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Afghan Heroin's Surge Poses Danger in US; the World's Purest Form Can Kill More Addicts, As Seen in LA County


Most Europeans Reject Marijuana Legalization


Ex-Cop Gives Tips on How to Hide Drugs; Former Texas Drug Cop Makes Video Titled "Never Get Busted Again"


Monitoring the Future Annual Report Warns of Prescription Drug Use

The annual Monitoring the Future survey of drug use among 8th, 10th, and 12th graders was released Thursday.

Feature: Marijuana is America's Number One Cash Crop, Study Finds

A new study using federal government statistics and conservative estimates illustrates the extreme failure of prohibitionist policies.

It Was the Worst of Times: Drug Reform Defeats, Downers, and Disappointments in 2006

As 2006 comes to a close, we look back at the year's biggest drug reform defeats, disappointments, and downers.

It Was the Best of Times: Drug Reform Victories and Advances in 2006

As 2006 comes to an end, we look back to find the most significant victories and advances for drug reform this year.

South Pacific: Australia Wants to Ban the Bong

As Australia shivers through a fit of Reefer Madness, the government of Prime Minister John Howard says it wants to ban bongs.

Latin America: Peruvian President Lauds Coca Leaf in Salad, Blasts Guerrillas

Peruvian President Alan Garcia asks for the death penalty for terrorism after Shining Path guerillas attack police and anti-drug workers trying to wipe out illicit coca crops. The following day, he says coca is great in salads.

Harm Reduction: Experts Call for Urgent Action as Fentanyl-Related Overdose Death Toll Climbs

More than 120 medical experts, public health departments, and drug user advocacy groups have signed on to a letter urging Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt to take aggressive action to stem a wave of fatal overdoses related to heroin cut with the synthetic opiate fentanyl.

Harm Reduction: New Jersey Governor Signs Needle Exchange Bill

New Jersey Gov. John Corzine (D) quickly signed the needle exchange passed by the state Assembly last week. Now, up to six Garden State cities may begin pilot programs.

Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

A Virginia drug-fighter gets caught selling drugs, so does a former NYPD cop, and yet another jail guard goes down. Also, an interesting update on Operation Lively Green.

Heading Down South America Way

Very early on January 12, I will board a plane in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and that night I will be sleeping in a hotel in downtown Lima, Peru.

Peru President Favors Using Cocaine-Producing Leaf for Salad


[New Jersey] Governor Corzine Signs Legislation Establishing Pilot Needle Exchange Programs


Analysis: Cocaine Fuels War, Undermines Peace in Colombia


Government to Open Opium Processing to Private Firms


Mexican Officials Find Nearly 1,800 Marijuana Fields


Number of Heroin, Cocaine Busts Increasing Along Texas-Mexico Border


Afghanistan: Government Warns of Possible Poppy Crop Spraying


Pot Is Called Biggest Cash Crop; The $35 Million Market Value of US-Grown Cannabis Tops Such Heartland Staples as Corn and Hay, a Marijuana Activists Says


The Best and Worst of 2006?

The year is coming to an end, and it is time to look back at 2006. What did we achieve? What did we fail to achieve? What were the highlights and lowlights for drug policy reform this year?

Bad Science: Congress Passes Measure Okaying Mycoherbicide Testing, But Limits It to US Labs

Congress has passed a measure that will allow for the testing of potentially dangerous mycoherbicides to be used to destroy illicit drug crops. But in a victory for reformers, the okay will be limited to labs in the US -- not fields in Latin America.

Medical Marijuana: Eddy Lepp Wins a Battle

The DEA seized more than 30,000 plants from Eddy Lepp in 2004, calling it their biggest cultivation bust ever, but a judge this week threw out the evidence. Lepp has more battles ahead.

Addiction Treatment: Congress Allows Certified Physicians to Take On More Buprenorphine Patients

Congress last Friday moved to expand the number of patients certified physicians can treat with buprenorphine for opiate addiction. This is the second increase in two years.

Feature: Clamor Grows for Freedom for Texas Marijuana Prisoner Tyrone Brown

Tyrone Brown violated probation as a 17-year-old by smoking marijuana, and was sentenced to life in prison for it. He's still there, but maybe not for long.

Feature: Belgian Bud Brouhaha Unfolds as Antwerp's First Open Marijuana Garden Gets Busted Before Beginning

A Belgian marijuana consumer group used a Tuesday press conference to announce its collective garden, but police had other ideas.

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.


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


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


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


Poppy Business Booms in Western Burma


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


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


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


Police Caught in Cross Hairs of Tijuana Violence


Offbeat: Make It Legal


Misguided Drug War Claims Another Victim


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.


Supreme Court to Hear "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" Case


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


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


Prescription Heroin Brings Ethical Dilemma


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


Marijuana Bill Snuffed Out


Anger Spills Over in Atlanta At Killing of Aged Woman


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


Jesus Blancornelas, 70; wrote exposes on Tijuana drug cartels


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


Along the Northern Mexican Border, Fear Rules


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


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]


Italian Lawmaker Claims He Planted Marijuana in Parliament


Police Chief Says Give Heroin to Addicts


Injection Site Hasn't Led to Crime, Study Finds


Police Chiefs to Debate Drug Fight [UK]

Drug War Issues

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