Drug War Chronicle #586 - May 22, 2009

1. Feature: Supreme Court Rejects Counties' Challenge to California's Medical Marijuana Law

The US Supreme Court has refused to hear appeals from two California counties challenging the state's medical marijuana law. San Diego and San Bernardino counties had refused to implement an ID card program, arguing that federal drug laws preempted the state's medical marijuana law, but no court was buying.

2. Feature: Minnesota Legislature Passes Medical Marijuana Bill, But Veto Looms

Minnesota should be the 14th medical marijuana state after a watered down bill passed the legislature Monday. But it won't be -- Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty has promised to veto the bill. Look for an end run around the governor next year.

3. Drug War Chronicle Book Review: "Andean Cocaine: The Making of a Global Drug," by Paul Gootenberg (2008, University of North Carolina Press, 442 pp, $24.95 PB)

Drug War Chronicle reviews historian Paul Gootenberg's "Andean Cocaine," and finds its methods and its results most useful.

4. 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.

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

There's an embarrassment of riches for the corrupt cops folder this week. We've got pot-dealing sheriffs, we've got corner-cutting DEA agents, we've got sticky-fingered cops, and of course, we've got dope-peddling prison guards. And that Philadelphia narc squad scandal just keeps growing.

6. Medical Marijuana: Eddy Lepp Sentenced to 10 Years in Federal Prison

California cannabis activist and medical marijuana grower Eddy Lepp was sentenced to a mandatory minimum 10-years in federal prison Monday for growing 20,000 plants beside a Lake County highway.

7. Medical Marijuana: Rhode Island House Passes Dispensary Bill

Rhode Island is another step closer to allowing medical marijuana dispensaries after the House passed a bill this week. The Senate passed it last month, and both chambers passed it by veto-proof majorities.

8. Drug Legalization: Conservative Colorado Republican Tom Tancredo Joins the Chorus

Who woulda thunk it? Former Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo, who never saw a border that didn't need a fence, says it's time to talk about drug legalization.

9. Law Enforcement: Maryland Governor Signs Bill Requiring SWAT Team Reporting

What is probably the country's first successful effort to begin to rein in rampaging SWAT teams has become law in Maryland. Too bad it took a widely publicized drug raid gone bad to get it done.

10. Europe: Oslo Police Plan Crackdown on Hash Users, Buyers

Watch out if you're about to go looking for hash on the streets of Oslo. The police are going to be looking for you.

11. Australia: South Australia Police Subject Club, Concert-Goers to Drug Dog Checks

If you're headed out to go clubbing or see a concert in South Australia, be forewarned: The cops just might walk up and have a drug dog check you out.

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

"FBI Director Gets Humiliated Trying to Defend Marijuana Prohibition," "Marijuana is Illegal, But It Doesn't Have to Be," "Mexican Jailbreak Proves the Cartels Can Do Whatever They Want," "What's So Funny About Trying to Legalize Marijuana?," "Illinois Sheriff Caught Selling Lots of Marijuana," "Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty Wants to Send Dying Cancer Patients to Jail," "US Supreme Court Kills Effort to Overturn State Medical Marijuana Laws," "Michael Phelps and Marijuana Legalization," "Pete Guither Will Correct Your Incoherent Editorial for Free."

14. Errata: GMM and PRN/Schneider Grand Jury Articles

Minor corrections to two of last week's article, "Free Speech: ACLU Backs Pain Activist's Effort to Quash Subpoena Issued in Kansas Case" and "The Global Marijuana Marches, Part II."

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

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

16. Job Opportunity: New Orleans Chapter Organizer, Critical Resistance, New Orleans

Critical Resistance (CR), a national grassroots organization working to end the prison industrial complex, seeks a New Orleans Chapter Organizer.
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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