cannabisnews.com: The 3-Minute Interview with Michael Goldstein





The 3-Minute Interview with Michael Goldstein
Posted by CN Staff on July 31, 2007 at 15:10:40 PT
By Adam Martin, The Examiner 
Source: San Francisco Examiner
San Francisco --  Last week, Michael Goldstein, a 53-year-old progressive activist, was elected as one of two co-chairs to steer the newly formed Marijuana Offenses Oversight Committee. The committee was formed as part of a law that officially made marijuana infractions the lowest priority of law enforcement in San Francisco. Goldstein, former president of the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club, said he became interested in San Francisco politics back in the late 1970s. 
What do you see as the role of the Oversight Committee? I see the role as being fairly straightforward as the legislation was written. We are mandated to take testimony from various bodies that [implement] these [marijuana] laws ó Police Department, district attorney, etc. ó as to how various agencies are implementing the lowest priority policy for the city and county of San Francisco. Also [we take testimony] from individuals who have been arrested since these laws have been implemented. Finally, we are mandated to write a report and suggest policy changes to the Board of Supervisors and the Police Department as to how they can better implement this policy. Where are we right now and where should we be, in regard to marijuana laws? I believe that marijuana or cannabis has been proven to be on the same level as alcohol and over-the-counter type of medications. Iím not looking at it totally as a medical issue. Iím looking at it also from the recreational point of view. As long as there is responsible use.Do you use marijuana? Yes. Iíve testified to that fact. I have been both a recreational and medical user of marijuana.Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA)Author: Adam Martin, The Examiner Published: July 31, 2007Copyright: 2007 San Francisco ExaminerContact: letters sfexaminer.comWebsite: http://www.examiner.com/CannabisNews -- Cannabis Archiveshttp://cannabisnews.com/news/list/cannabis.shtml
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on August 01, 2007 at 13:41:13 PT
whig
My worry is about people going to jail. 
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Comment #8 posted by whig on August 01, 2007 at 13:17:45 PT
FoM
I know people from the BPG and they are good people. I am glad nobody is being arrested right now and if their bank accounts are the only thing being affected I guess they should be prepared for that. They have been collecting sales tax for the state of California though and I think California should protect them.
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on August 01, 2007 at 13:04:46 PT
More Info on The Berkeley Patient Group 
August 1, 2007Excerpt: The Berkeley Patient Group was notified Monday that its bank account was frozen by the Los Angeles Police Department during a joint operation with the Drug Enforcement Agency. The operation targeted about 10 dispensaries in Los Angeles, including the California Patients Group, a sister organization to the Berkeley-based business.Complete Article: http://www.mercurynews.com/breakingnews/ci_6516653?nclick_check=1
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on August 01, 2007 at 12:49:45 PT
whig
I think the same person or people own one in LA and in Berkeley so they seized their assets.
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Comment #5 posted by whig on August 01, 2007 at 12:43:30 PT
I just checked
That's 341 miles outside of their jurisdiction.
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Comment #4 posted by whig on August 01, 2007 at 12:41:53 PT
FoM
The Los Angeles Police Department? In Berkeley? WHAT?
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on August 01, 2007 at 05:56:56 PT
Authorities Seize Assets of Medical Marijuana Club
By Carolyn JonesWednesday, August 1, 2007The Los Angeles Police Department and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency seized the assets of a Berkeley marijuana club Tuesday, following a raid of its sister club in Los Angeles. The Berkeley Patients Group, one of three medical marijuana clubs in Berkeley, serves about 3,000 people in the East Bay. Medical marijuana is against federal law but California, under Proposition 215, allows dispensaries to operate. "It's completely scandalous," said Becky DeKeuster, Berkeley Patients Group community liaison. "But we're determined to stay open and assist our patients in any way we can." The Berkeley club had about $10,000 to $15,000 in its bank account, DeKeuster said. Employees offered to work without pay until the matter is resolved. 
Snipped:Complete Article: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/08/01/BAVARAMTI2.DTL
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on July 31, 2007 at 21:07:59 PT
The GCW 
I believe that treatment instead of jail is the only humane way to deal with hard drug addicted people. I don't believe in treatment for cannabis unless a person is really having a problem with it but regulating cannabis would be a good beginning.
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Comment #1 posted by The GCW on July 31, 2007 at 20:19:59 PT
From Jack Herer's site
News LinksU.S. Mayors Declare Drug War a FailureJuly 18, 2007By Bob Curleyhttp://www.jackherer.com/The mayors of America's large cities have unanimously approved a resolution stating that the drug war "has failed" and calling for a harm-reduction oriented approach to drug policy that focuses on public health.The U.S. Conference of Mayors adopted the resolution during its June 21-26 annual meeting in Los Angeles, calling for a "new bottom line" in drug policy that "concentrates more fully on reducing the negative consequences associated with drug abuse, while ensuring that our policies do not exacerbate these problems or create new social problems of their own; establishes quantifiable, short- and long-term objectives for drug policy; saves taxpayers money; and holds state and federal agencies responsible."Sponsored by Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson, the resolution states that the drug war costs $40 billion annually but has not cut drug use or demand. It slams the Office of National Drug Control Policy's (ONDCP) drug-prevention programs -- specifically, the agency's national anti-drug media campaign -- as "costly and ineffective," but called drug treatment cost-effective and a major contributor to public safety because it prevents criminal behavior."This Conference recognizes that addiction is a chronic medical illness that is treatable, and drug treatment success rates exceed those of many cancer therapies," the document states.The resolution condemns mandatory minimum sentences and incarceration of drug offenders, particularly minorities, and called for more control of anti-drug spending and priorities at the local level, where the impact is most acutely felt."U.S. policy should not be measured solely on drug-use levels or number of people imprisoned, but rather on the amount of drug-related harm reduced," according to the resolution. The document calls for more accountability among federal, state and local drug agencies, with funding tied to performance measures, more treatment funding and alternatives to incarceration, and lifting the federal funding ban for needle-exchanges.The resolution, which will be used to guide the U.S. Conference of Mayors' Washington lobbying on addiction issues, passed with minimal debate, clearing two committees and the general assembly by unanimous votes."The mayors are clearly signaling the serious need for drug policy reform," said Daniel Abrahamson, director of legal affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), who worked with Anderson's staff to draft the resolution. Daniel Robelo, a DPA legal research assistant, said the resolution could become an "incredibly powerful" advocacy tool for DPA and other drug-reform groups. "While it has no legal effect, it has a powerful symbolic effect," he told Join Together.Alexa Eggleston, director of national policy for the Legal Action Center, which advocates for increased investment in addiction treatment and prevention, praised the mayors for acknowledging "that alcohol and drug addiction is a treatable medical illness and is supportive of expanding treatment to the approximately 21 million Americans with alcohol and drug problems who need it, expanding effective prevention initiatives in communities nationwide, and fighting discrimination against people with addiction histories by repealing discriminatory laws and policies that prevent them from accessing employment, insurance, and other necessities of life."But Tom Riley, a spokesperson for ONDCP, called the resolution a "grab bag" of DPA positions and a publicity stunt by proponents of drug legalization. "We don't think it's very serious," he said of the resolution, adding that to declare the drug war a failure "is a slogan rather than a policy proposal.""Most of the mayors our office talks to consider drugs a huge problem in their communities and are anxious to get more resources for prevention, treatment and law enforcement," said Riley. "I don't know many mayors who are in favor of drug legalization."Anderson is no newcomer to the drug issue; he has previously called the drug war "phony, inhumane, and ineffective," and his official biography calls him "an outspoken advocate for drug policy reform." He received the DPA's 2005 Richard J. Dennis Drugpeace Award for outstanding achievements in the field of drug policy reform.Nor is Anderson alone in his harsh criticism of the drug war: Newark Mayor Cory Booker, seen as a rising political leader, recently stated that he's prepared to go to jail to protest a war on drugs that he sees as shackling African-Americans into poverty and feeding crime and murder in his city."I'm going to battle on this," Booker recently told the Newark Star-Ledger. "We're going to start this in the gentlemanly way. And then we're going to do the civil disobedience way. Because this is absurd."Booker says he wants to see nonviolent drug offenders placed in treatment programs and halfway houses, not prisons, and to stop banning ex-offenders from jobs. "The drug war is causing crime," he said. "It's just chewing up young black men. And it's killing Newark."
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