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Santa Cruz Indymedia

Text of Drug War Stats reply from D.A.'s Office

I was unable to scan in the Eric Seib's letter, but transcribe the text below.

The information given is remarkably scanty. The claim that no accessible records exist before 2003 sounds implausible. The request for a ballpark figure on the cost of the Drug War is ducked entirely.

The request to view records to dig out statistics is rejected, sending us instead to "the Courts".

Though I have yet to ponder this letter and discuss it with knowledgable Public Defenders, it sounds like the issue is being largely ducked and information being withheld.

The D.A.'s information here is of perhaps a step up from Mayor Rotkin's reassurances. When asked what he's doing to end the absence of marijuana dispensaries in the City of Santa Cruz after 5 years of his de facto prohibition law passed in 2000, Rotkin replies "considering the issue". When asked specifics, like what public meetings he will be attending and what lobbyists he has met with, Rotkin stonewalls, in violation of the spirit of the Sunshine Initiative, passed by California voters in 2004.


May 25, 2005
Dear Mr Norse:

The Santa Cruz District Attorney's Ofice has now completed its review of your request for statistics dated May 3, 2005 and based on our phone conversation of May 18, 2005, I believed that your request remained informal. Our understanding is that your request for statistics for what you term the "Drug Prohibition War" deals solely with marijuana-related crimesa nd not with any other controlled substance.

Your request also asks for statistics going back to the time that District Attorney, Bob Lee, assumed office, January 6, 2003. Unfortunately, the system in place at that time is no longer in existence and we are only able to extract statistics from our current system which was put in place June 2, 2003. The information below, therefore reflects activity from that date forward. You must also understand that the statistics provided below are the best information we have available and are not necessarily inclusive of all potential date. There are also certain statistics that we do not track at all, and I will identify those where applicable or clarify as necessary.

Requested Statistic Outcome Comments

Number of Charges Filed 96 These are specifically identified felony cases, but not all peripherally marijuana-related charges are included here, as explained above.

Number of Defendants 96

Number of Cases Prosecuted 96

Number of Convictions to Date 62

Referrals to Drug Diversion/Court Unknown Due to the nature of this program, we do not track this statistic.

Average case cost Unknown We do not track this statistic due to the difficulty of capturing all related costs.

Number involving jury trials 2

Number involving acquittals or hung juries 0

Number of people serving time, probation, or have arrest record 96 At a minimum the aforementioned 96 will meet at least one of these criteria. Once the aforementioned 62 convictions occurred, we no longer track the status of their sentences. Thd ate would best be obtained from the Courts.

Grants for marijuana cases Approx $50,000 annually The Marijuana Suppression Program is a grant provided through the California Office of Emergency Services and administered by the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Ofice to reimburse for costs associated with the investigation and prosecution of marijuana cases. The District Attorney is the prosecution component of that grant and our allocated amount of approximately $50,000 reimburses for our incurred costs.

Grants for non-marijuana cases Approx. $270,000 annually The Anti-Drug Abuse enforcement Program is a grant ptovided through the California Office of Emergency Services and administered by the Santa Cruz County District Attorney's Office to reimburse for costs associated with the investigation and prosecution of other controlled substance cases.

Public accessibility of records N/A The Courts are the custodians of the publicly distributable case records. You will need tomake arrangements with them to view any records.

Prior Year Figures N/A As explained above, we are unable to access the date prior to June 2, 2003.

If you havfe any further questions or concerns please feel free to contact me at (831) 454-2400 or by e-mail at eric.seib (at) .


Eric P. Seib
Adminstrative Services Officer

cc: Bob Lee, District Attorney
Fred Nohr, Chief of Administration

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