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Dynamics of American Drug Culture

September 18, 12 PM, Rivers Auditorium, Laramie County Community College, Cheyenne, WY, "Dynamics of American Drug Culture," lecture by Sheldon Norberg. Visit http://www.SheldonNorberg.com for further information.
Date: 
Mon, 09/18/2006 - 12:00pm
Location: 
Cheyenne, WY
United States

Dynamics of American Drug Culture

September 13, 7 PM, Rivers Auditorium, Western New England College, Springfield, MA, "Dynamics of American Drug Culture," lecture by Sheldon Norberg. Visit http://www.SheldonNorberg.com for further information.
Date: 
Wed, 09/13/2006 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Location: 
Springfield, MA
United States

Confessions of a Dope Dealer

August 30 & 31, 9 PM, in Entheon Village, Black Rock City, NV, Confessions of a Dope Dealer, Sheldon Norberg's acclaimed solo-performance, hits the playa at Burning Man. Visit http://www.ADopeDealer.com for further information.
Date: 
Wed, 08/30/2006 - 9:00pm - 11:00pm
Location: 
Black Rock City, NV
United States

You Can Put Your Weed in it

I’ve seen these before, but never in the news:

From the Coventry Evening Telegram:

Drug users will be able to dump their illegal stashes without getting in trouble before they enter a massive dance festival near Stratford this weekend. Warwickshire Police will again have an amnesty zone just before the entrance of Global Gathering at Long Marston airfield.

But why would anyone do that?

"Passive drugs dogs will be walked along the queue to detect any traces of drugs on visitors and anyone found with illegal drugs either at the site entrance or during the two day festival will be arrested and taken into custody.

So the idea is that, upon noticing drug dogs, concertgoers will promptly surrender any contraband they may have. And the article is perhaps intended to warn folks that dogs will be present, so that they might consider not bringing drugs in the first place.

Afterall it would be pretty silly to sneak drugs into South Warwickshire from all over Europe, only to deposit them into the amnesty box at the first sight of police.

But a more astute reader will see that only 22 out of 45,000 attendees were arrested last year. Those are great odds, especially since some of the arrests weren’t even drug related. I’m guessing most drug users attending this event will take their chances, especially since you can always make a break for the “amnesty zone” in an emergency.

Ultimately, the amnesty box will be viewed by many as an “idiot test” commonly deployed in situations where the police can’t possibly enforce drug laws by other means. Such folks may find it amusing to put funny notes and other non-drug items into the box. But the amnesty box isn’t racist or violent like most drug war tactics, so we shouldn’t make fun of it. Maybe someday we can even replace trigger-happy SWAT teams with them.

In the meantime, look for the official Stop the Drug War Amnesty Box, which we’ll be featuring as part of our table display at future drug policy conferences.

Location: 
United States

Don't Worry, Orrin Hatch Will Save You

When renowned R&B producer Dallas Austin was sentenced to 4 1/2 years in a Dubai prison for cocaine possession, he found an unlikely advocate in Republican Senator and Christian music composer Orrin Hatch, according to the New York Times:

The release of a music producer from a Dubai jail this week, quick on the heels of his conviction for drug possession, turns out to be a story of high-level string-pulling on the part of Mr. Hatch, the conservative Utah Republican and songwriter, along with Lionel Richie, the singer; Quincy Jones, the music entrepreneur; and an array of well-connected lawyers, businessmen and others, spanning cities and continents.

And it gets better:

A spokesman for Mr. Hatch said that the senator was a proponent of rehabilitation for drug offenders, and that he had worked to revise federal sentencing guidelines regarding cocaine, and, through legislation in 2005, had advocated treatment for nonviolent offenders and the easing of restrictions on medication to treat heroin addiction. In the statement Mr. Hatch said he was "confident that this talented young man will learn from this experience."

Sounds good to me, but Orrin Hatch? Didn’t he once advocate the death penalty for international drug trafficking, the exact crime of which Mr. Austin was accused?

Well…yes.

Clearly, he’s got some explaining to do, but let’s withhold our cries of hypocrisy for now and hope he’s seen the light. Afterall, we’ve got 500,000 non-violent drug offenders right here at home that could use some help from Utah Republican Orrin Hatch.

Location: 
Dubai
United Arab Emirates

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