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Drug War Chronicle #585 - May 15, 2009

1. Feature: Medical Marijuana at the Statehouse -- The State of Play

There are, have been, or will be medical marijuana bills in 19 states this year. We take a look at which ones are likely to actually have a chance of passage this year.

2. Feature: The Global Marijuana Marches, Part II

Last weekend was round two of this year's Global Marijuana Marches. Rome stole top honors with more than 100,000 people -- possibly as many as 300,000 -- but Athens and Madrid also drew thousands. Down in Brazil, thousands more marched in various cities, while others were blocked by government issued bans.

3. Warning: No One Is Safe from SWAT Raids

Our new video draws attention to the overuse of SWAT teams. The accompanying petition calls for their use to be limited to emergency or especially high-intensity situations only.

4. Law Enforcement: 77-Year-Old Man Killed in Marijuana Raid After Firing on Officers

The war on marijuana has claimed another victim: a 77-year-old man shot dead in a pre-dawn raid aimed at his adult son after shooting at the intruders. A police officer was wounded, too.

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

A suburban Pittsburgh cop gets probation, two Kentucky cops cop pleas, and a Massachusetts cop gets arrested at work. Just another week in the drug war.

6. Free Speech: ACLU Backs Pain Activist's Effort to Quash Subpoena Issued in Kansas Case

Kansas federal prosecutor Tanya Treadway may have picked on the wrong woman when she went after the Pain Relief Network's Siobhan Reynolds for criticizing her prosecution of a local pain management physician. Now, the ACLU has joined Reynolds in fighting off a Treadway subpoena aimed at chilling her free speech rights and seeing what the doctor's defense is up to.

7. Marijuana: Connecticut Decriminalization Bill Dead in Water Following Arrest of Activist

A state marijuana decrim effort was defeated by an ardent Republican legislator. It's also a case of how "careless lips sink ships."

8. Canada: Veterans Affairs to Cover Medical Marijuana Expenses

When Health Canada failed to act, the Canadian Veterans Ministry stepped up. Now, Canadian veterans using medical marijuana have their costs covered just as with any other approved medication.

9. Latin America: Colombia's President Wants to Jail Coca Growing Farmers

Colombian President Álvaro Uribe has already presided over years of drug war directed at his own country, he's busily trying to recriminalize drug possession, and now he wants to throw peasant coca farmers in jail. This is a man out of step with his region.

10. Europe: Dutch Border Province Cannabis Coffee Shops to Go "Members Only" in Bid to Dampen "Drug Tourism"

Cannabis coffee shops in the Dutch border province of Limburg will become "members only" next year as local mayors seek to inhibit "drug tourism." There are other restrictions, too.

11. Appeal: It's Time to CHANGE Business As Usual in Drug Policy

Thanks to your help, our "Changing Minds, Laws & Lives" 09 campaign has gotten off to a great start! Your support is still needed -- two exciting new t-shirts about drug prohibition are among the gifts we'd like to send you as our thanks.

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

"Increased Marijuana Potency is an Argument for Legalization, Not Against It," "Wall Street Journal Thinks Americans Still Love the Drug War," "New Drug Czar Says 'War on Drugs' Mentality is Over," "CNBC Attacks Schwarzenegger for Endorsing Marijuana Legalization Debate," "DEA Agent Indicted for Framing 17 Innocent People," "Who Put Stephen Baldwin in Charge of Opposing Marijuana Legalization?," "Former Mexican President Calls for Drug Legalization Debate," "Obama Claims to Support Needle Exchange, While Telling Congress to Ban It," "The States Don't Need Federal Permission to Legalize Marijuana," "How Much Money is Marijuana Legalization Worth?"

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

Apply for an internship at DRCNet and you could spend a 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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