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1 US CA: Joseph McNamara, Progressive San Jose Police Chief, Dies At 79Wed, 24 Sep 2014
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Woo, Elaine Area:California Lines:126 Added:09/29/2014

Joseph McNamara, the former San Jose, Calif., police chief whose outspoken criticism of the war on drugs, the gun lobby and Los Angeles Police Chief Daryl Gates gave him a national profile as a progressive leader in law enforcement, died Friday at his home in Carmel, Calif. He was 79.

The cause was pancreatic cancer, his family said.

McNamara led the police force in Kansas City, Mo., before becoming chief of San Jose's police department in 1976. Over the next 15 years, until his retirement in 1991, he introduced broad reforms, including putting computers into patrol cars, hiring more women and minorities and emphasizing community policing.

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2 US CA: Joseph McNamara Dies At 79 Progressive San Jose Police ChiefWed, 24 Sep 2014
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA)          Area:California Lines:34 Added:09/26/2014

Joseph McNamara, the former San Jose police chief whose outspoken criticism of the war on drugs, the gun lobby and Daryl Gates gave him a national profile as a progressive leader in law enforcement, died Friday at his home in Carmel. He was 79.

The cause was pancreatic cancer, his family said.

McNamara led the police force in Kansas City, Mo., before becoming chief of San Jose's police department in 1976. Over the next 15 years, until his retirement in 1991, he introduced broad reforms, including putting computers into patrol cars, hiring more women and minorities and emphasizing community policing.

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3 US RI: RI Legislators Aim To Outlaw Synthetic, Legalize Organic MarijuanaThu, 22 Nov 2012
Source:Johnston Sun Rise (RI) Author:Kalunian, Kim Area:Rhode Island Lines:142 Added:11/27/2012

When state legislators convene after the first of the year, they will again face a bill to legalize organic marijuana and a new measure to ban its synthetic counterpart.

Representative Edith Ajello (D-Dist. 3, Providence) is the sponsor of legislation for the third session in a row that would legalize pot in Rhode Island, while Rep. Joseph McNamara (D-Dist. 19, Warwick, Cranston) is drafting legislation to ban the sale of synthetic marijuana and bath salts.

Ajello's bill, which would make marijuana legal and impose restrictions on the sale of the drug similar to those for alcohol, was heard last year in committee but was never voted on. Ajello said she's unsure if it will make it to a vote this session either.

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4 US: Web: Border Patrol Agent Fired for Views on Drug Legalization Files LawsuitWed, 26 Jan 2011
Source:Huffington Post (US Web) Author:Graves, Lucia Area:United States Lines:130 Added:01/28/2011

In September of 2009, border patrol agent Bryan Gonzalez was fired for expressing his views on drug legalization to a fellow agent. Now, the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico has joined Gonzalez in filing a lawsuit on First Amendment grounds seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.

Gonzalez, 26, alleges that he was dismissed from his job in El Paso, Texas after saying in casual conversation that legalizing and regulating drugs would help stop cartel violence along the southern border with Mexico. His letter of termination stated his comments were "contrary to the core characteristics of Border Patrol Agents, which are patriotism, dedication, and esprit de corps."

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5 US MI: Editorial: End the WarWed, 03 Nov 2010
Source:Metro Times (Detroit, MI) Author:Buyette, Curt Area:Michigan Lines:602 Added:11/03/2010

Criminalizing Marijuana Use Is (Still) a Losing Proposition

"Dope? Do you think the Russians allow dope? Hell no. ... You see, homosexuality, dope, immorality in general: These are the enemies of strong societies. That's why the Communists and the left-wingers are pushing this stuff; they're trying to destroy us." --Richard M. Nixon

The question isn't whether weed is inherently good or bad.

Like a lot of things in life, it has the potential to be both.

Tens of thousands here in Michigan rely on it to legally treat ailments identified by the state's two-year-old medical marijuana law, and many thousands more use it illegally to help cope with other medical issues, or simply to relieve the stress of this modern life, or to have a good time while partying with friends.

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6US CA: Prop 19: Pot Legalization DefeatedWed, 03 Nov 2010
Source:Oakland Tribune, The (CA) Author:Woolfolk, John Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:11/03/2010

When Californians put an initiative on the ballot to legalize recreational marijuana smoking, the whole nation tuned in to see whether the state would lead a new marijuana law revolution.

After all, California voters pioneered medical marijuana more than a decade ago. But Tuesday they doused Proposition 19, rejecting the country's first effort to legalize marijuana.

As of this morning, the no votes totaled nearly 52 percent.

The defeat came even as voters in San Jose and other Bay Area cities embraced local regulation and tax measures on pot providers.

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7 US CA: Web: Cops Under Pressure to Deny They Support Legalizing MarijuanaThu, 21 Oct 2010
Source:Huffington Post (US Web) Author:Graves, Lucia Area:California Lines:130 Added:10/21/2010

During California gubernatorial debates last week, Meg Whitman was asked about her position on Proposition 19 and marijuana legalization and said: "Every single law enforcement official in this entire state is against Proposition 19."

Former San Jose Chief of Police Joseph McNamara disagrees.

"She's absolutely wrong," said McNamara. "A lot of police officers both retired and on duty are in favor of passing it because they realize that the 'war on drugs' has failed and is going to fail."

For example, McNamara noted, hundreds have joined the advocacy group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.

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8 US CA: Editorial: Debunking False Fears About Prop. 19Wed, 20 Oct 2010
Source:Appeal-Democrat (Marysville, CA)          Area:California Lines:103 Added:10/21/2010

Given that it was written partially in response to opinion polls, rather than as an exercise in pure theory, Proposition 19, which would legalize the possession and use of up an ounce of marijuana (cannabis) for adult Californians, contains provisions that an advocate of pure devotion to liberty might not have included. Some of these provisions have raised questions, some justified and some exaggerated out of any relation to reality. We thought it appropriate to deal with some of these issues, chiefly the reasons for having a "local option" for sales and cultivation and the possible implication this proposal would have on the ability of employers to discipline people who are impaired at work due to cannabis use, and of police to handle drivers similarly impaired.

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9US: OPED: 'Prohibition Is a Disaster'Wed, 20 Oct 2010
Source:USA Today (US) Author:McNamara, Joseph Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:10/20/2010

Proposition 19 presents California voters with a simple choice: Continue a policy that has failed completely, causes massive harm and can never work - or say yes to a common-sense approach that destroys a $14 billion black market run by violent thugs and replaces it with a legal, controlled market, all while eliminating enforcement costs and bringing in new tax revenue.

As former big-city police officials, we're saying yes to the rational approach that regulates marijuana like alcohol and cigarettes.

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10US CA: Editorial: Debunking False Fears About Prop. 19Tue, 19 Oct 2010
Source:Orange County Register, The (CA)          Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:10/19/2010

Given that it was written partially in response to opinion polls, rather than as an exercise in pure theory, Proposition 19, which would legalize the possession and use of up an ounce of marijuana (cannabis) for adult Californians, contains provisions that an advocate of pure devotion to liberty might not have included. Some of these provisions have raised questions, some justified and some exaggerated out of any relation to reality. We thought it appropriate to deal with some of these issues, chiefly the reasons for having a "local option" for sales and cultivation and the possible implication this proposal would have on the ability of employers to discipline people who are impaired at work due to cannabis use, and of police to handle drivers similarly impaired.

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11 US CA: Would Prop. 19 Curb Pot-Linked Violence?Mon, 18 Oct 2010
Source:Press Democrat, The (Santa Rosa, CA) Author:Johnson, Julie Area:California Lines:204 Added:10/18/2010

Marijuana prompted several men to strong-arm their way into a west Santa Rosa home last week and tie up residents with duct tape. It lured a pair into an illicit garden in Round Valley where they were shot dead by its tenders.

It led an unknown killer to shoot a 31-year-old father in his Santa Rosa garage, leaving him for dead and making off with the goods.

Marijuana may be a mellowing depressant when ingested, but its trade often is the nexus of violence. The huge profits made in the marijuana business drive much of the associated crime.

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12 US CA: U.S. Casts Vote Against PotSat, 16 Oct 2010
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Perez, Evan Area:California Lines:84 Added:10/16/2010

Attorney General Eric Holder said the Obama administration "strongly opposes" a California ballot measure to legalize marijuana, warning that federal drug-enforcement efforts would be "greatly complicated" if the measure passes.

Recent polls indicate voters narrowly favor passing the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act, also known as Proposition 19, in next month's election. If passed, the measure would only affect state law, leaving intact the federal law that classifies marijuana as a controlled substance alongside cocaine and other drugs.

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13 US CA: Web: Dianne Feinstein Tries to Play the Big Villain in the Fight for LegaWed, 13 Oct 2010
Source:AlterNet (US Web) Author:Thill, Scott Area:California Lines:209 Added:10/13/2010

Feinstein Is the Poster Figure Against Prop 19, Trotting Out Lame-Duck Allies and Hackneyed, Incorrect Arguments.

Last month, Senator Dianne Feinstein signed the dotted line on California's Proposition 19, which would responsibly decriminalize cannabis for personal use after ballot results this November. But she signed the wrong side, becoming co-chair of the No on 19 Campaign -- the latest in a long line of out-of-touch positions by Feinstein in California politics.

There are so many reasons for Feinstein to support legal pot in California: Legalizing cannabis for recreational use would generate over a billion dollars for the state's parched coffers, during a time its deficit has fully dwarfed that of other American states and its hyper-inflated housing market has run out of air. In any sane world, that alone would be reason to vote yes on 19. But once you add all in the ancillary benefits -- whether it's the millions of dollars saved from not having to imprison and process weed patsies, or the millions of sick and elderly who would have access to cannabis, which would in turn become more culturally accepted as the millennia-old medicine that it is -- it's pretty much a no-brainer.

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14US CA: OPED: Prop. 19: Legalization Will Improve Public SafetySun, 03 Oct 2010
Source:San Diego Union Tribune (CA) Author:Stamper, Norm Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:10/03/2010

Let's face facts: Our laws criminalizing marijuana have been a huge failure. Proposition 19 on November's ballot is the perfect opportunity for California to get things right.

As law enforcement veterans who policed the beat in California and elsewhere for a combined total of 89 years, the three of us have witnessed firsthand the harm our marijuana laws are doing to our communities, and we know how badly reform is needed.

Every year California spends hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars and thousands of police hours on the war against marijuana. What has this accomplished? Has it made our communities any safer? Has it done anything to control marijuana and keep it away from kids?

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15 US CA: Calif Measure Shows State's Conflicted Link To PotSun, 26 Sep 2010
Source:Ledger-Enquirer (Columbus,GA) Author:Wohlsen, Mark Area:California Lines:132 Added:09/27/2010

SAN FRANCISCO -- California has a long history of defying conventional wisdom on the issue of marijuana, including its embrace of the drug in the 1960s and its landmark medical pot law 14 years ago. So it may not be all that surprising that a November ballot measure to legalize the drug has created some odd alliances and scenarios.

Pot growers have opposed it. Some police have favored it. Polls show the public is deeply divided. Only politicians have lined up as expected: Nearly all major party candidates oppose the measure. And hanging over the whole debate is the fact that marijuana remains illegal under federal law.

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16US IN: Column: Golden State Voters Ponder Pot and DebtFri, 24 Sep 2010
Source:Indianapolis Star (IN) Author:Bode, Ken Area:Indiana Lines:Excerpt Added:09/24/2010

SONOMA, Calif. -- There is one thing, and perhaps one thing only, that the two candidates for governor of California agree on: Ballot Proposition 19, The Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010, is a bad idea.

In 1996, California voters approved medical marijuana, which has -- with some exceptions -- enjoyed widespread acceptance. Under current law, there are roughly 500,000 patients at hundreds of dispensaries. Cannabis, with estimated annual sales of $14 billion, has become the state's largest cash crop.

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17 US CA: PUB LTE: Legalize It - Reduce CrimeWed, 22 Sep 2010
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:McNamara, Joseph Area:California Lines:31 Added:09/22/2010

Your editorial "No on Prop. 19" (Sept. 16) argues for a no vote because Proposition 19 is flawed.

But criminal prohibition of marijuana is a disaster and a failure. Anyone who wishes can get marijuana in California despite the law.

The black market flowing from prohibition provides enormous profits for cartels and drug gangs and leads to millions of crimes and violence and corruption, the stigmatizing and jailing of otherwise law-abiding citizens and vast costs in policing, the courts and prisons.

A "yes" vote for Prop. 19 would prevent millions of crimes without increasing costs, lead to better policing and actually produce new revenue.

Joseph McNamara, Prop. 19 campaign adviser, Stanford

[end]

18 US CA: Edu: OPED: Will Voters 'Legalize It?'Tue, 21 Sep 2010
Source:New University (CA Edu) Author:Gura, Alexander Area:California Lines:105 Added:09/21/2010

On Nov. 2, 2010, California will vote on Proposition 19, otherwise known as the Regulate, Control, and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010. Opinion polls throughout the year thus far show a split Californian population with those in favor of legalization having a very slight advantage.

Although those in favor of the legalization of marijuana do have an advantage in the polls, come Nov. 2 it will be a very close decision. Polls indicate a margin of only a few percent between those in favor and those opposed to Proposition 19.

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19 US CA: Cowboy for Pot to Trot into TownSat, 18 Sep 2010
Source:Turlock Journal (CA) Author:Stafford, Sabra Area:California Lines:82 Added:09/18/2010

Prop 19 Supporter Travels State by Horse

The campaign to legalize marijuana use in California will be rolling into Turlock today, or rather trotting in.

Howard Wooldridge, a retired police detective from Michigan, will be riding into town on his horse Misty to help promote passage of California's Prop 19. Wooldridge is one of the founding members of L.E.A.P. - Law Enforcement Against Prohibition - a nonprofit organization of law enforcement, prison officials, judges, and prosecutors who advocate for regulation, rather than prohibition.

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20 US CA: Law Enforcers Back Legal PotTue, 14 Sep 2010
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Saillant, Catherine Area:California Lines:50 Added:09/14/2010

Legalizing marijuana would put a big dent in drug cartels and free up police, prosecutors and judges to go after violent crimes, a law enforcement group said Monday in endorsing Proposition 19, the marijuana legalization measure.

Proposition 19's passage in November would decriminalize an estimated 60,000 drug arrests made in California each year, said former Orange County Superior Court Judge James Gray.

Officers would have more time to go after burglars, robbers and those committing violent assaults, he said.

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21 US CA: Law Group Backs Pot BillTue, 14 Sep 2010
Source:Press Democrat, The (Santa Rosa, CA) Author:Johnson, Julie Area:California Lines:106 Added:09/14/2010

Retired Law Enforcement Officials Say Legalizing Pot Frees Up Police Resources

A group of retired law enforcement officers Monday endorsed a proposition on the November ballot that would legalize marijuana in California.

Proposition 19 would allow adults aged 21 and older to have up to an ounce of marijuana and grow a limited amount.

Legalizing the drug would allow government to better regulate its use, raise public funds by taxing it and free up officers to focus on more violent crimes, said the retired officers, judges and prosecutors who comprise the group called Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.

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22 US CA: Marijuana 'Prohibition' on CA's BallotTue, 14 Sep 2010
Source:Baltimore Chronicle (MD) Author:Zeese, Kevin Area:California Lines:123 Added:09/14/2010

Since the founding of the Drug Enforcement Administration in 1973, 15 million Americans have been arrested for marijuana.

That is more people than live in California's 25 largest cities millions more than live in Ohio, Pennsylvania or Illinois.

The DEA has led an aggressive national law enforcement effort that results in a marijuana arrest every 38 seconds, propelling the U.S. to become the biggest incarcerator on the planet, housing one out of four of the world's prisoners.

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23 US CA: Prop 19 Supporters Blitz StateTue, 14 Sep 2010
Source:Ventura County Star (CA) Author:Herdt, Timm Area:California Lines:93 Added:09/14/2010

A former long-time police chief of California's third-largest city said Monday that state voters will have the opportunity "to strike more of a blow than law enforcement ever could against drug cartels" by approving Proposition 19, the measure that would legalize the possession and regulated sales of marijuana.

Joseph McNamara, who headed the San Jose Police Department for 15 years, called the ballot measure a potential "game-changer" that would allow police agencies to devote more resources to fighting other crimes and undercut criminal syndicates that are largely funded by illegal marijuana sales.

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24US CA: 2 Police Chiefs Discuss Legalizing PotSat, 14 Aug 2010
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA)          Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:08/14/2010

Two police chiefs - former San Jose Police Chief Joseph McNamara and Pleasant Hill Police Chief Pete Dunbar - faced off over legalizing marijuana in California in a Thursday webinar hosted by The Chronicle and SFGate.com.

About 60 individuals joined the online/telephone discussion to listen and ask questions about the societal consequences if voters pass Prop. 19 on the November ballot. Dana Sherne, an intern at SFGate.com, moderated the discussion.

McNamara is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, and Dunbar is a member of the California Police Chiefs Association. Each chief gave his views on five questions. Here's a summary:

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25US RI: Assembly, in Veto-Proof Votes, OKs Medical-Marijuana DispensariesWed, 10 Jun 2009
Source:Providence Journal, The (RI) Author:Needham, Cynthia Area:Rhode Island Lines:Excerpt Added:06/10/2009

PROVIDENCE -- Nearly a decade after patient advocates first pressed for full-scale legalization of marijuana for medical use, Rhode Island on Tuesday became only the second state to establish state-licensed dispensaries to sell the drug to the critically ill.

Senate lawmakers gave final approval to the House and Senate versions of the legislation, sending it to the governor's desk with enough votes to override a veto, if necessary.

Governor Carcieri, a longtime critic of medical marijuana, confirmed in a brief interview Tuesday that he will "do the same thing I've done with it in the past." A year ago he vetoed a compromise plan to study the concept, saying it would "move Rhode Island further down the path of weakening the laws governing -- and public perception of -- illicit drugs."

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26 US RI: Marijuana Dispensaries Pass HouseWed, 20 May 2009
Source:Call, The (Woonsocket, RI) Author:Baron, Jim Area:Rhode Island Lines:110 Added:05/23/2009

PROVIDENCE - Following the lead of the Senate, the House of Representatives Wednesday approved by a lopsided majority a bill approving the establishment of a non-profit "compassion center" to distribute medical marijuana to authorized patients.

After just over 10 minutes of debate the House voted 63-5 to pass the bill introduced by Providence Rep. Thomas Slater. A companion bill passed in the Senate last month on a 35-2 vote.

Before the measure can become law, the House must pass the Senate version of the bill and/or the Senate must pass the House version of the bill and send it to Gov. Donald Carcieri who, according to his spokeswoman, is "expected to veto it."

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27US RI: Medical Marijuana Centers Bill Headed for House VoteFri, 01 May 2009
Source:Providence Journal, The (RI) Author:Needham, Cynthia Area:Rhode Island Lines:Excerpt Added:05/01/2009

PROVIDENCE -- A proposal that would create licensed dispensaries to sell marijuana to those who've been prescribed the drug for medicinal purposes is headed for an official vote on the House floor in the coming weeks, having cleared a final committee Thursday night.

Establishing the so-called "compassion centers" would allow the hundreds of Rhode Islanders legally allowed to use the drug under a relatively new state law to safely and affordably purchase it, supporters say.

Though lawmakers in 2006 legalized use of medical marijuana for those who suffer from certain chronic, debilitating illnesses, they never provided a legal avenue to obtain the drug, drawing concerns about safety and accessibility.

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28 US RI: 'Compassion Centers' For Distributing Marijuana?Fri, 06 Mar 2009
Source:Call, The (Woonsocket, RI) Author:Baron, Jim Area:Rhode Island Lines:144 Added:03/06/2009

PROVIDENCE - Without committing to bringing the bill out of the House Health Education and Welfare Committee that he chairs, Warwick Rep. Joseph McNamara said he looks more kindly this year toward a bill that would establish state-authorized dispensaries to distribute medical marijuana.

The Senate passed legislation last year to create the "compassion centers," but the House HEW committee, upon McNamara's recommendation, amended the bill to establish a commission to study the issue.

The amended bill passed the House and Senate but was vetoed by Gov. Donald Carcieri.

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29US RI: Bill Would License Dispensaries to Sell Medical MarijuanaThu, 05 Mar 2009
Source:Providence Journal, The (RI) Author:Needham, Cynthia Area:Rhode Island Lines:Excerpt Added:03/05/2009

PROVIDENCE -- For Bobby Ebert, the legalization of medical marijuana in Rhode Island didn't just bring relief, it brought a slew of unwanted anxieties.

State law allows the Warwick HIV patient to use the drug to alleviate his chronic pain -- but it offers him no place to buy it legally.

So Ebert did what many of Rhode Island's medical marijuana patients do. Frail and in pain, he made his way from his suburban apartment to the streets of Providence in search of a drug dealer. The first time he went, he was robbed.

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30US CA: Immigrant Sanctuary Laws Seen As PracticalSun, 06 Jul 2008
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Hendricks, Tyche Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:07/06/2008

San Francisco's 1989 sanctuary law grew out of the religious-based sanctuary movement through which churches across the country offered a safe haven to Central Americans who fled civil war and political persecution but were unable to gain asylum in the United States.

For local governments, however, the motivation behind sanctuary policies today has more to do with effective policing than humanitarian impulses.

"Some police departments say ... 'We don't want our police officers enforcing immigration law because if they do, victims and witnesses of crimes won't cooperate with us,' " said Kevin Johnson, dean of the UC Davis law school and an expert on immigration and civil rights law.

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31 US RI: Kids Sing Out Against Drug AbuseSat, 28 Oct 2006
Source:Pawtucket Times (RI) Author:Hadden, Douglas Area:Rhode Island Lines:89 Added:10/29/2006

PAWTUCKET - If the theory is that keeping kids busy is the key to keeping them out of trouble and away from the temptations of drugs, then the schoolchildren's performances to mark the end of Red Ribbon Week were the proof.

More than 100 award-winning youngsters from city schools put on skits, recited poems, rapped anti-drug lyrics and - in the case of award-winning Woodlawn Catholic Regional School - performed a costumed play complete with smoke machines and a Marley-style ghost in showing countless creative ways to illustrate their anti-drug themes in performances in the City Council chamber at City Hall.

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32 US RI: Marijuana Now Legal for Chronically IllThu, 05 Jan 2006
Source:Cranston Herald (RI) Author:Barrett, Chris Area:Rhode Island Lines:123 Added:01/08/2006

Overriding the governor's veto, the Rhode Island House of Representatives voted 59-13 yesterday to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes.

Gov. Donald Carcieri vetoed the original bill, sponsored by Rep. Thomas Slater (D-Providence), last year, but the Senate overrode the veto before it broke for its summer recess. The House saved the override vote for yesterday.

The law, with a sunset clause in June 2007, allows a patient with a doctor's prescription to grow or otherwise obtain at one time up to 12 marijuana plants or 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana. In addition, the patient can select two caregivers who can also legally grow and handle the same amount of marijuana. Patients and their caregivers must gain approval from the state Department of Health and register with the department a measure supporters say will prevent abuse of the system.

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33 US: Cops And Harm Reduction Hotties, Oh My!Mon, 14 Nov 2005
Source:In These Times (US) Author:Talvi, Silja J. A. Area:United States Lines:120 Added:11/15/2005

You wouldn't have expected it during any other week, but for a few days in mid-November, pot smoke wafted throughout the hallways and meeting rooms of the Westin Hotel in Long Beach, California.

Upscale hotels aren't typical hangouts for barefoot young hippies, recovering addicts, or a handful of self-described "harm reduction hotties" toting their own 12-month calendar and information about how to minimize disease and other damage from injection drug use.

But here they were, rubbing elbows with retired police chiefs, academics, addiction specialists, attorneys, non-profit directors, religious leaders and formerly incarcerated prisoners.

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34 US DC: Column: And Presumed GuiltySun, 14 Aug 2005
Source:Washington Times (DC) Author:Saunders, Debra J. Area:District of Columbia Lines:102 Added:08/14/2005

The latest insanity in the war on drugs comes to you from Georgia. As the New York Times reported last week, the feds arrested 49 convenience store clerks and owners -- essentially for selling legal cold and allergy pills.

"Operation Meth Merchant" is the government's way of making store clerks act as drug-enforcement agents -- or if they don't, they could face jail time. The feds enticed informers to tell the clerks they were buying cold pills or other products so they could "cook up" methamphetamines. That would make the store clerks guilty of a crime, if they knowingly sold to would-be meth-makers.

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35US CA: Column: 'Cooking Up' A PanicThu, 11 Aug 2005
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Saunders, Debra J. Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:08/11/2005

THE LATEST insanity in the war on drugs comes to you from Georgia. As the New York Times reported last week, the feds arrested 49 convenience store clerks and owners -- essentially for selling legal cold and allergy pills.

"Operation Meth Merchant" is the government's way of making store clerks act as drug-enforcement agents -- or if they don't, they could face jail time. The feds enticed informers to tell the clerks they were buying cold pills or other products so they could "cook up" methamphetamines. That would make the store clerks guilty of a crime, if they knowingly sold to would-be meth-makers.

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36US RI: Senate Overrides Governor's Veto of Medical MarijuanaFri, 01 Jul 2005
Source:Providence Journal, The (RI) Author:Anderson, Liz Area:Rhode Island Lines:Excerpt Added:07/01/2005

And as the clock ticked toward a new fiscal year, the Senate also releases the state's $6.35-billion budget that was signed by Governor Carcieri.

PROVIDENCE -- Working late into the night, weary lawmakers slogged on toward adjournment yesterday, battling over whether to institute new controls on prostitution and wine sales, confirming a new director of the state Department of Environmental Management and holding a Senate vote to override Governor Carcieri's veto of medical marijuana legislation.

In voting 28 to 6 in favor of the override, senators rejected objections of Senate Minority Leader Dennis L. Algiere, R-Westerly, who said that while the governor supports "effective pain management techniques," marijuana is "an addictive drug" and the override would mean that "nearly anyone" in the state could grow the plant.

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37 US NE: Column: The War America Has LostFri, 24 Jun 2005
Source:McCook Daily Gazette (NE) Author:Hendricks, Mike Area:Nebraska Lines:135 Added:06/26/2005

A couple of weeks ago I received an email from Bruce Crosby, the editor of this newspaper, informing me of a retired police detective's ride across America on a horse to protest this countr's war on drugs. At the time, it was believed he was coming through McCook and Bruce asked if I would be interested in sitting down and talking to this guy.

Because I'm a former police officer as well and have long thought we were losing the war on drugs, I told him I would and used the contact information he provided me to introduce myself and to set up an interview. I received an immediate reply from Jack Cole, the Executive Director of LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition).

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38 US RI: House Passes Medical Marijuana BillThu, 23 Jun 2005
Source:Pawtucket Times (RI) Author:Baron, Jim Area:Rhode Island Lines:107 Added:06/23/2005

PROVIDENCE -- With legislation to allow seriously ill people to use marijuana as medicine having passed both chambers of the General Assembly by veto-proof margins, Rep. Thomas Slater is calling on Gov. Donald Carcieri to withdraw his threat to veto the bill.

The House of Representatives passed a medical marijuana bill Wednesday by a 52-10 margin - after amending it to add Slater's name to the title. A slightly different version of the bill passed the Senate two weeks ago on a 34-2 vote.

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39 US RI: Pot Bill Lights UpThu, 16 Jun 2005
Source:Pawtucket Times (RI) Author:Baron, Jim Area:Rhode Island Lines:101 Added:06/16/2005

PROVIDENCE -- Legislation to allow the medical use of marijuana cleared a large hurdle Wednesday when a House committee passed it 10-2 and sent it to the full House of Representatives.

A spokesman for Gov. Donald Carcieri renewed the governor's threat to veto the measure, but the bill's sponsor, Rep. Thomas Slater predicted it would pass the full House with more than enough votes to override a veto, as a companion bill did in the Senate.

The House Health, Education and Welfare (HEW) Committee amended the bill before passing it, so it now goes to the Senate. The Senate bill that passed last week, sponsored by Sen. Rhoda Perry, must now be amended to match Slater's and be passed by both the Senate and House before it goes to Carcieri's desk.

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40 US RI: Pot Bill Sparks DebateThu, 19 May 2005
Source:Pawtucket Times (RI) Author:Baron, Jim Area:Rhode Island Lines:107 Added:05/19/2005

PROVIDENCE -- After listening to nearly two hours of often-impassioned testimony about the medical use of marijuana, the chairman of the House Health, Education and Welfare Committee said that "philosophically, it is something the committee would look at," if the proper controls could be put in place.

"That's our challenge," Chairman Joseph McNamara said after the hearing. "Distribution, control and regulation are major issues that have to be addressed."

McNamara said he expects to work with the state Department of Health on some of those details in the coming weeks.

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41 US RI: Pot Lights Up StatehouseThu, 19 May 2005
Source:Call, The (RI) Author:Baron, Jim Area:Rhode Island Lines:98 Added:05/19/2005

PROVIDENCE -- After listening to nearly two hours of often-impassioned testimony about the medical use of marijuana, the chairman of the House Health, Education and Welfare Committee said that "philosophically, it is something the committee would look at," if the proper controls could be put in place.

"That's our challenge," Chairman Joseph McNamara said after the hearing. "Distribution, control and regulation are major issues that have to be addressed."

McNamara said he expects to work with the state Department of Health on some of those details in the coming weeks.

[continues 579 words]

42 US MN: Frogtown Still Fighting Drug CrimeSun, 09 May 2004
Source:St. Paul Pioneer Press (MN) Author:Laszewski, Charles Area:Minnesota Lines:134 Added:05/13/2004

Fear Is The Last To Leave.

You wouldn't know it from the kids on bicycles, the neighbors out for after-dinner strolls or the others who are reclaiming Frogtown's streets from drug dealers.

But go beyond the streetscape and knock on doors to ask folks about the change, and it becomes clear the neighborhood hasn't completely turned the corner. More than a year after dozens of dealers were arrested, many who live there still were afraid to talk to Pioneer Press reporters about crime, saying they feared reprisals.

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43 US: Web: Counting the Costs of the Drug WarFri, 07 May 2004
Source:AlterNet (US Web) Author:Harrison, Ann Area:United States Lines:191 Added:05/08/2004

The costs of the war in Iraq can be measured daily in deaths, injuries and decreasing support for U.S. policies. But how do you measure the costs of America's other war - the war on drugs.

Each year, the U.S. government spends more than $30 billion on the drug war and arrests more than 1.5 million people on drug-related charges. More than 318,000 people are now behind bars in the U.S. for drug violations. This is more than the total number of people incarcerated for all crimes in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and Spain combined.

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44 US CO: OPED: How America Lost The War On DrugsThu, 02 Jan 2003
Source:Rocky Mountain News (Denver, CO) Author:Halloran, Ed Area:Colorado Lines:88 Added:01/03/2003

Twenty-five years ago, my then 27-year-old wife, Cathy, was terminally ill. Marijuana would have helped to improve her appetite, and heroin would have eased her pain, but, as one doctor told us, "You're living in the wrong country."

The stated fear was that she would become "addicted."

It galls me that this attitude still prevails a quarter of a century after her death, a fact well established in the new compilation Busted: Stone Cowboys, Narco-Lords, and Washington's War on Drugs. The book does a thorough job of delineating the particulars of the failure of the "war on drugs."

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45 US IL: PUB LTE: Drug War Has FailedWed, 17 Jul 2002
Source:Zephyr, The (IL) Author:Cole, Jack A. Area:Illinois Lines:77 Added:07/23/2002

Editor:

Executive members of a unique drug-policy organization will be gathering in Niagara Falls, Ontario this weekend to discuss strategies for ending the "War on Drugs."

The advisory board for the organization is made up of: Honorable Warren W. Eginton, Judge, US District Court, Bridgeport, Connecticut; Honorable Gary E. Johnson, Governor of the State of New Mexico; Honorable John L. Kane, Judge, US District Court, Denver, Colorado; Sheriff Bill Masters, Sheriff of San Miguel County, Colorado; Mr. Joseph McNamara, former Chief of San Jose, California Police Department; Mr. Patrick V. Murphy, former Police Commissioner, New York City Police Department; Mr. Nick Pastore, former Chief of New Haven, Connecticut Police Department; and Honorable Robert W. Sweet, Judge, US District Court, New York City, New York.

[continues 425 words]

46US: It's NORML to Smoke PotThu, 20 Jun 2002
Source:Desert Post Weekly, The (Cathedral City, CA) Author:Swerdlow, Lanny Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:06/22/2002

San Francisco is the most pot friendly large city in the country, so it is no surprise that the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) held its national convention there on April 18-20.

Over 570 people from all walks of life streamed to the Crowne Plaza Union Square Hotel to hear speakers from State Senator John Vasconcellos to the host of ABC-TV's Politically Incorrect Bill Maher.

Demanding that the government lay off pot smokers, mothers decried the arrest of their children, medicinal marijuana users heralded its beneficial properties, civil libertarians denounced the violations of the constitution and pot smokers praised the plant for its enjoyable effects and the lack of harm of any significant extent.

[continues 2451 words]

47 US CA: Web: NORML Conference 2002Sat, 11 May 2002
Source:High Times (US) Author:Forbes, Daniel Area:California Lines:929 Added:05/13/2002

They ran out of beer early at the jammed, raucous, spit-and-baling-wire emergency party that closed this April's National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws annual conference in San Francisco. Thirsty guests found thirstful ways to compensate for the suds, and if you ignored the computers and filing cabinets, it was easy to forget you were violating fire codes at an ad hoc shindig at a hotshot law office. The wife and I decamped around midnight, not content with the five cases of water trucked in to replenish the sweat the crowd had been shaking on each other jitterbugging to a 40-piece (stationary) marching band. We landed in a little North Beach boite. At one point, my New Yorker was aghast to see a purse all by its lonesome on the floor by the jukebox. Voicing her alarm, she was told don't be silly, woman - this is San Francisco.

[continues 8168 words]

48 US: 5 PUB 1 LTE: Kill The MessengerMon, 01 Apr 2002
Source:Reason Magazine (US) Author:Potts, Rinehart S. Area:United States Lines:113 Added:03/09/2002

Did Nick Gillespie really need to list all the illegal drugs he's used (Editor's Note, January)? I have written to reason before about its apparent conversion into a druggie fan magazine. My breaking point has been reached. Please cancel my subscription.

Gillespie, you and your minions seem unaware of the terrible tragedies that follow drug users. In today's society, there is no penalty for what you are doing, but I can only hope that you and your crowd are visited by a drugged madman with an AK-47.

[continues 638 words]

49 US NY: OPED: Sheriff Pinckney A Victim Of The Failed War OnThu, 10 Jan 2002
Source:Post-Standard, The (NY) Author:Eyle, Alexandra Area:New York Lines:91 Added:01/10/2002

Cayuga County Sheriff Peter J. Pinckney is being charged by the state Attorney General's Office in connection with $4,000 worth of missing cash seized indrug arrests and other crimes involving abuse of the public trust.

No doubt the sheriff's friends and supporters, as well as most people in Cayuga County, would like to believe that the sheriff is innocent or, at worst, that he's just "one bad apple in the barrel." What they may not realize though, is that, in some ways, Sheriff Pinckney is a victim himself.

[continues 631 words]

50 US: Transcript: McNamara, Zeese, Lee and O'Connell visit NYT Drug Policy ForumMon, 05 Nov 2001
Source:New York Times Drug Policy Forum          Area:United States Lines:477 Added:10/30/2001

On Monday, November 5, the NYTimes Drug Policy forum hosted a special panel with four national drug reform activists. This panel was part of a series organized by the forum participants.

Special Panelists:

Hoover Institution scholar and former police chief of San Jose and Kansas City JOSEPH MCNAMARA is the author of the forthcoming book 'Gangster Cops: The Hidden Cost of America's War on Drugs.' Items by or about Chief McNamara are at http://www.mapinc.org/people/Joseph+McNamara

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