Import Temp

New York Assembly to Hold Unprecedented Joint-Committee Hearings on Rockefeller Drug Law Reform in Rochester on Thursday, May 15

Hearing Brings Together Leadership from Codes, Corrections, Judiciary, Public Health, Alcohol and Drug Addiction and Social Services Committees to Discuss Public Health Approach to Drug Policy in New York
Elected Officials, Families of Rockefeller Prisoners, Formerly Incarcerated People, Religious Leaders, Treatment Advocates Attend Hearing to Demand: Public Health, not Prison Politics

A week after the 35th anniversary of the draconian Rockefeller Drug Laws, the New York Assembly will hold the second of its unprecedented hearings to explore a public health approach to drug policy in New York. In a first-time development, the joint hearing will be convened by six different Assembly committees--Codes, Corrections, Judiciary, Public Health, Alcohol and Drug Addiction, and Social Services.

Tony Newman at (646) 335-5384

NJ Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee to Hold Hearing on Medical Marijuana Legislation

Compassionate Use Act Would Allow Seriously Ill to Access Medical Marijuana With a Doctor's Recommendation
Patients, Doctors and Advocates Express Optimism as Assembly Considers Issue for First Time

Trenton--For the first time, the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee will hold a hearing on Assembly Bill 804 (The Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act) scheduled for Thursday, May 22 at 10:00 a.m. The hearing will take place in Committee Room 16 on the fourth floor of the Statehouse Annex.

The bill would allow patients suffering from certain debilitating and life-threatening illnesses such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, glaucoma and multiple sclerosis to use medical marijuana with a doctor's recommendation.

Tony Newman at 646-335-5384 or Roseanne Scotti at 609-610-8243

Assembly Health Committee Hearings on Medical Marijuana Produce Passionate Testimony

Testimonies Included Internationally Recognized Medical Expert Dr. Denis Petro, Chair of New Jersey Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, Patients Desperately Seeking Help and Their Families

Trenton, NJ--Informational hearings held by the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee produced passionate testimony by medical marijuana patients and their families as well as an overview of the scientific research supporting medical marijuana. Two bills, A804 and S119 have been introduced in the New Jersey legislature. The bills would allow seriously ill patients to possess small amounts of medical marijuana with a doctor's recommendation.

Tony Newman at 646-335-5384 or Roseanne Scotti at 609-610-8243

Compromise Drug Free Zone Reform Legislation Passes Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee

Advocates Applaud Reform Effort and Say New Bill Will Reduce Racial Disparities and Save Taxpayers Money
New Coalition Created to Support Fair and Effective Criminal Sentencing Reform and Reinvestment in Families and Communities

Trenton-The Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee today passed compromise legislation to reform the state's unfair and ineffective drug free zone law. The bill, A2762, sponsored by Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-Mercer) and Assemblyman Gordon M. Johnson (D-Bergen) would give judges the discretion not to impose a mandatory minimum sentence under certain circumstances for drug free zone offenses.

Roseanne Scotti, director of Drug Policy Alliance New Jersey, called the bill a sensible compromise that would allow for individualized sentences and save taxpayers money.

Tony Newman at 646-335-5384 or Roseanne Scotti at 609-610-8243

Rep. Bobby Scott Introduces Bill to Provide Relief to Thousands of People Still Incarcerated Under Racist Crack/Powder Disparity

Congress Reformed Crack/Powder Disparity but Lower Sentences Don't Apply to Those Currently Languishing in Prison
Fair Sentencing Clarification Act of 2010 Would Reunite Families and Save Taxpayer Money
Today, Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) introduced the Fair Sentencing Clarification Act of 2010, which will address a glaring oversight in the Fair Sentencing Act, sponsored by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and signed into law earlier this year. The Durbin bill greatly reduced the sentencing disparity between crack cocaine and powder cocaine, from 100:1 to 18:1, but it does not provide relief to individuals who were serving time for crack cocaine prior to the bill's enactment.
Jasmine Tyler at 202-294-8292 or Tony Newman at 646-335-5384

New Jersey Senate to Vote on Monday on Resolution Repealing Proposed Medical Marijuana Regulations

Advocates Urge Senators to Vote Yes and Repeal Overly Restrictive Regulations
Trenton, NJ— On Monday, November 22nd the New Jersey State Senate will vote on a resolution (SCR 130) which will require the Department of Health and Senior Services to change its recently released regulations implementing the Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act.
Tony Newman at 646-335-5384 or Roseanne Scotti at 609-610-8243

US Supreme Court Hears California Prison Crowding Case

Advocates Urge California to Focus on Resolving Crisis, Including Ending Prison as Response to Drug Use
10,000 in Prison for Drug Possession at Cost of $500 Million a Year
WASHINGTON, DC – The United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments today in Schwarzenegger v. Plata, a landmark prison rights case in which a federal court found the unconstitutional conditions of California's prisons were caused primarily by overcrowding and ordered California to reduce prison overcrowding from over 200% of design capacity down (by about 40,000 people) to 137.5% of capacity within two years.
Margaret Dooley-Sammuli at 213-291-4190 or Tommy McDonald at 510-229-5215

New Jersey State Senate Passes Resolution Invalidating Medical Marijuana Regulations

Department of Health and Senior Services Now Has Thirty Days to Rewrite Regulations
Patients and Advocates Urge Health Department to Act Quickly So Program Can Move Forward
Trenton, NJ— Today, the New Jersey State Senate passed a resolution invalidating the Christie Administration's regulations for implementing the Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act. The Department of Health and Senior Services now has thirty days to rewrite the regulations to make them comport with the original legislation. The New Jersey State Assembly passed the resolution on November 22nd.
The Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act was signed into law on January 11th by outgoing Governor Jon Corzine.
Roseanne Scotti at 609-610-8243

2010 Monitoring the Future Survey Released: Monthly, More High School Seniors Smoking Marijuana than Cigarettes

Drug Czar Blames Medical Marijuana for Increase in Teen Marijuana Use
DPA Statement: Decrease in Tobacco Use Shows that Education More Effective Than Criminalization
The 2010 Monitoring the Future Survey was released today and found that marijuana use among high-school students is up slightly, with 21.4 percent of high school seniors using marijuana in the last month. The survey queries 50,000 eighth, 10th and 12th graders about their drug use and their attitudes toward illicit drugs.
White House Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske is attributing the increase in young people using marijuana on the decreasing perception of the harm of marijuana and that teenagers are starting to think marijuana is medicine.
Tony Newman at 646-335-5384 or Bill Piper at 202-669-6430

Today: Californians Head to Polls for Historic Vote on Marijuana Legalization

National Debate on Marijuana Reform Already Permanently Impacted by Proposition 19
DPA Spokespeople Available for Comment
California voters head to the polls today to decide the fate of Proposition 19, the most watched ballot initiative in the nation. Prop. 19 would legalize possession and cultivation of small amounts of marijuana by adults and allow cities and counties to regulate sales of marijuana within their jurisdictions. A win at the ballot would be a first of its kind in U.S.
Stephen Gutwillig at 323-542-2606 or Tony Newman at 646-335-5384
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