Breaking News:We Just Won an Old Fight

Drug War Chronicle #590 - June 19, 2009

1. Feature: America's War in Afghanistan Becomes America's Drug War in Afghanistan

It's summer in Afghanistan, and that means more fighting, more casualties, and this year, more drug war. Western militaries are now aiming directly at drug trafficking networks that fund the Taliban, and the Taliban isn't taking it lying down.

2. Feature: California Marijuana Legalization Initiative Effort Underway, Aimed at 2010 Ballot

There are serious plans afoot for a marijuana legalization initiative in California for the November 2010 elections. Is it time to take advantage of apparent momentum for reform, or is the move premature and potentially counterproductive?

3. Alert: Medical Marijuana Defendant Bryan Epis Wants YOU to Take Political Action

Bryan Epis was the first medical marijuana provider to be prosecuted by the federal government, and he is one of dozens of people whose fate is still caught up in the federal system despite recent policy shifts by the Obama administration. Bryan is asking all of us to take action to help those who have risked much to help patients.

4. Medical Marijuana: Legislature Overrides Veto to Make Rhode Island Third Dispensary State

Rhode Island will become the third medical marijuana dispensary state and the first to expand an existing program to include dispensaries. This after the both houses of the legislature overwhelmingly overrode a veto by chronic medical marijuana obstacle Republican Gov. Donald Carcieri.

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

The stench emanating from Philadelphia's Narcotics Field Unit grew even more rank this week, an Arizona cop steals cash to feed his pill habit, and two Indianapolis cops turned thugs are headed for prison.

6. Medical Marijuana: Barney Frank Introduces Federal Bill to Get DEA Out, Reschedule as Medicine

Rep. Barney Frank has reintroduced a bill to protect medical marijuana patients and providers and move pot from Schedule I to Schedule II. Will it get any further in a Democratic Congress than it did in Republican ones?

7. Marijuana: US Congressman Mark Kirk Introduces Bill Targeting "Kush Super-Marijuana"

One congressman marches resolutely backwards into the last century with a bill proposing 25-year sentences for people peddling kind bud. The "kush super-marijuana" turns good citizens into "zombie-like" creatures and must be stopped, suburban Chicago US Rep. Mark Kirk warns.

8. Sentencing: Louisiana Bill to Allow Parole for Heroin Lifers Passes Full House, Senate Committee

For years, heroin offenders in Louisiana faced draconian sentences of life without parole. The legislature changed that a few years ago, but didn't act to free the remaining "heroin lifers." It may get around to it this year.

9. Europe: Croatia Supreme Court Throws Out Jail Sentence in Veteran's Use of Medical Marijuana for PTSD

Explicitly acknowledging the medicinal use of the herb, the Croatian Supreme Court has thrown out marijuana possession charges against a war veteran who used it to treat PTSD.

10. Latin America: Chile Not Ready for Marijuana Legalization Yet, Poll Finds

The marijuana movement has a ways to go in Chile, according to a new poll. Only about 20% support legalization, and it's about the same for medical marijuana.

11. Weekly: This Week in History

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

12. 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.

13. Weekly: Blogging @ the Speakeasy

"FOX News Says Marijuana Will Eat Your Soul," "The Feds Are Giving Themselves New Drug War Powers," "Sharks Filled With Cocaine!!!," "How Many Innocent People Are in Jail on Drug Charges?," "Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Are Coming to Rhode Island," "'Tough on Drugs' Politics Just Aren't as Popular Anymore," "An Embarrassing Interview with the Drug Czar," "Video: Milton Friedman on Marijuana Legalization," "Video: Crack Sentencing Reform Petition Delivered to Congress -- Former Prisoners, Family Members and Advocates Speak Out," "Video on Abuse of the Environment -- and of People -- in Colombia's Drug War, from 'Witness for Peace.'"

14. 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.

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!
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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