psmith's picture


Member for
13 years 22 weeks
View recent blog entries

Stories by psmith

Harm Reduction: Global Harm Reductionists Issue Urgent Declaration Calling for Action on Drug Use and HIV

With governments slow to adopt harm reduction measures to fight the spread of injection drug use-related HIV and some UN agencies acting more as obstacles than as assets, 19 international and regional harm reduction and other groups issued a joint declaration this week seeking to incite some movement.

Europe: British Public Supports More Rational Drug Policies, Survey Says

A new survey of British attitudes toward drug policy reform suggests a new realism and pragmatism. Will the politicians follow the wisdom of the voters?

Southwest Asia: Afghan Opium Cultivation Jumps to Record Level

Preliminary reports suggest the Afghan opium crop will be at record levels and 40% larger than last year, despite hundreds of millions of dollars spent to suppress it.

Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

It's an unusual week for the corrupt cops stories, with a narc caught thieving, a cop caught making false arrests, a jail guard caught trafficking in a big way, and a state judge caught with methamphetamine and precursors.

Pain Sufferers Turn to "Shrooms"


More Than 130 Arrested in Breakup of Heroin Ring


Methamphetamine: One Month in One Texas County Courthouse Opens a Window on the Drug War Version 2.006

Grayson County, Texas, is nothing special, just your average heartland county. That's what makes a review of its court cases so revealing.

Methamphetamine: Third Murder Trial For Woman in California Meth Poisoning Infant Death Case

California prosecutors hope the third time is the charm in their effort to secure a murder conviction against a woman whose infant son had methamphetamine in his blood when he died. She's already serving 10 years for child endangerment.

Padua Builds Wall in Drugs Battle (Italy)


DEA Puts Brakes on Big Ecstasy Ring


Japan Suspects It's Target of Drug Trade


Hearing Scheduled on Medical Marijuana Ballot Item (South Dakota)


Harm Reduction: Boston About to Move to Supply Addicts with Heroin Antidote

Faced with a rising number of heroin overdose deaths, Boston is about to join the handful of cities that supply the heroin antidote naloxone to drug users.

Marijuana: Colorado Legalization Backers Turn In 110,000 Signatures in Ballot Bid

Marijuana legalization could be on the ballot in Colorado in November. Initiative organizers turned in more than 110,000 signatures Monday.

Feature: Federal Sentencing Reform Goes NASCAR

With the federal prison system stuffed with nonviolent drug offenders, activists are turning to the NASCAR circuit to rally support for a federal parole bill.

Marijuana: Michigan Organizers Hand in Signatures for Two Local Ballot Initiatives

Local organizers in two Michigan communities submitted signatures for marijuana-related initiatives this week and are now awaiting official word on whether they will make the November ballot.

Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

More problems in Memphis, a former cop goes down in St. Paul, and a Virginia deputy gets caught smuggling goodies into the local jail.

Middle East: Now, Israelis Call for Boycott of Hezbollah Hashish

Lebanese hash has long been a favorite with Israeli tokers, but now some are calling for a boycott, saying the trade helps fund Hezbollah.

Drug Users Say No to Hezbollah, Call for Wartime Hashish Boycott


In This War, Technology is Key


Feature: South Dakota Medical Marijuana Patient Sues Attorney General Over Bad Ballot Summary Language

South Dakota's medical marijuana campaign has sued the state attorney general over ballot explanation they charge is illegally misleading.

Feature: Signature Drive for Portland "Lowest Priority" Marijuana Initiative Falls Short

A Portland effort to place a "lowest law enforcement priority" marijuana law reform initiative on the November ballot came up short this week.

Psychedelics Could Treat Addiction, Says Vancouver Official


Program to Supply Addicts With Heroin Antidote Proposed


Marijuana Activist Wants Judge Off Referendum Case (Pennsylvania)


Methamphetamine: Tennessee Judge Throws Out Manufacture Precursor Cases

Tennessee prosecutors may have to go back to the drawing board after a circuit court judge ruled they were misinterpreting the state's new law restricting the sale of pseudoephedrine.

Medical Marijuana: AFSCME Endorses Medical Marijuana

The nation's largest public service employees union has joined the ranks of organizations backing the medicinal use of marijuana.

Feature: Bipartisan Group of US Senators Introduce Bill to Reduce Cocaine Sentencing Disparities

A new bill sponsored by four former state attorneys general would significantly reduce the number of crack cocaine offenders (and slightly increase the number of powder cocaine offenders) who face draconian mandatory minimum sentences for low-level offenses.

Medical Marijuana Patients Get Say in Counties' Legal Challenge to California Medical Marijuana Law

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ACLU, Drug Policy Alliance and Americans for Safe Access Step In to Represent Medical Marijuana Patients in Lawsuit SAN DIEGO A San Diego Superior Court ruled today that law

My South Dakota Medical Marijuana Lawsuit Research

Our article about the South Dakota medical marijuana initiative and the likely lawsuit against state Attorney General Larry L

Patients Get Okay to Oppose County's Marijuana Challenge (San Diego County)


Md. high court rejects reckless endangerment convictions for drug use by pregnant women


Senate Hearing Touts Heroin-Detox Drug


Judge deals blow to claim that meth sting targeted South Asians


SAFER to Submit More Than 110,000 Signatures in Support of Marijuana Legalization Initiative

MEDIA ADVISORY For Immediate Release August 3, 2006 SAFER to Submit More Than 110,000 Signatures in Support of Marijuana Legalization Initiative Proponents to hold press conference immediately

Announcement: Sick Editor = Short Issue

Summer pneumonia cut into the Chronicle editor's work week, but he's already recovering.

Marijuana: Seattle Hempfest Sues City, Art Museum Over Permitting, Access

Who would have thought the world's premier marijuana law reform rally would have to sue one of the most progressive cities in the country?

Latin America: New Report Says Colombian Cocaine Production Seriously Underestimated

Despite billions of dollars in US aid, Colombian cocaine production remains at near record levels. Or is it even more? A new report raises serious questions.

Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Another sheriff who couldn't resist temptation, another drug-dealing cop, and something smells mighty bad in a Mississippi anti-drug task force.

Harm Reduction: Drug Czar's Office Opposes Letting Heroin Users Have Easy Access to Overdose Antidote

The drug czar's office wants to make sure drugs kill -- to prove that drugs kill.

Feature: As Fighting Flares in Southern Afghanistan, Support for Licensed Opium Production Grows

As NATO takes over in southern Afghanistan, fighting is flaring and opium is driving much of it. Now, European politicians are beginning to embrace a controversial opium licensing scheme.

Smugglers Innovate as Border Tightens


Roadside Drug Tests in Two Years (UK)


Rising Violent Crime in US Sparks a Search For Answers


It's Aghanistan and England in the featured stories tomorrow

I wanted to do South Dakota and the lawsuit over the the medical marijuana initiative ballot language, but the lawsuit hasn't happened, and the appointed spokeswoman for the initiative hasn't returned

Feature: British Parliamentary Committee Slams Drug Classification Scheme, Calls for Evidence-Based System

A parliamentary select committee has issued a report calling Britain's drug classification scheme outmoded, ineffective, and based more on politics than science.

MPP Seeks Help Gathering Signatures in Missoula--they need 11,000 in three weeks

Here's the text of the email they sent out today: Help urgently needed to put marijuana initiative on Missoula County ballot Marijuana Policy Project grant recipient Citizens for Responsible Crime

Cannabis "Could Cause" Infertility and Miscarriage


Prosecutor Says Dangerous Heroin Now in Cape May County (New Jersey)


The Ever-Changing Coming In the Chronicle This Week

So it goes.

Drug Czar: Meth Battles Needs Tighter Border Control, Treatment


Mayor Seeks Drug Maintenance for Drug Addicts


Police Killing of Suspect Tests Newark's Novice Mayor


Wild Weed Whacked


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


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)


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


Bill Seeks to Cut Disparities in Cocaine Sentences


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


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


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


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


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


Pressure Mounts on Karzai as Afghan Violence Surges


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! 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"


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


Officials Praise Utah Drug Reform Act


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


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


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.

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