(formerly The Week Online with DRCNet)
Issue #359, 10/22/04
"Raising Awareness of the Consequences of Drug Prohibition"
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Ten years ago, California voters frightened by violent crime and led by politicians who manipulated that fear voted to enact the state's three-strikes-you're-out law. An initiative that would amend the law to ensure it only applies to violent criminals appears headed for victory.
In a report issued last week, the British drug reform organization the Transform Drug Policy Foundation has produced a road map to guide policymakers from the failed policy of drug prohibition toward an approach emphasizing regulated markets for currently illicit drugs.
California Superior Court Judge James Gray, an eloquent and powerful critic of prohibition and the drug war, is running on the Libertarian Party ticket. But despite polling stronger than anyone except Boxer and Jones, he has been shut out of debates, campaign polls, and press coverage.
As a young married working man in New York City, Anthony Papa knew nothing of the severe penalties awaiting those who violated the Rockefeller drug laws, but he found out. Through the development of an artistic talent he never knew he possessed, Papa won fame and clemency granted by Gov. Pataki. Since then he has been deeply involved in trying to repeal the Rockefeller laws. "15 To Life" is his story.
Two short weeks from now, voters in the United States will make a choice affecting the nation's course for decades to come. Regardless of their political affiliations or views on other issues, DRCNet's diverse supporters all agree on this much: The drug war is a moral and humanitarian crisis harming countless people around the world and which has failed to achieve its goals.
Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry told a Portland TV station Thursday that the federal government should not interfere with Oregon's assisted suicide and medical marijuana laws.
Organizers of the initiative that would remove criminal penalties for marijuana in Alaska and regulate its distribution filed suit Tuesday against Alaska Lt. Gov. Loren Leman over the role his office played in drafting a statement of opposition in the Official Election Pamphlet presented to voters.
The nonpartisan web site New Voters Project has elicited positions from the leading presidential candidates on reform or repeal of the Higher Education Act's anti-drug provision. All three candidates supported either scaling back the law or eliminating it altogether.
A groundbreaking coalition of black professional organizations have come together to urgently seek "alternatives to misguided drug policies" that have led to the mass incarceration of black men in the US.
We've all heard about the "drug exception" to the Fourth Amendment, but what about the "drug exception" to the laws governing perjury? According to a Sunday report in the Knoxville (Tennessee) Sentinel-News, that may be okay, too.
Citing UN officials, ethnic leaders and unnamed foreign assistance workers, the Bangkok Post reported last week that the coming end to opium cultivation in Burma will bring poverty and hunger to thousands of Wa and other peasants dependent on the poppy for economic survival.
A confrontation between the Peruvian government and coca growers in the town of San Gaban in the state of Puno turned violent Tuesday, the AP and Peruvian media report.
The Dutch government's pioneering medical marijuana program is in trouble for the darnedest reason -- people can walk into any "coffee shop" and buy marijuana for less.
Popular Korean actress Kim Pu-Son has challenged a marijuana possession conviction under Korea's 2000 narcotics law, which she argues is unconstitutional. Leading Korean drug experts are supporting her claim.
The Canadian government will reintroduce its much criticized marijuana decriminalization bill, Justice Minister Irwin Cotler told the news agency Canwest.
Transparency International this week released its annual corruption perception ratings, placing the US placed 17th among the least corrupt nations. But this week's entries in the corrupt cops sweepstakes demonstrate the Americans' poor placing in corruption is not for lack of trying.
Events and quotes of note from this week's drug policy events of years past.
Students and activists from across the country will convene at the Students for Sensible Drug Policy Sixth Annual National Conference in College Park, Maryland, outside Washington, DC, next month.
Make a difference next semester! DRCNet and the Coalition for Higher Education Act Reform are seeking motivated and hardworking interns for the Spring 2005 Semester.
DRCNet is seeking a part-time Administrative Assistant to work with the Executive and Associate Directors and the Member Coordinator. The Administrative Assistant will assist with all manner of clerical and administrative tasks.
Showing up at an event can be the best way to get involved! Check out this week's calendar for events from today through next year, across the US and around the world!
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Articles of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of the DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.