Drug War Chronicle #638 - June 25, 2010

1. Editorial: Thoughts on a Drug Lord's Demise (or, Folly's Continuation)

The demise of Jamaican drug lord Christopher "Dudus" Coke, following weeks of fighting that claimed dozens of lives, is just the latest predictable stage in a self-defeating global cycle of failing drug prohibition.

2. Feature: UN, Western Nations Complicit in Drug Offender Executions, Report Says

The UNODC, the European Commission and its member states, as well as Japan and the US all contribute to overseas anti-drug law enforcment programs that result in people being sentenced to death for drug offenses, the International Harm Reduction Association (IHRA) said in a report this week. It needs to stop, and IHRA has some concrete recommendations on how to do that.

3. Feature: Arizona Medical Marijuana Initiative Looking Good This November

Arizona voters in 1996 and 1998 approved medical marijuana, only to see their efforts thwarted by flawed language. Now, backed by the Marijuana Policy Project, Arizona activists have qualified an initiative for the ballot and look to be sitting pretty -- at least for now.

4. 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.

5. Pain Management: Kansas Doctor, Wife Convicted in Controversial Prescribing Case

Dr. Stephen Schneider and his wife Linda ran a pain management clinic in Haysville, Kansas. Now they are most likely headed for long stints in federal prison for their efforts after being found guilty of illegal prescribing and related offenses by a federal jury in Wichita.

6. Marijuana: California Decriminalization Bill Headed for Assembly Floor Vote

California half-way decriminalized simple pot possession back in the 1970s, setting a maximum $100 fine, but leaving offenders with a misdemeanor criminal record. Now, a bill that has already passed the Senate and is moving in the Assembly would complete the process by downgrading the offense to a civil citation.

7. Latin America: Mexico Drug War Update

There is no end in sight to the prohibition-related violence plaguing Mexico, and now, the cartels have started making threats aimed at law enforcement on the US side of the border.

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

A Virginia sheriff is under investigation for dipping into asset forfeiture funds, a Dallas-area narc's credibility is under question, a small-town Missouri cop gets caught buying coke to replace coke he pilfered, and, of course, two more jail or prison guards get busted.

9. The Border: Obama Seeks $600 Million in Emergency Funds for Heightened Security

As the rising conservative clamor to "secure the border" -- whatever that means -- grows louder, the Obama administration is moving fast to pay for more border guards, customs and immigration agents, DEA agents, FBI task forces, and even a couple of unmanned drones -- about $600 million total of "emergency appropriations."

10. Prosecution: Kentucky Supreme Court Rules Pregnant Women Cannot Be Criminalized for Drug Use

Who knew the Kentucky legislature could be so progressive? A state maternal health law passed in 1992 protects women from being prosecuted as child-endangerers for drug use while pregnant, and last week the state's Supreme Court told prosecutors to obey the law.

11. Europe: Amsterdam to Experiment With New Kinds of Cannabis Cafes

In a bid to reduce public nuisance complaints aimed at Amsterdam's famous cannabis coffee shops, the city government is about to embark on an experiment: to-go-only coffee shops and on-premises-consumption-only coffee shops.

12. Latin America: Peru Ousts Colombia as World's Largest Coca Producer, UNODC Says

In a classic example of the balloon effect, coca production has gone down in Colombia, according to the UNODC, only to be replaced by increasing production in Peru.

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

"John Stossel Debates Drug Laws with Sean Hannity," "Sarah Palin and the Marijuana Legalization Debate," "Supporting Harsh Drug Laws is Political Suicide in NY," "Ethan Nadelmann Destroys Bill O'Reilly in Drug War Debate," "Radley Balko Discusses Botched Drug Raids on FOX," "Government-Sponsored Murder in the Name of Prohibition," "Police Kill Grandmother's Dog in Botched Drug Raid," "Reminder: Marijuana Already Exists."

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. 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!
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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