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April 2008



The exciting new method of scientific analysis called… hearsay

Apparently getting a job as a coroner in the UK requires three things:

Ears A creative imagination The ability to talk in nonsensical convoluted sentences.

Cannabis Linked to Man’s Suicide

A CORONER has urged MPs to look into the death of a Doncaster supermarket worker before making any decision on the re-classification of cannabis. […]

Nothing like the feel of a silk chemise and thong against your skin while tracking kingpins in the jungle

Via Rob at To the People comes this nice little piece in the Washington Post.

Federal employees used government credit cards to pay for lingerie, gambling, iPods, Internet dating services, and a $13,000 steak-and-liquor dinner, according to a new audit from the Government Accountability Office, which found widespread abuses in a purchasing program meant to […]

Hillary Clinton on Medical Marijuana

Interviewed in Oregon

What would you do as president about the federal government not recognizing Oregon‰s Medical Marijuana Program as legal?
We‰ve got to have a clear understanding of the workings of pain relief and the control of pain. And there needs to be greater research and openness to the research that‰s already been done. I don‰t think it‰s a good use of federal law-enforcement resources to be going after people who are supplying marijuana for medicinal purposes.
So you‰d stop the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency‰s raids on medical marijuana grows?
What we would do is prioritize what the DEA should be doing, and that would not be a high priority. There‰s a lot of other more important work that needs to be done.
Should medical marijuana be covered by insurance?
I don‰t have enough information to know anything about that.

Odds and Ends

“bullet” Remember when Attorney General Mukasey was screaming that we would shortly be overrun by armies of violent criminals because of the adjustment to crack sentencing? Turns out he was… what’s the word… lying.
Christian Science Monitor:

In an effort to eliminate a legal inequity š one that has hit African-Americans especially hard š federal judges have begun reducing the sentences of thousands of crack-cocaine offenders.
Some police groups and prosecutors, as well as US Attorney General Michael Mukasey, assert that in trying to right a historic wrong, violent criminals are headed en masse back to the streets.
So far, indications are that this is not the case because the release process has safeguards built in. Statistics from the US Sentencing Commission, as well as interviews with federal public defenders and criminal-justice experts, indicate that federal prisoners who are to be released early are predominantly nonviolent and have good conduct records while in prison. Of the 19,500 drug offenders eligible over the next 30 years to apply for early release, 3,417 have had their sentences reduced as of Monday. Of the 1,500 inmates eligible for immediate release, dozens so far have been let go in the past month.
“There has been no release of a flood of violent criminals,” says Michael Nachmanoff, federal public defender for the Eastern District of Virginia. “The people who are being released … overwhelmingly had cases where there was no violence whatsoever and who were given unduly harsh sentences. And now, their sentences are being reduced by a modest amount.”

[Via Sentencing Law and Policy]

“bullet” Via Radley Balko, comes this quote about cash seizures

If the drug dealers can write off these kinds of losses as mere incidental costs of doing business, the “War on Drugs” is lost.

“bullet” Speaking of Radley, be sure to read his column on the Byrne Grants and drug task forces.
“bullet” Efficiency in the war on drugs. Officer investigating suspected drug activity accidentally shoots two teenagers. With the same bullet.
“bullet” At Transform: Cannabis making politicians go all weird. Again.
“bullet” Maia Szalavitz: Prosecutors Try to Silence Pain Activist, Don’t Like Fair Play