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July 2006
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ACLU-TV Drug Wars

The ACLU Freedom Files: Drug Wars will air tomorrow (Saturday, July 15) at noon (Eastern and Pacific) on Court TV.
Here’s the line-up for the program:

Racist Drug Raids: The “War on Drugs” costs taxpayers more than 50 billion dollars annually, but it costs those disproportionately targeted by the government — youth, communities of color and the sick and dying — so much more. In the “Drug Wars” episode, we’ll take you to Hearne, Texas, where nearly 15% of the town’s young African American men were incarcerated on drug charges based on the false accusations of a mentally ill police informant.
The Drug War Goes to School: And you’ll meet the students at Stratford High School in Goose Creek, South Carolina, who were held at gunpoint, forced by school officials and a police SWAT team into lockdown — all because of suspicion that a student “might” be in possession of a marijuana joint.
Excessive Prison Sentencing: We look at the family impact of cruel and excessive prison sentences for drug offenses through the eyes of three sisters from Oregon. Their mother, Hamedah Hasan, was sentenced to 27 years in prison because of her involvement with a man who was dealing drugs, though she never sold or used drugs herself.
Medical Marijuana: Valerie Corral suffered from constant, debilitating seizures until she discovered that marijuana relieved her symptoms. She helped author the country‰s first statewide law allowing the use of medical marijuana and started a hospice to help people with terminal illnesses cope with pain. Nevertheless, federal agents stormed her California home and arrested her and her husband. She talks about her fight to help seriously ill people live with dignity.

The ACLU web page for the program has some good resources (the pdf viewing guide looks pretty cool). They also have a web page for people to tell their own stories.
Nice. Just wish the program was on network TV in prime time instead of Court TV at noon, but still, it looks like they’ve done a good job with it.
If you don’t have Court TV, you may not be out of luck. The ACLU has plans to stream the video on their site next week.

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