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October 2004
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Quick Round-up of Important News

“bullet” Grits for Breakfast followed up on the atrocious drug task force story I talked about here earlier. Scott went to Palestine, Texas with a reporter to investigate the charges. Guess what? All 72 defendants are black. This looks like the next Tulia or worse, and we’re going to need to follow this one closely. We’re very luck to have Scott Henson on the scene.
“bullet” TalkLeft says an independent report has been released in the fake drugs scandal in Texas (people were framed with billiards chalk packaged like drugs), that blames the police.
“bullet” Last One Speaks has information on the antics of the Lieutenant Governor’s office in Alaska, illegally using the position position to oppose the marijuana initiative.
“bullet” Vice Squad notes that Brazil’s new policy on shooting down suspected drug planes has been implemented without the original limitation against shooting down planes with children aboard.
“bullet” D’Alliance reports that a three-year British controlled experiment in a local area to combat drugs using tougher enforcement and treatment failed miserably. Not a surprise here, but that’s got to be pushing up the denial factor in prohibitionists.
“bullet” decrimwatch found this story about third graders with nickel bags of pot facing felony charges.
“bullet” Dekalb, Illinois County Board voted Wednesday to ask the state to allow the growth of industrial hemp for research. Only one board member objected (with the usual nonsense about how it would make it easier to hide marijuana within hemp – not true). The majority of the board just saw it as something that could be good for farmers in the future. That’s a great attitude, and I hope we’ll see more of that.
“bullet” The court documents on Raich v. Ashcroft (claiming that the Constitution’s Commerce Clause doesn’t give the Federal Government the authority to regulat non-commercial wholly intrastate medical marijuana under doctor’s recommendation within state law) are now available. The case will be heard at the end of November and it’s going to be a big one. I’m hearing the word “landmark” being used quite a bit already. All the documents are available here (scroll down to the bottom for the Supreme Court documents). The Merits Brief for the Respondents (pdf) is a thing of beauty (I get off on this kind of thing) and I’ll be talking about it a lot more later.

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