NORML's Weekly News Bulletin - December 6, 2007

NORML's Weekly News Bulletin - December 6, 2007
Posted by CN Staff on December 06, 2007 at 13:48:08 PT
Weekly Press Release 
Source: NORML 
  Report: Drug War Disproportionately Targets Blacks in 97% of Large Counties December 6, 2007 - Washington, DC, USAWashington, DC: A new report released Tuesday by the Justice Policy Institute states that 193 out of 198 counties studied imprison African Americans at markedly higher rates for drug offenses.
The report found that African Americans are ten times more likely to be imprisoned for a drug offense, despite the fact that whites and African Americans use and sell drugs at comparable rates. In addition, the report found no correlation between the rate at which people are sent to prison and the rate at which drugs are used in a given county. Instead, high county drug prison admission rates were associated with the size of county police and judiciary budgets, the proportion of the county’s population that is African American, and higher poverty and unemployment levels. In 2002, over half of the 175,000 persons admitted to prison for drug offenses nationwide were African American, according to the report. African Americans make up less than 13 percent of the U.S. population.The authors cite differences in availability of drug treatment for African Americans compared to whites, mandatory minimum sentencing laws, and disparate treatment by police and the courts as factors contributing to the racial disparities in drug imprisonment rates.In response to their findings, the authors call for a de-escalation of the drug war, a comprehensive policy review and reform of current drug law enforcement practices that are focused in the African American community. They also urge increased funding in public services to help curb drug addiction. "Rather than focus law enforcement efforts on drug-involved people who bear little threat to public safety, we should free up local resources to fund treatment, job training, supportive housing, and other effective public safety strategies," stated JPI executive director Jason Ziedenberg. For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, at director or 202-483-5500. Full text of the report "The Vortex: The Concentrated Racial Impact of Drug Imprisonment and the Characteristics of Punitive Counties," is available online at: Seized Medical Cannabis Returned in California and Colorado Cases  December 6, 2007 - Garden Grove, CA, USAGarden Grove, CA/Fort Collins, CO: The California Court of Appeals has upheld a lower court decision ordering Garden Grove police to return one-third of an ounce of cannabis obtained legally under California’s Proposition 215 to Felix Kha, a medical cannabis patient. Garden Grove attorneys appealed the earlier ruling by the Superior Court of Orange County, arguing that returning the marijuana violated federal laws against marijuana distribution. The Court of Appeals rejected this argument, noting the separation between federal and state law and stating that neither state courts nor state law enforcement are charged with enforcing federal law. The court wrote, "Garden Grove police will actually be facilitating a primary principle of federalism, which is to allow the states to innovate in areas bearing on the health and well-being of their citizens."In a similar case, Fort Collins police returned 39 dead cannabis plants, along with paraphernalia, to James and Lisa Masters, sixteen months after they were arrested and their medical cannabis was confiscated. Brian Vicente, attorney for the Masters’ and executive director of Sensible Colorado, a marijuana reform group, stated that the exchange represented the largest amount of seized medicinal cannabis ever returned.The Masters’ now are threatening to sue the Fort Collins police for failing to preserve their plants during their sixteen-month stay with law enforcement. The Masters’ are seeking monetary compensation for their property in excess of $100,000. Article XVIII, Section 14 of the Colorado State Constitution states that "any property ... used in connection with the medical use of marijuana... shall not be harmed, neglected, injured, or destroyed while in the possession of state or local law enforcement officials." For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, at: director or at 202-483-5500.DL:  North Dakota: Farmers’ Suit to Grow Hemp Dismissed by Courts -- DEA Approves Hemp Research at North Dakota State  December 6, 2007 - Bismarck, ND, USABismarck, ND: Federal Judge Daniel Hovland dismissed a case brought by farmer Wayne Hauge and state representative David Monson that would have overturned the DEA’s ban on industrial hemp cultivation in the United States. Hovland wrote in his decision that the farmers, who are licensed by North Dakota to grow hemp, will have to seek redress in Congress should they desire to grow hemp legally under federal law.Eric Steenstra, president of Vote Hemp, an organization dedicated to legalizing the cultivation of industrial hemp, stated that they are disappointed with the decision, but would redouble efforts in Congress. "[We] will take this decision to Washington, DC to prompt action by Congress on HR 1009, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2007, which would clarify a state’s right to grow the crop."In the aftermath of the decision, North Dakota State University (NDSU) received a Memorandum of Agreement from the DEA that, if signed by the university, would allow hemp cultivation research there, according to Vote Hemp. NDSU, which had been attempting to obtain a license from the DEA to grow hemp for research for eight years, had filed an amicus brief in the case detailing their difficulties with the agency. "It seems our arguments about the DEA's delay in processing NDSU's application have resulted in the agency finally taking positive action to allow research," said David Bronner, President of the Hemp Industries Association (HIA) and Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, a company that produces hemp-based goods. For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500. Full text of Judge Hoyland’s decision is available at: NORML Foundation (DC)Published: December 6, 2007Copyright: 2007 NORML Contact: norml Website: NORML Archives 
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on December 06, 2007 at 18:30:15 PT
Runruff I Found It
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Comment #3 posted by runruff on December 06, 2007 at 18:04:51 PT:
Remember a while ago I was telling you about how our local clinic made you sign a contract agreeing to pee test if you got a rpescription? You said there was a web site where I could post the contract for all to see. What was that website again?
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on December 06, 2007 at 17:18:12 PT
I'm sorry you lost me. What contract with a local clinic? 
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Comment #1 posted by runruff on December 06, 2007 at 17:12:29 PT:
Hey FoM!
I got that contract with the local clinic ready to send. Could you give me the location where to send it one more time please.  :) Thanx.
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