NORML's Weekly News Bulletin - January 3, 2008

NORML's Weekly News Bulletin - January 3, 2008
Posted by CN Staff on January 03, 2008 at 18:39:03 PT
Weekly Press Release 
Source: NORML 
  Seattle Marijuana Policy Review Panel Concludes I-75 Working As Intended   January 3, 2008 - Seattle, WA, USASeattle, Washington: Initiative 75, passed by the Seattle, WA voters in September of 2003, requires that "the Seattle Police Department and City Attorney’s Office shall make the investigation, arrest and prosecution of marijuana offenses, when the marijuana was intended for adult personal use, the city’s lowest law enforcement priority."
The ordinance subsequently adopted by the Seattle City Council to implement the new policy included provisions for the president of the city council to appoint an eleven-member Marijuana Policy Review Panel to assess and report on the effects of this ordinance. Today, following more than three years of meetings and reviews, the Marijuana Policy Review Panel issued their final report, including the following conclusions and findings:I. I-75 was implemented and following its implementation there were reductions both in the number of Seattle Police Department marijuana incident referrals and in the number of Seattle City Attorney filings of marijuana charges, although it is impossible to say whether these reductions were the result of I-75; II. There is no evidence of any adverse effect of the implementation of I-75, including specifically 1. no evident increase in marijuana use among youth and young adults: 2. no evident increase in crime; and 3. no adverse impact on public health.III. There is some evidence of arguably positive effects from I-75in the following substantive areas examined: 1. Fewer adults experiencing the consequences of involvement in the criminal justice system due to their personal use of marijuana; and, 2. A small reduction in the amount of public safety resources dedicated to marijuana possession cases and a corresponding slight increase in availability of these resources for other public safety priorities. The panel then recommended that the City Council (1) keep the current ordinance in effect; (2) require the City Attorney’s Office to provide the city council with an annual report describing the disposition of each case in which an individual was referred for misdemeanor marijuana charges, tracking the disposition of the charges, including an analysis of the racial and gender breakdown of those referred for prosecution; and (3) disband the Marijuana Policy Review Panel.NORML Board member Dominic Holden, a Seattle resident who led the successful effort to pass I-75 and is one of the 11-members appointed by the City Council President to serve on the review panel, stated:"The panel’s report is the first of its kind in the US to show that de-prioritizing marijuana enforcement has no negative impact on society. In contrast, this report shows that the measure freed up limited law enforcement resources to focus on violent and dangerous crime. This is the result that initiative backers and endorsers, including the League of Women Voters, promised voters when I-75 was on the ballot.To view the final version of Seattle’s Marijuana Policy Review, visit:  Anti-Extradition Campaign Underway In Canada For Country’s Most Famous Marijuana Law Reform Advocate  January 3, 2008 - Toronto, CanadaToronto, Canada: National Post columnist and lawyer Karen Selick penned a New Year’s Eve column calling attention to the upcoming January 21 extradition hearing for Cannabis Culture publisher, and former cannabis seed vendor, Marc Emery. The extradition hearing could lead to Emery having to stand trial in the United States on federal charges relating to selling cannabis seeds over the Internet.In an open letter to Rob Nicholson, Canada’s Minister of Justice, Selick acknowledges that Emery will likely be compelled by Canadian courts to surrender to U.S. authorities, and pending such a determination, asks Nicholson’s intervention on behalf of Emery. Selick exhorts, "[Marc’s] conduct would have been grounds for criminal charges here, although Canadian authorities never chose to charge him. But that’s enough under the Act to make it mandatory for the judge to commit him for surrender to U.S. authorities.That’s where you come in, Mr. Justice Minister. Once the court has ruled, the Extradition Act gives you discretion to refuse to surrender Marc if it "would be unjust or oppressive having regard to all the relevant circumstances." From 1999 until he was arrested in 2005, Marc declared his income tax return that his occupation was ‘marijuana seed vendor.’ He paid $578,000 in income taxes into federal and BC government coffers….Canada Revenue Agency…graciously accepted his money without ever taking any action to put a stop to all this criminal activity."Nicholson is reminded by Selick that an Internet search today of the term ‘marijuana seeds’ still finds numerous seed-selling businesses still operating widely in Canada, making the arrest of only Emery (along with his co-defendants Michelle Rainey and Greg Williams) apparently a selective law enforcement action. Further, when Canada was compelled in 2000 to make medical marijuana available by the Ontario Court of Appeals, confusion reigned and that Health Canada (Canada’s health bureaucracy) referred qualified medical patients to purchase seeds online from Marc Emery’s company.Selick concludes, "It would be the height of hypocrisy and injustice for this country to now hand over its benefactor to a foreign government for a prosecution it declined to pursue itself. The Extradition Act requires you, Mr. Justice Minister, to refuse to surrender a person if the request for extradition is ‘made for the purpose of prosecuting or punishing the person by reason of their…political opinion.’ Please consider Marc’s long history of idealistic activism and tell the U.S. government that you won’t let them haul this politically motivated Canadian hero off to one of their jails."An online petition encouraging the Canadian government not to extradite Marc Emery (and Rainey/Williams) to the United States on federal criminal charges is found at: NORML Foundation (DC)Published: January 3, 2008Copyright: 2008 NORML Contact: norml Website: NORML Archives 
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on January 04, 2008 at 11:58:56 PT
DPA: Marijuana Activist Mae Nutt Dies
January 4, 2008Medical marijuana activist and grandmother Mae Nutt, died January 1, 2008 in Roseville, CA. Mrs. Nutt was a medical marijuana activist for over 25 years, motivated by the cancer battle she witnessed in her son Keith, who alleviated his chemotherapy symptoms by secretly smoking marijuana. When she discovered that the drug reduced his nausea, she proceeded to battle the government to make marijuana available to anyone who could prove a medical need. She and her husband were instrumental in the passage of the first medical marijuana legalization bill in Michigan in 1979. They were the recipients of the national Citizens of the Year from The Drug Policy Foundation in Washington, DC in 1990.Mrs. Nutt formed the Alliance for Cannabis Therapeutics with Patient "O" Robert Randall, the first person to get medicinal cannabis from the federal government. Mrs. Nutt and Mr. Randall testified before DEA Law Judge Francis Young. The Judge was so moved by their testimony that he ruled that medicinal cannabis should be available to everyone who needed it. The DEA rejected their own judge's ruling.Mrs. Nutt was most recently featured in the award-winning documentary Waiting to Inhale. She has also been profiled on CNN News and the CBS Evening News, and was labeled Grandma Marijuana in an extensive article in High Times Magazine. She regularly participated in the biennial Patients Out of Time and Drug Policy Reform conferencesNutt, Belle Emma (Mae) Born June 28, 1921 in Rochester, NY, the daughter of Louis and Gladys (Yaw) Wallace, Mae was predeceased by her husband of 46 years, Arnold Nutt, and two sons, Keith and Dana. She is survived by her daughter Joyce Born of Westland, MI, and her son Marc Nutt and his spouse of Antelope, CA. She is also survived by her grandchildren Amy Korte and David Born, their spouses, and 5 great-grandchildren.
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