borden's blog

Drug Prohibition Violence Rising in Orlando, Florida

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Orlando, Florida, has joined the ranks of cities experiencing rising homicide rates after years of partial relief. According to the Associated Press (article link to the Orlando Sentinel web site), the city has recorded 33 murders this year -- the first time the number reached 30 since 1982, but with nearly half of the year left to go. Much of it appears to be about drugs:
Location: 
Orlando, FL
United States
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Drug Gangsters Immortalized in Song

The Associated Press reported Saturday on Colombia's "narco-ballads," songs that "pay lyrical homage to the lifestyles of the rich and dangerous: drug-lords, assassins, leftist rebels and far-right warlords," according to the story. Among the thugs being rhapsodized in song are two of the most murderous, Carlos Castano, who founded the infamous right-wing paramilitary movement that has massacred tens of thousands, and Pablo Escobar, who murdered hundreds of Colombia government officials and once had an airplane blown up in order to take out two people who were on it.
Location: 
Colombia
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Will It Make a Difference in the Drug Supply in the End?

Hopefully Phil will pardon me for cross-posting into his Chronicle blog. :) This is another example of a news story that is too run of the mill to make our newsletter most of the time, but provides a good example of the limitation of short-term memory that so often plagues mainstream reporting on this issue. An operation that Pennsylvania's Attorney General characterizes as the major methamphetamine supplier in the Philadelphia region has been taken down, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer:
Location: 
Philadelphia, PA
United States
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The Heroin Overdose Wave Continues...

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WFMZ-TV in Allentown, Pennsylvania, has reported another overdose from the fentanyl-laced heroin batch that is ravaging drug injecting communities in cities around the nation.
Location: 
Atlantic City, NJ
United States
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LA-Area Methamphetamine Lab Illustrates Need for Legalization

CBS channel 2 in Los Angeles reported that the LAPD had arrested five people for operating a methamphetamine lab in Sylmar. A haz-mat crew was sent out to start the cleanup, and police officers have alleged that the operators dumped their chemicals on the outside instead of using the trash and that the property is therefore highly contaminated.
Location: 
Los Angeles, CA
United States
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Drug Dealer/Police Officer Altercation Endangers North Memphis Neighborhood

A report yesterday by WMC-TV (channel 5) in Memphis was titled "North Memphis Store Sprayed with Gunfire." What happened was that after two police confronted a local drug dealer completing a sale from the parking lot of a convenience store at the corner of Chelsea and May, the dealer "ran over the officer, knocked him down and dragged him some 10 to 12 feet," according to a Sgt. Vince Higgins who was interviewed. The officer's partner then opened fire as the dealer sped away in his SUV.
Location: 
Memphis, TN
United States
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Overdose Deaths Outpacing Homicides in Philadelphia

The Philadelphia News reported Monday that despite the city having seen one of its deadliest weekends, drug overdoses, particularly from a batch of heroin laced with the even more powerful opiate fentanyl are claiming even more lives.
Location: 
Philadelphia, PA
United States
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drug war/terror war confusion in Afghanistan

The British online publication "Spiked" noted in a larger story, citing a March article in the Guardian, that there is confusion over whether NATO troops are fighting a "war on drugs" in Afghanistan" or a "war on terror." Philip Cunliff wrote:
[T]he British mission objective is further confused by the question of whether the British army is fighting a war on drugs or the war on terror. Former British defence secretary John Reid argued that poppy cultivation in Afghanistan is "absolutely interlinked" with the war on terror (though in fact, it was the Americans who endorsed their local allies’ poppy cultivation after the Taliban curtailed it) (4). On the other hand, NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, General James Jones, has said: "You won’t see NATO burning crops, but you will see us gather intelligence and support the national effort as best we can."
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Canadian Senator and Former Mayor Roasts UN Anti-Drug Chief in E-Mail over "World Drug Report"

We didn't get the permission back in time to include this in issue #441 of Drug War Chronicle, but Sen. Campbell wrote back and said it's okay. In an e-mail sent to Vancouver drug reformer and harm reductionist Mark Haden, Vancouver's former mayor, Larry Campbell, now a Senator, wrote the following e-mail, titled " UNODC World Drug Report 2006 full of scientific insults," with permission to distribute it:
Location: 
United States
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