Drug War Chronicle #540 - June 20, 2008

1. Feature: US Drug Policies Flawed and Failed, Experts Tell Congressional Committee

In a historic US Congress Joint Economic Committee hearing Thursday, Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) opened up discussion on the Hill of the economic costs of US drug policy.

2. Feature: Amsterdam, Connecticut? Drug Reformer With Bold Vision Seeks State Office, Radical Change

A former Navy officer and drug fighter turned drug reformer is running for the state House of Representatives in Connecticut. He's calling for safe injection sites, opiate maintenance, and taxed and regulated marijuana sales, and he could use your help.

3. Law Enforcement: SWAT Run Amok

A Chicago SWAT raid of a social club and the killing of a homeowner in a Florida SWAT raid that netted less than an ounce of marijuana are the latest incidents to put heavy-handed police tactics in the spotlight.

4. Students: Intern at DRCNet and Help Stop the Drug War!

Apply for an internship at DRCNet for this fall (or spring), and you could spend the semester fighting the good fight!

5. Help Needed: Drug War Chronicle Seeking Cases of Informant Abuse

Drug War Chronicle is seeking information on serious police misconduct or misjudgments in the treatment of informants. Confidentiality will be protected.

6. Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Trouble in the Hoosier State this week, with some Indy cops busted for ripping off pot dealers and selling their wares and a Muncie drug task force being investigated over its asset forfeiture practices. Also, a Wyoming jailer steals his cop father's drug dog pot stash, and a Massachusetts cop cops a plea.

7. Medical Marijuana: Bill Passes New York Assembly, Senate Must Act By Monday

For the second year in a row, the New York Assembly has passed a medical marijuana bill. But the state Senate must act by Monday, when the legislature recesses, or the effort to enact a medical marijuana law in the Empire State will be dead for this year.

8. Medical Marijuana: Massachusetts Entrepreneur Gets Monopoly Distribution Initiative on Michigan Town Ballot -- Officials Surprised and Confused

A Massachusetts man has gotten a medical marijuana distribution initiative on the ballot in Ferndale, Michigan. Is he positioning himself to cash in when (and if) voters approve a statewide medical marijuana initiative in November?

9. Press Release: New Report Finds Teen Marijuana Use Down in States With Medical Marijuana Laws

Opponents of medical marijuana sometimes argue that allowing it will encourage kids to smoke pot. But new report coauthored by SUNY Albany researcher Dr. Mitch Earleywine has found that teen marijuana use has actually declined in states that have medical marijuana laws, and more markedly than national averages.

10. Europe: Amsterdam's Coffee Shops Brace for Tobacco Smoking Ban

A Dutch ban on tobacco smoking in public venues has Amsterdam's coffee shop owners worried. Smoking marijuana remains okay, but those Euro-style tobacco-laced joints will be forbidden.

11. Latin America: Coca Production Up Last Year, UN Reports

Coca production in the Andes was up last year, the UN reported this week. The biggest percentage increase was in Colombia, where years of US-funded herbicide spraying have failed to stop farmers.

12. Middle East: Israel to Ban Bong Sales?

The Law, Constitution, and Justice Committee of Israel's Knesset (parliament) has approved a measure that would ban the sale of bongs, or water pipes often used to smoke marijuana. It has two more readings to go and then a floor vote to become law.

13. Latin America: Human Rights a Casualty in Chihuahua's Drug War

The Mexican army undertook Operation Join Together Chihuahua in March, as thousands of troops poured into the Mexican border state. As has been the case elsewhere in Mexico, the arrival of the troops has been followed by a growing chorus of human rights complaints.

14. Weekly: This Week in History

Events and quotes of note from this week's drug policy events of years past.

15. Weekly: Blogging @ the Speakeasy

"Dutch Smoking Ban Could Improve Marijuana Quality," "Drug Cops Shouldn't be Paid With Confiscated Drug Money, But They Are," "Increased Pot Potency Just Proves That Marijuana Laws Have Failed," "Why You Shouldn't Try to Eat Your Marijuana if You're Pulled Over," "U.S. Government Stopped Research After Finding That Marijuana Slowed Cancer Growth," "Mexican Drug War Analysis: It's Not Going Well."

16. Job Opportunity: Director of State Policies, Marijuana Policy Project, Washington, DC

The Marijuana Policy Project is seeking a seasoned professional to fill the position of Director of State Policies in MPP's headquarters in Washington, DC. The Director of State Policies manages MPP's grassroots and direct lobbying efforts in all state legislatures.

17. Feedback: Do You Read Drug War Chronicle?

Do you read Drug War Chronicle? If so, we need your feedback to evaluate our work and make the case for Drug War Chronicle to funders. We need donations too.

18. Webmasters: Help the Movement by Running DRCNet Syndication Feeds on Your Web Site!

Support the cause by featuring automatically-updating Drug War Chronicle and other DRCNet content links on your web site!

19. Resource: DRCNet Web Site Offers Wide Array of RSS Feeds for Your Reader

A new way for you to receive DRCNet articles -- Drug War Chronicle and more -- is now available.

20. Resource: Reformer's Calendar Accessible Through DRCNet Web Site

Visit our new web site each day to see a running countdown to the events coming up the soonest, and more.
Permission to Reprint: This issue of Drug War Chronicle is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Articles of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.

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