Category Archives: Drugs

Police Find Cocaine Hidden in Amputee’s Prosthetic Leg

South Carolina state trooper says he found cocaine hidden in an amputee’s prosthetic leg after pulling over a car for going too slow on an interstate highway.  A judged ruled at a preliminary trial Friday there was enough evidence that Lojan, and Traci Helms, another passenger in the back seat of the car pulled over last month, could head to trial on drug trafficking charges.

The defense attorney represnting the driver is expected to challenge the initial pull-over of the vehicle, as the carwas arguably driving the minimum speed limit,  Under the Fourth Amendment’s right to be free from illegal search and seizure, the Defendant may get all evidence obtained by the police after the traffic stop suppressed if he can prove the police had no reasonable suspicion to pull him over in the first place. 

Read the full story here.

Did the amputee have an expectation of privacy in his prosthetic leg?

Do you ow your rights to be free from illegal searches?

If you are facing drug-related criminal charges contact Ambrose Law Group to find out if your Constitutional rights have been violated

248-624-5500
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Global Report Suggests Decriminalization Of Marijuana

This year, Portugal enjoys the tenth year of its experiment with decriminalizing all drugs.  Since making this bold policy move in 2001, Portugal has seen crime, use rates, addiction rates, overdose deaths, and blood-borne diseases all decrease significantly.  A paper published in 2009 by the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank,  reported that in the five years after personal possession was decriminalized, illegal drug use among teens in Portugal declined and rates of new HIV infections caused by sharing of dirty needles dropped, while the number of people seeking treatment for drug addiction more than doubled.  Compared to the European Union and the U.S., Portugal’s drug use numbers are impressive. Following decriminalization, Portugal had the lowest rate of lifetime marijuana use in people over 15 in the E.U.: 10%. The most comparable figure in America is in people over 12: 39.8%. Proportionally, more Americans have used cocaine than Portuguese have used marijuana.

Just last week, the Global Commission on Drug Policy, an international organization consisting of high level current and former heads of state, along with policy experts, released a report suggesting world governments give up the War On Drugs and consider more rational harm-reduction policies, including removing all criminal penalties for the possession and use of marijuana.  The Commission, which includes former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan and former U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz, among many others, urged leaders to consider alternatives to incarceration for drug use to shift their focus toward treatment of drug abusers, rather than punishment and interdiction for recreational users.

In the US, 15 states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana.  The legalization of marijuana for medical purposes is still a topic of much debate; but, there are some states willing to go a step further and decriminalize marijuana for recreational purposes.  Just this Saturday, the Connecticut Senate passed a bill that decriminalizes the possession of small amounts of marijuana.  The bill now moves to the Connecticut House of Representatives for final action.  Under the decriminalization bill, possession of less than half an ounce of marijuana would no longer be a misdemeanor, but instead would result in fines ranging from $150 to $500.  Those under 21 years old would also face a 60-day suspension of their driver’s license.

In Michigan, the city of Ann Arbor decriminalized first-time marijuana possession of less than two ounces is only a civil infraction which only carries a $25 fine with no jail time or probation. The Detroit Election Committee rejected a similar ballot proposal last year, though petition requirements met.  The ballot proposal was initiated by the Coalition for a Safer Detroit.  This is the same group that successfully placed medical marijuana on the ballot in 2004.  As first reported by the Detroit Free Press, the commission voted 3-0 to reject the proposal that would ask voters to approve a city code amendment allowing anyone over the age of 21 to legally possess up to one ounce of pot on private property.
According to the Coalition for a Safer Detroit, the 36th District Court records indicate that in 2009 there were 1,521 arrests for simple possession or use of small amounts of marijuana in Detroit. Each case requires a minimum of 5 hours to process at an estimated cost of $350 per hour, making the total cost of these unnecessary prosecutions more than $2.6 million per year.  Decriminalizing the recreational possession and use of small amounts would free up the police and courts to focus their limited resources on more important matters – like getting Detroit out of national rankings as one the most dangerous cities, comparable to Baghdad.
Illegal drug use among teens will decline, the number of people seeking drug treatment will increase, and government resources will be spent more effectively.  The studies have been done, the reports have been written; and, the numbers don’t lie.  This is why it is not that legalization of marijuana that must be approved, it is that the prohibition must be ended.
If you have questions about marijuana drug charges or medical marijuana in general contact Samantha Moffett at (248) 624-5500

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Michigan Accidentally Repeals Penalties For Some Drug Crimes

LANSING, Mich. – Possessing drugs such as synthetic marijuana and an Ecstasy-like substance called BZP won’t result in jail time or fines in Michigan because lawmakers accidentally repealed the penalties for those crimes. A bill that took effect in October made it illegal to have or use such drugs. It called for up to one year in jail and fines of up to $2,000 for misdemeanors. Felony cases involved more severe penalties. But in December, lawmakers engrossed in a busy and lengthy lame-duck session failed to include those penalties in a drug sentencing bill. When Gov. Jennifer Granholm signed that bill last week, the penalties for synthetic marijuana and BZP were repealed. Incoming state Sen. Rick Jones says he’ll introduce a bill to fix the law when the Legislature convenes in January.

If you have questions about a drug charge please contact Ambrose Law Group at (248) 624-5500

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Parents in Maryland Can Rent Drug Dogs to Find Kids’ Stash

The Associated Press
Thursday, October 21, 2010; 11:41 AM

BALTIMORE — Forget urine tests, parents in Maryland can hire dogs to sniff out whether their kids are using drugs.

The nonprofit group Dogs Finding Drugs uses canines that can detect even trace amounts of narcotics within seconds.

Owner Anne Willis says parents are clamoring for the service. The rate is about $200 an hour. Dogs Finding Drugs also offers its services to companies and schools.

Similar groups have popped up across the country in recent years.

Dogs Finding Drugs will not confiscate anything, nor does the group notify police.

Elizabeth Robertson of the National Institute on Drug Abuse says parents should talk to their children about potential drug problems rather than hiring a drug-sniffing dog.

What do you think, good or bad idea?

holly@ambroselawgroup.com

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Medical Marijuana Is Now Legal, What about Medical Mushrooms?

‘Magic Mushroom’ Hallucinogen Might Help Cancer Patients


A controlled dose of the main ingredient in hallucinogenic mushrooms appears to reduce anxiety and lift spirits in people battling advanced cancer, researchers report.

In a small pilot study, the compound psilocybin appeared to be safe, with no participants reporting a “bad trip,” said study author Dr. Charles Grob. His research was published online Sept. 6 and will appear in the January 2011 print issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

In fact, the trips tended to be good, with patients and their families reporting improvements up to six months after their single-dose experience with the substance.In addition to feeling calmer and happier, the men and women in the trial said they felt a closer connection to friends and family members, and were better able to address end-of-life

Read the full story here

Do you think people battling advanced cancer should be able to take whatever drug it is that has positive affects?

If you have questions about Medical Marijuana or other drugs contact Samantha Moffett at (248) 624-5500 or by email at Samantha@ambroselawgroup.com

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Our Voice: Michigan May Be First State To Use Roadside Drug Testing, Unfair to Medical Marijuana Users

Michigan drivers could become the first in the nation subject to roadside drug testing under a bill introduced Wednesday in the Legislature.

The legislation would authorize police to administer a roadside saliva test for illegal drug use, just as they do breath tests for alcohol, when they stop a driver suspected of being intoxicated.  The test kit under consideration for Michigan can detect drug use in six categories, including marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine.

From a Medical Marijuana stand-point there are a few problems with this proposal.  Marijuana is not an illegal drug for Patients registered with the State.  Further, there is no bright-line rule as to what “intoxicated” is in regards to marijuana.  So, how is law enforcement planning to issue criminal charges to patients who may have traces of marijuana in their system even though they are not intoxicated?

I understand that Marijuana is only legal to “Patients”.  However, Adderall, Vicodin, Xanax, OxyContin, and all other prescription drugs are only legal for those with a prescription.  So, why aren’t those being tested for?  Sure, traces of these prescription drugs will be detected in some drug tests, but the fact is “Xanax” isn’t one of the enumerated six drugs on the list to be detected.  We, as a State, should be moving away from the stigma that Marijuana is an illicit and evil drug because that is what the people said they felt when voting the Marijuana Act into law.  Why are only those who legally use medical marijuana once again being put in a position to be treated like criminals, to feel as if they are doing something to be ashamed of?

The Medical Marijuana program is supposed to be confidential.  Isn’t this just another way for the authorities to start tracking who has a card to be a Patient and Caregiver?  The affect of marijuana being a drug detected by this roadside drug test is stripping Patients and Caregivers their RIGHT to remain confidential.

The timing of this legislation is an obvious knee-jerk reaction by authorities to stifle the rights of the people of Michigan who have chosen to exercise their rights to grow, possess, and use marijuana for medical purposes.  They can’t successfully re-write the law, their over-dramatic and border-line violent raids aren’t stopping people; so, I guess they are running out of options.   My fear is what is next.  Are Patients and Caregivers going to have to wear a big green “M” on their shirt so authorities know who to harass next?

Read the news article here

 

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Filed under Drugs, Marijuana, Medical Marijuana, Our Voice - Op/Ed, Traffic Citations/Laws

Our Voice: Crack Cocaine Offenders Shouldn’t Slip Through The Cracks

On Tuesday, President Obama signed into law the Fair Sentencing Act, which lessened the difference in penalties between crack cocaine offenses and powder cocaine offenses.

Previously and as discussed in an earlier blog, someone caught with 500 grams of powder cocaine would face a five-year mandatory minimum under Federal Law.  You could get the same penalty for only 5 grams of crack cocaine. A 10-year mandatory minimum for crack cocaine kicked in for 10 grams of the drug.  The same penalty would not come in for a powder-cocaine suspect unless he was carrying 1,000 grams.

Now, the penalties for crack cocaine have been reduced, and the mandatory minimum for simple possession of small amounts of crack cocaine has been removed entirely.

The old penalties were a mistake, and one born of an unjustified fear of a crack cocaine epidemic in this country that never happened.  The Legislature made a knee-jerk reaction to that fear and put the strict sentencing rules in place in 1986.  And who was affected by it?  Poor, young African Americans, who now clog our federal prisons.  Finally, 24 years later, that mistake has been rectified.

Unfortunately, there is nothing in the new law that directly calls for a review of those who were sentenced under the old guidelines.  When Toyota or General Motors find a mistake in one of their cars, they recall the rest that are already out on the road (sometimes unwillingly).  Without a review and sentencing changes, the mistake here really hasn’t been fixed.

There’s no mistaking that a review of all of those incarcerated under the old law would be a huge process and require thousands of man hours.  But that’s no excuse not to do it.  Our Court system should be held to the highest standards if we truly want to claim that we stand for liberty.

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National Black Police Association Supports California’s Marijuana Legalization Initiative

Proposition 19, the marijuana legalization initiative, picked up the support Thursday of a national organization that represents African American police officers, as the campaign for legalization continues to try to build support in the black community and among law enforcement officials.

The National Black Police Assn., which has about 15,000 members, is the second African American organization to back the measure. The California NAACP has also endorsed it, citing the disproportionate arrest and incarceration of African Americans caught with marijuana.

Ron Hampton, the police association’s executive director, said he decided the group should get behind the measure because it would eliminate laws that have a negative impact on the black community.

Neill Franklin, a retired police officer and the executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, and Alice Huffman, the state NAACP’s president said,“I saw with my own eyes the devastating impact these misguided marijuana laws have on our communities and neighborhoods,” said Franklin, who is black and who worked in law enforcement for 33 years.

Read the full story here

If you have questions on medical marijuana or any drug related charge please contact Samantha Moffett at 248-624-5500 or email her at Samantha@ambroselawgroup.com

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Our Voice: Racially Unfair Federal Sentencing Guidelines Should Be Reformed

For as long as most people can remember there has been a seemingly racially motivated bias in the Federal Sentencing Guidelines for drug convictions. Specifically, the weight of crack or rock cocaine has been multiplied by 100 when applying the cocaine related offenses penalties. This means that if you got busted by the feds for 1 gram of crack, you will receive the same penalty as someone busted with 100 grams of cocaine in powder form.

The guidelines originated during the crack cocaine scare of the mid-1980’s, and federal lawmakers responded with aggressive laws intended to assist law enforcement in a crack down on low-level drug dealers. Unfortunately, the results were far more draconian than expected, and hindsight now reveals a possible racial or at least socio-economic bias. Current Vice President Joseph Biden, who aided in drafting the guidelines in 1986 which created the 100:1 disparity, now says that, “Each of the myths upon which we based the disparity has since been dispelled or altered.”

While the original reasons for creating the 100:1 disparity rule have been debunked as myth, the ridiculously long sentences are still in force. The impact has wide spread effects and the major burden has fallen upon the over-represented African American Community. A coalition of leaders is now urging the House of Representatives to pass a reform bill which would reduce the disparity from 100:1 to 18:1 or even lower.

The coalition argues that even thought the majority of crack cocaine offenders are white, that 80% of the convictions using the 100:1 disparity rule involve African Americans. Numbers like this are strong evidence that the 100:1 disparity law is racially biased in its application. This prejudice may stem from racial stereotypes of African Americans as the dealers and users of crack cocaine, perceived as a “street” drug, as opposed to whites who supposedly prefer the powder variety of cocaine. The numbers show that these assumptions are incorrect of course, but stereotypes persist. In this case, the stereotype carries with it far more federal jail time (with no possibility of parole) for an African American offender than a white one… and our Constitution does not allow for such a biased application of a law.

The Senate passed the reform bill this past March, and it now is up to the House to pass the bill and send it to the White House for ratification. We at the Ambrose Law Group urge you to speak or write to your local congressional representative to support the passing of this reform bill in order to rectify this miscarriage of justice. Find a sample letter here

Ambrose Law Group

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J.A.M.S (Jail Alternatives for Michigan Services)

J.A.M.S is a drug testing program the courts use to test you for drug or alcohol use.  If you have been given probation on an alcohol or drug related charge, J.A.M.S will most likely be one of the terms of your probation.  Here are the numbers and locations for J.A.M.S testing sites in Michigan.

J.A.M.S. INTAKE HOURS ARE:

Monday-Friday 6:30 A.M to 9:00 A.M.

Saturdays and Sundays 6:30 A.M to 9:00 A.M Only

Chesterfield 53379 Gratiot Ave.Chesterfield Twp., MI 48051

(586) 749-9360

Fax (586) 749-9385

North of 24 Mile Rd.

West side of Gratiot Ave.

Grand Blanc

6353 South Saginaw Rd.

Grand Blanc, MI 48439

(810) 695-9224

Fax (810) 695-9297

Across from GM Metal Fabrication Plant. South of Hill Rd.

New Hudson

56461 Grand River Ave.

New Hudson, MI 48165

(248) 491-0264

Fax (248) 491-0267

South Side of Grand River.

Shelby

52010 Van Dyke,

Shelby Twp., MI 48316

(586) 323-1670

Fax (586) 323-1675

Metro Plaza.

North of 23 Mile Rd.

Clarkston

5885 S. Main

Suite #5

Clarkston, MI 48346

(248) 625-6686

Fax (248) 625-6689

Highland

1360 Milford Rd.

Highland, MI 48357

(248) 887-6789

Fax (248) 887-0249

Highland Plaza South of M-59.

Oxford

318 N. Lapeer Rd.

Oxford, MI 48371

(248) 969-1743

Fax (248) 969-1745

In State Farm Insurance Building.

Taylor

24095 Champaign

Taylor, MI 48180

(313) 722-8176

Fax (313) 722-8179

Off S. Telegraph South of I-94

Dearborn

15238 Michigan Avenue

Dearborn, MI 48126

(313) 581-7246

Fax (313) 581-7292

Just east of Greenfield Rd

On the north side of the street

Howell

190 S. Highlander Way

Howell, MI 48843

(517) 579-1060

Fax (517) 579-1062

Located in the Livingston

Community Correction Building.

Pontiac

31 Oakland Ave.

Pontiac, MI 48342

(248) 454-0883

Fax (248) 454-9182

Across from Salvation Army.

North of Huron (M-59).

Westland

8577 Wayne Rd.

Westland, MI 48185

(734) 427-6115

Fax (734) 427-4690

Holiday Plaza

Between Joy & Warren.

Detroit

18984 Livernois

Detroit, MI 48221

(313) 544-7108

Fax (313) 544-7114

Just south of 7 Mile Rd on same lot as Heritage Optical

Lapeer

374 Nepessing

Lapeer, MI 48446

(810) 882-2100

Fax (810) 882-2104

One block east of Post Office.

Rochester

745 Barclay Circle, Suite #340

Rochester Hills, MI 48307

(248) 293-2585

Fax (248) 293-2587

Across from 52-3 Court

In the Hampton Plaza.

Wixom

49345 Pontiac Trail

Wixom, MI 48393

(248) 624-1494

Fax (248) 624-3146

Enter off Wainstock Rd.

South of Pontiac Trail.

Farmington

32620 Grand River

Farmington, MI 48336

(248) 888-0100

Fax (248) 888-0200

4 Driveways from

Radio Shack.

Madison Heights

739 E. Twelve Mile Rd.

Madison Hts, MI 48071

(248) 582-9177

Fax (248) 582-9174

North side of 12 Mile Rd.

Between John R & Dequindre.

Roseville

31503 Gratiot Ave.

Roseville, MI 48066

(586) 222-0501

Fax (586) 222-0512

In the Roseville

Clinic Building.

Ypsilanti

452 Hewitt Road

Ypsilanti, MI 48197

(734) 485-8080

Fax (734) 485-8008

Hewitt Rd. Center

We hope this helps! If you need any legal help make sure to give us a call! 248-624-5500

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