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.
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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.MORE TESTIMONIALS:
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).