Drug War Chronicle #446 - July 28, 2006

1. Editorial: It's Time to Get Real About Opium in Afghanistan

Opium eradication is a dangerous, dead-end road. It's time for a little realism, for the sake of Afghanistan's and global security.

2. Feature: Medical Marijuana Crisis in San Diego as Feds, Locals Move to Shut Down Remaining Dispensaries

The San Diego-area medical marijuana community is reeling under assault from the DEA and local officials, but is already fighting back at city hall and in the courts.

3. Feature: Bipartisan Group of US Senators Introduce Bill to Reduce Cocaine Sentencing Disparities

A new bill sponsored by four former state attorneys general would significantly reduce the number of crack cocaine offenders (and slightly increase the number of powder cocaine offenders) who face draconian mandatory minimum sentences for low-level offenses.

4. Feature: Holy Smoke Bust Mobilizes Interior British Columbia Cannabis Community

When Nelson city police raided the Holy Smoke Culture Shop almost two weeks ago, they awakened the area's large cannabis community. Now, Holy Smoke and its supporters are preparing to wage holy war (non-violently) to defend themselves and the herb.

5. Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Cops getting arrested, cops pleading guilty, cops going to prison -- and of course the ever-present drug-dealing prison guard.

6. Sentencing: Federal Judges More Likely to Acquit Than Juries

A new study of the federal courts finds judges less likely to convict than juries, and the author attributes it to the federal judiciary's discomfort with harsh sentencing guidelines.

7. Medical Marijuana: South Dakota Ballot Description Erroneous and Apparently Illegal

South Dakota Attorney General Larry Long has written a medical marijuana initiative ballot summary that appears to violate state law.

8. Medical Marijuana: In New York Democratic Gubernatorial Race, Spitzer Says No, Suozzi Says Yes

Upstart New York Democratic Party gubernatorial candidate Tom Suozzi and New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer parted ways on the issue of medical marijuana.

9. Search and Seizure: Five-Day Shackling in Colorado Prison to Find Swallowed Drugs Approaches Torture Level

A Colorado judge has ruled prison officials went too far when they shackled a prisoner to a chair for more than five days in a bid to see if he had swallowed drugs.

10. Khat: Feds Arrest 62 in Crackdown on Mild East African Stimulant Herb

US federal authorities have rounded up 62 immigrants on charges of smuggling khat, a mild stimulant herb used for hundreds of years in East Africa and the Arabian peninsula. Their use of the Hawala financial network has generated weak speculation that there could be a terrorist link.

11. Europe: British Conservatives Call For Legal, Licensed Afghan Opium Production As Troop Toll Mounts

With conflict heating up in Afghanistan, British Conservatives are urging their leader, David Cameron, to consider legalizing and licensing the opium crop.

12. Web Scan

Tony Papa debunks anti-rockreform report, horrendous Nightline khat segment, drug reform candidates, DrugTruth radio.

13. Weekly: This Week in History

Events and quotes of note from this week's drug policy events of years past.

14. Announcement: IJPD Seeks Article Submissions on Women and Harm Reduction

The International Journal of Drug Policy has released a call for papers for a special issue on "Women and Harm Reduction: Spanning the Globe."

15. Weekly: The Reformer's Calendar

Showing up at an event can be the best way to get involved! Check out this week's listings for events from today through next year, across the US and around the world!

16. Errata: Kershaw Not In Kershaw Anymore

A very minor geographical error in one of last week's corrupt cops stories.
Permission to Reprint: This issue of Drug War Chronicle is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Articles of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.

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