Drug War Chronicle #588 - June 5, 2009

1. Feature: New York Republicans, Prosecutors in Last Minute Bid to Block Rockefeller Reform Provision

New York Republicans and prosecutors lost the battle over Rockefeller drug law reform in April. They were back this week with a last-ditch effort to repeal one of the new law's key provisions. But with the governor and Democrats in the Assembly standing firm, it looks like it ain't gonna happen.

2. Feature: DC Moves Toward Stricter Penalties for Khat

Taxi drivers' wake-me-up or terrorist drug threat? The herbal stimulant khat is popular with elements of America's immigrant East African population despite being banned by federal law. Now, Washington, DC, home to one of the nation's East African immigrant communities, wants its law to be as severe as federal law. A battle is brewing.

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

Cops pocketing drug money, cops ripping off drug dealers, cops protecting drug dealers, cops stealing dope, and, of course, another dope-smuggling jail guard.

4. Medical Marijuana: Mid-Atlantic Movement as Delaware, New Jersey Bills Win Committee Votes

Medical marijuana legislation saw progress in two more states this week, as bills advanced in New Jersey and Delaware. But the New Jersey bill just got more restrictive, too.

5. Medical Marijuana: Rhode Island Dispensary Bill Passes House, Now Goes for Final Senate Approval

The Rhode Island legislature is well on its way to passing the medical marijuana dispensary bill by overwhelming veto-proof margins. Take that, Gov. Carcieri!

6. Medical Marijuana: Veterans Administration Says Positive Marijuana Drug Screening Will Not Void Pain Contracts for Vets with Doctors' Recommendations

Is the Veterans Administration changing its tune on medical marijuana? Well, not exactly, but now it looks like at least they won't throw you out of their pain management programs if you're a registered user in a state where it's legal.

7. Drug Testing: Random Suspicionless Drug Tests Suffer Double Smackdown in Louisiana

Louisiana proponents of random, suspicionless drug testing are smarting after being handed a pair of defeats in the past 10 days.

8. Please: Don't Shoot!

The killing of Tarika Wilson, an unarmed mother holding her child, and the maiming of that child, is an inevitable consequences of the overuse of SWAT teams and the growing paramilitarization of the drug war.

9. Europe: Nice People Take Drugs, Says British Advocacy Group

A British drug reform advocacy group is bound to shock some sensibilities with its new bus-side ad campaign, but that's precisely the point.

10. Canada: New Heroin Maintenance Pilot Program to Get Underway Later This Year

Canada's Conservative government is hard-line on drug policy issues. It wants mandatory minimum sentences for drug crimes and it is in court to try to block Vancouver's safe injection site. But now, it is funding a heroin maintenance pilot project--again.

11. Europe: German Parliament Approves Heroin Maintenance

Germany is about to become the latest country to move heroin maintenance from pilot program to permanent. In the US, we maintain our addicts behind bars.

12. Canada: Supreme Court Clarifies Asset Forfeiture Law, Allows Graduated Sanctions

In its first review of Canada's asset forfeiture laws, the Canadian Supreme Court has ruled that judges must look at the circumstances of each case in deciding whether full, partial or no forfeiture orders should be issued. In the US, prosecutors make forfeiture decisions.

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

"Drug Smuggling Scientists Are Always Ahead of the Game," "If Pawlenty Wants to Be President, He Should Reconsider His Opposition to Medical Marijuana," "States Don't Need Federal Permission to Legalize Marijuana, Part II," "Top Anti-Drug Researcher Changes His Mind, Says Legalize Marijuana," "Rogue Philly Drug Cops Add Molestation to Their List of Crimes," "If There's No 'War on Drugs' Anymore, Then What's the Helicopter For?," "Yes, the Case Against Marc Emery is Political," "LAPD Raids Its Own Officer in Weird Botched Investigation," "Legalizing Drugs is an Idea That Speaks for Itself," "Orange County Seniors Demand Medical Marijuana Access."

15. Job Opportunity: Legal Coordinator, Americans for Safe Access, Oakland, CA

Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the largest national member-based organization of patients, medical professionals, scientists and concerned citizens promoting safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic uses and research, is seeking a Legal Coordinator to work from its office in Oakland, California.
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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