Drug War Chronicle #634 - May 28, 2010

1. Feature: Reining in SWAT -- Towards Effective Oversight of Paramilitary Police Units

Dead kids, dead dogs, broken doors, broken windows... what can we do to rein in those SWAT teams? There are answers.

2. Feature: Jamaica Rocked As Kingston Drug Gangs Fight Police and Army -- At Least 73 Dead

This week's outbreak of violence between supporters of a drug gang leader and Jamaican police and soldiers in the Kingston slum neighborhood of Tivoli Gardens reveals not only the weakness of the Jamaican state, but also some usually obscure links between politicians and the underworld.

3. Marijuana: Canada's "Prince of Plot" Pleads Guilty, Accepts Five-Year Prison Sentence

Canadian marijuana activist and entrepreneur Marc Emery has now begun a journey toward freedom that will most likely take him five years to complete. He pleaded guilty in Seattle Monday.

4. The Border: Obama to Send 1,200 National Guard Troops in Bid to Fight Drugs

In what is most likely a bid to blunt a campaign issue -- border security -- for Republicans in this year's off-year elections, the Obama administration is sending more than a thousand troops to the Southwestern border.

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

Oh, lord, where to begin? The tweaker deputy sheriff stealing his supply from the evidence room? The sticky-fingered narc who got stung? The cop so cozy with his informant he was providing her with drugs he stole from his own wife? There's all that and more, this week -- including, of course, a crooked jail guard.

6. Latin America: Mexico Drug War Update

In Mexico, the killing continues with no end in sight. Here's the latest rundown.

7. Sentencing: Penalties for Some Colorado Drug Possession Decrease Under New Law

In a bid to save money and be smarter on crime, Colorado has enacted a package of bills that, among other things, will reduce some drug use and possession sentences, allow greater judicial flexibility in sentencing, and keep some technical parole violators from being sent back to prison. But the package also increases some drug sales and manufacturing sentences.

8. Public Opinion: Support for Legalizing and Taxing Marijuana at 49% in Colorado, Rasmussen Poll Finds

It looks like marijuana legalization is about as popular in Colorado as it is in California. A new Rasmussen poll has pot doing better than any of the state's gubernatorial or US Senate candidates.

9. Synthetic Cannabinoids: Georgia Becomes Latest State to Ban K2

Products like Spice and K2 that contain a synthetic cannabinoid that gets you kind of high have only appeared in the US in about the last year, but a number of states have already acted to ban them. Georgia is the latest.

10. Europe: Scottish Attitudes toward Drugs, Drug Users Harsh and Getting Harsher, Annual Poll Finds

Harm reductionists and drug reformers in Scotland have their work cut out for them, according to an annual national survey released this week. Support for marijuana legalization has declined dramatically, and attitudes toward heroin users are harsh, leading to declining public support for harm reduction.

11. Weekly: This Week in History

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

12. Appeal: 2010 is Important in Drug Policy -- And So Are You

2010 is a critical year in the effort to end prohibition and the war on drugs. The StoptheDrugWar.org (DRCNet) "Changing Minds, Changing Laws, Changing Lives" campaign is asking for you to pitch in -- your support is more important now than it has ever been before!

13. Weekly: Blogging @ the Speakeasy

"Vote for Legalization on Republican Online Forum," "More Proof That Marijuana Doesn't Make You Go Crazy," "Obama's Drug War Hypocrisy," "Cops Steal Money from 9-Year-Old Girl in Crazy Marijuana Raid," "Police Cut Down 400 Pot Plants, Then Realize It's Not Marijuana."

14. 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.

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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