Drug War Chronicle #546 - August 8, 2008

1. Feature: Feds Score Another Conviction Against a California Medical Marijuana Dispensary Operator

Federal prosecutors won another conviction against a California medical marijuana dispensary operator this week. It's easy pickings when the defense can't mention medical marijuana, and it raises issues about how to deal with local law enforcement officials who work with the feds to get around state law.

2. Law Enforcement: Killer Cop Walks in Ohio SWAT Raid Shooting, Relatives File Wrongful Death Suit

A Lima, Ohio, police sergeant who shot and killed an unarmed woman and wounded her infant son during a SWAT raid was acquitted on all counts this week. He only faced eight months, anyway. But this story isn't over -- relatives have now filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city and the shooter.

3. Offer: Unique and Important New Book on Medical Marijuana

"Dying to Get High," by sociologists Wendy Chapkis and Richard Webb, is a groundbreaking work that provides an in-depth portrait of one of the country's most well-known medical marijuana collectives.

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. Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A Boston cop goes to prison for being muscle for drug dealers, and a Miami-area cop and two prison guards get caught up in a massive Oxycontin and health fraud scandal.

6. Medical Marijuana: California Appeals Court Upholds State Law, Rejects San Diego County Claim

In a victory for California's medical marijuana law, a state appeals court has rejected a challenge to the law from San Diego County. But it isn't over yet. The county said Tuesday it would appeal to the state Supreme Court.

7. Medical Marijuana: National MS Society Takes Half-Step Toward Recognizing Therapeutic Uses

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society is calling for more research on medical marijuana. While that's only a half-step on the society's part, it's a half-step forward.

8. Marijuana: Arizona Court of Appeals Rejects Religious Defense

The Arizona Court of Appeals has rejected a religious defense for marijuana use and possession.

9. Latin America: Argentine President Calls for Decriminalization of Drug Possession, Inclusion of Harm Reduction in National Drug Strategy

Argentina's president last week called for the decriminalization of drug possession, lending her support to a bill introduced last year by her justice minister and giving an implicit nod to a series of recent Argentine court decisions that have rejected punishing drug users.

10. Latin America: Peru Constitutional Court Overturns State Law Okaying Coca Crops

In a bid to regularize the situation of coca growers, one Peruvian department earlier this year moved to legalize the crop. This week, the country's highest constitutional court overturned that move, saying only the national government can set drug policy.

11. Southeast Asia: Drug User Group Demonstrates for Legal Drug Use in Jakarta

Drug user activists handed out brochures called for the legalization of drug use in some of Jakarta's most notorious dope-dealing hot-spots this week. It was the second user demonstration this summer in Indonesia.

12. Southeast Asia: DEA Bringing Drug War Tactics to Vietnam

DEA trainers are in Vietnam this month to show Vietnamese how to have a drug war American-style, but the UN's man on the scene doesn't find that particularly helpful.

13. Weekly: This Week in History

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

14. Weekly: Blogging @ the Speakeasy

"An Excellent Column on Marijuana Prohibition From Reuters," "Florida Prosecutor Stands Up For Rachel Hoffman, Refuses to Work With DEA," "After Killing His Dogs, Police Admit Mayor Calvo Was Probably Innocent," "DEA Secures Another Medical Marijuana Conviction by Lying in Court," "Police Are Confiscating Cars for Minor Drug Crimes," "Cop Acquitted After Killing Unarmed Mother and Shooting Her Baby," "Marijuana Offers Hope For Battling Colon Cancer," "Hey Politicians, Reforming Marijuana Laws is Smart Politics," "More Video of Drug Reformers and Their Encounters with the 'Other Side' at the UN in Vienna Last Month"

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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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