This Week in History

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August 8, 1988: The domestic marijuana seizure record is set (still in effect today) -- 389,113 pounds in Miami, Florida.

August 6, 1990: Robert C. Bonner is sworn in as administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Bonner had been a federal judge in Los Angeles. Before he became a judge, Bonner served as a US attorney from 1984 to 1989.

August 9, 1990: Two hundred National Guardsmen and Bureau of Land Management rangers conduct a marijuana raid dubbed Operation Green Sweep on a federal conservation area in California known as King Ridge. Local residents file a $100 million lawsuit, claiming that Federal agents illegally invaded their property, wrongfully arrested them, and harassed them with their low-flying helicopters and loaded guns.

August 4, 1996: In the midst of an election season that included California's medical marijuana initiative, Prop. 215, state narcotics agents, at the direction of California Attorney General Dan Lungren, raid the Cannabis Buyers' Club of San Francisco.

August 7, 1997: The New England Journal of Medicine opines, "Virtually no one thinks it is reasonable to initiate criminal prosecution of patients with cancer or AIDS who use marijuana on the advice of their physicians to help them through conventional medical treatment for their disease."

August 8, 1999: A CNN story entitled "Teen critics pan national anti-drug ads" reports that high school students are remaining skeptical that the government's anti-drug television ads are much of a deterrent as they believe the constant warnings about the dangers of drug use have dulled the message.

August 7, 2000: The Houston Chronicle runs a front page story about the corruption of paid informants in drug cases.

August 8, 2001: During his third term in Congress, Asa Hutchinson is appointed by President Bush as Director of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

August 5, 2004: In a Seattle Post-Intelligencer op-ed entitled "War on Drugs Escalates to War on Families," Walter Cronkite calls the war on drugs "disastrous" and a "failure," and provides a plethora of reasons why it should end immediately.

August 6, 2004: The Ninth Circuit orders the release, pending appeal, of Bryan Epis, who had been convicted of conspiracy to grow 1,000 marijuana plants in a federal trial in which the jury was not allowed to hear that he was a medical marijuana activist.

August 3, 2010: President Obama signs the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, lowering sentences for crack cocaine offenders.

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We never learn

I use the term,we,only in the broadest sense.The people who suffer under government tyranny know the futility and the missed opportunities all too well.I must have been high or in jail when Jimmy Carter wanted to legalise cannabis because i drew a total blank reading about that(in another article).Walter Cronkite used to be the conscience of America.He epitomises the values we are so sadly lacking in today's MSM.Obama,playing both sides as always has gone over to the dark side with abandon now.Even fair sentencing didn't even the playing field on cocaine.A little baking soda will still get you a stiffer sentence than powder.This is a totally racist policy,although I'm sure there are a lot of kids that just make base at home to save the threat of a pinch.Drug laws still are and always will be a blind swing at an old fear that the wealthy have about the rest of the population.Not that the wealthy don't use drugs.They just don't get caught and if they do they can usually BS their way out of any serious consequences.When the DEA starts raiding the homes of the super rich and tossing everything they own on the floor and dump all their groceries on top of their valuables,which wind up seized,"for further investigation".Then this drug war will end.As long as they just go after joe q public,the horror will carry on unabated.

August 6, 2010 Special Rapporteur report to UN recommendations

The 2010 annual report to the United Nations General Assembly from the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health is very critical of the current international drug control system, calls for a much more human rights based approach and consideration of a different framework for international drug control. Official summary states:

 

Summary

The current international system of drug control has focused on creating a drugfree

world, almost exclusively through use of law enforcement policies and criminal

sanctions. Mounting evidence, however, suggests this approach has failed, primarily

because it does not acknowledge the realities of drug use and dependence. While

drugs may have a pernicious effect on individual lives and society, this excessively

punitive regime has not achieved its stated public health goals, and has resulted in

countless human rights violations.

People who use drugs may be deterred from accessing services owing to the

threat of criminal punishment, or may be denied access to health care altogether.

Criminalization and excessive law enforcement practices also undermine healthpromotion

initiatives, perpetuate stigma and increase health risks to which entire

populations — not only those who use drugs — may be exposed. Certain countries

incarcerate people who use drugs, impose compulsory treatment upon them, or both.

The current international drug control regime also unnecessarily limits access to

essential medications, which violates the enjoyment of the right to health.

The primary goal of the international drug control regime, as set forth in the

preamble of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs (1961), is the “health and

welfare of mankind”, but the current approach to controlling drug use and possession

works against that aim. Widespread implementation of interventions that reduce

harms associated with drug use — harm-reduction initiatives — and of

decriminalization of certain laws governing drug control would improve the health

and welfare of people who use drugs and the general population demonstrably.

Moreover, the United Nations entities and Member States should adopt a right to

health approach to drug control, encourage system-wide coherence and

communication, incorporate the use of indicators and guidelines, and consider

developing a new legal framework concerning certain illicit drugs, in order to ensure

that the rights of people who use drugs are respected, protected and fulfilled.

 

 

 

 

 

 

If this direct link, http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N10/477/91/PDF/N1047791.pdf?OpenElement, to PDF of report doesn't work, go to http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/health/right/annual.htm, look for Annual Report 2010 A/65/255 and click on E for English language PDF of the report. One of the most underreported and potentially influential documents of 2010 supporting drug law reform. The very fact that it is not a report from a drug reform organization should make it more influential on those who aren't especially interested in the subject of drug reform or are ambivalent about the need for reform.

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