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MAPTalk-Digest Tuesday, May 7 2013 Volume 13 : Number 015

001 SOS - Alert - Reject HR 1635
002 Brazil: Criminalizing the drug user is unconstitutional


Subj: 001 SOS - Alert - Reject HR 1635
Date: Mon, 6 May 2013 13:39:49 -0700

folks, Calvina and her org Save Our Society from Drugs have posted an
alert w/ a form letter. As w/ past such postings some of us choose to
replace their message w/ an edited version slanted our way (the opposite
of theirs).

Here's the link:

Oppose Federal Marijuana Madness!

and here's my edited version of their letter (copy and paste it if you wish):

- ---
Dear [recipient name was inserted here],

As a concerned citizen, I am writing to urge you to approve H.R. 1635,
legislation that will set up a National Commission on Federal Marijuana
Policy that will finally overturn years of ill-considered and poorly
created drug policy.

H.R. 1635 contemplates the nomination by various politicians of people
with expertise and qualifications to review decisions of federal agencies
already made concerning marijuana.

For instance, the Commission would be reviewing whether marijuana is
appropriately placed in Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act (21
U.S.C. 801 et seq.).  The DEA regularly reviews the scheduling of
marijuana and just recently, upon the recommendation of the U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services and the Food and Drug
Administration, wrongfully determined that marijuana is appropriately

National and international experts, not fanatical fringe special interest
anti-drug groups, should set drug policy to make it sound (based on
scientific research rather than anecdotal stories) and protect patients
and the general public.

Federal drug policy is determined and implemented by a corrupt network of
federal agencies created to work in a fashion meant to maintain
prohibition at all costs. H.R. 1635 would bring needed change to these

The Congressmen proposing H.R. 1635 don't like what medical doctors are
saying about marijuana. The Commission would be charged with reviewing the
"health impacts, both benefits and risks, related to marijuana use, and in
comparison to alcohol and tobacco use."

Medical associations, including the American Medical Association, American
Academy of Pediatrics, National Institutes of Health, Institute of
Medicine, American Cancer Society, National Cancer Institute, National
Multiple Sclerosis Society, American Glaucoma Society, and American
Academy of Ophthalmology wish to see more research into cannabis as
medicine, unhindered by the current pro-prohibition regime.

At such a critical time in our economy, we cannot afford to continue
wasting billions of dollars just because drug war profiteers have found
the golden egg laying goose. Sound drug policy must be rooted in
evidence-based science, not driven by special interest groups who are
looking to profit at the expense of our nation's public health and safety.
 Approve H.R. 1635!

And remember, the only ones benefiting from the drug war status quo are
the cartels and prohibitionists.


Subj: 002 Brazil: Criminalizing the drug user is unconstitutional
Date: Tue, 7 May 2013 20:36:10 -0700

Criminalizing the drug user is unconstitutional

Seven ministers of justice that served under the Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva
and Fernando Henrique Cardoso governments signed a manifest attesting the
unconstitutionality of the criminalization of the penal repression of drug
possession for personal use. The document was presented this Thursday,
April 16th, by the ex-minister José Gregori to the minister of the Supreme
Federal Court (STF), Gilmar Mendes.

- -snip-

Rio de Janeiro, April 16th, 2013.

To His Excelency Mr. Gilmar Ferreira Mendes
Minister of the Supreme Federal Court
Subject: Manifest for the unconstitutionality of the penal repression of
drug possession for personal consumption.

Your Excelency Mr. Minister

Considering that Brazil is a constitutional State founded on the
principles of human dignity and pluralism and that every citizen has the
freedom to live as they deem, so long as said freedom does not interfere
with that of a third, the criminalization of a behavior that is practiced
within the sphere of an individual’s personal privacy and does not harm a
third party is not legitimate.

For this, we the subscribers of this document- all having served as State
Minister of Justice – manifest our position on the unconstitutionality of
the penal repression of drug possession for personal consumption.

The failures of the war on drugs, based on the criminalization of the
consumer, reveal the impropriety of the strategy used to this day.
Treating drug users as citizens and offering them treatment and support by
means of harm reduction, is more adequate than stigmatizing them as a

Experiences in Portugal, Spain, Colombia, Argentina, Italy, Germany,
amongst others, have shown that the decriminalization of the use of
narcotics is an important step towards rationalizing a policy that combats
drug traffickers without transforming the primary victim of the illicit
product into the object of penal persecution. Drug users deserve respect
and access to dignified treatment, not time behind bars.

In response to the above, the subscribers of this document stand united
behind the manifests stated in the case of Extraordinary appeal number
635.659, requesting this Court the recognition of the incompatibility of
the crime of drug possession for personal consumption with the present
constitutional model, which is based on human dignity, pluralism and the
respect for personal privacy and that of the private lives of its

Tarso Genro
Ministro da Justiça, between 16/03/2007 and 10/02/2010
Mandato do Presidente Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva

Aloysio Nunes Ferreira Filho
Minister of justice, between 14/11/2001 and 03/04/2002
Presidente Fernando Henrique Cardoso

José Gregori
Minister of justice, between 14/04/2000 and 14/11/2001
Presidente Fernando Henrique Cardoso

Márcio Thomaz Bastos
Minister of justice, between 01/01/2003 and 16/03/2007
Presidente Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva

Miguel Reale Júnior
Minister of justice, between 03/04/2002 and 10/07/2002
Presidente Fernando Henrique Cardoso

José Carlos Dias
Minister of justice, between 19/07/1999 and 14/04/2000
Presidente Fernando Henrique Cardoso

Nelson Jobim
Minister of justice, between 01/01/1995 and 08/04/1997
Presidente Fernando Henrique Cardoso


End of MAPTalk-Digest V13 #15

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