The Times They Are a-Changin' 

The Times They Are a-Changin' 
Posted by FoM on March 22, 2001 at 21:55:53 PT
By Thom Marshall
Source: Houston Chronicle
Change is on the horizon. Many have long been hoping that, like a rescue ship, it was on the way to our troubled shore. They have been broadcasting appeals for change, getting more anxious as conditions around us grow ever more severe, straining their eyes watching for signs of it. Others have been hoping that change could be kept away, believing it would not bring rescue at all but make things grow worse at an even faster pace. 
But it is out there, and growing larger, getting closer, confirming the claims of the sharp-eyed few who first spotted it months ago. Change is surely coming to the drug war. I admit that I couldn't actually see it in December, when local law professor and drug law specialist Buford Terrell predicted the big money-power barrier to ending or drastically changing the drug war would suddenly come crumbling down within three years. However, a great deal has been happening to sharpen the focus: Only days ago, Mexican President Vicente Fox came out in favor of legalizing drugs in order to eliminate the profits and violence that go with illegal dealing. Fox was quoted as saying that change in the drug war would need to be worldwide for it to work in Mexico. One story pointed out that he made the comments on the same day the movie Traffic opened in theaters across his country. Directed by Stephen Soderberg, Traffic is the fictional story of a man chosen to be our national drug czar, the post once held in real life by Houston's own Mayor Lee Brown (who has not recently been taking any sort of high-profile role in drug war issues). And speaking of Traffic, what a splash it is making -- major bucks at the box office and a handful of Academy Award nominations. More important, it has stimulated serious national debate. Traffic hasn't played in Tulia:I called the newspaper in Tulia to find out whether Traffic has played the Royal Theater in that Panhandle town. The woman who answered the phone at the Tulia Herald said it hasn't, but she expected it would because the Royal is a top-notch theater and gets all the top films. I'll be interested to find out how it does there and what the patrons think of it. Tulia, you may recall, earned quite a drug-war reputation when 43 residents were busted in a controversial drug sting. Much criticism has been leveled at the quality of the investigation. Since 40 of the 43 were black, charges of racial targeting led to lawsuits filed by the NAACP and ACLU. The lengthy sentences handed some defendants, and the many questions raised regarding the legitimacy of the sting operation, brought anti-drug war activists and news reporters to Tulia from all over the nation. The civil lawsuits and criminal appeals and an ongoing federal investigation are certain to keep Tulia in the drug-war spotlight for a long time after Traffic has come and gone at the Royal Theater. The movie inspired Ted Koppel to do a five-part series on his Nightline network TV program, and it is a hot topic in newspapers and on talk shows all across the land. It seems somehow fitting that a Hollywood motion picture could spark discussion and hasten drug policy change in the nation's capital, where screen actor Ronald Reagan once presided. Pat on back for drug reformer:Speaking of the Reagan administration, former U.S. Secretary of State George P. Schultz called New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson recently with an "attaboy" for Johnson's efforts to improve drug policies in his state. The Associated Press reported that Johnson said Schultz told him that they both shared the view that the war on drugs had been a failure, and that Johnson could tell anyone he wanted to that Schultz said so. New Mexico's legislature adjourned without legalizing medical use of marijuana and without decriminalizing possession of small amounts of it, but other parts of Johnson's drug reform package did pass. The measures would allow the administering of a drug to help prevent deaths from heroin overdoses, would allow pharmacies to sell hypodermic needles, and would expand drug treatment. Meanwhile, in Austin, our Texas lawmakers are actively considering a bill that would allow those arrested with marijuana to avoid prosecution if they can prove a doctor told them they should use it for medical reasons. Change is on the horizon. Thom Marshall's e-mail address is: thom.marshall chron.comSource: Houston Chronicle (TX)Author: Thom MarshallPublished: Published: March 22, 2001Copyright: 2001 Houston ChronicleAddress: Viewpoints Editor, P.O. Box 4260 Houston, Texas 77210-4260Fax: (713) 220-3575Contact: viewpoints chron.comWebsite: Globe's Special Section - Tulia: Behind the Movie Traffic - Nightline: Say Country Losing War on Drugs: President Suggests Eventual Legalization: Gets Lofty Support For Drug Policy Reform:
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Comment #5 posted by dddd on March 25, 2001 at 22:38:25 PT
look at this,you wont be dissappointed
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Comment #4 posted by greenfox on March 23, 2001 at 06:53:28 PT
FOM!! Hey! :)
Umm, you should go to http://www.adobe.comyou can actually download their adobe acrobat reader (the thingy needed to read these damn court files) for FREE! Fancy that.But anyway, I just finished reading the entire arguement. I hate justice Scalia. The dude's a f*cker. In anycase, it's interesting and you guys should check it out.sly in green, foxy in KIND-gf
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on March 23, 2001 at 06:37:43 PT
PDF Files
Thanks Greenfox, I can't read pdf files but maybe others can. I don't know how to use the reader. I tried in the past but just didn't understand.
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Comment #2 posted by greenfox on March 23, 2001 at 06:20:00 PT
HEY FOM!! :)
What's up all. FOM another story for you to post. Actually, not quite a story but I think it's very important so we should post it anyway. The oral arguement for the Kyllo vs. USA case is FINALLY online. For those not familiar, it it the Supreme Court case regarding thermal imaging. Here is the transcript:
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Comment #1 posted by kaptinemo on March 23, 2001 at 04:53:31 PT:
Thunder on the horizon
Years ago I was visiting a friend at Panama City Beach in Florida. Not having been near the Gulf Coast for many years, I forgot how fast a storm can brew up. Or how dangerous those storms can be.Our storm is coming.It's been a long time coming; the forces behind it have been building for almost 80 years. But up to now, it's been nothing more than muted rumblings. Most people - and certainly, nearly all antis - have been unable to distinguish that rumbling from the background noise of politics in the US, and for the most part ignored it. Those few who had been aware of what was happening pooh-poohed the approaching storm front as being little more than a seasonal gully-washer. A flash-in-the-pan that would go away if you ignored it - or ridiculed it.Then, 5 years ago, they heard the first thunderclap, courtesy of Props 200 and 215. Now the antis are vigorously attempting to do an un-Rain Dance, trying to stop what's coming. But it's too late, now. The subject of the efficacy of the drug laws is on the public's radar screen. It's in their living rooms, on their TV's, in conversations at their office, in their church groups, in the schools. (And irony of ironies, in the bars.)Just as I had marvelled at how fast those storm clouds could roll in from the sea, reaching towering heights within a hour, the antis are watching the progress towards the inevitable showdown with us with great apprehension. They know that for every propaganda balloon they send up, we've got a pin to burst it with. They know that for every nebulous or discredited study they dredge up but refuse to name, we have two that disprove them...and we can quote them author, date, chapter, line and verse. They are fast running out of options.So now, they try to hijack ours. Look at how craven they are, that they try to take the credit for ideas which the reformer community has been championing - against the vociferous opposition of the very antis who now say it was their idea, all along. the article: MCCAFFREY: A lot of the numbers are moving in the right direction because we have put huge new resources into prevention, education and treatment with bipartisan support out of Congress. People like Senator Pete Domenici and a brilliant young Congressman Heather Wilson out in New Mexico have been part of the solution. and:MCCAFFREY: Well, you know, there's a lot of mischief in these numbers, and we shouldn't argue about facts. The facts of the matter are in the last -- since FY 96, we've increased the prevention education budget by 55 percent; drug treatments up by 35 percent. The research budget for Doctor Alan Leshner over in the National Institute of Drug Abuse is now over 600,000 million bucks. Drug courts have gone from a dozen to almost 800. This is such a motherlode of contradictory BS that I could spend all day mining it, but you get the drift: antis are trying to sound like us. As if you couldn't hold the very fact of their obstructionism up to public scrutiny and point out, line by line, year by year, that they have always spent much more on incarceration than on treatment.I said it a long time ago: the antis have completely forgotten Lincoln's warning about trying to fool all of the people all of the time. Now they are trying, in the most crass way possible, to try to spray-paint their hyena's spots and mix in with the very people they considered to be legitimate prey. Talk about unmitigated gall! 
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