Marijuana Bill Would Overwhelm Police 

Marijuana Bill Would Overwhelm Police 
Posted by CN Staff on April 06, 2005 at 16:31:23 PT
By David Finkelstein and Bill Parker
Source: Anchorage Daily News
Alaska -- At the request of Gov. Frank Murkowski, Alaska legislators are considering twin bills that would put nonviolent marijuana users on a par with adults who possess child pornography or commit incest. Worse, these bills -- House Bill 96 and Senate Bill 74 -- attempt to steamroll Alaskans' right to privacy, while potentially making our state's violent crime problem worse.
These unconstitutional bills are intended to subvert last September's decision by the Alaska Supreme Court, which affirmed that the Alaska Constitution protects the adult possession and use of up to four ounces of marijuana at home. As a result of this decision, Alaska's busy police cannot make arrests unless they have reasonable cause to believe that more than four ounces of marijuana are involved.But now the governor and certain state legislators are attempting to circumvent Alaskans' right to privacy and drastically increase the penalties for a host of marijuana-related offenses.According to the Alaska Public Defender Agency, of the 500 marijuana-related misdemeanors that it handles every year, more than half would become felonies if these bills pass. That means overextended police and prosecutors -- and eventually jailers -- would spend a lot more time and money on these cases.Marijuana's felony status would divert valuable police resources from violent crimes, which we can't afford. Alaska has six times the national average of reported child sexual assaults and 2.4 times the national average of reported rapes. In Anchorage alone, overworked police cannot investigate almost 25 percent of rapes and about 40 percent of crimes against children. Snipped:Complete Article: Anchorage Daily News (AK)Author: David Finkelstein and Bill ParkerPublished: April 6th, 2005 Copyright: 2005 The Anchorage Daily News Contact: letters Website: Related Articles:Abuse Doesn't Mean MJ Should Be Illegal Less Harmful Than Alcohol or Tobacco Weigh Pot Testimony House Expert: Pot is Dangerous 
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Comment #12 posted by OverwhelmSam on April 14, 2005 at 04:07:35 PT
Speaking of Activist Judiciary
What about the fanatical activists legislators and executives accross this country? I'm pretty proud of the courts decisions lately and have regained confidence for the most part in their fairness. I don't always agree with their decisions, but understand that they do try to make the best decision possible in most cases. And there's always the appeals process.Pulling the rug out from under the power-monger activists in legislatures and the executive branches at state and federal levels is the fair thing to do in the name of the people and the constitution.Overwhelm Uncle Sam
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Comment #11 posted by Sukoi on April 07, 2005 at 16:08:30 PT
It's about half way down the page:Marijuana mold threatens police Frank Murkowski's bill to recriminalize marijuana is still slogging through the state Legislature in Juneau. Murkowski wrote in his transmittal letter, a sort of cover letter for the bill, that in the 1960s and '70s, marijuana was “primarily used by college students and hippies.” The governor also wrote that officers don't like to dry and process confiscated dope crops but have to because it's the law. The weight of a crop's yield determines which charges are pressed. In his letter, Murkowski said the buds sometimes get moldy, which “not only destroys the evidence, but is also dangerous to the officers handling the plants.” Dave Bienstock, a co-editor of High Times magazine, said he's never heard of anyone getting sick from exposure to mold-infested weed, but he doesn't think you should smoke it. “I don't think anyone would want to ingest any kind of mold,” said Bienstock. We also contacted a semi-retired grower from Palmer who recommends the cops “just get a dehumidifier” if they're worried. Our Valley Green Thumb said mold infestations can attack living plants, too. Then he digressed into a story involving an airtight stash box, an Arizona hot-tub party, and four cautious stoners confronted by mold the next day. “We smoked it and there were no ill effects on us - at least none that we could tell.”In addition to making pot illegal, the bill would allow one-sixth of the whole stash's weight declared the yield for the purpose of criminal charges. (Alaska State Troopers took an average yield from several “test batches” to get the one-sixth ratio.) The bill would make possession of small amounts of marijuana a misdemeanor offense. Possession of more than four ounces would be a class C felony, a charge now reserved for people possessing a pound or more.-Scott Christiansen
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on April 07, 2005 at 14:45:05 PT
NORML: Alaska Bill To Receive Hearings 
Alaska Bill To Increase Marijuana Penalties To Receive Hearings ***WHAT: House Bill To Recriminalize Marijuana in Alaska To Receive HearingsWHERE: Alaska House Judiciary Committee State Capitol, Room 120: 8 amWHEN: Friday, April 8, 2005 and Monday, April 11, 2005On Friday, April 8, and again on Monday, April 11, the House Judiciary Committee will hold hearings on House Bill 96 (the companion of Senate Bill 74), which would make it a felony to possess marijuana in one's own home -- despite the fact that Alaskan courts have twice ruled that marijuana possession in a person's home is protected by the state constitution. This bill was personally introduced by Governor Murkowski and previously debated by the Senate. Unless the Alaska House of Representatives hears overwhelming opposition to the proposal from Alaska voters, it will likely pass into law.If you have not done so already, please take a moment today to write your state Representative and tell him or her to oppose House Bill 74. Pre-written letters are available online from NORML at: addition, if your Representative sits on the House Judiciary Committee, it is vital that you call him or her TODAY to voice your opposition to this harmful and unconstitutional bill.The following Representatives serve on the House Judiciary Committee:Representative McGuire, Chair (R-28th) -	(907)465-2995 Representative Anderson (R-19th) -	(907)465-4939 Representative Coghill (R-11th) -	(907)465-3719 Representative Dahlstrom (R-18th) -	(907)465-3783 Representative Kott (R-17th) -	(907)465-3777 Representative Gara (D-23rd) -	(907)465-2647 Representative Gruenberg (D-20th) -	(907)465-4940To help support NORML's state legislative efforts, please donate today at: you again for your support of NORML's legislative efforts in Alaska.Regards,Kris Krane, Associate Director NORML
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Comment #9 posted by dongenero on April 07, 2005 at 14:15:21 PT
Murkowski on The Bill Maher show
Murkowski was on the Bill Maher show within the last couple of weeks.I hoped, knowing Maher is pro-cannabis, that the discussion would touch on this marijuana legislation issue. The discussion was all about the proposed "exploration", (anyone outside the oil industry would refer to it as drilling) in the
arctic wildlife preserve. W's pet project. 
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Comment #8 posted by Max Flowers on April 07, 2005 at 11:12:02 PT
More on Frank
Here's some interesting biographical information (from Wikipedia) on Murkowski. Notice the Bush-like way in which he appoints his relatives into powerful positions.+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++Frank Hughes Murkowski (born March 28, 1933) is a Polish-American politician who is the current Governor of Alaska and a member of the Republican Party. Previously, he was a U.S. Senator from Alaska from 1981 until 2003.Raised in Ketchikan, Alaska, Frank Murkowski initially attended Santa Clara University but graduated from Seattle University, both Catholic Jesuit universities. Prior to his election to the Senate in 1980, he worked in the banking industry in both Anchorage, Alaska and Wrangell, Alaska.During his time in the Senate, he was most notable as Chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee from 1995 until 2001. He argued and moved politically against attempts by environmentalists to stop oil drilling in certain areas in Alaska.He was elected governor on November 5, 2002, defeating his Democratic opponent, Fran Ulmer 56%-41%. He succeeded retiring Democrat Tony Knowles and took office on December 2 2002.Upon being inaugurated as Governor the following month, he resigned his Senate seat and appointed his daughter, Lisa Murkowski, in his place. This led his opponents to accuse him of nepotism even though at the time of the appointment, Lisa Murkowski was the Majority Leader-designate of the Alaska House of Representatives.He has six children with this wife, Nancy. He currently resides in the state's capital, Juneau.
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Comment #7 posted by Max Flowers on April 07, 2005 at 11:05:55 PT
If anyone wants to see what this **** looks like
Here is a photo of good ol' Frank Know your enemy, right? That way if any of us run into him anywhere, we can spell things out for him on the spot.
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Comment #6 posted by fearfull on April 07, 2005 at 10:30:49 PT
People Power
Something in what I just read reminded me of the People Power revolution in the Philippines several years back. Using little else than word of mouth, the true people of that nation were able to mobilize a Peacefull army so strong that the corrupt leaders had little choise but to cave in. What service man could bring himself to shoot women and children bearing flowers? Or nuns with rosaries, praying for you? The images still burn in my mind. And it brings tears to my eyes even as I type this. If you are unfamillier with it, look it up. A simple search on Google will yield tons of results.On the other end of the spectrum is the Tienimen (sp?)Square uprising in China. Again very strong images, but drastically different results. I guess that the difference between a revolution and an uprising is weather or not you are succesfull.What will our story be? Freedom or opression? Will we stand together and fight? Or will we roll over one by one and beg like subserviant dogs?  In many ways the people of the Philippines have more freedom in their day to day lives than those of us who live in the so called land of the free. And I for one am ashamed.
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Comment #5 posted by Sam Adams on April 07, 2005 at 08:28:22 PT
The whole thing in Alaska seems to be going remarkably well.  The governor and others are being "outed" as prohibionist, extremist tyrants. The media is ripping into the lies being spouted by these criminals. And their hateful extremism and lying is down on paper for all to see, since they insisted on putting it into the bill itself.After this bill fails (which it undoubtedly will), legal MJ possession in AK will be totally untouchable. This will enshrine the law into permanence. The legislative approach was the Achilles' last stand of the Prohibitionists in the state, and this brute, heavy-handed legsilative campaign has completely backfired.
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Comment #4 posted by stoner spirit on April 07, 2005 at 02:08:51 PT:
Government and the drug corporations
If these people would get their heads out of their butts, and legalize pot, we wouldn't have others sneeking around with spliffs or joints, or having to cover the marijuana with coffee or whatever.
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Comment #3 posted by mayan on April 07, 2005 at 00:05:38 PT
The Courts
The courts will eventually strike Murkowski's bullsh*t legislation down if it passes. Much of the judicial in this country is very pissed off because of the power grab by the legislative and especially the executive. The recent media smear campaign against the courts and "activist judges" is an attempt to weaken the judicial and steal it's remaining power. The lower courts are about the only thing standing between the fascists and their ultimate goals. It's becoming ever apparent to all Americans that a major power-grab has been orchestrated by the neo-cons and the lemmings in congress. If the courts cave we are all in trouble.
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Comment #2 posted by unkat27 on April 06, 2005 at 21:13:23 PT
Vampire or Vulture?
It makes so little sense for the government to continue to campaign against mj reform that I consider all who do either vampires or vultures.A vampire is an anti-pot person that profits from people's suffering and pain, like a pharmacist that knows how effective mj really is and worries that it may render dozens of 'legal' pills and chemicals obsolete, resulting in a loss of stock and profit for stock-holders in legal pharmaceuticals.A vulture is an anti-pot person that profits from the destruction of pot-user's lives. The state government does confiscate much of a 'criminal's' possessions, including bank holdings and real-estate, which are considered collateral to an extent in paying for the 'crime'. As long as pot possession is treated by law as a crime, there will be 'vultures' in the government profitting from the destruction of pot-users lives.As much as most pot-users are peaceful and nonviolent people who just want the right to make life easier and less painful, without having to worry about losing everything to these vampires and vultures, I just have to say that some things are worth fighting for. I'm not advocating violence, but sometimes I think vampires and vultures should get a taste of their own medicine. As long as they continue to profit from the injustices of cannabis criminalization, they may be a force to be reckoned with (exclamation point).
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Comment #1 posted by John Tyler on April 06, 2005 at 17:16:57 PT
a travesty in the making
This is a travesty of government. The governor and his ilk are trying their best to circumvent the Courts and the People in order to enact some restrictive and counterproductive legislation simply to satisfy some misconceived attitude not based on facts or reality. I hope the courts will smack this one down too.
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