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But Von Dohlen’s bill creates a new, additional offense called “possession for sale” \(punishable as a exempt these persons from it. Consequently . any pharmacist, manufacturer or shipper who possesses any such drug “for sale” is a felon. He need not actually sell it to commit the offense, and a doctor’s prescription makes no difference. The crime is simply possession with the intent to sell, and this is what every pharmacist does. It is no exaggeration to say that as soon as HB 1649 was signed into law, every pharmacist in Texas immediately became liable to a prison sentence of two to ten years. Von Dohlen, ironically, is a pharmacist himself. 12 The Texas Observer MEETINGS THE THURSDAY CLUB of Dallas meets each Downtown YMCA, 605 No. Ervay St., Dallas. Good discussion. You’re welcome. Informal, no dues. CENTRAL TEXAS ACLU luncheon meeting. Spanish Village. 2nd Friday every month. From noon. All welcome. CLASSIFIED BOOKPLATES. Free catalog. Many beautiful designs. Special designing too. Address: BOOKPLATES, P.O. Box 28-I, Yellow Springs, Ohio 45387. MARJORIE ANNE DELAFIELD TYPING. SERVICE: Complete Typing Service and Editing. Binding, Mailing, Public Notary. Twenty years experience. Call 442-7008 or 442-0170, Austin. WE SELL THE BEST SOUND. Yamaha pianos, guitars; Moeck-Kung-Aulus recorders; harmonicas, kalimbas and other exotic instruments. Arrister Music, 1624 Lavaca, Austin. 478-7331. BUMPER STICKERS: Bread Tax Barnes/Ralph Wasn’t Bought. Both 354. One 200. 613-A West 31st, Austin. McGOVERN FOR PRESIDENT button \(large or Hand-made paper mobile: $2 each, 3 for $5. Proceeds to campaign McGovern Committee, P. 0. Box 472, Vermillion, S.D., 57069. Contributions welcome. The bill lowers the penalty for one major drug: methamphetamine, or “speed” as it is commonly called. Medical opinion regards speed as the most physically and mentally damaging of any drug used frequently by young people. Formerly a felony, possession of speed is reduced to a two-year misdemeanor under Von Dohlen’s bill. The old Dangerous Drug Law l i contained several exemptions permitting the use of certain drugs with animals and poultry. These exemptions were each numbered. Von Dohlen’s bill retains the exemption, by number, but elsewhere in the bill renumbers the drugs themselves. The result of ‘this mistake is that the notorious aphrodisiac Spanish Fly has been moved into the category of legal drugs, and several other drugs with an important veterinary use, including thyroid, have’ been made illegal. \(A spokesman at the! Texas A&M Large Animal Clinic described’ thyroid as “probably the most important drug we use over here,” adding, “we PASSAGE OF SUCH a bill, uncontested and unnoticed, is a severe indictment of the legislative process in Texas. Ideally no legislator should cast his vote for a bill he knows nothing about. Realistically in a session which saw nearly three thousand bills introduced members must often depend on the candor of those who manage a particular bill. In the case of HB 1649 this candor was lacking. What does all this mean in human terms? Although the facts are not yet in, Texas probably will not have any fewer drug users than states \(such as Mississippi and progressive drug policy. Texas almost certainly will, however, capture the distinction of having more drug users in prison than any other state. It takes a certain cast of mind to be proud of that distinction. Griffin Smith discovered, only a gubernatorial veto stood in the way of its becoming law. But despite Senate protests and a Senate staff memorandum outlining the bill’s technical flaws, which was in the hands of the governor’s staff for more than a week, Governor Smith decided to sign it in a full-scale televised ceremony. His reasons for doing so remain opaque. The Department of Public Safety had examined the bill with considerable misgivings, wavered and finally recommended signature. This and the chance to stand up in front of the cameras as a crusader against drugs, regardless of the absurdity or confusion which might result, were apparently decisive in his mind.
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