In the News

Treat, don't jail illegal drug users

Another high-intensity debate is shaping up in California over a ballot initiative that would require treatment instead of incarceration for nonviolent drug users caught with their illegal substances.
If it qualifies and passes, anybody with no history of serious or violent crime who gets picked up by police for simple possession of any controlled substance - including hard drugs such as heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine - would no longer face a state prison term, no matter how many times they are arrested.

DRUG CRAZY: How we got into this mess, and how we can get out

By Mike Gray

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U.S. rules let police keep cash they sieze

Police and highway patrols across the country are evading state laws to improperly keep millions of dollars in cash and property seized in drug busts and traffic stops.
Most states don't want law enforcement agencies to profit so easily from such confiscations - they see it as a dangerous conflict of interest. For that reason, they have passed laws blocking seized property from going directly back to police, and many states designate seizures to be used for other purposes, such as education.
But a yearlong examination by The Kansas City Star reveals that police agencies in every one of more than two dozen states - including North Carolina - checked by the newspaper have used federal law enforcement to circumvent their own laws and keep most of that money for themselves.

Study indicates THC may eradicate brain tumors

Scientists at Complutense University and Autonoma University in Madrid, Spain have discovered that compounds acting at cannabinoid receptors eradicate brain tumors (gliomas) in one third of rats treated, and prolong the survival of another third.
The experiments suggested that cannabinoids kill glioma cells by inducing a programmed cell death by a messenger protein called ceremide and an intracellular signaling cascade.

Diversions take money due schools

Laws differ from state to state, but police still sidestep them.
For example, little or no drug money appears to get into educational funds even though that's where at least eight state constitutions require forfeited money and property to go.
Police in North Carolina get around their constitution by simply handing their seizures to federal agencies, which then return up to 80 percent.

Howls of protest greet Ontario ban of GRASS, the movie

While opening to warm reviews and standing ovations in the United States, the new documentary film by an Ontario film maker that lampoons the efforts of the U.S. government to weed out marijuana use has been banned in his home province.
The Ontario Film Review Board will not allow the film Grass, by Toronto director Ron Mann, to be shown in any of the province's cinemas because of a 20-second scene of four monkeys smoking marijuana.

Reaping marijuana in hills emptied of stills

HINDMAN, Ky. - Call it green lightning, the seedling crop of countless hidden marijuana patches now stippling the springtime valleys of Appalachia the way moonshine stills used to when Sheriff Wheeler Jacobs was a boy.
The back-road yield of illegal marijuana has proliferated so much that federal officials have designated 65 Appalachian counties here and in West Virginia and Tennessee as a "high-intensity drug trafficking area."
This region is estimated to supply 40 per cent of the nation's supply.

Hawaii Governer signs medical marijuana bill

HONOLULU - On June 22, 2000 Governor Ben Cayetano signed into law a measure that removes state-level criminal penalties for seriously ill people who grow, possess, and use marijuana with their doctors' approval. The bill (S.B. 862), passed by the Hawaii Houe on April 11 and Senate on April 25, is the first of its kind to be enacted by a state legislature, rather than through a ballot initiative.

Marijana grower sentenced to death

A white Alabama marijuana grower named Ronald Chandler was sentenced to death for the murder for hire of a subordinate in his drug ring. The triggerman in the killing was granted immunity in exchange for his testimony, later recanted, that Chandler offered him $500 for the murder. Claiming innocence, Chandler refused a pretrail plea offer of life impriosonment. Chandler's convictions and death sentence were affirmed by a panel of the Eleventh Circuit in mid-1993.