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URGENT: Seeds and Stems Going to Virginia Senate

The infamous "Seeds and Stems" bill, HB 268, has passed the Virginia House and is now being considered by the State Senate. HB 268 would allow the state to count the inert portions of the marijuana plant when determining charges and sentences against marijuana offenders, eliminating any coherent basis for quantity-based sentencing and increasing penalties for non-violent offenders.

Please contact your State Senators and call on them to oppose HB 268 and the other harmful bills listed here. CALL YOUR SENATOR AT (800) 889-0229 TOLL-FREE OR (804) 786-3838 from out of state, fax to (804) 786-4640, OR USE THE VIRGINIA ONLINE LEGISLATIVE DIRECTORY AT on the web. (Please bcc us on your e-mail, send us copies of your letters, or at least send us a note letting us know what actions you have taken.) THERE IS NO TIME TO WASTE, SO PLEASE CALL OR WRITE TODAY.

HB 268: Seeds and Stems -- back with a vengeance. Police have said they will push for these bills which would increase marijuana penalties dramatically by including the weight of the non-psychoactive portions of seized marijuana when determining sentencing.

SB 317: Requires all misdemeanor drug and alcohol offenders to pay a fine and submit to a "drug assessment". Also please oppose these similar bills: SB 557 and SB 576.

HB 803, SB 557, SB 576: Instituting criminal charges for mothers when newborns test positive for drugs. Such penalties have been opposed by virtually every major medical and public health organization in the country, because they tend to frighten people away from medical care at a time when they and their children need it most.

HB979: "Specifically creates a statutory civil remedy for persons aggrieved by illegal use of controlled substances or marijuana." The infamous "Drug Dealer Liability Act" comes to Virginia, allowing anyone to sue anyone with any connection to drugs, for any community harm related to drugs (even if the harm really comes from prohibition).

HB 1280: Cancels unemployment benefits for anyone fired for a positive drug test. bottom of this post.

To get more involved in the Virginia effort, sign up for VA- DPR, the discussion group DRCNet is co-sponsoring with Virginians Against Drug Violence -- send e-mail to [email protected] with the line "subscribe va-dpr your name" in the body of the message, or write to [email protected] for assistance.

You can also write your state legislators at:

The Honorable {your Delegate}
House of Delegates
P.O. Box 406
Richmond, VA 23218
The Honorable {your Senator}
Senate of Virginia
P.O. Box 396
Richmond, VA 23218

Your voice will make a difference, so let your reps in Richmond know how you feel. For more info, call Lennice Werth at (804)645-8816, or e-mail Michael Crawitz at [email protected]. Please send us copies of your correspondence, with bcc on e-mail, fax to (202) 293-8344, or mail to DRCNet, 2000 P St., NW, Suite 615, Washington, DC 20036.

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