Drug War Chronicle #600 - September 11, 2009

Issue #600 of Drug War Chronicle is dedicated to John W. Perry
NYC police officer, attorney and scholar, civil libertarian and drug reformer
June 24, 1963 - September 11, 2001

1. Feature: Will Foster Back in Prison in Oklahoma, Supporters Mount Campaign to Free Him

Medical marijuana patient Will Foster's nightmarish odyssey in the American gulag continues. Now the one-time poster boy for sentencing reform is back behind bars in Oklahoma, where parole officials are using some funny numbers to try to extend his sentence.

2. Feature: Tainted Cocaine Sickening, Killing People, But Feds Slow to Act

An Associated Press story at the end of August raised the alarm about levasimole-tainted cocaine, but the problem has been emerging for years. Now, while waiting for the feds to act, harm reductionists and public health workers grapple with how to respond.

3. New Book Offer: "Marijuana is Safer -- So Why Are We Driving People to Drink?"

To kick off our autumn fundraising drive, StoptheDrugWar.org is pleased to offer the exciting new book, "Marijuana is Safer -- So Why Are We Driving People to Drink?," as our latest membership premium -- donate $36 or more and we'll send you a copy for free! Things are happening, and the importance of your support at this time could not be greater.

4. Medical Marijuana: More Than a Dozen Dispensaries Hit, 31 Arrested in Coordinated San Diego Police Raids

Anti-medical marijuana zealot San Diego DA Bonnie Dumanis has struck again. A series of raids yesterday resulted in 31 arrests and 14 dispensaries shuttered. The DEA was there, too.

5. Latin America: Mexico Drug War Update

This year's Mexican drug wars body count is closing in on 5,000, with more than 200 added to the death toll last week.

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

Man, the Chronicle takes a week off and look what happens: We've got more corrupt cops, sheriffs, ICE agents, and prison guards than you can shake a stick at. And a state prison mental health counselor, too.

7. Marijuana: Arizona Supreme Court Rejects Religious Freedom Claim

It was strike two Monday for the Church of Cognizance and its argument that its members have a religious right to use marijuana. The Arizona Supreme Court rejected that claim from a church member. Last year, a federal court rejected a similar claim from church founders Dan and Mary Quaintance, who are currently in federal prison.

8. Law Enforcement: Georgia Narcs Gun Down Young Pastor

A young Georgia pastor who gave a ride to a woman drug suspect being tailed by undercover narcs is dead. There are many questions.

9. Law Enforcement: Minneapolis Pays For Drug Raid Cop's Attack on Bystander

If you're a cop and you slug an innocent bystander in the face for no reason during a drug raid, it's going to cost your employer big time. At least that's what happened a couple of weeks ago in Minneapolis.

10. Latin America: Colombian Supreme Court Rules Drug Possession Not a Crime

More than a decade ago, Colombia's Constitutional Court ruled that drug possession was not a prosecutable offense. Now, President Uribe is moving to undo that, but the country's Supreme Court has put a roadblock in his path by upholding that ruling.

11. Europe: Dutch Government Wants "Members Only" Cannabis Coffee Shops

Holland's conservative coalition government can't find the political will to kill the famous cannabis coffee houses, but it is set to try to turn them into "members only" establishments in a bid to thwart "drug tourism."

12. Announcement: The 2009 International Drug Policy Reform Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico, November 12-14

Every two years drug policy reformers from across the United States and around the world come to the International Drug Policy Reform Conference to listen, learn, network and strategize together for change. This year the conference is in Albuquerque, in November, and StoptheDrugWar.org is a partner.

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

"Prominent Drug Warrior Admits Anti-Drug Propaganda is Exaggerated," "How Much More Proof Do You Need That Lying About Marijuana Doesn't Work?," "Insane Hospital Worker Punishes Medical Marijuana Patient," "Bison Will Eat Marijuana Grown on Contaminated Chemical Weapons Site," "Confused Drug Warrior Predicts 'The End of Medical Marijuana,'" "Confused Drug Warrior Thinks Drugs Are Legal in Mexico," "What Would You Do If You Found a Giant Bag of Weed at the Beach?," "Will Foster is Back in Prison in Oklahoma and Needs Your Help," "Resignation of Mexico's Attorney General Won't Change Much," "Pain Activist Facing Fines in Free Speech Case," "10 Rules for Dealing with Police."

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. 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.

17. Job Opportunity: Director of Development, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, Medford, Massachusetts

LEAP is seeking a Director of Development who will manage and grow all aspects of its philanthropic support and outreach, and guide the advancement team and the organization through its next stage of development.
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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