first, threatening to revoke the licenses of those who approved cannabis use by patients. A group of physicians and patients, with help from the ACLU and the Drug Policy Alliance, promptly sued the U.S. government on free speech and privacy grounds. The suit, called Conant v. McCaffrey, resulted in a federal injunction issued on First Amendment grounds upholding the doctors' right to discuss cannabis as a treatment option.So the Feds passed the baton to the California Attorney General's office, via its agents in the state medical board's enforcement division, to crack down on physicians specializing in cannabis consultations. Despite specific language in Proposition 215 exempting doctors from retaliation by state officials, the Medical Board launched legal proceedings against several physicians based on evidence gathered by local undercover narcs who feigned symptoms to obtain a medical recommendation.Unable to gag the doctors, the Clinton administration paid for anti-marijuana advertising and filed federal civil actions against a half dozen cannabis dispensaries in Northern California. It was the opening salvo of a seesaw legal battle, which culminated in a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court decision against the Oakland Cannabis Buyer's Cooperative (OCBC) in April 2001. As a result, some of the six clubs stopped selling medical marijuana, but others remained in business in open defiance of federal law.The OCBC ruling gave the Bush administration its first chance to escalate the federal assault on California's fledgling medical marijuana infrastructure. Assisted by local narcotics units, the Ashcroft Justice Department went after dispensaries, medicinal grow-ops and high-profile activists up and down the state.Federal agents may have overreached when they raided the Santa Cruz cannabis hospice led by Valerie and Mike Corral. Elderly disabled patients were handcuffed to their beds, while men in paramilitary gear tore apart their gardens and living quarters. Local officials rallied behind the patient collective, openly distributing marijuana on the steps of City Hall the day after the heavy-handed bust in September 2002. This was followed by another public-relations fiasco a few months later, when Americans for Safe Access, a newly formed grassroots organization, convinced Bay Area jurors to denounce their own guilty verdict in the federal trial of cannabis cultivation expert Ed Rosenthal, who ended up with a one-day sentence.Suddenly, it seemed like the government's bare-knuckled crusade against medicinal cannabis was foundering. Optimism increased among California med-pot activists, who were buoyed by several federal and state court rulings in 2003. In December, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Appeals Court ruled in favor of Angel Raich and Diane Monson, two California women who had sued the Justice Department for the right to use medical marijuana.But just as the momentum appeared to shift in favor of the med-pot cause, the federal government launched a concerted rollback effort. Leading the rollback has been McGregor Scott, who was appointed by President George W. Bush to head the U.S. Eastern District, one of four federal jurisdictions in California, in March 2003.Scott was known to medical marijuana activists as the overzealous Shasta County DA who prosecuted Rick Levin, a disabled contractor who had been cultivating for personal medical use. (Levin prevailed.) But Scott's elevation to U.S. attorney was welcomed by California law enforcement officials. "It's going to be nice to have a U.S. attorney who has a local perspective," said Sacramento District Attorney Jan Scully.Scott had been active in the California District Attorneys Association (CDAA). A board member for three years, he also chaired the CDAA small counties committee. When he assumed his new office, Scott appointed the CDAA's veteran executive director, Lawrence Brown, as his chief assistant. Brown, who hired his successor at the CDAA, would become Scott's point-man on medical marijuana.Scott promptly met with the district attorneys of all 34 counties in the Eastern District to lay out the federal position on medical marijuana and other issues. He also sought to influence the state medical board. Joan Jerzak, the chief of the board's enforcement division, acknowledged at an August 2003 meeting that she had conferred with Scott regarding medical marijuana, and that he wanted a closer working relationship. "A management group will probably be the interface," Jerzak said as she asked the board not to reformulate its policy on medical marijuana until the Supreme Court ruled in the Raich case. SB 420A key development was the October 2003 enactment by California lawmakers -- after 11th hour concessions to the state Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement -- of Senate Bill 420. SB 420 was written to "clarify" Prop 215 and protect patients from law enforcement's arrest-first policies. Sponsored by Sen. John Vasconcellos, the bill set a statewide minimum number of permissible plants and ordered counties to issue ID cards to qualified patients to shield them from arrest. The new statute also created more protection for caregivers, allowing them reasonable compensation for their time and services, and gave groups of patients the right to grow and distribute as collectives or cooperatives.Although the California District Attorneys Association made sure SB 420 prohibited anyone from making a profit from pot, entrepreneurs opened more than 100 new storefront dispensaries within a year, many in previously unthinkable locations. Medical cannabis users in many rural communities came out of the closet. They started new patient groups or allied with statewide groups, and spoke out on behalf of public access to cannabis at storefront dispensaries before city councils and boards of supervisors.SB 420 set the stage for the current battle over the proliferation of patient-run dispensaries. For the first time, local elected officials in scores of cities and counties were forced to take a stand on the issue, as increasing numbers of activists applied for permits to open dispensaries and local law enforcement objected -- or lobbied for preemptive moratoria and prohibitions. More than 100 California jurisdictions have proceeded to ban dispensaries, but another three dozen have expressly allowed and regulated the storefront distribution of medical marijuana.SB 420 was the ultimate product of a task force created by Vasconcellos and Attorney General Bill Lockyer, a Democrat elected in 1998 to succeed the unpopular Lungren (who got only 39 percent running for governor against Gray Davis). Although Lockyer said he had voted for Prop 215 -- and would submit an amicus brief supporting Raich -- he was unwilling to rein in hostile local officials. Responding to an August 2000 plea for uniform county standards by the North State Sheriffs Association ("...the law desperately needs clarification"), Lockyer declined to issue new plant and possession guidelines, washing his hands of how local jurisdictions should act.California police and prosecutors opposed to medical marijuana turned away from the state's top lawyer for advice about medical marijuana and instead looked to the state's private law enforcement associations. If ordered by a court to return pot to a defendant, "I have the counsel for the California Sheriff's Association telling me I'm committing a felony," remarked El Dorado Sheriff Jeff Neves at a meeting with patient advocates. In 2002, Yuba Sheriff Virginia Black had the California State Sheriffs Association ask other sheriffs to write letters to Ashcroft and DEA Administrator Asa Hutchinson asking them to "resolve" the conflict between state and federal law. ("I urge you to contact your local DEA office," Hutchinson replied.) The same year, Martin Mayer, general counsel of the California State Sheriffs Association, issued an alert following a California Supreme Court ruling that overturned the conviction of Myron Mower, a 31-year-old blind diabetic arrested in his hospital room. "Does this mean that law enforcement should no longer arrest one in possession of marijuana if, for example, he or she has a note, letter, or prescription from a doctor?" Mayer asked, before declaring: "Absolutely not!"At its 2005 Summer Conference, the California District Attorneys Association secretly issued a new opinion about SB 420 in a closed executive session. While the CDAA had inserted language in SB 420 prohibiting cooperatives from making a profit, now the CDAA went a step further and told the state's district attorneys that no money could change hands when a cooperative distributed medicine to a patient. A Pandora’s BoxIf SB 420 had opened a Pandora's box of neighborhood marijuana dispensaries, the U.S. Supreme Court's June 2005 decision in Gonzales v. Raich gave federal authorities a powerful tool in their effort to close it. While the 6-3 decision against Angel Raich and Diane Monson -- whose medical cannabis had been grown and consumed within California -- did not overturn the law created by Prop 215, the justices reaffirmed the federal government's authority to enforce federal law.On August 1, 2005, McGregor Scott sent a letter to all California's district attorneys, sheriffs and police chiefs interpreting the Supreme Court decision. Local law enforcement had asked the U.S. Attorney's office for "possible enforcement action against 'medical marijuana' dispensaries," Scott stated, before citing the CDAA summer conference opinion as proof that the dispensaries violate California as well as federal law. Scott encouraged local agencies to first consult with their own district attorney regarding the potential for local prosecution. He also attached a copy of an article about SB 420 that ran in the Prosecutor's Brief, a quarterly CDAA publication.Scott's anti-cannabis campaign set the stage for increased cooperation with local prosecutors, who have transferred a number of difficult medical marijuana cases to federal authorities, especially in the Eastern District. Armed with Scott's letter and the secret CDAA opinion, law enforcement opposed the opening of new dispensaries and pushed city councils and county supervisors to enact moratorium ordinances. The California Police Chiefs Association lobbied officials with the League of California Cities, and on a few occasions DEA agents or a DEA counsel attended city council meetings at the invitation of local police.Relocated to the foothills of El Dorado County, McGregor Scott took a personal interest in the public discussion of a marijuana dispensary ordinance in the gold-rush town of Placerville, the county seat. After watching public-access television coverage of a city council hearing, Scott phoned the town manager, John Driscoll, to commiserate. The U.S. attorney told him the advocates who spoke at the meeting were simply in it for the money, Driscoll reported to associates. Showdown in Southern CaliforniaIn 2005 San Diego county supervisors refused to authorize the patient ID program mandated by SB 420, and filed suit to overturn the law. In December '06, the state Supreme Court rejected this suit (which was joined by two other counties) and upheld California's law permitting the use of marijuana for medical purposes. San Diego Country officials have appealed the decision, and the case is pending.Today there are 200,000 authorized medical marijuana users in California, which is the only state (among twelve that have legalized medical marijuana) with a significant aboveground pot business. Thirty-three of 58 counties have initiated ID card programs. But an ID card doesn't prevent searches of med-pot patients by local and state law enforcement officers, who still target medical marijuana providers and users in California, where doctors who recommend cannabis do so at their own risk.Hardly a week goes by without another raid against med-pot dispensaries by the DEA in cahoots with unreconstructed drug warriors in one county or another. Southern California has been hit particularly hard in recent months with anti-med-pot sweeps in San Diego, the Los Angeles area, Bakersfield, Palm Springs, Morro Bay, Riverside and Orange County, and dozens of other cities.Activists and patients hope the San Diego lawsuit and subsequent raids will be the last gasp of an ultimately futile effort to snuff out California's burgeoning medical marijuana scene, which continues to gain momentum. There are currently almost 400 med-pot storefronts and delivery services unevenly distributed throughout the state -- with 200 concentrated in the LA area. In North Hollywood alone, there are more pot clubs than Starbucks.In April '07, the state Board of Equalization served notice that sellers of medical marijuana must pay state and local sales tax - a stipulation not applied to conventional pharmaceuticals. But the state has yet to meet its responsibilities by establishing commonsense rules and procedures to protect those involved in prescribing and distributing marijuana to the sick.Thus far, there has been little decisive action from Attorney Gen. Jerry Brown and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who persist in deferring to recalcitrant state and local law enforcement, which have been adamantly opposed to any legal sale of marijuana, even nonprofit exchanges, since the passage of the Compassionate Use Act. Even today, the California Narcotics Officers Association features on its website a position paper asserting: "There is no justification for using marijuana as a medicine."As the drug warriors wage their war of attrition against medical marijuana, the human toll continues to rise. Facing the prospects of a decade in federal prison, David Davidson left Cynthia Blake and is now a fugitive. She agreed to plead guilty to a single felony that carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in custody. Prosecutors offered leniency provided she testify against Davidson and reveal her erstwhile partner's whereabouts. In September, Blake was sentenced to 18 months in federal custody. A version of this article originally appeared in O'Shaughnessy's, the journal of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians. Complete Title: Government Shows No Compassion for Medical Pot ConsumptionNewshawk: DankhankSource: AlterNet (US)Author: Patrick McCartney and Paul A. Lee, AlterNetPublished: June 16, 2007Copyright: 2007 Independent Media InstituteContact: letters Website:'Shaughnessy Medical Marijuana Archives

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Comment #24 posted by Hope on July 12, 2007 at 09:33:21 PT
I had teachers who tried to teach me to write like I talk. I've gotten pretty good at recognizing the writing "voice" of people that I enjoy their writing. I do enjoy your way with words. You're good! And again...thanks so much for getting out there, sticking your neck out and trying to do the right thing. And thanks for telling me that I actually had recognized a bit of your "voice" in this article.
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Comment #23 posted by Hope on July 12, 2007 at 09:23:43 PT
I knew it! Thanks so much for all you do, Pat. Thank you. And don't be such a stranger!
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Comment #22 posted by ElPatricio on July 11, 2007 at 23:48:21 PT:
It's me, Hope!
I'm pleased you remembered, Hope, since I haven't been a regular visitor in a while. Yes, Martin (not Paul, as Alternet had it at first) and I wrote an expose on California law enforcement's secret cooperation with federal authorities to undermine the state's medical marijuana law.It took a year, but I finally tracked down the letter that U.S. Attorney McGregor Scott sent to California law enforcment asking for their cooperation in prosecuting cannabis dispensaries. Sadly, no other California journalist has viewed the close ties of Scott with state prosecutors and the concerted attack on the state law as newsworthy. Go figure.In March, I returned to a newsroom for the first time in more than five years. Martin Lee, my partner and author of the important "Acid Dreams," will carry much of the load in completing the book, although I will contribute more writing.But I've ended my full-time investigation of California's medical-cannabis law that began in 2001 when I asked the reporters of the Auburn Journal, of which I was the city editor, why qualified patients were still being arrested and prosecuted.After more than a hundred public-record requests, many hundreds of interviews, and attending countless trials, demonstrations and conferences, I've answered the question, and it's not a pretty story.For now, though, I am happy to be a newspaperman again, the city editor of the Sierra Sun in Truckee. I am delighted to be back in the Lake Tahoe area again (after working at two sister papers in the basin for four years in the '90s), and enjoy working with young writers.Little of my work deals with drug policy, although I'm planning a series of columns I'm going to call "The Liberal 'Tarian: A path to a New Progressive Era," in which I will put my views on America's misbegotten drug war in a broader political and historical context.I appreciate reading news and comments on Cannabis News, and applaud everyone's efforts to make a difference.El Patricio
Patrick "Pat" McCartney
Truckee, Calif.
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Comment #21 posted by Hope on June 18, 2007 at 11:40:16 PT
The next President
It all will all get clearer, by and by.
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Comment #20 posted by FoM on June 18, 2007 at 07:36:46 PT

I don't think Senator Clinton would be good for us. I still really like Obama but he won't be able to beat Clinton because they are skilled politicans and know how to spin things. The only hope I have is if Gore runs. He could beat her. 
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Comment #19 posted by Zandor on June 18, 2007 at 07:32:22 PT

Does anybody think Hillary will be any different?
Come on does anyone here think that Hillary will act any different then Bill did.We need more change then just a first name to run this country. Personally I am not agents a woman president, just not THIS women is all.She can't be trusted and should not be.I know Bill Richardson at least feels in the positive toward us medical users.
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Comment #18 posted by Hope on June 17, 2007 at 13:21:46 PT

Patrick McCartney...
I wonder, can that be our own El Patricio? Something about this piece sounds a bit like him.
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Comment #17 posted by Dankhank on June 17, 2007 at 11:46:22 PT

raids ...
wasn't WAMM one of the first ... or just the first of many uncivilized attacks on sick Americans at the hands of our compassionate conservative police state ...?
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Comment #16 posted by FoM on June 17, 2007 at 06:33:12 PT

John Tyler 
I agree about Bill Clinton being a hypocrite. I never liked him and I sure didn't vote for him. I didn't vote at all until recently. I can't recall raids under Clinton though. They seemed to start after Bush was in. I would need to search in the archives to confirm what I think.
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Comment #15 posted by John Tyler on June 17, 2007 at 06:16:24 PT

thoughts on Clinton
This was a very chilling article. I did notice that when California passed the medical marijuana law, then President Bill Clinton could have called off the Federal Drug War attack but he didn’t. He let the attack continue through out his presidency and caused untold misery to thousands of innocent people. Then when he was heading out of office he did a presidential pardon for his drug felony convicted brother. After he left office he said he personally thought cannabis should be decriminalized. What an incredible hypocrite! 
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Comment #14 posted by RevRayGreen on June 17, 2007 at 05:59:50 PT

Regarding BH4J
 drop by and say high to Joe.......... 
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Comment #13 posted by Hope on June 16, 2007 at 19:38:30 PT

I'll give your prayer an "Amen!".I agree.Amen.
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Comment #12 posted by MikeEEEEE on June 16, 2007 at 18:57:01 PT

Worth a read!
The worst corporate thugs own the White House and our Senate: the oil, coal, weapon and pharmaceutical corporations. The mainstream media networks are not interested in educating the public. They are financially supported by oil, coal, war profiteers (weapon contractors) and pharmaceuticals. The corporate media network executives’ goal is to dumb down the society. And to some extent, they’ve succeeded. That’s why they’re going after the web with a nasty vengeance because the web is the last vestige of democracy where people can learn the facts about the crimes that the Bush administration and their cronies are committing (Jacqueline Marcus).Stop watching the BS television. That way you don't have to hear:“They hate us for our freedoms.”“We're fighting them over there, that way we don't have to fight them here.”Excuse me, I have to vomit.
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on June 16, 2007 at 18:34:44 PT

I think we could hear about Bong Hits 4 Jesus really soon.
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Comment #10 posted by The GCW on June 16, 2007 at 17:17:28 PT

Bong hits 4 Jesus.... soon?
Isn't the Bong hits 4 Jesus, verdict due soon?-00-Help protect Jesus Christ from the US federal government.(not that He'd need Our help)If the Christ chooses to come back, where do You think He would walk?I think right here.And He whould walk till they confronted Him with 10 years to life.I don't think next time He will let the scum hang Him out to dry again.The US fed gov is as big a bully as there ever was.And I do think and hope there will be a next time.-00-As I have been taught in John 14-16, I believe that I may ask anything through the Christ and it will be given.I ask through the Christ Jesus, please help Us.Protect Us from this bully US government.Please Lord, help Us. 
The Green Collar Worker
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Comment #9 posted by The GCW on June 16, 2007 at 17:00:41 PT

ten years to life in prison 
ten years to life in prison For growing, possessing and selling what God says is good on the very 1st page of the Bible?Gen. 1:11-12 & 29-30.I don't think there's a devil weed, but there is a devil.The Fed. government is so scared; I wonder why? My goodness, why?
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Comment #8 posted by potpal on June 16, 2007 at 15:56:42 PT

Paul Mc Cartney
Was allowed into the US to play a gig in NY a couple days ago. Guess his youthful indiscretions didn't get in his way. Everybody needs to write their federal representatives and complain about their tax dollars funding this prohibition and war against all things cannabis, especially medicinal use. The squeaky wheel gets oiled. Just say no to funding the war on cannabis. 
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Comment #7 posted by know buddy on June 16, 2007 at 15:41:21 PT:

Reefer Madness
I saw the movie Reefer Madness again last night. Seems not much has changed for some people.
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Comment #6 posted by E_Johnson on June 16, 2007 at 13:33:25 PT

Why Paris got screwed so badly
See, if they treated her just like the other DUI probation violators, then the country would have been forced to have a conversation about why our jails are too overcrowded for drunk drivers to serve their full time.Nobody wants a debate on drug policy before this election. This is the one thing both parties are trying desperately to avoid.If Paris went home early like everyone else, then too much attention would have been focused on the consequences of the jail overcrowding caused by the War on Drugs.So they made her serve her whole time in jail, so that America can feel comforted by the delusion that we can fight the War on Drugs and take care of all our other business at the same time.When the truth is -- we can't.
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Comment #5 posted by E_Johnson on June 16, 2007 at 13:29:11 PT

Why we should care about Paris Hilton
I saw an interesting article in the LA Times. It seems that Paris Hilton's sentence of 45 says, down to 23 days with good behavior, is very far from the usual sentence served by other DUI probation violating females. Currently all such low level female offenders are ankle-braceleted and sent back home as soon as they're processed into jail.One might shrink from defending a drunk driver. DUI is a serious thing. She could have killed someone, right?If DUI is so serious, then why do all the other DUI probation violators get home detention instead of jail time?Because as the Times found out the county jail is overflowing with drug offenders.They didn't make this a point of their article, but the data is in there. There are about 10,000 drug userse sentenced to 25 days or more, vs. about 1500 DUIs,1,12874.storyIt's because of the War on Drugs that DUI probation violators get sent home on the first day.

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Comment #4 posted by museman on June 16, 2007 at 12:02:22 PT

the nature of cop
This is a perfect example of the situation. Our government claims over and over again, every day, and every hour, to be a 'government of the people,' yet when the people actually get behind a notion, such as sanity in dealing with the issue of cannabis, and it's overwhelmingly proven medical usage, the 'government of the people' shows it's true colors.Power beyond the job description of 'protect and serve' has been given to law enforcement. Not only do they have license to kill, maim, steal, lie, and in general be sorry excuses for humanity, but they apparently have the ability to decide law, and interpret it to suit their whim, and unlike the rest of us, they don't need to lawyer up.They, and their political/economic masters have taken upon themselves the power to judge, and assume guilt where there obviously is none, thereby giving them carte-blanche ability to do whatever they like, from holding naked people at gunpoint, to murdering old ladies in their bedrooms.Big Brother now sports a swastika with pride, though it looks like an American flag.The question is, "Did we do this to ourselves somehow, or has it been done to us?"As far as I can tell, it has been done to us, against our will, but society and it's attending false values spends great amounts of energy to convince us of our lack of choices, that 'it's the only game in town,' 'that's just the way it is, some things will never change,' 'you can't fight city hall,' and that because we have no viable choices, our reluctant service to the beast is thrown back in our faces as, "Well you CHOSE to accept the terms and conditions of your bondage."The defense of error by the working (slave) class for the sake of a paycheck is the main source of our culpability as 'the people.' It is the 'unstoppable' juggernaut that literally rolls over everyone that gets in it's path. While we contribute every waking moment of every day to the imminent destruction of our biosphere, we cannot stop because even the wisest of us are strapped to that damned juggernaut by our very needs as humans. These needs are capitalized upon by other human looking creatures who parade around in their artificial constructs of false beauty, and false assumptions of superiority, who laugh through their noses at the struggles of those 'beneath' them.
These souless shells of such outward appearing 'substance' (based on false wealth, and usurped power and authority) have created a no-win scenario that they have made to appear as 'anyone can succeed with the right _______'(fill in the blank)They have set up systems and institutions which teach children to believe their lies, and if they don't believe, and choose to rebel, there are institutions for that as well. They have created an exclusive sect of a 'ruling class' out of their own economicly defined parameters. In order to enforce their way upon the world, they have made war on everything that is not in their 'special' niche of damned humanity. They make war on nature, sucking the life-blood out of the earth like the vampires they truly are, raping and burning the forests like Saruman in The Lord Of The Rings, destroying the natural interface between man and the earth to the point that our very sustenance is depleted of nutrients for the sake of quantity of production, and increased profit margins. They trample children under their boots of conquest, then set up 'charity' operated by their own hand picked progeny (gives the rich 'meaningful employment') that skims more than 80% of donation into their own pockets. They persecute and prosecute all that they can, and now that our penal system is 'privatized' they can rake in profit from that as well, -legal slavery.And the worst thing of all is that they use us 'the people' to accomplish their dirty deeds, and collectively we allow this because they have us convinced that there is no alternative.Out of their wars on other nations come hardened, trained killers, vicious predators that prey on the weak and poor, whom are now convinced that they are the 'rulers of the street' and have authority above and beyond the law, of God, and apparently the law of man -if it goes against their master's wishes.No I don't believe that 'we did this to ourselves' but I do believe that it's up to us to undo it. We won't do that however as long as we continute to give credence and support to the system of lies and false values that they have created. The earth and all of it's providence and abundance does not belong to the corporations, to the rich exclusively,- it belongs to each and every one of us, and they do not have the right to capitalize or package it for resale. They do not have the right to deny our God-given access to the land, and charge us 'rent' to live on it. They have no more right or privilege than the starving Aids riddled child in Africa, and it's time people started to recognize this. If one wants to be a willng slave of the system, truly desires to abdicate their sovereignty of being for a few baubles more, they have that right, but for them or anyone else to dictate to me or any other human being that they HAVE TO, 'OR ELSE' is an abomination and a horror upon the earth, as currently obviously manifesting.It's time for a big collective and resounding "NO!" to be shouted and heard round the world, but first 'the people' have to look up and see how they have been led down a rosy path to Hell.The cop is a symptom of the greater disease, like all the 'issues.' All heads of the Hydra. Cut off one head, and a dozen more grow back in it's place. The heart of the beast is US. WE need to deny it together, or fall seperately. When the cell doors close on you, you understand, and become change your mind. When you have absolutely no more choice, the ones you passed over for the trifles of a false system of weights and balances become starkly apparent. Why do we continue to give our life and time to such as these monsters and their guard dogs? No one can do it alone, we must link, arm in arm and make a stand, before it is too late, or we will be staring at the rubble of our failure a whole lot sooner than one might think.Kill the beast by removing it's power that WE give. Then the cops will be disarmed and either put through some intense debriefing, or imprisoned in their own jails for the criminal acts that they have committed in the name of wealth and power.

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Comment #3 posted by Hope on June 16, 2007 at 09:59:42 PT

A Plant?
Consuming a plant...a big sin? NO."Consuming" humans because of their use of the plant...a big sin? YES, INDEED.That's how I see it, anyway.Of course, I know most people aren't worried about sin or what it does or offending God. But I am constantly amazed at the cruelty and horror wrought by the self-righteous. It's just stunning to see....and over a plant...a non-poisonous plant!
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Comment #2 posted by Hope on June 16, 2007 at 09:54:05 PT

If there is a Hell
and people can go there because of the way they treated other people...all the antis and prohibs are going to hell. They have to. Look at the way these scoundrels have treated other people over their use of a plant...that makes them feel better.Yup. They're all going to hell and they deserve it.They are stupid, ignorant, arrogant, cruel brutes who think nothing of hurting others over a plant they want to consume and use, and the antis, prohibs, and enforcers even manage to delude themselves into feeling they are doing the right thing, somehow. Yup. If there is a retributional Hell...the antis and prohibs and their enforcers all have a ticket to the big event.
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Comment #1 posted by goneposthole on June 16, 2007 at 08:55:29 PT

Medical Matches
Sell medical matches, the stick kind in the 1 1/2 inch by three inch by five inch size box and then put a few free buds in each box.Maybe sell medical fish, place a few buds inside a baggie and place it inside the fish fillet.Sell medical potatoes. Sell a five pound bag of potatoes and place a few free buds of medical cannabis in with the bag of potatoes.Sell medical celery. Place a few medical cannabis buds in with a stalk of celery.Gourmet potatoes and celery are here already. A little ounce of medical cannabis along with them won't hurt a bit. A two hundred dollar stock of celery is sold everyday at restaurants like The Monocle in Washington, DC. For gosh sakes, don't use FDA approved drugs. They're the real killers.
The Monocle
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