As Congress approaches its August recess, it's time to take a look at the fate of drug reform legislation under the Democrats. No bills have reached the president's desk just yet, but the prospects are impressive on a number of key fronts.
Medical marijuana supporters in Colorado won a major victory Monday night as the state Board of Health voted down a Department of Public Health and Environment proposal that would have strictly defined caregivers and limited them to providing for no more than five patients.
Drug war-related corruption extends beyond cops and deputies, and this week is a good example. We've got a federal probation agent in trouble, a US Navy police officer in trouble, a prosecutor heading for prison, as well as a crooked narc and an Ecstasy-dealing deputy. Unusually, what we don't have this week is a dope-smuggling prison guard.
What a difference control of Congress makes! For years, pressure has been building to redress the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine. Now, finally, a bill that would do that is moving in the House, and while it's a Democratic bill it's getting strong bipartisan support. Things are looking good in the Senate too.
The Higher Education Act's infamous "Aid Elimination Penalty," or anti-drug provision, the brainchild of Indiana Republican Rep. Mark Souder, just got slimmed down as a House committee Tuesday voted to restrict its application only to students convicted of selling drugs, not those convicted simply of drug possession.
Spoken like a true drug czar -- Gil Kerlikowske does his best John Walters impression and succeeds pretty well.
The US war on opium poppy production in Afghanistan turned literal Tuesday when US war planes attacked and destroyed a giant pile of poppy seeds in Helmand province. That'll show those seeds!
Oakland's medical marijuana dispensaries asked the voters to tax them, and the voters said "Okay." A measure creating a first-of-its-kind special business tax on medical marijuana sellers passed by a lopsided margin in pot-friendly Oakland.
Albany, New York, sheriff's deputies suspected Tunde Clement was carrying drugs when he got off a bus from New York City in March 2006. They searched his backpack. Nothing. They strip-searched him. Nothing. Then the took him to a hospital, forcibly sedated him, and shoved a camera up his butt. Now, the county and the hospital are paying for their misdeeds.
Could decriminalization be coming to Chicagoland? The Cook County Board has approved it, but the Board president is making noises like he may veto it.
You've heard of medical marijuana vending machines in Los Angeles, right? Well, the UK one-ups LA with methadone vending machines in its prisons.
The trusted and beloved news anchor spoke out about more than one war in his lifetime.
Events and quotes of note from this week's drug policy events of years past.
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"Obama's Drug Czar Says Marijuana Is Dangerous and Isn't Medicine," "How Bush's Drug Czar Fooled the Media and the American People," "Apple's New Marijuana Feature for iPhone is a Smart Business Move," "Undercover Cop Arrested for Selling Drugs to an Undercover Cop," "New York Times Struggles With Marijuana Addiction," "Congressional Drug Warriors Huddle in the Corner, Plot Comeback," "Tax Us: Oakland Voters Approve Medical Marijuana Dispensary Tax -- Dispensaries Supported It," "Patients Defeat Effort to Restrict Medical Marijuana in Colorado," "Colorado Hearing on Proposed Medical Marijuana Caregiver Restrictions Going on Now -- You Can Listen In," "Breaking: House Subcommittee Votes to Reduce Crack Cocaine Penalties to Powder Cocaine Level," "Breaking: House Committee Votes to Eliminate Financial Aid Loss Penalty for Drug Possessors," "Walter Cronkite on the Drug War."
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