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Michigan Faces Medical Marijuana Application Backlog

The state of Michigan says there's a backlog of applications by people seeking to use medical marijuana.

Boulder Extends Deadline for Medical Marijuana Businesses

The Boulder, Colorado city manager extended the deadline for existing medical marijuana businesses to apply for an operating license, citing massive confusion about the city's rules. If the deadline had not been extended, the majority of the city's dispensaries and growing operations would be operating illegally, though owners may not have known it.

SWAT Raid Lawsuit Claims Rights Were Violated

A civil lawsuit filed yesterday against the city of Columbia and police officers claims a family’s constitutional rights were violated in a February SWAT raid at their home. The suit specifically cites violations of the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable searches and seizures, and the 14th Amendment, a citizens’ rights measure ratified after the Civil War.

Medical Marijuana Fees May Price Everyone Out (Opinion)

At some point next year, medical marijuana will finally be available to qualifying patients in the District. The problem? It might be too expensive for anyone to grow it or sell it, much less for anyone to actually afford to buy it.

Threatened Mexican Journalist Granted US Asylum

A Mexican journalist threatened by drug gangs said he had been granted political asylum in the United States to escape the drug trafficking organizations' increasingly violent campaign to silence the media.

Alcohol Industry Contributions Net Anti-Marijuana Spokesman on the Hill (Press Release)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 21, 2010

CONTACT: Mason Tvert, SAFER executive director, 720-255-4340

Alcohol Industry Contributions Net Anti-Marijuana Spokesman on the Hill

Court Blames DEA Agent’s Road Rage in 2003 Beating

When Barron Bowling wouldn’t let a car pass him from the right seven years ago, it sparked road rage that left him beaten and lying on blistering pavement. Bowling’s attacker turned out to be federal Drug Enforcement Administration agent Timothy McCue, who was in an unmarked car with two colleagues.

Medical Marijuana Dispensary Ban Fails

A proposed 45-day moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries in unincorporated Orange County failed by one vote today. The county ordinance, which would have immediately banned new dispensaries and existing dispensaries without the proper permits, needed to be approved by 4/5ths of the board of supervisors. Supervisors John Moorlach and Shawn Nelson voted against the emergency ordinance, arguing there wasn’t an emergency to warrant immediate adoption of the freeze on dispensaries.

The Patients vs. The Powerful


Mexico Rejects Drug War Truce

Mexico's government has scoffed at the idea of a truce in the country's drug prohibition war after a newspaper which has seen two of its journalists shot dead pleaded with the drug trafficking organizations to name their terms.

Demonstrators Protest Proposed Changes to Medical Marijuana Laws

The 2011 Montana legislature will be taking up changes to the Montana Medical Marijuana Act voters passed in 2004. Demonstrators held signs in Missoula, saying "Leave medical marijuana alone' and 'Don't take our medicine from us.' They warn the legislative bill could double fees for patients, limit caregivers' service, charge a $10,000 fee to dispensaries, and set other restrictions.

The Heritage Foundation's Marijuana Policy Paper Takes Absurdity to New Heights

The Heritage Foundation's Charles Stimson has released a completely bonkers prohibitionist screed on marijuana. Will the think tank retract it?

Ann Arbor Chronicle Sues City Over Alleged 'Secret Discussions' Regarding Medical Marijuana Policy

The Ann Arbor Chronicle is suing the city of Ann Arbor, claiming City Council members violated the state's Open Meetings Act by engaging in "secret discussions" during which they formulated plans for a moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries. In the lawsuit filed in Washtenaw County Circuit Court on Friday, the Chronicle says council members held a closed session meeting on July 19 and broke the law by discussing and possibly giving a directive to the city attorney regarding medical marijuana policy.

Flood of Drugs from Myanmar: Is War Brewing?

In the lead-up to Myanmar's first elections in two decades the flow of drugs from the country has become a flood as drug-producing rebels prepare for a showdown with the junta, experts say. Thailand has seen the amount of illicit drugs seized surge this year and observers say nervousness about a possible military crackdown in Myanmar on armed minorities could be fueling the increase. Thailand-based Saw David Taw of the Ethnic Nationalities Council - a coalition of Myanmar ethnic groups - said there was "a rumour going around that people are preparing for war".

Police Ambush Death Toll in Mexico Rises

The death toll from an ambush staged against police in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero has risen to eight, with one officer wounded, officials said.

Medical Marijuana Providers Host Washington State’s First Cannabis Farmers Market

Only those with medical marijuana authorization forms gained entrance to an event billed as the state’s first cannabis farmers market. “These are farmers growing agricultural medicine, so it seemed like a no-brainer,” said Jeremy Miller, organizer and owner of Sacred Plant Medicine. “It’s a place where people can network with other patients in similar situations.”

How the Drug War Has Subjugated Poor People of Color and Nullified the Fourth Amendment (Opinion)

Michelle Alexander, a longtime civil rights advocate, litigator, and author of 'The New Jim Crow', goes where mainstream journalists fear to tread. She explains how mass incarceration in the United States has emerged as a comprehensive and well-disguised system of racialized social control -- and how those who turn a blind eye to the problem share in the blame.

U.S. Ambassador Blames Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations for Rise In Costa Rica Drug Traffic

For the first time, Costa Rica has been named a major transit point for drug trafficking, and the United States ambassador to the country, Ann S. Andrews, is blaming the Mexican drug cartels. Costa Rican officials say they lack the resources to combat drug traffickers, to guard its coastline to keep drug traffickers from using the nation to further their illicit activities.

Experts: Drug Violence May Continue Past Calderón's Term

The drug prohibition violence that's forced about 230,000 Juárez residents to flee their homes is likely to continue for several years, experts said. Edgardo Buscaglia, a global organized crime expert, said Mexico's president does not have the political support in his country to do what is needed to make a lasting change, which is to arrest and prosecute high-level politicians and business owners who protect the drug traffickers. Last year, the U.S. Army War College Strategic Studies Institute published a study by Hal Brands, "Mexico's Narco-Insurgency and U.S. Counterdrug Policy," that states "Narcotics-driven corruption is rampant, government control of large swaths of the country is tenuous at best, and predictions that Mexico is on the way to becoming a failed state are frequent."

Senior UK Police Chief Supports Experts Over “Decriminalizing Drugs”

After several scientific experts have recently put forth their view with regards to decriminalizing drug use, Tim Hollis, a senior UK police official has also joined hands with the scientists and has voiced his opinion about decriminalizing personal use of drugs such as cannabis. In addition, both PM David Cameron and Deputy PM Nick Clegg are said to be questioning the effectiveness of Britain’s drug policies.

Medical Marijuana Growers Join Teamsters Union

As organized labor faces declining membership, one of the United States' most storied unions is looking to a new growth industry: marijuana.

Police Corruption: Woman's Drug Conviction Overturned During Probe

Drug prohibition-related police corruption stories abound. Court records indicate a Tulsa woman's drug conviction has been vacated, increasing to 19 the number of people either freed from prison or no longer facing charges because of an ongoing police corruption investigation.

Cleveland Has Ohio's Only Legal Syringe Exchange Program

The Free Medical Clinic of Greater Cleveland runs Ohio's only legal syringe exchange program. Cleveland first allowed syringe exchanges in 1995, when more than 17 percent of new HIV infections were associated with intravenous drug use. Last year, that number had fallen to 3.4 percent, according to the Cleveland Department of Public Health.

Mexico Paper Seeks Ciudad Juarez Drug Gang Guidance

A Mexican newspaper in the heartland of the country's drug prohibition war has asked traffickers for guidance on whether it should publish stories on the conflict. The killing of a 21-year-old photographer last week prompted the newspaper to run a front-page editorial asking: "What do you want from us?"

Guns and Grow-Ops: Conservatives Should Be Consistent (Opinion)

Tom Flanagan, a professor of political science at the University of Calgary and a former Conservative campaign manager, opines on why he thinks conservatives should be more consistent, and re-examine their views about an issue that is more important than the long-gun registry – prohibition of mind-altering drugs.

UK: Liberal Democrats Told Drug Policy 'Wrong'

The Liberal Democrats were told that their drug policy is wrong and the party should support the legalization of cannabis and moves to provide pharmaceutical heroin to addicts instead of methadone. Ewan Hoyle, founder of Liberal Democrats for Drug Policy Reform, accused candidates and MPs of being "silent" on drugs since the issue was last discussed at conference in 2002.

Prediction: Washington State Will End Marijuana Prohibition in 26 Months (Opinion)

Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project, opines on why he is convinced that Washington state will probably be one of the first two states to tax and regulate marijuana like alcohol.

Drug Truth 09/19/10

Cultural Baggage * Century of Lies * 4:20 Drug War NEWS  *  Time 4 Hemp

Drug Policy Emerges as Issue: Challenger, Incumbent Differ on Legalization

Nicholas W. Payne, the Green Party candidate vying to unseat five-term incumbent Rep. Clark J. Chapin, R-New Milford, believes the state would save both dollars and lives by legalizing drugs. "This election's all about money, jobs and taxes," Payne said. "In New Milford you don't see violence on the streets ... It's the expense of (fighting illegal drugs) I'm going after."

Sending a Meth Message, Does It Work?

For the second year, graphic television ads showing actors portraying pathetic and physically damaged drug addicts remind people about the danger of methamphetamine -- but does the scary message work? "It does not prevent future use. They're not effective," Jeanne Y. Ohta, executive director of the Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii, says of the frightening TV commercial prepared by the Hawaii Meth Project.

T-Mobile Hit With Lawsuit for Blocking Marijuana Texts

T-Mobile "did not approve" of a company called EZ Texting, which does business with a website,, that provides information on the location of legal medical marijuana dispensaries in California. Today, EZ Texting sued T-Mobile in the U.S. District Court in New York City. EZ Texting says that on Sept. 10th, T-Mobile began "unlawful blocking" of its 313131 text service, which it offers to business and non-profits to help get their message to the public.

Arizona Health Department Preps for Medical Marijuana Passage

Polls show strong support for passage of Proposition 203, and the executive director of the Arizona Department of Health Services is putting processes into place to regulate what could become a new industry in the state.

Parrot Used as Lookout by Drug Traffickers Taken in by Police

This is proof that, under prohibition, traffickers will pretty much do anything. Lorenzo the parrot was taken into police custody in Colombia after he was found warning members of a drug trafficking organization that they were in danger of being caught. Lorenzo has been handed over to environmental authorities, who claim he is one of about 1700 parrots seized after being trained to act as lookouts for drug traffickers.

Lawsuit Filed in Camden Police Drug Planting Scheme

Drug prohibition has long been corrupting law enforcement in many ways. Now, the ACLU has taken Camden County and New Jersey officials to federal court on behalf of a man who spent more than a year in jail on drug charges, which were dismissed after the cops who arrested him were charged with planting evidence on him and many others.

MPP Insider Newsletter Volume 1, Issue 8



Growing Pains: R.I. Medical Marijuana Growers, Patients Double in a Year

Since legislation was passed in 2006 creating a medical marijuana program, Rhode Island has seen rapid growth in the number of people legally permitted to use medical marijuana to cope with a host of medical maladies, including chronic pain, anxiety, hypertension and nausea. There are now 2,250 patients in the program and 1,656 caregivers, or those permitted to grow up to 24 marijuana plants for designated patients. That’s more than double the numbers from a year ago.

News Photographer Killed in Mexican Border City

Gunmen attacked two newspaper photographers Thursday in the drug prohibition-torn border city of Ciudad Juarez, killing one and seriously wounding the other. Mexican journalists are increasingly under siege from drug traffickers seeking to control the flow of information. The Committee to Protect Journalists, a New York-based watchdog group, said in a recent report that at least 22 Mexican journalists have been killed since December 2006, when President Felipe Calderon intensified a crackdown on drug traffickers by deploying tens of thousands of troops and federal police across the country.

Rhode Island Medical Marijuana School Indefinitely Postponed

The New England School of Alternative Horticultural Studies — previously billed as Rhode Island’s first medical marijuana school — has decided to cancel its inaugural class and indefinitely postpone operations over concerns that the Rhode Island Department of Health has not offered it explicit approval.

Adios! Mexican Town's Police Force Quits Because of Danger

No mas. That's what the police force in the Mexican town of Purepero said when all 45 of it members resigned en masse. Purepero isn't the first town to experience a mass resignation of officials afraid to continue their role in the nation's prohibitionist war on drug traffickers.

Mexico's Drug War Impacts Business

Mexico became a manufacturing mecca thanks, in part, to its inexpensive labor and proximity to the massive U.S. market. But there is a new reality on the ground in that country these days: a surge in violence tied to the prohibition-based war on drug traffickers that Mexico's President Felipe Calderon mounted after his election in 2006. The result has been a wave of kidnappings, extortion and murder that is threatening the country's economic health and causing multinationals to examine closely how they operate and invest in Mexico.

Judge Calls for Clarity in Michigan's Medical Marijuana Law: Lawmakers Urged to Act Against Backdrop of Recent Clinic Raids

A Michigan Court of Appeals judge urged lawmakers to clarify the state's medical marijuana law, saying the "inartfully drafted" measure has resulted in confusion and arrests. The judge said the law is so confusing that users "who proceed without due caution" could "lose both their property and their liberty."

Marijuana Law Reform is a Civil Rights Issue (Opinion)

Alice Huffman, president of the California State NAACP, opines on the civil rights aspects of legalizing, taxing, and regulating marijuana in California. She says the California NAACP does not believe maintaining the illusion that we're winning the "war on drugs" is worth sacrificing another generation of our young men and women.

Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations Involved in Cocaine Surge in Australia

Drug prohibition isn't stopping Mexican drug trafficking organizations (DTOs). The Australian Crime Commission says highly sophisticated Mexican DTOs are having a significant impact on the Australian cocaine market. The surge is linked to one of the most powerful and brutal syndicates involved in the drug war in Mexico, the Sinaloa organization.

No Accepted Medical Use? Three Perspectives on Medical Cannabis (Video -- ReasonTV)

As medical marijuana proponents have pointed out since the Controlled Substances Act was passed by Congress in 1970, cannabis has been used medicinally for thousands of years, and there has never been a reported case of a marijuana overdose. Moreover, in recent years clinical researchers around the world have demonstrated the medicinal value of cannabis. ReasonTV talked to a doctor, a pharmacist, and a patient to get three firsthand perspectives on medical cannabis.

It's Time for Unity in the Marijuana Reform Movement

It appears that there is a growing contingent of marijuana users and people associated with the industry, both legal and illicit, who are actively fighting against efforts to make marijuana legal for all adults.

Denver's Medical Marijuana Rulemaking Meeting Room Too Small to Fit All the People Wanting to Attend?

The Department of Revenue's medical marijuana advisory committee has been controversial from the beginning, and not only because meetings weren't open to the public until after advocates complained. Now there are gripes that the meeting space is too small for everyone who wants to attend the next session tomorrow. People are pointing out that the DOR received over $10 million in application fees from the medical marijuana community in July and August, so they certainly have the funds to rent a larger room.

Can Mexico "Decapitate" Drug Trafficking Organizations?

On the bullet-ridden streets of Mexico, weary residents ask a pertinent question about the recent arrests of some leading alleged drug traffickers -- do they really mean the Mexican government is regaining control or will they only lead to more bloodshed? GlobalPost's Ioan Grillo tracks the string of high-profile arrests, but concludes they won't end the drug war.

Disenfranchisement News: Date Set for Disenfranchisement Court Case



In this issue

Bans on Fake Pot Do Little to Deter Business

Authorities in 13 states thought they were acting to curb a public health threat when they outlawed a form of synthetic marijuana known as K2, a concoction of dried herbs sprayed with a synthetic cannabinoid. Barely six months after Kansas adopted the nation's first ban on K2, even police acknowledge that the laws are all but meaningless because merchants can so easily offer legal alternatives.

Stand Up to Big Alcohol (Action Alert)

Drug Spotters Living in Arizona Caves

Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeau said illegal immigrants have been living in caves and operating as drug spotters. Residents are afraid to leave their homes because spotters watch their every move, Babeau said.

This Week in History

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

Drug War Woes Dampen Mexico's Bicentennial Party

Mexico is celebrating its 200th anniversary as an independent nation and the 100th anniversary of the Mexican revolution. But some of the celebrations are being scaled back as the country is being swept by a wave of drug prohibition violence.

OTC Cough Syrup May Soon Become Prescription Drug

The medicine is now available over the counter, but it may soon become a controlled substance, according to the FDA. This is because some people ingest cough syrup containing Dextromethorphan for "robo-tripping" purposes. Manufacturers cite that fewer patients would be willing to see a physician for a simple cold and cough prescription, and thus would skip treatment, exacerbating a common and usually harmless condition, if cough syrups were restricted and made a prescription drug.

Andrew Weil: Medical Marijuana's Tremendous Potential for Curing Ailments (Opinion)

Andrew Weil, M.D., founder and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, cuts through all the government misinformation and discusses the multiple uses for medical marijuana.

Washington State OKs Medical Marijuana for Chronic Kidney Failure

Washington has added chronic kidney failure to the list of conditions for which medical marijuana is permitted under state law but has rejected petitions to add Alzheimer's and neuropathic pain.

Medical Marijuana Rally Aims to Define Law

Medical marijuana advocates are planning a rally next month to push Nevada lawmakers to clearly define state law regarding dispensing. The rally will coincide with President Barack Obama's visit to Las Vegas. Several medical marijuana dispensaries were raided last week by federal agents.

Mexico’s Top Narco-Blogger Comes Forward

Old, wealthy men held hostage and humiliated; paramilitary cops in ski masks taking dudes into custody; people walking the streets in body armor, automatic weapons out; and all the dead bodies and shot-up cars. Facing a situation like that, it’s no surprise that Blog Del Narco’s author, who’s not even 30 years old, would want to stay anonymous. Which is why it’s remarkable that he’s given an interview to Boing Boing describing what it’s like to work in a wealthy city turned urban warzone.

Colorado Police Conclude Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Don't Increase Crime

Medical marijuana dispensaries aren't attracting crime in Colorado Springs, the second Colorado city where police have concluded that pot shops don't increase crime. Denver police made a similar conclusion earlier this year.

Sydney Safe Injecting Site Trial Ends

Sydney, Australia's safe injecting site at Kings Cross will become a permanent fixture after operating on a trial basis since 2001. Legislation lifting the center's trial status will also confirm it will remain the only safe injecting center of its kind in New South Wales.

San Diego City Embarks On Regulations for Medicinal Marijuana Dispensaries

San Diego City Council has voted to start developing land use regulations that would define where medicinal marijuana dispensaries can legally operate. Currently, more than 100 dispensaries operate in the city. Kate Valentine of Americans for Safe Access calculates the proposed zoning would only allow about 15 dispensaries.

Taxing Cannabis, By the Numbers

Relevant figures applicable to the debate over legalizing cannabis in California via Proposition 19 are presented.

Cannabis Should Be Licensed and Sold in Shops, Expert Says:

According to Britain's leading expert on the drug, Professor Roger Pertwee of Aberdeen University, cannabis should be available for recreational use in shops under restrictions similar to those used to control the sale of alcohol and tobacco.

Booze Lobby Funding the No on 19 Campaign

The California Beer & Beverage Distributors disclosed it donated $10,000 to defeat Prop 19 — which would regulate and tax marijuana like alcohol. The alcohol lobbyist's funds will help spread the lie that employers must tolerate stoned employees, and the talking point that 'California doesn't need another legal, mind-altering substance.' The move echoes the tobacco and alcohol industry's help creating leading drug war group Partnership For a Drug-Free America.

200 Protest Oakland Medical Marijuana Raids

An estimated 200 medical marijuana users and supporters protested against the raids of medical marijuana establishments in Ferndale and Waterford. Six buses brought protesters from Ypsilanti, Lansing, Port Huron and Oak Park, who carried signs that blamed Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard for police brutality during the raids.

Marijuana Ballot Measure in California Wins Support of SEIU, Officials Say

California's Proposition 19, a ballot initiative to legalize the sale and use of marijuana, has won the support of one of the state’s most powerful unions, offering the proposition a shot of mainstream legitimacy as well as a potential financial and organizational lift. The decision by the executive board of the Service Employees International Union of California will be announced in the next few days, according to officials who have been briefed about it but were not allowed to speak publicly before it was announced.

Gov. Schwarzenegger Urged to Sign Sterile Syringe Bill

Actor and author Christopher Kennedy Lawford, the cousin of California’s First Lady Maria Shriver and nephew of the late President John F. Kennedy, has called on Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to sign legislation to allow pharmacies to sell sterile syringes to adults.

Protesters Rip RI Health Dept. on Pot-Center License Delay

About 60 medical marijuana users and their supporters gathered outside the Health Department's offices to protest the agency's announcement last week that it was not granting licenses to any of the 15 groups that had applied to become the state's first medical marijuana distributors.

On Cutting Edge of Building Green Homes — With Hemp

The plant fiber used to make the sails that took Christopher Columbus' ships to the New World is now a building material. In Asheville, N.C., a home built with thick hemp walls was completed this summer, and two more are in the works. Dozens of hemp homes have been built in Europe, but they're new to the United States.

SSDP Heads Back to School!


Dear friends,

New UN Drug Czar From Russia Takes Office

Yury Fedotov, a veteran diplomat who until recently was the Kremlin's top envoy to Britain, replaced Italy's Antonio Maria Costa as the head of the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime.

California Law Enforcers Endorse Proposition 19

Today at press conferences in Oakland and Los Angeles, a group of police officers, judges and pr

Mexican Drug Smugglers Fire at Border Patrol Agents Along Banks of Rio Grande

Border Patrol agents in Texas were fired upon after chasing a suspected drug smuggler back to the banks of the Rio Grande close to Anzalduas Park. Though rarely reported by the mainstream press, armed conflicts along the border with Mexican drug smugglers are becoming a rather common event.

Speak No Evil: DEA, DOJ Stay Mum on Medical Marijuana Raids

Despite campaign promises to the contrary, the Department of Justice under President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder hasn’t stopped raiding marijuana dispensaries operating in states where marijuana is legal for medical purposes. But the DOJ has demonstrated one marked change now that it’s under Democratic control: The department has stopped publicizing medical marijuana raids, both by requesting that more cases be sealed under court order and by refusing to distribute press releases.

Reducing Penalties for Crack and Peyote...But When Marijuana? (Opinion)

The Marijuana Policy Project's executive director, Rob Kampia, reflects on advocating changes in marijuana policy in light of reductions in penalties with regard to crack cocaine and peyote. He says it's all about framing the issue.

Mexican Drug War Heats Up Over The Weekend; 25 Dead in Juarez & “El Grande” Captured

Over the past weekend Mexico saw a proliferation of drug prohibition violence, including the slaying of 25 people in the border city of Ciudad Juarez and a prison break that saw 85 inmates escape.

British, Canadian Troops Smuggling Afghan Heroin: Report

Military police in Afghanistan are investigating whether British and Canadian soldiers may have smuggled heroin out of the war-torn country.

Cannabis Rx: Cutting Through the Misinformation (Opinion)

The founder and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, Dr. Andrew Weil, discusses the utility of marijuana. He points out that in recent years, studies have shown potential for treating nausea, vomiting, premenstrual syndrome, insomnia, migraines, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, alcohol abuse, collagen-induced arthritis, asthma, atherosclerosis, bipolar disorder, depression, Huntington's disease, Parkinson's disease, sickle-cell disease, sleep apnea, Alzheimer's disease and anorexia nervosa. What if cannabis cures cancer?

All Rhode Island Compassion Center Bids Rejected by Health Panel

In a surprise move, the state Health Department on announced that none of the 15 applicants seeking to open the state’s first compassion center for medical marijuana patients are qualified to open their doors. The announcement did not sit well with several of the applicants and with JoAnne Leppanen, executive director of the Rhode Island Patient Advocacy Coalition. The coalition concerns itself with patients in the medical marijuana program.

Law Enforcement Support for California Cannabis Initiative Growing (Press Release)

NEWS ADVISORY: September 10, 2010

CONTACT: Tom Angell - (202) 557-4979 or media//at//leap//dot//cc

Drug Legalization Could Reduce Government Costs and Raise Tax Revenues

In a forthcoming study for the Cato Institute, Jeffrey A. Miron, senior lecturer on economics at Harvard University and a senior fellow at Cato, and Katherine Waldock, professor of economics at New York University, estimate that legalizing drugs would save the government approximately $41.3 billion annually on expenditures related to the enforcement of prohibition. Just as important, drug legalization would translate into higher tax revenues generated by the sale of these newly-legalized products in the open commercial marketplace. Drug legalization would yield tax revenues of $46.7 billion annually, assuming legal drugs were taxed at rates comparable to those on alcohol and tobacco, they said.

Medical Marijuana Patients Find Seeds Hard to Come By: Proposal Would Allow Patients to Buy 16 Seeds Every Three Months

New Mexico’s approach to medical marijuana is one of the most strictly regulated in the country, but patients share problems with those in less regulated states when it comes to lawfully obtaining seeds or plants. Currently, New Mexico patients who are authorized to grow their own medical marijuana don’t have many legal ways to buy seeds or starter plants. Now the state has proposed a fix to the program that could change that.

Drug Traffickers Cripple Mexican Oil Operation

The meandering network of pipes, wells and tankers belonging to the gigantic state oil company Pemex has long been an easy target of crooks and drug traffickers who siphon off natural gas, gasoline and even crude, robbing the Mexican treasury of hundreds of millions of dollars annually. Now the prohibition-created drug traffickers have taken sabotage to a new level: They've hobbled key operations in parts of the Burgos Basin, home to Mexico's biggest natural-gas fields.

Border Factories Caught in Drug War's Crossfire

The head of an association of border factory owners said the sector is in crisis mode as unrelenting drug prohibition violence in northern Mexico has spooked investors into curtailing operations at some plants and rethinking expansion at others.

Absence of Morphine Condemns Children to a Life of Pain

Morphine, as a narcotic, has such a bad reputation in many poor countries that doctors cannot obtain it for their patients. A new report from Human Rights Watch describes the suffering of children in pain in Kenya.

Tell Chairman Conyers It's Time for Truth! (Action Alert)


Dear friends,

North Carolina Sheriffs Want to Know What Drugs You're Taking

The North Carolina State Sheriffs' Association is seeking access to state computer records that identify which residents have prescriptions for painkillers and other controlled substances. Patient advocates say opening up people's medicine cabinets to law enforcement would deal a devastating blow to privacy rights.

Cannabis Amnesty in Scotland?

When GW Pharmaceuticals was given the green light to prescribe their cannabis based medicine Sativex, MS sufferers across the UK breathed a collective sigh of relief. But, a number of Primary Health Care Trusts, the organizations that run the UK's hospitals, apparently passed a memo around explaining they wouldn't be funding any Sativex prescriptions. So while the medicine is now legal, only those that can afford it can have it.

Michigan May Be First to Adopt Roadside Drug Testing: Cops Could Check Your Saliva

Michigan drivers could become the first in the nation subject to roadside drug testing under a bill introduced Wednesday in the legislature.

Mexican Mayor Latest to Die in Spiralling Drug Violence

Gunmen have killed the mayor of a town in northern Mexico as he sat at his desk. He is the third politician slain in the past month as drug prohibition-related violence escalates.

This Week in History

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

Federal Agents Raid At Least Five Las Vegas Medical Marijuana Dispensaries (Press Release)

September 8, 2010
11:25 PM

State Appeals Court Upholds Halt to Drug Testing

A California appeals court has upheld a temporary ban on the Shasta County school district’s policy of drug testing students in extracurricular activities as it may violate the state Constitution.

LA Medical Marijuana Distributors Want More Outlets

The operators asked the LA's City Council on yesterday to allow more dispensaries, saying many medical marijuana distributors will simply operate illegally.

Clinton Says Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations Looking Like Insurgency

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said today that the violent, drug prohibition-created Mexican drug trafficking organizations were starting to look like an insurgency. Prohibition violence -- including beheadings, hangings and shootings -- has expanded from the border area to more of the country, including several car bombs for the first time this year. Mexican drug gangs have been blamed for the significant uptick in violence, increasingly against government officials and institutions.

Washington Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Would Be Legal Under New Proposed Bill

Just months after a proposed initiative legalizing marijuana failed to qualify for the fall ballot, marijuana is back again on the political agenda. With a new session beginning in January, several legislators are poised to introduce bills that would liberalize marijuana laws, whether by legalizing medical marijuana dispensaries or by legalizing marijuana altogether.

Drug War Issues

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