This is a huge story that’s been developing for awhile, but I just haven’t had a chance to address it. But this is really blowing up:
SAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco prosecutors told judges Friday that they could not “ethically go forward” with 46 narcotics trials because of evidence problems arising out of the scandal at the Police Department’s drug lab – signaling that the district attorney is likely to dismiss nearly all 750 pending drug cases in the city.
“Based on what the district attorney’s office knows about the issues within the narcotics division of the crime lab, we cannot ethically go forward with this prosecution,” Assistant District Attorney Nancy Tung told a judge overseeing a case that was serving as a test of how much police and prosecutors had to disclose to defense attorneys about problems at the drug lab.
Prosecutors dropped that test case, a cocaine-sales trial, after having been deluged with 1,500 pages of police files about the lab that a spokesman for the district attorney called “troubling” and said pointed to possible larger problems in the Police Department.
I have an extra interest in DrugSense Weekly this time â€”
- Their Letter of the Week is my letter to the editor that I recently had published in the Pantagraph
- Their Feature Article is my post about Cognitive Distortion (discussing the reaction to my letter)
- And one of their Hot of the Net stories is my post: “Department Of Justice – We Have Met The Enemy, And He Is Us”
Thanks for the nice recognition and the wider distribution!
There’s going to be a lot of stories like these coming out now that marijuana is on the California ballot:
“The legalization of marijuana will be the single most devastating economic event in the long boom-and-bust history of Northern California,” said Anna Hamilton, 62, a Humboldt County radio host and musician who said her involvement with marijuana has mostly been limited to smoking it for the past 40 years.
Local residents are so worried that pot farmers came together with officials in Humboldt County for a standing-room-only meeting Tuesday night where civic leaders, activists and growers brainstormed ideas for dealing with the threat. Among the ideas: turning the vast pot gardens of Humboldt County into a destination for marijuana aficionados, with tours and tastings – a sort of Napa Valley of pot.
SAN FRANCISCO – Now that a proposal to legalize marijuana is on the ballot in California, well-organized groups are lining up on both sides of the debate. And it’s not just tie-dyed hippies versus anti-drug crusaders.
So far, the most outspoken groups on the issue are those affiliated with California’s legal medical-marijuana industry and law-enforcement officials who vehemently oppose any loosening of drug laws.
But the campaign that unfolds before the November election could yield some unusual allies: free-market libertarians joining police officers frustrated by the drug war to support the proposal, and pot growers worried about falling prices pairing with Democratic politicians to oppose it.
The trick will be sorting through the hype, and the reporters willing to cut corners for an interesting story.
Here was an interesting item in the second article:
Yesterday, a spokeswoman for the Department of Justice said it was too soon to speculate on whether federal authorities would sue to keep the measure from becoming law.
What does that even mean? Who would they sue? And I can’t see any court procedure they could use to prevent a state from passing a law. After it’s passed, there could be a court case examining the Constitutionality of the law given its conflict with federal law, but that’s different.
Marijuana Legalization on the CA Ballot: Separating Fact from Fiction by Stephen Gutwillig.
DrugSense Weekly – a weekly review of the most interesting or relevant articles in the press and on the web related to drug policy reform.
Drug War Chronicle – weekly update of drug war news and analysis from Stop the Drug War.org.
This is an Open Thread.