psmith

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Mayor Seeks Drug Maintenance for Drug Addicts

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Police Killing of Suspect Tests Newark's Novice Mayor

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Wild Weed Whacked

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Coming in the Chronicle this week

I've been down with pneumonia, so I haven't talked to my sources yet this week, but I think I will be writing about a lawsuit filed against South Dakota's attorney general over the ballot summary lang

Doing a story for the Oaksterdam News

It's the day the Chronicle is published, and, as my mother was always fond of telling me, there's no rest for the wicked.

Medical Marijuana: In New York Democratic Gubernatorial Race, Spitzer Says No, Suozzi Says Yes

Upstart New York Democratic Party gubernatorial candidate Tom Suozzi and New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer parted ways on the issue of medical marijuana.

Khat: Feds Arrest 62 in Crackdown on Mild East African Stimulant Herb

US federal authorities have rounded up 62 immigrants on charges of smuggling khat, a mild stimulant herb used for hundreds of years in East Africa and the Arabian peninsula. Their use of the Hawala financial network has generated weak speculation that there could be a terrorist link.

Feature: Holy Smoke Bust Mobilizes Interior British Columbia Cannabis Community

When Nelson city police raided the Holy Smoke Culture Shop almost two weeks ago, they awakened the area's large cannabis community. Now, Holy Smoke and its supporters are preparing to wage holy war (non-violently) to defend themselves and the herb.

Reportaje: Grupo Bipartidario de Senadores Estadounidenses Presenta Proyecto para Reducir Disparidades de Penas para la Cocaína

Un nuevo proyecto auspiciado por cuatro ex fiscales generales estaduales reduciría considerablemente el número de infractores por crack (y aumentaría ligeramente el número de infractores por polvo de cocaína) que se enfrentan a sentencias mínimas obligatorias durísimas por infracciones menores.

Sentencing: Federal Judges More Likely to Acquit Than Juries

A new study of the federal courts finds judges less likely to convict than juries, and the author attributes it to the federal judiciary's discomfort with harsh sentencing guidelines.

Feature: Medical Marijuana Crisis in San Diego as Feds, Locals Move to Shut Down Remaining Dispensaries

The San Diego-area medical marijuana community is reeling under assault from the DEA and local officials, but is already fighting back at city hall and in the courts.

Search and Seizure: Five-Day Shackling in Colorado Prison to Find Swallowed Drugs Approaches Torture Level

A Colorado judge has ruled prison officials went too far when they shackled a prisoner to a chair for more than five days in a bid to see if he had swallowed drugs.

Dozens Arrested in US Crackdown on Khat Smuggling

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Medical Marijuana: South Dakota Ballot Description Erroneous and Apparently Illegal

South Dakota Attorney General Larry Long has written a medical marijuana initiative ballot summary that appears to violate state law.

Europe: British Conservatives Call For Legal, Licensed Afghan Opium Production As Troop Toll Mounts

With conflict heating up in Afghanistan, British Conservatives are urging their leader, David Cameron, to consider legalizing and licensing the opium crop.

Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Cops getting arrested, cops pleading guilty, cops going to prison -- and of course the ever-present drug-dealing prison guard.

Manatee County SWAT Officer Shot in Narcotics Raid (Florida)

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Belgian Cannabis Activists to Plant Seeds to Protest Seed Ban

Here is the text of a press release from ENCOD and "Draw Up Your Plant," a Belgian pot users' organization: Belgian cannabis consumers united in "Draw Up Your Plant" will put the seed for the first

Colombia to Aid in Afghan Drug War

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Bill Seeks to Cut Disparities in Cocaine Sentences

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Joint-Rolling Record Attempt Thwarted (France)

That's the headline of a story that appeared in Australia's Daily Telegraph.

Lawyers Say "Pill Mill" Alleviated Suffering

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Inmate Shackled Five Days: Prison Officials Believed Man Had Swallowed Heroin

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Kootenay Cannabis Community Mobilizing Over Holy Smoke Bust

The powerful cannabis community in BC's Kootenay region is not taking the Holy Smoke bust lying down.

Gunmen Kill Four During Theft at Mexican Lab

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What is going on with the DEA and the San Diego medical marijuana dispensaries?

On Friday, the DEA returned to the more than a dozen dispensaries in San Diego raided a couple of weeks ago and warned them to shut their doors.

Opiate Painkiller ODs Now Top Those for Cocaine, Heroin

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Canada's Prince of Pot Ties the Knot in Sunny, Smoky Vancouver

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Pressure Mounts on Karzai as Afghan Violence Surges

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Medical Marijuana in South Dakota

South Dakota will vote on a medical marijuana initiative in November, and it looks like it will be an uphill battle.

Holy Cow, They Busted Holy Smoke!

http://www.holysmoke.ca/ I wrote about the Holy Smoke bust for the Chronicle, but since it hits close to home, I have a little

Drug Czar: "We're winning"

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Harm Reduction: Needle Access Bills to Become Law in Delaware, Massachusetts

Governors in two states Monday signed into law bills that would ease injection drug users' access to clean needles -- in one case overriding a veto.

Canada: Nelson, British Columbia, Head Shop Busted for Marijuana Sales

Local police in a particularly tolerant part of Canada broke with longstanding unofficial tolerance to bust the Holy Smoke Culture Shop and Psyche-Deli.

Canada: Vancouver Police to Stop Arresting Peaceable Drug Users, According to New Draft Policy

Vancouver police are making it their official policy not to arrest people for quietly using drugs, but to focus instead on those who sell and make them.

Middle East: War Driving Iraqis to Drugs

Thanks to the horrors of war, drug abuse is on the rise in Iraq, Iraqi officials and residents told the Associated Press Monday.

Australia: Victoria Greens Call For Prescription Heroin, Safe Injection Sites

The Victoria Green Party has unveiled a new drug policy platform that calls for prescription heroin trials for long-term addicts and the establishment of safe injection sites. But those were only the most controversial proposals in the platform.

Europe: Britain Goes After Medical Marijuana Suppliers

Despite the government's downgrading in 2004 of marijuana from a Class B drug to the less serious Class C, members of two British medical marijuana groups are headed to trial this week and next, and could face up to 14 years in prison.

Sentencing: Bill to Study Habitual Drug Offender Registry Introduced in Maine

A bill introduced in the Maine Senate would lay the groundwork for what could be the nation's first registry of habitual drug offenders.

Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A former Massachusetts State Police sergeant goes to prison, a former Milwaukee detective cops a plea, a Virginia sheriff's deputy gets busted, and so do a pair of would-be drug-dealing prison guards.

Feature: What Would Jesus Do? Religious Communities as Drug Reform Allies

The drug reform movement, much of it secular and unattached to traditional religious practices, is beginning to make serious inroads with mainstream religious denominations.

Feature: Vancouver Fights to Save Its Pioneering Safe Injection Site

Vancouver is mobilizing to save the Insite downtown safe injection site from closure by a hostile federal government.

British Tabloids At It Again With More Reefer Madness

A fine example of yellow journalism appears in today's London Daily Mail.

Santa Cruz Marijuana Measure Could Face Legal Challenges

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Officials Praise Utah Drug Reform Act

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Douglas County Gets Thousand From Festival-Goers Caught With Drugs (Kansas)

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Vancouver MP Leading Fight to Save Safe Injection Center

I spoke this morning with Vancouver East Member of Parliament Libby Davies for an article I'll publish Friday on the effort to ensure that Health Canada continues the exemption for INSITE, the safe in

County, Clinic Begin Faceoff Over Treating Heroin Addicts

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Middle East: US Troops, Iraqi Police Seize Marijuana Plants

US troops and Iraqi police seized and destroyed a bumper crop of marijuana plants last week, according to a report in Stars and Stripes.

First Amendment: New Michigan Law Bans Methamphetamine Recipes on Internet

Little noticed among the package of anti-methamphetamine bills signed last week by Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm was one that bans publication of recipes for cooking meth and provides civil sanctions for violating it.

Harm Reduction: San Diego Reinstates Needle Exchange Program

The city of San Diego Wednesday rejoined the ranks of cities offering needle exchange programs as a public health service when the city council voted to reinstate the privately-funded program.

Sentencing: Justice Kennedy Lashes Out at Harsh Prison Terms

US Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy told a gathering of judges in Southern California Sunday US sentencing practices were harsh and troubling.

Search and Seizure: Vermont Judge Says State Constitution Provides Protection Even if Federal Doesn't

Though the US Supreme Court ruled last month that police officers who violate "knock and announce" search warrant rules can use the ill-gotten evidence against defendants, that's not good enough for at least one Vermont judge.

Sentencing: California Governor Signs Bill Amending Proposition 36, Is Immediately Sued

Gov. Schwarzenegger Wednesday signed a bill to substantially alter the state's voter-approved "treatment not jail" ballot measure. One of the authors of the measure immediately filed suit to block the new law from going into effect.

Law Enforcement: Goose Creek Agrees to Pay Up, Change Ways in Settlement of Notorious High School Drug Raid Case

A federal judge Tuesday gave final approval to a landmark settlement in the infamous South Carolina school raid case. Included was a provision to enforce the Fourth amendment.

Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Some New Jersey cops got too friendly with drug dealers, while a Pennsylvania park ranger and a New Mexico jail guard got caught trying to be drug dealers.

Feature: Methamphetamine as Child Abuse Laws Gain Ground, But Do They Help or Hurt?

When Gov.


NACO Again Plays the Meth Card in Bid for More Funding

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Philanthropist Pledges $3.5 Million Matching Grant to MPP

Here is an email that went out today from the Marijuana Policy Project: Philanthropist pledges $3.5 million matching grant to MPP!

Religion and Drug Policy Reform

This week, I'll be examining the role of religion in drug reform. I'm awaiting a packet from the Interfaith Drug Policy Alliance, with whom I will be speaking.

Bribery at Border Worries Officials (US-Mexico)

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Medical Marijuana Research Takes a Few Surprising Turns

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Police: Maryland Has Tainted Heroin

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Vancouver's Safe Injection Site Gets Support of Australian Legislators

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Greens Call for Heroin Import Trial (Australia)

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Prosecutors take a tough line on cannabis supplied to ease pain (UK)

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SF Commission Denies Permit for Fisherman's Wharf Pot Club

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Judge Blocks Law that Changes Treatment Initiative (California)

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Drug Policy Group Sues Governor for Altering Proposition 36 (California)

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Ambassador to US Resigns in Dispute Over Drugs (Colombia)

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Vancouver MP Libby Davies Urges Campaign to Save Safe Injection Site

INSITE, Vancouver's Downtown Eastside safe injection site, is in danger of being shut down after September 12 if the new conservative health minister doesn't reapprove it.

Tennessee Judge Throws Out State's Drug Tax Stamp Law

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British Doctor Says Marijuana Caused Death of 23-Year-Old

Pretty amazing. I feel like it's 1937.

More Schools Test For Drugs

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Methamphetamine Sold Openly In Stores

This is the kind of mundane story that doesn't make it into the Chronicle, but it is an example of the misreporting that plagues drug policy journalism.

At least 21 states include drug offenses in their definitions of child abuse

Michigan is the latest, with Gov. Granholm signing a bill on Thursday that will make some meth offenses per se evidence of child abuse. I have a problem with these laws.

Rumsfeld Says Drug Trade Aids Afghan Insurgency

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Fierce Clashes Around Afghan Opium Center

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Commission Candidate Espouses Marijuana Legalization (Lee County, Florida)

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Rave Drug Named in "Honor" of Kanck (Australia)

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Coming in the Chronicle this week

Here's a late Sunday night heads-up on what I'll be working on this week--subject, of course, to breaking news and other vagaries... The Portland pot initiative handed in signatures Saturday, and it

Marijuana Group Trying to Get Two Issues on Ballot (Fayetteville, Arkansas)

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Tax Act, Drug Deals Don't Stick (Connecticut)

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Medical Marijuana: Five Arrested, 13 Dispensaries Raided by DEA in San Diego

Just a week after the US House of Representatives voted to continue funding Justice Department raids on medical marijuana patients and providers in states where it is legal, the feds struck again. Five people have been arrested in a series of DEA and local police raids Thursday hitting 13 medical marijuana dispensaries in San Diego County. Some people are being charged under state marijuana distribution laws in the cooperative federal-local effort. More arrests are expected, local law enforcement officials said.

Five Arrested, Marijuana Dispensaries Raided (DEA, San Diego)

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No Plans to Legalize Soft Drugs, Russian President Says

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Court Hears Pot vs. Privacy Pitches (Alaska)

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Coming in the Chronicle this week

We've got a bad bill in California, a bad arrest in Wisconsin, needle exchange news on a couple of fronts, a bevy of corrupt cops, and our favorite Australian MP goes to a rave and likes it.

Australian MP Says Raves Safer Than Hotel Bars, Urges Pill Testing Programs

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DRCNet friend and future Speakeasy blogger Cliff Thornton is first African American to run for governor of Connecticut

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Severed Heads in Acapulco Drug War Bad Sign for Next Mexican President (Reuters)

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DRCNet in Afghanistan

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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