Drug War Chronicle #621 - February 19, 2010

1. Feature: Federal Medical Marijuana Raids in Colorado -- Is the Denver DEA Going Rogue?

A series of DEA raids on medical marijuana growers and labs in Colorado in recent weeks is raising serious questions about whether the Denver DEA is following Justice Department policy... or whether the Obama administration's stance on medical marijuana is shifting back toward the bad old Bush days.

2. Feature: Chronicle of an Offensive Foretold -- The Occupation of Marja, Afghanistan

US, NATO and Afghan military forces are consolidating their hold on the Taliban stronghold of Marja in Helmand province. But now is when the real battle for hearts and minds begins.

3. Latin America: Mexico's Drug War Stirs Opposition in the Streets and from the Bishops

Mexican President Felipe Calderon caught serious flak this week from two different directions: Angry residents of Ciudad Juárez, tired of the killing and the soldiers, and the Mexican Catholic Church, which issued a report critical of human rights abuses in the military and crooked law enforcement.

4. Medical Marijuana: DEA Raids LA Dispensary, LA City Attorney Moves Against 21 More

Both city and federal officials cracked down on the thriving LA medical marijuana scene Thursday, employing raids and civil enforcement actions.

5. Latin America: Mexico Drug War Update

Thirty people were killed Wednesday in Mexico's prohibition-related violence. That's not even close to the daily record.

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

It's prison guards gone wild this week, with 16 going down in one Florida sting alone and one in New York City busted with a half-pound of smack. A crooked Texas border town cop cops a plea, too.

7. Medical Marijuana: Iowa Pharmacy Board Recommends State Legalize It for Therapeutic Use

The Iowa Board of Pharmacy had to be dragged into reconsidering marijuana's classification as a Schedule I drug with no medical benefit. But now it has done so, and is recommending it be rescheduled and that the legislature look into setting up a medical marijuana program. In so doing, it has become the first state pharmacy board to take such an action ahead of voters or lawmakers.

8. Decriminalization: New Hampshire Bill Wins Committee Vote, Heads for House Floor

In 2008, an effort to decriminalize marijuana was turned back in the New Hampshire legislature. Now, they're at it again, and a bill has already passed a key House committee and is headed for the floor.

9. Tainted Supply: Cocaine Laced With Levamisole Keeps Turning Up

Cocaine contaminated with a veterinary de-worming agent called levamisole made the news last fall when coke users started coming down with a nasty disease called agranulocytosis and a few of them died. While the clamor has quieted, the tainted dope hasn't gone away. In fact, there seems to be more of it than ever.

10. Weekly: This Week in History

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

11. Did You Know? Laws, Fees and Possession Limits in the 14 Medical Marijuana 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: Blogging @ the Speakeasy

"Dallas Police Plan Widespread Warrantless Drug Searches," "Synthetic Marijuana: Let's Try Regulation Instead of Prohibition," "DEA Backs Down After Threatening Colorado Dispensaries," "Retirement Home Fires Staffer for Medical Marijuana Use," "Angry Man Says Potheads Should be Kicked in the Nuts."

13. 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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