Drug War Chronicle #558 - October 31, 2008

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

With the elections a few days from now, we reprint our review from four weeks ago of drug policy and sentencing reform initiatives going to the ballot in several different states.

2. Drug War Chronicle Video Review: "Prince of Pot: The US v. Marc Emery," Directed by Nick Wilson (2008, Journeyman Pictures)

"Prince of Pot: The US v. Marc Emery" is a new documentary on Canada's most famous marijuana activist. We review it this week.

3. Feature: Signature Gathering for 2010 Oregon Cannabis Tax Act Initiative Suspended, Poor Poll Results Cited

It's back to the drawing board for the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act. Initiative organizers have suspended signature-gathering in the face of weak support in initial polling.

4. Volunteers Needed: Phone Campaign in DC, Writers from Anywhere

StoptheDrugWar.org (DRCNet) is seeking volunteers in the DC area to help with our membership drive; and from anywhere to help with a writing-based project starting next month.

5. 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!

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

One cop offers bribes, one cop takes bribes, two cops take drugs and money. Just another week in the drug war.

7. Medical Marijuana: Montana Supreme Court Okays Use By Probationers, Parolees

Montana courts cannot bar medical marijuana patients from taking their medicine while on probation or parole, the state Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.

8. 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.

9. Europe: In Bid to Fend Off "Drug Tourists," Some Dutch Border Towns to Close Coffee Shops

Flooded with marijuana users from more repressive neighboring countries, some Dutch border town mayors are shutting down all their cannabis coffee shops. Other mayors are looking for a better solution.

10. Southwest Asia: US, UN Squabble Over Afghanistan Opium Production Drop, But Taliban Stash Suggests No Shortages Any Time Soon

Did Afghan opium production drop 6% this year or 31%? The US and the UN disagree, but it may be a moot point with the Taliban sitting on a huge stash that can be easily converted into a war chest.

11. Latin America: Mexico City to Decriminalize Marijuana Possession?

The head of the legislative assembly in Mexico's federal district (Mexico City) has introduced legislation that would decriminalize small-time marijuana possession and allow for the establishment of businesses to sell small amounts.

12. Latin America: US Drug Czar Supports Mexico Drug Decriminalization

Drug czar John Walters supports Mexico's drug decriminalization plan?!?! That's what he said last Friday, but there may be less to this than meets the eye.

13. Latin America: Citing Continuing Human Rights Violations, Amnesty International Urges US to Halt Military Aid to Colombia

Washington and Bogotá have both been talking up improvements in Colombia's human rights situation. But there is still plenty to be deeply concerned about, Amnesty International said in a report this week.

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

"Flex Your Rights Protests Random Searches in DC," "Telemarketers Refuse to Make 'Soft on Crime' Attacks Against Obama," "The Drug Czar Can't Stop Panicking About Medical Marijuana," "The Perfect Argument for Medical Marijuana in Michigan," "Corruption at the Top Levels of the Mexican Drug War," "Rumors of NYPD Sexually Assaulting a Marijuana Suspect," "Random Searches in Our Nation's Capital," "$5 Million to Catch One Drug Trafficker?," "Will Mexico's Drug War Violence Come to the US?," "'Economically, our Criminal Justice Policies are Cutting Our Throats'."

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.
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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