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1 US GA: ACLU Files for DismissalThu, 06 Apr 2006
Source:Rome News-Tribune (GA) Author:Gregory, Lauren Area:Georgia Lines:63 Added:04/06/2006

44 of 49 "Meth Merchant" defendants are South Asian.

South Asians were 95 times more likely to be charged in the federal investigation known as "Operation Meth Merchant" than people of other ethnic backgrounds, the American Civil Liberties Union alleged Wednesday in a motion filed in U.S. District Court.

"Operation Meth Merchant" implicated 49 Northwest Georgia convenience store owners and operators last year for selling ingredients they knew or should have known would be used to make methamphetamines. Of the 49 defendants, 44 are South Asian and 33 share the common surname Patel.

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2 CN ON: Grow-Op Arrests Cropping Up LessWed, 05 Apr 2006
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Edwards, Peter Area:Ontario Lines:74 Added:04/06/2006

Suburban Police Tout Their Efforts

Pot Growers Trying Harder To Blend In

The number of suburban marijuana grow operations shut down by police over the past few years has dropped dramatically, meaning pot growers are either getting discouraged or smarter.

"All the (Greater Toronto Area) police forces are hammering them," said Det. Rob Muscat of the Peel Region police morality bureau.

Fewer than 40 grow operations have been busted in Peel this year, putting the region on roughly the same pace as last year, when 152 grow operations in houses were shut down.

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3 US RI: Applications for Medical MarijuanaThu, 06 Apr 2006
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Zezima, Katie Area:Rhode Island Lines:30 Added:04/06/2006

Chronically ill patients who want to use medicinal marijuana began submitting applications under a new state law. In January, Rhode Island became the first state to sanction the use of medical marijuana since the Supreme Court ruled that the authorities could prosecute marijuana users, even in states that allow it to be used medicinally. Four people submitted applications, and 51 others are being completed, said Maria Wah-Fitta, a spokeswoman for the Rhode Island Department of Health. The state has 30 days to verify with a physician that the patient is eligible for the program. A patient and a caretaker can possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana or up to 12 plants. The patient and caretaker must carry cards that identify them as part of the program at all times.

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4 US CA: Steve Kubby Released From Jail After 20 DaysThu, 06 Apr 2006
Source:Auburn Journal (CA) Author:Miller, Michelle Area:California Lines:51 Added:04/06/2006

Medical marijuana advocate Steve Kubby was released from the Placer County Jail Wednesday after serving one-third of a 60-day jail sentence for violating probation. He was released early due to jail overcrowding.

Kubby violated probation from a 2000 drug conviction when he failed to return to the United States following a trip to Canada. He was deported in January from Canada back to California.

While serving the 120-day sentence from his conviction, Kubby requested marijuana in jail to control symptoms from adrenal cancer. His request was denied and he was administered Marinol, a synthetic form of marijuana. Kubby served 40 days of that sentence before being released and going back to jail for probation violation.

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5 US MD: Edu: SGA Puts Pot Referendum on BallotMon, 03 Apr 2006
Source:Diamondback, The (U of MD Edu) Author:Whittaker, Kelly Area:Maryland Lines:104 Added:04/06/2006

If deciding the new representatives to head the SGA next year isn't enough incentive, students now have another reason to cast a ballot in this year's election: to express their opinion on whether the university should relax its policy regarding marijuana use.

At its Wednesday meeting, the Student Government Association approved a referendum question that asks students whether they think university punishments for marijuana use and possession should be equivalent to the looser punishments for underage drinking.

"The overriding message is that we want to engage student opinion regarding the university's current drug and alcohol policies," said Chris Biggs, an SGA residential legislator and sponsor of the referendum. "We think this is extremely important because there is a huge discrepancy between underage drinking and marijuana."

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6 US CA: Edu: Lawsuits Attack Policy Denying Funds to StudentsTue, 04 Apr 2006
Source:Daily Bruin (UCLA, CA Edu) Author:Yim, Helen Area:California Lines:110 Added:04/06/2006

Group Says Law Prohibiting Financial Aid to Offenders Is Unconstitutional, Hurts Lower Class

The U.S. Department of Education has recently been hit by a series of lawsuits from groups seeking to repeal a policy that prevents college students who have been convicted of drug offenses from receiving federal financial aid.

The first suit concluded last week when the Department of Education agreed to provide Students for Sensible Drug Policy, one of the groups opposing the policy, with data on the effects of the law - broken down by state - and waived the $4,000 fee the department had initially planned to charge.

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7 US CT: Edu: SSDP Challenges Mandate On Financial AidTue, 04 Apr 2006
Source:Daily Campus, The (UConn, CT Edu) Author:Beals, Shawn Area:Connecticut Lines:73 Added:04/06/2006

Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) filed a class-action lawsuit on March 22, challenging a federal law that denies federal financial aid to college students who have a drug conviction.

The lawsuit, filed for SSDP by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), said the law is unconstitutional and promotes inequality by essentially punishing people for the same crime twice, a violation of the Double Jeopardy Clause of the U.S. Constitution's Fifth Amendment, and irrationally blocking people from a college education.

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8US TX: Air Marshalls Plead Guilty To Drug, Bribery ChargesMon, 03 Apr 2006
Source:Houston Chronicle (TX) Author:Rice, Harvey Area:Texas Lines:Excerpt Added:04/06/2006

Two federal air marshals pleaded guilty Monday to drug and bribery charges and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors, raising the possibility that other air marshals are under investigation.

Burlie L. Sholar III, 38, and Shawn Ray Nguyen, 32, pleaded guilty to agreeing to accept $15,000 in return for using their positions as air marshals to bypass security to smuggle 15 kilograms of cocaine on a flight to Las Vegas.

Their arrests raised concerns about airport security, with prosecutors pointing out during a detention hearing in February that Nguyen had smuggled other items in a briefcase and had stated that he didn't care what the briefcase contained.

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9US TX: Air Marshalls Plead Guilty In Drug CaseTue, 04 Apr 2006
Source:San Antonio Express-News (TX)          Area:Texas Lines:Excerpt Added:04/06/2006

HOUSTON -- Two U.S. air marshals pleaded guilty Monday to accepting money to smuggle cocaine on a flight to Las Vegas and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors.

Burlie Sholar III, 38, and Shawn Ray Nguyen, 32, admitted they accepted $15,000 to use their positions as air marshals to bypass airport security and smuggle 15 pounds of cocaine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark McIntyre said the investigation is continuing, but he cautioned against expecting more arrests.

A criminal complaint said Nguyen smuggled two envelopes containing drug money and fraudulent government documents past airport security in December. He then talked with an informant about smuggling large loads of cocaine and bringing in others to help, the complaint said.

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10US: Fewer Teens Using DrugsThu, 06 Apr 2006
Source:USA Today (US) Author:Leinwand, Donna Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:04/06/2006

Study: Biggest drops in Midwest, South

Drug use has edged downward among teens nationwide, with the biggest decreases driven by teens in the Midwest and South, according to a national survey on drug and alcohol use.

Children 12 to 17 years old who reported using any illicit drug in the past month declined from 11.4% to 10.9% between 2002 and 2004. States that saw the biggest declines in teen drug use were Illinois, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Carolina, Virginia and Vermont.

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11US TX: Suspect Shot During Task Force StingWed, 05 Apr 2006
Source:Houston Chronicle (TX) Author:Rendon, Ruth Area:Texas Lines:Excerpt Added:04/06/2006

PEARLAND -- A man suspected of drug involvement was shot during a narcotics task force sting after authorities said he rammed his pickup truck into an unmarked police vehicle as he fled from police.

Frederick Tippett, 37, was being treated today at Memorial Hermann Hospital with gunshot wounds to the neck and arm.

The task force consisting of officers from the Houston, Pasadena, South Houston and Seabrook police departments, Harris County Sheriff's Office and the Drug Enforcement Agency were investigating a cocaine related case which led them to Tippett's home about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday.

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12US TX: More Than A Ton of Pot Stopped At CrossingsTue, 04 Apr 2006
Source:El Paso Times (TX)          Area:Texas Lines:Excerpt Added:04/06/2006

More than a ton of marijuana was seized at border crossings in El Paso in a busier than usual weekend, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials said Monday.

Officers seized 2,554 pounds of marijuana and 2.5 pounds of cocaine in 25 separate cases.

The largest single seizure was 237 pounds of pot found Sunday hidden in the bed, sides and panels of a 1999 Dodge Ram at the Zaragoza Bridge.

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