Drug War Chronicle #624 - March 19, 2010

1. Drug War Chronicle Video Review: "10 Rules for Dealing With Police," from Flex Your Rights

Millions of people have viewed -- and benefited from -- the film "Busted: The Citizen's Guide to Surviving Police Encounters." The new Flex Your Rights film, "10 Rules for Dealing with Police," has taken things to the next level, in more ways than one.

2. Feature: SSDP Does San Francisco -- The 11th Annual National Conference

Students for Sensible Drug Policy held its 11th annual national convention in San Francisco last weekend. It was the biggest one yet, and they couldn't have picked a more inviting locale.

3. Offer and Appeal: Order "10 Rules for Dealing with Police" -- Free With a Donation to StoptheDrugWar.org

Millions of people have viewed -- and benefited from -- the film "Busted: The Citizen's Guide to Surviving Police Encounters." The new Flex Your Rights film, "10 Rules for Dealing with Police," has taken things to the next level. StoptheDrugWar.org is pleased to be the first drug policy organization to offer it to our members -- your donations will support our work of building the movement and fueling public debate, too.

4. Congress: Senate Passes Bill to Reduce, But Not Eliminate, Crack/Powder Sentencing Disparity

After nearly a quarter-century of federal crack cocaine laws that disproportionately affected black Americans with far harsher sentences than for powder cocaine, the US Senate has passed a bill that would take a step toward eliminating that disparity. Advocates aren't sure whether to be pleased by the progress or disappointed by the ways in which it falls short.

5. Incarceration Nation: Number of People in State Prisons Declines for First Time Since Nixon, New Report Finds

The number of people doing time in state prison declined last year for the first time since bell-bottom jeans were in fashion, although just barely. Could we be seeing the first rumblings of a seismic shift in prison population trends?

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

A lying narc, a horny narc, and yes, another crooked jail guard make the corrupt cop news this week.

7. Latin America: Mexico Drug War Update

Mexico's prohibition-related violence took nearly another 300 lives this past week, including three US citizens connected to the US consulate in bloody Ciudad Juárez. That pushes the death toll since President Calderon sent in the army little more than three years ago over the 18,000 mark.

8. Law Enforcement: Drug Cops Kill Two in Drug Raids in Florida and Tennessee

America's war on drugs -- or, more precisely, suspected drug users or sellers -- claimed two more lives late last week, as police conducting drug raids in Memphis and South Florida shot and killed two people in their own homes. In both cases, police said the homeowners were armed.

9. Marijuana: Rhode Island Legislative Commission Endorses Decriminalization

Will Rhode Island be the next state to decriminalize marijuana possession? It just took a big step in that direction this week, as a special legislative commission endorsed the idea.

10. Prohibition: Illinois Bill to Ban Marijuana Blunt Wraps Passes State Senate

The Illinois legislature apparently doesn't have enough serious issues to deal with, so it's launched an attack on the dreaded blunt wrap.

11. Medical Marijuana: South Dakota Initiative Certified, Will Be on the November Ballot

In 2006, South Dakota voters won the dubious distinction of being the only ones in the nation to reject an initiative allowing for medical marijuana. This year, they will have a chance to make up for that. The Secretary of State has just certified an initiative for the November ballot.

12. Europe: Hash Crackdown in Copenhagen's Christiania Didn't Work

In the good old days, Danish hash smokers went to the counterculture enclave of Christiania, with its famous Pusher Street, to score. Now, after six years of police crackdowns on Pusher Street, you can still buy hash there, but the trade has spread throughout Copenhagen and the scene has grown more hard-edged. Can you say unintended consequences?

13. Europe: England to Ban Methedrone? Nutt Says Not So Fast

M-Cat is not a college entrance exam, but a nickname for mephedrone, an amphetamine-like drug derived from khat that is legal and increasingly popular in Britain. Now, after the deaths of two young men on Sunday were (indirectly) linked to its use, calls to ban it are increasing.

14. Did You Know? Felon Voting Pro and Con Info, from ProCon.org

FelonVoting.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 issue of felony disenfranchisement -- citizens losing the right to vote because of criminal convictions.

15. Weekly: This Week in History

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

16. 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!

17. Feedback: Do You Read Drug War Chronicle?

Do you read Drug War Chronicle? If so, we need your feedback to evaluate our work and make the case for Drug War Chronicle to funders. We need donations too.
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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