Format: 2021-04

Drug War Chronicle #500 - September 7, 2007

1. Editorial: Why We Are Fighting to End the War on Drugs

We in the drug reform movement have so many good reasons to stand on, that it is hard to know where to begin when telling people about them. When we succeed in ending prohibition, the world will become a better place, in ways that are urgently needed.

2. Feature: As Afghan Opium Production Goes Through the Roof, Pressure for Aerial Eradication, Increased Western Military Involvement Mounts

The UN announced last week that Afghan opium production had increased yet again. Now, pressures to combat it with aerial spraying and increased Western military involvement are mounting, but the experts say that's a path to nowhere.

3. Feature: Stirring the Pot in Denver -- "Lowest Law Enforcement Priority" Marijuana Initiative to Go to Voters As Activists Bedevil Council, Mayor

A lowest law enforcement priority initiative for adult marijuana use is headed for the ballot in Denver, and local officials who oppose it are taking a beating from its proponents.

4. Review and Critique: Methamphetamine Mice Study Falls Far Short

The science of methamphetamine is contested terrain. Here, occasional contributor John Calvin Jones dissects a recent piece of methamphetamine research and finds it lacking.

5. 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.

6. Weekly: Blogging @ the Speakeasy

Marijuana critics who take beer company money, drug testing and hard drug use, Obama and New Orleans drug war, feds raid paraplegic, "Don't Smoke Pot in Your Car," John McCain and another lost war, more...

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

Busy, busy, busy. Take a week off, and look what happens: Cops peddling pills, guards stealing pills, cops shaking down housing project residents, jail guards smuggling drugs, a DEA agent giving information to suspected mobsters, and more.

8. Asset Forfeiture: ACLU Sues DEA Over Trucker's Seized Cash

The ACLU is challenging the seizure of nearly $24,000 dollars from a New Mexico trucker by the DEA as part of its asset forfeiture program.

9. Medical Marijuana: WAMM Lawsuit Hits Bump

A lawsuit filed by a Santa Cruz medical marijuana co-op and the city and county of Santa Cruz to try to block federal raids on providers in California is down but not out after an adverse ruling by a federal judge.

10. Harm Reduction: Pennsylvania Moves to End Prescription Requirement for Buying Needles

The Pennsylvania Pharmacy Board has unveiled a proposed rule that would allow for the purchase of up to 30 needles without a prescription. The move is a harm reduction measure intended to reduce the sharing of injection equipment by drug users and thereby reduce the spread of infectious diseases.

11. Europe: Czech Marijuana Users to Get Lesser Penalties

Legislators in the Czech Republic are preparing an amendment to the penal code that should lessen penalties for marijuana possession and growing.

12. Latin America: Nicaraguan Leader Asks for $1 Billion in Anti-Drug Aid

Despite his publicly expressed reservations about the DEA -- and the demonstrated failure of the war on drugs -- Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega is bellying up to the counter-narcotics assistance trough. He wants a billion dollars from Washington to fight the Central American drug trade.

13. Africa: Guinea-Bissau Threatens to Shoot Down Drug Planes

Faced with a thriving cocaine trade using its territory as a stopover on the way to European markets, the government of the West African nation of Guinea-Bissau is threatening to blow drug planes out of the sky.

14. Conference: Drug Policy Alliance, New Orleans, December 2007

A major gathering of drug reform forces is planned for late this year, and special registration rates are available for those who plan early.

15. Web Scan

Tierney blog on legalization and pain prosecutions, Transnational Institute on Colombian coca and Afghan opium, drug offense death penalties as international human rights violation, net Asian Drug Users Network, DrugTruth Network update.

16. Weekly: This Week in History

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

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. 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!

19. Job Listing: Director of Government Relations, MPP

The Marijuana Policy Project is hiring for their Director of Government Relations position based in Washington, DC.

20. Job Announcement: Executive Director, Justice Policy Institute

The DC-based think tank is hiring a new leader as it moves forward seeking to end society's reliance on incarceration and promoting effective solutions to social problems.

21. Proposals: IHRD Providing Small Grants on Health and Human Rights, 2008 UN Drug Summit

The International Harm Reduction Development Program (IHRD) of the Open Society Institute (OSI) is offering small grants to support the collection and presentation of information that evaluate the health and human rights consequences, with regard to injection drug use-driven HIV infections, of the resolutions taken at the 1998 UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs.

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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 #499 - August 24, 2007

1. Feature: Push for Medical Marijuana Underway in Kansas

A Republican former Kansas attorney general spoke out for medical marijuana last Friday as a push to get a bill passed there gets underway.

2. Feature: Pot Peace in Seattle as Another Hempfest Celebrates Cannabis Nation

An estimated 150,000 people attended Seattle's two-day Hempfest last weekend. Billed as the world's largest drug reform rally, Hempfest is also a celebration of the Cannabis Nation.

3. Drug War Prisoners: 86-Year-Old Alva Mae Groves Dies Behind Bars

Alva Mae "Granny" Groves died in federal prison last week. The 86-year-old grandmother was 13 years into a 24-year sentence for cocaine distribution charges she always said were punishment for failing to snitch on her children.

4. Drug War Prisoners: Pain Patient Richard Paey to Get Shot at Early Clemency

Richard Paey was sent to prison for 25 years as a drug dealer after going from pharmacy to pharmacy in his wheel chair to obtain pain medications. Now he will get an early shot at clemency.

5. Drug War Prisoners: Rockefeller Law Victim Turned Activist Veronica Flournoy Dead at 39

Veronica Flournoy, 39, wanted to get her family back together and change the drug laws after her release from prison in New York state. Instead, lung cancer killed her.

6. 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.

7. Weekly: Blogging @ the Speakeasy

Visit DRCNet's "Speakeasy" blog every day for extensive discussion of the latest developments in drug policy.

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

More prison guards are in trouble. A Louisiana cop gets busted for pills -- corruption or desperation?

9. Medical Marijuana: Is An Ohio Initiative In the Works?

With a medical marijuana initiative effort well underway in Michigan, some drug reformers are turning their attention to a similar effort next door in Ohio.

10. Medical Marijuana: Obama Says End Raids, All Democratic Presidential Candidates Now on Board

With Sen. Barack Obama saying Tuesday he would end DEA raids on patients and providers in states where medical marijuana is legal, every Democratic Party presidential candidate (and two Republicans, too) are in agreement that the raids should end.

11. Marijuana: Humboldt County Supervisors Say Legalize It

Humboldt County this week became the second county in Northern California's "Emerald Triangle" to call for the legalization of marijuana.

12. Europe: First German Patient Approved to Use Medical Marijuana

Following a court ruling requiring the government to individually consider medical marijuana applications, a German federal institute has for the first time approved its use by a patient.

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?

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

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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 #498 - August 17, 2007

1. Editorial: Drug Prohibition from Colombia to Afghanistan This Week

Given what has happened in Colombia the last several decades, given what has happened in Afghanistan -- and how it has affected us here -- is any more evidence needed of how morally and intellectually defunct is drug prohibition?

2. Feature: In Strategy Shift, US Troops to Join Battle Against Opium in Afghanistan

Nearly six years after the US invaded Afghanistan, the Taliban is back and opium production is going through the roof. Now, the US government has announced it is ready to let the US military join the Afghan drug war.

3. Chronicle Book Review: "The Cult of Pharmacology: How America Became the World's Most Troubled Drug Culture," by Richard De Grandpre (2007, Duke University Press, 294 pp., $24.95 HB)

With "The Cult of Pharmacology," researcher Richard De Grandpre takes a cold-eyed look at "the world's most troubled drug culture" and how it got that way. He also takes a few whacks against the disease model of addiction.

4. Press Release: Marijuana Dealers Offer Schwarzenegger One Billion Dollars

A coalition of California marijuana growers and dealers has offered Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger one billion dollars per year in anticipated post-legalization tax revenues to solve the current state budget crisis.

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

One of California's top narcs gets busted for peddling Cialis, another Florida cop goes to prison, and a pair of Florida prison guards gets popped for the usual.

6. Medical Marijuana: Feds Seek Oregon Patient Records in Probe of Growers -- Patients Cry Foul

A federal grand jury looking into marijuana sales by growers hiding behind medical marijuana laws has issued subpoenas for the medical records of 17 Oregon patients. That's a first, and patients and advocates are determined to squash it.

7. Medical Marijuana: New Mexico Balks At Growing It

When New Mexico passed its medical marijuana law this year, it was unique in mandating that the state would oversee the production and distribution of the medicine. But citing fear of federal prosecution, the state Health Department now says "no way."

8. Medical Marijuana: A Push Gets Underway in Kansas

While state medical marijuana laws are in place along both coasts, not a single state from the Great Plains to the Appalachian Mountains has passed such a law. Now, a Kansas drug reform activist and a prominent state politician are hoping to change that.

9. Asset Forfeiture: Austin Police Use of Seized Funds Probed

A new police chief in Austin has opened a criminal investigation into the way the department spent money it seized in asset forfeiture operations. Among the items: More than $600 for coffee cops and nearly $1,900 for a race clock, whatever that is.

10. Latin America: Colombian Admiral Fired in Growing Probe of Military Drug Corruption

A Colombian rear admiral has been fired in a broadening probe into drug corruption in that country's military. He's not the only one.

11. Latin America: Nicaraguan President Warns of DEA's "Unexpected Interests" and "Terrible Things"

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega warned this week of the DEA's "unexpected interests" and "terrible things." Perhaps he's recalling the bad old days...

12. South Asia: India's Shravan Pilgrims Bring Profits to Marijuana Sellers

It's time for the India's Shiva worshippers to go on a pilgrimage to a holy site. Along the way, some of them like to puff ganja. Local dealers are making money, and local police are looking the other way.

13. Web Scan

Upside Down Flag by Tony Papa, When Neither Crime Nor Punishment Pays by Newark Mayor Cory Booker, Bulgarian activist Milena Naydenova, DrugTruth Network.

14. Weekly: Blogging @ the Speakeasy

"What's a gram of cocaine go for where you live?" Who Should Be the Next Drug Czar?" "New Afghanistan Strategy is Exactly the Same as the Old One That Didn't Work." "Who's Planting All That Pot in the Woods?" "Police Often Lack Basic Knowledge About Marijuana," Thailand drug war killings, more.

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?

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19. Announcement: New Format for the Reformer's Calendar

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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 #497 - August 10, 2007

1. Editorial: Why Do People the Government Says Don't Exist Keep Writing Me?

Prohibitionists are fond of referring to medical marijuana as a "hoax" -- a "cruel hoax," when they get excited. But calling it a hoax is the real hoax, and we know because the real live patients keep writing us.

2. Feature: Yellow Journalism -- San Francisco Exchange Programs Scored Over Dirty Needles

A series of recent articles in the San Francisco Chronicle highlighted the problem of dirty needles in Golden Gate Park, but seemed to blame needle exchanges for the problem. Experts beg to differ.

3. Feature: Is Addiction a Brain Disease? Biden Bill to Define It as Such is Moving on Capitol Hill

A bill that defines addiction as a brain disease is moving in Congress. Treatment professionals and recovery advocates laud it. There are skeptics too.

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

The charges pile up against a pair of former Virginia police chiefs, a Cleveland DEA agent has some explaining to do, and so does a Houston crime lab tech who didn't follow procedures and wouldn't take a drug test.

5. Europe: Dutch May Join Trend and Ban Magic Mushrooms

Now, "smart shops" selling magic mushrooms abound in Holland, but perhaps not for long. Driven by a handful of unfortunate incidents, a move to ban the phantastical fungus is under government consideration.

6. Law Enforcement: Illegal Search Kills Prosecution in Largest Heroin Bust in California History

It was the biggest heroin bust in California history, but thanks to overzealous law enforcement, the charges have now been dropped.

7. Racial Profiling: Kansas Police Agencies Honor Reporting Law Mostly in the Breach

Kansas passed a law in 2005 requiring law enforcement agencies to report on racial profiling complaints, but only about one-third of agencies are complying.

8. Southeast Asia: Probe into Thai Drug War Killings Getting Underway

In 2003, then Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra vowed to eliminate drugs in his country. He didn't, but his police managed to eliminate 2,500 drug "suspects" by gunning them down without trial. Now that Thaksin has been overthrown, investigations into the mass killings are getting underway.

9. Latin America: Massive US-Mexico Counter-Drug Aid Package in the Works

Are we about to see "Plan Mexico"? The US and Mexican governments are currently negotiating what could be a multi-hundred-million dollar anti-drug assistance package to help that country in its battle with wealthy and violent drug trafficking organizations.

10. Middle East: More Drug Executions in Saudi Arabia

The executioner's ax fell on three more drug war unfortunates in Saudi Arabia this week.

11. Canada: Health Canada Gives Okay to Sativex for Cancer Patients

Sativex, the THC-based sublingual spray, has been approved for use in cancer pain by Health Canada.

12. Weekly: Blogging @ the Speakeasy

"Jury Duty: A Day in the Life of Our Corrupt War on Drugs," "Marijuana Dealers Offer Schwarzenegger One Billion Dollars," "What's a gram of cocaine go for where you live?," "Who should be the next Drug Czar?," "yet another letter from a medical marijuana patient that the feds claim don't exist...

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

Transform guide to making the case, UK MP Harry Cohen, IDPC critique of World Drug Report, Huffington Post on the marijuana-mental illness craze, Dominic Holden in Seattle's The Stranger, The Arrest of Michael C. Kelley, Howard Lotsof ibogaine video, Legalise Drugs to Beat Terrorists editorial, review of Canada's medical marijuana program, Tony Papa, DrugTruth Network, Hecklers on prison abolition.

15. Weekly: This Week in History

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

16. Action Item: If You're on Facebook, Your Help is Needed Today!

Facebook users, please help our friends at Students for Sensible Drug Policy get a Facebook "Speed Grant" for an important campaign that we're working on too.

17. Job Listing: Opportunities at the Marijuana Policy Project

MPP is hiring a government relations director in Washington, and petitioners and team leaders for efforts in Arizona and Michigan.

18. Announcement: DRCNet Content Syndication Feeds Now Available for YOUR Web Site!

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

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20. Announcement: New Format for the Reformer's Calendar

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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 #496 - August 3, 2007

1. Feature: Snitching in the Spotlight -- House Committee Holds Hearing on Informant Abuses

When Atlanta narcotics officers shot and killed 92-year-old Kathryn Johnston last November after falsely telling a magistrate an informant had named her address as a drug hot-spot, they opened a window on a very shady part of the American criminal justice system. Now, Congress has taken a look and some key members are ready to rein in the snitch system.

2. Feature: Colombia Annouces Shift to Manual Eradication of Coca Crops

Colombian President Alvaro Uribe has announced that his government will deemphasize aerial spraying of coca crops and emphasize manual eradication. The move comes as Congress ponders ways to cut funding for the drug war in Colombia.

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

This week we have a pair from the US-Mexico border, where temptation is always close at hand, and a pair from Florida, where corruption seems to thrive in the steamy atmosphere.

4. Weekly: Blogging @ the Speakeasy

Reader Blogs picking up, all sorts of marijuana stuff, Clinton & Obama on needle exchange, drug policy softball team scores top spot in league, more...

5. Law Enforcement: FBI Lowers Bar on Past Marijuana Use by Would-Be Agents

Looking to be an FBI agent? The rules on disqualifying applicants based on past drug use, especially marijuana use, just got a little more lax.

6. Search and Seizure: Arizona Supreme Court Limits Vehicle Searches

The Arizona Supreme Court has limited the ability of police to search the vehicles of people they have arrested outside the vehicle.

7. Search and Seizure: California Supreme Court Just Says No to Seizures of Drug Buyers' Cars

For the last decade, some California cities have seized the vehicles of people caught trying to buy drugs. Those days have come to an end, thanks to a California Supreme Court decision.

8. Marijuana: Yesterday Marked 70 Years of Federal Pot Prohibition

This week, we mark the 70th anniversary of federal marijuana prohibition. We would much rather be writing its obituary.

9. Southwest Asia: State Department Says US Afghanistan Drug Policy Will Shift, But Not Much

A high-level State Department official said last week that the US will shift its opium eradication policy in Afghanistan, but there is less there than meets the eye.

10. Weekly: This Week in History

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

11. 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.

12. Announcement: DRCNet Content Syndication Feeds Now Available for YOUR Web Site!

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

13. Announcement: DRCNet RSS Feeds Now Available

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14. Announcement: New Format for the Reformer's Calendar

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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 #495 - July 27, 2007

1. Feature: Minor Gains in Bid to Get Congress to Block Federal Raids on Medical Marijuana Patients, Providers

The House of Representatives Wednesday defeated the Hinchey-Rohrabacher amendment, which would have barred the use of federal funds to arrest and prosecute medical marijuana patients and providers in states where it is legal. Supporters gained only two votes over last year, sparking discussion about what comes next.

2. Feature: DEA Raids Ten Los Angeles Dispensaries Same Day City Council Asks It To Butt Out

DEA agents raided 10 Los Angeles-area medical marijuana dispensaries Wednesday, the same day the LA City Council sent it a letter asking it to butt out. The raids were met by angry protests and civil disobedience.

3. Analysis: Who Voted for Medical Marijuana This Time? Breakdown by Vote, Party, and Changes from '06

Detailed compilation and analysis of which members of Congress voted which way on the annual Hinchey/Rohrabacher medical marijuana amendment to bar the Dept. of Justice from undermining state medical marijuana laws.

4. Memorial: San Francisco Drug War Activist Virginia Resner

Long-time San Francisco drug policy, medical marijuana, and human rights activist Virginia Resner died in her home town last week. She will be missed.

5. First Amendment: Freaked Out Feds Indict Pair for Posting Flyers Naming Snitch

Do snitches have the right not to be named? A Philadelphia grand jury has indicted two people on witness intimidation charges for posting flyers outing an informant.

6. Weekly: Blogging @ the Speakeasy

ONDCP's 'Cocaine Shortage' Announcement is Pure Fiction," "Rumors of a DEA Blog Prompt Curiosity & Concern," "Even Anti-Meth Activists Oppose the Drug War," "Letter from a Would-Be Medical Marijuana Patient," more...

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

A Michigan narc is accused of making off with a whole bunch of blow, an Alabama juvenile probation officer is accused of snitching for the bad guys, a Massachusetts trooper takes a plea in pain pill ring, and a Missouri cop goes to prison for ripping off drug couriers.

8. Criminal Justice: Green Party Leaders Call For Radical Reforms

While Republicans happily pursue their "tough on crime" politics of fear and Democrats can barely be bothered to vote to protect medical marijuana providers, the US Green Party is calling for radical reforms of the criminal justice system and "cancellation" of the drug war.

9. Europe: British Cabinet Full of Former Marijuana Users

Last week, the British government of Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced it would revisit the issue of rescheduling marijuana back to a more serious drug schedule. Since then, a total of nine of Brown's cabinet members have admitted to smoking the weed.

10. Southeast Asia: Singapore Gives Treatment Option to Marijuana, Cocaine Users

If you get caught smoking marijuana or snorting cocaine in Singapore, be prepared for forced drug treatment and a long prison term. Authorities there announced this week they will begin applying the sanctions used against hard drug addicts to pot smokers and coke heads as of August 1.

11. Australia: National Green Party Abandons Drug Legalization Position

Nervous about upcoming national elections, the Australian Greens have retreated from their earlier stance in favor of regulated marijuana, and possibly, ecstasy sales. Now their drug policy platform leads off with a plank saying they oppose legalization.

12. Europe: Dutch Police Grumble About Home Grows

There is grumbling from Dutch police that policies toward marijuana growers -- both small-time and commercial -- are too lax.

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?

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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 #494 - July 20, 2007

1. Editorial: Why Should the Drug Czar's Office Even Exist?

Catching the drug czar's office in deceptions, misconduct, and generally inexplicable behavior is getting to be like shooting fish in a barrel. What is the evidence to justify the agency's existence at all?

2. Feature: In Spreading Scandal Over White House Political Operations, House Panel Head Accuses Drug Czar's Office of Electioneering

Citing smoking-gun memos between White House political staffers and the drug czar's office, the head of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Tuesday accused the Bush administration of politicizing the Office of National Drug Control Policy. And they're deposing witnesses.

3. Feature: Pain Doctor and Patient Advocates Get a Congressional Hearing… Finally

For the first time in more than a decade, the DEA came under congressional scrutiny last week for its interference in the practice of medicine. Pain patient and doctor advocates got a chance to tell a congressional committee about the crisis in chronic pain and how the DEA gets in the way.

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

A New York City cop helps drug dealers rip off other drug dealers, a North Carolina cop builds a really impressive bad cop resume, a former North Carolina sheriff can't account for much of his evidence, and an Indiana cop gets a slap on the wrist for stealing from a drug suspect.

5. Medical Marijuana: DEA, ONDCP Take Flak on Dispensary Raids, Research Obstacles in House Committee Hearing

DEA and ONDCP functionaries got a grilling on medical marijuana issues at a House subcommittee hearing last week.

6. Marijuana: Drug Czar Calls Pot Growers Dangerous Terrorists

Drug czar John Walters suffered a severe bout of rhetorical excess last Thursday at a press conference in Northern California, claiming that marijuana growers are violent criminal terrorists who would not hesitate to help foreign terrorists enter the country and inflict mass casualties.

7. Medical Marijuana: ONDCP Claims Steve Kubby Has Changed His Mind, Kubby Says No Way!

The drug czar's office told Congress that California medical marijuana activist Steve Kubby had changed his tune. Kubby begs to differ.

8. Drug Use: One in 12 US Workers Uses Drugs, SAMHSA Says

One out of 12 full-time workers in the US reported using drugs within the past month, according to survey data released by SAMHSA.

9. Harm Reduction: Jersey City Signs Up for Needle Exchange

The Jersey City City Council voted Wednesday for an ordinance allowing the city to participate in a pilot needle exchange program. It's the fifth Garden State city to do so since Gov. Corzine signed a needle exchange bill in December.

10. Southwest Asia: Afghan Poppy Crop Sets New Record, US Ambassador Says

The 2007 Afghan opium poppy crop has set another record, the US ambassador conceded this week. All the more reason to embark on forced eradication, he said.

11. Europe: Britain to Review Marijuana's Classification, Could Be Moved Back to Tougher Drug Schedule

New British Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced Tuesday that his government will seek a review of marijuana's status as a Class C drug -- with an eye toward moving it back to the more serious Class B.

12. Feedback: Do You Read Drug War Chronicle?

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13. Weekly: Blogging @ the Speakeasy

Time for the Drug Czar to Resign, Sen. Coburn Thinks Police Should Shoot Drug Suspects in the Back, Clinton Promises to End Federal Raids on Medical Marijuana Dispensaries, The Difference Between Pot Growers and Terrorists, Rudy Giuliani's Position on OxyContin and Pain Management Is Correct , When Oversight Means Oversight: Waxman Goes After Walters for Politicizing His Office, more...

14. Web Scan

World Politics Review on Colombia fumigation, The Nation on pardons for drug offenders, American Prospect on crack sentencing reform prospects, The Hill, Ibogaine in Barcelona, DrugTruth Network, Belgium drug consumption rooms video, France marijuana study

15. Weekly: This Week in History

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

16. Job Opportunity: Research and Policy Associate, Vera Institute of Justice, DC

The Vera Institute of Justice seeks a research and policy associate to work in its Washington DC Office.

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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 #493 - July 13, 2007

1. Feature: Medical Marijuana -- A Progress Report

Eleven years ago, no Americans had the protection of a state medical marijuana law. Now, some 50 million do, but that means some 250 million don't. While progress has been made, it has been slow, and there is plenty more to do.

2. Drug War Chronicle Book Review: "High Society: How Substance Abuse Ravages America and What to Do About It," by Joseph Califano (2007, Public Affairs Press, 270 pp., $26.95 HB)

Joe Califano's "High Society" is a strange brew of legitimate concerns, hype, distortions, and what look to us to be misguided policy pronouncements. We review it this issue.

3. We Want Pardons: Petition to Save Bush's Legacy by Persuading Him to Pardon Thousands of Nonviolent Drug Offenders

While President Bush has pardoned 12 Thanksgiving turkeys in an annual White House ceremony since taking office 6 1/2 years ago, he has commuted only four people's prison sentences, one of them Scooter Libby's. We want more!

4. Appeal: A Victory is In the Works, With Your Help

Our multi-year campaign to repeal an infamous law that denies financial aid to students because of drug convictions may soon ride to a successful conclusion.

5. 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.

6. This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

The allure of Oxycontin (and its profits) snags two cops, a deputy can't keep his paws off the meth, and a South Carolina cop gets charged with drug dealing. Just another week in the drug war.

7. Medical Marijuana: Rudy Giuliani Just Says No

Republican presidential nomination contender Rudy Giuliani has rejected medical marijuana, claiming it is a a stalking horse for legalization.

8. The Drug Debate: American Mayors Urge "A New Bottom Line" and a Public Health Approach for Drug Policy

The US Conference of Mayors last month adopted a resolution calling the war on drugs a failure and urging "a new bottom line" on drug policy.

9. Marijuana: California Superior Court Upholds Santa Barbara's "Lowest Enforcement Priority" Law

A California Superior Court judge has thrown out an effort by the city of Santa Barbara to undo the city's voter-mandated policy making adult marijuana possession offenses the lowest law enforcement priority.

10. Drug Testing: Tennessee Supreme Court Holds Off-Duty Marijuana Use No Reason to Deny Workman's Comp Claim

The Tennessee Supreme Court has ruled that merely because a worker admitted to smoking marijuana the night before he suffered a workplace injury was no reason to deny him workman's compensation.

11. Barry Beyerstein: We Have Lost One of the Best

Memorial for academic and pioneering drug reformer Barry Beyerstein, by long-time friend Arnold Trebach.

12. Web Scan

PBS on Lakota hemp, marijuana and religion, SSDP Voice, Heroin Times, NPR on DC needle exchange, Exodus Transitional Community, Cannabinoid Chronicles, LEAP web site relaunched

13. Weekly: This Week in History

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

14. Job Opportunity: Harm Reduction Coalition, Oakland

The Harm Reduction Coalition hiring Syringe Exchange Program Specialist for its Oakland, California office.

15. Job Opportunities: Marijuana Policy Project, Washington

MPP is hiring a Director of Federal Policies and a Web Developer for its DC headquarters.

16. Announcement: DRCNet Content Syndication Feeds Now Available for YOUR Web Site!

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

17. Announcement: DRCNet RSS Feeds Now Available

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

18. Announcement: New Format for the Reformer's Calendar

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 #492 - June 29, 2007

1. Editorial: Two Good Reasons to Want to Legalize Drugs

The relative harmlessness of drugs like marijuana is a good reason to want to legalize them. But the harmfulness of other drugs is a reason to want to legalize them too.

2. Feature: UN Releases Annual Drug Report, Countries Mark International Day Against Drugs With Bonfires, Propaganda Exercises, Death Sentences

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Tuesday released its annual world drug report and marked the International Day Against Drugs and Illicit Trafficking. Both actions are drawing criticism.

3. Feature: Supreme Court Uses "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" Case to Limit Students' Speech Rights

In the "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" case, the Supreme Court has upheld the right of schools to prohibit speech advocating illegal drug use, but has also held the schools may not bar speech advocating political positions.

4. Appeal: A Victory is In the Works, With Your Help

Our multi-year campaign to repeal an infamous law that denies financial aid to students because of drug convictions may soon ride to a successful conclusion.

5. 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.

6. Weekly: Blogging @ the Speakeasy

Are Justices Stevens, Souter, & Ginsburg drug policy reform sympathizers? Is it okay to out prohibitionist politicians for past pot use? Do firefighters get stoned when a stashhouse burns down?" China again celebrates International Anti-Drugs Day -- by killing people, The End Racial Profiling Act is coming back, and a DEA official claims that "marijuana will kill you." All that and more in the Speakeasy...

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

Busy, busy. A Virginia police chief gets caught selling speed, a New Jersey State Trooper gets arrested for stealing and re-selling seized drugs, a New Jersey prison guard gets nailed trying to smuggle prescription drugs into the prison, a former Schenectady narc pleads guilty to ripping off cocaine from the evidence locker, a former Border Patrol agent is going to prison for stealing a bale of pot he was supposed to be guarding, and a corrupt Milwaukee cop wants back pay.

8. Incarceration: Jail and Prison Population at All-Time High (Again) -- Last Year Saw Biggest Increase Since 2000

The number of people behind bars reached another all-time high last year and it increased at the fastest rate since 2000. Drug prohibition contributes mightily.

9. Marijuana: No More Automatic Arrest for Possession in Texas

As of September 1, police in Texas will have the option of simply issuing a summons instead of arresting people caught with up to a quarter-pound of marijuana. Texas marijuana laws remain unchanged, but at least you might not go to jail.

10. Latin America: House Votes to Shift Andean Initiative Anti-Drug Funding to Development

The US House of Representatives last Friday voted to cut military anti-drug aid to Colombia and subject aerial spraying of coca crops to more restrictions. Now the measure heads for the Senate.

11. Latin America: Mexico Purges Federal Police Chiefs in Drug Corruption Review

Mexico has purged its federal police chiefs in all 31 states and the Federal District to ensure police are fighting the drug traffic, not abetting it.

12. Europe: Scottish Police Chief Says Time to Consider Prescribing Hard Drugs

A leading Scottish police chief says it is time to consider prescribing hard drugs to users in a bid to get a grip on acquisitive crime. Perhaps the Scottish new prime minister of Britain will lend an ear to the idea.

13. Web Scan

UN World Drug Report, Neurology Now on MedMj, DrugTruth Network, Charlie Rangel and the Second Chance Act, EU "Green Paper" on civil society and drug policy, Vancouver demo.

14. Weekly: This Week in History

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

15. Announcement: Nominations Sought for Biannual Drug Policy Awards

Each conference of the Drug Policy Alliance (formerly the Drug Policy Foundation) includes a bit of ceremony, with the presentation of an annual round of awards. DPA is seeking nominations for the next round, which will take place in New Orleans this December.

16. Job Opportunity: Network and Systems Engineer, Marijuana Policy Project, DC

MPP is hiring a tech person for the DC office.

17. Announcement: DRCNet Content Syndication Feeds Now Available for YOUR Web Site!

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

18. Announcement: DRCNet RSS Feeds Now Available

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

19. Announcement: New Format for the Reformer's Calendar

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 #491 - June 22, 2007

1. Feature: Move to Undo Higher Education Act Drug Provision Passes Senate Committee

A key Senate committee voted Wednesday to remove the infamous "drug question" from the federal financial aid form. With a measure calling for outright repeal expected to pass the House, it could be the beginning of the end for Souder's Folly.

2. Feature: North Dakota Farmers Sue DEA Over Hemp Growing Ban

A pair of North Dakota farmers have been granted state permits to grow hemp, but the DEA has refused to act on their federal license applications. Now the farmers are going to federal court to ask that the agency be told to butt out.

3. Feature: ONDCP Kicks Off Annual Summer Marijuana Scare Campaign With Report Linking Drugs to Gangs, Violence

With the summer season now underway, the drug czar's office has released a scary new report linking youth marijuana and other drug use to gang membership and violence. Critics say there is less there than meets the eye.

4. Appeal: A Victory is In the Works, With Your Help

Our multi-year campaign to repeal an infamous law that denies financial aid to students because of drug convictions may soon ride to a successful conclusion.

5. 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.

6. Weekly: Blogging @ the Speakeasy

It's ONDCP Ad Week at the Speakeasy, plus we have Giuliani's Cocaine Connection, China's UN-prompted drug war bloodbath, a response from a former ONDCP official to the China story, Creepy Drug Testing Science and more...

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

A Puerto Rican narc gets caught robbing an armored car, a Mississippi cop gets nailed for selling and using speed, and a Toledo cop who liked to party too much cops a plea.

8. Search and Seizure: Supreme Court Rules Passengers Can Challenge Police Stops

Passengers in vehicles stopped by police are effectively "seized" and may challenge the constitutionality of that seizure, the Supreme Court ruled in an unanimous opinion Monday.

9. Medical Marijuana: Rhode Island Legislature Overrides Veto to Make Law Permanent

Rhode Island's medical marijuana law is here to stay. The legislature this week voted decisively to override a gubernatorial veto of a bill that would make it permanent.

10. Medical Marijuana: Connecticut Governor Vetoes Bill

A medical marijuana bill passes both houses of the Connecticut legislature, but Gov. Jodi Rell has now vetoed it.

11. Methamphetamine: With Meth Labs Plunging to Near Zero, Nevada Moves to Track Cold Remedies

Nevada's governor has signed an anti-meth lab bill that further restricts the purchase of over-the-counter cold and allergy remedies. Problem is, nobody is cooking meth in Nevada anymore.

12. Middle East: Iran Hangs Four for Drug Trafficking

Iran executed four convicted drug traffickers on Saturday. That makes at least 102 executions in Iran so far this year.

13. Middle East: Dubai Sentences Two More Westerners To Prison Over Infinitesimal Amounts of Drugs

The Dubai courts continue their harsh treatment of people possessing even tiny amounts of illicit drugs. This week, they sent a Canadian working for an Afghan anti-drug program to prison for four years for traces of hashish that he may have picked up in the course of his work.

14. Web Scan

Montel, Tony Papa on Veronica Flournoy, Incarcerex, NY Sun on prohibition, SlangTV on Afghanistan opium licensing, Transform on the drug policy reform debate, Vera Institute and Pew Charitable Trusts report, Alex Wodak

15. Weekly: This Week in History

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

16. Announcement: DRCNet Content Syndication Feeds Now Available for YOUR Web Site!

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

17. Announcement: DRCNet RSS Feeds Now Available

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

18. Announcement: New Format for the Reformer's Calendar

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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