Breaking News:Initiatives 2020 -- Legalization Sweep, Psychedelic Sweep, Medical Marijuana, Decrim

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.

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

In a recent study published in the British medical journal The Lancet, faculty at the UK's Bristol University "proposed a new framework for the classification of harmful substances, based on the actual risks to society," according an Associated Press article published Friday. The study, led by Prof. David Nutt, ranked the various commonly used drugs, and found alcohol and tobacco to be among the top ten most dangerous -- ahead of marijuana and ecstasy, though behind cocaine and heroin.

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David Borden
Nutt and his colleagues feel that Britain's current drug classification, which divides them into three different categories -- ostensibly based on their potential for harm -- is "ill thought-out and arbitrary," he told the AP. "The exclusion of alcohol and tobacco from the Misuse of Drugs Act is, from a scientific perspective, arbitrary."

One might think such talk could fuel calls for alcohol or (more likely) tobacco prohibition -- I hope not! That isn't necessarily what they are looking for -- Nutt wants more education, he said, and realism. "All drugs are dangerous, even the ones people know and love and use every day."

Marijuana's relative lack of harmfulness is one good reason to want to legalize it. Certainly it makes vividly clear the bizarre senselessness of what we are doing here in the US, where police make over 700,000 arrests for marijuana every year, about 2,000 per day.

For other drugs, paradoxically, their harmfulness is one of the best reasons for wanting to legalize them. As my friends at Law Enforcement Against Prohibition are fond of saying (and as their bumper sticker that I have stuck to back of my car exclaims), "drugs are too dangerous to leave in the hands of criminals." Especially for people who are addicted to them -- what a dangerous and tumultuous and destructive situation it must be to be tied to the criminal underground for getting the fix that you're just not ready yet to do without! A lot of people have trouble with that idea; they see the harms and the miserable condition of people who've gotten hooked on these drugs, and they can't imagine that it would be a good idea to legalize them.

An understandable reaction, but an illogical one. All of the harms we see today related to cocaine and heroin and the like are the harms that exist under the current system. At a minimum the current system did not prevent them. The idea that more people would get addicted to the drugs if they were legal is mere speculation, and to me it seems doubtful -- I wouldn't use heroin if it were legal, and only rarely has anyone who doesn't use heroin now told me that he would. In the meanwhile, the addict suffers severe financial debilitation from the high street prices created by prohibition -- often is driven to extreme measures to afford drugs that would cost pennies to produce in a legal market -- and is at risk of overdose from fluctuating purity or poisoning from adulteration. We are literally driving addicts to their deaths, who might survive, eventually maybe even recover, if we would simply allow them to acquire their drugs from a safe and affordable source.

A conversation I had at a social function a few years ago illustrates the confusion. The person I was speaking with had very decent views on the issue -- he was all for legalization of marijuana, he hated mandatory minimum sentencing, he was all for helping people with programs like needle exchange and so forth -- but he couldn't imagine legalizing heroin or cocaine.

An example he provided to me, from his personal experience, was one that illustrates my point about the fallacy of the line of reasoning. He told me about a wedding he had recently attended, at which the groom had gotten wired on cocaine and was acting out from it. It was a very uncomfortable situation for everybody, and the fact that this guy couldn't stay off of the stuff on his wedding day, in front of everybody, really said something negative to him about it. It certainly sounded like a bad scene to me.

But are there any ways it could have turned out worse? One way that it could have turned out worse is that the groom could have gotten a bad batch of the stuff, and instead of making people uncomfortable with his behavior, simply dropped dead. Such a tragic outcome would clearly have been worse than the merely uncomfortable and unpleasant one that transpired, and deaths from that very cause take place thousands of times per year in the US alone.

And that is prohibition at work. If users were getting their substances from licensed manufacturers and outlets who have a strong incentive to secure their reputations and stay on the right side of the law, it would almost never happen -- some people would still overdo it and harm themselves in that way, but only rarely from getting something other than what they thought they were getting.

So again, I find my conversation partner's reaction to the situation he witnessed to be understandable. But it is not well thought out. Just because a drug is dangerous doesn't automatically mean that banning it is a good response, and making such an assumption takes a pretty big leap of logic. The danger of a drug only raises the question of how to best respond to it, but does not answer that question.

The Bristol study is a positive contribution to the debate. Implementation of its recommendations would undoubtedly improve policies, assuming the implementation did not include any new prohibitions. But the harmfulness of a drug is only the beginning of the discussion, not the ending. Ultimately it is the consequences of prohibition -- and they are terrible -- which point to where governments need to go in drug policy. And that is to prohibition's ending.

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

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) issued its 2007 World Drug Report Tuesday, the same day as it marked its annual International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. While the UNODC claimed it was making substantial progress in the fight against drugs by "stabilizing" global drug use levels, critics pointed out that that was a far cry from UNODC's mission of substantially eradicating all drug crops by next year and that "stability" meant only the continuation of the repressive status quo.

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drug burning in China marking the UN's International Anti-Drugs Day
Part of that status quo is UNODC's annual anti-drug day. While it appears to have been pretty well ignored in Europe and North America -- either no events took place or they were deemed unworthy of coverage by the media -- anti-drug day is an occasion for public meetings, ceremonial drug burnings, and sometimes, worse, in those parts of the world with the stiffest anti-drug postures, particularly the Middle East and Asia.

And so it was this year, with ceremonial drug burnings to mark anti-drug day taking place in Mozambique, Myanmar, Thailand, and Uzbekistan.

Meanwhile, authorities in Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Tanzania,
the United Arab Emirates, and Vietnam marked anti-drug day with public assemblies, educational events, and special ceremonies. In Vietnam, authorities celebrated anti-drug day by ordering a crackdown until September 26.

But once again, it was actions by China that were the most dramatic and drew the most concern from drug reform, harm reduction, and human rights activists. In past years, China celebrated anti-drug day with executions of drug trafficking offenders -- as many as 460 in recent years, according to press reports compiled by the US-based Harm Reduction Coalition.

This year, there were no anti-drug day executions reported in China. But Chinese authorities did announce death sentences for seven drug traffickers on anti-drug day eve and announced one more on anti-drug day itself.

"We have observed a declining resort to the death penalty in both the US and China," said Richard Dieter, head of Death Penalty Information Center. "Although China uses it much more than the US, they have agreed to be more discerning and review more cases in their high courts. I think we will see a decline in the death penalty in China," he predicted.

"We don't want to see drug offenders executed," said Allan Clear, head of the Harm Reduction Coalition. "But we also don't want the UN to set up this day without drugs and then have member states run out and execute people as a show of good faith. We want the UN to step up and say that is not what they intended. UN Secretary-General Moon has made comments to the effect that it should be up to member states, and we think that is appalling," Clear said.

In fact, the Harm Reduction Coalition wrote a letter to Moon last month urging him to take action. The letter called on Moon to "condemn China's use of executions and death sentences to commemorate International Day Against Drugs as severe human rights violations and to make a public call to halt this practice. Progress against the problem of drugs and related issues, including the HIV epidemic, must be founded upon a solid respect and enforcement of human rights for all," the letter stated.

"It's good that there have been no reported executions," said Clear, "but I don't think we can actually claim a victory if they are still using the day as a reason to sentence people to death."

Clear said that a number of regional human rights and harm reduction groups joined the Harm Reduction Coalition in sending letters to the UN urging it to intervene against states using the death penalty to mark anti-drug day. But a number of other groups decided to wait.

While there is some dissension in the harm reduction and human rights ranks about how best to go after the use of the death penalty in drug cases, an international movement against it is forming. The International Harm Reduction Association and Human Rights Watch are spearheading a campaign centered on October 10, the international day against the death penalty.

"We've agreed to work with all the regional networks in an effort coordinated by Human Rights Watch and IHRA," said Clear. "That will happen later this year."

If the excesses of the international anti-drug day are drawing criticism, so is UNODC's annual report, with critics calling it everything from rose-tinted to meaningless. UNODC claimed that coca production was down in the Andes, a claim undercut by US figures released just weeks earlier that showed an increase. Similarly, UNODC claimed success in eradicating opium production in Laos, which pales in significance compared to the massive increase in production in Afghanistan, which accounts for nearly 95% of the global supply.

"The methods of estimating global drug use and drug production are very imprecise and notoriously unstandardized," said Dutch drug policy researcher Peter Cohen. "The text will say what is needed at the moment. It is tailored to cater to global moods and UN funding needs. All of these UN drug reports are political expressions, and the UNODC's trick is to somehow make people believe their Politburo reports have some significance," he argued. "It's best to ignore them."

The European Coalition for Just and Effective Drug Policies (ENCOD) was similarly scathing, noting that while UNODC claimed overall stability, "repression is rising." Stability means the status quo, ENCOD complained: "Stability in this case means that current drug policies place the heaviest burden among those who are already among the most marginalized in the first place… Stability means an escalation of law enforcement and repression… Stability means a war against minorities," the group continued, mentioning both Laos, where the internal resettlement of indigenous ethnic communities that formerly grew opium has pushed mortality rates through the roof, and the United States, where racial minorities are much more likely to be incarcerated on drug charges.

The UNODC looks at global drug supplies and consumption and claims victory by running hard just to stay in the same place. The harm reduction, human rights, and drug reform community looks at the same data and sees the latest installment of a disastrous global drug prohibition regime.

(Click here for commentary by David Borden on this issue.)

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

The US Supreme Court moved Monday to tighten limits on free speech for high school students, ruling that an Alaska high school could constitutionally punish a student who held up a 14-foot-long banner reading "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" during a school-related event. In a 5-4 decision, the high court held that schools may prohibit students from expressing views that could be interpreted as advocating drug use.

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March demonstration outside Supreme Court during Morris v. Frederick hearing
While the courts have held that students in school do not have the same First Amendment rights as other citizens, in a 1969 decision regarding the expression of anti-Vietnam War viewpoints by students, the court famously held that they did not shed the constitutional rights at the schoolhouse door. Since then, the court has trimmed back students' free speech rights in a couple of cases, and on Monday, it did so again.

The ruling came in Morse v. Frederick, a case that began in 2002 when Joseph Frederick led a group of students holding the banner aloft as an Olympic parade passed by. Students had been excused from school to attend the event. Principal Deborah Morse interpreted the nonsensical banner as a "pro-drug message," tore down the banner, and punished Frederick with a 10-day-suspension from school. Frederick filed suit in federal court charging that Morse and the school district had violated his First Amendment free speech rights, and after a series of rulings taking the case back and forth, it eventually ended up at the Supreme Court.

"The message on Frederick's banner is cryptic," Chief Justice John Roberts said in the majority opinion. "But Principal Morse thought the banner would be interpreted by those viewing it as promoting illegal drug use, and that interpretation is plainly a reasonable one."

A number of drug reform and civil liberties organizations, including the Drug Policy Alliance and Students for Sensible Drug Policy, as well as a broad spectrum of groups including the conservative American Center for Law and Justice, Christian Legal Society and Rutherford Institute to the Student Press Law Center, Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, and the National Coalition Against Censorship filed or joined briefs supporting Frederick. The ACLU argued Frederick's case before the court.

While the narrowly drawn decision limits student speech regarding illegal activities, it does not give school administrators the right to suppress speech advocating political positions, such as the legalization of drugs. As Chief Justice John Roberts noted in the majority opinion, "This is plainly not a case about political debate over the criminalization of drug use or possession."

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In a concurring opinion, Justices Alito and Kennedy joined with the majority, with the understanding that the ruling "provides no support for any restriction of speech that can plausibly be interpreted as commenting on any political or social issue, including speech on issues such as 'the wisdom of the war on drugs or of legalizing marijuana for medicinal use.'"

"The decision indeed cuts back on speech rights for high school students," said UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh, author of the Volokh Conspiracy law blog. "It claims on the one hand that 'Bong Hits 4 Jesus' is an endorsement of illegal drug use, but at the same time, it denies that those words carry any kind of political or social message, and of course they do. Either it was nonsense, in which case it wasn't advocating anything, or, if it was advocacy for illegal drug use, it carried a social and political message."

The ruling could lead to move attempts to restrict student speech, Volokh said. "As a result of this confusion, lower courts may find more student speech to be unprotected because of unsound judgments that it is not really political advocacy."

There is also the sticky question of what happens when students combine advocacy of illegal drug use and advocacy of a political position, Volokh said. "What if someone says 'Repeal the marijuana laws because it's fun and safe'? That's a tougher question."

Reaction to the verdict from Frederick supporters was a mixture of disappointment, concern, and relief. "We take mild comfort that the decision clearly protects speech challenging the war on drugs. Never before has the Supreme Court stated so clearly that speech attacking the wisdom of the war on drugs is protected wherever it may occur," said Daniel Abrahamson, director of legal affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance.

"But who is going to decide what is appropriate speech?" Abrahamson continued. "Students are on the front lines of the war on drugs, and we are deeply concerned that free speech will now be administered by those who may wish to suppress open discussion on a range of topics such as the effectiveness of the DARE program, school drug testing policies, or random locker searches. Our constitutionally protected rights to free speech shouldn't have an arbitrary drug war exception."

"Thankfully the Supreme Court agreed with the arguments SSDP set forth in our brief, limiting punishable speech to that which expressly promotes drug use," said SSDP executive director Kris Krane. "But we are concerned that the Supreme Court's decision could cause confusion among school administrators, who may overreach and punish students for speech about drug policy despite the court's ruling today."

"We are disappointed by the Supreme Court's ruling, which allows the censorship of student speech without any evidence that school activities were disrupted," said Douglas K. Mertz, an ACLU cooperating attorney who argued the case before the Supreme Court.

"The Court's ruling imposes new restrictions on student speech rights and creates a drug exception to the First Amendment," said Steven R. Shapiro, ACLU National Legal Director. "The decision purports to be narrow, and the Court rejected the most sweeping arguments for school censorship. But because the decision is based on the Court's view about the value of speech concerning drugs, it is difficult to know what its impact will be in other cases involving unpopular speech.

"The Court cannot have it both ways," Shapiro added. "Either this speech had nothing to do with drugs, which is what Joe Frederick claimed all along, or it was suppressed because school officials disagreed with the viewpoint it expressed on an issue that is very much the subject of debate in Alaska and around the country."

If the ruling is a disappointment and a concern for free speech advocates, it is also notable for one of the most striking critiques of marijuana prohibition ever heard from the high court. In his dissent, Justice John Paul Stevens, joined by Justices David Souder and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, compared the current prohibition of marijuana to alcohol Prohibition. "But just as prohibition in the 1920's and early 1930's was secretly questioned by thousands of otherwise law-abiding patrons of bootleggers and speakeasies," wrote Stevens, "today the actions of literally millions of otherwise law-abiding users of marijuana, and of the majority of voters in each of the several States that tolerate medicinal uses of the product, lead me to wonder whether the fear of disapproval by those in the majority is silencing opponents of the war on drugs. Surely our national experience with alcohol should make us wary of dampening speech suggesting -- however inarticulately -- that it would be better to tax and regulate marijuana than to persevere in a futile effort to ban its use entirely."

"Even in high school," Stevens continued, "a rule that permits only one point of view to be expressed is less likely to produce correct answers than the open discussion of countervailing views… In the national debate about a serious issue, it is the expression of the minority's viewpoint that most demands the protection of the First Amendment. Whatever the better policy may be, a full and frank discussion of the costs and benefits of the attempt to prohibit the use of marijuana is far wiser than suppression of speech because it is unpopular."

That's the minority viewpoint, of course. But when talk like that starts coming from a Supreme Court justice, it makes one wonder just how hollow the drug prohibition edifice is. Steven's dissent suggests there is serious rot in the drug war consensus.

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

Years of work have brought DRCNet and our allies near to an historic victory in Congress. Since 1998 DRCNet has campaigned for repeal of an infamous law, authored by drug warrior congressman Mark Souder, that delays or denies federal financial aid to would-be students because of drug convictions. This month a committee of the US Senate approved a bill that among other things would remove the "drug question" from the federal financial aid form -- not quite full repeal, but close -- the fight is not over yet, though, and we need your donations to help us finish the job.

DRCNet's most recent work to bring this about include organizing sign-on letters under the banner of the Coalition for Higher Education Act Reform (CHEAR), including one sent to US Senators and signed by 120 organizations including many of the nation's largest advocacy groups. We founded CHEAR in 1999 -- a few months after the law was passed, but before it took effect -- and have built it up ever since -- just one part of the multi-faceted effort we've put in to bring things to this point. (Visit http://www.raiseyourvoice.com to learn more.)

 

Your donations will enable us to lobby hard the next few months to protect this victory and to push to turn it into something even bigger -- full repeal of a federal drug law, something that hasn't happened in the US since 1970. And your donations will turn this already successful campaign into a larger one taking on more "collateral consequences" of the drug war -- mobilizing the groups we've worked with already to repeal similar bans in welfare and housing and voting law, to get sentencing laws changed and more. We've been "pounding the pavement" going to the places we need to be to find the partners we need for this expanded effort, and we need your donations to pay for staff hours to continue and to put those connections to work.

 

So please make a generous donation to DRCNet today, to support this campaign, and to help us take it into the next stage. Visit http://stopthedrugwar.org/donate to make a donation online, or send your check or money order to: DRCNet, P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036. Donations to Drug Reform Coordination Network to support our lobbying work are not tax-deductible. Tax-deductible donations to support our educational work can be made payable to DRCNet Foundation, same address. We can also accept contributions of stock -- email [email protected] for the necessary info. Thank you in advance for your support.

 

Sincerely,

 

David Borden, Executive Director

P.O. Box 18402

Washington, DC 20036

http://stopthedrugwar.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2002 press conference DRCNet organized for CHEAR, with ten members of Congress participating.

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5. Feedback: Do You Read Drug War Chronicle?

Do you read Drug War Chronicle? If so, we'd like to hear from you. DRCNet needs two things:

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  2. Please send quotes and reports on how you put our flow of information to work, for use in upcoming grant proposals and letters to funders or potential funders. Do you use DRCNet as a source for public speaking? For letters to the editor? Helping you talk to friends or associates about the issue? Research? For your own edification? Have you changed your mind about any aspects of drug policy since subscribing, or inspired you to get involved in the cause? Do you reprint or repost portions of our bulletins on other lists or in other newsletters? Do you have any criticisms or complaints, or suggestions? We want to hear those too. Please send your response -- one or two sentences would be fine; more is great, too -- email [email protected] or reply to a Chronicle email or use our online comment form. Please let us know if we may reprint your comments, and if so, if we may include your name or if you wish to remain anonymous. IMPORTANT: Even if you have given us this kind of feedback before, we could use your updated feedback now too -- we need to hear from you!

Again, please help us keep Drug War Chronicle alive at this important time! Click here to make a donation online, or send your check or money order to: DRCNet, P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036. Make your check payable to DRCNet Foundation to make a tax-deductible donation for Drug War Chronicle -- remember if you select one of our member premium gifts that will reduce the portion of your donation that is tax-deductible -- or make a non-deductible donation for our lobbying work -- online or check payable to Drug Reform Coordination Network, same address. We can also accept contributions of stock -- email [email protected] for the necessary info.

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6. Weekly: Blogging @ the Speakeasy

Along with our weekly in-depth Chronicle reporting, DRCNet has since late summer also been providing daily content in the way of blogging in the Stop the Drug War Speakeasy, as well as Latest News links (upper right-hand corner of most web pages), event listings (lower right-hand corner) and other info. Check out DRCNet every day to stay on top of the drug reform game!

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Speakeasy photo (courtesy arbizu.org)

This week:

Scott Morgan gets a hit on reddit.com with "Justices Stevens, Souter, & Ginsburg: Drug Policy Reform Sympathizers?," and opines on "Marijuana Policy Reformers Don't ''Hide Behind AIDS and Cancer Patients','" "Is it Ok to Out Prohibitionist Politicians for Past Pot Use? Yes," "DEA Official: Marijuana Will Kill You," "ONDCP Still Fuming About New Mexico's Medical Marijuana Law," "Bong Hits 4 Jesus: Today's Ruling Does Not Affect Political Speech" and "Do Firefighters Get Stoned When a Stashhouse Burns Down?"

Phil Smith authors "Let's Celebrate UN Anti-Drug Day... By Killing People," "The Latest Imprisonment Numbers Are Out; No Surprises," and "Plane Crash, Missing Person Search Hinder Pot Crop."

David Borden pens "Newark's leaders are starting to talk sense -- maybe big time," "Christiania is in trouble again (video)," and "''End Racial Profiling Act'' coming to Congress soon..."

David Guard has been busy too, posting a plethora of press releases, action alerts, job listings and other interesting items reposted from many allied organizations around the world in our "In the Trenches" activist feed.

Join our Reader Blogs here.

Thanks for reading, and writing...

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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. Let's get to it:

In Damascus, Virginia, the police chief was arrested Saturday on charges he was selling methamphetamine. Chief Anthony Richardson faces seven felony counts of drug distribution and possessing a weapon while possessing drugs. He went down after an undercover investigation where a snitch bought speed off the chief on June 12. Richardson was arrested without incident at the city police department. Washington County Sheriff Fred Newman said there is now a federal investigation into Richardson.

In Elizabeth, New Jersey, a state trooper was indicted and arrested June 21 on charges he stole and sold drugs seized by police. Trooper Brian Holmes, 41, had been suspended without pay since May 2006, when his partner, Trooper Moises Hernandez, pleaded guilty to aiding members of a drug ring. Hernandez is now doing a 24-year state prison sentence. Holmes was indicted on 13 counts including official misconduct, theft, falsifying records and drug trafficking for, among other things, stealing more than 10 pounds of cocaine from a 123-pound seizure at a Newark warehouse in August 2002 and giving the stolen drugs to Hernandez to sell. He is also charged with stealing a thousand ecstasy tablets from a seizure in Elizabeth in 2004 and selling them with Hernandez.

In Fairton, New Jersey, a federal prison guard was arrested June 14 on charges he accepted bribes to smuggle contraband into the prison. Steven Harper, 32, a guard at the Fairton Federal Correctional Institution, is accused of taking money from a person he thought was an inmate's relative to smuggle in prescription drugs, protein powder, work-out supplements and cigarettes. That person was actually an undercover agent. Harper was snitched out by an inmate after agreeing to smuggle in the goods for $6,000. He is now out on $100,000 bond and faces up to 15 years in prison.

In Schenectady, New York, a former Schenectady narc admitted Monday that he stole crack cocaine from the vice squad evidence locker. The admission came as former narcotics officer Jeffrey Curtis pleaded guilty to drug possession and evidence tampering in a plea bargain that will limit his prison time to four years max. Earlier this year, an investigation into missing drug evidence found that cocaine had gone missing in 15 cases and marijuana in one. While Curtis confessed to taking some of the missing dope, he said he couldn't remember if he took all the cocaine State Police investigators said was missing. Curtis first came to investigators' attention after he failed a drug test given in connection with the investigation into the missing drugs. Police put him under surveillance and arrested him March 16 after they spotted him coming out of a suspected drug-dealing house. It's only the latest problem for a troubled department: Earlier this decade, four patrol officers went to prison for rewarding snitches with crack cocaine, another went to prison for giving a gun to a drug dealer, and earlier this year, another officer admitted tipping off a friend about a gambling investigation but was allowed to keep his job.

In Tucson, a former US Border Patrol agent is going to prison for stealing marijuana while on duty. Michael Carlos Gonzalez, 34, was found guilty in March of possession with intent to distribute marijuana and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking offense. Gonzales was on duty back on December 6 when an Arizona highway patrolman pulled over a vehicle and found 30 bales of weed. The patrolman left Gonzalez to guard the stash, but his dashboard camera showed Gonzalez taking one bale and putting in the trunk of his car. The weed was never recovered. Gonzales must now do 7 ½ years in federal prison.

In Milwaukee, a police detective fired for his involvement in the theft of drug money planted by the FBI is seeking back pay and benefits. Milwaukee Detective Philip Sliwinski was caught up in a sting aimed at another Milwaukee police officer, Edwin Bonilla, after reports that Bonilla had taken drug money from crime scenes. In August 2000, the FBI left a bag with $23,000 in a hotel room, where Bonilla found it. Bonilla testified that he, Sliwinski, and a third officer each took $1,000. Sliwinski was never charged, but he was fired. Now he is seeking back pay and benefits after the Wisconsin Court of Appeals ruled he was denied the right to fully question a federal agent involved in the sting. While the court upheld his firing, Sliwinski's lawyer is arguing that even though he was fired, he should be eligible for pay and benefits up until the state Fire and Police Commission rehears his case.

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

The number of people behind bars in the United States reached a new all-time high last year, with some 2.24 million people in jail or prison at mid-year. The imprisoned population jumped by 62,000 people or 2.8%, the largest increase since 2000.

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Signal Hill jail, southern Los Angeles County, California
The figures come from the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) annual report on mid-year imprisonment numbers. One of every 133 Americans was behind bars on June 30, 2006, BJS reported.

America's title as the world's number one jailer -- with 5% of the global population, the US has 25% of the prisoners -- once again remains unchallenged, leaving contenders like Russia and China in the dust. Roughly 500,000 of the more than 2.2 million people imprisoned in the US are doing time for drug offenses, a number that goes even higher when the number of people imprisoned as parole or probation violators for using drugs is factored in.

The new numbers elicited a blast at the special interests who benefit from mass incarceration by Ethan Nadelmann, head of the Drug Policy Alliance. "Two powerful forces are at play today," said Nadelmann. "On the one hand, public opinion strongly supports alternatives to incarceration for nonviolent, and especially low-level, drug law violators – and state legislatures around the country are beginning to follow suit. On the other hand, the prison industrial complex has become a powerful force in American society, able to make the most of the political inertia that sustains knee-jerk lock-'em-up policies."

If the BJS figures are any indicator, lock-'em-up policies are still in vogue. Forty-two states and the federal system reported an increase in prison populations last year, with only eight reporting declines. More than 1.5 million people are now in state or federal prison, with an additional 700,000 in jail.

Most of the growth in the imprisoned population came in the state and federal prison systems, with the jail population increasing at a rate of 2.5%, the lowest increase since 2001. The federal prison population grew by 3.6% to 191,000 June 30, a figure that had increased to 199,000 this week. Nearly 55% of all federal prisoners are drug offenders.

In state prisons, the increase was largely due to a rise in prison admissions, up 17% since 2000. About one-quarter of state prisoners are serving time for drug offenses.

Racial minorities continue to take the brunt of both the drug war and the resort to mass incarceration in general. Black men comprised 37% of the imprisoned population, being locked up at a rate (4.8%) more than twice that of Hispanic males (1.9%) and nearly seven times that of white males (0.7%). Among black men between ages 25 and 34, a whopping 11% were behind bars.

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

As of September 1, people caught with up to a quarter-pound of marijuana in Texas will no longer automatically be arrested. Under HB 2391, a bill passed by the legislature and signed into law June 15 by Gov. Rick Perry (R), police will have the option of issuing a summons to appear for misdemeanor pot possession, as well as a number of other small-time offenses.

The measure was pushed by conservative legislators as a cost-cutting measure. "We want to get tough on crime, but we also want to get smart on crime," said state Rep. Jerry Madden (R), the bill's author. "Let's not spend a lot of taxpayers' money putting people in jail who don't need to be there," Madden told Fort Worth Star-Telegraph columnist Bud Kennedy last Saturday. "Let's give local police more discretion."

Possession of marijuana remains a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine. But now, instead of using up valuable police time and jail space with marijuana and other misdemeanor offenders, police will have the discretion of just ordering them to show up before a magistrate within 48 hours. If they don't show, the magistrate can issue an arrest warrant.

Other offenses for which police can now issue summonses include petty theft, graffiti, and driving without a license.

"The idea was to free up more county jail space and law officers' time for violent offenders and sex offenders," said Marc Levin of the Austin-based Texas Public Policy Foundation, a conservative organization that lobbied for House Bill 2391. "We looked at how to save counties money. We always came back to the same answer: Take the low-level offenders out of the county jail," he told Kennedy.

Leave it to Texas to wise up about criminal justices priorities, even if just a bit. And it wasn't bleeding hearts, but bleating wallets that did it.

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

The US House of Representatives voted last Friday to reduce funding for Colombian security forces under the Andean Initiative and increase development assistance. The measure passed by the House also cuts funding and creates tighter conditions for aerial spraying to curb coca cultivation. The measure, passed as part of the 2008 aid foreign aid bill, HR 2764, now heads for the Senate, where Democratic critics of the Bush administration's Colombia policy lay in wait.

Since 2000, the Congress has appropriated more than $4.3 billion—more than $3.3 billion for police and military—for the Bush administration's Andean Initiative, the US effort to wipe out the region's coca producing capability and related cocaine economy. But despite all the billions spent and the hundreds of thousands of acres of Colombian farmland sprayed, coca production remains at roughly the level it was in 2000 and cocaine prices in the US continue to plummet, a key indicator of ample supplies.

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Six Federations (Bolivian) coca growers' union member (and former leader) Vitalia Merida in her backyard. She says there is peace now in the Chapare, but no prosperity. Her kids don't want to go to school because they have no money; instead, they want to leave and work in the city. (Photo by Chronicle editor Phil Smith, February 2007)
Military assistance has accounted for more than 75% of all US aid under the initiative since its inception. This bill would lower that share to 55%, with 45% going for social and humanitarian aid, including for the first time funds for the country's Afro-Colombian minority.

According to an analysis by the Center for International Policy, the Bush administration sought $450 million for the Colombian military for next year, but the House slashed that by $160 million. And while the Bush administration sought $139.5 million for development assistance, the House funded it at a level of $241 million, making economic and social assistance account for 45% of funds under the aid bill, compared to the 24% it would have been under the Bush proposal.

In its narrative report accompanying the bill, the House Appropriations Committee spelled out its reasoning for the change in emphasis. "The Committee is concerned that the perennial goal of reducing Colombia’s cultivation, processing and distribution to restrict supplies enough to drive up prices and diminish purity has not worked and the drug economy continues to grow—further weakening the fabric of Colombian society," the report noted. "The Committee notes that this is now year eight of an ever more evolving multi-year plan. This program is not working and the Administration’s fiscal year 2008 request for Colombia is virtually identical to previous requests, which contradicts assurances that the Administration has provided to Congress over the years that the social component to Colombian aid would be significantly increased and that gradual 'Colombianization' of the program would take effect."

“This bill recognizes that it is time for change in our Colombia policy,” said Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) in floor debate on Wednesday.

Such a change couldn’t come soon enough for advocates of a more enlightened policy toward Colombia and the drug war. “While there are no easy solutions, the bill passed by the House moves in the right direction,” said Joy Olson, executive director of the Washington Office on Latin America.

"This is a very good bill," said the Center for International Policy. "It shows that a great deal of thought went into trying to get this policy right."

The Colombia foreign aid appropriation bill once again provides evidence that a congressional election can make all the difference in the world.

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

The Mexican government announced Monday it has replaced the federal police chiefs in all 31 states and the Federal District to determine whether they are fighting drug trafficking or abetting it. The move comes as President Felipe Calderón is now six-months into an offensive against the powerful and violent so-called cartels that has seen more than 20,000 soldiers and police swarm into cities and states considered hotbeds of the drug trade.

The 32 purged chiefs must submit to and pass polygraph and drug tests before being reconsidered for their positions. Their financial status will also be scrutinized. If they pass muster, they must be retrained before being reassigned.

Drug prohibition-related corruption has been the bane of Mexican law enforcement for decades. Now, once again, a purge of police is viewed as necessary by high officials. Just last month, six federal police officers were arrested for protecting cocaine shipments at the Mexicali airport.

"Every federal cop is obliged to carry out his post with legality, honesty and efficiency," Public Safety Secretary Genaro García Luna said at a news conference Monday announcing the housecleaning. "In the fight against crime, we have strategies. One axis of our strategy is to professionalize and purge our police corps."

Nearly 7,000 of Mexico's 20,000 federal police, who investigate drug crimes and homicides, have been assigned to work alongside the more than 12,000 soldiers deployed in Calderón's war on drugs. That police are working side by side with soldiers has raised concerns that they could be undercutting Calderón's campaign by passing information on to the drug traffickers.

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

A leading Scottish police official has inserted himself into the ongoing debate over drug policy in Scotland by saying that law enforcement alone is not working and that drug courts and even the prescribing of Class A drugs to users should be considered. John Vine, Chief Constable of Tayside Police made the remarks in a Monday interview with BBC Scotland.

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John Vine
"I don't think we are winning the war against drugs just by enforcement alone," Vine said. "We need to continue that effort and reassure communities that we are going to be there for them but we also need to talk to politicians and health authorities to see whether we can do something differently to reduce the demand for Class A drugs," he said.

"I would like to see, for example, drugs courts being set up in the area and would also like to see possibly some debate about whether prescribing Class A drugs might be something the health authorities might consider."

Ecstasy, LSD, heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine, magic mushrooms, and injectable amphetamines are all considered Class A (most serious) drugs under the United Kingdom's drug classification scheme. But it is likely Vine is talking about heroin, and possibly cocaine and amphetamines, the illicit drugs that are associated with the greatest social problems in Scotland.

Heroin seizures had tripled in Tayside in recent years, Vine said. While his police force can continue to produce good arrest figures, he added, it is time for a dialogue between law enforcement, health authorities, and politicians to come up with a long-term solution. That may not be a popular notion, he said, but he would be willing to experiment in Tayside.

"There are people who will have a view as to whether this would be socially acceptable or whether this would have any chance of working," Vine told BBC Scotland. "I would like this force and this police area to be a pilot area for any initiative which might be regarded as innovative or risky which could be evaluated by experts to see whether we can reduce demand for acquisitive crime."

Perhaps the Scottish new prime minister of Britain will lend Chief Vine an ear.

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13. Web Scan

UN 2007 World Drug Report and accompanying press release

Neurology Now editorial on "The Fight for Medical Marijuana."

DrugTruth Network:
Cultural Baggage for 06/22/07: Nora Callahan of November Coalition + Terry Evans & Bruce Mirken of MPP & Tinfoil Hat Award (MP3)
Century of Lies for 06/15/07: Phil Smith of Drug War Chronicle reports on situ in Mexico + Reena Szczepanski of DPA & Lorenzo Jones & Poppygate (MP3)

Charles Benninghoff on Rep. Charles Rangel's efforts on behalf of the Second Chance Act, American Chronicle

Contributions to the Green Paper on the role of civil society in drugs policy in the European Union

''International Day Against Drug Prohibition'' in Vancouver

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14. Weekly: This Week in History

June 30, 1906: Congress passes the "Pure Food and Drug Act."

July 1, 1930: The Porter Act establishes the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN), an agency independent of the Department of the Treasury's Prohibition Unit and consequently unaffected by the passage of the Twenty-First Amendment. Harry J. Anslinger is named acting commissioner, a position he remains in for the next thirty years.

June 29, 1938: The Christian Century reports, "in some districts inhabited by Latino Americans, Filipinos, Spaniards, and Negroes, half the crimes are attributed to the marijuana craze."

July 1, 1973: The Drug Enforcement Administration is established by President Nixon, intended to be a "super-agency" capable of handling all aspects of the drug problem. DEA consolidates agents from BNDD, Customs, the CIA, and ODALE, and is headed by Myles Ambrose.

July 4, 1997: Amado Carrillo Fuentes, according to the DEA the number one drug trafficker on the planet and chased world-wide, dies in a Mexico City clinic of post-surgery complications. He was attempting to change his face through plastic surgery by having excess fat removed.

July 1, 1998: DEA Chief Thomas Constantine is quoted, "[In] my era everybody smoked and everybody drank and there was no drug use."

July 2, 1999: Robert Vorbeck, 38, is arrested for allegedly selling cocaine to undercover officers. Facing life in prison if convicted of felony drug charges, he commits suicide in his jail cell 11 days later. On July 10, 2001, the AP reports that his estate has been ordered to pay $750,000 to the Nassau County, New York district attorney's office. The ruling, part of a settlement in a civil forfeiture case, is the first in the state in which a prosecutor seeks assets from a dead person.

July 5, 1999: In response to Governor Gary Johnson's call for drug reform debate, organizations in New Mexico form an alliance to examine alternative options to current drug policies.

July 1, 2001: Portugal introduces Europe's most liberal drug policy to date with the implementation of new laws establishing no criminal penalties for using and possessing small amounts of not only cannabis but also heavy drugs such as cocaine, heroin and amphetamines.

July 4, 2001: Sir Keith Morris, Britain's former ambassador to Colombia, is quoted in The Guardian: "It must be time to start discussing how drugs could be controlled more effectively within a legal framework. Decriminalization, which is often mentioned, would be an unsatisfactory halfway house, because it would leave the trade in criminal hands, giving no help at all to the producer countries, and would not guarantee consumers a safe product or free them from the pressure of pushers. It has been difficult for me to advocate legalization because it means saying to those with whom I worked, and to the relatives of those who died, that this was an unnecessary war. But the imperative must be to try to stop the damage. Drug prohibition does not work."

July 3, 2003: The Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) announces the results of a California Latino voter poll: 65% oppose jailing young, first-time marijuana sellers, 85% oppose jail for marijuana possession, and 58% oppose jail for possession of "hard drugs."

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15. Announcement: Nominations Sought for Biannual Drug Policy Awards

The Drug Policy Alliance is seeking nominations of candidates for the biannual Drug Policy Awards, to be presented at the upcoming International Drug Policy Reform conference, New Orleans, December 5-8. Nominations can be sent to conference coordinator Stefanie Jones, [email protected], along with letters of recommendation (each roughly two pages).

Submission deadline is August 1, full description of awards and past winners can is online at http://www.drugpolicy.org/news/060607noms.cfm. Visit http://www.drugpolicy.org/conference/ for conference info.

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

The Network and Systems Engineer is a great opportunity to play a major role in the technology work of a successful and good-sized nonprofit advocacy organization -- while working for a good cause in a non-corporate, all-Mac environment.

MPP uses Apple computers almost exclusively, so experience with the Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server operating systems is essential. MPP's office network uses Open Directory computer management and authentication, so experience with these technologies, including experience setting up standard OSX images and software packages in Open Directory, is needed as well.

Additionally, candidates should be able to perform exceptionally in a fast-paced, high-pressure campaign environment and work with a high degree of autonomy.

Networking and systems management responsibilities of the Network and Systems Engineer include ensuring daily back-ups of all MPP computers are conducted; maintaining MPP's internal and external Mac OS X servers; performing office networking and system maintenance; setting up all new computers, upgrading all computers as necessary, and implementing and maintaining all software; providing help desk networking support for all MPP employees in the office and in the field; ensuring installation and maintenance of office software, including but not limited to products requiring office-wide licensing; and ensuring all problems related to general office hardware, laser printers, fax machines, and video devices are handled.

Data management responsibilities include coordinating and compiling various sets of data for data entry, mailings, analyses, and reports, ensuring data integrity and usability; working with outside vendors on an as-needed basis to ensure MPP's data are up-to-date and to obtain applicable data such as compiled lists; and working with other MPP departments to ensure their data and database needs are met.

Other responsibilities include managing the office-wide phone system, including handling the expansion of the system, performing maintenance, and handling any complaints; and providing inter-office solutions on a proactive and as-needed basis.

The Network and Systems Engineer reports to MPP's Director of Information Technology, who in turn reports to MPP's Executive Director.

The salary of the Network and Systems Engineer is $50,000 to $60,000. The position also includes full health insurance and an optional retirement package.

To apply, please visit http://www.mpp.org/jobs/process.html and follow the instructions on that page. Interested candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible, as MPP is seeking to fill this position as soon as possible.

MPP has 33 staffers -- 23 staffers in MPP's DC headquarters, three in California, four in Minneapolis, one in Massachusetts, one in Michigan, and one in New Hampshire. With more than 23,000 members and 100,000 e-mail subscribers nationwide, MPP is the largest marijuana policy reform organization in the United States. MPP works to minimize the harm associated with marijuana -- both the consumption of marijuana and the laws that are intended to prohibit its use -- and believes that the greatest harm associated with marijuana is imprisonment.

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

Are you a fan of DRCNet, and do you have a web site you'd like to use to spread the word more forcefully than a single link to our site can achieve? We are pleased to announce that DRCNet content syndication feeds are now available. Whether your readers' interest is in-depth reporting as in Drug War Chronicle, the ongoing commentary in our blogs, or info on specific drug war subtopics, we are now able to provide customizable code for you to paste into appropriate spots on your blog or web site to run automatically updating links to DRCNet educational content.

For example, if you're a big fan of Drug War Chronicle and you think your readers would benefit from it, you can have the latest issue's headlines, or a portion of them, automatically show up and refresh when each new issue comes out.

If your site is devoted to marijuana policy, you can run our topical archive, featuring links to every item we post to our site about marijuana -- Chronicle articles, blog posts, event listings, outside news links, more. The same for harm reduction, asset forfeiture, drug trade violence, needle exchange programs, Canada, ballot initiatives, roughly a hundred different topics we are now tracking on an ongoing basis. (Visit the Chronicle main page, right-hand column, to see the complete current list.)

If you're especially into our new Speakeasy blog section, new content coming out every day dealing with all the issues, you can run links to those posts or to subsections of the Speakeasy.

Click here to view a sample of what is available -- please note that the length, the look and other details of how it will appear on your site can be customized to match your needs and preferences.

Please also note that we will be happy to make additional permutations of our content available to you upon request (though we cannot promise immediate fulfillment of such requests as the timing will in many cases depend on the availability of our web site designer). Visit our Site Map page to see what is currently available -- any RSS feed made available there is also available as a javascript feed for your web site (along with the Chronicle feed which is not showing up yet but which you can find on the feeds page linked above). Feel free to try out our automatic feed generator, online here.

Contact us for assistance or to let us know what you are running and where. And thank you in advance for your support.

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18. Announcement: DRCNet RSS Feeds Now Available

RSS feeds are the wave of the future -- and DRCNet now offers them! The latest Drug War Chronicle issue is now available using RSS at http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/feed online.

We have many other RSS feeds available as well, following about a hundred different drug policy subtopics that we began tracking since the relaunch of our web site this summer -- indexing not only Drug War Chronicle articles but also Speakeasy blog posts, event listings, outside news links and more -- and for our daily blog postings and the different subtracks of them. Visit our Site Map page to peruse the full set.

Thank you for tuning in to DRCNet and drug policy reform!

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

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With the launch of our new web site, The Reformer's Calendar no longer appears as part of the Drug War Chronicle newsletter but is instead maintained as a section of our new web site:

The Reformer's Calendar publishes events large and small of interest to drug policy reformers around the world. Whether it's a major international conference, a demonstration bringing together people from around the region or a forum at the local college, we want to know so we can let others know, too.

But we need your help to keep the calendar current, so please make sure to contact us and don't assume that we already know about the event or that we'll hear about it from someone else, because that doesn't always happen.

We look forward to apprising you of more new features on our web site as they become available.

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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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