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Drug War Chronicle #742 - July 12, 2012

1. Narc Scandal Front and Center in Florida Sheriff Race [FEATURE]

Scandal in the Pinellas County, Florida, Sheriff's Office over its efforts to bust indoor marijuana growers is providing plenty of fodder for the sheriff's challengers this campaign season.

2. Chronicle Review Essay: Summer Marijuana Reads

We review three books on various aspects of marijuana culture. There's some pretty good stuff there, too.

3. Pelosi Suggests Movement Post-Election on Medical Marijuana

Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday she may be open to making changes in federal law surrounding medical marijuana. That's her strongest statement yet on the issue.

4. Feds Target California's Highest Profile Dispensary

Federal prosecutors have targeted Harborside Health Center, California's iconic largest dispensary, with an asset forfeiture action. But Harborside isn't just going to roll over and play dead.

5. Obama Signs Synthetic Drug Ban Bill

"Bath salts" and "fake weed" are now banned on federal law after President Obama signed into law the FDA safety bill to which the bans were attached.

6. Did You Know? Facts About Switzerland's Heroin Maintenance Programs, on, a publication of Common Sense for Drug Policy, is an in-depth compilation of key facts, stats and quotes on the full range of drug policy issues, excerpted from expert publications on the subjects. The Chronicle is running a series of info items from -- check them out!

7. Singapore to Relax Death Penalty for Some Drug Traffickers

Hard-line Singapore has announced it is modifying its mandatory death sentence for drug traffickers. It's just a small change, but it may save a few lives, and serve as a signal for other drug death penalty states.

8. Medical Marijuana Update

Last week's middle of the week holiday made things fairly quiet on the medical marijuana front, but it looks like Massachusetts voters will have a chance to join the ranks of the medical marijuana states in November, and other efforts are underway in some surprising places.

9. Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Initiative Makes Ballot

It looks like Massachusetts has a good shot at becoming the 18th medical marijuana state. An initiative there has qualified for the ballot.

10. Oregon Marijuana Initiative Hands in Final Signatures

Oregon's OCTA marijuana legalization initiative has handed in a final 57,000 signatures. It needs 32,000 of them to be valid to make the November ballot. But election officials invalidated almost half of earlier signatures, so it's still nail-biting time for proponents.

11. Arkansas Medical Marijuana Signatures Handed In

Arkansas proponents for a medical marijuana initiative met a critical deadline last week, but still have thousands of signatures to gather if they're going to make the November ballot.

12. Georgia Governor Puts Welfare Drug Testing on Hold

Georgia's governor was quick to sign a welfare drug testing bill into law, but now he wants to wait for a legal challenge to a similar law in Florida before implementing that law that was supposed to go into effect July 1.

13. Drug War Snapshot: Ocean City, Maryland

The police in Ocean City, Maryland, are on a mission to maximize marijuana arrests, and they're doing quite well at it. Factor that in to your vacation plans.

14. Drug War Snapshot: Corpus Christi and Nueces County, Texas

In Corpus Christi, police have been arresting a thousand people a year on drug charges. That's the single largest reason people make it to felony court in Nueces County.

15. Drug War Snapshot: Volusia County, Florida

The criminal justice system in Volusia County, Florida, is running largely on the drug war if last Friday's jail bookings are any indication.

16. This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A former Missouri sheriff heads to federal prison, a former Kansas City cop is headed there, too, and a former South Carolina deputy is looking at drug charges.
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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