Weekly: This Week in History

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December 29, 1988: Judge Mark Polen, in State v. Musika, comments, "There is a pressing need for a more compassionate, humane law which clearly discriminates between the criminal conduct of those who socially abuse chemicals and the legitimate medical needs of seriously ill patients..."

December 30, 1989: Ignoring fhe findings of the agency's own administrative law judge, DEA Director John Lawn orders that cannabis remain on the Schedule I narcotics list, which is reserved for drugs which have no known medical use.

December 28, 1992: ABC Television airs a major special on the drug war in Bolivia which, according to the Bush Administration, is our "best hope" for winning the drug war in South America. ABC concludes decisively that there is no hope and that the war on drug production has already been lost.

December 25, 1994: The Buffalo News reports, "Troubled with three long-term sentences he felt forced to make in recent weeks, US District Judge John T. Curtin says he will stop hearing drug cases in the coming year rather than continue to be part of a system of punishment that 'just isn't working.'" Curtin says he would rather see the federal government spend more money on education, counseling, and drug prevention programs, rather than towards putting people in prison. "You don't even have to think of it in moral terms. In financial terms, it just isn't working," Curtin said.

December 30, 1996: President Clinton approves a plan to combat the new state laws legalizing marijuana for the sick and dying.

December 26, 1997: The San Francisco Chronicle reports that San Francisco Supervisor Gavin Newsom said it is time to treat heroin abuse less as a crime and more like a medical problem. He added that efforts to halt drugs at the border or to "Just Say No" have failed.

December 29, 1997: The New York Times reports that US and Mexican officials said that the United States was providing the Mexican military with extensive covert intelligence support and training for hundreds of its officers to help shape a network of anti-drug troops around the country. The Times points out that "the effort has proceeded despite growing US concern that it may lead to more serious problems of corruption and human rights in one of Mexico's most respected institutions... In fact, a new US intelligence analysis of the military's drug ties will cite evidence of extensive penetration of the officer corps."

December 31, 2000: A Department of Justice report states that state prisons are operating between full capacity and 15% above capacity, while Federal prisons are operating at 31% above capacity.

December 25, 2003: The Philippine Star reports that the campaign to rid the island of drugs by 2010 has resulted in cramming jails and paralyzing the justice system.

December 27, 2004: The Washington Post runs an article about FDA approval of MDMA/cancer anxiety research and the general renewal of research into the therapeutic potential of MDMA and psychedelic compounds.

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