DrugSense Weekly November 10, 2000 #174

DrugSense Weekly November 10, 2000 #174
Posted by FoM on November 10, 2000 at 13:22:35 PT
Reactions & Results Regarding Tuesdays Election
Source: DrugSense
The drug policy reform movement got a major boost from many of this year's election results. First, the drug policy reform ballot initiatives passed by a landslide in every state except Massachusetts and Alaska. In sum, Colorado and Nevada removed criminal penalties for using and obtaining medical marijuana, Utah and Oregon curtailed their property forfeiture laws, and, most importantly, Prop 36 received 61% of the vote in California, replacing prison sentences with drug treatment for non-violent drug possession offenders.
Unlike the coercive "drug court" model, Prop 36 removes the possibility of jailing an offender who relapses or otherwise does not maintain abstinence. It was strongly opposed by drug court judges, prison guards, and U.S. Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey.Unfortunately, Massachusetts failed to pass an initiative which would have both curtailed property forfeiture laws and offered treatment instead of prison. In addition, Alaska failed to pass an initiative which would have allowed marijuana to be sold like alcohol. Simply put, the wording of the Alaska initiative was beyond what the voters are ready to accept. Nevertheless, the fact that an initiative calling for complete legal access to marijuana -- and even the possibility of reparations for people previously penalized for marijuana offenses -- was able to get nearly 40% might enable reformers to successfully argue that the public clearly are ready to support more modest reform, such as removing criminal penalties for simple possession or cultivation. Indeed, in a small but important contest, voters in Mendocino County, CA, passed an initiative to allow adults to grow up to 25 marijuana plants for their own use. (State and federal prohibition will still apply, but it is an important symbolic victory -- plus, Mendocino County growers may no longer have to fear their local law enforcement officials.)Beyond the initiatives, there were many other significant outcomes: * U.S. Rep. Bill McCollum (R-FL) lost his bid for a U.S. Senate seat. McCollum was one of the most vicious drug warriors in Congress, where he chaired the crime subcommittee and regularly held hearings to tout his harsh drug policies. He also introduced an anti-medical marijuana resolution in 1998, prompting medical marijuana civil disobedience in his Capitol Hill office. Having given up his House seat to run for the Senate, McCollum will soon be out of a job.* U.S. Rep. James Rogan (R-CA) lost his re-election race in the House. Rogan had been pro-medical marijuana when he served in the California, but flip-flopped when he came to D.C. three years ago, in order to appease the House Republican leadership. There was also civil disobedience in Rogan's office when he voiced his support for McCollum's resolution in 1998. (He was the only House impeachment manager to lose his re-election.)* U.S. Sen. John Ashcroft (R-MO), a consistent champion of tough drug sentencing laws, also lost his bid for re-election.Perhaps some of the politicians who are still fortunate enough to be employed will begin to see a trend here.Finally, it's noteworthy that the number of votes received by both Ralph Nader (who supports drug decriminalization) and Libertarian Harry Browne (who supports the repeal of all drug prohibition laws) is much larger than the number of votes separating Bush and Gore in that state (i.e., less than 1,800 votes). Because Gore's drug policy positions have been every bit as bad as Bush's, many voters in Florida had refused to vote for Gore, choosing Nader or Browne, instead. Interestingly, if only 10% of Browne's 18,000 votes -- or 2% of Nader's 100,000 votes -- had gone to Gore, then he would have carried Florida. It may be reasonable to assert that Gore's punitive, inflexible drug policies are what cost him the presidential election.Click here for detailed results: By Chuck ThomasMarijuana Policy Project the link to read all of DrugSense Weekly's News Bulletin. DrugSense Weekly November 10, 2000 #174 Weekly - November 3, 2000 #173 Weekly November 3, 2000 #173 Weekly October 27, 2000 #172 MapInc. Archives: 
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on November 11, 2000 at 06:34:26 PT
Invitation From Richard Lake
Tonight Steve Kubby will be our special guest in the DrugSense Chat Room at: chat room is always open, but activists start arriving on Saturday and Sunday evenings at about 6 p.m. Pacific time, or 9:00 p.m. Eastern time.Steve will be joining us about an hour and a half into the chat session tonight, Saturday.Steve was among the first to recognize the value to reform of the Media Awareness Project, awarding it a top site recognition in his popular Alpine World, an on-line recreation magazine (which was destroyed when the narks took his computer) shortly after the MAP website was created. Thus he holds a special place in the hearts of long time MAP activists.Targeted for his medical marijuana political activities by California, Nevada and DEA narks; Steve is now in a fight for his very life in a California courtroom - this despite clearly being a medical marijuana patient following the letter of California law.You can read the latest of the more than 200 articles published about Steve, and the trial, at: Kubby Articles:
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