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Drug War Chronicle
(formerly The Week Online with DRCNet)

Issue #311, 11/14/03

"Raising Awareness of the Consequences of Drug Prohibition"

Phillip S. Smith, Editor
David Borden, Executive Director

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. DRCNet Interview: Larry Campbell, Mayor of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  2. South Carolina: High School Drug Raid Sparks Incredulity, Outrage
  3. DRCNet Honchos Challenge DC with CD -- Borden and Guard Refuse to Report for Jury Service in Protest of Drug Laws
  4. Drug Policy Alliance 2003 Conference
  5. BUSTED: Special Video Offer for DRCNet Members
  6. Newsbrief: Canada Decriminalization Bill Dies Quiet Death
  7. Newsbrief: Bolivian Intellectuals Issue Call for Debate on Coca Law
  8. Newsbrief: FAMM Study Show States Embracing "Smart on Crime" Reforms
  9. Newsbrief: Illinois Targets Ecstasy, Speed on Campus
  10. Newsbrief: Texas Drug Task Force Prosecutor Plays "Let's Make a Deal" With Wealthy Defendants
  11. This Week in History
  12. 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
  13. Perry Fund Accepting Applications for 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 School Years, Providing Scholarships for Students Losing Aid Because of Drug Convictions
  14. The Reformer's Calendar
(last week's issue)

(Chronicle archives)


1. DRCNet Interview: Larry Campbell, Mayor of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Vancouver, British Columbia, is on the cutting edge of drug reform in the Western Hemisphere. The city's ambitious "Four Pillars" program to deal with the negative consequences of drug use under prohibition integrates prevention, treatment, law enforcement, and harm reduction in a comprehensive package that could be a model for cities from Buenos Aires to Boston. Part of the Four Pillars program was the September opening of the hemisphere's first safe injection site for needle users, located in the heart of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, long notorious as the largest congregation of hard-core drug users on the continent. But Vancouver's vanguard role in drug reform is not limited to the hard drug scene; the city is also home to well-known cannabis cafes where on-premise smoking is de rigueur, a cannabis-friendly bed and breakfast, more than 30 shops catering to marijuana growers, and an estimated 10,000 marijuana grow ops.

While tolerance and liberalization were a hallmark of the administration of former Mayor Phillip Owen, Owen's failure to garner the political support to move fast on implementing the Four Pillars strategy helped carry Larry Campbell and his Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE) to a smashing victory last year. Campbell, a former Royal Canadian Mounted Police narcotics officer who became Vancouver's coroner and saw the downside of prohibitionist practices staring up at him from the morgue, made rapid implementation of the Four Pillars program a central component of his campaign. While Owen and Campbell have been political rivals, they share a common commitment to drug reform in Vancouver, for which they were both honored at last weekend's Drug Police Alliance conference in New Jersey. Campbell also impressed the crowd in New Jersey with his wit, steadfastness in the face of American criticism, and his humane approach to drug policy. DRCNet spoke with Campbell on Wednesday.

Drug War Chronicle: It's been two years or so since the Four Pillars plan was elaborated. You've had a heavy police presence on the Downtown Eastside since April and a safe injection site up and running since September. What is the current status of the Four Pillars plan and what remains to be done?

Mayor Campbell

Vancouver Mayor Larry Campbell: We have dedicated funding in place for the safe injection site through the federal and provincial governments, but policing costs will be a city responsibility. We had a meeting on that this morning. The city is going through a real transition now because of all the baby boomers retiring, and we need to reexamine city finances. As for treatment, we will be having a conference later this month and we will be asking for a catalog of treatment programs within the province. There is a widespread sense that we don't have enough treatment facilities, but we don't know if that is really true -- no one has a real handle on it. With prevention, we need to move forward. All we have right now is D.A.R.E., and we have seen that if you use science-based evaluations of D.A.R.E., it hasn't proven its worth. We need to look at how we can better educate our students, how best to tell them what drugs are, what they do and what will happen if things go bad, while at the same time recognizing that some of them will choose to use drugs.

Chronicle: Can you talk a little about the process of coming up with the plan? We're especially interested in the notion of the "stakeholder" and in bringing drug users into the discussion. How and why did you accomplish that?

The involvement of drug users is absolutely critical. When we talk about drug use and drug users, all we're really talking about is what we think is going on. We needed to talk to people who are actually on the street, and we did, and they were very important in setting up the safe injection site, as well as being of great benefit for their insights on treatment and prevention. The drug users themselves formed an organization, the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (http://www.vandu.org) and brought themselves to the table and made sure they were heard. It wasn't a matter of letting them in; they let themselves in. People like VANDU's Anne Livingston and Dean Wilson were crucial to building the coalition that created Four Pillars, because they could explain what was going on from the addict's perspective.

Chronicle: On another topic, there are an estimated 10,000 or so marijuana grow-ops in the city. What is Vancouver doing about them, and what is the ultimate solution? Should marijuana be not decriminalized but legalized?

Campbell: Marijuana should be legalized and controlled. We should tax the hell out of it with the revenue earmarked for health care, but I don't foresee that happening in my lifetime. We can't even get a decriminalization bill through [Editor's Note: See newsbrief this issue], although if we did, maybe people could grow it themselves. Now, most grow ops are controlled by organized crime, and we do go after them. In fact, we bust grow ops on a daily basis. But the main reason is not because they're growing pot but because of neighborhood safety issues. These guys typically cut into the electric power supply because they don't want their high usage to show up on their bills, then they hook up lights and timers and water systems. These houses catch fire frequently. And sometimes the families who are put in to guard the grow ops have kids, and those kids end up being exposed to high levels of carbon dioxide.

Chronicle: US drug czar John Walters and other American political figures have been harshly critical of the safe injection site in Vancouver and of Canadian "leniency" on drug policy. How much attention do you pay to the Americans?

Campbell: As I told the people in New Jersey, Walters and I are no longer exchanging Christmas cards. But seriously, I pay no attention whatsoever to Walters. He is probably the most misinformed person in the whole United States. Most US states have more liberal policies on marijuana than we do. I do pay attention to Americans; they're my friends and I don't want to cause them any harm. But Walters is just the latest in a long line of failed generals in a war they claim isn't even being fought adequately. But if this were a real war, they'd all be fired.

Chronicle: In New Jersey, you talked about the progressive role of the Vancouver police in implementing Four Pillars. But there have been allegations of police misconduct, such as the Stanley Park beatings, as well as critical reports from the Pivot Legal Aid Society and Human Rights Watch over the police crackdown on the Downtown Eastside (http://www.hrw.org/reports/2003/canada/ and http://www.hrw.org/press/2003/06/canada0623031-ltr.htm). What do you say to those criticisms?

Campbell: The Vancouver police force is the only force in all of North America that has bought into harm reduction and the Four Pillars strategy. They understand that we need to approach this as a medical problem, but at the same time we have to enforce the laws against drug trafficking. As for Pivot and Human Rights Watch, Pivot is a well-known organization in this city. When I became mayor, I told them to bring complaints forward to me, but they didn't. And Human Rights Watch should be cleaning up their own backyard. I dismiss them out of hand because they just blew into town, didn't speak to anyone with the city -- only those involved in the seedier side -- then left and issued an unfair report. I met with them after they issued their report and told them that, and they barely responded. I don't have any time for them now.

Chronicle: You are a former member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. We heard rumors that you will be joining Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (http://www.leap.cc). Is that true? And does that mean you support legalization and regulation for all currently illicit drugs?

Campbell: I'm thinking about it. I just got back from New Jersey and I'm looking at their brchures, but I still have to do some research on this. I know one Vancouver police officer who already joined up. They certainly lend credibility to what we are trying to do. As for legalization, ending prohibition would be the logical way to go, but at the end of the day I know it's not going to happen. If we can't even legalize marijuana, the chances of legalizing the rest of it are pretty slim, but I agree with the idea of legalization. We have to continue thinking in a progressive manner when it comes to drugs. If we don't, we won't be able to have a healthy society and we won't be able to keep our people alive. And that's what it's all about.


2. South Carolina: High School Drug Raid Sparks Incredulity, Outrage

A November 5th drug raid at Stratford High School in Goose Creek, South Carolina, has sparked national media attention, local outrage, a state police investigation, and a rapidly coalescing protest movement in the usually tranquil Charleston suburb. As television viewers nationwide saw, the 6:40am raid featured an aggressive squad of police bursting into a school hallway with guns drawn, forcing cowering students to the ground, and handcuffing those they claimed complied too slowly with officers' shouted demands while police drug dogs sniffed for contraband. None was found.

The Goose Creek police were called in by Stratford High Principal George McCrackin, who told local media he had seen an increase in "drug activity" at the school in recent weeks. But while McCrackin made the decision to seek police assistance, it was Goose Creek police commanders who made the decision to treat students in their community as if they were enemy combatants. In an interview with the Charleston Post & Courier two days later, Goose Creek police Lt. Dave Aarons defended police tactics. Police drew their guns as "a matter of officer safety," he said. "I don't think it was an overreaction," he said. "Anytime you have qualified information regarding drugs and large amounts of money, there's a reasonable assumption weapons are involved."

Along with finding no drugs, however, police also found no guns. Both the Goose Creek police and the school district have since retreated into a defensive silence. A police spokesman told DRCNet Thursday that the department could not comment because of an ongoing investigation by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED). SLED spokeswoman Kathryn Porter confirmed to DRCNet that an investigation is underway, but declined to say anything else. School district officials did not return repeated calls for comment from DRCNet.

But if the school district and the police aren't talking, a lot of other people are. "I couldn't believe this was actually happening here in the US," said Sharon Smalls, whose 14-year-old son Nathaniel was one of the students victimized in the raid. "I thought it was a bad joke until I actually saw it on the news. Most parents are really outraged about this," she told DRCNet, "and the only ones who are not outraged are the ones whose kids were not involved. It is not ever okay to point a gun at a child's head," she said.

"Those police put Nathaniel on the floor with guns to his head and searched his pockets, his socks and his shoes," Smalls said. "I know the school says they were surveilling the kids for some time, but why they went after these particular kids, I don't know. They didn't find any of them doing anything wrong. Nathaniel is frightened and confused."

Nathaniel Smalls is probably not alone in being traumatized. "I would expect to see some degree of fear in students as a result of this operation," said Dr. Ken Ruggiero of the National Crime Victims' Research and Treatment Center (http://www.musc.edu/cvc/), which just happens to be located in nearby Charleston. "I would expect elevated fear and distress among kids who have never been exposed to that kind of scenario, but also among kids who have been exposed to violent neighborhood crime or domestic violence as well," he told DRCNet. "This could trigger emotional reactions for these kids and that would be bad for them."

Ruggiero noted the irony of a crime victims' center commenting on the trauma resulting not from criminal activity but from police behavior and made the depressing observation that perhaps high school students need to be educated about the possibility of being caught up in such heavy-handed police actions in the future. "I'm sure many of those students suffered at least a temporary high level of fear and distress," he said. "Maybe we need to make them more aware of the likelihood that these things may be possible in the future. But I hope we can find better ways of managing this in the future."

University of California-Santa Cruz sociologist Mike Males is no trauma specialist, but he knows a thing or two about targeting youth. Author of such books as "Framing Youth: Ten Myths About the Next Generation" and "The Scapegoat Generation: America's War on Adolescents," Males viewed the Stratford High raid with a skeptical eye. "The extreme step of deploying a team of gun-brandishing officers to a school hallway, tactics applicable to violent criminals, is not justified even if the evidence presented by the school principal and school board are accepted as accurate," he told DRCNet. "It is not clear why -- if camera surveillance videos were clear enough to show actions as subtle and secretive as drug sales -- the students suspected of selling drugs were not simply identified and arrested individually. Nor would it make sense for drug sellers to deal inside a school knowing they were being caught on video cameras when there are many unmonitored places to sell drugs."

But for Males, the Stratford raid is only the most outrageous recent example of an adult world petrified by kids. School officials are afraid of massive drug activity and even more afraid of being seen as not forcefully addressing it, said Males, but "the striking and puzzling reality is that subsequent evidence consistently shows that nothing even remotely approaching such drug abuse or student violence exists." School drug testing turns up few positives, Males noted, while lengthy undercover investigations produce few and unspectacular results. "I am not aware of a single raid, sting, testing operation, or other action that has turned up the drug rings, doped students, and violent enterprises school and police officials insisted were taking over the school," he said.

"Even more bizarrely, none of these calming results seem to ameliorate adults' intense fear," Males continued. "Even after investigations find a school's students are clean, officials and officers immediately return to claiming, absent any evidence, that there must have been massive drug activity at the school that only their stern intervention deterred and that future repressions will be undertaken. Clearly, the scary fact we are facing is not stoned students, but a complete breakdown of adults' rational ability to perceive what is really going on and a frantic response that puts guns against 15 year-old bodies to ward off a problem that doesn't exist."

[Males is compiling a compendium of similar drug or violence enforcement outrages in high schools. If anyone wishes to submit an incident, Males can be contacted at [email protected].]

The National Youth Rights Organization (http://www.youthrights.org) were also outraged. "What the police and principal conspired to do and carried out was a scene out of Iraq, not South Carolina," said Alex Koroknay-Palicz, president of the group. "It reflects the shoddy treatment of youth. Most businesses don't want drugs in their offices, but they don't send in armed police with guns drawn. Our society has respect for people who work in offices, but not for students. Students are treated as second class citizens," he told DRCNet. "The Supreme Court used to say the Constitution didn't stop at the schoolhouse door, but now everything is reversed."

The raid also raised the hackles of constitutional scholars. "First of all, Goose Creek is not the Sunni Triangle," snorted University of South Carolina law professor Eldon Wedlock. "From what I can see, the behavior of the police there was outside the law," he told DRCNet. "Even though the Supreme Court had decided that students in school have a lesser expectation of privacy, school authorities need to have a particularized suspicion that a certain student is committing a crime. When school officials call in the police, I say the police still have to operate under constitutional rules; they have to have probable cause. Here you have a whole bunch of kids detained -- they were under arrest under any interpretation of the law. They were not free to go," Wedlock continued. "The police did not have any probable cause to arrest those kids -- and if police deprive you of your liberty in any meaningful way, that's an arrest. This was way over the top; I don't know what possessed these people. I don't know anyone in education, law enforcement, or criminal justice who would sign off on something like that." Both the school district and the police department are wide open for lawsuits, he added.

And they could see just that from the American Civil Liberties Union's Drug Policy Litigation Project. "We have some people from our office going down to investigate," said project spokesperson Anjuli Verma. "All we know at this point is what we've seen on the news," she told DRCNet, "but we will be looking very closely at this."

The ACLU isn't the only reform organization headed for South Carolina as a result of the raid. Students for Sensible Drug Policy (http://www.ssdp.org) activist Dan Goldman was expected to arrive in Charleston Thursday evening, and US Marijuana Party (http://www.usmjparty.com) head Loretta Nall has been on the scene since Tuesday. "What we have just witnessed was the most graphic and disturbing example of the increasing criminalization of students," said SSDP national director Darrell Rogers. "What SSDP wants to do is provide a voice to help students speak more loudly and clearly to defend themselves and their rights. We are there to support the efforts of students and their families, and we will be working with other drug reform and civil rights groups to highlight this outrage."

"I met with about 200 students today and handed out brochures," Nalls told DRCNet Thursday. "They are all really upset and interested in putting together a formal organized protest. The student body in general is really pissed off, and they're really happy to find out they're not alone. When Dan Goldman gets in town tomorrow, we'll meet with the students again, and I'm thinking we'll have a rally in front of the police station on Saturday. If we show up with a couple of hundred angry students, maybe the police and the community will get the message."

Nall told DRCNet that most of the students she met with were white, as is 80% of the Stratford High student body. But of the 107 students detained during the raid, about 90 were black. Race appears to be the unacknowledged factor here. As Nall noted, "only the black people are talking about race."

Sharon Smalls and her son are black, and Smalls is one of those people talking about race. "We have a majority white high school, yet almost all the kids targeted were black. Funny how that happens, isn't it?"

Visit http://www.ssdp.org for Students for Sensible Drug Policy's press release condemning the Goose Creek raid.


3. DRCNet Honchos Challenge DC with CD -- Borden and Guard Refuse to Report for Jury Service in Protest of Drug Laws

DRCNet executive director David Borden and associate director David Guard are set to perform acts of civil disobedience to protest the inherent injustice in the District of Columbia and the US criminal justice systems. Both Borden and Guard are refusing to participate in jury trials in the District.

"The first time I was called for a jury pool I found that people with our kinds of ideas don't get picked for juries," said Borden. "The name of my employer, which I am required to list on the juror registration form -- the Drug Reform Coordination Network -- virtually guarantees that I won't make it to a jury. That turns their calling me for a jury pool and my reporting to it into a game. I decided instead to take the opportunity to make a statement."

David Borden in Mérida

Last August, Borden related, he sent a letter to the people listed on the juror summons firm, DC Chief Judge Rufus G. King III, son of the late, great drug reformer (and DRCNet member) Rufus G. King Jr., and cc'ed to the Clerk of the Court, Wayne Delaney. Borden's missive to Judge King was an open letter in which he explained his rationale for refusing to serve. "I wanted to show respect to the court and particularly to Judge King by really laying out my thinking in detail. I knew Rufus King the elder, and I'm told his son was proud of his activism," Borden explained. "Also, he continued, "jury service is supposed to be a noble part of citizenship, and many people in our movement see juries as a check against government tyranny. But you have to be able to get on the jury to play that role; on drug cases at least, that's not a likely scenario for the head of DRCNet, for obvious reasons. And when despite the efforts of many good people within the system its net effect has become so ignoble, in my view serving it without having the ability to truly monitor and influence the administration of justice presents a real moral dilemma."

Borden's letter described a "moral and humanitarian crisis" in US drug policy, listing the injustices of drug war enforcement and punishment; the external consequences of the drug laws, such as violence, HIV, Colombia, and the under-treatment of pain; and the impact of drug policies in undermining the ethical functioning of the criminal justice system as whole. Because of that, Borden argued, jurors cannot rely on the information they're provided for deciding cases; the information is often skewed and incomplete, Borden charged, and jurors lack knowledge of the possible sentencing consequences to which their votes cast may subject the convicted. The letter describes attempts to enact minor changes in the District of Columbia's own drug policies which were approved by voters but rebuffed by Congress, and goes on to weigh the moral pros and cons of not serving even on non-drug cases.

The first response from the DC criminal justice system came from Judge King, but had the appearance of having been written by a staffer and did not reflect a thorough understanding of the content of Borden's letter. More recently, Borden received a second communication, this time from the juror office, informing him that he was not excused from service and instructing him to appear Monday, November 17 for jury duty. Borden sent a letter back stating that he was not asking to be excused, but simply refusing to show up and that he would not be appearing for jury service, but that he would appear for any formal proceeding relating to his refusal to report. Meanwhile, David Guard also received a juror summons, and followed suit by also not showing up, instead sending a short letter to Judge King with a copy of Borden's attached.

David Guard protesting
the sentencing of
medical marijuana
provider Bryan Epis
Instead of going inside to the juror lounge, Borden, Guard and allies will at 8:15 Monday morning hold a small rally outside the DC Superior Court building at 500 Indiana Ave. NW in Judiciary Square. The DRCNet duo and a handful of other speakers will denounce the drug war and declare solidarity with the half-million people incarcerated for nonviolent drug offenders and all the other victims of the drug war. If all goes well, said Borden, the media will be in attendance and the issue will be covered. "After all," said Borden, "we're risking up to a week in jail and/or up to a $300 fine, and though the actual penalties are likely to be toward the lower end, it's not worth it just to preach to the choir. We are trying to make our point in a dramatic fashion and in the process educate the public on the need to change the drug laws and reform the criminal justice system -- and in the meantime, make the majority of people who will report when called for jury service a little more skeptical of the information presented to them by the state and more cognizant of their right to act as conscience dictates."

Borden said that many people have responded to his open letter. Some wrote or called to say they were moved or inspired by the action, including one federal prisoner serving a life sentence for an LSD offense. Borden and Guard have also received compliments form colleagues, and one jury nullification advocate sent the letter to his list. "But I also heard from people who thought I'd made a mistake and that I should instead have tried to get on a drug case's jury in order to acquit someone. "A few people were upset that I didn't do that," Borden said. "They thought I was discouraging enlightened thinkers from serving on juries. I respect those opinions, but on both counts I judge the situation differently -- I don't see how I will ever get on a jury, at least not on a drug case; and the small set of people willing to risk jail time for civil disobedience are well-educated and aware of the other options such as nullification that might be available to them. Plus, none indicated having ever successfully carried out jury nullification themselves. Maybe it has a future, but in the present, at least, other strategies are needed as well."

"I also have a quasi-mystical belief in the power of the pure gesture," Borden said. "Historians debate whether trends or individuals make history; I think it's both, and who knows what small choices by individuals doing what they feel is right might end up catalyzing those larger trends."

Some attorneys and others saw the jury process as presenting opportunities to influence other potential jurors by using voir dire (the stage of jury selection in which each potential juror discusses issues that could affect their decision-making) as a bully pulpit. "I wanted to speak my mind for the room when I was called the first time," said Borden, "but in DC courtrooms there is a white noise system that prevents anyone but the judge, prosecutor, and defense attorney from hearing what the potential juror has to say. It was disappointing, actually. I've heard that this is not the case in every jurisdiction."

Is Borden suggesting that others should follow his example? "I am not suggesting that anyone should or should not repeat this. I view it as an individual decision based on conscience, strategy and practicalities. Anyone considering this should think it through carefully, should certainly find out what the laws are in your state and perhaps consult an attorney, decide what you are willing to risk and what you might gain by trying a different approach. But by all means, feel free to get in touch. I'm a believer in multiple strategies pursued concurrently. Not that this is all about strategy; it is also an act of conscience that seemed a logical conclusion when I opened and looked at my jury summons last summer."

Visit http://stopthedrugwar.org/openletter/ to read Borden's letter to Judge King online. Come out to 500 Indiana Ave. NW, DC Superior Court, Judiciary Square metro stop in Washington, 8:15-9:00am Monday 11/17/03 to rally in support of Borden and Guard.


4. Drug Policy Alliance 2003 Conference

The Drug Policy Alliance's (http://www.drugpolicy.org) 2003 conference, its first all-purpose drug reform confab since Albuquerque in 2001, has come and gone. With more workshops than any one person could attend, covering a wide array of drug policy-related topics, the conference generally won accolades from those in attendance.

According to DPA, about 525 people registered for the conference and another 200 participated as speakers, though some veteran conference-goers wondered whether DPA 2003 was as big as DPA 2001. Conference coordinator Jennifer O'Neal was having done of that, however. "We piled them in," she told DRCNet. "We're very satisfied with the conference, and we've had nothing but great responses from participants and speakers alike."

O'Neal's outlook was shared by drug reform novices and veterans alike. "I loved it," said Chuck Thomas of Unitarian Universalists for Drug Policy Reform (http://www.uudpr.org) and the fledgling ecumenical Interfaith Drug Policy Initiative (http://www.idpi.us). Thomas, who has countless movement conferences under his belt, told DRCNet he saw the event as an opportunity both to learn and to network with his reform peers. "For me, the networking, the time spent in the hallways and in peoples' rooms were most useful, although the workshops were great, too," he said. "There are so many different aspects to this movement, and the variety of workshops addressing those different facets was incredible. Both the speakers and the material they presented were of the highest quality."

For Loretta Nall of the Alabama-based US Marijuana Party (http://www.usmjparty.com), going to the New Jersey Meadowlands for DPA 2003 was an eye-opener. "I was absolutely amazed by the quality of the people and the information they had," the first-time conference-goer told DRCNet. "I wish 50,000 people could have been there." Newcomer or not, Nall is ready to jump right in. "I'm only a year into activism, so I figure in a couple of years I'll be up there with the speakers," she said. "I could have done it this year, but I figure I'll give people a chance to get to know me first."

Kevin Zeese of Common Sense for Drug Policy (http://www.csdp.org), another veteran of innumerable conferences, joined the approving consensus. "The quality of the presentations and attendees was excellent," he told DRCNet. "The movement is maturing, and we're getting more sophisticated. Also, a lot of new people are getting involved in leadership positions in their communities. At the end of the Alliance of Reform Organizations (ARO) dinner when I asked new people to introduce themselves it went on a lot longer than I expected. That's a good sign," he said. "During these times when there are so many things going on, the drug issue continues to draw people in."

But are others dropping out? Zeese wondered about the overall turn-out. "It was smaller than I expected," he said. "I'm not sure why, but that is disappointing."

former SSDP ND Shawn Heller,
new DanceSafe ED Marc Brandl,
SSDP's Darrell Rogers and Abby Bair
While panels and plenary sessions touched on an amazing array of topics -- from lobbying at the state level to psychedelic consciousness, from global aspects of drug reform to the rise of "the D.A.R.E. generation" in the ranks of reform, and from reining in the anti-drug task forces to examining the war on pain patients and doctors, one of the clear highlights of the conference was the Saturday plenary session dedicated to "Those Crazy Canadians." With the country's marijuana laws on the verge of collapse and with Canadian pace-setting on harm reduction measures such as safe injection sites -- the first officially sanctioned site in the hemisphere opened in Vancouver in September -- events in the Great White North excited interest and optimism among American reformers battered by an intransigent Bush administration and the inertia of the drug war.

Featuring Sen. Pierre Claude Nolin, who chaired last year's Canadian senate committee report calling for the legalization of marijuana, and current Vancouver Mayor Larry Campbell and his immediate predecessor Phillip Owen, the session was a chance for the Americans to see that there is another path, and it is a viable one. Owen described Vancouver's process of community consultation and endless rounds of meetings as the city grappled with alternatives to the war on drugs and came up with the vaunted Four Pillars --- prevention, treatment, harm reduction, law enforcement -- plan to grapple with the consequences of rampant drug use under prohibition.

Because of all the meetings, said Owen, "We moved in lockstep with public health officials, social service providers, the media and the public. Our citizens came to recognize that you have to embrace the drug user -- he's not a criminal. And we involved drug users in our planning," Owen added. "You can't incarcerate your way out of this," he said. "You can't liberalize your way out, you can't ignore it, so you have to manage it."

Owen's successor, current Mayor Larry Campbell, agreed and was even more feisty. Campbell drew laughs and applause from the crowd as he described conversing with a menacing John Walters, the US drug czar. "He threatened to shut down the border if we decriminalized marijuana," Campbell said, "and I told him if they wanted to shut down the border, then California would go dark, since it gets its electricity from us." In another jab at US drug warriors, Campbell noted that "in Canada, prisons are not a growth industry."

Sen. Nolin, for his part, called for a regulated legalization process for illicit drugs, basing his conclusion on "ethics, science, penal law, and the appropriate role of the state." The state must play a role, said Nolin, because drug use is a public health issue and "because we've rejected zero tolerance as a viable option."

Nolin also slammed the now-dead Canadian decriminalization bill as "too early and not good enough." The bill was a compromise driven by the need to gain political support, he said, and was unduly influenced by pressure from the US. "Decriminalization is very popular," said Nolin. "Only 15% support the status quo -- and that's thanks to your drug czar. But I cannot support this bill."

All three Canadians were honored by DPA at the Saturday evening awards dinner, as were Rep. John Conyers -- who shared a table with former mandatory minimum prisoner and activist Kemba Smith and father Gus Smith and promised to attend next year's "Breaking the Chains" conference, Marc Mauer of The Sentencing Project, Allan Clear of the Harm Reduction Coalition, Rick Doblin of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, Commander Brian Paddick of London's Metropolitan Police Authority, and The Economist magazine.

And last but not least, as the conference ended Saturday night, not everyone was intent on partying -- at least not right away. Some dozens of mainly youthful attendees crammed into a conference room for the first public viewing of "Busted: The Citizens' Guide to Surviving Police Encounters," the how-to video produced by Flex Your Rights (http://www.flexyourrights.org) to help keep people from being needlessly arrested. From crowd reaction at the viewing, "Busted" appears destined to be a major hit.

See http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/310/dpa.shtml for last week's coverage of the earlier portion of the conference, including the release of the DPA/JPI New Jersey incarceration report..


5. BUSTED: Special Video Offer for DRCNet Members

Visit http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/310/bustedreview.shtml to read last week's Drug War Chronicle's video review of BUSTED.

DRCNet is pleased to offer a bold and exciting new instructional video, "BUSTED: The Citizen's Guide to Surviving Police Encounters," as our new premium gift to members donating at the $35 level or above. Produced by the Flex Your Rights Foundation and narrated by retired ACLU executive director Ira Glasser, BUSTED realistically depicts the pressure and confusion of common police encounters. BUSTED's actors illustrate the right and wrong ways to handle different police encounters, in an entertaining but revealing way, with special attention focused on instructing viewers how to courteously and confidently refuse police search requests. BUSTED is hot off the press, and you can be one of the very first people to own a copy -- just visit http://stopthedrugwar.org/donate/ to donate and order today!

If you've ever been stopped and searched by the police, you know how humiliating it feels to be forced to sit and wait like a child while strangers with guns tear through your personal belongings. But that could be just the beginning of your ordeal. What if the police find a marijuana seed that your friend accidentally dropped? What if they find a prescription pill with no prescription? In these cases, waiving one's constitutional rights can lead to arrest, jail, expensive legal bills and seized property. Viewing BUSTED can prevent this from happening to you and your loved ones. So visit http://stopthedrugwar.org/donate/ and donate $35 or more, and DRCNet will send you a copy for free!

Your donation will also help DRCNet (and Flex Your Rights) navigate the troubled waters of our nation's struggling economy. The drug reform movement is in a financial crisis of greater proportions than we have ever seen in nearly ten years of operating -- which means that members and readers like yourself are more important to drug policy reform than ever before -- we need your help! So please visit http://stopthedrugwar.org/donate/ to make a generous donation by credit card or to print a form to send in with your donation by mail -- or just send your check or money order to: DRCNet, P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036. We can also accept donations of stock: Our broker is Ameritrade, phone: (800) 669-3900, account number: 772973012, DTC number: 0188, make sure to contact us directly to let us know that the stocks are there and whether they are meant for the Drug Reform Coordination Network or the DRCNet Foundation.

Here is some of the advance praise that BUSTED has received:

"Our precious constitutional rights are worth only the paper they are written on unless we understand and exercise them. BUSTED makes an important contribution toward transforming the Constitution's paper promises into real rights for real people."
-- Nadine Strossen, president, American Civil Liberties Union

"BUSTED provides effective instruction in how to benefit from basic constitutional rights. It deserves wide distribution."
-- Milton Friedman, Hoover Institution fellow; Nobel laureate economist

"As a journalist covering the war on drugs, I've often been surprised at how readily people consent to searches. By clearly explaining and vividly illustrating the dynamics of encounters with the police, BUSTED should help people keep their calm -- and their freedom."
-- Jacob Sullum, senior editor, Reason Magazine; author, "Saying Yes: In Defense of Drug Use"

"Chronic disregard for civil rights is tearing apart the fabric of America. Flex Your Rights has hit the nail on the head in this hard hitting instructional video."
-- Mike Gray, author, "Drug Crazy"; chairman, Common Sense for Drug Policy

"BUSTED is the only video I know of that is providing clear and candid information about how to 'just say no' to intimidating police searches. Parents, teachers, and concerned citizens across the US should use BUSTED to protect young people, who are often targeted by police, from the greatest harm of using marijuana -- arrest."
-- Robert Kampia, executive director, Marijuana Policy Project

"We should not be put in the position of trying to protect individuals from themselves, because that is when we police start violating people's constitutional rights."
-- Jack A. Cole, executive director, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

"If enough people see BUSTED it will alter the balance of power on America's streets forever."
-- Nora Callahan, executive director, November Coalition

We at DRCNet have been privileged to help this new organization get off the ground, and have learned a great deal about police encounters and the constitution in the process. We are confident you will also learn a lot from BUSTED and that you will enjoy it a great deal as well. So please order your copy today! Again, just visit http://stopthedrugwar.org/donate/ and donate $35 or more, and we will put your copy in the mail! (You can also request other books we offer, as well as StoptheDrugWar.org t-shirts, mugs and mousepads, a variety of books and other items.)

Please note that donations 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. Again, visit http://stopthedrugwar.org/donate/ to join, donate and order your free copy of BUSTED today. Thank you for your support.

Read DRCNet's June 2002 interview with FyR's Steven Silverman at http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/242/stevensilverman.shtml
-- and visit Flex Your Rights at http://www.flexyourrights.org to learn much more!


6. Newsbrief: Canada Decriminalization Bill Dies Quiet Death

The marijuana decriminalization bill promoted by the government of Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien is dead. The bill and all other pending legislation was killed Wednesday afternoon when Chretien prorogued (or adjourned) Parliament before his pending retirement. Parliament will resume in a new session beginning January 12, but Chretien's successor, Paul Martin, has shown little enthusiasm for reintroducing a decrim bill.

Chretien's Cannabis Reform Bill (C-38) will not be mourned by many. Old-school drug fighters, such as Canadian Alliance Member of Parliament Randy White and Canadian police associations, opposed any liberalization of the marijuana laws, as did US drug czar John Walters. And marijuana reform advocates were chary of the bill because while it would have made the possession of a small amount of marijuana a non-criminal offense punishable only by a fine, it also included provisions that would have increased penalties for all but the smallest marijuana cultivation operations.

While parliamentary action to change Canada's cannabis laws may be on indefinite hold, the Canadian Supreme Court has already heard arguments in a series of cases challenging the government's ability to outlaw marijuana possession and distribution. A decision in those cases, which cite the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom, is expected any week now.

To read the bill online, visit:
http://www.parl.gc.ca/37/2/parlbus/chambus/house/bills/government/C-38/C-38_2/C-38TOCE.html


7. Newsbrief: Bolivian Intellectuals Issue Call for Debate on Coca Law

A group of distinguished Bolivian intellectuals has called for an urgent national debate on coca and the country's coca laws. The call comes one month after former President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada was forced from office by a popular mobilization whose immediate spark was a plan to privatize and sell-off Bolivian natural gas supplies, but which was rooted in mass discontent over the government's US-backed forced coca eradication policies as well as its free-market orientation more generally. Sanchez de Lozada was replaced by political newcomer Carlos Mesa, but Mesa has so far given no indication of what he will do about coca. Coca growers led by Evo Morales, and indigenous peasants and workers led by Felipe Quispe, have notified the Mesa administration it has only weeks before they call the masses back to the streets if no action is taken on the coca issue.

Last week, Bolivian intellectuals Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui, Rafael Archondo, Walter Guzman, Juan Espinoza Del Villar, and Carolina Loureiro added to the pressure with an open call for a national dialogue on the coca question. "It is necessary that civil society speak in order to generate a broad demand for revision of Law 1008 [the coca eradication law], an end to forced eradication, and the realization of an independent study, without North American leadership, on the scope and potential of the legal market, in order to achieve the adoption of a sovereign policy by the Bolivian state," read their manifesto, which was published under the title "So That Anti-Coca Politics Does Not Destroy Bolivia."

Referring to the violent protests that led to Sanchez de Lozada's resignation, the intellectuals added that, "The events of the past month of October have placed the theme of the sovereignty of our natural resources on the table for discussion. This theme must include not only gas but also the coca leaf, which is in the sights of US corporations and the US government, which seek to provoke a logic of confrontations and social protests without a view toward their solution."

coca seedlings

"It is urgent that civil society pass from protest to proposal and speak actively on these themes. We propose a national debate on the coca leaf," wrote the intellectuals. That debate should, they wrote, include special attention to the question of the criminalization of "excess" coca, which has "converted the productive zones of the tropic of Cochabamba and vast region of the Yungas into zones of illegality." Noting that a "massive consumption of coca leaf" was apparent during the recent protests, the intellectuals wrote that "coca leaf, along with natural gas, has been converted into an emblem of dignity and national sovereignty." The signers of the manifesto also called for a spirited defense of "coca leaf as a legitimate product and a natural indigenous medicine, a gift from Bolivia to the world."

And they harshly criticized US-imposed forced eradication policies. "The anti-drug policies dictated to Bolivia by the US government have achieved nothing more than wounding and deaths of hundreds of Bolivians, the criminalization of entire regions, and a spiral of state violence, all incompatible with the postulates of democracy. It is necessary to say whether the human rights of the Bolivian people should or should not be defended by the state against the power of the US, which insists on its eradication policy without taking into account the cultural and economic importance the production and consumption of the coca leaf has for Bolivia."


8. Newsbrief: FAMM Study Show States Embracing "Smart on Crime" Reforms

A new study of state-level criminal justice policy policies commissioned by the sentencing reform group Families Against Mandatory Minimums (http://www.famm.org) has found that half the states have instituted sentencing or other criminal justice reforms as a response to the budget crisis in the states in the last three years.

The report, authored by Judith A. Greene of Justice Strategies, found that sentencing and other reforms are sweeping the country. "From Alabama to Wisconsin, public officials in 25 states have made major improvements in their sentencing and correctional policies. Four more states have similar reform proposals under consideration," said Greene. "Seventeen states, including Michigan, Louisiana, Washington, Texas, Kansas and Mississippi have rolled back mandatory minimum sentences or restructured other harsh penalties enacted in preceding years to 'get tough' on low-level or nonviolent offenders, especially those convicted of drug offenses."

The report names 16 states, including Texas, Washington, Colorado and Kentucky, which have slowed prison population growth by shortening time served in prison, increasing the release rate, and returning fewer parole violators to prison. The report also cites California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah and Virginia as states that have closed entire prisons to cut corrections costs.

But according to FAMM, it is not just the bottom line that is driving the trend. "The growing movement toward 'smart on crime' sentencing and corrections policies is not driven solely by dollars," said Laura Sager, FAMM executive director. "In the last few years, there has been a major shift in public opinion and political will away from criminal justice policies that do not distinguish between offenders and waste precious tax resources on incarcerating too many low-level, nonviolent lawbreakers."

Read the study, "Smart On Crime: Positive Trends in State-Level Sentencing and Corrections," online at:
http://www.famm.org/nr_sentencing_news_trends_report_11_03.htm


9. Newsbrief: Illinois Targets Ecstasy, Speed on Campus

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich announced Monday an aggressive new plan to crack down on so-called club drugs and methamphetamine around college campuses in the state. "Project X," as Blagojevich and company cutely named the campaign, will burn up $2.5 million next year in an effort to suppress ecstasy and meth use. Part of Project X is "Club U," under which the Illinois State Police will be "targeting a student population of more than 200,000 young adults at the state's nine major colleges and universities."

"Project X is the state's most aggressive law enforcement crackdown against illegal trafficking of ecstasy and meth in the state's history," said Blagojevich. "We must attack swiftly and aggressively to curtail the growing, dangerous trend these drugs have on your youth." The Democratic governor also resorted to Reefer Madness-style rhetoric, approvingly quoting the DEA's portrayal of ecstasy as "the crack cocaine of the Y generation" and as a drug "fast becoming the number one problem facing America's youth today."

While Blagojevich touted the program as a balanced strategy of prevention, treatment, and law enforcement, the numbers tell a different story. Of the $2.5 million in funding -- most of which will come from asset forfeitures -- some $200,000 will buy ads produced by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America and $500,000 will go to treatment programs. But $1.8 million will go to law enforcement, primarily to pay overtime for more undercover operations directed at the state's college students.

Project X is ramping up right now. Read the governor's press release at:
http://www100.state.il.us/PressReleases/ShowPressRelease.cfm?SubjectID=3&RecNum=2362


10. Newsbrief: Texas Drug Task Force Prosecutor Plays "Let's Make a Deal" With Wealthy Defendants

A former Texas drug task force prosecutor has told the Dallas Morning News that he routinely offered probation to big-time offenders "in exchange for cash, cars, motorcycles, jewelry, and other property the task force needed to fund its operations." Former Denton County prosecutor Denver McCarty, who tried cases brought by the North Central Texas Narcotics Task Force, said he offered sweet deals to at least a half-dozen major defendants, including a large cocaine trafficker, a violent pimp, and a meth cook responsible for a half-million dollars worth of crank.

According to McCarty, he made the deals to ensure the continued operation of the task force. "If we don't have enough money by the end of the grant year, we're all out of a job," he said. "You kind of knew what kind of forfeiture money you needed to have, or everybody's going home."

The drug task forces, which have ravaged Texas for nearly two decades with scandals such as the infamous 1999 Tulia busts, are primarily funded by federal grants. But under the terms of the state-federal agreement, the task forces are required to supply part of their own budgets. According to the Morning News, Denton County task force forfeitures have averaged about $150,000 a year since 1997.

Denton County District Attorney Bruce Isaacks denied that such deals take place and told the Morning News he would have fired McCarty for making such deals. But he didn't.


11. This Week in History

November 17, 1993: President Clinton signs the North American Free Trade Agreement, resulting in an enormous increase in legitimate trade across the US-Mexican border. The volume of trade makes it more difficult for US Customs officials to find narcotics hidden within legitimate goods. It is unclear, however, what net effect on drug supply and prices NAFTA ultimately has.

November 18, 1986: A US federal grand jury in Miami releases the indictments of the Ochoas, Pablo Escobar, Carlos Lehder, and Jose Gonzalo Rodriguez Gacha under the RICO statute. The indictment names the Medellin cartel as the largest cocaine smuggling organization in the world.

November 21, 1987: Jorge Ochoa is arrested in Colombia. Ochoa is held in prison on the bull-smuggling charge for which he was extradited from Spain. Twenty-four hours later a gang of thugs arrive at the house of Juan Gomez Martinez, the editor of Medellin's daily newspaper El Colombiano. They present Martinez with a communique signed by "The Extraditables," which threatens execution of Colombian political leaders if Ochoa is extradited. On December 30, Ochoa is released under dubious legal circumstances. In January 1988, the murder of Colombian Attorney General Carlos Mauro Hoyos is claimed by the Extraditables.


12. 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

Due to funding shortfalls, DRCNet has been forced to suspend our web-based write-to Congress program. We will bring it back to life as soon as you and other DRCNet supporters make it possible through your financial contributions. Please visit http://stopthedrugwar.org/donate/ and make the most generous donation that you can!

Most importantly, don't let this temporary setback at DRCNet prevent you from lobbying Congress. We intend to continue to issue legislative action alerts in the meantime, and you can act on them by calling your US Representative and your two Senators on the phone; go through the Congressional Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 or visit http://www.house.gov and http://www.senate.gov to look up their names and phone and fax numbers or to contact them via e-mail or web form. The information contained on the alert pages of our legislative web sites will provide you with sufficient information to take such action. There are current action alerts posted at:

http://stopthedrugwar.org/medicalmarijuana/
http://stopthedrugwar.org/justice/
http://stopthedrugwar.org/stopthehelicopters/
http://www.raiseyourvoice.com
It's important that we get the web-based service online as soon as possible, for a few reasons:
  1. E-mails to Congress are more important and effective now than they were in the past, since the 2001 anthrax attacks and the resulting slowness and unreliability of snail-mail to Capitol Hill;
  2. The ease of going to a web site, reviewing and editing a prewritten letter, typing in your address and sending it at the click of a mouse, is highly effective for increasing our participation rates and resulting impact on Congress;
  3. The action alert web sites are a highly effective means for recruiting new people onto our e-mail lists, growing the movement and doing so in the process of carrying out needed grassroots activism -- and ultimately increasing our potential donor base and ability to maintain and enhance these services;
  4. The system lets us look up subsets of our list based on geography (e.g. state, congressional district, city, state legislative district, county), and target action alerts to people who live in the key areas whose legislators or officials need to be lobbied especially vigorously due to their membership on committees responsible for active legislation or other reasons; and
  5. The personalization features the online system provides us allow us to send each of you individualized e-mails containing the name and phone number of your legislators, making it easier for you to take it to the next level of lobbying by phone, thereby increasing the number of phone calls to Congress that we can generate, a crucial show of passion for the issue that members of Congress need to see. For example, if you've used our write-to-Congress web forms in the last 2 3/4 years, you've probably received a few e-mails from us recently with text like the following:

    "If you haven't moved since we last communicated (zip code ___ in ___, __, than your US Representative is Rep. ___. Please call Rep. ___ at ____ and ask him to vote YES on ___ when it comes to a vote on the House floor..."
So while we can continue to send you legislative alerts without the online lobbying system, we can't make use of any of those extremely powerful features described in the paragraphs above. In order to resume our use of the service, we need to pay off our balance with the company that provides it as well as raise additional funds to ensure we can continue to afford it after that. All in all, we need to raise at least $10,000 in non-deductible donations to our 501(c)(4) lobbying organization, the Drug Reform Coordination Network, to reactivate the service and be fiscally responsible in continuing to subscribe to it. While this sounds like a lot of money, it's only slightly more than members like you gave us during our most successful previous fundraising appeal.

So please take a few moments to send DRCNet a few dollars today and make it happen! Please visit http://stopthedrugwar.org/donate/ to make a contribution by credit card or PayPal or to print out a form to send in with your check -- or just send your donation by mail to: DRCNet, P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036. Donations to the Drug Reform Coordination Network to support our lobbying work (like the action alert program) are not tax-deductible. Tax-deductible contributions to support our educational work can be made to the DRCNet Foundation, same address. We can also accept donations of stock: Our broker is Ameritrade, phone: (800) 669-3900, account number: 772973012, DTC number: 0188, make sure to contact us directly to let us know that the stocks are there and whether they are meant for the Drug Reform Coordination Network or the DRCNet Foundation.


13. Perry Fund Accepting Applications for 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 School Years, Providing Scholarships for Students Losing Aid Because of Drug Convictions

The John W. Perry Fund, a project of the DRCNet Foundation in association with Students for Sensible Drug Policy, provides college scholarships to students losing federal financial aid because of drug convictions. The Fund has monies remaining for fall 2003 as well as future semesters, and eligible students are urged to apply as soon as possible.

Please visit http://www.RaiseYourVoice.com/perryfund/ to fill out a pre-application, print out an application form or brochure, or for further information. Students, financial aid officers, friends and family members and supporters of students, as well as media, activists, potential donors and other interested parties, are all welcome to contact us!

Supportive parties are urged to take copies around to financial aid offices, social services agencies whose clientele are likely to include drug ex-offenders, high school guidance offices, and to forward information about the Perry Fund to appropriate e-mail lists. Community and state colleges are of particular interest to the Perry Fund, because the low tuition rates enable us to fully finance a student's education in many cases, and because their student bodies include a high proportion of low income with especially great financial need.

Any applicant losing federal financial aid due to a drug conviction, however, attempting to attend any school, is welcome and encouraged to apply. We continue to raise money for the Perry Fund, and the more applications we have received, the more money we will likely be able to raise for them. Please urge potential applicants to visit http://www.RaiseYourVoice.com/perryfund/ for information and to apply, or to contact DRCNet at (202) 362-0030. Thank you for spreading the word.


14. The Reformer's Calendar

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

November 5-December 2, locations in western Europe, "Bolivien: Permanente Krise in den Coca-Anbaugebieten?" tour by Bolivian coca experts. Visit http://www.comma2000.com/cocaplants-tour/ for further information or contact +32 (0)3 237 7436 or [email protected]

November 16, 3:30pm, Los Angeles, CA, "Sixty Spins Around the Sun," documentary about comedian/drug reform activist Randy Credico. Screening at the American Film Institute Festival, visit http://www.afifest.com for further information.

November 17, 8:15-9:00am, Washington, DC, rally in support of DRCNet director David Borden's jury civil disobedience. At the DC Superior Court, 500 Indiana Ave., NW (Judiciary Square Metro), contact [email protected] or call (202) 293-8340 for info.)

November 17, 7:00pm, Houston, TX, Drug Policy Forum of Texas chapter meeting. At First Unitarian Universalist Church, Room 302, 5200 Fannin at Southmore, contact [email protected] or visit http://www.dpft.org for further information.

November 18, 7:00pm, Syracuse, NY, "Can We Have Real Justice in Our Community?" Forum with Rev. Edwin Sanders of Nashville's Metropolitan Interdenominational Church and national coordinator for Religious Leaders for a More Just and Effective Drug Policy. Sponsored by Families Against Injustice, at God's Way Church, 1800 South Salina St., admission free.

November 21, 8:00pm, New York, NY, "Reading to End the War on Some Drugs and Users" and benefit for New York NORML. At the Slipper Room, 167 Orchard Street at Stanton, call (212) 253-7246 for info.

November 22, 8:30am-noon, Landover, MD, "Our Justice System Today: A Collective Response to the Threat on Judicial Discretion." Fourth annual Prince George's County FAMM chapter forum, at First Baptist Church of Highland Park, 6801 Sheriff Rd., for information contact Bessie Morgan at (301) 386-3417 or [email protected], or Angelyn Frazer at (202) 822-6700 or [email protected].

November 22, 11:00am-10:00pm, Portland, OR, "Second Annual Oregon Medical Cannabis Awards 2003." At the Double Tree Inn Lloyd Center, e-mail [email protected] or visit http://www.ornorml.org for further information!

January 28-February 7, 2004, Hannibal, Columbia, Jefferson City, St. Louis and Kansas City, MO, "Special Delivery for John Ashcroft," speaking tour by Jack Cole of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Roger Hudlin. Contact Mike Smithson at (315) 243-5844 or [email protected] for details of individual engagements.

April 20-24, Melbourne, Australia, "15th International Conference on the Reduction of Drug Related Harm." Visit http://www.ihra.net or e-mail [email protected] for information.

April 22-24, Washington, DC, NORML conference, details pending, visit http://www.norml.org for updates.

May 20-22, Charlottesville, VA, Third National Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics. At the Charlottesville Omni Hotel, visit http://www.medicalcannabis.com for further information.


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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.

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