psmith

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Feature: New Jersey Legislature Approves Needle Exchange Bill, Governor Will Sign

The last holdout state in the needle exchange battles has now enacted legislation legalizing the programs.

Prohibition: a crippling habit; There is only one way to end the misery of addiction revealed by the investigation into the Ipswich murders: legalise the drugs.

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Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

This week's edition of corrupt cops stories is heavy on the dope-dealing prison guards. Not to worry, though, there's more.

East Asia: Reefer Madness Snares Taiwan Celebrities

Some Taiwanese celebrities are getting unwanted attention these days as police pursue allegations that they -- gasp! -- smoked marijuana.

Methamphetamine: DEA to Create National Lab Site Registry

The DEA jumped on the meth registry bandwagon last week, with a twist.

Southwest Asia: US Drug Czar Announces Afghanistan Will Spray Opium Poppies

With Afghan opium production going through the roof, US drug czar John Walters announced Saturday that the Afghan government would begin using herbicides to eradicate the poppy crop. But the Afghan government hasn't officially agreed yet.

The Drug Czar Has Another Brilliant Idea

Afghanistan is in flames. The Taliban are resurgent. The opium economy provides livelihoods for millions of Afghans.

Lawmakers Approve Clean-Needle Bill; Divided Senate and Assembly Approve Program After Emotional Debate

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US Anti-Drug Chief: Afghan Poppies To Be Sprayed With Herbicide

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Commute This Sentence; A Clemency Case Not Even President Bush Can Ignore--Or Can He?

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Poppy Business Booms in Western Burma

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Pain Patients: Richard Paey Loses Appeal, Wheelchair-Bound Man to Remain in Prison

Richard Paey, the wheelchair-bound pain patient serving a 25-year mandatory minimum sentence as a drug dealer under Florida law, will remain in prison after losing an appeal this week. But a sympathetic appeals court suggested he seek clemency from the governor.

DRCNet Book Review: "Fatal Distraction: The War on Drugs in the Age of Islamic Terror," by Arnold Trebach (2006, Unlimited Publishing, 398 pp., $19.95 PB)

Arnold Trebach, the dean of American drug reform, is at it again with the publication of his latest book, "Fatal Distraction: The War on Drugs in the Age of Islamic Terror."

Drug Reform and the Democratic Congress: What's Going to Happen?

Will Democratic control of the Congress mean significant drug reform progress next year? Drug reformers certainly hope so, but the prospects are uncertain.

Judge Rejects Counties' Medical Marijuana Suit

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Harm Reduction: New Jersey Needle Exchange Bill Moves to Final Floor Votes Next Week

New Jersey is the only state in the nation with neither needle exchange nor non-prescription needle sales, but that could change Monday as a needle exchange bill heads for final floor votes in both houses of the legislature.

Medical Marijuana: County Lawsuit Challenging California Law Thrown Out

Officials of San Diego, Merced and San Bernardino counties who are hostile to California's medical marijuana law lost a court battle.

Marijuana: Yet Another Scientific Study Debunks "Gateway Theory"

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh are the latest to produce studies challenging the validity of the "gateway theory" -- the idea that the use of marijuana is a "gateway" to harder drug use.

Hemp: North Dakota Becomes First State to Legalize Industrial Production

North Dakota becomes the first state to legalize industrial hemp production, with licenses available beginning January 1. But someone is going to have to do something about the DEA's opposition, or nobody's going to be growing hemp any time soon.

Law Enforcement: Rev. Al Sharpton Calls for Congressional Hearings into Police Killings of Civilians

In the wake of a trio of high-profile police killings of civilians, African-American civil rights activist the Rev. Al Sharpton is calling for congressional hearings on police violence.

Sentencing: US Supreme Court Rules for Immigrants in Drug Possession Deportation Case

In a Tuesday decision, the US Supreme Court ruled that immigrants convicted of drug felonies under state law are not subject to mandatory deportation unless the offense is classified as a felony under the federal Controlled Substances Act.

Sentencing: US Supreme Court Lets Stand Pot Dealer's 55-Year Mandatory Minimum Sentence

Observers had hoped the court would use the case to address the excesses of mandatory minimum sentences, but no such luck.

Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

After a one-week hiatus, the corrupt cops stories are back, thanks in large part to the help of Chronicle readers -- we have a veritable potpourri of police misconduct with a heavy emphasis on the larcenous.

Pentagon Resists Pleas for Help in Afghan Opium Fight

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Readers, Thanks for Your Help. Keep Those Corrupt Cop Story Tips Coming!

On Friday, I blogged about how for the first time in years I hadn't run a "This Week's Corrupt Cops" piece because I couldn't find any stories.

What Will a Democratic Congress Mean for Drug Reform?

One of the articles I'm working on this week will be called "Drug Reform and the Democratic Congress: What's Really Going to Happen?" I've already talked to a number of inside the beltway drug reform

Supreme Court Lets Stand 55-Year Term

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Police Caught in Cross Hairs of Tijuana Violence

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Offbeat: Make It Legal

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Misguided Drug War Claims Another Victim

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The House of Death: When 12 bodies were found buried in the garden of a Mexican house, it seemed like a case of drug-linked killings. But the trail led to Washington and a cover-up that went right to the top.

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Supreme Court to Hear "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" Case

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Readers, I need your help! Where are the corrupt cops?

Some of you have undoubtedly noticed that the long-running "This Week's Corrupt Cops" feature was missing this week. That's because I didn't have any stories for it.

Town Hall Meeting on APD Shooting

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Drug Raids: Cops Looking Worse and Worse as Facts Emerge in Deadly Atlanta Case

The killing of an elderly Atlanta woman in a drug raid last week continues to reverbrate through the community. With each passing day, the police are looking worse.

Marijuana: Lowest Priority Initiatives Coming to Maine

Maine could become the next state where municipalities pass a lowest law enforcement priority marijuana initiative. Activists there have the process well under way already.

Legalization: Vermont States Attorney Calls for Decriminalization of All Drugs

A Vermont states attorney has spoken out publicly against the drug war. All drugs should be "decriminalized" and drug abuse considered as a public health issue, he says.

Feature: World Bank-UN Report Offers Grim Assessment of Afghanistan Opium Battle, Says Winning Will Take Decades, Not Years

A new report from the World Bank and UN is just the latest to warn of the difficulties facing drug warriors in Afghanistan. The report is comprehensive, exacting, and grim.

Feature: Medical Marijuana Gets a Hearing in Michigan

Medical marijuana came to the state legislature in Michigan this week, for the first time -- and made an unexpectedly strong showing.

Sentencing: Correctional Supervision At All-Time High With Over Seven Million People Tied to the System

In its latest annual studies on the prison and probation/parole population in the US, the Bureau of Justice Statistics reports the numbers are at an all-time high. Again.

Marijuana: Michigan Legalization Initiative Gets State Okay to Gather Signatures for 2008

A Michigan group has won approval from the State Board of Canvassers to begin a signature gathering drive for an initiative that would legalize the possession of marijuana by adults.

Southeast Asia: New Thai Government to Begin Investigating 2,500 Murders Committed During Thaksin's Drug War

While he was Thai Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra unleashed a drug war in which more than 2,500 were killed. Now that he has been deposed, the new government is promising to investigate the murders.

Southeast Asia: Myanmar Military Turns Blind Eye to Allied Ethnic Militias' Opium Trade

The military junta in Myanmar has been crowing about how it's cooperating in the fight against opium production, but a report from the Shan States suggests the military is turning a blind eye to production and trading by allied ethnic militias.

Medical Marijuana: California Supreme Court Rules Patients Can Transport It

The California Supreme Court has ruled that qualified medical marijuana patients can transport their medicine -- as much as they need -- without being subjected to arrest and conviction.

Search and Seizure: US Supreme Court Lets State Rulings Barring Drug Dog House Searches and Restricting Traffic Stop Drug Searches Stand

The US Supreme Court Monday refused to hear appeals of state court decisions limiting law enforcement's ability to conduct searches in two states.

Survey: Meth Use Climbs on East Coast

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Prescription Heroin Brings Ethical Dilemma

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Surge in Violence Shocks Even Weary Mexico; Drug Killing Nearly Doubled in Past Year

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Marijuana Bill Snuffed Out

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Anger Spills Over in Atlanta At Killing of Aged Woman

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Latest on Atlanta Police Killing of Elderly Woman in Drug Raid

The killing of an elderly Atlanta woman after she shot and wounded three undercover policemen during a nighttime drug raid just might end up shedding some much needed light on the sordid business that

Army Protecting Opium Trade in Myanmar

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Jesus Blancornelas, 70; wrote exposes on Tijuana drug cartels

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Drug Raids: Atlanta Police Kill Woman, 92, Who Shot Invading Officers

Three undercover police officers serving a no-knock drug seach warrant in Atlanta were hit by gunfire from the 92-year old homeowner before they shot and killed her.

Marijuana: San Francisco Supervisors Approve Lowest Law Enforcement Priority Policy

San Francisco became the latest in a growing list of cities taking the lead in reforming marijuana policies.

Canada: BC Business-Academic Panel Tells Government to Consider Legalizing Drugs

A blue ribbon panel says to either legalize drugs or really crack down with the goal of wiping them out.

Europe: Give Addicts Prescription Heroin, Says British Police Commander

As Britain's top cops meet to discuss drug policy, one police commander is saying the government should provide prescription heroin to addicts.

Feature: Students Lobby and Learn in DC as SSDP Comes to Town

Students for Sensible Drug Policy held its annual conference in Washington, DC, last weekend. Here's our report.

Merced Pot Grower Convicted; Jury Takes Just Two Hours to Return Verdict; Medical Marijuana Defense Fails

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Along the Northern Mexican Border, Fear Rules

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Questions Surround Fatal Shooting of Woman, 92; Police Say They Had Made Drug Buy at Home

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Europe: British Drug Expert Calls for Downgrade on LSD, Ecstasy

The head of the British Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs has called for ecstasy and LSD to be reclassified as less serious drugs, but the government has signalled it isn't listening.

Harm Reduction: Yet Another Study Finds Vancouver's Safe Injection Site Benefits Users Without Harming Community

Canadian Prime Minister Steven Harper doesn't like safe injection sites, but as yet another study shows, science is not on his side.

Europe: Italian Government Loosens Marijuana Possession Limits

An administrative measure last week doubled the amount of marijuana people can possess without facing criminal charges.

Sentencing: Veteran Houston Judge Calls for Shorter Sentences for Drug Possession

Houston (Harris County) accounts for nearly 40% of all Texas prisoners serving state jail time for drug possession offenses. Now, a conservative Houston jurist says enough is enough.

Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A couple of unusual ones this week -- a coke-dealing former fire chief in Connecticut and a Texas cop whose wife has a bad passport and some very shady connections.

Racial Profiling: It Never Went Away on the New Jersey Turnpike

As New Jersey's governor ponders whether to continue a consent decree designed to eliminate racial profiling by State Police, the ACLU says the problem is worse than ever.

Police Kill Woman, 92, in Shootout [Atlanta Drug Raid Gone Bad]

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Italian Lawmaker Claims He Planted Marijuana in Parliament

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Police Chief Says Give Heroin to Addicts

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Injection Site Hasn't Led to Crime, Study Finds

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Police Chiefs to Debate Drug Fight [UK]

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Judge Calls for Easing of Drug Penalty; Citing Felony Docket Loads, He Asks Perry to Cut Sentences for Minor Possession

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Is It Time for Direct Action to Shut Down DEA Headquarters?

One of the nice things about coming to Washington is more stimulating dinner discussions than I'm accustomed to out in the boondocks.

UK is Europe's Worst Offender for Cocaine Use

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SSDP Conference Invigorates and Educates Students and Non-Students Alike

The Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) conference in Washington, DC saw its third and final day, and it was a rousing weekend for drug reformer

Pot Seizures Foretell Bumper Crop [in Mexico]

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Judge Rejects San Diego Challenge to Medical Marijuana Law

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Heading to DC for SSDP!

After five longs days incommunicado in darkest Dakota, I am crawling out of my cave and heading for the East Coast to check out the Students for Sensible

I'm sick and tired of begging my fellow citizens to not throw me in jail...

...because I might smoke something of which they don't approve.

Election 2006: Arizona Voters Take a Step Backwards on Sentencing Reform

Arizona voters took a step backward by allowing first- and second-time methamphetamine offenders to be sentenced to jail or prison -- unlike any other Arizona drug possession offenders.

Election 2006: Drug Reformers in Third Party Statewide Bids Poll Single Digits, But One Wins a State House Seat in Washington

A drug reformer won a state house seat as a Democrat this week, but third-party reformers got largely ignored at the polls.

Election 2006: Massachusetts Voters in Four More Districts Continue the Clamor for Marijuana Law Reform

Four more Massachusetts representative districts have voted to ask their reps to support either marijuana decriminalization or medical marijuana bills in the state legislature.

Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A Kentucky deputy gets caught stealing from the office stash, so does a Cleveland court employee, and a Cleveland cop's husband's activities is raising eyebrows.

Election 2006: Local Marijuana Initiatives Win Across the Board

Statewide marijuana initiatives may have had a tough time this year, but it was a clean sweep for local lowest priority initiatives, which went five for five, plus a local medical marijuana measure.

Election 2006: Initiatives Defeated in Colorado and Nevada, But Hundreds of Thousands Voted to Legalize Marijuana

Two marijuana legalization initiatives went down to defeat in Colorado and Nevada, but by relatively narrow margins. Organizers are vowing to try again.

Dwight Gooden is Released From Prison After Seven Months

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Election 2006: South Dakota Medical Marijuana Initiative Backers Vow to Try Again After Narrow Defeat

In a close vote, South Dakota voters became the first in the nation to turn back a medical marijuana initiative, but organizers vow to try again.

[Mexican] Marijuana Harvest Yields Bumper Crop

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Sentencing: US Supreme Court to Try to Clean Up Post-Booker Ruling Issues

Last year's Supreme Court decision making federal sentencing guidelines only advisory has led to confusion in the federal courts. Now the high court has agreed to hear two cases that could help stop the head-scratching--and maybe get some drug offenders some shorter sentences.

Looking Bad for the Statewide Marijuana Initiatives

It's just after 1AM Eastern time, and it looks like the Colorado, Nevada, and South Dakota marijuana initiatives are all headed for defeat.

Sentencing: Public Hearings on Illinois SMART Act Pack 'Em In

Public hearings on an Illinois bill that would divert first-time drug possession offenders into "drug schools" instead of prison are now underway across the state, and if the crowd in Chicago is any indication, public interest is high.

Medical Marijuana: First New Federal Prosecution in Three Years Underway in California

Federal authorities had not prosecuted a California medical marijuana patient or provider since the Ed Rosenthal trial blew up in their face three years ago, but that changed Wednesday.

Let's Not Forget Massachusetts

In our list of drug policy-related ballot issues last Friday, we neglected to mention Massachusetts.

More Take the Rehab Way Out; [Enron's] Fastow is the Latest Corporate Convict to Seek Counseling to Cut Time Off Sentence

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Tories Blocked Needle Sites Despite Internal Poll Results; 56% of Canadians in Favor of More Injection Facilities

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Cloudy Future For Marijuana As Medicine

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Kelo TV Poll: Medical Marijuana [South Dakota, Losing 35% to 60%]

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Gathering Will Mark 10 Years of Medical Marijuana Use

Drug War Issues

Criminal JusticeAsset Forfeiture, Collateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Court Rulings, Drug Courts, Due Process, Felony Disenfranchisement, Incarceration, Policing (2011 Drug War Killings, 2012 Drug War Killings, 2013 Drug War Killings, 2014 Drug War Killings, 2015 Drug War Killings, 2016 Drug War Killings, 2017 Drug War Killings, Arrests, Eradication, Informants, Interdiction, Lowest Priority Policies, Police Corruption, Police Raids, Profiling, Search and Seizure, SWAT/Paramilitarization, Task Forces, Undercover Work), Probation or Parole, Prosecution, Reentry/Rehabilitation, Sentencing (Alternatives to Incarceration, Clemency and Pardon, Crack/Powder Cocaine Disparity, Death Penalty, Decriminalization, Defelonization, Drug Free Zones, Mandatory Minimums, Rockefeller Drug Laws, Sentencing Guidelines)CultureArt, Celebrities, Counter-Culture, Music, Poetry/Literature, Television, TheaterDrug UseParaphernalia, ViolenceIntersecting IssuesCollateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Violence, Border, Budgets/Taxes/Economics, Business, Civil Rights, Driving, Economics, Education (College Aid), Employment, Environment, Families, Free Speech, Gun Policy, Human Rights, Immigration, Militarization, Money Laundering, Pregnancy, Privacy (Search and Seizure, Drug Testing), Race, Religion, Science, Sports, Women's IssuesMarijuana PolicyGateway Theory, Hemp, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Marijuana Industry, Medical MarijuanaMedicineMedical Marijuana, Science of Drugs, Under-treatment of PainPublic HealthAddiction, Addiction Treatment (Science of Drugs), Drug Education, Drug Prevention, Drug-Related AIDS/HIV or Hepatitis C, Harm Reduction (Methadone & Other Opiate Maintenance, Needle Exchange, Overdose Prevention, Pill Testing, Safer Injection Sites)Source and Transit CountriesAndean Drug War, Coca, Hashish, Mexican Drug War, Opium ProductionSpecific DrugsAlcohol, Ayahuasca, Cocaine (Crack Cocaine), Ecstasy, Heroin, Ibogaine, ketamine, Khat, Kratom, Marijuana (Gateway Theory, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Medical Marijuana, Hashish), Methamphetamine, New Synthetic Drugs (Synthetic Cannabinoids, Synthetic Stimulants), Nicotine, Prescription Opiates (Fentanyl, Oxycontin), Psilocybin / Magic Mushrooms, Psychedelics (LSD, Mescaline, Peyote, Salvia Divinorum)YouthGrade School, Post-Secondary School, Raves, Secondary School