Weekly: This Week in History 6/30/06

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June 30, 1906: Congress enacts the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906, creating the FDA, limiting certain drugs to sale by prescription, and requiring the potentially habit-forming drugs be identified as such on their labels.

July 1, 1930: Congress passes the Porter Act, establishing the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN), an agency independent of the Department of the Treasury's Prohibition Unit. The infamous Harry Anslinger is named Acting Commissioner, supposedly a temporary assignment but one which he retains for the next thirty years.

July 1, 1973: President Nixon establishes the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), intended to be a "superagency" capable of handling all aspects of the perceived drug problem. DEA consolidates agents from the BNDD, Customs, CIA and ODALE, and is headed by Myles Ambrose.

July 1, 1998: DEA Chief Thomas Constantine states on CSPAN2: "[In] my era everybody smoked and everybody drank and there was no drug use."

July 1, 2001: Portugal introduces Europe's most liberal drug policy to date with the implementation of new laws establishing no criminal penalties for using and possessing small amounts of not only cannabis but also heavy drugs such as cocaine, heroin and amphetamines.

July 4, 1997: Amado Carrillo who, according to the DEA, is the number one drug trafficker on the planet and chased world-wide, dies in a Mexico City clinic of post-surgery complications. He was attempting to change his face through plastic surgery by having excessive fat removed.

July 4, 2001: The Guardian (UK) reports that Sir Keith Morris, Britain's former ambassador to Colombia, said, "It must be time to start discussing how drugs could be controlled more effectively within a legal framework. Decriminalization, which is often mentioned, would be an unsatisfactory halfway house, because it would leave the trade in criminal hands, giving no help at all to the producer countries, and would not guarantee consumers a safe product or free them from the pressure of pushers. It has been difficult for me to advocate legalization because it means saying to those with whom I worked, and to the relatives of those who died, that this was an unnecessary war. But the imperative must be to try to stop the damage. Drug prohibition does not work."

July 5, 1999: In response to Governor Gary Johnson's call for a debate on drug legalization, organizations in New Mexico form an alliance to examine alternative options to current drug policies.

July 6, 1919: A Los Angeles Times article entitled "Officers Object to 'Dream Weed' Crop," includes an account of a woman believed to be the state's first medical marijuana arrestee, a Mexican maid who insists that she was raising marijuana to make tea for stomach trouble.

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Issue #442 -- 6/30/06

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Feature: Reefer Madness from the United Nations on International Anti-Drug Day | Feature: Summer Music Festival Season is Here, and So Are Police Checkpoints -- Know Your Rights! | Follow-Up: Medical Marijuana Gains Support in Congress -- Slightly -- Some Surprises | DRCNet Book Review: Race to Incarcerate, Revised Edition," by Marc Mauer (2006, The New Press, $15.95 PB) | "Scoops" in Drug War Chronicle Last Week | Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories | Law Enforcement: Revelation of Major Sleaze Among "Operation Lively Green" Informants, Cover-Up by FBI Agent | Newsbrief: California Legislature Votes to Gut Prop. 36 -- Court Challenge Imminent | Harm Reduction: Responding to Wave of Fentanyl Overdose Deaths, Senator Durbin Proposes OD Prevention Bill | Hemp: California Industrial Hemp Bill Wins Another Committee Vote | Europe: Italian Ministers Announce Drug Law Revisions | Southwest Asia: Iranian Official Says Country Could Ignore Drug Traffickers if UN Doesn't Up Anti-Drug Aid | Web Scan: Government Waste, Len Bias Legacy, World Drug Report, Zogby Poll, John Stossel, Steph Sherer, Nathan Riley | Weekly: This Week in History | Weekly: The Reformer's Calendar

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