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The Narco News Bulletin

"The Name of Our Country is América"

-- Simón Bolívar

Drug War on the Ballot Across the United States

The Action on Tuesday is in the Referenda

An Election Round-Up from TLC-DPF

NEWSLETTER: November 3, 2000


Voters in Six States Could Alter Future Course of Nation's War on Drugs

At Issue Nov. 7: Treatment vs. Jail for Users, Medical Use of
Marijuana and Reform of Drug-Related Asset Forfeiture Laws

Tens of millions of Americans will vote on statewide drug policy
reform initiatives this November, making the drug war one of the
most hotly contested topics on the ballot.

A wide range of drug policy reform issues face voters in
California, Massachusetts, Oregon, Utah, Colorado and Nevada
next Tuesday. Taken together, the six state initiatives represent the
broadest assault ever launched against the nation's war on drugs,
prompting the Washington Post to headline a recent article on the
measures: "Drug War Is in Fight of Its Life."

Live results from each of the six drug policy initiative campaigns will be available online at:

State-by-State Round-up:


Requires treatment, not jail, for drug possession or use. Also
provides treatment instead of return to prison for nonviolent
parolees who test positive for drug use. State agency projects
36,000 people per year will qualify. Measure appropriates
$120 million per year to pay for treatment. Estimated net saving
of $150-$200 million per year to state and counties.


Expands eligibility for treatment instead of jail to thousands of
low-level, non-violent drug offenders, including some low-
level drug sales cases. Pays for treatment by redirecting property
and funds confiscated in drug cases away from law enforcement
agencies and into a new drug treatment fund.


Constitutional amendment barring confiscation of property -
primarily in drug cases - without conviction for a crime. Property
may still be seized and held with probable cause, and may be
confiscated if unclaimed. Proceeds of forfeitures to into new
drug treatment fund instead of being used by law enforcement.


Overhauls asset forfeiture statutes, mainly used in drug cases,
restoring due process protections for property owners. Requires
government to prove by "clear and convincing evidence" that
property was involved in crime. Proceeds go to public education
fund instead of being used by law enforcement agencies.


Two constitutional amendments permit patients to use marijuana
upon the recommendation of a physician. Each limits illnesses
for which marijuana is a permitted treatment. Each creates a state-
run, confidential registry for patients to receive credentials immunizing
them from marijuana possession and cultivation laws. Nevada
measure directs legislature to create legal supply for medical

IN THE NEWS: National News

*Millions Denied a Vote This Year, Drug War a Driving Force*

As millions of Americans head to the polls next Tuesday, millions
more will be deprived of a vote due to felony convictions. While
almost every state bars inmates from voting, thirty-two states go
one step further and deny the vote to people on probation or
parole. In fourteen states a convicted felon can be barred from
voting for life. Over four million Americans will not be voting this
year due to state felony disenfranchisement laws. Many of the
felony convictions which have left citizens without a vote are the
result of the war on drugs, which has helped quadruple the number
of Americans imprisoned since 1980. Almost 500,000 Americans
are currently incarcerated on non-violent drug charges.

The role of the drug war in the disenfranchisement of Americans is
especially ominous when it comes to African-Americans. While
African-Americans make up 12 percent of the population and only
13 percent of drug users, they account for 37 percent of those
arrested on drug charges, 55 percent of those convicted, and 74
percent of all drug offenders sentenced to prison. Combined with
disenfranchisement, drug laws have created a new Jim Crow. 1.4
million African-American men, 13 percent of the adult African-
American male population, have lost the right to vote due to
disenfranchisement laws - a rate of disenfranchisement seven times the
national average. By comparison only 4.6 million African-American
men voted in the 1996 presidential election. A 1998 joint study by
the Sentencing Project and Human Rights Watch found that in seven
states 25 percent or more of black men could not vote due to felony
disenfranchisement. Those seven states are: Alabama, Florida, Iowa,
Mississippi, New Mexico, Virginia, and Wyoming.


Also on the Tuesday ballot:

Alaska Votes on Legalizing Hemp

Check it out:

Recent Narco News Press Briefings

Colombian Voters Reject Plan Colombia

Total Simulation: US Press Misses Colombia, Bolivia, Mexico Stories

Blow-by-Blow Coverage of Bolivia Revolt (October 5-11 Briefings)

Generals Don't Want to Fight Bolivian People (Tuesday-Wednesday Briefings)

Zero Hour in Bolivia (Sunday-Monday Briefings)

Bolivia, US, "Narco-tize" the Conflict (Friday-Saturday Briefings)

Thursday's Bolivia Press Briefing (Important Background Info)

September 22-27 Press Briefing: Perú Analysis

September 21 Press Briefing on the Closing of the Geopolitical Drug Observatory

Archive of Plan Colombia Press Briefings September 19-20

Archive of Plan Colombia Press Briefings September 8-18

Archive of Plan Colombia Press Briefings September 1-7

Archive of Press Briefings on Clinton in Colombia from August 24-30

This is your war. This is your war on drugs. Any questions?

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