Format: 2021-04

Drug War Chronicle #530 - April 4, 2008

1. Editorial: Should Philadelphia Be Excited About Its Big Drug Bust?

Three police agencies in Philadelphia teamed up to nab the largest stash of cocaine ever found there. But all impact on the market from the bust is bound to be gone in a matter or weeks if not less. Should we be excited?

2. Massachusetts Aims For Marijuana Decriminalization in November

An initiative that would decriminalize marijuana possession in Massachusetts has passed a number of hurdles and appears to be headed for the November ballot, where the prospects are good.

3. Michigan Medical Marijuana Initiative Well-Positioned for November

A Michigan medical marijuana initiative is now before the legislature, which will not act on it, clearing the way for a popular vote in November. The poll numbers are good.

4. Spring Special: "Stop the Drug War" Knapsacks from StoptheDrugWar.org

Help promote the Stop the Drug War cause by buying this new DRCNet membership premium and using it to carry around your books or other belongings for work, school, or wherever life takes you!

5. Law Enforcement: Detroit Prosecutor Charged With Misconduct for Allowing False Testimony in Drug Case, Misleading Jury

Last week, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy was loudly pursuing criminal perjury charges against the mayor and his one-time paramour. This week, her chief drug prosecutor is accused of abetting perjury by cops and an informant in a drug case, but there's no talk yet of any criminal charges.

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

A Pittsburgh cop rips off the evidence locker, and four Metro Detroit cops get indicted for slinging steroids, helping a biker gang, and lying to the feds.

7. Search and Seizure: Vermont Supreme Court Throws Out Marijuana Conviction Based on Warrantless Aerial Surveillance

The Vermont Supreme Court has thrown a marijuana conviction based on a warrantless overflight by a military helicopter, saying the state constitution's privacy provisions protect residents and "the airspace above their homes and property."

8. Europe: British Drug Advisors Say Leave Marijuana Where It Is, But PM Brown Is Set to Ignore Them

According to the BBC, the British government's drug advisory panel will recommend that marijuana remain a Class C drug. But Prime Minister Gordon Brown is signaling he may overrule it in a move that would take British marijuana policy boldly backward.

9. Europe: Dutch Court Throws Out Maastricht Coffee Shop Ban on Foreigners

The Dutch border city of Maastricht cannot bar foreigners from its coffee shops, a district court has ruled.

10. Southeast Asia: Thailand Launches New "War on Drugs," But Promises No Killings (Maybe)

Five years ago, a bloody Thai "war on drugs" left an estimated 2,500 people dead at the hands of police and soldiers. Now, the Thai government has declared a new "war on drugs," but vows no killings... maybe.

11. Latin America: Ecuador Files Complaint Against Colombia for Spraying Coca Fields Near Border

The government of Ecuador has asked the World Court to order Colombia to stop spraying herbicides on coca fields within 6 miles of the border, saying the spraying harms crops, livestock, and people on the Ecuadorian side. The move comes as tensions with Colombia remain high in the wake of a Colombian raid on Ecuadorian territory that left 25 people dead.

12. Middle East: Israeli Anti-Drug Campaign Links Marijuana Use to Terrorism

American drug czar John Walters tried it a few years ago. Now, the Israelis are tearing a page from his playbook: If you smoke pot, a new campaign warns, you're helping out the terrorists.

13. This Week in History

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

14. Weekly: Blogging @ the Speakeasy

"New Study: Pot Smokers Aren't Drug Addicts, They Just Like Pot," "Even if We Succeed, The Drug Warriors Will Take All the Credit," "South Park Takes on Drug Prohibition," "Winning 'Em Over One at a Time," "Looking for a New Boogie Man," "Southpark: 11 Years of Exposing Drug War Fallacies."

15. Feedback: Do You Read Drug War Chronicle?

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16. Students: Intern at DRCNet and Help Stop the Drug War!

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17. Webmasters: Help the Movement by Running DRCNet Syndication Feeds on Your Web Site!

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18. Resource: DRCNet Web Site Offers Wide Array of RSS Feeds for Your Reader

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19. Resource: Reformer's Calendar Accessible Through DRCNet Web Site

Visit our new web site each day to see a running countdown to the events coming up the soonest, and more.
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.

Drug War Chronicle #529 - March 28, 2008

1. Editorial: Evidence Disparities in the Drug War

Drug warriors tend to apply high standards of evidence to things like medical marijuana or drug treatment, while giving policies of arrest and incarceration a pass. When all of the evidence is looked at evenly, the drug war will be seen as indefensible beyond any reasonable doubt.

2. No Evidence Needed? War on Salvia Divinorum Heating Up -- YouTube Videos Play Role

Using YouTube videos of young people under the influence of salvia divinorum as exhibit number one, legislators across the country are stepping up efforts to ban the intense, fast-acting hallucinogen.

3. They Won't Give Up -- Alaska Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument in State's Bid to Overturn Legal Marijuana At Home

For more than 30 years, Alaska's courts have held that the state constitution's privacy provisions protect citizens who want to smoke and possess small amounts of marijuana in their homes. Last week, the Alaska Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the state's latest effort to undo the status quo.

4. Appeal: Three Exciting New Book Offers for Our Donating Supporters

We are pleased to offer the works "Over the Influence: The Harm Reduction Guide for Managing Drugs and Alcohol," "Women Behind Bars: The Crisis of Women in the US Prison System," and "Cannabis: Yields and Dosage," as our latest membership premium gifts.

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

Our corrupt cops are all southern-fried this week. An Atlanta narc cops a plea in fallout from the Kathryn Johnston case, a Mississippi cop heads for prison, a pair of Florida jail guards will be looking out from the other side of the bars, and a Florida sheriff has some problems in his department.

6. Marijuana: Barney Frank to Introduce Federal Decriminalization Bill

Saying marijuana policy should not be a federal issue, Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) said last week he plans to introduce a federal decriminalization bill.

7. Search and Seizure: US Supreme Court to Decide Warrantless Search Case

The US Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether police need a search warrant to enter a residence after an informant has gone in and made a drug buy. Some federal courts have held that by allowing the informant in, the resident has consented to a police search.

8. Medical Marijuana: California Dr. Molly Fry Sentenced to Five Years

Dr. Molly Fry and her companion, attorney Dale Schafer, were sentenced last week to five years in federal prison as marijuana traffickers for providing marijuana to patients in compliance with California's Compassionate Use Act. At least -- and unusually -- the judge let them out on bail pending appeal.

9. Politics: New York Governor Admits Past Cocaine, Marijuana Use, Few Are Bothered

New York Gov. David Paterson admitted to using cocaine and marijuana in the 1970s, and for the most part, the silence has been reassuring. A few ardent prohibitionists complained, though.

10. Drug Treatment: Idaho Senate Overrides Governor's Funding Increase Veto, Battle Continues

Idaho legislators want to increase funding for drug treatment and prevention, but the governor vetoed their funding line-items. Now, the state Senate has overridden one veto, and it's time for the House to step up to the plate.

11. Europe: Dutch Smoking Ban Will Not Apply to Marijuana, Health Minister Says

A smoking ban in bars, restaurants, and yes, coffee shops, goes into effect in Holland on July 1. But the law only targets tobacco, so marijuana-smoking can continue in the coffee shops, at least as long as it's not those tobacco-laced Euro-style joints.

12. Latin America: Bloody Easter Weekend in Mexico's Drug Wars

Mexico's drug prohibition-related violence took no respite over the Easter holiday. At least 59 people were killed across the country, including cops, soldiers, drug dealers, used car salesman, an informant, and a US citizen.

13. Europe: Czechs Call for Legal Medical Marijuana

As the Czech parliament moves to decriminalize small-time marijuana possession and up to three plants, medical marijuana activists are calling for the legalization of the weed for medical purposes.

14. This Week in History

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

15. Weekly: Blogging @ the Speakeasy

"In the Future, the Drug War Will be Fought by Robots," "Netherlands Rated More Stable and Prosperous Than U.S.," "Poisoning the Drug Policy Debate in 8 Simple Steps," "1/3 of People Admitted to Marijuana Treatment Hadn't Been Smoking Marijuana!," "A False and Embarrassing Press Release from the Deputy Drug Czar," "Simple Farmers Bearing Brunt of Afghan Drug War."

16. 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.

17. Students: Intern at DRCNet and Help Stop the Drug War!

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18. Webmasters: Help the Movement by Running DRCNet Syndication Feeds on Your Web Site!

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19. Resource: DRCNet Web Site Offers Wide Array of RSS Feeds for Your Reader

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20. Resource: Reformer's Calendar Accessible Through DRCNet Web Site

Visit our new web site each day to see a running countdown to the events coming up the soonest, and more.
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.

Drug War Chronicle #528 - March 21, 2008

1. Drug Overdose Deaths Are Going Through the Roof -- Is Anybody Watching?

While the nation worries about baseball players on steroids and teenagers smoking pot, an epidemic of drug overdoses is sweeping the country. There are methods of reducing the toll, but there are many obstacles, too, not the least of which is public and official indifference.

2. States Shifting to "Four Pillars" Approach, Instead of Mass Arrests and Scare Tactics, for Confronting Methamphetamine

Current approaches to methamphetamine use in the US have largely failed and should be replaced by a "Four Pillars" approach embracing prevention, treatment, harm reduction, and law enforcement, according to a report issued Tuesday. Some states have already moved that direction.

3. Drug War Chronicle Book Review: "Over the Influence: The Harm Reduction Guide to Managing Drugs and Alcohol," by Patt Denning, Jeanne Little, and Adina Glickman (2004, Guilford Press, 328 pp., $16.95 PB)

We usually reserve this space for books hot off the press, but in the case of "Over the Influence," we make an exception. This book is special enough for us to make it a premium for our contributors, and given that we are publishing a story this week about the rapidly rise toll from drug overdoses, we think its importance is self-evident.

4. Appeal: Three Exciting New Book Offers for Our Donating Supporters

We are pleased to offer the works "Over the Influence: The Harm Reduction Guide for Managing Drugs and Alcohol," "Women Behind Bars: The Crisis of Women in the US Prison System," and "Cannabis: Yields and Dosage," as our latest membership premium gifts.

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

Greedy jail guards, pill-peddling cops, sticky-fingered cops, and a sticky-fingered prosecutor. On the corrupt cop front, it's the same old same old. Here's this week's version.

6. Law Enforcement: Ohio SWAT Officer Who Killed Young Mother in Drug Raid Gets Charged With Misdemeanors, Faces Eight Months at Most

The black community in Lima, Ohio, cried for justice after a SWAT team member killed Tarika Wilson and wounded her infant son during a raid in January. Those cries are unlikely to be quieted now as local authorities charged the police shooter with a pair of misdemeanors for the killing. He faces a maximum of eight months in jail.

7. Law Enforcement: Senate Votes to Restore Byrne Drug Task Force Funding Program

Although the Bush administration has tried repeatedly to zero out funding for the Justice Department grant program that funds state and local anti-drug task forces, Congress keeps trying to put it back. Last week, the Senate voted to restore more than $900 million in funds in the FY 2009 budget, but there's a long way to go yet.

8. Marijuana: New Hampshire House Passes Decriminalization Bill

The New Hampshire House Tuesday approved a bill that would decriminalize the possession of up to a quarter ounce of marijuana. But Senate leaders say it is dead on arrival, and the governor is vowing to veto it if it passes.

9. Drug Testing: Washington State Supreme Court Rejects Random Tests of Students

The drug czar's office may be pushing the random drug testing of high school students, but it isn't going to happen in Washington state. The state Supreme Court last week ruled such testing unconstitutional.

10. Europe: Czechs to Decriminalize Marijuana Possession, Growing Up to Three Plants

The Czech Republic is set to decriminalize the possession of up to 20 joints and the growing of up three marijuana plants. The move comes as an adjustment to the penal code.

11. Latin America: First Coca Plantations, Cocaine Lab Found in Brazil

For the first time, Brazilian authorities have found coca plantations and a cocaine lab on national territory, and they are worried there could be more.

12. Weekly: Blogging @ the Speakeasy

"They're Producing Cocaine in Brazil Now, Too," "DEA Opens Drug War Fantasy Camp," "Mark Souder Accidentally Assists Marijuana Decrim Efforts in New Hampshire," "UN Drug Czar Refuses to Answer a Tough Question," "Internet Users Take a Swing at Anti-drug PSAs," "High School Drug Policy: Striving for Underachievement."

13. Weekly: This Week in History

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

14. Job Listing: Internship Opportunities at the Marijuana Policy Project

The Marijuana Policy Project is looking for summer interns to work in its Outreach and State Policies departments.

15. Students: Intern at DRCNet and Help Stop the Drug War!

Apply for an internship at DRCNet for this fall (or spring), and you could spend the semester fighting the good fight!

16. 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.

17. Webmasters: Help the Movement by Running DRCNet Syndication Feeds on Your Web Site!

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19. Resource: Reformer's Calendar Accessible Through DRCNet Web Site

Visit our new web site each day to see a running countdown to the events coming up the soonest, and more.
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.

Drug War Chronicle #527 - March 14, 2008

1. Human Rights in the Drug War: NGOs Slam UN Drug Bureaucracies, Demand Compliance With UN Charter

As the UN's Commission on Narcotic Drugs met this week in Vienna, it and its brother UN anti-drug agencies came under fierce attack for sacrificing human rights on the altar of the drug war.

2. Medical Marijuana at the Statehouse: Prospects for 2008

Efforts to legalize medical marijuana via the legislative process are underway in several states. We take a look at where those efforts stand and where they're likely headed.

3. Appeal: Three Exciting New Book Offers for Our Donating Supporters

We are pleased to offer the works "Over the Influence: The Harm Reduction Guide for Managing Drugs and Alcohol," "Women Behind Bars: The Crisis of Women in the US Prison System," and "Cannabis: Yields and Dosage," as our latest membership premium gifts.

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

A crooked Boston cop is headed for prison, a sticky-fingered Indianapolis cop now faces charges, and the trial of two Maryland prisoners accused of killing a guard is opening a window into corruption in the now shuttered House of Corrections.

5. Prisoner Re-Entry: Congress Passes Second Chance Act, Bill Goes to President Bush

The Second Chance Act passed the Senate Tuesday night. It passed the House last year, and President Bush is expected to sign it into law shortly. It will provide $360 million for prisoner re-entry services in a bid to reduce recidivism.

6. Drug Treatment: New Jersey Drug Court Expansion Bill Passes, Awaits Governor's Signature

A bill that would expand eligibility for diversion to drug court has passed the New Jersey legislature. Gov. Jon Corzine (D) is expected to sign it shortly.

7. Europe: UN Drug Chief Talks Nice on Monday, Not So Nice on Wednesday

UNODC head Antonio Maria Costa let slip some intemperate remarks during the UN drug meeting in Vienna this week.

8. Latin America: Bolivia Defies UN Drug Watchdog, Will Fund Push for Expanded Coca Markets

The Bolivian government has responded to the International Narcotics Control Board's demand last week that coca chewing and growing be banned by publicizing plans to enlarge markets for coca products.

9. Europe: Dutch Government to Review Marijuana Laws, Moves to Ban Grow Shops

The conservative Dutch government will review the country's 30-year experiment with pragmatic tolerance of marijuana use and sales, and the Justice Minister has announced he wants to ban "grow shops."

10. Europe: Vatican Updates List of Deadly Sins, Adds Drug-Taking, Drug-Selling

The Vatican has issued a modern version of the "seven deadly sins," and selling and using drugs made the list.

11. Weekly: This Week in History

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

12. Students: Intern at DRCNet and Help Stop the Drug War!

Apply for an internship at DRCNet for this fall (or spring), and you could spend the semester fighting the good fight!

13. 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.

14. Webmasters: Help the Movement by Running DRCNet Syndication Feeds on Your Web Site!

Support the cause by featuring automatically-updating Drug War Chronicle and other DRCNet content links on your web site!

15. Resource: DRCNet Web Site Offers Wide Array of RSS Feeds for Your Reader

A new way for you to receive DRCNet articles -- Drug War Chronicle and more -- is now available.

16. Resource: Reformer's Calendar Accessible Through DRCNet Web Site

Visit our new web site each day to see a running countdown to the events coming up the soonest, and more.
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.

Drug War Chronicle #526 - March 7, 2008

1. Not So Fast -- Funny Numbers in the Same Old 2008 US National Drug Strategy Report

President Bush and ONDCP head John Walters released the 2008 National Drug Control Strategy over the weekend. They are claiming some important victories, but some critics say not so fast.

2. The New British National Drug Strategy -- A Little Tougher, Maybe a Little Smarter, But Essentially More of the Same

The British government unveiled its new 10-year national drug strategy last week. For critics, it looks like more of the same old failed policies, with a step forward on treatment and prevention and a few steps back on policing.

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

A former Cleveland cop heads to the slammer for protecting cocaine shipments, and a former Georgia narc pleads guilty to stealing $80,000.

4. Medical Marijuana: Kansas Bill Dies as Legislative Deadline Passes

The effort to pass a medical marijuana bill is dead for this year in Kansas -- killed by an obstructionist committee chair -- but organizers vow it will be back.

5. Medical Marijuana: Michigan Petition Signatures Approved, Measure Headed for November Ballot Unless Legislature Approves It First

The Michigan medical marijuana initiative has been approved by the state Board of Canvassers. Now, it heads to the voters in November -- unless the legislature approves it in the next six weeks.

6. Hemp: Licensing Bill Passes Minnesota House, Would Require Federal Approval

Maybe the third time is the charm. After going nowhere in 1999 and 2002, hemp legislation is moving at the Minnesota state capitol. A licensing bill has passed two committee votes despite law enforcement objections.

7. Appeal: Three Exciting New Book Offers for Our Donating Supporters

We are pleased to offer the works "Over the Influence: The Harm Reduction Guide for Managing Drugs and Alcohol," "Women Behind Bars: The Crisis of Women in the US Prison System," and "Cannabis: Yields and Dosage," as our latest membership premium gifts.

8. Europe: Czech Supreme Court Throws Out Medical Marijuana Grow Conviction

The Czech Supreme Court has overturned the marijuana cultivation convictions of a retiree who claimed she was growing to treat her ulcers and foot pain. It doesn't mean it's legal to grow pot now, but it appears the lower courts will have to take medical necessity defenses under consideration.

9. Pain Treatment: INCB Calls for Greater Access to Opioid Medicines in Developing World

The UN's International Narcotics Control Board has called for greater access to and use of opioid pain relievers in the developing world. In a slap at proposals to license and "medicalize" the Afghan opium crop, the INCB argues that global supply isn't the problem.

10. Latin America: INCB Calls on Peru, Bolivia to Ban Coca Chewing

The International Narcotics Control Board wants the governments of Bolivia and Peru to ban coca chewing. Not happening.

11. Jamaica: Government Considering Marijuana Legalization, Official Says

A Jamaican government official said last Friday that the island nation is considering legalizing or decriminalizing marijuana as part of a drug law reform proposal. But don't hold your breath, the government said this was coming "soon" back in 2003.

12. Weekly: This Week in History

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

13. Students: Intern at DRCNet and Help Stop the Drug War!

Apply for an internship at DRCNet for this fall (or spring), and you could spend the 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.

Drug War Chronicle #525 - February 29, 2008

1. Crack Sentencing Gets a Hearing on Capitol Hill While Advocates Mobilize

With pressure mounting on Congress to do something about the disparities in sentencing for federal crack and powder cocaine offenses, a House committee held a hearing Tuesday, and activists took to the Hill to lobby for change.

2. Bush Drug Treatment, Prevention, and Recovery Budget Cuts Raise Chorus of Criticism

The Bush administration's proposed 2009 budget includes some significant cuts in drug treatment, prevention, and recovery spending. A chorus of critics, including some former federal drug fighters, say there has to be a better way.

3. In Memoriam: William F. Buckley, Conservative Supporter of Drug Legalization

The dean of contemporary American conservatism, William F. Buckley, died Wednesday at age 82. His was a pioneering conservative voice in favor of drug legalization.

4. Appeal: Three Exciting New Book Offers for Our Donating Supporters

We are pleased to offer the works "Over the Influence: The Harm Reduction Guide for Managing Drugs and Alcohol," "Women Behind Bars: The Crisis of Women in the US Prison System," and "Cannabis: Yields and Dosage," as our latest membership premium gifts.

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

A Texas court bailiff accused of peddling cocaine and selling guns to the Gulf Cartel, two TSA officials indicted for helping to smuggle drugs onto airplanes, and a California evidence tech with sticky fingers and a bad habit. Just another week on the corrupt cop front.

6. Money Laundering: US Supreme Court Skeptical of Government's Broad Interpretation

The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments Monday in a case where the government is claiming that hiding money constitutes money laundering. The justices seemed skeptical.

7. Search and Seizure: US Supreme Court to Hear Case on Warrantless Vehicle Searches

The US Supreme Court Monday agreed to hear a case about whether police may search a vehicle after arresting a driver or occupant.

8. Sentencing: Vermont Bill Lowering Thresholds for Trafficking Charges Advances

Two weeks after it voted to remove criminal penalties for marijuana possession, a Vermont Senate committee has voted to halve the quantities of heroin or cocaine necessary to trigger a trafficking charge.

9. Pregnancy: Arizona Bill to Force Meth-Using Mothers-To-Be Into Treatment Passes Committee

A bill that would allow child protective workers to order meth-using pregnant women into drug treatment against their will was approved by a state Senate committee Monday. It now moves to the Senate floor.

10. Europe: Denmark Parliament Approves Heroin Maintenance Pilot Project

Denmark could be the next European country to embrace heroin maintenance therapy. The Danish parliament approved a pilot program this week.

11. Latin America: Colombian Peasants Battle Police Over Coca Crops

As Colombian President Uribe attempts a massive manual eradication of coca plants, he is running into opposition from both angry peasants and armed rebels.

12. Weekly: This Week in History

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

13. Weekly: Blogging @ the Speakeasy

"Opponents of Marijuana Reform Constantly Contradict Themselves," "Save the Rainforest From the Drug War," "Should Candidates for Public Office Be Drug Tested?," "Thailand's Drug Strategy: Mass Murder Thousands of Drug Suspects," "Drug Czar Pledges to Finally Do Something About All These Pot Smugglers."

14. Students: Intern at DRCNet and Help Stop the Drug War!

Apply for an internship at DRCNet for this fall (or spring), and you could spend the semester fighting the good fight!

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. Webmasters: Help the Movement by Running DRCNet Syndication Feeds on Your Web Site!

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17. Resource: DRCNet Web Site Offers Wide Array of RSS Feeds for Your Reader

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18. Resource: Reformer's Calendar Accessible Through DRCNet Web Site

Visit our new web site each day to see a running countdown to the events coming up the soonest, and more.
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.

Drug War Chronicle #524 - February 21, 2008

three new book offers for members:

(The Chronicle comes out a day early this week due to staff travel schedule.)

1. Editorial: Politicians Are Too Scared to Talk About Drug Prohibition, So We Must Talk

How many more lives will be ruined by the drug laws before our leaders are willing to talk sense about them? Too many, here and everywhere.

2. Top Doctors Association Says "YES" to Medical Marijuana in Historic Endorsement

The nation's second largest doctors' organization endorsed the medicinal use of marijuana in a major policy statement released last week.

3. Stop Filling Prisons, California -- Advocates to Take Sentencing Reform Case to Voters

California's prison system is the nation's second largest, behind only the federal prison system. Now, an initiative that would dramatically expand Proposition 36-style "treatment not jail" programs, as well as other systemic reforms, is headed for the November ballot.

4. In Memoriam: Dr. John P. Morgan

Dr. John P. Morgan, coauthor of "Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts" and a leading academic advocate for drug policy reform, died suddenly last Friday. He will be sorely missed.

5. Appeal: Three Exciting New Book Offers for Our Donating Supporters

We are pleased to offer the works "Over the Influence: The Harm Reduction Guide for Managing Drugs and Alcohol," "Women Behind Bars: The Crisis of Women in the US Prison System," and "Cannabis: Yields and Dosage," as our latest membership premium gifts.

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

Slim picking on the corrupt cop front this week, but we still have a Los Angeles probation officer rounded up in a major bust and a small town Pennsylvania cop about to pay for his big ambitions.

7. Marijuana: New Hampshire Decriminalization Bill Hits Bump

A bill that would decriminalize marijuana possession in New Hampshire is hitting some bumps. Last week, a subcommittee slashed the quantity from one ounce or less to one-quarter ounce or less, and this week a committee voted not to recommend the bill. But it will still go to the House floor and a possible roll-call vote.

8. Latin America: Colombian Soldiers Convicted of Killing Colombian Narcotics Police

A judge in Cali has found a Colombian army colonel and 14 of his troops guilty of murder for killing 10 elite Colombian anti-drug police and their informant at the request of drug traffickers.

9. Europe: Grow Ops Pop Up in Southern Norway

Scandinavia tends toward harsh drug policies, but that isn't stopping marijuana growers in Norway. Police there report a series of recent grow up busts.

10. Australia: Queensland Passes Tough New Drug Law

The drug laws just got tougher in Australia's Queensland. The parliament there passed a bill increasing penalties for Ecstasy, PMA, and a number of other drugs, added "analogues" to the list, and made it a crime to provide items used to make drugs.

11. Southeast Asia: Methadone Maintenance Coming to Ho Chi Minh City

While Vietnam is generally noted for dealing with its heroin problem by sentencing traffickers to death, one methadone maintenance program for users is already underway and another one is set to open in Ho Chi Minh City.

12. Europe: Poll Finds Britons Prefer Status Quo on Marijuana, But One Quarter Would Support No Penalties At All

As the British government prepares for a seemingly inevitable up-scheduling of marijuana, a new poll finds that a plurality of Britons like the penalties for pot possession as they are, and about one quarter would just like to see it legalized or decriminalized.

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

"Drug Testing Welfare Applicants Will Only Cause Horrible Problems," "Rule #1 of Drug Legalization is Don't Talk About Drug Legalization," "Judge Throws Out DEA Agents' Lawsuit Against 'American Gangster'," "A Big Bump on the Road to the Mexico," more coming soon...

15. Students: Intern at DRCNet and Help Stop the Drug War!

Apply for an internship at DRCNet for this fall (or spring), and you could spend the semester fighting the good fight!

16. 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.

17. Webmasters: Help the Movement by Running DRCNet Syndication Feeds on Your Web Site!

Support the cause by featuring automatically-updating Drug War Chronicle and other DRCNet content links on your web site!

18. Resource: DRCNet Web Site Offers Wide Array of RSS Feeds for Your Reader

A new way for you to receive DRCNet articles -- Drug War Chronicle and more -- is now available.

19. Resource: Reformer's Calendar Accessible Through DRCNet Web Site

Visit our new web site each day to see a running countdown to the events coming up the soonest, and more.
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.

Drug War Chronicle #523 - February 15, 2008

1. No Relief in Sight: Reynosa, Mexico, Military Occupation Yields No Let-Up in Drug War Violence

Mexican soldiers poured into Reynosa and other border towns in the state of Tamaulipas last month in response to a wave of drug prohibition-related violence. They haven't stopped the violence, but they have put the screws to some sectors of the local economy and committed some human rights violations. Few observers there or across the river think the answer lies in Washington's proposed massive anti-drug aid package.

2. Drug War Chronicle Book Review: "Women Behind Bars: The Crisis of Women in the US Prison System," by Silja Talvi (2007, Seal Press, 356 pp., $15.95 PB)

With "Women Behind Bars," investigate journalist Silja Talvi has produced a tour de force that should shame every American who reads it -- and, one can only hope, help to propel them to take action.

3. Appeal: Three Exciting New Book Offers for Our Donating Supporters

We are pleased to offer the works "Over the Influence: The Harm Reduction Guide for Managing Drugs and Alcohol," "Women Behind Bars: The Crisis of Women in the US Prison System," and "Cannabis: Yields and Dosage," as our latest membership premium gifts.

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

A Pennsylvania cop's bad habits get him in trouble, a Boston cop goes to prison for steroids and perjury, and a Texas Department of Public Safety technician goes away for a long, long time for ripping off the lab's cocaine stash.

5. Sentencing: Faced With Swollen Prisons, Idaho Ponders Reforms

With its prisons stuffed to the gills with drug offenders thanks to years of legislative "tough on drugs" initiatives, Idaho is now beginning to look for alternatives. One comes in a bill that would allow judges to divert "addicts" convicted of drug sales to treatment instead of giving them mandatory prison time.

6. Medical Marijuana: California Vending Machines Draw Ire of UN Narcs

Medical marijuana vending machines, oh my! The International Narcotics Control Board expresses its "concern."

7. Opiate Maintenance: Open Season on Methadone Clinics and Clients in the Indiana Legislature

Indiana's methadone clinics and patients are under attack in the Indiana legislature -- again. This time, pols want to make clinic patients have designated drivers and test them for marijuana. At least a proposal to bar them from bringing their children to the clinic has died -- for now.

8. Civil Rights: Pennsylvania Bill Would Allow Involuntary Commitment of "Drug Dependent" People

A bill that would allow families to petition courts for the involuntary commitment for drug treatment of their "drug dependent" family members has been filed in Pennsylvania. It is unlikely to go anywhere, but it is such a creepy example of drug war totalitarianism that it's worth noting.

9. Marijuana: Washington ACLU Wants to Start a National Conversation

The ACLU of Washington state is going on the offensive with a campaign unveiled this week designed to start a national conversation about marijuana policy. The multimedia campaign features Rick Steves in a 30-minute video and has lots of other goodies for would-be debaters, too.

10. Web Scan

Idaho, Plan Mexico, pain, Afghanistan, medical psychedelic use, stimulant regulation, "Making Pot Legal," more...

11. Middle East: Tel Aviv Seeks to Begin Heroin Maintenance Program

The city of Tel Aviv has proposed a pilot heroin maintenance program for recalcitrant older users. Now it is seeking approval from the Israeli Ministry of Health.

12. Canada: Smell of Pot No Grounds for Arrest or Search, Says Saskatchewan Appeals Court

Even if an officer smells the odor of burning weed coming out of your vehicle, that's not enough for him to arrest or search you -- at least in Saskatchewan. That's what the provincial Court of Appeals ruled recently, and the Crown isn't going to appeal that decision.

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

"On the Border in the Lower Rio Grande Valley," "Residents Rallying Around SWAT Raid Target Ryan Frederick," "Michael Mukasey's Cracked Crack Logic," and "Monsters Retake Thailand's Government and Vow to Resume Mass Drug War Murders," "Travel Expert Rick Steves Speaks Out Against Marijuana Laws," "Now That We've Forgiven Barack Obama's Drug Use, Can We Forgive Everyone Else Too?," "Protest Against Police Violence is Monitored From Above by Police Snipers," "Hey Barack Obama, Fixing Marijuana Laws is Smart Politics," "Drug Czar's $2.7 Million Super Bowl Ad Gets Terrible Viewer Ratings," "Quote of the Day," "Kevin Sabet Responds," "Drug Czar Speechwriter Requests Special Treatment at UN Forum."

15. Students: Intern at DRCNet and Help Stop the Drug War!

Apply for an internship at DRCNet for this fall (or spring), and you could spend the semester fighting the good fight!

16. 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.

17. Webmasters: Help the Movement by Running DRCNet Syndication Feeds on Your Web Site!

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18. Resource: DRCNet Web Site Offers Wide Array of RSS Feeds for Your Reader

A new way for you to receive DRCNet articles -- Drug War Chronicle and more -- is now available.

19. Resource: Reformer's Calendar Accessible Through DRCNet Web Site

Visit our new web site each day to see a running countdown to the events coming up the soonest, and more.
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.

Drug War Chronicle #522 - February 8, 2008

1. Feature: With More Cuts Proposed in Drug Task Force Grant Program, Battle to Restore Funding Moves to Two Tracks

Even as law enforcement and its allies fight a rear-guard effort to restore lost 2008 funding for the grant program that funds state and local drug task forces, the Bush administration is proposing to cut it again in the 2009 budget.

2. Feature: Vancouver Conference Sends a Message to the UN

As part of a series of regional forums in advance of next month's meeting of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna, Vancouver this week hosted a forum where participants sent a clear signal that prohibition is not working.

3. Appeal: Three Exciting New Book Offers for Our Donating Supporters

We are pleased to offer the works "Over the Influence: The Harm Reduction Guide for Managing Drugs and Alcohol," "Women Behind Bars: The Crisis of Women in the US Prison System," and "Cannabis: Yields and Dosage," as our latest membership premium gifts.

4. Weekly: Blogging @ the Speakeasy

"80% of Drug Policy Experts Oppose the Drug War," "You Can Go to Jail For 27 Years For Selling Marijuana," "A Cop is Dead Because An Informant Mistook Japanese Maple Trees For Marijuana," "Nevermind, Barack Obama Wants to Arrest Marijuana Users After All," "Heading Down Mexico Way," "How many drug dealers does it take to supply a 10,000-person community? Or, is Twiggs County, Georgia, the latest Tulia?"

5. Students: Intern at DRCNet and Help Stop the Drug War!

Apply for an internship at DRCNet for this fall (or spring), and you could spend the semester fighting the good fight!

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

More Los Angeles area cops go down in a broad conspiracy, a Customs officer gets nailed for helping traffickers, a Kentucky cop gets nailed for peddling pills, another NYPD cop gets busted, and so does a Tennessee sheriff. Just another week in the drug war.

7. Sentencing: Mukasey Tells Congress to Pass Bill Blocking Early Release for Crack Prisoners

The US Sentencing Commission has ordered that sentence cuts for federal crack cocaine offenders be retroactive, but Attorney General Mukasey is now urging Congress to undo that.

8. Medical Marijuana: New Northern California US Attorney Hints the Era of DEA Raids May Be Coming to an End

The newly appointed US Attorney for Northern California hinted at his first press briefing that medical marijuana raids may soon be a thing of the past. They're a waste of time and resources, he said.

9. Search and Seizure: The Smell of a Burning Joint Does Not Justify a Warrantless Entry, US Fourth Circuit Holds

A cop who smells marijuana smoke coming from an apartment still needs a search warrant before entering, the conservative US 4th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled.

10. Ecstasy: Kansas Bill Would Make Simple Possession a Felony

Spurred by the state's narcs, the Kansas legislature is considering a bill that would make ecstasy possession a felony. It's all about the kids, proponents argue, but opponents wonder how saddling them with felony records will help.

11. Tobacco: In Wake of Smoking Ban in Bars, Restriction on Strip Clubs, Underground "Smokehouses" Appear in Cleveland

What are you going to do if they ban smoking and strippers? Some Cleveland-area residents have an idea.

12. Southeast Asia: Philippines Court Orders Life Sentence for Selling Two Grams of Marijuana

The Philippines may no longer execute drug offenders, but it is still handing out horrendous sentences. This week, a man was sentenced to life in prison for selling less than two grams of marijuana.

13. Death Penalty: Hash-Selling, Drunkenness Earn Ultimate Sanction, Two More Beheaded in Saudi Arabia

One man gets a death sentence for drinking in Iran, another for selling hash in India, and Saudi Arabia keeps up the pace, executing two traffickers last week.

14. Weekly: This Week in History

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

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. Webmasters: Help the Movement by Running DRCNet Syndication Feeds on Your Web Site!

Support the cause by featuring automatically-updating Drug War Chronicle and other DRCNet content links on your web site!

17. Resource: DRCNet Web Site Offers Wide Array of RSS Feeds for Your Reader

A new way for you to receive DRCNet articles -- Drug War Chronicle and more -- is now available.

18. Resource: Reformer's Calendar Accessible Through DRCNet Web Site

Visit our new web site each day to see a running countdown to the events coming up the soonest, and more.
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.

Drug War Chronicle #521 - February 1, 2008

1. Medical Marijuana and the Right to Work: Under Attack in California and Oregon, At Risk In Most Other States As Well

Last week's California Supreme Court ruling allowing employees to fire medical marijuana users has shined a light on a gray area in medical marijuana law. While protections vary from state to state, they are for the most part limited and untested, and patients who want to work are at risk.

2. Pain Wars in the Heartland: With Their Doctor Behind Bars, Kansas Patients Wonder Where To Turn

The feds arrested a Kansas pain doctor and his wife last month, charging them with improperly prescribing narcotic pain relievers. While they claim to be protecting the public, the doctor's patients beg to differ.

3. Appeal: Three Exciting New Book Offers for Our Donating Supporters

We are pleased to offer the works "Over the Influence: The Harm Reduction Guide for Managing Drugs and Alcohol," "Women Behind Bars: The Crisis of Women in the US Prison System," and "Cannabis: Yields and Dosage," as our latest membership premium gifts.

4. Weekly: Blogging @ the Speakeasy

"Barack Obama Comes Out in Favor of Marijuana Decriminalization," "Berkeley City Council Tells DEA to Stay Out," "Are Racist Cops Better Organized Than We Thought?," "What Do You Think About Medical Marijuana Vending Machines?," "Crazy Sheriff Proposes "Normandy" Style Anti-Drug Invasion", "Why Does the Drug Czar's Office Oppose Efforts to Prevent Drug Overdoses?," and "Eric Sage Fights Back."

5. Students: Intern at DRCNet and Help Stop the Drug War!

Apply for an internship at DRCNet for this fall (or spring), and you could spend the semester fighting the good fight!

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

A Texas probation officer gets busted, a Baltimore cop gets caught beating on a suspected drug buyer, a Virginia cop gets popped for meth, a slew of prison guards get busted in Florida, and another in New Mexico. Just another week in the drug war.

7. Sentencing: US Attorney General Raises Specter of Violent Crime Jump If Crack Prisoners Released, Warns He Could Try to Block It

US Attorney General lashed out against early release for federal crack cocaine offenders twice last week, resorting to demagogic claims and warning he may try to block it.

8. Law Enforcement: Nebraska Man Files Complaint Over Bogus South Dakota Bust

Eric Sage got pulled over on his motorcycle as he left South Dakota after the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally last summer and ended up being charged with possession of paraphernalia even though he didn't possess any paraphernalia. He fought the charges and faced threats from prosecutors if he didn't plead. Finally, the prosecutors gave up, but Sage still wants justice.

9. Medical Marijuana: Berkeley Declares Itself a Sanctuary City

With the DEA raiding dispensaries in the Bay Area this year, the Berkeley City Council voted Tuesday to make the city a medical marijuana sanctuary.

10. Medical Marijuana: First Kansas Bill Introduced

The first medical marijuana bill in Kansas history was introduced this week. It would provide a medical defense for persons arrested for possession.

11. Europe: German Police Use Grow Shop Customer Lists in Massive Marijuana Garden Busts

Police across Germany engaged in massive raids on marijuana grows Monday. Some of the busts were based on information from grow shop customer lists.

12. Death Penalty: More Drug Executions in Saudi Arabia, More Death Sentences in Vietnam, But a Rare Sign of Leniency in China

Saudi Arabia executed more drug offenders this week, and Vietnam sentenced more to death. But in a rare move, China commuted the death sentences of two Ugandan women.

13. Latin America: Chávez Endorses Coca -- Again

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez' embrace of coca continued last weekend as he publicly chewed the leaf and thanked Bolivian President Evo Morales for bringing him some more. Coca isn't cocaine, Chávez pointed out.

14. Web Scan

Too many links to list this week -- check 'em out...

15. Weekly: This Week in History

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

16. 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.

17. Job Opportunities: System Support Specialist and Graphic Designer, Marijuana Policy Project, Washington DC

The Marijuana Policy Project is seeking a System Support Specialist and a Graphic Designer to be based in MPP's headquarters in Washington, DC.

18. Webmasters: Help the Movement by Running DRCNet Syndication Feeds on Your Web Site!

Support the cause by featuring automatically-updating Drug War Chronicle and other DRCNet content links on your web site!

19. Resource: DRCNet Web Site Offers Wide Array of RSS Feeds for Your Reader

A new way for you to receive DRCNet articles -- Drug War Chronicle and more -- is now available.

20. Resource: Reformer's Calendar Accessible Through DRCNet Web Site

Visit our new web site each day to see a running countdown to the events coming up the soonest, and more.
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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