Drug War Chronicle #523 - February 15, 2008

1. No Relief in Sight: Reynosa, Mexico, Military Occupation Yields No Let-Up in Drug War Violence

Mexican soldiers poured into Reynosa and other border towns in the state of Tamaulipas last month in response to a wave of drug prohibition-related violence. They haven't stopped the violence, but they have put the screws to some sectors of the local economy and committed some human rights violations. Few observers there or across the river think the answer lies in Washington's proposed massive anti-drug aid package.

2. Drug War Chronicle Book Review: "Women Behind Bars: The Crisis of Women in the US Prison System," by Silja Talvi (2007, Seal Press, 356 pp., $15.95 PB)

With "Women Behind Bars," investigate journalist Silja Talvi has produced a tour de force that should shame every American who reads it -- and, one can only hope, help to propel them to take action.

3. Appeal: Three Exciting New Book Offers for Our Donating Supporters

We are pleased to offer the works "Over the Influence: The Harm Reduction Guide for Managing Drugs and Alcohol," "Women Behind Bars: The Crisis of Women in the US Prison System," and "Cannabis: Yields and Dosage," as our latest membership premium gifts.

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

A Pennsylvania cop's bad habits get him in trouble, a Boston cop goes to prison for steroids and perjury, and a Texas Department of Public Safety technician goes away for a long, long time for ripping off the lab's cocaine stash.

5. Sentencing: Faced With Swollen Prisons, Idaho Ponders Reforms

With its prisons stuffed to the gills with drug offenders thanks to years of legislative "tough on drugs" initiatives, Idaho is now beginning to look for alternatives. One comes in a bill that would allow judges to divert "addicts" convicted of drug sales to treatment instead of giving them mandatory prison time.

6. Medical Marijuana: California Vending Machines Draw Ire of UN Narcs

Medical marijuana vending machines, oh my! The International Narcotics Control Board expresses its "concern."

7. Opiate Maintenance: Open Season on Methadone Clinics and Clients in the Indiana Legislature

Indiana's methadone clinics and patients are under attack in the Indiana legislature -- again. This time, pols want to make clinic patients have designated drivers and test them for marijuana. At least a proposal to bar them from bringing their children to the clinic has died -- for now.

8. Civil Rights: Pennsylvania Bill Would Allow Involuntary Commitment of "Drug Dependent" People

A bill that would allow families to petition courts for the involuntary commitment for drug treatment of their "drug dependent" family members has been filed in Pennsylvania. It is unlikely to go anywhere, but it is such a creepy example of drug war totalitarianism that it's worth noting.

9. Marijuana: Washington ACLU Wants to Start a National Conversation

The ACLU of Washington state is going on the offensive with a campaign unveiled this week designed to start a national conversation about marijuana policy. The multimedia campaign features Rick Steves in a 30-minute video and has lots of other goodies for would-be debaters, too.

10. Web Scan

Idaho, Plan Mexico, pain, Afghanistan, medical psychedelic use, stimulant regulation, "Making Pot Legal," more...

11. Middle East: Tel Aviv Seeks to Begin Heroin Maintenance Program

The city of Tel Aviv has proposed a pilot heroin maintenance program for recalcitrant older users. Now it is seeking approval from the Israeli Ministry of Health.

12. Canada: Smell of Pot No Grounds for Arrest or Search, Says Saskatchewan Appeals Court

Even if an officer smells the odor of burning weed coming out of your vehicle, that's not enough for him to arrest or search you -- at least in Saskatchewan. That's what the provincial Court of Appeals ruled recently, and the Crown isn't going to appeal that decision.

13. Weekly: This Week in History

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

14. Weekly: Blogging @ the Speakeasy

"On the Border in the Lower Rio Grande Valley," "Residents Rallying Around SWAT Raid Target Ryan Frederick," "Michael Mukasey's Cracked Crack Logic," and "Monsters Retake Thailand's Government and Vow to Resume Mass Drug War Murders," "Travel Expert Rick Steves Speaks Out Against Marijuana Laws," "Now That We've Forgiven Barack Obama's Drug Use, Can We Forgive Everyone Else Too?," "Protest Against Police Violence is Monitored From Above by Police Snipers," "Hey Barack Obama, Fixing Marijuana Laws is Smart Politics," "Drug Czar's $2.7 Million Super Bowl Ad Gets Terrible Viewer Ratings," "Quote of the Day," "Kevin Sabet Responds," "Drug Czar Speechwriter Requests Special Treatment at UN Forum."

15. 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!

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. 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!

18. 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.

19. 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.

Drug War Issues

Criminal JusticeAsset Forfeiture, Collateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Court Rulings, Drug Courts, Due Process, Felony Disenfranchisement, Incarceration, Policing (2011 Drug War Killings, 2012 Drug War Killings, 2013 Drug War Killings, 2014 Drug War Killings, 2015 Drug War Killings, 2016 Drug War Killings, 2017 Drug War Killings, Arrests, Eradication, Informants, Interdiction, Lowest Priority Policies, Police Corruption, Police Raids, Profiling, Search and Seizure, SWAT/Paramilitarization, Task Forces, Undercover Work), Probation or Parole, Prosecution, Reentry/Rehabilitation, Sentencing (Alternatives to Incarceration, Clemency and Pardon, Crack/Powder Cocaine Disparity, Death Penalty, Decriminalization, Defelonization, Drug Free Zones, Mandatory Minimums, Rockefeller Drug Laws, Sentencing Guidelines)CultureArt, Celebrities, Counter-Culture, Music, Poetry/Literature, Television, TheaterDrug UseParaphernalia, Vaping, ViolenceIntersecting IssuesCollateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Violence, Border, Budgets/Taxes/Economics, Business, Civil Rights, Driving, Economics, Education (College Aid), Employment, Environment, Families, Free Speech, Gun Policy, Human Rights, Immigration, Militarization, Money Laundering, Pregnancy, Privacy (Search and Seizure, Drug Testing), Race, Religion, Science, Sports, Women's IssuesMarijuana PolicyGateway Theory, Hemp, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Marijuana Industry, Medical MarijuanaMedicineMedical Marijuana, Science of Drugs, Under-treatment of PainPublic HealthAddiction, Addiction Treatment (Science of Drugs), Drug Education, Drug Prevention, Drug-Related AIDS/HIV or Hepatitis C, Harm Reduction (Methadone & Other Opiate Maintenance, Needle Exchange, Overdose Prevention, Pill Testing, Safer Injection Sites)Source and Transit CountriesAndean Drug War, Coca, Hashish, Mexican Drug War, Opium ProductionSpecific DrugsAlcohol, Ayahuasca, Cocaine (Crack Cocaine), Ecstasy, Heroin, Ibogaine, ketamine, Khat, Kratom, Marijuana (Gateway Theory, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Medical Marijuana, Hashish), Methamphetamine, New Synthetic Drugs (Synthetic Cannabinoids, Synthetic Stimulants), Nicotine, Prescription Opiates (Fentanyl, Oxycontin), Psilocybin / Magic Mushrooms, Psychedelics (LSD, Mescaline, Peyote, Salvia Divinorum)YouthGrade School, Post-Secondary School, Raves, Secondary School