Drug War Chronicle #511 - November 23, 2007

1. Feature: On the Anniversary of Kathryn Johnston's Death, Poll Finds Most Americans Oppose Use of SWAT-Style Tactics in Routine Drug Raids

A Zogby poll commissioned by StoptheDrugWar.org (DRCNet) has found that nearly two-thirds of likely voters oppose SWAT-style raids to deal with routine drug offenders. The results are released as we mark the one-year anniversary of the death of 92-year-old Kathryn Johnston, the Atlanta woman gunned down by rogue police conducting a forced entry drug raid.

2. Feature: Higher Education Act Drug Conviction Penalty Repeal Stymied As Democrats Choke -- Again

The movement to repeal the Higher Education Act's drug provision hit a major roadblock last week when House Democrats reneged on pushing an amendment to undo it. But the provision's author, Rep. Mark Souder (R-IN), keeps scaling it back in self-defense.

3. Sentencing: US Prison Population Could Be Cut in Half With Four Humane Reforms, Including Drug Decriminalization, Report Says

A smarter and more humane approach to crime and imprisonment, including drug decriminalization, could save billions of dollars and greatly reduce the need to put millions of people behind bars, a new report says.

4. Weekly: Blogging @ the Speakeasy

Mitt Romney says lie to the kids about drugs, Mark Souder cries "legalizer!" again, drug warrior Howard losing Australian election, anniversary of Kathryn Johnson tragedy and related poll finding, "People Are Licking Toads Again," marijuana compound might cure breast cancer.

5. 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!

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

Two Atlanta cops are headed to prison in the Kathryn Johnston killing, an NYPD narc goes down for drug running, and a strung-out Pennsylvania cop heads to jail for peddling pills.

7. Medical Marijuana: Michigan Initiative Organizers Hand in Half a Million Signatures

It looks like medical marijuana will be on the 2008 ballot in Michigan. Organizers of a signature-gathering campaign for an initiative turned in nearly 500,000 signatures this week, almost 200,000 more than needed.

8. Canada: Federal Government Introduces Anti-Drug Legislation

Canada's Conservative government this week unveiled its repressive new approach to drugs. It wants mandatory minimum sentences for some drug offenses, including marijuana growing, and it wants to double the maximum sentence for pot growing. Look for a battle royal in the West's most pot-friendly country.

9. Southeast Asia: Reports Coming on Thailand's 2003 Drug War Killings

Four and a half years ago, then Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra vowed to wipe out drug use in Thailand. Within three months, 2,500 people were dead. Now, a new government is about to release a series of reports on the killings.

10. Europe: British Heroin Maintenance Trials a Success, Researchers Say

A pilot heroin maintenance program in three British locations has been successful in cutting crime and street drug use, according to preliminary results.

11. Australia: In Desperate Pre-Election Move, Prime Minister Howard Says He Will Take Control of Drug Users' Welfare Payments

With elections looming on Saturday and his party trailing, Australian Prime Minister has announced a "zero tolerance" plan to take control of welfare payments for drug offenders.

12. Europe: Irish Labor Party Debates Cannabis Legalization, Defers Decision

The Irish Labor Party debated whether to make cannabis legalization or decrim part of the party platform at its annual conference last Friday, but deferred a decision on whether to do so.

13. Web Scan

Balko-Paey interview, Europe drug report, NORML podcast of Kucinich interview, One Hitters parodied (!), DrugTruth network.

14. Weekly: This Week in History

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

15. Job Opportunity: Outreach Director, Students for Sensible Drug Policy

SSDP is hiring an Outreach Director. The position is staffed from the organization's Washington, DC office.

16. Job Opportunities: Two Openings at PreventionWorks, Washington, DC

PreventionWorks is hiring a SEP Arranged Delivery Coordinator and a Community Liaison.

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. 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!

19. 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.

20. 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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