Drug War Chronicle #556 - October 17, 2008

1. Feature: NATO, US Deepen Anti-Drug Operations in Afghanistan in Bid to Throttle Taliban

The drug war in Afghanistan is about to heat up. NATO has agreed to target drug traffickers and heroin labs aligned with the Taliban and Al Qaeda insurgency, and the US is quietly planning to put American soldiers on the ground with poppy eradication teams and their Afghan army protectors. The question is: Will any of this work?

2. Feature: Michigan Medical Marijuana Initiative Faces Organized Opposition

Michigan's medical marijuana initiative appears headed for victory in November, but now an organized opposition of the usual suspects has emerged, and the drug czar and his minion came to the state this week to try to derail it.

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

More rogue cops in New York City, a Texas sheriff gets busted, some sticky-fingered narcs in Ohio, a would-be pot-growing cop in Florida, and yes, another prison employee busted for getting the inmates high.

5. Medical Marijuana: Four More Massachusetts Local Questions on the Ballot

For the fifth consecutive election cycle, Massachusetts marijuana reform activists are putting local public policy questions on the ballot. So far, questions regarding decriminalization, medical marijuana, industrial, and tax and regulate have a winning streak of 41-0. This year, it's four more about medical marijuana.

6. Drug Testing: Coal Miner Unions, Owners Balk at Proposed Federal Rules, But for Different Reasons

Will federally-mandated drug testing come to the coal fields? The Mine Health and Safety Administration wants it to, but workers' unions say it is unnecessary and unconstitutional.

7. Search and Seizure: Long Island Woman's Strip Search Suit Can Move Forward

A lawsuit filed by a Long Island woman who was strip searched after being busted for a marijuana stem -- with the search allegedly watched by ogling male cops via video -- can go forward, a federal appeals court has ruled.

8. Latin America: Honduran President Joins Drug Legalization Chorus

The president of Honduras has joined a growing chorus of Latin America leaders calling for drug legalization, or is it decriminalization?

9. Latin America: UNODC Head Again Blames Drugs -- Not Drug Prohibition -- for Crime and Violence

UNODC chief Antonio Maria Costa trotted out some tired old arguments last week in Mexico City as he warned of "drug crime," but ignored the role of prohibition in facilitating it.

10. Europe: British Home Secretary Announces New Marijuana Possession Penalties

Marijuana will be rescheduled as a more serious drug in Britain beginning January 26. First-time possession offenders will still get warnings, but a second offense will bring a fine, and a third offense will result in arrest. There is a loophole, but this is still a step backward for Albion.

11. Pain Treatment: Millions Suffer Unnecessarily From Lack Of Medications, Human Rights Watch Says, Drug Control Part of the Problem

Human Rights Watch has issued a new report charging that millions of people around the world are suffering needlessly from treatable pain, and international drug control laws are part of the problem.

12. Weekly: This Week in History

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

13. Weekly: Blogging @ the Speakeasy

"Study: Drug Czar's Billion Dollar Anti-Drug Ad Campaign is a Failure," "Another Complete Failure From the Drug Czar," "Legalizing Marijuana Would Stop Growers From Destroying Our Forests," "Drug Cop Admits His Career Was Built Around Lies and Wrongful Convictions," "Police Steal Money from Elderly Medical Marijuana Patients," "Laser-Guided Missiles Aren't the Answer," "Travel Alert: Mexico Unsafe Thanks to War on Drugs."

14. Job Opportunities: Community Organizer, Director of VIP Relations, Marijuana Policy Project

The Marijuana Policy Project has job openings in Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

15. Job Opportunity: National Coordinator, Fair Sentencing of Children, Washington, DC

The Advisory Council for the Fair Sentencing of Children, a coalition of organizations working to ending the sentencing of juveniles to life without the possibility of parole in the United States, is hiring.

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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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