Drug-info censorship bills proliferating

The US Methamphetamine Anti-Proliferation Act, and its proposed censorship of drug info, has been receiving severe criticism in the media, yet Congress persists in trying to force the bill into law.
BANKRUPTCY METH-BILL

The newest maneouver to sneak the increasingly unpopular drug-info ban into law involves another bill, the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 2000 (HR 833). This bill, ostensibly a bill dealing with consumer protection and taxation issues surrounding bankruptcy, was amended in mid-June to include the entire text of the Methamphetamine Anti-Proliferation Act (HR 2987). The entire Meth-bill is inserted between a section on “insolvency improvement” and one on the “bankruptcy of electric utilities.”

The Bankruptcy Reform Act was already passed by both the US House and Senate without the Meth-bill attached to it, and is in conference committee between House and Senate. Adding on the entire text of the Methamphetamine Anti-Proliferation Act as an “amendment” at this late point is clearly an attempt to by-pass the growing media awareness and public attention surrounding the censorship provisions.

Before the massive amendment, the Bankruptcy Reform Act had already contained some duplication of the Methamphetamine Anti-Proliferation Act. The “Secret Searches” clause, which would allow police to search a residence and not tell the owner, was already included in the Bankruptcy bill.

ANTI-ECSTASY BILLS

Another pair of bills have also been introduced in the Senate and House, which essentially duplicate the Methamphetamine Anti-Proliferation Act, except that they claim to be directed at MDMA, generally known as “Ecstasy”.

The Senate’s Ecstasy Anti-Proliferation Act (S 2612) and the House’s Club Drug Anti-Proliferation Act (HR 4553) were both introduced in late May as identical bills. They would increase the penalties for possession and manufacture of MDMA and GHB, allocate millions of dollars for more police and “school and community-based anti-ecstasy classes,” and ban “information pertaining to the manufacture, acquisition, or use of a controlled substance.”

This info-ban is broader than that of the Methamphetamine Anti-Proliferation Act, which only aims to censor information on “manufacture” of banned substances. The Meth-bill had originally included a ban on “use” as well, but that word was removed before the bill was passed by the Senate.

MEDIA ATTENTION

Although the Methamphetamine Anti-Proliferation Act received almost no media attention when it was unanimously passed by the Senate in November 1999, it has begun to get a great deal of negative publicity in recent weeks. What follows is a list of links to all the major media stories which have been printed about the bill.

This media awareness gives us an opportunity to draw even more attention to the proposed censorship legislation, and provides some hope that public pressure will postpone or stop the bill, or that its harsh provisions will be amended.

Please read these articles, and send these newspapers a quick email supporting their coverage of this unconstitutional legislation, and encouraging them to give this bill more attention.

JULY 7: UT: Hearings put spotlight on rise in drug use among teens
(Salt Lake Tribune) www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v00/n938/a07.html?130

JULY 6: NV: Information blackout? (Las Vegas Weekly)
www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v00/n959/a07.html?999

JULY 1: CA: What Are They Smoking? (Reason Magazine)www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v00/n757/a01.html?130

JUNE 19: DC: Clinton’s ‘Jackboot’ Liberalism (Washington Times)
www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v00/n835/a10.html?130

JUNE 19: MI: Denied Ecstasy (Michigan Daily)
www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v00/n839/a02.html?130

JUNE 9: US: Making War On Free Speech (WorldNetDaily) www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v00/n787/a01.html?130

JUNE 8: US: Knowledge Control (Reason Magazine) www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v00/n775/a05.html?130

JUNE 5: US: Drug-war Casualties (National Review) www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v00/n760/a02.html?130

MAY 31: TX: Basic Freedoms The Next Victim Of The War On Drugs (Times Record News) www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v00/n719/a08.html?130

MAY 26: DC: Editorial: The Anti-Meth Bill (Washington Post) www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v00/n695/a03.html?201

MAY 26: DC: Closing Ranks On MAPA (Washington Times) www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v00/n695/a04.html?201

MAY 26: VA: Editorial: Drug-Crazy (Richmond Times-Dispatch) www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v00/n697/a01.html

MAY 23: TN: Obscure Anti-Drug Provision Could Expand Search, Seizure Law (Commercial Appeal) www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v00/n687/a08.html?201

MAY 22: CA: Column: Bill Is A Sneak Attack On Our Digital Liberties (San Jose Mercury News) www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v00/n684/a07.html?201

MAY 15: CA: Editorial: Free Speech And Meth (Orange County Register) www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v00/n652/a07.html?201

MAY 15: FL: Editorial: Drug Bill Threatens Right To Free Speech (Northwest Florida Daily News) http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v00/n650/a02.html?201

MAY 10: US: House Bill Would Ban Drug Instructions (APBNews) www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v00/n638/a08.html?130

MAY 9: US: Bill Criminalizes Drug Links (Wired News) www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v00/n622/a09.html?130

MAY 7: CA: Hit-and-miss Crackdown On Weapons Books (San Jose Mercury News) www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v00/n614/a01.html?130

APRIL 27: CA: Speed Limit (MoJo Wire – Mother Jones) www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v00/n577/a03.html?130

FEB 10: WI: Limiting Web Speech (The Capital Times) www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v00/n189/a04.html

FEB 1: NY: Washington 451 (Village Voice) www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v00/n115/a01.html

FEB 1: CO: Free Speech Casualty In War On Drugs (Summit Free Press) www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v00/n176/a08.html?140991

JAN 12: CA: Censoring Pot Messages (San Francisco Bay Guardian) www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v00/n081/a09.html?140991

Articles from 1999:

SEPT 99: MA: Just say nothing (Boston Phoenix) http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99/n952/a02.html?141020

AUG 99: MI: Hatch-Feinstein Act Tramples First Amendment (Michigan Daily) http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99/n824/a04.html?140997

AUG 99: Reefer Madness Hits Congress (Wired Magazine) http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v99/n819/a01.html?141034

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CANNABIS CULTURE ARTICLES ON THE METHAMPHETAMINE ANTI-PROLIFERATION ACT

‘Secret Searches’ clause added to drug-info ban: www.cannabisculture.com/cgi/article.cgi?num=1561

Senate Passes Drug-Info Ban: www.cannabisculture.com/cgi/article.cgi?num=1318

Congress Plans Pot-Info Ban: www.cannabisculture.com/cgi/article.cgi?num=200

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OTHER ACTIVIST LINKS ABOUT THE DRUG-INFO BAN

Opposition to Meth Bill Mounting www.drcnet.org/wol/140.html#oppositionmounting

Anti-Ecstasy Bill Filed in Senate www.drcnet.org/wol/140.html#antiecstasy

Stop the Bankruptcy Reform Act and the Methamphetamine Anti-Proliferation Act! www.eff.org/br/br1.html

Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics (Anti-Ecstasy bill info) www.cognitiveliberty.org/lawlibrary/bills/antiecstasybill/antiecstasyindex.htm

How to Make Amphetamines (Info-ban protest site) crystalmeth.amphetamine.com/

Stop Biomedical Censorship maxpages.com/stopcensors

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CONTACT MEDIA & POLITICIANS

Now is the time to send a letter to the editor of your local and national newspapers, and to your regional and national representatives, explaining why you are opposed to the Methamphetamine Anti-Proliferation Act.

For a comprehensive listing of media websites and email addresses, categorized by region, go to: www.mapinc.org/resource/email.htm

To send your personal email to all US Representatives and/or Senators, go to: www.letterstoleaders.com/

To send an automatic email about the drug-info ban to your US Representative, go to: www.drcnet.org/freespeech/

To send a free fax to your Representative about the drug-info ban, go to: www.aclu.org/action/meth106.html

Better yet, call your Representative’s office to personally register your opinion on this bill. To get the name and phone number of your US Representative, call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121.

Senator Dianne Feinstein introduced the Methamphetamine Anti-Proliferation Act in the Senate. Call her Washington office at (202) 224-3841, or email her at: [email protected]. Let her know what you think of her bill.

Wisconsin Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin, the first openly lesbian woman elected to the US Congress, has proposed amendments which would either strike the censorship provisions, or exempt material otherwise protected by the First Amendment. Contact Tammy Baldwin to express your support for her proposed amendments to the bill: Tammy Baldwin, 1020 Longworth Building, Washington, DC 20515; tel (202) 225-2906; fax (202) 225-6942; [email protected]; www.house.gov/baldwin/

Representative Bob Barr (R-GA) is considering offering an amendment to the bill that would remove the “secret searches” provision allowing law enforcement officers to search homes and computers without informing the owners. (However, Barr is very anti-pot.) Contact Bob Barr to express your support for his proposed amendments to the bill: Bob Barr, 1207 Longworth Building, Washington, DC 20515; tel (202) 225-2931; fax (202) 225-2944; www.house.gov/baldwin/

Representatives Ron Paul (R-TX) and Tom Campbell (R-CA) are rare Congressmen with moderately libertarian views, and should both be encouraged to oppose the drug-info ban.

Contact Ron Paul: 203 Cannon HOB, Washington DC 20515; tel (202) 225-2831; http://www.house.gov/paul Contact Tom Campbell: 2442 Rayburn Building, Washington, DC 20515; tel (202) 225-2631; www.house.gov/campbell

The House of Representatives Justice Committee’s Subcommittee on Crime is soon to vote on the bill. Mr McCollum, Chairman: tel (202) 225-3926; www.house.gov/judiciary/sub106.htm

US GOV’T STATEMENTS

Statement backing the Ecstasy Bill from US Senator Bob Graham:

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