Drug War Chronicle #622 - February 26, 2010

1. Feature: Mexico Conference Calls for New Direction in Drug Policy, Says Prohibition Has Failed

As Mexico's war on drugs continues to spiral out of control, pressure is mounting for a new approach. A conference in Mexico City this week had a few suggestions.

2. Feature: UN Anti-Drug Agency Complains Latin American Decriminalization Trend Undermines Prohibition Regime

Stop the presses! Global drug prohibition bureaucrats say drug reform is bad! But each year, they're getting more flak for their efforts.

3. Medical Marijuana: Bryan Epis Returned to Federal Prison, Must Serve Out 10-Year Sentence for Growing Pot for the Sick

Bryan Epis is once again a medical marijuana martyr. This week, Epis, the first California medical grower convicted by the feds, was returned to federal prison to serve eight more years of a 10-year sentence imposed in 2002. He had been out on appeal, but his appeals have run out.

4. Latin America: Mexico Drug War Update

While elected officials on both sides of the board dismiss legalization of the drug trade, Mexico continues to pay the price. Another 137 people were killed in prohibition-related violence there this week.

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

A pill-peddling cop, a court officer fudging drug tests in return for pills, and, of course, the requisite crooked jailers -- just another week in the drug war.

6. Marijuana: Legalization Bill Reintroduced in California Assembly

He's back! San Francisco Assemblyman Tom Ammiano has reintroduced his groundbreaking marijuana legalization and regulation bill. Last session, it became the first legalization bill anywhere in the US to win a legislative committee vote. Maybe this time it will go further. If not, voters may take matters into their own hands in November.

7. Legalization: So Say They Now -- US and Mexican Officials Say No to Debating It

It was just a meeting about reducing drug demand, but both the Mexican and the US governments felt compelled to speak out against drug legalization. First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you...

8. Medical Marijuana: Measure Passes New York Senate Health Committee, Assembly Health Committee

First it was New York Senate Republicans blocking action on medical marijuana. Then last year, Senate Democrats managed to blow themselves up, indirectly preventing a bill from passing. Will 2010 be the year? Medical marijuana is moving in both the Assembly and the Senate.

9. Medical Marijuana: US Congressman Protests Colorado DEA Raids in Letter to Holder, Obama

The DEA's efforts to subvert administration policy favoring state medical marijuana laws is not winning it any friends, and is gaining it some powerful new opponents.

10. Europe: Heroin Maintenance Comes to Denmark

This week, Denmark became the latest European country to embrace heroin maintenance for hard-users. A clinic opened Monday in Copenhagen.

11. Europe: Belgian Trekt Uw Plant (Grow Your Plant) Activists Win Collective Garden Case

A Belgian court ruling sparked by a group of activists planting single marijuana seeds each two years ago could open the way for collective pot gardens there.

12. Did You Know: The D.A.R.E Program -- Is It Good for America's Kids? -- New Section 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.

13. Weekly: This Week in History

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

14. Weekly: Blogging @ the Speakeasy

"Colorado Congressman Fights Back Against DEA's Medical Marijuana Raids," "New Synthetic Marijuana Products: Are They Medicine?," "Opponents of Medical Marijuana Should Just Give Up," "Pot Wars -- Battlefield California," "Employment Discrimination Against Medical Marijuana Patients Must End," "Federal Policy on Medical Marijuana is Still a Confusing Mess."

15. 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!

16. Feedback: Do You Read Drug War Chronicle?

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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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