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Drug War Chronicle #579 - April 3, 2009

1. Feature: "Dangerous" Drug Raids? Not So Much for Police -- Unless They Make Them So

Police say that aggressive drug raids are good at protecting police, but two dramatic officer deaths that were caused by those tactics suggest the opposite. So do the statistics -- only three law enforcement officers died conducting drug raids last year. At least that many citizens were killed, and who knows how many dogs.

2. Feature: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly -- New York Rockefeller Drug Law Reform on the Verge of Passage

By the time you read these words, the New York legislature has probably passed long-awaited reforms to the Rockefeller drug laws. Or not. An agreement between the state Assembly, Senate, and governor has been reached, but it ain't over until it's over -- and it ain't over yet.

3. Medical Marijuana: Oakland Cannabis Community Offers City Help on Taxes

Oaksterdam wants to pay more taxes! The unusual gesture could help Oakland raise revenues in tough times and win more legitimacy for the city's marijuana industry.

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

What's up with Pennsylvania? Yet more ugliness from the Keystone State, as well as the all too predictable border guard in trouble and jail guard with a bad habit.

5. Press Release: Representatives Barney Frank and Ron Paul Introduce Hemp Farming Legislation

With many American farmers struggling to make ends meet, the "Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2009," introduced this week by Representatives Barney Frank (D-MA) and Ron Paul (R-TX), would open up new opportunities for them to compete in the global industrial hemp market.

6. Drug Testing: Widely Publicized West Virginia Bill to Test People on Public Assistance Dies

A West Virginia bill that would have mandated random drug tests of people seeking unemployment benefits or food stamps met its deserved fate this week, dying without action in the legislature's House Judiciary Committee. But similar bills remain alive in a handful of states.

7. Pregnancy: Missouri Bill to Criminalize Drug Using Mothers-To-Be Faces Tough Scrutiny, Similar Tennessee Bills Die

Just what an expectant mother with a drug problem needs: To be arrested and go to jail. That's what one Missouri bill would do. Over in Tennessee, legislators showed some common sense by refusing to act on similar bills.

8. Marijuana: Connecticut Decriminalization Bill Wins Committee Vote

Will Connecticut be the next state to decriminalize marijuana possession? A bill is moving in the legislature, but a Republican governor is making veto noises -- again.

9. Medical Marijuana: Minnesota Bill Wins Committee Vote, Heads for Senate Floor

Minnesota's medical marijuana bill won its fourth and final Senate committee vote Thursday. It's won that many House committee votes, too. Floor votes loom, but so does the grim visage of a veto-wielding Republican governor.

10. Canada: With Conservative Government Pushing Tough Crime Package, Liberal MP Responds With Marijuana Decriminalization Bill

Canada's Conservative government is pushing a pair of tough on drugs and crime bills that would institute mandatory minimum sentencing, but the Liberals and the NDP are starting to push back.

11. Latin America: Mexican Drug War Targets Informal Saints of the Poor and the Narcos

Mexico's drug war took a strange turn last week as authorities took the battle to a pair of folk saints. Shrines to Santa Muerte and San Malverde were destroyed in Tijuana and on the highway south from Texas to Monterrey.

12. Weekly: This Week in History

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

13. Weekly: Blogging @ the Speakeasy

"Why Does Everyone Think Marijuana Legalization is Politically Risky?," "The Media's Approach to Marijuana Coverage Has Changed Dramatically," "'So How's This War on Drugs Going?'," "The Drug Czar's Office Doesn't Know What to Say About Marijuana," "Obama Doesn't Know What to Say About Marijuana," "Joe Biden's Daughter Allegedly Caught on Video Snorting Cocaine," "Maryland House Passes Bill to Monitor Use of SWAT Teams," "There are Many Different Kinds of Marijuana, But They're All Illegal," "Legislative Deal Made on Rockefeller Drug Laws," "How Dangerous is Drug Law Enforcement for Police? A: Apparently Not Very."

14. Job Opportunity: Policy Analyst/Content Editor, Common Sense for Drug Policy -- DRCNet Office in Washington, DC

Common Sense for Drug Policy is seeking an editorially-skilled individual to maintain and grow its network of web sites, including the in-depth online presentation on drug policy issues, DrugWarFacts.org.

15. Students: Intern at StoptheDrugWar (DRCNet) and Help Stop the Drug War!

Apply for an internship at DRCNet and you could spend a semester fighting the good fight!

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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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