Drug War Chronicle #492 - June 29, 2007

1. Editorial: Two Good Reasons to Want to Legalize Drugs

The relative harmlessness of drugs like marijuana is a good reason to want to legalize them. But the harmfulness of other drugs is a reason to want to legalize them too.

2. Feature: UN Releases Annual Drug Report, Countries Mark International Day Against Drugs With Bonfires, Propaganda Exercises, Death Sentences

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Tuesday released its annual world drug report and marked the International Day Against Drugs and Illicit Trafficking. Both actions are drawing criticism.

3. Feature: Supreme Court Uses "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" Case to Limit Students' Speech Rights

In the "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" case, the Supreme Court has upheld the right of schools to prohibit speech advocating illegal drug use, but has also held the schools may not bar speech advocating political positions.

4. Appeal: A Victory is In the Works, With Your Help

Our multi-year campaign to repeal an infamous law that denies financial aid to students because of drug convictions may soon ride to a successful conclusion.

5. Feedback: Do You Read Drug War Chronicle?

Do you read Drug War Chronicle? If so, we need your feedback to evaluate our work and make the case for Drug War Chronicle to funders. We need donations too.

6. Weekly: Blogging @ the Speakeasy

Are Justices Stevens, Souter, & Ginsburg drug policy reform sympathizers? Is it okay to out prohibitionist politicians for past pot use? Do firefighters get stoned when a stashhouse burns down?" China again celebrates International Anti-Drugs Day -- by killing people, The End Racial Profiling Act is coming back, and a DEA official claims that "marijuana will kill you." All that and more in the Speakeasy...

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

Busy, busy. A Virginia police chief gets caught selling speed, a New Jersey State Trooper gets arrested for stealing and re-selling seized drugs, a New Jersey prison guard gets nailed trying to smuggle prescription drugs into the prison, a former Schenectady narc pleads guilty to ripping off cocaine from the evidence locker, a former Border Patrol agent is going to prison for stealing a bale of pot he was supposed to be guarding, and a corrupt Milwaukee cop wants back pay.

8. Incarceration: Jail and Prison Population at All-Time High (Again) -- Last Year Saw Biggest Increase Since 2000

The number of people behind bars reached another all-time high last year and it increased at the fastest rate since 2000. Drug prohibition contributes mightily.

9. Marijuana: No More Automatic Arrest for Possession in Texas

As of September 1, police in Texas will have the option of simply issuing a summons instead of arresting people caught with up to a quarter-pound of marijuana. Texas marijuana laws remain unchanged, but at least you might not go to jail.

10. Latin America: House Votes to Shift Andean Initiative Anti-Drug Funding to Development

The US House of Representatives last Friday voted to cut military anti-drug aid to Colombia and subject aerial spraying of coca crops to more restrictions. Now the measure heads for the Senate.

11. Latin America: Mexico Purges Federal Police Chiefs in Drug Corruption Review

Mexico has purged its federal police chiefs in all 31 states and the Federal District to ensure police are fighting the drug traffic, not abetting it.

12. Europe: Scottish Police Chief Says Time to Consider Prescribing Hard Drugs

A leading Scottish police chief says it is time to consider prescribing hard drugs to users in a bid to get a grip on acquisitive crime. Perhaps the Scottish new prime minister of Britain will lend an ear to the idea.

13. Web Scan

UN World Drug Report, Neurology Now on MedMj, DrugTruth Network, Charlie Rangel and the Second Chance Act, EU "Green Paper" on civil society and drug policy, Vancouver demo.

14. Weekly: This Week in History

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

15. Announcement: Nominations Sought for Biannual Drug Policy Awards

Each conference of the Drug Policy Alliance (formerly the Drug Policy Foundation) includes a bit of ceremony, with the presentation of an annual round of awards. DPA is seeking nominations for the next round, which will take place in New Orleans this December.

16. Job Opportunity: Network and Systems Engineer, Marijuana Policy Project, DC

MPP is hiring a tech person for the DC office.

17. Announcement: DRCNet Content Syndication Feeds Now Available for YOUR Web Site!

Support the cause by featuring automatically-updating Drug War Chronicle and other DRCNet content links on your web site!

18. Announcement: DRCNet RSS Feeds Now Available

A new way for you to receive DRCNet articles -- Drug War Chronicle and more -- is now available.

19. Announcement: New Format for the Reformer's Calendar

Visit our new web site each day to see a running countdown to the events coming up the soonest, and more.
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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