Drug War Chronicle #570 - January 30, 2009

1. Editorial: Sometimes a Drug Warrior is a Little Too Honest

Every now and then a drug warrior is a little too honest. That was the case this week for the UN's anti-drug chief, who claims the illegal drug trade propped up the global financial system in 2008. If he's right, doesn't that mean we should stop persecuting drug users or even most sellers -- since we seem to need their help to get by?

2. Feature: Prisons Under Pressure -- Corrections Budgets in the Age of Austerity

As governors and legislators ponder deflated budgets at statehouses around the country, opportunities are emerging to move forward on long-stalled prison, sentencing, and drug reform issues.

3. Feature: New Mexico Issues Regulations for Nonprofit Medical Marijuana Grows

When New Mexico passed a medical marijuana law in 2007, that law allowed for nonprofit entities to provide medical marijuana for qualified patients. Now, nearly a year and a half later, the state Department of Health has issued regulations for those nonprofits. It is progress, but not enough for some.

4. Prohibition: UN Drug Chief Says Black Market Drug Profits Propped Up Global Banking System Last Year

Let's hear it for the global drug trade! It's been propping up the international financial system, said Antonio Maria Costa, head of the UN Office on Drugs and crime.

5. Afghanistan: US Commander Orders NATO to Kill All Opium Dealers -- NATO Balks

The US general who commands NATO forces in Afghanistan wants to give NATO troops the authority to treat any drug traffickers as military targets. NATO is saying no, thanks.

6. Drug Testing: Chess Federation Caves, Ivanchuk Will Not Be Suspended

Faced with anger and ridicule over its drug testing policies, the World Chess Federation decided it didn't want to punish one of game's most popular figures for missing a drug test after all.

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

Another jail guard gets caught, a Michigan narc cops a plea, so does an Arizona cop, and a North Carolina deputy is going to prison.

8. ONDCP: Obama Appoints Edward Jurith Acting Drug Czar

President Obama has appointed a long-time federal drug war bureaucrat acting director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy. It feels more like stay the course than change for the better, at least for now.

9. Salvia Divinorum: Nebraska Man is Acquitted of Sales Charge, But the Plant is Under Continued Attack There and Elsewhere

A Nebraska man prosecuted for selling salvia -- even though it isn't illegal there -- has been acquitted, but moves to ban the psychedelic member of the mint family are ongoing across the land.

10. Drug Task Forces: House Passes Economic Stimulus Bill with Byrne Grant Funds Intact, Reform Advocates Mobilize

The House passed the economic stimulus bill Wednesday, including $3 billion for Byrne grants and $1 billion for COPS. But as the bill heads to the Senate, more than a dozen national organizations are calling for the funding to be cut -- and replaced by programs that will actually do some good.

11. Search and Seizure: US Supreme Court Okays Passenger Frisks During Traffic Stops

The US Supreme Court has chipped away at the Fourth Amendment yet again, this time in a case involving the frisking of passengers in vehicles stopped for traffic violations.

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

"How Not to Legalize Marijuana," "Obama Appoints Temporary Drug Czar," "Mexican Drug Cartels Dissolve Corpses in Vats of Acid," "The World's Smallest Marijuana Joint," "Norm Stamper is Awesome," "Matt Fogg is Awesome," "Ryan Frederick Trial," "Video: Drug Tourism in the Netherlands -- Is It Really Only the Problem of the Dutch?," "Video: SSDP and LEAP Talk Drug Legalization at El Paso City Council."

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

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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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