Drug War Chronicle #519 - January 18, 2008

1. Editorial: A Matter of Basic Fairness in the Marc Emery Case

The case of Canada's famed marijuana advocate Marc Emery raises issues of basic fairness and illuminates the darkness in today's criminal justice system.

2. Feature: It's Safer to Be a Cop Than a Farmer

Police deaths in the line of duty were up last year, and so was the number of cops killed by gunfire. But only handful died enforcing the drug laws, and policing remains safer than a good number of other professions.

3. Appeal: DRCNet Made Amazing Progress in 2007 and We Need Your Help for 2008

An outline of DRCNet's plans and recent accomplishments and an appeal for your support to make it all happen.

4. Weekly: Blogging @ the Speakeasy

"DEA Agents Sue NBC Universal Over the Film American Gangster," "Press Coverage of the Drug War is So Flawed it Actually Encourages People to Sell Marijuana," "Banning Cylindrical Objects Won't Stop People from Smoking Crack," "Philadelphia Police Say Marijuana Costs $100 Per Joint," "The Truth About Driving When You're High on Marijuana," "No Wonder They 'Went in Shooting' -- SWAT Team Had Violent Animated Gif on Web Site Before Killing Tarika Wilson," "A Grand Total of Five Cops Died Fighting the Drug War Last Year."

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. Canada: Marc Emery to Accept Canadian Prison Time on US Charges

Marc Emery, Canada's "Prince of Pot," announced this week that he has accepted a plea deal with US federal prosecutors that will spare his associates jail time but will see him do at least five years in prison -- mostly in Canada -- for selling marijuana seeds to customers in the US. The trio had faced mandatory minimums of 10 years and the possibility of life.

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

The Detroit drug squad is under investigation, a Pennsylvania police chief is accused of stealing money from drug busts, and a Wisconsin prison has a problem with pill-stealing guards.

8. Salvia Divinorum: Virginia House Passes Ban

Joining a handful of other states, Illinois made salvia divinorum illegal as of January 1. Now, Virginia wants to be next. A bill to ban it has already passed the House of Delegates and is headed to the state Senate.

9. Marijuana: Sight of Someone Smoking a Joint Not Grounds for Home Search, California Appeals Court Rules

Because small-time marijuana possession is decriminalized in California, a state appeals court has ruled that even if police see you smoking a joint in your living room, they still can't search your place without a warrant -- unless you let them.

10. Marijuana: Vermont to Consider Decriminalization, But Wants to Crack Down on Hard Drugs

A debate on drug policy is gathering steam in Vermont, where the legislature is set to ponder both marijuana decriminalization and harsher sentencing for some hard drug offenses.

11. Marijuana: After 30 Years, Nebraska Legislator Wants to Recriminalize

For 30 years, Nebraska has lived with marijuana decriminalization. Now, a state legislator wants to take the state back to the bad old days.

12. Marijuana: Bill to Increase Penalties for Sales to Minors Moving in South Dakota

Giving or selling any amount of marijuana to a minor can get you 10 years in South Dakota, but now the state attorney general wants to increase those penalties for all but small amounts, and his bill is moving in the legislature.

13. Middle East: The Poppies Blossom in Iraq

Caught in the middle of Iraq's simmering violence, Iraqi farmers are turning to the opium poppy to make a living. Militias and warlords are behind it, says British journalist Patrick Cockburn.

14. Africa: Marijuana "Tries to Destroy Our Society," Nigerian Head Narc Says

Nigeria's top narc warns of the evils of marijuana as he burns tons of the stuff, but it looks like he's fighting a losing battle.

15. Weekly: This Week in History

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

16. 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.

17. Job Opportunity: Deputy Director, International Harm Reduction Development Program, Open Society Institute

The Open Society Institute is hiring a Deputy Director for its International Harm Reduction Development Program.

18. Job Opportunity: Executive Director, Blue Mountain Heart to Heart

Blue Mountain Heart to Heart, a nonprofit HIV/AIDS education, harm reduction and case work organization for Washington’s Walla Walla valley, is seeking applications for Executive Director.

19. 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!

20. 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.

21. 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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