Drug War Chronicle #637 - June 18, 2010

1. Feature: Colorado Looks At Legalizing Marijuana in 2012

It looks very likely that Colorado will see a marijuana legalization initiative in 2012. The question is which one? SAFER's Mason Tvert already has one drafted and filed, but now other activists are saying they want to draft one, too.

2. Feature: Medical Marijuana Advocates Smell Victory in South Dakota

Will the second time be the charm in South Dakota? A medical marijuana initiative was barely defeated there in 2006; this time the scent of victory is in the air.

3. Immigration Law: Supreme Court Rules Immigrants Need Not Be Automatically Deported for Minor Drug Offenses

From a Supreme Court whose rulings too frequently defy both justice and common sense, finally, a decision that embraces both. The high court has unanimously held that a pair of petty drug offenses is not grounds for mandatory deportation of legal immigrants.

4. Drug Raids: Las Vegas Narc on Marijuana Hunt Kills Father-to-Be in Home

Well, we've got another questionable drug raid killing by police, this time in Las Vegas. A 21-year-old black man, Trevon Cole, who smoked a little pot, was about to become a father when Las Vegas police burst through his apartment door. Now, he's dead--shot by a narcotics detective--and not for any good reason that the police have so far provided. Oh, and the cop who shot him seems to have a bad habit of shooting people under questionable circumstances.

5. Latin America: Mexico Drug War Update

This may have been the bloodiest week yet in the prohibition-related violence that has wracked Mexico since Felipe Calderon called out the army in December 2006. And the death toll this year just passed 5,000, putting 2010 on pace to be the deadliest year yet south of the border.

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

And the beat goes on: A Phoenix cop gets busted for robbing drug couriers, a Texas deputy gets nailed for selling smack to prisoners, a Louisiana deputy goes down on hundreds of counts, and a former NYPD narc heads for federal prison.

7. Law Enforcement: Atlanta Police House Cleaning Marks End of Kathryn Johnston Case

Five officers convicted of criminal offenses, two officers fired, six officers disciplined, one officer resigning to avoid discipline -- that's the toll the killing of Kathryn Johnston in a botched drug raid has taken on the Atlanta Police Department. The department says it's learned its lesson. Let's hope it's true.

8. Harm Reduction: Washington State 911 Good Samaritan Law to Prevent ODs Now in Effect

Washington is now the second state to adopt a "911 Good Samaritan" laws in a bid to prevent drug overdose fatalities. It's a smart harm reduction move.

9. Marijuana: Miami Beach Decriminalization Initiative Campaign Gets Underway

A marijuana moon over Miami Beach? How romantic. A decriminalization initiative campaign is underway to make the tourist destination a bit more pot-friendly.

10. Medical Marijuana: Guam Senator Introduces Bill

Medical marijuana is hitting the Pacific. There was already interest in the Northern Marianas, and now a Guamanian senator has introduced a bill in that US territory.

11. Weekly: This Week in History

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

12. Appeal: 2010 is Important in Drug Policy -- And So Are You

2010 is a critical year in the effort to end prohibition and the war on drugs. The StoptheDrugWar.org (DRCNet) "Changing Minds, Changing Laws, Changing Lives" campaign is asking for you to pitch in -- your support is more important now than it has ever been before!

13. Weekly: Blogging @ the Speakeasy

"There's Only One Argument Against Legalizing Marijuana (And It's Wrong)," "Legal Marijuana Will Not Increase Crime. Please Stop Saying That," "Ron Paul and Sarah Palin Discuss Marijuana Legalization," "O'Reilly Attacks Sting Over Legalization Comments," "If the Drug War Worked, Cartels Wouldn't Be Killing Politicians."

14. 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.

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!
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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