Drug War Chronicle #476 - March 9, 2007

Lots going on this week in the Speakeasy, check it out!

1. Chronicle on the Scene Feature: In Peru, the Coca Growers' Movement Gathers Strength, But Faces Hurdles

Peru is currently the world's second largest producer of coca and cocaine, and the coca growers' movement there is gaining steam, but it still faces many hurdles, some internal, some external.

2. Feature: Medical Marijuana Goes Mainstream in the States

With nearly half the states having bills pending this year and some of them likely to pass, medical marijuana has gone mainstream.

3. This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

The "This Week's Corrupt Cops" feature may have been on hiatus while your editor was down South America way, but it's been pretty much business as usual. We're back now, and here's this week's edition with the usual cast of crooked cops and greedy guards.

4. Maryland: Drug Reform Efforts Picking Up in the Terrapin State

Medical marijuana, mandatory minimums, college aid and campus marijuana policies are all on the agenda in Maryland this year.

5. Marijuana: Wisconsin's Dane County (Madison) Will No Longer Prosecute Simple Possession

Prosecutors in Dane County (Madison), Wisconsin, will no longer bother to charge people with less than 25 grams of marijuana under state law. Now, at worst, offenders will face a fine. It's a matter of budgets and priorities, prosecutors say.

6. Latin America: Brazilian Governor Says Legalize Drugs to Fight Crime

The governor of the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro has called for a debate over drug legalization both within Brazil and internationally. He argues that it would reduce crime in his violence-plagued city and state.

7. Europe: British Panel Calls for Complete Drug Law Overhaul

An expert panel in Britain has concluded a two-year study of drug policy there and is now calling for a radical rethinking and a complete overhaul of the drug laws.

8. Europe: Candidate's Remarks Open Window on Scottish Labor Party Drug Policy Split

A Scottish Labor Party politician is taking his party to task for turning away from harm reduction policies in favor of a hard-line approach, and he says marijuana ought to be decriminalized, and maybe heroin and cocaine, too.

9. Southwest Asia: 2007 Afghan Opium Crop Could Be Record-Breaker, UN Predicts

The UN is warning that increases are happening in areas characterized by insurgency.

10. Canada: Afghan Opium Should Be Bought Up and Marketed Worldwide, Defense Think Tank Says

A stolidly mainstream Canadian defense and foreign affairs think tank has called for the creation of a marketing board to buy and sell Afghan opium. It's part of a report on Canada in Afghanistan that calls for innovative thinking to avoid failure in NATO's mission there.

11. Southwest Asia: Opium -- Not Just for Afghanistan Anymore?

Casting a wistful eye on Afghanistan's opium bounty, a Kyrgyz lawmaker made a (presumably tongue in cheek) suggestion that his country also allow poppy production. It would help pay off the foreign debt, and it would lead to an increase in foreign aid, he suggested.

12. Europe: Dutch Left Greens Open Pro-Marijuana Web Site

Two Dutch Left Green politicians have opened a pro-marijuana web site. It is in part a guide to Dutch coffee shops, in part a parody of a ruling party anti-marijuana web site.

13. Weekly: This Week in History

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

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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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