civil rights

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U.S.: Civil Rights, Health, Faith, Justice Groups Call On Obama To End Global Drug War

StopTheDrugWar.org(StopSign)

More than 225 civil rights, health, faith-based and other organizations sent a letter to President Obama Thursday calling on him to use an upcoming United Nations high-level session on global drug policies to push for a fundamental change in course away from criminalization.

The groups, which include the American Civil Liberties Union, AIDS United, LatinoJustice PRLDEF and #cut50, say that the current US position for the session "takes a short-term approach, stopping short of the crucial reforms called for by UN agencies and US allies, while failing to address new realities."

They want bolder stances from the administration in areas like human rights, public health and development, and for the US to promote initial steps the UN can take toward reforming international drug conventions to reflect moves in the US and elsewhere toward marijuana legalization.

"We believe a stronger US stance on these issues would leave a legacy in global drug policy that is better aligned to the direction you've steered domestic policy," the groups wrote.

The letter was submitted as the UN prepares for its highest level session on drug policy since 1998 – the "UN General Assembly Special Session on the World Drug Problem," or UNGASS, scheduled for April 19-21 at UN headquarters in New York. US diplomats and drug and crime officials have played a central role in negotiations over the UNGASS Outcome Document, an official product of the meeting that will impact policy.

California: Attorney Going For 8th Consecutive Win In Marijuana Cultivation Cases

CaliforniaMarijuanaCultivation[Weedist].jpg

Are prosecutions for legitimate marijuana plant growing still a thing? In rural California counties, apparently so.

Attorney Joseph Tully (author of California: State of Collusion) is going for his eighth consecutive win in rural California marijuana grower trials as juries continue to foil rural prosecutorial crusades against cannabis.

Monday is prosecution witness day in the People v Erin O’Neil trial in South Lake Tahoe arising from O’Neil’s openly growing 271 plants (about 240 pounds) under California’s Compassionate Use Act (medical growth collectives) in Placerville, California (known as “Hangtown” back in mining days).

Why does this trial matter?

Growers almost always cave and plead out when facing prosecution for this amount of cannabis to avoid any possibility of prison time. In this case O’Neil is standing up to retired rural prosecutor Worth Dikeman (who came back out of retirement to prosecute this case) to say “Enough is enough.”

“On the eve of full legalization why do we allow a retired prosecutor to waste taxpayer dollars for his personal crusade against marijuana which is counter to the law?” asked lawyer Tully. “It’s reminiscent of the Old South after the Civil Rights Act – they are way behind on the law and important social change.”

The People v Erin O’Neil is being held Monday through Wednesday this week and next.

Photo: Weedist

Arizona: ACLU Releases Mobile App To Help Hold Law Enforcement Accountable

MobileJusticeVideoSentToTheACLU[DailyKOS]

Mobile Justice AZ available free starting today through Apple and Google

The American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona on Friday launched Mobile Justice AZ, a free smartphone app that allows Arizonans to record video of law enforcement activity and automatically submit those videos to their local ACLU for review if it appears someone’s rights may have been violated.

The same app is also being launched today in nine other jurisdictions: Minnesota, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington, D.C. The Mobile Justice App is already in use in Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, California, Colorado, Missouri, North Carolina and Oregon.

New York has the ACLU’s original app to record police, known as the Stop and Frisk app. In all, residents of 18 states and D.C. now have access to an ACLU mobile app for recording police interactions with the public.

Mobile Justice AZ is available for use on Android and iOS phones and can be downloaded free through Apple’s App Store or Google Play. It enables users to record, witness and report interactions with law enforcement and offers educational information on individual rights.

Videos captured on the Mobile Justice AZ app will be transmitted to the ACLU of Arizona and preserved even if the user’s phone is later seized or destroyed.

Texas: Police Search Woman's Vagina For Marijuana - In Parking Lot

CharnesiaCorleyAccustedDeputyOfIllegalSearch[ABC13]

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A Texas woman says sheriff's deputies violated constitutional protections by conducting a body cavity search in the parking lot of a gas station during a routine traffic stop last June.

Charnesia Corley, 21, was driving in Harris County about 10:30 p.m. on June 21 when a male deputy pulled her over, allegedly for running a stop sign, reports Dylan Baddour at the Houston Chronicle. He claimed he smelled marijuana, handcuffed Corley, put her in the back of his cruiser and searched her vehicle for almost an hour.

The officer found no marijuana, said Corley's attorney, Sam Cammack.

Returning to his cruiser, the deputy again claimed he smelled marijuana, and called in a female deputy to conduct a body cavity search. When the female deputy arrived, she ordered Corley, who is African American, to pull her pants down, but Corley protested, saying she was handcuffed and had no panties on.

The deputy ordered Corley to bend over, then pulled down her pants and began to insert her fingers into Corley's vagina. "She tells me to pull my pants down," Corley said. "I said, 'Ma'am, I don't have any underwear on. She says, 'Well, that doesn't matter. Pull your pants down," Corley said.

"I bend over and she proceeds to try to force her hand inside of me. I tell her, 'Ma'am, No. You cannot do this,'" Corley said.

U.S.: ACLU, DPA To Present Capitol Hill Briefing On Federal Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform

ACLU-CivilAssetForfeiture

Speakers Include Civil Rights Leaders, Former Reagan-Era Administrator of Forfeiture Fund, Victim of Recent Drug Enforcement Administration Asset Seizure

Briefing Highlights Need for Federal Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform

A Capitol Hill briefing on federal civil asset forfeiture reform will be presented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), and The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Thursday, June 4, from 10 a.m. until 11:30 a.m., in Room 188 of the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C.

WHEN: Thursday, June 4, 2015

10:00 a.m. until 11:30 a.m.

Continental Breakfast

WHERE: Russell Senate Office Building

Room 188

Washington, DC 20515

SPEAKERS:

Brad Cates, Director, Department of Justice Asset Forfeiture Office (1985-1989)

Wade Henderson, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

Joseph Rivers, Victim of Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) Seizure

Hilary Shelton, NAACP

Darpana Sheth, Institute for Justice

Sarah Stillman, The New Yorker

RSVP: rsvpaclu@aclu.org

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