Drug War Chronicle #639 - July 9, 2010

1. Feature: Race and Reefer -- the African American Vote in California's Marijuana Legalization Initiative

California's African American population is supportive of marijuana legalization, and the state NAACP endorsed the notion a few days ago. But anti-pot crusader Bishop Ron Allen, a black clergyman from Sacramento, is determined to stop legalization anyway.

2. Feature: Drug War a Devastating Failure, Scientists and Researchers Say in Vienna Declaration

With the 2010 World AIDS Conference in Vienna looming, researchers and scientists have authored an official conference declaration lambasting drug prohibition as a horrid failure and calling on governments, international organizations, and the UN to make fundamental, evidence-based changes in drug policy. They want you to sign it, too.

3. UNODC: The Russians Are Coming

The Russians want more appointments to high positions in the UN, and it looks like a Russian diplomat will replace outgoing UNODC head Antonio Maria Costa. Given Russia's retrograde positions on drug policy issues, alarm bells are going off.

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. Latin America: Mexico Drug War Update

2010 is on the way to being the bloodiest year yet in Mexico's ever-escalating prohibition-fueled violence. In 2008, 5,000 were killed; last year, the toll was 8,000. This year, we're only at the half-way point, and the toll so far is closing in on 6,000.

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

A Texas cop hangs with meth dealers, a Utah cop rips-off the drug buy money, and a Florida trooper has the DEA on his case.

7. Marijuana Legalization: Oregon, Washington Initiatives Fall Short

Voters in Oregon and Washington will not have a chance to legalize marijuana this year after initiative signature-gathering campaigns came up short last Friday. See ya in 2012?

8. Medical Marijuana: ACLU Sues Wal-Mart for Firing Patient

In what could be a critical test case for medical marijuana patients in Michigan, the ACLU has filed a lawsuit against Wal-Mart for firing a worker who legally used medical marijuana.

9. Marijuana Legalization: California Pot Price Could Drop to $38 an Ounce, Rand Study Finds

$38 an ounce for kind bud?!?!? That's what RAND says could happen if California legalizes it. Tax revenue estimates are all over the place, depending on multiple factors. And consumption could go up dramatically, but it might not. Bottom line: Nobody knows for sure what's going to happen.

10. Synthetic Cannabinoids: K2/Spice Banned in Missouri

The knee-jerk prohibitionist impulse remains strong in America, especially in the South. Confronted with a synthetic cannabinoid, states are lining up to ban it.

11. Europe: Norwegian Committee Calls for Heroin Prescription Trials, Harm Reduction Measures

A blue-ribbon committee led by one of Norway's most respected political figures has called for heroin prescription trials, harm reduction measures, and expanded treatment options for hard drug users. But the government still has to agree, and the heroin prescription trial in particular is controversial.

12. Weekly: This Week in History

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

13. 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!

14. Weekly: Blogging @ the Speakeasy

"Will the Marijuana Vote Help the Democrats in November?," "The War on Marijuana = Federal $$$ for Local Cops," "A Scary New Drug Threatens Our Children: Nutmeg," "Marijuana Legalization is a Civil Rights Issue," "UN Drug Policy in the Dark Ages," "What's the Big Deal About Narco-Subs?"

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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