O'Connor Says Ease Drug Laws 

O'Connor Says Ease Drug Laws 
Posted by FoM on February 04, 2000 at 14:13:04 PT
By Tracey Tully, Daily News Staff Writer
Source: New York Daily News
Using the clout of what could be one of his final columns, Cardinal O'Connor called yesterday for a "major overhaul" of the harsh Rockefeller-era drug laws that can send even low-level offenders to prison for decades.Adding fuel to a long-simmering debate, O'Connor wrote in his weekly column: "The more I think about these laws, the guiltier I feel."
It is the first time the ailing cardinal has spoken out on the issue, reviving hope among the law's opponents that his comments will jump-start reform."This is no longer a third-rail proposition," said Robert Gangi, head of the Correctional Association of New York. "It should ... make it easier for the political leaders in Albany to move on meaningful reform."Still, even O'Connor acknowledged it is a politically risky proposal in a year packed with highly charged state and national elections."Just about the last thing any candidate would want to be accused of would be softness on drugs," O'Connor wrote in Catholic New York. "It would seem to me, however, that justice deferred is justice denied."O'Connor, 80, joins a growing coalition of powerful leaders calling for changes in the laws, which force judges to set minimum sentences of 15 years to life for anyone convicted of toting more than 4 ounces of a narcotic  regardless of their criminal histories.Throngs of protesters held weekly rallies last year, arguing that the laws lock up small-time drug mules while failing to take kingpins off the streets.The state's chief judge, Judith Kaye, has proposed changes that would allow appellate judges to cut drug sentences by 10 years.Even the Republican authors of the 1973 laws have dubbed them failures and urged lawmakers to wipe them from the books.After indicating a willingness in his first term to abolish the sentencing rules, Gov. Pataki last year proposed only minor changes in exchange for ending all parole.Pataki's bill, which would allow appeals judges to shave five years off some sentences, failed to clear the Legislature.Pataki spokeswoman Caroline Quartararo said yesterday the governor plans to reintroduce that measure this year.Original Publication Date: 02/04/2000  2000 Daily News, L.P.Related Articles & Web Sites:FAMM Rights & The Drug War Four Get Clemency For The Holiday - 12/24/99 Passes Bill To Ease Rockefeller Drug Law - 8/14/99 Conversion - Reason Magazine - 7/19/99
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on February 05, 2000 at 10:11:29 PT
Maybe Here
I think you can get about any book at Amazon.com this helps!
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Comment #8 posted by CongressmanSuet on February 05, 2000 at 00:34:18 PT
Im searching...
   I have a question for all these great Catholics here. The Catholic Press published a book last year "Is That Stigmata, or are You Just Horrified to See Me?" Anyone know where I can get a copy?
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on February 04, 2000 at 21:34:47 PT
Yes er re!
I agree CongressmanSuet, That's good! Why didn't I think of it? LOL!Peace, FoM!
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Comment #6 posted by CongressmanSuet on February 04, 2000 at 20:56:52 PT
Catholic upbringing....
 Hey FOM, considering all the guilt that was layed on us,[I did 8 years Parochial and 4 years Prep] I believe that "Being Raised Catholic" should be added to the list of ailments best treated with Medical Marijuana. Agree?  
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Comment #5 posted by kaptinemo on February 04, 2000 at 18:35:23 PT
Thanks for the compliment, but I want to 
keep breathing.My dear departed mother used to say the same thing; that I should run for office. (BTW, I *am* a Libertarian. Been one since 1980, and voted for Ed Clark in my second Presidential election, ever. How different the world might have been if he had won is a metter for speculation, but I can tell you one thing for sure - we would not be needing this forum at all.) My reply was always that people like me usually wind up in someone's cross-hairs. There are some elements in this country that have a nasty tendency to kill those who could do it the most good. Because they can't brook any interference with their own agendas.Having worked for the Feds, I *know* what kind of forces are arrayed against this and other worthy causes; people who give lip service to a Constitution that they would run roughshod over in a heartbeat if they though they could get away with it. Some *do*, for a while, until their offenses are so egregious they are reeled in by their more circumspect masters (Nixon, for example). After the Soviet Union collapsed, I started seeing more and more Fed law enforcement agents coming into our facility to meet with the military types. It was pretty obvious what was going on: the military had to find a new rationale for their budgets, as did the LEOs. None of them could have given a rat's ass about what this highly unusual collusion (supposedly prevented by the now-weakened Posse Commitatus laws) was going to do about the Constitution and civil liberties. All they care about is their paychecks, plain and simple. They used to speak glowingly about Soviet dissidents and their 'samizdat' (underground press) but they really hate the idea that we have exactly the same thing here in this country, and for exactly the same reason. As I had posted in an earlier comment about the letter campaign for Mr. McWilliams, we really don't need any martyrs; we need active people who can get the word out about these things before the ossified characters who run this country can realize they've been finessed.They really *don't* understand the Internet. They don't understand it's power of instant communication and ability to rally different portions of the Internet community together behind good ideas. It is absolutely shocking to them that there is a whole medium out there that is *beyond their control*. THAT'S why they are trying to pull this under-the-rug bit of sedition against the Internet community via the Anti-Meth Bill. And why it has to be fought tooth and nail.
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on February 04, 2000 at 17:18:53 PT
Me Too!
This must be confess we are Catholics day! I am too! I went to parochial school all but 3 years and I learned alot. I sure learned to ask why. I don't belong to the church anymore but I was raised Catholic. The thing that impressed me is that the Cardinal is not going to be around much longer and he was trying to clear his conscience so I admire him for that. He should have spoken up sooner but later is better then not at all.Peace, FoM!
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Comment #3 posted by CongressmanSuet on February 04, 2000 at 17:07:50 PT
Holy, Holy, Holy....
   Dankhank, as a Catholic turned Zoroastrianist[tounge in cheek] I agree that the good old Cardinal did take his sweet time in voicing this opinion, but he DID voice it, and we should be happy with every advance we make. Better late than never. It would be interesting to hear the conversation you are planning to have with your priest. My old parish priest would just hem and haw and say nothing of any coherence in an attempt to make any question he felt uncomfortable with go away. Good luck. And to Kaptainnemo, ever seriously consider running for public office[on a Libertarian, Reform, or Green Party ticket]? Your insight and understanding are quite remarkable!
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Comment #2 posted by kaptinemo on February 04, 2000 at 15:43:02 PT
The effects of legislative inertia
Pour cyanide in a perfume bottle marked Chanel #5, and it does not magically become perfume. It is still cyanide, and will still kill you if you sniff it.This is what these kinds of laws are: cyanide in a perfume bottle. This is what happens when you let a rotten law stay on the books. And why it's so important to become politically active and strike down these monstrosities while they are little more than bills, *before* they become laws. Because if they become laws, they acquire a 'sanctity' which makes it almost impossible to eliminate them. The longer they stay on the books, the longer they become accepted. This is legislative inertia, and its' effects on civil rights is nothing short of deadly. Because if you don't contact your representatives while these things are just someone's twisted fascist dream, and tell them it stinks, it's unConstitutional, et al. in all likelihood, the booby will vote for it. As we have seen in the past with the Marijuana Tax Act, RICO, and these other supposedly good ideas, these things acquire a life of their own. They grow and reach out and strangle you. They have what are so euphemistically phrased as 'unintended consequences'. Right now, the Anti-Meth Bill is another such vampire in the coffin. It is nothing short of a poison pill for the Constitution, but there are lots of dunderheaded fools in the House who will vote for it. (The dunderheaded fools in the Senate, *every* one of them, already did! Election time folks, and they've made it real easy to target themselves for removal. Hint, hint, hint!)Let your Reps know how much of a danger this cyanide-in-a perfume-bottle is for the Constitution, and that there might be some serious repercussions for him or her if they vote in favor of it.
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Comment #1 posted by Dankhank on February 04, 2000 at 14:39:30 PT:
As a Catholic I am appalled by the lateness of the Cardinals cleared vision.To any who have payed attention to the way things are, the WOsD has failed abysmally and been that way for years.The rates of incarceration that have skyrocketed while incremental declines in kids use, are touted by the evil Drug Czar as justification for the worst attack on American personal freedoms since civil rights laws were passed.I hope to see the Cardinal's missive in the local parish publication. I intend then to have a talk with the local priest to test my theory that churchs should be in the forefront of the WAR ON the WOsD.
Hemp n Stuff
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