Drug War Chronicle #535 - May 9, 2008

1. Feature: "Color Blind" Drug War Disproportionately Targets Black Americans

It's not exactly "stop the presses" material, but two new reports from Human Rights Watch and the Sentencing Project provide even more confirmation that America's drug war is racially biased and waged mainly against black Americans.

2. Feature: Global Marijuana Day Demonstrations Meet Repression in Handful of Cities

In more than 200 cities worldwide, activists celebrated the Global Marijuana March on Saturday. But in a handful of places, there was trouble, with local authorities trying to repress the marches. Here's a report.

3. News Release: Will SDSU Drug Bust Coverage Raise the Critical Questions?

Will SDSU's Drug Bust Reduce Drug Availability on Campus in the Future? Advocates Urge Media to Look Beyond the Surface, Ask Critical Questions About Raid's Long-Term Implications for Drug Trade (or Lack Thereof)

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

Belated justice comes for two crooked cops, one in Dallas and one in Long Beach.

6. Salvia Watch: Magic Mint Now Illegal in Kansas, But Alabama Bill Dies

Alabama lawmakers declined to ban salvia divinorum, letting two bills die this week, but a prohibition on the psychedelic plant went into effect in Kansas.

7. Medical Marijuana: House Judiciary Chair Calls Out DEA on California Raids

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) has sent the DEA a letter demanding that it explain its raids on medical marijuana patients and providers in California. He's threatening to hold hearings, too.

8. Medical Marijuana: Oregon Medical Marijuana Foe Drops Initiative Effort

A conservative Oregon political operative who specializes in "tough on crime" ballot initiatives has given up plans for an initiative that would undo the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act -- at least for this year.

9. Harm Reduction: San Antonio Needle Exchange Program Not To Be, Texas Attorney General Says Would Violate State Law

The Texas attorney general has issued an opinion that a law passed last year to allow a needle exchange program in San Antonio does not protect exchange workers from arrest under state paraphernalia laws, so the Lone Star State's first officially-sanctioned needle exchange is dead -- for now.

10. Europe: In Step Backwards, Britain Reschedules Marijuana as More Dangerous Drug

As expected, the British government announced Wednesday it would reclassify marijuana as a more dangerous drug, thus theoretically increasing maximum jail sentences for pot smokers. In so doing, the government rejected the recommendation of its own advisory panel that marijuana stay a Class B drug.

11. Europe: Dutch Marijuana Tax Revenues at $600 Million a Year, Crop Is Country's Third Largest Export

Marijuana is big business in the Netherlands -- a conservative estimate says that the government collects $600 million a year in tax revenues from the coffee shops.

12. Southwest Asia: Iran Accuses West of Ignoring Afghan Opium, US Marines Conveniently Aid Tehran's Case

Iran complains that the West is ignoring opium production in Afghanistan, and some US Marines inadvertently help Tehran make its case.

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 Cops Raid Innocent Man, Shoot Him 5 Times, Then File Bogus Charges," "Mississippi Drug War Blues: The Case of Cory Maye," "British Prime Minister Ignores His Own Experts and increases Penalties for Marijuana," "Judge Says Stun Guns Can't Be Mentioned in Autopsies," "John Conyers Demands Answers From DEA Over the Medical Marijuana Raids," "Don't Use Text Messages to Advertise Your Cocaine Prices," "Man Dies After Being Denied a Liver Transplant For Using Medical Marijuana," "Bloody Culiacan," "Dia Mundial de la Marijuana (Global Marijuana Day), Mexico City," "Will SDSU Drug Bust Coverage Ask the Critical Questions?," "Marijuana: UK’s Police and Drug Policy Experts Object to PM’s Reefer Madness," "Nobody is Safe from Drug Prohibition’s SWAT Teams."

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!

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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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