Drug War Chronicle #626 - April 2, 2010

1. Feature: Scale-Back of College Aid Drug Penalty Becomes Accidental Casualty in Health Care Battle

Efforts to further reform the Higher Education Act's anti-drug provision came frustratingly close before becoming an accidental casualty of the last minute negotiations over the health care budget reconciliation bill. But it isn't dead yet -- advocates will continue to try to get it passed during this session of Congress.

2. Feature: Washington Marijuana Legalization Initiative Aims for November Ballot

There is a chance that the entire West Coast could be voting on legalizing marijuana in November. We've already reported on California and Oregon -- see below -- and this week, we take a look at the legalization initiative campaign in Washington state.

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

StoptheDrugWar.org is pleased to be the first drug policy organization to offer this important new video to our members -- your donations will support our work of building the movement and fueling public debate, too.

4. Latin America: Mexico Drug War Update

The prohibition-related violence in Mexico took an ominous turn this week as supposed cartel armies attacked military bases in the north. And then there's the typical toll of dead cops, dead narcos, and dead civilians.

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

A police drug lab scandal broadens in San Francisco, somebody stole the drug evidence in suburban Atlanta, a former US Customs agent heads for prison, and yes, yet another pair of jail guards go down.

6. Public Opinion: Poll Finds Support for Marijuana Legalization Still Rising, Medical Marijuana Overwhelming

Support for medical marijuana is broad and deep among the American public, and support for general pot legalization continues to trend upward, although we're not quite over the top nationally, a new poll finds.

7. Legalization: Drug Czar Avoids Answering Question on Fed Response to California Initiative

The drug czar doesn't want to talk about what the federal response to marijuana legalization in California might be. Let's hope he has to talk about it come November 3.

8. Asset Forfeiture: Justice Department Collaborating With State, Local Cops in "Policing for Profit," Report Says

What are asset forfeiture laws and practices like where you live? A scathing new report on "Policing for Profit" will help you find out.

9. Salvia Divinorum: Ban Bill Moving in Minnesota, Age Restriction Bill Moving in Maryland

After years, the DEA has yet to move against the psychedelic member of the mint family, salvia divinorum. But that hasn't stopped various states from moving to regulate it or -- more often-- ban it outright. Minnesota could be the next to ban it, but Maryland has a less freaked-out idea: Just limit it to adults.

10. 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.

11. Southwest Asia: Afghanistan #1 in Marijuana Production Now, Not Just Opium

After nearly nine years of US and NATO military occupation, Afghanistan is now not only the world's largest opium producer, but also the world's largest cannabis producer, according to a new report from the UNODC.

12. Europe: Britain to Ban Mephedrone in Two Weeks, Imports Already Blocked

The latest legal drug craze in Britain is mephedrone, a synthetic stimulant derived from the active ingredient in khat. It probably won't stay legal for long, as the prohibitionist impulse remains strong. But that won't necessarily stop people from using it.

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

"Embarrassing Typo on Anti-Legalization Site," "Drug Czar Doesn't Want to Discuss California's Legalization Effort," "Sting Says End the Drug War," "Medical Marijuana on South Park Tonight," "Drug Cartels Are Terrified of Marijuana Legalization," "Illegal Growers Are Terrified of Marijuana Legalization," "An Argument to Avoid Making, Part 2."

15. 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.

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. Job Opportunity: Harm Reduction Specialist, Community Access, Inc., New York, NY

Community Access, Inc. is seeking a Harm Reduction Specialist for its New York City office.
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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