Tuesday, June 14, 2011


ACLU marks 40th year of the “War on Drugs” with weekend events highlighting the “collateral damage”

The best thing to do is to reproduce the ACLU press release which gives all the details.

Update: Please note that the “Stop the Drug War” rally and sign waving will be held on Friday, June 17, 2011 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. (not 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. as previously announced).

Honolulu, HI – The American Civil Liberties Union of Hawai‘i Foundation (“ACLU”) marks the 40th anniversary of the government’s “War on Drugs” by joining the Hawaii Drug Policy Forum and others at two public events this weekend.  The “Stop the Drug War” rally and sign waving will be held Friday, June 17, 2011 from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m. at the Hawaii State Capitol.  “Trying Our Patients: Politics vs. Health in the War on Drugs,” featuring speaker Scott Michelman from the ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project and a subsequent panel discussion, will be held on Saturday, June 18, 2011 from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. at the Blaisdell Center, 777 Ward Ave., in the 2nd Floor Maui Meeting Room.

Featured speaker Scott Michelman, National ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project attorney, has litigated cases involving medical marijuana, racially discriminatory drug law enforcement, federal sentencing law, and unreasonable search and seizure.  He previously taught civil rights litigation at the Seton Hall Law School Center for Social Justice and has served as an adjunct professor at Santa Clara Law School.  Over the course of his career, Mr. Michelman’s docket has spanned a broad range of civil rights issues, including post-September 11 abuse of executive power, employment discrimination and wrongful termination, political protest, immigrants’ rights, freedom of the press, and enforcement of federal statutory rights.  Mr. Michelman graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School.

The panel topics and speakers include:

Collateral Damage #1:  Drug War Politics Trumps Science

“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.

Collateral Damage #2:  Drug War Politics Impedes Research

“Barriers to Cannabis Research in Hawai`i,” Clifton Otto, M.D., who advocated for research in the 2011 legislative session.  He will also talk about his experiences as a first time advocate.

Collateral Damage #3:  Pain, Suffering, & Arrests

“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, support groups, implementation of the Lowest Law Enforcement Priority Ordinance and patient arrests for transporting cannabis.

The mission of the Hawai‘i affiliate of the ACLU is to protect the civil liberties contained in the state and federal constitutions through litigation, legislative and public education programs statewide. The ACLU is funded primarily through private donations and offers its service at no cost to the public. The ACLU does not accept any government funds.


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