The Hutchinson News from Hutchinson, Kansas on September 12, 1971 · Page 45
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The Hutchinson News from Hutchinson, Kansas · Page 45

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Hutchinson, Kansas
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Sunday, September 12, 1971
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Page 45
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Many Attorneys Drug Specialists (C) 1971 N.Y. Times News Servlc* DENVER -The nation's growing use of marijuana has brought a flood of money into the practice of criminal law and with it a new generation o: aggressive, young crimina lawyers. Instead of defending penniless bandits, burglars and rapists, these criminal lawyers draw many of their clients from among the American middle- class — the sons and daughters of the man next door who fine themselves facing prison for smoking a "joint." They come from a broad range of establishments — from straight - laced old- line law firms to law communes — they can be found in cities as different in life style and culture as Denver, Dallas, New York, Seattle and Raleigh, N. C. Most drug lawyers also handle a variety of other cases. But a check of 12 major cities around the country indicates that all but one or two have a number of young lawyers who have taken up marijuana cases as a specialty — much like personal injury, medical malpractice or corporate law. Outspoken in Criticism The specialists are generally young, politically liberal to radical and often outspoken in their criticism of marjuana laws, the police and judges. Some are making good money — up to $40,000 a year in one case — but many are not and most are willing to take at least a few cases without pay. Behind this phenomenon, of course, is the larger one of marijuana. Some see it as spreading in the United States with the persistence of alcohol in the days of national prohibition — and with the same impact on public respect for the law. Prof. John Kaplan of Stanford University Law School, the author of "Marijuana •— The New Prohibition," says he feels the entire situation with marijuana laws is having "A devastating effect on the law." "People doing it — smoking marijuana — feel absolutely no guilt," he said. "They regard the laws against it as irrational and prosecution as hypocritical. It makes the law a .charade. The moral basis of the law has just disappeared." Many of the drug lawyers find themselves breaking little new legal ground, only further defining and limiting police powers of arrest, search and seizure. A few however, believe that that alone is improving the quality of justice in the United States. The parents of suspected marijuana criminals are often appalled to find their children charged with a felony and are willing to pay the costs of their defense at fees ranging from several hundred to several thousand dollars. Robert Bruce Miller, 30 years old, handles a number of drug cases, in Boulder, Colo., where the University of Colorado is situated. He and his wife and son live in a large, comfortable old house just north of downtown. Miller has tried his hand at rodeo riding, parachute jumping and rock climbing and he served a year as a law clerk in the Federal District. Court in Denver. Seldom Reaches Jury He has been known to show up in court in a ruffled shirt and he cuts his mop of curly hair only when a jury trial is sending. But like most drug lawyers he seldom takes a drug case to a jury. In Colorado, use (smoking) of marijuana is a misdemeanor, on a par with drunkenness or a traffic ticket. Possession of marijuana, however, is a felony, which puts it on a par with robbery, burglary and car theft. "It's a bad law," Miller said. 'How can you smoke without possessing a cigarette?" Most arrests are made for possession. In preliminary hearings where the court must determine whether there is sufficient evidence to hold a defendant for trial, the district attorney can offer to reduce the charge to a misdemeanor (use) if the defendant will plead guilty. The final test, if no deals lave been made, is the trial. Jut this is a chancy business, Miller said, with the jury box usually filled with older people. "In many cases," he conceded, "we're making very bad aw." Golden State Is Now Tarnished (C) 1971 N.Y. Times News Servlct LOS ANGELES - Thirteen years ago, Ardis Evans came to California when her father was transferred here from Minneapolis. In time she got married and had three children. Her husband's dental laboratory thrived and they bought a four- bedroom house in the suburbs. But they did not live happily ever after. Donald and Ardis Evans are moving to YakLma, Wash. They have had it with California. Mrs. Evans explained why: "There are several things — smog, 6 million people, and the fact that when we wanted to go out for recreation we either had to drive two or three hours to get there, or go 20 minutes to Disneyland and spend a fortune. We're more of the outdoor type; we like hunting and fishing and camping, and that's what the YaMma area will be able to give us." The Evanses are not alone. Last year, for the first time in this century, about as many people moved out of California as moved in. Estimates differ —some economists say there was actually a net loss from migration — but the situation is clear. The Golden State, which drew 1,000 net migrants a day in the mid-1960s, has grown tarnished. Like an aging movie star, the Promised- Land- on- the- Pacific has lost its allure. "California always had some great attraction, something glamorous about it," said James Lewis, director of research for tla© Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce. "You can start with the Gold Rush and go on from there. But we've gotten so much bad publicity about smog and stuff feat the glamour is off now." Even many who stay are unhappy. The California poll reported recently that only 64 per cent of its residents think California is "one of the best places" to live, a drop from 73 per cent in 1967. Twenty-nine per cent of the population said they would like to move; of the people who have been here less than eight years, almost half want to live elsewhere. The "net migration" statistic is a combination of two things, the movement in and the movement out, and each factor responds to rather different forces. But demographers generally agree that people move to California mainly for economic reasons. EARN HI EXECUTIVE LEVEL INCOME NOW IN YOUR SPARE TIME! FIRST TIME OFFERED! NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY- NO SELLING REQUIRED! In only 1-10 hours per week In your spare time you could readily earn more money than In many hl-paylno full-tlma Jobs! 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