Drug War Chronicle #574 - February 27, 2009

1. Feature: End of an Era? No More DEA Raids on Medical Marijuana Dispensaries, US Attorney General Says

US Attorney General Eric Holder announced Wednesday that there would be no more DEA raids on medical marijuana dispensaries in states where it is legal. That is a huge victory, but the victory will not be complete as long as a single person remains in or threatened with federal prison for helping sick patients.

2. Feature: California Assemblyman Introduces Landmark Bill to Legalize, Tax, and Regulate Marijuana

For the first time since California criminalized marijuana in 1913, a bill has been introduced to regulate and tax its legal sale and production.

3. Law Enforcement: Belated Justice for Kathryn Johnston as Judge Sentences Atlanta Narcs Who Killed Her to Prison

The three Atlanta narcs whose phony drug raid ended with the death of a 92-year-old woman were sentenced to prison Tuesday. Has the Atlanta Police Department learned its lesson? The sentencing judge certainly hopes so.

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

A pair of cops turned thugs in St. Louis are jeopardizing a pile of drug convictions, a cop turned thug in Dallas will stay behind bars until trial, a Customs and Border Patrol officer heads to prison, and a Massachusetts town still can't find pot that went missing from its police department half a decade ago -- but it's trying.

5. Federal Budget: House 2009 Appropriations Bill Contains Even More Drug War Funding Increases... And a Slight Cut to Plan Colombia

Just a couple of weeks after dishing out a few billion dollars more for the drug war in the emergency stimulus bill, Congress is at it again in the 2009 omnibus appropriations bill. More money for Byrne JAG grants, more money for Plan Mexico, and just a tiny bit less for Plan Colombia.

6. Medical Marijuana: New Jersey Bill Passes State Senate

The New Jersey senate passed a medical marijuana bill Monday, and the governor said Wednesday he would "absolutely" sign it. But it has to get through the Assembly first.

7. Prohibition: Salvia Mania Sweeps State Legislatures as Bans Spread Across County

Salvia divinorum must be some pretty potent stuff. It's driving legislators loco all across the country as they insist on banning it simply because somebody, somewhere might get high on it.

8. Heroin Maintenance: Study Suggests Baltimore Could Be Ripe for a Pilot Program

Heroin maintenance programs in Switzerland and Germany have produced positive results there. Can it work in the US? Drug policy expert Peter Reuter looked at the prospects for Baltimore.

9. Public Opinion: Kellogg Reputation Takes a Hit Over Dumping Michael Phelps

Kellogg may have miscalculated when it dumped Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps after the infamous bong photo surfaced. Not only did it stir up a boycott from marijuana activists, it now looks like it's hurting the food giant's reputation.

10. South Asia: Indian Health Minister Calls for National Alcohol Prohibition

India's health minister wants to ban a dangerous drug... alcohol.

11. Weekly: This Week in History

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

12. Weekly: Blogging @ the Speakeasy

"Medical Marijuana Raids are Officially Over," "NJ Senate President Embarrasses Himself With Bad Pot Joke," "Colombia Threatens Obama With Cocaine Crisis if he Doesn't Give Them Money," "Kellogg's Stock Takes Big Hit After Phelps Bong Controversy," "Cops Going to Prison for Botched Drug Raid That Killed Elderly Woman," "Disabled Iraq Vet Loses Home Because of Marijuana Arrest," "Is a "Grow Your Own" Marijuana Policy Better Than Legalization?," "New Jersey Senate Approves Medical Marijuana Bill," "California Legislator Files 'Tax and Regulate' Marijuana Legalization Bill in Wake of Poll Showing Majority West Coast Support."

13. Job Opportunity I: Communications Director, Marijuana Policy Project, Las Vegas

The Marijuana Policy Project is seeking a Communications Director for its office in Las Vegas.

14. Job Opportunity II: Executive Director, Rhode Island Patient Advocacy Coalition, Providence, RI

The Rhode Island Patient Advocacy Coalition (RIPAC), a grassroots medical marijuana community of patients, caregivers, and advocates, is seeking an executive director to head its office in Providence.

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16. Students: Intern at StoptheDrugWar (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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