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Drug War Chronicle
(formerly The Week Online with DRCNet)

Issue #379 -- 3/18/05

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"Raising Awareness of the Consequences of Drug Prohibition"

Phillip S. Smith, Editor
David Borden, Executive Director

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

    Afhan opium: What to do about it?
  1. EDITORIAL: HOW TO LAUNCH A NATIONWIDE DRUG EPIDEMIC
    Congressional hearings on steroid use in baseball, with celebrity sports stars subpoenaed to be there, was the talk of the airwaves. If history is a guide, more teen steroid use may result.
  2. ALASKA MEASURE TO RECRIMINALIZE MARIJUANA HEADED FOR HEARINGS NEXT WEEK
    Thanks to rulings by the state Court of Appeals and Supreme Court, Alaska is the only state in the union to have legalized the possession of up to four ounces of marijuana in one's home. Republican Gov. Frank Murkowski doesn't like that, and he's trying to change it -- again.
  3. THE UN VIENNA MEETING: GLASS HALF EMPTY OR GLASS HALF FULL?
    Last week, Drug War Chronicle reported on the UN Office on Drugs and Crime Commission on Narcotic Drugs meeting in Vienna, but our deadline came before the meeting ended. This week we report on how it all turned out.
  4. MARIJUANA REGULATION EFFORTS MOVING FORWARD IN NEVADA AND VERMONT
    Efforts to regulate marijuana like alcohol and tobacco are underway at different ends of the country, with legislation in Vermont and a Nevada effort aiming at the 2006 ballot.
  5. MARIJUANA LAW ENFORCEMENT COSTS MORE THAN $7 BILLION A YEAR -- AND DOESN'T WORK, SAYS NEW REPORT
    A new report from the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws pegs the costs of marijuana law enforcement in the United States at $7.6 billion annually and finds that escalating marijuana arrests over the past two decades have failed to have any impact on marijuana use rates.
  6. COASTERS TO STOP THE DRUG WAR
    Order DRCNet's new Stop the Drug War coasters -- and enjoy your favorite beverages while talking about prohibition.
  7. EVENTS AND CONFERENCES COMING UP FOR DRUG REFORMERS -- COME OUT AND BE A PART OF IT
    Events and conferences are coming up around the country -- come out and get to know the people in the movement!
  8. NEWSBRIEF: THIS WEEK'S CORRUPT COPS STORIES
    Another slow week on the corruption front -- nothing spectacularly evil, just the same old banal personal corruption of cops and jailers who either couldn't resist temptation or let their habits get on top of them. But the taint of drug law-related corruption is cumulative, and each story like this adds to the general impression of police run amok.
  9. NEWSBRIEF: US DRUG WAR HURTS WOMEN, SAYS NEW REPORT
    In a report released Thursday, the American Civil Liberties Union and two other groups charged that US drug policy is bringing severe, disproportionate harm to women
  10. NEWSBRIEF: WELFARE BILL AMENDED TO CUT FUNDING TO STATES THAT FAIL TO DRUG TEST WELFARE RECIPIENTS, BUT NONE CURRENTLY DO
    A bill that would extend welfare reform legislation enacted by Congress in 1996 would cut federal welfare funding to any state that does not require drug tests for those applying for or receiving welfare benefits. But at least one state has seen such policies struck down as unconstitutional by a federal court.
  11. NEWSBRIEF: POLICE IN MISSOURI TOWN SEEK TO OVERTURN MARIJUANA REFORM ORDINANCE
    Police in Columbia, Missouri, are trying to overturn a voter-approved law that spares students from financial aid loss by treating marijuana possession as a municipal ticketable offense rather than a prosecutable state one.
  12. NEWSBRIEF: HEROIN MAINTENANCE STUDY NOW UNDERWAY IN VANCOUVER
    The NAOMI heroin maintenance pilot project got underway Monday in Vancouver, with three users becoming the first in North America to participate in such a program, receiving and injecting free heroin in NAOMI's highly secure facility in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.
  13. NEWSBRIEF: VANCOUVER SUN SAYS LEGALIZE IT
    In a four-day series of editorials last week, British Columbia's largest newspaper, the Vancouver Sun, called for the legalization of marijuana. The editorial series came as parliament considers a middle-ground measure to decriminalize pot possession and as Canada reeled from the killings of four Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers in a raid only tangentially -- but sensationally -- linked to a small marijuana grow-op in Alberta.
  14. NEWSBRIEF: UN PREDICTS COCAINE PRICE INCREASE, CITES COLOMBIA "SUCCESS"
    The top United Nations anti-drug official in Colombia has predicted that cocaine prices in the United States and Europe will rise next year because of US-sponsored aerial fumigation of coca. But officials couldn't explain why there've been no signs of it so far.
  15. NEWSBRIEF: EUROPEAN DRUG THINK-TANK CALLS FOR LEGALIZING AFGHAN OPIUM CROP -- AFGHAN GOVERNMENT REACTION MIXED
    A Paris-based drug policy think-tank called last week for Afghanistan's record illicit opium crop to be regularized, with farmers licensed to grow poppies for medicines such as morphine and codeine. Government ministers have made conflicting statements about the idea.
  16. NEWSBRIEF: CRACKDOWN IN SAO PAULO'S "CRACKLAND" STIRS CRITICISM
    A police crackdown on crack cocaine users and homeless people in the central Sao Paulo area known as Cracolandia has drawn criticism from Brazilian harm reduction groups.
  17. MEDIA SCAN
    Tony Papa on Artists Against the Drug War for Alternet, Slate on the WTO and Marijuana Laws, UK Overdosing on Opiates Article
  18. THIS WEEK IN HISTORY
    Events and quotes of note from this week's drug policy events of years past.
  19. MAPS BENEFIT AUCTION
    The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies is hosting an online benefit auction this week on E-Bay.
  20. THE REFORMER'S CALENDAR
    Showing up at an event can be the best way to get involved! Check out this week's listings for events from today through next year, across the US and around the world!

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