DRCNetDrug Reform Coordination Network


Drug Reform Coordination Network (DRCNet) Update


1. First issue of "The Activist Guide"
2. Billingsly update -- good news
3. "Email for Decriminalization Week" a success
4. Legalization specials in Rolling Stone, Journal of the American Medical Association, and Police News
5. DRCNet in the News
6. NORML mailing list

1. The next DRCNet posting I will send after this is the first issue of "The Activist Guide", printed this past May 21 and unveiled at the Harvard Law School legalization conference/debate that day. My apologies for not releasing this electronically sooner; much of the journal was organized offline, and I've been so busy...I will try to get subsequent issues online with shorter delay, from now on. However, all urgent information contained in that issue has already been distributed on the internet separately.

Some of you have generously supported DRCNet by making donations or purchasing hardcopy subscriptions to the Guide. I hope others of you who consider this work valuable will consider doing the same. Your contributions will, among other things:

One year subscriptions to "The Activist Guide" are $12 if sent before July 1, or $18 after that. Individual hardcopy issues may be purchased for $3; send subscription fees or donations to: DRCNet, P.O. Box 381813, Cambridge, MA 02238-1813.

Electronic versions will continue to be available for free.

2. Prosecutor William Douglas of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, has decided that 14 year old Daniel Billingsly should not, after all, be tried as an adult on charges of selling $40 worth of marijuana in his school to another teenager. Douglas stated that many teenagers are tried as minors for much more serious crimes, and that it would not be just to try Billingsly as an adult. In juvenile court, Billingsly can receive no jail time for this case, even if convicted. The inside scoop is that Billingsly's attorney, Timothy Gresback, discovered that the Coeur d'Alene police failed to carry out their Miranda obligations (i.e., read him his rights), and that a conviction would not be possible in adult court. Gresback also said, however, that both Judge Judd and Prosecutor Douglas were impressed with the letters they received from the internet crowd.

3. A number of DRCNet subscribers sent email last May to WGN-TV in Chicago, discussing the merits of decriminalization and Chicago's proposed marijuana decriminalization ordinance, and asking WGN to cover the "Windy City Weedfest". There's no way to know how much impact we had; however, a WGN member station did give some good, positive coverage to that event (which is unusual), so we may indeed have had a visible impact.

4. Most of you probably have seen or heard about the special May 5 issue of Rolling Stone, devoted to the Drug War and legalization arguments, and many of you probably know about the recent JAMA issue (Journal of the American Medical Association), examining drug prohibition and alternatives, including legalization. An even more late-breaking piece is the latest issue of Police News (published by the National Association of Veteran Police Officers), in which president Robert LeConte states that "there is no question a new approach is long overdue". The issue also contains pro-legalization articles by Judge Ronald W. Rose, Judge James P. Gray, William F. Buckley, Jr., and Milton Friedman. For a copy of the June 1 JAMA, send an $11 prepayment to Subscriber Services Center, AMA, 515 N. State St., Chicago, Il 60610. Phone: (800) 262-2350. To order the Rolling Stone issue, send $10 for RS681 to Back Issues, P.O. Box 40, Vernon, N.J. 07462. For a copy of Police News, write to the National Association of Veteran Police Officers, 509B West Lynn, Austin, Tex. 78703. This information was provided to DRCNet by the Drug Policy Foundation, which is including a more complete write-up in their next newsletter, coming out at the end of this month.

5. An article in the May 17 issue of The Washington Post described use of the internet by legalization advocates. Both the "talk.politics.drugs" newsgroup and DRCNet were mentioned by name. Author Rich Baum ([email protected]), editor of "Drug Policy Report", is not a legalization advocate but did seem impressed by much of what he saw on the internet.

6. National NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) has its own email activist list. DRCNet receives and reposts all of NORML's activist announcements, but if you wish to receive them directly, send your email address to "[email protected]".

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