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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, StoptheDrugWar.org 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 StoptheDrugWar.org 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, StoptheDrugWar.org 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 StoptheDrugWar.org 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 StoptheDrugWar.org 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 StoptheDrugWar.org 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 StoptheDrugWar.org 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.

Mexico Drug War Update

Somebody attacked Mexican army troops in Monterrey with a car last week, and that's just the tip of the iceberg in the ongoing wave of prohibition-related violence in Mexico.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A Texas DA gets greedy, and so do a California narc, a California prison worker, a Washington state evidence clerk, and a Washington, DC, police officer.

Obama Met With San Francisco Medical Marijuana Protest [FEATURE]

The Obama administration's increasingly hostile approach to medical marijuana distribution in California brought out protestors by the hundreds as the president went to San Francisco for a fundraiser.

Prop 19 Backers Eye 2012 Medical Marijuana Initiative

There could be a California initiative to bring statewide regulation to medical marijuana next year, organizers said Tuesday.

Federal Judge Blocks Florida Welfare Drug Testing Law

A federal judge Monday halted Florida's law mandating drug testing for welfare applicants. District Court Judge Mary Scriven in Orlando granted a temporary injunction barring the state from enforcing the law until the case is resolved.

Pennsylvania Drug Suspect Dead After Swallowing Baggie

A Pittsburgh-area man has become the third person to die from swallowing drugs during a bust in recent weeks and the 41st to die so far this year in US domestic drug enforcement operations.

Colombia President Calls for Global Marijuana Legalization

Colombia's president says the world should legalize marijuana, but don't look for his country to lead the way.

Senate GOP Blocks Criminal Justice Commission Amendment

An amendment that would have created a national criminal justice commission to study wide-ranging reforms in the US criminal justice system was blocked Thursday after most Senate Republicans voted against it, saying it would encroach on states' rights.

Bay Area Pols Slam Feds' Medical Marijuana Crackdown

A pair of Northern California elected officials Wednesday urged the federal government to back off on its "senseless assault" on medical marijuana dispensaries. At the same time, they said they want to meet with federal officials to see what's behind the crackdown.

Comments Temporarily Disabled Due to Security Issue, Will Restore as Soon as Possible.

Comments Temporarily Disabled Due to Security Issue, Will Restore as Soon as Possible.

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 StoptheDrugWar.org is a partner.

UK Government Rejects Advisors' Decriminalization Call

Britain's governmental Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs has once again called for the decriminalization of drug possession. Once again, the British government doesn't want to listen.

Mexico Drug War Update

Mexican President Calderon admitted this week that the state of Veracruz had been left to the cartels. Meanwhile, the killing continues without let up.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A quiet week on the corrupt cops front this week, with only two reports. But one of them raises interesting questions: Why does a drug task force commander who steals from suspects and tries to cover up his crimes only get probation, when the suspects potentially face prison?

Job Opportunity: Policy Associate, Drug Policy Alliance, Washington, DC

The Drug Policy Alliance is hiring a new Policy Associate for the Office of National Affairs in Washington, DC.

The Feds Can't Stop Medical Marijuana, CA Activists Say [FEATURE]

The skies over California's medical marijuana industry may be dark and stormy, but the feds can't keep the sunshine away forever, well-placed activists say.

DEA Hits More California Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

The feds continue their war on medical marijuana distribution in California, with two new DEA raids Monday and the use of asset forfeiture threats to shut down eight dispensaries in Orange County.

Gallup Poll Finds Support for Marijuana Legalization at 50% for First Time

Support for marijuana legalization in the US continues to climb, with the Gallup Poll reporting Monday that a record high 50% of Americans now approve of freeing the weed. That's up from 30% in 2000, 40% in 2009, and 46% last year.

California Doctors' Group Says Legalize Marijuana

California's largest doctors' group is calling for marijuana legalization. The trustees of the California Medical Association (CMA) adopted the position at their annual meeting in Anaheim Friday. The call came after the group last year decided to study the issue and make recommendations.

Illinois Arrestee Swallows Drugs, Dies

A man arrested by Chicago Police on drug charges Wednesday night died after apparently swallowing the drugs while in custody. Kevin Davis, 47, becomes the 40th person to die in US domestic drug law operations so far this year.

DEA Raids California, Colorado Medical Marijuana Operations

The DEA raided medical marijuana operations in California and Colorado last week, including the respected and carefully state-compliant Northstone Organics.


Ex-NYPD Narc Testifies Cops Routinely Planted Drugs on Innocent People

An ex-NYPD narcotics officer testifying for the government as part of a bargain in his own corruption case says that cops routinely planted drugs on innocent people.


Email Congress for the National Criminal Justice Commission Act!

Every day that passes without criminal justice reform is a day that thousands who don't need to be in prison, and may have never deserved to go there, languish needlessly. Please ask your US Representative and your two US Senators to pass the National Criminal Justice Commission Act.

Mexico's Calderon Continues Shift Toward Drug Legalization Support

Late is better than never, especially with the most widely read media outlets now willing to pay attention.

Linn State Admits They Have No Data to Justify Drug Testing Program

A preliminary injunction has at least temporarily stopped Linn State Technical College's program of drug testing all incoming students, the nation's first suspicionless drug testing policy at a public institution of higher education.

Founding Statement: The European Network of People Who Use Drugs

On Wednesday 5th October, European drug user activists from 10 countries (1) met in Marseille to discuss the devel


Announcement: The 2011 International Drug Policy Reform Conference, LA

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, in November, and StoptheDrugWar.org is a partner.

US Drug Policy Would Be Imposed Globally By New House Bill

The House Judiciary Committee has passed a bill that would make it a violation of US law for US citizens to engage in conduct in other countries that is legal there but which violate US drug laws here.

Obama Pardon/Clemency Record Even Stingier Than Bush's, Washington Post Notes

The Washington Post has criticized President Obama for failing to use the presidential pardon and clemency powers during his first few years in office, and recommends crack-cocaine offenders as a good place to restart. We suggest medical marijuana prisoners too.

Obama Administration's War on Medical Marijuana Continues to Escalate

Recent days have seen a range of federal escalations against the medical marijuana industry either announced or moved into further stages.

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