Drug War Chronicle #623 - March 12, 2010

1. Feature: Senate Judiciary Committee Unanimously Passes Bill to Reduce Crack/Powder Cocaine Sentencing Disparity

The Senate Judiciary Committee has unanimously approved a bill that would reduce -- but not eliminate -- the infamous sentencing disparity between federal crack and powder cocaine offenses. The House Judiciary Committee has already passed a similar measure that would completely eliminate the disparity. Now it is up to the House and Senate leadership to get those bills to a floor vote, and advocates say it is the House bill that should move.

2. Feature: Ibogaine Forum 2010 -- Mourning the Movement's "Tare," Celebrating New Hopes for Research and Development

Ibogaine is touted by a growing number of proponents as an addiction cure. The African herb still hasn't gotten mainstream respect, but that may be about to change, if the 2010 Ibogaine Conference is any indication.

3. Drug War Chronicle Book Review: "In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters With Addiction," by Dr. Gabor Maté (2010, North Atlantic Books, 468 pp., $17.95 PB)

Being a thoughtful, compassionate, and curious physician dealing with hard-core addicts in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside makes Dr. Gabor Maté especially well-placed to write an important book about addiction. He has done so. You should read it.

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

Bad cops, bad cops, whatcha gonna do when they come for you? Although the Chronicle took a week off last week, corrupt cops didn't. Here are two weeks' worth of rogues and villains.

5. Latin America: Mexico Drug War Update

It's been a hard couple of weeks in Mexico. At least 375 people were killed in prohibition-related violence, including many police officers.

6. Harm Reduction: Washington State "911 Good Samaritan Law" to Go Into Effect in June

Somebody overdosing, but his companions are afraid to call for help for fear of getting busted? You won't have to worry about that anymore in Washington state -- unless you're the dealer.

7. Prisoner Reentry: New Mexico Becomes Second State to Ban Criminal History Queries in Public Job Applications

Looking for a job, but have a criminal record? You'll find a little more forgiveness now in New Mexico.

8. Prohibition: Kansas Becomes First State to Ban K2

The Puritan impulse remains alive and well in Kansas. When confronted with the notion that someone had found a way to get high that wasn't illegal, Kansas responded by making it illegal.

9. Marijuana: Hawaii Senate Passes Three Different Reform Measures

The Hawaii legislature has overwhelmingly passed not one, not two, but three different marijuana reform measures -- two dealing with medical marijuana and one with decriminalization. Now, the Aloha State needs a strong showing in the House to avert a likely gubernatorial veto attempt.

10. Marijuana: New Hampshire House Passes Decriminalization Bill, But Without Veto-Proof Majority

For the third year in a row, the New Hampshire House of Delegates has passed marijuana reform legislation. But it looks like for the third year in a row, it will be killed by a gubernatorial veto -- if it gets that far.

11. Did You Know? Pharmaceutical Drugs Based on Cannabis, on ProCon.org

MedicalMarijuana.ProCon.org, part of the ProCon.org family, is an in-depth web site presenting information and views from a variety of perspectives on the medical marijuana issue. The Chronicle is running a series of info items from ProCon.org over the next several weeks, and we encourage you to check it out.

12. Weekly: Blogging @ the Speakeasy

"Long-time Drug Warrior Changes His Mind, Supports Medical Marijuana and Decriminalization," "Six Groups Who Benefit From the Drug War," "Stupid Arguments Against Medical Marijuana, Part 1," "Stupid Arguments Against Medical Marijuana, Part 2," "Everything You Need to Know About Marijuana Legalization," "How Many Cops Does It Take to Bust a Marijuana User?"

13. Weekly: This Week in History

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

14. 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!

15. 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.

16. Job Opportunities: Drug Policy Alliance, New York and New Mexico Offices

The Drug Policy Alliance is hiring a state director in New Mexico, and a National Organizing and Field Director working from New York.
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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