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Drug War Chronicle
(formerly The Week Online with DRCNet)

Issue #438 -- 6/2/06

Drug War Chronicle, recent top items

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"Raising Awareness of the Consequences of Drug Prohibition"

Phillip S. Smith, Editor
David Borden, Executive Director

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New Book Offer from DRCNet:
BURNING RAINBOW FARM: HOW A STONER UTOPIA WENT UP IN SMOKE
(legalization video and Drug War Facts book still available too)

Table of Contents

    destined for the black market?
  1. EDITORIAL: WE SHOULD HAVE SUCH PROBLEMS
    Mayors on different sides of the Holland-Belgium border are disagreeing a bit when it comes to the cross-border "drug tourism" issue. We should have those kinds of problems here -- instead of the ones we have now.
  2. BOOK OFFER: BURNING RAINBOW FARM: HOW A STONER UTOPIA WENT UP IN SMOKE
    In fall 2001, activists Tom Crosslin and Rollie Rohm were gunned down by state and federal agents, after desperation drove them to set fire to the buildings on their beloved Rainbow Farm campground and concert site. A new book tells the heart-wrenching story.
  3. FEATURE: SALVIA UNDER SIEGE -- MOVEMENT TO BAN HERBAL HALLUCINOGEN GAINS MOMENTUM IN STATEHOUSES
    Salvia divinorum, a southern Mexican psychedelic plant, is currently sold in thousands of retail outlets in the United States as well as being easily available over the Internet. Soon it may become another black market product creating drug trade violence and letting the government send people to jail.
  4. FEATURE: SSDP, ACLU SEEK PERMANENT INJUNCTION IN HEA LAWSUIT, EDUCATION DEPARTMENT MOVES TO DISMISS
    A student group that filed suit seeking to declare the Higher Education Act's drug provision unconstitutional sought last Friday to win a preliminary injunction stopping its enforcement. The government fought back, with its own motion to dismiss the case.
  5. FEATURE: DRUG REFORMERS TAKE THE THIRD PARTY PATH IN BIDS FOR STATEWIDE OFFICE
    Frustrated by the two major parties' indifference -- if not downright hostility -- toward ending the decades-old war on drugs, at least three prominent drug reform leaders have launched bids for statewide office as third party candidates.
  6. FEEDBACK: DO YOU READ DRUG WAR CHRONICLE?
    Do you read Drug War Chronicle? If so, we need your feedback to evaluate our work and make the case for Drug War Chronicle to funders. We need donations too.
  7. LAW ENFORCEMENT: THIS WEEK'S CORRUPT COPS STORIES
    A trio of meth-dealing cops get federal prison in two separate cases, a pot-slinging policeman gets state prison in Texas, another prison guard with a sideline has gone down, and another cop can't keep his hands out of the evidence room cookie jar.
  8. LAW ENFORCEMENT: FEDERAL DRUG PROSECUTIONS DECLINED FOR PAST FIVE YEARS
    The latest Justice Department data show that federal drug prosecutions have been declining for the past five years.
  9. MEDICAL MARIJUANA: SOUTH DAKOTA INITIATIVE MAKES THE NOVEMBER BALLOT
    South Dakota electoral officials Wednesday certified that a petition drive to place a medical marijuana initiative on the November ballot submitted enough signatures to qualify. If successful, the initiative would make South Dakota the 12th state to pass a medical marijuana law, and the first in the Midwest.
  10. HARM REDUCTION: ACLU WINS VICTORY IN CONNECTICUT NEEDLE EXCHANGE CASE
    A federal judge has ruled that protections she previously granted to people possessing needles should be expanded to include other injecting equipment as well.
  11. LATIN AMERICA: MEXICAN LEFTIST CANDIDATE CALLS FOR MORE ARMY IN DRUG WAR
    As Mexico's presidential elections draw nearer and the race tighter, left-leaning PRD candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is trying to out-tough his opponent on the drug trade.
  12. LATIN AMERICA: US DRUG WAR ALLY REELECTED IN COLOMBIA, BUT LEFTIST LEGALIZATION ADVOCATE PLACES SECOND
    While Colombian President Alvaro Uribe cruised to an easy reelection victory with 62 percent of the vote last Sunday, a former Supreme Court justice whose ruling legalized drug possession in the country came in a surprisingly strong second.
  13. LATIN AMERICA: AS VENEZUELA AND BOLIVIA DRAW NEARER, CHAVEZ PONIES UP $1 MILLION FOR COCA FACTORIES, RESEARCH
    Two Latin American leaders the Bush administration strongly dislikes met in Bolivia last weekend, and coca came out ahead.
  14. EUROPE: DUTCH MAYOR TO MOVE COFFEE SHOPS TO BELGIAN BORDER
    Despite complaints from the Belgian government, a Dutch town is moving several of its marijuana "coffee shops" to the border to reduce "drug tourism."
  15. WEB SCAN
    New Change the Climate Online TV Ad, Journey for Justice Daily Journal, Psychedelics and Medicine, Convict Nation
  16. WEEKLY: THIS WEEK IN HISTORY
    Events and quotes of note from this week's drug policy events of years past.
  17. WEEKLY: 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!

(Chronicle archives)


1. Editorial: We Should Have Such Problems
http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/438/suchproblems.shtml

David Borden, Executive Director, [email protected], 6/2/06

David Borden
Mayors on different sides of the Holland-Belgium border are disagreeing a bit when it comes to the cross-border "drug tourism" issue. Belgians living in border towns like Lanaken, it seems, or some of them, like to cross over and visit Dutch border towns like Maastricht and patronize the local marijuana cafés, or "coffee shops" as they're known.

Belgians evidently don't want the marijuana around, or they would adopt some "tolerance" policy to it too (though evidently some Belgians do want it, or they wouldn't patronize the coffee shops); Dutch presumably want some tourism but evidently don't want as much of that kind of it as they're now getting where they're getting it, as Maastricht's municipal government has decided to move several of the city's coffee shops to the border. Belgian municipal authorities aren't pleased, but the Dutch feel the Belgians ought to deal better with marijuana policy themselves rather than effectively sending large numbers of young people to their side where they have to deal with it.

We should have such problems here. Having a few more people hanging out in a neighborhood than the neighbors might like is a positively tame situation compared with the disorder and violence accompanying the illicit drug trade as it is manifested in the US; and the Lanaken-Maastricht border is a veritable flower garden to stroll in, compared with the danger and violence lying between (and flowing out from) San Ysidro-Tijuana or El Paso-Juarez or Laredo-Nuevo Laredo. The US-Canadian border isn't quite so scary, but neither is it free from its hazards. (The TV series Twin Peaks used cross-border drug trafficking violence to the north as a key element in its twisted plot lines.)

Tolerance is not a perfect system of drug regulation with no downsides. I had the annoying experience during a visit to Amsterdam, for example, two times, of being followed up the street for blocks by low-level dealers who refused to take "no" for an answer to their offer to sell drugs to me and my pleas that they leave me alone for whole minutes. The city of Zurich in Switzerland had a famous experiment called "Needle Park," in which they established a zone within a downtown public park where hard drug users could inject without being arrested and where sterile syringes and other health services were made available. It became a big mess and was closed down.

The Needle Park experiment is sometimes held up by prohibitionists as a failure of legalization, but in fact it is nothing of the sort. Needle Park was no legalized drug zone; it was a park in the middle of a city where addicts from around the country (and really around the EU because of open borders) gathered in close quarters to inject illegal drugs -- without being arrested for it, but procuring them from the black market and paying the black market's high prices. Legalization means that the distribution and supply is legal and maybe regulated, not merely that users aren't getting arrested. And we wouldn't have everyone involved with a drug cramming into one park in the middle of a continent; people would buy their drugs at legitimate outlets (pharmacies or other kinds of stores) located in their own communities.

The Lanaken-Maastricht situation is also an example not of what legalization does, but of radically differing policies being in place within bordering jurisdictions. Belgium could open coffee shops too, or regulate marijuana and other drugs in some other way, and in so doing reduce the ills of the drug trade in that way while sparing Dutch border towns the crowds they don't want. The annoying Amsterdam dealers who couldn't believe that I wouldn't buy drugs from them no matter how much they hounded me were only there because drugs on the supply side are still illegal even if they don't arrest users or target low-level dealers.

So it's important not to confuse the artificial problems suffered sometimes by cities or states or countries that have become islands of tolerance, with anything that should be expected under an actual post-prohibition system. Senator Carlos Gaviria Diaz, former Supreme Court chief justice and recent presidential candidate whose second-place showing dramatically increased the standing of his party (and speaker at DRCNet's 2003 Latin America conference), said as much when asked by press during his campaign. "I'm in favor of legalizing drugs, but I'm also aware that a government cannot do this," he said last week. Legalizing the drug trade would mean the state could control it, "but Colombia would become a pariah country." Legalization is something Colombia desperately needs, drug trade violence and corruption are literally tearing the nation apart, but the nations of the world should end prohibition together.

I therefore wish for Colombia to soon have the problems they are currently having in the Netherlands, and for the US to have those kinds of problems too. They would be greatly preferable to the problems we are having now -- I'd take them over what we have now, on any day.

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2. Book Offer: Burning Rainbow Farm: How a Stoner Utopia Went up in Smoke
http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/438/rainbowfarmbook.shtml

Many DRCNet readers remember the heartbreaking tragedy of Rainbow Farm, the alternative campground and concert site outside Vandalia, Michigan, where marijuana activists Tom Crosslin and Rollie Rohm, driven to desperation by a relentless prosecutor, were killed by FBI and state police in fall 2001. Killed for no good reason -- as a local sympathizer expressed it to Drug War Chronicle's Phil Smith at the funeral, "[Prosecutor] Scott Teter said this was their choice, but it was his choice to hound them and try to take their land and their son. He's the one who chose to shoot and kill." Rohm and Crosslin before the end burned down their beloved buildings to keep the government from getting them.

Journalist Dean Kuipers of the Los Angeles CityBeat has now written "Burning Rainbow Farm: How a Stoner Utopia Went up in Smoke," a 304-page book being released by Bloomsbury USA this June 13. DRCNet is offering "Burning Rainbow Farm" as our latest membership premium -- donate $35 or more to DRCNet, and we will send you a copy -- donate $45 or more and we will send you one signed by the author. Your donations will help our work to end drug prohibition, while raising awareness of the recklessness and excesses of drug enforcers like prosecutor Teter -- click here to donate and order your copy.

Publishers Weekly writes of Kuipers' book, "Drawing on extensive interviews, government documents and news coverage, the author [who grew up 20 miles from the shootings] verges on portraying the prosecutor as evil incarnate. But Kuipers doesn't cross the line from sound journalism into advocacy, while letting the story unfold through superbly detailed characterizations and skillful pacing."

We also continue to offer the DVD video Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and the 5th edition of Drug War Facts. Add $5 to the minimum donation to add either of these to your request, or $10 to add both of them. Again, you can make your donation and place your order online, or send a check or money order to: DRCNet, P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036. (Note that contributions to Drug Reform Coordination Network, which support our lobbying work, are not tax-deductible. Deductible contributions can be made to DRCNet Foundation, same address.) Lastly, please contact us for instructions if you wish to make a donation of stock. (Also note that copies of Rainbow Farm will be mailed out from DRCNet during the third week of June.)

Thank you for your support. If you want to read more about Rainbow Farm in the meanwhile, please Phil's articles in the Drug War Chronicle archive: Michigan Drug Warriors Drive Marijuana Activists to the Brink, Then Gun Them Down on 9/7/01 and Rainbow Farm Marijuana Activists Laid to Rest, Friends Not Resting on 9/21.

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3. Feature: Salvia Under Siege -- Movement to Ban Herbal Hallucinogen Gains Momentum in Statehouses
http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/438/salviabans.shtml

A member of the mint family related to the flowering sages enjoyed by gardeners, salvia divinorum is a southern Mexican herb that when smoked properly can induce a psychedelic experience something akin to an express acid trip. It comes on like a fast-forward freight train; within a few seconds of inhaling, a full-blown psychedelic experience is underway, and within five minutes, it's all over. And as a legal product under federal law, it is sold in thousands of retail outlets in the United States as well as being easily available over the Internet.

salvia leaves
Hailing from the state of Oaxaca, salvia has been used as a sacred plant for generations by the Indians of the remote Sierra Mazateca. For Mazatec shaman-healers, salvia produces a state of "divine inebriation." It is used in ceremonial settings when healers feel they need to dive deep into the spirit world to cure their patients.

But momentum to ban the herb in the US is building. Largely driven by the suicide of a 17-year-old Delaware youth who experimented with it, salvia has been banned in two states this year, and in at least three more, legislation to make its possession or sale a crime is pending. Previously, the herb had been banned in Louisiana and Missouri. This year, Delaware and Tennessee have already outlawed it, and similar efforts are afoot in Alaska, New Jersey, and Texas.

Renewed interest in banning salvia came after the death of Brian Chidester, a Delaware youth who committed suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning in January. His parents, Kathy and Dennis Chidester, described him as a happy, normal teenager who believed the plant couldn't hurt him if it was legal. And although young Chidester was also taking an acne medication linked to depression in adolescents, his parents blamed his death on the herb.

"We found a note that he wrote on the computer that said salvia divinorum made him realize there was no point to being on Earth," Kathy Chidester told a New Jersey news conference last week as, fresh from victory in her home state, she pressed for a ban in the Garden State as well. "He had a lot to live for and I believe salvia took that away from him."

While salvia is not "deadly," as some overheated news accounts have stated, neither is it a casual party drug. According to Daniel Siebert, proprietor of the Sage Wisdom web site, "salvia is not 'fun' in the way that alcohol or cannabis can be. If you try to party with salvia, you will probably not have a good experience," Siebert wrote. "Salvia is a consciousness-changing herb that can be used in a vision quest, or in a healing ritual. In the right setting, Salvia makes it possible to see visions. It is an herb with a long tradition of sacred use. It is useful for deep meditation. It is best taken in a quiet, nearly darkroom; either alone (if a sitter will not be used, see below for discussion of sitters), or with one or two good friends present. It should be taken either in silence or (sometimes) with soft pleasant music playing."

Indeed, salvia use is not likely to become a craze sweeping the country. Like other psychedelics it is non-addictive and carries with it no compulsion to use again. And the experience is too weird and occasionally downright unpleasant to have much mass appeal.

"Salvia doesn't cause any physical damage or brain damage, but it can be unsettling and unpleasant," said Chris Bennett, who runs the Urban Shaman entheogen shop in Vancouver. "The biggest danger is tripping alone. I've had people tell me they woke up in the woods and things like that. Most people are too high to move, but you should have a sitter there with you," he told DRCNet.

But despite the fact that salvia is a freaky drug for psychonauts with little popular appeal, politicians across the land are now calling for its prohibition. Pushed by the Chidesters, Delaware passed its ban quickly this spring, as did Tennessee. And New Jersey politicians are the latest to get on the bandwagon.

"We should take preventative steps now, before our children start using this product and before someone gets hurt," said Assemblyman Jack Conners (D-Burlington), a sponsor of New Jersey's bill to outlaw the plant. Under that bill, salvia would become a Schedule I controlled substance, the same category as heroin. Distribution, possession, or even use of the herb would be a felony, and those caught with more than one ounce could face up to 10 years in prison and fines of up to $150,000.

In Alaska, meanwhile, a state senator has introduced a bill that would similarly define salvia as a dangerous controlled substance. In a statement accompanying his bill, Sen. Gene Therriault (R-North Pole) warned that the plant is a "very powerful hallucinogenic substance" that is becoming more popular because it is not illegal. "We have an opportunity to get ahead of this powerful substance and reduce the risk to our young people," he wrote.

Therriault's initiative is largely thanks to the efforts of his legislative assistant, Dave Stancliff, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported. Stancliff told the newspaper he researched salvia on Internet chat rooms, and it must be banned because otherwise children would think it was safe to use. "The fact is, legal means safe," he said.

Still, Stancliff conceded that the bill was not in response to any known problem with salvia in Alaska. Alaska State Troopers spokesman Greg Wilkinson seconded that opinion, telling the paper salvia "has really not shown up on our radar here in Alaska."

While the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) lists salvia among its "drugs of concern," it is not proscribed under the Controlled Substances Act. While the DEA has the power to proscribe it, it has not yet moved to do so. "It's a concern and we're looking at it, but just because it hasn't been scheduled doesn't mean it's safe or healthy," DEA spokesperson Rogene Waite told the Associated Press in April. "It's dangerous from what you can see from anecdotal material."

But the drug has its defenders, even among the federal health bureaucracies. In the same article, Bryan Roth, director of the Psychoactive Drug Screening Program for the National Institute of Mental Health, said salvia could be useful in treating disease. The plant produces savinorin A, "the world's most potent natural occurring hallucinogen," as Roth put it. Salvinorin A targets a single chemical receptor in the brain that is linked to "consciousness and our perception of reality" and located in neurons that have a role in depression, drug abuse, and schizophrenia, he said.

"Many teams of chemists around the world are making salvinorin A for research," Roth said. Criminalizing the plant and its derivatives would make it "almost impossible" to obtain supplies for research, he warned. Still, he said, while the herb should not be banned, it should be regulated. "It probably shouldn't be sold over the Internet to unsuspecting teenagers," Roth said.

That would be just fine with the Urban Shaman's Bennett, who professed bemusement at the very notion of criminalizing nature. "How can a plant be illegal?" asked Bennett. "We don't sell it to minors, but beyond that, how can a plant be illegal?"

Further resources on this issue are available at the Salvia Divinorum Action Center, on the web site of the Center for Cognitive Liberty. The project has been suspended due to lack of funding, but there is still a lot of information there.

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4. Feature: SSDP, ACLU Seek Permanent Injunction in HEA Lawsuit, Education Department Moves to Dismiss
http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/438/injunctionsought.shtml

A student group that filed suit seeking to declare the Higher Education Act's (HEA) drug provision unconstitutional moved last Friday to win a preliminary injunction barring the Department of Education (DOE) from enforcing it until the case is resolved. If issued this month, such an injunction would open the way for thousands of potential students barred from receiving financial aid under the provision to submit their federal student financial aid forms (FAFSAs) in time for the coming academic year.

That same day, the department fought back, filing a motion to dismiss the class action lawsuit filed by Students for Sensible Drug Policy, three named students, and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Drug Policy Reform Project. In a preview of its legal strategy, the department argued that "the challenged statute is constitutional."

The lawsuit, SSDP v. Spellings, targets DOE Secretary Margaret Spellings because it is the department that enforces the HEA drug provision. Authored in 1998 by one of Capitol Hill's most resolute drug warriors, Rep. Mark Souder (R-IN), the provision denies federal title IV financial aid for specified periods to students convicted of drug offenses, no matter how trivial. Since the law went into effect, more than 180,000 students have been denied financial aid because they had a drug offense.

Under rising pressure from educators, financial aid administrators, civil libertarians and civil rights groups, students, and drug reform groups like SSDP organized into the Coalition for Higher Education Act Reform, Souder moved last year to block outright repeal of the law. He shepherded through Congress a "partial fix" that limits the provision to students whose offenses occurred while they were receiving financial aid. That change goes into effect this summer.

But a partial fix was not good enough for SSDP and the ACLU. After seeking and finding students to act as plaintiffs, the groups filed suit in US District Court in the Northern Division of South Dakota in March. Though not a party to the lawsuit, the John W. Perry Fund, a scholarship program created by DRCNet Foundation that assists students losing their financial aid because of drug convictions, played a key role in the effort -- two of the three student plaintiffs were located by DRCNet as a result of their contacting the Fund last year.

Kraig Selken of Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota, is one of them. Selken was arrested for simple marijuana possession last October after police found a joint in the home he shared with two other students. He did three days in jail with 57 days suspended if he sought treatment. Under the HEA drug provision, students can have their federal aid reinstated if they attend a treatment program that includes random drug tests, but Selken's program didn't offer that and the court didn't order it, so he is out of luck on keeping his student loan.

Now, the legal sparring over the law keeping Selken from his studies is getting underway. "As usual, the federal government wants to silence students' voices and prevent us from challenging drug war policies that hurt our generation," said SSDP executive director Kris Krane. "We will have our day in court, we will win, and we will make sure that no student ever again has to worry about losing his or her access to education because of a minor drug conviction."

"The Department of Education wants the lawsuit to go away," concurred Adam Wolf, the ACLU Drug Law Reform Project attorney trying the case. "They don't want any dialogue about the aid elimination penalty in the HEA or its harmful effects. But our opposing argument shows our claims are meritorious and the court should strike down the law as unconstitutional."

The lawsuit argues that the HEA drug provision unconstitutionally punishes people twice for the same offense, violating the double jeopardy clause of the US Constitution's Fifth Amendment. They also charge the penalty irrationally designates a class of people, low- to middle-income students with drug convictions, as unworthy of educational aid, violating the equal protection guarantee of the Fifth Amendment's Due Process Clause.

The groups don't want to let another academic year slide by before blocking the law, thus the motion for a preliminary injunction and the call for a quick ruling, said SSDP campaigns director Tom Angell. "We want to make sure the Department of Education doesn't ruin the academic careers of any more students while this case moves forward," Angell said.

"The same day the government filed its motion to dismiss, we filed a motion for preliminary injunctive relief and asked the court to rule expeditiously," said Wolf. "By filing the motion when we did, we will ensure that the briefs are all before the court prior to the deadline for students to fill out their FAFSAs for the coming academic year. The deadline for that is the end of June. We're hoping the court will rule quickly and restore people's ability to receive student aid and continue their education."

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5. Feature: Drug Reformers Take the Third Party Path in Bids for Statewide Office
http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/438/reformcandidates.shtml

Frustrated by the two major parties' indifference -- if not downright hostility -- toward ending the decades-old war on drugs, at least three prominent drug reform leaders have launched bids for statewide office as third party candidates. In Alabama, US Marijuana Party founder Loretta Nall is running for governor on the Libertarian Party ticket. In Connecticut, the state's most prominent drug reformer, Cliff Thornton of Efficacy is running for governor as a Green. And in Maryland, Common Sense for Drug Policy's Kevin Zeese is running a unity campaign under the banners of the Green, Libertarian and Populist parties.

Loretta Nall
While the odds of any of them actually winning their races are long, all three told DRCNet they are in it to win -- and to show the major parties they risk voter defections if they fail to address growing public disaffection with the drug war. And while none of them are so far being accorded the dignity of having their candidacies measured by major opinion polls, all hope to break that barrier between now and November.

Down in Alabama, Loretta Nall is adding pizzazz to a campaign already replete with notable characters -- one of the leading Democratic contenders, former Gov. Don Seigelman, will be in court on corruption charges on next week's primary day. Challenging Gov. Bob Riley for the Republican nomination is former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore, who hopes to transform his stance against the Constitution and in favor of placing the 10 Commandments in courthouses into a path to the statehouse. Early polls show Riley defeating both Moore next week and either of the Democrats in November.

In Alabama, Nall will be facing off against the two major party candidates to be decided next week -- if she can get enough signatures to get on the ballot by primary day, June 6. "Right now, I'm focusing all my energy and money on getting signatures. It's going to be a nail biter," she said. "The Republicans and Democrats don't have to gather signatures, but third parties do, and if we get on the ballot and don't get 20%, the party loses its status and has to re-qualify with more signatures," she said.

For Nall, it all started with drug policy, and the issue remains central to her campaign.

"Drug policy is a huge part of my campaign and I don't back away from it. After all, I got my start from the cops kicking down my door," she said, referring to the minor pot bust that started her on down the path to activism. "I work it into all my speeches; it's the first thing I talk about in candidate forums. Because the drug war is so pervasive, I can connect it with all sorts of issues."

Nall is working other issues as well, running as a pro-immigration reform and anti-Patriot Act and Real ID Act candidate, but the media is fascinated with her drug policy stance, she said. "People want to know where I stand on issues like immigration and education, but the reporters always want to ask about drugs. The public knows where I am on drug policy."

Although running under the Libertarian banner, Nall doesn't quite fit the mold. "I'm a libertarian, but not a big L one. In fact, I find myself agreeing with liberal Democrats more than anybody. I would say I'm liberal socially and conservative fiscally," she said. "I want our Alabama National Guard troops out of Iraq, and that resonates -- if the rednecks down here are tired of whipping brown skinned peoples' asses [Iraqis], Washington needs to take notice," she said. "We also need to make biodiesel a big issue -- we can't afford this $2.50 a gallon for gas business. And we need education reform and Washington out of our classrooms."

In Connecticut, Cliff Thornton is facing off against Republican Gov. Jodi Rell and Democratic challenger Dannel Malloy, the mayor of Stamford. Things are off to a good start, he told DRCNet. "The campaign is going pretty well, although we don't have a lot of money in the coffers," said Thornton. "We've been getting great media attention and real good articles. Since I announced in January, we've had pretty close to an article a week somewhere in the state. The media likes what I'm saying."

The mainstream candidates aren't addressing key issues, Thornton said, and part of his role is to redirect the focus. "I want to get these people to talk about the issues," he said. "How many people are talking about the war in Iraq? How many people are talking about the war right here? How many people are talking about the race issue?"

For Thornton, who has made a career of calling for an end to prohibitionist drug policies, hammering at the issue makes perfect sense. "Drug policy is a big part of my campaign. That's what I'm known for. Cliff Thornton and drug policy do not separate. After all, drug policy is two degrees from everything. Transportation issues and full health care for all in Connecticut are not drug policy issues, but again we're talking about the money. Programs don't happen because we're spending money on the drug war."
So what does Thornton talk about? "I definitely talk about what we did in Hartford and the white paper that resulted," he said, referring to last fall's symposium bringing together Connecticut political and law enforcement leaders, public health experts, and drug law reformers and the progressive drug policy positions that resulted from that conference. "I also tell them that cannabis should be legalized, that we should have heroin maintenance, and that drug use should be de-stigmatized. This is a public health problem, not a law enforcement problem."

He also talks about crime. "We've had 16 shootings since last Wednesday," he noted. "They're saying they're not directly drug-related, but all these people are coming from drug-infested areas. You have to ask how many of these kids that did these shootings had parents in prison or in the drug trade. How many of them saw the cops continually harassing people?" he said. "The mayor and police chief are talking the same old talk, but you can't just keep doing the same old failed thing over and over again. We've been at the drug war for a century, and we just keep doing the same thing and getting the same results. How can we expect things to change if we just keep doing the same thing?"

Thornton is running as a Green, and beyond advancing the drug policy agenda, he also wants to make the Greens a viable alternative in Connecticut. "As drug policy reformers, we're way ahead of the local party people," Thornton said. "The Greens couldn't get the press to pay attention, but I know how to get the press." If only he could be as successful in fundraising, he said. "We're not so good at that; we've only got about $30,000."

Thornton acknowledged that his prospects for victory are slim, but said he expected to show well. "I want to garner between 10% and 25% of the vote in November. The key is to show that you can lead and win with drug policy reform," he said.

In Maryland, Zeese, a veteran of the 2004 Ralph Nader presidential campaign, is up against Democratic contenders Rep. Ben Cardin and former NAACP head Kweisi Mfume and Republican candidate Lt. Gov. Michael Steele in the race to succeed retiring Democratic Sen. Paul Sarbanes. Early polling shows Cardin leading Steele by 10 points, while Mfume versus Steele is currently a dead heat. In a close race, a Zeese candidacy could make the difference.

"I'm running on issues of peace, justice, democracy, and prosperity, and the drug issue comes in under justice," said Zeese. "I always mention it. I always mention that Maryland has the most racially unfair drug enforcement system. Of our drug prisoners, 90% are African-American. This is selective enforcement, and we also saw that when Maryland became one of the first states to be sued by black drivers for racial profiling," he said. "But this is an issue that really comes up only with African-American audiences. With white audiences, it's probably more a negative than a positive."

Except, perhaps, on college campuses. "Drug policy reform resonates well on campus," he said. "When I address an audience, I always ask what they want to talk about. Almost always, it's the Patriot Act, Iraq, the deficit, corporate power, but on college campuses, they want to talk about the war on drugs and they want to talk about weed."

For Zeese, the campaign is much broader than drug policy. "I focus a lot on the Iraq war, the divide between rich and poor, and the corruption of our political system," he said. "I talk about how people feel unrepresented, and I hit my common themes on justice issues, civil liberties, the Patriot Act, and the drug war, but the two big issues are war and peace and rich and poor."

Zeese rejected the notion that third party candidacies are "spoilers," and he chided the drug reform movement for not backing his campaign. "I'm always appalled by drug reformers who support Democrats who support the drug war," he said. "We complain about spineless Democrats and then we vote for them. It's really asinine for drug reformers to think the Democrats are going to be their saviors. You're voting for people who want to put your friends and families in jail. Can anyone point me to the Democratic Party's leadership on drug reform? The drug reform movement is showing its level of political maturity by not getting involved in this race," he said. "If you want to talk about spoilers, for the drug reform movement, the spoilers are the two main parties."

Zeese has no illusions about his prospects. "Winning would be a real long shot, but that's what it's about, and it's a lot like pushing boulders uphill. It's a constant battle to be taken seriously," he said, noting that he is beginning to get some mainstream press attention. "I would like to win this battle, but I think I would be successful if I can create a three-way race where I'm included in the polls and debates and my impact on the race is clear," he said. "If I do well, that will be a signal to the parties they are out of touch with the voters."

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6. Feedback: Do You Read Drug War Chronicle?
http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/438/doyouread.shtml

Do you read Drug War Chronicle? If so, we'd like to hear from you. DRCNet needs two things:

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7. Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories
http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/438/thisweek1.shtml

A trio of meth-dealing cops get federal prison in two separate cases, a pot-slinging policeman gets state prison in Texas, another prison guard with a sideline has gone down, and another cop can't keep his hands out of the evidence room cookie jar. Let's get to it:

In Muskogee, Oklahoma, two former Sallisaw police officers, including a former police chief, were sentenced to federal prison May 23. Former Sallisaw Police Chief Billy Sizemore, 67, got five years, while his son, former officer Terry Don Sizemore, 40, got ten. The pair had pleaded guilty in February to possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute. The Sizemores went down in December, after Sallisaw police detectives called in the feds upon developing evidence the pair were dealing. The feds seized more than 250 grams of speed, as well as more than $3,000 cash Billy Sizemore had on him when he was arrested.

In Scranton, Pennsylvania, a former police officer was sentenced May 24 to 27 months in federal prison on meth charges. Kevin Schlosser, 36, who worked as a part-time police officer for the Ulster Township, Athens Borough, and South Waverly police departments, pleaded guilty last July to conspiracy to manufacture and distribution of methamphetamine. Schlosser went down as part of a DEA and Pennsylvania State Police investigation into meth trafficking in Bradford County.

In Troup, Texas, a former police officer pleaded guilty May 24 to tampering with marijuana police seized as evidence from drug suspects. Former Troup Police Sgt. Samuel Turner, 47, faces two to 10 years in prison. He and ex-chief Chester Kennedy were arrested March 2 after investigators noticed that despite numerous pot busts, the force never submitted any marijuana as evidence or for testing. Turner confessed to using some of the marijuana himself and giving some to a confidential informant. He will be sentenced July 21. Kennedy has not yet been indicted.

In Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, a Dodge Correctional Institution officer was arrested May 22 on four felony drug counts after he was found growing 130 marijuana plants at home. Officer Paul Krumweide's charges included manufacturing marijuana and maintaining a place for drug trafficking. In addition to 132 pot plants, police seized more than a pound of psychedelic mushrooms and three pounds of dry marijuana. Krumweide has allegedly told investigating officers he grew pot for profit since 2003. He awaits a July 7 preliminary hearing.

In Melrose, Massachusetts, drugs have gone missing from the evidence room and a detective is under suspicion, the Boston Globe reported. Melrose Police Detective Kevin Stanton has been suspended with pay since January 26, when he failed a polygraph test about missing drug evidence. According to a march police report, Stanton has admitted stealing and consuming narcotic Percocet tablets and marking them as destroyed. Stanton, a 12-year veteran, is now under criminal investigation and is not cooperating with police.

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8. Law Enforcement: Federal Drug Prosecutions Declined for Past Five Years
http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/438/fewer.shtml

The latest Justice Department data show that federal drug prosecutions have been declining for the past five years, Syracuse University's Transactional Records Analysis Clearinghouse (TRAC) reported this week. Based on the most recent available figures, federal prosecutors filed 1,965 drug cases in January, down 8.7% from the previous month, 8.1% from the previous year, and 39.3% from January 2001. If US Magistrate Courts, which typically handle federal drug misdemeanors, are included, the five-year decline is a smaller 28.8%.

TRAC did not attempt to identify reasons for the decline. Federal white collar crime prosecutions are also down over the five-year period, with a 34.5% decline, and felony immigration prosecutions also dropped by 2.7%. (On immigration prosecutions, however, the number of cases tried in US Magistrate Courts rose by 102%.) Federal firearms prosecutions, on the other hand, increased by 32.5% over the last five years.

The 1,965 federal drug cases filed in January accounted for more cases than weapons and white collar crime combined. There were 761 federal weapons cases filed in January and 517 white collar crime cases. Federal prosecutors also initiated more than 3,000 immigration-related cases, but most of them will be handled by US magistrates.

As befits its role as the federal government's lead drug-fighting agency, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) accounted for 57% of all new prosecutions. Referrals from state and local law enforcement came in second at 12%, followed by the Department of Homeland Security (11%), the FBI (7%), and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (5%).

Federal drug law prosecutions vary by region, but the most recent figures show some surprises. The most federal drug prosecutions per capita in January occurred in the Northern District of West Virginia, with 37 per 100,000 population. An unsurprising second was the Western District of Texas with 26 per 100,000. The rest of the top ten in rank order are the Northern District of Mississippi, the Eastern District of Oklahoma, the Eastern District of Tennessee, Wyoming, South Dakota, Montana, the Eastern District of Missouri, and the Southern District of Alabama. Except for Alabama and its sea coast and Texas and the Mexican border, all of the top ten are rural areas of the country not normally associated with massive drug problems. Except for Western Texas, where smuggling remains a constant, only West Virginia was in the top ten five years ago, coming in at number ten.

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9. Medical Marijuana: South Dakota Initiative Makes the November Ballot
://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/438/sodak.shtml

South Dakota electoral officials Wednesday certified that a petition drive to place a medical marijuana initiative on the November ballot submitted enough signatures to qualify. Sponsored by South Dakotans for Medical Marijuana, the initiative, if successful, would make South Dakota the 12th state to pass a medical marijuana law, and the first in the Midwest.

The group handed in more than 24,000 signatures on May 2. But because it had to use its existing funds to pay for signature gathering, the group is now broke and asking for contributions.

According to organizers, the initiative would:

  • Protect seriously ill patients -- and their caregivers -- who possess and cultivate limited amounts of marijuana with their doctors' approval from arrest and prosecution by state authorities;
  • Create registry identification cards, so that law enforcement officials will be able to easily tell who is a qualified patient and who is not, and establish penalties for false statements and fraudulent ID cards;
  • Protect doctors from being punished for advising their patients that -- in their sincere professional judgment -- the benefits of the medical use of marijuana for the patient would exceed the risks;
  • Allow patients and their caregivers who are arrested to raise a medical defense in court; and
  • Prohibit the public use of marijuana and driving under the influence of marijuana, among other restrictions.
The South Dakota legislature has refused to act on medical marijuana bills in recent years. Similarly, in the case of Matthew Ducheneaux, a paraplegic Lakota who used marijuana to ease muscle spasms, the South Dakota courts passed on the opportunity to allow the use of a medical necessity defense. Now, the voters will have a chance to have their say.

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9. Medical Marijuana: South Dakota Initiative Makes the November Ballot
http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/438/sodak.shtml

South Dakota electoral officials Wednesday certified that a petition drive to place a medical marijuana initiative on the November ballot submitted enough signatures to qualify. Sponsored by South Dakotans for Medical Marijuana, the initiative, if successful, would make South Dakota the 12th state to pass a medical marijuana law, and the first in the Midwest.

The group handed in more than 24,000 signatures on May 2. But because it had to use its existing funds to pay for signature gathering, the group is now broke and asking for contributions.

According to organizers, the initiative would:

  • Protect seriously ill patients -- and their caregivers -- who possess and cultivate limited amounts of marijuana with their doctors' approval from arrest and prosecution by state authorities;
  • Create registry identification cards, so that law enforcement officials will be able to easily tell who is a qualified patient and who is not, and establish penalties for false statements and fraudulent ID cards;
  • Protect doctors from being punished for advising their patients that -- in their sincere professional judgment -- the benefits of the medical use of marijuana for the patient would exceed the risks;
  • Allow patients and their caregivers who are arrested to raise a medical defense in court; and
  • Prohibit the public use of marijuana and driving under the influence of marijuana, among other restrictions.
The South Dakota legislature has refused to act on medical marijuana bills in recent years. Similarly, in the case of Matthew Ducheneaux, a paraplegic Lakota who used marijuana to ease muscle spasms, the South Dakota courts passed on the opportunity to allow the use of a medical necessity defense. Now, the voters will have a chance to have their say.

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10. Harm Reduction: ACLU Wins Victory in Connecticut Needle Exchange Case
http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/438/ctneps.shtml

Injection drug users in Connecticut can breathe a bit easier this week. In a case brought by the American Civil Liberties Union Drug Law Reform Project, a federal judge has ruled that protections she previously granted to people possessing needles should be expanded to include other injecting equipment as well.

In 2001, acting on complaints of harassment and persecution by drug users and needle exchange workers in Bridgeport and citing the Fourth Amendment's protections against unreasonable search and seizure, the ACLU won an order blocking the Bridgeport Police Department "from searching, stopping, arresting, punishing or penalizing... any person based solely upon that person's possession of up to thirty sets of injection equipment."

But as she prepared to hand down her latest ruling Thursday, US District Court Judge Janet Hall complained that "my order may well have been written in invisible ink." On Thursday, she chastised the Bridgeport police for failing to diligently follow her earlier order, but rejected an ACLU motion to find the department in contempt. She did, however, expand the protection in the earlier order to include injection equipment such as cotton balls and items used to cook drugs.

"The message of this much-needed ruling should be heard nationwide," said Adam Wolf, an attorney with the ACLU Drug Law Reform Project. "Public health should be placed above punitive posturing. Law enforcement should be chiefly concerned with the public welfare, which is markedly increased by respecting the rights of needle exchange participants and acknowledging the vital importance of these exchanges to public safety."

The Bridgeport Syringe Exchange, in operation for more than a dozen years now, is one of around 200 such programs in the country. Every scientific study of needle exchanges has found that they are an effective way of reducing the spread of infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C.

"The police can contribute to public health and safety by supporting efforts that engage injection drug users in disease prevention programs that simultaneously serve as conduits to treatment for addiction," said Robert Heimer, PhD, a professor at Yale School of Public Health and a nationally renowned expert on the emergence and prevention of infectious diseases. "In the long run, this is the only reliable means to decrease addiction at the community level."

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11. Latin America: Mexican Leftist Candidate Calls for More Army in Drug War
http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/438/lopezobrador.shtml

As Mexico's July 2 presidential elections draw ever nearer and the race ever tighter, left-leaning Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has called for an increased role for the armed forces to try to rein in the country's violent drug trafficking organizations. Under pressure from the government of outgoing President Vicente Fox, Mexico's so-called cartels have fragmented and reconsolidated in a bloody war that has left at least 1,500 dead. Outbreaks of drug war-related violence have spread from border cities like Nuevo Laredo to once immune resorts like Acapulco, where cartel members engaged in virtual street battles with police in recent weeks.

Mexican army drug patrol
Lopez Obrador took the occasion of a Saturday visit to Nuevo Laredo to call for a larger role for the armed forces. "I'm going to create a legal initiative to reform the constitution and give more power to the army in the war against organized crime," he said in remarks reported by the Associated Press. Repeated efforts to purge police and justice officials corrupted by drug traffickers had failed, he said. "There has been enough experimenting," Lopez Obrador said. "Every six years they try to clean up the attorney general's office and it ends up completely infiltrated and totally involved in illegal acts."

Lopez Obrador's comments put him in a "tough on drugs" contest with Fox's National Action Party (PAN) and its presidential candidate, Felipe Calderon, who is running in a dead heat with Lopez Obrador, according to the latest polls. Roberto Madrazo, candidate of the fractured Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which ruled the country as "the prefect dictatorship" for 71 years until Fox's election in 2000, is a distant third. In the past two years, the Fox government has undertaken what Fox called "the mother of all battles" against the cartels, but the result has been only more bloodshed.

While Lopez Obrador said the army could be the solution, President Fox is already using it to fight the competing Sinaloa and Gulf Coast cartels. And while Lopez Obrador suggested the army could escape the corrupted fate of Mexican law enforcement, there is little reason to believe it invulnerable to the lure of traffickers' lucre. The arrest of a Mexican army general on corruption charges after being named head of the national anti-drug effort in 1996 is one example. The existence of the Zetas, former Mexican military men trained as an elite anti-drug unit who defected to the traffickers, is another.

President Fox made noises about legalization early in his administration, but soon buckled under to the American drug war. The much vaunted and aborted Mexican decriminalization bill was not really aimed at expanding Mexico's drug war; the decrim provisions were inserted by representatives as the bill quietly moved through the congress. Interestingly, both the PAN and the PRI voted for the bill, while the PRD opposed it.

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12. Latin America: US Drug War Ally Reelected in Colombia, But Leftist Legalization Advocate Places Second
http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/438/gaviriadiaz.shtml

Colombian President Alvaro Uribe cruised to an easy reelection victory with 62% of the vote Sunday, but more than half the electorate stayed home and a drug-legalizing former Supreme Court justice running as head of left-leaning ticket polled a surprising 22%. Uribe ran as a law-and-order candidate and gained the support of urban voters who applauded his tough stance against the country's massive drug trade and the long-running leftist insurgency of the Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC).

Sen. Gaviria at DRCNet's
2003 conference
Uribe has been a staunch ally of the Bush administration's anti-drug and anti-terror policies toward Colombia and has been the recipient of more than $4 billion in US aid aimed at eradicating the coca and cocaine trade and defeating the guerrillas. But after six years, according to the US government's own figures, Colombia is producing roughly as much cocaine as when Plan Colombia began despite a massive aerial eradication campaign that has sprayed tens of thousands of acres of cropland. And while the intensity of FARC attacks during this year's election campaign was much reduced from 2002, by no means have the guerrillas gone away.

The level of support for pro-legalization Senator Carlos Gaviria Diaz, presidential candidate for the Alternative Democratic Pole, is the strongest showing for Colombia's electoral left since it was massacred (literally) in the late 1980s and early 1990s. As a Supreme Court justice in the early 1990s, Gaviria crafted the decision that legalized drug possession for personal use in Colombia.

Last week, Gaviria -- who was a keynote speaker at DRCNet's 2003 "Out from the Shadows" conference in Mexico, said he still supports drug legalization, but that as a practical matter it was not something Colombia could do in isolation. "I'm in favor of legalizing drugs, but I'm also aware that a government cannot do this," he told a Bogota press conference last Friday. Legalizing the drug trade would mean the state could control it, he said. "But Colombia would become a pariah country."

But it is the growth of the democratic left in Colombia that is the big story. For decades, Colombia has been a two-party system, with Liberals and Conservatives vying for control of the state, but between Conservative support for Uribe and a rising tide on the left, the Liberals appear increasingly irrelevant. Liberal candidate Horacio Serpa came in third, with under 12% of the popular vote.

In the last presidential election, Democratic Pole candidate and legalization advocate Luis Eduardo "Lucho" Garzon gained only 6% of the vote. But in a sign of increasing disillusionment with the status quo, the following year Garzon won the race to be mayor of Bogota, the country's capital and largest city. Now, the Democratic Pole has overtaken the Liberals to become the second party.

"We're very happy with the results," Gaviria told Caracol Radio Sunday night after recognizing his defeat. "For the first time in the country's history, the main opposition party will be comprised of the democratic left."

================

13. Latin America: As Venezuela and Bolivia Draw Nearer, Chavez Ponies Up $1 Million for Coca Factories, Research
://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/438/venezuelacoca.shtml

It's a trio that gives the Bush administration nightmares, and they were all together in Bolivia last weekend. Bolivian President Evo Morales hosted Cuban Vice President Carlos Lage and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in what he called an "axis of good" during a visit to Bolivia's coca-growing Chapare region, and Chavez announced he would support Morales' call to legalize and industrialize the coca leaf by providing $1 million in funding for research into coca's uses and factories to turn it into coca flour or tea.

The weekend meeting came as tensions are increasing between Washington and Bolivia and Venezuela. Among the Morales policies the administration clearly doesn't like is his determination to expand his country's coca industry and win legal status for the plant long sacred in the Andes. While Morales has vowed to fight cocaine trafficking, he is also seeking voluntary -- not forced -- limits on coca production, a move that makes the US uneasy as Bolivian coca production continues to rise.

Ironically, Morales and his guests flew into the region at the US-built Chimore air base, once a hangout of US DEA agents attempting to enforce the "zero coca" policies their government imposed on Bolivia. Upon his arrival, Morales gave thanks "to the government of the United States for building that airport," although he added that the effort had led to conflict and loss of life. "From those days of sadness, we come to a day of celebration," Morales said. "Before the governments made us weep with their repression and now we weep with joy."

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13. Latin America: As Venezuela and Bolivia Draw Nearer, Chavez Ponies Up $1 Million for Coca Factories, Research
http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/438/venezuelacoca.shtml

It's a trio that gives the Bush administration nightmares, and they were all together in Bolivia last weekend. Bolivian President Evo Morales hosted Cuban Vice President Carlos Lage and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in what he called an "axis of good" during a visit to Bolivia's coca-growing Chapare region, and Chavez announced he would support Morales' call to legalize and industrialize the coca leaf by providing $1 million in funding for research into coca's uses and factories to turn it into coca flour or tea.

The weekend meeting came as tensions are increasing between Washington and Bolivia and Venezuela. Among the Morales policies the administration clearly doesn't like is his determination to expand his country's coca industry and win legal status for the plant long sacred in the Andes. While Morales has vowed to fight cocaine trafficking, he is also seeking voluntary -- not forced -- limits on coca production, a move that makes the US uneasy as Bolivian coca production continues to rise.

Ironically, Morales and his guests flew into the region at the US-built Chimore air base, once a hangout of US DEA agents attempting to enforce the "zero coca" policies their government imposed on Bolivia. Upon his arrival, Morales gave thanks "to the government of the United States for building that airport," although he added that the effort had led to conflict and loss of life. "From those days of sadness, we come to a day of celebration," Morales said. "Before the governments made us weep with their repression and now we weep with joy."

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14. Europe: Dutch Mayor to Move Coffee Shops to Belgian Border
http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/438/maastricht.shtml

Gerd Leers, the mayor of the Dutch market town of Maastricht, is taking action to deal with the overflow influx of drug tourists coming across the nearby Belgian and German borders to buy marijuana in Holland's famous cannabis coffee shops. Despite complaints from the Belgian government, Leers announced Tuesday that he wants to move seven of the city's 15 coffee houses from the city center to the border, the Netherlands Info Service reported.

Leers is calling his scheme "Coffee Corner," but locals are speaking of "cannabis boulevards," each with two or three coffee houses. Leers is acting to reduce complaints about congestion and crime related to foreign coffee house visitors and is following the example of the border town of Venlo, which earlier moved two of its coffee houses from downtown to the border. Venlo's mayor reports that while traffic downtown decreased, the move resulted in an overall increase in the number of drug tourists.

Belgian authorities are not happy and have warned against the move. Just last week, Belgian officials threatened to place cameras along the border and capture the license plate numbers of vehicles of visiting drug tourists. They did not explain how they would know which vehicles carried people intending to buy pot in Holland.

Despite Belgium's 2005 move to make possession of less than three grams of marijuana a non-arrestable offence in most cases, Belgian officials say moving the coffee shops to the border will thwart what they describe as their zero-tolerance policy. And because people move freely within the European Union, Belgian border towns like Lanaken are likely to see coffee houses just across the street.

"I have a good understanding with Mayor Leers, except when it comes to soft drugs," Lanaken's mayor, Alex Vangronsveld, complained to Reuters last week. "We in Lanaken maintain a zero-tolerance policy. The dispersal plan is not acceptable to us, as Maastricht already has 4,500 drug tourists a day."

Dutch police were not unsympathetic. "Their fears are legitimate," said Peter Tans, the police spokesman for south Limburg, the Dutch region that includes Maastricht. "Experience has shown that when you move the coffee shop the problem moves, too, and crime levels where the coffee shop used to be drop dramatically. But we say to the Belgians: 'These are your customers; keep them in your country.'"

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15. Web Scan: New Change the Climate Online TV Ad, Journey for Justice Daily Journal, Psychedelics and Medicine, Convict Nation
http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/438/webscan.shtml

new Change the Climate online TV ad

daily journal from Journey for Justice Number Seven, Cross Country Bicycle Ride for Medical Marijuana Safe Access

Terrence McNally interviews Charles Grob on psychedelics' potential to alter modern in medicine, in "The Electric Kool-Aid Medicine Test," Alternet

Silja Talvi on the US "Convict Nation," for In These Times

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16. Weekly: This Week in History
http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/438/thisweek2.shtml

June 2, 2004: Judge Paul L. Friedman of the US District Court of the District of Columbia struck down a law passed by Congress blocking marijuana law reform groups from purchasing ad space in public transit systems.

June 3, 1876: Fairgoers visit the Turkish Hashish Exposition at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia.

June 4, 1998: Common Sense for Drug Policy begins a $60,000 advertisement campaign on CNN and other outlets, timed to coincide with the June 8 UN drug summit, featuring a video of President Clinton at the UN with an overdubbed voice imitating the president and urging a change in drug policy (with a visual disclaimer saying it is not Clinton talking).

June 6, 2002: The newly formed medical marijuana advocacy organization Americans for Safe Access holds a nationwide day of action with protests at more than 50 DEA offices around the country.

June 7, 2003: Cheryl Miller, a multiple sclerosis patient and leading medical marijuana advocate, dies from pneumonia and other MS-related complications at 57 years old. She is survived by her husband, Jim, who remains active in the movement to this day.

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17. Weekly: The Reformer's Calendar
http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/438/calendar.shtml

Please submit listings of events concerning drug policy and related topics to [email protected].

June 2-4, Marysville, CA, 4th Annual California Music that Matters Festival, benefit for Americans for Safe Access, California NORML and the Dr. Stephen Banister Legal Defense Fund, featuring music, camping, health fair, vendors and more. At the Mervyns Riverfront Pavilion, admission $60 for three days with camping or $30 for one day with no camping. Visit http://www.camusicthatmatters.org or call (530) 346-2763 for further information.

June 3, 1:00-11:00pm, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 10th Legalize! Street Rave Against the War on Drugs. Visit http://www.legalize.net or contact Jonas Daniel Meyerplein at +31(0)20-4275626 or [email protected] for info. >June 4, 6:30pm, New York, NY, William Moses Kunstler Fund for Racial Justice Ten Year Anniversary celebration and Racial Justice Awards Ceremony, featuring hosts Danny Glover and Amy Goodman, and Lifetime Freedom Fighter Award recipient Harry Belafonte. At the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Synod Hall, 1047 Amsterdam Ave. at 110th St., visit http://www.kunstler.org or contact (212) 924-6980 or [email protected] for further information.

June 8-9, Monterey, Fresno & Palo Alto, CA, speaking tour by LEAP spokesperson James Anthony. Contact Mike Smithson at (315) 243-5844 or [email protected] for further information.

June 12, 6:00-9:30pm, New York, NY, MPP Awards Gala. At Capitale, 130 Bowery, featuring Medeski Martin & Wood, tickets $250 if purchased by May 22 or $300, $500 VIP. Visit http://www.mpp.org/nygala/ for further information.

June 13, 7:00-9:00pm, Lawrence Township, NJ, Coalition for Medical Marijuana-New Jersey Public Meeting. At the Mercer County Library, 2751 Brunswick Pike (corner of Darrah Lane & Business Route 1), room #3, light refreshments served, all welcome. For further information visit http://www.cmmnj.org or contact Ken Wolski at (609) 394-2137 or [email protected].

June 17, 9:00am-3:00pm, Durham, NC, "Social Injustice Meeting," hosted by Families Against Mandatory Minimums, The Freedom Project and Project R.E.A.C.H. At Hayti Heritage Center, 804 Old Fayetteville Street, contact LaFonda Jones-General at (919) 530-8077 or [email protected] for further information.

June 17, Elkhart, IN, book talk with "Burning Rainbow Farm" author Dean Kuipers. Time and location to be announced, contact Laura Keefe at (646) 307-5580 or [email protected] for further information.

June 18, 2:00-4:00pm, Portage, MI, book talk with "Burning Rainbow Farm" author Dean Kuipers. At Barnes & Noble, 6134 South Westnedge, reception at 5:00pm at Bell's Eccentric Café at 355 E. Kalamazoo Ave. in Kalamazoo, contact Laura Keefe at (646) 307-5580 or [email protected] for further information.

June 19, 7:00-9:00pm, Oak Park, MI, book talk with "Burning Rainbow Farm" author Dean Kuipers. At Book Beat, 26010 Greenfield Rd., contact Laura Keefe at (646) 307-5580 or [email protected] for further information.

June 20, 12:30-2:00pm, New York, NY, "Marked: The Effects of Race and Criminal Background on Finding a Job," lecture by Prof. Devah Pager of Princeton University as part of the Mellon Speaker Series. At the Herb Sturz-Burke Marshall Conference Center, Vera Institute of Justice, 233 Broadway, 12th Floor, space limited, RSVP to [email protected].

June 20, 7:00-8:00pm, Birmingham, MI, book talk with "Burning Rainbow Farm" author Dean Kuipers. At Borders, 34300 Woodward, contact Laura Keefe at (646) 307-5580 or [email protected] for further information.

June 21, 8:00-9:00pm, Grand Rapids, MI, book talk with "Burning Rainbow Farm" author Dean Kuipers. At River Bank Books, 86 Monroe Center NW, contact Laura Keefe at (646) 307-5580 or [email protected] for further information.

June 23, 7:30-8:30pm, Lansing, MI, book talk with "Burning Rainbow Farm" author Dean Kuipers. At Schuler Books and Music, 2820 Towne Center Blvd., Eastwood Shopping Center, contact Laura Keefe at (646) 307-5580 or [email protected] for further information.

June 29, 7:00-10:00pm, Los Angeles, CA, Los Angeles CityBeat party in honor of "Burning Rainbow Farm." At Café-Club Fais Do-Do, 5257 W Adams Blvd., contact Laura Keefe at (646) 307-5580 or [email protected] for further information.

July 4, Washington, DC, Fourth of July Rally, sponsored by the Fourth of July Hemp Coalition. At Lafayette Park, call (202) 251-4492 or visit http://www.smoke-in.org for further information.

July 15-20, Chicago, IL, "Freedom, Tolerance, and Civil Society," free summer seminar for college students, sponsored by the Institute for Humane Studies. At Loyola University, visit http://www.i-liberty.org by April 10 for information or to apply -- apply before March 31 and receive a free book.

July 20-23, Vancouver, BC, Canada, "Fourth Biennial International Meaning Conference on Addiction," contact Dr. Paul T.P. Wong at [email protected] or visit http://www.meaning.ca for information.

July 21, 7:00pm, Washington, DC, "Race to Incarcerate," book talk with The Sentencing Project's Marc Mauer. At Politics & Prose bookstore, 5015 Connecticut Ave., NW, visit http://www.politics-prose.com for further information.

August 19-20, Seattle, WA, Seattle Hempfest, visit http://www.hempfest.org for further information.

September 16, noon-6:00pm, Boston, MA, 17th Annual Boston Freedom Rally. On Boston Common, sponsored by MASS CANN/NORML, featuring bands, speakers and vendors. Visit http://www.MassCann.org for further information.

October 7-8, Madison, WI, 36th Annual Great Midwest Marijuana Harvest Festival, sponsored by Madison NORML. At the Library Mall, downtown, visit http://www.madisonnorml.org for further information.

November 9-12, Oakland, CA, "Drug User Health: The Politics and the Personal," 6th National Harm Reduction Conference. Sponsored by the Harm Reduction Coalition, for further information visit http://www.harmreduction.org/6national/ or contact Paula Santiago at [email protected].

February 1-3, 2007, Salt Lake City, UT, "Science & Response: 2007, The Second National Conference on Methamphetamine, HIV, and Hepatitis," sponsored by the Harm Reduction Project. At the Hilton City Center, visit http://www.methconference.org for info.

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