Crime, Arrests and US Law Enforcement

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Police encounters don't have to end in an arrest, or worse. The organization Flex Your Rights has put together a comprehensive guide for citizens on how to properly handle encounters with law enforcement, preserving both personal and public safety as well as one's civil rights. Learn more at their website, FlexYourRights.org.

41. Crack/Powder Cocaine Sentencing Disparity Changed In 2010

On August 3, 2010, President Barack Obama "signed an historic piece of legislation that narrows the crack and powder cocaine sentencing disparity from 100:1 to 18:1 and for the first time eliminates the mandatory minimum sentence for simple possession of crack cocaine."

American Civil Liberties Union, "President Obama Signs Bill Reducing Cocaine Sentencing Disparity," August 3, 2010, last accessed July 26, 2016.
https://www.aclu.org/news/pres...

42. Origin of the Controlled Substances Act

"With increasing use of marijuana and other street drugs during the 1960s, notably by college and high school students, federal drug-control laws came under scrutiny. In July 1969, President Nixon asked Congress to enact legislation to combat rising levels of drug use. Hearings were held, different proposals were considered, and House and Senate conferees filed a conference report in October 1970. The report was quickly adopted by voice vote in both chambers and was signed into law as the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970. ... Included in the new law was the Controlled Substances Act."

Eddy, Mark, "Medical Marijuana: Review and Analysis of Federal and State Policies," Congressional Research Service (Washington, DC: March 31, 2009), p. 3.
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/mis...

43. DEA Criteria for Schedule II

"Although the petition for review was denied, it led to a revised formulation by the DEA for determining whether a drug has a 'currently accepted medical use.' The 5-part test for fulfilling the accepted medical use criteria of Schedule II is now comprised of the following:
"• the drug’s chemistry must be known and reproducible;
"• there must be adequate safety studies;
"• there must be adequate and well-controlled studies proving efficacy;
"• the drug must be accepted by qualified experts; and
"• the scientific evidence must be widely available.
"A drug must meet all 5 criteria to be considered for rescheduling by the DEA.
"Even if marijuana were rescheduled under current law it could not be marketed or medically available for general prescription use unless it was reviewed and approved by FDA under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) (see below). Conceivably, a physician may be able to write a prescription for an individual patient with the cooperation of a compounding pharmacist with a schedule II license. However, the FDA treats compounded products as 'new drugs' subject to all the requirements of the FFDCA if pharmacists attempt to compound large quantities of medication."

American Medical Association, Council on Science and Public Health, "Report 3 of the Council on Science and Public Health: Use of Cannabis for Medicinal Purposes" (December 2009) p. 8.
http://drugwarfacts.org/cms/fi...

44. Placement of Drugs in the Controlled Substances Act

"As this paper demonstrates, the pharmacological effect of a drug does not necessarily determine how a drug will be governed. Rather, it is the way a drug is framed that determines how the drug will be popularly understood and ultimately regulated. According to the Regulatory Regime / Norms model, the meaning of any drug (how it is perceived or understood) is initially ambiguous and indeterminate. As a result, the project of getting a drug into a particular regulatory regime is about allocating specific meaning and significance to the drug in order to prompt individuals to think and feel about the drug in a way that allows for regime placement. This is accomplished by framing a drug to match the norms of a particular regime. Thus, the critical work at the level of regulation is in the framing."
"Once a group has persuasively framed a drug in a way that resonates with the norms of its regime of choice, then the drug may be placed in that regime, regardless of whether the designation decision is supported by scientific or medical evidence. As we have seen with cocaine, marijuana and anabolic steroids, however, if a drug in the criminal regulatory regime is closely associated with socially maligned groups or racial minorities, then it is substantially more difficult for the drug to eventually migrate out of the regime."

Paul-Emile, Kimani, "Making Sense of Drug Regulation: A Theory of Law for Drug Control Policy," Fordham University School of Law, Cornell Journal of Law and Policy (December 2009), p. 52.
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/pa...

45. The Controlled Substances Act of 1970

The Controlled Substances Act of 1970:
"(a) Establishment There are established five schedules of controlled substances, to be known as schedules I, II, III, IV, and V ...."
"(b).... The findings required for each of the schedules are as follows:
"(1) Schedule I. - (A) The drug or other substance has a high potential for abuse. (B) The drug or other substance has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. (C) There is a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision.
"(2) Schedule II. - (A) The drug or other substance has a high potential for abuse. (B) The drug or other substance has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States or a currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions. (C) Abuse of the drug or other substances may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.
"(3) Schedule III. - (A) The drug or other substance has a potential for abuse less than the drugs or other substances in schedules I and II. (B) The drug or other substance has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. (C) Abuse of the drug or other substance may lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychologicaldependence.
"(4) Schedule IV. - (A) The drug or other substance has a low potential for abuse relative to the drugs or other substances in schedule III. (B) The drug or other substance has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. (C) Abuse of the drug or other substance may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to the drugs or other substances in schedule III.
"(5) Schedule V. - (A) The drug or other substance has a low potential for abuse relative to the drugs or other substances in schedule IV. (B) The drug or other substance has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. (C) Abuse of the drug or other substance may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to the drugs or other substances in schedule IV."

U.S. Code. Title 21, Chapter 13 -- Drug Abuse Prevention and Control -- Section 812, Schedules of Controlled Substances, p. 384.
http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/...
http://mapinc.org/url/1NCZaa7Q

46. Police "Stops" Defined

"'Stops' refers to the practice of police officers stopping individuals on the street to question them. In general, police may do this to anyone at any time. But unless and until the police officer tells an individual he or she may not leave, a person stopped is free not to answer questions and to leave. As Supreme Court Justice Harlan said in his opinion in Terry [v. Ohio], ordinarily and unless there are specific facts sufficient to justify the officer’s suspicion that a crime is, has been or may about to be committed, the person stopped has a right to ignore the officer’s questions and walk away. But if the individual may not leave, this is called, as Justice Harlan put it, a 'forcible stop.'
"This is why, when stopped, it is always advisable to ask the police officer politely whether you are free to leave or not. If you are restrained from leaving, you should not resist. But at some point, if the stop is more than brief, you should ask whether you are being arrested. This is because more evidence is required to arrest someone than to stop them for questioning."

Glasser, Ira, "Stop, Question and Frisk: What the Law Says About Your Rights," Drug Policy Alliance (New York, NY: May 2011), p. 4.
http://www.drugpolicy.org/site...

47. Police "Frisks" Defined

"A pat-down frisk is a limited search subject to the requirements of the Fourth Amendment. It involves a police officer patting down an individual’s outer clothing, and only his outer clothing, if and only if, pursuant to a lawful forcible stop, the officer has a reasonable suspicion that the individual stopped is armed and dangerous. This is the only legal justification for a pat-down frisk.
"Reasonable suspicion of any other crime is enough to stop and question an individual, but it is not enough to frisk him. For that, reasonable suspicion that the person is armed and dangerous is required."

Glasser, Ira, "Stop, Question and Frisk: What the Law Says About Your Rights," Drug Policy Alliance (New York, NY: May 2011), p. 4.
http://www.drugpolicy.org/site...

48. Federal Drug Enforcement

"Drug-related activities in the United States span a number of agencies. In addition to the DoD [Department of Defense] activities focused on drug trafficking discussed previously, a range of programs involving intelligence collection, analysis, and sharing are in place at a number of levels. The central actor in counternarcotics and, therefore, domestic intelligence activities in this area is the DEA [Drug Enforcement Administration]. The agency’s Intelligence Division manages a number of offices and programs that interface both with other agencies in the intelligence community (e.g., the division’s National Security Intelligence Section) and operations to support state and local law enforcement activities (such as Operation Pipeline, which provides training, communication, and analytic support to local law enforcement targeting private motor vehicles involved in drug trafficking, and Operation Convoy, its commercial vehicle counterpart). The Intelligence Division manages information fusion centers. For example, the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) is the major hub for collecting, analyzing, and disseminating drug related intelligence for all levels of law enforcement and government. It covers drug, alien, and weapon smuggling, as well as terrorism-related smuggling. To support state and local operations, the DEA has organized Mobile Enforcement Teams (METs) to assist state and local law enforcement facing particularly difficult drug-enforcement challenges. When requested by state and local law enforcement, the DEA will send a team to assist in investigation, intelligence collection and analysis, arrests, and prosecution."

Jackson, Brian A.; Noricks, Darcy; and Goldsmith, Benjamin W., "Current Domestic Intelligence Efforts in the United States," RAND Corporation (Santa Monica, CA: 2009), pp. 65-66.
http://www.rand.org/pubs/monog...

49. HIDTA

"The HIDTA [High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area] program, originally authorized by the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988 (P.L. 100-690),155 provides assistance to federal, state, and local law enforcement operating in areas deemed as the most-impacted by drug trafficking. Each HIDTA is governed by a separate executive board comprised of about eight federal agencies and eight state or local agencies. The program’s main goals are to
"• assess regional drug threats;
"• develop strategies focusing efforts on combating drug trafficking threats;
"• create and fund initiatives to improve these strategies;
"• facilitate coordination between federal, state, and local efforts; and
"• produce efficient drug control efforts to reduce/eliminate the impact of drug trafficking.156

"The Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) has the authority to designate areas within the United States and its territories that are centers of illegal drug production, manufacturing, importation, or distribution as HIDTAs—of which there are currently 28."

Finklea, Kristin M., "The Interplay of Borders, Turf, Cyberspace, and Jurisdiction: Issues Confronting U.S. Law Enforcement," Congressional Research Service (Washington, DC: Library of Congress, July 19, 2011), p. 30.
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/mis...

50. Temporary Scheduling Authority of the US Attorney General and the DEA

"Because policymakers were concerned about the effects of pharmaceutically created and other modified drugs, Congress gave the Attorney General the authority to temporarily place a substance onto Schedule I of the CSA to 'avoid imminent hazards to public safety.13 When determining whether there is an imminent hazard, the Attorney General (through the DEA) must consider the drug’s history and current pattern of abuse; scope, duration, and significance of abuse; and risk to public health. Once scheduled through this temporary scheduling process, a substance may remain on Schedule I for one year. The Attorney General then has the authority to keep the substance on Schedule I for an additional six months before it must be removed or permanently scheduled."

Sacco, Lisa N. and Finklea, Kristin M., "Synthetic Drugs: Overview and Issues for Congress, Congressional Research Service (Washington, DC: Library of Congress, October 28, 2011), p. 3.
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/mis...

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