Drug War Chronicle #475 - March 1, 2007

Due to Phil's travel schedule the Chronicle is released a day early this week...

1. Chronicle on the Scene Feature: In the Bolivian Chapare, Evo Morales' "Coca, Si; Cocaine No" Policy Brings Peace, If Not Prosperity

The "coca, si; cocaine, no" policy of Bolivian President Evo Morales has brought peace to a region long riven by conflict and repression. But while coca farmers need no longer worry about violent conflict with the state, they are still having a hard time making enough money to survive. Plans are underway to do something about that.

2. Collision Course: Bolivia's "Coca, Si; Cocaine, No" Policy Runs Afoul of the International Drug Control Board and, Probably, the United States

With the release of its annual report this week, the International Narcotics Control Board has set its sights on Bolivia and that country's pro-coca policies. The US is also preparing to make a decision on whether to decertify Bolivia as not cooperating in American drug war goals. The Bolivians don't seem to care.

3. Free Speech: "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" Case Heading to Supreme Court Next Month, with Ken Starr Supporting One Side and SSDP Another

The court that not so long ago heard a case brought by Anna Nicole Smith will soon rule on whether students using the phrase "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" are entitled to 1st Amendment protection. The stakes are a lot more serious than the bizarre title may suggest.

4. Medical Marijuana: Flint Becomes Fifth Michigan City to Okay It

In a Tuesday election, voters in Flint, Michigan, approved the medical use of marijuana by a very comfortable margin.

5. Latin America: Killing of Salvadoran Politicians By Police in Guatemala Opens Window on Drug Corruption in Central America, Killing of Killers Closes It

Three Salvadoran politicians were brutally murdered by Guatemalan anti-drug police outside Guatemala City 10 days ago. Now, the police killers have themselves been killed in a brazen assassination while being held inside a nasty Guatemalan prison. Many questions are being raised, but dead men tell no tales.

6. Europe: Legendary Irish Broadcaster Says Country Should Debate Legalizing Drugs

Long-time Irish talk show Gay Byrne is famous for tackling taboo subjects in Ireland. Now he's retired, but that hasn't stopped him from speaking out in favor of one of the remaining taboo subjects: drug legalization.

7. Extreme Politics: Vermont Mayor Calls for Death Penalty for Hard Drug Dealers, Legalizing Marijuana

The mayor of Barre, Vermont, is fed up with drugs and drug policy, and his frustration is showing as he calls for both the legalization of marijuana and the death penalty for heroin and crack cocaine dealers.

8. Europe: Britain to Provide Heroin to Addicts, "Restricted" Home Office Brief Says

A hush-hush Home Office briefing paper says Britain should begin prescribing heroin to hard-core users, a major London newspaper reports. It could happen as soon as next fall.

9. Web Scan

Ken Gorman, Amnesty and Mark Fiore on Colombia paramilitaries, cops against the drug war, California prison cigarette black market, Tony Papa art opening, Transform on James Bond and legalization, reports from JPI and Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network/OSI/IHRD

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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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