Weekly: This Week in History 6/16/06

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June 16, 1999: Testifying before the Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources panel of the House Government Reform Committee, ACLU executive director Ira Glasser tells lawmakers that the most effective way to control drug abuse is through regulation, not incarceration.

June 17, 1971: President Nixon declares war on drugs, calling drug abuse "public enemy number one in the United States" in a press conference and announcing the creation of the Special Action Office for Drug Abuse Prevention (SAODAP), to be headed by Dr. Jerome Jaffe, a leading methadone treatment specialist. [Historical Note: During the Nixon era, for the only time in the history of the war on drugs, the majority of funding goes towards treatment, rather than law enforcement.]

June 18, 1986: The evening death (heart failure from cocaine poisoning) of promising college basketball star Len Bias, the recent Boston Celtics draft choice, stuns the nation and leads to enactment by Congress (without hearings) of draconian mandatory minimum sentences.

June 18, 2002: The Supreme Court rules that in conducting random searches for drugs or weapons on buses, police need not advise passengers that they are free to refuse permission to be searched.

June 19, 1812: The United States goes to war with Great Britain after being cut off from 80% of its Russian hemp supply. Napoleon invades Russia to sever Britain's illegal trade in Russian hemp.

June 19, 1991: In a secret vote, the Colombian assembly votes 51-13 to ban extradition in a new Constitution to take effect on July 5. The same day Pablo Escobar surrenders to Colombian police.

June 20, 1995: On a Discovery Channel special, "The Cronkite Report: The Drug Dilemma," former CBS news anchorman Walter Cronkite calls the drug war a failure and calls for a bipartisan commission study alternatives to prohibition, concluding, "We cannot go into tomorrow with the same formulas that are failing today."

June 21, 1986: Larry Harvey and his friend Jerry James burn a wooden man on the beach near San Francisco, beginning the popular annual festival "Burning Man."

June 22, 2002: The General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association passes an "Alternatives to the War on Drugs" Statement of Conscience.

-- END --
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Issue #440 -- 6/16/06

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Editorial: Real World Consequences | Feature: Death Toll Climbs as Fentanyl-Laced Heroin ODs Spread | Feature: Among Whites, Imprisoning Drug Users a Minority Opinion, Survey Finds | Feature: Industrial Hemp Push Underway in California, North Dakota | Offer and Appeal: Important New Legalization Video and Drug War Facts Book Available | Book Offer: Burning Rainbow Farm: How a Stoner Utopia Went up in Smoke | Alert: Important Medical Marijuana Vote Coming Up in Congress -- Your Help Needed | Follow-up: Colombia Amendment Results | Feedback: Do You Read Drug War Chronicle? | Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories | Search and Seizure: Supreme Court Upholds Searches Without Notice | Methamphetamine: Epidemic? What Epidemic? Study Asks | Law Enforcement: Justice for Sale in Washington Border County | Europe: New Italian Government to Move to "Reduce Damage" of Tough Drug Law | Europe: Britain to Reclassify Methamphetamine as Class A Drug | Canada: Federal Medical Marijuana Program a Flop, AIDS Society Says | Weekly: This Week in History | Weekly: The Reformer's Calendar

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