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Drug War Chronicle #613 - December 18, 2009

1. The Year on Drugs 2009: International Drug Policy Developments

The war in Afghanistan, the rising tide of drug reform in Latin America, and battles over drug policies in European countries are among the dominant international drug policy stories of 2009. (Next issue we'll review the top domestic stories.)

2. Medical Marijuana: Congress Finally Lets District of Columbia Go for It

And then there were 14! The last congressional obstacle to the District of Columbia actually being able to implement its medical marijuana law has fallen. Now, DC bureaucrats and would-be medical marijuana entrepreneurs are scrambling.

3. Appeal: Did You Know That We Are WINNING?

Unprecedented developments have us more optimistic than ever before at the prospects for significant change in drug policy.

4. West Coast Weed Wars: Legalizing Legislators Come Out Swinging

Will 2010 be the year the first state legalizes marijuana? If California Assemblyman Tom Ammiano and Washington Representative Roger Goodman have their way, two states will do so.

5. Latin America: Mexico Drug War Update

The Mexican government scored a victory this week with the killing of Beltran Leyva cartel head Arturo Beltran Leyva, but will it turn out to be a pyrrhic victory? Knocking off cartel heads in the past has typically led to renewed infighting as rivals vie to replace them.

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

A quiet week -- perhaps it's the holidays -- yields a Carolina two-fer of corrupt cops.

7. Medical Marijuana: New Jersey Patient Acquitted of Most Serious Charge, Convicted of Others

New Jersey medical marijuana patient John Ray Wilson was found guilty of marijuana manufacture yesterday, but the jury refused to convict him on the most serious charge. The verdict came after the trial judge partially reversed himself and allowed Wilson to utter one sentence to the jury about his illness and his use of medical marijuana. Supporters are seeking a pardon from outgoing Gov. Jon Corzine.

8. Medical Marijuana: Wisconsin Bill Gets Public Hearing

The Wisconsin medical marijuana bill was only introduced last month, but Tuesday it got a joint hearing from the Assembly and Senate Health Committees. The Democratic legislative leadership and the Democratic governor are all on board, so it could move quickly.

9. Search and Seizure: Ohio Supreme Court Rules Police Need Warrant to Search Cell Phones

The Ohio Supreme Court has taken a stab at a largely yet-to-be-adjudicated area of Fourth Amendment law. In a ruling Tuesday, it held that police must obtain a search warrant to search an arrestee's cell phone.

10. Europe: Czech Government Announces Decriminalization Quantities -- Law Goes Into Effect New Year's Day

On New Year's Day, the Czech Republic will join Portugal among European countries that have decriminalized drug possession for personal use. The Czech cabinet Monday approved quantity limits on the amounts that will be decriminalized.

11. The Caribbean: Jamaica Lawmakers Calls for Ganja Decriminalization

It has been eight years since Jamaica's National Commission on Ganja recommended decriminalization. Now, a leading lawmaker is trying to reactivate the debate.

12. Weekly: This Week in History

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

13. 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.

14. Weekly: Blogging @ the Speakeasy

"NJ Medical Marijuana Patient Not Guilty on First-Degree Felony Charges," "There's No Economic Crisis for the Drug Cartels," "Another Crazy Medical Marijuana Lie from the Drug Czar," "NJ Medical Marijuana Trial Takes an Interesting Turn," "'No One Threw Bong Water At Me, But It Came Pretty Close'," "Latest Drug War Lie: Debating Medical Marijuana Causes More Kids to Smoke Pot," "Man Gets Tased and Dies After Trying to Swallow Marijuana During Police Encounter."

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

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