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We are almost there…but we need to keep pushing!                     
 
Yesterday was a monumental day in the fight to repeal New York States’ Rockefeller Drug Laws.  The Governor, David Paterson, the Senate Majority Leader, Malcolm Smith and the Speaker of the Assembly, Shelly Silver, all attended a rally in Albany to reform the drug laws!  And they all spoke and promised that they would make the change.  I have spoken to all three personally, and they all promised to work together to make the change happen once and for all.  So, let’s make the change.  Now is the time.
 
I am letting all of you know that we still need to give one final push and hold the politicians to their word.  The Governor is going to present an alternative, “compromise” bill this week that is not as good as the Assembly’s bill that was passed last week.  The Governor and the Senate are still afraid of the some of the conservatives from upstate and even some democrats are a little worried about losing their seat if they support the Assembly bill.  The main issue is dealing with second time offenders.  The Governor will propose to maintain mandatory minimums for repeat offenders.  As we all know, a drug user may not always get clean the first time, and if they get arrested for a second time, the judge should still have discretion to put that person in treatment/rehabilitation.  We want full judicial discretion, period.  We are talking about non-violent offenders.  Let the judge have all the facts in the case and sentence the person accordingly.  We are not saying let that person walk free…just the let the judge decide the sentence.
 
As I said yesterday, I have always been willing to take small steps, but right now, we don’t need to take small steps.  We can take the entire step.  Let’s not let the conservatives, who for 36 years have been blocking this, block us now.  Let the Governor, the Senate Majority Leader and the Assembly Leader know that you support full, complete repeal of the Rockefeller Drug Laws. 

TAKE ACTION NOW.  We can do this and we can do it now.  Let’s keep pushing!
 
Make sure to watch the Jim Jones video he did and go out and watch the film, Lockdown, USA that documented our entire five-year campaign!

-Russell Simmons

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