Thursday, October 30, 2014

Law is a Seamless Web - LawPundit 2003 to 2014 Now in Print in Four Volumes - Volume 4

LAW IS A SEAMLESS WEB!

This year LawPundit hit an accumulated half-a-million online hits since its inception in 2003. We are thus converting past postings into print form -- and, with some selected exceptions, are removing past online postings, making room for the new things to come.

LawPundit 2003-2014 (selected postings) in print is now available for your libraries and professional or personal use at CreateSpace.com, individually by volume as a four-volume printed series titled LAW IS A SEAMLESS WEB (each volume is 326 pages, except for the first, which is 328 pages). Go to https://www.createspace.com/5070319 or e.g. Amazon.com at http://www.amazon.com/Law-Seamless-Web-LawPundit-2012-2014/dp/1502977141.

Originally, each volume was priced identically and affordably in terms of $US dollars, but conversions to other currencies may differ because of different publishing dates and other e.g. website variables not under our control. We make no guarantees about pricing, which, of course, is always subject to change -- this is one great advantage of on-demand publishing. Caveat emptor.

LAW IS A SEAMLESS WEB is also available for Kindle and for iPhone and iTab, whereby we have converted each book page as a graphic for use by the appropriate format -- pages should be resizable as a whole on your device.

Online here at LawPundit, for purposes of presentation, we make separate postings for each volume of LAW IS A SEAMLESS WEB. All cover photos were made personally by Andis Kaulins, the LawPundit, on location, except for teaching at Trier Law School (made by a student), and the photograph at the Düsseldorf Opera (made by a guest), from which the profile photos are made.



We describe this series at Amazon.com and Amazon sister sites as follows:

"The here published materials focus on law, legal issues and jurisprudence, including intellectual property (copyrights, patents, trademarks), Constitutional Law, information technology (IT), telecommunications, new media, the Internet, social media networking, politics and current events, personal computers and their spin-offs (smartphones, pads, tablets), sports, travel, the history of civilization, the history of law, cyberspace, and lifestyle.

Law is a Seamless Web is a multi-volume publication that contains a wide selection of the "collected wisdom" of LawPundit postings, starting in the year 2003. LawPundit content has been edited substantially for purposes of print and ebook publication. Photographs by the author originally posted to the blog were removed to avoid printing problems and ebook conversion. For legal intellectual property reasons, postings that originally contained too much text material from copyrighted sources were truncated or not included at all. Short quotes from such third parties are included, however, as permissible "fair use". Longer text quotations are used sparingly and involve "public" texts, e.g. court opinions, government documents or sources freely available with attribution (e.g. Wikipedia). Ultimately selected materials concentrate on topics that presumably remain of general or specialized interest over longer periods of time, also beyond the original dates of posting.

The initial selections for the print version were checked for the currency of links, substituting current pages or removing dead links as required, but this turned out to be such a gargantuan task that we ultimately abandoned it, since such changes also changed the general content of postings. Many links simply have no permanence. That is part of the ephemeral nature of the digital landscape, even in law.

LawPundit is a legal blog, a so-called "blawg", originally hosted at lawpundit.com, that was started in the year 2003 by Andis Kaulins, J.D. Stanford University Law School 1971.

The USLaw.com list of "Best Legal Commentary Blogs" recently ranked LawPundit 6th in the Top 10 by quantity of postings, preceding Discourse.net, Jami Floyd: Best Defense, Discriminations and Balkinization, and following Althouse, TalkLeft, The Volokh Conspiracy, Res Ipsa Loquitor, and Prawfs, many of which have multiple authors, whereas LawPundit has only one author."


Law is a Seamless Web - Volume 4
Title ID: 5070319 ISBN-13: 978-1502977144 https://www.createspace.com/5070319
Publication Date:
    Oct 25 2014
ISBN/EAN13:
    1502977141 / 9781502977144
Page Count:
    326
Binding Type:
    US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
    7" x 10"
Language:
    English
Color:
    Black and White
Related Categories:
    Law / General

Law is a Seamless Web - Volume 4 - is also available for Kindle
(and also for iPhone and iPad).

Law is a Seamless Web - Volume 4 LawPundit 2010-2011
[Kindle Edition] ASIN: B00OW9SDCM


Law is a Seamless Web - LawPundit 2003 to 2014 Now in Print in Four Volumes - Volume 3

LAW IS A SEAMLESS WEB!

This year LawPundit hit an accumulated half-a-million online hits since its inception in 2003. We are thus converting past postings into print form -- and, with some selected exceptions, are removing past online postings, making room for the new things to come.

LawPundit 2003-2014 (selected postings) in print is now available for your libraries and professional or personal use at CreateSpace.com, individually by volume as a four-volume printed series titled LAW IS A SEAMLESS WEB (each volume is 326 pages, except for the first, which is 328 pages). Go to https://www.createspace.com/5024945.

Originally, each volume was priced identically and affordably in terms of $US dollars, but conversions to other currencies may differ because of different publishing dates and other e.g. website variables not under our control. We make no guarantees about pricing, which, of course, is always subject to change -- this is one great advantage of on-demand publishing. Caveat emptor.

LAW IS A SEAMLESS WEB is also available for Kindle and for iPhone and iTab, whereby we have converted each book page as a graphic for use by the appropriate format -- pages should be resizable as a whole on your device.

Online here at LawPundit, for purposes of presentation, we make separate postings for each volume of LAW IS A SEAMLESS WEB. All cover photos were made personally by Andis Kaulins, the LawPundit, on location, except for teaching at Trier Law School (made by a student), and the photograph at the Düsseldorf Opera (made by a guest), from which the profile photos are made.



We describe this series at Amazon.com and Amazon sister sites as follows:

"The here published materials focus on law, legal issues and jurisprudence, including intellectual property (copyrights, patents, trademarks), Constitutional Law, information technology (IT), telecommunications, new media, the Internet, social media networking, politics and current events, personal computers and their spin-offs (smartphones, pads, tablets), sports, travel, the history of civilization, the history of law, cyberspace, and lifestyle.

Law is a Seamless Web is a multi-volume publication that contains a wide selection of the "collected wisdom" of LawPundit postings, starting in the year 2003. LawPundit content has been edited substantially for purposes of print and ebook publication. Photographs by the author originally posted to the blog were removed to avoid printing problems and ebook conversion. For legal intellectual property reasons, postings that originally contained too much text material from copyrighted sources were truncated or not included at all. Short quotes from such third parties are included, however, as permissible "fair use". Longer text quotations are used sparingly and involve "public" texts, e.g. court opinions, government documents or sources freely available with attribution (e.g. Wikipedia). Ultimately selected materials concentrate on topics that presumably remain of general or specialized interest over longer periods of time, also beyond the original dates of posting.

The initial selections for the print version were checked for the currency of links, substituting current pages or removing dead links as required, but this turned out to be such a gargantuan task that we ultimately abandoned it, since such changes also changed the general content of postings. Many links simply have no permanence. That is part of the ephemeral nature of the digital landscape, even in law.

LawPundit is a legal blog, a so-called "blawg", originally hosted at lawpundit.com, that was started in the year 2003 by Andis Kaulins, J.D. Stanford University Law School 1971.

The USLaw.com list of "Best Legal Commentary Blogs" recently ranked LawPundit 6th in the Top 10 by quantity of postings, preceding Discourse.net, Jami Floyd: Best Defense, Discriminations and Balkinization, and following Althouse, TalkLeft, The Volokh Conspiracy, Res Ipsa Loquitor, and Prawfs, many of which have multiple authors, whereas LawPundit has only one author."


Law is a Seamless Web - Volume 3 https://www.createspace.com/5024945
Title ID: 5024945 ISBN-13: 978-1502552716
Publication Date:
    Sep 30 2014
ISBN/EAN13:
    150255271X / 9781502552716
Page Count:
    326
Binding Type:
    US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
    7" x 10"
Language:
    English
Color:
    Black and White with Bleed
Related Categories:
    Law / General


Law is a Seamless Web - Volume 3 - is also available for Kindle
(and also for iPhone and iPad).

Law is a Seamless Web - Volume 3 LawPundit 2010-2011
[Kindle Edition] ASIN: B00O242K4Y



Law is a Seamless Web - LawPundit 2003 to 2014 Now in Print in Four Volumes - Volume 2

LAW IS A SEAMLESS WEB!

This year LawPundit hit an accumulated half-a-million online hits since its inception in 2003. We are thus converting past postings into print form -- and, with some selected exceptions, are removing past online postings, making room for the new things to come.

LawPundit 2003-2014 (selected postings) in print is now available for your libraries and professional or personal use at CreateSpace.com, individually by volume as a four-volume printed series titled LAW IS A SEAMLESS WEB (each volume is 326 pages, except for the first, which is 328 pages). Go to https://www.createspace.com/4995841.

Originally, each volume was priced identically and affordably in terms of $US dollars, but conversions to other currencies may differ because of different publishing dates and other e.g. website variables not under our control. We make no guarantees about pricing, which, of course, is always subject to change -- this is one great advantage of on-demand publishing. Caveat emptor.

LAW IS A SEAMLESS WEB is also available for Kindle and for iPhone and iTab, whereby we have converted each book page as a graphic for use by the appropriate format -- pages should be resizable as a whole on your device.

Online here at LawPundit, for purposes of presentation, we make separate postings for each volume of LAW IS A SEAMLESS WEB. All cover photos were made personally by Andis Kaulins, the LawPundit, on location, except for teaching at Trier Law School (made by a student), and the photograph at the Düsseldorf Opera (made by a guest), from which the profile photos are made.



We describe this series at Amazon.com and Amazon sister sites as follows:

"The here published materials focus on law, legal issues and jurisprudence, including intellectual property (copyrights, patents, trademarks), Constitutional Law, information technology (IT), telecommunications, new media, the Internet, social media networking, politics and current events, personal computers and their spin-offs (smartphones, pads, tablets), sports, travel, the history of civilization, the history of law, cyberspace, and lifestyle.

Law is a Seamless Web is a multi-volume publication that contains a wide selection of the "collected wisdom" of LawPundit postings, starting in the year 2003. LawPundit content has been edited substantially for purposes of print and ebook publication. Photographs by the author originally posted to the blog were removed to avoid printing problems and ebook conversion. For legal intellectual property reasons, postings that originally contained too much text material from copyrighted sources were truncated or not included at all. Short quotes from such third parties are included, however, as permissible "fair use". Longer text quotations are used sparingly and involve "public" texts, e.g. court opinions, government documents or sources freely available with attribution (e.g. Wikipedia). Ultimately selected materials concentrate on topics that presumably remain of general or specialized interest over longer periods of time, also beyond the original dates of posting.

The initial selections for the print version were checked for the currency of links, substituting current pages or removing dead links as required, but this turned out to be such a gargantuan task that we ultimately abandoned it, since such changes also changed the general content of postings. Many links simply have no permanence. That is part of the ephemeral nature of the digital landscape, even in law.

LawPundit is a legal blog, a so-called "blawg", originally hosted at lawpundit.com, that was started in the year 2003 by Andis Kaulins, J.D. Stanford University Law School 1971.

The USLaw.com list of "Best Legal Commentary Blogs" recently ranked LawPundit 6th in the Top 10 by quantity of postings, preceding Discourse.net, Jami Floyd: Best Defense, Discriminations and Balkinization, and following Althouse, TalkLeft, The Volokh Conspiracy, Res Ipsa Loquitor, and Prawfs, many of which have multiple authors, whereas LawPundit has only one author."

Title ID: 4995841 ISBN-13: 978-1502349293
Publication Date:
    Sep 12 2014
ISBN/EAN13:
    1502349299 / 9781502349293
Page Count:
    326
Binding Type:
    US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
    7" x 10"
Language:
    English
Color:
    Black and White
Related Categories:
    Law / General


Law is a Seamless Web - Volume 2 - is also available for Kindle
(and also for iPhone and iPad).

Law is a Seamless Web - Volume 2 LawPundit 2007-2009
[Kindle Edition] ASIN: B00NJ85Z7S

Law is a Seamless Web - LawPundit 2003 to 2014 Now in Print in Four Volumes - Volume 1

LAW IS A SEAMLESS WEB!

This year LawPundit hit an accumulated half-a-million online hits since its inception in 2003. We are thus converting past postings into print form -- and, with some selected exceptions, are removing past online postings, making room for the new things to come.

LawPundit 2003-2014 (selected postings) in print is now available for your libraries and professional or personal use at CreateSpace.com, individually by volume as a four-volume printed series titled LAW IS A SEAMLESS WEB (each volume is 326 pages, except for the first, which is 328 pages). Go to https://www.createspace.com/4974386.

Originally, each volume was priced identically and affordably in terms of $US dollars, but conversions to other currencies may differ because of different publishing dates and other e.g. website variables not under our control. We make no guarantees about pricing, which, of course, is always subject to change -- this is one great advantage of on-demand publishing. Caveat emptor.

LAW IS A SEAMLESS WEB is also available for Kindle and for iPhone and iTab, whereby we have converted each book page as a graphic for use by the appropriate format -- pages should be resizable as a whole on your device.

Online here at LawPundit, for purposes of presentation, we make separate postings for each volume of LAW IS A SEAMLESS WEB. All cover photos were made personally by Andis Kaulins, the LawPundit, on location, except for teaching at Trier Law School (made by a student), and the photograph at the Düsseldorf Opera (made by a guest), from which the profile photos are made.



We describe this series at Amazon.com and Amazon sister sites as follows:

"The here published materials focus on law, legal issues and jurisprudence, including intellectual property (copyrights, patents, trademarks), Constitutional Law, information technology (IT), telecommunications, new media, the Internet, social media networking, politics and current events, personal computers and their spin-offs (smartphones, pads, tablets), sports, travel, the history of civilization, the history of law, cyberspace, and lifestyle.

Law is a Seamless Web is a multi-volume publication that contains a wide selection of the "collected wisdom" of LawPundit postings, starting in the year 2003. LawPundit content has been edited substantially for purposes of print and ebook publication. Photographs by the author originally posted to the blog were removed to avoid printing problems and ebook conversion. For legal intellectual property reasons, postings that originally contained too much text material from copyrighted sources were truncated or not included at all. Short quotes from such third parties are included, however, as permissible "fair use". Longer text quotations are used sparingly and involve "public" texts, e.g. court opinions, government documents or sources freely available with attribution (e.g. Wikipedia). Ultimately selected materials concentrate on topics that presumably remain of general or specialized interest over longer periods of time, also beyond the original dates of posting.

The initial selections for the print version were checked for the currency of links, substituting current pages or removing dead links as required, but this turned out to be such a gargantuan task that we ultimately abandoned it, since such changes also changed the general content of postings. Many links simply have no permanence. That is part of the ephemeral nature of the digital landscape, even in law.

LawPundit is a legal blog, a so-called "blawg", originally hosted at lawpundit.com, that was started in the year 2003 by Andis Kaulins, J.D. Stanford University Law School 1971.

The USLaw.com list of "Best Legal Commentary Blogs" recently ranked LawPundit 6th in the Top 10 by quantity of postings, preceding Discourse.net, Jami Floyd: Best Defense, Discriminations and Balkinization, and following Althouse, TalkLeft, The Volokh Conspiracy, Res Ipsa Loquitor, and Prawfs, many of which have multiple authors, whereas LawPundit has only one author."

Title ID: 4974386 ISBN-13: 978-1500997113
Publication Date:
    Sep 02 2014
ISBN/EAN13:
    1500997110 / 9781500997113
Page Count:
    328
Binding Type:
    US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
    7" x 10"
Language:
    English
Color:
    Black and White with Bleed
Related Categories:
    Law / General

Law is a Seamless Web - Volume 1 - is also available for Kindle
(and also for iPhone and iPad).

Law is a Seamless Web - Volume 1 LawPundit 2003-2006
[Kindle Edition] ASIN: B00N9BH7CQ

US - http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00N9BH7CQ
UK - http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00N9BH7CQ?*Version*=1&*entries*=0
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CA - http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B00N9BH7CQ?*Version*=1&*entries*=0
JP - http://www.amazon.co.jp/gp/product/B00N9BH7CQ?*Version*=1&*entries*=0
IN - http://www.amazon.in/gp/product/B00N9BH7CQ?*Version*=1&*entries*=0
DE - http://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B00N9BH7CQ?*Version*=1&*entries*=0
FR - http://www.amazon.fr/gp/product/B00N9BH7CQ?*Version*=1&*entries*=0
ES - http://www.amazon.es/gp/product/B00N9BH7CQ?*Version*=1&*entries*=0
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BR - http://www.amazon.com.br/gp/product/B00N9BH7CQ?*Version*=1&*entries*=0
MX - http://www.amazon.com.mx/gp/product/B00N9BH7CQ?*Version*=1&*entries*=0


Friday, January 24, 2014

Marijuana Law Revision 40 Years After John Kaplan's Marijuana: The New Prohibition: Why is the Legal System So Slow in Adopting the Obvious?

What is true for marijuana laws is true for most of the laws that we post about. Why are we always something like 40 years ahead of the pack?

Let me say at the outset here that I am not a proponent of drug use of any kind, and I have recently even sworn off coffee, because it raises my blood pressure. Clean, disciplined living is always the best policy in the long run.

Nevertheless, past American laws and criminal justice policies toward drug use of all kinds, and this includes tobacco, marijuana and alcohol have been poorly deliberated, poorly legislated and have not worked. Abuse is still rampant.

We wonder, for example, why the current change in marijuana laws in some quarters is occurring 40 years later than it should have. Why is the legal system so slow in reacting to things that are clear??

John Kaplan had this figured out in the late 1960's and early 1970's, and yet we hear nothing about his publications in the press, even today, indicating that many people in mainstream media are not doing their homework.

In terms of drug possession, drug abuse and drug criminalization, we wrote previously elsewhere about John Kaplan's book, published in 1970:
"John Kaplan's
Marijuana -- The New Prohibition

John's book on the drug laws resulted from his membership on a professorial advisory committee to the California state legislature. John was quite conservative in his views and had in fact served as a public prosecutor of crimes, but his committee recommended a liberal stance toward marijuana - regarding its criminalization to be a legislative mistake.

John's view was that the legislature should concentrate more on workable laws regarding hard drugs such as heroin and cocaine, which were the major dangers. Too much emphasis was going toward marijuana - where young people were easily being caught in the act of smoking - and too little effort was being placed on going after hard drug makers and dealers, where arrests were much harder for the authorities to obtain.

As the result of the objective committee report, however, the committee was fired by the California legislature and a new committee was formed, ostensibly with members whose views were more in line with what the legislature subjectively wanted to hear, whether it fit the facts or not.
In his book, John predicted that the criminalization of marijuana would not work - it did not work - and that, on the contrary, the marijuana laws would strengthen the hard drug dealers as suppliers - which in fact happened, leading many people to take stronger drugs.
The drug abuse mess that exists today throughout much of America is partially the result of this very erroneous drug law policy, having concentrated on marijuana and not enough on the truly dangerous substances.

See: Marijuana -- The New Prohibition
by John Kaplan
Publisher: Ty Crowell Co; 1st Edition (June 1970)
"
As we wrote about this topic previously at LawPundit:

"The State of California and the other states of the United States have ignored Kaplan's recommendations and the results are now in, 40 years later. They do not speak well for the wisdom of past or current legislation on drug laws or their enforcement. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) :
"In 2006, 25 million Americans age 12 and older had abused marijuana at least once in the year prior to being surveyed. Source: National Survey on Drug Use and Health; http://www.samhsa.gov/. The NIDA-funded 2007 Monitoring the Future Study showed that 10.3% of 8th graders, 24.6% of 10th graders, and 31.7% of 12th graders had abused marijuana at least once in the year prior to being surveyed. Source: Monitoring the Future http://www.monitoringthefuture.org/. "
According to Eric E. Sterling, President of the non-profit Criminal Justice Policy Foundation and former counsel on anti-drug legislation to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, there are currently 2.3 million Americans in jails or prisons, many of them due to drug infractions:
"We certainly need to imprison dangerous offenders - to protect us and to punish them. But we need to get a lot smarter about why we imprison and who we imprison. Remarkably, in the last thirty years, the largest increase in imprisonment has been due to prohibition drug policy.
Even though drug enforcement leaders have warned for more than twenty years that "we can't arrest our way out of the drug problem," every year we arrest more people for drug offenses than the year before. Last year we arrested over 1.8 million Americans, more than three times the number arrested for all violent crimes combined. Now about one-quarter of those in prison are serving drug sentences. As the centerpiece of our anti-drug strategy, arrests and imprisonment have failed: high school seniors report that drugs are easier for them to get now than in the 1970s and 1980s."
Andrew Bosworth in Incarceration Nation: The Rise of a Prison-Industrial Complex writes similarly:
"Consider this disturbing fact: the United States now has the world's highest incarceration rate outside of North Korea. Out of 1,000 people, more Americans are behind bars than anywhere in the world except in Kim Jong-Il's Neo-Stalinist state. The US has a higher incarceration rate than China, Russia, Iran, Zimbabwe and Burma - countries American politicians often berate for their human rights violations.

Well over two million Americans are behind bars. Let us agree that violent criminals and sex offenders should be in jail, but most Americans are not aware that over one million people spend year after year in prison for non-violent and petty offenses: small-time drug dealing, street hustling, prostitution, bouncing checks and even writing graffiti. Texas, with its boot-in-your-butt criminal justice system, is now attempting to incarcerate people who get drunk at bars - even if they are not disturbing the peace and intend to take a taxi home...

Arguably, continuously lowering the bar for what it takes to be jailed threatens the liberty of all Americans. And having one million non-violent offenders in prison (often for absurdly long periods) makes it that much easier, in the near future, for the return of debtors' prisons and dissident detention centers. This approach to locking up everyone possible undermines both the liberal emphasis on personal liberty and the conservative emphasis on small government."
Who out there in the American criminal justice system understands the basic wisdom found in Herbert L. Packer's Limits of the Criminal Sanction? What lawmaker, government official, judge, prosecutor, or prison official in the United States has ever read Packer's book - much less applied the inexorable legal policy conclusions demanded by it? (see Google Books, this PPT and Packer's Two Models of the Criminal Process)

Not every undesirable human action or activity in society is or should be subject to criminal punishments. There are other - more modern - means available to deal with socially undesirable behavior.

Indeed, the primitive idea of jails or prisons as legal solutions for societal problems has been around for millennia. But such jails and prisons, except as a deserved punishment of and/or an effective deterrent of violent and dangerous criminals, are by their very nature as outdated in modern law as the now discredited blood-letting is in modern medicine, which was an accepted medical practice worldwide from the earliest times of humanity down to the late 19th century, a flawed medical practice which surely cost America's first President, George Washington, his life (we quote from the Wikipedia):
"Bloodletting was also popular in the young United States of America.... George Washington asked to be bled heavily after he developed a throat infection from weather exposure. Almost 4 pounds (1.7 litres) of blood was withdrawn ... contributing to his death in 1799."
We were reminded of the similar backward state of contemporary American law by the April 26, 2009 TIME article of Maia Szalavitz on Drugs in Portugal: Did Decriminalization Work? (referring to an article by Glenn Greenwald at the Cato Institute), where the answer to that question in the title is a clear, resounding, "YES, drug decriminalization has worked in Portugal".

Szalavitz quotes Glenn Greenwald, writing at the Cato Institute:
"Judging by every metric, decriminalization in Portugal has been a resounding success," says Glenn Greenwald, an attorney, author and fluent Portuguese speaker, who conducted the research. "It has enabled the Portuguese government to manage and control the drug problem far better than virtually every other Western country does."
What sensible legal policy did Portugal adopt?

Going to the original article at the Cato Institute, Glenn Greenwald writes in Drug Decriminalization in Portugal: Lessons for Creating Fair and Successful Drug Policies :
"On July 1, 2001, a nationwide law in Portugal took effect that decriminalized all drugs, including cocaine and heroin. Under the new legal framework, all drugs were "decriminalized," not "legalized." Thus, drug possession for personal use and drug usage itself are still legally prohibited, but violations of those prohibitions are deemed to be exclusively administrative violations and are removed completely from the criminal realm. Drug trafficking continues to be prosecuted as a criminal offense....

The data show that, judged by virtually every metric, the Portuguese decriminalization framework has been a resounding success. Within this success lie self-evident lessons that should guide drug policy debates around the world." [emphasis added]
We are particularly gratified to read this result, because the Portuguese solution is the solution advocated 40 years ago by our mentor at Stanford Law School, the late Professor John Kaplan - famed for his legal brilliance from his days at Harvard, a former prosecutor who was a conservative at heart - who in the late 1960's was selected as a member of a top-notch advisory committee of law professors to advise the California state legislature on a revision of the California criminal (penal) code.

Kaplan's drug research at that time led the professorial advisory committee to recommend the decriminalization of marijuana in California to the California legislature - with the result that the entire advisory committee was released from its duties by the legislature and replaced by other law professors whose political views were more in line with what the California legislature wanted to hear. I know of this only by hearsay and can not vouch for the exact details.

In any case, Kaplan responded to this experience with his book, Marijuana: The New Prohibition, which I had the honor and pleasure to edit (indeed, I drafted a chapter) while still a student, and in which Kaplan was of the opinion that drugs such as marijuana should be "decriminalized" - it was his major recommendation in this field of law.

As Herbert Packer - for whom I was also a student assistant at Stanford Law School - would have predicted by the principles in his book on the limits of the criminal sanction, drug abuse simply does not lend itself well to control by criminal punishments.

Eric E. Sterling, J.D., President of the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation in his Drug Policy Bibliography and Websites lists Kaplan's book as follows:
"John Kaplan, Marijuana – The New Prohibition, Pocket Books, New York, 1971, 402 pp. A classic. Stanford law professor John Kaplan demolished the factual foundation for marijuana prohibition when originally published in 1970. Throughly documented."
Talcott Bates M.D. wrote in his book review of Marijuana: The New Prohibition:
"Professor Kaplan was appointed in 1966 by the California Senate to a committee to revise the California Penal Code, last completely revised in 1872. By chance he was assigned the drug laws, about which he felt he had no knowledge or experience except that which he had acquired as a one-time prosecutor as Assistant United States Attorney. It became apparent at once that the key drug problem in California was the treatment of marijuana. Not until the treatment of marijuana was intelligently handled would progress in the broader area of drug abuse be possible.

Marijuana: The New Prohibition reviews the history of marijuana, how in 1937, four years after Prohibition ended, Congress outlawed the sale, possession, and use of marijuana. Professor Kaplan points out that the measure of the wisdom of any law is the measure of its total social and financial costs and the benefits that derive from this outlay. This book is an attempt to measure the costs of the criminalization of marijuana and concludes that the costs far outweigh the benefits."
It is not without reason, as written at ProhibitionCosts.Org, that in the year 2005, three Nobel laureates in economics and more than 500 distinguished economists advocated:
"replacing marijuana prohibition with a system of taxation and regulation similar to that used for alcoholic beverages [which] would produce combined savings and tax revenues of between $10 billion and $14 billion per year...."
The case for decriminalization and for a more intelligent approach to drug possession and abuse is clearly apparent, and has been so for 40 years.

Generally, in terms of all petty and needlessly "criminalized" legal infractions, there are great legislative and judicial opportunities out there to adopt sensible criminal laws, to get people out of jails and prisons who should not be there, and to help to integrate people into normal life rather than tossing them stupidly into jails and prisons, where little progress in development is possible for most.

Quite the contrary, people are thrown together with hardened criminals, to their detriment. In the case of most non-violent crimes, especially petty infractions, and definitely in the case of financial infractions, jail and/or prison should be the very LAST option, not the first.

But how likely is it that an entrenched unmoving American legal system will now take the intelligent path forward to reform its vastly outdated drug laws and to free its jail and prison populations of people who should not be there?

Not very likely - unless the people in Congress and state legislatures suddenly get to be a lot smarter than we judge them to be.

For more resources on this topic, see the Cato Institute's Criminal Justice Reading List."

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Local Input on How the Great Platte River Road Archway Monument Happened

Stephen R. England, SEC ALC AFM EMS, President, Investment Property Exchange Inc., 3811 Central Avenue, Suite G, Kearney, NE 68848, 308 236 8505 office, 308 234 6025 fax, 308 440 8190 cell, sent me the following contribution which is published with his permission:

"    At the time the Great Platte River Road Archway Monument was planned, officials with the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Nebraska  Department of Roads told us that along I-80 separate exits and entrances for other than communities were prohibited. They also had a provision that said any food or commerce profits had to go to a special federal fund. This pretty much eliminated the Archway operating as a business with its own exit and entrance ramps.

    However also the Kearney Motel community assessed themselves a 2% tax on all motel room receipts for five years so that those funds could be given to the Great Platte River Archway Monument Foundation to plan the project. This amounted to approximately $1M. If the Archway had had its own "easy on" "easy off" exit there would have been less chance that those visitors would stay in Kearney and return to the motel owners their risked investment. As an example if you drive through Ohio, I-80 is a toll road and they have several very elaborate rest areas where some franchise restaurants and basic services are available. Most out of area travelers never get off the expressway to visit the Ohio communities. The city of Kearney did not want this to happen so it was decided not to fight the special exit issue which might have required an act of Congress to change.

    If you have traveled through other states along I-80 you might see some restaurants and rest areas that seem to violate this supposed law. However we were told that these were areas added to I-80 and were not part of the original I-80 Coast to Coast Highway project so they had different rules.

    Ultimately the Great Platte River Road Archway Monument was located along a frontage road two miles east of the Kearney I-80 exit. The absence of an exit on the east side of the property made it easy for travelers going east to decide to not stop since they had to backtrack about six miles.  I know all of these options were discussed thoroughly because I was retained to find a suitable location for the project and this land had one mile of frontage on both sides of the interstate and if not selected the site selection would have had to involve the voluntary purchase of lands from many different owners at a much higher price. Without some sort of condemnation authority it probably couldn't have happened. 

    Building an attraction of this type had never been done before. Several studies were done by national experts and they predicted that people would see this very interesting and attractive structure and decide to stop by. It is basically a $60M billboard  that can be seen for a couple miles in both directions. However no one realized with modern vehicles equipped with large gas tanks, video players, etc., the traveling public does not make very many impulse stops. Most have to be convinced prior to embarking that an Archway stop will be scheduled.

    The other problem is that this is really an historical museum which once visited many don't feel the desire to return to even though it is quite spectacular and has received many national accolades. It needs to be more interactive and fun where visitors would want to come back again very soon.  There needs to be more fun family stuff to do except look and learn.

    The interesting thing for Kearney is that the bankruptcy court just sold this monster facility to a group of us community business folks for $120,000 and dismissed all other obligations. Either the Foundation or the Community is going to own it soon. This bankruptcy should have been filed years ago because the Archway was saddled with impossible indebtedness with no hope of repaying. So any new idea or program that would have allowed the Archway to earn a little profit had to go directly to bondholders which solved no problems for anyone and certainly did not provide a path to financial viability.

    Unbelieveably most observers don't realize that there is no local money invested here at all. It was funded entirely by big Wall Street mutual funds.  Some brokerage firms with local offices tried to invest for local people but were thankfully shut out. This entire offering went to Wall Street just before the peak of the Dot Com bubble and Smith Barney and others could sell anything. This offering was sold out in four hours. The Foundation went from wondering where to come up with $3,000 to exercise the land option to having $57M in the bank a week later.

    I think now with some cost cutting, new leadership, and vision that there can be numerous ways to make the Archway financially sound. It has been a huge asset to Kearney and it is an icon. Everyone who travels by car through central Nebraska now knows about our community. I have escorted many people through the Archway when they come here to do some business. Their comment is generally "this is spectacular and I am bringing my family back to see it soon!" not to mention the educational resource it is for buses and buses of school children that visit every year.

    It is hard to quantify what the Great Platte River Road Archway Monument has done for Kearney and Nebraska. However it is an illustration that makes people take notice and fulfills a tremendous historical education function for those taking its tour."

 
Please Note:  Steve wrote the above material in response to our posting: Free the Archway! The Outdated US Code 23 §111 (Highways) and the Great Platte River Road Archway, Kearney, Nebraska, USA

Friday, October 25, 2013

Free the Archway! The Outdated US Code 23 §111 (Highways) and the Great Platte River Road Archway, Kearney, Nebraska, USA

[Update: see also Stephen R. England on this topic here]

Here is an interesting legal and tourist item for road travelers across the entire United States, for it impacts the problems of all U.S. Interstate Highways.

We refer here to the Great Platte River Road Archway on Interstate 80 near Kearney, Nebraska, a bridge over the I-80 that came into being to pay tribute:

"to the perseverance and ingenuity that developed our wonderfully diverse culture and dynamic American heritage and future".


The archway ran into (now legally settled) bankruptcy problems earlier in the year, in part because of no direct access to the Archway from the interstate, an impossible situation perhaps -- we do not know for sure -- caused by a stupid federal US law provision, 23 USC § 111, which has all kinds of nonsensical limitations on interstate highways.

Things have been looking up for the future of the archway
ever since a new exit for the archway
was opened on August 28, 2013,
as part of the "East Kearney Bypass Interchange"
which is scheduled to be finished in 2016.

The archway can also be accessed -- distantly -- via Exit 272,
see VisitNebraska.com.

See Google map.

See also RoadsideAmerica.com.

Why was there no original direct exit to the Archway?

We are not sure this is the reason, but in an astounding factoid, we learned that although the first bridge restaurant was in fact built in the United States, in Oklahoma, yet, one of the great limitations on sensible interstate facility development in the United States is pointed out in the Wikipedia article on Bridge Restaurant, as US Code 23 §111 idiotically prohibits commercial activities at rest areas along interstate highways.[emphasis added]

"United States

The first bridge restaurant was built in 1957, over I-44 (Will Rogers Turnpike) [1] at the Vinita, Oklahoma, rest area. It is the world's largest McDonald's fast food restaurant. With the construction of the North Illinois Tollway in 1958, five more bridge restaurants were built as Illinois Tollway oases, opening in 1959. Further implementation of the concept in the United States has been hampered by US Code 23 clause 111, which prohibits commercial activities at the rest areas along the Interstate Highways. Although commercial activities existing before 1960 could continue, and the unaffected turnpikes already had commercialized rest areas, no new restaurants were added. Despite this legislation the Lincoln Oasis bridge restaurant has been opened in 1967. [emphasis added]

Italy

The concept was introduced to Europe in 1959 by the Italian architect Angelo Bianchetti,[2] who built the first European bridge restaurant in slightly more than six months. In 1962, Pavesi replaced its existing roadside restaurants at Novara and Bergamo along the Autostrada Serenissima by bridge restaurants at Novara and Osio. This was done in conjunction with the upgrade of the three lane highway to motorway standards. Bianchetti built nine bridge restaurants for his principal, the Italian food chain Pavesi. Three Pavesi bridges, Chianti, Dorno and Serrevalle-Pistoiese, were built by other architects. The concept was replicated by Pavesi's competitor Motta, who built two bridges at the Cantagallo[3] and Limena[4] rest areas, and later on spread over Europe. In 1974 the Italian chains were heavily effected by the oil crisis and as a result no more bridge restaurants were built in Italy. In 2012 there are 13 bridge restaurants left in Italy.

Other Europe

Inspired by the Italian example, the concept spread over Europe along with the expansion of motorway networks. Britain's first motorway, the M6 was equipped with motorway service areas (MSA). In contrast to the United States, commercialized rest areas along state owned motorways are common in Europe. Many of the British MSAs have footbridges for crossing the motorway but only five MSAs were built as bridge restaurants, all in the early sixties. The M6 got three of them: one was built at Farthing Corner (today Medway) over the M2 and the last at Leicester Forest East over the M1 which opened in 1966. The building of bridge restaurants in Britain stopped because of the fire risks, because they were regarded as an obstacle for road widening in the future, and because of the finding that drivers do not find any rest when they are still watching the traffic. [emphasis added]

In Germany, there are two MSAs built as bridge restaurants. The first opened in 1967 at the Rudolphstein/Hirschberg crossing of the inner German border along the Berlin Munich transit route. Visitors had a view of the iron curtain from the restaurant. The second was built at the Dammer Berge MSA over the A 1 at Holdorf in 1969. Building bridge restaurants in Germany was more expensive then two restaurants at both roadsides. Because of the length of the bridges many facilities, such as toilets, kitchens and storage rooms had to be built twice on a bridge, so it turned out that it was too expensive to build further bridge restaurants over the Autobahn.[5] 


In Belgium the concept is widespread and still applied for new MSAs. At the beginning of the 1970s Jacques Borel introduced the bridge restaurant to France, and Mövenpick followed soon in Switzerland. The Netherlands followed in 1980 with Rick's, today Ruygen Hoek, MSA near Schiphol.

Scandinavia got its first bridge restaurant in the mid-1980s."
Hence, in Europe, (see AutoGrill, Italy, AC Restaurants (Arlon)) such archways are planned with easy access exits on both sides of the highway and offer full services such as gasoline, excellent food and accommodations for travelers, which might include a hotel and even a religious chapel. For example, accommodations might also serve groups in tour busses, etc.

Note that

the Dammer Berge (run by Tank & Rast) in Germany hosts over 1 million visitors a year!

You can not put all of your eggs in one basket, but must let the Kearney Archway serve as the landmark for a host of activities.

Free the Archway!
Obviously 23 USC § 111 should be repealed.

As for the text of that law, see
23 USC § 111 - Agreements relating to use of and access to rights-of-way—Interstate System.
23 U.S.C.
United States Code, 2011 Edition
Title 23 - HIGHWAYS
CHAPTER 1 - FEDERAL-AID HIGHWAYS
Sec. 111 - Agreements relating to use of and access to rights-of-way-Interstate System
From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov
There is no sane federal excuse for these kinds of limiting provisions on interstate commerce. It is idiotic. Interstate highways are there for transportation and should make any and all facilities available that travelers need and want.

What were they thinking in Washington D.C. when the excessively limiting provisions of this statute were drawn up? OPEN roads made America in its founding days. The Archway was erected to celebrate:
"an era when covered wagons, buffalo, hand-pulled carts, and trains first criss-crossed the prairie!"
There were no stupid federal limitations on road commerce in those days.

People in America must become alerted to the fact that they are NOT as free as they think. Quite the contrary, you are enslaved in a legal structure that has many completely outdated, impractical and capitalist-contrary elements.

While problems like this could easily be solved by legislation and the nation's economy boosted in the blink of an eye -- just think of the number of jobs created around the country by repealing 23 USC § 111, your Congressional representatives in Washington D.C. are busy in circus-like activities to shut down government, which helps no one, indeed, creates even more problems.

Free the Archway!
on the way to a NEW, BETTER America!

Hat tip to my old friend S.E. in Kearney for alerting me to the Great Platte River Road Archway, although the story that developed out of my research was not his intention. This is my opinion alone. He may not share it at all.

[Update: see also Stephen R. England on this topic here]

Monday, September 17, 2012

Three Former Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison Summer Associates are Justices on the U.S. Supreme Court - All the Ladies

LawPundit read only recently that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had broken two ribs this past June, but had continued without skipping a beat in her work. In the course of checking up on her injury we found that also she had been a summer associate at Paul|Weiss, as we wrote in our update today to a previous LawPundit posting at Another Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison Summer Associate to the Supreme Court? Obama Nominates Elena Kagan as U.S. Supreme Court Justice:
"Update, September, 2012: I read recently in the history of the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, of which I am a summer associate and associate alumnus, that also Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a summer associate at the firm. As written at the firm's Paul|Weiss history page online:
"Each of the three women serving on the U.S. Supreme Court in 2012 began her career as a summer associate at Paul, Weiss."
See the history of the Paul|Weiss law firm generally.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Ancient Signs The Alphabet and The Origins of Writing


I just published my new book

Ancient Signs -- The Alphabet and The Origins of Writing

both in print and as an e-book.

I am also producing have also produced a color version of the book.
See http://www.epubli.com/shop/autor/Andis-Kaulins/3682







The book is filled with absolutely amazing stuff.


Enjoy.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Times Change, But People Stay the Same, so History Never Quite Ends


"Times change, but people do not."
-- Arvids Kaulins (1914-1987, b. Lejasciems, Latvia, d. Lincoln, Nebraska, USA)

Victor Davis Hanson has the modern story at National Review Online at History Never Quite Ends, writing about the present world economic and political climate, that:
"Whatever else changes, human nature does not."
Read the whole story here.

Hat tip to CaryGEE.

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