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Drug War Chronicle #563 - December 5, 2008

1. Feature: On the 75th Anniversary of the Repeal of Prohibition, Reformers Ponder the Past and Look to the Future

Alcohol Prohibition was repealed 75 years ago today. Are there lessons to be learned, and is it going to take another 75 years to end drug prohibition?

2. Feature: South Dakota Medical Marijuana Backers Take Aim at the Statehouse

South Dakota has the dubious distinction of being the only state to defeat an initiative that would legalize medical marijuana, but that's not stopping advocates there. They have a bill ready for the legislature; now all they need are some sponsors.

3. Fun Feature: Pictures from Alcohol Prohibition

Pictures from prohibition days -- enforcers, violators, activists -- courtesy the Hagley Museum and Library, a collection chronicling American enterprise and the legacy of the du Pont family, in Wilmington, Delaware.

4. Appeal: New Times Bring New Opportunities for Drug Policy Reform (DRCNet) is a nonpartisan organization, and no major party nominee for US President has yet supported enough of our mission to change that. Nevertheless, the views expressed in President-Elect Obama's books, speeches and campaign appearances are mostly positive, and enactment of them would make a major difference in drug policy and help many thousands of people. We need your help and your participation to fight this important fight at this time of opportunity.

5. Appeal: Tax-Deductible Donations Needed for's Educational Work (DRCNet) seeks tax deductible donations as year's end approaches for our educational programs -- especially our web site, on which readership continues to go up and up.

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

A big corruption bust in Chicago, an ugly story out of upstate New York, and a sticky-fingered narc in Michigan, plus a former Schenectady police chief cuts a deal and heads for prison.

7. Medical Marijuana: US Supreme Court Declines to Hear Challenge to Appeals Court Ruling Protecting State Medical Marijuana Laws

Last year, a California appeals court ruled that state and local police are not required to enforce federal drug laws. Now, the US Supreme Court has declined a chance to overturn that ruling.

8. Marijuana: "Substantial" Settlement in Lawsuit in Case of DC Quadriplegic Who Died in Jail While Serving 10-Day Sentence for a Joint

A callous DC judge sentenced wheelchair-bound Jonathan Magbie to 10 days in jail for marijuana possession after he told her he would keep using it to ease his ills. He died before he made it halfway through his sentence, and now, DC and a local hospital will have to pay out the nose for their sins.

9. Marijuana: Chicago Heights Decriminalizes

The Chicago suburb of Chicago Heights has decriminalized marijuana possession.

10. Europe: Swiss Vote to Make Heroin Prescription Permanent, But Reject Marijuana Legalization

Voters in Switzerland Sunday easily approved prescribing heroin to addicts, but rejected marijuana legalization.

11. Europe: Dutch Magic Mushroom Ban Clears Final Hurdle, Now In Effect

You can't sell or grow magic mushrooms in Holland anymore.

12. Death Penalty: Another Month of Drug War Extremism, and America's Hands Are Bloody

More people were executed for drug offenses or sentenced to death for them last month. American citizens might want to note the involvement of the US military or anti-drug agents in a pair of these cases.

13. Weekly: Blogging @ the Speakeasy

"DC Pays Dearly After Letting a Medical Marijuana Patient Die in Jail," "Not Arresting Marijuana Users is Too Confusing For Police," "Medical Marijuana Debate: MPP vs. ONDCP," "LEAP Celebrates the Repeal of Alcohol Prohibition," "Tainted Cocaine is a Consequence of Drug Prohibition," "Random Drug Testing Won't Save the Children From Heroin," "Swiss Voters Approve Heroin Prescriptions, But Reject Marijuana Decriminalization," "Police Use Newspaper Ads to Recruit Snitches."

14. Weekly: This Week in History

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

15. Job Opportunity: Communications Assistant, Marijuana Policy Project, Washington, DC

The Marijuana Policy Project is seeking a Communications Assistant for the organization's main office in Washington, DC.

16. Volunteers Needed: Phone Campaign in DC, Writers from Anywhere (DRCNet) is seeking volunteers in the DC area to help with our membership drive; and from anywhere to help with a writing-based project on which work has already begun.

17. Students: Intern at DRCNet and Help Stop the Drug War!

Apply for an internship at DRCNet for this spring (or summer), and you could spend the semester fighting the good fight!
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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