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Drug War Chronicle #618 - January 29, 2010

1. Feature: Obama Nominates Drug Warrior Michele Leonhart to Head DEA -- Reformers Gird for Battle

The Obama administration has nominated the acting DEA administrator to be permanent DEA administrator. But this veteran DEA agent carries some baggage with her, and drug reformers are looking for ways to challenge the nomination.

2. Feature: Hundreds of Los Angeles Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Face Closure Under New Rules Passed by Council

America's second largest city has adopted regulations for medical marijuana dispensaries. But while medical marijuana advocates want the industry regulated, the new Los Angeles ordinance is being seen as unduly restrictive. This battle isn't over just yet.

3. Latin America: Mexico Drug War Update

Prohibition-related violence takes no breaks in Mexico. Another 162 people were killed in that country's drug wars in the past week.

4. Latin America: Mexico Proposes Banning Narcocorridos (Drug Ballads)

Los Tigres del Norte, Los Tucanes de Tijuana, and dozens of other narcocorrido performers better watch out. The Mexican government wants to throw them in jail over the contents of their songs.

5. Legalization: California Tax and Regulate Marijuana Initiative Hands in Signatures

Whee! It sure looks like marijuana legalization is going to be on the ballot in California this year. Richard Lee and his Tax and Regulate Cannabis 2010 initiative just handed in 700,000 signatures. They need 434,000 valid ones.

6. Law Enforcement: Maryland Bill Would Ban SWAT Teams for Misdemeanors

Those SWAT cops really shouldn't have shot the mayor's dogs. Last year, a raid gone bad led to ground-breaking Maryland legislation to begin reining-in aggressive SWAT teams. Now, the author of that bill is back with another. It's about time.

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

Cops punching drug suspects, deputies smuggling dope to a jailed gang leader, a probation officer trading clean drug tests for sexual favors, a cop who got in trouble when he overdosed on the dope he stole, a cop whose Oxycontin habit got the best of him, and, of course, more crooked prison and jail guards.

8. Prohibition: Ban on Spice, BZP Passes Kansas Senate

The Kansas Senate acted in fine prohibitionist form last week when it moved to ban a pair of synthetic cannabinoids and a synthetic stimulant without any evidence there was any problem with them.

9. Southeast Asia: Human Rights Watch Charges Torture, Rape, Illegal Detentions at Cambodian Drug "Rehab" Centers, Demands Shutdown

Cambodia's "drug treatment" centers are the scene of torture, rape, and abuse, said Human Rights Watch in a scathing report Monday calling for them to be shut down. Oh, and they don't do much drug treatment, either.

10. South Pacific: Leading Tahiti Political Figure Says Legalize Weed and Sell It to Tourists

The South Pacific breezes could grow balmier, the mai-tais yummier, and tourists' dispositions sunnier, if a leading Tahiti political figure gets his way.

11. Weekly: This Week in History

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

12. Weekly: Blogging @ the Speakeasy

"Obama Launches YouTube Forum on Legalizing Marijuana," "Cannabis Cups Causing Controversy in Medical Marijuana States," "Ruining Young Lives for Marijuana Possession," "Obama Chooses Terrible Nominee to Head the DEA," "When Police Mistake Candy for Crack...," "The Irrationality of Banning Marijuana Offenders from Working at Dispensaries."

13. 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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