DA Candidate Sennett Takes Heat Over Marijuana 

DA Candidate Sennett Takes Heat Over Marijuana 
Posted by CN Staff on October 17, 2007 at 08:46:26 PT
By Hugh Reynolds, Political Editor
Source: Daily Freeman 
Kingston, NY -- Does Jonathan Sennett, the Democratic candidate for Ulster County district attorney, support the legalization of marijuana? It's not quite clear, but his two opponents don't. Sennett, an assistant Ulster County public defender, said during a Freeman interview that he favors "the further decriminalization" of the drug, but he fell short of advocating its "legalization" as he apparently had on at least two other occasions.
His opponents, Republican Holley Carnright of Saugerties and Conservative/Independent Vincent Bradley Jr. of Kingston, say they heard Sennett, a New Paltz attorney, call for legalization twice - in September on a Woodstock public-access TV interview, and again on Oct. 3 at a joint appearance before the Ulster County Police Chiefs Association at the Ulster County Law Enforcement Center. Bradley was not present at the Woodstock interview with Carnright and Sennett."Did he use the word 'legalization' (before the Police Chiefs Association)? Absolutely," said town of Ulster Police Chief Paul Watzka, who, using the Woodstock TV interview as context, posed the question to Sennett at the police chiefs' "meet the candidates" session.Watzka said he did not query Carnright or Bradley on the subject "because I knew how they stood." Bradley and Carnright were quick to inform the police chiefs they did not favor legalization of the drug.Possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use is now a violation, which Bradley called "the lowest form of crime," and subject to no more than a $100 fine."I don't understand what (Sennett) means by 'decriminalization.' You can't get less than a violation. It's equivalent to an appearance ticket for jaywalking," said Bradley, a former Manhattan assistant district attorney."He can dance all around it and blow smoke, but I think his message is clear, intended or not, that he doesn't think marijuana is any worse than tobacco. It is totally inappropriate for a DA to say that," said Carnright, a former chief assistant district attorney for Ulster County. "I think it's a bad idea. You can't be the DA and send out that kind of message. The message, especially to kids, is (marijuana) is bad for you. Any other message is inappropriate."Sennett, in a Freeman interview, compared the health risks of tobacco and alcohol abuse to those connected with marijuana. "The scientific evidence is pretty solid that marijuana is not more harmful than alcohol or tobacco," he said.Sennett, a former assistant district attorney in the Bronx, also observed that the alcohol and tobacco industries have extensive lobbies in Washington and Albany to protect their interests while marijuana does not. "I don't believe that a substance should be determined to be legal or illegal in inverse proportion to its lobbying effort. We don't prosecute people as felons for selling alcohol to kids," Sennett said.Sennett said it is up to the state Legislature to amend laws regarding marijuana and that he would enforce whatever laws are on the books. Watzka questioned that statement. "How could a district attorney who supports legalization of marijuana prosecute a case involving marijuana?" he said.Kingston Mayor James Sottile, a Bradley supporter, called the legalization of marijuana "a bad idea.""Here we have a candidate who says we have lost the war on drugs and gangs (which Sennett denies), and who wants to make marijuana legal," he said. "We're trying to take drug dealers off the street. Making it legal would only makes things worse." Complete Title: DA Candidate Sennett Takes Heat Over Marijuana Stance Source: Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY)Author: Hugh Reynolds, Political EditorPublished: October 17, 2007 Copyright: 2007 Daily FreemanContact: letters freemanonline.comWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives
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Comment #2 posted by aolbites on October 17, 2007 at 16:55:47 PT
"Any other message is inappropriate."
 "I think his message is clear, intended or not, that he doesn't think marijuana is any worse than tobacco. It is totally inappropriate for a DA to say that," said Carnright, a former chief assistant district attorney for Ulster County. "I think it's a bad idea. You can't be the DA and send out that kind of message. The message, especially to kids, is (marijuana) is bad for you. Any other message is inappropriate."--------------------------------------So he should lie like everyone else? what message does that send?so this former DA is willing to put his hand on the bible and swear that cannabis is worse than tobacco?!?!?! what a Nut!hey kids, your government insists that its somehow lawful to lie about scientific evidence.[ever hear of the data quality act?] Data Quality Act (DQA) is an attempt by Congress to ensure that federal agencies use and disseminate accurate information. The DQA requires federal agencies to issue information quality guidelines ensuring the quality, utility, objectivity and integrity of information that they disseminate and provide mechanisms for affected persons to correct such information. It is important for natural resources and environmental attorneys to be aware of this law in the event that a client has an interest in filing a petition with an agency to challenge the quality of information it has used or disseminated. Questions that remain unanswered about the DQA are whether agency information quality guidelines apply to rule-making and whether an agency's denial of a petition to correct information is reviewable by the courts.-=snip=-III. To Whom it AppliesThe DQA applies to all federal agencies that are subject to the PRA. See 67 F.R. at 8453. The PRA defines "agency" as "any executive department, military department, Government corporation, Government controlled corporation, or other establishment in the executive branch of the Government (including the executive office of the President), or any independent regulatory agency . . ." 44 U.S.C.  3502. The term "agency" does not include the General Accounting Office, Federal Election Commission, the D.C. government or the territories and possessions of the U.S. or their subdivisions, nor does it include "Government-owned contractor-operated facilities, including laboratories engaged in national defense research and production activities."-=snip=-  1. Quality of InformationFirst, the agencies were to adopt a basic standard of quality of information as a performance goal as well as specific standards of quality appropriate for the various categories of information they disseminate. 67 F.R. at 8459. Each agency was required to publish its own guidelines in the Federal Register as well as on the agency's website. Id. In addition, each agency promulgated guidelines that can be found on OMB's website. See Guidelines apply to a wide variety of government information dissemination activities and all types of media, including printed, electronic, or other. The Guidelines define "information" as "any communication or representation of knowledge such as facts or data, in any medium or form, including textual, numerical, graphic, cartographic, narrative, or audiovisual forms." 67 F.R. at 8460. This definition includes information that an agency disseminates from a web page, but does not include hyperlinks to information that others disseminate. The Guidelines also do not apply to opinions, where the agency's presentation makes it clear that what is being offered is someone's opinion rather than fact or the agency's views. Id.The Guidelines define "dissemination" as "agency initiated or sponsored distribution of information to the public". Id. Explicitly not included within this term is distribution limited to "government employees or agency contractors or grantees; intra- or inter-agency use or sharing of government information; and responses to requests for agency records under the Freedom of Information Act, the Privacy Act, the Federal Advisory Committee Act or other similar law." Id. It also does not include "distribution limited to correspondence with individuals or persons, press releases, archival records, public filings, subpoenas or adjudicative processes."===================remember, They define their JOB as lieing to the public at the dea... SUE THE BASTARDS. SOMEONE!!
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Comment #1 posted by observer on October 17, 2007 at 10:43:15 PT
The 'L' word
"Legalization"Sigh. Need I say anything? This mess could have been avoided in the first place by attacking drug prohibition, or denouncing the jailing of grandma for medical marijuana. Something along those lines would put his opponents on the defensive. Who wants to defend tossing granny in jail over a plant she grew in her garden? Otherwise, he gets to defend an abstract "legalization" - which his opponents (and the MSM for past 30 years) conveniently define as giving reefers to kiddies. 
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