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Chronicle Book Review: The Silver Bullet Solution

Jim Gierach is a former Cook County, Illinois, prosecutor, occasional failed political candidate, and longtime fighter in the trenches taking on the war on drugs. He makes no bones about what he thinks need to happen.
Dr. Marc Lamont Hill, Rep. Maxine Waters, asha bandele
Dr. Marc Lamont Hill, Rep. Maxine Waters, asha bandele

Not One Step Back: Drug Policy Reformers and African American Academics Convene in the South

Hundreds of members of the Atlanta community and dozens of the nation's leading advocates for drug policy reform gathered in a groundbreaking meeting over the weekend. The meeting aimed at building alliances with the African American community to both advance smart public health approaches to drug policy and maintain and protect existing reforms in the face of hostile powers in Washington.
Michelle Alexander (
Michelle Alexander (

"The New Jim Crow" Author Michelle Alexander Talks Race and Drug War [FEATURE]

On Thursday, Michelle Alexander, author of the best-selling and galvanizing "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness" sat down with poet/activist Asha Bandele of the Drug Policy Alliance to discuss the book's impact and where we go from here. It's a discussion worth reading.
Peter Andreas book_0.jpg
Peter Andreas book_0.jpg

Chronicle Book Review: Smuggler Nation

If you have an interest in American history and how we got to where we are with the war on drugs, you need to read Smuggler Nation. You'll be glad you did.

Cops: Crack, heroin dealt from senior homes

Drug prohibition skews typical market forces -- including real estate options for selling products -- often resulting in danger. In Detroit, drug dealers targeted senior buildings because the high traffic that comes with drug sales wouldn't draw as much attention from law enforcement at multi-unit complexes as it would in individual residences, and because the senior citizens who lived there were easy to bully into keeping quiet.

Press Release -- CDC Survey: As Many Teens Smoke Marijuana as Cigarettes, Cigarette Use Dropping Faster

JUNE 4, 2008

CDC Survey: As Many Teens Smoke Marijuana as Cigarettes, Cigarette Use Dropping Faster
Crackdown on Tobacco Sales to Kids Continues to Reduce Teen Access to Cigarettes

CONTACT: Bruce Mirken, MPP director of communications ............... 415-668-6403 or 202-215-4205

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Two just-released federal reports indicate that regulation of tobacco continues to produce a steady drop in teen cigarette use and teen access to tobacco, with current cigarette use by high school students dropping markedly faster than use of marijuana.

The just-released 2007 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports rates of current cigarette use and current marijuana use among teens in grades nine through 12 in a statistical tie at 20 percent and 19.7 percent, respectively. The cigarette use figure represents a sharp drop from the 2005 survey, when it was 23 percent. Marijuana use, at 20.2 percent in 2005, showed a much smaller decline.

Another report released this week, the Fiscal Year 2007 Annual Synar Report on tobacco sales to youth, showed the 10th straight annual decline in the rate of illegal tobacco sales to minors. In 1997, 40.1 percent of retailers violated laws against tobacco sales to minors. In 2007 the rate had dropped to just 10.5 percent, the lowest ever.

"Efforts to curb cigarette sales to teens have been wildly successful, and it's past time we applied those lessons to marijuana," said Aaron Houston, director of government relations for the Marijuana Policy Project in Washington, D.C. "Tobacco retailers can be fined or put out of business if they sell to kids, but prohibition guarantees that we have zero control over marijuana dealers. Foolish policies have guaranteed that the marijuana industry is completely unregulated.

"This isn't about whether you think marijuana is good or bad, it's about common sense," Houston, a father of three children, continued. "If you think marijuana is bad, why would you want it controlled by unregulated criminals, which guarantees that kids have greater access to it?"

The full CDC report is available online at The 2007 Annual Synar report is at

With more than 23,000 members and 180,000 e-mail subscribers nationwide, the Marijuana Policy Project is the largest marijuana policy reform organization in the United States. MPP believes that the best way to minimize the harm associated with marijuana is to regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol. For more information, please visit