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Drug War Chronicle #497 - August 10, 2007

1. Editorial: Why Do People the Government Says Don't Exist Keep Writing Me?

Prohibitionists are fond of referring to medical marijuana as a "hoax" -- a "cruel hoax," when they get excited. But calling it a hoax is the real hoax, and we know because the real live patients keep writing us.

2. Feature: Yellow Journalism -- San Francisco Exchange Programs Scored Over Dirty Needles

A series of recent articles in the San Francisco Chronicle highlighted the problem of dirty needles in Golden Gate Park, but seemed to blame needle exchanges for the problem. Experts beg to differ.

3. Feature: Is Addiction a Brain Disease? Biden Bill to Define It as Such is Moving on Capitol Hill

A bill that defines addiction as a brain disease is moving in Congress. Treatment professionals and recovery advocates laud it. There are skeptics too.

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

The charges pile up against a pair of former Virginia police chiefs, a Cleveland DEA agent has some explaining to do, and so does a Houston crime lab tech who didn't follow procedures and wouldn't take a drug test.

5. Europe: Dutch May Join Trend and Ban Magic Mushrooms

Now, "smart shops" selling magic mushrooms abound in Holland, but perhaps not for long. Driven by a handful of unfortunate incidents, a move to ban the phantastical fungus is under government consideration.

6. Law Enforcement: Illegal Search Kills Prosecution in Largest Heroin Bust in California History

It was the biggest heroin bust in California history, but thanks to overzealous law enforcement, the charges have now been dropped.

7. Racial Profiling: Kansas Police Agencies Honor Reporting Law Mostly in the Breach

Kansas passed a law in 2005 requiring law enforcement agencies to report on racial profiling complaints, but only about one-third of agencies are complying.

8. Southeast Asia: Probe into Thai Drug War Killings Getting Underway

In 2003, then Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra vowed to eliminate drugs in his country. He didn't, but his police managed to eliminate 2,500 drug "suspects" by gunning them down without trial. Now that Thaksin has been overthrown, investigations into the mass killings are getting underway.

9. Latin America: Massive US-Mexico Counter-Drug Aid Package in the Works

Are we about to see "Plan Mexico"? The US and Mexican governments are currently negotiating what could be a multi-hundred-million dollar anti-drug assistance package to help that country in its battle with wealthy and violent drug trafficking organizations.

10. Middle East: More Drug Executions in Saudi Arabia

The executioner's ax fell on three more drug war unfortunates in Saudi Arabia this week.

11. Canada: Health Canada Gives Okay to Sativex for Cancer Patients

Sativex, the THC-based sublingual spray, has been approved for use in cancer pain by Health Canada.

12. Weekly: Blogging @ the Speakeasy

"Jury Duty: A Day in the Life of Our Corrupt War on Drugs," "Marijuana Dealers Offer Schwarzenegger One Billion Dollars," "What's a gram of cocaine go for where you live?," "Who should be the next Drug Czar?," "yet another letter from a medical marijuana patient that the feds claim don't exist...

13. 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.

14. Web Scan

Transform guide to making the case, UK MP Harry Cohen, IDPC critique of World Drug Report, Huffington Post on the marijuana-mental illness craze, Dominic Holden in Seattle's The Stranger, The Arrest of Michael C. Kelley, Howard Lotsof ibogaine video, Legalise Drugs to Beat Terrorists editorial, review of Canada's medical marijuana program, Tony Papa, DrugTruth Network, Hecklers on prison abolition.

15. Weekly: This Week in History

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

16. Action Item: If You're on Facebook, Your Help is Needed Today!

Facebook users, please help our friends at Students for Sensible Drug Policy get a Facebook "Speed Grant" for an important campaign that we're working on too.

17. Job Listing: Opportunities at the Marijuana Policy Project

MPP is hiring a government relations director in Washington, and petitioners and team leaders for efforts in Arizona and Michigan.

18. 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!

19. Announcement: DRCNet RSS Feeds Now Available

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

20. 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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