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

Governor Pataki's New Rockefeller Drug Law Plan Still Falls Short of Real Reform, Say Critics

Leading Reform Advocates Call Revision a Step Toward Negotiation, but Say Proposal Still Needs Major Improvement

The Campaign for Effective Criminal Justice (CECJ), an organization of over a dozen distinguished leaders in law enforcement, politics, business, and clergy intent on reforming New York's drug sentencing laws, criticized Governor George Pataki's revised plan for reform today, saying its modest improvements fell far short of providing meaningful relief for non-violent drug offenders and their families in New York.

Many of the criticisms CECJ has expressed in the past about Pataki's plan remain intact: it continues the relatively low

Sen. John Dunne at 518-787-7600 or Shayna Samuels at 212-547-6916

Upcoming Father's Day Ad Points to Thousands of New York Kids Whose Dads are in Prison Under Rockefeller Drug Laws

As Debate Heats Up Around State Drug Law Reform, Public Campaign is Launched Against Pataki's Inadequate Reform Proposal

This Father's Day, thousands of New York children remain separated from fathers who are serving excessively long mandatory sentences for drug offenses under the Rockefeller Drug Laws.

Highlighting this injustice, the Campaign for Effective Criminal Justice (CECJ), an organization of over a dozen distinguished leaders in law enforcement, politics, business, and clergy intent on reforming New York's drug sentencing laws, is launching an ad campaign calling on Governor Pataki to support the State Assembly's plan for Rockefeller reform.

Dani McClain at 212-548-0611 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
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