Import Temp

Major Drug Policy Reform Passes In New Mexico Today

Republicans and Democrats Vote to Prevent Drug Overdose, Help Stop the Spread of AIDS and Other Infectious Diseases, and Expand Treatment over Incarceration for Women

Santa Fe - The New Mexico state legislature today completed its 60-day legislative session, passing historic drug policy reform measures that will move the emphasis from law enforcement to public health and harm reduction. Gov.

Katharine Huffman at 212-548-0695 or Tom Lalley at 202- 997-0899

U.S. Supreme Court Agrees That Searching and Arresting Pregnant Women at Hospital Violates United States Constitution

Statement of Lynn Paltrow, Esq., Nat'l Advocates for Pregnant Women, on Ferguson v. City of Charleston, 99-936

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed Americans have the right to expect that when they seek medical help, their doctor will examine them to provide a diagnosis and treatment, not search them to facilitate their arrest.

For nearly five years, a state hospital in Charleston, South Carolina, collaborated with the local police department to search pregnant women and new mothers for evidence of drug use - without a warrant or their consent.

Lynn M. Paltrow at 212-475-4218 or Wyndi Anderson at 843-579-0637

Critics Call Bush Drug Czar Pick -- John Walters -

Walters Calls Over-Incarceration and Racial Disparities in Sentencing
Leading Drug Policy Reform Expert Available for Interviews

Despite the fact that Americans are increasingly supporting alternatives to the war on drugs, President Bush today appointed a drug czar likely to rely more heavily than his predecessors on policies proven to be ineffective.

Critics note that decades of "get tough" approaches supported by Walters have landed nearly 500,000 Americans behind bars, consumed tens of billions of tax dollars, and left illicit drugs cheaper, purer and more available than ever in the U.S.

"Walters stands for the proposition that drug policy has nothing to do with facts, science or public health

Tony Newman at 510-208-7711 x 1383 or Shayna Samuels at 212-547-6916

High Court's Narrow Ruling Has No Effect on State Medical Marijuana Laws

Justice Stevens Urges 'Respect for the Sovereign States that Comprise our Federal Union'
Advocates Say Congress Must Change 'Inhumane, Irrational' Ban on Patients' Use of Marijuana

The sponsors of the California ballot measure that spawned today's Supreme Court decision say that the ruling has no effect on nine current state laws that permit patients to grow and use small amounts of marijuana for medical purposes.

Bill Zimmerman, director of Americans for Medical Rights, which has sponsored eight successful state medical marijuana initiatives, said, "Not one word of this decision diminishes the rights of states to legalize the medical use of marijuana under state law.

Roberta Green, Campaign for New Drug Policies at 310-394-2952

Prestigious, Bipartisan State Commision Evaluates CA

Little Hoover Strongly Backs Drug Treatment and Prop. 36, Urges Expansion
Report Comes as Gov. Davis Fights For Big State Prison Budgets -- and Realignment of Prop 36

The prestigious Little Hoover Commission - created in 1962 to investigate state government operations and promote efficiency, economy and improved service - today released a report on California's strategies addressing drug addiction. The report, a resounding endorsement of Prop.

Tony Newman at 510-208-7710

As Congress Considers Two National "Footloose" Laws, Dance Music Industry Organizes to Fight

Music, Dancing, & Live Entertainment Threatened

On Wednesday, March 19th, leading DJs and music promoters will hold a press conference announcing their opposition to two Congressional bills that could land many concert promoters, bar and nightclub owners, and stadium owners in jail if even one person uses drugs at their events.

Shayna Samuels at 646-523-6961 or Tony Newman at 510-208-7711

Louisiana Passes Sweeping Drug Law Reform

Legislative Coalition of Civil Rights Leaders, Fiscal Conservatives Join to Repeal Harsh

Louisiana, whose notoriously severe drug laws are largely responsible for giving it the highest incarceration rate in the country, passed dramatic drug reform legislation last week - joining the rising chorus of states rejecting the drug war's "lock 'em up" approach to drug abuse.

Among other changes, the drug reform legislation:

  • Eliminates Louisiana's heroin and cocaine "lifer" laws, which mandate life with no possibility of parole for distribution of any amount of heroin (now five to 50 years) or for manufacturing cocaine (now ten to 30 years);
  • Reduc

Tony Newman at 212-548-0383

The New Anti-War Movement Heats Up

Country's Leading Drug Reformer to Discuss the Failing War on Drugs

Two major shifts are taking place in America's War on Drugs. In recent months, several highly respected political leaders, including Secretary of State Colin Powell, former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson, New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, have openly questioned the damage done to our society by the War on Drugs. Bush administration officials seem to be headed in precisely the opposite direction.

Julie Ruckel at 415-921-4987

Prop. 36 Watchdog Issues 'Report Cards' on California Counties' Implementation Plans

Best Grades Given for Shifting from Criminal Justice to Public Health Approach in Treating Drug Addiction
Groundbreaking Initiative to Go Into Effect July 1

Advocates of Proposition 36 - the new California initiative that allows for treatment instead of jail for non-violent drug offenders - issued 'report cards' today, grading 11 counties encompassing 75 percent of the state population on the quality of their implementation plans.

With an "A" grade, San Francisco ranked the highest, followed by San Mateo (A-), Alameda (B), Orange (B), Los Angeles (B-), Fresno (C), Riverside (C), Santa Clara (D+), San Diego (D+) and Sacramento (D).

Whitney Taylor at 916-444-3751

Traffic Web Campaign to President Bush: Appoint a Drug Czar Who Will 'Think Outside the Box'

Visitors to Fax President as He Prepares to Fill Cabinet Post, a website sponsored by The Lindesmith Center - Drug Policy Foundation (Lindesmith-DPF), the nation's leading organization working to end the war on drugs, is urging President Bush to appoint a drug czar who will "think outside the box," as Michael Douglas' character pleads for in the movie Traffic.

The drug czar is the director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, which oversees all federal anti-drug efforts.

In Traffic, the dr

Tony Newman at 510-208-7711
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