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Drug War Chronicle #608 - November 13, 2009

1. Feature: The State of Play -- Federal Drug Reform Legislation in the Congress

With both the White House and Capitol Hill under the control of Democrats, there are signs that the Bush-era blockade of federal drug reform legislation is ending. Here's an update on what's moving -- and what's not -- on Capitol Hill this year.

2. Feature: 2009 International Drug Policy Reform Conferences Opens Amid Optimism in Albuquerque

The Drug Policy Alliance's 2009 International Drug Policy Reform Conference got underway Thursday in Albuquerque, and it looks like the biggest yet. Here's an initial report from the conference opening. Look for much more next week, too.

3. Medical Marijuana: American Medical Association Calls for Review of Pot's Schedule I Status

In a historic shift of position, the American Medical Association now says that marijuana is medicine, more research is needed, and its status as a Schedule I drug should be reviewed.

4. Europe: British Home Secretary's Firing of Drug Advisor Continues to Reverberate

Two weeks ago, Britain's home secretary fired the government's head drug policy advisor, Professor David Nutt, over Nutt's criticisms of government drug policy as driven by politics and not evidence. The row continues, as three more members of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs resigned this week, bringing the total to five.

5. Sentencing: US Sentencing Commission to Review Mandatory Minimums

For years, Congress never met a mandatory minimum drug sentence it didn't like. But now, with the Democrats in charge and the federal prison population nearly 10 times as large as it was three decades ago, Congress is having second thoughts. It has ordered the US Sentencing Commission to take a look.

6. Medical Marijuana: Colorado Judge Blocks Restrictions on Caregivers

To be a caregiver or not be a caregiver? That is the question in Colorado, and the criminal courts, civil courts, state bureaucrats, and the medical marijuana industry are all fighting over it.

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

A dirty Philly cop gets smacked hard, a dirty St. Louis cop gets his hands slapped, and two more jail and prison guards get caught.

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9. Students: Intern at (DRCNet) and Help Stop the Drug War!

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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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