America Going Stir Crazy

The United States imprisons a larger pro- . portion of its population than any other country, reports criminologist Eugene 00- -leschal in Crime and Delinquency magazine. The rate of 215 inmates per 100,000-people is rising, and Doleschal says America's average sentence is the world's harshest, with the exception of political terms in places like Soudi Africa, Russia, Korea and Latin America. The U.S. prison' percentage is 12 times Holland's would low of 18 per 100,000.

The study also shows that, in America^ states with the highest incidence of crime tend to have the lowest incidence of prisoners. Furthermore, Doleschal concludes that jail rates tire determined not by crime rates, but by the size of the nonwhite population.

When You Care Enough to Send the Very Best-..

Harold Riley found out the hard way dial cheap mail can be searched without a warrant. . while the law keeps expensive communications private. In upliolding his gO-da v sentence and $3,000 fine for sending c;)(:aine and a free-phone blue box through the mail., the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals quoted chapter one of the Postal Service Manual: "Mailing of scaled parcols at the fourth-ctoss rates of postage is considered consent hv tlie sender to postal inspection of the ( contents."

Minnesota Bench Bumps Domino Busts

(Jndur new Minnosot» di-crim laws, a pei^ou who has aCl:(-ptl:d a Iicket for a minor pot violation cannot be arrested and sl:,II,dwd without a warrant... says the StilU^ high court.. After writing [errol Martin a uunijunna citation, cops in Win-nl:bago pallia him down and busted him for rruttliAinphei, ami iw alfegedl-' found on his person. The Minnesota Supreme Court Irncd Martin, saying that fishing for felonies on il ticket offun:«: is skaling on tlun constitutional ir:o.

Judge Drops Reefer Sanity Hints

The District of Columbia Court of Ap-IWilis has ordel'l-d i hr: Department of I Ir-alfh. Education and Welfal'l-to invrs-tig.W marijuanas ' slanding in the schcd-ul« of controlled suhsLmcos. A five-year M IR.ML suit for looser pot controls has lltTnopposI'd b-' the DE A on the grounds Ihilt it would IJlX-ak)J.S. obligations under I LI in tVnslingtys Singh: Convention on \iri:;»tic Drugs, an intcrnationul treaty.

Til« court ruled the DEA had usurped 1111 Vl/s pm\TrS in dilssif\ing controlled S(lhsLlnCI:S arul ordeied hearings on new 0('en:lFI:h dial shows hemp to be harmless, .sn>! nll;d»ciil!~' uso I'ul. judge [. Skelly. Wright lislLd sevi-rai options that would, not Yiolite the il'l—at—'. III: suggestl~d pol ::ould . 1){:n-r.lassifir-d in Schedule II and TllC dl'conirolll-d allogl:tliJ:r to allow foe nuu lit:al USI~of hemp, while luavos and» sehds could be shi ftl~d to Scliedule V, the outer «irr.ln of the hurcauaacvs chemical lu^ll. IV* is r.urrcnl ly in Scliedule I (no sot.inllv ri:del:ming virtuesj along with ln-Tuin j mi i cocaine. .

Toot Twins Open Possible Loophole

Cocaine exists in two forms, one of which, is legal, explained a DEA chemist testifying as an expert witness at a recent trial... The two compounds. levo-cocaine and dextro-cocaine. are mirrop images of each other, just like right and left, hands. Dex-trococaine "doesn't meet the exact leading of the Federal Controlled Substances Act," admitted the chemist. . Thus it could possibly be argued that a defendant did not "knowingly and intentionally." possess or intend to distribute tl*e controlled, form of snow. j

Information on the relative potency of tl*e two forms is sketchy, because they are unstable and tend to change back and, forth into each other. Thus it is Very difficult . to isolate a pure form of either type for testing.

New York Ruling Undermines Rocky Law

Judge Constance Baker Motley recently declared the five-to-life coke possession sentences of tliree New York women to be cruel-, unusual punishment and thus unconstitutional. . The ruling may herald the end of another section of the Rockefeller drug laws. Defense lawyer Mark C^ Morrill said it "cast serious doubt on the continued validity of every sentence" under the law. Because New York has the' harshest laws in the country, die decision, may have lilUe effect outside the state, however. Martha Carmona, Donna Foggie and Roberta Fowler were returned for possible resentenriog, but Motley ordered that if the state court' doesn't come up with a constitutional term in 90 days, the women must be released after tlie min-i mum allowable sentence.

Airport Search Ends in Freedom

The Oregon Court of Appeals recently levelled the conviction of a man whose roach dip uiggered an airport metal detector ' and led to his arrest for pot and hash. After a security guard oixlered.Rob-ert Chipley to empty his pockets and walk through the checkpoint again, a nearby cop spied the clip, asked permission to examine it and then searched and busted the would-be traveler.

Even though the officer claimed Chip-ley consented to the search (despite the defendant's, denial), the coult said airport searches must be I united to the prevention of hijackings unless contraband is in plain view. A roach holder is neither dope nor pix^bable cause to believe its owner is carrying any. ruled Judge C, J. Schwab, dtjng testimony that the utensils are oten used as jewelry or- good luck charms.

Pot Garden Decrim Headed for Ballot

Three Oregon citizens filed a petition with tlie Oregon election board to place a marijuana-growing decriminalization measure» on the 197S ballot... The proposal would provide a gvil penalty of $100 for growing up to ten plants, instead of tlie current felony rap with sentences of up to ten years. Oregon voters wil] decide tlie issue if 46,235 signatures can be gathered by July 7 by sponsors Frank Crewel t, student body president of Cliemekeia Community College in Salem, Michael McCarty. student body vice president of Clackamas College in Oiegon City, and Gary Davis of Grants Pass.

International Mail Can Be Opened

The Supreme Court recently gave Post Office inspectors ilie right to open mail from abroad if they suspect there is dope inside. The opinion came in tlie case of eight letters from Thailand, found to contain heroin, which were opened because tliey were bulkier and heavier than normal and came from a major dope-producing area. The Nixon-eia Post Office had claimed the right to such searches since 1971, but until this six-to-thiee ruling they had been requited to turn, offending pikkilghS ovur to Customs for opening.


Narcs looking for drug couriers can no longer search aiiline passengers merely because they match the DEA suspicious lisU In the case of US. v. McCaleh (21 Cr. L, Rep. 2101), The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that tlie list, which has been in use for nearly a year, was loo loose. It included such duhious qualifications as buying tickets with small bills, travel to dope-exporting countries, lack of luggage and general nervousness,

Heroin Gets Federal Nod

A new federal panel lo administer medical i^esearch on heroin has fueled speculation that President Caller is planning British-style maintenance for hemin addicts in America. White House advisor Dr. Peter Bourne, along with representatives of the National Cancer In&iiUJte and the National Institute on Aging, has created a panel at tlie National Institute of Health to aid scientists seeking grants to study medical uses of various illegal substances.

For tlie moment, the only heroin studies allowed will he on its reliaf of the pain of terminal illnesses. One such experiment is now under way at New York's Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

However, critical of what it sees as Carter's halfway measures, the Committee on Treatment of Intractable Pain plans to sue for immediate legalization of pain-killing heroin. Committee member Rt. Rev. C. Edward Crowilier complained, "The only people who can't get heroin are people who are dying."

High Court OK's Random Searches

An ACLU suit in New Jersey has ended in a Supreme Court endorsement of random dope searches by law enforcement offir cials. The court «'«fused to hear the appeal of an injunction against harassment of long-haired motorists by state troopers.

The injunction was based on the court's earlier ruling that "cease and des ist" orders can be issued against police wlien there is a "plan or scheme to suppress constitutional rights." The appeal followed an eaiiier Third Circuit Cou.n of Appeals ruling that the 35 documented cases of arbitrary checks-and reports of hundreds of others-did not show a policy of harassment. .

Paraphernalia Pogrom

A headshop opened up next door to New York State Senator Frank Padavans office in Queens» and Sen. Padavan has proposed a law to outlaw sales or advertisements of pipes, papers and other grass-smoking parapliernalia.. He will try to add die items to the existing state law banning over-the-counter sales of hypodermics and glassine envelopes in oixler to fight "the destruction of young minds" caused by marijuana.

New York NOR ML counsel Frank Fioramonti . predicts the biU will die in Albany in the Codes Committee chaired hy decrim law sponsor Senator ■ H. Douglas Barclay» aft^r Padavan reaps his quota of publicity. It's another reminder that the balile for civil freedoms is never completely won.

Other States Reject Alaska Dope Rights

Courts in Arizona and Nebraska have refused to follow Alaska's lead in recognizing iliac the right of privacy imdudes the right to smoke marijuana in one's own home. The Nebraska Supreme Court' ruled against Robert Kells. who pleaded guilty to possession of less than a pound, rejecting his argument that tlie 1972 Schaeffer Commission report had recommended more lenient penalties because grass is harmless. The judge concluded that the commission wanted softer penalties because of tlie costs of enforcement, not because pot is safe,

The Arizona Supreme Court" likewise refused to recognize any constitutional right to personal use of pot in the home. In upliolding the conviction of David Allen Murphy for 03 g<^m. Judge G. J. Cameron stated that marijuana's public-health., effects are stUL debatable and belter left» to die legislating, to de^iide.

Voiceprints Fail Court Requirement

Michigan narcotics agents recently lost a case builtv on voiceprint identification when the stale supreme court' ruled the technique inadmissible as evidence without independent scientific corroboration, Narcs reportedly set up two heroin buys by phone and recorded the conversations.

"Man, you're in trouble."'The words send sharp pains to an already frayed stomach; they're an attorney's standard opener to a new client. . And when the bust is for dope ("But they're just flowers; they grow in the ground!"), reality strikes deep. "Man, you're in trouble."'

A variety of lawyers handle drug cases-public _ defenders, family attorneys and local criminal lawyers all deal witli an occasional drug bust.. But a dope lawyer is a special creature. The best can be counted on, tune and again, to deflect the battering ram of the law.

No one knows exactly how many dope lawyers there are. Hundreds, at least.. Maybe thousands. The American Bar Association doesn't recognize dope law as a specialty; there are no law journals devoted to iU Yet, in courtrooms across America, new decisions are handed down and new precedents set with a frequency that makes it one of the most rapidly changing areas of criminal law.

The good dope lawyer reads every new ruling even remotely connected to dope cases. And lie consults regularly with other dope lawyers to exchange information and work out new defenses. The ones who stay on top just keep getting better and betjer-and usually more and more expensive. They're beyond being just information brokers: they not only have information, they know what to do with itv

Unlike the majority of criminal lawyers (who might defend a burglar or a murderer), f most dope lawyers empathize with their clients. A dope bust is more than just being innocent or guiliy; it'fe a matter of being wronged by society. So it's no accident that most criminal lawyers handling dope cases are also involved with civil, liberties.

In many communities, the dope lawyer has to have guts, too. Dope lawyers have been hassled and tailed and wiretapped and set up and busied. Along with paraphernalia manufacturers and retailers, they're lhe legal dp of the iceberg-the ViSi-1 ble portion of the marijuana business community-a four billion dollar-a-year business.

But do dope lawyers smoke dope? Many of them do. Like the corporate lawyer who promotes his practice by golfing wiili his business clients, the dope lawyer often finds he can enhance his client relationships by shaiing smoke. Some believe in smoking. For others it's a daily routine. "I've smoked dope every day for the last six years and dropped acid every few months for the last four. You publish my name and I'll sue you for a million dollars,"' remarked one dope lawyer, who shall remain nameless.

Many dope lawyers don't smoke pot.. Some have only an academic or political interest in drugs. Others fear being busted themselves, and having to fight both a trial and the bar association over their right to practice. And one lawyer commented, "I have enough problems wiih booze.7'

Dope lawyers are a diverse bunch. Some have been district attorneys and some have been public defenders. Some have waist-length hair and otliers could pass as legal counsel to Nixon. Some are soft-spoken and some are bombastic. Some get off on the illegal aspects and others remain, staid and respectable. Some are as-lule, tough, brilliant and others are bumblers. And some are the most egocentric people in the world.

High Times has chosen ten attorneys who are highly respected by their peers for handling dope cases. They are not the ten best; there are many other good dope lawyers. We believe they're representative of many, many more. They're the dope defenders.

Leonard Rubin

Leonard Rubin has been a dope lawyer longer than almost anyone. "Back in 1961,"' says Rubin, who practices in New York, "when I first started handling dope cases, we were practir cally the only lawyers who would not lay this whole rap on you and reinforce what your parents were saying.'."

One of his first dope clients was Nick Sand, of orange sunshine acid lab fame, clear back in 1962. "When I met Nick for the first time," says Rubin, "I was walking through the courthouse, and Nick was standing there, talking to an older lawyer. The lawyer called me over, and said to Nick- who was an eighteen-year-old kid then-"Look, I'm telling you that marijuana is definitely harmful, that it definitely leads to heroin use, and if you don't believe me, this young fellow is a former district attorney and he'll, confirm itx"

"I didn't know what to say to this older guy-he'd been nice to me and he liked me. But I said, 'WeUL actually, from what I read, marijuana does not lead lo heroin abuse, it's not harmful and lhat'£ an old wive's tale.'1 Well, Nick fired his lawyer right on the spot. Paid him what he owed him and filed him. Hired me..'*

Rubin's voice quietly floats across his antique wooden desk, small compared to the half-acre ones some lawyers prefer. A thick mustache, short hair and a bright flowered shirt give Rubin a mild appearance. His New York office, designed by a client, is styled wiili antiques, a mirrored wall, and black silhouetted windows with red tassled curtains. It distinctly resembles French Quarter New Orleans. But Rubin's thrown in a touch of incongruity: four Indian prints, a three-foot hookah, and a penny bubblegum machine holding up one end of a row of law books.

Rubin's radical politics-lie describes himself as an anarchist-were formed as a young child. "I remember," says Rubin, "being impressed by my uncle. When he saw a cop walking down the stoeet, even though he was doing nothing wrong, lie'd just take my hand and cross the street.. I'd ask him why and he'd say, It's just as well to avoid contact with the Cossacks/. "

In 1957, Rubin became a prosecuting attorney in the DA's office. When he finally quit: in I960 to become a defense lawyer, lie didn't intend to specialize. But Rubin and his partner, Bill Gold, began budding a volume of drug cases.

In those days, it was the parents who were fooling the bills and selecting the lawyers. "We were talking to parents in terms of, "Well, it's never been demonstrated to be harmful. . Now maybe your son shouldn't be dressed in a tophat witb a beaver overcoat and yellow shoes carrying a rucksack with 300 pounds of grass down Madison Avenue. Of course he'll be searched. But thatls what he's doing wrong, not smoking grass.! We lost a lot of clients that way.*

Many of those clients came back, though, after they became financially independent. . New clients proliferated around the country and when Rubin couldn't try cases himself, lie would select reliable local attorneys. "In the '60s, you would actually have to go and sit next to the attorney to make suie YOilr client wasn't sold out, thrown to the wolves.'."

Rubin has handled cases as small as possession of two joints. He's also handled some big ones. He represented Nick Sand in Colorado after Sand was arrested and charged witb possession of an illegal laboratory in the back of a truck, allegedly used to manufacture add. The whole case was dismissed on illegal search and seizure. And he handled a case involving eighteen pounds of cocaine and conspiracy to import hundreds more. His client was acquitted after a jury trial.. Rubin's also represented demonstrators and member's of the Black Liberation Army and the Puerto Rican Socialist Party.

But to Rubin, the client is far more important than the case. "Bill_ Kunstler once said that he only takes cases where he loves the defendants. I'm not as extreme, and possibly not as fortunate," says Rubin. "But I would say I have at least identified closely with more than 80 percent of my clients. So I consider myself lucky."'

Gerald Lefcourt

Gerald Lefcourt comes from a similar political mold. His New Yojk reception office is strewn with underground and alternative papers, civil rights leaflets and movement books; leaflets, poster's and stickers adorn, the walls. The offices were carved from the raw space of one floor in an industrial building. It's a far cry from the" poshy Wall Street firms.

It's a holiday, but some of Lef court's partners and a half dozen legal workers are alieady hard at work-Sneaker city! And every pair of legs in the place is clad in jeans. Then Lefcourt strides in, wealing a suiL sleeveless sweater, and tie.

Lefcourt grew up in Manhattan. "I went to Brooklyn Law School and then I went to NYU Law School and started a masters in taxation, if you can believe that,"' he laughs. "They had most of the classes at night, and one night,, we had a cigarette break. It was sixty people and we all went out into the hallway and a lot of people were smoking cigarettes. You could hear a pin drop. Nobody was talking to anybody. These were the most boring people I've ever met in my life. It fleaked me and I quit. . I went criminal."."

Lefcourt tried his first dope case in f68, while working for the Legal Aid Society. The Society-New York's public defenders-represents several hundred thousand people each year. "At that time, about 20 per cent were dope cases. There were around 140 of us, and we had caseloads that were astronomical. . I remember one day I represented 200 criminal defendants in one day. We were clerks on an assembly line. We put a part on this human being as it floated by. The part was usually a guilty plea." The experience was so traumatic for Lefcourt that he began organizing a union to demand maximum caseloads. It got him fired.

His experience in private practice has been no less controversial, but it's been more widespread. Lefcourt has handled cases in places like Tucson,

Chicago, Washington, New Jersey and Miami.. He was burned out of his first office (the fire marshal! called it arson) in 1970 in the middle of the Panther 21 trial,, which he was handling. Most of his work, though, has been drug cases. "They're interesting. I love the Fourth Amendment (search and seizure, privacy, etc.). I love Fourth Amendment litigation. And with 39 million people smoking marijuana, it's kind of ridiculous."."

But Lefcourt has also filed a 250-page motion challenging cocaine's classification as a narcotic. The motion included thirteen affidavits from leading pharmacologists and medical people around the country. But to no avail.. The court accepted the state's response, which consisted of one affidaviUtile sworn_ testimony of the New York City medical examiner.

"Wilt Halpern, the medical examiner, turned around in his chair and pulled down his copy of Goodman and Gilman, a pharmacology textbook used in all the medical schools. He read the chapters on cocaine, he copied down some quotes from the book and he put it in his affidavit. And that was the gospel," Lefcourt says, his New York accent slurring through. "Except that the book had been put oil that shelf 30 years ago. And the book has had seven revisions since. And the 1970 edition totally eliminated the language about cocaine that he quoted from. In fact, the author of the 1970 edition-Dr. Jerome Jaffe»-gave us an affidavit supporting our position.

"It's only at the lowest level.. It's not even on appeal because the case hasn't been tried yeL It's really just the beginning."

Michael Kennedy

San Francisco lawyer Michael Kennedy got into dope law for reasons even more political than those of Rubin and Lefcourt.. "I was doing a lot of First Amendment work and was branching out to predominantly antiwar work,'" says Kennedy, "when the government started using an important part of our culture-namely out desire to smoke flowers-as one of the

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