Weekly: This Week in History

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June 8, 1993: Leading conservative intellectual William F. Buckley says in an interview, "the amount of money and of legal energy being given to prosecute hundreds of thousands of Americans who are caught with a few ounces of marijuana in their jeans simply makes no sense -- the kindest way to put it. A sterner way to put it is that it is an outrage, an imposition on basic civil liberties and on the reasonable expenditures of social energy."

June 8, 1998: A well-publicized letter signed by more than 600 international leaders and high-profile, influential professionals from various fields is written to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan urging him to reconsider "failed and futile drug war policies" as the signers believe the war on drugs is now causing more harm than drug abuse itself. The signatories call for opening the debate to alternative approaches to drug abuse based on common sense, science, public health and human rights.

June 9, 2000: Human Rights Watch releases a study finding that Illinois is the worst state for racial disparity among jailed drug offenders. Illinois' black men are 57 times more likely than white men to be sent to prison on drug charges, and blacks comprise 90 percent of all prison admissions in Illinois for drug charges. Though federal studies show that white drug users outnumber black drug users 5-to-1, blacks make up about 62 percent of prisoners incarcerated on drug charges, compared with 36 percent of whites.

June 11, 2001: In a case relating to indoor marijuana-growing operations, the US Supreme Court rules that the use by the police of a thermal imaging device to detect patterns of heat coming from a private home is a search that requires a warrant.

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.

June 10, 2004: The New York Times publishes an article about K-Drink, a new beverage containing coca produced by the Peruvian company Kokka Royal Food & Drink. The article reminds readers that "In this region of South America, coca tea is so common and so accepted that it has even been regularly served in the American embassy in Bolivia."

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