Drug War Chronicle #635 - June 4, 2010

1. Feature: Schwarzenegger Trying to Gut California Methadone Funding in Budget Move

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger wants to help balance the budget by cutting out almost all Medi-Cal funding for more than 35,000 methadone maintenance patients. The nicest thing opponents can say about that idea is that it's penny wise but pound foolish, and the legislature seems to agree. But the Governator can still wield the line-item veto, so the fight isn't over yet.

2. Feature: Arizona Medical Marijuana Initiative Will Be on November Ballot

Arizona voters have already approved medical marijuana twice, only to have it taken away by the legislature in 1996 and shot down by bad drafting language in 1998. Now, they have a third shot at it, and organizers say they've gotten everything right.

3. Imprisonment: US Jail Population Declines for the First Time in Decades

For years, the annual Bureau of Justice Statistics jail population report has had the same bottom line: The jail population is up again. Not this year.

4. Conference: New Directions: A Public Health and Safety Approach to Drug Policy, June 17, Capitol Hill, DC

A coalition of organizations -- StoptheDrugWar.org is a partner in it -- is presenting the first full-day conference on drug policy reform on Capitol Hill. And it's free.

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

This week we have three cops whose drug habits got them into trouble. It is Chronicle policy not to include police officers whose only offense is drug possession in this column. Dope-snorting cops may be hypocrites -- depending on whether they personally do drug possession arrests -- but that doesn't make them corrupt. But in all three cases below, officers who used drugs also did something crooked.

6. Marijuana: Detroit Possession Legalization Initiative Approved

Detroit led the way in approving medical marijuana in Michigan. Now, it's poised to lead the way in legalizing the possession of up to an ounce by adults.

7. Marijuana Legalization: California Tax and Regulate Has Eight-Point Lead in Latest Poll, But Still Under 50%

A ballot initiative needs 50% plus one vote to win, and California's "Tax Cannabis" measure isn't there yet. But the latest poll shows it eight points ahead, meaning only one out of five undecided voters needs to go for it to push it over the top.

8. Marijuana: Legalization Has Majority Support in Washington State, Poll Finds

A signature gathering campaign underway in Washington state to put a marijuana legalization initiative on the November ballot should get a boost from a new poll. It uses the same language as the initiative and finds 52% of registered voters say "Legalize it!"

9. Sentencing: South Carolina Governor Signs Reform Bill, Will End Mandatory Minimums for Some Drug Offenses

You know times are tough when even GOP-dominated legislatures in the Deep South are passing sentencing reform bills. It's not so much bleeding hearts as bleeding wallets.

10. Opiate Maintenance: Prescribing Heroin to Hard-Core Addicts Keeps Them Off Street Smack, British Study Finds

Britishers researchers are calling on the government to roll out heroin maintenance programs for chronic addicts who don't respond to other treatments. They've just released a new clinical study that makes their case.

11. Marijuana: Study Finds Minimal Changes in Driving Performance After Smoking

The drug czar is warning about dangerous potheads on the nation's highways, but some new clinical findings suggest there's less here than meets the eye.

12. Weekly: This Week in History

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

13. 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!

14. Weekly: Blogging @ the Speakeasy

"Jamaica Says It Can Win Its Drug War for $1 Billion," "Margaret Polovchak Wants to Put Cancer Patients in Jail," "Paul Armentano Talks Legalization on FOX News," "Aaron Houston is a Patriot and a Hero," "Mall Security Freaks Out Over Guy Wearing Marijuana T-Shirt," "Teachers Suspended for Showing Flex Your Rights Video," "WARNING: Recent Claims That the Drug War Is Over Are False."

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. 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.

Drug War Issues

Criminal JusticeAsset Forfeiture, Collateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Court Rulings, Drug Courts, Due Process, Felony Disenfranchisement, Incarceration, Policing (2011 Drug War Killings, 2012 Drug War Killings, 2013 Drug War Killings, 2014 Drug War Killings, Arrests, Eradication, Informants, Interdiction, Lowest Priority Policies, Police Corruption, Police Raids, Profiling, Search and Seizure, SWAT/Paramilitarization, Task Forces, Undercover Work), Probation or Parole, Prosecution, Reentry/Rehabilitation, Sentencing (Alternatives to Incarceration, Clemency and Pardon, Crack/Powder Cocaine Disparity, Death Penalty, Decriminalization, Defelonization, Drug Free Zones, Mandatory Minimums, Rockefeller Drug Laws, Sentencing Guidelines)CultureArt, Celebrities, Counter-Culture, Music, Poetry/Literature, Television, TheaterDrug UseParaphernalia, ViolenceIntersecting IssuesCollateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Violence, Border, Budgets/Taxes/Economics, Business, Civil Rights, Driving, Economics, Education (College Aid), Employment, Environment, Families, Free Speech, Gun Policy, Human Rights, Immigration, Militarization, Money Laundering, Pregnancy, Privacy (Search and Seizure, Drug Testing), Race, Religion, Science, Sports, Women's IssuesMarijuana PolicyGateway Theory, Hemp, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Marijuana Industry, Medical MarijuanaMedicineMedical Marijuana, Science of Drugs, Under-treatment of PainPublic HealthAddiction, Addiction Treatment (Science of Drugs), Drug Education, Drug Prevention, Drug-Related AIDS/HIV or Hepatitis C, Harm Reduction (Methadone & Other Opiate Maintenance, Needle Exchange, Overdose Prevention, Safe Injection Sites)Source and Transit CountriesAndean Drug War, Coca, Hashish, Mexican Drug War, Opium ProductionSpecific DrugsAlcohol, Ayahuasca, Cocaine (Crack Cocaine), Ecstasy, Heroin, Ibogaine, ketamine, Khat, Marijuana (Gateway Theory, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Medical Marijuana, Hashish), Methamphetamine, New Synthetic Drugs (Synthetic Cannabinoids, Synthetic Stimulants), Nicotine, Prescription Opiates (Fentanyl, Oxycontin), Psychedelics (LSD, Mescaline, Peyote, Salvia Divinorum)YouthGrade School, Post-Secondary School, Raves, Secondary School