Drug War Chronicle #532 - April 18, 2008

1. Editorial: Yet More Unintended and Impossible-to-Predict Harm Caused by Drug Prohibition

There are many unintended consequences of prohibition which have yet to be brought to light, and many impossible-to-predict harms from prohibition we have yet to see. This week we learned about a new one.

2. Salvia Watch: Two More States and One City Act Against the Plant, and North Dakota Marks First Bust

Salvia mania continues across the land, as state and city legislators pass laws without waiting for evidence and North Dakota makes its first-ever bust for the plant -- a felony.

3. The 2008 Presidential Campaign: On the Left, the Greens and the Nader Campaign

With the leading Democratic and Republican contenders hewing to the mainstream, on drug policy we take a look at what the alternatives have to say. Last week, it was the Libertarians; this week, it's the Green Party and the Nader candidacy.

4. Offer: New Clergy Anti-Drug-War Video

Clergy are speaking out against the war on drugs! Donate $16 or more (or whatever you can afford) and we'll send you a copy.

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

Problems in the crime lab in Tucson, a small-town Georgia cop gets caught redhanded, and a Georgia sheriff's deputy follows in his father's not so illustrious footsteps.

6. Marijuana: Barney Frank Introduces Federal Decriminalization Bill

Thanks to Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), there is a marijuana decriminalization bill before Congress. It would decriminalize up to 100 grams. But don't hold your breath waiting for it pass anytime soon.

7. Harm Reduction: More Than 300,000 HIV/AIDS Cases Linked to Injection Drug Use

Since the beginning of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, more than 300,000 people -- or 30% of all cases -- have contracted the virus through injection drug use. The good news is that in 2006, they only accounted for 17% of new cases; the bad news is that means 6,000 still caught the bug through dirty needles.

8. Marijuana: Nebraska Legislature Passes Stiffer Decrim Penalties, Bill Heads to Governor's Desk

Getting caught with under an ounce of marijuana costs you $100 in decriminalized Nebraska, but fines would triple under a measure just passed by the state legislature.

9. Addiction: Small Percentage of Drug Users Dependent One Year After First Use

Contrary to some popular narratives about drug use and its consequences, the vast majority of first-time drug users are not strung out a year after they first tasted the forbidden fruit -- no matter which drug it was.

10. Asia: Beijing Police Begin Pre-Olympics Drug Crackdown

With the Olympics coming to Beijing in August, Chinese authorities are beginning a crackdown designed to make the city "drug-free" for the sporting event.

11. Australia: South Australia Bans Bongs

Possession of bongs will be illegal under new legislation passed by the South Australia parliament. There may be unintended consequences.

12. Latin America: Brazilians Don't Say "Legalize It"

Support for marijuana legalization remains low in Brazil, although it is slowly rising, a recent poll has found.

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

"Drug War 101: Don't Let the Cops into Your House," "Barney Frank Introduces Marijuana Decriminalization Bill," "If Progress in the Drug War is Measured in Dead Bodies, It's Going Well," "The Drug War Exacerbates Deadly Brazilian Mosquito Plague," "Job Opportunity: Kill People For a Mexican Drug Cartel," "Job Opportunity: Grow Marijuana for the Canadian Government," "New Study: Most Money Has Cocaine Residue On It," "Clinton Proposes Fixing Stupid Crack Law, While Creating Stupid Meth Law," "Defenders of Paramilitary Policing Don't Know What They're Talking About," "Please Burn the Byrne Grants," "British Prime Minister Ignores Experts, Set to Increase Penalties for Pot Smokers," Phil Smith is "Headed Down Mexico Way (Again)."

15. Feedback: Do You Read Drug War Chronicle?

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16. 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!

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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