Legalization Talk 12/24/04

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http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/368/mediablog.shtml

As announced a week ago, DRCNet now has a blog, "Prohibition and the Media," a daily critique of selected mainstream news articles. Starting this issue, Drug War Chronicle will each week reprint one or two of our favorite entries from the previous week's blogging. We will also let you know about other interesting developments or resources of relevance to the prohibition/legalization debate. We hope you'll visit http://stopthedrugwar.org/blog/ each day to hear the half of the story that the media didn't tell, for types of news stories that Drug War Chronicle hasn't focused on before, to send letters to the editor, and to join and follow the discussion.

Our favorite this week was yesterday's entry, "Meth Lab Explodes in Apartment Building":

Another meth lab story, this one from the Seattle area: A low-income apartment building in Arlington was evacuated after a methamphetamine lab in one of the units exploded, the Seattle Times reported Wednesday. Authorities believe that much of the building may be contaminated by the chemicals.

We need to get serious about stopping illegal meth labs, but trying to search them out and close them down that way doesn't qualify -- all that does is move the problem from place to place. In another recent story about highway interdiction (that I may comment on in a future post), it was even noted that meth labs often are located inside vehicles. Restricting sales of Sudafed won't do it either, as WBRZ News 2 "The Advocate" in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, reported on in Mississippi.

The only way to get serious about closing down illegal meth labs is to put them out of business by replacing them with legal, regulated producers. Let's do this already -- we just can't have explosions, especially explosions involving dangerous chemicals. We can regulate legalization, but we can't regulate or control the large number of illegal, underground laboratories that move from place to place.

Seattle Times letter to the editor info is online here, at the bottom right of the page. The Advocate News accepts letters to the editor online too.

Other Prohibition and the Media blog entries this week included Pete Doherty and the Trail of Destruction on BBC, Violence in Colombia, Edmonton (Canada), Philadelphia, Utah, Making Sure Drugs Kill, Meth Lab Problems -- Historical Context, Prohibition Drives Addicted Connecticut Couple to Crime, Loveable Murphy, Meth Lab Problems -- Upstate New York & Humboldt County, California, Arkansas Arrests, Back Home In Indiana, Philly Crack Cocaine Bust and ABC and the Philadelphia Inquirer on the Big Cocaine Bust.

Also of interest, a review by Cato Institute fellow Doug Bandow, a former special assistant to president Reagan, of two books that are critical of drug prohibition and make the case for legalization, "Bad Trip: How the War on Drugs Is Destroying America" by Joel Miller and "Drug War Crimes: The Consequences of Prohibition" by Jeffrey Miron. Visit http://www.fff.org/comment/com0412f.asp to check it out.

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Issue #368 -- 12/24/04

Drug War Chronicle, recent top items

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Editorial: Jury Manipulation | Conflict Over Pain Management Heats Up as Mainstream Medical Groups Wake Up | In Run-Up to New European Union Drug Strategy, European Parliament Adopts Report Critical of Continued Drug War | Young Reformers Give Drug Czar Hard Time at Monitoring the Future Press Conference | DRCNet Book Review: Under The Influence: The Disinformation Guide to Drugs, Edited by Preston Peet (The Disinformation Company Ltd., 2004, 312 pages, $24.95) | Legalization Talk | Newsbrief: Senior Citizens Support Medical Marijuana, AARP Poll Finds | Newsbrief: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories | Newsbrief: From Federal Prison, Martha Stewart Calls for Sentencing Reform | Newsbrief: Anachronistic Law Could Hamper Hemp in South Africa | Newsbrief: Dutch Open First Retirement Home for Junkies | Newsbrief: Hungarian High Court Overturns Drug Reforms | Newsbrief: Intelligence Bill Yields New Federal Drug Fighter Position | Newsbrief: First Cannabis-Based Prescription Drug Wins Preliminary Approval in Canada | Newsbrief: Canadian Study to Examine Safety of Medical Marijuana | Newsbrief: Illinois Nurses Join Growing List of Nursing Groups Supporting Medical Marijuana | Media Scan: Reason on Pain, Cockburn on Webb, Grits for Breakfast, Faith Under Fire, BJS | This Week in History | Apply Now to Intern at Drcnet! | Job Opportunity at MAPS | DrugWarMarket.Com Seeking Information, Affiliations, Link Exchanges | The Reformer's Calendar

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