Drug War Chronicle #554 - October 3, 2008

1. Feature: Drug Policy Reform and Sentencing Initiatives on the November Ballot

Election day is just over a month away. Here's a breakdown of drug policy reform and sentencing initiatives (not all of them good) on various state and local ballots November 4.

2. Feature: Drug Reform Not on the Radar in Canada's Elections

Canadians go to the polls in national elections this month, but there has been little talk of drug reform, and two pro-reform parliamentary candidates were forced off the ballot after videos of past drug use surfaced on YouTube.

3. 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.

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

Crooked policing runs the gamut this week: from a former chief of police busted for dope dealing, to a cop nailed for acting as a middleman in a bribery scheme, to some lying cops being scrutinized by a federal judge, to a crew of rogue detectives costing their employer a nice settlement, to another rogue cop who's been on the lam for the last five years.

5. Drug War Follies: Iowa Anti-Meth Pseudoephedrine Law Snags Nasal Congestion Sufferer

An Iowa man with chronic nasal congestion has run afoul of his state's law aimed at cracking down on meth cooks.

6. Public Opinion: Three-Quarters of Likely Voters Believe Drug War is Failing and More than One-Quarter Favor Legalization, Zogby Poll Finds

A poll released Thursday finds that 76% of likely voters think the drug war is failing and 27% say the solution is to legalize some drugs.

7. Sentencing: Supreme Court 2nd Amendment Decision May Provide Opening for Appeal in Case of Pot Dealer Doing 55 Years for Carrying Gun

Salt Lake City marijuana dealer Weldon Angelos got 55 years because he had a gun with him during a couple of deals and more at home. Now, in the wake of the Supreme Court's recent 2nd Amendment decision, a group of attorneys is filing a new appeal.

8. Sentencing: Pennsylvania Reform Measure Becomes Law

The biggest sentencing reforms in years were signed into law by Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell last week, but the killing of a policeman by a parolee is now blocking all parole releases.

9. Medical Marijuana: Schwarzenegger Vetoes Employment Rights Bill

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) has vetoed a bill that would have provided employment protection for medical marijuana patients.

10. Medical Marijuana: Bill Coming Down the Pike in Idaho?

An Idaho Republican state legislator is threatening to introduce a medical marijuana bill next session. That would bring the state in line with neighbors Washington, Oregon, Nevada, and Montana.

11. Latin America: Mexican President Moves to Decriminalize Drug Possession

As part of a package of security measures aimed at fighting his country's powerful drug trafficking organizations, Mexican President Felipe Calderón this week moved to decriminalize drug possession.

12. Europe: Marijuana Less Harmful Than Alcohol or Tobacco, Says British Drug Think-Tank

A British drug policy think-tank has released a report saying that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol or tobacco and should be regulated, not prohibited.

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

"Mark Souder vs. The New Drug War Politics," "Calvina Fay vs. The New Drug War Politics," "New Poll: Democrats and Republicans Agree That the Drug War is a Failure," "Police Discover World's Largest Marijuana Plants," "The Drug War Bailout," "Police Defend the Right to Choke Marijuana Suspects," "SWAT Raids Often Target Innocent People," "Nasal Congestion Sufferer Arrested for Buying Too Much Cold Medicine," "When Police Mistake Chocolate For Hash…"

15. Feedback: Do You Read Drug War Chronicle?

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

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17. 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.

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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