Weekly: This Week in History 9/30/05

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September 30, 1996: President Bill Clinton signs into law the Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act for 1997. FY1997 totals provide increased drug-related funding for the two leading drug law enforcement agencies in the Department of Justice: the FBI ($2,838 million) and the DEA ($1,001 million).

October, Every Year: The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) issues its annual Uniform Crime Report (UCR) which provides drug offender arrest totals for the previous year. Nearly seven out of every eight arrests for marijuana continue to be for possession of the drug.

October 1, 1998: The increase in funding of prisons and decrease in spending for schools prompts protests by California high school students.

October 2, 1982: Ronald Reagan, in a radio address to the nation on federal drug policy, says, "we're making no excuses for drugs -- hard, soft, or otherwise. Drugs are bad, and we're going after them. As I've said before, we've taken down the surrender flag and run up the battle flag. And we're going to win the war on drugs."

October 2, 1992: Thirty-one people from various law enforcement agencies storm Donald Scott's 200-acre ranch in Malibu, California. Scott's wife screams when she sees the intruders. When sixty-one-year-old Scott, who believes thieves are breaking into his home, comes out of the bedroom with a gun, he is shot dead. A drug task force was looking for marijuana plants. Scott had refused earlier to negotiate a sale of his property to the government. DEA agents were there to seize the ranch. After extensive searches, no marijuana is found.

October 3, 1996: US Public Law 104-237, known as the "Comprehensive Methamphetamine Control Act of 1996," is signed into law by President Bill Clinton. It contains provisions attempting to stop the importation of methamphetamine and precursor chemicals into the United States, attempting to control the manufacture of methamphetamine in clandestine laboratories, to increase penalties for trafficking in methamphetamine and List I precursor chemicals, to allow the government to seek restitution for the clean-up of clandestine laboratory sites, and attempting to stop rogue companies from selling large amounts of precursor chemicals that are diverted to clandestine laboratories.

October 4, 1970: Legendary singer Janis Joplin is found dead at Hollywood's Landmark Hotel, a victim of what is concluded to be an accidental heroin overdose.

October 5, 1999: The war on drugs is "an absolute failure," says Gov. Gary Johnson of New Mexico at a conference on national drug policies at the Cato Institute. Johnson, who drew sharp criticism from anti-drug leaders for being the first sitting governor to advocate legalizing drugs, argues that the government should regulate narcotics but not punish those who abuse them: "Make drugs a controlled substance like alcohol. Legalize it, control it, regulate it, tax it. If you legalize it, we might actually have a healthier society." Johnson also meets with founding members of Students for Sensible Drug Policy.

October 6, 2000: Former US President Bill Clinton is quoted in Rolling Stone: "I think that most small amounts of marijuana have been decriminalized in some places, and should be."

-- END --
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Issue #405 -- 9/30/05

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Commentary: Direct from Kabul -- DRCNet on the Scene in Afghanistan This Week and Next | On the Scene I: European Think Tank Calls for Licensed Opium Cultivation at Afghanistan Conference -- Response Varied | On the Scene II: Afghanistan's Neighbors Look With Interest at Licensing Proposal | On the Scene III: Beyond Treatment and Prevention -- Harm Reduction in Afghanistan | Denied: Massachusetts Jury Slaps Down Overreaching District Attorney in "School Zone" Bust | Methamphetamine: House Democrats Challenge Harsher Penalties in Federal Methamphetamine Bill | Methamphetamine: SAMHSA Says Meth Use Steady, Problem Use Increasing -- Data Says Yes But Not as Much as SAMSHA Implies | Needle Exchange: LA Cops Hassle NEP Clients -- Complaint Filed | Harm Reduction: Canada Health Minister Says More Safe Injection Sites Should Open If Communities Approve | Web Scan: GAO Report, Cascade and AAPS Blast Meth Madness, New Orleans Jail in the Flood, MedMj Legal Brief Bank, Charles Shaw on Alternet, DEA's Microgram | Weekly: This Week in History | DRCNet T-Shirt Design Contest | OSI Offering Justice Fellowships in 2006 -- Deadline Next Month | Job Opportunity: National Field Director, Marijuana Policy Project | Weekly: The Reformer's Calendar

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