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PRN Calls on Obama Lawyers to Stand Down in Their Drug War on Patients and Doctors
Date:5/18/2009

WASHINGTON, May 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Pain Relief Network (PRN) is calling on the Obama Administration to require the Department of Justice to join the organization's recent filing of a Petition for a Writ of Certiorari before the United States Supreme Court on behalf of Dr. Sharon Johnston.

In his first interview since being confirmed to head the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, Gil Kerlikowske said Wednesday, May 13th, that the bellicose rhetoric represented by the characterization of drug criminalization as a "drug war" was a barrier to dealing with the nation's drug issues.

"Regardless of how you try to explain to people it's a 'war on drugs' or a 'war on a product,' people see a war as a war on them," he said. "We're not at war with people in this country."

"This is a great opportunity for the Obama Administration to put its money where its mouth is concerning what is perhaps the most damaging aspect of the failed War On Drugs," said Siobhan Reynolds, President of PRN and nationally renowned pain relief advocate. "The Department of Justice has been prosecuting physicians at a frightening clip. The DEA has charged some 400 doctors with violating Federal drug dealing laws within the context of their medical practices since 2003. While the DEA was clearly proud of the figure when it released it to the Orlando Sentinel, the Obama Administration should stop the carnage at once."

The Pain Relief Network is a national organization petitioning the United States Supreme Court to review the terrible injustice done to Dr. Sharon Johnston, of Ft. Myers, Florida, convicted by a bamboozled jury of "drug dealing" simply for treating undercover drug agents posing as patients in pain. Dr. Johnston is now serving 30 months in prison.

"Her sentence is actually fairly light, when compared with what occurred during the Bush Administration," said Reynolds. "Physicians across the country have been sentenced to 10, 20, sometimes 30 years in prison. One compassionate physician is serving several life sentences on trumped up charges."

Reynolds contends that the Johnston case provides the Obama Administration the opportunity to uphold the rule of law, rather than permit business as usual at the USDOJ. "Government lawyers appear to have forgotten that they took an oath to uphold the Constitution, not to destroy it."

As medicine is regulated in the 50 states, the case offers the Obama Justice Department the rare chance to reaffirm the architectural structure of our federal system by joining in the Pain Relief Network's 10th Amendment-based request for a full hearing by the court. "The Administration can also show substantive empathy right away, for the 50 million Americans in pain currently being denied pain treatment by doctors terrorized by the Department of Justice. These desperate Americans shouldn't be made to wait for the President to appoint a new justice."

For more information: http://painreliefnetwork.org/blog/to-the-obama-administration/.


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SOURCE Pain Relief Network
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