tagged w/ Drug Dealers
Drug Raid money put to use on 911 dispatch center.
If you or someone you know is into flying fast, this video interview with action film director and jet pilot Kim Bass is for you! http://www.mrmedia.com/2012/06/kill-speed-takes-flight-under-writerdirector-kim-bass-video-interview/#.T9a-1PHCP3GIf you or someone you know is into flying fast, this video interview with action film... more
Durban, South Africa (6/12/11)–Members of the Canadian Youth Delegation and the Indigenous Environmental Network held a welcome party to formally receive Environment Minister Peter Kent and his tar sands pushers to the UN climate negotiations. As conference delegates entered the negotiations this morning, the welcoming committee handed out samples of tar sands on behalf of Kent, along with tourism brochures for
Canada’s scenic tar sands.
Canada’s refusal to commit to a binding climate agreement has made it a pariah state at the negotiations. Members of the Canadian Youth Delegation and the Indigenous Environmental Network hope their humble gifts will make the tar sands pushers feel right at home.
“Canada’s cozy relationship with oil industry has inhibited them from making real progress at these negotiations,” said Karen Rooney. “It’s clear that they have chosen to put the needs of polluters ahead of people.”
Over the past few months, Canada has been lobbying foreign governments to weaken both their climate policies and fuel quality standards to protect the trade of tar sands oil.
Meanwhile, the health and livelihoods of many Indigenous communities downstream from the tar sands continue to be threatened due to toxic tailings and the destruction of the boreal forest.
“Indigenous communities have been turned into sacrifice zones in Canada to feed our fossil fuel addiction. We are here to stand up for those communities against Canada’s pollution peddling and support just climate solutions,” stated Ben Powless, of the Indigenous Environmental Network.
A press conference will follow at 3:30pm in the Kosi Palm press room in the ICC.
More at the linkDurban, South Africa (6/12/11)–Members of the Canadian Youth Delegation and the... more
Making small talk with your pot dealer sucks. Buying cocaine can get you shot. What if you could buy and sell drugs online like books or light bulbs? Now you can: Welcome to Silk Road.
About three weeks ago, the U.S. Postal Service delivered an ordinary envelope to Mark's door. Inside was a tiny plastic bag containing 10 tabs of LSD. "If you had opened it, unless you were looking for it, you wouldn't have even noticed," Mark told us in a phone interview.
Mark, a software developer, had ordered the 100 micrograms of acid through a listing on the online marketplace Silk Road. He found a seller with lots of good feedback who seemed to know what they were talking about, added the acid to his digital shopping cart and hit "check out." He entered his address and paid the seller 50 Bitcoins—untraceable digital currency—worth around $150. Four days later the drugs, sent from Canada, arrived at his house.
"It kind of felt like I was in the future," Mark said.
Silk Road, a digital black market that sits just below most internet users' purview, does resemble something from a cyberpunk novel. Through a combination of anonymity technology and a sophisticated user-feedback system, Silk Road makes buying and selling illegal drugs as easy as buying used electronics—and seemingly as safe. It's Amazon—if Amazon sold mind-altering chemicals.
Here is just a small selection of the 340 items available for purchase on Silk Road by anyone, right now: a gram of Afghani hash; 1/8th ounce of "sour 13" weed; 14 grams of ecstasy; .1 grams tar heroin. A listing for "Avatar" LSD includes a picture of blotter paper with big blue faces from the James Cameron movie on it. The sellers are located all over the world, a large portion from the U.S. and Canada.
But even Silk Road has limits: You won't find any weapons-grade plutonium, for example. Its terms of service ban the sale of "anything who's purpose is to harm or defraud, such as stolen credit cards, assassinations, and weapons of mass destruction."
Getting to Silk Road is tricky. The URL seems made to be forgotten. But don't point your browser there yet. It's only accessible through the anonymizing network TOR, which requires a bit of technical skill to configure.
Once you're there, it's hard to believe that Silk Road isn't simply a scam. Such brazenness is usually displayed only by those fake "online pharmacies" that dupe the dumb and flaccid. There's no sly, Craigslist-style code names here. But while scammers do use the site, most of the listings are legit. Mark's acid worked as advertised. "It was quite enjoyable, to be honest," he said. We spoke to one Connecticut engineer who enjoyed sampling some "silver haze" pot purchased off Silk Road. "It was legit," he said. "It was better than anything I've seen."
Silk Road cuts down on scams with a reputation-based trading system familiar to anyone who's used Amazon or eBay. The user Bloomingcolor appears to be an especially trusted vendor, specializing in psychedelics. One happy customer wrote on his profile: "Excellent quality. Packing, and communication. Arrived exactly as described." They gave the transaction five points out of five.
"Our community is amazing," Silk Road's anonymous administrator, known on forums as "Silk Road," told us in an email. "They are generally bright, honest and fair people, very understanding, and willing to cooperate with each other."
Sellers feel comfortable openly trading hardcore drugs because the real identities of those involved in Silk Road transactions are utterly obscured. If the authorities wanted to ID Silk Road's users with computer forensics, they'd have nowhere to look. TOR masks a user's tracks on the site. The site urges sellers to "creatively disguise" their shipments and vacuum seal any drugs that could be detected through smell. As for transactions, Silk Road doesn't accept credit cards, PayPal , or any other form of payment that can be traced or blocked. The only money good here is Bitcoins.
Bitcoins have been called a "crypto-currency," the online equivalent of a brown paper bag of cash. Bitcoins are a peer-to-peer currency, not issued by banks or governments, but created and regulated by a network of other bitcoin holders' computers. (The name "Bitcoin" is derived from the pioneering file-sharing technology Bittorrent.) They are purportedly untraceable and have been championed by cyberpunks, libertarians and anarchists who dream of a distributed digital economy outside the law, one where money flows across borders as free as bits.
To purchase something on Silk Road, you need first to buy some Bitcoins using a service like Mt. Gox Bitcoin Exchange. Then, create an account on Silk Road, deposit some bitcoins, and start buying drugs. One bitcoin is worth about $8.67, though the exchange rate fluctuates wildly every day. Right now you can buy an 1/8th of pot on Silk Road for 7.63 Bitcoins. That's probably more than you would pay on the street, but most Silk Road users seem happy to pay a premium for convenience.
Since it launched this February, Silk Road has represented the most complete implementation of the Bitcoin vision. Many of its users come from Bitcoin's utopian geek community and see Silk Road as more than just a place to buy drugs. Silk Road's administrator cites the anarcho-libertarian philosophy of Agorism. "The state is the primary source of violence, oppression, theft and all forms of coercion," Silk Road wrote to us. "Stop funding the state with your tax dollars and direct your productive energies into the black market."
Mark, the LSD buyer, had similar views. "I'm a libertarian anarchist and I believe that anything that's not violent should not be criminalized," he said.
But not all Bitcoin enthusiasts embrace Silk Road. Some think the association with drugs will tarnish the young technology, or might draw the attention of federal authorities. "The real story with Silk Road is the quantity of people anxious to escape a centralized currency and trade," a longtime bitcoin user named Maiya told us in a chat. "Some of us view Bitcoin as a real currency, not drug barter tokens."
Silk Road and Bitcoins could herald a black market eCommerce revolution. But anonymity cuts both ways. How long until a DEA agent sets up a fake Silk Road account and starts sending SWAT teams instead of LSD to the addresses she gets? As Silk Road inevitably spills out of the bitcoin bubble, its drug-swapping utopians will meet a harsh reality no anonymizing network can blur.
Update: Jeff Garzik, a member of the Bitcoin core development team, says in an email that bitcoin is not as anonymous as the denizens of Silk Road would like to believe. He explains that because all Bitcoin transactions are recorded in a public log, though the identities of all the parties are anonymous, law enforcement could use sophisticated network analysis techniques to parse the transaction flow and track down individual Bitcoin users.
"Attempting major illicit transactions with bitcoin, given existing statistical analysis techniques deployed in the field by law enforcement, is pretty damned dumb," he says.
http://m.gawker.com/5805928/the-underground-website-where-you-can-buy-any-drug-imaginableMaking small talk with your pot dealer sucks. Buying cocaine can get you shot. What if... more
Drug lords celebrate the 50th anniversary of the United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, signed on 30 March 1961. 73 countries were represented at the conference that took place in New York from 24 January to 25 March 1961, which sought to lay a new solid foundation for drug control in the post-war United Nations era.
The aim was to replace the multiple existing multilateral treaties in the field with a single instrument as well as to reduce the number of international treaty organs concerned with the control of narcotic drugs, and to make provisions for the control of the production of raw materials of narcotic drugs. The Single Convention entered into force on 13 December 1964, having met the requirement of forty state ratifications.
Fifty years on, it is time for a critical reflection on the validity of the Single Convention today: a reinterpretation of its historical significance and an assessment of its aims, its strengths and its weaknesses. Indeed, while there is often a tendency to interpret the treaty as part of an unbroken continuum dating back to the first decade of the last century, the Single Convention must rather be seen as a significant change in way the international community approached drug control.
The dealers in this satirical celebration (protest) are making the point of who is really benefiting from prohibition
Check it outDrug lords celebrate the 50th anniversary of the United Nations Single Convention on... more
It's not the real thing! Students at New York University quickly worked out that business cards with the famous Coca Cola logo weren't advertising a fizzy drink.
Hundreds of the cards were slipped into copies of Village Voice in corner honour boxes at the college dorms in the city.
The cards had been carefully paper clipped to each paper promoting a 24-hour drug delivery service.
All of them had a phone number where students could order their illicit take-out, said police.
On some nights, the dealers got as many as 170 calls for drugs.
But detectives got wise to the scheme after a tip-off from an informant and now the two enterprising drug peddlers accused of orchestrating the ring are behind bars on $1million bail each.
'I have seen loads of Craigslist cases,' said Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Laura Ward.
'But I've never seen something as inventive as this. So this is actually something a little different for me,' she added.
As well as the Coca Cola symbol, some cards had a picture of a livery car with the words 'Purple Rain...Up in Smoke'.
The pair had built up a regular clientele of some 200 customers, said city Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan and NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly in a joint press release.
A four-month investigation revealed that the service delivered marijuana and low-cost but high-grade cocaine to customers' doorsteps, targeting a clientele of university students and the bar crowd in the East Village and Lower East Side.
Thomas 'Biggie' Zenon and Miguel 'G' Guzman, both pleaded not guilty today in Manhattan Supreme Court to multiple counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance.
According to the press release, the delivery service was discovered several months ago after an anonymous tipster reported finding one of the calling cards in a paper.
Undercover officers made a dozen calls to buy cocaine and marijuana from the pair, who turned up with the drugs in their delivery cars.
The biggest two sales were for a half-ounce of cocaine at $1,000 each.
Guzman, 43, of North Bergen, NJ, was arrested last night as he allegedly got ready to make a delivery to a customer on the Upper West Side. He was carrying 16 grams of cocaine, more than $1,600 cash and four cell phones as well as a small stack of the Coca Cola cards.
Zenon, 40, was busted last night inside a restaurant in Washington Heights. Twenty bags of marijuana were found by police inside a coffee thermos in his car, as well as more Purple Rain cards, according to detectives.
Both men have convictions for drug sales dating back from 2003, officials said.
Defence lawyer Barry Weinstein argued that the bail amount was far too high. 'In all these months, they were unable to get an A1 sale out of these guys. These are not giants of industry,' he said.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1349521/The-police-beat-THIS-feeling-Two-arrested-drug-dealers-promote-business-Coca-Cola-business-cards.html#ixzz1BkXEbOSlIt's not the real thing! Students at New York University quickly worked out that... more
The drug czar has gone to great rhetorical lengths to convince the American people that our drug policy isn’t a war any longer, but you don't have to look very hard to see the violence that still erupts daily, not only in Mexico, but right here in our own communities. If you can handle it, I'd like you to take a look at just one example of the incredible violence police use when enforcing our drug laws.
That is how quickly lives are lost in the war on drugs. When police invade private homes in search of drugs, anything and everything can go wrong, and even the slightest misunderstanding becomes a matter of life and death. The victim in this case, Todd Blair, brandished a golf club in terror as armed men stormed his home in the night. We'll never know for sure if he realized they were police. But we do know that only a small amount of drugs were found in the raid that took his life.
That drugs and violence often go hand in hand isn't a mystery to many among us – the bloodshed gripping Mexico is old news by now – but this is a very different kind of drug war violence than the infamous turf wars of the cartels. This is a rare glimpse into the unbelievable level of force our own public servants unleash routinely in order to protect us from ourselves. This man was just a drug user. Whether he ever sold drugs is in dispute, but there's no question that he lived and died in poverty, and not from drugs, but from police who gunned him down in his own home.
So long as we rely on police to lead the fight against drug abuse, the consequences will unfold brutally all around us and people who could have been helped – not to mention innocent bystanders – will be lost to us forever. Mistakes and misunderstandings will continue to occur with deadly frequency, but to a very large extent, the tragic events that take place daily in the war on drugs are not mistakes at all; they are the real and inevitable results of the laws our police enforce and the orders they receive. If heavily-armed pre-dawn drug raids are standard protocol, then people getting shot dead in the dark obviously can't be considered a crime, and it shouldn't be called an accident either.
The movement to end the war on drugs isn't just about making drugs legal. It's also about making it illegal for police to kill our friends and family over small bags of contraband.
Blair had been under investigation for several months by the strike force on suspicion of dealing meth and heroin. Only a small amount of marijuana, and paraphernalia, was found in the home, Smith said, and a small vial of what appeared to be meth was in the dead man's pants pocket.
http://stopthedrugwar.org/speakeasy/2011/jan/18/brutal_drug_raid_killing_caughtThe drug czar has gone to great rhetorical lengths to convince the American people... more
Lindsay Lohan's Ex-Coke Dealer, & People's Ex-Gossip Columnist, dishes on the rampant drug use among Hollywood's EliteLindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton’s arrests have refocused attention on Hollywood's drug problem. Now someone who once supplied drugs to his famous friends is talking.
http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-10-20/drug-dealers-to-the-stars/?cid=hp:mainpromo4Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton’s arrests have refocused attention on... more
Watch the new promo for the series Unskrptd showcasing the Eric Miller story "life after time". Produced by Reel Mckoy Media in Association w/ Mad Men Collective. Song "Survival" by Bubbz Skorseze. Eric Miller is now helping hundreds of youth in the city of Atlanta with his foundation "No Waybejon Outreach".Watch the new promo for the series Unskrptd showcasing the Eric Miller story... more
Holy Rollers, out on May 21st and based on actual events, is all about Hasidic Jews being recruited to smuggle ecstasy in the late 90s. However, Jesse Eisenberg's character, Sam Gold, is far from being the first person to ever push an illegal substance. We want to know which characters you think made the most interesting drug dealers on film.
In a 10 to 30-second video webcam of yourself (no editing, no clips), tell us which on-screen drug dealer gets you vote for Best Drug Dealer of All Time, and then watch The Rotten Tomatoes Show to see if you make in on air.
Upload your webcam no later than Monday, May 17th, and you could end up featured on next week's episode!Holy Rollers, out on May 21st and based on actual events, is all about Hasidic Jews... more
Imagine if George Jung went to Oxford…and sorta got away with it in the end. Meet Howard Marks, the Welsh drug smuggler who was at one time responsible for 10% of the world’s weed supply. Marks story is truly amazing. Not only did he not believe in violence, but he was a family man who refused to traffic hard drugs. He believed, as many of us do, that marijuana was a mostly harmless substance that shouldn’t be outlawed by federal governments.
Because Marks was unusually principled for a drug dealer, star Rhys Ifans is able to breathe humanity into the titular character and make him a sympathetic one. Given that the SXSW showing was the film’s world premiere, I was able to meet Ifans after the showing. I told him he should be nominated for Best Actor his work on this film. Ifans idolized Marks as a teenager, going as far as even writing him letters as a teenager. Because of that, the men remain friends to this day. They even share an uncanny striking resemblance. The Welshman was truly born to play this role.
http://flicksided.com/2010/03/sxsw-review-mr-nice/Imagine if George Jung went to Oxford…and sorta got away with it in the end.... more
CLICK LINK FOR MORE INFO http://getwititmagazine.com/news/
So where does crack come from? Good question, because it starts out (as a lot of problems do) innocently enough, and only gets truly weird as people get more and more involved.
Cocaine itself begins inside a shrub (erythroxylum coca) that grows in the mountains of Bolivia, Colombia, and Peru.
Indians there chew its leaves for the mild lift it provides. It's not a problem for them; they've co-existed with coca for centuries.
It's only after processing in jungle labs in South America that a concentrated drug emerges that really stirs things up: cocaine hydrochloride.
It delivers a kick that's felt all over the world.
Crack takes things a step further. It results from an extra process that converts the drug into a freebase alkaloid. The resulting paste is baked, then broken into chips or "rocks," and sold on the street for as little as $3-5.
Crack has been body-surfing in the wake of another form of smokeable cocaine called freebase for years. The main difference? Crack isn't as pure, since the crack "cooking" process doesn't filter out all the cuts found in street cocaine, and even adds a few impurities of its own.
Still, quality (of both powder cocaine and crack) is up. According to figures from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, crack has been weighing in at 75-90 percent potency in recent years -- up from 34 percent in 1987.
But purity alone doesn't explain all of crack's punch. A main difference involves the way it's absorbed: Crack is smoked and enters the body as a vapor, while ordinary cocaine is sniffed -- or injected, for maximum thrust.
That's made the drug easy to take -- and a lot less threatening to most people than using a needle.
The result? Nearly 8 million Americans have tried crack, according to a recent national survey, and about 700,000 use it regularly.
Like plain old "vanilla" powder cocaine, crack is a powerful stimulant. But since it's absorbed so quickly and hits so hard (reaching the brain in seconds and causing an intense "rush" that lasts 3-5 minutes), it creates all sorts of special risks for users.
As it pumps up the volume throughout the central nervous system, crack also speeds up other body systems, triggering a sharp rise in heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature. Short-term effects include feelings of alertness and excitement, along with increased confidence and decreased appetite. That's the upside.
The downside is that the intense crack high is quickly replaced by an equally intense low, involving anxiety, depression, and a restless craving for more.
For many users, the simplest-or at least the fastest-form of self-treatment for a crack crash is another dose of the drug.
And that's when the trouble really starts.
Just like powder cocaine, crack can lead to serious physical complications-and then some.
Because even though cocaine had a reputation for many years as a relatively harmless high, the fact is that the drug burns out the body and brain and can pose serious health risks to users.
Smoking only compounds the risk, since crack carries all the dangers of regular cocaine , along with a few of its own. And right at the top of the list is the risk of overdose.
And overdose is easy with crack, since it's absorbed so quickly at such high levels.
This risk is even greater since all forms of cocaine have been linked to heart failure in users-even in otherwise-healthy people with no history of heart disease.
And without immediate treatment, overdose can bring on convulsions, coma, and death.
Smoking crack can also cause respiratory problems and decreased lung function. Heavy users report often congestion and coughing and pain in the lungs and throat after use.
Other side effects include fatigue and malnutrition and possible liver damage. The drug also depletes levels of dopamine, a brain chemical involved in mood, attention, and motivation.Crack Facts So where does crack come from? Good question, because it starts out (as... more
The latest pharmaceutical being sold on the street is a knock-you-out antipsychotic called Seroquel. Jeff Deeney talks to the dealers, users, and narcs in the “Suzie-Q” black market.The latest pharmaceutical being sold on the street is a knock-you-out antipsychotic... more
Where's the change? I am sure the pharmaceutical companies are salivating for this plan, because it will mean a windfall for their profits when everyone is "covered" and can be addicted to their side effect drugs. I am sick of these alliances. If you truly want to overhaul healthcare you need to be making people WELL and getting these special interests OUT of the picture, not making them guinea pigs of the legalized drug dealers. So again, where's the change?
"We want to achieve coverage for everyone. For PhRMA, this would improve volume for prescription sales because everyone" would have better access to medicine, he said.
More victims to become addicted to their toxic drugs. Whatever happened to preventative medicine? Again, if you are unwilling to totally revamp food policy in this country and the polluting ways of corporations including the Monsantos who are feeding us transgenic garbage, nothing will change but the name of your provider.
The nation's drugmakers stand ready to spend $150 million to help President Barack Obama overhaul health care this fall, according to numerous officials, a staggering sum that could dwarf attempts to derail Obama's top domestic priority.
The White House and allies in Congress are well aware of the effort by Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, a somewhat surprising political alliance, given the drug industry's recent history of siding with Republicans and the Democrats' disdain for special interests.
The campaign, now in its early stages, includes television advertising under PhRMA's own name and commercials aired in conjunction with the liberal group, Families USA.
Numerous people with knowledge of PhRMA's plans said they had been told it would likely reach $150 million and perhaps $200 million. They spoke on condition of anonymity, saying they were not authorized to divulge details.
Additionally, the industry is the major contributor to Healthy Economy Now, which recently completed a $12 million round of advertising nationally and in several states. The ads were made by firms with close ties to Democrats and the White House and generally reflected the administration's changing rhetoric on health care.
In an interview, Ken Johnson, senior vice president of PhRMA, said, "We will have a significant presence over the August recess, both on television and newspapers and on radio, but we have not finalized details for our fall campaign."
Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, said the partnership with the deep-pocketed drug industry is one of mutual self-interest, even though the two groups disagree on numerous issues. "We want to achieve coverage for everyone. For PhRMA, this would improve volume for prescription sales because everyone" would have better access to medicine, he said.
____Where's the change? I am sure the pharmaceutical companies are salivating for... more
Teo Ballvé: Is Plan Colombia subsidizing narco-traffickers to cultivate biofuels on stolen lands?
Macaco, whose real name is Carlos Mario Jiménez, was one of the bloodiest paramilitary commanders in Colombia's long-running civil war and has confessed to the murder of 4,000 civilians. He and his cohorts are also largely responsible for forcing 4.3 million Colombians into internal refugee status, the largest internally displaced population in the world after Sudan's. In May 2008, Macaco was extradited to the United States on drug trafficking and "narco-terrorism" charges. He is awaiting trial in a jail cell in Washington, DC.
Macaco turned himself in to authorities in late 2005 as part of a government amnesty program that requires paramilitary commanders to surrender their ill-gotten assets--including lands obtained through violent displacement. Macaco offered up Coproagrosur as part of the deal.
But the attorney general's notice made no mention that Coproagrosur had received a grant in 2004 from the US Agency for International Development (USAID). That grant--paid for through Plan Colombia, the multibillion-dollar US aid package aimed at fighting the drug trade--appears to have put drug-war dollars into the hands of a notorious paramilitary narco-trafficker, in possible violation of federal law. Colombia's paramilitaries are on the State Department's list of foreign terrorist organizations. USAID's due diligence process "did not fail," according to an official response from the US embassy there, because Macaco was not officially listed among Coproagrosur's owners.
Since 2002 Plan Colombia has authorized about $75 million a year for "alternative development" programs like palm oil production. These programs provide funds for agribusiness partnerships with campesinos in order to wean them from cultivating illicit crops like coca, which can be used to make cocaine. These projects are concentrated in parts of northern Colombia that were ground zero for the mass displacement of campesinos.
USAID officials say the projects provide an alternative to drug-related violence for a battle-scarred country. They insist that the agency screens vigilantly for illegal activity and has not rewarded cultivators of stolen lands. But a study of USAID internal documents, corporate filings and press reports raises questions about the agency's vetting of applicants, in particular its ability to detect their links to narco-paramilitaries, violent crimes and illegal land seizures.
In addition to the $161,000 granted to Coproagrosur, USAID also awarded $650,000 to Gradesa, a palm company with two accused paramilitary-linked narco-traffickers on its board of directors. A third palm company, Urapalma, also accused of links with paramilitaries, nearly won approval for a grant before its application stalled because of missing paperwork. Critics say such grants defeat the antidrug mission of Plan Colombia.Teo Ballvé: Is Plan Colombia subsidizing narco-traffickers to cultivate... more
Winner of the 2008 Current pitch at the Sheffield Doc/Fest 2008, this incredibly moving short film reveals what life is really like behind bars through a series of letters received by the filmmaker from his incarcerated friends over a period of three years.Winner of the 2008 Current pitch at the Sheffield Doc/Fest 2008, this incredibly... more
Movie description>>"Based on true events during the 2000 election, AMERICAN VIOLET tells the astonishing story of Dee Roberts (critically hailed newcomer Nicole Beharie), a 24 year-old African American single mother of four young girls living in a small Texas town who is barely able to make ends meet.
While police drag Dee from work in handcuffs, dumping her in the squalor of the women’s county prison, the powerful local district attorney (Academy Award® nominee Michael O’Keefe) leads an extensive drug bust, sweeping her housing project with military precision. Dee soon discovers she has been charged as a drug dealer.
Even though Dee has no prior drug record and no drugs were found on her in the raid, she is offered a hellish choice: plead guilty and go home as a convicted felon or remain in prison, jeopardizing her custody and risking a long prison sentence.
She chooses to fight the district attorney and the unyielding criminal justice system, risking everything in a battle that forever changes her life and the Texas justice system. AMERICAN VIOLET also stars Academy Award® nominee Alfre Woodard, Emmy Award® winner Charles S. Dutton, Tim Blake Nelson, Will Patton and Xzibit.
NOTE: American Violet was initially inspired by an NPR story by Wade Goodwyn.
That was six years ago. Much of the film was informed by thousands of pages of information provided on a range of stories by the ACLU among others. A variety of media reports and legal documents, including sworn testimony, depositions and affidavits, all of which can be found on the public record also helped us find authentic patterns and voices for our storytelling. Finally, taped interviews with community members who had experienced circumstances similar to those outlined in our work proved useful.
However, American Violet is not a documentary. It is a narrative feature film that is, as it says, based on true events. Some scenes and characters have been fictionalized for dramatic effect and have no relationship to the historical record. Names have been changed to protect the innocent and also to protect this film."Movie description>>"Based on true events during the 2000 election, AMERICAN... more
For the past century the standard-bearer of the prohibition movement has been America, which imprisons more people for drug offences than any other country. But in 13 states the police are instructed not to arrest people for cannabis possession. In Europe, the coffee shops of Amsterdam famously sell cannabis alongside croissants. And other European countries are lenient about stronger drugs. Personal possession of any drug is not a criminal offence in Spain, Portugal, Italy, the Czech Republic or the Baltic states. Some German states and Swiss cantons are similarly relaxed, as are a few Australian states.
A survey last year by the World Health Organisation examined drug-taking in 17 countries and found no link between the strictness of prohibition and the amount of drug consumption. (The lenient Netherlands, interestingly, has one of the lowest rates of “problem” drug use in Europe.) “Countries with more stringent policies did not have lower levels of such drug use than countries with more liberal policies,” the researchers concluded. For every strict regime like Sweden, there is another such as Britain or America where a tough approach co-exists with widespread drug use. Drug-taking was more closely linked to being wealthy, single and male than anything else, the researchers found.
It is an embarrassing mess for the UN’s Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), which prefers to highlight Sweden, a country that has implemented strict drug laws and can claim some success in its quest for a “drug-free society”. In Sweden possession of any banned drug, including cannabis, earns a criminal record and sometimes a jail sentence (albeit one with an emphasis on treatment). Many countries have such laws in theory, but Sweden carries them out: most of its prosecutions for drug offences are for mere possession, rather than dealing. A report from the UNODC in 2007 highlighted the country’s lowish levels of drug use compared with elsewhere in Europe, and praised recent falls in consumption. Sweden has a below-average number of “problem” drug users too, though there is less in it, suggesting that the main effect of harsh laws may be to deter casual pot-smokers rather than to prevent serious addiction. Should other countries follow Sweden’s example?
Changing drug policy over time also seems to have little impact. In Britain, drugs are classified A, B or C to indicate how harmful they are and to determine how severely offenders should be punished. But after cannabis was downgraded from class B to C in 2004, usage actually fell. All the same, the Home Office last year decided to bump it back to B again, and last month announced that it would ignore expert advice to downgrade ecstasy from A to B, fearing that to do so would “send a message” that the drug was now safe. Is anyone listening?For the past century the standard-bearer of the prohibition movement has been America,... more