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ACLU to Hold “Stop the Drug War” Rally and Events

Posted June 14, 2011, 11:23 AM HST Updated June 16, 2011, 01:01 PM HST
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By Wendy Osher

File photo of items seized in 2009 Maui drug bust.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Hawai‘i Foundation (ACLU) hosts a “Stop the Drug War” rally and sign waving demonstration this weekend. The event is one of two activities that were planned in apparent opposition to the 40th anniversary of the government’s “War on Drugs”.

The ACLU joins the Hawaii Drug Policy Forum in the “Stop the Drug War” rally and sign waving on Friday, June 17, 2011 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the State Capitol.

The groups will then join in a presentation and panel discussion entitled: “Trying Our Patients: Politics vs. Health in the War on Drugs.” The event takes place on Saturday, June 18, 2011 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Blaisdell Center (2nd Floor Maui Meeting Room).

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Featured speaker, Scott Michelman from the ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project, has litigated cases involving medical marijuana, federal sentencing law, and search and seizure.

Other panel topics and speakers will discuss research, advocacy and legislative action involving cannabis in Hawai’i.  Sessions include:

  • “The Case for Rescheduling Cannabis,” Charlie Webb, M.D., Hawai`i Island physician who drafted Hawai`i Medical Association’s resolution urging rescheduling of cannabis to Schedule III.
  • “Barriers to Cannabis Research in Hawai`i,” Clifton Otto, M.D., who advocated for research in the 2011 legislative session.
  • “Experiences of Hawai`i Island Patients and Advocates,” Matt Rifkin, Americans for Safe Access, Big Island Chapter and Friends for Justice, will talk about organizing patients and support groups.

The Maui Police Department earlier this year was among those who voiced opposition to marijuana legislation, seeking instead, increases in penalties for possession and clarification of existing medical marijuana laws.

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