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... a weekly service for the media on news items related to Marijuana Prohibition.

August 3, 1995

Green Cross Co-founder To Serve Two Days In Jail For Contempt of Court

        August 2, 1995, Seattle, WA:  Joanna McKee, activist, medicinal marijuana advocate, and co-founder of Washington's Green Cross Patient Co-op turned herself in to local authorities to begin serving a two day sentence for leaving the state against a judge's orders.
        Mckee, 52, was arrested on May 3 when regional task force agents raided her medical marijuana cooperative in Brainbridge Island.  According to authorities, approximately 130 marijuana plants were seized during the raid. McKee's Green Cross Patient Co-op is believed to have been the first "Cannabis Buyers Club" in the nation aggressively targeted by the law enforcement community.  Over 30 such "Clubs" currently operate throughout the United States.
        Following her May arrest, McKee was released on her own recognizance pending trial in September.  However, a Kitsap County Superior Court judge ordered her not to leave the state.  McKee recently defied this court order when she flew to Washington DC to attend the National Institute on Drug Abuse's first ever conference on marijuana.
        McKee's arrest and subsequent legal problems have garnered both considerable local and national media attention.  USA Today mentioned her probable return to jail in its July 20 issue and all three local network affiliates were on hand to cover McKee's surrender to police on August 2.
        Ironically, McKee's return to jail comes less than three weeks after San Diego Compassionate Use Club founder, Todd McCormick, was arrested by authorities while on route to Rhode Island.  McCormick faces felony drug charges.
        Donations to help pay for Joanna McKee's legal defense fund can be sent to the following address: The Green Cross Defense Fund, 800 5th Ave., #162, Seattle, WA. 98104.  Those who wish to help circulate petitions and/or raise public awareness to the plight of Joanna McKee and other medical marijuana users are encouraged to send a SASE to: Green Cross, PO Box 10416, Brainbridge Island, WA 98110.

Senate Appropriations Committee Approves Elimination of National Drug Czar

        July 27, 1995, Washington, DC:  A proposal to eliminate the position of White House drug policy advisor (currentiy held by Lee Brown) has been approved by the Senate House Appropriations Committee. President Clinton has stated that he will veto any legislation that intends to abolish the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.
        Brown's office has recentiy come under fire from both Republicans and Democrats alike for a "lack of visibility" in fighting illegal drug use and trafficking.  ONDCP proponents have countered by arguing that since the creation of a national "drug czar" seven years ago, the Office has significantly reduced the power of Colombian drug cartels and has helped lead the campaign against adolescent marijuana use.
        National studies indicate that marijuana use among American teens has been on the rise since 1991.

Meanwhile, Washington Post Prints ONDCP's Current Six-Figure Salaries

        July 28, 1995, Washington, DC: According to an article in the Washington Post, fighting illegal drug use on the national level can be quite financially rewarding, if not altogether effective.
        The Post reported that in addition to Lee Brown's $148,400 yearly salary, the Office of National Drug Control Policy also currentiy employs about a dozen other six-figure staffers.  Brown stated that the big money salaries are necessary "in order to develop and track strategy for a $14 billion program."
        [And how much was your last paycheck? -ed.]