Drug War Chronicle #529 - March 28, 2008

1. Editorial: Evidence Disparities in the Drug War

Drug warriors tend to apply high standards of evidence to things like medical marijuana or drug treatment, while giving policies of arrest and incarceration a pass. When all of the evidence is looked at evenly, the drug war will be seen as indefensible beyond any reasonable doubt.

2. No Evidence Needed? War on Salvia Divinorum Heating Up -- YouTube Videos Play Role

Using YouTube videos of young people under the influence of salvia divinorum as exhibit number one, legislators across the country are stepping up efforts to ban the intense, fast-acting hallucinogen.

3. They Won't Give Up -- Alaska Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument in State's Bid to Overturn Legal Marijuana At Home

For more than 30 years, Alaska's courts have held that the state constitution's privacy provisions protect citizens who want to smoke and possess small amounts of marijuana in their homes. Last week, the Alaska Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the state's latest effort to undo the status quo.

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

Our corrupt cops are all southern-fried this week. An Atlanta narc cops a plea in fallout from the Kathryn Johnston case, a Mississippi cop heads for prison, a pair of Florida jail guards will be looking out from the other side of the bars, and a Florida sheriff has some problems in his department.

6. Marijuana: Barney Frank to Introduce Federal Decriminalization Bill

Saying marijuana policy should not be a federal issue, Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) said last week he plans to introduce a federal decriminalization bill.

7. Search and Seizure: US Supreme Court to Decide Warrantless Search Case

The US Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether police need a search warrant to enter a residence after an informant has gone in and made a drug buy. Some federal courts have held that by allowing the informant in, the resident has consented to a police search.

8. Medical Marijuana: California Dr. Molly Fry Sentenced to Five Years

Dr. Molly Fry and her companion, attorney Dale Schafer, were sentenced last week to five years in federal prison as marijuana traffickers for providing marijuana to patients in compliance with California's Compassionate Use Act. At least -- and unusually -- the judge let them out on bail pending appeal.

9. Politics: New York Governor Admits Past Cocaine, Marijuana Use, Few Are Bothered

New York Gov. David Paterson admitted to using cocaine and marijuana in the 1970s, and for the most part, the silence has been reassuring. A few ardent prohibitionists complained, though.

10. Drug Treatment: Idaho Senate Overrides Governor's Funding Increase Veto, Battle Continues

Idaho legislators want to increase funding for drug treatment and prevention, but the governor vetoed their funding line-items. Now, the state Senate has overridden one veto, and it's time for the House to step up to the plate.

11. Europe: Dutch Smoking Ban Will Not Apply to Marijuana, Health Minister Says

A smoking ban in bars, restaurants, and yes, coffee shops, goes into effect in Holland on July 1. But the law only targets tobacco, so marijuana-smoking can continue in the coffee shops, at least as long as it's not those tobacco-laced Euro-style joints.

12. Latin America: Bloody Easter Weekend in Mexico's Drug Wars

Mexico's drug prohibition-related violence took no respite over the Easter holiday. At least 59 people were killed across the country, including cops, soldiers, drug dealers, used car salesman, an informant, and a US citizen.

13. Europe: Czechs Call for Legal Medical Marijuana

As the Czech parliament moves to decriminalize small-time marijuana possession and up to three plants, medical marijuana activists are calling for the legalization of the weed for medical purposes.

14. This Week in History

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

15. Weekly: Blogging @ the Speakeasy

"In the Future, the Drug War Will be Fought by Robots," "Netherlands Rated More Stable and Prosperous Than U.S.," "Poisoning the Drug Policy Debate in 8 Simple Steps," "1/3 of People Admitted to Marijuana Treatment Hadn't Been Smoking Marijuana!," "A False and Embarrassing Press Release from the Deputy Drug Czar," "Simple Farmers Bearing Brunt of Afghan Drug War."

16. Feedback: Do You Read Drug War Chronicle?

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17. 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!

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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