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Marking Mother's Day With Calls for Reform [FEATURE]

On this Mother's Day, more than 100,000 women are behind bars in American prisons, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, and many of them are doing time for drug offenses. That's too many, said members of a new coalition, Moms United to End the War on Drugs, as they held events last week in the days running up to Mother's Day.

Gretchen Burns Bergman at the National Press Club (Moms United)
"The war on drugs is really a war on families," said Mom's United's Gretchen Burns Bergman. "It is time to end the stigmatization and criminalization of people who use drugs and move from arrest and mass incarceration to therapeutic, health-oriented strategies. Moms were the driving force in repealing alcohol prohibition and now moms will play a similar role in ending the war on drugs."

Bergman, from San Diego, is the mother of two sons who have struggled with substance abuse and incarceration and is a founder of A New PATH (Parents for Addiction Treatment & Healing). A New PATH has joined forces with other groups, including Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), the NORML Women's Alliance, Families to Amend California's Three Strikes, and Students for Sensible Drug Policy to form Moms United to agitate for an end to the drug war and a turn toward sensible, evidence-based drug policies.

The week leading up to Mother's Day was a week of action under the rubric of Cops and Moms Working Together to End Prohibition. The week saw events and press conferences in Atlanta, Boston, New York City, and Washington, DC, in the East and Los Angeles, San Diego, Oakland on the West Coast.

"Mother's Day was derived out of an intensely political effort to organize women on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line against the Civil War," said Sabrina Fendrick, coordinator for the NORML Women's Alliance. "The reason mothers were made the vehicle was because they were the ones whose children were dying in that war. Women were also largely responsible for ending alcohol prohibition. This is more than just a ‘greeting-card holiday,’ this is the beginning of an institutional change in our society. The government's war on drugs is unacceptable. For our children's sake, the concerned mothers of the world are being called on to demand the implementation of a rational, responsible, reality-based drug and marijuana policy."

Last Wednesday, at a San Diego press conference, the umbrella group unveiled the Moms United to End the War on Drugs Bill of Rights, a 12-point motherhood and drug reform manifesto which calls for "the right to nurture our offspring, and to advocate for their care and safety" and "the parental right to policies and practices that recognize addiction as a disease in need of treatment, rather than a willful behavior to be criminalized," as well as the right to have harm reduction and overdose prevention practices implemented, the right to be free from heavy-handed, constitution-threatening drug war policing, and the right to be free from drug war violence.

Moms United in Los Angeles (Moms United)
"If we stop arresting and incarcerating drug users, think of the number of children who would have the chance to look upon their parents as positive role models instead of having parents who are absent because they are incarcerated," the group said. "We have a moral and ethical obligation to give these children a better chance in life by allowing parents to take care of their families. These parents should have the opportunity to become the productive members of society and role models to their children that they want to be and that their children need and deserve."

The Bill of Rights has been endorsed by a number of religious, reform, and civil rights groups, and individuals can sign onto it, too. To sign on, go to the online petition.

"We are building a movement to stop the stigmatization and criminalization of people who use drugs or are addicted to drugs," the group said. "We urgently call for health-oriented strategies and widespread drug policy reform in order to stop the irresponsible waste of dollars and resources, and the devastating loss of lives and liberty."

It's not just Moms United who is using Mother's Day to strike a blow for drug reform. In Colorado, where Amendment 64 to legalize and regulate marijuana is on the ballot, the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol is running a television ad featuring a young woman writing an email to her mother in which she explains that she has found her marijuana use to be safer and healthier than the drinking she did in college.

The ad is aimed at a demographic that is both critical to and difficult for the campaign: women in their 30s and 40s, many of whom are mothers. The ad appeared Friday and again on Mother's Day.

"Our goal with the ad is to start a conversation -- and encourage others to start their own conversations -- about marijuana," Betty Aldworth, the advocacy director for the campaign.

And it's not just the United States, either. In mother-honoring Mexico, which marked Mother's Day on Thursday, hundreds of women and other family members traveled to Mexico City on the National March for Dignity to demand that the government locate their loved ones gone missing in the drug wars, according to the Frontera NorteSur news service.

"They took them alive, and alive we want them," the marchers chanted.

While the drug wars in Mexico have claimed at least 50,000 lives, including 49 people whose dismembered bodies were found on a highway outside Monterrey Sunday morning, thousands more have gone missing, either simply vanished or last seen in the hands of armed, uniformed men.

The Mexican government doesn't report on how many have gone missing in its campaign against the cartels, but the Inter-American Human Rights Commission counts more than 5,000 missing persons complaints filed with police -- and this in a country where many people so mistrust the police they don't bother to file official reports.

"For some it has been years, for others months or days, of walking alone, of clamoring in the desert of the hallways of indolent and irresponsible authorities, many of them directly responsible for disappearances or complicit with those who took our loved ones away," the mothers' group said.

On Mother's Day, many mothers in Mexico have "nothing to celebrate," said Norma Ledezma, cofounder of Justice for Our Daughters in Chihuahua City. "As families, we want to take this occasion to tell society not to forget that in Mexico there is home with a plate and a seat empty."

"We have walked alone in the middle of stares and stigmatizing commentaries, and we have been treated like lepers, marginalized and condemned to the worst pain a human being could live: not knowing the whereabouts of our sons and daughters," the new mother's movement declared. "But now we are not alone. We have found hundreds of mothers and we unite our clamor and our love to recover our loved ones and bring them home."

On Mother's Day, the agony of the drug war transcends borders. And the call from mothers for a more sane and human alternative continues to grow, from Chihuahua to Chicago and from Oaxaca to Washington.

Bills to Drug Test the Poor Face Tough Going [FEATURE]

With states facing severe budget pressures, bills to require drug testing to apply for or receive public benefits -- welfare, unemployment benefits, even Medicaid -- have been all the rage at Republican-dominated state houses this year. Fail the drug test and lose your benefits. The bills carry a powerful appeal that plays well even beyond typically Republican constituencies, combining class, gender and racial stereotypes with a distaste for wasteful government spending. But they have also faced surprisingly tough opposition.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) workshop, District of Columbia
"If you have enough money to be able to buy drugs, then you don't need the public assistance," Colorado Rep. Jerry Sonnenberg told the Associated Press in March after sponsoring a welfare drug testing bill. "I don't want tax dollars spent on drugs."

"The message of this bill is simple: Oklahomans should not have their taxes used to fund illegal drug activity,” said state Rep. Guy Liebmann (R-Oklahoma City) in a statement on the passage of his welfare drug testing bill in the state House. "Benefit payments that have been wasted on drug abusers will be available for the truly needy as a result of this bill, and addicts will be incentivized to get treatment."

Liebmann also struck another frequently-hit note -- a moral claim that such bills were necessary even if they didn't save taxpayer dollars. "Even if it didn't save a dime, this legislation would be worth enacting based on principle," he said. "Law-abiding citizens should not have their tax payments used to fund illegal activity that puts us all in danger."

Such rhetoric has sounded in statehouses across the land, with bills for mandatory, suspicionless drug testing of people seeking public benefits introduced in almost half the states, even passing a couple -- Florida last year led the way (and this year passed a law mandating drug tests for state employees), and now Georgia this month has followed suit. West Virginia's governor has also instituted drug testing for enrollees in the state's job training program. But the most interesting trend emerging is how difficult it is to actually get them passed.

While Georgia legislators managed to get a bill through, bills have already been defeated in nine states so far this year -- Alabama Hawaii, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Dakota, West Virginia, Virginia, and Wyoming -- and a number of others are either dead in the water or running out of time as legislative session clocks tick down.

The states where welfare drug test bills have not yet died include Colorado (House Bill 2012-1046) , Illinois (House Bill 5364), Indiana (House Bill 1007), Kansas (House Bill 2686), Oklahoma (House Bill 2388), Ohio (Senate Bill 69) South Carolina (House Bill 4358), and Tennessee (House Bill 2725), while a "reasonable suspicion" bill is still alive in Minnesota (Senate File 1535). Bills targeting unemployment benefits are still alive in Arizona (Senate Bill 1495) and Michigan (House Bill 5412), while one aimed at Medicaid recipients is still alive in South Carolina (House Bill 4458).

The stumbling blocks for passage are threefold: First, there are serious reservations about the constitutionality of such bills. While the Supreme Court has not ruled directly on the subject of requiring drug tests of public benefits recipients, it has held that forcing someone to submit to a drug test is a search under the meaning of the Fourth Amendment and thus requires either a search warrant or probable cause. The high court has carved out only limited exceptions to this general rule, including people in public safety-sensitive positions (airline pilots, truck drivers), members of law enforcement engaged in drug-related work, and some high school students (those involved in athletics or extracurricular activities).

The only federal appeals court ruling on drug testing welfare recipients came out of Michigan a decade ago, and in that case, a divided panel found such testing unconstitutional. That case was not appealed by the state. In Florida, the welfare drug testing law passed by the Republican legislature and signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott (R), has been stopped in its tracks at least temporarily by a federal district judge who has hinted broadly she will ultimately find it unconstitutional. Civil libertarians in Georgia have vowed to challenge its law as soon as it goes into effect.

Democratic legislators across the country have used the fear of unconstitutionality as a potent argument against the drug testing bills. They have also raised the specter of legal fees reaching into the hundreds of thousands of dollars to try to defend such bills in the courts, and that leads to the second objection to public benefits drug testing bills: they will not save taxpayer dollars, but will instead waste them.

"It's absolutely ridiculous to cut people off from potential benefits, especially when we've found that people on welfare aren't using their money to feed addictions," said Morgan Fox, communications manager for the Marijuana Policy Project. "In Florida, when they enacted their program, very few people tested positive. It ends up costing the state money to drug test."

Fox was referring to findings reported last week that in the four months last year that Florida's welfare drug testing law was in effect, only 2.6% of applicants failed the drug test and fewer than 1% canceled the test. With the state reimbursing those who took and passed a drug test, the program was a net loser for the state, costing it an estimated $45,000 during that four-month period.

The Florida findings are similar to the findings of an earlier Florida pilot program for welfare drug testing and the short-lived Michigan program, both of which reported very low rates of positive drug tests among their subject populations.

drug testing lab
While it appears that most public benefits drug testing bills being considered would be at best a wash when it comes to spending or saving taxpayer dollars, one unemployment drug testing bill, Senate Bill 1495 in Arizona, is likely to be doomed because it will trigger the withholding of federal tax benefits for business, costing Arizona businesses millions of dollars. That Republican-sponsored bill is now stalled in the House, and some normally staunch allies of the GOP are in the opposition camp.

"Arizona is moving forward with this bill that the Department of Labor says violates federal law," said Bill Piper, national affairs director for the Drug Policy Alliance. "The trade-off for this testing is a pretty steep tax hike on local businesses, and the Chamber of Commerce is opposing it because they care about taxes. We're hoping that the Chamber in other states will look at that as well."

A third stumbling block for public benefits drug testing bills is not legal or economic, but based on notions of justice and fairness. While Republican legislators talk about ensuring that taxpayer dollars aren't wasted on drug users, they seem decidedly disinterested in imposing drug testing burdens on recipients of taxpayer largesse who are not poor. They are not calling for the drug testing of beneficiaries of corporate tax breaks, for instance, and for the most part they are demonstrably uninterested in subjecting themselves to similar testing, although Democrats opponents of the bills have had fun and scored political points sponsoring amendments or bills to do just that in some states.

In Colorado, Democratic foes of a welfare drug testing bill submitted an amendment to drug test legislators and state officials complete with personalized urine specimen cups for House committee members.That amendment actually passed the committee, but was largely symbolic because even if the bill passed in the House, it was doomed in the Democratically-controlled state Senate.

Instead of the powerful, the bills target the most downtrodden and disadvantaged -- the poor, the sick, the jobless -- in the guise of helping them. They are part of a broader attack on the poor, some advocates said.

"Whether you're talking about attacks on welfare, abortion, or contraception, it's all connected," said Lynn Paltrow, executive director of National Advocates for Pregnant Women. "Depriving low-income people, predominantly women, of basic financial support is part of creating a second class status for all women. Women can't make healthy decisions about their reproductive lives if they don't have enough food to eat for themselves and their children," she argued.

For Paltrow, the push for drug testing the poor "has been part of a concerted effort to undermine the notion of the social contract" that is ideologically-driven and mean-spirited. "Whether it's poverty or pregnancy, you make every problem one having to do with individual responsibility, and then you create a justification for taking away money from people who need it."

It's part of a larger move to privatize what should be public welfare and services, Paltrow argued. "You're transferring money from poor people to companies that do drug testing," she said. "That's an important part of trickling up all our money to the fewer than 1%."

While Paltrow saw malign forces at work, Piper could identify no grand conspiracy.

"We couldn't find any think tanks currently pushing this or any other common denominator in all the states other than that this gets media attention," he said. "Some dumb legislator reads something in the newspaper and decides to do it in his state. We don't see any indication the drug testing industry is pushing this. If there's a conspiracy, it's a conspiracy of stupidity, that's all."

There is another fairness issue in play as well. The rhetoric surrounding the politics of drug testing the poor suggests that it is aimed at mothers strung out on heroin or meth-ravaged fathers, but the most common drug cited in the failed Florida drug tests was marijuana. That gets the goat of the MPP's Fox.

"Considering that occasionally using marijuana is not going to affect your ability to be a productive member of society and that it has a low addiction potential, marijuana consumers are being kind of discriminated against," he said. "People who, for ideological reasons, would rather drug test everyone than pay for the welfare of a few people, especially when it's marijuana, why, that's just patently ridiculous."

Republican legislators may have thought they had a no-brainer of an issue with mandating drug tests for public benefits recipients, but for the reasons mentioned above, the going has been tougher than they expected. That doesn't mean no more such bills are going to make it through the legislative process -- one is very close in Tennessee -- but it doesn't suggest that pandering to stereotypes and prejudice isn't as easy a sell as they thought.

Legislators in some states have also responded by more narrowly crafting drug testing bills in hopes of passing constitutional muster. A Utah bill now signed into law requires drug tests for welfare recipients upon suspicion, and more such bills are in the pipeline, although they face the same ticking clocks as the more broadly drawn drug testing bills.

While the Republican offensive has been blunted, the battle is not over.

"I remain concerned that more states will pass stupid drug testing legislation, but still optimistic the courts will strike them down. They're trying to make them suspicion-based and less random, but even that may or may not pass court scrutiny," said Piper.

"This recession can't end quickly enough," he sighed. "When the economy is bad, they need to find scapegoats. Still, this isn't passing in most states, and to get bills passed, it may be that they have to water them down to the point where they're just not that effective."

Drug Trafficking Organizations Also Involved in Sex Trade, Expert Says

Location: 
Mexico
The head of a company that provides security for American citizens traveling in Mexico says powerful drug trafficking organizations are branching out into the $40-billion-a-year sex trafficking industry. They kidnap children and young people, demand ransom, but in many cases never return the victims, according to Brad Barker with Halo Security. He said a family might pay $100,000 ransom, but the kidnap victim can be worth much more in the sex market. "This person can be held in captivity, they can be filmed doing sex acts, they can be sold on the Internet throughout the world and make 10 times that amount of money. So why would they return the person to their family?"
Publication/Source: 
KTAR (AZ)
URL: 
http://ktar.com/category/local-news-articles/20110217/Expert:-Drug-cartels-also-involved-in-sex-trafficking/

The War on Drugs Is Reducing Marriage Rates

New research published in The Review of Economics and Statistics shows that growing incarceration has contributed to declining marriage rates. In fact, the paper finds that about 13% of the decline in marriage since 1990 can be explained by male incarceration. About 18% percent of the decline in marriage rates among black women can be explained by incarceration. Hispanic women are also relatively disadvantaged, with about 10% of the reduction in marriage rates in that group explained by incarceration.
Publication/Source: 
Big Think (NY)
URL: 
http://bigthink.com/ideas/25300

Sexist Violence Invisible in War on Drugs

Location: 
Mexico
Yosmireli and Griselda, two and four years old, died by bullets to their heads from soldiers' guns -- their mother, aunt and seven-year-old brother Joniel were also killed, on a rural road in northwest Mexico. The killings became the first known case of civilians gunned down by soldiers in the prohibitionist war on drug traffickers declared by the government of conservative Felipe Calderón, which tipped the country into a spiral of violence. One very clear effect is "the invisibility of violence against women...If a girl is found dead on the street and the body shows signs of violence, whether she has a bullet wound, is tied up, or there is a dead man next to her, her death is recorded in the category of 'organized crime'...By recording the cases in the catch-all category of organized crime, the victims' families no longer have access to the case file and cannot pressure the authorities to solve the crime," said David Peña of the National Association of Democratic Lawyers.
Publication/Source: 
Inter Press Service (Italy)
URL: 
http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=53660

Mothers Lead the Charge Against the Nation's War on Drugs

Location: 
Sacramento, CA
United States
Mothers from across California rallied at the state capitol Wedneday to launch a national movement to end the nation's war on drugs. The group wants alternatives to jail time for drug offenses, such as addiction treatment. "While it may seem counter-intuitive that a group of mothers would say such a thing, it's because we love our children and we really feel the war on drugs is more harmful than the drugs themselves," Gretchen Burns Bergman, mother and rally leader said.
Publication/Source: 
KGET (CA)
URL: 
http://www.kget.com/news/local/story/Mothers-lead-the-charge-against-the-nations-war/Wc-7YovDr0K28HXAqFrLug.cspx

Women Taking Action Nationwide -- California's Proposition 19

 

Tomorrow, women throughout California and across the nation will speak out in support of Proposition 19, the California ballot initiative to control and tax marijuana similarly to alcohol. Women in cities across the nation will also be participating to show their support for marijuana legalization and announce efforts to begin organizing women in their areas.

You can help make this nationwide effort a huge success by attending the event nearest you.  Scroll down to see the complete list of WMM Day Of Action event locations and times.

This effort is being coordinated by the Women's Marijuana Movement, a project of SAFER intended to increase support for marijuana legalization among women.  If you have not already signed on to be a part of the movement you can do so today by visiting http://www.WomensMarijuanaMovement.org today.

Please note that locations have been added or changed in California, Florida, and Texas.

Event Times, Locations, and Contacts

CALIFORNIA

Los Angeles
10:30 a.m.

In front of Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca's office, 4700 W. Ramona Blvd., Monterey Park

Contact: Lynette Shaw, 323-334-6995
* Women will deliver Sheriff Baca a copy of "Marijuana is Safer" *

Oakland
11 a.m. 

In front of of Oakland City Hall, 
1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Oakland
Contact:  Samantha Talavera, 602-430-1793

Redlands -- University of Redlands
12 p.m.
Hunsucker Plaza, University of Redlands, 
1200 E. Colton Ave., Redlands
Contact: Andrew Bobroff, 410-804-3979

San Diego
10:30 a.m.
In front of San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis's office
, 330 W. Broadway, San Diego
Contact: Gretchen Bergman, 619-884-3561
* Women will deliver District Attorney Dumanis a copy of "Marijuana is Safer" *

San Jose -- San Jose State University
11 a.m.
Inside the Student Union, 1 Washington Square, San Jose
Contact: Fiza Najeeb, 925-872-2792

Santa Ana (Orange County)
11 a.m.
In front of Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens's office, 550 N. Flower St., Santa Ana
Contact:  Kandice Hawes, 724-928-9129
* Women will deliver Sheriff Hutchens a copy of "Marijuana is Safer" *

COLORADO



Denver
12 p.m.
In front of the Wellington Webb Municipal Building
, 201 W. Colfax Ave., Denver (corner of Colfax & Bannock)
Contact:  Eva Enns, 720-620-5931



FLORIDA

Ft. Lauderdale -- Florida Atlantic University
11:30 a.m.
In front of the Broward County Main Library, 100 S. Andrews Ave., 
Fort Lauderdale
Contact: Sabrina, 56-755-7506

Tampa
6:45 p.m.
NE corner of Bruce B Downs Blvd. and E. Fowler Ave., Tampa
Contact: Cyndi Hamad, 727-421-7862

IDAHO

Boise
12 p.m.
In front of The Grove Plaza (Front St. & 8th Street)

Contact:  Theresa Knox, 208-353-7331



MISSOURI

Columbia -- University of Missouri
11 a.m.
Speakers Circle
Contact:  Devon Slavens, 816-651-6405

Joplin
1 p.m.
Spiva Park in front of The Globe
Contact: Linda Yelvington, 417-499-9055

Kansas City
10 a.m.
Liberty Memorial
, 100 W. 26th St., Kansas City
Contact:  Kelley Wesley, 417-327-9595

MONTANA

Missoula
12:30 p.m.
NW Corner of the Higgins Street Bridge (near the Wilma Theatre), Missoula
Contact:  Heather Masterson, 406-370-0604



NEBRASKA

Lincoln
10 a.m.
27th and O St., Lincoln

Contact:  Melanie Marshall, 402-415-7373

Omaha
12 PM 

72nd and Dodge, Omaha

Contact:  Melanie Marshall, 402-415-7373



NEW JERSEY

Trenton
12 p.m.
In front of the New Jersey State House Building, 
125 W. State St., Trenton
Contact: Dawn Schiaretti, 609-553-3783



NEW YORK

Saratoga Springs
12 p.m.
Town Center, 
Corner of Lake and Broadway, near the police station, courthouse, and Skidmore University
Contact: Kat Dancz, 518-541-2719

OREGON

Portland
4:30 p.m.
Pioneer Square at SW 6th & Broadway 

Contact:  Jennifer Alexander, 503-839-5969

TEXAS

Austin
11 a.m.
In front of the Texas Pioneer Woman Monument, Texas State Capitol Grounds
, 1100 Congress Ave.
Contact:  Cheyanne Weldon, 337-349-9314

College Station -- Texas A&M University
11 a.m.
In front of the Sul Ross statue by the Academic Building, Texas A&M University campus
Contact:  Pru Reardon, 713-560-2708

Fort Worth
11:30 a.m.
In front of the fountain on the east side of Tarrant County Courthouse, 100 E. Weatherford St., Fort Worth (corner of Weatherford and Commerce)
Contact:  Elizabeth Rodriguez, 817-896-4898



Houston
11 a.m. 

In front of City Hall, 901 Bagby St., Houston
Contact:  Anne Webster, 832-693-5800

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

More law enforcement pervs this week, as well as your run of the mill greedy narcs. But prison and jail guards must have been on good behavior. Let's get to it:

Where did the cash go?
In Miami, a Hialeah Gardens police detective was arraigned Monday on charges he conspired with a local drug dealer to rip-off a rival dealer's warehouse full of marijuana and cash. Detective Lawrence Perez planned to arrive at the warehouse and "tie up" or "scare off" the occupants so his co-conspirators could safely enter and make off with the goodies. But federal authorities were wiretapping Perez's phone calls and raided the warehouse themselves days before the planned robbery. Perez and the drug dealer are charged with conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute more than 100 plants, which could earn them up to 40 years in prison upon conviction. Two other men were also arrested in the bust.  Perez is free on a $50,000 bond.

In Memphis, Tennessee, a former Millington police officer was sentenced last Thursday to a year and a day in federal prison for scheming to sell 40 pounds of marijuana and one kilo of cocaine. Troy Hale, 43, was arrested in 2007 and charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine and marijuana, but in a plea bargain, he pleaded guilty to the marijuana count in return for dismissal of the cocaine count. He resigned from the force in 2009, citing "personal reasons."

In Fort Lauderdale, Florida, a Fort Lauderdale Police narcotics officer was fired last week for having a long-running sexual affair with a cocaine dealer turned snitch. Officer Jason Maldonado was fired after an internal affairs investigation concluded that he began having sex with the woman shortly after he arrested her in 2006 and continued to do so as she helped police set up other drug deals and was under house arrest. The woman told investigators they had sex at a police substation and near the main police station while Maldonado was on duty and that he would visit her for more sex while she was on house arrest. He would arrive in a police vehicle in uniform and leave his police radio on, the woman said, adding that Maldonado said her electronic-monitoring ankle bracelet was a turn-on. An eight-year veteran, Maldonado was a member of the department's "Raiders" dope squad. He had previously been disciplined on separate occasions for breaking into an apartment without a warrant, conducting a sloppy investigation, and crashing his cruiser. He was fired for violating departmental policies by regularly  associating with a criminal, using his position for personal gain, lying to investigators, and engaging in conduct unbecoming an officer. Irony of ironies, Maldonado went down after being snitched out by his own snitch.

In Danville, Virginia, a Danville parole officer was arrested September 15 on charges he forced a pre-trial defendant to have sex with him in order to get a clean drug test. Sean Gunn faces four counts of having a carnal relationship with someone under his supervision. He goes back to court on October 18.

In San Antonio, Texas, the Bexar County Sheriff's Office wants one of its own officers prosecuted for misconduct while working on the agency's dope squad. Deputy Anthony Alvarado, a 10-year veteran, should be charged with tampering with a government record and abuse of official capacity, the department concluded after an internal investigation. The case is now before Bexar County prosecutors. The department said the Alvarado case was about discrepancies in payments to snitches and whether money from a drug-buy fund was missing. Alvarado is also the focus of separate investigations by the sheriff's office and the FBI into whether dope squad deputies were stealing money or drugs. Both investigations are ongoing.

Moms United to End the War on Drugs Campaign Rally

Moms are uniting and leading the charge to end drug prohibition, just as they did with alcohol prohibition in the 1930s.  It's time to end the pointless and punitive criminalization of people who use drugs and the needless deaths caused by the illegal drug trade.

Mothers, family members, healthcare professionals and individuals in recovery will gather to bring focus to our country’s failed drug policies and the havoc they have wreaked on our families.  Please join us.

For more information, contact anewpath@cox.net

Date: 
Wed, 10/13/2010 - 11:00am - 1:00pm
Location: 
10th St. between L & N Streets West steps of the State Capitol building
Sacramento, CA 95814
United States

Mexican Women Work, Die for Gangs in Drug War City

Location: 
Ciudad Juárez, CHH
Mexico
More women are working and dying for powerful, unregulated drug traffickers in Mexico's most violent city as high unemployment along the U.S. border sucks desperate families into the lethal, prohibition-driven trade. A record 179 women have been killed by rival hitmen so far this year in Ciudad Juarez, the notorious city across from El Paso, Texas, as teenage girls and even mothers with small children sign up with the drug trafficking organizations.
Publication/Source: 
WBFO (NY)
URL: 
http://www.publicbroadcasting.net/wbfo/news.newsmain/article/0/0/1696481/World/Mexican.women.work..die.for.gangs.in.drug.war.city

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