Drug War Chronicle #620 - February 12, 2010

1. Feature: It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's... Methadone Man? Harm Reduction at the Vancouver Olympics

Look, up in the sky, it's a bird, it's a plane, it's... Methadone Man? Harm reductionists are pulling out the stops, including calling on caped superheroes, to get their message out to the Olympic crowds in Vancouver as the Games get underway.

2. Feature: El Paso City Council Passes Resolution Criticizing Drug War, But Only After Killing Marijuana Regulation Language

In 1913, the El Paso city council became the first in the country to outlaw marijuana. Now, faced with the horrendous prohibition-related violence across the river in Ciudad Juarez, it has passed a resolution condemning current drug policies, but only after dropping language calling for marijuana regulation. It's got three years left until the century mark to get it completely right.

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

A dope-dealing probation officer, a detective who buddied-up to a dope dealer, and a sticky-fingered small town cop make the roll-call of dishonor this week.

4. Latin America: Mexico Drug War Update

Heads not attached to bodies keep popping up in unexpected places in Mexico. Yet another gruesome reminder of the prohibition-related savagery wracking the country.

5. Harm Reduction: Washington Senate Passes Good Samaritan Bill, Would Protect Against Prosecution in Overdose Cases

People are dying from drug overdoses at the rate of nearly two a day in Washington state. Now, the state Senate has passed a bill that could reduce that toll by encouraging people ODing or their friends to seek medical help.

6. Drug Testing: Missouri Bill to Test Welfare Recipients Passes House, But Faces Battle in Senate

Republican House members in Missouri convinced their colleagues to pass a bill mandating drug testing for welfare recipients and applicants, but Democrats are filibustering the bill in the Senate.

7. Hemp: Idaho Resolution Supporting Industrial Production Fails in Legislature

An effort to get Idaho to join the list of states endorsing the legalization of hemp production died on a tie vote Wednesday. Old myths and misconceptions die hard, and there is more work to do in the Gem State.

8. Canada: Federal Government to Appeal Ruling Okaying Safe Injection Site

Canada's Conservatives don't know when to quit. They've lost twice in a court battle over Vancouver's safe injection site, and now they're trying yet again.

9. Europe: Anthrax Heroin Toll Rises as England Marks First Death

The European death toll from heroin apparently contaminated with anthrax has risen to 11 as England reported its first death Wednesday. There have been nine more in Scotland and one more in Germany, leading to fears the contamination is widespread. The official response is still mainly limited to telling users to stop.

10. Afghanistan: Opium Cultivation "Stable" This Year, UN Says

Afghan opium cultivation and production figures this year should be similar to 2009, the UN said in a report this week. That means that Afghanistan is still producing 40% more opium than is needed to supply all the world's junkies.

11. Did You Know? Teen Marijuana Use Rates in Medical Marijuana States vs. Other States, on ProCon.org

MedicalMarijuana.ProCon.org, part of the ProCon.org family, is an in-depth web site presenting information and views from a variety of perspectives on the medical marijuana issue. The Chronicle is running a series of info items from ProCon.org over the next several weeks, and we encourage you to check it out.

12. Weekly: This Week in History

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

13. Weekly: Blogging @ the Speakeasy

"Synthetic 'Legal' Marijuana is Becoming Popular, So They're Trying to Ban It," "Police Put Warning Signs in Front of Drug Houses (Um, Isn't That Free Advertising?)," "Why Do We Even Have a Drug Czar?," "Various Interesting Links," "What's the Point of Asking Obama to Legalize Marijuana? I'll Explain."

14. 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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