Drug War Chronicle #498 - August 17, 2007

1. Editorial: Drug Prohibition from Colombia to Afghanistan This Week

Given what has happened in Colombia the last several decades, given what has happened in Afghanistan -- and how it has affected us here -- is any more evidence needed of how morally and intellectually defunct is drug prohibition?

2. Feature: In Strategy Shift, US Troops to Join Battle Against Opium in Afghanistan

Nearly six years after the US invaded Afghanistan, the Taliban is back and opium production is going through the roof. Now, the US government has announced it is ready to let the US military join the Afghan drug war.

3. Chronicle Book Review: "The Cult of Pharmacology: How America Became the World's Most Troubled Drug Culture," by Richard De Grandpre (2007, Duke University Press, 294 pp., $24.95 HB)

With "The Cult of Pharmacology," researcher Richard De Grandpre takes a cold-eyed look at "the world's most troubled drug culture" and how it got that way. He also takes a few whacks against the disease model of addiction.

4. Press Release: Marijuana Dealers Offer Schwarzenegger One Billion Dollars

A coalition of California marijuana growers and dealers has offered Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger one billion dollars per year in anticipated post-legalization tax revenues to solve the current state budget crisis.

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

One of California's top narcs gets busted for peddling Cialis, another Florida cop goes to prison, and a pair of Florida prison guards gets popped for the usual.

6. Medical Marijuana: Feds Seek Oregon Patient Records in Probe of Growers -- Patients Cry Foul

A federal grand jury looking into marijuana sales by growers hiding behind medical marijuana laws has issued subpoenas for the medical records of 17 Oregon patients. That's a first, and patients and advocates are determined to squash it.

7. Medical Marijuana: New Mexico Balks At Growing It

When New Mexico passed its medical marijuana law this year, it was unique in mandating that the state would oversee the production and distribution of the medicine. But citing fear of federal prosecution, the state Health Department now says "no way."

8. Medical Marijuana: A Push Gets Underway in Kansas

While state medical marijuana laws are in place along both coasts, not a single state from the Great Plains to the Appalachian Mountains has passed such a law. Now, a Kansas drug reform activist and a prominent state politician are hoping to change that.

9. Asset Forfeiture: Austin Police Use of Seized Funds Probed

A new police chief in Austin has opened a criminal investigation into the way the department spent money it seized in asset forfeiture operations. Among the items: More than $600 for coffee cops and nearly $1,900 for a race clock, whatever that is.

10. Latin America: Colombian Admiral Fired in Growing Probe of Military Drug Corruption

A Colombian rear admiral has been fired in a broadening probe into drug corruption in that country's military. He's not the only one.

11. Latin America: Nicaraguan President Warns of DEA's "Unexpected Interests" and "Terrible Things"

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega warned this week of the DEA's "unexpected interests" and "terrible things." Perhaps he's recalling the bad old days...

12. South Asia: India's Shravan Pilgrims Bring Profits to Marijuana Sellers

It's time for the India's Shiva worshippers to go on a pilgrimage to a holy site. Along the way, some of them like to puff ganja. Local dealers are making money, and local police are looking the other way.

13. Web Scan

Upside Down Flag by Tony Papa, When Neither Crime Nor Punishment Pays by Newark Mayor Cory Booker, Bulgarian activist Milena Naydenova, DrugTruth Network.

14. Weekly: Blogging @ the Speakeasy

"What's a gram of cocaine go for where you live?" Who Should Be the Next Drug Czar?" "New Afghanistan Strategy is Exactly the Same as the Old One That Didn't Work." "Who's Planting All That Pot in the Woods?" "Police Often Lack Basic Knowledge About Marijuana," Thailand drug war killings, more.

15. 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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