This Friday marks the 45th anniversary of one of the most controversial and criticized crime-reduction policies in our nation’s history. On June 17, 1971 Richard Nixon’s administration published a special message from the President to the Congress on Drug Abuse Prevention and Control declaring drug abuse as “public enemy number one” in the U.S. The message included language about devoting more federal resources to this cause, in the hopes of “prevention of new addicts, and the rehabilitation of those who are addicted.” While that goal seemed to be born of the noble intentions, the resulting policy, widely known as the “War on Drugs,” has played out less as a strategy to protect people from the perils of substance abuse and more as a witch hunt, vilifying any connection to drugs and lumping minor offenders in with serious criminals. In addition to costing the U.S. roughly $51 billion annually to maintain, the War on Drugs leans heavily on the cooperation of confidential informants. Law enforcement recruits these informants by leveraging their own (often minor) drug offenses to compel them to cooperate. While acting as an informant is often portrayed to minor drug offenders as a path toward retribution and reduction of punishments, the glaring reality remains that these practices frequently thrust largely defenseless, unaware young offenders into dangerous circumstances. “Today’s drug war involves a countless number of confidential informants – many of which are young people who are busted for a small amount of drugs and then coerced into making much higher-level deals, putting them in very dangerous situations” says Derek Rosenfeld of the Drug Policy Alliance. The DPA, the leading organization in the U.S. working on alternatives to the Drug War, has spent years fighting for more sensible drug abuse prevention policies. As the DPA’s Tony Newman explains, “There are so many sick aspects of the failed drug war, but law enforcement forcing people with a drug arrest to choose between a draconian prison sentence or becoming an informant is one of the most nauseating.”Beginning with an “Action Day” pre-party today and running through Sunday, The Purple Hatter’s Ball at Spirit of Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, FL this weekend aims to call attention to one such case—the tragic story of Rachel Morningstar Hoffman. After being arrested for possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, Hoffman, a 23-year-old FSU graduate, was compelled to participate in a large-scale buy-bust operation involving 1,500 ecstasy pills, 2 ounces of cocaine, a handgun, and $13,000 cash. The deal went south, and Hoffman was murdered in the process. In her memory, the Purple Hatter’s Ball seeks to increase awareness of ongoing miscarriages of justice under the umbrella of the War on Drugs, inspire reform to drug-related policies like the Confidential Informant Law, and inspire people to lead healthier, safer lives in the live music community and beyond.How One Mother Turned Tragedy Into Triumph: The Rachel Morningstar Hoffman StoryFor more information on Rachel Morningstar Hoffman and the Purple Hatter’s Ball, visit the festival’s website.
… Over $100 000, 2 dwt of gold and other prizes up for grabsTHE highly-anticipated FIFA20 eSports tournament ‘League of Champions’, which is being hosted by iBet Supreme, has received a tremendous boost through additional sponsors who have joined the team. This means that more prizes will be there for the taking as 32 contestants will go head-to-head through online clashes on eight playing days across two weeks.Local grill, The Smoke Shack, will be providing a trophy for the winner while A&A Game Spot has put up two pennyweight (dwt) of gold as an additional incentive for the outright winner. Camex Restaurants, through their Church’s Chicken franchise, will also be supplying meals for the top three finishers in the tournament.Meanwhile, television and radio broadcasting giant, the National Communication Network, will be playing their supporting role with a live broadcast of the semi-finals and final of the tournament.In addition to a trophy, a special meal package from Church’s and two dwt of gold, the winner will pocket $50 000 and a case of Monster Energy drinks while the runner-up will receive $25 000 and the same prizes as the winner (excluding a trophy and the gold). Third place will also walk away with $15 000 and the corresponding prizes.The initiative was launched as a means of helping to enforce the fight against the global pandemic, COVID-19. Through this tournament iBet Supreme is looking to provide entertainment while reinforcing the necessary measures needed as part of its corporate responsibility.The ‘League of Champions’ will be played online so that participants won’t have to leave their homes, thus adhering to the laws governing the current COVID-19 situation.The criteria for interested persons are as follows: provision of name, address, date of birth (must be 18 or older), PSN ID, Internet Connection Type, team to be played with (no international teams, strictly club team to be used throughout the entirety of the tournament).Registration is already open and for additional tournament information gamers are being encouraged to call 608-7036. The first match day is set for Saturday, April 18, 2020.Supreme Ventures, a well-respected and well-regulated company, operates its Guyanese brand, iBet Supreme, through Supreme Ventures Guyana Holdings Inc. (SVGH) and Supreme Ventures Enterprise Inc. (SVE).