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Drug War Chronicle #511 - November 23, 2007

1. Feature: On the Anniversary of Kathryn Johnston's Death, Poll Finds Most Americans Oppose Use of SWAT-Style Tactics in Routine Drug Raids

A Zogby poll commissioned by StoptheDrugWar.org (DRCNet) has found that nearly two-thirds of likely voters oppose SWAT-style raids to deal with routine drug offenders. The results are released as we mark the one-year anniversary of the death of 92-year-old Kathryn Johnston, the Atlanta woman gunned down by rogue police conducting a forced entry drug raid.

2. Feature: Higher Education Act Drug Conviction Penalty Repeal Stymied As Democrats Choke -- Again

The movement to repeal the Higher Education Act's drug provision hit a major roadblock last week when House Democrats reneged on pushing an amendment to undo it. But the provision's author, Rep. Mark Souder (R-IN), keeps scaling it back in self-defense.

3. Sentencing: US Prison Population Could Be Cut in Half With Four Humane Reforms, Including Drug Decriminalization, Report Says

A smarter and more humane approach to crime and imprisonment, including drug decriminalization, could save billions of dollars and greatly reduce the need to put millions of people behind bars, a new report says.

4. Weekly: Blogging @ the Speakeasy

Mitt Romney says lie to the kids about drugs, Mark Souder cries "legalizer!" again, drug warrior Howard losing Australian election, anniversary of Kathryn Johnson tragedy and related poll finding, "People Are Licking Toads Again," marijuana compound might cure breast cancer.

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

Two Atlanta cops are headed to prison in the Kathryn Johnston killing, an NYPD narc goes down for drug running, and a strung-out Pennsylvania cop heads to jail for peddling pills.

7. Medical Marijuana: Michigan Initiative Organizers Hand in Half a Million Signatures

It looks like medical marijuana will be on the 2008 ballot in Michigan. Organizers of a signature-gathering campaign for an initiative turned in nearly 500,000 signatures this week, almost 200,000 more than needed.

8. Canada: Federal Government Introduces Anti-Drug Legislation

Canada's Conservative government this week unveiled its repressive new approach to drugs. It wants mandatory minimum sentences for some drug offenses, including marijuana growing, and it wants to double the maximum sentence for pot growing. Look for a battle royal in the West's most pot-friendly country.

9. Southeast Asia: Reports Coming on Thailand's 2003 Drug War Killings

Four and a half years ago, then Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra vowed to wipe out drug use in Thailand. Within three months, 2,500 people were dead. Now, a new government is about to release a series of reports on the killings.

10. Europe: British Heroin Maintenance Trials a Success, Researchers Say

A pilot heroin maintenance program in three British locations has been successful in cutting crime and street drug use, according to preliminary results.

11. Australia: In Desperate Pre-Election Move, Prime Minister Howard Says He Will Take Control of Drug Users' Welfare Payments

With elections looming on Saturday and his party trailing, Australian Prime Minister has announced a "zero tolerance" plan to take control of welfare payments for drug offenders.

12. Europe: Irish Labor Party Debates Cannabis Legalization, Defers Decision

The Irish Labor Party debated whether to make cannabis legalization or decrim part of the party platform at its annual conference last Friday, but deferred a decision on whether to do so.

13. Web Scan

Balko-Paey interview, Europe drug report, NORML podcast of Kucinich interview, One Hitters parodied (!), DrugTruth network.

14. Weekly: This Week in History

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

15. Job Opportunity: Outreach Director, Students for Sensible Drug Policy

SSDP is hiring an Outreach Director. The position is staffed from the organization's Washington, DC office.

16. Job Opportunities: Two Openings at PreventionWorks, Washington, DC

PreventionWorks is hiring a SEP Arranged Delivery Coordinator and a Community Liaison.

17. 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.

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.

Drug War Chronicle #510 - November 16, 2007

1. Editorial: They Know More Than They're Willing to Admit About the Drug War

Some candid remarks from a Republican Senator this week suggest that our leaders understand more about the drug issue than they are willing to admit to most of the time.

2. Feature: Presidential Contenders and Drug Policy II -- Republicans

Last week, we looked at the Democratic presidential candidates' drug policy positions. This week, it's the Republicans' turn.

3. Feature: Would-Be North Dakota Hemp Farmers Have Another Day in Court

North Dakota farmers who are suing the federal government for the right to grow hemp had another day in court Wednesday in Bismarck as federal prosecutors sought to get the case thrown out. A decision on that motion is expected by month's end.

4. Weekly: Blogging @ the Speakeasy

"Marijuana Evolves Faster Than Human Beings," "Feds Predict Major Drop in Marijuana Prices," "Lamar Alexander Acknowledges the Futility of the Drug War" and "Eighty-Year-Old US-Mexico Drug Program is Far Over Budget," "Hemp on the Menu in Bismarck, North Dakota," "Top Drug War Advocate Publicly Humiliates Himself."

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. Full of It: Rep. Mark Souder Souder Gets Called on His Characterization of HEA Reform Supporters

Arch-drug warrior went a little too far when he called opponents of his pet financial aid drug convictions law a pack of drug legalizers. Now, he's being called on it.

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

Tennessee's narc of the year gets busted, and cops in Boston and Buffalo cop pleas.

8. Medical Marijuana: Invited By "Pro-Family Group," Drug Czar's Chief Scientist Testifies at Tennessee House Hearing

A Tennessee medical marijuana bill saw a bunch of hostile witnesses, as the drug czar's office teamed up with the local religious right to try to nip it in the bud.

9. Marijuana: California Cops Destroy Pot Worth Twice As Much as State's Largest Legal Cash Crop, But Still Miss Vast Majority of It

Another harvest season has come and gone in California, and law enforcement is crowing about record marijuana plant seizures. The numbers are huge, but the numbers missed are bigger -- and so are the lost tax revenues.

10. Marijuana: A Week After Initiative Vote, Denver Bites the Bullet -- Sort Of

A week after Denver voters for the third time in as many years signaled that marijuana users should not be arrested, city officials are moving -- reluctantly -- to implement a lowest priority initiative.

11. Popular Culture: One-Third of Hit Songs Contain Drug Use References

Pop music is full of drug references, researchers have found, most of them positive. Stop the presses!

12. Australia: Queensland to Increase Drug Penalties

The Australian state of Queensland is effectively increasing penalties for a number of drugs by rescheduling them as more dangerous.

13. Death Penalty: Two More Executed for Drug Trafficking in Saudi Arabia

Two more drug offenders were executed last week in Saudi Arabia. The kingdom is in a de facto contest with Iran, Indonesia, and Malaysia to see who is the world's leading killer of drug law violators.

14. Web Scan

CDC syringe exchange data, conservatives and religious use of marijuana, Anthony Papa on crack cocaine sentencing, medical marijuana on video and the web, DOJ drug threat assessment, Missoula lowest priority report, Liberty Pen, Karen Garrison, Marc Mauer, Jerry Epstein.

15. Weekly: This Week in History

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

16. Job Opportunity: Drug Policy Alliance, Deputy Director, San Francisco Office

The Drug Policy Alliance is searching for a Deputy Director to work in its San Francisco office.

17. 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.

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.

Drug War Chronicle #509 - November 9, 2007

1. Editorial: Two Drug War Tragedies, and No Excuse

When the drug fighters intervene forcefully in people's lives, the results can be unpredictable and tragic. But there are better ways to deal with drugs than the drug war. And so there are no excuses either.

2. Feature: Presidential Contenders and Drug Policy I -- Democrats

A year out from the presidential election, Drug War Chronicle takes a look at the Democratic field. Next week, it's the Republicans' turn.

3. Feature: Denver Votes to Make Marijuana Offenses Lowest Law Enforcement Priority

For the third time in as many years, Denver voters have approved a marijuana reform measure. A lowest law enforcement priority initiative passed with 57% of the vote. Will city officials finally listen to the voters?

4. 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!

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

A New York cop goes down for peddling pot, a Connecticut cop goes down for slinging smack, and a Nashville cop goes to the pen for ripping off a drug dealer.

6. Harm Reduction: Anti-Safe Injection Site Amendment Killed in Conference Committee

Two weeks ago, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) managed to get an amendment passed barring federal funds from any city that opens a safe injection site. This week, thanks to the efforts of drug reformers, the measure was killed in conference committee.

7. Marijuana: Three of Four Reform Initiatives Pass in Hailey, Idaho

Three out of four marijuana reform initiatives -- medical marijuana, hemp, and lowest law enforcement priority -- won in small-town Hailey, Idaho, but a taxation and regulation initiative was narrowly defeated.

8. Europe: Dutch to Extend Medical Marijuana Program for Another Five Years

Holland's experimental medical marijuana program will be extended for another five years, mainly to allow for the development of cannabis-based pharmaceuticals, the Dutch Health Ministry announced Wednesday.

9. Death Penalty: Two More Drug Offenders Executed in Iran

Iran continues to execute drug offenders. Two more were hanged October 30.

10. New Zealand: National Conversation on Marijuana Policy Urged

A leading New Zealand drug policy think tank is trying to jump-start a national conversation on marijuana policy, and it looks like it's working.

11. Africa: NGOs Criticize Emphasis on Cutting Drug Supply, Urge Attention to Demand Reduction

With the West focusing new attention on West and Central Africa as drug transshipment points, NGOs meeting last weekend in Senegal said the effort was unbalanced, with little attention paid to demand reduction.

12. Caribbean: Trinidad & Tobago Political Leader Calls For New Approach in Dealing with Marijuana

The leading of the main opposition party in Trinidad & Tobago called last week for a reassessment of marijuana prohibition. Too bad that after losing Monday's election, the party will have five years before it has another shot at power.

13. Weekly: This Week in History

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

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. 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!

16. 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.

17. 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 #508 - November 2, 2007

1. Editorial: Newsflash -- Governments Are Violently Destroying Lives in the Drug War

Thousands of lives are damaged or destroyed in the drug war every day, but all for nought. Prohibition needs to end.

2. Feature: New, Less Severe Federal Crack Cocaine Sentencing Guidelines Go Into Effect, But Will They Be Retroactive?

New, less harsh federal sentencing guidelines for crack cocaine offenses went into effect this week, potentially affecting 4,000 federal cases a year. But will the US Sentencing Commission make those changes retroactive, bringing hope to nearly 20,000 currently imprisoned federal crack offenders? Stay tuned.

3. Feature: Can Medical Marijuana Cost You Your Kid? In California, It Can

Ronnie Naulls thought he knew what to expect if the DEA came after his dispensary, but he never thought they'd try to take his kids. He's not the only California medical marijuana patient or provider with problems with child protective services or family courts, either.

4. Weekly: Blogging @ the Speakeasy

"Arresting Marijuana Users Sends the Wrong Message to Children," "Drew Carey Cares About Medical Marijuana," "Cowards: Democratic Front-Runners Reject Marijuana Law Reform," "Bill O'Reilly Doesn't Want You to Get High," "What Motivates the Leaders of the Drug War?," "Blogging is More Addictive Than Marijuana."

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 top narc admits he was dirty, a border drug squad deputy commander goes to prison, a deputy police chief is under investigation, and yes, another prison guard gets busted.

7. Harm Reduction: Measure to Bar Federal Funds for Cities With Safe Injection Sites Passes Senate

Congressional drug warriors have managed to pass an amendment that would bar federal funds for cities that establish safe injection sites. The measure is in conference committee and needs to be killed now.

8. Marijuana: Democratic Candidates Forgo Opportunity to Support Decriminalization During Tuesday Night Debate

When the Democratic presidential contenders had a chance to support marijuana decriminalization during Tuesday night's televised debate, only two out of seven did so.

9. Families: Utah Supreme Court Rules Mere Presence of Drugs in Home is Not Child Endangerment

The mere presence of illegal drugs in a home is not enough to justify child endangerment charges against parents, the Utah Supreme Court has ruled.

10. Sentencing Reform: Massachusetts Bar Association Forms Drug Policy Task Force

The Massachusetts Bar Association has decided to form a drug policy task force with an eye toward sentencing reform in the Bay State.

11. Southeast Asia: Drug Crackdowns Spread HIV/AIDS, Experts Say

Southeast Asian countries' tough line on drug users is exacerbating the HIV/AIDS crisis in the region, experts in Bangkok said last weekend.

12. Southeast Asia: Indonesia Constitutional Court Upholds Death Penalty For Drug Offenses

Executions for drug offenses will continue in Indonesia. The country's constitutional court upheld such punishments this week.

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. Web Scan

New York Times on drug convictions and financial aid, conservatives against harsh crack sentencing law, Smith and Guard on Drug Truth Network, Tony Papa on the "preppy killer" facing more time for drugs than murder.

15. Weekly: This Week in History

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

16. In the Movement: Job Opportunities at MPP

The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) currently has two part-time, unpaid positions open. Apply today for either the nationwide Research Fellowship or DC-based Membership Intern position.

17. Announcement: Deadline Approaching for Abstract Submission to IHRA Barcelona Conference

The 19th International Conference for the Reduction of Drug-Related Harm will convene in Barcelona this May. There's still time to apply to get on the program.

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.

Drug War Chronicle #507 - October 26, 2007

1. Editorial: Enough Already -- Stop Funding the Taliban Through Opium Prohibition

Whatever direction the drug war compass points, one way or its opposite, it never points anywhere good.

2. Feature: Bush Reveals Plan Mexico, Proposes $1.4 Billion Anti-Drug Aid Package

The Bush administration Tuesday officially asked Congress to fund a $1.4 billion anti-drug package for Mexico and Central America, but there are lots of questions and criticisms emerging.

3. Feature: San Francisco Ponders a Safe Injection Site, Would Be the Nation's First

Last week, San Francisco took the first tentative steps toward creating a safe injection site for drug users. It would be the first in the United States, but don't hold your breath -- there's a long way to go and many obstacles to overcome.

4. Weekly: Blogging @ the Speakeasy

"DEA Director Resigns, Says She Had an Awesome Time," "Drug Czar Opposes Effort to Reduce Drug Overdoses," "This Man Receives 300 Marijuana Joints a Month from the Federal Government."

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

This week, we have our mandatory greedy jail guards, and another case that's a little stickier. Are the people in our first story corrupt cops or desperate pain patients or junkies or pill peddlers or some combination of the above? You be the judge.

7. Sentencing: Ohio Senate Passes Bill to Equalize Crack/Powder Cocaine Disparity By Raising Sentences

Marching boldly backward, the Ohio State Senate has voted to reduce the disparity in sentencing for powder and crack cocaine offenses by raising those penalties for powder -- not reducing those for crack.

8. Marijuana: Florida Bill Would Toughen Penalties for Growing

Faced with a wave of indoor marijuana growing operations, Florida drug warrior Attorney General Bill McCullom and his law enforcement and legislative allies are fighting back with a bill proposing tougher penalties and new criminal offenses.

9. Law Enforcement: Karen Tandy Resigns As DEA Chief

Karen Tandy's four-year tenure as head of the DEA is coming to an end. She announced Monday she would resign to take a position with Motorola.

10. Death Penalty: Iran Executes Five More Drug Traders, Australian Faces Ultimate Sanction Over Half Ounce of Hash in Bali

The world's drug laws continue to create new victims for the executioner. In Iran, five more are hanged, while in Indonesia, prosecutors ask for the death penalty for an Australian over a few grams of hash and weed.

11. Southwest Asia: Opium Accounts for Maybe Half of Taliban Funding, US Commander Says

Drug prohibition is proving to be a bonanza for the Taliban, according to the top US military commander in Afghanistan.

12. Latin America: Ecuador President Jerks Washington's Chain Over Manta Air Base

The lease on the US anti-drug air base at Manta, Ecuador, runs out in 2009. Ecuador's President Correa says no way he will renew it -- unless Washington lets him put a base in Miami.

13. Web Scan

Marc Emery, student drug testings, economics of cocaine, GAO, DrugTruth, more...

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. Jobs in Harm Reduction: Harm Reduction Coalition and PreventionWorks!

HRC is hiring a CBA Specialist for its African American Capacity Building Initiative, and Prevention Works is hiring an executive director.

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 #506 - October 19, 2007

1. Editorial: The Arrogance of Stupidity

I'm not one to say that people who disagree with me about legalization are automatically unreasonable for it. But insult me for my legalization views, and I have a few things to say about the foolish arrogance that represents.

2. NORML Does LA: The 2007 National Convention

The 2007 National NORML conference took place last weekend in Los Angeles. Here's a report from the scene.

3. Europe: Britain's North Wales Police Back Chief's Call for Drug Legalization

The North Wales police chief's call to legalize drugs is stirring controversy, but his own department has now signed on to his stand.

4. Video: US Government Encourages Drug Offenders to Choose the Army Instead of College

A new YouTube video from SSDP gets the word out about hypocritical drug laws and looks for the victims of one such law in particular.

5. And Still More... Yet ANOTHER Big Digg Hit Last Week Increases Our Web Site Traffic

Massive increases to our web site traffic have increased our costs, and we need your help to pay for it.

6. Weekly: Blogging @ the Speakeasy

"New Study: Marijuana Might Cure Brain Tumors," "Someone Tell the Drug Czar That Hemp Isn't a Drug," "Digg and Reddit Users Want to Legalize Marijuana," "US Government Encourages Drug Offenders to Choose the Army Instead of College."

7. 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!

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

Sex and drugs! Sex and drugs! That's our law enforcement corruption theme this week as a gaggle of hormonally-challenged Southern cops let it all hang out above and beyond the call of duty.

9. Law Enforcement: With Violent Crime on the Rise, New Orleans Police Are Arresting Thousands of Drug Offenders, Traffic Violators

With violent crime on the increase in New Orleans, police are busy arresting traffic scofflaws and drug offenders, and prosecutors are spending more than half their time prosecuting drug offenders. A local watchdog commission says that's dumb.

10. Harm Reduction: San Francisco Safe Injection Site Discussions Underway

Could San Francisco become the first American city to host a safe injection site? The obstacles are many, but discussions are getting under way.

11. Marijuana: Pot Politics On Display in Local Races in Cincinnati and New York State

Marijuana policy is an issue in some local races this year. This week, it popped up in the Cincinnati mayoral campaign and a New York county district attorney race.

12. Australia: Drugs Are "Evil," Says Prime Minister

Australian Prime Minister John Howard is trying to dumb down the debate over drugs with simplistic sloganeering this week.

13. Drugged Driving: Experts Say Marijuana DUI Limit Should Be Similar to Alcohol, Not Zero Tolerance

A team of leading researchers on marijuana and impaired driving are recommending that governments not adopt "zero tolerance" drugged driving laws. Such laws ensnare many drivers who are not actually impaired, they found.

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. Jobs at MPP: Michigan Campaign Manager, DC Membership/Grants/VIP Program Fellow

The Marijuana Policy Project is hiring a campaign manager for a 2008 medical marijuana initiative in Michigan, and a full-time fellow in its Membership and Grants & VIP Outreach departments.

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 #505 - October 12, 2007

1. Feature: Canada's New Drug Strategy: Mandatory Minimums In, Harm Reduction Out

Canada's ruling Conservative Party has unveiled a US-style drug strategy with mandatory minimums and without harm reduction. It's not getting a friendly reception.

2. Europe: North Wales Top Cop Calls For Legalization, Regulation of Drugs

Another leading police official has called for an end to drug prohibition.

3. Prohibition: San Francisco Mayor Says Drug War an "Abject Failure," Sheriff Agrees

Mayor Gavin Newsom has criticized the nation's political leadership -- including his own party -- for continuing a drug war that causes crime and doesn't work.

4. More Web Site Success: Another Big Digg Hit Last Week Massively Increased Our Web Site Traffic

Massive increases to our web site traffic have increased our costs, and we need your help to pay for it.

5. Weekly: Blogging @ the Speakeasy

"The Drug Czar's Blog Accidentally Admits That Drug Laws Ruin Lives," "The Truth About Why Republican Candidates Oppose Medical Marijuana," "When The Drug Czar Says We're Winning The Drug War, It Means Nothing," "Mitt Romney's Horrible Encounter With a Medical Marijuana Patient," "McCain and Giuliani Say Terrible Things to a Medical Marijuana Patient."

6. 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!

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

This week, it's not individual cops, but entire drug squads gone bad, and, of course, the requisite drug-smuggling prison guard.

8. Drug Treatment: GAO Study Reveals Abuse Allegations, Deaths at Residential Treatment Programs

A stint in teen boot camp can prove infinitely more deadly than the original problems they purport to address.

9. Tobacco: California City Becomes First to Ban Smoking In One's Own Home

The northern California town of Belmont has enacted a partial indoor smoking ban affecting people in multi-home dwellings.

10. Southwest Asia: US Turns Up the Pressure to Spray Poppy Fields, Afghan Government Resists -- So Far

US drug warriors have long wanted to unleash herbicidal sprays as a weapon to put a dent in Afghanistan's burgeoning opium poppy crop, but the Afghan government of President Hamid Karzai -- along with a number of NATO allies -- has staunchly resisted American entreaties. In the wake of the country's record-breaking opium harvest this year, however, the Americans are turning up the pressure, but so far to no avail.

11. Southeast Asia: Burmese Opium Production on the Rise

Poppy planting was up 29% the first half of this year, while opium production jumped by 46%, according to a new UN report.

12. Middle East: Lebanese Political Crisis Means Bumper Hash Crop

A Lebanese government paralyzed by political infighting and a Lebanese Army busy fighting with Islamic radicals have provided all the impetus necessary for farmers in the Bekaa Valley to return to their favorite cash crop.

13. Europe: Dutch to Ban Magic Mushroom Sales

Holland's ruling conservative government is trying to roll back tolerance policies.

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 #504 - October 5, 2007

1. Editorial: Yes, the Drug War Really is Still Failing, DEA and ONDCP

One small uptick in cocaine prices after decades of decline has the government bragging for weeks on end. A look at the big picture shows that it doesn't really mean anything.

2. Feature: Supreme Court Weighs Arguments on Limits of Judicial Discretion in Sentencing

The Supreme Court Tuesday heard oral arguments in a pair of cases that will further refine just what discretion federal judges have when it comes to sentencing outside the now advisory sentencing guidelines.

3. Drug War Chronicle Book Review: "Addiction-Proof Your Child: A Realistic Approach to Preventing Drug, Alcohol, and Other Dependencies," by Stanton Peele (2007, Seven Rivers Press, 258 pp., $14.95 PB)

Dr. Stanton Peele has written an excellent, level-headed handbook for parents, educators, and anyone else worried about teen drug use. Read it now!

4. Appeal: More DRCNet Stories Are Going Big Thanks to Your Donations

When yet another DRCNet blog post went big last week, thanks to your donations our server was ready to handle it. We still need your support to continue this successful web campaign.

5. Weekly: Blogging @ the Speakeasy

John McCain is Sick of Being Asked About Medical Marijuana," "Obama Comes Out Against Mandatory Minimums," "Does Partnership for a Drug Free America Oppose Random Student Drug Testing?," "Record Marijuana Seizures Mean There's More Pot, Not Less," "Harvard Scientists Build Very Cool Bong," "Drug War to Figure Prominently in Sen. Webb's Incarceration Hearing Tomorrow -- Available by Webcast," "Video of Ron Paul Debate Comments Opposing Drug War," "The Drug War Costs Each Taxpayer $530 a Year."

6. 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!

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

Scheming cops, greedy cops, rogue cops ripping off dealers, and, of course, yet another jail guard falls prey to temptation.

8. Marijuana: Pot Prohibition Costs $41 Billion a Year in Enforcement Costs, Lost Tax Revenues, Study Finds

Marijuana prohibition costs governments in the US more than $10 billion a year in law enforcement and more than $30 billion a year in lost revenues, a new study finds.

9. Marijuana: Hawaii Supreme Court Rejects Religious Use Defense

A religious challenge to Hawaii's marijuana law was rejected by the state Supreme Court late last month.

10. Latin America: US Plans to Supersize Mexico Drug War Aid -- $1.4 Billion Package in Works

With the Pentagon sticking $1.4 billion in anti-drug aid for Mexico into its 2008 budget, Washington is preparing to radically ramp up its involvement in the drug war south of the border.

11. Asia: Nine National Red Cross/Red Crescent Groups Endorse Humanitarian Drug Policies

The national Red Cross/Red Crescent organizations in nine Asian countries have joined a growing number of such groups that have signed onto a consensus statement calling for humanitarian drug policies.

12. Europe: Dutch Marijuana Trade Under Pressure

Holland's cannabis coffee shops have been operating openly for more than 30 years, but now it looks like the slow squeeze is on.

13. Canada: Vancouver Safe Injection Site Granted Six-Month Extension, Again

Vancouver's safe injection site has won another six-month reprieve from the Canadian government, but supporters are getting tired of jumping through hoops.

14. Europe: New Agency Created to Battle Booming Cocaine Trade

Faced with a booming trans-Atlantic cocaine trade aimed at insatiable European markets, some European countries have formed an organization to coordinate efforts to block it.

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. Weekly: This Week in History

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

17. Job Listing: Executive Director, Access Works!

Access Works!, a non-profit organization that provides harm reduction services in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, is seeking a new executive director.

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.

Drug War Chronicle #503 - September 28, 2007

1. Editorial: Let's Get Real Already About Ending Drug Prohibition

Record-high drug arrest rates have failed to stem the drug trade or reduce violence. It's time to get real and talk about legalization of drugs.

2. Feature: Marijuana, Drug Arrests Hit All-Time High -- Again

The FBI released its annual Uniform Crime Report, and both marijuana and all drug arrests are at an all-time high -- again.

3. Feature: Israeli Police Will No Longer Arrest First-Time Drug Users

In a shift in policy, Israeli police have announced they will no longer arrest first-time drug possession offenders.

4. Appeal: Massive Increases to Our Web Site Traffic Have Increased Our Costs...

Massive increases to our web site traffic, particularly during the last three months, have forced us to upgrade our web server -- not once, but twice -- and have increased our costs. We need your help to pay for it.

5. Weekly: Blogging @ the Speakeasy

Why Do Police Really Oppose Marijuana Legalization? Missouri Police Chief Promises Not to Oppose Marijuana Decrim Initiative. Prohibition Causes Violence: Medical Marijuana Murders in California and Colorado. Obama Bad on Drug Policy. Mike Gravel Talks Drug Legalization. Asset Forfeiture Hurting Inner City Investment. More.

6. 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!

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

Cops planting drugs, cops stealing drugs, cops stealing and doing drugs, cops stealing drugs and money--just another week of drug prohibition-related corruption.

8. Marijuana: Four Initiatives Make November Ballot In Idaho Town

After a three year struggle with recalcitrant local officials, a dedicated and persistent activist has managed to get a package of marijuana initiatives on the ballot in a small Idaho town.

9. Drug Courts: New Jersey Supreme Court Broadens Eligibility

The New Jersey Supreme Court has issued a ruling that will extend drug court eligibility to any nonviolent offender who is likely to receive a sentence of probation.

10. Latin America: Citing Human Rights Abuses, Mexican Official Calls for Pulling Army Out of Drug War

Citing cases of human rights violations by soldiers prosecuting Mexico's drug war, the country's top human rights official has called for an end to the military's role.

11. Europe: German States Want Heroin Maintenance for Addicts

German state governments are urging the federal government to extend a successful heroin maintenance pilot program across the country.

12. Australia: South Australia Wants to Ban Marijuana Grow Recipes, Equipment

The state government of South Australia is supporting a bill that would make possession of drug-making recipes or possession of "drug making equipment" (grow lights) without a good reason a serious crime.

13. In Memoriam: Dr. John Beresford

An LSD pioneer and drug reform activist is memorialized by groups that knew him well.

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. Web Scan

Esquire on MedMJ and PTSD, drug lord getting less time than typical nonviolent offenders, DrugTruth Network.

16. Weekly: This Week in History

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

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 #502 - September 22, 2007

1. Editorial: Sometimes the Drug War Makes Me Dizzy

Early drug prohibitionists probably didn't have today's drug war in mind when they set world drug policy on the course it still follows today. If they could see it all, it would probably make them dizzy.

2. Feature: CAMP Makes Little Headway Against California Marijuana Growers

California's Campaign Against Marijuana Planting (CAMP) has been eradicating pot plants for nearly a quarter-century. It's a losing battle.

3. Feature: Wisconsin Medical Marijuana Bill to Be Introduced

Ten years ago this week, Wisconsin medical marijuana patient Jacki Rickert led a 210-mile "Journey for Justice" to the state capitol in Madison. This week, she was back and being honored as two representatives announced they were introducing a medical marijuana bill with her name on it.

4. Appeal: Massive Increases to Our Web Site Traffic Have Increased Our Costs...

Massive increases to our web site traffic, particularly during the last three months, have forced us to upgrade our web server -- not once, but twice -- and have increased our costs. We need your help to pay for it.

5. Weekly: Blogging @ the Speakeasy

"Company That Killed Iraqi Civilians Gets Lucrative Drug War Contract," "Chris Dodd Advocates Marijuana Decriminalization," "Department of Justice Spends Millions on Munchies," "When Cops Ask For Machine Guns, You Know the Drug War Has Failed," "DEA Director Makes Bizarre Remark at Alberto Gonzales Farewell Ceremony," "Medical Marijuana Advocate Memorialized in US House of Representatives," people we know sentenced to prison, Richard Paey pardoned, "Take this Drug Tax and..."

6. 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!

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

Not just your usual weekly batch of law enforcement miscreants, although we do have the mandatory crooked jail guard or two.

8. Pain Patients: Florida Prisoner Richard Paey is Pardoned

Florida pain patient Richard Paey won some justice Thursday when Gov. Charlie Crist went beyond his family's request for clemency and instead pardoned him in full. The wheelchair bound prisoner was three years into a mandatory minimum 25-year sentence as a drug trafficker for fraudulently trying to obtain pain pills. Now he is no longer even a convicted felon.

9. Medical Marijuana: Bryan Epis Re-Sentenced to 10 Years in Federal Prison

The first California medical marijuana provider prosecuted by the feds was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison -- again -- but Bryan Epis remains a free man for now.

10. Drug Testing: ACLU Will Sue to Block Hawaii Teacher Testing

In return for a wage increase, a Hawaii teachers' union bargaining unit agreed to a program of random, suspicionless drug testing of teachers. Now, the ACLU will challenge the program in court.

11. Certification: White House Says 20 Countries Are Major Drug Producing or Trafficking Nations, But Only Two Political Enemies Get Decertified

In its annual exercise in certifying the compliance of other countries with US drug policy objectives, the Bush administration this week listed 20 major producing or trafficking nations, but singled out only political foes Myanmar and Venezuela for decertification.

12. Death Penalty: Four More Drug Offenders Sentenced to Death in Vietnam, 17 Hung in Iran

Vietnam sentences more people to die for drug trafficking, while Iran hangs 17 for similar offenses.

13. Europe: European Parliament Committee Calls for Pilot Project on Medicinal Opium in Afghanistan

A committee of the European Parliament has called for a pilot project for diverting illicit Afghan opium to the licit medicinal market.

14. Latin America: Rio Cops Rounded Up in Drug Corruption Probe

For the second time in less than a year, dozens of Rio de Janeiro police have been arrested in a drug prohibition-related corruption sweep.

15. Web Scan

Drug War Jeopardy, National Household Survey, Stars and Bars, David Borden interview, WriteAPrisoner

16. Weekly: This Week in History

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

17. Announcement: Prison-Related Poetry Contest by Shot Caller Press, LLC

Shot Caller Press, LLC is conducting a poetry contest with cash prizes for prisoners, ex-prisoners, family members or friends of prisoners, prison guards, prison volunteers, or prison workers.

18. 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.

19. 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!

20. 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.

21. 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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