106 Courts 106II Establishment, Organization, and Procedure 106II(K) Opinions 106k106 k. Preparation and Filing. An opinion in prose the law does not demand, for judicial pronouncement may in poetry be if that suits the judge’s hand; metrical line is not perverse and rhyme will do just fine. Brown v. State, 216 S.E.2d 356 (1975)
DRUG- BUSTS this seems like it sucks, but maybe it is a step towards legitimization and “de-gangsterization”
Jennifer Squires, Santa Cruz Sentinel Medicinal marijuana caregivers may be prosecuted as drug dealers, according to a state Supreme Court ruling. The ruling upholds a Santa Cruz County Superior Court jury decision that found medicinal marijuana user Roger Mentch, 53, guilty of cultivating and possessing marijuana for sale. Mentch, who was arrested by sheriff’s deputies in 2003, claimed he was a caregiver for five medicinal marijuana patients. He also opened the Hemporium, a medicinal marijuana collective in Felton, where he sometimes sold the pot he grew. . . The court ruled primary caregivers must have an established care-giving relationship with the patient prior to providing that patient with medicinal marijuana, according to the decision. Also, primary caregivers can only provide pot to those patients, not sell the drug to other medicinal users or collectives. Therefore, Mentch’s sales to the Hemporium and another collective in the county amounted to dealing drugs
Reuters – Mice fed junk food for nine months showed signs of developing the abnormal brain tangles strongly associated with Alzheimer’s disease, a Swedish researcher said. The findings, which come from a series of published papers by a researcher at Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet, show how a diet rich in fat, sugar and cholesterol could increase the risk of the most common type of dementia. “On examining the brains of these mice, we found a chemical change not unlike that found in the Alzheimer brain,” Susanne Akterin, a researcher at the Karolinska Institutet’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, who led the study, said in a statement. “We now suspect that a high intake of fat and cholesterol in combination with genetic factors … can adversely affect several brain substances, which can be a contributory factor in the development of Alzheimer’s.
Vilksack’s nomination [for Agriculture Secretary] has now been withdrawn. Although Vilsack told the Des Moines Register he didn’t want to comment on why he had been sacked, sources at the Obama transition headquarters reported “a flood of calls and emails” from organic consumers opposing Vilsack’s nomination.
AMERICAN TEENS LIE, STEAL AND CHEAT BIG TIME
Agence France Presse – American teenagers lie, steal and cheat more at “alarming rates,” a study of nearly 30,000 high school students concluded. The attitudes and conduct of some 29,760 high school students across the United States “doesn’t bode well for the future when these youngsters become the next generation’s politicians and parents, cops and corporate executives, and journalists and generals,” the non-profit Josephson Institute said. . .
Boys were found to lie and steal more than girls. Overall, 30 percent of students admitted to stealing from a store within the past year, a two percent rise from 2006. More than one third of boys (35 percent) said they had stolen goods, compared to 26 percent of girls.
An overwhelming majority, 83 percent, of public school and private religious school students admitted to lying to their parents about something significant, compared to 78 percent for those attending independent non-religious schools.
“Cheating in school continues to be rampant and it’s getting worse,” the study found. Amongst those surveyed, 64 percent said they had cheated on a test, compared to 60 percent in 2006. And 38 percent said they had done so two or more times.
Despite no significant gender differences on exam cheating, students from non-religious independent schools had the lowest cheating rate, 47 percent, compared to 63 percent of students attending religious schools.
Some 93 percent of students indicated satisfaction with their own character and ethics, with 77 percent saying that “when it comes to doing what is right, I am better than most people I know.”
Spencer S. Hsu and Ann Scott Tyson, Washington Post – The U.S. military expects to have 20,000 uniformed troops inside the United States by 2011 trained to help state and local officials respond to a nuclear terrorist attack or other domestic catastrophe, according to Pentagon officials. . .
There are critics of the change, in the military and among civil liberties groups and libertarians who express concern that the new homeland emphasis threatens to strain the military and possibly undermine the Posse Comitatus Act, a 130-year-old federal law restricting the military’s role in domestic law enforcement. . .
The Pentagon’s plan calls for three rapid-reaction forces to be ready for emergency response by September 2011. The first 4,700-person unit, built around an active-duty combat brigade based at Fort Stewart, Ga., was available as of Oct. 1, said Gen. Victor E. Renuart Jr., commander of the U.S. Northern Command
Domestic emergency deployment may be “just the first example of a series of expansions in presidential and military authority,” or even an increase in domestic surveillance, said Anna Christensen of the ACLU’s National Security Project. And Cato Vice President Gene Healy warned of “a creeping militarization” of homeland security.
“There’s a notion that whenever there’s an important problem, that the thing to do is to call in the boys in green,” Healy said, “and that’s at odds with our long-standing tradition of being wary of the use of standing armies to keep the peace.”
The Review first started reporting on the militarization of American life in a 1996 story that began, “The nomination of General Barry McCaffrey as drug czar symbolizes the nation’s dramatic retreat from the principle of separation of military and civilian power. It further demonstrates the degree to which the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 — which outlaws military involvement in civilian law enforcement — is being ignored and undermined by both the drug warriors and the Clinton administration. Disturbing as the McCaffrey appointment may be, however, it is only an unusually visible sign of something that has been going on quietly for a long time — the military’s steady intrusion upon, and interference with, civilian America.”
INDEPENDENT, UK – In selected watering holes across America, it’s party time tonight. In Washington, the festivities will centER on the venerable City Tavern in Georgetown; for $90, you can taste the cocktail offerings of the capital’s most expert bartenders (or “mixologists” as they like to term themselves), listen to a jazz band and, in the words of the invitation, “party like it’s 1933”.
In San Francisco, after a parade through the streets, celebrants will make their way to the 21st Amendment Brewery, gaining entrance to the revelries within by use of a special password. Similar events are being held in New York, Chicago, New Orleans and other US cities associated with an understanding acceptance of human frailty and having a good time.
By now the reason for these goings-on will be plain. Tonight is the 75th anniversary of the end of Prohibition – of 5 December 1933 when Utah became the deciding 36th state to ratify the 21st amendment to the constitution, and restore to the country’s citizens the basic human right to go out and have a drink.
Rarely in the annals of human experience has so well intentioned an idea been such a monument to failure as America’s 13-year attempt to eradicate the evil of alcohol. The National Prohibition (or Volstead) Act was passed by Congress in October 1919, overriding the veto of President Woodrow Wilson. The following January, the Act was ratified as the 18th amendment of the constitution after it had been approved by the required three-quarters majority of US states.
The “noble experiment”, as its supporters termed it, did indeed lead to a modest decline in alcohol consumption and an overall improvement in public health. But those meager and transient advantages were nothing compared to the unintended side-effects of Prohibition: a drastic decline in federal and state revenues, a surge in clandestine binge drinking and of course speak-easies, bootlegging, moonlighting and mobsters, not to mention the criminalization of millions of US citizens, including some its most eminent politicians, who were technically flouting the law of the land.
Ethan A. Nadelmann, Wall Street Journal – We should consider why our forebears rejoiced at the relegalization of a powerful drug long associated with bountiful pleasure and pain, and consider too the lessons for our time.
The Americans who voted in 1933 to repeal prohibition differed greatly in their reasons for overturning the system. But almost all agreed that the evils of failed suppression far outweighed the evils of alcohol consumption.
The change from just 15 years earlier, when most Americans saw alcohol as the root of the problem and voted to ban it, was dramatic. Prohibition’s failure to create an Alcohol Free Society sank in quickly. Booze flowed as readily as before, but now it was illicit, filling criminal coffers at taxpayer expense. . .
When repeal came, it was not just with the support of those with a taste for alcohol, but also those who disliked and even hated it but could no longer ignore the dreadful consequences of a failed prohibition. They saw what most Americans still fail to see today: That a failed drug prohibition can cause greater harm than the drug it was intended to banish.
Consider the consequences of drug prohibition today: 500,000 people incarcerated in U.S. prisons and jails for nonviolent drug-law violations; 1.8 million drug arrests last year; tens of billions of taxpayer dollars expended annually to fund a drug war that 76% of Americans say has failed; millions now marked for life as former drug felons; many thousands dying each year from drug overdoses that have more to do with prohibitionist policies than the drugs themselves, and tens of thousands more needlessly infected with AIDS and Hepatitis C because those same policies undermine and block responsible public-health policies.
And look abroad. At Afghanistan, where a third or more of the national economy is both beneficiary and victim of the failed global drug prohibition regime. At Mexico, which makes Chicago under Al Capone look like a day in the park. And elsewhere in Latin America, where prohibition-related crime, violence and corruption undermine civil authority and public safety, and mindless drug eradication campaigns wreak environmental havoc.
All this, and much more, are the consequences not of drugs per se but of prohibitionist policies that have failed for too long and that can never succeed in an open society, given the lessons of history. Perhaps a totalitarian American could do better, but at what cost to our most fundamental values?
Why did our forebears wise up so quickly while Americans today still struggle with sorting out the consequences of drug misuse from those of drug prohibition?
It’s not because alcohol is any less dangerous than the drugs that are banned today. Marijuana, by comparison, is relatively harmless: little association with violent behavior, no chance of dying from an overdose, and not nearly as dangerous as alcohol if one misuses it or becomes addicted. Most of heroin’s dangers are more a consequence of its prohibition than the drug’s distinctive properties. That’s why 70% of Swiss voters approved a referendum this past weekend endorsing the government’s provision of pharmaceutical heroin to addicts who could not quit their addictions by other means. It is also why a growing number of other countries, including Canada, are doing likewise.