Tag Archives: possession

Canadian Oil Men Continue On…Daren McCormick’s Preliminary Hearing begins…

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Free Man On The Land Daren Wayne of the Family McCormick, son of a Canadian Military Man, is originally from Northport, Nova Scotia.  He has traveled all across Canada and Europe and it was in his travels that he met the infamous Mr. Rick Simpson.

He was introduced to Rick Simpson and saw what he had accomplished with Cannabis oil and he began growing “for the cause”, to help seriously ill people, at virtually no charge.   After Rick Simpson was raided and left Canada, Daren continued on.

The rest is becoming history…

The last plant left behind after the raid

Above:   Rick Simpson, with the last plant left behind after the raid

Darren7

Chris Harrigan has been following Daren’s story closely and has documented the saga on video.

This first link to the video below gives the background of the story.

I will ask you to please watch the video’s as they absolutely  explain the situation at hand and why everyone should rally and support Daren in his unjust predicament.  He is absolutely being targeted for giving away free Cannabis oil to seriously ill people. 

ChrisHarrigan

The next video gives some information about the preliminary trial in Daren’s last arrest which took place on April 3rd. 

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Below:  April 3rd, after the Preliminary Trial

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Daren has a very dedicated entourage of followers who believe in his cause and know of the injustice that has been inflicted upon him and they steadfastly remain by his side to support him.

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Above:  Daren’s Cannabis garden, after the raid on August 23, 2017.

There is so much information available on Daren’s cases that there is no way I could input it all here.  Please use the links provided to see what has been published so far.

I will post any further information that I get.

Below:  A Star Is Born!

Darren2

Kevin James  April 2 ·  

Introducing the Cumberland Colchester Marijuana Party of Nova Scotia.
Pursuant to s448 (2)c; s449 of the Canada Elections Act, and s.127 (3.2) of the Income Tax Act;
[…is an electoral district association of the marijuana party & its AGENTS, ARE AUTHORIZED TO ISSUE OFFICIAL RECEIPTS…]
Corporate Structure, Formalization & Bylaws to be released shortly….
Meet the Rev Bros… REvenue Agents…
☆ stay tuned…

attending Court Support Drop Charges Keep Daren Free! with Daren Mccormick, marijuana party and Miss Molly in Amherst, Nova Scotia.

Darren5

RELATED:

Cannabis and Coffee…with Daren McCormick

DAREN MCCORMICK IS OUT!

“I think I had an undercover Cop in my driveway yesterday”…

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10214606231003819&set=a.4603332195673.175806.1063400382&type=3&theater

http://cannabishealthindex.com/

http://www.cumberlandnewsnow.com/news/local/charges-against-simpson-withdrawn-29171/

https://www.cannabisculture.com/content/2007/09/18/5081

http://www.salem-news.com/articles/december052009/rick_simpson_bk.php

https://www.facebook.com/what4man?hc_location=ufi

https://steemit.com/medicine/@xhrgn/urgent-canadian-cannabis-healer-facing-minimum-of-5-years-in-prison

https://steemit.com/medicine/@xhrgn/canadian-cannabis-healer-daren-mccormick-s-preliminary-trial-today

Darren3

skrider

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Thorne Peters LIVE from Shelby County Justice Center in Memphis Tn …

Mike Cox 3 hrs ·

Thorne Peters taking a stand for all of us today, saying No Mens Rea, no guilty mind, no crime no time. This is sickening folks. Mens Rea has been a principle of criminal law since the beginning of Law. He will be live very shortly and there is no more important fight on this planet.

thorne       Video LINK ABOVE!  

“I am on my way to be sentenced as a violent offender…”

I write this post, Mr. Thorne Peters is “live” in front of the Shelby County Justice Center, awaiting arrest for attempting to sell a minute amount of Cannabis in a baggie – prior to his sentencing for the case he lost to a jury for “No Mens Rea”.  Apparently jury nullification is not alive and well in “Memphrica”.

THE KINGPIN THORNE PETERS will be sentenced to 12 years in prison as a violent criminal today . . . though the evidence and testimony proved that no crime had been committed nor had any act of violence taken place. It is time for those who declare themselves to be lawyer activists to focus their efforts on following the law over over criminal codes; by upholding the rights of humanity over political policies; and declaring that we are FREE at birth not SLAVE to legislation. LINK

With an online audience of approximately 75 and numerous people supporting him outside the Justice Center, he has yet to be arrested for trafficking – outside the Center… It is now 11:09 am Central Time.

With the storms forecasted to move through the area later today, the wind is so strong it seems as though it is trying to blow him away…  Yet he stands tall and waits – waits for true justice – for ALL – NOT JUST A FEW! 

“I am dealing pot”, he shouts!  To no immediate avail of Officers.

Then, suddenly, with a burst of wind the video ends…

But the saga of Thorne Peters is just beginning.

The “…very first Cannabis Dispensary” has been opened in Shelby County !  said Thorne Peters.

The Officer’s in the area seemed to ignore what was going on. 

Police continually walk past him and try to not look at him!

“What if you dealt pot in front of a Police Station and nobody cared?” said Thorne.

“I AM THE LAW”  “NO MEN’S REA”

Obviously, Thorne Peters is making his presence known in the Cannabis World, advocating for ALL people, not just “some” of us!

“How would you reconcile the fact that they are not arresting me?” asks Thorne, at about 11:41 am, still standing and flaunting his baggie of Cannabis, after he has already sold several others!

The police continue to walk by ….

“C-A-N-N-A-B-I-S”!!!!!!

Thorne shouts!

Thorne Peters I am calling out those lawyers who believe they stand for justice to stand for ME.When you follow the law to set ME FREE, everyone is FREE! “I AM THE LAW!” #NOMENSREA . . . Tom Lucky Matthew Pappas Michael Minardi
LEARN & SHARE THE “NO MENS REA” WAY TO END PROHIBITION! Listen to those who have used the lawful offensive of NO MENS REA to force the court to follow the law and drop these inhuman charges. We don’t need no LEGISLATION! We don’t need no MEDICALIZATION! We don’t need no DECRIMINALIZATION! We don’t need no JURY NULLIFICATION! We don’t need no ABROGATION! We don’t need no JUSTIFICATION! We don’t need no RE-LEGALIZATION! We don’t need no LEGALIZATION and we damn sure don’t need no LEGISLATION to be FREE at least from God & government almighty! If you or yours are unjustly arrested for PROHIBITION charges, you must proceed PRO SE to jury trial and just say: “NO MENS REA” . . . the lawful offensive to prove that we are FREE by birth not Slave to LEGISLATION! “I AM THE LAW!” “LIVE ON FB” DAILY @4:20 PM ET . . . #NOMENSREA
https://www.facebook.com/thorne.peters/videos/vb.100002110628199/1541003635979976/?type=2&video_source=user_video_tab

At 11:57 AM I continue to watch, so far no arrest has been made.  It seems as though they do not want to bless him with an arrest for trafficking Cannabis, at least not today!  They will await his presence for Sentencing…  for the previous trial, which they won, because Juror’s do not understand the meaning of “Jury Nullification”, nor “No Mens Rea”.

At 12:09 Linda Harrah reports that they have arrested Thorne…

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“FAILURE TO APPEAR???  WHAT ABOUT MY WEED???”  Shouts Thorne!

The Officer states that they are “…not worried about the Cannabis”.

Thorne Peters has now officially been arrested, yet again, for

FAILURE TO APPEAR (FOR SENTENCING)…

STAY TUNED – UPDATES WILL FOLLOW!

RELATED:

FOUND GUILTY, BY JURY, of “possession of pot – that I was not in possession of…” Thorne Peters

(TN) Thorne Peters–The Trial of the Millennium Continues today

Thorne Peters and Rebecca Forbes discuss “No Mens Rae” and her charge of Cannabis possession

Is No Mens Rae “The plea to SET US FREE” ?

https://www.facebook.com/thorne.peters/videos/1667333770013628/?hc_ref=ARSkWfoYbUYzP3KjRW8b6BJanRKLuvGihk6xSQ_QjW3UPDG9-cxQYSmfGyf5xOSUpPI

https://www.facebook.com/notes/thorne-peters/off-to-prison/1667024840044521/

https://www.facebook.com/thorne.peters/videos/1667333770013628/?notif_id=1522772521279937&notif_t=live_video_explicit

https://www.facebook.com/notes/thorne-peters/off-to-prison/1667024840044521/

https://www.facebook.com/linda.harrah.5

THE KINGPIN THORNE PETERS will be sentenced to 12 years in prison as a violent criminal today . . . though the evidence and testimony proved that no crime had been committed nor had any act of violence taken place. It is time for those who declare themselves to be lawyer activists to focus their efforts on following the law over over criminal codes; by upholding the rights of humanity over political policies; and declaring that we are FREE at birth not SLAVE to legislation.  LINK

MERRY (f/g) CHRISTMAS! “The Jirons now face felony charges of possession of marijuana…” OR.. SANTA CLAUS GOT BUSTED FOR cHRISTMAS!

Sheriff’s deputies in York County, Neb., stopped a pickup truck on Tuesday when they noticed it driving over the center line and the driver failing to signal.

During the traffic stop, deputies noticed a strong smell of raw marijuana, the sheriff’s department says.

Patrick Jiron, 80, and Barbara Jiron, 83, said they were from northern California and were en route to Boston and Vermont.

Deputies asked the driver, Patrick Jiron, about the odor, and he admitted to having contraband in the truck and consented to a search of the vehicle.

With the help of the county’s canine unit, deputies searched the Toyota Tacoma. When they looked under the pickup topper, deputies found 60 pounds of marijuana, as well as multiple containers of concentrated THC.

“They said the marijuana was for Christmas presents,” Lt. Paul Vrbka told the York News-Times. The department estimated the street value of the pot at over $3oo,000.

The Jirons now face felony charges of possession of marijuana with the intent to deliver and no drug tax stamp. (Nebraska law requires marijuana dealers to purchase drug tax stamp from its Department of Revenue as evidence that the state’s drug tax has been paid.)

For the friends and family in New England who expected a bag of weed in their stocking this year, it looks like it won’t be a green Christmas, after all.

CONTINUE READING…

Marijuana activist since 1960s facing California pot charges

By DON THOMPSON Associated Press

December 20, 2017 08:50 PM

SACRAMENTO, Calif.

A marijuana activist whose advocacy dates to the 1960s counterculture has been arrested in California toting 22 pounds of illegal marijuana, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Irvin Dana Beal, 70, of New York, was arrested Saturday in far Northern California after prosecutors said his rental car was spotted weaving across the road and driving 20 miles below the speed limit. James Statzer, 51, of Michigan, also was arrested.

The arrest occurred along a well-traveled highway in California’s famed Emerald Triangle area, known for its high-grade pot. A police dog smelled marijuana during the stop and 22 pounds of the drug was found.

Both men pleaded not guilty to charges of possessing drugs for sale and felony transportation charges and were being held in lieu of $75,000 bail.

Beal has been promoting marijuana’s medical benefits for decades. His activism dates to the 1960s heyday of Abbie Hoffman and the Youth International Party, known as the Yippies.

Recreational sales of marijuana become legal in California on Jan. 1, and medical marijuana has been legal in the state since 1996. But it’s still illegal to transport large quantities of the drug or to take it out of state.

It’s not uncommon for traffickers to think they can now transport pot risk-free, said Deputy District Attorney Colleen Murray, who is prosecuting the case.

“People are like, ‘It’s legal.’ So often they’re very open with officers, ‘Oh hey, I have 100 pounds,'” she said. “That’s not the way it works.”

Defense attorney Tom Ballanco said it’s not clear if his two clients thought they were acting legally.

Friends were raising money for Beal’s bail, Ballanco said, concerned that he is a heart attack survivor and has other illnesses. Beal isn’t a flight risk and looks forward to fighting the charges, Ballanco said.

“The nature of his life, really, is one of activism. He’s not the type of person who’s going to flee from this,” Ballanco said. “He’s certainly a very colorful figure. I’m happy to be representing him and his co-defendant.”

For law enforcement, these were routine arrests in an area where traffickers typically tote hundreds if not thousands of pounds of famed Emerald Triangle pot to East Coast states.

“People can buy it here for maybe $800 or $1,000 a pound,” Murray said. “Once they get back there … they’re going to get maybe $3,000 to $4,000 a pound for it. That’s a nice profit.”

CONTINUE READING…

Facebook Posts Indicate That Once Again, Dana Beal Has Been Arrested

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John Penley

Dana Beal [seen here speaking at the DNC protests in Philly] has just been arrested again for transporting a load of marijuana in Weaverville, California.

   SOURCE

Wayward Bill

Bummer. A fellow Yippie and friend.
Dana Beal BUSTED IN NORTHERN CALIF
BUSTED YESTERDAY IN TRINITY COUNTY, CALIFORNIA….
HE IS LOCATED AT :
TRINITY COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE
101 MEMORIAL DRIVE
P.O. BOX 1228
WEAVERVILLE, CA 96093

TRINITY COUNTY JAIL FACILITY
101 MEMORIAL DRIVE
P.O. BOX 1119
WEAVERVILLE, CA 96093

(530) 623-2611
Fax: (530) 623-8180

Follow Aron Kay ‘s wall for details and updates.

Updates will follow…

Despite increased social acceptance, marijuana possession arrests increase: ACLU

cannabis-sativa-plant-1404978607akl

ACLU calls for Pa. to legalize marijuana

By Steve Marroni

smarroni@pennlive.com

HARRISBURG – The findings of a new study that black people are eight times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than white people, even though usage rates are just about the same, does not surprise the ACLU.

“The racial disparities in possession arrests have been around for a long time,” said Andy Hoover, spokesman for the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania. “It is distressing that it’s getting worse.”

But what is a surprise, Hoover said, is that possession arrests for marijuana are on the rise around the state, despite an ever-increasing social acceptance.

“We’re seeing now that 59 percent of Pennsylvanians support legalization. Only 31 percent oppose,” he said today, adding “the rise in possession arrests is distressing.”

But he hopes lawmakers are on board with the call the ACLU made today at the state Capitol to legalize marijuana in Pennsylvania.

You can read the full report, Cannabis Crackdown, on the ACLU’s website.

In summary, the authors of the report studied marijuana offenses in Pennsylvania from 2010 to 2016. The study shows:

  • Possession arrests of adults increased 33 percent in that time,
  • Black people were eight times more likely than white people to be arrested, despite similar usage rates,
  • The state police total arrests per year more than doubled from 2,221 to 4,612 in that seven-year period,
  • The cost to Pennsylvania taxpayers has been more than $225 million in that time.

“Legalization is the only solution to this problem,” Hoover said.

Philadelphia engaged in a decriminalization effort in the last three years, said Matt Stroud of the ACLU, who is an author of the report. The data there shows a remarkable decline in marijuana-related arrests there – about 88 percent.

Cannabis consumer advocate Chris Goldstein said since Philadelphia’s decriminalization, there have been no marijuana-possession arrests of the more than 300,000 students on the city’s college campuses, as opposed to Penn State, where 250 students are arrested per year for marijuana possession.

Cannabis consumer advocate supports ACLU stance to legalize

And unlike Philadelphia, the other 66 counties in Pennsylvania show a remarkable increase in arrests, Stroud added.

In reading this report, state Rep. Jordan Harris of Philadelphia, who is chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, agrees that marijuana should be legalized. The current laws are “nothing be a war on the people,” he said, and research shows legalization does not make communities less safe.

State representative discusses racial bias in marijuana arrests

“It’s time to stand on research, and the research shows it’s time to legalize marijuana in Pennsylvania,” he said, getting applause from the supporters attending the event.

It is particularly disturbing that racial bias has creeped into marijuana arrests, he said.

“I would much rather my law enforcement officers work on murder, rape and protecting our children than spending our valuable tax resources on arresting people for smoking a jay on their way home from a long day of work,” he said.

The police have more important things to focus on than “a non-violent thing called smoking a joint,” added state Rep. Ed Gainey of Allegheny County.

“We can’t continue to incarcerate,” he said. “What we have to do is legitimize and legalize a drug that the people should have the choice to use.”

State representative calls for marijuana legalization

And consumer advocate Goldstein said while the racial disparity is disturbing, so are the number of lives ruined by possession arrests. He said 70 percent of those arrested for possession are between 18 and 30 years old, and these arrests unfairly impact their ability to find jobs, get an education and make a life for themselves.

While the ACLU and some lawmakers support legalization, it may be a challenging road ahead, but ACLU spokesman Hoover said he is hopefully.

“There is a lot of conversation here in the General Assembly about smart justice,” he said. “There is a recognition that the policies implemented in the last 30 to 40 years have failed. We believe that cannabis legalization is part of that discussion.”

Sen. Daylin Leach, a Democrat from Montgomery County, first introduced a marijuana-legalization bill in 2013, and has a new version of that bill in the Senate Law and Justice Committee now. His spokesman, Steve Hoenstine, said this bill calls for marijuana to be sold at state stores, where there is already a sales and monitoring system in place.

And those sales are projected to “completely close the revenue gap with a brand new, sustained revenue that does not involved a tax increase.”

He said it only makes sense to bring in these funds rather than spending taxpayer money on enforcement.

Marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol, Hoover added, adding the “reefer madness mentality is old, inaccurate and wrong.”

This post has been updated with more information about a bill currently in committee.

CONTINUE READING, FURTHER INFORMATION AND VIDEO!

What is “Usable Marijuana”?

Man pleads guilty to having too much medical marijuana

Dabrowskis.jpg

 

By Cole Waterman | cwaterma@mlive.com
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on March 14, 2017 at 8:34 AM, updated March 14, 2017 at 8:35 AM

BAY CITY, MI — Nearly two years after police raided their Bangor Township house in search of excessive medical marijuana, a couple’s cases have been resolved with plea deals.

David A. Dabrowski, 65, on Tuesday, March 7, appeared in Bay County Circuit Court and pleaded guilty to one count of delivering or manufacturing marijuana. The charge is a four-year felony.

In exchange, the prosecution agreed to recommend Dabrowski receive a delayed sentence, during which he’d effectively be on probation. If he receives the delay and is successful on it, he’ll be allowed to withdraw his plea and swap it with a guilty plea to misdemeanor possession of marijuana.

The same day Dabrowski entered his plea, prosecutions motioned to dismiss the same felony charge faced by his wife, Sandra K. Dabrowski, 64.

The Dabrowskis, who were arraigned on Sept. 9, 2015, faced trial the day the plea deal was accepted. Their cases date back to April 2015.

What is ‘usable’ pot under medical marijuana law focus in Bay County couple’s prosecution

Whether a Bangor Township couple broke the law by having too much “usable” pot in their medical marijuana growing operation is the point of contention in ongoing legal proceedings.

In a December 2015 preliminary examination, Bay County Sheriff’s Detective Barry Gatza, a member of the Bay Area Narcotics Enforcement Team — or BAYANET — testified he was tasked with investigating an anonymous tip that the Dabrowskis were illegally selling marijuana from their home in the 2900 block of Bangor Road.

He testified that in the early morning of April 27, he pulled two trash bags from a garbage can at the end of the Dabrowskis’ driveway.

“There were several items consistent with marijuana grows that we’ve come in contact with,” Gatza said. Among the items were trimmed marijuana leaves. “It was approximately just under 10 pounds, I believe,” he said.

Gatza obtained a search warrant and later on April 27, approximately a dozen police officers executed it on the Dabrowskis’ property. At the time, David Dabrowski was home selling firearms to two men, Gatza testified. Sandra Dabrowski was not present.

“There were firearms throughout the house,” Gatza testified, adding David Dabrowski is a licensed federal firearms dealer.

Police recovered a large amount of marijuana plants and usable pot, most notably in “the entire basement.” Throughout the house, officers found 96 marijuana plants, 37.7 grams of loose marijuana drying in a basket, and another batch on a table weighing approximately 1,400 grams. Police also found one marijuana plant and marijuana branches in a pole barn, Gatza testified.

In a freezer, police found marijuana oil and several pounds of usable marijuana, Gatza said.

Gatza interviewed David Dabrowski in a BAYANET van, he said. Dabrowski told him he and his wife were medical marijuana caregivers with five patients each.

“Between Sandra and himself, they did co-mingle the plants,” Gatza testified. “They didn’t separate them at all. As far as the daily operations needed to maintain the plants, he did most of the farming on the plants, including Sandra’s.”

Sandra Dabrowski’s jobs included trimming the plants, packaging the crop and setting up purchases, Gatza said David Dabrowski told him.

“He stated that obviously he does provide marijuana to his patients,” Gatza testified. “I think the rate he charges them was $130 an ounce, then he told me he also provides marijuana to people outside his patient list. He charges them $200 an ounce. He said he always makes sure they’re medical marijuana patients, just not his patients. He always makes sure they have a (medical marijuana) card.”

Under the state’s Medical Marijuana Act, patients can have 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana and caregivers can grow up to 12 plants producing 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana for each of their five patients and themselves. With both Dabrowskis being caregivers but only Sandra Dabrowski a patient as well, the couple could legally have a total of 132 plants and 27.5 grams of usable, or processed, marijuana.

Circuit Judge Joseph K. Sheeran is to sentence David Dabrowski at 9 a.m. on Monday, April 17.

CONTINUE READING…

Prince of Pot Marc Emery, wife in Toronto court on drug charges

 

Couple who have marijuana shops across Canada charged with drug trafficking, conspiracy, possession

CBC News Posted: Mar 10, 2017 8:07 AM ET Last Updated: Mar 10, 2017 12:52 PM ET

Marc Emery and his wife Jodie Emery were charged on Thursday with drug trafficking, conspiracy and possession after they were arrested at Toronto's Pearson International Airport.

Jodie and Marc Emery, who is known as the Prince of Pot, are in court at Toronto’s Old City Hall today to face drug trafficking, conspiracy and possession charges.

The Vancouver couple were arrested on Wednesday evening at Pearson International Airport while trying to make their way to a marijuana festival in Europe.

Both the Crown and defence have requested time to review possible bail conditions.The court is discussing whether the couple will be granted bail. The justice of the peace presiding over the hearing fell ill and was taken to hospital.

On Thursday, law enforcement officers in three Canadian cities raided various locations of Cannabis Culture, a chain of marijuana shops owned by the Emerys. Jack Lloyd, a lawyer, is representing the Emerys in Toronto.

 

A police news release said the raids were part of Project Gator, “a Toronto Police Service project targeting marijuana dispensaries.”

Three others were also charged, including the owners of the Toronto location of Cannabis Culture.

Marc Emery, 59, has been charged with:

  • Conspiracy to commit an indictable offence.
  • Three counts of trafficking schedule II.
  • Five counts of possession for the purpose schedule II.
  • Five counts of possession proceeds of crime.
  • Fail-to-comply recognizance.

Jodie Emery, 32, has been charged with:

  • Conspiracy to commit an indictable offence.
  • Trafficking schedule II.
  • Possession for the purpose schedule II.
  • Two counts of possession proceeds of crime.

Cannabis Culture raid

A police officer is seen outside the Cannabis Culture location on Church Street in Toronto during a raid on the store. (Emma Kimmerly/CBC)

CONTINUE READING…

Why are more Americans in jail for marijuana use than violent crime?

More people in the United States are now in jail for marijuana possession than for all violent crimes combined, a new study finds….On any given day in the US, at least 137,000 Americans are in prison on drug possession, not sales, charges, says a new report that finds that the “tough on drugs” policies may be disproportionately affecting low-income, black Americans.

By Ellen Powell, Staff October 12, 2016

More people in the United States are now in jail for marijuana possession than for all violent crimes combined, a new study finds….

The report, released Wednesday by the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights Watch, points out that violent crime arrests in the US have dropped 36 percent in the past two decades. Meanwhile, arrests for drug possession – including marijuana and other illicit drugs – are up 13 percent. Those arrests tend to be concentrated in neighborhoods with high crime rates, where police officers are on the lookout for any offense. As a result, lower-income, black Americans are most likely to be arrested for possessing even trace amounts of illicit drugs. (Black Americans are 2.5 times as likely to be arrested on drug-related charges, according to federal data, even though they use drugs at the same rate as white Americans.) Those who can’t afford to post bail spend substantial amounts of time in jail, even before their case goes to trial.

Tougher sentencing was intended to get chronic repeat offenders off the street, reduce drug use, and protect public health. But the “tough on drugs” policy prevalent since the 1980s isn’t working, the report argues. Criminalizing drug possession is derailing individuals’ lives and hurting the families who depend on them, while doing little to prevent drug use and abuse.

“While families, friends, and neighbors understandably want government to take action to prevent the potential harm caused by drug use, criminalization is not the answer,” Tess Borden, the study’s author, said in a Human Rights Watch press release. “Locking people up for using drugs causes tremendous harm, while doing nothing to help those who need and want treatment.”

csmarchives/2010/10/1013-wires-marijuana2.jpg

Test your knowledgeHow much do you know about marijuana? Take the quiz

The report comes at a time when the Obama administration and a bipartisan effort in Congress has already taken steps at judicial reform. For example, the 2010 Fair Sentencing Act erased a 5-year-minimum sentence for simple crack possession. As The Christian Science Monitor reported, “much of the Obama administration’s work has been done courthouse by courthouse. For one, the Department of Justice has guided prosecutors to curb the use of mandatory minimums for drug crimes. But the president has also made broader strokes.” 

Since 2014, the Obama administration expanded the criteria for clemency-seekers, leading to hundreds of who were given long-term sentences for drug charges to be released. 

But the ALCU report says that in some states, such as Texas, a “habitual offender” law means prosecutors still can push for longer sentences, including life sentences, for those with two prior convictions. The actual amount of the drug that individuals possess doesn’t matter.

And what most concerns many low-income Americans is the impact on families. While the accused are in jail, even before trial, they’re not earning a wage, meaning that in some homes the water and lights could be cut off. A woman in Louisiana with a prison record told the rights groups that because of her probation, her family could not get food stamps for a year. That means her children will be eating whatever she can find in the dumpster, she explained. It can also be hard for those arrested to find a job when they get out. 

“When you’re a low-income person of color using drugs, you’re criminalized…. When we’re locked up, we’re not only locked in but also locked out. Locked out of housing…. Locked out of employment and other services,” said one New York City man who had been repeatedly arrested for drug charges over the past 30 years.

Criminalizing drugs, the report says, can actually increase the risks associated with drug use. Driving traffic underground “discourages access to emergency medicine, overdose prevention services, and risk-reducing practices such as syringe exchanges.”

The report calls for an increase in rehabilitation programs and a move to treat drug use as a public health issue, rather than lumping it in with violent crime. That’s an approach the Obama administration is on-board with, Mario Moreno, spokesman for the Office of National Drug Control Policy, suggested. “We cannot arrest our way out of the drug problem,” he told CBS.

CONTINUE READING…

After Fighting for Freedom, 76-yo Vet Sentenced to Die In Prison for Treating His Illness With Pot

 

 

Claire Bernish April 21, 2016

As public frustration helps sound the death knell for the drug war, its arbitrary laws and policies appear even more absurd. In the latest inexcusable enforcement of an antiquated law, 76-year-old disabled veteran Lee Carroll Brooker will live out what should be his golden years behind bars — for simple possession of cannabis.

Brooker had been treating multiple chronic conditions with cannabis he grew in his son’s backyard; but when officials in Alabama officials discovered the three dozen plants, they threw him in prison for life — without the possibility of parole.

Thanks to a pointless mandatory minimum sentencing catchall — and the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear his case this week — Brooker has been left little recourse but to ultimately die in jail for treating his ailments with a plant.

“Alabama, like three other states, mandates a life without parole sentence for simple possession of small amounts of marijuana by people with certain prior felony convictions — and Mr. Brooker had been convicted of a string of robberies twenty years earlier in Florida, crimes for which he served ten years in prison,” The New York Times explained. “In such a case, the law doesn’t require prosecutors to prove any intent to sell the drug.”

Essentially, Brooker has been imprisoned twice for the same crime — because he sought relief from nature instead of arguably dangerous, legal and often lethal pharmaceuticals, courtesy of Big Pharma. Worse, Alabama’s already irrational law sets the cutoff in a case like this at 2.2 pounds (1 kilogram), and Brooker’s plants weighed just 2.8 pounds — but that included unusable parts, like stalks and leaves.

Make no mistake — this is an unjust law, an unjust conviction, and a ridiculous capitulation by the Supreme Court to Alabama’s archaic notion a nonviolent offense should somehow land a vet behind bars for life and separate him from his medicine — as if law were an inflexible monster to be beholden to, no matter its worth.

In fact, as the Times pointed out, “[W]hile the sentence was mandatory, the prosecutor was not required to bring the precise charges that triggered it. Prosecutorial discretion here, as in most cases, is a central factor in determining what punishment defendants face.”

In other words, the prosecutor railroaded Brooker over his personal, medicinal plants — by choice. Brooker, who joined the U.S. Army at age 17 and came under fire in both Lebanon and the Dominican Republic, eventually rose to the rank of sergeant in the 82nd Airborne — where he was decorated for infantry service. 

Vox reported that even “notoriously conservative” Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore characterized Brooker’s sentence as “excessive and unjustified.” And according to the Times, the judge deciding the vet’s fate would have preferred to hand down a lighter sentence, but once the charges had been brought as they were, he was obligated to enforce the letter of the law.

Yes, this disabled man technically broke the law; but proffering such a rebuttal rings hollow, if not cold, considering the majority of Americans support cannabis legalization. Legality does not dictate morality.

A growing segment of officials and public figures do, as well, as The Free Thought Project reported recently, more than 1,000 police, world leaders, celebrities, and others signed a letter calling to summarily end the disastrous war on drugs.

In fact, though little comfort to Brooker now, the Drug Enforcement Agency will likely downgrade cannabis from its inexplicable Schedule 1 classification to Schedule 2 — as early as July of this year. Note that while a plethora of viable arguments can be asserted for rescheduling, considering states with laws like Alabama’s — and cases like Brooker’s — the slight concession by federal law would make a comparative, whopping difference.

Brooker attempted to bring his case before the highest court in the land as an inarguable violation of the Constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment — to no avail. The court’s stonewall, in itself, could be considered as much — in an increasing number of states, Brooker’s so-called crime would have been perfectly legal.

For now, though, it appears the 76-year-old will suffer the consequences of bad policy, unjustifiable law, and the cruelty of ostensible authority figures who were all just doing their jobs.

Read more at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/life-sentence-75-year-old-vet-slightly-plant-allowed-law/#s8Vo4JapilISzggR.99