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LOCAL Announcement :: Health & Drugs

Drug War Awareness Week

UC Santa Cruz Students Raise Drug War Awareness

Week-long Series of Events includes Documentary Screenings, Open Mic/Poetry Slam and Panel Discussion

SANTA CRUZ, CA – Two student organizations at UC Santa Cruz will host ‘Drug War Awareness Week’ May 16-19. The UC Santa Cruz chapters of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) and Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) have formed a coalition to combat “the misguided and harmful policies that have kept the War on Drugs going despite years of ineffectiveness and outright societal degradation,? said Daniel Bear, a member of both groups.

WHO: UC Santa Cruz Students for Sensible Drug Policy and NORML.
WHAT: Drug War Awareness Week (DWAW)
WHERE: UC Santa Cruz campus
WHEN: May 17th-19th

Drug War Awareness Week features a variety of events appealing to all members of the community, including an open mic night, film screenings, a lobbying phone slam, and a panel discussion entitled ‘Real Life Co$ts of the Drug War.’ Speaking on the panel are noted UC Santa Cruz professor and chair of the Women’s Studies department Angela Davis, Valerie Corral of the Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana (WAMM), representatives of the ACLU Drug Law Reform Project, other professors, and Friends Outside. For a full schedule, visit

The students launched this campaign because they felt that it was time expand their efforts in the face of the upcoming decision in the Raich v. Ashcroft case before the Supreme Court. They have worked closely with WAMM in defense of medical cannabis patients, whose federal legitimacy will be determined by the outcome of this case. Formed in January 2004, the groups have also worked to repeal a law that denies federal financial aid to students convicted of even the most minor drug offenses - but doesn’t apply to other crimes.

Students for Sensible Drug Policy, an organization with more than 100 college and high school chapters nationwide, is committed to providing education on harms caused by the War on Drugs, working to involve youth in the political process, and promoting an open, honest, and rational discussion of alternative solutions to our nation's drug problems.
The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws was formed in 1970 and provides a voice in the public policy debate for those Americans who oppose marijuana prohibition and favor an end to the practice of arresting responsible marijuana smokers.

INTERVIEWS AVAILABLE. For more information please contact Daniel Bear of SSDP of Santa Cruz at deadybear (at) or Ritika Aggarwal of NORML of Santa Cruz raggarwa (at)
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Re: Drug War Awareness Week

Our email is scdruglawrefrom (at) sorry to leave that out.


Monday May 16th: Monday will focus on establishing the tone for the coming week by giving students the opportunity to sign petitions and voice their opinion with a phone slam to selected representatives. Cookies will provide an incentive to engage students in our presentation.

Tuesday May 17th: Over the course of the evening we will feature a series of three documentaries. We will feature two documentaries and one Hollywood production. The first documentary, Generation E, is a film about the criminalization of the rave culture, ecstasy, and house music. The second documentary, Tulia, exposes the racist nature of conspiracy laws. The third film, Grass examines the history of marijuana prohibition in the US. A great film, narrated by Woody Harrelson, this film captures the insanity of anti-marijuana laws in a truly entertaining format. We will be holding this event at Thimann rm.3 on the UC Santa Cruz campus, from 6-10:30pm. We will be posting the schedule of when each movie will be shown shortly. This event is FREE. For directions please see

Wednesday May 18th: We will host an open-mic / poetry night on various issues pertaining to the drug war. The evening will include performances by community members, students, and activists addressing social issues, many surrounding the Drug War. From 7:30-10:30 location TBA. This event is Free. To sign up to perform (though not required in advance) please email us at

Thursday May 19th: Our final night will feature the main event of DWAW, a panel discussion entitled, "Real Life Co$ts of the Drug War". Starting at 6pm in Classroom Unit 2 at the UC Santa Cruz campus, this event will feature Professor Angela Davis of the Women's Studies department, Valerie Corral of the Wo/men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana, Kristen Chambers of Santa Cruz Friends Outside, Anjuli Verma and Allen Hopper of the ACLU Drug Law Reform Project, and Professor Mike Males from the Sociology Department. This event is FREE. For directions please see

National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Law/Students for Sensible Drug Policy (NORML/SSDP): The Santa Cruz NORML/SSDP chapter is run by concerned students at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) and follows the principles and mission statements of NORML and SSDP. We are a dedicated group of students committed to changing the current drug laws and their resulting hindrance on our society. We have strong ties to the medical marijuana community, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and other organizations on campus to help ensure the success of these events.

For more information contact us at


Grass (1999) A documentary history of marijuana criminalization in the U.S.

Each year, hundreds of thousands of Americans are arrested for marijuana use. The cumulative cost of these arrests (and subsequent incarcerations) is estimated to be in the hundreds of billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars. That's a lot of pain and effort to ban a drug that even government experts have concluded to be relatively benign, as indeed marijuana must be since roughly a quarter of the U.S. population has used it without noticeable ill effect. So how did U.S. government policy with respect to marijuana get to be so absurd? That's the question this documentary sets out to answer.

Join a Sidewalk Distribution of Medical Marijuana May 19th

I made the following speech on Tuesday afternoon 5-9 before the Santa Cruz City Council.

Rotkin and his Council had no response to the speech, nor to my suggestion that they schedule an emergency meeting to act on necessary changes to their city ordinance. Nor have they indicated to any medical marijuana providers they are seriously working on a reform of their city ordinance which effectively bans medical marijuana distributors.

I shall be tabling on Thursday May 19th in front of the Rio Theater (technically illegal under the Rotkin Downtown Ordinance banning any political tables within 10' of a building in any business district).

I invite others interested in seeing medical marijuana distribution centers in Santa Cruz to open to join me.

Medical Marijuana and Public Comment: Both Casualties of the Rotkin Regime

Speech to Santa Cruz Community and City Council 5-9-05 by Robert Norse

What has happened to Oral Communications? The Kennedy-Rotkin treatment. Kennedy’s gone. Mayor Rotkin’s still here. Instead of having O.C. when most working people can come at 7 PM in the evening, the Mayor has moved it to a time uncertain in the afternoon at the end of the agenda when folks are working or in school. And we have the same approach for Public Comment at the City Council’s rare Committee meetings.

When they’re not canceled, the Public Safety Committee [PSC] meetings work the same way. Sit through an entire meeting, before you get a chance to talk for three minutes. For those who don’t know, the PSC is our sorry excuse for a brake on police misconduct--now that Rotkin and his allies have disemboweled the weak but struggling Citizen Police Review Board two years ago. While it is true that Rotkin has had some success in stopping police harassment of particular homeless individuals, he will do nothing about the criminalization of the poor at night. Also there is no effective process to counter the ongoing police-merchant campaign to “disappear? the homeless for the summer.

Young people in front of Borders report continued harassment by CSO Pam Bachtel for sitting near an ATM in an area where the City has removed most of the benches, moving under the awnings to get out of the rain, or littering where the City has removed the trash can there. Then there’s the grim irony of felony arrests for selling small quantities of marijuana. Filling the jails with young people selling herb on Pacific Avenue, a street where City Manager Dick Wilson’s Planning Department has closed down the only medical marijuana dispensary in Santa Cruz--the Pacific Coast Cooperative.

Did Mayor Rotkin promise to review this issue a month ago? Didn’t he promise to review a year and a half ago? Wasn’t he one of the people who gave us the current “no medical marijuana clubs in Santa Cruz? law? I encourage folks to show up Thursday evening a week from tomorrow in front of the Rio theater to organize a sidewalk medical marijuana distribution, a legal operation under Proposition 215. If Rotkin’s City Council won’t act, it’s up to the rest of the community to bring the issue forward. If lobbying, begging, pleading, and visible suffering doesn’t work, then Direct Action needs to do the job.

How is Mayor Rotkin spending his time, his public time as Mayor? Don’t ask cause he won’t tell.

Unlike other city and state officials across the California who have responded to last November’s voter-endorsed Sunshine Initiative, Mayor Rotkin will not reveal who he’s had meetings with, or even where he intends to have his next public meeting. As he told me when I spoke with him, ‘I’ve got my appointment book for the next month in my pocket, and you’re not going to see it.? Even though that’s a public document that concerns City business that should be open to the public under the Public Records Act.

So it’s apparently up to the public to conduct public business. Remember Thursday May 19th 6 PM in front of the Rio Theater. If you haven’t been able to get medical marijuana because of the Rotkin-Mathews laws here in town, direct action may get the goods. Thursday May 19th 6 PM at Soquel and Seabright. Be there. Bring your doctor’s recommendation.

Flyer by HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom) 309 Cedar PMB 14B S.C. 95060 831-423-4833 5-9-05
More info:, & &
Bathrobespierre’s Broadsides Free Radio Santa Cruz shows archived at

The Human Rights Organization (HRO) meets Saturdays 1:30 PM at the Homeless Services Center Dining Room 115 Coral St.

HUFF meets Wednesdays 8:30 AM at the American Cafe in the basement of the County Building 701 Ocean St.

Re: Drug War Awareness Week

So what happened to HUFF's table in front of Borders on Thursdays? Did they just end it because of police harassment? I used to stop by, but they haven't been there lately.

pics of MMM 2005 around the world

Click on image for a larger version

pics of MMM 2005 around the world

Plaza de Oriente, 7 de mayo 2005

Date Correction: It's May 13th not the 19th

The first tabling in prep for the medical marijuana giveaway will be 6 PM Friday the 13th in front of the Rio Theater not Thursday the 19th. Sorry for the confusion. Next date TBA.

The HUFF table wasn't harassed away. We're looking for volunteers. We're also focusing on content-specific sites (like the HUFF n PUFF event described above).

Re: Drug War Awareness Week

Under federal law, stems and seeds are weighed to exagerate cannabis sentencing and harass growers with ridiculously large quantitative presumptions,and excess prison sentences.
Exclusion of stems and seeds under draconian 1937 paranoid laws is a common sense legal first step. Electing non demo and repubs is the best approach!


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