Drug War Chronicle #616 - January 15, 2010

1. Feature: New Jersey Legislature Passes Medical Marijuana Bill, State to Become 14th to Okay Medical Marijuana (Plus DC)

In a pair of votes Monday afternoon and evening -- the last day of the legislative session -- New Jersey lawmakers gave final approval to a medical marijuana bill, which Gov. Jon Corzine (D) has said he will sign. The bill is one of the most restrictive yet, but it's one more state on the bandwagon.

2. Feature: In US First, California Assembly Committee Approves Marijuana Legalization Bill

The cops lined up against it -- literally! -- but that didn't stop the California Assembly's Public Safety Committee from voting to approve a marijuana legalization bill. And so, history is made this week in Sacramento.

3. Latin America: Mexico Drug War Update

Last weekend saw the single deadliest 24-hour-period ever in Mexico's drug war, with 69 people killed. And that's just for starters.

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

A sticky-fingering, meth-snorting cop goes away for awhile, and a trio of jail guards get in trouble.

5. Marijuana: Washington State House Committee Holds Hearing on Decrim, Legalization Bills -- Public Support Strong, Initiative Coming

It's been a wild week for weed in Washington. Hearings and initiatives and polls, oh, my!

6. Medical Marijuana: Oregon Group on Track to Put Dispensary Measure on Ballot

With the Obama administration having removed the threat of federal prosecutions, the door is swinging open for an expansion of medical marijuana dispensaries. Activists in Oregon are walking through that door, and they are carrying a whole bunch of gathered signatures with them. Look for a dispensary initiative on the ballot there this fall.

7. Marijuana: San Francisco Supervisor Wants to Make "License, Regulate, and Tax" Official City Policy

San Francisco Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi wants the city's residents to vote on a measure that would make it city policy to license, tax, and regulate marijuana cultivation and sales, and not just medical. Now, he has to convince the rest of the Supes to agree with him -- or at least a majority.

8. Medical Marijuana: New York Bill Passes Assembly Health Committee

A bill that would make New York the next medical marijuana state has won an Assembly committee vote.

9. Drug Testing: Bills to Drug Test for Public Assistance Recipients Pop Up Again

Another legislative season begins across the land, and with it comes another crop of bills demanding drug testing of people receiving public benefits, from unemployment to food stamps to state medical assistance. They're expensive, they're impractical, and they're most likely unconstitutional, but that doesn't stop drug war demagogues from promoting them.

10. Europe: Russia Bans Salvia, Hawaiian Woodrose, Blue Lotus Flowers, Synthetic Cannabinoids

Acting from firmly prohibitionist principles, the Russian government saw potential new drug threats on the horizon and promptly criminalized them.
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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