Drug War Chronicle #547 - August 15, 2008

1. Editorial: The Coca Wars are Futile, Whereas Drug Legalization is a Win-Win

A recent article in Time made important points about the difference between the coca plant and its legal uses, vs. the international cocaine trade and efforts to fight it in Bolivia. Unfortunately, the article stopped there and didn't ask the next logical -- and desperately needed -- question.

2. Feature: Prosecutors Want Five Years for North Dakota Man Who Bought $32 Worth of Salvia Divinorum on eBay

Kenneth Rau is the first person in the US to face prison time for possessing salvia divinorum. Prosecutors have offered him five years in prison if he cops a plea. Otherwise, he faces up to 20.

3. Update and Appeal: StoptheDrugWar.org Media Coverage This Year

Thanks in part to growing web site traffic, StoptheDrugWar.org's media coverage is increasing in both frequency and importance. Financial support from our readers makes up a critical part of our budget -- please read this update and then make a generous donation to ensure that this work can continue.

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

A tough week for jail and prison guards, and some Virginia deputies could find themselves in trouble.

6. Marijuana: Mendocino County Coalition Moves to Further Restrict Cultivation -- But Late-Breaking Judge's Ruling May Undo Their Earlier Victory

The people who managed to overturn Mendocino County's groundbreaking Measure G, which barred prosecution of anyone growing fewer than 25 plants, are feeling emboldened. Now, they have hatched a new scheme to further tighten the screws.

7. Presidential Politics: Ralph Nader Says Free the Dopers, Jail the Corporate Crooks

Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader unveils a strong drug policy platform and suggests the government should target corporate criminals instead of drug offenders.

8. Presidential Politics: Bob Barr Criticizes High-Profile Drug Raid on Maryland Mayor's Home

Libertarian Party presidential candidate Bob Barr uses the raid on the home of the mayor of Berwyn Heights, Maryland, to issue a broader critique of drug law enforcement.

9. Offer: Unique and Important New Book on Medical Marijuana

"Dying to Get High," by sociologists Wendy Chapkis and Richard Webb, is a groundbreaking work that provides an in-depth portrait of one of the country's most well-known medical marijuana collectives.

10. Europe: Former British Anti-Drug Official Now Calls For Legalization

Britain's prohibition establishment suffered a high-ranking defection when a former Tony Blair drug policy coordinator went over to the other side in an online comment that has excited considerable British media attention.

11. Europe: French Police Start Saliva-Testing Drivers for Drugs

French police are cracking down on drugged drivers, and they unveiled a new tool in their kits this week: saliva testing.

12. Press Release: First Global Conference on Methamphetamine to Feature 80 Speakers from 16 Countries

For all the mouthing off by government officials about methamphetamine abuse, it took an NGO to take the obvious step of getting everybody who's working on the problem together to talk about it.

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

"The War on Drugs in 100 Seconds," "Another Top Drug War Official Calls for Legalization," "Stephen Colbert's Latest Outrageous Attack on Medical Marijuana," "Bob Barr Condemns Violent, Dog-Murdering Drug Raid," "Mexican Cartels Have Begun Kidnapping Americans," "Mayor Calvo Says Botched Drug Raids Are Commonplace," "TV Networks Refuse to Allow Discussion of Marijuana Laws," "The Real Reason SWAT Teams Kill Dogs and People," "Cartoon: Dogs as SWAT Team Target Practice."

15. Job Opportunities: Marijuana Policy Project, Washington, DC

The Marijuana Policy Project is hiring a Membership Coordinator and a Membership Assistant to work out of the organization's Washington, DC office.

16. Feedback: Do You Read Drug War Chronicle?

Do you read Drug War Chronicle? If so, we need your feedback to evaluate our work and make the case for Drug War Chronicle to funders. We need donations too.

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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