Weekly: This Week in History

Submitted by dguard on (Issue #516)

January 1, 1932: The newly established Federal Bureau of Narcotics, a unit in the Treasury Department, takes over from the Alcohol Unit of the department the enforcement of the federal anti-opiate and anti-cocaine laws. Former Assistant Prohibition Commissioner Harry J. Anslinger takes over as commissioner of narcotics.

December 29, 1988: Judge Mark Polen, in State v. Mussika, comments, "There is a pressing need for a more compassionate, humane law which clearly discriminates between the criminal conduct of those who socially abuse chemicals and the legitimate medical needs of seriously ill patients..."

December 30, 1989: Ignoring evidence to the contrary, DEA Director John Lawn orders that cannabis remain on the Schedule I narcotics list which is reserved for drugs which have no known medical use.

January 3, 1990: After eluding capture following the US invasion of Panama and seeking asylum in the Vatican embassy, General Manuel Noriega surrenders to the DEA, and is brought to Miami the next day.

December 28, 1992: ABC Television airs a major special on the drug war in Bolivia which, according to the Bush Administration, is our "best hope" for winning the drug war in South America. ABC concludes decisively that there is no hope and that the war on drug production has already been lost.

January 2, 1994: Through the emergency scheduling process, the synthetic psychedelic 2C-B (4-bromo-2,5-dimethoxyphenethylamine) is added to the list of Schedule I drugs.

January 1, 1995: Oregon's largest television station, KATU-TV in Portland, conducts a "telepoll" asking the question, "Do you support legalizing marijuana to fund education?" Over fifty-four percent of the thousands of respondents answer "yes."

December 30, 1996: President Clinton approves a plan to combat the new state laws legalizing marijuana for the sick and dying.

December 29, 1997: The New York Times reports that US and Mexican officials said that the United States was providing the Mexican military with extensive covert intelligence support and training for hundreds of its officers to help shape a network of anti-drug troops around the country. The Times points out that "the effort has proceeded despite growing US concern that it may lead to more serious problems of corruption and human rights in one of Mexico's most respected institutions... In fact, a new US intelligence analysis of the military's drug ties will cite evidence of extensive penetration of the officer corps."

January 2, 1998: The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) backs off attempts to subpoena the names of individuals who purchased a marijuana cultivation book entitled "Marijuana Hydroponics: High-Tech Water Culture." The agency withdraws its demands after legal challenges from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and an acknowledgment from Assistant US Attorney John Stevens that the subpoenas are "unduly burdensome."

January 1, 1999: The Drug Peace Campaign, a California political action committee, is formed in order "to seek a peaceful end to the war now being waged by our own governments against us, the citizens of the United States of America, and the World."

December 31, 2000: A Department of Justice report states that State prisons are operating between full capacity and 15% above capacity, while Federal prisons are operating at 31% above capacity.

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