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Supreme Court Asked to Take Drug Dog Case

The US Supreme Court has upheld drug dog sniffs of vehicles, luggage at airports, and packages in transit. Now, the state of Florida wants it to uphold a drug dog sniff at your front door.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

The Chronicle may have taken a week off, but drug prohibition-related police corruption didn't. And so we have two weeks worth of corrupt cops.

Statewide Colorado Marijuana Initiative Turns in Signatures

Proponents of a Colorado marijuana legalization initiative turned in more than 159,000 signatures to the secretary of state's office Wednesday, nearly twice as many as the 86,500 required for the measure to be approved for the November ballot. The state has 30 days to verify the signatures and approve the measure for the ballot.

The Top Ten Domestic US Drug Policy Stories of 2011 [FEATURE]

We can put 2011 to bed now, but not before looking back one last time at the good, the bad, and the ugly. It was a year of rising hopes and crushing defeats, of gaining incremental victories and fending off old, failed policies. And it was a year in which the collapse of the prohibitionist consensus grew ever more pronounced.

Washington Marijuana Legalization Initiative Hands in Signatures

Washington state marijuana legalization initiative supporters turned in enough signatures last week to almost guarantee that the measure will be on the ballot in November. Now, we wait for the state to make it official.

At Year's End, Five More US Drug War Deaths

Five people, including a Florida police officer, have died in recent days in incidents related to domestic drug law enforcement. They become the 49th through 54th persons to die in US domestic drug law enforcement operations so far this year. Of those 54, three were law enforcement officers.

The Top Ten International Drug Policy Stories of 2011

The new year is almost upon us and 2011 will soon be a year for the history books. But we can't let it go without recognizing the biggest global drug policy stories of the year. From the horrors of the Mexican drug wars to the growing clamor over the failures of prohibition, from the poppy fields of Afghanistan and the Golden Triangle to the coca fields of the Andes, from European parliaments to Iranian gallows, drug prohibition and its consequences were big news this year.

Mexico Drug War Update

There has been no holiday break in Mexico's prohibition-related mayhem, but it's now looking like this year's death toll is going to be down slightly from last year.

This Week in History

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

Marc Emery Christmas Prison Blog

Marc Emery is approaching the halfway mark of his prison term.

Pain Patients Lose a Leading Advocate, Siobhan Reynolds, 1961-2011

Siobhan Reynolds, founder of the Pain Relief Network and opponents of the "war on drugs," died in a plane crash in Ohio Christmas Eve.

Tax-Deductible Donations Support Reform in 2012

Support the work of with a donation of $50 or more and you can receive a complimentary copy of the PBS documentary "Prohibition" on DVD or Blu-ray -- 90 minutes of bonus footage not seen on TV!

Mexico Drug War Update

2011 is wrapping up as slightly less bloody than 2010 in Mexico's plague of prohibition-related violence, but the death toll this year is still well above 10,000.

Medical Marijuana Update

More restrictions on medical marijuana, more California dispensaries close, more Montana dispensary operators head for federal prison, and California activists file an initiative to regulate and tax the industry at the state level.

This Week in History

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

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

There's big problems in the Nassau County, Florida, sheriff's office, and more drug prohibition-related police misconduct as well.

Gary Johnson to Seek Libertarian Presidential Nomination

Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson is set to give up on the Republicans and seek the Libertarian Party presidential nomination, is reporting.

Montreal Agency Calls for Four Safe Injection Sites

Montreal wants four safe injection sites for hard drug users. The city's public health agency and mayor have given the okay, but now they need provincial funding and federal approval.

North Carolina Opium Law Snares Prescription Pain Pill People

North Carolina's drug laws, which severely punish people who traffic in opiates, are yielding harsh prison sentences for people possessing or trafficking small quantities of prescription pain pills. That is leading to renewed debate in the Tarheel State about whether the laws are too harsh.

US Prison Population in First Decline Since 1972

The number of people in prison in the US has dropped for the first time since 1972, and the number of people under correctional supervision has declined for the second year in a row. Is a sea change at hand?

Congress Votes to Restore Needle Exchange Funding Ban

Two years ago this week, after years of advocacy by public health and harm reduction advocates, the long-standing ban on federal funding for needle exchanges was repealed. On Saturday, it was restored as the Senate took the final votes to approve the 2012 federal omnibus spending bill.

Amnesty International Condemns Iran Drug Executions

Amnesty International has called on Iran to stop executing people for drug offenses, saying the Islamic Republic has embarked on "a killing spree of staggering proportions."

Email from Rep. Jose Serrano on Reinstatement of Federal Syringe Exchange Funding Ban

(The following statement from Rep. José Serrano (D-NY), sponsor of 2009 legislation that repealed the ban on federal funding of sy

Breaking: Congress Votes to Kill People

Congressional drug warriors knowingly pushed through legislation this week that won't save taxpayers any money, but which scientifically cannot fail to kill large numbers of people in cruel ways.

Medical Marijuana Update

Busy, busy, busy. Here's this week's medical marijuana news digest.

US House Votes to Ban New Synthetic Drugs

As expected, the House of Representatives has passed a bill banning synthetic stimulants and cannabinoids. On the positive side, 98 members voted against responding to the drugs with a new prohibition.

Teens Rejecting Alcohol, Tobacco, Selecting Marijuana [FEATURE]

The annual Monitoring the Future survey of high school students find cigarette and alcohol use down, but marijuana use up.

New Offer for Donating Members: PBS "Prohibition" on DVD and Blu-ray

We are pleased to announce our newest offer for donating members, the recent Prohibition documentary by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick made for PBS. These three disk sets include 90 minutes of bonus footage not available on the web site or shown on TV.

ALERT: Don't Let Congress Backslide on Needle Exchange

Republicans in Congress are pushing to reinstate a ban on use of federal AIDS funds for needle exchange programs. If they succeed, if won't reduce federal spending, but it will kill people. Please call today to tell Congress and the President to say no.

New Offer for Donating Members: PBS "Prohibition" on DVD and Blu-ray

Beginning next week, will offer DVD and Blu-ray copies of the PBS documentary "Prohibition" to donating members.

US House Set to Pass Bad Drug Bills [FEATURE]

Going in the face of an ever-increasing clamor to reform decades of failed drug policies, the US House of Representatives is poised to pass two bills that promise more of the same.

New Canadian Drug Reform Coalition Emerges [FEATURE]

Even as the Canadian federal government presses ahead with its draconian crime and drugs bill, a new coalition for Canadian drug reform has emerged.

This Week in History

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

Mexico Drug War Update

Some congressional Republicans want to know why the DEA is laundering money for drug cartels. Meanwhile, the killings continue.

Dallas Narc Kills Man in Amtrak Train Shootout

An undercover Dallas narcotics officer shot and killed a man who opened fire on him as he and other officers swept an idling Amtrak train for drugs. The as yet unidentified man becomes the 47th person to die in US domestic drug law enforcement operations so far this year.

Drug Crop-Killing Fungi Too Risky, Scientists Say

No "Frankenfungi" for the drug warriors just yet -- we don't know enough about the dangers of using mycoherbicides to eradicate drug crops to be doing that, a panel of scientists from the National Research Council says.

NY Marijuana Smoker Dies in Confrontation with Cop

A College of Staten Island employee died November 29 in a confrontation with an NYPD officer after he was caught smoking marijuana in a campus bathroom.

NY Times: DEA Launders Mexico Drug Cartel Profits

American undercover agents, primarily with the DEA, have laundered or smuggled millions of dollars in drug proceeds from Mexican drug trafficking organizations as part of their investigations into how the cartels operate, the New York Times reported Sunday.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Busy, busy, busy! Quite a crew of miscreants this week, including a former national Sheriff of the Year.

New Jersey Pharmacy Needle Sales Bill Passes

A bill that would allow for the sale of syringes in pharmacies without a prescription has cleared the New Jersey legislature with bipartisan support and awaits the governor's signature.

Czechs Decriminalize Peyote, Magic Mushroom Growing

Czechs will be able to grow peyote and magic mushrooms under reforms in the drug laws approved by the Cabinet this week.

Honduras Calls Out the Army to Fight Drug Cartels

The Honduran congress voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to send out the armed forces to combat Mexican drug trafficking organizations. The vote gives the military broad domestic policing powers, including additional powers in the fight against the cartels.

The Future of Drug War Chronicle

As drug policy reform continues into its most consequential stage in decades, plays a crucial role for leaders and organizations in the movement. But we need your help, more perhaps than ever, to keep the most important service, the Drug War Chronicle newsletter, at full strength.

New Study Finds Traffic Fatalities Decline with Medical Marijuana Laws [FEATURE]

A study released this week has found legalizing medical marijuana has resulted in a nearly 9% decline in traffic deaths and a 5% reduction in beer sales in states that allow it. The study is the first ever to examine the relationship between medical marijuana and traffic fatalities.

Two Governors Call on DEA to Reschedule Marijuana as Medicine [FEATURE]

Two medical marijuana state governors, Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee (I) and Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire (D) Wednesday called on the federal government to reschedule marijuana. In a joint 106-page petition to DEA head Michele Leonhart, they said marijuana needs to be classified as a drug with accepted medical uses so that states that have passed medical marijuana laws can regulate its distribution without fear of federal prosecution.

This Week in History

Events and quotes of note from this week's drug policy events of years past -- including the repeal of alcohol prohibition.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

It's prison guards gone wild this week, plus a really sleazy deputy gets a sweet deal and a 'roided cop takes a plea deal.

Mexico Drug War Update

Mexican human rights activists have filed a complaint in the Hague against President Calderon for human rights violations committed by Mexican security forces, also mentioning crimes committed by drug cartels. That and the killings and arrests continue, with no apparent impact on the flow of drugs north.

ENCOD Bulletin on Drug Policies in Europe #82, December 2011

(This newsletter is also online at 

Drug Reform Ally Barney Frank Retiring from Congress

Advocates of drug policy reform are losing a key ally on Capitol Hill. Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) announced Monday that he will not seek reelection and will retire at the end of this term in January 2013.

Evanston, Illinois, Decriminalizes Marijuana Possession

The Chicago suburb of Evanston has decriminalized the possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana in a bid to cut costs and save youth from criminal records.

Supreme Court Takes Up Crack "Pipeline" Sentencing Cases

Should people convicted of federal crack offenses before the Fair Sentencing Act was in effect, but sentenced after it was in effect, be sentenced under the new law or not? The US Supreme Court says it will decide.

Vancouver Mayors Say Legalize Marijuana

Four of Vancouver's last five former mayors called this week for end of marijuana prohibition, saying anti-pot policies have failed to reduce marijuana's availability and that prohibition has fueled violence in British Columbia communities.

Gingrich Would Execute Mexico Drug Cartel Leaders

Republican presidential nominee contender Newt Gingrich said Saturday he would favor the use of the death penalty against Mexican drug trafficking organization leaders. The comments came in an interview with Yahoo News in which the former Georgia congressman and Speaker of the House also called medical marijuana in California "a joke" and suggested he would try to make life miserable for US drug users (though not incarcerating them) as a means of driving down drug use rates.

New Drug Policy Videos from HCLU

The Hungarian Civil Liberties Union continues its video series with footage from the International Drug Policy Reform Conference and interviews from the first meeting of the European Harm Reduction Network.

Drug War Chronicle and Why Your Help Matters Now More Than Ever

Last week we reached out for help from Drug War Chronicle supporters to keep our newsletter at full strength in one of the most critical moments in the issue to date. Many responded, but your help is needed too.

Two More Drug War Deaths

A man gets shot and killed in a drug raid and a young woman dies after trying to hide drugs inside her body. They are the 43rd and 44th persons to die in US domestic drug enforcement operations so far this year.

Obama Pardons Three for Marijuana, Frees Crack Prisoner

President Obama has pardoned three marijuana offenders and commuted the sentence of a woman serving more than 20 years for a crack cocaine offense.

One Dead in Houston Drug Stakeout Shoot-Out

A Houston-area drug stakeout turned into a deadly melee when hijackers attempted to rip off a drug-laden truck deputies had under surveillance.

San Francisco Marks 600th OD Death Prevented

San Francisco distributes the opioid antagonist naloxone as a harm reduction measure to reduce overdose deaths. It's saved 600 lives in eight years.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Cops stealing dope from the evidence room, cops helping drug gangs, cops doing drug rip-offs to help drug gangs. Just another week of drug war law enforcement corruption.

Copenhagen Moves Closer to Legalizing Marijuana

The Copenhagen city council has advanced a plan to create a system of legal, regulated marijuana sales, but it will require approval by the Danish parliament.

CBS Marijuana Poll: Medical, Yes; Legalization, Not Quite

Americans support medical marijuana even thought they are skeptical about how much use is actually medical, according to a new CBS News poll. And support for legalization is at 40%, lower than other recent polls.

The Future of Drug War Chronicle

As drug policy reform continues into its most consequential stage in decades, plays a crucial role for leaders and organizations in the movement. But we need your help, more perhaps than ever, to keep the most important service, the Drug War Chronicle newsletter, at full strength.

Seattle Pilot Program Offers Treatment Not Arrest [FEATURE]

Fed up with endless recycling of low-level, problematic drug offenders through the criminal justice system, Seattle and King County have embarked on a "treatment not arrest" pilot program designed to break the cycle.

Mexico Drug War Update

The cavalcade of arrests, busts, and killings continues in Mexico.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A meth-dealing cop in Hawaii, a dope-load protecting cop in Houston, a pair of cops willing to sell information to drug dealers in Jacksonville and Cincinnati, and a contraband-toting jail guard in Alabama make this week's hall of shame.

Mexico Drug War Deaths Leveling Off, Study Says

Hardly a day goes by without another report of some heinous prohibition-related violence in Mexico, but a new report suggests that the killings may have peaked and are leveling off -- albeit at horrendous levels. According to the Latin American Herald Tribune, the report, "The Effect of Violence in Mexico on Migration and Immigration Policy," by researchers at the University of San Diego's Trans-Border Institute, was presented at a discussion on the topic last week in San Diego.

Dominican Presidential Candidate Says Legalize Drugs

A Dominican presidential candidate who is also a prominent government official and head of one of the parties that make up the current government said Monday he favors drug legalization. Luis Acosta Moreta, nicknamed "El Gallo," told the program Propuesta on Channel 45 Monday that drug prohibition creates corruption and social decay.

Michigan AG Says Cops Can Seize Medical Marijuana

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette (R) has opened another front in his battle against medical marijuana. In an official opinion released last week, Schuette said police are not required to return medical marijuana seized from patients in compliance with state, even though the state's voter-approved Michigan Medical Marijuana Act demands they do so.

DEA Raids Seattle Area Marijuana Dispensaries

In an orchestrated strike Tuesday, DEA agents raided at least 14 medical marijuana dispensaries in the Seattle area, according to the locally based Cannabis Defense Coalition. The raids hit dispensaries in King, Pierce, and Thurston counties, including three operating inside the Seattle city limits.

Washington Marijuana Initiative Gains Support

Initiative 502, the Washington state initiative to tax and regulate marijuana, is gaining both financial and political support. In the past week, the effort has picked up some important endorsements from former law enforcement figures, and a good sized cash contribution that will invigorate its signature-gathering efforts.

Cities Can Ban Marijuana Dispensaries, CA Court Rules

An California appeals court decision saying localities can ban medical marijuana dispensaries is only adding to the industry's woes.

California Marijuana Arrests and Quote of the Day

It turns out that New York City isn't the only place where marijuana possession arrests have skyrocketed in recent decades.

NORML Sues Feds in CA Medical Marijuana Fight [FEATURE]

The federal crackdown on medical marijuana in California is provoking legal challenges. First ASA, and now, NORML have filed lawsuits seeking to halt it.

The 9th National Harm Reduction Conference: "From Public Health to Social Justice"


Dear Guest,


You're cordially invited to the

Mexico's Symbol of Drug War Resistance Says It's Our Fight, Too [FEATURE]

A panel at the International Drug Policy Reform Conference last week called on Americans to take action to help end the drug war in Mexico, even as Human Rights Watch releases as a damning report on government killings, tortures, and disappearances in the drug war.

The 2011 International Drug Policy Reform Conference Meets in Los Angeles [FEATURE]

For three days last weekend, the towering Westin Bonaventure Hotel in downtown Los Angeles was awash with drug reform activists running from presentation to presentation and chatting in hallway confabs while discussing myriad topics on the streets outside. It was the Drug Policy Alliance's 2011 International Drug Policy Reform Conference, and it was the largest yet, with more than 1,200 people from around the country and the world in attendance.

This Week in History

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

Tacoma Passes Lowest Priority Marijuana Initiative

Voters in Tacoma, Washington, overwhelmingly approved an initiative Tuesday directing the city to make adult marijuana possession offenses the lowest law enforcement priority. The measure passed by a margin of 65% to 35%.

Missouri Marijuana Legalization Initiatives Approved for Circulation

Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan announced Monday that two initiatives for marijuana legalization measures have been approved for circulation.

Bolivia Restores Ties With US, But Rejects DEA

The US and Bolivian governments announced Monday that they were restoring diplomatic relations after three years, but Bolivian President Evo Morales Tuesday made it clear that DEA agents would not be welcome back in his country.

Dutch Bar Foreigners from Southern Cannabis Cafes

No one other than Dutch residents will be allowed to buy marijuana in southern Holland cannabis coffee shops after January 1, the Dutch Justice Ministry said Tuesday. The stated objective of the move is to spare locals the nuisance of drug tourism, but if the experience of one city is any indicator, it will also spare locals millions of dollars in receipts.

US Drug Arrest Rate Dropping, But Still Sky High

The arrest rate for drug violations in the US has decreased for the last four years, but still remains more than twice as high as rates in the early 1980s, the University of Maryland's Center for Substance Abuse Research (CESAR) reported Monday.

Mexico Drug War Update

The ugliness continues unabated in Mexico, and another blogger has joined the ranks of the murdered.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Sleazy, sleazy. That's what a Missouri drug court monitor is accused of being, plus we have a crooked Puerto Rican cop and a sticky-fingered Louisiana narc.

Kalamazoo Passes Marijuana Lowest Priority Initiative

Voters in Kalamazoo, Michigan, overwhelmingly approved a ballot initiative making the use or possession of small amounts of marijuana by adults the lowest law enforcement priority.

Decisions, Decisions...

The fight to stop the drug war has entered its possibly most critical time to date, a time of major challenges but also unprecedented opportunities. We need your help today to decide whether can enter this moment at full strength.

Mexico Drug War Update

Mexican drug trafficking organizations make billions each year smuggling drugs into the United States, profiting enormously from the prohibitionist drug policies of the US government. Since Mexican president Felipe Calderon took office in December 2006 and called the armed forces into the fight against the so-called cartels, prohibition-related violence has killed around 40,000 people, including more than 15,000 last year.

National Movement of Formerly Incarcerated Kicks Off 11/2 in Los Angeles

Legal Services for Prisoners with Children

White House Rebuffs Marijuana Legalization Petitions

Can you guess the drug czar's official response to those White House marijuana legalization petitions? We thought you could. But did the White House guess that marijuana legalization would be their most popular petition topic?

Video: Former Mexican President Says Time to Legalize Drugs

Mexico's former president Vicente Fox called again for drug legalization, at a 10/18 forum organized by the Cato Institute.

Help Us Make Some Important Decisions

The fight to stop the drug war has entered its possibly most critical time to date, a time of major challenges but also unprecedented opportunities. We need your help today to decide whether can enter this moment at full strength.

Still Time to Get to the International Drug Policy Reform Conference, LA, 11/2-5

Every two years drug policy reformers from across the United States and around the world come to the International Drug Policy Reform Conference to listen, learn, network and strategize together for change. This year the conference is in Los Angeles, November 2-5, and is a partner.

Canada Mandatory Minimum Crime Bill Set to Pass [FEATURE]

It looks like Canada's Conservative government is finally going to get the ugly crime bill it has long wanted. That will mean mandatory minimums for growing as few as six marijuana plants.

Drug War Issues

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