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Drug War Chronicle #500 - September 7, 2007

1. Editorial: Why We Are Fighting to End the War on Drugs

We in the drug reform movement have so many good reasons to stand on, that it is hard to know where to begin when telling people about them. When we succeed in ending prohibition, the world will become a better place, in ways that are urgently needed.

2. Feature: As Afghan Opium Production Goes Through the Roof, Pressure for Aerial Eradication, Increased Western Military Involvement Mounts

The UN announced last week that Afghan opium production had increased yet again. Now, pressures to combat it with aerial spraying and increased Western military involvement are mounting, but the experts say that's a path to nowhere.

3. Feature: Stirring the Pot in Denver -- "Lowest Law Enforcement Priority" Marijuana Initiative to Go to Voters As Activists Bedevil Council, Mayor

A lowest law enforcement priority initiative for adult marijuana use is headed for the ballot in Denver, and local officials who oppose it are taking a beating from its proponents.

4. Review and Critique: Methamphetamine Mice Study Falls Far Short

The science of methamphetamine is contested terrain. Here, occasional contributor John Calvin Jones dissects a recent piece of methamphetamine research and finds it lacking.

5. Appeal: Massive Increases to Our Web Site Traffic Have Increased Our Costs...

Massive increases to our web site traffic, particularly during the last three months, have forced us to upgrade our web server -- not once, but twice -- and have increased our costs. We need your help to pay for it.

6. Weekly: Blogging @ the Speakeasy

Marijuana critics who take beer company money, drug testing and hard drug use, Obama and New Orleans drug war, feds raid paraplegic, "Don't Smoke Pot in Your Car," John McCain and another lost war, more...

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

Busy, busy, busy. Take a week off, and look what happens: Cops peddling pills, guards stealing pills, cops shaking down housing project residents, jail guards smuggling drugs, a DEA agent giving information to suspected mobsters, and more.

8. Asset Forfeiture: ACLU Sues DEA Over Trucker's Seized Cash

The ACLU is challenging the seizure of nearly $24,000 dollars from a New Mexico trucker by the DEA as part of its asset forfeiture program.

9. Medical Marijuana: WAMM Lawsuit Hits Bump

A lawsuit filed by a Santa Cruz medical marijuana co-op and the city and county of Santa Cruz to try to block federal raids on providers in California is down but not out after an adverse ruling by a federal judge.

10. Harm Reduction: Pennsylvania Moves to End Prescription Requirement for Buying Needles

The Pennsylvania Pharmacy Board has unveiled a proposed rule that would allow for the purchase of up to 30 needles without a prescription. The move is a harm reduction measure intended to reduce the sharing of injection equipment by drug users and thereby reduce the spread of infectious diseases.

11. Europe: Czech Marijuana Users to Get Lesser Penalties

Legislators in the Czech Republic are preparing an amendment to the penal code that should lessen penalties for marijuana possession and growing.

12. Latin America: Nicaraguan Leader Asks for $1 Billion in Anti-Drug Aid

Despite his publicly expressed reservations about the DEA -- and the demonstrated failure of the war on drugs -- Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega is bellying up to the counter-narcotics assistance trough. He wants a billion dollars from Washington to fight the Central American drug trade.

13. Africa: Guinea-Bissau Threatens to Shoot Down Drug Planes

Faced with a thriving cocaine trade using its territory as a stopover on the way to European markets, the government of the West African nation of Guinea-Bissau is threatening to blow drug planes out of the sky.

14. Conference: Drug Policy Alliance, New Orleans, December 2007

A major gathering of drug reform forces is planned for late this year, and special registration rates are available for those who plan early.

15. Web Scan

Tierney blog on legalization and pain prosecutions, Transnational Institute on Colombian coca and Afghan opium, drug offense death penalties as international human rights violation, net Asian Drug Users Network, DrugTruth Network update.

16. Weekly: This Week in History

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

17. 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.

18. Students: Intern at DRCNet and Help Stop the Drug War!

Apply for an internship at DRCNet for this fall (or spring), and you could spend the semester fighting the good fight!

19. Job Listing: Director of Government Relations, MPP

The Marijuana Policy Project is hiring for their Director of Government Relations position based in Washington, DC.

20. Job Announcement: Executive Director, Justice Policy Institute

The DC-based think tank is hiring a new leader as it moves forward seeking to end society's reliance on incarceration and promoting effective solutions to social problems.

21. Proposals: IHRD Providing Small Grants on Health and Human Rights, 2008 UN Drug Summit

The International Harm Reduction Development Program (IHRD) of the Open Society Institute (OSI) is offering small grants to support the collection and presentation of information that evaluate the health and human rights consequences, with regard to injection drug use-driven HIV infections, of the resolutions taken at the 1998 UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs.

22. Webmasters: Help the Movement by Running DRCNet Syndication Feeds on Your Web Site!

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

23. Resource: DRCNet Web Site Offers Wide Array of RSS Feeds for Your Reader

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

24. Resource: Reformer's Calendar Accessible Through DRCNet Web Site

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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