DRUG POLICY FORUM OF TEXAS-AUSTIN
meetings are held on the 3rd Wednesday of the month
The July and August
meetings have been cancled.
The Lindesmith Center-DPF Conference
DRUG POLICIES FOR THE NEW MILLENNIUM
May 30-June 2, 2001
James P. Gray
Based upon his experience as a federal prosecutor in Los Angeles, a criminal defense attorney in the Navy, and a trial judge since 1983, Judge Gray has concluded that the War on Drugs is unwinable. April 25 at a DPFT sponsored luncheon he discussed rational alternatives.
About 150 people came to the Hyatt Regency in Austin to hear Judge Gray. The audience included several local judges, legislators and legislative aides, and media people. The Judge asked the crowd for a show of hands to indicate how many believe that our country's drug problem is better now than it was five years ago. No one raised their hand. According to Judge Gray, this is the same answer he gets anywhere in the country anytime he asks that question.
Citing the examples of Switzerland and the Netherlands, Gray presented tested alternatives to the present US drug policy.
Judge Gray is the author of the book,
Why Our Drug Laws Have Failed and What We Can Do About It.
Texas Hemp Campaign Monthly Vigil
The last Monday every month the Texas
Hemp Campaign holds a vigil in front of the Governor's Mansion on the corner
of Lavaca and 10th. The vigil starts at 4:30 p.m. and lasts until
6:30. Come out and support THC in it's effort to bring about public
awareness of the harm caused by Marijuana prohibition.
Filed by Representative Terry Keel,
R-Tarrant Co., HB 513 provides an affirmative defense for persons who use
marijuana as medicine. If this bill had become law, patients obtaining
a recommendation from their medical doctor will be able to use this in
their defense if arrested for marijuana possession. It would be up to the
court whether to accept this defense or not. Shelton Green, legislative
aid for Representative Keel stated that the bill was crafted this way so
as not to conflict with Federal law or interfere with law enforcement efforts.
Because the bill had no Senate sponsor, it was not passed this session.
Several bills were passed this session as a result of the drug sting in Tulia, Texas. The legislation was designed in response to an investigation that led to the arrest of about 10 percent of Tulia's black residents for drug crimes based solely on the testimony of undercover officer Tom Coleman. Read about them he re .
The three bills are:
HB 2351 and SB 1585
Requires other evidence to support the testimony of an undercover officer or agent. That evidence could include corroborating testimony by another officer or informant, a video or audio tape, witness statements, or anything else that tends to connect the defendant with the elements of the crime. Passed!
HB 2352 and SB 1584
Limits the authority of a judge to exclude
evidence which would tend to prove a person's innocence of the crime for
which he or she is being tried. This proposal merely restates in
statute a protection already guaranteed by the Constitution.
HB 2350 and SB 1583
Makes public letters filed by police and sherrif's departments with the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Education (TCLESE) about an officer who was fired or quit--if the termination related to sustained allegations of excessive force or sustained allegations of violations of the law. Passed and signed by the Governor. Effective on 9/1/01.
May 9, 2001
"Today, with 5 Friends of Justice reps lobbying and watching, the Texas house passed the 2nd Tulia bill which requires corroboration evidence (writing on narcs leg does not count.)
We shall not be moved."