Drug War Chronicle

comprehensive coverage of the War on Drugs since 1997

Editorial: Los Allanamientos Antidrogas como Campañas Publicitarias y Electoreras Financiadas por los Contribuyentes

David Borden, Director Ejecutivo, 20 de Octubre de 2006

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David Borden
Hoy día, uno de los artículos era un informe de Colorado de una enorme redada de marihuana. El gabinete de la DEA y la Fiscalía de Denver anunciaron que habían capturado a 38 traficantes y realizaron una rueda de prensa para jactarse de eso.

La ocasión fue cuestionada por el grupo Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation (SAFER), los defensores de una iniciativa de legalización de la marihuana en las elecciones estaduales del próximo mes. El comunicado de prensa de SAFER llamó la conferencia de prensa de “un evento político orquestado”, implicando que, en realidad, al escenificar esta aprehensión a esta altura y darle publicidad, los guerreros antidrogas locales estaban intentando influenciar las elecciones que empiezan 19 días después, con la votación anticipada empezando apenas cuatro días después. (La SAFER también señaló que hay listados en Denver para por lo menos 347 traficantes de alcohol – una droga más peligrosa que la marihuana de acuerdo con la SAFER y según cualquier otra lectura razonable científica sobre la cuestión.)

En mi opinión, la opción del momento abre sospechas sobre la motivación de los impositores. ¿Los agentes de Colorado usaron el pretexto de una redada de drogas para conducir en realidad una campaña mediática/publicitaria/electorera a costa de los contribuyentes (así como a costa de la gente presa)?

Si ése fuera el caso, no sería la primera vez que algo así sucede. En 1991, me dicen, el tribunal federal en Charlottesville, Virginia, corría el riesgo de ser cerrado por motivos presupuestarios, siendo que sus operaciones serían incorporadas a otras instalaciones cercanas. Entra la “Operación Equinoccio” [Operation Equinox], que presenció la detención de 12 integrantes de una fraternidad bajo acusaciones de delitos de drogas. El tribunal tuvo publicidad y una aparente razón de ser y actualmente sigue vivo y prosperando.

Este año en California, ellos fueron francos y dijeron lo que estaban haciendo. Un comunicado de prensa de Julio del gabinete del Fiscal General Locklyer sobre cómo “44 destacamentos liderados por la Agencia de Represión a los Narcóticos del Departamento de Justicia de California... arrestaron a por lo menos 115 individuos y confiscaron por lo menos $11,9 millones en drogas como parte de una barredura de un día de la criminalidad en todo el país”, declaró que la operación “promovió la continuación de la financiación del programa Subvenciones Byrne de Asistencia a la Justicia que apoya la ley antidroga municipal y estadual. El programa financiado federalmente ha sufrido cortes profundos durante los últimos años”.

En el negocio de la abogacía, cuando presentamos eventos publicitarios que esperamos que afecten el proceso legislativo, eso es considerado hacer presión. ¿Estos 38 ciudadanos de Colorado, 115 de California y los 12 integrantes de fraternidad de la UVA y los demás en numerosas otras ocasiones eran peones en los juegos políticos jugados por la gente que detiene el poder de encarcelar? Eso puede ser difícil de probar, pero está bien claro que esa dinámica existe y a veces no es tan difícil de probarla. De hecho, el fiscal que busca procesos de alta visibilidad y grandes números de condenaciones para incrementar su carrera política es una criatura famosa y una de las más poderosas en el gobierno.

Esperemos que esta táctica odiosa salga por la culata de los agentes de Colorado -- ¡el 07 de Noviembre!

Editorial: Drug Busts as Taxpayer-Funded Media Lobbying/Electioneering Campaigns

David Borden, Executive Director, 10/20/06

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David Borden
One of the news items today was a report from Colorado of a major marijuana bust. The Denver DEA office and District Attorney announced they had roped in 38 dealers, and held a press conference to brag about it.

The timing was questioned by the group Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation (SAFER), the sponsors of a marijuana legalization initiative on next month's statewide ballot. SAFER's press release called the press conference "an orchestrated political event," implying that the local drug warriors by staging this bust at this time and publicizing it were really trying to influence an election starting 19 days later with early voting starting only four days later. (SAFER also pointed out that there are listings in Denver for at least 347 dealers of alcohol -- a more dangerous drug than marijuana according to SAFER and according to any reasonable reading of the science on the issue.)

In my opinion the timing does indeed cast suspicion on the enforcers' motivation. Did Colorado narcs use the pretext of a drug bust to in reality conduct a media/lobbying/electioneering campaign at the expense of the taxpayer (as well as the expense of the people busted)?

If so, it wouldn't be the first time such a thing happened. In 1991, I'm told, the federal courthouse in Charlottesville, Virginia, was in danger of being shut down for budgetary reasons, its operations to be merged into other nearby facilities. Enter "Operation Equinox," which saw 12 fraternity brothers taken down on drug charges. The court got publicity and an apparent reason for being, and is alive and thriving today.

In California this summer they actually came right out and said what they were doing. A July press release from Attorney General Lockyer's office about how “44 task forces led by the California Department of Justice’s Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement... arrested at least 115 individuals and seized at least $11.9 million worth of drugs as part of a one-day nationwide crime sweep," stated that the operation “promoted the continued funding of the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant program that supports local and statewide drug enforcement. The federally funded program has suffered deep cuts over the last few years.”

In the advocacy business, when we stage media-worthy events that we hope will affect the legislative process, it's considered lobbying. Were these 38 Coloradans, 115 Californians, the 12 UVA frat boys and others on numerous other occasions really pawns in the political games played by people who hold the power to incarcerate? That can be hard to prove, but it's pretty clear that that dynamic exists, and sometimes it isn't that hard to prove. Indeed, the prosecutor who seeks high-profile prosecutions and large numbers of convictions to bolster his or her political career is a well known creature, and one of the most powerful in government.

Let's hope this odious tactic backfires on Colorado's narcs -- on November 7!

Harm Reduction: New Jersey Needle Exchange, Needle Access Bills Advance

A bill that would allow up to six New Jersey municipalities to set up needle exchange programs and a companion bill that would permit the sale without prescription of up to 10 syringes at pharmacies passed the Assembly Health and Senior Citzens Committee Thursday. After more than a decade of efforts to win legislation that would allow drug users easier access to clean needles, it now appears the bills have momentum.

New Jersey politicians have begun lining up behind the bills. Before testimony at the committee Thursday, Chairman Herb Conaway (D-Burlington) said bluntly, "This bill is going to pass." Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts and Gov. Jon Corzine have stated publicly they intended to legalize syringe exchange as soon as possible.

During testimony, state epidemiologist Eddy Bresnitz told lawmakers they needed to act now. "We should not be delaying another minute in putting life-saving tools such as syringe exchange programs in the hands of communities desperate to stop the transmission of blood-borne diseases, such as HIV and AIDS," he said. "Syringe exchange programs not only prevent the transmission of blood-borne diseases but also help drug addicts get into treatment.''

The Drug Policy Alliance New Jersey office has been lobbying for the bills for several years now. "We're incredibly grateful for such a resounding vote of support on the part of the committee members," DPA's Roseanne Scotti told the Associated Press after the vote.

Europe: Italian Government Gives Approval for Marijuana Derivatives for Pain Control

The Italian cabinet gave its approval Thursday for the use of marijuana derivatives, such as the sublingual spray Sativex, in pain relief, the German agency Deutsche Presse Agentur reported. The move reverses the anti-drug policy enforced by the previous government of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who was defeated by current Prime Minister Romano Prodi earlier this year.

"We are talking about pain relief therapy. This has nothing to do with smoking joints," Health Minister Livia Turco told reporters after the cabinet meeting where the decision was made. "These drugs are already in use in Canada, Switzerland, and Holland," she added.

Although the Prodi government has vowed to relax stiffened drug penalties enacted by the Berlusconi government, this move has nothing to do with that, said Turco. "If someone mentions cannabis then the whole world is in uproar. We're talking about therapies against pain."

Feature: Prominent Drug Reformers Run for Statewide Office in Connecticut, Maryland

Two of the country's most well-known drug reformers are on the November ballot, and while, barring a miracle, they have no chance of winning, both are taking the drug reform message to new audiences and, hopefully, gaining new support for undoing drug prohibition. In Connecticut, Cliff Thornton, head of the reform group Efficacy is running as the Green Party nominee for governor. In Maryland, Kevin Zeese, of NORML and early Drug Policy Foundation (forerunner of the Drug Policy Alliance) fame and president of Common Sense for Drug Policy is running for US Senate as a "unity" candidate as the nominee of the Green, Libertarian, and Populist parties. (In Alabama, drug reform activist Loretta Nall won the Libertarian Party nomination for governor, but having failed to overcome the state's onerous third party ballot qualification requirements, has been reduced to doing a write-in campaign.)

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Cliff Thornton on the campaign trail
In Connecticut, Thornton is up against Democratic challenger John DeStefano and the incumbent, Republican Gov. Jodi Rell, who, according to most recent polls, is cruising to victory with a margin of greater than 20 percentage points. Although Thornton has not been included in the polls and has been squeezed out of Wednesday night televised debate -- he did manage to get a campaign ad placed right before the debate -- he told Drug War Chronicle his campaign has been opening new space for drug reform in Connecticut.

"You know we're having an impact," he said. "There have been about 175 shootings and killings here in the last three months, and I talk about why. That's the main reason Rell and DeStefano don't want me in the debates -- they don't want to defend a failed drug policy."

They may not want to talk drug policy, but for Thornton it is the centerpiece of his campaign. "I don't always lead with the drug issues, but everyone wants to know about the drug issue. Everybody gets it," said Thornton. "Rell and DeStefano are shying away from the whole issue, although sometimes their staff members will talk about it."

Thornton's year of work in the trenches of drug policy reform in Connecticut and nationwide have made him a known quantity in local political and media circles, and this year's gubernatorial run has provided plenty of fodder for articles on Thornton and the drug issue. The issue is now gaining an even higher profile in Connecticut thanks to Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, which is currently engaged in a statewide speaking tour. While LEAP doesn't campaign for candidates, the timing of Thornton's campaign is adding fire to their Connecticut efforts. The group has already had some 70 speaking engagements or media interviews during this current blitz, with more scheduled.

"It is difficult to measure LEAP's impact," said Thornton, "but it is very powerful."

With only weeks left in the campaign, Thornton is going full-bore. "We have a helluva schedule between now and election day," he said. "They don't want us in the debates, they don't want us in the polls, but they can't keep our message from getting out, and in that sense, we've already won."

While in Connecticut, a vote for Thornton instead of Rell or DeStefano is unlikely to have any impact on Rell's presumptive victory, it's a different story in the Maryland US Senate race. In that open seat, Democrat Ben Cardin is locked in a tight race with Republican Michael Steele. According to most recent polls, Cardin has a slight lead, but at least one poll shows a dead heat, with each candidate getting 46% of the vote and Zeese getting 3%. In Maryland, the Zeese campaign could be a real spoiler, or as Zeese prefers to put it, "competition."

Zeese has already had some noticeable achievements. He has managed to forge an outsider alliance with his Green-Libertarian-Populist candidacy and he has become the first third-party candidate in Maryland to win a seat in Senate debates. Since he lacks the campaign funds to mount a full-scale media campaign, the debates will be critical to the Zeese campaign's success.

"I've broken through to get in the debates -- there may be as many as six of them -- and that's key for the whole campaign. We have to be heard and seen, and this will help make the media acknowledge my candidacy," Zeese told the Chronicle. "I think my poll numbers will go up significantly once the debates start because then people will hear my message."

He is having a hard time getting heard now. "The Zeese campaign is invisible," said University of Maryland government professor Paul Hernson. "He hasn't gotten much coverage."

Still, said Hernson, with the race as tight as it is, Zeese could have an impact. "If this race ends up very close, it is possible a minor party candidate like Zeese can play the role of spoiler," he told the Chronicle.

Zeese may benefit from the tangled racial politics of this race. The Democrat, Cardin, is white and trying to appeal to his black Democratic base, which is still stung by Cardin's victory over Kweisi Mfume in the primaries, while the Republican, Steele, is black and trying to appeal to white conservatives as well as picking up some black Democratic voters.

Zeese is taking advantage of the drug policy issue where he can. "At the Urban League debate, in my introduction I talked about the need for treatment, not incarceration, and I talked about the prison population," he related. "When someone asked about whether African-Americans should support Democrats, I talked about Maryland being the most racially unfair state in the nation, with 90% of those incarcerated for drug offenses being black. That's what you get for electing Democrats, I told them."

With Steele closing in on Cardin, Zeese could make the difference. The only question is who he is more likely to pull votes from, and that is by no means clear.

Two other prominent drug reformers not running for office, Drug Policy Alliance executive director Ethan Nadelmann and Criminal Justice Policy Foundation executive director Eric Sterling, told the Chronicle they generally welcomed such third-party campaigns by drug reformers, although Nadelmann worried about the impact they could have on the Democratic Party.

"Historically, third parties play a critical role in legitimizing controversial subjects for national political action," said Sterling, who was quick to note he had contributed to both the Zeese and Thornton campaigns. "The Republican Party was a third party when it formed and organized around the issue of the abolition of slavery. Third parties in the 1920s and 1930s advanced labor management issues that were enacted in the 1930s and 1940s that we now completely take for granted as part of the American way of life, such as paid vacations and the five day work week. The idea that there are only two political parties is unique to the United States and doesn't exist in the Constitution," he pointed out.

"In Connecticut, the problems of prohibition, crime, and drug abuse have been major problems in the three major cities," Sterling said, pointing to revolving police chiefs in Hartford, the cocaine-using current mayor in Bridgeport, and historically high drug prohibition-related crime levels in New Haven. "Given this background, Cliff Thornton's candidacy, his unique personal biography and his uncommon ability to speak powerfully and effectively to many audiences has enabled him to speak about the drug issue in Connecticut and caused many people to think about the nature of our drug problem, our means of approaching it, and the consequences of approaching it that way."

In Maryland, said Sterling, it is a three-way race and Zeese deserves support whether it hurts the Democratic candidate or not. "If you accept that there is a legitimate role for third parties in our democratic process, then it can't be the case that it's only when it makes no difference," he argued. "If Ben Cardin is unable to mobilize his allies in the African-American community, that is his fault, not Kevin Zeese's."

Such campaigns are "unquestionably worth it," said Sterling. "Those of us who read the Drug War Chronicle understand that the struggle to change the world's drug laws is a long-term struggle and to make our ideas the conventional wisdom requires that they be articulated in the conventional forums of policy debate, such as election campaigns. In Connecticut, the Thornton campaign has done more than any single thing to legitimize the debate about drug policy, and that is unquestionably a good thing."

The Drug Policy Alliance's Nadelmann largely concurred, but he raised concerns about possible negative consequences. "If you're talking about a race for governor, the question is how are the other candidates on this issue and is this helping the likely winner to arrive at a better drug policy position or not," he said. "In Connecticut, Thornton is playing a constructive role talking about drug policy and is unlikely to have an impact on who wins. But will Gov. Rell hold that against us when we need her to sign a medical marijuana bill or a bill on drug free zones?"

It's a slightly different equation for legislative office, Nadelmann argued, especially this year. "It is clear that drug policy reform will fare better under a Democratic House and Senate than a Republican one. In Maryland, Kevin Zeese has broken new ground with his coalition, and that's a good thing. What you don't want to see happen is to have votes for Kevin end up throwing the election to the candidate and the party that is worse on drug policy."

Feature: Afghanistan Throws Out Group Urging Legal Opium -- Not

The Senlis Council, the European development and security nonprofit that has proposed diverting Afghanistan's booming black market opium crop into the legal medicinal market to address a global shortage of pain meds, is to be thrown out of the country. At least that's what a handful of press stories this week reported. But despite the reports, Senlis isn't going anywhere, the group told Drug War Chronicle.

The first story appeared on Sunday, when the Pajhwok Afghan News reported on a Kabul press conference that same day with Afghan Deputy Interior Minister Lt. Gen. Daud Daud. "In an order, Interior Minister has banned activities of Senlis Council," Pajhwok quoted Daud Daud as saying. "Activities of the Senlis Council are not useful for our country; its work has created complex problems for us." Senlis activities were "encouraging" farmers to grow more opium, he complained.

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2005 Senlis conference in Kabul, 2005 (photo by Drug War Chronicle editor Phil Smith)
By Monday, the BBC was echoing Pajhwok with a story headlined "Drugs Group in Afghan Exit Order." The BBC reported that a recent report from the group criticizing the Afghan government for the increase in opium production had increased tensions among Afghan politicians. Like Pajhwok, the BBC noted that the Senlis Council spokesman in Afghanistan denied its offices had been ordered closed, but that's not how either press organ headlined the story.

By Tuesday, Iran's Fars News Agency was reporting the same story, but with a twist. According to Fars, Iranian anti-drug officials were claiming credit for the supposed ouster of the Senlis Council. The news agency reported that Fada Hosein Maleki, head of the Iranian anti-drug directorate, was claiming Teheran had convinced the Karzai government to throw out the group. "We stated our direct and strong opposition to the idea right from the beginning, while we maintained our extensive consultations with Afghan officials, which fortunately resulted in the closure of the said institute in Afghanistan," Maleki claimed.

In a revealing look an Iranian journalism, Fars reported: "Fada Hosein Maleki further noted the activities of the French Institute 'Senseless' which pursued to legalize poppy farming in Afghanistan as well as the grave consequences that such an action could have for Iran if it was approved," without bothering to clarify whether Maleki or the news agency itself had decided to make the insulting pun on the group's name.

In the past two years, the Senlis Council has opened offices in Afghanistan, organized last October's Kabul conference on licensing part of the opium crop as part of the licit medicinal opiate industry, published serious research on numerous aspects of the Afghan opium conundrum, started a drug treatment program with the Italian Red Cross and Afghan Red Crescent, and been highly critical of the US and NATO approach to Afghanistan. Its opium licensing proposal in particular, has raised hackles among some Western government and some sectors of the Afghan government.

Afghanistan's Upper House (Meshano Jirga) had earlier demanded that Senlis be banned. After Lt. Gen. Daud Daud's press conference, other Afghan officials supported the decision, with Lt. Gen Kudai Dad telling Pajhwok that Senlis was encouraging opium farmers to believe that their crops may be legalized.

But according to Senlis there is less to this story than meets the eye. "The Senlis Council has not been banned from its activities in Afghanistan," said Jane Francis, Paris-based communications director for the group. "The Council received a letter from the Afghan Ministry of Interior saying that we should not engage in activities 'contrary to the constitution of Afghanistan'. Senlis is a research institution and think tank and this regard has never done anything unconstitutional in Afghanistan," she told Drug War Chronicle Thursday.

Advocating for the legalization of the opium crop through a scheme to license it for sale in licit medicinal markets is not mentioned in the Afghan Constitution. Article 34 (Chapter 2, Article 13), however, says that "freedom of speech is inviolable."

The Senlis Council's Francis also took issue with Lt. Gen. Daud Daud's comments blaming it for the increase in the poppy crop, which has increased to an all-time high 6100 tons of opium this year. "The Senlis Council is in no way responsible for the increase in poppy cultivation," she said. "Poppy cultivation has been on the increase since the arrival of the international community in Afghanistan. This year's increase is just a continuation of this situation. Poppy cultivation has increased because the people are getting poorer and poorer and in many areas it is the only way to survive. Ironically, the US-led crop eradication counter-narcotics strategy has contributed to this poverty and has created an increased need to grow poppy -- people need to compensate for the money they have lost due to their crops being eradicated, so they grow it again -- and more of it."

With the Taliban on the rise, a bumper opium crop, and still no reliable electricity in the capital five years after the US invaded, it may be that Afghan politicians are looking for a scapegoat -- and talking a slightly bigger game than they can deliver. The Interior Ministry sends what can only be called a warning letter to Senlis, but his deputy overstates what it means, the local press reports his remarks, the international press picks it up, and a mistaken story is born. It seems clear that if Afghan authorities want a scapegoat for the status quo, they would do better looking in the mirror than pointing the finger at a smart European nonprofit with innovative approaches to the opium conundrum.

Read Phil Smith's 2005 Afghanistan journey blog here.

DRCNet Video Review: "Waiting to Inhale: Marijuana, Medicine, and the Law," Produced and Directed by Jed Riffe

From a handful of federally-approved patients in the late 1970s and 1980s, the American medical marijuana movement has grown by leaps and bounds, with tens of thousands of people in a dozen states now officially registered as medical marijuana users. God alone knows how many people in the remaining 38 states where it is still illegal are smoking pot for the relief of pain, to induce appetite, to reduce the nausea associated with chemotherapy, to help with glaucoma, to reduce the tremors and spasms associated with multiple sclerosis, or an ever-increasing list of medical conditions helped by a puff on a joint or a bite of a marijuana-laced brownie.

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As academic and scientific research into the medicinal uses of marijuana gains momentum, the list of its applications seems to grow ever wider. Within the last couple of weeks, researchers reported that marijuana may help prevent the onset of Alzheimer's.

But resistance to medical marijuana remains strong. The federal government -- especially its anti-drug bureaucracies, the DEA and the Office of National Drug Control Policy -- is unalterably opposed to its use, while parent anti-drug groups fear that allowing the medicinal use of marijuana will "send the wrong message" to their children. For other foes, medical marijuana is simply one more front in the culture war against hippies and liberals that has been raging for nearly four decades now.

In just over one hour, "Waiting to Inhale," the recently released video by documentary filmmaker Jed Riffe tells the story of the battle over the healing herb. While decidedly sympathetic to medical marijuana, the video also takes pains to present the other side of the story.

We hear ONDCP spokesman David Murray painting a portrait of a dark conspiracy to legalize drugs. "Who is pushing this and why is it being pushed?" he asks. "The agenda is well-funded and being driven to remove the barriers between themselves and the drug they like or are addicted to." Later in the video, Murray calls medical marijuana "a fraud."

Similarly, and more realistically, DEA San Francisco office spokesman Richard Meyer warns that "some traffickers are using [the California medical marijuana law] Prop. 215 as a smoke screen."

Riffe also makes a place for the anti-drug parents' movement, featuring interviews with legendary drug war zealot Sue Rusche, who explains that a trip years ago to a record store with her children where the kids were exposed to a display case of bongs, pipes, and other pot paraphernalia set her on a course of activism. Riffe shows a parents' anti-drug movement that, while still appearing hideously regressive to drug reformers, shows signs of moderation and sophistication. In one scene, Rusche brings out the old canard about "gateway drugs," but says they include "tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana." In another scene, members of a parents' group talk about providing honest information -- not just trying to scare the kids.

While the parents' anti-drug movement -- a key bastion of support for the renewed drug war of the Reagan era and ever since -- may be adapting to adversity, it is also being changed from within. Riffe interviews New Mexico youth counselor Miguel Santesteban, who is working with the anti-drug group Parents United, and Santesteban has some surprising things to say. "Perhaps when it comes to marijuana," he said, "the better message for them to hear is that there is a responsible context for use." Santesteban didn't seem too impressed with federal anti-drug efforts, saying, "If I was the drug czar, I'd give half my budget to the public schools" and "This sending a wrong message thing is a crock."

But despite the time given to the anti-side, it is clear that Riffe's interest and heart is with medical marijuana patients and their fight for safe access to their medicine. The video begins with Mike and Valerie Corral, the founders of the Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana (WAMM) co-op outside Santa Cruz, recounting how the DEA raided them at gunpoint in 2002, then cuts to Irv Rosenfeld, "Patient #1," in the federal government's compassionate access program, which allowed a tiny number of patients to smoke federally-produced weed until President Bush the Elder ended it in 1992. Rosenfeld and seven others were grandfathered in, and Rosenfeld, a Florida stockbroker, smokes 10 joints of fed weed a day in a largely successful effort to fend off the pain of a chronic bone disease.

Riffe also brings into the mix the doctors and researchers who have renewed the science of medical marijuana after the half-century-long lacunae created by marijuana prohibition. Riffe interviews Raphael Mechoulam, the Israeli researcher who isolated THC, who explains that marijuana has a medicinal history thousands of years long, and he interviews Dr. Lester Grinspoon, one of the earliest American academic advocates of medical marijuana.

After marijuana prohibition, Grinspoon explains, "physicians became ignorant about cannabis" because of Federal Bureau of Narcotics head Harry Anslinger's Reefer Madness propaganda campaign against it. With unknowing doctors regurgitating drug warrior claims about the evil weed, "physicians became not only the victims, but also effective agents of that propaganda campaign."

While Irv Rosenfeld and Robert Randall ("Patient #0") in the federal compassionate access program were puffing their fed weed in the 1980s, the AIDS epidemic was beginning to rear its ugly head, especially in San Francisco, and Riffe very deftly shows how what had been a movement for gay rights morphed into a movement for the rights of AIDS patients and then became one more stream in the rapidly emerging medical marijuana movement.

Riffe talks to a lot more people -- patients, doctors, researchers, politicians -- than I have space to mention, and "Waiting to Inhale" excels at drawing together the disparate strands that make up the medical marijuana story. As much as it is a paean to the wonders of medical marijuana, "Waiting to Inhale" manages to tell the complex, complicated story of a mass movement, a scientific journey, and an ongoing political battle, and it does so in an engaging, moving fashion. For anyone who is curious about the contours of the medical marijuana issue, "Waiting to Inhale" is a valuable -- and eminently watchable -- resource.

"Waiting to Inhale" is DRCNet's latest membership premium -- click here to order it!

Click here for the film's official web site, including an online trailer and list of upcoming screenings.

Announcement: New Format for the Reformer's Calendar

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With the launch of our new web site, The Reformer's Calendar no longer appears as part of the Drug War Chronicle newsletter but is instead maintained as a section of our new web site:

The Reformer's Calendar publishes events large and small of interest to drug policy reformers around the world. Whether it's a major international conference, a demonstration bringing together people from around the region or a forum at the local college, we want to know so we can let others know, too.

But we need your help to keep the calendar current, so please make sure to contact us and don't assume that we already know about the event or that we'll hear about it from someone else, because that doesn't always happen.

We look forward to apprising you of more new features of our new web site as they become available.

Video Offer: Waiting to Inhale

Dear Drug War Chronicle reader:

Many drug reform enthusiasts read on our blog last month about a new video documentary, Waiting to Inhale: Marijuana, Medicine and the Law, and an exciting debate here in Washington between two of my colleagues and a representative of the US drug czar's office that followed the movie's screening. I am pleased to announce that DRCNet is making this film available to you as our latest membership premium -- donate $30 or more to DRCNet and you can receive a copy of Waiting to Inhale as our thanks for your support.

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I've known about Waiting to Inhale for a few years, and I am pretty psyched to see it out now and making waves. People featured in the movie -- medical marijuana providers Mike & Valerie Corral and Jeff Jones, patient spokesperson Yvonne Westbrook, scientist Don Abrams -- are heroes whose stories deserved to be told and whose interviews in this movie should be shown far and wide. You can help by ordering a copy and hosting a private screening in your home! Or you and your activist friends can simply watch it at home for inspiration. (Click here for more information including an online trailer.)

Your donation will help DRCNet as we pull together what we think will be an incredible two-year plan to substantially advance drug policy reform and the cause of ending prohibition globally and in the US. Please make a generous donation today to help the cause! I know you will feel the money was well spent after you see what DRCNet has in store. Our online donation form lets you donate by credit card, by PayPal, or to print out a form to send with your check or money order by mail. Please note that contributions to the Drug Reform Coordination Network, our lobbying entity, are not tax-deductible. Tax-deductible donations can be made to DRCNet Foundation, our educational wing. (Choosing a gift like Waiting to Inhale will reduce the portion of your donation that you can deduct by the retail cost of the item.) Both groups receive member mail at: DRCNet, P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036.

Thank you for your support. If you haven't already checked out our new web site, I hope you'll take a moment to do so -- it really is looking pretty good, if I may say so myself. :) Take care, and hope to hear from you.

Sincerely,


David Borden
Executive Director

Weekly: This Week in History

Posted in:

October 24, 1968: Possession of psilocybin or psilocin becomes illegal in the US.

October 22, 1982: The first publicly known case of contra cocaine shipments appears in government files in a cable from the CIA's Directorate of Operations. The cable passes on word that US law enforcement agencies are aware of "links between (a US religious organization) and two Nicaraguan counter-revolutionary groups [which] involve an exchange in (the United States) of narcotics for arms." [The material in parentheses was inserted by the CIA as part of its declassification of the cable. The name of the religious group remains secret.]

October 26, 1993: Reuters reports that the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) joined scores of Boy Scout troops, Elks Clubs, and other community groups in a program in which participants clean up sections of Ohio's highway system. The Ohio Department of Transportation denied NORML's application twice previously, arguing it would be helping to advertise a "controversial activist" group. The American Civil Liberties Union stepped in, and Ohio's attorney general forced transportation officials to relent.

October 25, 1997: Regarding Colombia, the New York Times quotes US Drug Czar General Barry McCaffrey as saying, "Let there be no doubt: We are not taking part in counterguerrilla operations." Less than two years later, on July 17, 1999, the Miami Herald reports: "McCaffrey said it was 'silly at this point' to try to differentiate between anti-drug efforts and the war against insurgent groups."

October 26, 1997: The Los Angeles Times reports that twelve years after a US drug agent was kidnapped, tortured and murdered in Mexico, evidence has emerged that federal prosecutors relied on perjured testimony and false information, casting a cloud over the convictions of three men now serving life sentences in the case.

October 23, 2001: Britain's Home Secretary, David Blunkett, proposes the reclassification of cannabis from Class B to Class C. Cannabis is soon decriminalized in Great Britain.

October 26, 2001: DEA agents descend on the LA Cannabis Resource Center, seizing all of the center's computers, files, bank account, plants, and medicine. The DEA cites a recent Supreme Court decision as justification for their action. The patient cannabis garden at the West Hollywood site is seized by DEA agents despite the loud protestations of the West Hollywood Mayor and many local officials and residents.

October 23, 2002: Time/CNN conducts a telephone poll of 1,007 adult Americans over two days (October 23-24), the result: Nearly one out of every two American adults acknowledges they have used marijuana, up from fewer than one in three in 1983.

October 20, 2004: A groundbreaking coalition of black professional organizations comes together to form the National African American Drug Policy Coalition (NAADPC). NAADPC "urgently seeks alternatives to misguided drug policies that have led to mass incarceration."

Drug Raids: Michigan Judge Rules Flint Rave Raid Arrests Unconstitutional

In March 2005, police in Flint, Michigan, burst into Club What's Next late one Friday night after witnessing a few instances of drug sales in or near the club and marijuana smoking inside the club, which was holding a rave party. Although police found drugs or paraphernalia on only 23 people (despite strip searches and body cavity searches), they arrested all 117 persons present at the scene. The remaining 94 people were charged with "frequenting a drug house," a misdemeanor offense.

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2005 rave raid in Utah (courtesy Portland IndyMedia)
Last Friday, a Genesee Circuit Court judge threw out those arrests, holding that Flint police had violated the constitutional rights of the club-goers. In his decision, Judge Joseph Farah held that police lacked probable cause to arrest people merely for being in the club.

"The District Court erred in finding probable cause to arrest these defendants," Farah wrote in his decision. "To allow to stand the arrests of these 94 defendants would be to allow lumping together people who had been at the club for five minutes or five hours, people who never stopped dancing with those who sat next to a drug deal, people who sat at a table facing the wall with those in the middle of the mischief, and charge those dissimilarly present individuals with equal awareness and knowledge of wrongdoing."

The ACLU of Michigan, which represented the 94 people arrested for being present, greeted the decision with pleasure. "The ordinance under which the arrests were made is in place to protect Flint citizens from actual drug houses. It was never intended to be randomly deployed by the police against law-abiding citizens who go out to clubs to hear music and socialize," said Michigan ACLU executive director Kary Moss in a statement issued the same day. "Judge Joseph Farah's decision vindicates the constitutional rights of our clients and sends a strong message to police departments across the country."

"Judge Farah's opinion correctly concludes that the police had no business arresting any of them," said Ken Mogill, cooperating attorney for the ACLU of Michigan who argued the case with Elizabeth Jacobs. "This is a gratifying victory for each of those law-abiding, wrongly arrested individuals and for the rule of law in our community."

Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Busy, busy, busy. Judges on cocaine, cops dealing cocaine, cops selling ecstasy, Air Force pilots smuggling ecstasy, police chemists pilfering from the evidence pile, and, of course, jail guards smuggling dope into prisons. Let's get to it:

In Las Cruces, New Mexico, the state Judicial Standards Commission filed a petition last Friday seeking the removal of a Dona Ana County magistrate on the grounds he tested positive for cocaine, according to the Associated Press. Magistrate Carlos Garza, 42, has denied using drugs and vowed to fight the move. Garza has been suspended by the commission since September 20, when he failed to comply with a commission order he submit to a drug test. According to the commission, he has since failed another drug test. The commission also accused Garza of trying to pressure a Mesilla deputy marshal during a traffic stop where the judge was in a car with a woman "with whom he had a personal relationship" and asking a court clerk to clear the woman's license early in a drunk driving case. He was put on probation by the Judicial Standards Commission earlier this year in that case, and he said the charge he used cocaine was a continuation of a commission vendetta against him. He said the cocaine metabolites found in his system could have been received through "passive exposure." Garza is running unopposed for reelection in next month's elections.

[Ed: Whether to include mere drug use/possession by criminal justice personnel among the examples of corruption is a dilemma Drug War Chronicle routinely faces. We've opted so far to include them, because a judge who uses illegal drugs may also be a judge who presides over trials of, and pronounces sentences on, other drug users who have only done the same thing (hypocrisy); and because the judge is violating a law he has sworn to uphold (it being a law with which we disagree notwithstanding). Still, it bears reminder that there is a difference between drug use even by police or judges vs. profiting from the drug trade or other examples of official misconduct.]

In Durham, North Carolina, a Durham County sheriff's deputy has been arrested in a drug raid at a local bar and two more deputies have been fired for working security there. Deputy Michael Owens, the owner of the raided bar, was charged along with four others with trafficking cocaine and conspiracy to traffic cocaine, and he faces the additional charge of maintaining a building for the purposes of distributing cocaine. Deputies Brad King and Keith Dotson, who worked off-duty as security for the club, were suspended that same night, the Durham Herald Sun reported, and fired early this week. Authorities reported seizing 1.4 ounces of cocaine during the raid.

In Biloxi, Mississippi, a former Biloxi police officer pleaded guilty last Friday to selling ecstasy, the Biloxi Sun Herald reported. Darrell Cvitanovich, who resigned from the force after his arrest, faces up to 30 years in prison after he admitted selling four ecstasy tablets to a friend. Cvitanovich, who is the son of a former Biloxi police chief, was arrested in June 2005 after an investigation into allegations he was involved in drug activities. During a search of his home, police found 11 ecstasy tablets and a small amount of methamphetamine. He was charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell and transfer of a controlled substance, but pleaded last week to the single sales charge. Cvitanovich is free on $50,000 bond pending sentencing.

In New York City, a US Air National Guard pilot who took an Air Force jet to Germany and carried back 200,000 ecstasy tablets was sentenced last Friday to 17 ½ years in prison. Capt. Franklin Rodriguez, 36, and his coconspirator, Master Sgt. John Fong, 37, had pleaded guilty in federal court after being busted for the April 2005 flight. Fong awaits sentencing. The pair went down after federal law enforcement agents watched Fong load 28 bags into a BMW sedan and found them filled with ecstasy tablets, according to the Associated Press. Prosecutors said Rodriguez had repeatedly flown drugs on military flights, bringing hundreds of thousands of ecstasy tablets to the US. The feds found more than $700,000 cash in his apartment. They have it now.

In Philadelphia, a former civilian chemist for the Philadelphia Police Department was arrested October 11 on charges she stole drugs for her own use, the Associated Press reported. Colleen Brubaker, 30, came under suspicion in April and resigned in May. Authorities now accuse her of grabbing pain-relieving opiates like Oxycontin, Percocet, and Vicodin to feed her own habit. She is charged with drug possession, theft, receiving stolen property, tampering with evidence, obstruction, tampering with public records or information, and tampering with or fabricating physical evidence. Since Brubaker was the chemist responsible for hundreds of drug cases, public defenders are now looking into the possibility that some of them may have to be dismissed.

In Stillwater, Oklahoma, a Payne County sheriff's deputy has been suspended without pay pending an investigation by the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control, the Associated Press reported. Local officials are mum about exactly what Deputy Brooke Buchanan, a 13-year veteran of the department, is accused of doing, but they did confirm that a special prosecutor has been named in the investigation. The investigation could take several more weeks before any charges are filed.

In Lubbock, Texas, a Lubbock County jail guard was arrested Sunday night as she arrived at work carrying marijuana, KLBK-CBS 13 TV in Lubbock reported. Renata Hernandez, 26, is charged with introducing a prohibited substance into a correctional facility. She faces between two and ten years in prison. While sheriff's office spokesmen said they believed she was bringing the weed into the jail to sell it, they have not been able to prove that yet.

Europe: Dutch Appeals Court Rules Medical Marijuana Patient Can Grow His Own

Up until now, it has been illegal to grow marijuana in the Netherlands, but a case decided Tuesday has opened a crack in the dike for patients. Although Holland's famous coffee shops provide retail cannabis sales with the acquiescence of the Dutch state, the country has never made any provision to bring the growers who supply the shops out of the black market. Similarly, although Holland allows for medical marijuana to be purchased at pharmacies, it did not allow patients to grow their own.

Until Tuesday, when, according to Agence France Presse, an appeals court in Leeuwarden in the northern Netherlands ruled that multiple sclerosis patient Wim Moorlag and his wife should not have been prosecuted for growing a crop that would provide him with 20 grams of marijuana a week. Although a lower court had found the Moorlags guilty of illegal cultivation (and fined them $314), the appeals court held that Moorlag's right to try to alleviate pain connected with his disease overrode the state's interest in banning marijuana cultivation.

Moorlag had argued that he could not buy marijuana from coffee shops because it could contain fungi and bacteria especially dangerous for MS sufferers.

Moorlag's attorney, Wim Anker, told the Dutch ANP news agency the decision would have broad ramifications. "This means that other patients can also legally grow their own cannabis, not just MS patients but also people with AIDS," he said.

Dutch prosecutors, however, are not yet throwing in the towel. On Wednesday, they announced they had asked the Dutch Supreme Court to overturn the appeals court decision. "We introduced an appeals motion on Tuesday before the Supreme Court," said Marina Weel, spokesperson for the prosecutor's office in Leeuwaarden.

Canada: Supreme Court Rejects Random Drug Tests of Probationers

In a ruling last week, the Canadian Supreme Court held that the country's Criminal Code does not allow judges to require offenders on probation to submit to drug tests or other demands for a sample of bodily substances. The ruling came in the case of Harjit Singh Shoker, who in 2003 climbed naked into bed with an RCMP officer's wife with rape on his mind in the midst of a methamphetamine binge.

Shoker was convicted of breaking and entering with the intent to commit sexual assault and was sentenced to 20 months in prison and two years probation. His sentencing judge including as conditions of his probation that he must undergo drug treatment, abstain from using alcohol and drugs, and undergo drug tests on demand. He appealed those conditions of his sentence.

In 2004, the British Columbia Court of Appeals ruled that the trial judge had no authority to order Shoker into treatment without his consent, nor did he have the authority to demand that Shoker submit to drug tests. Since then BC judges have continued to order probationers to avoid drugs and alcohol, but have foregone what had been an almost automatic companion order to submit to drug testing.

The BC Crown Prosecutors Office did not challenge the drug treatment ruling, but did appeal the ruling on drug testing -- even though the province had eliminated funding for the drug testing program in 2003. But BC prosecutors got no solace from the Supreme Court.

Justice Louise Charron, who authored the ruling, called drug testing so "highly intrusive" that it required "stringent standards and safeguards to meet constitutional requirements." Parliament could craft such standards, making a drug testing requirement legal, she noted. "There is no question that a probationer has a lowered expectation of privacy," Charron wrote. "However, it is up to Parliament, not the courts, to balance the probationers' charter rights as against society's interest in effectively monitoring their conduct."

If Parliament wants judges to be able to impose drug testing as a condition of probation, it must address the issue and not leave it to the whim of individual judges. "The establishment of these standards and safeguards cannot be left to the discretion of the sentencing judge in individual cases," Charron wrote. "Those are precisely the kinds of policy decisions for Parliament to make having regard to the limitations contained in the charter."

What a difference a border makes! On the US side, coerced drug treatment and drug testing is the norm. On the Canadian side, it's unconstitutional, at least the way they tried it.

Sentencing: Louisiana Supreme Court Hears Case of Heroin Lifers

In the midst of 1970s-style drug war hysteria, Louisiana legislators passed a law mandating life without parole for people convicted of selling heroin. In 2001, the legislature moved to amend that draconian law, amending it so that heroin distribution sentences ran from five to 50 years in prison. That 2001 law also established a "risk review" process for early release of prisoners sentenced under harsh old laws. In 2003, the legislature specifically included the heroin lifers in the group of convicts who could seek redress via the review process, and in 2005, it amended the law to allow inmates to seek a review after serving seven years of their sentences.

More than 90 heroin lifers remain behind bars, many of them now elderly after having spent the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and half of the 2000s behind bars.

Last year, trial court judges in Orleans and St. Tammany parishes, frustrated with the glacial pace at which the reviews were moving, revised downward the sentences of a pair of heroin lifers and ordered their immediate release. The state of Louisiana appealed the decision, and this week the state Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case.

Prosecutors argued Tuesday that the heroin lifers must go through an arduous and extensive review process controlled by the Department of Corrections to seek a sentence reduction and the freedom it would deliver. The trial judges who ordered prisoners released exceeded their jurisdiction, said Graham Bosworth of the New Orleans district attorney's office.

But attorneys representing the heroin lifers argued that recent legislative changes made the old sentences patently illegal and that judges have the authority to resentence those prisoners. "We have to trust people we have on the district court benches to exercise their jurisdiction wisely," said attorney Dwight Doskey.

The two men whose cases are being appealed are Melvin Smith, who was convicted in 1977 and recently ordered released by Orleans Criminal District Court Judge Calvin Johnson, who had resentenced him to 28 years -- essentially time served; and Wesley Dick, who was sentenced to life in 2001 just before the law changed. District Judge Patricia Hedges freed him in July after cutting his sentence to 10 years.

In a sign of prosecutorial vindictiveness, Orleans Parish District Attorney Eddie Jordan blocked Smith's release. The elderly Smith remains wheelchair-bound at the Orleans Parish House of Detention pending the Supreme Court decision regarding his fate.

Anúncio: Novo Formato para o Calendário do Reformador

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A partir desta edição, O Calendário do Reformador não aparecerá mais como parte do boletim Crônica da Guerra Contra as Drogas, mas será mantido como seção de nossa nova página:

O Calendário do Reformador publica eventos grandes e pequenos de interesse para os reformadores das políticas de drogas ao redor do mundo. Seja uma grande conferência internacional, uma manifestação que reúna pessoas de toda a região ou um fórum na universidade local, queremos saber para que possamos informar os demais também.

Porém, precisamos da sua ajuda para mantermos o calendário atualizado, então, por favor, entre em contato conosco e não suponha que já estamos informados sobre o evento ou que vamos saber dele por outra pessoa, porque isso nem sempre acontece.

Ansiamos por informá-lo de mais matérias novas de nossa nova página assim que estejam disponíveis.

Semanal: Esta Semana na História

14 de Outubro de 1970: O Presidente Nixon encabeça a Lei de Substâncias Controladas [Controlled Substances Act (CSA)], que estabelece as “classes” atuais como forma de classificar as drogas estritamente pelo valor medicinal e potencial de abuso delas.

15 de Outubro de 1986: O Subprocurador da Justiça, Mark Richard, depõe perante o Comitê Kerry que ele participara de uma reunião com 20 a 25 funcionários e que a DEA não quis lhe dar nenhuma das informações que o comitê pedira sobre o envolvimento dos Contras no narcotráfico.

13 de Outubro de 1999: Em uma série de reides chamada “Operação Milênio” [Operation Millennium], o aparato judiciário-legal no México, Colômbia e Equador prende 31 pessoas por narcotráfico, inclusive o líder do cartel colombiano, Fabio Ochoa. Ochoa é indiciado em um tribunal de Ft. Lauderdale por importar cocaína aos EUA, que solicita a extradição dele em Dezembro de 1999.

13 de Outubro de 1999: O Gobernador Gary Johnson do Novo México é citado pelo Boston Globe: “Tornem as drogas substâncias controladas como o álcool. Legalizem-nas, controlem-nas, regulem-nas, taxem-nas. Se elas forem legalizadas, poderíamos ter realmente uma sociedade mais saudável”.

19 de Outubro de 1999: Adotando uma abordagem de direitos estaduais à maconha medicinal, o candidato George W. Bush diz: “Acho que cada estado pode tomar essa decisão como quiserem tomá-la”. Como presidente, Bush aumenta os processos contra fornecedores de maconha medicinal abertos pelo Departamento de Justiça dos EUA e se opõe aos argumentos de direitos estaduais nos trâmites judiciais.

17 de Outubro de 2002: A filha do Governador Jeb Bush da Flórida é condenada a 10 dias de cadeia e transportada com algemas após ser acusada de portar crack no sapato dela enquanto estava na clínica de reabilitação. Em uma declaração, o governador diz que sabe que a sua filha deve enfrentar as conseqüências das ações dela.

14 de Outubro de 2003: Os ministros da Suprema Corte recusam a solicitação do governo Clinton, seguida pelo governo Bush, de considerar se o governo federal pode punir os médicos por recomendar ou até discutir o uso de maconha com os seus pacientes. A decisão da Suprema Corte prepara o terreno para leis estaduais que permitem que os pacientes doentes fumem maconha se um médico a recomendar.

14 de Outubro de 2003: Na Faculdade de Direito da Universidade Emory, o ex-Presidente Jimmy Carter diz: “Os meus três filhos fumaram maconha. Eu sabia. Mas, também sabia que se algum deles fosse pego nunca iria à prisão. Mas, se algum dos meus vizinhos [negros] fosse pego, iria à prisão por dez, vinte anos. Nenhuma faculdade de direito teve a temeridade de examinar o que está fundamentalmente errado no nosso sistema legal, que discrimina os pobres”.

Pacífico Sul: Exames Toxicológicos nos Esportes Neozelandeses Atrapalham Principalmente Fumantes de Maconha

O regime atlético de exames toxicológicos na Nova Zelândia continua detectando principalmente usuários de maconha, de acordo com o mais recente relatório anual da Drug Free Sports New Zealand (DFNZ), a agência quase governamental encarregada dos exames toxicológicos nos esportes na ilha-nação do Pacífico Sul. De uns 1.262 atletas testados no ano anterior a 30 de Junho, insignificantes 15 deles – ou pouco mais de um décimo de um por cento – tiraram positivo por alguma substância proibida e 10 deles tiraram positivo por maconha. Tanto o resultado positivo miserável quanto o estorvo dos fumantes de maconha concordam com os anos anteriores.

O diretor executivo da DFNZ, Graeme Steel, disse à New Zealand Press Association que a maconha não era uma substância de melhoramento do desempenho como os esteróides e reclamou que os testes positivos por maconha estavam tomando recursos da DFNZ. “A cannabis continua sendo um desafio singular tanto para os programas de exames toxicológicos quanto para os programas de conscientização”, disse. “Continuamos debatendo que a natureza do consumo de cannabis é tal que não deveria ser agrupado com o consumo de substâncias de melhoramento do desempenho”.

“Steel disse que a DFNZ estava trabalhando com as associações esportivas e os grupos de jogadores para conscientizar sobre quanto tempo a maconha pode permanecer nos seus metabolismos. Se tais grupos soubessem do poder contínuo dos metabolitos da maconha, talvez a agência não tivesse que desperdiçar o seu tempo e seus recursos na erva, sugeriu. “Os nossos esforços para respondermos ao desafio apresentado pela inclusão da cannabis na lista continuam requerendo uma proporção muito alta dos nossos recursos”.

Dos exames toxicológicos de cinco atletas que resultaram positivos por substâncias que não eram a maconha, quatro eram por esteróides anabolizantes em fisioculturismo e um por epinefrina em halterofilismo.

América Latina: Prefeito de Tijuana Promete Investigar Toda a Polícia em Busca de Relações com o Narcotráfico

O prefeito da cidade fronteiriça de Tijuana no México, Jorge Hank Rhon, anunciou durante o fim de semana que toda a polícia municipal será investigada por envolvimento no narcotráfico. A cidade é o lar da organização narcotraficante Arellano Félix, uma das poderosas no México e metida em uma batalha sangrenta com o “cartel de Juárez”, concorrente liderado pelos herdeiros criminosos do lendário Amado Carrillo Fuentes, conhecido como o “Senhor dos Céus” antes da morte dele em 1997. Dúzias de pessoas foram mortas neste ano em Tijuana em batalhas entre os grupos rivais.

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logotipo da polícia de Tijuana (cortesia de DrugWar.com)
A tensão piorou na cidade desde a detenção de Francisco Javier Arellano Félix em Agosto por autoridades estadunidenses na costa da Baixa Califórnia. Desde então, a violência tem aumentado e entre os mortos há cinco policiais de agências municipais, estaduais e federais, inclusive o subdiretor da polícia de Tijuana, Arturo Rivas Vaca, que foi morto a tiros na sua viatura em meados de Setembro.

Após esse incidente, os oficiais de Tijuana acusaram os funcionários da lei federal de não fazerem o suficiente para ajudar a combater os traficantes, o que instigou uma resposta atipicamente irritada da procuradoria federal. Em comunicado lançado no fim de Setembro, a procuradoria acusou o Prefeito Rhon e o secretário de segurança pública de Tijuana, Luis Javier Algorri Franco, de “complacência ou cumplicidade direta” com o narcotráfico.

Rhon também enfrentava a pressão dos poderosos interesses econômicos de Tijuana preocupados que a corrupção e a violência pudessem afetar os negócios deles. O principal grupo de negócios na cidade, o Conselho Coordenador Empresarial, anunciou no mês passado que ia boicotar os eventos públicos até que as agências municipais, estaduais e federais da lei começassem a trabalhar juntas, e, na semana passada, fez ameaças de tirar os seus negócios da cidade a menos que algo fosse feito.

Isso é aparentemente o que ocasionou o pedido de investigação massiva da polícia municipal feito por Rhon durante o fim de semana. Embora a corrupção da polícia em Tijuana tenha sido endêmica durante anos – a política municipal informa que 66 de seus oficiais foram presos nos últimos seis meses -, é a refrega política aberta entre Rhon e a Cidade do México que preparou a investigação e a pressão dos grupos empresariais que a tornou realidade.

“Do policial nas ruas ao superintendente da polícia estadual, todos estarão sujeitos a esta investigação”, disse Rhon em uma entrevista coletiva do fim de semana.

“Não esperamos que alguém venha de fora para nos ajudar com o tema da corrupção”, disse Algorri na entrevista coletiva do fim de semana para anunciar a investigação massiva dos 2.300 policiais de Tijuana. Algorri acrescentou que era injusto destacar a polícia da cidade. “O problema da corrupção nas agências da polícia é uma realidade e todas as agências policiais têm problemas com a corrupção”, disse.

Metanfetamina: Governador da Geórgia Torna a Metanfetamina um Tema de Campanha e Procura Dobrar o Tamanho de Força-Tarefa Estadual

Preso em uma competição apertada pela reeleição, nas últimas semanas, o Governador Sonny Perdue (R) da Geórgia revelou propostas expressas de ir atrás de dois dos bichos-papões favoritos dos Estados Unidos – os predadores sexuais da Internet que procuram jovens e imigrantes ilegais que procuram carteiras de motorista – e nesta semana, ele acrescentou a metanfetamina à sua mistura de temas quentes. Em entrevista coletiva na terça-feira cercada por membros da Agência de Investigação da Geórgia (GBI), Perdue anunciou que pediria fundos aos legisladores para dobrar o número de agentes na Força-Tarefa Antimetanfetamina da GBI.

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o Sr. Propaganda em Ação: o Governador Sonny Perdue da Geórgia
Lançado no início deste ano em resposta aos relatos de aumento no consumo de metanfetamina no estado, a Força-Tarefa Antimetanfetamina da GBI conta atualmente com 30 agentes. De acordo com as estatísticas estaduais, os casos de metanfetamina enviados à GBI mais que quadruplicaram, de 1.200 em 2000 para 5.200 em 2005.

“A Geórgia está travando uma batalha eficiente contra o flagelo da metanfetamina com uma forte coalizão municipal, estadual e federal”, disse Perdue durante a entrevista coletiva no Gabinete Regional de Repressão às Drogas da GBI em Canton em comentários informados pelo Gwinnett Daily Post. “Mais 15 agentes... dobrarão os esforços do estado para combater a metanfetamina e os crimes relacionados, como os roubos, agressões e até homicídios”.

Em um memorando com tópicos de conversa apresentado para defender a proposta, a GBI explicou que “os agentes receberão a incumbência de responder aos laboratórios de metanfetamina, de investigar as organizações de tráfico de metanfetamina, como agentes disfarçados conduzindo investigações de traficantes de metanfetamina e de investigar os crimes relacionados com a metanfetamina ou crimes cometidos em apoio ao financiamento e às operações com metanfetamina”. Isto é necessário porque “a lei municipal é sobrecarregada de traficantes de metanfetamina de rua e deve dedicar mais recursos à repressão”, debateu a BI, não sem desinteresse.

Perdue tem antecedentes de perseguir a metanfetamina. Em 2004, ele solicitou e a assembléia aprovou uma disposição que aumentava as penas para o preparo de metanfetamina pero de uma criança. Em 2005, ele assinou legislação que restringia a venda de medicações que contivessem pseudo-efedrina, que é usada freqüentemente em laboratórios caseiros de metanfetamina, e neste ano ele destinou $1 milhão como subvenção inicial à Força-Tarefa Antimetanfetamina da GBI e mais $1 milhão para o tratamento de cerca de 200 usuários de metanfetamina. A duplicação da força-tarefa tomaria mais $1 milhão.

Porém, o oponente democrata de Perdue nas eleições do mês que vem, o Vice-Governador Mark Taylor, acusou o governador de politicagem. “Durante o mês passado, Sonny Perdue encenou pronunciamentos de campanha para preparar a próxima transmissão de uma propaganda política nova, e lá vai ele novamente”, escreveu o porta-voz de Taylor, Rick Dent, em um e-mail ao Daily Post. “Isto não é governar, é encenar. São truques e trapaças. Os eleitores merecem coisa melhor”.

Apetrechos: Comarca da Florida Aprova Novo Decreto-Lei Severo

Os donos de lojas para consumidores de drogas e apetrechos na Comarca de Pinellas, Flórida, se vêem em problemas depois que a comissão municipal deu a aprovação final na quarta-feira a um novo decreto-lei contra os apetrechos para consumo e tráfico de drogas que facilitarão a obtenção de condenação em relação à lei atual da Flórida. Segundo a lei estadual, as pessoas só podem ser declaradas culpadas de vendas de apetrechos se for possível provar que sabiam que o produto vendido seria usado para ingerir drogas. O novo decreto-leu municipal exige apenas que o vendedor devesse ter sabido razoavelmente que tal consumo ocorreria.

Os condenados de acordo com o novo decreto-lei municipal podem pegar até 60 dias de cadeia e multas máximas de $500. Os reincidentes podem ter os seus alvarás cassados.

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cachimbo
A nova lei é o resultado de uma Força-Tarefa de Abate dos Apetrechos de Drogas organizada pelo Presidente da Comissão Municipal, Ken Welch, no ano passado. O decreto-lei segue quase textualmente as recomendações do relatório da força-tarefa lançado em Junho, que afirmava que os apetrechos “possibilitavam” o consumo de drogas.

Os oponentes do decreto-lei compareceram à reunião da quarta-feira da comissão em vão. De acordo com um relato no St. Petersburg Times, entre os manifestantes contra o decreto-lei estava Kurt Donely, diretor executivo da sucursal da Flórida da NORML. Ele disse que a pena proposta de 60 era extrema demais. “Eu perderia a minha casa, o meu carro”, disse Donely. “Algo aconteceria aos meus bichinhos”.

Outra opositora era Tamara Pare, 23, empregada da Purple Haze Tobacco & Accessories em St. Petersburg. Ela chegou vestida de prostituta, usando botas vermelhas, minissaia e top. A indumentária dela, disse, era “uma metáfora visual” que desprezava a tolice do padrão “dever-se-ia saber razoavelmente”. “Hoje, muitas pessoas razoáveis poderiam me ver vestida desse jeito e pensar que sou uma prostituta”, disse Pare ao conselho.

O chefe dela, Leo Calzadilla, falou através de uma fita de vídeo da loja dele, com prateleiras de cachimbos exibidas atrás dele. O decreto-lei objetivaria lojas de especialidades como a dele quanto artigos que podem ser usados como apetrechos para consumo de drogas podem ser encontrados em quase todos os lugares, disse. “Este decreto não vai fazer nada além de engarrafar o nosso sistema municipal de justiça”, advertiu Calzadilla.

Mas, o diretor da comissão, Welch, era inamovível, apesar de ter reconhecido que o decreto não deteria o consumo de drogas. “Não vai solucionar o problema inteiro”, disse. “É um passo na direção certa”.

Talvez Welch e a comissão municipal devam se dirigir à promotoria da comarca porque parece que estarão ocupados se defendendo de desafios. “Ainda estou confuso”, disse Alan Berger, 51, co-proprietário da Balls of Steel em Gulfport, depois da votação. “Devo tirar tudo das prateleiras? Garanto a você, vamos lutar”.

Terapia da Dor: Dr. Hurwitz Não Consegue Fiança e Aguardará na Prisão Até o Novo Julgamento

Na quarta-feira, o especialista nacionalmente conhecido no tratamento da dor, o Dr. William Hurwitz, teve o seu pedido de fiança negado até novo julgamento. Hurwitz esteve na prisão desde que foi condenado em Novembro de 2004 sob acusações de tráfico de drogas pela sua prescrição de grandes quantidades de analgésicos opiáceos a pacientes, alguns dos quais admitiram depois abusar e/ou vendê-los. A condenação de Hurwitz foi revogada sob apelação e ele buscou a sua liberdade até ter um novo julgamento.

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o Dr. Hurwitz em 1996 (foto cortesia de Skip Baker)
Apesar de Hurwitz ter depositado uma fiança de $2 milhões para sair da cadeia após a sua detenção e obedecido todas as suas condições, o Juiz da Corte Distrital dos EUA, Leonard Wexler, o mesmo juiz cujas instruções defeituosas ao júri resultaram no veredicto que foi anulado, recusou a moção de soltura feita pelos advogados de Hurwitz. O Juiz Wexler disse que estava preocupado que Hurwitz pudesse fugir.

“As coisas mudaram com respeito à fuga”, disse Wexler enquanto recusava a moção. “Um júri o declarou culpado de 50 acusações... Acho que ele apresenta risco de fuga”.

Provavelmente, Hurwitz é o médico mais importante a ser processado em uma operação federal corrente contra o que as autoridades chamam de abuso de drogas prescritíveis e de sobreprescrição de drogas como Oxycontin e outros analgésicos. O caso dele mobilizou mais interesse e apoio na mídia e na comunidade de medicina que qualquer um das dúzias de outros casos de médicos processados na campanha federal.

Ele foi condenado depois que o Juiz Wexler instruiu aos membros do júri a não considerarem se Hurwitz agira “de boa fé” quando prescreveu. Hurwitz e seus advogados debateram que a defesa de “boa fé” era crucial para provar a inocência dele porque ele achava que estava ajudando os pacientes dele ao prescrever grandes quantidades de analgésicos.

Os procuradores instaram que Hurwitz permanecesse na cadeia até o julgamento, dizendo que ele tinha motivos para fugir. “Pelo menos um júri o declarou culpado 50 vezes”, disse o Subprocurador da União, Gene Rossi. “Ele tem mais ou menos 60 anos de idade e a sentença que foi imposta, 25 anos, é essencialmente uma sentença de prisão perpétua. Isso é um forte incentivo”.

Mas, os advogados de Hurwitz disseram que ele não fugira quando esteve sob fiança antes e tinha boas chances de vencer no novo julgamento. “Ele obedeceu fielmente a todas as condições de sua soltura”, disse o advogado de defesa, Lawrence Robbins.

The Robing Room, uma página que permite que os profissionais da justiça criminal dêem uma nota aos juízes, dá a Wexler medíocres 3,5 de 10, apesar do tamanho da amostra (apenas nove pessoas, a maioria advogados criminalistas) ser limitado. Entre os comentários:

“Este é um dos indivíduos mais malvados que já conheci... Ele não tem temperamento judicial e não é nem remotamente tão esperto quanto pensa ser, além do mais, não sabe ouvir”.

“Simplesmente, ele é um juiz terrível... Um amante da promotoria que grita, intimida e é unilateral... Não presta muita atenção às citações legais que claramente são relevantes para os trâmites... Malvado e asqueroso, não muito inteligente”.

“Não conhece a lei e não está nem aí”

Leia a carta de David Borden ao Juiz Wexler sobre os defeitos evidentes no julgamento, enviada antes da condenação original do Dr. Hurwitz aqui (em inglês).

Se quiser saber mais sobre o caso Hurwitz, visite a página da Pain Relief Network.

Polícia: As estórias de policiais corruptos desta semana

Um conto vil de Tulsa, um policial de Nova Iorque se safa do castigo e a Polícia de Boston não sabe ao certo o paradeiro das drogas. Mais outra semana de corrupção policial relacionada à proibição das drogas. Vamos ao que interessa:

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temperaturas quentes em Tulsa
Em Tulsa, Oklahoma, uma ação federal de direitos civis aberta pelo marido de uma dançarina de cabaré está jogando luz sobre alguns negócios sórdidos que envolvem um par de oficiais da Polícia de Tulsa. A ação foi aberta por Shannon Coyle, o marido da dançarina Cristal Garr. Coyle foi preso sob acusações de delitos de drogas no ano passado pelo Oficial Travis Ludwig, depois que Coyle prestou queixa de assuntos internos contra Ludwig porque ele estava se deitando com Garr. Coyle foi preso primeiro sob acusações de porte de maconha, daí novamente sob acusações de metanfetamina e apetrechos de consumo de drogas em reides conduzidos por Ludwig. Quando Coyle descobriu que Ludwig estava se deitando com a mulher dele, lhe mandou uma mensagem, avisando-lhe que ficasse longe. Então, Coyle, levou essas mensagens a uma subpromotora que permitiu que Coyle fosse detido novamente, desta vez por intimidação de testemunhas – Ludwig. Todas as acusações foram retiradas assim que os oficiais ficaram sabendo do caso e Ludwig foi disciplinado pelo departamento, mas ainda enfrenta uma ação judicial de Coyle. O mesmo acontece com o Oficial Israel Rodríguez, que Coyle acusa de se deitar com a mulher dele. Atualmente, Ludwig y Garr moram juntos, apesar de ela continuar casada com Coyle, pai de seus quatro filhos. Ah, a propósito, lembra-se da subpromotora que permitiu a terceira detenção de Coyle? Ela também estivera indo para cama com o ocupado Ludwig. Leia tudo sobre esta fofoca na lei de Oklahoma no Tulsa World, que tem uma cobertura profundo e um gráfico útil com todos os atores.

Na Cidade de Nova Iorque, um ex-detetive de narcóticos da Polícia de NY se safou do castigo quando foi sentenciado por roubar mais de $740.000 de traficantes de drogas durante um período de oito anos, informou o Newsday. O ex-detetive Julio Vásquez, 46, estava entre os cinco policiais da NYPD presos no esquema, que se desemaranhou quando os agentes federais que vigiavam um suspeito de delito de drogas o viram sendo roubado por Vásquez e o parceiro dele, o policial Thomas Rachko. Vásquez pegou uma sentença de seis anos da Juíza Federal Carol Amon no dia 05 de Outubro depois que os promotores encontraram uma carta que dizia que ele cooperara com os investigadores. De acordo com as normas federais de condenação, ele deveria ter pego uma sentença de 17 a 22 anos.

Em Boston, uma auditoria do depósito de drogas da Polícia de Boston revelou que o departamento não pode responder por algumas das drogas confiscadas durante todos estes anos, informou o Boston Globe no domingo. O Comissário da Polícia Albert Goslin disse ao Globe que era cedo demais para sugerir que havia corrupção e que as drogas - confiscadas como provas durante anos – podem ter sido perdidos. Enquanto a auditoria continua, três oficiais estão tentando rastrear as drogas que serviram como provas em 190.000 casos, uns que remontam a mais de 20 anos.

Oferta de Vídeo: Waiting to Inhale

Caro leitor da Crônica da Guerra Contra as Drogas:

Muitos entusiastas da reforma das políticas de drogas leram há duas semanas sobre o nosso novo blog acerca de um novo documentário, Waiting to Inhale: Marijuana, Medicine and the Law [Esperando para Inalar: A Maconha, a Medicina e a Ley], e um debate emocionante aqui em Washington entre dois dos meus colegas e um representante da secretaria antidrogas dos EUA aconteceu depois da exibição do filme. Tenho o prazer de anunciar que a DRCNet está lhe disponibilizando este filme como o nosso mais recente prêmio de filiação – doe $30 ou mais à DRCNet e você pode receber uma cópia de Waiting to Inhale como nosso agradecimento pelo seu apoio.

https://stopthedrugwar.org/files/waitingtoinhale-small.jpg
Soube de Waiting to Inhale durante alguns anos e estou muito feliz por vê-lo divulgado e causando repercussões. As pessoas que aparecem no filme – os fornecedores de maconha medicinal Mike e Valerie Corral e Jeff Jones, a porta-voz dos pacientes Yvonne Westbrook, o cientista Don Abrams – são heróis cujas estórias merecem ser contadas e cujas entrevistas neste filme deveriam ser exibidas em todo o redor. Você pode ajudar ao pedir uma cópia e fazer uma exibição privada no seu lar! Ou você e seus amigos ativistas podem simplesmente assisti-lo em casa como inspiração. (Clique aqui para maiores informações, inclusive um trailer na Internet.)

A sua doação ajudará a DRCNet enquanto fazemos o que achamos que será um plano incrível de dois anos para avançar consideravelmente a reforma das políticas de drogas e a causa de acabar com a proibição globalmente e nos EUA. Por favor, faça uma doação generosa hoje mesmo para ajudar a causa! Eu sei que você sentirá que o dinheiro foi bem gasto depois de ver o que a DRCNet está preparando. O nosso formulário de doação eletrônica permite doar por cartão de crédito, por PayPal ou imprimir um formulário para enviar juntamente com o seu cheque ou ordem de pagamento por correio. Por favor, note que as contribuições à Rede Coordenadora da Reforma das Políticas de Drogas ou Drug Reform Coordination Network, a nossa entidade de pressão política, não são dedutíveis do imposto de renda. As doações dedutíveis podem ser feitas para a Fundação DRCNet, a nossa ala de conscientização. (Escolher um presente como Waiting to Inhale reduzirá a parte de sua doação que pode deduzir pelo custo do artigo.) Ambos os grupos recebem cartas dos membros no seguinte endereço: DRCNet, P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036.

Obrigado pelo seu apoio. Se você não viu a nossa nova página, espero que tenha um momento para fazer isso – está muito bom, se me for permitido dizê-lo. :)

Cuide-se bem e espero ter notícias suas.

Sinceramente,


David Borden
Diretor Executivo

Matéria: Relatório do Departamento de Justiça Mostra Estagnação em Consumo de Drogas Entre Presos, Mas Enfatiza o Aumento no Uso de Metanfetamina

Um novo relatório da Agência de Estatísticas da Justiça (BJS) do Departamento de Justiça mostra que o consumo anterior de drogas entre os presos estaduais é essencialmente o mesmo na última década, enquanto que o consumo anterior de drogas entre presos federais teve uma ligeira alta. Mas, ao apresentar o relatório, Drug Use and Dependence, State and Federal Prisoners 2004 [Consumo de Drogas e Dependência, Presos Estaduais e Federais 2004], o BJS enfatizou pequenos aumentos em relação ao consumo anterior de metanfetamina entre presos estaduais e federais.

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saco de metanfetamina cristal, conhecida também como ‘ice’
Em parte, isto acontece porque os clientes da BJS estavam interessados nisso, disse o autor do relatório, Chris Mumola. “Temos um aumento na demanda de informação sobre as metanfetaminas”, disse ele à Crônica da Guerra Contra as Drogas. “O Gabinete de Política Nacional de Controle das Drogas e os administradores penais querem conhecer esta população”.

O que a BJS descobriu a respeito da metanfetamina foi que 7% dos presos estaduais informaram usá-la no mês anterior à detenção em 1997. Esse dado aumento para 11% em 2004. O consumo de metanfetamina declarado entre presos estaduais na época da infração aumentou de 4% para 6% durante o mesmo período. As prisões federais mostraram aumentos similares. Entre os prisioneiros brancos, 20% informaram usá-la no mês anterior à detenção, comparados com o 1% dos internos negros. Entre os hispânicos, 12% dos presos estaduais e 5% dos presos federais informaram usar metanfetamina no mês anterior à detenção. Entre as mulheres, 17% das prisioneiras estaduais e 15% das presas federas declararam usá-la, comparadas com os 10% de homens em ambos os sistemas, estadual e federal.

Falando em geral, o relatório descobriu que uma maioria – 56% -- dos internos estaduais usaram drogas no mês anterior à detenção, com 40% informando consumir maconha, seguidos pela pedra ou o pó de cocaína (21%), estimulantes (12%) e a heroína e demais opiáceos (8%). A maconha reteve o seu status de droga predileta, com 40% declarando usá-la no mês anterior à detenção. Estes dados estaduais são essencialmente os mesmos desde 1997, a última vez que a sondagem foi realizada.

De maneira interessante, os infratores violentos tinham menos chances de terem usado metanfetamina do que os infratores da legislação antidrogas e os infratores contra o patrimônio. Apenas 4% dos infratores violentos e contra o patrimônio informaram usá-la no mês anterior à detenção, comparados com os 14% de infratores da legislação antidrogas.

Isso faz um sentido intuitivo – e também levanta perguntas sobre o significado destes dados. Os dados crescentes por consumo de metanfetamina sugerem aumentos nos índices de consumo de metanfetamina, aumento na atenção à repressão legal ou ambos? A BJS não ajudou muito. Um empregado – que não foi Mumola – disse apenas que “Não fazemos sociologia. Não há como determinar isso”.

“Eu não acho que sabemos se isto é resultado do consumo crescente ou da repressão crescente”, disse Marc Mauer, diretor executivo do Sentencing Project, um instituto de consultoria em justiça criminal que enfatiza as alternativas à reclusão. “Sabemos que tem havido uma tremenda alocação de recursos à repressão à metanfetamina nos últimos anos, mas isso pode indicar um foco maior sobre a metanfetamina às custas e outros tipos de imposição da legislação sobre as drogas. Isto pode não indicar nenhum aumento no uso ou nas vendas, mas sim nas detenções. Também não sabemos ao certo a grandeza do consumo de metanfetamina, que varia de região a região. Pode ser importante em São Diego, mas não na Filadélfia”, disse ele à Crônica.

Mauer ficou impressionado com a ênfase do relatório sobre a metanfetamina. “É meio estranho que eles ressaltassem isto com tanta importância”, disse. “Se se examinar a distribuição total de drogas que as pessoas na prisão usaram, a metanfetamina está em último lugar. Embora haja algumas pessoas na prisão que consumiram metanfetamina, ainda é um número modesto. Ressalter aqueles dados entra em toda aquela discussão pública sobre a existência de uma epidemia de metanfetamina, mas quando se examina geralmente toda a gama de drogas usada pelos presos, tem-se um quadro muito diferente”.

Também é possível conseguir um quadro muito diferente do consumo anterior de drogas dos presos se o álcool fosse incluído na sondagem, como foi em 1997. A BJS presta um desserviço aos seus clientes ao não incluir o consumo de álcool, disse Mauer, “Não é possível falar sobre a criminalidade sem falar sobre o álcool”, exclamou. “Em termos de crimes de sangue, há muito mais correlação com o álcool do que com as demais drogas. Se se quiser dar uma olhada nas políticas de abuso químico, omite-se metade do problema se não se examinar o álcool”.

Os motivos para omitir o álcool não eram sinistros, disse Mumola da BJS. “O relatório de 1997 tinha 16 páginas e desta vez tivemos que cortá-lo para 12”, explicou. “Tivemos que editá-lo e torná-lo mais concentrado. Ao mesmo tempo, havia tanto um aumento na demanda de dados sobre a metanfetamina quanto novas medidas da dependência e do abuso. Há uma alta demanda de avaliações mais bem feitas de quem precisa de tratamento, então havia muito conteúdo adicional que tivemos que comprimir e teria sido impossível dar um tratamento completo às questões do álcool, então o simplificamos”.

Uma coisa que o relatório não mencionou, mas isso podia ser depreendido examinando este e outros relatórios da BJS sobre a população prisional, é que há mais de 44.000 pessoas cumprindo sentenças de prisão por infrações da legislação antimaconha. Na quinta-feira, em nota à imprensa, a National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) esmagou os números. “De acordo com estes dados, cerca de 45.000 presos estaduais e federais estão atrás das grades por terem cometido algum tipo de infração relacionada à cannabis”, disse o diretor executivo da NORML, Allen St. Pierre. “Isto significa que os contribuintes estadunidenses estão gastando atualmente mais de $1 bilhão ao ano para prender estadunidenses por causa da maconha”.

Mas, não pensemos nisso. Ao invés disso, concentremo-nos na droga demoníaca do dia. Isso é o que a BJS e a sua pesquisa clientelista fizeram.

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