FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                         July 26, 2000

Major Changes Made to
Methamphetamine Anti-Proliferation Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday (Tuesday, July 25, 2000) The House Judiciary Committee concluded its examination of the Methamphetamine Anti-Proliferation Act (H.R. 2987) after making several important amendments.

Significant changes are as follows:

1. The Committee struck the controversial section of the bill that would have criminalized certain speech concerning controlled substances. 
    A legislative analysis of the “information prohibition” by the Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics, which was submitted to all members of the judiciary committee, showed that the prohibition would violate the First Amendment and could have been used by law enforcement agents to arrest providers of harm reduction information, and to silence advocates of drug policy reform.
    Again, the amended bill, has entirely removed this nefarious provision.

2. The Committee struck the section of the bill that would have made it a federal offense to link to a Web site that sells “drug paraphernalia.” 
    The legislative analysis of this provision by the Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics, showed that the provision was overbroad in that it would have made it a crime to link to a Web site that sells medical marijuana or water pipes useful for medicinal users of marijuana. Blacking out information on where authorized patients may acquire medical marijuana (or the tools for reducing the harm of ingesting medical marijuana), would have unnecessarily and callously threatened the health of many ill people. Again, this provision was entirely struck.

3.          The Committee struck the "Sneak and Peek" provisions that would have allowed law enforcement agents to secretly enter a person's home, conduct a search, and leave without ever giving notice to the resident.

4.          The Committee accepted the substitute bill proposed by Representative Bill McCollum, which sought to append the Club Drug Anti-Proliferation Act of 2000 (H.R. 4553) to the Methamphetamine Anti-Proliferation Act. This means that H.R. 2987 is now titled “The Methamphetamine and Club-Drug Anti-Proliferation Act of 2000,” and orders the US Sentencing Commission to raise the punishment for MDMA (Ecstasy) and similar drugs, so that they are as stiff as those for methamphetamine offenses.
    The analysis by the Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics, shows that the sentencing provisions of the Club Drug Act are significantly flawed in several respects and, as a result, provide an incentive for dealers to sell methamphetamine (or other substances) as Ecstasy. Inasmuch as many injuries associated with MDMA use at raves are the result of receiving adulterated and bogus “Ecstasy,” the Club Drug Act provisions will significantly increase the dangers associated with MDMA.

The Judiciary Committee will now prepare a report on the bill before it is returned to the floor of the House of Representatives.

A full report on the flawed provisions of the Club Drug Anti-Proliferation Act (which is now a part of H.R. 2987), can be obtained from the Web site of the Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics (CCLE), at:
http://www.cognitiveliberty.org/clubdrugmemo.pdf

To have a copy of the report faxed or mailed to you, please contact the CCLE by e-mail to: info@cognitiveliberty.org or by telephone at 530-750-7912.

More information about the Club Drug Anti-Proliferation Act of 2000 and the similar Ecstasy Anti-Proliferation Act of 2000, is available on the Internet at: http://www.cognitiveliberty.org/ecstasybill.htm

About the Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics  
The Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics is a nonpartisan, nonprofit, law and policy center working in the public interest to protect fundamental civil liberties. The Center seeks to foster cognitive liberty – the basic human right to unrestrained independent thinking, including the right to control one’s own mental processes and to experience the full spectrum of possible thought. Web site: http://www.cognitiveliberty.org

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This news release is available on the Internet at:
http://www.cognitiveliberty.org/newsrelease/july262000.htm

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