Drug War Chronicle #541 - June 27, 2008

1. Editorial: How Long Does an Experiment Need to Continue Before It's Declared a Failure? (e.g. Drug Prohibition)

US federal drug prohibition began with the Harrison Narcotics Act in 1914 -- close to a century ago. And yet the Taliban last year could earn a hundred million dollars from the opium trade, and there's not a single drug free high school in our country. When will the failed and not very noble experiment be ended, so we can start to clean up the mess it's left for us?

2. Feature: Future Doctors Support Medical Marijuana

The AMA's med student branch, the Medical Student Section, overwhelmingly passed a resolution supporting medical marijuana at the AMA national convention earlier this month. With the other large national med student group, the American Medical Student Association, already supporting it, it looks like therapeutic cannabis has a future in US medicine.

3. Feature: New Jersey State Assembly Passes Bill Reforming State's "Drug-Free School Zone" Law

In a bid to defeat the iconic dope-dealer lurking in the schoolyard shadows, New Jersey was one of many states to pass a "drug-free school zone" law. Now, the state Assembly has passed a bill that will be the first step in undoing it.

4. 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!

5. 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.

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

An Ohio jailer, a Connecticut cop, and a pair of Florida deputies get busted, a Louisiana cop goes on trial, a Texas constable cops a plea, and so does a Texas US Border Patrol Agent.

7. Marijuana: Mendocino County Move to Restrict Grows Passes, Barely

Two weeks ago, we reported on the battle over Mendocino County's Measure B, which would rein in the county's liberal cultivation laws. Now the results are in: B won in a squeaker.

8. Marijuana: Puerto Rico Ex-Officials Say Legalize It

Some well-known Puerto Ricans are calling for the legalization, taxation, and regulate sale of marijuana in a bid to reduce the prison population and keep kids away from unsavory elements.

9. Europe: Hashish Growers Fight Police in "Greece's Colombia"

Hashish growers on the Greek island of Crete ambushed police on Sunday. They also did it last fall. Once again, a manhunt is underway. And once again, the Greek media is talking about "Greece's Colombia."

10. Latin America: Bolivia's Chapare Coca Growers Tell USAID to Get Lost, Say They Will Seek Funding from Venezuela

Coca grower unions in Bolivia's Chapare region have told USAID to get lost. They'll seek assistance from Venezuela's Hugo Chávez instead, they said.

11. Southwest Asia: West Threatens to Block Iran Drug Aid Over Nuclear Issue

The US and European Union are threatening to stop helping Iran fight to stem the tide of Afghan opium and heroin -- heroin destined not only for the Islamic republics but also for the veins of users in places like Berlin and London. It's part of the high-wire pressure act aimed at stopping Iran's nuclear program.

12. Southwest Asia: Taliban Makes $100 Million a Year Off Drug Prohibition

The Taliban is profiting from prohibition. The Islamic insurgents made $100 million last year taxing poppy farmers, UNODC head Antonio Maria Costa said this week.

13. Death Penalty: More Executions, More Death Sentences, A Glimmer of Hope in Vietnam

China celebrates Anti-Drug Day with more executions and death sentences, but there have been more of both elsewhere this month, too.

14. Weekly: This Week in History

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

15. Weekly: Blogging @ the Speakeasy

"Nation's Mayors Take a Stand for Harm Reduction," "And the Winner of the War on Meth is…Cocaine," "Our Drug War Alliances in South America Are Crumbling," "Trained Pigeons That Smuggle Drugs and Cell Phones Into Prison," "They're Drug Testing Our Sewage," "Don Imus: Critic of Racial Profiling?," "George Will's Weak Defense of Our Embarrassing Incarceration Rates," "Rising Coca Cultivation In Colombia Is Driving the UN Drug Czar Crazy."

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19. Resource: Reformer's Calendar Accessible Through DRCNet Web Site

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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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