Weekly: This Week in History

Submitted by David Borden on

June 23, 1999: New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson tells an audience at the Cato Institute, "The nation's so-called War on Drugs has been a miserable failure. It hasn't worked. The drug problem is getting worse. I think it is the number one problem facing this country today... We really need to put all the options on the table... and one of the things that's going to get talked about is decriminalization."

June 24, 1982: During remarks about Executive Order 12368 made from the White House's Rose Garden, President Ronald Reagan says, "We're taking down the surrender flag that has flown over so many drug efforts. We're running up a battle flag."

June 25, 1923: During a speech in Denver, Colorado, Senator Morris Shepard of Texas who had helped install prohibition of alcohol says, "There is as much chance of repealing the Eighteenth Amendment as there is for a hummingbird to fly to the planet Mars with the Washington Monument tied to its tail."

June 25, 1987: Colombia officially annuls their extradition treaty with the US, following a barrage of personal threats from drug traffickers against members of the Supreme Court.

June 25, 2003: The Superior Administrative Court of Cundinamarca, Colombia, orders a stop to the spraying of glyophosphate herbicides until the government complies with the environmental management plan for the eradication program, and mandates a series of studies to protect public health and the environment.

June 26, 1936: The Convention for the Suppression of the Illicit Traffic in Dangerous Drugs is signed in Geneva.

June 26, 2001: China marks the UN international anti-drugs day by holding rallies where piles of narcotics are burned, and 60 people are executed for drug offenses, among hundreds killed by authorities since April 2001 in a crime crackdown labeled "Strike Hard" that alllowed for speeded up trials and broader use of the death penalty.

June 27, 1991: The US Supreme Court upholds, in a 5-4 decision, a Michigan statute that imposes a mandatory sentence of life without possibility of parole for anyone convicted of possession of more than 650 grams (about 1.5 pounds) of cocaine.

June 27, 2002: In Board of Education of Independent School District No. 92 of Pottawatomie County v. Earls, the US Supreme Court decides 6-3 to uphold the most sweeping drug-testing policy yet to come before the Court -- a testing requirement for any public school student seeking to take part in any extracurricular activity, the near-equivalent of a universal testing policy.

June 28, 1776: The first draft of the Declaration of Independence is written on Dutch hemp paper. A second draft, the version released on July 4, is also written on hemp paper. (The final draft is copied from the second draft onto animal parchment.)

June 29, 1938: The Christian Century reports, "In some districts inhabited by Latino Americans, Filipinos, Spaniards, and Negroes, half the crimes are attributed to the marijuana craze."

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