Drug War Chronicle #581 - April 17, 2009

1. Feature: Mexico's Congress Hosts Forum on Marijuana Regulation, Decriminalization

Is Mexico ready to decriminalize marijuana possession? The Mexican Congress devoted a three-day forum to the notion this week, even as Presidents Obama and Calderón met to plot a better drug war on the border.

2. Feature: ASA in Federal Appeals Court Seeking to Force Government to Correct Medical Marijuana Misinformation

The medical marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access argued in federal appeals court Tuesday that a federal law requires government agencies to make accurate, objective statements -- not misinformation -- when it comes to medical marijuana. But Obama administration lawyers disagree.

3. Appeal: It's Time to STOP Wasting Time, Money & Lives

With an economic crisis requiring sensible budget cuts, a Constitution-friendly administration and more people joining the drug policy reform movement than ever before, StoptheDrugWar.org has a unique opportunity to make our case.

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

More problems for the Philly narcs, another border guard goes down, so does a Puerto Rican husband and wife team, and a TSA guard gets popped. Just another week of drug-related law enforcement corruption.

5. Sentencing: Number of African Americans in Prison for Drugs Falling, Whites Increasing

A significant change in the impact of our drug policies may have occurred in the last few years. The number of African Americans doing time for drug charges is down, both percentage-wise and in raw numbers. Not so for whites.

6. Drug Raids: Michigan Student Shot in the Chest Over "Spoonsful" of Marijuana to Be Charged

A Michigan cop shot college student Derek Copp in the chest during a drug raid last month in which police seized only a small amount of marijuana (at least according to Copp's lawyer; the cops aren't talking). Now they're coming after him with drug possession charges.

7. Free Speech: Grand Jury Subpoenas Prominent Pain Relief Advocate Who Has Criticized the Prosecution of a Kansas Physician

The federal prosecutor going after Kansas physician Dr. Steven Schneider and his wife is now aiming at the couple's activist defenders as well. Siobhan Reynolds of the Pain Relief Network has been served a subpoena by a federal grand jury for obstruction of justice in the case, but vows not to cooperate.

8. ONDCP: Addiction Specialist Nominated as Assistant Drug Czar

The Obama administration has nominated a well-respected addiction researcher to be the number two man in the drug czar's office. Are we in for a bout of drug treatment now?

9. Latin America: Colombia's Uribe Seeks to Recriminalize Drug Possession

Drug possession has been legal in Colombia since 1994. But now, a teetotaling President Uribe wants to go back to the bad old days.

10. Latin America: Shining Path Kills 14 Soldiers in Peruvian Coca-Growing Area

Last August, the Peruvian government embarked on a campaign to regain control of one of the country's key coca-growing areas. It's not working out very well so far.

11. Southeast Asia: Vietnam Ponder Karaoke Bar Dance Ban in Bid to Slow Ecstasy Use

Dancing in karaoke clubs would be banned under a Vietnamese government effort to reduce Ecstasy use. "Behavior with less danger to society," such as swaying to the beat, however, would be okay.

12. The Movies: "American Violet" Film Opens Tonight, Tells the Story of the Hearne, Texas, Injustice

This new release from Samuel Goldwyn Films examines the true events that occurred in Hearne, Texas, to show how the drug laws and enforcement practices target African-Americans, and how the justice system often uses threats and intimidation to steer people toward guilty pleas, regardless of their innocence or the evidence against them.

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

"CU-Boulder Reminds Students to Have a Massive Pot Party on 4/20," "Obama Declares War on American Drug Users," "Obama Creates New 'Border Czar' Position, Cartel Leaders Laugh in Unison," "We'll Pay You $14 Billion to Legalize Marijuana," "In the Future, Opposing Legalization Will Be Political Suicide," "Mexican Ambassador Says Marijuana Legalization Should be Seriously Discussed," "FOX News Says Marijuana Activists are 'Internet Trolls.'"

15. Job Opportunity: Executive Director, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Washington, DC

Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) is seeking a responsible, proven leader committed to drug policy reform and grassroots activism to lead the organization with vision and confidence.

16. Job Opportunities: Development Officer, Nevada Communication Director, and Summer Internships, Marijuana Policy Project

The Marijuana Policy Project is hiring for several positions in Washington, DC and Nevada.

17. Job Opportunity: Policy Analyst/Content Editor, Common Sense for Drug Policy -- DRCNet Office in Washington, DC

Common Sense for Drug Policy is seeking an editorially-skilled individual to maintain and grow its network of web sites, including the in-depth online presentation on drug policy issues, DrugWarFacts.org.

18. Errata: 4/3/09 Danger of Drug Enforcement Story

Correction to 4/3/09 danger of drug enforcement story, and accompanying discussion.

19. Students: Intern at StoptheDrugWar (DRCNet) and Help Stop the Drug War!

Apply for an internship at DRCNet and you could spend a semester fighting the good fight!

20. 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.

1. Feature: Mexico's Congress Hosts Forum on Marijuana Regulation, Decriminalization

President Obama flew into Mexico City Thursday to, among other things, restate his support for the existing drug war paradigm as he reiterated his backing for Mexican President Felipe Calderón's bloody war against Mexico's wealthy, powerful, and violent drug trafficking organizations, the so-called cartels. It's too bad he didn't schedule his trip for a few days earlier, because then he could have seen a new drug policy paradigm being born.

Earlier in the week, the Mexican Congress held a three-day debate on the merits of decriminalizing the personal use of marijuana. The debate, known as the Forums on the Regulation of Cannabis in Mexico, brought together government officials, elected representatives, academics and experts in a lively discussion of Mexican marijuana policy.

Although Mexico is a socially conservative country, and marijuana use is popularly -- if unfairly -- associated with lower-class criminality, the blood-stained fall-out from President Calderón's war against the cartels is creating social and political space for reform discussions that would have been impossible a decade ago. Since Calderón unleashed the Mexican army against the cartels at the beginning of 2007, the death toll has climbed to more than 10,000, and the spectacular, exemplary violence has shocked Mexican society.

While President Calderón has proposed legislation that would offer pot smokers treatment instead of jail, Calderón and his ruling conservative National Action Party (PAN) have stopped short of calling for legalization or decriminalization. The left-leaning Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) supports decriminalization, while the smaller Social Democratic Party (PSD) has called for the decriminalization of the possession of all drugs.

In 2006, Calderón's predecessor, Vicente Fox, moved to pass decriminalization legislation. But he pulled the bill after being pressured by the US.

While Obama has not weighed in on marijuana legalization or decriminalization in Mexico, the DEA has. Either course would mark "a failure" of US and Mexican drug policy, DEA chief of intelligence Anthony Placido told El Universal Wednesday. "The legalization of marijuana in Mexico would create more misery and more addicts," he said. Nor would it weaken the cartels, he argued; instead, they would simply shift their attention to other illegal activities.

https://stopthedrugwar.org/files/mexicocitymarch-smaller.jpg
''Global Marijuana Day'' demonstration in Mexico City, May 2008
PSD Deputy Elsa Conde last year introduced three bills that would legalize medical marijuana, legalize hemp, and decriminalize marijuana possession, but the debate in Congress this week does not pertain to any particular piece of legislation. Instead, it lays the groundwork for future policy changes. Lawmakers have said they wanted to hear various viewpoints before considering any changes in the law.

Even the ruling PAN appears open to some sort of reform. "It's clear that a totally prohibitive policy has not been a solution for all ills," said Interior Department official Blanca Heredia. "At the same time, it's illusory to imagine that complete legalization of marijuana would be a panacea."

When it came to marijuana, said Heredia, neither total legalization nor prohibition should be the policy, but something in between. "Every new solution is necessarily partial," she said. "Every decision runs risks and brings with it new problems. We have to try to balance things carefully, to rigorously analyze the impact that different proposals would have on the drug market and the organized crime industry."

Javier González Garza, leader of the left-leaning Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) in the Chamber of Deputies, said that while he favored decriminalizing marijuana, the topic should be discussed separately from other types of drugs, such as cocaine, heroin, and the synthetics.

"What we don't want is the criminalization of our youth for consuming or carrying marijuana," said González. "That is the central point. If we made consuming or carrying marijuana a serious crime, there aren't enough jails in Mexico to hold everybody."

While the politicians talked politics, others took the discussion to loftier realms. Philosopher Rodolfo Vázquez Cardoso questioned whether it is ethically justifiable to criminalize the possession of drugs for personal use. He noted that while the theme of most discussion was the harmful effects of drug use, the central theme should instead be that of freedom.

"There is no legitimate objective of the judicial system to promote good living or virtue because that enters into conflict with the capacity of each individual to choose freely and rationally how to live his life and choose the ideals of virtue in accord with his own preferences," said Vázquez. Drug prohibition, he added, is based on "repressive paternalism" and violates the principle of personal autonomy.

For Ana Paula Hernández of the Angélica Foundation, human rights and the rule of law were key concerns. She cited the "unmeasured militarization of the country as a consequence of the war against organized crime" and warned that those most affected by the drug war were the poor peasant communities that were "the weakest link" of the drug production chain.

"These ideas about controlling prohibited drugs are innovative," said political scientist and drug policy expert Luis Astorga. "When it comes to drugs, we don't have to follow the path of the United States, which hasn't worked. We need to develop ideas and policies distinct from those of the US. We have a very good opportunity to do something independent, as they have in Europe and Canada," he said.

But Armando Patrón Vargas of the National Council Against Addiction in the Health Department said decriminalization wasn't necessary because Mexico doesn't criminalize drug addiction. "I don't see any urgent need to modify the status [of marijuana] and decriminalize use," he told the forum. The Mexican government guarantees treatment of addicts, he said, even if the investment in treatment is inadequate.

Dr. Humberto Brocca, a student of herbal and traditional medicine and a member of the pro-reform Grupo Cáñamo (Cannabis Group) told the forum it was time to end the prejudice and social stigma against pot smokers and urged legislators to be fearless in moving toward regulation "because fear is not a good advisor."

Brocca told the Chronicle Wednesday that while he did not expect quick change in the drug laws, the forum was a start. "It means that society is demanding some truth about important issues," he said.

Even the half-measure of decriminalization would make a big difference, he said. "It would take cannabis out of the criminal circuit and it would lower prices and guarantee good quality," Brocca said. "It would also remove cannabis from its role of rebellious banner for youth, thus making it less attractive for them. It would also help law enforcement to not waste its time on petty issues and focus on important ones, like going after the traffickers. And it would liberate the many people who currently serve time for nothing."

Mexico's lawmakers have had their chance to discuss marijuana law reform. Now it is time to craft and pass the necessary legislation to put those reforms in place. But with mid-term elections coming up in a couple of months, little is likely to happen before then.

back to top

2. Feature: ASA in Federal Appeals Court Seeking to Force Government to Correct Medical Marijuana Misinformation

The medical marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access (ASA) was in federal appeals court Tuesday arguing that it and its members had the right to force the federal government to correct inaccurate statements about the therapeutic properties of marijuana. Lawyers for the Obama administration opposed them.

In 2004, ASA filed a petition under the Data Quality Act seeking to force the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to correct its statements that marijuana has no accepted medical use in the United States. The Data Quality Act requires federal government agencies to use reliable science when making regulations and disseminating information.

After two years of delays, HHS rejected ASA's petition. The group then filed suit in federal district court to force HHS to comply, but the trial judge threw out the lawsuit, finding that the act did not provide for judicial review. ASA then appealed to the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, which is where Tuesday's hearing took place.

"The science to support medical marijuana is overwhelming," said ASA executive director Steph Sherer. "It's time for the federal government to acknowledge the efficacy of medical marijuana and stop holding science hostage to politics."

The Obama administration has vowed to make science -- not ideology -- the basis for federal government policies. On March 9, President Obama issued a memorandum to all executive department and agency heads saying: "The public must be able to trust the science and scientific process informing public policy decisions," and calling for "transparency in the preparation, identification, and use of scientific and technological information in policymaking."

But it had other concerns last Tuesday, when Justice Department lawyers argued against ASA in court. Assistant US Attorney Alisa Klein told a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit that the law allowing private citizens to seek correction of government information had "no judicially enforceable rights" and that it requires only that agencies review such requests -- not that they act on them. Otherwise, she said, the courts would be swamped with requests to second-guess government decisions on a multitude of subjects.

The government's position would make the law meaningless, retorted Alan Morrison, founder of Public Citizen's Litigation Group, who argued the case along with ASA chief counsel Joe Elford. While some disputes are too subjective for courts to intervene, others can be measured objectively. "Two plus two is four, not five," Morrison noted. The law provides judges a role in keeping the government honest, he added.

Members of the three-judge panel seemed torn. "The statute is amazing and troubling," said Judge Marsha Berzon. But she told Klein that the law appears to allow people affected by government misinformation to get it corrected, under court order if necessary.

"The case before the 9th Circuit is about the right of private parties to seek action to challenge the government's dissemination of false information," said ASA spokesman Kris Hermes. "When HHS says on its web site that there is no currently accepted medical use of marijuana in the US, we and our members suffer by having to counter that disinformation. We have to educate the public, public officials, physicians, and lawyers on the reality of medical marijuana, and we are using that as giving us standing for the lawsuit."

ASA executive director Sherer herself claims to have suffered from government misinformation. In the group's brief to the appeals court, it relates how Sherer rejected medical marijuana as a treatment for her condition based on government statements it had no medical value. Only after suffering serious side effects from conventional medications and at her physician's urging did she finally try medical marijuana, and then found it brought her relief.

"Our aim is to correct the misinformation that the federal government is disseminating about medical marijuana, specifically that marijuana has no medicinal value," said ASA spokesman Kris Hermes. "We are using an administrative mechanism -- the Data Quality Act -- in order to achieve that, but the government has so far refused to respond substantively to our petition."

A victory at the 9th Circuit would mean that the ASA lawsuit could move forward. That would most likely mean the case would be remanded back to district court to force the federal government to issue a substantive response to the ASA petition.

"If they agree their information is inaccurate and not based on scientific evidence, they would simply correct the statements they are making," said Hermes. "But if they do not choose to admit that they are disseminating unscientific information, we may have to challenge them on the merits again in district court," he said.

While an eventual victory in the case would have no immediate impact on federal medical marijuana policy, said Hermes, it could help lay the foundations for moving marijuana off Schedule I as a dangerous drug with no accepted medical use. "That could be the first domino in a series of falling dominos that will affect federal policy," he said.

The 9th Circuit is now considering the case.

back to top

3. Appeal: It's Time to STOP Wasting Time, Money & Lives

https://stopthedrugwar.org/files/changingminds09-email.jpg
Dear friend of drug law reform:

We have an historic opportunity to change drug policy right now because three major events are happening simultaneously.

I'll explain that in a moment, but first I want to ASK for your support at this important time.

Your membership in StoptheDrugWar.org will enable us to reach people in communities all across our nation and the world. I encourage you to join us today as we launch our exciting new 2009 "Changing Minds, Laws & Lives" campaign.

Now... here are the three converging events that have us so optimistic about 2009:

First, the Obama administration is doing a pretty good job of following through on its campaign promises for drug law reform — not perfect, but pretty good. Second, the economic crisis is forcing all government agencies — including correctional systems — to rethink their financial priorities. And third, we keep breaking visitor records at StoptheDrugWar.org. As the world's #1 source for news, information and activism promoting sensible drug law reform, we know that the more visitors we get, the more we're building the anti-prohibition movement.

Your participation at this point in history is very important, and I'd like to send you some free gifts to show our appreciation.

For a contribution of $36, you can choose either of our new StoptheDrugWar.org T-shirts pictured above — "Prohibition Doesn't Work" or "STOP" (click for an enlarged view). For a gift of $60 or more, you get both shirts. And for a contribution of $100 or more, you also get your choice of any single item from the StoptheDrugWar.org inventory.

Your membership today will make an immediate impact by helping StoptheDrugWar.org (DRCNet):

  • Produce more internet videos like "SWAT Raids -- No One is Safe" and fund more actions like our upcoming News Rewriting Project.
  • Grow the groundswell for change by helping grassroots organizations — our movement's "boots on the ground" — reach out to more people.
  • Pressure the Obama Administration to make good on all of its promises and lobby Congress to make smart funding choices by providing the truth about the Drug War.
  • Break more records*! With each improvement to our web site, we become an even more powerful resource for anyone (including media and politicians) to find information about the Drug War.

What you and I and our friends are doing together is working. We can't back off now. By taking advantage of the opportunity we have during this pro-reform climate, we can change minds, change laws and, most importantly, change good people's lives.

Thank you very much,

David Borden
Executive Director, StoptheDrugWar.org (DRCNet)

P.S. It's time to stop wasting time, money and good people's lives. Please join us in "Changing Minds, Laws & Lives" by adding your support to StoptheDrugWar.org while we have this unique opportunity. Thank you!

* We set yet another record for online visitors in March — 235,000 — in a long line of record-breaking months these past two years.

back to top

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

More problems for the Philly narcs, another border guard goes down, so does a Puerto Rican husband and wife team, and a TSA guard gets popped. Just another week of drug-related law enforcement corruption. Let's get to it:

In Philadelphia, two more Philly PD narcotics officers have been placed on desk duty as FBI and local investigators look into allegations of misconduct. Officers Robert McDonnell and Richard Cujdik, both veterans of the Narcotics Field Unit, retain their department-issued weapons and police powers, but have been taken off the streets. Cujdik is the brother of Officer Jeffrey Cujdik, whose falsification of search warrant affidavits set off an investigation into the unit. That investigation broadened after the Philadelphia Daily News reported accusations by at least 15 convenience store owners that they had been raided, their surveillance cameras disabled, and food, drinks, cigarettes and cash stolen by the dope squad, which then arrested them for selling small plastic baggies. Richard Cujdik led a September 11, 2007, raid on a convenience store, part of which was captured on a hard drive after the officers disabled the surveillance equipment. Cujdik was shown searching the owner's van without a search warrant. The store owner said $10,000 was taken in the raid, but police paperwork documented seizing only $875. McConnell is suspected of collaborating with Jeffrey Cujdik in falsifying search warrants.

In Palm Bay, Florida, a Transportation Security Administration security officer was arrested April 8 on charges he dealt in drugs and guns. Officer Timothy Monroe was being held on $750,000 bond after being arrested as police raided his home, seizing drugs, guns and "piles of cash." Police found marijuana and enough cocaine to trigger a federal trafficking probe, "bags and bags" of marijuana, a variety of firearms and "loads" of ammunition. Monroe quit his TSA gig last Thursday.

In Brownsville, Texas, a US Customs and Border Protection officer pleaded guilty Monday to bribery, alien smuggling, and drug trafficking charges. Sergio Hernandez, 40, has been jailed since he was arrested January 28. Hernandez admitted letting cars carrying contraband drugs or people pass through his lane as he inspected incoming traffic on the Free Trade Bridge at Los Indio between June 2008 and January. Hernandez, a full-service corrupt border official, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to bring illegal immigrants into the US for private financial gain, accepting bribes to do so, as well as conspiring to possess with intent to distribute 15 kilograms of cocaine, and accepting $150,000 in bribes to do so. As part of his plea deal, he also forfeited $85,520 in cash seized from his home after his arrest.

In San Juan, Puerto Rico, a husband and wife police team pleaded guilty Monday to federal drug trafficking charges. Jose Garcia and Jacqueline Torres Cruz were indicted by a US grand jury in February along with two other police officers in the 2007 robbery of a drug dealer. According to prosecutors, the couple conspired to rob the dealer and sell 18 pounds of cocaine themselves. Prosecutors are recommending seven years for Garcia and four for his wife.

back to top

5. Sentencing: Number of African Americans in Prison for Drugs Falling, Whites Increasing

The number of African Americans behind bars for drug offenses dropped dramatically from 1999 to 2005, while the number of white drug war prisoners has increased, according to a report released Tuesday. That is a "potentially significant change" in the outcomes of drug policies, said the report's author.

https://stopthedrugwar.org/files/prison-overcrowding-smaller.jpg
still too many people in prison notwithstanding
The report, The Changing Racial Dynamics of the War on Drugs, was written by Sentencing Project executive director Marc Mauer. It relied on official numbers from the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics.

According to the report, in 1999, 145,000 blacks were doing time in state prisons for drug offenses; by 2005, that number had declined by 22% to 113,500. At the same time, the number of white drug war prisoners jumped 43%, from 50,000 in 1999 to more than 72,000 in 2005. The number of Hispanics doing time for drugs in state prisons remained constant at about 51,000.

The decline in the number and percentage of black drug war prisoners is the first since the crackdown on crack during the lock-'em-up Reagan years of the mid-1980s. But while the decline is significant, blacks remain imprisoned on drug charges at a disproportionate rate. They made up 45% of state drug prisoners in 2005, down from 58% in 1999, but still far in excess of their percentage of the overall and drug-using populations, about 12%.

The report examined the reasons behind the decrease in black drug prisoners and the increase in white drug prisoners and arrived at some tentative conclusions. It found that blacks made up a declining percentage of all non-marijuana drug arrests and accounted for a declining number of drug convictions during the period in question.

The reasons for the declines in black drug arrests, convictions, and imprisonment lie in the rise and fall of crack cocaine and the increasing resort to drug courts and other diversionary programs, the report suggested. With crack use falling off after its harms became apparent, and with crack sellers shifting from open air markets to indoor sales, the number of African-Americans arrested for crack offenses is declining. Similarly, the report suggests that the increase in whites imprisoned on drug charges may be partially attributable to the rise of methamphetamine in the past decade.

back to top

6. Drug Raids: Michigan Student Shot in the Chest Over "Spoonsful" of Marijuana to Be Charged

Derek Copp, the 20-year-old Grand Valley State University student who was shot in the chest during a March 11 drug raid on his Allendale, Michigan, apartment, will be charged with an unspecified drug possession offense. The Ottawa County prosecutor's office has authorized an arrest warrant, said Copp's attorney Fred Dilley.

While a Western Michigan Enforcement Team (WMET), a multi-jurisdictional anti-drug task force, raided Copp's apartment in search of evidence of drug dealing, authorities have never said exactly what -- if anything -- was recovered in the raid. Copp's attorney said early on after the raid that all that was found was a few "spoonsful" of marijuana.

Copp was not armed. He was shot once by Ottawa County Sheriff's Deputy Ryan Huizenga, a WMET member and member of the SWAT team, as Huizenga came through a glass door into the apartment and encountered Copp.

Huizenga has now been charged with a misdemeanor -- careless discharge of a firearm -- and was arraigned Monday. He was first put on unpaid leave, but has now been returned to the job to perform administrative duties by the sheriff's office, which said he was reinstated because it would take a long time for the case to be heard.

The shooting of Copp led to angry protests by college students and others in the area, as well as calls for an investigation by university officials and local newspaper editorial pages. An investigation is being done, but it is being conducted by the Michigan State Police, which partners with WMET.

back to top

7. Free Speech: Grand Jury Subpoenas Prominent Pain Relief Advocate Who Has Criticized the Prosecution of a Kansas Physician

Siobhan Reynolds, head of the pain patient and doctor advocacy group the Pain Relief Network, has been targeted for a grand jury investigation of obstruction of justice for her role in supporting a Kansas physician and his wife in their legal battle against federal prosecutors who accuse them of unlawfully prescribing pain relief medications at their clinic.

https://stopthedrugwar.org/files/siobhanreynolds.jpg
Siobhan Reynolds at 2004 Congressional briefing
Reynolds, a tireless activist for the cause of adequately treating chronic pain, publicly questioned the government's case against Steve and Linda Schneider and worked to support their defense. That must have aroused the ire of Assistant US Attorney Tanya Treadway, who is prosecuting the case, because this isn't the first time Treadway has tried to shut Reynolds up.

Last July, Treadway sought a gag order barring Reynolds and the Schneiders from talking to the press and another order barring Reynolds from talking to "victims" and witnesses in the case. The judge hearing the case, US District Court Judge Monti Belot, denied that motion to stifle dissent.

At the time, Treadway said in court documents that Reynolds had a "sycophantic or parasitic relationship" with the Schneiders and alleged that she was using the case to further the Pain Relief Network's political agenda and her own personal interests. Reynolds and the Pain Relief Network advocate against federal prosecutions of pain relief doctors, whom they see as victims of overzealous federal prosecutors and DEA agents who know little about proper medical care standards.

Now, Treadway is at it again. In a subpoena made available to the Associated Press, she demands that Reynolds turn over all correspondence with attorneys, patients, Schneider family members, doctors, and others related to the Schneider case. She also demands that Reynolds turn over bank and credit card statements showing payments to or from clinic employees, patients, potential witnesses and others.

The feisty Reynolds has no intention of complying. Instead, she has filed a motion seeking to throw out the grand jury subpoena. In that motion, she argues that forcing her to turn over such information would destroy her work as a political activist and violate her First Amendment rights to free speech and association.

She told the AP she would go to jail before turning over any documents. "This is an attempt to silence and intimidate me. I am going to fight it as far as I need to," she said. "If I were to give in here, lawful advocacy against the United States in court will effectively be brought to an end. So... a lot is at stake here."

back to top

8. ONDCP: Addiction Specialist Nominated as Assistant Drug Czar

The Obama administration announced last Friday it was naming a prominent addiction specialist to the number two post at the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), widely known as the drug czar's office. If confirmed by the Senate, University of Pennsylvania psychologist A. Thomas McLellan would be deputy director of ONDCP.

McLellan would serve under former Seattle police chief and yet-to-be-confirmed director of ONDCP, Gil Kerlikowske. The nominations of Kerlikowske, a progressive police executive not overtly hostile to drug law reform, and McLellan, a well-respected scientist and researcher, suggest that the Obama administration is moving away from the politicized and ideologically-driven ONDCP of the Bush years.

McLellan is considered a leading researcher on a broad range of issues related to addiction. Working at the Veterans Administration in the 1980s, he developed the addiction severity index and the treatment services review, two measures that characterized multiple dimensions of substance use. He later worked with the state of Delaware to tie payment for treatment at state-funded centers to predetermined measures of success.

In 1992, McLellan co-founded the Treatment Research Institute to study how to transform promising research findings into clinical practice. He is editor in chief of the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, and has published some 400 articles on various facets of addiction and treatment.

One of those was a groundbreaking 2000 article comparing drug addiction to other chronic medical conditions. In it, he urged consistent application of the disease model, noting that if diabetes patients relapsed after treatment, doctors would conclude that intervention had worked and more treatment was needed.

Drug addiction should be treated no differently, he suggested: "In contrast, relapse to drug or alcohol use following discharge from addiction treatment has been considered evidence of treatment failure," he wrote.

For those who view the disease model of addiction, humanely applied, as an improvement over arresting and imprisoning drug users, the McLellan nomination signals real potential progress. But for those who view the disease model as less an analog than a fuzzy metaphor, the nomination could signal the expansion of the therapeutic state in the name of our own good.

back to top

9. Latin America: Colombia's Uribe Seeks to Recriminalize Drug Possession

Since a 1994 Colombian Supreme Court ruling that held criminalizing drug users violated their privacy and autonomy, drug possession has not been a crime in Colombia. But President Álvaro Uribe -- personal abstainer, ally of the US, and recipient of billions in US anti-drug assistance -- tried to recriminalize drug possession during the 2006 presidential election campaign, and now, the Global Post reported earlier this month, he's trying it again.

Under that 1994 ruling, adults may possess up to 20 grams of marijuana, two grams of Ecstasy, and one gram of heroin or cocaine in the privacy of their own homes. It is not, however, a get out of jail free card. In practice, Colombian police are known to charge simple drug possessors with intending to distribute drugs.

Still, the law provides some protections to drug users, and users are mobilizing to defeat the rollback effort. At a recent demonstration outside the presidential palace, pot smoke wafted through the air as protestors made their opposition clear.

"Taking drugs is a private matter," said Daniel Pacheco, 27, a Colombian journalist who helped organize the march. "There are a lot more important things that the government should be concerned about."

https://stopthedrugwar.org/files/alvarouribe.jpg
Álvaro Uribe Vélez
Not for Uribe, whose plan for recriminalization envisions drug users arrested and fined or sent to drug treatment -- or jail if they persist in their bad habits. Not only does the politics of recriminalization appeal to Uribe's conservative base in a country where the Roman Catholic Church remains powerful, it is also consistent with Colombia's hard-line fight with the drug trade.

"It's not right for the country to have this ethical contradiction of being severe when it comes to drug production and smuggling, but totally lax and permissive when it comes to consumption," Uribe said in a speech in February.

Still, it is unclear whether even his own administration supports the move. Attorney General Mario Igaurán said recently that the government should focus on high-level drug traffickers rather than worrying about what people do in the privacy of their own homes. And health experts question whether the measure will be effective in getting people into treatment or having success with coerced treatment.

Uribe and his hard-line stance on drugs are increasingly isolated in Latin America. With Peru, Ecuador, and Brazil relaxing some drug laws in recent years, with Argentina threatening to decriminalize drug possession, and with the Mexican Congress this week hosting a debate on legalization, Uribe seems the committed contrarian, marching boldly backward into the dark days of the 20th Century.

back to top

10. Latin America: Shining Path Kills 14 Soldiers in Peruvian Coca-Growing Area

Leftist guerrillas of the Shining Path killed 14 Peruvian soldiers in a pair of ambushes in Ayacucho province, in the remote and rugged coca-growing region of the VRAE (Apurímac and Ene River valleys) last week, and they are vowing to do it again. Last week's attack on the military was the deadliest since last October, when 13 soldiers and two civilians were killed in an ambush of a military convoy in neighboring Huancavelica province.

https://stopthedrugwar.org/files/apurimacvalley.jpg
difficult country for terrorist hunting
The Shining Path originated in Ayacucho province as a revolutionary Maoist movement with roots going back to the 1960s. In the 1980s, in an all-out bid for power, the Shining Path battled government forces in a ruthless insurgency and counterinsurgency that left 70,000 Peruvians dead before the group's founder and leader, Abimael Guzmán, was captured in 1992.

At its height, the Shining Path fielded 10,000 men, with countless thousands of supporters providing infrastructure, but today its numbers of armed combatants are estimated to be between 300 and 500. It is widely held that the group has largely shed its ideology and settled in to a life as a criminal drug trafficking organization. But it can still talk the talk.

"We will fight militarily those who defend imperialism and the government, and they are the armed forces and the police," Victor Quispe Palomino, who identified himself by his rebel name, Comrade José, said in a call to a radio station, Reuters reported.

The ambushes and threats are the group's strongest response yet to a Peruvian government effort to retake control of the VRAE, where some 40,000 families earn a living from coca fields. Since that effort got underway last August, at least 33 soldiers have been killed.

The move in the VRAE is part and parcel of President Alan García's broader effort to suppress coca production through eradication programs backed by the US. The world's second largest coca producer, Peru receives funds from the US for its eradication programs. García's plan also includes building schools and hospitals in remote towns, but it seems the army has a greater presence than the government's development teams.

But the Shining Path is also showing signs of deep pockets. Like the Taliban in Afghanistan, it is profiting from prohibition, and the results can be deadly, said critics of García's program. "The Shining Path is using more and more fire power in each attack," Fernando Rospigliosi, a former interior minister, told RPP Radio in Lima. "The plan has not produced results and the government keeps on insisting on the wrong strategy."

The situation was "unacceptable," said ex-Army chief Edwin Donayre. "There are principles applicable to conventional warfare that do not suffice for non-conventional war," he told RPP. "We have zero results so we need to reconfigure our strategy."

But President García is talking tough. "The terrorists won't hold us back," García said. "Our armed forces are trained to smash them."

back to top

11. Southeast Asia: Vietnam Ponder Karaoke Bar Dance Ban in Bid to Slow Ecstasy Use

The Vietnamese government is floating the idea of banning dancing at karaoke bars in a bid to limit the use of Ecstasy. The move is the latest effort to clamp down on drug use at the popular singing spots.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism posted the proposed ban and sought public comment on the measure. The government banned alcohol at such establishments in 2006, a year after it stopped granting new licenses for bars, karaoke clubs, and dance halls. The venues are often used for drugs and prostitution, authorities said.

"The function of karaoke bars is for singing, not for dancing. The ban for dancing in karaoke bars is to limit the use of ecstasy pills," Thanh Nien newspaper quoted Le Anh Tuyen, head of the ministry's legal department, as saying. Tuyen added that any dancing in a karaoke bar would violate the ban, but "behavior with less danger to society," such as simply moving to the beat of a song, would not be punished.

Residents interviewed by VNExpress didn't seem overly impressed by the proposal. "Who can monitor, and who can define what is called dancing," the news web site quoted one resident, Nhu Dan, as saying.

For Thu Hong, visiting karaoke bars was a stress-reliever. "It will be boring if you enter a karaoke bar, sitting in one place to sing songs," Hong said.

back to top

12. The Movies: "American Violet" Film Opens Tonight, Tells the Story of the Hearne, Texas, Injustice

announcement from Samuel Goldwyn Films

On April 17, Samuel Goldwyn Films will release American Violet, a new film based on true events that occurred in the small Texas town of Hearne. The film examines how drug laws and enforcement practices target African-Americans, and, how the justice system uses threats and intimidation to steer them towards guilty pleas, regardless of their innocence or the evidence against them. As the film points out, more than 95% of criminal convictions in this country are the result of plea-bargains, not jury trials. While the film is based on a specific case, the story it represents is hardly unique or isolated, and, the film's release presents an exceptional opportunity to explore how the drug war has become the new Jim Crow.

American Violet is inspired by the real life story of Regina Kelly, an African-American, single mother of four girls who was arrested in 2000 in a military-style drug raid. The raid resulted in the arrest of nearly 15% of the town's young black male population for felony cocaine distribution.

Kelly was innocent. Her name, along with the names of many others arrested (nearly all African-American), were given to police by a single, highly unreliable informant with personal reasons to antagonize her. Despite Kelly's innocence, she was urged to plead guilty by her family and even her public defender so that she could return to her children and receive a minimal sentence. A felony conviction, however, would have resulted in the loss of her right to vote and the public assistance programs on which her family depended, not to mention the tainting of her personal reputation and her ability to obtain employment. She chose to maintain her plea of not guilty. The ACLU Drug Law Reform Project came on board to represent her.

In American Violet, Kelly's on-screen character is named Dee Roberts (played by newcomer Nicole Beharie) and the ACLU lawyer in the film is played by Tim Blake Nelson. Alfre Woodard, Charles Dutton, Will Patton, Michael O'Keefe and Xzibit also star. The town of Melody and certain other characters and events are fictitious.

Eventually, the charges against Kelly were dropped (as were the charges against most of the others arrested in the same drug raid due to the same informant's lack of credibility). Yet, she was separated from her children while she was incarcerated, shamed in her small community by being labeled a drug dealer, fired from her job, and had difficulty obtaining employment thereafter; in short, her life was torn apart due to her arrest and her time in jail. Graham Boyd, Director of the ACLU Drug Law Reform Project represented her in a lawsuit against the county and the District Attorney (among other parties), for damages, which resulted in a settlement.

More importantly, the case resulted in a change in Texas law, whereby now, cases cannot be prosecuted based solely on the claims of a single informant.

Visit http://schedule.samuelgoldwynfilms.com/films/american+violet/ for a list of cities where the movie is opening.

back to top

13. Weekly: This Week in History

April 19, 1943: Albert Hoffman takes the first dose of LSD, in Basel, Switzerland.

April 23, 1998: The Ottawa Citizen reports that Canadians who tell US border officials the truth about their past use of marijuana will be denied entry to America indefinitely.

April 18, 2001: Kenneth Hayes and Michael Foley are acquitted by a Sonoma County, California jury on charges of cultivating and possessing marijuana. The two were arrested for growing 899 marijuana plants for the 1,200 members of a San Francisco medical marijuana club called CHAMP (Cannabis Helping Alleviate Medical Problems).

April 20, 2001: American Christian missionary Veronica Bowers and her seven month-old daughter, Charity, are killed when their small plane is shot out of the sky by a Peruvian military jet as part of a CIA-backed program that patrols the Amazon Basin for drug couriers. The Senate Intelligence Committee investigates and concludes the missionary pilot did nothing wrong and should not have come under fire.

April 17, 2002: While under the influence of amphetamines issued to them by the US government in order to stay awake during the mission, two US pilots mistakenly drop a bomb that kills four Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan. The Air Force-issued "go pills" may have impaired the pilots' judgment, says David Beck, lawyer for Maj. William Umbach, adding that the pilots were given antidepressants upon returning from their mission. "The Air Force has a problem. They have administered 'go pills' to soldiers that the manufacturers have stated affect performance and judgment," Beck said.

April 20, 2002: Robin Prosser of Missoula, Montana begins a hunger strike demanding access to government grown marijuana to help her treat symptoms of Lupus. Prosser says that marijuana helps combat the illness and relieves her pain and stress.

April 21, 2004: US Circuit Court Judge Jeremy Fogel bars the US Dept. of Justice from interfering with Mike and Valerie Corral, heads of a medical marijuana hospice near Santa Cruz, California, with their 250 patients, or with their marijuana garden. Judge Fogel cites Raich v. Ashcroft, a 2004 Ninth Circuit decision which found the federal government has no jurisdiction over patients who grow their own plants.

April 22, 2004: The Pacific edition of the magazine Stars and Stripes reports that twenty sailors assigned to Commander, Naval Forces Marianas (Guam) were arrested on drug-related charges since late 2003 alone.

back to top

14. Weekly: Blogging @ the Speakeasy

Along with our weekly in-depth Chronicle reporting, DRCNet also provides daily content in the way of blogging in the Stop the Drug War Speakeasy -- huge numbers of people have been reading it recently -- as well as Latest News links (upper right-hand corner of most web pages), event listings (lower right-hand corner) and other info. Check out DRCNet every day to stay on top of the drug reform game! Check out the Speakeasy main page at http://stopthedrugwar.org/speakeasy.

https://stopthedrugwar.org/files/dc-beer-raid-small.jpg
prohibition-era beer raid, Washington, DC (Library of Congress)

Since last issue:

Scott Morgan writes: "CU-Boulder Reminds Students to Have a Massive Pot Party on 4/20," "Obama Declares War on American Drug Users," "Obama Creates New 'Border Czar' Position, Cartel Leaders Laugh in Unison," "We'll Pay You $14 Billion to Legalize Marijuana," "In the Future, Opposing Legalization Will Be Political Suicide," "Mexican Ambassador Says Marijuana Legalization Should be Seriously Discussed," and "FOX News Says Marijuana Activists are 'Internet Trolls.'"

David Guard posts numerous press releases, action alerts and other organizational announcements in the In the Trenches blog.

Please join us in the Reader Blogs too.

Again, http://stopthedrugwar.org/speakeasy is the online place to stay in the loop for the fight to stop the war on drugs. Thanks for reading, and writing...

back to top

15. Job Opportunity: Executive Director, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Washington, DC

Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) is seeking a responsible, proven leader committed to drug policy reform and grassroots activism to lead the organization with vision and confidence.

Students for Sensible Drug Policy, a grassroots political advocacy organization with a member network of thousands and a national staff of six, is seeking a highly motivated, well-organized individual to help promote alternatives to the failed War on Drugs. This is a full-time position that is ideal for a person with prior experience in management, fundraising, and campaign development. This position is based in Washington, DC. However, the option of working out of our San Francisco, CA office will be considered on an individual basis.

The responsibility of the Executive Director is to oversee the day-to-day operations of the organization. Specifically, the Executive Director sets the direction of the organization in terms of objectives, strategies, and tactics and ensures the organization has the human and monetary resources to meet its mission.

To that end, the Executive Director will plan and implement programs consistent with the vision, values, and mission of the organization; manage the organization's staff, including the evaluation, termination, and employment of staff as necessary; raise funds to sustain and strengthen the organization and oversee the organization's finances; cultivate relationships with organizations and individuals with similar objectives, strategies, and tactics; serve as the spokesperson for the organization; and assist the Board of Directors in developing the vision and values of the organization.

A qualified applicant will have a track record of proven and responsible leadership. He or she will have concise and cogent writing skills, as well as pay close attention to detail. The applicant will communicate orally with comfort and conviction and will be a successful public speaker. The ability to be assertive is a must as is comfort working with people of all ages, especially youth. A qualified candidate will be a self-starter who's creative in developing strategies and tactics. A demonstrated dedication to reform of drug laws and policies is valuable, but not necessary, as is a smart, savvy political sense. There is no required minimum number of years of work experience; however, this is not an entry-level position. We are asking for a three year commitment for this position. The Executive Director manages three outreach directors, a field director, and an alumni director, and reports to the Board of Directors. Salary is commensurate with experience, minimum $40,000. Benefits include health care.

Visit http://www.ssdp.org/jobs for more information about SSDP or this position. The application deadline is May 8, 2009, and the position starts Summer 2009 in Washington, DC.

Interested applicants should fill out the webform at http://www.ssdp.org/careers.php?details=1&jobID=4 where you will be asked to upload a one-page cover letter and one- or two-page resume. In your cover letter, please indicate (1) how you learned about SSDP's job opening; (2) why you are interested in working with SSDP; (3) why you think this particular position is a good fit for you; (4) what experience you have in student organizing or drug policy reform work; and (5) what experience you have in management, fundraising, and campaign development. Feel free to include any additional information you deem relevant, such as writing samples or references.

Students for Sensible Drug Policy is a national network of youth committed to an open, honest, and inclusive dialogue on alternatives to our country's approach to drug use, abuse, and addiction. Through youth involvement in the political process, we work to reform drug laws and policies that adversely affect youth and their access to education.

Students for Sensible Drug Policy is an equal opportunity employer. SSDP has a strong commitment to diversity and, as such, women, people of color, LGBT individuals, and individuals who have been directly affected by the Drug War are encouraged to apply.

SSDP's office in Washington, DC is located near Dupont Circle (on the Red Line of the Metro) and the San Francisco office is based in Bayview, which is accessible by MUNI. SSDP has a fun, professional work environment.

back to top

16. Job Opportunities: Development Officer, Nevada Communication Director, and Summer Internships, Marijuana Policy Project

The Marijuana Policy Project is hiring for several positions:

Development Officer: The Development Officer plays a key role in MPP's Membership Department -- developing and maintaining strong relationships with 30-50 assigned major donors and prospective donors, conducting donor and prospect research, and coordinating various revenue-generating programs. Strong proficiency with Excel is required.

Nevada Communications Director: The Communications Director is responsible for maximizing the level of public support for ending marijuana prohibition in Nevada. The position requires excellent oral and written communications skills; experience doing radio and print interviews; and an understanding of politics and public policy. The ideal applicant would have experience doing public relations for political campaigns, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and/or corporations.

Summer Internships: Summer interns work in MPP's State Policies and Federal Policies departments. These are unpaid, part-time internships, with class credit available.

For all positions, please visit http://www.mpp.org/jobs for full job descriptions, salary information, and instructions on how to apply.

back to top

17. Job Opportunity: Policy Analyst/Content Editor, Common Sense for Drug Policy -- DRCNet Office in Washington, DC

Common Sense for Drug Policy (CSDP) is hiring a Policy Analyst/Content Editor, with primary responsibility for maintaining the online and in print publication Drug War Facts, as well as a range of smaller web sites. The starting date for this position is scheduled for June 2009 (exact starting date negotiable).

QUALIFICATIONS

Candidates must have strong research and written communications skills, basic web site skills (maintenance and stats analysis) and basic organizational skills. The ideal applicant is knowledgeable about the ins and outs of drug policy, and has a demonstrated interest through past involvement in the drug policy reform movement.

RESPONSIBILITIES

The primary responsibility of the Policy Analyst/Content Editor will be researching and summarizing facts and statistics for the web site http://www.drugwarfacts.org, as well as providing news links, event listings and other information to maintain http://www.csdp.org and other organizational web sites. The Policy Analyst/Content Editor may also coordinate publishing of the next in-print edition of Drug War Facts. The Policy Analyst/Content Editor will also write monthly updates on web site stats, and may at times provide assistance with e-mail list maintenance, coordinate drug reform activist meetings, coordinate with web development or other consultants, represent CSDP at conferences, or assist with other organizational business.

The Policy Analyst/Content Editor position will be located in office space shared with several organizations concerned with drug policy, including DRCNet (StoptheDrugWar.org), in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington, DC, and the successful candidate will report to DRCNet's executive director.

COMPENSATION

Entry-level as well as more experienced candidates are encouraged to apply, and so salary is commensurate with experience. Health insurance is included.

TO APPLY

To apply, interested applicants should e-mail a one-page cover letter and a one- or two-page resume to [email protected] or: Job Search, DRCNet, 1623 Connecticut Ave. NW 3rd Floor, Washington, DC 20009. Please submit your application by May 1st -- interviews will be conducted on a rolling basis, so applicants are encouraged to apply early. In your cover letter, please indicate (1) how you learned about CSDP's job opening, (2) why you are interested in working with CSDP, (3) why you think this particular position is a good fit for you, (4) what experience you have in research, writing/editing, or drug policy reform work, and (5) how you feel this position may fit into your long-term career objectives. Feel free to include any additional information you deem relevant, not to exceed one page. Thank you for your interest.

ABOUT CSDP

Common Sense for Drug Policy is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to reforming drug policy and expanding harm reduction. CSDP disseminates factual information and comments on existing laws, policies and practices. CSDP provides advice and assistance to individuals and organizations and facilitates coalition building. CSDP supports syringe exchanges, the expansion of Methadone and Buprenorphine availability and other public health measures to reduce harm to users and restrict the spread of HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C. CSDP advocates the regulation and control of marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol and subject to local option. CSDP favors decriminalizing the use of hard drugs and providing them only through prescription. CSDP also advocates clear federal guidelines for the practice of pain management so that physicians need not fear unwarranted law enforcement scrutiny of medical practices.

CSDP is an equal opportunity employer.

back to top

18. Errata: 4/3/09 Danger of Drug Enforcement Story

Two weeks ago, Drug War Chronicle published an article on a topic we have covered the last few years, police officers killed while enforcing drug laws in 2008. The article drew on information published by the Officer Down Memorial Page and the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

The article listed seven cases of police officers who were killed doing drug enforcement, but also included two others who were not engaged in drug enforcement activity at the time of their deaths, but for which the situations seemed to have drug laws in the chain of events that led to their turning violent. One of those was Timothy Scott Abernethy of Houston, Texas, killed on December 8.

After a professor and former police officer who was quoted in our article posted a link to our article in his blog, a reader who described himself as a fellow Houston police officer criticized our choice to include Officer Abernethy in our list, saying that drugs were not involved and that the connection to the drug war was too tenuous. The officer described himself as a "liberal" who thinks the decriminalization debate is important, but who doesn't want the circumstances of his friend's death to be misrepresented.

After reviewing the case, we decided that our inclusion of Officer Abernethy in this list was erroneous, and we have revised the article accordingly. While the killer did do some time for drug offenses, his criminal history was extensive and also included DWI, assault, and other charges. We hereby offer our apology to any friends, colleagues, family of Officer Abernethy or other observers who were pained by what they felt was an inaccurate portrayal of this very brutal and still very recent killing.

Note that our article did state that Officer Abernethy was not doing drug enforcement at the time of his death, but identified him as one of two slain officers who "died after stopping drivers who had been arrested and imprisoned before on drug charges and were apparently not ready to return to prison." Our editor's decision to include Officer Abernethy in the list was that he initially thought the case fell into that category.

Also note that our organization has no purpose or agenda that would be served by reporting eight or nine police officers killed doing drug enforcement vs. seven. Along with that difference being too small to affect any policy debate (though a great tragedy for anyone connected to the officers), our article argued that drug enforcement is less dangerous than commonly believed, not more. If we had wanted to stretch the numbers in order to make our point, our incentive would therefore have been to not include any cases we didn't have to and use the smaller number, not the larger one. The article also argued that using SWAT to do drug raids increases rather than decreases the danger to officers, but neither of the two additional cases involved SWAT teams.

back to top

19. Students: Intern at StoptheDrugWar (DRCNet) and Help Stop the Drug War!

Want to help end the "war on drugs," while earning college credit too? Apply for a StoptheDrugWar.org (DRCNet) internship for this spring or summer semester and you could come join the team and help us fight the fight!

StoptheDrugWar has a strong record of providing substantive work experience to our interns -- you won't spend the summer doing filing or running errands, you will play an integral role in one or more of our exciting programs. Options for work you can do with us include coalition outreach as part of the campaign to rein in the use of SWAT teams, to expand our work to repeal the drug provision of the Higher Education Act to encompass other bad drug laws like the similar provisions in welfare and public housing law; blogosphere/web outreach; media research and outreach; web site work (research, writing, technical); possibly other areas. If you are chosen for an internship, we will strive to match your interests and abilities to whichever area is the best fit for you.

While our internships are unpaid, we will reimburse you for metro fare, and DRCNet is a fun and rewarding place to work. To apply, please send your resume to David Guard at [email protected], and feel free to contact us at (202) 293-8340. We hope to hear from you! Check out our web site at http://stopthedrugwar.org to learn more about our organization.

back to top

20. Feedback: Do You Read Drug War Chronicle?

Do you read Drug War Chronicle? If so, we'd like to hear from you. DRCNet needs two things:

  1. We are in between newsletter grants, and that makes our need for donations more pressing. Drug War Chronicle is free to read but not to produce! Click here to make a donation by credit card or PayPal, or to print out a form to send in by mail.

  2. Please send quotes and reports on how you put our flow of information to work, for use in upcoming grant proposals and letters to funders or potential funders. Do you use DRCNet as a source for public speaking? For letters to the editor? Helping you talk to friends or associates about the issue? Research? For your own edification? Have you changed your mind about any aspects of drug policy since subscribing, or inspired you to get involved in the cause? Do you reprint or repost portions of our bulletins on other lists or in other newsletters? Do you have any criticisms or complaints, or suggestions? We want to hear those too. Please send your response -- one or two sentences would be fine; more is great, too -- email [email protected] or reply to a Chronicle email or use our online comment form. Please let us know if we may reprint your comments, and if so, if we may include your name or if you wish to remain anonymous. IMPORTANT: Even if you have given us this kind of feedback before, we could use your updated feedback now too -- we need to hear from you!

Again, please help us keep Drug War Chronicle alive at this important time! Click here to make a donation online, or send your check or money order to: DRCNet, P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036. Make your check payable to DRCNet Foundation to make a tax-deductible donation for Drug War Chronicle -- remember if you select one of our member premium gifts that will reduce the portion of your donation that is tax-deductible -- or make a non-deductible donation for our lobbying work -- online or check payable to Drug Reform Coordination Network, same address. We can also accept contributions of stock -- email [email protected] for the necessary info.

back to top
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.

Drug War Issues

Criminal JusticeAsset Forfeiture, Collateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Court Rulings, Drug Courts, Due Process, Felony Disenfranchisement, Incarceration, Policing (2011 Drug War Killings, 2012 Drug War Killings, 2013 Drug War Killings, 2014 Drug War Killings, 2015 Drug War Killings, 2016 Drug War Killings, 2017 Drug War Killings, Arrests, Eradication, Informants, Interdiction, Lowest Priority Policies, Police Corruption, Police Raids, Profiling, Search and Seizure, SWAT/Paramilitarization, Task Forces, Undercover Work), Probation or Parole, Prosecution, Reentry/Rehabilitation, Sentencing (Alternatives to Incarceration, Clemency and Pardon, Crack/Powder Cocaine Disparity, Death Penalty, Decriminalization, Defelonization, Drug Free Zones, Mandatory Minimums, Rockefeller Drug Laws, Sentencing Guidelines)CultureArt, Celebrities, Counter-Culture, Music, Poetry/Literature, Television, TheaterDrug UseParaphernalia, Vaping, ViolenceIntersecting IssuesCollateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Violence, Border, Budgets/Taxes/Economics, Business, Civil Rights, Driving, Economics, Education (College Aid), Employment, Environment, Families, Free Speech, Gun Policy, Human Rights, Immigration, Militarization, Money Laundering, Pregnancy, Privacy (Search and Seizure, Drug Testing), Race, Religion, Science, Sports, Women's IssuesMarijuana PolicyGateway Theory, Hemp, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Marijuana Industry, Medical MarijuanaMedicineMedical Marijuana, Science of Drugs, Under-treatment of PainPublic HealthAddiction, Addiction Treatment (Science of Drugs), Drug Education, Drug Prevention, Drug-Related AIDS/HIV or Hepatitis C, Harm Reduction (Methadone & Other Opiate Maintenance, Needle Exchange, Overdose Prevention, Pill Testing, Safer Injection Sites)Source and Transit CountriesAndean Drug War, Coca, Hashish, Mexican Drug War, Opium ProductionSpecific DrugsAlcohol, Ayahuasca, Cocaine (Crack Cocaine), Ecstasy, Heroin, Ibogaine, ketamine, Khat, Kratom, Marijuana (Gateway Theory, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Medical Marijuana, Hashish), Methamphetamine, New Synthetic Drugs (Synthetic Cannabinoids, Synthetic Stimulants), Nicotine, Prescription Opiates (Fentanyl, Oxycontin), Psilocybin / Magic Mushrooms, Psychedelics (LSD, Mescaline, Peyote, Salvia Divinorum)YouthGrade School, Post-Secondary School, Raves, Secondary School