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1 US HI: Fear Undermines Hawaii's Medical Marijuana LawFri, 30 Mar 2001
Source:Honolulu Star-Bulletin (HI) Author:Lichty, Pamela Area:Hawaii Lines:96 Added:03/31/2001

Hawaii's medical marijuana law has been in effect only since the end of December and there is still much confusion about what it says, what it does and does not permit and about its relationship to federal law. Both physicians and potential patients are afraid to participate in the program.A lack of education has contributed to this fear.

The fact is both physicians and patients in the program are specifically protected under the state law. The law permits "acquisition" of marijuana, but is silent on the details. It also permits patients to possess, cultivate and use marijuana for medical purposes.

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2 US FL: Strawberry Sought For ArrestSat, 31 Mar 2001
Source:New York Times (NY)          Area:Florida Lines:29 Added:03/31/2001

TAMPA, Fla., March 30 An arrest warrant for Darryl Strawberry was issued today after he left the drug treatment center where he had been serving two years' house arrest.

Strawberry, 39, the troubled former Mets and Yankees slugger, disappeared after leaving a drug treatment session on Thursday night, said Joe Papy, head of the Florida Department of Corrections' regional office. Papy said Hillsborough County Sheriff's deputies and a fugitive apprehension team have been been unable to locate him. The Hillsborough County State Attorney's Office sought the warrant.

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3 US: Marijuana Proponents Face JusticesFri, 30 Mar 2001
Source:Bergen Record (NJ) Author:Gearan, Anne Area:United States Lines:117 Added:03/31/2001

WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court took a first look at prescription pot Wednesday, hearing arguments on an issue that has pitted the federal government against cancer, AIDS, and other patients who sometimes regard marijuana as a wonder drug.

So far as the federal government is concerned, marijuana is illegal and should remain so. Federal enforcement efforts have led to confrontations and arrests in California and other Western states.

The issue for an openly skeptical Supreme Court is whether a patient's need for marijuana trumps a 1970 federal law that classifies it as an illegal substance with no known medical value.

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4 CN BC: Eight Months Is Enough Time For Cocaine ConvictFri, 30 Mar 2001
Source:Duncan News Leader (CN BC) Author:Addison, Steven Area:British Columbia Lines:63 Added:03/31/2001

Eight months in jail was enough punishment for the man responsible for one of the Valley's biggest ever cocaine seizures.

On Tuesday Provincial Court Judge Judith Kay sentenced Zachary Scott Matheson to one day in prison, taking into consideration time he served for an unrelated murder charge that was eventually dropped.

Crown counsel Mike Coleman agreed with the decision.

"While he was awaiting trial he spent eight months in custody - most of that in solitary confinement for his own protection," Coleman said outside Duncan's courthouse, adding the solitary time was similar to two years in normal custody.

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5 Russia: Russia Seeks Second AmericanSat, 31 Mar 2001
Source:Register-Guard, The (OR)          Area:Russia Lines:33 Added:03/31/2001

MOSCOW - Investigators working on the case of a 24-year-old American Fulbright scholar charged with using and selling marijuana are looking for another American in the case, security officials said Friday.

John Tobin, a native of Ridgefield, Conn., was arrested last month on charges of drug possession, but was later accused of dealing drugs, then of dealing drugs as part of a criminal gang, a crime that carries a maximum sentence of 15 years.

In a case that comes amid a spy war between Russia and the United States, the Federal Security Service said Tobin had U.S. intelligence training. No espionage charges have been filed.

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6 US: NPR Transcript: Arguments Before The Supreme Court....Wed, 28 Mar 2001
Source:National Public Radio (US)          Area:United States Lines:153 Added:03/31/2001

From NPR News, it's ALL Things Considered. I'm Noah Adams.


And I'm Robert Siegel.

Today the United States Supreme Court stepped in to the question of medical marijuana. The justices heard arguments in a case testing a California law that allows the distribution of marijuana to patients who say they need it to relieve pain and suffering. California is one of nine states that have passed laws legalizing the medical use of marijuana. NPR's Nina Totenberg reports.

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7 US: PUB LTE: Prohibition On Drugs Doesn't WorkFri, 30 Mar 2001
Source:USA Today (US) Author:Plylar, Mike Area:United States Lines:50 Added:03/31/2001

Whether or not the movie Traffic -- Oscar-nominated for best picture - -- accurately portrays U.S. drug policy continues to be a point of contention. A few high-level government bureaucrats say nay, but box-office receipts and the high praise from the masses seem to suggest otherwise ("Nation waits for insanity to stop in the drug war," Hype & Glory column, News, March 23).

The history of the "war on drugs" speaks volumes to the futility of this social experiment gone awry. The past is clear, but what does the future hold?

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8US AZ: Are Traffic Stops Racial Profiling?Tue, 27 Mar 2001
Source:Arizona Republic (AZ) Author:Shaffer, Mark Area:Arizona Lines:Excerpt Added:03/31/2001

Blacks Being Targeted, Defense Lawyer Claims

FLAGSTAFF - Attorney Lee Brooke Phillips found it strange, mighty strange, the long list of African-American men who made their way to his office after drug arrests in northern Arizona.

After all, Phillips said, it was rare to even see a Black person in Coconino County.

Yet he represented dozens of them after Arizona Highway Patrol traffic stops on Interstate 40, considered by law enforcement officials to be the main drug-smuggling route between Los Angeles and the East Coast.

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9 US NJ: Minority Legislators Urging Verniero To Quit AfterSat, 31 Mar 2001
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Mansnerus, Laura Area:New Jersey Lines:71 Added:03/31/2001

The New Jersey Legislature's Black and Latino Caucus, dissatisfied with State Supreme Court Justice Peter G. Verniero's testimony in hearings on racial profiling, yesterday called for his resignation.

Justice Verniero has not decided whether to give more testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, his lawyer, Robert A. Mintz, said. He was asked to return by Senator William L. Gormley, the committee chairman, who at the close of Mr. Verniero's testimony Wednesday night accused him of having misled the panel in his own court confirmation hearings in 1999.

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10 US WA: WSP Drug Lab Taint Lets Felon Withdraw Guilty PleaSat, 31 Mar 2001
Source:Herald, The (WA) Author:North, Scott Area:Washington Lines:107 Added:03/31/2001

A convicted drug trafficker was allowed to withdraw a guilty plea Friday as part of the expanding legal turmoil surrounding a former Washington State Patrol chemist's admission that he pilfered drugs sent to his lab for tests.

Robert Blackburn is serving a year in the Snohomish County Jail for conspiring to sell marijuana and for possession of methamphetamine.

He struck a plea agreement with prosecutors, and was sentenced in August.

On Friday, however, Everett lawyer Mark Mestel argued that Blackburn's guilty plea was unjust because his client had pleaded guilty believing prosecutors could prove that police had found methamphetamine in his car.

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