Drug War Chronicle #568 - January 16, 2009

1. Editorial: How Much Reality is Too Much?

For many politicians, any intelligent discussion about what the drug laws are actually doing to us is more reality than they can take. For others, the reality is too awful to not discuss.

2. Feature: Politics Trumps Science as DEA Rejects Researcher's Request to Grow Marijuana for FDA-Approved Studies

After years of delay and obstructionism, the DEA has finally acted on the request of a UMass researcher to grow marijuana for FDA-approved research. The response: Get lost!

3. Feature: Obama and Calderón Meet Amidst Rash of Dire Warnings on Mexican Drug Violence

President-elect Obama met with Mexican President Felipe Calderón on Monday. Mexico's drug wars were high on the agenda, but it seems unlikely, given Obama's list of pressing issues, that Mexico will get any higher priority than it has in recent years.

4. 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.

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

A Dallas deputy gets busted, so does a Sacramento jail doctor, and a crooked cop in Miami is headed for prison.

6. The Border: El Paso City Council Folds in Face of Threats, Reverses Call for National Debate on Drug Legalization

In the face of ominous warnings from US Rep. Silvestre Reyes and the city's state legislative delegation, the El Paso City Council has backed away from last week's resolution calling for a national debate on drug legalization. But some council members aren't too pleased with the heavy-handed interference.

7. Free Speech: Cop Smeared and Fired Over Decriminalization Advocacy Wins Big Settlement from Small Town

A Washington state cop who was smeared and fired because he was an outspoken advocate of drug law reform has won a big settlement.

8. The Drug Czar: Harm Reductionists, Treatment and Recovery Advocates Come Down on Different Sides of Rumored Ramstad Nomination

The drug reform movement is not a monolith, and the rumored nomination of former Minnesota congressman, recovering alcoholic, and recovery advocated Jim Ramstad is showing where some of the fissures lie. But with an acting director appointed this week from ONDCP's current ranks, and with Ramstad himself jockeying for a different post, the exercise may be an intellectual one.

9. Think Tanks: Substance Abuse Center "Join Together" Merges With Califano's Controversial CASA

The drug treatment and prevention group Join Together has joined together with the controversial National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA).

10. Marijuana: Washington State Decriminalization Bill Filed

A trio of Democratic Party state legislators filed a Washington state marijuana decriminalization bill Wednesday.

11. Canada: BC Supreme Court Rejects Challenge to Marijuana Law

Canadian marijuana reform advocates are not going to be able to use deficiencies in Canada's medical marijuana program to invalidate the broader pot law -- at least not in British Columbia.

12. Southeast Asia: Philippines President Names Herself Drug Czar, Orders Random Testing of All High School Students, More to Come

Philippines President Gloria Arroyo has named herself drug czar, declared war on drug traffickers, and started off by ordering the random drug testing of high school students. But she's just beginning.

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

"Another Chance to Pressure Obama for Drug Policy Reform," "If You Think Alcohol Should be Legal, You're an Alcoholic," "Marijuana Law Reform No Longer a Political Liability, It's a Political Opportunity," "Cop Fired for Supporting Marijuana Decriminalization, Wins $815,000 Settlement," "Supreme Court Strikes Another Small Blow Against Exclusionary Rule," "El Paso City Council Threatened With Funding Cuts for Proposing Drug Legalization Debate," "Ducking Drug War Questions at Change.gov," "Bush Appoints Interim Drug Czar," "DEA Blatantly Blocks Medical Marijuana Research."

15. 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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