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US Supreme Court Hears California Prison Crowding Case, Advocates Urge California to Focus on Resolving Crisis, Including Ending Prison as Response to Drug Use (Press Release)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 30, 2010
CONTACT: Margaret Dooley-Sammuli at 213-291-4190 or Tommy McDonald 510-229-5215

US Supreme Court Hears California Prison Crowding Case

Medical Marijuana Bill Stalls in the Illinois House

The bill failed on a 53-59-1 vote (60 was needed for passage) -- the sponsor, state Rep. Lou Lang, D-Skokie, has put the bill on postponed consideration, which effectively pulled it back before the vote was official and allows him to try again later if he can come up with extra votes. The House will meet today for the last time this year, then for a few days in January before the new General Assembly is seated. If the bill doesn't pass by then, Lang would have to start from scratch.

WikiLeaks to Target Drugs

WikiLeaks, a whistleblowing online site, obtained 8,324 documents related to drugs, an area of great interest to the border region. However, the public will have to wait to learn what most of those cables contain because WikiLeaks does not plan to release all 251,287 of its leaked documents at once. As of Monday, only 272 diplomatic cables had been released.

WikiLeaks: Brazil Frames Suspected Terrorists on Drug Charges

According to a secret cable sent to Washington in January 2008 by US Ambassador Clifford Sobel, the Federal Police and the Brazilian intelligence agency ABIN monitor suspected terrorists and have arrested some of them on drug charges.

Poll: Majority of Canadians Want Marc Emery to Serve Sentence in Canada

54% of respondents agree with the Canadian government approving a citizen transfer so that Emery can serve his sentence in Canada. This recommendation was first issued by Emery's defense team in September 2010, and it was met with the concurrence of District Court Judge Ricardo Martinez.

Expert: Azteca Drug Gang Leader's Arrest Won't End Drug Prohibition Violence

It is unlikely the arrest of the suspected leader of the Aztecas gang over the weekend will end the bloodshed in Juárez, says George W. Grayson, a government professor specializing in Latin America at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.

WikiLeaks: Karzai Pardoned Politically Connected Drug Dealers

A confidential diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks says Afghan President Hamid Karzai has freed dangerous detainees and pardoned suspected drug dealers because they had connections to powerful figures.

20 Bodies Found In Northern Mexico Mass Grave, Victims Said Killed by Drug Traffickers in Case of Mistaken Identity

The Mexican army discovered several clandestine graves holding at least 20 bodies near a ranch in the northern border state of Chihuahua. The bodies had been buried between four and eight months and that it had not yet been determined how they were killed because they were badly decomposed.

Canadian Coalition Calls for Injection Site for Drug Users

Saying the billions spent on the war on illegal drugs have done nothing other than fuel the transmission of HIV and hepatitis C, a coalition of Quebec addiction support centers is calling for the creation of a supervised injection site for drug users in Montreal.

Illinois Lawmakers Debate Medical Marijuana

Illinois lawmakers are back at work -- the veto session started and one of the biggest issues is coming up for vote. The "Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Bill" could legalize medical marijuana. Supporters of the bill only need 2 more votes to ensure it passes.

UN Drug Czar: "Drug Use Is a Health Problem, Not a Crime"

On his first visit to Afghanistan since assuming duties as UNODC Executive Director in September, Mr. Yury Fedotov visited Jangalak Treatment Center, in Kabul, Afghanistan, last week. The center offers treatment and follow up care for recovering drug users. "Drug use is a health problem, not a crime", said Mr. Fedotov. "Drug users are affected by a disease - addiction - and instead of punishment, what they need is treatment, care and social integration. They should not be stigmatized, repressed or further marginalized. Like all people, they deserve to be treated humanely. I believe in placing a strong emphasis on safeguarding health, human rights and justice", he added.

Four Years On, Drug Prohibition War Bleeds Mexican Heartland

A four-year army crackdown in Mexico's methamphetamine-producing heartland has provoked a dizzying increase in violence, fueling fears that the country is losing its battle against drug traffickers. Despite heavily armed patrols, hundreds of drug lab busts and thousands of arrests, locals say gangs in the president's home state wield huge power, ramping up drug output while using terror and bribes to control towns mired in poverty. "Crime has only gotten worse. Before, things were calm. Now you don't know what could happen...We are afraid here," said Miriam Ortiz, a 32-year-old teacher.

WikiLeaks: Karzai's Brother 'Corrupt Drugs Baron' US Says

Drug prohibition continues to complicate the war in Afghanistan. Leaked US documents on paint President Hamid Karzai's controversial younger brother as a corrupt drugs baron, exposing deep US concerns about graft undermining the war against the Afghan Taliban.

Legislature Is Right to Kill Gov. Christie's Medical Marijuana Rules (Editorial)

The Star-Ledger editorial board opines that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie seems intent on wrecking the state's medical marijuana program with restrictive regulations. His Department of Health has drafted rules that would restrict marijuana use, availability and potency.

Rules May Bar Lawyers from Aiding in Setup of Medical Marijuana Dispensaries in Arizona

Patients, doctors and dispensaries seeking legal help navigating Arizona's new medical marijuana law could find themselves up the creek without a lawyer. The ethics counsel for the State Bar of Arizona said it is a violation of the rules laid out by the Arizona Supreme Court for attorneys to help clients break federal laws prohibiting selling or possessing marijuana.

Iowa Drugs Appeal Case Headed to Supreme Court

Two attorneys say they'll take an Iowa case before the nation's highest court next week that could alter how federal judges sentence convicts after appeals. The issue is if judges can weigh a convict's efforts at rehabilitation while an appeal is pending.

Humboldt's Marijuana Growers Team Up to Go Legit

America's most renowned bastion of illicit marijuana growing is threatened by cavernous, city-taxed cultivation warehouses soon to be licensed in Oakland. It is alarmed by cities from La Puente to Berkeley to Sacramento that approved taxes on dispensaries or endorsed medical marijuana cultivation, sanctioning a marijuana economy wider and more competitive than ever. Humboldt seeks to save itself by going legit -- the new Humboldt Growers Association is working for county approval to license and tax outdoor pot plantations of up to 40,000 square feet.

Conservative Republican Leads Effort to Decriminalize Marijuana

Virginia Delegate Harvey Morgan has proposed a bill to decriminalize marijuana possession in the upcoming General Assembly session. HB 1443 would replace criminal penalties for simple possession with a civil fine of $500. Morgan is a Republican and, more important, an assistant clinical professor of pharmacy at Virginia Commonwealth University’s medical school.

Mexico's Modern City Succumbs to Drug Prohibition Violence

Drug prohibition violence has painted Monterrey with the look and feel of the gritty border 100 miles (160 kilometers) to the north. This wasn't supposed to happen in Mexico's modern northern city with gleaming glass towers that rise against the Sierra Madre, where students flock to world-class universities, including the country's equivalent of MIT. The deterioration happened nearly overnight, laying bare issues that plague the entire country and speak to the nature of drug prohibition.

Sexist Violence Invisible in War on Drugs

Yosmireli and Griselda, two and four years old, died by bullets to their heads from soldiers' guns -- their mother, aunt and seven-year-old brother Joniel were also killed, on a rural road in northwest Mexico. The killings became the first known case of civilians gunned down by soldiers in the prohibitionist war on drug traffickers declared by the government of conservative Felipe Calderón, which tipped the country into a spiral of violence. One very clear effect is "the invisibility of violence against women...If a girl is found dead on the street and the body shows signs of violence, whether she has a bullet wound, is tied up, or there is a dead man next to her, her death is recorded in the category of 'organized crime'...By recording the cases in the catch-all category of organized crime, the victims' families no longer have access to the case file and cannot pressure the authorities to solve the crime," said David Peña of the National Association of Democratic Lawyers.

Business Leaders Roll Out National Trade Association for Legal Marijuana Industry (Press Release)




NOVEMBER 23, 2010

Business Leaders Roll Out National Trade Association for Legal Marijuana Industry

Medical Marijuana Sales Tax Nets $2.2 Million for Colorado This Year

Medical marijuana dispensaries are now putting hundreds of thousands of dollars a month into state and city treasuries in Colorado. So far this year, the state has collected more than $2.2 million in sales tax from dispensaries.

Mexican Business Asks Government to Dial Back Drug Prohibition War

Business leaders in the northern Mexican border city of Matamoros are urging President Felipe Calderon to declare a truce in his all-out battle with drug trafficking organizations, a conflict that has claimed some 30,000+ lives in the past four years. Vice president of the Federation of National Chambers of Commerce, Julio Almanza, said that if the federal government continues to remain obstinate on turning city streets into "battlefields" and does not take account that its strategy "has failed," the risk exists that in more communities the situation of Ciudad Mier, Tamaulipas, might be repeated, where that community has become a ghost town because of the exodus of its frightened citizens.

Proposed Medical Marijuana Rules Again Face Scrutiny from N.J. Lawmakers

New Jersey lawmakers today will seek to change rules proposed by the Christie administration over medical marijuana. Some lawmakers say the rules don't follow the intent of the law they passed earlier this year to make New Jersey the 14th state to allow medical marijuana.

Northern California Cities Bring Marijuana Growing Into the Light

As numerous cities get set to levy voter-approved taxes on medical marijuana retailers, some municipalities in northern California are already moving aggressively toward creating government-sanctioned marijuana farms to help supply them. Cities hope to rake in even more tax revenue from medical marijuana cultivation, which has remained in the shadows although it has been legal in the state since 1996.

Will U.S. Drones Join Mexico's Drug Prohibition War?

Without leaving American airspace, remotely piloted surveillance drones — outfitted with cameras that provide real-time video — fly along the Texas border searching U.S. territory for drug smugglers, illegal immigrants and potential terrorists. Does the U.S. government ever risk the international fallout of using the aircrafts' high-tech surveillance abilities to take a peek south of the border — or share what they see with Mexican counterparts fighting for their lives? The American public likely never will know.

Mexico's Drug Prohibition War and U.S. business

Drug prohibition violence is beginning to affect multinationals -- and not only on the border. "It's Al Capone and Tony Soprano doing whatever they want with little or no actual police interference," says Tom Cseh, deputy director of Vance International, a security firm in Mexico City. Among the recent reported incidents: Caterpillar ordered 40 American employees with children home after a shootout at a school in Monterrey earlier this fall; oil-services giant Schlumberger (SLB) said prohibition violence in northern Mexico hurt third-quarter earnings; and Canadian mining company Goldcorp (GG) plans to build a landing strip to fly gold out of a mine instead of hauling it on unsafe highways.

Patient Starts 29th Year in Federal Medical Cannabis Program (Press Release)

For Immediate Release: November,19 2010

Contact: Hiedi Handford at 406-594-7932 or Irv Rosenfeld at 954-536-9011

Maine Medical Marijuana Caregivers Form Trade Association

Jonathan Leavitt of Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine says the group is being formed to make sure caregivers have a voice when policy decisions are made. Leavitt says that since the spring, medical marijuana caregiver networks have generated 500 good jobs throughout Maine.

Kids Will See Laughable Drug Video As 'not4me' (Letter to Editor)

Russell Barth of Educators for Sensible Drug Policy opines that Canada's new "drugsnot4me" campaign video is a total embarrassment due to the over-the-top rhetoric which generates fear rather than educates youth.

L.A. City Council Eases Restrictions on Medical Marijuana Outlets

The City Council tweaked its medical marijuana ordinance today to ease restrictions that would have drastically reduced the number of dispensaries allowed to continue operating in Los Angeles. Councilman Paul Koretz said that under the original ordinance, "we would have, I believe, unintentionally and erroneously disqualified some dispensaries...and these (amendments) would reinstate some that I believe would have been removed by mistake."

Will Illinois Lawmakers Legalize Medical Marijuana?

Lawmakers are deciding whether Illinois will become the 16th state to legalize medical marijuana. Illinois lawmakers are in Springfield for a veto session and SB 1381 is one of the bills up for discussion. The bill was written by state Senator Bill Haine (D-Alton), a former prosecutor.

Mexico’s Regional Newspapers Limit Reporting of Drug Trafficking Organizations’ Role in Prohibition Violence

Mexico's regional newspapers are failing to report many of the murders, attacks on police and other violence linked to the nation's drug prohibition war, a new analysis shows. Regional journalists said they routinely do not report the role of the traffickers in the mounting violence. They said that with the central government unable to protect prosecutors and police, they feel forced to chose between personal safety and professional ethics.

Drug Prohibition Related Cases Clogging Philippine Courts

Drug prohibition related cases are clogging the dockets of the country’s courts and, as a result, jails are filled with drug suspects. Former Supreme Court Associate Justice Adolf Azcuna and present head of the Philippine Judicial Academy, said, "If you want to restore the drug offenders, you should be improving the places where you help drug addicts recover from their addiction."

Mandatory Minimums for Drug Crimes Are a Giant Step Backward for Canada (Opinion)

Erika Sasson, a former federal prosecutor in Toronto, opines that when Prime Minister Stephen Harper prorogued Parliament last December, at least one good thing happened: Bill C-15 was temporarily put to rest. That bill sought to introduce mandatory minimum prison sentences for drug offenses, in order to tackle “organized crime and serious drug offenses.” Now in its newest iteration as Bill S-10, the draft legislation has already survived a second reading and has a very good chance of becoming law.

Medical Marijuana Dispensary to Open in Maine

It has been more than a year since a majority of Maine voters approved a medical marijuana initiative. Since that time, several of the proposed dispensaries have been delayed by zoning problems and local moratoriums. But, at least one facility, the Remedy Compassion Center, is likely to be up and running by next spring.

Today: Call to support the National Criminal Justice Commission Act (Action Alert)





Today, NOVEMBER 16, 2010:

Cops Ask Senate to Reject Obama's DEA Nomination Tomorrow (Press Release)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 16, 2010

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

This Week in History

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

Will a Special Tax on Medical Marijuana Sales Get Your Vote?

The L.A. City Council is considering putting a special tax on medical marijuana collectives, however the voters will have the final say. Today the Council is expected to be presented with the City Attorney's recently issued report on the tax measure, and they are being recommended to adopt the resolution and have the proposition put on the March 8th, 2011 ballot.

Hundreds of Mexicans Seek Shelter Near Border from Drug Prohibition War

Eleven blocks from the Texas border, hundreds of destitute Mexicans are gathered in a shelter, escaping what they fear is certain death.

Growth of Ex-Offender Population in United States Is a Dramatic Drag on Economy (Press Release)

For Immediate Release:November 15, 2010
Contact: Alan Barber, (571) 306-2526

How Oakland Became Ground Zero in Marijuana Legalization

The story of Oakland as the premier cannabis city in the United States starts with the coalescing, more than a decade ago, of an open-minded city council, an impoverished downtown, and a handful of determined activists.

Report: Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations Spreading to Other Countries

New government reports indicate Mexican drug trafficking organizations -- seemingly undeterred by the drug prohibition war they are currently engaged in -- are making a bigger push to organize their black market activities in the United States, Europe and neighboring Latin American countries.

Arizona Starts Medical Marijuana Implementation

Now that it's clear that Arizona voters have approved medical marijuana, the Department of Health Services is scrambling to meet the four month requirement to implement the law. Medical users could be legally using marijuana by next summer, Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) Director Will Humbles said.

Former Costa Rican President and Nobel Peace Prize Winner: Stopping Drug Trade "Almost Impossible"

Former Costa Rican president and Nobel Peace Prize winner Oscar Arias says stopping drug trafficking in Mexico and other countries is "almost impossible."

Budget Cutters Eye Controversial National Drug Intelligence Center

Newly-elected Republicans coming to Washington this week to slash the federal budget are taking note of a tiny federal agency in the rusting steel town of Johnstown, Pennsylvania -- the National Drug Intelligence Center, a pet project of the late Rep. Jack Murtha (D-Pa). Conceived in the early 1990's as a clearinghouse for all of the intelligence in the nation's war on drugs, the agency was installed on the fifth floor of a defunct department store. For years, Murtha lavished federal dollars on the little agency, even as it struggled to find a mission and critics blasted it as unnecessary.

Drug Trafficking Organizations Buy Jets for Trans-Atlantic Coke Flights

Federal investigators are piecing together details of an audacious new trend in drug smuggling: South American traffickers are buying old jets, stuffing them full of cocaine and flying them across the Atlantic to feed Europe's growing coke habit. "The sky's the limit," one Sierra Leone trafficker boasted to a Drug Enforcement Administration informant. In some ways it is a throwback to the 1970s and '80s, when pilots flew drugs freely between Colombia and staging areas near the U.S. border.

Patients Praise Prop 203's Passage

Now that Proposition 203 passed, legalizing the use of medical marijuana in Arizona, patients who use marijuana for pain say they can stop acting like criminals.

European Blueprint Signals Way for America to End the War on Drugs (Opinion)

As America's drug war spirals out of control, Europe's reformist organizations offer a view that policymakers must heed, argues Charles Shaw.

Gunmen in Mexico's Drug Prohibition War Getting Younger

Mexican police detained a minor accused of working as a gunman for a drug trafficking organization after shocking videos and photos surfaced online of fresh-faced boys mugging for the camera with guns and corpses. One video, briefly posted on YouTube, showed a youth, apparently in his teens, confessing to working for a branch of the Beltran Leyva organization. "When we don't find the rivals, we kill innocent people, maybe a construction worker or a taxi driver," the youth said.

Scarcity of Peyote Means Hard Times for Legal Dealers

When the state of Texas licensed him as a peyote distributor in 1990, Mauro Morales put a sign in his front yard with his name and phone number: "Peyote Dealer. Buy or Sell Peyote." But, the hallucinogenic cactus is becoming more difficult to find because many ranchers have stopped allowing peyote harvesters on their land, preferring to plow the grayish-green plant under so cattle can graze. Peyote is legal for use in some American Indian religious ceremonies, and since the mid-1970s, the Texas has licensed a small number of people to sell it to members of the Native American Church.

MPP Insider Newsletter Volume 1, Issue 12



The District of Columbia's Revised Medical Marijuana Rules Remain Restrictive

Today, the District published a revised set of rules and regulations for the city's medical marijuana program, which is set to kick off in earnest in January 2011. But despite the hopes of many, the system being put in place to regulate the growth, sale and use of medical marijuana hasn't gotten any less restrictive.

Gap Closes for Arizona Medical Marijuana Measure

Arizona's measure to legalize medical marijuana is still trailing but the gap is closing. The measure was about 3,100 votes below the 50 percent plus one needed for passage after more votes were counted on Thursday afternoon -- by Thursday night when more totals were posted, the measure was losing by less than 1,500 votes. Elections officials say about 14,000 early ballots and 45,000 provisional ballots are left to be processed and counted from the Nov. 2 election.

Drug Prohibition War Forces Flight from Mexican Town

Around 300 people have abandoned the town of Ciudad Mier, fleeing drug prohibition violence from traffickers who were threatening residents. The town, one of numerous cities on borderlands believed to be in dispute by two rival organizations, is a stone's throw from the border of Texas. More than 60 people have been killed in the town of about 6,000 people this year.

LA City Council Pushes for Medical Marijuana Tax on March Ballot

The Los Angeles City Council pushed for a ballot measure to begin taxing medical marijuana. There are cities in California that tax medical marijuana, such as San Jose, La Puente, Oakland, Richmond, Sacramento, and Berkeley. With a vote of 9-3 the Los Angeles City Council has informed city attorney’s to draft a ballot measure for the March 8 election in favor of taxing marijuana.

'Cannabiz: The Explosive Rise of the Medical Marijuana Industry' — Author Interview

Veteran Bay Area investigative reporter John Geluardi released his first book, Cannabiz: The Explosive Rise of the Medical Marijuana Industry this October. A former staff writer for the SF Weekly, Geluardi saw so much momentum building behind medical pot, he researched and reported a 200-page non-fiction paperback. Geluardi talks about investing in pot, economies of scale, and new fissures in the field in this two-part Q&A edited for length and clarity.

Venezuela Anti-Drug Czar Denies Arrested Kingpin's Corruption Allegations

The head of Venezuela’s narcotics agency, Nestor Reverol, denied allegations made by one of the world’s top drug traffickers that he had stolen his money and used some of it to buy a $2 million home. Walid Makled, arrested in Colombia in August, alleged in two TV interviews that Reverol took over his businesses worth as much as $70 million annually after he fled Venezuela, where he is wanted on charges of drug trafficking and murder. Makled said that before fleeing Venezuela he had retrieved videos, receipts and other evidence to back up his allegations.

Drug Trafficking Organization Interferes with Boulder Rescue Squad

Life-saving equipment, including a special extraction device, is now sitting on the floor inside the Boulder Emergency Squad because delivery to Mexico faces setbacks due to drug traffickers. The items were supposed to be delivered to Mante, Mexico, one of Boulder’s sister cities where the need for the gear is great. Delivery is impossible at the moment as the squad is being told that the traffickers have taken over many of the roads between the border and the city.

Mexico Drug Prohibition Violence Costs $350K Daily in Natgas Losses

Prohibition-caused threats and violence by drug trafficking organizations are preventing some government oil workers from reaching installations in northern Mexico and costing state-owned Petroleos Mexicanos about $350,000 every day in lost production. That amounts to about $10.5 million per month, or about 2.3 percent of Mexico's $450 million per month average in monthly natural gas revenues.

Judge to Hear Medical Marijuana Case Against Wal-Mart

A federal judge on will hear arguments in the lawsuit on behalf of Joseph Casias, a 30-year-old cancer patient who lost his job after a routine drug screen found he had used medical marijuana. Casias was registered in Michigan to use it to treat pain.

Mexico Finds Killing Drug Kingpins Can Add to Mayhem

Last week's killing of the top drug lord in the Gulf Cartel marked the second takedown of a major capo in Mexico in a little over two months. Experts in Mexico and the United States say the strategy has a real downside.

London Exhibit Examines Centuries of Drug History

"High Society," an exhibition opening today at London's Wellcome Collection museum, examines the history of opium, from pre-biblical practices to today's entire prohibitionist drug market, which is worth an estimated $320 billion per year, according to the United Nations. One of the aims of the exhibit is to de-stigmatize today's illegal drugs and show there is more to the subject than visitors may have thought. After all, substances that many people ingest freely today — alcohol, caffeine and tobacco — have all been criminalized in years past or are still illegal in some parts of the world.

New Campaign! 26 States by 2012!



Dear friends,

Oakland to Regulate Medical Marijuana Farms

Oakland is pushing ahead with plans for taking the industry out of the black market. The City Council ratified an application process for large-scale marijuana farms that would be the first in the nation to be government-sanctioned. Council members also approved a separate measure doubling the number of allowable medical marijuana dispensaries in Oakland, to eight.

Obamacare and the War on Drugs

Some conservatives outraged by Obamacare’s individual mandate had helped pave the way for it through drug prohibition policies. The Justice Department is defending Obamacare by asserting that a 2005 Supreme Court case about medical marijuana, Gonzales v. Raich, permits such a broad reading of the Commerce Clause that the federal government can tell individual citizens that they have to buy health insurance.

Drug Prohibition War Prompts Text Message Alert System at UT-Brownsville

The University of Texas-Brownsville/Texas Southmost College is planning an emergency text messaging system as part of its strategy to alert students and faculty to dangers amid the drug prohibition war raging across the Rio Grande. One recent intelligence alert had campus police knocking on dorm doors in the middle of the night to warn students to stay indoors.

EU Drug Traffickers Get Crafty

Elaborate methods of smuggling cocaine and a record number of new unregulated drugs are challenging drug control policies in Europe. Traffickers are increasingly using exports such as clothes, plastics and fertilizers to smuggle cocaine base which is then extracted in clandestine laboratories.

Senior US Appeals Court Judge Says Drug War 'Lost,' Country Should Try Legalizing Marijuana

U.S. federal appeals court judge Judge Juan Torruella says the United States should consider legalizing marijuana and perhaps other drugs as it is a better way to reduce drug abuse and crime.

Drug Prohibition Violence Causes Church Crisis in Northern Mexico

Low attendance and a drop in donations have caused a financial crisis for the northeastern Mexican Diocese of Nuevo Laredo, which is located in an area plagued by drug prohibition violence. Weekly collections are no longer sufficient to pay for basic services, such as water and electricity.

Los Angeles Medical Marijuana Rules Might Be Amended

The Los Angeles City Council will consider amending its medical marijuana ordinance because one of its provisions unexpectedly disqualified dozens of dispensaries from continuing operations.

Traffickers Use Terminally Ill Foreigners to Smuggle Drugs

Drug traffickers are moving drugs into India via terminally ill patients -- mostly women from foreign countries. Most of them go scot free on humanitarian grounds.

This Week in History

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

Scratch-And-Sniff Marijuana Cards Used In Dutch Drug Campaign

In a government effort to curb what is perhaps their nation's best-known vice, Dutch households will soon receive marijuana-scented scratch-and-sniff cards to help them detect illegal urban cannabis plantations in their vicinity. According to Rotterdam authorities, over 30,000 cards are being distributed this week to help citizens identify marijuana's pungent odor. Each of the 8-by-4 inch cards, which bear the slogan "Assist in combatting cannabis plantations," contain two boxes which can be scratched to release the cannabis scent, along with the telephone number of a local police precinct.

The Writing on the Wall: Calendar Portrays America's Longest War

It's easy to say and easy to document, but quite difficult to really internalize, the human suffering and the outright absurdities wrought by our 40-year-old war on drugs. Sometimes it takes a picture to drive the point home. The Drug Policy Alliance has teamed up with award-winning artist Ricardo Cortes to produce an engaging, eye-catching 2011 wall calendar about the history of drug prohibition in the United States.

N.J. Legislators Back Resolution to Ease Medical Marijuana Rules

Committees in the Senate and the Assembly have passed resolutions giving Governor Christie's administration 30 days to rewrite the law. Should Mr. Christie continue to refuse, the state Assembly could simply remove the proposed restriction all together. In January, New Jersey became the 14th state to legalize medical marijuana for patients suffering from a list of mostly chronic illnesses, but sponsors say the administration's plan to implement the program is more restrictive than called for in the law, which already was considered the most conservative in the country.

Poll: Majority of Californians Still Support Legal Marijuana

California voters may have rejected Proposition 19 last week, but a poll released after the election shows that a majority of California voters still believe marijuana should be legal in principle, and that our current laws do more harm than good.

Ford Sales in Mexico Drop Over Drug Trafficking Organization Fears

Ford Motor Company is reporting sales of one of its truck models has dropped sharply in Mexico, and they say it's because of drug trafficking organizations.

Medical Marijuana: Possible Lawsuit Against CO Health Department Over License Ap Rejections

The rejection of nearly 2,000 medical marijuana applications due to a new health department policy has generated anger among patients and doctors no longer allowed to write recommendations. A representative of the advocacy group Sensible Colorado, which took part in a successful court challenge against the department last year, confirms that the organization is considering similar action this time around.

Drug Truth 11/08/10

Cultural Baggage * Century of Lies * 4:20 Drug War NEWS  *  Time 4 Hemp PLEASE sign petition to drug czars to appear on our programs:  ht

Mexican Congress Reviews Operations After Troops Bribed by Drug Trafficking Organizations

The Mexican Army's military jurisdiction privileges are being reviewed by Cto determine the nature of several cases in which drug traffickers bribed troops and military leaders. Emeequis Magazine revealed some of the files being reviewed, showing how members of the Juarez and Sinaloa drug organizations infiltrated Mexican military intelligence, particularly the Anti-drug Information Center (AIC). In addition, transcripts of several phone calls involving active and former military personnel show how they worked as an information network that would alert drug traffickers regarding possible military operations against them.

A Warning to Patients

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N.J. Assembly to Consider Resolution to Force Change of Medical Marijuana Rules

Proponents of a new law giving chronically ill patients access to medical marijuana say New Jersey's rules are too strict to comply with the intent of the law. An Assembly resolution to be considered today would force the Republican administration to rewrite the rules before they take effect in January.

Drug Trafficking Organizations Disrupt Basic Services in Mexico

With killings and disappearances to assert their authority, Mexico's prohibition-created drug trafficking organizations are beginning to interfere with everyday government activities in pockets of the country, keeping workers off their turf and interrupting some of the most basic services. Not only do they maintain checkpoints and kill police or mayors to control territory, they now try to keep everyone from mid-level officials to delivery truck drivers and meter readers out of rural areas they use to transport drugs, stash weapons and kidnap victims, and hide from authorities. In the process, they are blocking deliveries of gasoline, pension checks, farm aid and other services to Mexicans.

New Zealand's War on P (Methamphetamine) Continues, but Price Hardly Changes

It has been a year since Prime Minister John Key declared war on the drug P (methamphetamine). The authorities, and Mr. Key, had hoped to see P prices rising as evidence that the anti-P campaign was working. But that hasn't happened.

Deadly Weekend: At least 20 Slain in Ciudad Juárez

It was another bloody weekend in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, where at least 20 people were killed in drug prohibition violence.

Marijuana Legalization Advocates are Undeterred by the Defeat of Prop. 19

Despite Proposition 19's loss at the polls last week, marijuana legalization advocates in California are already working on their comeback plan for 2012 and are almost giddy about their prospects. They see the election as a trial run that could lead to a campaign with a better message, a tighter measure and more money. Both the winning and losing sides say California's voters rejected this specific initiative, but remain open to legalizing the easily obtainable drug.

Bay State Voters Stoked to Weed Out Most Marijuana Laws

Voters in more than a dozen state legislative districts backed dramatic expansions to legal access to marijuana in last Tuesday’s elections, and advocates plan to use the results to press lawmakers to loosen restrictions on the drug.

Killing of a Top Mexican Drug Lord May Boost Rival Zetas Organization

Antonio Ezequiel Cardenas Guillen, also known as 'Tony Tormenta,' the highest-profile leader of a powerful drug trafficking organization, was gunned down by Mexican government forces this weekend, but signs that the death will lead to more violence and turf battles have terrified residents.

Drug-Addicted Criminals Will Be Spared Jail

Criminals who are addicted to drugs will be spared jail and sent for treatment instead under plans being drawn up by Kenneth Clarke. He has publicly questioned whether prison is the best place to deal with offenders who are addicted to drugs.

Despite Prop. 19 Loss, Marijuana Debate Still Aflame in Mexico

While some Mexicans expressed relief that California’s Proposition 19 was defeated in Tuesday’s election, others felt that the fight in Mexico was just beginning. The proposition, which essentially would have legalized marijuana in California, had a renewed sense of urgency south of the border, where the body count in the government’s crusade against drug trafficking organizations continues to rise.

Medical Marijuana: Nearly 2,000 Patient Recommendations Nixed Over Quiet Rule Change

Medical marijuana patients across Colorado have learned that doctor recommendations for the card allowing them to use MMJ have been rejected. Why? A new health department policy that slid into place almost unnoticed -- one that's likely to disenfranchise and anger nearly 2,000 patients, as well as infuriating impacted doctors and clinics.

Drug War Issues

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