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1 US NY: Paterson Says He Tried Cocaine and Marijuana in 1970sTue, 25 Mar 2008
Source:New York Times (NY)          Area:New York Lines:43 Added:03/25/2008

A week after admitting that he had been unfaithful to his wife on multiple occasions, Gov. David A. Paterson made another confession about his past, telling a television interviewer on Monday that he had tried both cocaine and marijuana in his early 20s.

In an appearance on NY1 News, Mr. Paterson said he had tried cocaine "a couple of times" when he was about 22 or 23, and marijuana when he was about 20.

He indicated that he had not used illegal drugs since.

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2 US FL: PUB LTE: Modern-Day ProhibitionSun, 23 Mar 2008
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Wooldridge, Howard J. Area:Florida Lines:29 Added:03/25/2008

As a Michigan police officer, I worked the trenches of the drug war/prohibition for 18 years. Despite the arrest of millions of drug dealers, the feds readily admit that drugs are readily available to our kids. Joseph Brown, who realizes that after a trillion tax dollars spent we are no closer to a drug-free America, wants a new strategy? Me, too.

This is prohibition, not a drug war. We can eliminate the single greatest evil force in America today - drug dealers - by following the example of our grandparents, who did it in 1933: end the new Prohibition.

Howard J. Wooldridge,

Frederick, Md.

[end]

3 US FL: LTE: Don't Forget TobaccoSun, 23 Mar 2008
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Mannone, John Area:Florida Lines:30 Added:03/25/2008

Not including tobacco in the drug war is tantamount to sanctioning Iran for nuclear proliferation and not North Korea.

Ever since medical science has evolved enough to discover the real harm tobacco causes on the human body, our lawmakers have turned a deaf ear on the proven facts. Maybe it is because of the tremendous amount of tax dollars flowing in. But what good is the tax money doing when they just turn around and use it to fight harmful drugs?

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4 US FL: PUB LTE: Focus On PreventionSun, 23 Mar 2008
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Chase, John Area:Florida Lines:29 Added:03/25/2008

A prospective juror who intends to vote for acquittal regardless of evidence presented probably would be screened out during jury selection. If not, he or she would then have to make a believable case for acquittal to the other jurors, not an easy task. But this may not be needed.

Budget constraints are forcing the Legislature to consider minor steps to de-escalate the drug war. It won't be a "surrender" or "drug legalization." The most likely scenario will be to reduce funding and shift it from enforcement to prevention and treatment, both far more effective uses of tax dollars. State Sen. Victor Crist, chair of the Criminal Justice Budget Committee, has already begun to consider what such a shift might look like. We should welcome this discussion.

John Chase, Palm Harbor

[end]

5 US FL: PUB LTE: Study Foreign ExamplesSun, 23 Mar 2008
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Sharpe, Robert Area:Florida Lines:43 Added:03/25/2008

There is a middle ground between drug prohibition and legalization. Switzerland's heroin maintenance program has been shown to reduce disease, death and crime among chronic users. Heroin maintenance pilot projects are under way in Canada, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands. If expanded, prescription heroin maintenance would deprive organized crime of a core client base. This would render illegal heroin trafficking unprofitable and spare future generations addiction.

Marijuana should be regulated like alcohol, only without all the advertising. As long as organized crime controls marijuana distribution, consumers will continue to come into contact with addictive drugs like cocaine and heroin. Marijuana prohibition is a gateway drug policy. Compared to legal alcohol and tobacco, marijuana is relatively harmless. The plant has never been shown to cause an overdose death. Marijuana prohibition, however, is deadly.

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6 US FL: PUB LTE: Current Laws Are LunacySun, 23 Mar 2008
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Schaffer, Clifford A. Area:Florida Lines:33 Added:03/25/2008

Joseph Brown proved he doesn't know anything about the subject. The drug laws were lunacy from the very beginning. Every major study of the subject in history has said that the drug laws were the product of racism, ignorance and nonsense. At no time was there any rational consideration of the alternatives or the effects of prohibition.

Brown has a lot of reading to do. He should start his education with the following items:

The short history of the marijuana laws at http://druglibrary.org/schaffer/History/whiteb1.htm

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7 US MI: PUB LTE: Encourage Green Power and Legalize MarijuanaMon, 24 Mar 2008
Source:Kalamazoo Gazette (MI) Author:Walsh, Thomas M. Area:Michigan Lines:48 Added:03/25/2008

Recent articles in the Kalamazoo Gazette have inspired me to respond to several points. Would it not be sensible for the governor to encourage the Legislature to pass a bill to make all electric suppliers in Michigan buy green power generated by anyone in the state, especially by people who have backyard solar and wind generators?

In the same vein, how about a tax break for all those who buy solar electric and wind generators and again to those companies that start up and hire employees to build solar and wind generators?

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8 US: Justices to Weigh Search and ConsentTue, 25 Mar 2008
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Greenhouse, Linda Area:United States Lines:138 Added:03/25/2008

WASHINGTON -- When an unsuspecting drug dealer opens the door to a police informant masquerading as a customer, is he also opening the door for the police to come in and conduct a search of his home without a warrant?

The Supreme Court agreed Monday to answer that question, which has divided the lower federal courts.

Several federal circuits have adopted what has come to be called a consent-once-removed exception to the Fourth Amendment's warrant requirement. The theory is that a suspect who consents to the entry of someone who is really an agent of the police is also, albeit unknowingly, agreeing to let the police enter as well. The police do not need a warrant to enter and search a home if they have the permission of a person authorized to give it.

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9 US: Rep. Frank Defends Bill to Decriminalize Small Amounts ofMon, 24 Mar 2008
Source:Telegraph, The (Nashua, NH) Author:LeBlanc, Steve Area:United States Lines:61 Added:03/25/2008

BOSTON - Rep. Barney Frank is defending a bill he plans to file this week decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana, saying the federal law unfairly targets those using medical marijuana in California.

Frank, who filed a bill to decriminalize marijuana as a member of the Massachusetts Legislature in the 1970s, said the decision whether to make possession of the drug illegal should be left up to the states.

He also said the federal government shouldn't have a law on the books that is rarely enforced and which doesn't make sense to large portions of the public.

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10 US CA: PUB LTE: My Personal OpinionWed, 19 Mar 2008
Source:Willits News (CA) Author:Rayner, Janet Area:California Lines:72 Added:03/19/2008

I've been reading Ron Orenstein's 95490 columns in which he offers his views about marijuana, and I'm inspired to express my personal opinion.

My drug of choice is Chardonnay. You don't even want to see me on that most sinister drug, caffeine.

Many people choose marijuana as their recreational drug. I know many of these people in our community are hard workers, respected business people, politically active community members, and their use of marijuana is on par with many of their peers' use of alcohol.

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