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Marijuana Reform Under Attack

Discussion in 'Marijuana News from The USA' started by RMJL, Apr 2, 2003.

  1. An email I received from mpp.org:

    ***Proposed Laws Threaten Marijuana Reform
    ***Action Needed to Stop Drug War Bills That Could Put You and Your Family In Jail

    Congress may soon give Attorney General John Ashcroft the power to
    take away more of your rights, including your right to free speech --
    unless you act right now.

    Three American heroes are being forced to plead guilty to relieving
    the suffering of others by providing medical marijuana to AIDS and
    cancer patients in California. They face up to twenty years in federal
    prison for their acts of compassion -- and you could be next!

    Scott Imler, Jeff Yablan and Jeffrey Farrington were accused of
    violating the federal "crack house statute", a law designed to
    imprison people operating crack houses but which is now being used by
    the Bush Administration to prosecute people caring for medical
    marijuana patients. As if this is not bad enough, Congress is now
    considering two proposed laws -- the RAVE Act (HR 718) and the Illicit
    Drug Anti-Proliferation Act (S.226) -- that would further expand the
    federal "crack house law" to apply to more people, including home
    owners and organizers of marijuana rallies. A third proposed law, the
    CLEAN-UP Act (HR 834), would make it a federal crime -- punishable by
    up to nine years in prison -- to promote any entertainment event in
    which drug offenses might occur, such as hemp festivals and music

    These proposed laws will make it easier to put more people in jail --
    including the families of medical marijuana patients, organizers of
    hemp rallies, and anyone who hosts a party or barbecue in which even
    one person smokes marijuana. You could even be jailed for crimes that
    you take no part in -- that's how much power Congress wants to give
    John Ashcroft. (More information below)

    Don't let Congress give even greater power to John Ashcroft.
    Take action today!


    (1) Urge your Representative to oppose the RAVE Act (HR 718) and Section 305 in the CLEAN-UP Act (HR 834) by faxing him or her for free at http://actioncenter.drugpolicy.org/action/index.asp?step=2&item=1516

    (2) Urge your Senators to oppose the Illicit Drug Anti-Proliferation Act (S. 226) by faxing them for free at http://actioncenter.drugpolicy.org/action/index.asp?step=2&item=1448

    (3) Forward this alert to your friends, family members, and co-workers. It is vital that thousands of Americans speak out.

    (4) Join fellow reformers at Drug Policy Alliance's 2003 Biennial conference, November 5-8 (more information at the end of this e-mail).


    If enacted the RAVE Act (HR 718) and the Illicit Drug Anti-Proliferation Act (S. 226) would:

    ***Give the federal government the power to imprison you for up to twenty years if you smoke marijuana***

    Among other things, the proposed laws would amend the federal "crack
    house statute" to make it a federal crime to temporarily use any place
    for the purpose of taking any illegal drug, including marijuana. If
    you smoked marijuana anywhere -- including your own home -- you could
    be found guilty of "operating a crack house" and fined up to $500,000
    and imprisoned for up to twenty years. Your home could be deemed the
    equivalent of a "crack house" and seized under federal asset
    forfeiture laws -- throwing your family out on to the street.

    ***Give the federal government the power to shut down hemp festivals, marijuana rallies and other events and imprison property owners and activists that host or promote them***

    Both the RAVE Act and the Illicit Drug Anti-Proliferation Act expand
    the federal "crack house law" to apply to temporary outdoor events
    such as marijuana rallies and music concerts. If even one person
    smoked marijuana at an event, organizers and promoters of the event
    could be jailed for up to twenty years. The owner of the land could
    also be imprisoned. If these bills become law, people will become too
    afraid to hold hemp festivals, marijuana rallies and other events that
    federal officials don't like -- effectively suppressing free speech
    and silencing all those that oppose the war on marijuana.

    ***Give the federal government the power to imprison you if someone smokes marijuana in your home or other property or at any concert, rally or other event you organize -- even if you take no part in their marijuana smoking and try to discourage it***

    Recent federal court decisions have ruled that the "crack house law"
    can be applied to people who are not even involved in drugs, even
    those that oppose drug use and are working to discourage people from
    using drugs on their property or at their events. If these bills
    become law, it will be easier for the federal government to punish
    people for the crimes of others. Concert and other event organizers
    could be imprisoned and fined if people smoke marijuana at their
    events. Homeowners could be fined and imprisoned if even one person
    smokes marijuana at their party.

    ***Give the federal government further power to trample on state medical marijuana laws -- including the power to punish family members of medical marijuana patients and landlords that rent to them***

    New civil penalties will allow federal prosecutors to fine (and
    bankrupt) anyone that provides space for medical marijuana patients
    including landlords and family members. Even allowing a medical
    marijuana patient to use marijuana in your home could get you fined up
    to $250,000 -- and possibly imprisoned for up to twenty years.

    If enacted, the CLEAN-UP Act (HR 834) would make it impossible to hold
    hemp festivals and music concerts. At first glance it is a seemingly
    harmless bill that provides more money and training for the clean up
    of illegal methamphetamine laboratories. Buried within it, however,
    are provisions (Section 305) that would make it a federal crime --
    punishable by up to nine years in prison -- to promote for commercial
    purposes "any rave, dance, music or other entertainment event" that
    might attract some attendees that would use or sell drugs -- even if
    promoters work to prevent drug offenses at their events. Under the
    provision, any concert promoter, nightclub owner and arena or stadium
    owner could be fined and jailed, since a reasonable person would know
    some people use drugs at musical events. Hemp festivals would likely
    be targeted by federal law-enforcement agencies with the hopes of
    stomping them out of existence and putting their organizers in prison.

    It is important that you contact your Members of Congress today and
    forward this alert to everyone you know. Even as you read this e-mail,
    politicians in Washington, DC are plotting to quickly pass these laws.
    They will succeed, unless you ACT NOW.

    Fax your Representative at http://actioncenter.drugpolicy.org/action/index.asp?step=2&item=1516

    Fax your Senators at http://actioncenter.drugpolicy.org/action/index.asp?step=2&item=1448

    Drug Policy Alliance led a successful campaign last year to stop these
    bills, which not only threaten marijuana reform advocates, but bar and
    nightclub owners, all-night dance parties, circuit parties, and any
    establishment and event that federal officials do not like. For more
    information on these bills and what you can do about them, see:

    Do you think the war on drugs is doing more harm than good? Want to
    learn more about drug policies and your rights? If so, then join
    fellow reformers at the Drug Policy Alliance's 2003 Biennial
    Conference, November 5-8, at the New Jersey Meadowlands. The biennial
    event is the world's principal gathering of people who believe the war
    on drugs is doing more harm than good. No better opportunity exists to
    learn about drugs and drug policy, and to strategize and mobilize for
    reform. Registration materials will be available in May. For more
    information email conference@drugpolicy.org.

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