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Drug Gang Gunmen Storm Honduras Factory, Kill 18

Men armed with assault rifles burst into a shoe factory in San Pedro Sula and opened fire, killing at least 18 workers and wounding five. The city has been a hotbed of gun battles between drug traffickers and among the country's Mara street gangs.

Medical Marijuana Growers Worry About Threat From Superstores

Oakland is about to become the first city to authorize large scale marijuana cultivation. The move could generate millions of dollars in taxes and create hundreds of new jobs. While the measure has yet to pass, current medical marijuana growers fear the move will drive many of them out of business.

Colorado Medical Marijuana Patient Tracking Has MMJ Advocates Crying Foul

Medical marijuana advocates are concerned that proposed new regulations for the industry will result in patient tracking, scaring patients away from wanting to be a part of the system. The Cannabis Therapy Institute is asking advocates to oppose the draft rules by the Colorado Department of Revenue because they say it will lead to fear.

Drug Traffickers Cripple Pemex Operations

The kidnappings of five petroleum company workers along with 30 others have terrorized the oil community, paralyzing segments of the business. Months later, families have still heard nothing.

Mexico Dresses Up for Battle

Despite the Mexican government’s high-profile capture last week of American-born kingpin Edgar Valdez “La Barbie” Villarreal, the country’s prohibitionist drug war continues to spiral out of control. A telling sign: ordinary Mexicans, who until now have largely been removed from the carnage, are turning to private security firms for help.

Phoenix Officials Plan Ahead of November Vote on Medical Marijuana

Phoenix officials are discussing how to deal with a November ballot measure that would legalize marijuana for medical purposes.

Politics of Pot: Marijuana on Four Ballots Energizes Political Debate

Marijuana is on the ballot in four states this November, including the first effort of its kind in California to fully legalize marijuana.

Boy Shot Dead by Drug War Troops

Soldiers opened fire on a family car at a checkpoint in northern Mexico, killing a 15-year-old boy and another person. It is at least the second time this year that a family has been caught up in a shooting involving Mexico's military, which has come under intense criticism for human rights abuses as soldiers fight drug traffickers.

Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Moffett Goes on Record Supporting Industrial Hemp

Phil Moffett said Friday he's willing to "go to the carpet" to legalize the production of industrial hemp in Kentucky. The Louisville businessman voiced support for industrial hemp in a question and answer session with libertarian voters in Lexington on Thursday and again Friday in an interview with The Associated Press.

Mississippi Governor Signs Bill Banning Synthetic Marijuana

Gov. Haley Barbour on Friday signed a bill immediately banning the sale and possession of the herbal mixture known by names such as Spice, K2, Demon, Voodoo, Genie and Zohai.

Mexico Drug War: the New Killing Fields

In the first of a three-part investigation, The Guardian's Rory Carroll reports from the gateway to America, at the center of drug cartel violence that has claimed 28,000 lives since December 2006.

Measure 74 Aims For Easier Marijuana Access

More than 36,000 Oregonians are allowed to use marijuana for medical purposes, but they can't legally buy the drug -- they have to grow it themselves or find a caregiver to grow it for them. Backers of a measure on this November's ballot want to change that and they want to do it by following California's lead. Sponsors of Oregon's Measure 74 say it takes a more conservative approach to storefront pot sales.

Ethics Panel Rips TV Drug Court

Arkansas' judicial officials are questioning whether Washington-Madison County Drug Court, a popular local television program, should be aired. An opinion from the Arkansas Supreme Court Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee, issued Thursday, appears to quash any thought of taking any version of the show national and questions whether it should continue to be broadcast locally. The committee members, two retired judges and a law professor, issued a scathing opinion saying they had concerns with any broadcast of drug court proceedings.

We Won't Stand For Their Lies (Action Alert)


Michigan Judge Allows Medical Marijuana Use for Suspects

A Detroit-area judge is allowing some defendants arrested in a series of raids to keep using state-approved medical marijuana while out on bond.

Mexican Women Work, Die for Gangs in Drug War City

More women are working and dying for powerful, unregulated drug traffickers in Mexico's most violent city as high unemployment along the U.S. border sucks desperate families into the lethal, prohibition-driven trade. A record 179 women have been killed by rival hitmen so far this year in Ciudad Juarez, the notorious city across from El Paso, Texas, as teenage girls and even mothers with small children sign up with the drug trafficking organizations.

Prop 19: Amsterdam Psychiatrist Blasts US Drug Czars for Distortions, Fear-Mongering (Letter to the Editor)

On August 25, the Los Angeles Times published an open editorial written by six former US drug czars referring to cannabis policies in the Netherlands while voicing their opposition to California's Proposition 19. On September 2, ENCOD president Fredrick Polak sent an open letter to the LA Times.

For Mexican Drug Traffickers, Marijuana Is Still Gold

Times are good for marijuana growers of Mexico's western Sierra Madre mountains -- the army eradication squads that once hacked at the illicit marijuana fields have been diverted by the drug war raging elsewhere in Mexico. To the delight of traffickers, marijuana cultivation soared 35 percent last year and is now higher than at any time in nearly two decades.

Study Disputes Marijuana 'Gateway Drug' Theory

Yet more evidence that the tired statement made by prohibitionists that "marijuana is a gateway drug" is false. Researchers said the predictors of whether someone uses harder drugs are social factors such as income status, psychological stress levels, employment status/potential, race and ethnicity, etc., not whether they ever smoked pot before. [Of course, more than a decade ago Institute of Medicine research conducted at the behest of Gen. Barry McCaffrey -- then the U.S. drug czar -- concluded "There is no conclusive evidence that the drug effects of marijuana are causally linked to the subsequent abuse of other illicit drugs", and that marijuana has been mistaken for a gateway drug in the past because "Patterns in progression of drug use from adolescence to adulthood are strikingly regular. Because it is the most widely used illicit drug, marijuana is predictably the first illicit drug most people encounter. Not surprisingly, most users of other illicit drugs have used marijuana first. In fact, most drug users begin with alcohol and nicotine before marijuana -- usually before they are of legal age."]

Protestors Rally for Those Arrested in Pot Busts

Michigan’s medical marijuana law had its first dramatic day in an Oakland County court as a dozen people arrested in a medical marijuana raid on August 25 came before a judge for preliminary exams.

71% of Mexico's Local Governments Said Penetrated by Narcos

Drug traffickers exert influence over 71 percent of Mexico’s 2,439 municipal governments and completely control 195 of them. Criminal groups find it easy to dominate municipalities because local administrations are chronically short of money and suffer from neglect on the part of the state and federal governments.

Medical Marijuana Advocates to Local Officials: Comply with State Law

Americans for Safe Access, the country's leading medical marijuana patient advocacy group, issued letters today to more than 140 localities across California with bans on distribution, demanding that they come into compliance with state law. The letters were sent two weeks after California's Fourth District Court of Appeal issued a long-awaited decision rejecting the argument that local or state dispensary laws are preempted by federal law.

Opioid Dependence Drug Gets Okay for New Delivery Mode

The FDA has approved a new sublingual film formulation of the opioid dependence treatment combination buprenorphrine/naloxone (Suboxone).

This Week in History

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

British Workers Say Raids 'won't stop' Ibiza Drug Trade

Young British workers on the island of Ibiza appear to agree that a wave of drug prohibition raids over the past weekend will have no impact.

America's First Medical Marijuana TV Ad

A Sacramento, CA dispensary — run by a conservative Christian — makes history with a television commercial touting the benefits of medical marijuana.

Mexico's Drug War Creates `Medium-Term' Risk for Debt Rating, Moody's Says

Increasing drug prohibition violence in Mexico poses a risk to the nation’s credit rating in the “medium term” and may threaten economic growth. The violence is shaving 1.2 percentage points off the economy annually, Finance Minister Ernesto Cordero said today. Moody’s probably won’t downgrade the country before President Felipe Calderon’s term ends in 2012.

Race & Justice News: Segregation Behind Prison Bars




In This Issue:

Juárez Violence Persists: August Deadliest Month with 322 Killed

The extremely dangerous city of Ciudad Juárez had more homicides this past August than any other month since prohibition-inspired drug trafficking organizations began fighting a turf war in 2008. Other very deadly months include this past June, when 313 people were slain, and August 2009, with 315.

Dispensary Ban? Let the Voters Decide!

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The Relationship Between Prohibition and Homicide

Data analyzed by Harvard University's Professor Jeffrey Miron confirm the hypothesis that drug and alcohol prohibition cause increased rates of violence.

Maine Chooses 2 More Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

The state of Maine has finished deciding who will get to give out medical marijuana, and officials say the new dispensaries could be up and running by this fall.

NM Proposes Changes to Medical Marijuana Rules: Agency Proposes Fee Increase For Growers

New Mexico proposes to raise fees on medical marijuana producers to bring in money to administer the program.

Southern Oregon Residents Fear Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations

Though they are nearly a thousand miles away from the bloodshed, Mexican expatriates living in the Rogue Valley fear possible reprisal.

Ending the War on Drugs

Australian barrister and former political adviser Greg Barns opines on why drug prohibition is bad for Australia and calls for an end to the drug war.

6-month Delay for Medical Marijuana Permits Stressful: MD

Patients seeking to use medical marijuana are being forced to wait as long as six months by Health Canada because a backlog of permit applications, says British Columbia's Dr. Gwyllyn Goddard. Because of the delays many patients buy pot illegally while they wait for the official government permit.

Marijuana Initiative Challenges Costly, Bloody Drug War (Opinion)

Former California state senator Tom Hayden opines that he supports the November ballot initiative to legalize, tax and regulate marijuana because our country's long drug war is a disaster and there is an alternative that is better for our health, safety and democratic process.

Drug Truth 08/30/10

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

Police Ignore 'No trespassing' Sign, So Court Ignores Drug Evidence

An Oregon judge has tossed out evidence seized in a marijuana case after ruling that police ignored "no trespassing" signs while acting on a tip in a drug raid last year.

Canadian Medical Association Journal Article Sides with Drug Injection Site

An article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal slams the federal government for its efforts to shut down Insite in downtown Vancouver, Canada's only safe injection site for drug addicts.

More Than 3,000 Mexican Cops Fired Amid Drug Wars

Mexico’s Federal Police Commissioner Facundo Rosas said today that 3,000 police officers have been fired since May. Six of those officers have been charged in the death a murdered mayor. Rosas said the fired cops were either linked to corruption or failed to do their jobs.

Mexico Massacre: How the Drug War is Pushing Cartels Into Human Trafficking

Drug traffickers are increasingly diversifying their illicit activities and targeting more than just rival criminal gangs.

TV Station to Air First-ever Medical Pot Ad

Fox's KTXL television station in Sacramento, California will be the first-ever in the United States to air a paid commercial advertisement for a medical marijuana dispensary.

Hidalgo, Tamaulipas Mayor Gunned Down

Mexican authorities are investigating the assassination of Hidalgo, Tamaulipas Mayor Antonio Leal-Garcia whose killers are suspected gunmen allied with Los Zetas. The Zetas have also been blamed for the massacre of 72 Central and South American immigrants just a couple hours away in San Fernando. The police chief in Hidalgo, Tamaulipas was killed back in May.

Marijuana Effective for Pain Relief, Study Finds

The results of a published today in the Canadian Medical Association Journal: smoking pot can make some of the pain go away, without the patient getting high. The finding comes from what researchers in Montreal believe to be the first outpatient clinical trial of smoked cannabis, involving 21 people with chronic neuropathic pain.

Reddit and Wired Rebel Against Owner's Anti-drug Policy

Social news website Reddit has defied its owner Condé Nast about running advertisements for a marijuana legalization campaign in California.

Ponzi Scheme Strikes Drug Enforcement Agents

Michele Leonhart's nomination to head the Drug Enforcement Administration has been complicated by a ponzi scheme that has ensnared DEA agents and officials. "Given Leonhart's raids against medical marijuana dispensaries and her alleged role in covering up the House of Death scandal, it would be funny if what sinks her nomination is some retirement Ponzi scheme," said Bill Piper of the Drug Policy Alliance.

Electric Car Made of Hemp to Be Made in Canada

Calgary's Motive Industries announced it would introduce an electric car whose bio-composite body is made from hemp. The prototype of the four-passenger, zero-emission vehicle, known as the Kestrel, is to be unveiled at an electric mobility trade show in Vancouver in September and would be the first of its kind in Canada.

Continued Drug Prohibition Allows Mexican Drug Gangs to Diversify Into Human Smuggling

Phenomenally rich due to drug prohibition, Mexican drug gangs, which used to focus exclusively on ferrying narcotics such as cocaine to the United States, have diversified into other lucrative criminal activities such as human smuggling and extortion.

Ferndale Raid Underscores Silliness of Drug War (Opinion)

Darrell Dawsey reflects on the logic of the Oakland County Sheriff's Department raiding a medical marijuana dispensary mere days after the City Council of Ferndale, Mich., lifted a moratorium on medical marijuana businesses in the Detroit suburb. Their actions are in defiance of the will of the City Council and the majority of voters in the state. It seems especially odd given the U.S. Department of Justice said it won't prosecute marijuana dispensaries that abide by state laws.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos Backs Mexico's Calderon on Drug Legalization

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos declared his support for Mexican President Felipe Calderon's call for a discussion on drug legalization. "We are entering an era of the narco-trafficking business where one must have these type of reflections," he said. Santos announced that he will seek to form a united stance with Mexico and Peru on the legalization issue if California votes to legalize marijuana at the ballot in November.

Toronto City Council Votes to Endorse Decriminalization of Drug Use

Toronto has become the first city in the world – and the first government in North America – to formally endorse a declaration that advocates harm reduction in the war on drugs.

U.S. Efforts Fail to Stem Flow of Mexican Drug Money

Stashing cash in spare tires, engine transmissions and truckloads of baby diapers, couriers for Mexican drug traffickers are moving tens of billions of dollars in drug prohibition profits south across the border each year, a river of dirty money that has overwhelmed U.S. and Mexican customs agents.

Mexican Drug Traffickers Expand Reach in Central America

Central America is struggling to contain rising drug prohibition violence as powerful Mexican drug traffickers, facing a government crackdown at home, expand southward and intensify operations in neighboring nations.

We Miss You!



Dear friends,

Mexico Offers 'Drug Deal and People Trafficking Holidays'

While escalating violence in Mexico's war on drugs may be prompting some would-be tourists to think twice about visiting the country, others see it as a chance to try a different kind of travel experience. A new type of traveler is flocking to the country, keen to experience a dark underworld of drug traffickers, leftist rebels and illegal migration.

U.S. Consulate Warning of Zeta Kidnappings in Mexico

After the possible kidnapping attempt of a college student last Friday, the U.S. Consulate is warning Americans who travel to Monterrey that they face a greater risk of being kidnapped.

Fultility 101: Torching a Drug Lab in Peru, the No. 1 Coca Grower

Drug prohibitionists are still playing one of their favorite games -- "whack-a-mole" with cocaine in South America. Peru's anti-drug police are locked in an ongoing game of cat-and-mouse in the Ene and Apurimac River Valleys against drug runners, many of whom are aligned with a remnant band of about 200 leftist Shining Path guerrillas. But, as usual and for ever more, the government appears to be losing the battle.

Obama Takes a Crack at Drug Reform (Opinion)

Drug Policy Alliance ED, Ethan Nadelmann, opines on President Obama's drug policy reform moves since entering office.

This Week in History

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

60,000+ Waiting for Medical Marijuana Licenses

According to Ron Hyman of the Colorado Department of Health, there is a backlog of 60,000 to 70,000 applications for state-issued medical marijuana licenses waiting for approval. The delay is costly -- there is more than $5 million in application fees waiting to be processed.

Google to Run Marijuana Ads That Facebook Wouldn't

Facebook may think it's "inappropriate" to run ads depicting marijuana leaves, but apparently Google doesn't.

A Failed "War on Drugs" Prompts Rethinking on HIV Infections Among Injection Drug Users

Drug policy has focused on a policing approach of prohibition and incarceration, which has contributed to spreading HIV within the injection-drug community. Comprehensive drug reform policies are showing better results. Despite massive investments in drug law enforcement in the past three decades, with much of the international interdiction effort paid for by the U.S. government through assistance to national military and police forces, there is "a general pattern of falling drug prices and increasing drug purity" throughout the world, according to the Vienna Declaration.

Mexican Troops Find Dozens of Drug Prohibition Victims' Bodies

Mexican marines have found 72 corpses at a ranch after a shoot-out with drug traffickers that left one soldier and three gunmen dead near the town of San Fernando in Tamaulipas. It appears to be the largest dumping ground for the victims of drug prohibition violence found in Mexico since President Felipe Calderon began a stunningly unsuccessful offensive against traffickers in late 2006.

Latino Voters League, National Black Police Officers Latest Groups to Endorse California Marijuana Legalization Measure

Representatives from the Latino Voters League (LVL) and the National Black Police Association have given formal endorsements of Proposition 19, The Regulate, Control & Tax Cannabis Initiative of 2010. If passed, the measure would legalize the private adult possession and cultivation of marijuana, and allow local government the option to regulate the plant’s commercial production and sale.

Gov. Bill Ritter Turns to Medical Marijuana Fund to Help Balance Colorado Budget

The plan Ritter announced to bridge a nearly $60 million shortfall in the current budget year relies on $9 million from the state's Medical Marijuana Program Cash Fund, financed by fees on patients who get cards to use medical marijuana. With the number of applicants for medical marijuana cards expected to double to 150,000 this year, there will still be about $1 million left in the fund even after $9 million is swept from it.

Drug Prohibition Sends Bullets Whizzing Across the Border

At least eight bullets have been fired into El Paso, TX in the last few weeks from the rising violence in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, one of the world's most dangerous places. And all American police can do is shrug because they cannot legally intervene in a war in another country. The best they can do is warn people to stay inside.

Senator Scutari Introduces Measure Urging Governor's Support of Federal Bill to Protect Medical Marijuana Patients

New Jersey State Senator Nicholas P. Scutari (D-Union) introduced a measure urging Governor Christie to support and advocate for federal legislation that would provide legal protection to patients who use medical marijuana in compliance with state laws. The Senator’s bill would express the Legislature’s support and urge the Governor to support and advocate for H.R. 2835, known as the “Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act.” In states with legalized medical marijuana, H.R. 2835 would protect patients, prescribing doctors, distributors and anyone authorized to obtain, possess or distribute marijuana on behalf of a patient against arrest and prosecution by federal authorities.

Facebook Blocks Ads For Pot Legalization Campaign

Proponents of marijuana legalization, which is on the California ballot in 2010, have hit a Facebook wall in their effort to grow an online campaign to rethink the nation's pot laws. Facebook initially accepted ads from the group Just Say Now, running them from August 7 to August 16, generating 38 million impressions and helping the group's fan page grow to over 6,000 members. But then they were abruptly removed.

Drug Truth 08/23/10

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

State Receives Second Round of Pot Dispensary Applications

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services is seeking companies to run two medical marijuana dispensaries in York and Washington Counties. The state has received 19 applications from non-profit corporations to operate the dispensaries.

It Could Happen to You (Action Alert)

Protect your community!Tell Congress to stop supporting
militarized police drug raids.

35 Taken Hostage During Gunfight in Rio

Terrified vacationers were caught up in an intense gunfight between a Rio de Janeiro drugs gang and police, during which gang members invaded a luxury hotel and took 35 people hostage. The gang fought off police with machine guns and rifles as it sought to make its way back to Rocinha, with several gang members fleeing on foot or forcing passing motorists to drive them away. The shootout lasted about 40 minutes leaving the surrounding streets littered with bullet casings.

Shootout Near School Shocks Mexico

Drug prohibition violence continues to build in Mexico where a gun fight occurred in front of the American School Foundation, the school of choice for the children of many of Monterrey's top businessmen as well as the children of Americans working in the city. The gun battle is the latest sign that Mexico's prohibition violence is spreading to wealthier areas of the country which had long thought themselves immune, and has deepened the fear that has gripped Monterrey in the last few months.

Costa Rica Is Wary of Plans to Allow U.S. Naval Ships to Dock on Its Shores for Anti-Drug Missions

A U.S. warship capable of deploying more than 1,000 military personnel and dozens of helicopters is headed right for Costa Rica’s peaceful Caribbean coast. In July, Costa Rica's legislative assembly approved a U.S. request for permission to dock 46 warships and 7,000 military personnel, mostly for narcotics missions in Costa Rican territory, sparking outrage among skeptics of the global war on drugs, including outspoken politicians, pacifists, student groups and everyday "Ticos", who are proud of their country’s six decades without a military. In short, it’s been an outright public relations disaster.

Wall Street Drug Use: Employees Giving Up Cocaine for Pot and Pills

According to federal Health Department data, across the U.S., cocaine and marijuana use have been static since 2002. But New York is a hot-bed for drugs, and Manhattanites are particularly heavy users. A review of drug-test data compiled by drug testing firm Sterling Infosystems shows that cocaine is losing its favor among investment professionals, and is being replaced by marijuana.

In Drug War, the Beginning of the End? (Opinion)

Prohibition lasted from 1920 to 1933 and is now considered a failed experiment in social engineering. Alcohol and marijuana prohibition have much in common: both in effect handed production, sales and distribution of a commodity in high demand to criminal organizations, both filled the prisons (America's population behind bars is now the world's largest), both diverted the resources of law enforcement, and both created millions of scoff-laws. Many prominent people think there is reason to believe that we are at the beginning of the end of the drug war as we know it.

Bringing Doctors to MMJ Patients: MMAPR Brings Mobile Doctors to Patients at Cannabis Festival

“No patient left behind” is the mantra of the Denver-based Medical Marijuana Assistance Program of the Rockies (MMAPR). Working with indigent, low-income patients, MMAPR has launched a mobile doctors service, bringing doctors to the patients themselves. Through the support of local dispensaries and other medical marijuana industry businesses, MMAPR is able to not only provide convenient doctor visits, but also significant savings to patients, often as much as 25 percent.

Legal Pot Gets Calderon Consideration as Deaths Mount

A record number of homicides in Mexico has forced President Felipe Calderon to open discussions on a new strategy in the war on drugs: legalization. The impact of violence is the biggest threat to the Mexican economy according to 57 percent of Mexican executives, a survey published last month by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu showed. Mexico, which spends about $8.2 billion annually on law enforcement, would save between 5 percent and 15 percent of GDP if narcotics were legal in all countries, said Luis Rayo, a finance professor at the University of Utah.

Ketamine Is 'magic drug' for Depression

Scientists claim that a single dose of the drug Ketamine, nicknamed Special K, acts like "magic" lifting people out of depression in hours and lasting more than a week. Studies have found it can treat depression within hours, even when years of alternative treatments have failed, and the effects of just one dose can last up to 10 days. The drug was even shown to restore brain-connections damaged by stress.

National Black Police Association Endorses Marijuana Legalization (Press Release)


CONTACT: Tom Angell - (202) 557-4979 or [email protected]

The 8 Most Absurd Excuses for Trying to Defeat Legal Pot

Russ Belville, NORML's outreach coordinator, has collected and debunked eight of the craziest claims about a post-legalization state of California predicted by opponents of Proposition 19.

Texas Counties $4.2 Million Drug Search and Seizures Fund Trips to Vegas

In a classic example of drug prohibition money corrupting, Frank Garza, the former District Attorney of Jim Wells and Brooks Counties in Texas, has been charged with going on a $4.2 million dollar drug search and seizure forfeiture spending spree in seven years. This story draws attention to the practice of authorities and officials and the very lucrative search, seizure and forfeiture drug laws, in particular, the state of Texas. According to the Institute of Justice, due to Texas’s search and seizure forfeiture laws, Texas law enforcement agencies seized in property and currency, “nearly a quarter of a billion dollars” between 2001 and 2008.

With 28,000 Killed Since 2006, Movement for Drug Legalization in Mexico Takes Hold (Video)

A growing movement in Mexico to legalize drugs, particularly marijuana, is taking shape. Four proposals that aim for varying degrees of decriminalization or legalization of drugs are on the docket in Mexico’s House of Deputies, and another is circulating in the Senate. Meanwhile, former Mexican President Vicente Fox, who was a key U.S. ally in the war on drugs, has backed the legalization of drugs, saying prohibition has failed to reduce violence and corruption.

Just Say Now

In 1996, California became the first state in the nation to legalize marijuana for medical use. Now, with a ballot initiative up for a vote in November, it could become the first to ratify an even more striking landmark: the legalization of pot for recreational use. Proposition 19 — the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010 — treats pot much like alcohol after the repeal of Prohibition, allowing each city and county to decide whether it wants to approve and tax commercial sales of the drug.

This Week in History

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

Scientists Suggest Fresh Look at Psychedelic Drugs

Swiss scientists suggest that mind-altering drugs like LSD, ketamine or magic mushrooms can be combined with psychotherapy to treat people suffering from depression, compulsive disorders or chronic pain.

Colombia Court Declares Military Base Deal With U.S. Unconstitutional

The U.S. was denied greater access to Colombian military bases when a joint base deal aimed at combating drug trafficking among other things was deemed unconstitutional by Colombia's Constitutional court. The deal was reached after Ecuador refused to renew the lease on the US military base of Manta almost three years ago. During his refusal, President Rafael Correa said, "If there's no problem having foreign soldiers on a country's soil, surely they'll let us have an Ecuadorian base in the United States."

Corrupt, Insecure Prisons Undermine Mexico Drug War

Experts say Mexico's President FelipeCalderon needs to get entrenched problems in the penal and judicial system under control if he is to have any chance of winning a war that has claimed more than 28,000 lives since late 2006 and sparked fears that drug trafficking organizations could turn Mexico into a lawless narco state.

Kidnapped Mexican Mayor Found Dead

Yet another Mexican politican falls prey to drug prohibition violence. Security forces have found the handcuffed and blindfolded body of kidnapped mayor Edelmiro Cavazos of the northern Mexican city of Santiago. Cavazos was taken from his home by armed men on Sunday night.

Obama: Fix U.S. Drug Policy! (Petition)


The Forgotten Ban: Obama Sticks with DEA Nominee Michele Leonhart Despite Criticism of Raids

Michele Leonhart, a DEA deputy administrator appointed by President George W. Bush and the acting administrator since the resignation of Karen P. Tandy in 2007, has consistently ignored a Justice Department directive not to “waste resources” by raiding medical marijuana dispensaries and growers operating legally in states that allow the sale of medical marijuana. Now, seemingly backtracking on his marijuana policy, President Obama is sticking with the Bush appointee and DEA-head nominee Leonhart despite massive criticism.

Wait for Medical Marijuana in NJ Frustrates Terminally Ill Patients

Legislation approving at least six non-profit alternative treatment centers to dispense medical marijuana in New Jersey was approved in January. Politicians have delayed the implementation date until January 2011. Meanwhile, terminally ill patients are in pain and dying.

Mapping the Legal Marijuana Industry

If California's Proposition 19 passes this Novemeber, plenty of moneymakers will want in.

Lawmakers in Mexico to Debate Drug Fight

President Felipe Calderón summoned legislators to participate later this week in his continuing discussions with all of Mexico’s political establishment about how to win the war against the drug trafficking organizations. Is legalization on the table?

Drug Gang Hires 'pretty' Hitwomen

A suspected member of the vicious La Linea gang reports that his organization is hiring pretty young women to carry out killings in order to surprise its enemies. Around 30 women aged between 18 and 30 years have learned in recent months to carry out killings accompanied by hitmen, and most have already killed people.

Mexico Drug Prohibition Violence Also Hitting Churches, Prelate Says

Time for another unintended consequence of drug prohibition: Alarming reports are pouring in from all over Mexico -- priests are being constantly threatened, extorted and abused by drug traffickers.

Drug War Issues

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