Drug War Chronicle #601 - September 18, 2009

1. Feature: What's the Matter With San Diego? Another Round of Medical Marijuana Raids and Arrests Hit "America's Finest City"

San Diego may be a gleaming, coastal California city, but when it comes to medical marijuana, it's more like Fresno-by-the-Sea. The latest round of dispensary raids has patients and advocates fuming and looking for ways to extract political revenge and gain a little justice.

2. Feature: Marijuana Arrests, All Drug Arrests Declined Slightly in 2008, FBI Reports

The number of marijuana arrests last year declined for the first time since 2002, the FBI said in its Uniform Crime Report this week. The overall number of drug arrests also fell slightly. The down-tick seems to be the result not of enlightened policing, but of law enforcement agencies feeling the budgetary pinch.

3. Higher Education: House Passes Student Loan Bill With Further Limitations on Drug Warrior "Aid Elimination Penalty"

The Higher Education Act's "Aid Elimination Penalty," or anti-drug provision, is poised for further watering down after the House of Representatives passed a bill that would limit it to people with drug sales -- not drug possession -- convictions. But the provision's author, Rep. Mark Souder (R-IN) kept fighting almost until the end.

4. Book Offer/Membership Appeal: "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.

5. Latin America: Mexico Drug War Update

Mexican President Felipe Calderon's war against drug cartels reached a milestone late last week, but not the kind he's looking for: This year's prohibition-related death toll has gone over the 5,000 mark.

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

More fun for the Philly narcs, a New Jersey ICE employee goes down, and a Brooklyn drug squad supervisor gets off easy.

7. Foreign Policy: In Annual Certification Report, State Department Says Bolivia, Burma, Venezuela Not Cooperating in Anti-Drug Fight

The State Department and President Obama have issued the annual, congressionally-mandated list of countries not complying with US drug war objectives. The only countries listed as not in compliance are three with which the US has chilly relations, while countries like Afghanistan and Pakistan, elements of whose governments are deeply implicated in the drug trade, get a pass.

8. Harm Reduction: Pennsylvania Allows Syringe Sales Without Prescription, Effective Immediately

And then there were two: Pennsylvania's Board of Pharmacy has issued new regulations allowing pharmacies to sell syringes without a prescription. That leaves Delaware and New Jersey as the only states that don't.

9. Law Enforcement: Facing Budget Woes, Minneapolis Axes Dope Squad

Minneapolis has become the largest US city without a drug squad after the chief axed it as part of an effort to reduce a $5 million budget gap.

10. Southeast Asia: New Indonesian Drug Law Draws Human Rights Criticisms

Indonesia has a new drug law, but it looks pretty much like business as usual for Southeast Asia, home of some of the world's harshest drug laws.

11. Europe: Dutch Border Town Cannabis Coffee Shop Owners Lose Court Battle Against Ban

Faced with thousands of drug tourists flooding into their towns each week, the mayors of two Dutch border towns ordered their cannabis coffee shops to quit selling marijuana as of Wednesday. Coffee shop owners went to court last week to block it, but so far with no luck.

12. Weekly: This Week in History

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

13. 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.

14. 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.

15. Weekly: Blogging @ the Speakeasy

"Former Mexican President Proposes Legalizing Drugs in Mexico AND the US," "The Marijuana Ads That ABC, FOX, and CBS Refused to Show You," "The Weekly Standard Cheers on Mexican Drug War Bloodshed," "No Matter How Bad You Think the Drug War Is, It's Worse," "Using Drug Laws to Steal From Innocent People," "US Forest Service Apologizes for Racist Marijuana Warning," "Drug War Violence is Destroying Mexico's Economy," "The Manhattan DA's Race: The Princess of Darkness vs. Two Former Coke-Snorting Assistant DAs," "A Victory in the House of Representatives," "ALERT: Crucial Vote on Souder's Law Happening Tomorrow -- YOUR PHONE CALLS NEEDED!," "Drugs the Most Numerous Arrest Type in '08, Though Down Slightly from '07, FBI Reports," "Room for Debate on Mexico's Drug Decriminalization Law."

16. 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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