Appeal: Drug War Chronicle Still Needs Your Help 8/26/05

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recent blog posts "In the Trenches" activist feed


A special thanks to all of you who responded when we put out the word that your help was needed as we reached an important milestone -- issue #400, released last week, of Drug War Chronicle, our widely-read publication educating and empowering advocates, journalists, policymakers and others around the world while fomenting activism and change.

HELP IS STILL NEEDED: Readers like you make up a crucial portion of our budget without which this and all our other work will come to a stop. So please make a generous donation to support this important program that serves the entire drug policy reform movement -- click here to contribute online -- we need your support to be able to continue providing this service! Donate $35 or more and you are entitled to receive a complimentary copy of "Breaking Rank, A Top Cop's Expose of the Dark Side of American Policing," a cutting new volume by former Seattle police chief Norm Stamper. (Click here for our interview with Stamper -- which also links to our review of his book -- among other things Stamper explains how his views have evolved even further toward ending prohibition than when he wrote the book -- more issue-advancing DRCNet reporting!)

Drug War Chronicle will not be able to continue much longer without your help. In a few months the grant that is paying 60% of the cost of producing it will run out, and we need your help to meet the other 40%. Each issue of Drug War Chronicle costs about $1,400 to produce -- please consider a donation in that amount if you can afford it. Without your help, not only with DRCNet be less able to produce the newsletter, we will have less left to carry out our advocacy campaigns as well -- ultimately DRCNet is not just a reporting organization, but an organization working to change the world -- there will be less for us to work with in changing laws like the Higher Education Act drug provision, the federal ban on medical marijuana, the awful mandatory minimum sentences, laws funding student drug testing and more.

So please visit our main donation page to support DRCNet -- or click here to sign up to donate monthly instead. In addition to "Breaking Rank," we continue to offer our full range of member incentives -- books, shirts, mugs, coasters, the video "BUSTED: The Citizen's Guide to Surviving Police Encounters," more -- as our thanks and to help you help us spread the word.

Contributions to DRCNet Foundation to support Drug War Chronicle are tax-deductible. (If you select a gift item, the portion of your donation that you can deduct is reduced by the item's retail price.) Contributions to the Drug Reform Coordination Network supporting our lobbying work are not-deductible. The address for checks or money orders is P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036; contact us for information if you wish to make a donation of stock.

Thank you for your support of DRCNet. Please feel free to write or call if you have any questions, and stay tuned! A little bit about our work that your donation will support:

  • Your donation will support our acclaimed newsletter, Drug War Chronicle, the leading intellectual publication on the drug war, an in-depth weekly online newsletter covering the full range of drug policy issues and the reform movement. Drug War Chronicle is read by reporters and is used by advocates to empower their speeches and editorials, and is a force for bringing new people in and getting them involved in all the good work being done by organizations in the movement.
  • Your donation will support the Higher Education Act (HEA) Reform Campaign, our effort to repeal a law that delays or denies college aid eligibility to students because of drug convictions, our movement's best chance to repeal a federal drug law in more than 30 years. We are currently organizing coalitions in states around the country to influence the forthcoming bipartisan Senate HEA reauthorization bill to include repeal.
  • Your donation will support legislative action on alerts on sentencing, medical marijuana, needle exchange, Plan Colombia, more.
  • Your donation will support educational work in conjunction with the John W. Perry Fund, our scholarship program and media/ organizing campaign involving students who have lost financial aid under the HEA drug provision.
  • Your donation will support our work making the case for an end not only to the drug war but to prohibition itself.

Activist Tom Angell wrote the following letter of support for us earlier this month:

If you're a regular DRCNet reader, then you might know about me from DRCNet's Drug War Chronicle newsletter -- first as the founder of the University of Rhode Island chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP), and now as the campaigns director in the SSDP national office. Earlier this summer, Rhode Islanders scored a big hit: Our state Senate overwhelmingly passed a pro-medical marijuana bill, a mere one day after the US Supreme Court rejected states' rights to medical marijuana in the Raich case, and in the face of a veto threat by Rhode Island Gov. Donald Carcieri. The bill was then passed overwhelmingly by the state House of Representatives as well -- and the governor did veto it. But the Senate overrode his veto the very next day. If things go as well in the House, it will be a great victory for medical marijuana that will help patients throughout the state and send a necessary message to Congress that they should act too.

While DRCNet played no direct role in the Rhode Island medical marijuana campaign, it very well may not have happened without them. The reason is that DRCNet's long-term movement-building, movement-empowering work laid a crucial portion of the groundwork for it. The Rhode Island medical marijuana campaign was founded by myself and an activist at the Brown University SSDP chapter. But SSDP might not have existed were it not for DRCNet's starting the Higher Education Act Reform Campaign in 1998 -- rallying students nationwide against a law that takes financial aid away from students with drug convictions -- and using its list and its funding to get SSDP off the ground as an independent national organization, which now has thousands of activists on more than 100 college and high school campuses nationwide. That's one of the reasons. The other reason is that I became an activist because of Drug War Chronicle. Reading the Chronicle week after week taught me just how serious and just how important an issue this is, inspired me to get involved, pointed me to opportunities for doing so, and then kept me informed and prepared to do the best job that I could. And I am just one of many people around the country who say the same thing.

I hope you will take a few moments today to make the most generous donation to DRCNet that you can. With everything that DRCNet does to support, build and get the word out about all the other organizations in the movement, there are many deserving places to send a check that come to your attention in Drug War Chronicle every week. But even if the issue that you care most about -- be it medical marijuana, sentencing, drug testing, etc.
-- is not one that DRCNet is leading, it would be shortsighted to not support DRCNet as well. Because without DRCNet, we would have a smaller movement less capable of taking all those things on; and who knows how much DRCNet will be able to do for the movement moving forward in the same way -- subtle, long-term, but powerful? In my opinion, a lot -- but only with your help.

DRCNet is so important, for the movement's present and for its future -- thank you for making the most generous donation that you can.

Tom Angell, Campaigns Director
Students for Sensible Drug Policy
Washington, DC


Drug War Chronicle is a tool used by individuals and organizations to inform and empower their own work:


... "[Drug War Chronicle] is absolutely the best way to keep abreast of the issue. It's just a phenomenal resource -- full of interesting stories and links." -- a reporter at the Los Angeles Times

"I've covered the drug story for years, in many places and on many levels. Your coverage of the drug scene has been a vital resource for us. You provide a continuous flow of information that isn't available from any other media source." -- a producer of documentaries for HBO

"I thought you'd like to know that I follow your bulletins religiously for the simple reason that the Canadian press says little about drugs. So when you have drug news, it has very often not been reported here. I flag items for my editor -- we've had a number of stories that started that way. In fact, Pastrana's call for a world conference was a recent example of just that. So, your work, based on my experience, is helping making waves even when you don't realize it." -- a prominent reporter in Canada.


"I use [Drug War Chronicle] as a source for information I disseminate to the chapter's local members use the information in conversations and more formal talks about drug policy, as well as in letters to the editor." -- the coordinator of a local chapter of a national organization

"Your newsletter has been an invaluable source of information to us as far as keeping up to date on all of the latest issues surrounding addiction and drug policy. I read every issue as thoroughly as I can, and reprint and pass along many articles to my colleagues and associates. I also have used [Drug War Chronicle] in my monthly meetings and also in Patient run support groups." -- head of a state chapter of a national addiction-related advocacy organization


After we ran a story in June 2003 about the cancellation of a NORML/SSDP fundraiser in Billings, MT, following a threat by DEA agents to prosecute club owners under the controversial "RAVE Act," our story was forwarded by a constituent of a member of Congress to one of her staffers, who then contacted us for information. The staffer is working on monitoring the Act to prevent abuses, and subscribed to our list.

A prominent agency head in South America wrote: "Our work is well known in Brazil and I serve on government committees as well as present at most of the conferences here. [Drug War Chronicle] has been a major source of information and has helped shape our treatment programs as well as influenced many policies and conferences, where the only other sources have been the official USG and UN policies."


When Ecuadoran former army colonel Lucio Gutierrez gave an interview to Chronicle editor Phil Smith at an anti-Plan Colombia conference, he didn't expect it to come back to haunt him when three years later as President of Ecuador, under US pressure, he denied attending that conference or ever opposing Plan Colombia. But El Universo, one of Ecuador's largest daily papers, found the interview online. The article ran on the front page -- click here to read it online (in Spanish).

-- END --
Link to Drug War Facts
Please make a generous donation to support Drug War Chronicle in 2007!          

PERMISSION to reprint or redistribute any or all of the contents of Drug War Chronicle (formerly The Week Online with DRCNet 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: 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.

Issue #401 -- 8/26/05

Drug War Chronicle, recent top items


recent blog posts "In the Trenches" activist feed


Appeal: Drug War Chronicle Still Needs Your Help | Editorial: A Tale of Two Cities | Feature: PLUR Meets SWAT as Utah Cops Attack Electronic Dance Party | Feature: National Methamphetamine Conference Convenes Unscathed Despite Attack by Congressional Drug Warrior | Feature: Bush Administration Methamphetamine Initiative a Bomb | Feature: Western Hemisphere Anti-Prohibitionists Set to Gather in Buenos Aires | Weekly: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories | Blogging: Airport Corruption | Marijuana: Lawrence, Kansas, Ponders City Marijuana Ordinance -- Impact of HEA Cited | Sentencing: Rockefeller Drug Law Reform Measure Awaits Gov. Pataki's Signature | Europe: Former British Drug Czar Mo Mowlam Dead at 55 -- Called for Legalization, and Will Again in Forthcoming Book | Medical Marijuana: Supreme Court Justice Regrets Vote on Raich Case | Marijuana: 14th Seattle Hempfest Draws 150,000 -- No Arrests | Europe: Scottish National Party Considers Prescription Heroin | Sentencing: Kansas Lawmakers Want "Internal Possession" Charge | Web Scan: U-Mass/DEA Hearings, Seattle Weekly on Hempfest, JPI Report on Marijuana Enforcement's Non-Impact | Weekly: This Week in History | Weekly: The Reformer's Calendar

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