Congressional Member Update Congressional Member Update

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Congressional Member Update

The House and Senate Judiciary Committees have some new members. The California and Arizona medical marijuana initiatives have helped to expose the drug war for the farce it is. Several chief judges in the various circuits have openly stated their opposition to the drug war. There are more appeals for drug policy reform than ever before - some of the judiciary are calling for outright legalization! The New York State Criminal Trial Attorney's Association recently released a 50 page report suggesting that drugs be entirely removed from criminal justice.

The recent "Report of the National Criminal Justice Commission" [Steve Donziger editor, Harper Perennial, 1996] issued a scathing book about what is going on and had this to say about the criminal justice system:

"Many criminologists have begun to ponder the unthinkable: that the criminal justice system itself, rather than guarding the peace, contributes to social instability in America."

The more people they lock up, the more the word gets out however, and you can help by sending letters of protest to the right legislators. Letters should go to the following people:

  • The House and Senate Judiciary Committees
  • The U.S. Sentencing Commission
  • Individual Representatives and Senators from the districts where you live.

Senate Judiciary Committee
SD-244 Dirksen Building
Washington, D.C. 20510



 Orrin G. Hatch, Chairman (UT)

Strom Thurmond (SC)

Charles E. Grassley (IA)

Arlen Spector (PA)

Fred Thompson (TN)

Jon Kyl (AZ)

Mike DeWine (OH)

Spencer Abraham (MI)

John Asncroft (MO)

Jeff Sessions (AL)


Patrick Leah (VT)

Edward Kennedy (MA)

Joseph R. Biden, Jr. (DE)

Herbert H. Kohl (WI)

Dianne Feinstein (CA)

Russell D. Feingold (WI)

Richard Durban (IL)

Robert Torricelli (NJ)

 House Judiciary Committee
2138 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515



Henry Hyde, Chairman (IL)

James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (WI)

Bill McCollum (FL)

George W. Gekas (PA)

Howard Coble (NC)

Lamar S. Smith (TX)

Steven Schiff (NM)

Elton Gallegly (CA)

Charles Canady (FL)

Bob Inglis (SC)

Bob Goodlatte (VA)

Steve Buyer (IN)

Sonny Bono (CA)

Ed Bryant (TN)

Steve Chabot (OH)

Bob Barr (GA)

Bill Jenkins (TN)

Asa Hutchinson (AR)

Ed Pease (IN)

Chris Cannon (UT)


John Conyers (MI)

Barney Frank (MA)

Charles Schumer (NY)

Howard L. Berman (CA)

Rick Boucher (VA)

Jerrold Nadler (NY)

Robert C. Scott (VA)

Melvin Watt (NC)

Zoe Lofgrem (CA)

Sheila Jackson-Lee (TX)

William D. Delahunt (MA)

Robert Wexler (FL)

Steve R. Rothman (NJ)

Martin T. Meehan (MA)

U.S. Sentencing Commission
One Columbus Circle, N.E. Suite 2-500
South Lobby
Washington, D.C. 20002-8002
The U.S. Sentencing Commission adopts various proposals each year; they generally organize which proposals and changes they will make to the Guidelines in or around December and, in general, put them out in January. They then take public input in or around the first of March. If the proposals make it through, and if Congress doesn't intervene, they become law in November. So far, the only time Congress intervened was over the crack cocaine equalization amendment, which caused a real mess. There is thinking that the Commission will be timid about submitting any real radical proposals, so it is important that people write to them and tell them what they think about these heavy drug sentences. Remember to send your letters to the Sentencing Commission in March.

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