Drug War Chronicle #528 - March 21, 2008

1. Drug Overdose Deaths Are Going Through the Roof -- Is Anybody Watching?

While the nation worries about baseball players on steroids and teenagers smoking pot, an epidemic of drug overdoses is sweeping the country. There are methods of reducing the toll, but there are many obstacles, too, not the least of which is public and official indifference.

2. States Shifting to "Four Pillars" Approach, Instead of Mass Arrests and Scare Tactics, for Confronting Methamphetamine

Current approaches to methamphetamine use in the US have largely failed and should be replaced by a "Four Pillars" approach embracing prevention, treatment, harm reduction, and law enforcement, according to a report issued Tuesday. Some states have already moved that direction.

3. Drug War Chronicle Book Review: "Over the Influence: The Harm Reduction Guide to Managing Drugs and Alcohol," by Patt Denning, Jeanne Little, and Adina Glickman (2004, Guilford Press, 328 pp., $16.95 PB)

We usually reserve this space for books hot off the press, but in the case of "Over the Influence," we make an exception. This book is special enough for us to make it a premium for our contributors, and given that we are publishing a story this week about the rapidly rise toll from drug overdoses, we think its importance is self-evident.

4. 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.

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

Greedy jail guards, pill-peddling cops, sticky-fingered cops, and a sticky-fingered prosecutor. On the corrupt cop front, it's the same old same old. Here's this week's version.

6. Law Enforcement: Ohio SWAT Officer Who Killed Young Mother in Drug Raid Gets Charged With Misdemeanors, Faces Eight Months at Most

The black community in Lima, Ohio, cried for justice after a SWAT team member killed Tarika Wilson and wounded her infant son during a raid in January. Those cries are unlikely to be quieted now as local authorities charged the police shooter with a pair of misdemeanors for the killing. He faces a maximum of eight months in jail.

7. Law Enforcement: Senate Votes to Restore Byrne Drug Task Force Funding Program

Although the Bush administration has tried repeatedly to zero out funding for the Justice Department grant program that funds state and local anti-drug task forces, Congress keeps trying to put it back. Last week, the Senate voted to restore more than $900 million in funds in the FY 2009 budget, but there's a long way to go yet.

8. Marijuana: New Hampshire House Passes Decriminalization Bill

The New Hampshire House Tuesday approved a bill that would decriminalize the possession of up to a quarter ounce of marijuana. But Senate leaders say it is dead on arrival, and the governor is vowing to veto it if it passes.

9. Drug Testing: Washington State Supreme Court Rejects Random Tests of Students

The drug czar's office may be pushing the random drug testing of high school students, but it isn't going to happen in Washington state. The state Supreme Court last week ruled such testing unconstitutional.

10. Europe: Czechs to Decriminalize Marijuana Possession, Growing Up to Three Plants

The Czech Republic is set to decriminalize the possession of up to 20 joints and the growing of up three marijuana plants. The move comes as an adjustment to the penal code.

11. Latin America: First Coca Plantations, Cocaine Lab Found in Brazil

For the first time, Brazilian authorities have found coca plantations and a cocaine lab on national territory, and they are worried there could be more.

12. Weekly: Blogging @ the Speakeasy

"They're Producing Cocaine in Brazil Now, Too," "DEA Opens Drug War Fantasy Camp," "Mark Souder Accidentally Assists Marijuana Decrim Efforts in New Hampshire," "UN Drug Czar Refuses to Answer a Tough Question," "Internet Users Take a Swing at Anti-drug PSAs," "High School Drug Policy: Striving for Underachievement."

13. Weekly: This Week in History

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

14. Job Listing: Internship Opportunities at the Marijuana Policy Project

The Marijuana Policy Project is looking for summer interns to work in its Outreach and State Policies departments.

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.

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