Media Racial Profiling stopthedrugwar.org
Out from the Shadows HEA Drug Provision Drug War Chronicle Perry Fund DRCNet en EspaŮol Speakeasy Blogs About Us Home
Why Legalization? NJ Racial Profiling Archive Subscribe Donate DRCNet em PortuguÍs Latest News Drug Library Search

The Week Online with DRCNet
(renamed "Drug War Chronicle" effective issue #300, August 2003)

Issue #240, 6/7/02

"Raising Awareness of the Consequences of Drug Prohibition"

Phillip S. Smith, Editor
David Borden, Executive Director

subscribe for FREE now! ---- make a donation ---- search

DRCNet will soon announce the first two events in our international conference series, "Out from the Shadows: Ending Drug Prohibition in the 21st Century." We hope to have exact dates and locations confirmed within two weeks, but in the meantime want to let interested parties know that they will probably be in Brussels, Belgium in the fall and Merida, Yucatan, Mexico in February. Send an e-mail to [email protected] to receive a formal announcement, or just keep reading DRCNet! (Groups in Latin America should also be aware of the availability of drug reform funding from the Tides Foundation, proposals due on the 24th of this month -- see below.)

Stop the DEA's war on medical marijuana! Visit http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/medicalmarijuana/ to write to Congress and the president today!

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. Editorial: Time for Action
  2. Feds Move to Seize LA Cannabis Resource Center, Hunger Strike Underway
  3. Medical Marijuana Supporters Turn to Civil Disobedience, Direct Action
  4. Rave Regulation Bill Passes California Assembly on Unanimous Vote, Heads for Senate
  5. Cops Jockey for More Drug War Funds in Wake of FBI Revamp
  6. Hot Topic: Adolescent Drug Treatment Abuse Conference Begins in St. Petersburg Tomorrow
  7. Newsbrief: Wiretaps Up, Drug Investigations Behind Most, Feds Report
  8. Newsbrief: New Mexico Governor Commutes Sentence of Raped Prisoner
  9. Newsbrief: Fort Worth Police Chief Dares to Cut DARE
  10. Newsbrief: Afghan Opium Harvest Estimated at 3,000 Tons
  11. Newsbrief: Buds in Bhutan
  12. Media Scan: Arianna Huffington
  13. Grant Program: Tides Foundation RFPs for Latin America, Prop. 36 Implementation and Overdose Prevention
  14. New DRCNet/StopTheDrugWar.org Merchandise Out -- Discounted Purchase Available
  15. The Reformer's Calendar
(read last week's issue)

(visit the Week Online archives)


1. Editorial: Time for Action

David Borden, Executive Director, [email protected], 6/7/02

Earlier today, ten of my friends and colleagues chained themselves together in a doorway of the US Department of Justice in protest of the Drug Enforcement Administration's escalating raids against medical marijuana providers. In the last two weeks alone, one compassion club has been shut down and another subjected to asset forfeiture, both in California. Our action here in DC, for which I was proud to carry a picket sign in support, was one of 55 protests against the DEA across the nation.

Civil disobedience may not be the choice of first resort, but on medical marijuana, at least, the time for nonviolent civil disobedience has arrived. Thousands of patients suffering from serious, sometimes debilitating afflictions, rely on the medical marijuana co-ops to avoid having to turn to the dangerous, unreliable and expensive black market created by drug prohibition. Their health, their quality of life, indeed their very survival in some cases, all depend on the continued efforts of their suppliers who have created for them a safe and sane space in which to live, and when body permits, thrive.

Yet all that is being taken away by an ideologically warped drug war and its heartless leaders. The patients are losing their safe havens one by one, and the thoughtful, courageous and devoted individuals who have labored for them for years are facing prosecution and possible hard prison time in the federal gulag. The DEA's campaign against the medical marijuana co-ops, is immoral, irrational, brutal, unjust, wasteful of law enforcement resources at a time when our national is under threat, and against democracy itself -- California is only the first state whose voters spoke loudly in favor of medical marijuana, and polls show 73% of Americans favor making medical marijuana legal now. Yet here in the nation's capital, Congress tried to stop us from even counting the results of our last medical marijuana ballot initiative, and advocates have had to sue the government for the right to mount another.

Far from neutral enforcers of a law passed by Congress, the DEA in fact has considerable administrative authority over this matter under the provisions of the Controlled Substances Act. DEA has used its heavy hand to block privately funded medical marijuana research that might by now have already resulted in its legalization for medical purposes through the FDA process. And even without the FDA, DEA chief administrator Asa Hutchinson or attorney general John Ashcroft could legally spare the medical marijuana patients and their faithful helpers with a few strokes of a pen. DEA's chief administrative law judge in 1988 called on the agency to do just that, but the powers-that-be instead chose to disregard Judge Young's studied interpretation of evidence and law to continue their drug war against doctors and patients.

The war against medical marijuana is not the DEA's only crime by any means. Patients in long-term chronic pain needing narcotics for their treatment usually can't get adequate prescriptions of them, and the DEA is one of the reasons doctors are scared to write them. This obscenity will be dealt with too, as will all drug war tyranny before all is said and done.

But today is for medical marijuana, and if protecting patients and their providers means we have to block doorways or cross police lines, so be it. The laws of conscience supersede the laws of legislatures, and conscience cannot sanction the drug war. It's time -- no, it's past time -- for action. The DEA's war on medical marijuana must stop.


2. Feds Move to Seize LA Cannabis Resource Center, Hunger Strike Underway

Federal prosecutors have moved to seize the Los Angeles Cannabis Resource Center (LACRC) using federal asset forfeiture provisions. The LACRC, which was famous for working closely with state and local officials and for its scrupulous adherence to California's medical marijuana law, was raided by the DEA last October, when armed agents seized patient records and medical marijuana being grown at the center. In a forfeiture action filed May 31 in US District Court in Los Angeles, federal prosecutors argued that Proposition 215, the ballot initiative that legalized medical marijuana in California, was invalidated by federal law and did not provide a defense against asset forfeiture proceedings under federal law.

In the complaint, federal prosecutors said 1,000 plants were seized and that the LACRC did $20,000 in business each week. The club had 930 active members at the time of closing, an LACRC staffer told DRCNet.

At the initial press conference on Wednesday, LACRC executive director Scott Imler, patient Mary Lucey and others charged that the Justice Department and DEA are violating states' rights by challenging California's popularly-approved medical marijuana law. They also accused the government of "harassing" medical marijuana patients and dispensaries, and they vowed to fight back. Since Wednesday, medical marijuana patients belonging to the club and their supporters have embarked on a rolling hunger strike and encampment to protest federal harassment of the LACRC. A small group of protesters is fasting until Sunday, when they will be relieved by another group, AIDS sufferer and LACRC client Lucey told DRCNet.

"We're on a fast now to protest the federal government's interference in California's medical marijuana law," said Lucey, who is patient #001 at the LACRC. "Our goal is to get the federal government to back off, and to get our government officials here in California off their butts and doing what the people told them to do, which is implement and protect Prop. 215," she added.

"We will go until Sunday, then have a potluck dinner to break the fast while a new crew takes their turn," said Lucey. "We will continue indefinitely. We also have guest hunger strikers who come for a day, such as West Hollywood city council member Howard Jacobs," she said. There are also daily press conferences, Lucey added, and a rally scheduled for Sunday.

The LACRC and its executive director Scott Imler have built a good working relationship with the city. Now West Hollywood has even more reason to be concerned: The city authorized a $350,000 loan to help the LACRC purchase its property on Santa Monica Boulevard; it stands to lose that money if the feds prevail.

Lucey, for one, is angry enough to undergo the fast despite her illness. "My first reaction is selfish fear, the fear of dying," she said. "Then there is a great sadness, because it's not just me, there are thousands of others affected by this. And then there is a lot of anger," Lucey added. "The thought of making disabled people interact with criminals in alleys to get their medicine... I just feel sheer anger. I don't understand why people aren't just having a fit that the federal government has trampled all over the will of the voters and the California constitution," she said.

The LACRC and its supporters will not limit their defense to press conferences and hunger strikes, said Lucey. The LACRC will fight the move in federal court, Lucey said. "If there is a good side legally, it's that they will have to win their case before a California jury. Good luck," she snorted. And there is talk of a possible civil action against the federal government for violating their civil rights and for wrongful death if any of the hunger strikers die, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Meanwhile, Lucey and four others are subsisting on water, juice and a little milk "so we can take the AIDS medicine" until the feds drop the forfeiture action, she vowed.


3. Medical Marijuana Supporters Turn to Civil Disobedience, Direct Action

Medical marijuana users and providers and their supporters yesterday served notice to the Bush administration, the Justice Department and the DEA that the federal government's war on medical marijuana in the states will not uncontested. While reports are still filtering in as of this writing (Thursday evening), DEA offices and other federal buildings were expected to be the scene of protests, direct actions and civil disobedience in some 55 cities across the country. Arrests have been reported in San Francisco and Washington, DC, so far.

The demonstrations, organized by Americans for Safe Access (http://www.safeaccessnow.org), a campaign of the Cannabis Action Network, told the DEA to "Cease and Desist" from persecuting medical marijuana patients and providers in those states where voters have opted for medical use. Provoked by a series of DEA raids on California medical marijuana growers and dispensaries and eying a federal permanent injunction against cannabis clubs due as early as this weekend, ASA coalesced as a loose coalition ready to react when more raids occur but also to proactively take the fight to the streets, to the DEA, and to the Justice Department itself. Thursday was the day for the first ASA national day of action.

"Nine states and 73 percent of the American public believe that medical marijuana should be safe and legal, yet the DEA is now working harder than ever to turn these patients into criminals," said ASA executive director Steph Sherer.

In Washington, ASA resorted to misdirection, publicly focusing on a 5:00pm demonstration at DEA national headquarters across the Potomac River in Arlington, VA, while a small group organized a stealth demo at the Justice Department. A few minutes before 11:00am, the massive building's main entrance at 9th and Pennsylvania Avenue was blocked by protesters, who swooped in and chained themselves to the doors.

As supporters and news cameras watched, ten people, including Adam Eidinger, DC Statehood-Green Party Shadow Representative candidate; Mark Brandl, Libertarian Party national student coordinator; Ron Crickenberger, Libertarian Party political director and candidate for Congress in northern Virginia; David Guard, associate director of DRCNet; Shawn Heller, national director of Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP); Bruce Mirken, media director of the Marijuana Policy Project; Leslie Nemeth, University of Maryland SSDP, and another UMD SSDP activist; Darrell Rogers, SSDP outreach coordinator; and Kevin Zeese, president of Common Sense for Drug Policy, explained why they were resorting to civil disobedience before police first warned, then arrested them, dragging the limp-bodied protesters to waiting paddy wagons.

"We've tried every reasonable approach and failed," said the Libertarian Party's Crickenberger as he stood in the doorway. "Now is the time to stand united. This is the beginning of the fight. We will not go away," he vowed, as supporters cheered and waved placards reading "A Patient Not A Criminal" and "Medical Marijuana Saves Lives: Safe Access Now!"

At 11:02 police issued the first warning that persons refusing to leave the doorway would be arrested. As more police gathered, including a team in full SWAT attire, a second warning was issued. At 11:24 the arrests began, despite exhortations from Unitarian Universalists for Drug Policy Reform head Charles Thomas to police. "Exercise your moral authority," urged Thomas. "Don't arrest these people. Walk away now. Don't wait to ask for forgiveness."

But the police were unmoved. By 11:35 the arrests were completed, the paddy wagons rolling away and the main doors to Justice unblocked. The victory, however, was pyhrric, as the rattled police promptly swung shut the 20-foot-tall steel doors that shutter the entrance, again blocking the entry.

Those arrested were detained between four and eight hours, but all were free by mid-evening. They were in high spirits when DRCNet spoke with some of them at a local restaurant.

"Our goal was to get media coverage, and we got some," said Eidinger. "The medical marijuana issue is in all the newsrooms, thanks to the mass demonstrations in California, 300 people sitting in in San Francisco, hundreds more in other actions across the state. But the most militant action was right here in the belly of the beast," he said. "Ashcroft is a key figure in this policy, and there is no reason he should not be held accountable."

There will be more to come, Eidinger promised. "We'll be doing more protests in months to come," he said. "One demonstration is never enough, but sustained pressure and growing numbers of people taking to the streets will ultimately lead us to victory."

"We hiked things up a notch for the feds," said Brandl. "When I think about people like Peter McWilliams [noted author and medical marijuana activist who died in 2000 after a federal judge refused him access to his medicine], I'm more than willing to face arrest to push this issue forward. This is a moral thing, this is a personal thing for me."

For SSDP's Rogers, being arrested was a chance to bring attention to a key issue. "This is an issue of great importance, an issue of compassion for sick people, and people are being thrown in jail for it," said Rogers. "Yeah, it was worth it."

Early reports from ASA on Thursday evening highlighted actions in Austin and San Antonio, TX, Cleveland, St. Louis, and Springfield, MA, but most of the action was naturally centered on California. Planners anticipated events in at least 13 California locales, from Sonoma County to Huntington Beach, San Francisco to San Diego. But at press time, few details were available. Stay tuned next week, when DRCNet will examine the day's activities and the reaction in more detail.

Visit http://www.safeaccessnow.org/newswire_detail.php?id=22 for reports on protests nationwide. Visit http://flow.mediavac.com/ramgen/sinkers/2002/dojJun0602.rm and http://www.bigwood.biz/MPP-060602/ for video and photographs of the DC direct action.


4. Rave Regulation Bill Passes California Assembly on Unanimous Vote, Heads for Senate

A bill that would force rave promoters to certify that they are familiar with illegal drugs and how to prevent their use at the popular electronic music events has passed the California Assembly on a 79-0 vote. Now it is headed for action in the state Senate. The bill authored by Rep. Nancy Havice (D-Bellflower) would also impose unprecedented regulatory restrictions on raves in the state. It is formally supported by Attorney General Bill Lockyer, the California Narcotics Officers Association (which is identified as a "sponsor" in a February legislative analysis), the California State Sheriffs' Association, the California Peace Officers' Association and Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs, Inc.

AB 141, the innocuously named "act to add Section 53087.6 to the Government Code, relating to law enforcement," includes the following provisions, as listed in the Legislative Analyst's office's review of the legislation:

  • "Establishes requirements for issuing a local permit for a "rave party," defined as an electronic music dance event that may be attended by 500 or more persons.
  • "Requires a local permit granting authority to notify the local law enforcement agency when it is considering a permit for a rave party.
  • "Requires a promoter applying for a permit for a rave party to:
    • Submit the application for the permit at least 30 days in advance;
    • Notify local law enforcement of its application;
    • Include in the permit application a list of all of the rave applications the promoter has submitted in the past;
    • Present evidence showing the promoter is knowledgeable about illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia and can recognize the presence of drugs at a rave;
    • Acknowledge in writing that the promoter will not permit, condone, or ignore violations of state and local laws relating to drugs and drug paraphernalia at the rave."
"It is my sincere belief that our children are facing an ever-changing and often dangerous world. In authoring this bill, I know I am doing my part to help protect all children by limiting our children's access to drugs," said Assemblywoman Havice in the bill's analysis section.

Civil and cognitive liberties groups and rave fans don't deny that drug use, especially of MDMA (ecstasy), exists at raves, but say that the bill infringes on civil rights of promoters and event-goers alike. The Southern California ACLU, for example, initiated an Internet-based campaign to block what it called an "anti-rave, anti-free speech bill."

"[The bill] picks out one type of speech event, a rave, and makes it harder to hold one than to hold another similar event, such as a wedding party, a folk music festival, or a religious concert," the group wrote at its campaign web site (http://ga1.org/campaign/rave_rights/). "It is not the government's job to judge what kind of music people should listen to, what kind of clothes and accessories they should wear, or what kind of dance party they can attend," contended the Southern California ACLU.

Assemblywoman Havice's spokesman Carlos Benilla told the University of Southern California newspaper the Daily Bruin "we're not targeting a specific kind of music; we're targeting a specific kind of activity that is taking place."

One Trojan, USC musicology grad student and electronic music fan Griffin Woodworth, told the Daily Bruin he feared the bill would have a negative impact on the music. He acknowledged drug use at raves, but said that was no reason to legislate against a certain style of music. "Drugs do not make the music, and music does not cause the drugs," Woodworth said.

And if Havick hopes that her bill will "protect all children," it may have the opposite effect. "Harm reduction" groups, such as DanceSafe (http://www.dancesafe.org), which provides pill testing and other services at raves, would not be allowed to do their work at permitted events, the bill's supporters said.

The bill is awaiting committee assignment in the Senate. The legislative session ends August 31. Given the overwhelming support for the bill in the Assembly, the best bet for opponents may be to let the bill die a quiet death by inaction in committee.

To view the text, history, and various analyses of the bill, go to http://www.assembly.ca.gov/acs/acsframeset2text.htm and type in "AB1941."


5. Cops Jockey for More Drug War Funds in Wake of FBI Revamp

Last week, DRCNet reported on the FBI's revamping in the wake of mounting concern over its performance in the events leading up to September 11 (http://www.drcnet.org/wol/239.html#fbi). The beleaguered agency transferred more than 400 agents assigned to drug investigations, but it did not end its drug war role. While major overhauls of the nation's intelligence infrastructure underway at press time make any numbers subject to sudden change, at last count, the FBI still had more than 2,000 agents assigned to the drug war, compared to 1,100 assigned to terrorism before September 11 and the 2,600 proposed by FBI Director Robert Mueller last week.

But that hasn't stopped drug-fightin' yet quick thinking law enforcement officials from beginning to holler that they'll need even more money to take up the slack. DEA director Asa Hutchinson was the first to hint at a new trip to the public trough. "Additional resources" may be necessary, he said in a prepared statement last week. "These are issues we will discuss to ensure the DEA has all the necessary tools to continue doing our job well," said Hutchinson, whose 4,600 special agents arrested 30,000 people last year with a budget of $1.8 billion.

This week, other law enforcers began to follow Hutchinson's lead, and at least one leading border newspaper echoed the call. Broward County, FL, Sheriff Ken Jenne told the Associated Press the loss of the FBI narcs will leave "a gaping hole" in his county's anti-drug effort.

"Now that the FBI is going to be focused on its core mission of terrorism, I'm wondering how our state and local agencies are going to deal with motorcycle gangs, narcotics trafficking and white-collar crime," added Washington State Patrol Chief Ronal Serpas.

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley (D) told the Chicago Tribune that the FBI move would hurt the city. Drug dealers are terrorists, the mayor added.

Downstate in Peoria County, Sheriff Chuck Schofield told the AP the Bureau provided critical support for gang and drug enforcement. "I know they have big responsibilities, but I'd hate to have the relationship affected," he said. And across the state in Rockford, Police Chief Jeff Nielsen complained that the move would mean fewer arrests on big drug cases. "While you wish they didn't have to [pull agents], you understand," Nielsen said. "If a slightly lower arrest rate means they have a higher arrest rate in terrorism, that's good."

While law enforcement officials now are limiting their comments to the impact the FBI reshuffling will have on their ability to fight the drug menace, it won't take long until the other shoe drops. In an editorial this week, the El Paso Times fired the opening salvo. Citing the FBI move and arguing that drug smuggling groups will respond with "renewed and reinvigorated efforts to ply their trade," the Times made a clarion call for more anti-drug spending. "This puts additional pressure on other agencies, from the federal Drug Enforcement Administration to the county Sheriff's Department," editorialized the Times. More of the pursuit of drug-related crime will fall to them. They must be given the resources and training necessary to do the job and keep the fight against drugs at a high level."

But with the federal and most state governments running in the red and cutting programs, calls for more, ever more drug war are bound to be resisted. Battle lines will be drawn around next year's budgets, as health care, public safety and education -- not to mention the "war on terrorism" -- compete with the drug war for taxpayer dollars.


6. Hot Topic: Adolescent Drug Treatment Abuse Conference Begins in St. Petersburg Tomorrow

Last year DRCNet published a report on the proceedings of "Saving Our Children from Drug Treatment Abuse," a conference hosted by the Trebach Institute. This weekend, survivors and other advocates will take it to St. Petersburg, Florida, birthplace of the infamous "Straight" program, a creation of prohibitionist zealot Betty Sembler and her husband Mel Sembler, a powerful Republican named ambassador to Australia and now Italy.

This is a "hot topic," where the drug war and cult indoctrination mind control issues come together. As treatment in lieu of incarceration efforts progress to greater levels, the need to fix the treatment system and shut down psychologically abusive programs has never been greater.

St. Petersburg Times article previewing the conference:
http://www.sptimes.com/2002/06/07/Floridian/_In_the_middle_of_a_n.shtml

Conference announcement and registration info:
Visit http://www.trebach.org/abuse/conf2002/

DRCNet review of 2001 conference, with links to survivor sites:
http://www.drcnet.org/wol/198.html#trebachconference


7. Newsbrief: Wiretaps Up, Drug Investigations Behind Most, Feds Report

State and federal wiretapping increased 25% last year, with nearly four out of five approved wiretaps being used in drug trafficking investigations, the Administrative Office of the United States Courts reported on May 23. The office publishes the annual Wiretap Report, outlining the number and nature of state and federal wiretap applications, as required by federal law.

According to the report, state and federal law enforcement agencies applied for 1,491 wiretaps last year. All were granted, adding fuel to the notion that judicial review of wiretap applications is little more than a rubber stamp. Since 1991, when the office began keeping records, only three applications out of 12,661 have been turned down by judges.

"Drug-related crimes" accounted for 78% of all wiretaps, far above any other criminal category. Homicide and assault accounted for 3.5% of wiretaps, racketeering for 4.7%, and gambling for 5.5%.

Lest potential criminals rest too easy thinking that the number is relatively small, the office of the courts noted that the figure does not include two other categories of wiretaps. Wiretaps related to foreign intelligence and counterterrorism investigations, which are conducted under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), are not included. Neither are wiretaps where one of the parties consents to being recorded. That is commonly the case when an undercover officer or an informant is participating in the conversation.


8. Newsbrief: New Mexico Governor Commutes Sentence of Raped Prisoner

New Mexico Republican Gov. Gary Johnson, the highest US elected official to advocate for radical drug law reform, commuted the six-year theft sentence of Belinda Dillon after three jail guards convicted of sexually assaulting her received lesser prison sentences than the one she was serving, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.

According to a press release from the governor's office, Dillon, who was drug dependent at the time of her arrest, was convicted of stealing a small amount of money and sent to the slammer despite the wishes of the theft victim that she not be imprisoned. While serving time at the Dona Ana County Detention Center, Dillon was sexually assaulted by guards over a two-month period. Of the six guards implicated in the attacks, three were eventually found guilty of criminal sexual penetration or attempted criminal sexual penetration. Two of the convicted officers got 18-month sentences, while a third got one year in prison.

"Belinda Dillon is a victim of the drug war and this state's drug problems," Johnson said in the release. "She received a harsh sentence for her nonviolent crimes while yet those who abused and mistreated her received collectively less time for their sexual offenses. It is morally and ethically appropriate to restore some semblance of justice to this situation by commuting her remaining sentence," said Johnson.


9. Newsbrief: Fort Worth Police Chief Dares to Cut DARE

Fort Worth, TX, Police Chief Ralph Mendoza has eliminated funding for Cowtown's Drug Abuse Resistance and Education (DARE) program. DARE is widely used in elementary school drug prevention curricula despite repeated studies that have found the program has little or no impact on future drug use by participants. Mendoza told the Fort Worth city council on Tuesday that the program had ended with the school year and would not be reinstated in the fall.

"DARE has not been shown to reduce narcotics use by youth," Mendoza told the city council. "The program is too cumbersome and doesn't have enough flexibility."

Mendoza's move came in response to a yearlong study that offered 266 specific recommendations for streamlining the police department. In the department's first response to the $1.2 million study, Chief Mendoza also slashed the police gang-prevention unit by more than half.


10. Newsbrief: Afghan Opium Harvest Estimated at 3,000 Tons

The United Nations drug control office estimates that the Afghan opium harvest will yield up to 3,000 tons of opium this spring. That's what UN spokeswoman Antonella Deledda told a press conference in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, the Frontier Post (Pakistan) reported Monday. While well below the record Afghan crop of 1999, when the yield hit 4,600 tons, the huge harvest is a remarkable reversal from last year. In 2001, the Taliban effectively banned opium growing and the estimated yield plummeted to 300 tons, most of it from areas controlled by the Northern Alliance -- then an opposition group, now the most powerful player in the new Afghan government.

Burma, which displaced Afghanistan as the world's leading opium producer last year during the Taliban ban, produced an estimated 1,200 tons last year. No estimate is available on current production in Burma, but it appears likely that Afghanistan will regain the title this year.

The stuff will be showing up as heroin in consumer markets from Teheran and Karachi to Frankfurt and London later this year, after enriching local warlords, corrupt officials and trafficking organizations along the way.


11. Newsbrief: Buds in Bhutan

The remote kingdom of Bhutan, situated high in the eastern Himalayas between China and India, has developed a cannabis problem, worried authorities told the BBC News on May 30. The cannabis plant thrives in the remote, tiny kingdom, with 650,000 residents and only 6,000 closely controlled foreign visitors last year, but until recently had not been used for consciousness alteration, said the kingdom's joint director of health care, Dr. Rinchen Chopel.

Nobody paid much attention to the weed, using it for little more than pig feed, said Chopel. "But in the last few years, especially in the last couple of years, we have been concerned by the reports and cases that have come to the notice of authorities," he told BBC.

Despite the kingdom's notorious reclusiveness, Chopel blamed exposure to foreign media and the embrace of modernism for the turn to cannabis consumption. Satellite TV had recently arrived in the country, the BBC noted.

Chope told the BBC Bhutan's anti-cannabis program would concentrate on burning the plants and providing counseling to youths who wished to quit smoking using it.



12. Media Scan: Arianna Huffington

Arianna Huffington points the finger at the federal government's skewed priorities that kept the FBI's focus on drugs while the agency dropped the ball on warning signs of terrorist attacks:
http://www.ariannaonline.com/columns/files/060302.html

An upcoming article in the University of Iowa's Journal of Race, Gender and Justice lays out legal arguments to be used in lawsuits against the Higher Education Act's drug provision. "How to Construct an Underclass, or How the War on Drugs Became a War on Education," was written by law professors Eric Blumenson and Eva Nilsen of Suffolk and Boston University law schools. The complete citation is 6 Univ. of Iowa Journal of Gender, Race and Justice 61 (2002), and we have posted the article online, with permission:
http://www.raiseyourvoice.com/blumensonnilsen.pdf


13. Grant Program: Tides Foundation RFPs for Latin America, Prop. 36 Implementation and Overdose Prevention

The current round of the Fund for Drug Policy Reform, administered by the Tides Foundation, is accepting proposals in three areas: Drug Policy Reform in Latin America, Implementation of Proposition 36 (California only) and Reducing the Incidence of Fatal Drug Overdose.

Proposals are due on 5:00pm, June 24, two weeks from today. Questions and comments can be made to the New York City office of the Tides Foundation at (212) 509-1049 x400 or [email protected]. Visit http://www.tidesfoundation.org/drug_policy.cfm to read more, including grant guidelines and the three RFPs.


14. New DRCNet/StopTheDrugWar.org Merchandise Out -- Discounted Purchase Available

DRCNet now offers new t-shirts, mugs and mousepads featuring the StopTheDrugWar.org stop sign logo, free to new or renewing members, or for purchase. Sale-only prices are $17 for t-shirts and $12 for mugs or mousepads, shipping included. For membership and one or more gift items, donate $35 or more for a free t-shirt, $30 or more for a free mug or mousepad, $60 for any two or $90 for one of each.

Please visit http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/tshirts/ to place your order by credit card, or send your check or money order to: DRCNet, P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036 -- but please fill out the form too, or e-mail us at [email protected], so we can include your request in the next order. (Also, please contact us if you wish to make a contribution of stock.)

Note that contributions to the Drug Reform Coordination Network are not tax-deductible. If you wish to make a tax-deductible donation to support our educational work, make your check payable to DRCNet Foundation, same address. The portion of your gift that is tax-deductible will be reduced by the retail value of any gifts that you choose to receive, as per IRS regulations.

Thank you in advance for your support.


21. The Reformer's Calendar

(Please submit listings of events concerning drug policy and related topics to [email protected].)

June 8, noon to midnight, Columbus, OH, "15th Annual Hempfest." Hosted by OSU SSDP, at the OSU campus, Mirror Lake/South Oval. For information, visit http://www.idjungle.com/ecards/ssdp.html or contact (614) 291-1026 or [email protected]

June 8, 1:00pm, DeWitt, NY, ReconsiDer Annual Meeting. Featuring Jack Cole, retired New Jersey state undercover detective, at Memorial Unitarian Universalists Church, 3800 E. Genesee. Contact Jim Schofield at (315) 471-2514 or [email protected] for further information.

June 8, 1:00-4:00pm, Waterbury, CT, "Street Drugs and Public Safety: Reconsidering the Current Model," live panel to be broadcast on the "Better Living" TV shows, channel 21. At the Wolcutt Town Hall, 10 Kenea Ave., contact (860) 285-8831 or mailto:[email protected] for further information.

June 8, 4:20-6:20, Reno, NV, "Free Nevada Free Concert" for decriminalization of marijuana. At Deux Gros Nez, 249 California Ave., visit http://www.libertycore.org/FreeConcert.htm for further information.

June 8, 8:00pm, Lubbock, TX, "Collateral Damage: Just Say Know, Music Remembering the Injustices of Tulia, Texas." Kickoff for a western state tour by songwriter Brad Carter, sponsored by the November Coalition and Friends of Justice, at the Amaranth Cooperative, 4230 Boston. For further information and itinerary, visit http://www.yellowhousemusic.com or call (806) 792-0566, (806) 995-3353 or (509) 684-1550.

June 8, 8:00pm-2:00am, New York, NY, Fundraiser/Dance Party to Benefit the June 15 "Drop The Rock" March & Concert/Rally. At Winston Unity Hall, 235 W. 23rd St., 2nd floor, between 7th & 8th Ave. Admission $10, no one will be turned away, contact Alex Vitale at [email protected] for further info. Contact Tamar Kraft-Stolar at [email protected] or (212) 254-5700 x306 or visit http://www.droptherock.org for further info about Drop The Rock.

June 8-9, St. Petersburg, FL, The Second Annual Conference on Adolescent Drug Treatment Abuse. Sponsored by The Trebach Institute, with survivors of abusive treatment programs and other concerned parties. Early registration $100, visit http://www.trebach.org/abuse/conf2002/ for further information.

June 13, 6:00-8:00pm, Washington, DC, "Making Treatment Work: A Discussion of 'Hooked,'" book talk with author Lonny Shavelson. Hosted by Drug Policy Alliance, location to be announced. For information, call (202) 537-5005 (before June 1) or (202) 216-0035 (after June 1).

June 15, 12:30pm, New York, NY, Drop the Rock demonstration and concert in Harlem, opposing the Rockefeller drug laws. March at 12:30 from 126th St. between Adam Clayton Powell and Frederick Douglas Blvd. (subway lines 1, 2, 3, B, D or A to 125th St.), Concert Rally at 2:30 in Marcus Garvey Park, 122nd & Madison Ave. Contact Tamar Kraft-Stolar at [email protected] or (212) 254-5700 x306 or visit http://www.droptherock.org for further info about Drop The Rock.

June 15, 6:30pm, Albuquerque, NM, "Collateral Damage: Just Say Know, Music Remembering the Injustices of Tulia, Texas," musical tour by Brad Carter, sponsored by Friends of Justice and the November Coalition. At Solid Grounds Coffee House, (505) 271-2513 for directions, or visit http://www.yellowhousemusic.com or call (806) 792-0566, (806) 995-3353 or (509) 684-1550 for information.

June 20-23, New York, NY, 10th National Roundtable on Women in Prison: A Journey In/Justice. Contact the Women's Prison Association at (212) 674-1163 or visit http://www.wpaonline.org/WEBSITE/rt.html for further information.

June 22, Philadelphia, PA, "Mid-Atlantic Criminal Justice Colloquium: Fostering Compassion, Dignity and Hope," colloquium organized by the Drug Concerns Working Group of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). For further information or to get involved, contact Melissa Whaley at (856) 303-0280 or [email protected].

June 29-July 1, Washington, DC, National Summit on the Impact of Incarceration on African American Families and Communities. Call (252) 396-0884 or visit http://www.keepthetrust.org/summit/ for information.

July 5-7, Bryn Mawr, PA, "Liberty & Crisis," student seminar with the Institute for Humane Studies. Participation free, application deadline March 29, visit http://www.theihs.org/tab3/thefirst.html or e-mail [email protected] for further information.

August 24-29, Lagos, Nigeria, "Tenth International Conference on Penal Abolition." Contact Prisoners Rehabilitation and Welfare Action (PRAWA) at 234-(0)1-4971356-8 or [email protected], Rittenhouse: A New Vision of Transformative Justice at (416) 972-9992 or [email protected], or visit http://www.interlog.com/~ritten/ for further information.

September 26-28, Los Angeles, CA, "Breaking the Chains: People of Color and the War on Drugs." Conference by the Drug Policy Alliance, e-mail [email protected] to be placed on mailing list for when details become available.

September 30-October 1, Washington, DC, "National Symposium on Felony Disenfranchisement," conference sponsored by The Sentencing Project. Admission free, advance registration required, visit http://www.sentencingproject.org or call (202) 628-0871 for further information.

October 7-9, San Diego, CA, "Inside-Out: Fostering Healthy Outcomes for the Incarcerated and Their Families." Contact Stacey Shank of Centerforce at (559) 241-6162 for information.

November 6-8, 2002, St. Louis, MO, "2nd North American Conference on Fathers Behind Bars and on the Street." Call (434) 589-3036, e-mail [email protected] or visit http:/www.fcnetwork.org for information.

November 8-10, Anaheim, CA, combined national conference of Students for Sensible Drug Policy and the Marijuana Policy Project. Early bird registration $150, $45 for students with financial need, visit http://www.mpp.org/conference/ for further information.

November 9, Anaheim, CA, Bill Maher benefit show for Students for Sensible Drug Policy and the Marijuana Policy Project. Admission $50, or $1,000 VIP package including front-row seat and private reception with Bill Maher. Visit http://www.mpp.org/conference/ for further information.

December 1-4, Seattle, WA, "Taking Drug Users Seriously," Fourth National Harm Reduction Conference. Sponsored by the Harm Reduction Coalition, featuring keynote speaker Dr. Joycelyn Elders, former US Surgeon General. For information, e-mail [email protected], visit http://www.harmreduction.org or call (212) 213-6376.

April 6-10, 2003, Chiangmai, Thailand, 14th International Conference on the Reduction of Drug-Related Harm. Details to follow, e-mail [email protected] to request a full announcement by mail.


If you like what you see here and want to get these bulletins by e-mail, please fill out our quick signup form at http://stopthedrugwar.org/WOLSignup.shtml.

PERMISSION to reprint or redistribute any or all of the contents of Drug War Chronicle is hereby granted. We ask that any use of these materials include proper credit and, where appropriate, a link to one or more of our web sites. If your publication customarily pays for publication, DRCNet requests checks payable to the organization. If your publication does not pay for materials, you are free to use the materials gratis. In all cases, we request notification for our records, including physical copies where material has appeared in print. Contact: StoptheDrugWar.org: the Drug Reform Coordination Network, P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 293-8340 (voice), (202) 293-8344 (fax), e-mail [email protected]. Thank you.

Articles of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of the DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.

Out from the Shadows HEA Drug Provision Drug War Chronicle Perry Fund DRCNet en EspaŮol Speakeasy Blogs About Us Home
Why Legalization? NJ Racial Profiling Archive Subscribe Donate DRCNet em PortuguÍs Latest News Drug Library Search
special friends links: SSDP - Flex Your Rights - IAL - Drug War Facts

StoptheDrugWar.org: the Drug Reform Coordination Network (DRCNet)
1623 Connecticut Ave., NW, 3rd Floor, Washington DC 20009 Phone (202) 293-8340 Fax (202) 293-8344 [email protected]