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Marijuana: Pot Politics On Display in Local Races in Cincinnati and New York State

Local races across the country will be decided in next month's elections, and marijuana policy is popping up in some of them. In Cincinnati, pot policy is part of a mayoral campaign, while in Utica County, New York, which includes the towns of Woodstock and New Paltz, a candidate for district attorney is taking flak over an apparent pro-marijuana legalization stance.

In the Utica County DA race, Democratic contender and assistant Ulster County public defender Jonathan Sennett is taking flak for reportedly twice saying marijuana should be legalized and once saying it should be decriminalized during campaign events.

"The scientific evidence is pretty solid that marijuana is not more harmful than alcohol or tobacco," he said in an interview with the Daily Freeman. "I don't believe that a substance should be determined to be legal or illegal in inverse proportion to its lobbying effort. We don't prosecute people as felons for selling alcohol to kids," Sennett said.

While Sennett didn't use the L-word in that interview, his opponents, Republican Holley Carnright of Saugerties and Conservative/Independent Vincent Bradley Jr. of Kingston, say they heard Sennett call for legalization twice -- once in a public access interview program in Woodstock and once at a joint appearance earlier this month before the Ulster County Police Chiefs Association at the Ulster County Law Enforcement Center.

The pair of self-confessed drug warriors were quick to pounce. "I don't understand what (Sennett) means by 'decriminalization.' You can't get less than a violation. It's equivalent to an appearance ticket for jaywalking," said Bradley, a former Manhattan assistant district attorney.

"He can dance all around it and blow smoke, but I think his message is clear, intended or not, that he doesn't think marijuana is any worse than tobacco. It is totally inappropriate for a DA to say that," said Carnright, a former chief assistant district attorney for Ulster County. "I think it's a bad idea. You can't be the DA and send out that kind of message. The message, especially to kids, is (marijuana) is bad for you. Any other message is inappropriate."

Meanwhile, in the Cincinnati mayor's race, the council's passage last year of an ordinance criminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana is on voters' minds. In Ohio, possession of up to four ounces is decriminalized under state law, but Cincinnati council members approved the local ordinance as an anti-crime measure. The candidates were quick to stake out their ground.

"In March of this year I, along with Vice Mayor Tarbell, cast the two lone votes against an ordinance that criminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana... The reality is that many of them are let out of prison early because of a shortage of jail space. Given this problem it makes little sense to me to pass a law... which inevitably will crowd our jails with nonviolent offenders," said Democratic contender David Crowley.

Crowley was joined by one Republican candidate and independent candidate Justin Jeffre in vowing to overturn the measure, but another Republican candidate thought it had worked just fine. "The Marijuana Ordinance has been highly successful over the past 15 months. During this time, the police, using the ordinance, have been able to confiscate over 100 illegal guns and millions of dollars of illegal drugs such as cocaine, crack, heroin and methamphetamine," said Leslie Ghiz.

"Someone asked if (we) would have the 'spine' to repeal the ordinance," retorted Jeffre. "I have vowed to work in conjunction with Vice Mayor Crowley and Councilmember Qualls to do exactly that... Ghiz quotes a bunch of numbers out of context to scare voters into thinking this law does anyone any good... Ghiz says the law targets not recreational smokers, but dealers. Can we really believe that all these thousands upon thousands of people were dealers?"

"Whether you believe in smoking marijuana or not, this is just simply bad legislation which will have the foreseeable consequences of bogging down the court system and using up jail space that should be reserved for violent criminals," agreed Republican candidate Charlie Winburn. "I am not yet certain this is going to make our city safer, but I do know that council has no leadership agenda for reducing violent crime in Cincinnati."

It will be November before we know if candidates with progressive positions on marijuana policy have been helped or hindered by their stands. In Utica County, drug warriors are doubling up on the reformer, but we'll have to see if voters agree. In Cincinnati, three out of four council candidates want to undo the marijuana ordinance, and again, we'll have to see. But at least these days, the campaign discussions about marijuana policy are no longer one-sided.

Europe: Britain's North Wales Police Back Chief's Call for Drug Legalization

Last week, we reported on North Wales police chief Richard Brunstom's call to legalize drugs in a paper he released in response to a call from the Home Office for input on the direction the country's drug policy should take. Since then, Brunstrom's remarks have ignited a firestorm of controversy, but his force has stood behind him. On Monday, the North Wales Police Authority approved plans to send Brunstrom's paper on to Home Secretary Jacqui Smith.

The North Wales Police Authority passed three of Brunstrom's recommendations:

  • That the Authority submits a response to the current Home Office consultation on drugs strategy.
  • That the Authority submits a response to the forthcoming Welsh Assembly Government consultation on the all Wales substance misuse strategy.
  • That the Authority urges the repeal of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and its replacement with a Misuse of Substances Act, based upon a new 'hierarchy of harm' that includes alcohol and nicotine.

http://stopthedrugwar.org/files/independentcover.jpg
Independent legalization cover (courtesy Transform)
While Brunstrom's stand has excited criticism, he has also picked up at least one prominent supporter. Lord Ramsbotham, the former chief inspector of prisons, told The Independent Brunstom's prescription was on the money. "The present regime has failed in every way. If you look at prohibition of alcohol in the US, it failed. The Chief Constable's suggestions must be considered seriously. We've got to stop the dealers who cause so much misery for society."

He added: "I used to reckon that 80 percent of those people received into prison were misusing a substance of some kind when they came in. The amount of acquisitive crime connected to drug abuse is immense. That is why there needs to be a new approach."

A fourth Brunstrom recommendation, that the Police Authority affiliate with the Transform Drug Policy Foundation, a leading British drug reform group, is on hold pending discussions between Transform and the authority. Transform is nonetheless quite pleased with the results so far.

"It is hugely significant that the call for a legal regulation and control of drugs has now been publicly supported by the North Wales police authority, and they are to be congratulated in taking a bold stand in this urgent and vital debate," said Transform executive director Danny Kushlick. "There are many high profile individuals who support this position, but this sort of institutional support really puts the debate center stage. We hope to see other police authorities following their lead, and we look forward to the Police Authority affiliating to Transform in the near future. The Government have tried their best to avoid this debate in the current drug strategy consultation and review process, not engaging with any policy alternatives despite the obvious failings of the current approach that the North Wales police highlight so clearly," Kushlick continued. "The call from the North Wales Police Authority makes the continued evasion from meaningful debate impossible: the Government must now engage with the significant and growing body of mainstream opinion calling for pragmatic moves away from prohibition towards evidence based regulatory alternatives."

While Transform is pleased, neither the government nor the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) is smiling. In response to a question from a North Wales parliamentarian this week, Home Office minister Vernon Coaker said that strict enforcement of the drug laws was needed.

The ACPO, for its part, suggested that Brunstrom's ideas were a "counsel of despair." ACPO president Ken Jones issued a statement saying Brunstrom's views were "his personal views, to which he is entitled," and that ACPO disagreed. "ACPO does not agree with the repeal of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 or the legalisation of drugs -- this is arguably a counsel of despair," Jones said. "The reduction of harm caused by drugs to our neighborhoods is a priority for chief officers across the UK. According to the Drug Harm Index it has been reducing since 2001. This is a complex pernicious global problem. Moving to total legalization would, in our view, greatly exacerbate the harm to people in this country, not reduce it. It simply does not make sense to legitimize dangerous narcotic substances which would then have the potential to ruin even more lives and our neighborhoods."

But it is ACPO and its fellow prohibitionists who are on a path to nowhere, Brunstrom retorted. Three million people take illegal drugs in Britain, he noted, while 2.5 million are alcoholics and 9.5 million addicted to nicotine. "This is a real counsel of despair if one chooses to look at the evidence. Seizures of drugs in the UK are less than 1%. In 2003 the UK stopped 10% of heroin coming in and only 15% of cocaine."

Meanwhile, as the debate continues, so does Britain's drug war. The Home Office announced Thursday that the number of drug offenses police reported in the second quarter of this year was up 14% over the same period last year. That's another 55,000 drug arrests for the British police, courts, and prisons to deal with.

Drug Truth Network: Cultural Baggage + Century of Lies + DEA Bust Video 10/18/07

Drug Truth Network Update: Cultural Baggage + Century of Lies + DEA Bust Video Half Hour Programs, Live Tuesdays & Wednesdays... at 90.1 FM in Houston & on the web at www.kpft.org. Cultural Baggage for 10/17/07 Medical Marijuana Dispensary Busts: Dr. Mitch Earleywine, Judge James P. Gray, Rick Steves, Doug McVay, Rob Kampia, Rebecca Saltzman, Ethan Nadelmann, James Anthony, Cliff Shaffer, Phil Smith & Poppygate MP3 MP3 LINK: http://www.drugtruth.net/007DTNaudio/FDBCB_101707.mp3 Century of Lies for 10/16/07 NORML Conference Special: Rick Steves, Doug McVay, Jeff Jones, Rob Kampia, Steve Dillon, Dr. Mitch Earleywine, Dr. Tom O'Connel, Mathew Robinson & Rebecca Saltzman MP3 MP3 Link: http://www.drugtruth.net/007DTNaudio/COL_101607.mp3 NEW Video: I just uploaded a 6:32 video from last Thursday's DEA bust of the Arts District Healing Center cannabis dispensary in Los Angeles to YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rG9cyFi9Pqg Next Week - Century of Lies on Tues, Cutural Baggage on Wed: - Cultural Baggage 12:30 PM ET, 11:20 AM CT, 10:30 AM MT & 9:30 AM PT: TBD - Century of Lies 12:30 PM ET, 11:20 AM CT, 10:30 AM MT & 9:30 AM PT: NORML Conference III NOTE: NEW RELEASE DATE FOR CULTURAL BAGGAGE (Broadcast onTues) & CENTURY OF LIES (Broadcasts Wed) Hundreds of our programs are available online at www.drugtruth.net, www.audioport.org and at www.radio4all.net. We provide the "unvarnished truth about the drug war" to scores of broadcast affiliates in the US and Canada., ck out our latest videos via www.drugtruth.net/dtnvideo.htm 1 video: "Prohibition is Evil" + 2 from townhall meeting on racial disparity. Please become part of the solution, visit our website: www.endprohibition.org for links to the best of reform. "Prohibition is evil." - Reverend Dean Becker, Drug Truth Network Producer Dean Becker 713-849-6869 www.drugtruth.net
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Digg and Reddit Users Want to Legalize Marijuana

The rise of news aggregator websites like Digg and Reddit has become a surprisingly helpful asset to online activism for drug policy reform. These sites allow participants to submit links with their own description, at which point other users vote to determine which stories make it to the coveted main page. Digg, for example, directs so much traffic from its front page that users have coined the term "digg effect" to describe the inevitable server crash that occurs when Digg links a site with insufficient bandwidth.

StoptheDrugWar.org first experienced "the digg effect" in August with the "Marijuana Dealers Offer Schwarzenegger One Billion Dollars" story. Once linked at Digg, the blog post and accompanying press release generated over 100,000 hits, crashing our server repeatedly for over 12 straight hours. It was a bittersweet triumph since few visitors were actually able to view the content due to website malfunctions (and we couldn't receive donations!). Nonetheless, the message about marijuana policy reform was clearly resonating with a massive new audience.

Between Digg and Reddit, we've now had several stories take off, pulling in unusually high traffic and pushing the drug policy debate beyond the self-selected audience of seasoned reform activists. The rising tide has lifted other boats as well, generating massive attention to Pete Guither's "Why is Marijuana Illegal?" and SSDP's "End the Drug War Draft!" Just last week, a front page Digg hit left Mitt Romney's presidential campaign reeling when video of his rude treatment of a medical marijuana patient went viral.

Perhaps it's not so surprising that the new era of user-generated content and internet video would favor ideas that have for too long been relegated to the fringe by the mainstream press. We're witnessing the burial of the antiquated notion that only anti-drug scare stories will sell, and it's long overdue to say the least. The stigma of the "legalization" label, along with the brute force of the law itself, has silenced so many would-be drug war critics, yet the anonymous and democratized realm of online political debate now rages without regard to the philosophical prejudices of the past.

Of course, winning the vote in an artificial internet democracy isn't going to end the war on drugs. But it certainly proves the demand for balance in the drug war debate. As the mainstream media continues to struggle with even the most basic realities about drugs and the terrible war on their users, the truth has to find a home somewhere.

Update: To my great surprise, this post has made it to the front page of Digg. Imagine that. You can vote for it here. What fun.

Update II: There's 300+ comments on this post over at Digg. I haven't finished reading them, but here's my favorite so far:

Look, from someone who has never smoked anything in their life, I'm fine with legalization, but please don't act like assholes with it like everyone in my damn school does. All they do is brag about it, and its funny because I tell my friends I'd do it if it was legal and they say they would stop doing it if it was.

The "stoner" stereotype is a complete product of the drug's illegality, it's true. If we're sick of rebellious potheads, let us take the wind out of their sails by changing the one law they have the nerve to break, thereby turning them into law-abiding dorks.

Location: 
United States

Feature: Canada's New Drug Strategy: Mandatory Minimums In, Harm Reduction Out

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper last Thursday unveiled Canada's new National Anti-Drug Strategy, and it is in some ways a radical departure from what has generally been viewed as Canada's progressive approach to drug policy. While the previous Liberal government pondered marijuana decriminalization and embraced harm reduction -- at least in principle, if not always in practice -- such notions have no place in the Harper era.

The Conservative plan will provide $63.8 million over two years for prevention, treatment, and law enforcement, but will forego any harm reduction initiatives. About $22 million of the funding would go toward enforcement, while about $32 million would be directed to treatment and $10 million for prevention in the form of an awareness campaign. The plan is not getting a friendly reception so far from analysts, drug reformers, or opposition politicians.

http://stopthedrugwar.com/files/harper-clement-day.jpg
Harper and Clement with Winnipeg Salvation Army representative, announcing the drug strategy
Speaking at Salvation Army headquarters in Winnipeg, with Health Minister Tony Clement and Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day at his side, Harper vowed to end Canada's "drug habit," fight its "drug culture," and set the country on the straight and narrow. "Tackling the problem of drug use is going to take all of us," said the Prime Minister. "Breaking Canada's drug habit will require a huge effort. But as of today our country is on the road to recovery."

The country will pursue a two-track policy, said Harper. "If you are addicted to drugs we'll help you and if you sell drugs we'll punish you."

It will be an uphill battle against a culture that "since the 1960s" has done little to discourage drug use and "often romanticized it -- romanticized it or made it cool, made it acceptable," Harper said. "As a father I don't say all these things blamelessly. My son is listening to my Beatles records and asking me what all these lyrics mean. It's just there, it's out there. I love these records and I'm not putting them away. But, that said, there's been a culture that has not fought drug use and that's what we're all up against."

The strategy involves the Department of Justice, Public Safety Canada, and Health Canada in a three-tiered plan to prevent drug use, treat those who are drug dependent, and go after drug production and trafficking. Like the much criticized youth anti-drug media campaign in the US, the Harper strategy envisions a focused public awareness campaign aimed at teens.

The strategy also promises mandatory minimum sentences for "serious" drug offenses, but Harper has so far refused to say what those sentences would be and for what offenses. There is considerable sentiment within the Conservative government to go after marijuana cultivators, but whether Harper wants to send them to prison on mandatory minimums will have to wait until the party introduces legislation later this year.

"Currently there are no minimum prison sentences for producing and trafficking dangerous drugs like methamphetamines and cocaine," Harper said. "But these are serious crimes; those who commit them should do serious time."

As for the Insite safe injection site, which his government grudgingly approved for another six months last week, Harper called it a "second-best strategy at best" and said he remains skeptical about it. "If you remain a drug addict, I don't care how much harm you reduce, you're going to have a short and miserable life," he said.

That stance brought immediate sharp retorts. The new strategy is "a huge step backward," said the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network.

"The federal government is ignoring widely published scientific evidence on the value of investing in harm reduction programs," said Richard Elliott, the group's executive director. "It seems clear that the new drug strategy is based on ideology instead of evidence, and from every angle -- human rights, public health, or use of taxpayers' dollars -- that's irresponsible and unacceptable."

Elliot ripped Harper for claiming that increased law enforcement is a harm reduction measure. "This is just smoke and mirrors," said Elliott. "The reality is that some people can't or won't stop using drugs. Harm reduction pragmatically and realistically acknowledges this fact by providing evidence-based programs and services to lessen the harms associated with drug use. Arresting and imprisoning people can't be considered harm reduction."

Thomas Kerr, a professor in the University of British Columbia's Department of Medicine who has studied Insite and its effect on the prevention of the spread of HIV-AIDS, joined Elliot in criticizing Harper over Insite. "The government continues to misrepresent the science around harm reduction. In the case of Insite we have shown that there has been a 33% increase in the rate of entry into detox programs," Kerr told the Toronto Globe & Mail. "In no way is the facility perpetuating addiction. In fact, it's helping people quit drug use."

The New Democratic Party was also quick to criticize the Harper drug strategy. "We need to combat the very real problem of youth gangs, violence and crack houses in our communities," said NDP health critic Judy Wasylycia-Leis. "But everyday Canadians know that simply criminalizing a public health problem is not the solution. We don't need more advertising -- we need to invest in harm reduction, education, treatment, and enforcement."

Vancouver East Member of Parliament and NDP drug policy critic Libby Davies also weighed in. "A heavy handed US style war-on-drugs only serves to create a culture of fear," said Davies. "This so called drug strategy fails to address the very real needs in our communities. Experts and average Canadians alike agree that we need to invest in real, long-term solutions to drug use and the problems that result from serious substance abuse."

Not everyone had unkind words for the Harper drug strategy. The Canadian Police Association expressed support for the government's get-tough approach to drugs. The organization has called for stronger legislation and a new system of graduated consequences to prevent and deter drug use. The group's president, Tony Cannavino, has called the government's promise to crack down on illegal drug use and dealers "a cornerstone, because a lot of violence is related to drugs."

It not just cops that are finding something to like in the Harper drug strategy. "We are grateful for the government's commitment to increased investment in addiction services," said Gail Czukar, Executive Vice President of the Center for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto. "Addiction services are in critical need of increased support from government."

But even the center warned that the strategy ignored Canada's most severe drug problem: alcohol. "A comprehensive drug strategy should not ignore the harmful consequences of alcohol use," said Czukar.

The Canadian Medical Association also praised the strategy, calling it a "positive step forward" and a balanced approach. "The Canadian Medical Association welcomes the increased attention being paid by the federal government to the health-related aspects of illicit drug use and commends the increased resources allocated to treatment and prevention," said CMA President, Dr. Brian Day. "While the strategy is short on support for harm reduction strategies, it goes beyond the tradition focus of criminal sanctions and recognizes the importance of treating drug addiction as a health problem rather than just a criminal problem."

Still the CMA appears to have no problem with some criminal sanctions. "The CMA welcomes the government's intention to crack down on dealers and sellers while being more compassionate with those addicted to illegal drugs," Day said.

Now, the real battles will begin. Canada's strong harm reduction movement will fight hard for programs it sees as effective, Canada's opposition parties will use the drug strategy as a hammer with which to pound on Harper and the Conservatives, and Canada's progressives and civil libertarians will fight to block mandatory minimums and any other moves that threaten to turn Canadian drug policy into an echo of US-style drug war.

Prohibition: San Francisco Mayor Says Drug War an "Abject Failure," Sheriff Agrees

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom has harshly criticized current drug policies, calling them unworkable and counterproductive. The crime rate would go down if the government spent money on treatment instead of arresting and jailing people, he said. Newsom's remarks came last Thursday as he addressed reporters at city hall.

http://stopthedrugwar.com/files/gavin-newsom.jpg
Gavin Newsom
"If you want to get serious, if you want to reduce crime by 70% in this country overnight, end this war on drugs," he said. "You want to get serious, seriously serious about crime and violence end this war on drugs."

Local jails are stuffed with people arrested for drug offenses, leaving little room for violent criminals, Newsom said. As a result, dangerous offenders are cut loose.

That's right, said Sheriff Mike Hennessey, who said between 60% and 75% of San Francisco jail inmates are there for drug offenses or because of substance abuse problems. "No, the war on drugs is not working. The war on drugs is not working because we are relying on law enforcement instead of on treatment," Hennessey said.

Newsom told reporters that politicians lack the guts to take on the failures of current drug policy. "It's laughable that anyone could look at themselves with a straight face and say 'Oh, we're really succeeding.' I mean it's comedy. And as I say, shame on my party, the Democratic Party, because they don't have the courage of their private thoughts, because we don't want to appear weak on this topic," Newsom said.

Newsom said that politicizing drug policy prevents real discussion about how to deal with drug use and abuse. "End this war on drugs," he said. "Now, that is an attack ad by any politician, what I just said, they would be desperate to find that tape of what I just said," Newsom said.

But Newsom was also quick to point out that he wasn't calling for blanket drug legalization. "I'm not saying that," he said. "I'm saying get real about it," he explained. "So what does that mean? Well, it means a lot of things. It means this war on drugs is an abject failure."

A representative of the San Francisco Police Officers Association begged to differ. "I don't think that you give in to a problem by just acquiescing," said Gary Delagnes. "I think that there does have to be control and I don't think legalizing drugs is the answer," he said.

But Delagnes also made it clear that he and his fellow officers can't see the forest for the trees. "When we see the homicides in San Francisco, I mean this all centers around drugs," Delagnes continued. "This is gangs and drug violence, this is money. It's all about money all the time."

Europe: North Wales Top Cop Calls For Legalization, Regulation of Drugs

The Chief Constable of the North Wales Police, Richard Brunstrom, called for the legalization and regulation of currently illicit drugs in a report he issued this week in response to the national government's ongoing drug strategy consultation. Drug prohibition is "unworkable and immoral," he said.

http://stopthedrugwar.com/files/richard_brunstrom.jpg
Richard Brunstrom
Brunstrom's report, "Drugs Policy -- A radical look ahead?," calls on the North Wales Police Authority to adopt his prescription for legalization, as well as recommending that the Police Authority affiliate with the Transform Drug Policy Foundation, a leading British drug reform organization. The Police Authority will meet next week to discuss the findings and recommendations.

"If the UK really wants a radical, evidence based strategy then the current 'war on drugs' policy… should be replaced, and the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 should be repealed and replaced by a new 'Substance Misuse Act' based upon the legalization and careful regulation of all substances of abuse in one consistent manner," Brunstom bluntly concluded. "This new Act will have at its core a philosophy of objectively assessed harm assessment and reduction."

"We are absolutely delighted at Mr. Brunstrom's paper," said Transform's Danny Kushlick. "The Chief Constable has displayed great leadership and imagination in very publicly calling for a drug policy that replaces the evident failings of prohibition with a legal system of regulation and control for potentially dangerous drugs," Kushlick continued.

"The current government consultation on the drug strategy has inexplicably ruled out any discussion of alternatives to prohibition, despite the policy's systematic failure over a number of decades," said Kushlick. "Mr. Brunstrom's paper puts these pragmatic alternatives firmly back on the table, where they should be, if a meaningful debate about 'what works' is to be entertained. It is to be hoped that the Police Authority support the Chief Constable's recommendations and that other Police Authorities seriously examine the impact of enforcing prohibition. It signals the start of a renewed critique of prohibition, which Mr. Brunstrom's paper describes as 'both unworkable and immoral' and should force the Home Office and indeed Government to take the issue far more seriously than it has until now. An enormous amount of respect is due to the Chief Constable for supporting a 'pragmatic and ethical' policy, despite its taboo nature in front line party politics. Those that denounce him should be wary of relying on what Mr. Brunstrom calls 'moralistic dogma,'" Kushlick warned.

North Wales: Drugs prohibition is “unworkable and immoral” says Chief Constable

From Transform Drug Policy Foundation For Immediate Release: October 10 2007 Drugs prohibition is “unworkable and immoral” says Chief Constable The Chief Constable of North Wales Police Richard Brunstorm, recommends in a report published today, that his Police Authority officially support his call for the legalisation and regulation of drugs, as part of their submission to the drug strategy consultation being conducted by the Government. He also recommends that they affiliate to Transform Drug Policy Foundation. The Authority meets on Monday 15 October to discuss the recommendations. Danny Kushlick, Transform Director said: "We are absolutely delighted at Mr Brunstrom’s paper. The Chief Constable has displayed great leadership and imagination in very publicly calling for a drug policy that replaces the evident failings of prohibition with a legal system of regulation and control for potentially dangerous drugs”. “Mr Brunstrom’s call is less surprising when you consider that prohibition, and the illegal markets it creates, is the single largest cause of crime in the UK, generating £100 billion in crime costs alone over the last ten years. As a senior policeman he has witnessed first hand the counter productive effects of abdicating responsibility for this dangerous trade to unregulated and often violent criminals. His call for drug markets to be brought back within the sphere of Government control stands in enlightened contrast to the populist law and order posturing of our Prime Minister, who recently announced that ‘drugs are never going to be decriminalised’.” “The current Government consultation on the drug strategy has inexplicably ruled out any discussion of alternatives to prohibition, despite the policy’s systematic failure over a number of decades. Mr Brunstrom’s paper puts these pragmatic alternatives firmly back on the table, where they should be, if a meaningful debate about ‘what works’ is to be entertained. It is to be hoped that the Police Authority support the Chief Constable’s recommendations and that other Police Authorities seriously examine the impact of enforcing prohibition. It signals the start of a renewed critique of prohibition, which Mr Brunstrom’s paper describes as ‘both unworkable and immoral’ and should force the Home Office and indeed Government to take the issue far more seriously than it has until now. An enormous amount of respect is due to the Chief Constable for supporting a ‘pragmatic and ethical’ policy, despite its taboo nature in front line party politics. Those that denounce him should be wary of relying on what Mr Brunstrom calls ‘moralistic dogma’.” Notes for Editors: The drugs paper was announced on the HYPERLINK http://www.north-wales.police.uk/nwpv2/en/about/coblogs.asp The full paper is available in pdf here: HYPERLINK http://www.north-wales.police.uk/portal/files/folders/acpoblogs/entry381...
Location: 
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Drug Truth Network Update 10/08/07

Drug Truth Network Update: 4:20 Drug War NEWS Half Hour Programs, Live Tuesdays & Wednesdays... at 90.1 FM in Houston & on the web at www.kpft.org. 4:20 Drug War NEWS 10/08/07 to 10/14/07 now online (3:00 ea.): Monday 10/08/07 San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsome: "War on Drugs is a Failure" Tuesday 10/09/07 Poppygate & Bruce Mirken Marijuana Policy Project Wednesday 10/10/07 Stephen Harper Canada's Prime Minister kisses Drug Czar's ring Thursday 10/11/07 "Welcome, to Machine" (Meth Machine) Friday 10/12/07 Drug War Facts + "Official Government Truth" Saturday 10/13/07 Canada's Marc Emery on Proposed drug laws in Canada Sunday 10/14/07 Dr. Joel Hochman Dir Natl. Foundation for Treatment of Pain on Zero deaths for opioids NOTE: NEW RELEASE DATE FOR CULTURAL BAGGAGE (Broadcast onTues) & CENTURY OF LIES (Broadcasts Wed) Hundreds of our programs are available online at www.drugtruth.net, www.audioport.org and at www.radio4all.net. We provide the "unvarnished truth about the drug war" to scores of broadcast affiliates in the US and Canada., Cultural Baggage for 10/03/07 Dr. Joel Hochman Dir Natl. Foundation for Treatment of Pain + Poppygate MP3 MP3 LINK: http://www.drugtruth.net/007DTNaudio/FDBCB_100307.mp3 Century of Lies for 10/02/07 Cliff Schaffer of DrugLibrary.org + Drug War Facts MP3 MP3 Link: http://www.drugtruth.net/007DTNaudio/COL_100207.mp3 Next - Century of Lies on Tues, Cutural Baggage on Wed: - Cultural Baggage 12:30 PM ET, 11:20 AM CT, 10:30 AM MT & 9:30 AM PT: DTN Celebrates 6 years on the airwaves! - Century of Lies 12:30 PM ET, 11:20 AM CT, 10:30 AM MT & 9:30 AM PT: Chris Goldstein of NORML Potcasts Check out our latest videos via www.drugtruth.net/dtnvideo.htm 1 video: "Prohibition is Evil" + 2 from townhall meeting on racial disparity. Please become part of the solution, visit our website: www.endprohibition.org for links to the best of reform. "Prohibition is evil." - Reverend Dean Becker, Drug Truth Network Producer Dean Becker 713-849-6869 www.drugtruth.net
Location: 
United States

Anti-Drug War Candlelight Vigil

Boulder's 4th Anti-DrugWar Candlelight Vigil will take place on Valentines Day. The event is in honor of the fallen in the War on Some Drugs.
Date: 
Thu, 02/14/2008 - 5:00pm - 6:00pm
Location: 
Corner of Broadway & Canyon
Boulder, CO
United States

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