psmith

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Europe: Oslo Police Plan Crackdown on Hash Users, Buyers

Watch out if you're about to go looking for hash on the streets of Oslo. The police are going to be looking for you.

Law Enforcement: Maryland Governor Signs Bill Requiring SWAT Team Reporting

What is probably the country's first successful effort to begin to rein in rampaging SWAT teams has become law in Maryland. Too bad it took a widely publicized drug raid gone bad to get it done.

Australia: South Australia Police Subject Club, Concert-Goers to Drug Dog Checks

If you're headed out to go clubbing or see a concert in South Australia, be forewarned: The cops just might walk up and have a drug dog check you out.

Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

There's an embarrassment of riches for the corrupt cops folder this week. We've got pot-dealing sheriffs, we've got corner-cutting DEA agents, we've got sticky-fingered cops, and of course, we've got dope-peddling prison guards. And that Philadelphia narc squad scandal just keeps growing.

Feature: Supreme Court Rejects Counties' Challenge to California's Medical Marijuana Law

The US Supreme Court has refused to hear appeals from two California counties challenging the state's medical marijuana law. San Diego and San Bernardino counties had refused to implement an ID card program, arguing that federal drug laws preempted the state's medical marijuana law, but no court was buying.

Feature: Minnesota Legislature Passes Medical Marijuana Bill, But Veto Looms

Minnesota should be the 14th medical marijuana state after a watered down bill passed the legislature Monday. But it won't be -- Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty has promised to veto the bill. Look for an end run around the governor next year.

Medical Marijuana: Rhode Island House Passes Dispensary Bill

Rhode Island is another step closer to allowing medical marijuana dispensaries after the House passed a bill this week. The Senate passed it last month, and both chambers passed it by veto-proof majorities.

Drug War Chronicle Book Review: "Andean Cocaine: The Making of a Global Drug," by Paul Gootenberg (2008, University of North Carolina Press, 442 pp, $24.95 PB)

Drug War Chronicle reviews historian Paul Gootenberg's "Andean Cocaine," and finds its methods and its results most useful.

Feature: The Global Marijuana Marches, Part II

Last weekend was round two of this year's Global Marijuana Marches. Rome stole top honors with more than 100,000 people -- possibly as many as 300,000 -- but Athens and Madrid also drew thousands. Down in Brazil, thousands more marched in various cities, while others were blocked by government issued bans.

Europe: Dutch Border Province Cannabis Coffee Shops to Go "Members Only" in Bid to Dampen "Drug Tourism"

Cannabis coffee shops in the Dutch border province of Limburg will become "members only" next year as local mayors seek to inhibit "drug tourism." There are other restrictions, too.

Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A suburban Pittsburgh cop gets probation, two Kentucky cops cop pleas, and a Massachusetts cop gets arrested at work. Just another week in the drug war.

Free Speech: ACLU Backs Pain Activist's Effort to Quash Subpoena Issued in Kansas Case

Kansas federal prosecutor Tanya Treadway may have picked on the wrong woman when she went after the Pain Relief Network's Siobhan Reynolds for criticizing her prosecution of a local pain management physician. Now, the ACLU has joined Reynolds in fighting off a Treadway subpoena aimed at chilling her free speech rights and seeing what the doctor's defense is up to.

Latin America: Colombia's President Wants to Jail Coca Growing Farmers

Colombian President Álvaro Uribe has already presided over years of drug war directed at his own country, he's busily trying to recriminalize drug possession, and now he wants to throw peasant coca farmers in jail. This is a man out of step with his region.

Canada: Veterans Affairs to Cover Medical Marijuana Expenses

When Health Canada failed to act, the Canadian Veterans Ministry stepped up. Now, Canadian veterans using medical marijuana have their costs covered just as with any other approved medication.

Marijuana: Connecticut Decriminalization Bill Dead in Water Following Arrest of Activist

A state marijuana decrim effort was defeated by an ardent Republican legislator. It's also a case of how "careless lips sink ships."

Feature: Medical Marijuana at the Statehouse -- The State of Play

There are, have been, or will be medical marijuana bills in 19 states this year. We take a look at which ones are likely to actually have a chance of passage this year.

Law Enforcement: 77-Year-Old Man Killed in Marijuana Raid After Firing on Officers

The war on marijuana has claimed another victim: a 77-year-old man shot dead in a pre-dawn raid aimed at his adult son after shooting at the intruders. A police officer was wounded, too.

Medical Marijuana: Petition Drive Gets Underway for 2010 South Dakota Initiative

In 2006, South Dakota became the only state to reject a medical marijuana legalization initiative. This year, the legislature ignored its opportunity to do something, so now proponents are gathering signatures for a retry in 2010.

Latin America: Jimmy Carter to Harvest Coca Leaves on Evo Morales' Farm

Jimmy Carter once let Evo Morales pick some peanuts on his Georgia farm. Now, Morales has invited Carter to pick some coca leaves on his farm in Bolivia's Chapare.

Latin America: Argentine Appeals Court Throws Out Ecstasy Case, Says Pills Were for "Personal Use"

It's getting harder and harder to get prosecuted for drug possession in Argentina. The Argentine courts' slow drift toward decriminalization continued this week.

Medical Marijuana: US 9th Circuit Upholds 10-Year Sentence for Bryan Epis, First California Supplier Tried on Federal Charges

Bryan Epis, one of a handful of people convicted in federal court for supplying medical marijuana under California's Proposition 215, is facing 10 years in prison. A three-judge panel of the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that should stick, but an appeal is pending.

Canada: Two-Thirds of British Columbia Voters Favor Legalizing Marijuana, Poll Finds

Two-thirds of British Columbia voters favor marijuana legalization, according to a new poll. Now, if only someone would clue in the political parties that claim to represent them.

Policial: Las historias de policías corruptos de esta semana

La semana pasada fue una de esas ocasiones impresionantemente raras en que no topamos con ningún artículo sobre policías corruptos. ¡No hay por qué preocuparse! Esta semana han regresado de lo lindo. Cae otro alguacil fronterizo, quiebra una comisaría de policía de Carolina del Norte, un policía de Arizona se pone codicioso y pillan a otros dos agentes penitenciarios emprendedores.

Marijuana: Pot Continues to Climb in Public Opinion Polls -- Zogby Goes Over 50%

Marijuana's rise in the polls continues... and now we have a national poll showing majority support for legalization.

Feature: Mexico Decriminalization Bill Passes -- One Step Forward, Two Steps Back?

The Mexican Congress has passed a bill that would decriminalize the possession of "personal use" amounts of illegal drugs. Some of the other provisions in the measure are not so nice.

Feature: Cannabis Nation Takes to the Streets in First Week of Global Marijuana March

If it's the first week in May, it must be time for the Global Marijuana March. Thousands took to the streets across the globe last weekend, and thousands more will do the same next weekend.

Medical Marijuana: Another California Dispensary Raid

There's been another California medical marijuana dispensary raid with the DEA involved, but so far, it looks like the real culprit is a crusading sheriff in Bakersfield.

Hello? Mexico on the Verge on Decriminalizing Drug Possession...

...and nobody north of the Rio Grande seems to have noticed.

Medical Marijuana: Rhode Island Dispensary Bill Passes Senate

A bill that would establish "compassion centers" for medical marijuana patients has passed the Rhode Island Senate -- again. Gov. Donald Carcieri vetoed a similar bill last year; it's unclear what he will do if the bill passes the House this year.

Marijuana: Marc Emery Associates Plead Guilty in Seattle, Face Canadian Probation

Two of Canadian "Prince of Pot" Marc Emery's former employees have pleaded guilty to marijuana conspiracy charges in Seattle in return for probation in Canada, but the fate of Emery himself remains up in the air.

Canada: Provincial Court Rules Ontario Benefits Law Discriminates Against Alcoholics, Drug Addicts

A decade ago, Ontario's conservative government passed a law limiting disability benefits to people disabled by alcohol or drug addiction. Now, a provincial court has ruled that violates the province's human rights code.

Law Enforcement: Florida House Passes Watered Down "Rachel's Law" in Bid to Protect Informants from Dangerous Assignments

Rachel Hoffman was murdered by violent criminals after Florida police coerced the small-time marijuana seller into becoming an informant, and sent her out with $13,000 to buy cocaine and guns. Now, the Florida legislature is attempting to pass a bill that would limit police use of informants, but the cop lobby has already managed to weaken it.

Europe: Cannabis Cafes in Dutch Border Region to Go Members Only?

The latest brainchild of Maastricht, Holland, Mayor Gerd Leers, in his never-ending campaign to clean up problems associated with cannabis cafes on the country's borders with France, Belgium, and Germany, is to make the cafes member-only.

Sentencing: Obama Administration Tells Congress to End Crack/Powder Cocaine Disparity

After more than two decades of the crack/powder cocaine sentencing disparity and all its racially pernicious effects, pressure is mounting to eliminate it. And now, for the first time, it is the position of the US Justice Department that that should be the case.

Medical Marijuana: New Hampshire Bill Passes Senate, Awaits Governor's Signature

New Hampshire is on the verge of becoming the 14th medical marijuana state after a bill passed the state Senate this week. Now the question is whether the Democratic governor will sign it.

Latin America: Mexico Senate Approves Bill Decriminalizing Drug Possession

Mexico's Senate has passed a bill decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of all drugs. It still has to pass the Chamber of Deputies, and the clock is ticking.

Prohibition: Measure to Ban BZP Moving in Colorado Legislature

Confronted with an unregulated substance enjoyed by young people, the Colorado legislature is responding with a reflexive prohibitionist posture. BZP, meet the drug war.

Feature: Marijuana Reform Approaches the Tipping Point

Marijuana legalization seems to have entered the mainstream in the first part of 2009. Drug War Chronicle asks some reform movement players just what's going on -- and what isn't.

Medical Marijuana: Minnesota Bill Passes Senate

The Minnesota Senate has approved a medical marijuana bill. It now moves to the House, but Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) appears poised to veto if it it passes.

Medical Marijuana: Maine Legislature Punts, Bill Will Go Before Voters in November

Voters in Maine will have a chance to approve a medical marijuana bill that provides for dispensaries, among other things, this November. The legislature had its chance, but punted.

Latin America: Bolivian Cocaine Production Increasing, Official Says

Mexican and Colombian drug traffickers are hiring middle men to process coca paste into refined cocaine in Bolivia.

Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

More crooked prison guards, more crooked cops, and -- in a first for this newsletter -- a crooked Fish and Wildlife officer.

Search and Seizure: Supreme Court Limits Police Car Search Powers

The cops can't search your car after they arrest you unless they have a warrant or probable cause, the Supreme Court has ruled.

Hard Times: Citing Budget Woes, California County to Stop Prosecuting Small-Time Drug Offenders

Prosecutors in one California county have called a halt to small time drug prosecutions. They just can't afford them, they said.

Salvia Divinorum: Man in First Bust Gets Deferred Sentence

The nation's first salvia possession case has ended not with a bang, but a whimper. At least no one is going to jail.

Feature: 4/20 -- A Day for Celebration or a Day for Remonstration?

From sea to shining sea, America's cannabis nation celebrated its rhizomatic annual 4/20 holiday again this week. Much weed was smoked and a good time was had by all. But should we really be celebrating?

Feature: Supreme Court Hears Arguments in Junior High Girl Strip Search Case

Did an Arizona school administrator go too far in subjecting a 13-year-old girl to a strip search in a quest to track down alleged contraband Ibuprofen? The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case that asks just that Tuesday.

Canada: Victory for Patients as Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Government's Medical Marijuana Appeal

By refusing to hear a government appeal of two lower court decisions, Canada's Supreme Court has ended the government monopoly on the medical marijuana supply and opened the way for multi-patient grows.

Medical Marijuana: New Hampshire Bill Heads for Final Legislative Vote

A medical marijuana bill in New Hampshire is one Senate floor vote away from passage after it was approved by a Senate committee Thursday. The state House has already passed it.

Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

More problems for the Philly narcs, another border guard goes down, so does a Puerto Rican husband and wife team, and a TSA guard gets popped. Just another week of drug-related law enforcement corruption.

Drug Raids: Michigan Student Shot in the Chest Over "Spoonsful" of Marijuana to Be Charged

A Michigan cop shot college student Derek Copp in the chest during a drug raid last month in which police seized only a small amount of marijuana (at least according to Copp's lawyer; the cops aren't talking). Now they're coming after him with drug possession charges.

Southeast Asia: Vietnam Ponder Karaoke Bar Dance Ban in Bid to Slow Ecstasy Use

Dancing in karaoke clubs would be banned under a Vietnamese government effort to reduce Ecstasy use. "Behavior with less danger to society," such as swaying to the beat, however, would be okay.

Latin America: Shining Path Kills 14 Soldiers in Peruvian Coca-Growing Area

Last August, the Peruvian government embarked on a campaign to regain control of one of the country's key coca-growing areas. It's not working out very well so far.

ONDCP: Addiction Specialist Nominated as Assistant Drug Czar

The Obama administration has nominated a well-respected addiction researcher to be the number two man in the drug czar's office. Are we in for a bout of drug treatment now?

Latin America: Colombia's Uribe Seeks to Recriminalize Drug Possession

Drug possession has been legal in Colombia since 1994. But now, a teetotaling President Uribe wants to go back to the bad old days.

Sentencing: Number of African Americans in Prison for Drugs Falling, Whites Increasing

A significant change in the impact of our drug policies may have occurred in the last few years. The number of African Americans doing time for drug charges is down, both percentage-wise and in raw numbers. Not so for whites.

Feature: ASA in Federal Appeals Court Seeking to Force Government to Correct Medical Marijuana Misinformation

The medical marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access argued in federal appeals court Tuesday that a federal law requires government agencies to make accurate, objective statements -- not misinformation -- when it comes to medical marijuana. But Obama administration lawyers disagree.

Feature: Mexico's Congress Hosts Forum on Marijuana Regulation, Decriminalization

Is Mexico ready to decriminalize marijuana possession? The Mexican Congress devoted a three-day forum to the notion this week, even as Presidents Obama and Calderón met to plot a better drug war on the border.

Free Speech: Grand Jury Subpoenas Prominent Pain Relief Advocate Who Has Criticized the Prosecution of a Kansas Physician

The federal prosecutor going after Kansas physician Dr. Steven Schneider and his wife is now aiming at the couple's activist defenders as well. Siobhan Reynolds of the Pain Relief Network has been served a subpoena by a federal grand jury for obstruction of justice in the case, but vows not to cooperate.

Salvia Divinorum: Ohio's First Bust Came Day Before Law Went Into Effect

Ohio's law criminalizing salvia divinorum went into effect Tuesday, but the first arrest under it came Monday. Go figure.

Europe: Britain Could Save $20 Billion a Year by Legalizing Drugs, Study Finds

The British government contends that drug legalization could not possibly have enough benefits to justify switching from prohibition, but it has never provided the evidence. Now, a new study that actually has done a comparative analysis finds the UK could be saving billions a year by legalizing.

Medical Marijuana: Florida Petition Drive Under Way

A grassroots petition drive to get medical marijuana on the 2010 ballot in Florida is underway. Organizers need almost 700,000 signatures and $5 million for the drive and the election campaign, and they're counting on web-based activism to get them there.

Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Another crooked judge, another dirty border guard, more problems for Philly's narcs, and a guilty plea in Detroit.

Marijuana Legalization: For First Time, Poll Finds Majority Support in California

Support for marijuana legalization has gone over the 50% mark in California for the first time, according to a new poll. It comes as the California Assembly ponders a legalization bill, and the poll itself hints that a legalization/tax and regulate initiative may be coming down the pike.

Sentencing: US Jail, Prison Population Hits Another Record High, Well Over Half a Million Drug Offenders Behind Bars

We really get tired of writing the same old story about record prison and jail populations every year, but it's that time again.

Feature: Michigan Medical Marijuana Law in Effect

Michigan voters approved a medical marijuana initiative in November. This week, it took effect.

Drug War Chronicle Book Review: "Cool Madness: The Trial of Dr. Mollie Fry and Dale Schafer," by Vanessa Nelson (2008, MMA Publishing, 353 pp., $19.95 pb.)

"Cool Madness" is a riveting account of the federal trial California medical marijuana patient and provider Dr. Mollie Fry and her husband, Dale Schafer. If you believe federal medical marijuana trials have anything to do with justice or fairness after reading her account, I have some bridges you might be interested in.

Feature: Twenty Years of Drug Courts -- Results and Misgivings

By some measures, drug courts are a success. They reduce recidivism and drive down criminal justice system costs, most observers agree. But when it comes to whether they are a desirable response to drug use, that's a different story.

Drug Testing: Widely Publicized West Virginia Bill to Test People on Public Assistance Dies

A West Virginia bill that would have mandated random drug tests of people seeking unemployment benefits or food stamps met its deserved fate this week, dying without action in the legislature's House Judiciary Committee. But similar bills remain alive in a handful of states.

Latin America: Mexican Drug War Targets Informal Saints of the Poor and the Narcos

Mexico's drug war took a strange turn last week as authorities took the battle to a pair of folk saints. Shrines to Santa Muerte and San Malverde were destroyed in Tijuana and on the highway south from Texas to Monterrey.

Canada: With Conservative Government Pushing Tough Crime Package, Liberal MP Responds With Marijuana Decriminalization Bill

Canada's Conservative government is pushing a pair of tough on drugs and crime bills that would institute mandatory minimum sentencing, but the Liberals and the NDP are starting to push back.

Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

What's up with Pennsylvania? Yet more ugliness from the Keystone State, as well as the all too predictable border guard in trouble and jail guard with a bad habit.

Marijuana: Connecticut Decriminalization Bill Wins Committee Vote

Will Connecticut be the next state to decriminalize marijuana possession? A bill is moving in the legislature, but a Republican governor is making veto noises -- again.

Pregnancy: Missouri Bill to Criminalize Drug Using Mothers-To-Be Faces Tough Scrutiny, Similar Tennessee Bills Die

Just what an expectant mother with a drug problem needs: To be arrested and go to jail. That's what one Missouri bill would do. Over in Tennessee, legislators showed some common sense by refusing to act on similar bills.

Medical Marijuana: Oakland Cannabis Community Offers City Help on Taxes

Oaksterdam wants to pay more taxes! The unusual gesture could help Oakland raise revenues in tough times and win more legitimacy for the city's marijuana industry.

Feature: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly -- New York Rockefeller Drug Law Reform on the Verge of Passage

By the time you read these words, the New York legislature has probably passed long-awaited reforms to the Rockefeller drug laws. Or not. An agreement between the state Assembly, Senate, and governor has been reached, but it ain't over until it's over -- and it ain't over yet.

Feature: "Dangerous" Drug Raids? Not So Much for Police -- Unless They Make Them So

Police say that aggressive drug raids are good at protecting police, but two dramatic officer deaths that were caused by those tactics suggest the opposite. So do the statistics -- only three law enforcement officers died conducting drug raids last year. At least that many citizens were killed, and who knows how many dogs.

Medical Marijuana: Minnesota Bill Wins Committee Vote, Heads for Senate Floor

Minnesota's medical marijuana bill won its fourth and final Senate committee vote Thursday. It's won that many House committee votes, too. Floor votes loom, but so does the grim visage of a veto-wielding Republican governor.

Q: How Dangerous is Drug Law Enforcement for Police? A: Apparently Not Very

Law enforcement likes to argue that it needs to resort to heavy-handed tactics such as SWAT-style raids and no-knock warrants because drug law enforcement is just so darned dangerous.

Marijuana: Legalization Bill Introduced in Massachusetts

Massachusetts has become the second state in as many months to see marijuana legalization bills come before the state legislature. This one would tax by grade for commercial sales, but also permit untaxed personal cultivation.

Southeast Asia: Indonesia to Treat Drug Users, Not Jail Them

In a memo to judges, Indonesia's Supreme Court has ordered them to send small-time drug users and possessors to treatment instead of prison.

Medical Marijuana: In Wake of Holder Comments, Federal Judge Postpones Sentencing of California Medical Marijuana Provider Charles Lynch

California medical marijuana dispensary operator Charles Lynch was supposed to be sentenced to federal prison Monday. It didn't happen, and Lynch can thank Attorney General Holder for signaling a change of federal policy toward such prosecutions.

Privacy: Kansas House Passes Bill Mandating Drug Tests for Public Assistance

A number of states are considering bills to require drug testing to receive public assistance or unemployment benefits. Kansas is the first one where such a bill has won approval in even one chamber.

Europe: Italian High Court Okays Lonesome Shepherd's Pot Smoking

If a lonely shepherd wants to get high while out with his flock, that's no skin off the state's nose, the Italian Supreme Court has ruled.

Medical Marijuana: Illinois, Minnesota, New Hampshire Bills Advance

Medical marijuana is on the move in the statehouses -- bills advanced this week in Illinois, Minnesota, and New Hampshire.

Feature: More Than A Quarter Million Marijuana Smokers in Drug Treatment Each Year -- Are We Wasting Valuable Treatment Resources?

The latest SAMHSA drug treatment statistics show that 288,000 people entered treatment for marijuana in 2007. Only one in six sought it; more than half were ordered there by the courts. Given continuing problems with cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and other drugs, is this how we want to spend our treatment dollars?

Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Narcs gone wild, narcs cheating on their pay, narcs stealing dope, narcs lying on the stand, a perverted sheriff heads to prison, and that's just the half of it.

Feature: Failed Drug War Policies in Mexico? Let's Try More of the Same

As Mexicos's plague of prohibition-related violence continues unabated, Washington is moving to beef up the border and the Mexican repressive apparatus. But for the first time, US officials are openly admitting that some of it is our fault, possibly opening the way for the discussion of drug legalization to move in from the margins.

Criminal Justice: US Senator Introduces Bill to Create Commission for "Top-to-Bottom" Review of Criminal Justice System

Sen Jim Webb (D-VA) has become a hero for drug reformers in the short time he's been in the Senate. Now, his latest effort is sure to earn him more kudos.

Sentencing: Rockefeller Drug Law Reform Deal Near, NY Times Says

Reform of New York's draconian Rockefeller drug laws is almost a done deal, the New York Times reported Thursday. But the devil is in the details, and advocates are biting their nails.

Medical Marijuana: DEA Raids San Francisco Dispensary Despite Holder Vow

The Justice Department will/will not raid medical marijuana providers in states where it's legal. Who knows? Attorney General Holder said last week the DEA would only go after dispensaries violating state law, but this week, the DEA hit a San Francisco dispensary that appears to be operating legally. Confusion and concern abound.

Medical Marijuana: California Dispensary Operator Faces Decades in Federal Prison at Sentencing Monday

The Obama administration may have signaled an end to the federal war against medical marijuana in California, but there is unfinished business from the Bush era crusades. A tragic case in point is that of Morro Bay dispensary operator Charles Lynch, who faces years in federal prison when he is sentenced Monday.

Medical Marijuana: Attorney General Holder Sends Another Signal -- No DEA Busts Unless You Violate State Law

For the second time in three weeks, Attorney General Holder has said there will be no more DEA raids on medical marijuana dispensaries in states where it is legal -- as long as they are operating under state laws. But that still leaves some wiggle room.

Medical Marijuana: Not in Iowa, Not This Year

The Hawkeye State turns a deaf ear to the entreaties of medical marijuana patients. A bill that would have helped has died without action.

Medical Marijuana: New Hampshire Bill Wins Committee Vote, Heads for House Floor

A medical marijuana bill in New Hampshire has passed a key committee vote and is now headed for the House floor. A similar measure failed there by a handful of votes two years ago.

Drug Raids: Cops Shoot Michigan Student Over "A Few Tablespoonfuls" of Marijuana

There is outrage in western Michigan after an unarmed university student was shot and seriously wounded in a drug raid last week. And what did the cops find? "A few tablespoons full" of marijuana.

Latin America: Peru to Export Coca Beer

Tired of the same old coca products? Now you can try coca beer! Coming soon to a bar near you... but only if you live in Peru, China, South Africa, Argentina, or Venezuela.

Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

This week, we have some drug cops whose misbehavior may not reach the standard of corruption, but is certainly worth noting. And then we have the usual corrupt cops.

Feature: Legislatures Take Up "Good Samaritan" Overdose Bills in Bid to Reduce Deaths

Lives are being lost because when someone ODs on drugs, friends fearful of arrest of themselves or the victim hesitate to seek help. In 2007, New Mexico became the first state to pass a Good Samaritan law protecting people calling for help in ODs. This year, similar bills are popping up around the country.

Feature: Bills to Require Drug Testing for Welfare, Unemployment Pop Up Around the Country

Faced with economic crises, fiscal shortfalls, and growing welfare and unemployment rolls, some state legislators are proposing a really bad idea: drug testing welfare and/or unemployment recipients. But there is a broad array of organizations lined up against them. Oh, and there's that pesky Constitution, too.

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