A Joint Effort on Drug-Treatment Initiative 

A Joint Effort on Drug-Treatment Initiative 
Posted by CN Staff on July 14, 2002 at 20:01:38 PT
Inside Politics
Gov. Bob Taft's new ally in battling a proposed drug-treatment initiative is the Ohio Cannabis Society. The society, which seeks legalized use of marijuana, was going to formally oppose the measure, which would require treatment over prison for first- and second-time drug offenders. The society has mellowed out, however, and is now simply asking Ohioans to carefully review the proposal, which would become part of Ohio's Constitution if passed. 
The pot people, like Taft, worry that the initiative's language will make it difficult for legislators to change drug policy. The society also is concerned the measure would cause the General Assembly to increase penalties for possession of marijuana, now a misdemeanor, and it might hinder legalization. Emily Foster, spokeswoman for Taft's opposition campaign, was "flabbergasted" to learn of this newest support. "We have a big tent and they are welcome," Foster said. "We clearly share the constitutional objections they have, but I dare say we do not share their other objectives." TOM DIEMER: Not missing the links Rep. Deborah Pryce of Columbus is seeking to replace retiring Rep. J.C. Watts of Oklahoma later this year as chairman of the House Republican Conference, the No. 4 leadership post in the chamber's Republican hiearchy. The 50-year-old Pryce, who recently adopted a baby girl says she can balance the demands of parenting with the leadership job - perhaps even better than her male colleagues could. After all, she saves a lot of time by not engaging in a favorite Republican pastime: "All I can say," she told the Capitol Hill newspaper, Roll Call, "is that I don't play golf." Inside Politics is a weekly column of news gathering by Plain Dealer reporters who cover public affairs. Related Article: Bad Idea, Big Bankroll The most spirited campaign leading up to November's general election could well turn out to involve not a candidate, but a ballot issue about drugs. On Monday, Gov. Bob Taft fired the first major salvo against a proposal to require mandatory treatment instead of jail time for first- and second-time nonviolent drug offenders. Backed by many prominent political leaders, Taft publicly pledged to use all of the resources at his disposal to defeat the initiative, which is identical to a measure passed by California voters two years ago. Taft is right to mount such vigorous and early opposition. The measure's supporters, who are still collecting the signatures needed to qualify it for ballot status, are expected to present a well-financed campaign arguing that a mandatory-treatment law would better serve addicted offenders and save the state money. They may mean well, but we believe they're wrong. The proposal, which many suspect is a stalking horse for an eventual attempt to legalize marijuana or other drugs, would strip judges of all discretion when sentencing low-level drug offenders. Those who knowingly break Ohio's drug laws - frequently committing other crimes in the process - should face at least the threat of jail or prison. And the truth of the matter is prison rarely is meted out to a person facing his first or even second nonviolent, low-level drug offense. But the threat can be an important judicial weapon. Judges routinely sentence such offenders to treatment and community service, and warn them that jail is a very real possibility in the event of future violations. Mandatory treatment would remove this option. Also disturbing is that the effort comes in the form of an amendment to the Ohio Constitution. While many low-level offenders undoubtedly are better served by treatment than prison, such an approach hardly deserves to become a criminal's constitutional right. Proponents are expected to spend a great deal of money to persuade Ohioans to enact this measure, with billionaire backers such as Progressive Insurance's Peter Lewis and international philanthropist George Soros reaching into their deep pockets. So Taft is correct in suggesting that it will be difficult for his position to prevail on Nov. 5. It won't be easy, but it will be better for Ohio if this proposed amendment is defeated. Source: (OH)Published: July 14, 2002Copyright: 2002 cleveland.comWebsite: Articles & Web Sites:Ohio Cannabis Society Drug Treatment Initiativehttp://www.ohiodrugreform.orgOhio Faces Drug Battle Calls Drug Issue 'Flawed' Rips Plan To Treat, Not Jail, Drug Offenders
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Comment #10 posted by dddd on July 16, 2002 at 01:12:08 PT
..You are Right On CorvallisEric!..
......and we will see alot more of such trojan horse type things from dark interests!...... The AFL-CIO thing in Oregon is made to seem like some thing that only concerns labor unions,,yet,,in reality,it is a sweeping law that makes a BIG TIME difference for everybody,,and everything......I'll bet you they try the same thing in California soon......
 ..It's true,,that in some ways,the initiative thing is abused by deep pocket interests,,but this is far outweighed by the fact that initiatives are one of the last,and only ways that voters can change things... 
..." is almost entirely
      thru the unrestricted initiative process that we have accomplished anything in drug reform in the USA since 1996."
....Right on Eric.........dddd
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Comment #9 posted by CorvallisEric on July 16, 2002 at 00:21:07 PT
Dealing with ballot initiatives
Lehder says But Governor Taft opposes the initiative, and that's strong circumstantial evidence in it's favor.
To preserve my sanity, I sometimes follow the same procedure. In Nov. 2000, my first experience voting in Oregon, the official state voters guide had about 350 pages. And that was state initiatives only, no candidates or local stuff. Much of it was paid advertising where the only thing meaningful was the list of names of those paying for it and their affiliations.
On the other hand, the following based on briefly half-hearing, so it may not be accurate: this fall we will have a measure sponsored by the AFL-CIO to restrict or eliminate (?) paid signature gathering for initiatives, an obvious attack on typically conservative tax and budget issues. Regardless of how you might feel about labor issues, it is almost entirely thru the unrestricted initiative process that we have accomplished anything in drug reform in the USA since 1996.
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on July 15, 2002 at 16:32:46 PT
We don't have a NORML Chapter anywhere with in a reasonable driving distance of where I live. I sent money one time to NCNORML but never got notified if it was received. I really like Nicholas from NORML and Richard ( my personal sounding block, bless his heart ) from Mapinc. but I don't belong to any organizations because I don't want to do anything but news and I'm just a rebel I suppose. I really appreciate that no one has pressured me to do this or that in drug policy reform issues because as I said I just want to do news and let policies be decided by those who want to do that type of work. 
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Comment #7 posted by Lehder on July 15, 2002 at 16:23:32 PT
I've seen the TV show COPS too, though not for a long time: all television sets should be destroyed. The cops always ask permission to search, and the permission is always given on that show and the cops always discover a crack pipe within seconds. The show Never presents anyone who refuses to waive his rights and refuses to grant permission to search; it's intended to teach that we have no rights. The program is the lowest of propaganda.I am a member of the Ohio Cannabis Society by default. It was until recently a local chapter of NORML. OCS broke away from NORML earlier this because, as I understand the flier that was sent, OCS supports itself with a retail store and this is inconsistent with the NORML charter. This means that there is presently no NORML chapter in the area, at least there is no longer one listed on the NORML web site.But even as a member of OCS, this article is news to me and I certainly had no input into the decision to oppose the reform bill. I plan to vote in favor of it.I never get anything from OCS except a pulp rag that has reprints of several articles all of which I've read months earlier on cnews. They don't email me or nothin', man, and as far as I can tell they don't have meetings or nothin', man. I would have debated them on this Ohio issue.They were at the DEA protest on June 6 as I was, but I learned of this national event on the Internet, not from OCS. Maybe that's why there were only 18 people there. I had planned to attend their camping trip earlier in the year, but was told that it was called off and only the "hard core" members would participate. I do of course support this organization's goals, but it seems only a clique to me with no possibility of becoming a political force. The text of the Ohio initiative uses only the term "controlled substance," without distinguishing among or naming any "controlled substances." If marijuana is to be lumped in with all "controlled substances" then the penalties for possession in Ohio could in principle be increased, not diminished. But it's impossible discern the intent of this poorly worded document ( you can find it easily on the Internet). It's troublesome too that if passed it becomes an amendment to the Ohio Constitution thereby making a defective policy perhaps harder to change - at least until marijuana is no longer classified as a "controlled substance."But Governor Taft opposes the initiative, and that's strong circumstantial evidence in it's favor. If the amendment reduces the power of judges in Ohio's drug war I'm for it for now. It will generate a lot of negative publicity for the drug war and I'd like to see an Ohio pedestrian or driver on COPS telling a drug warrior about his rights.PAZ,
member, NAACP
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Comment #6 posted by BGreen on July 15, 2002 at 10:32:21 PT
Right on, qqqq
Seeing people get their heads smashed for tiny pieces of crack or a gram of cannabis makes me sick. Cops has turned into a sad display of prostitute, john, and small time drug user arrests.Kind of an "anti-Amsterdam" show.
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Comment #5 posted by goneposthole on July 15, 2002 at 05:56:15 PT
Go to almartinraw and read his latest on what Bush and Dick 'Shamey' have been doing.He says they may have to resign in disgrace. They may be 'rich', but they're beginning to look like bums.Fear not, they're our 'leaders'.I think Al knows what's happening.
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Comment #4 posted by qqqq on July 15, 2002 at 05:10:35 PT
....Faux "news"...
..I used to entertain this illusive hope that the fox network was somehow "outside",of the owned and controlled empire media......but,,,then I started realizing,,that FOX is a corporate Whore,like all the other network tramps who are pimped by the empire!.......Here's why......first,,,think about that show's been on for years,,and yes,,I admit,it is entertaining!..I think there is a strange facination about seeing other people getting busted. ..... ... ..But,,,then ,,I began to realize,,that COPS,was basicly an info-mercial for law enforcement. It became obvious,,when that prick "sherriff John Bunnell",began hosting busts,and hosting police pursuit shows.,, saying stuff like;;;"...This drug crazed freak will think twice next time he comes up against the valiant men and women of the Utah State Patrol!....A judge will give him 35 years to think about .!"......COPS,,is law enforcement Public Relations ,,and little more..........
..OK...then we can start to notice FOX news,,,..Here in LA,,there is FOX local news,,and the national Sunday morning show with Brit Hume,,and Fred is all swayed toward the corporate ,,even though it is made to appear "balanced",,or "hard hitting",,tough"...If you compare the "news" from the four major networks,(ABC,,CBS,,NBC,,FOX),,you will see that there is no "independent media",,or "free press"..[I dont have cable]...
...No network goes "outside the lines"....You will not find anything that is truly abrasive ,,even on cable.The entire thing is owned and monitored by corporate interests....Oh yes,,it may appear to be hard-hitting,,like Meet the Press yesterday,,with Harvey Pitt on the hot seat.....It was rather sad....Mr Pitt is a weasel,,and his response to the scripted questions from Tim Russert,were artfully bogus,and cheaply evasive!..the only thing missing from Mr Pitts explanations,,was the W.C.Fields accent!
..FOX wont step on any toes,it will carry the party line along with the rest of the national corporate owned media. ..A media,,which is owned by the corporations that may have much in common with corporations like Enron and Worldcom...The financial meltdown will aint gonna be pretty....There are hundreds of billions in fake "money",being tossed around out there....this week,,we will see the stock market teeter further down,,,get ready ,,things are gonna get way worse.........that's what I think........but,,dont let it bum you out,,because JAH is no secret!......You know JAH,,,JAH knows you!.....may JAH Shine upon your life always!
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Comment #3 posted by mayan on July 15, 2002 at 04:06:15 PT
That is nuts! FOX News is ridiculous! They have become the most popular cable news network only because those on the left have given up on CNN,CNBC,MSNBC,etc. Any more it seems that only the extreme right get their news off of television & they go to FOX News. The more enlightened rely on the internet for the truth.more "fair & balanced" news - DOJ Loses 9/11 Evidence Control Attempt:
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Comment #2 posted by goneposthole on July 14, 2002 at 20:10:00 PT
That would be:
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Comment #1 posted by goneposthole on July 14, 2002 at 20:08:00 PT
off topic stalking horse
Follow this link and read how others feel about Faux News.
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