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Drug War Chronicle
(formerly The Week Online with DRCNet)

Issue #372 -- 1/28/05

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"Raising Awareness of the Consequences of Drug Prohibition"

Phillip S. Smith, Editor
David Borden, Executive Director

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

    Military and DEA cooperation has placed US agencies
    uncomfortably close to Philippine death squad activity.
  1. DRUG WAR CHRONICLE NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT IN 2005
    Thanks to your enthusiasm, Drug War Chronicle has completed 7 ½ years of publishing. 2005 is going to be an exciting and important year in drug reporting, but we need your support to be able to do it right.
  2. EDITORIAL: EXTREME AND MORE EXTREME
    Extreme and more drug war tactics in the US and abroad violate human rights and are cause for outrage.
  3. US TRAINING PHILIPPINE SOLDIERS, COPS IN HOTBED OF ANTI-DRUG DEATH SQUAD ACTIVITY
    The Philippines has embarked on a loudly proclaimed war on drugs and drug users, but unlike nearby Thailand has delegated its extrajudicial killings to shadowy death squads. Now, the US military and DEA and working hand in glove with their Filipino counterparts in the very city most closely tied to the rampage.
  4. TIP OF THE ICEBERG: POLICE PERJURY GOES FAR BEYOND TOM COLEMAN
    One of the final chapters in the Tulia scandal was written two weeks ago when undercover police officer Tom Coleman was convicted of perjury after a sting that sent more than three dozen black residents of the small Texas panhandle town to prison. While the usual suspects were quick to crow that Coleman's conviction showed that "the system works," members of the defense bar, judges, former prosecutors, and academics argue persuasively that Coleman's lying was not an aberration.
  5. NEWSBRIEF: THIS WEEK'S CORRUPT COPS STORIES
    From Tennessee to New Mexico to California to Massachusetts, drug prohibition generates an endless stream of individual law enforcers who succumb to the allure of easy profits.
  6. BLOGGING: NEWS STREAM CONTINUES TO ILLUSTRATE FUTILITY OF PROHIBITION AND THE URGENT NEED FOR SOME FORM OF LEGALIZATION
    Overdoses in Austin and a "drug house" slaying were only two of prohibition's tragedies this week. DRCNet's "Prohibition in the Media" blog explains the unspoken truths within mainstream media drug coverage on an ongoing basis.
  7. NEWSBRIEF: POLICE USE FLASH BANG GRENADE IN MARIJUANA RAID, INJURE INNOCENT WOMAN -- DRCNET MENTIONED
    Police in Niagara Falls, NY, are under fire after a flash bang grenade thrown into an apartment during a marijuana raid last week left a local woman hospitalized with serious burns. Neighbors and critics have decried the tactic as reckless.
  8. NEWSBRIEF: SUPREME COURT ALLOWS DRUG DOG VEHICLE SEARCHES WITHOUT CAUSE
    The Supreme Court has once again expanded the ability of police to conduct warrantless searches, this time okaying the use of drug-sniffing dogs to check motorists detained for traffic violations even when police have no reason to suspect they have committed a crime. Dissenters see the opinion potentially leading to widespread drug dog sweeps of sidewalks and parking lots.
  9. NEWSBRIEF: IN SENTENCING RULING FALLOUT, SUPREME COURT ORDERS REVIEW OF FEDERAL SENTENCES FOR HUNDREDS OF PRISONERS
    The Supreme Court Monday instructed federal courts to review the sentences of nearly 400 prisoners who contended they were wrongly punished under federal sentencing guidelines that the Supreme Court declared invalid on January 12.
  10. NEWSBRIEF: US BACKS OFF FROM AFGHAN AERIAL SPRAYING AS ANTI-OPIUM "JIHAD" GETS UNDERWAY
    The United States will not resort to the aerial spraying of herbicides as part of its effort to suppress the Afghan opium crop -- at least for now.
  11. NEWSBRIEF: US PRESSURES UN DRUG OFFICE TO OPPOSE HARM REDUCTION LANGUAGE, UN SAYS OKAY
    Last November the executive director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime sent a letter to a high-level US anti-drug official promising to stop talking about "harm reduction." A European NGO coalition released the letter this week.
  12. NEWSBRIEF: JUSTICE DEPARTMENT ENDS APPEAL OF RULING THROWING OUT BAN ON TRANSIT ADS FOR MARIJUANA LAW REFORM
    The Justice Department gave up this week on efforts to keep alive a congressionally-imposed ban on marijuana advocacy ads on mass transit systems.
  13. NEWSBRIEF: ALASKA GOVERNOR SEEKS TO OVERTURN LEGAL HOME MARIJUANA POSSESSION
    In the latest effort to override the state constitution, Alaska Governor Frank Murkowski has asked the state legislature to ignore two Alaska Supreme Court rulings and re-criminalize home marijuana possession. While he's at it, Murkowski wants to increase some current marijuana misdemeanors to felonies.
  14. NEWSBRIEF: METH I -- NEW SENATE METHAMPHETAMINE BILL WOULD LIMIT COLD PILL SALES NATIONWIDE
    Last week DRCNet reported on ongoing efforts in the states to restrict the sales of popular over-the-counter cold and allergy medicines containing pseudoephedrine, chemicals used by home meth lab cooks as part of popular speed-cooking recipes. Now, ten US senators, led by Iowa Democrat Tom Harkin, are leading an effort to make such restrictions nationwide under federal law. American cold sufferers, beware!
  15. NEWSBRIEF: METH II -- FEDERAL CLEAN-UP ACT CLEANED UP -- PROVISION DESIGNED TO PUNISH MUSIC VENUES DROPPED
    Reformers last year prevented a methamphetamine bill that included an "anti-rave" provision from making it to a vote. This year the provision is absent from the legislation.
  16. NEWSBRIEF: METH III -- KANSAS SHERIFF KILLED IN CONFRONTATION AT METHAMPHETAMINE LAB
    Kansas Sheriff Matt Samuels was shot and killed January 19 as he attempted to arrest a parole violator who was cooking methamphetamine at a home lab in the northeast part of his county. His shooter was arrested after a seven hour standoff, and prosecutors intend to seek the death penalty.
  17. NEWSBRIEF: LONDON AUTHORITIES GRUMBLE ONE YEAR INTO CANNABIS RECLASSIFICATION
    A year ago this month the British government downgraded the criminal status of marijuana, causing arrests to drop by a third and thousands of police man hours to be saved. But some London officials are grumbling that the relaxation in the cannabis law has led some to think the stuff is now legal -- it is not -- and to the pervasive stench of pot fumes on London streets.
  18. NEWSBRIEF: JAPAN TO MOVE TO OUTLAW DESIGNER DRUGS
    A little more than two years ago, the Japanese government slammed shut a loophole in the law that allowed for the sale and consumption of hallucinogenic mushrooms, citing public health concerns. Now the government has set its sights on designer drugs, too.
  19. THIS WEEK IN HISTORY
    Events and quotes of note from this week's drug policy events of years past.
  20. THE REFORMER'S CALENDAR
    Showing up at an event can be the best way to get involved! Check out this week's listings for events from today through next year, across the US and around the world!

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