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Twenty years ago, the United States began using harsh drug sentencing in an attempt to curb illegal drug use. Beginning with New York's Rockefeller drug laws, the impact filled prisons as fast as the state and federal governments could build them. Today, communities have difficulty assimilating enormous numbers of people that prison didn't fix. Drug offenders, banned from housing, jobs, children -- even food assistance in some states, struggle to re-enter society. There's more to the meth crisis than most might know. Learn what you can do to ensure drug laws make fiscal and common sense. They often don't.

Creating Moral Panic
Reports, Research and Rejection
Methamphetamine Crisis: Hype or Fact? Factsheet from Common Sense for Drug Policy (PDF Format)
Frontline: The Meth Epidemic (Review); from Miami Herald (FL), 2/15/06
Is this News, or a Get Tough Movement we can't afford? by Nora Callahan
This is Your Country on Meth; from
What Meth Epidemic? National Survey Shows Amphetamine Use Unchanged from Drug War Chronicle
Study Claiming Methamphetamine is Overrunning Hospital Emergency Rooms Fails to Withstand Scrutiny; from Drug War Chronicle

Meth in the News, but often unnoticed - updated regularly!
January 6, 2006 - East Valley Tribune (AZ), Public Corruption - Will Mordida Put Bite On Arizona?

Community Perspectives on Meth
January 11, 2006 - Whidbey News-Times (WA) - Government Harasses Us Again
July 12, 2005 - Orlando Sentinel (FL) - Drug Profits

What you probably don't know about meth and the people that use it:
Eyes of Compassion View Meth Problem, by David Singh for Practitioner Perspectives, U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance bulletin dated May 2001.
"Meth" - New Epidemic, Old Drug by Chuck Armsbury, published as a special community perspective to Spokane, WA's Spokesman-Review, on March 24, 2002
Volcanic Ash: How to Save a Mackey Feary, By David Shapiro, The Honolulu Advertiser

Does over-policing make a community safer, stronger? December 2005 - Lecture (Quicktime & transcript) by Nora Callahan with transcript - Criminal Actors, the Informant System and the Drug War
December 12, 2004 - The Fresno Bee (CA) - Hidden Role In Drug World -Informants Used In Most Narcotics Busts
Snitching: The Institutional And Communal Consequences (PDF download) By Alexandra Natapoff, Associate Professor of Law, Loyola
Law Enforcement Against Prohibition: download a 4 minute film online

What you might not know about determinate sentencing, mandatory minimum and sentencing guidelines:
Understanding US Sentencing Laws: a Layperson Speaks, by Nora Callahan
Informal, Hidden Procedures Define Injustice, by Nora Callahan
What Judges Have to Say!

Prisoners of the War on Meth - are your tax dollars working to make people safe?
Susan Spry Danny Hill Jackie Quarterman Preston Mays George Farley Jeff Nespor Diana Webb Lisa Hanna Sandra Patterson Charles Gibson, Michael Cummings Curtis Slade Kevin Evink Beverly Barnett Beth Cronan Connie Popejoy Kevin Sovie

Outside Links, what other groups are doing to create effective meth laws:
Treatment Works!
Knox Co. Jail Volunteers Deal with Meth Aftermath

New Mexico Coalition Releases - Recommendations
Eyes of Compassion View the Meth Problem
Treatment Facts

Reports, Research and Rejection

Is this News, or a Get Tough Movement a country can ill afford?

Social movements grow out of objective conditions and construction, or more simply put, by accident or design. Social phenomena emerge in societies, and groups of people emerge, sometimes by choice and sometimes by conditions. Some groups get large enough to become identifiable. Power holders decide to embrace these new societal participants, or reject them. Official reports are part of the public debate, and used by people trying to get power. People with the most money, get the most so-called, reports. More reports, greater and swifter rejection.

In the month of January 2006, as if to herald a new era of moral panic with the new year, headlines across the nation shouted, Hospitals Feeling the Strain of Methamphetamine!

Meth strains hospitals in Indiana, in North Carolina, Emergency Room Feeling Pain of Meth, Studies Find, Meth's costs burden Hoosiers, the New York Times said it this way, Hospitals Say Meth Cases Are Rising, and Hurt Care.

A sharp increase in the number of people arriving in emergency rooms with methamphetamine-related problems is straining local hospital budgets.

The National Association of Counties released the report that carried headlines through the month of January, and as if a finely tuned strategy was behind it all, state legislatures began to propose stiff Meth Bills, as if the present laws weren't tough enough. calls the National Association of Counties the Dukes of Deception. Who is the National Association of Counties? With Federal money increasing to war and natural disasters, counties are loosing federal grants that funded anti drug activities. To keep from giving-up law enforcement personal, this association is giving Counties, (large numbers of law enforcement personnel) a hand in their struggle to maintain their jobs, and budgets.

Defined groups can be a religious group, an ethnic group, or a group that shares a particular practice that isn't "normal" by current standards. In the US it can be a class of people; hillbillies (poor and white), cowboys (big and dumb), pot smokers (dirty and stupid), celebrities (beautiful and rich). With almost seven million people under direct police supervision, almost 2.5 million behind the walls of prisons, there is an identifiable prison class (criminals) that has emerged the last 10 years and they are seeking power, too. Most of the criminal class in the US, are nonviolent drug offenders.

To start the rejection process, power holders (constructionists) create a 'moral panic' and the mass media loves a good moral panic because when people are fearful, they read more news and news makers are able to increase their profits, advertisers, too. The objective is to have everyone reject the group that has emerged to identifiable, because at the heart of rejection, is social control.

The goals of the underclass, seeking power is to show the public what reports are saying, isn't true so society will eventually accept them the way they are, or change circumstances that have put them in an identifiable class.

The prisoner class is the lowest of the low, says Callahan. There have been a lot of reports about US Sentencing law, and prisoners. We need to understand the important relationship we have to the reports, and research papers released.

The November Coalition calls all good citizens to let your lawmakers know the gig is up. In the 1960's the hysteria was marijuana. In the 70's LSD, the 1980's brought us white powder cocaine, then crack cocaine hysteria and injustice began to spread, and more drug addiction, property crime and disease. With more whites using crack, our prisons burst at the seam with black, crack offenders. In the 1990's the panic was designer drugs like Ecstasy. We are bringing in the new millennium, with a old drug and new movement to punish it.

To be active opposing counterproductive methamphetamine laws, bookmark this section, check back often, spread the real news and join the November Coalition.

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