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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

Drug Gang Hires 'pretty' Hitwomen

Location: 
Mexico
A suspected member of the vicious La Linea gang reports that his organization is hiring pretty young women to carry out killings in order to surprise its enemies. Around 30 women aged between 18 and 30 years have learned in recent months to carry out killings accompanied by hitmen, and most have already killed people.
Publication/Source: 
Canoe News (Canada)
URL: 
http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/World/2010/08/17/15053391-afp.html?cid=rssnewslast24hours

Feature: Colorado Looks At Legalizing Marijuana in 2012

Angered by a pair of bills aiming at regulating the state's burgeoning medical marijuana industry just signed into law by Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter (D), one group of medical marijuana advocates has announced plans to get a marijuana legalization initiative on the ballot in 2012. But there is already another legalization initiative filed with state officials and ready to go.

http://stopthedrugwar.com/files/bootcamp1.jpg
Colorado Marijuana Boot Camp for activists, organized by SAFER
The competing efforts suggest a certain fractiousness in the state's increasingly crowded and complex medical and recreational marijuana communities, but they also illustrate the growing momentum toward legalization on the ground in Colorado. Just last month, a Rasmussen poll showed marijuana legalization hovering on the cusp of majority support, with 49% of likely voters approving, 38% opposed, and 13% undecided. A 2006 legalization initiative got only 39% of the vote.

The initiative effort in the news this week is called Legalize 2012, and is being led by the Boulder-based education and advocacy group Cannabis Therapy Institute (CTI), which is deeply unhappy with the new regulations provoked by a massive boom in dispensaries in the past year or so. "The problem we have in Colorado is that the medical marijuana amendment didn't set up a distribution system, and now, 10 years later, that flawed language is coming back to haunt us," said institute spokesperson Laura Kriho. "The only way to cure the problems patients are now having is across the board legalization for all adults. It will simplify things for law enforcement, patients, and people who aren't patients."

Kriho had a litany of complaints about the recently approved medical marijuana regulation legislation. "Anybody convicted of a marijuana felony in the past is not going to be able to be a dispensary owner anymore. Dispensaries are not allowed to compensate doctors or patients. The local bans on dispensaries that will be found unconstitutional, but who knows when. So many hoops for dispensaries to jump through, and they can still deny a license," she recited. "The stated intent was to put a big chunk of the dispensaries out of business, and I think it will," she predicted.

"On the patient side, they're requiring three different follow-up visits to the doctor, plus registration fees," Kriho said. "For most of the patients I know, coming up with $90 for a license and $100 for a doctor's exam was the limit to what they could afford. If you push it up higher, people won't be able to afford it. "

The initiative effort is just getting under way, said Kriho. "We're just in the process of getting it going, we're forming the language committee," she said. "It's important to us to make sure the language is acceptable to all the people in Colorado. With a year and a half to write this, we should be able to get a good consensus. We have a unique opportunity now -- people have tasted that freedom and had it yanked away by the government."

"They were upset with the regulation bills and have some major issues with them," said Brian Vicente of Sensible Colorado, which lobbied for some of the provisions in the measures. "But we are committed to working with them. We do have patient access issues here in Colorado -- for example, patients with severe depression or PTSD can't currently access it under state law. If we just legalize it for all adults, those individuals would have access."

"We might have some philosophical differences with groups like Sensible Colorado," said Kriho, "but we have to remember the end goal: keeping people out of jail."

"We need to agree on what we're going to agree on and work together on these issues," said Vicente. "CTI, Sensible Colorado, and SAFER have enough common ground that I'm optimistic we can work together."

"I think we can build an effective coalition," said Jessica Corrie, an attorney, Republican, mother, and nationally known legalization advocate. "We have everybody from evangelical Christians to hard-core labor activists. There are some concerns about the radical fringe of this movement, but we can't ignore them and shouldn't ignore them. I've seen many people with passionate radical views come into the fold. In the eyes of most voters, this was all about tie-dyed hippies, but now it's people like me. The effort should be to bring people together to the extent it's possible."

"I support any effort to change marijuana laws so adults are able to make the safer choice, but this effort seems short-sighted and unlikely to garner the support of the voters," said an uncharacteristically tight-lipped Mason Tvert, whose SAFER (Safer Alternatives For Enjoyable Recreation) ran the successful 2005 Denver legalization initiative and the 2006 statewide legalization initiative that won 39% of the vote.

Tvert and SAFER already have a legalization initiative drafted and filed with the secretary of state's office. Known as Initiative 47, the measure would legalize the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana, three seedlings, and three mature pot plants by people 21 or older. It also calls for licensed marijuana cultivation and sales outlets, and it calls for a maximum tax of $50 an ounce.

"CTI decided to announce this because they think there should be no tax on marijuana," said Tvert. "The initiative we filed has a tax of $50 an ounce at most and allows licensed production and distribution, no penalties for adult use or possession, and people can grow up to six plants. That seems to me like a proposal that will be met with support by most Coloradans."

Tvert is willing to put that to the test at the ballot box. "We have every intention of running a ballot measure," he said. "The language is approved, the title is set, but we're holding off until 2012. We shouldn't have any problem getting through that process again."

If there is one thing everyone seems to agree on, it is that victory is within grasp. "We're looking for freedom for the whole plant, untaxed and unregulated as much as possible," said Kriho. "Legalize 2012 comes from that. We have to take this next step, and we have to get ready now. Legalization is polling 49% now and will be over 50% by 2012."

"I think the prospects are very good," said Corrie. "If you look at the 2006 initiative, legalization outperformed the Republican gubernatorial candidate, and we saw a dramatic shift in terms of voter demographics in 2008. Now it's polling at 49%, eight points more than any statewide candidate for office, and when you ask voters if marijuana should be regulated like alcohol and taxed, there is a jump of five or six points, which is a reflection of dire budgetary circumstances. That's where the Republicans we see on board are coming from. They think marijuana is bad, but they're tired of paying outrageous tax bills, and given some persuading that marijuana is safer than alcohol, I think they are reachable."

Married women with children have historically been one of the toughest demographics for marijuana law reform, but having activists like Corrie on board may be able to swing some of the worried mom vote. "Younger mothers worry that if we legalize marijuana, it's an endorsement of marijuana use," said Corrie. "My response is to ask whether prohibition stopped us from using marijuana. We mothers are the most powerful tool for preventing our children from engaging in dangerous behaviors, and so many women across the ideological spectrum have handed government bureaucrats the responsibility for taking care of our children," she explained.

"In speaking to older Republican women, many of them were actively involved in DARE in an effort to be the best parents they could be. They want to feel like there was some good in that, and I tell them they did the best they could with the information available at the time, but now it's time to work together with the best information to protect our kids," Corrie said. "This isn't a conversation you have in 10 minutes. This is a process of getting people to rethink ideas and concepts and political views, and that can be difficult, especially when people are forced to admit the government wasn't correct."

"I think Colorado is ready right now," Vicente laughed when asked if an initiative could pass in 2012. "But 2012 is when we'll actually have the resources."

Still, Kriho and CTI aren't putting all their eggs in one basket. "We are working with Roger Christie and his THC Ministry to bring on a cannabis religious revival," she said. "The Colorado constitution specifically protects method of worship, and we're confident the THC Ministry qualifies as a legitimate church. We may be forming branch ministries, like the church sanctuary movement. It's about protecting patients. Sincere religious practitioners should form a church to get protection," she said.

But if Colorado's marijuana community can keep from flying apart, in a couple of years, patients and recreational pot smokers alike might have made the entire state a sanctuary, through the ballot box.

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