Drug War Chronicle #539 - June 13, 2008

1. Feature: Western Hemisphere's Only Heroin Maintenance Program Coming to an End

For the past three years, a select group of heroin addicts in Vancouver and Montreal have received pharmaceutical grade heroin as part of a pilot heroin maintenance program. Now, the NAOMI program is winding down, the researchers are assembling their reports, and the addicts are back on the streets.

2. Feature: Mendocino Marijuana Battle Waits for Election Results, Restrictive Initiative Draws Strong Opposition

California's Mendocino County has grown rich off of marijuana, but problems have come with the prosperity. Now, everyone is waiting to see whether last week's still undecided election will mean the county takes a step backward from its liberal cultivation laws.

3. 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!

4. Help Needed: Drug War Chronicle Seeking Cases of Informant Abuse

Drug War Chronicle is seeking information on serious police misconduct or misjudgments in the treatment of informants. Confidentiality will be protected.

5. Sentencing: US Jail and Prison Population At All-Time High Again Last Year

Another year, another all-time high in US prisoners, and the drug war continues to make a major contribution. This is getting really old.

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

Busy, busy. Border guards going down, prison guards going down, more cops in trouble, and more investigations of a perjury-condoning prosecutor in Detroit.

7. Medical Marijuana: Oregon Appeals Court Protects Workers

The Oregon Court of Appeals has rejected an employer's firing of a medical marijuana patient who did not use on the job, saying it violates state anti-discrimination laws.

8. Busted: Veteran Yippie Activist Dana Beal Arrested in Illinois

Veteran activist Dana Beal of Global Marijuana March fame spent more than a week behind bars in Illinois, arrested on money-laundering charges after police found $150,000 in cash. But he bailed out Thursday after the original charge vanished, to be replaced by an obstruction of justice charge. The cash is still in custody.

9. Latin America: US House Approves Mexico Anti-Drug Aid Bill, But Mexico Balks at Senate Human Rights Conditions

The Merida Initiative anti-drug assistance package for Mexico and Central America passed the House this week, but Mexico is balking at human rights and other conditions in the Senate version of the bill. Will the Senate sacrifice human rights on the altar of the drug war?

10. Southwest Asia: Afghanistan Makes "World's Largest" Drug Bust -- 260 Tons of Hash Destroyed

What may have been the largest drug bust ever took place in Afghanistan this week. But while NATO claimed it dealt a hard blow to the Taliban, profits from the lost hash are miniscule compared to what the group rakes in from the opium trade.

11. Latin America: More Argentine Courts Throw Out Drug Possession Charges

The Argentine government is working on a rewrite of its drug laws, but courts there aren't waiting for the politicians. In April, two federal tribunals in Buenos Aires declared the drug possession laws unconstitutional, and now more courts have followed suit.

12. Europe: Scottish Parliament Think-Tank Calls for Prescription Heroin, Safe Injection Sites, Legalized Marijuana

A Scottish think-tank tasked by Parliament with figuring out how to reduce drug-related harm has called for marijuana legalization, safe injection sites, and opiate maintenance.

13. Weekly: Blogging @ the Speakeasy

"Will John McCain Avoid Running a 'Tough-On-Crime' Campaign?," "World Record Marijuana Crop Gets Blown Up By Fighter Jets," "Two More Horrible Drug Raid Disasters," "Bob Barr's Newfound Drug War Opposition Shows That Anything is Possible," "Vietnam Orders Police to Win the Drug War by August," "Stop Making Excuses and Go Watch 'The Wire'," "People are Getting Themselves Arrested Just So They Can Sell Drugs in Jail," "The Drug War is a War on Communities of Color," "George Bush and Cocaine: How the President Might Save His Approval Rating."

14. Weekly: This Week in History

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

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17. Resource: DRCNet Web Site Offers Wide Array of RSS Feeds for Your Reader

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18. 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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