Drug War Chronicle #545 - August 1, 2008

1. Editorial: Two Dogs Dead, a Family Traumatized, Another Day in the Drug War

County police near Washington brought marijuana to a local mayor's home, then sent a SWAT team in because of the marijuana. Now the family's two dogs are dead. Another day in the drug war.

2. Feature: Federal Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Has Its Coming Out Party

For the first time in decades, there is a marijuana decriminalization bill before Congress. No one thinks it will pass this year, but you have to start somewhere.

3. Feature: Prescription Drug "Fatal Medical Errors" Rising Dramatically -- What Does It Mean?

A study released this week shows a dramatic increase in "fatal medical errors" related to self-administered prescription drugs, especially when other drugs and/or alcohol are involved. But the study is raising as many questions as answers.

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. Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Prison guards get busted as cocaine traffickers in Louisiana and New Jersey, and a pair of North Carolina cops plea to helping out the local cocaine trade.

6. Racial Profiling: Latest Illinois Report Prompts Civil Rights Groups to Call for End to Consent Searches

Another year, and another report showing racial profiling by Illinois law enforcement. Now, civil rights groups want the governor to end the policy of allowing consent searches by state troopers.

7. Harm Reduction: Bill to End Federal Needle Exchange Ban Filed

Rep. Jose Serrano (D-NY) and 25 cosponsors have filed a bill that would lift the 20-year-old federal ban on funding for needle exchange programs.

8. Medical Marijuana: DEA Seizes Medical Marijuana Seized By Seattle Police

Although Washington state has a medical marijuana law and the city of Seattle has a lowest law enforcement priority ordinance, Seattle police two weeks ago raided a medical marijuana co-op, seizing patient records and 12 ounces of medicine. The co-op got the records back, but now the DEA has seized the marijuana.

9. Marijuana: Joplin, Missouri, Decrim Initiative in Final Signature-Gathering Push

An initiative that would decriminalize possession of up to 35 grams of marijuana in Joplin, Missouri, is in a last-minute push to get the number of valid signatures required to make the November ballot.

10. Marijuana: Fayetteville, Arkansas, Lowest Priority Initiative in Signature Drive

An initiative that would make adult marijuana possession offenses the lowest law enforcement priority is in the signature-gathering phase in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

11. Southwest Asia: Iranian Harm Reduction Doctors Arrested, Held Without Explanation

A pair of Iranian physicians who are internationally known harm reduction practitioners have been arrested by Iranian authorities. No reason has been given, they are being held incommunicado, and there is a petition drive underway to secure their release.

12. Latin America: In Bid to Reduce US Influence, Bolivia to Fund Own Anti-Drug Unit

The Bolivian government announced late last week that it would fund its own anti-drug units in a bid to reduce foreign (read: US) influence over its coca and cocaine policies.

13. Europe: Britain's Drug War Not Working, Think-Tank Finds

A leading independent British commission has examined the UK's war on drugs and found it ineffective and misguided.

14. Weekly: This Week in History

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

15. Job Opportunity: Executive Director, Justice Policy Institute, DC

The Justice Policy Institute (JPI) is seeking a dedicated and experienced Executive Director for its Washington, DC office.

16. Job Opportunity: State Legislative Affairs Director, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, DC

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) is hiring a State Legislative Affairs Director for its Washington, DC office.

17. Weekly: Blogging @ the Speakeasy

"Marijuana Laws Killed Two People This Week," "SWAT Team Kills Mayor's Dogs in Botched Drug Raid," "Drug-Sniffing Turtle Discovers Marijuana," "Six More Drug War Disgraces," "US Drug War Funding Supports Human Rights Violations in Mexico," "Isn't it Already Illegal to Traffic Drugs in a Submarine?," "Drug Raid: Police Shoot Man, Find Nothing But Codeine Syrup," "Everyone Should Know the Story of Rachel Hoffman," "Concerned Citizen Launches "Drugs Bring Death" Campaign," "Drug Dealing, Entrepreneurship, and Drug Prohibition," "Hey, Dirtbags, Ya Wanna Know What Cops Think About Frank's Decrim Bill (and You)?"

18. Feedback: Do You Read Drug War Chronicle?

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19. Webmasters: Help the Movement by Running DRCNet Syndication Feeds on Your Web Site!

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20. 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.

21. 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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