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Drug War Chronicle #542 - July 11, 2008

1. Editorial: Do Drug Laws Affect Drug Use Rates? Evidently Not

Another major study has shown that drug policy doesn't affect drug use rates, and we already know the drug war doesn't affect sales. But we know the harm that prohibition does. So what's the point?

2. Feature: Vested Interests of Prohibition I: The Police

Who profits from drug prohibition? With this article we begin our occasional series on Vested Interests of Prohibition, and we begin with a law enforcement establishment grown fat off drug war bounty.

3. Feature: Despite Harsh Drug Policies, US Leads in Cannabis, Cocaine Use, Global Survey Finds

An international survey covering 54,000 people in 17 countries representing all regions of the globe has found that the US leads the world in cannabis and cocaine use rate despite decades of harsh policies aimed at users. That strongly suggests harsh drug policies don't necessarily result in lower use rates, the researchers said.

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

Cops in LA and New York get caught lying about drug busts, a couple of Indiana cops get in trouble, an Alabama cop is headed for prison, and, of course, more jail guards get caught.

7. Marijuana: Massachusetts Decrim Initiative Approved for November Ballot

The Massachusetts State Secretary has certified for the November ballot an initiative that would decriminalize marijuana possession in the Bay State.

8. Marijuana: Oregon Initiative For Regulated Sales Starts Gathering Signatures

Oregon already has decriminalization and medical marijuana. Now, some state activists have launched an initiative campaign to allow for taxed and regulated sales to adults. If they can get the required signatures, the measure will be on the 2010 ballot.

9. Pain Medicine: Pain Relief Network Sues State of Washington Over Narcotic Prescribing Guidelines

A pain patients' and doctors' advocacy group has filed a lawsuit challenging opioid prescribing guidelines promulgated by the state of Washington.

10. Marijuana: Georgia Grand Jury Foreman Says Legalize It

Grand juries are usually noted for their compliance with prosecutorial desires, but at the end of their terms, they get to issue reports on what they experienced and recommendations for improvements. A Georgia grand jury foreman has used that opportunity to call for marijuana legalization.

11. Drug Prohibition: No Clue in the Texas Legislature

Over the years, the Texas legislature has developed a reputation for producing some less than bright ideas, among other unsavory qualities. This week, one Texas legislator seemed determined to win this year's crown.

12. Latin America: Ecuador Assembly Pardons Hundreds of Drug Mules

Last year, Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa, whose father had done time in US jails as a drug courier, vowed to release hundreds of low-level drug mules serving long sentences. Now, the country's legislative organ has turned that vow into reality.

13. Middle East: Iraq Becomes Key Conduit in Global Drug Trade

Instability fostered by the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 has led to the embattled country becoming a key conduit for Afghan opium to Europe and the Middle East. Drug use rates are rising, too.

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

"If Police Don't Find Anything During a Drug Raid, Should They Have To Fix the Damage?," "'Clearly there's no LSD, and how long does it take to test a chocolate-chip cookie for marijuana?'," "Do Pharmaceutical Companies Support Marijuana Prohibition?," "Police Refuse to Take Responsibility For Botched Drug Raid," "Police Discover World's Most Expensive Marijuana," "Congressional Black Caucus Members Try to Ban Menthol Cigarettes," "Almost Any Drug Offense Can Keep You from Becoming a Citizen or Getting a Green Card."

16. Job Opportunity: Harm Reduction Counselor/Driver, FROST'D @ Harlem United, New York City

The Foundation for Research on Sexually Transmitted Diseases, a harm reduction agency in New York City, is hiring.

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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