This Week in History 10/31/03

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1991: While attempting to stop an air shipment of Colombian cocaine, Mexican Federal Police are killed by Mexican army members in the pay of the traffickers. Embarrassed, Mexican President Salinas orders an investigation, which results in the imprisonment of a Mexican General. The general is quietly released several months later.

November 2, 1951: The Boggs Act quadruples penalties in every single drug offense category.

November 4, 1998: Voters in seven states overwhelmingly approve nine initiatives reforming drug policy.

November 5, 1996: Proposition 215 in California (the Compassionate Use Act) passes with 56% of the voting public in favor. Proposition 200 in Arizona (the Drug Medicalization, Prevention, and Control Act) passes with 65% of the vote.

November 6, 1984: US DEA and Mexican officials raid a large marijuana cultivation and processing complex in the Chihuahua desert owned by kingpin Rafael Caro Quintero. Seven thousand campesinos work at the complex, where between 5,000-10,000 tons of high-grade marijuana worth $2.5 billion is found and destroyed. Time magazine calls this "the bust of the century," and it reveals the existence of Mexico's sophisticated marijuana smuggling industry.

November 6, 1985: Upping the ante in the battle against extradition, guerillas linked to the Medellin cartel attack the Colombian Palace of Justice. At least 95 people are killed in the 26-hour siege, including 11 Supreme Court justices. Many court documents, including all pending requests, are destroyed by fire.

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Issue #307, 10/17/03 Editorial: It's Time to Rejoin the Free World | Presenting "BUSTED: The Citizen's Guide to Surviving Police Encounters" | Decriminalization Comes to Britain: House of Commons Passes Cannabis Rescheduling Bill | Leftist Legalizer Elected Mayor of Bogota in Voter Rebuke of Colombian President | Dutch Government Seeks Ban on Foreigners in Coffee Shops | One and a Half Million Drug Arrests Last Year, Nearly 700,000 for Marijuana, FBI Reports | Media Scan: David Borden on Cultural Baggage, Forbes, Alternet, Pot TV | This Week in History | Newsbrief: MAPS/UMass Marijuana Grow Proposal Gets Backing from Senators Kennedy and Kerry | Newsbrief: This Week's Corrupt Cops Story | Newsbrief: Campaign Comments -- Lieberman on Drug War Racial Disparities | Newsbrief: Federal Appeals Court Says Nervousness Not Enough to Prompt Driver Search | Newsbrief: More Death Squad Drug Killings in the Philippines | Newsbrief: Retrograde Drug Politics in Kentucky Governor's Race | Newsbrief: North Carolina Congressman in Drug Treatment Slush Fund Scandal | DRCNet Temporarily Suspending Our Web-Based Write-to-Congress Service Due to Funding Shortfalls -- Your Help Can Bring It Back -- Keep Contacting Congress in the Meantime | Perry Fund Accepting Applications for 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 School Years, Providing Scholarships for Students Losing Aid Because of Drug Convictions | The Reformer's Calendar
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