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Doctors, Police Will Support Medical Marijuana in Pittsburgh (Press Release)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 17, 2010
Pennsylvanians for Medical Marijuana PA4MMJ
www.pa4mmj.org


German Lawmakers Ready to Approve Use of Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana will be available in Germany soon, with the center-right coalition preparing to make groundbreaking changes to drug laws.

Drugs Laws Around the World

There are different approaches to dealing with drugs around the world. Some countries place a greater emphasis on law enforcement - while others do not. Here is a snapshot of some of the systems in countries where the issue has prompted major public debates.

Mexico Debates Drug Legalisation (Video)

After 28,000 have died in its latest push to fight drug trafficking organizations, and with other tragic consequences of drug prohibition now so evident, Mexico opens the debate on legalizing drugs.

Drug Truth 08/16/10

Cultural Baggage * Century of Lies * 4:20 Drug War NEWS  *  Time 4 Hemp


Drug Hitmen Kidnap Mexican Mayor Near U.S. Border

Perhaps targeted for his efforts to clean up Santiago's corrupt police force, Mayor Edelmiro Cavazo was abducted by suspected drug hitmen in the latest surge in drug prohibition violence threatening to undermine industry and scare off investors in Mexico. The abduction follows a spike in violence over the weekend in northern Mexico, where rival gangs are battling for control of lucrative drug smuggling routes into the United States.

Family of Woman Killed in Botched Drug Raid to Receive $4.9 Million

The city of Atlanta will pay $4.9 million to the family of Kathryn Johnston, a 92-year-old woman killed in a botched November 2006 drug raid. Johnston was shot to death by narcotics officers conducting a "no-knock" warrant. Investigators determined the raid was based on falsified paperwork stating that illegal drugs were present in the home.

Senate Candidate Forced to Backtrack After Tasteless Medical Marijuana Jokes

Reflecting the political popularity of medical marijuana, republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in Washington state, Dino Rossi, has been forced to clarify a series of cliché jokes his office made at the expense of medical marijuana research and patients.

Bulletin Warned of Drug Prohibition Violence in El Paso

Intelligence received from the Alliance for Combating Transnational Threats has led city police radio dispatchers to alert officers about potential violence in El Paso stemming from Mexican drug trafficking organization rivalries.

Leading Doctor Urges Decriminalization of Drugs

Joining a growing list of medical professionals turning their backs on drug prohibition, Sir Ian Gilmore, former president of the Royal College of Physicians and one of the UK's leading doctors, said the government should consider decriminalizing drugs because the blanket ban has failed to cut crime or improve health. Upon hearing the news, the editor of the British Medical Journal, Dr Fiona Godlee, gave her personal support to Rolles' call for decriminalization.

Voters Care About Drug Policies, Not Past Drug Use

It's a sign of the times -- more politicians are coming clean about their past experimentation with other illegal drugs, including cocaine. This honesty is a welcome change from the ridiculous responses about drug use by previous candidates, including George W. Bush's refusal to answer questions about his "youthful indiscretions" and Bill Clinton's claim that he "didn't inhale." But while candidates are becoming more honest about their drug use, voters are increasingly impatient with our current drug policies.

Blast Hits Mexico's Televisa TV Station

Mexico's largest television broadcaster and the largest producer of Spanish language content in the world, Televisa, has come under attack by drug trafficking organizations in the northern city of Monterrey. Investigators say it was a warning for journalists to stay away from reporting on drug prohibition violence.

Those Behind Marijuana Dispensaries Aim to Raise Comfort Level of Public

Established, professional medical marijuana dispensaries are trying to create and promote a cannabis distribution model that will be accepted in the heartland of America.

Pot Smokers Say They Are Persecuted, Demand Investigation

In Israel, citizens wrote State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss with a request that he look into the 'waste of tax money' on police searches for them. The letter noted that "tens or hundreds of thousands of entirely normative people smoke marijuana" and that the police "are doing everything in their capacity to persecute them." The letter's authors claimed that the persecution has intensified in recent weeks, with the police searching private homes.

Drug Raid: Oregon Utility Official Files Excessive Force Suit

An Oregon utility official, Eugene Water & Electric Board Commissioner JoAnn Ernst, has filed a federal lawsuit claiming that Eugene police used excessive force and violated her civil rights during a 2009 drug raid. The lawsuit claims the family was traumatized by "black-clad officers in riot gear screaming orders" and says Ernst's daughters are still afraid to sleep in their room.

DOT to Publish Final Rule on Drug and Alcohol Testing

The Department of Transportation today gave notice of a Final Rule for transportation workplace drug and alcohol testing programs which includes testing for the drug Ecstasy, lowering cut-off levels for cocaine and amphetamines and conducting mandatory initial testing for heroin. DOT notes that it is required by the Omnibus Transportation Employees Testing Act (Omnibus Act) to follow the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) requirements for the testing procedures and protocols.

Disenfranchisement News: VA, NY Governors on Right Track

 

 

 

In this issue


Governor: Violence Paralyzes Mexico Border Areas

Some areas of Mexico along the U.S. border have been paralyzed economically by drug prohibition violence, and the governor of the border state of Tamaulipas said the federal government should send relief funds. Violence has affected tourism, commerce and investment, Gov. Eugenio Hernandez said during an anti-crime strategy meeting between Mexican state governors and President Felipe Calderon.

ACTION ALERT: Is Your City on the "Ban List" ?

 

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Marijuana Petitioners to Appeal Ballot Decision

On Monday, the Detroit Election Commission voted to keep a proposal that would allow adults over the age of 21 to legally possess up to one ounce of pot on private property off the Nov. 3 city ballot. Leaders of the original petition drive filed an appeal yesterday in Wayne County Circuit Court to overturn the decision.

Student Risks His Life Documenting Mexico's Drug War in Gritty, Blood-Soaked Blog

An anonymous twenty-something blogger is risking his own life as he defies a culture of fear to post chilling pictures and videos of the ongoing battle between Mexico's drug trafficking organizations and law enforcement. The gruesome uncensored content on Blog del Narco is extremely graphic and appears to be provided by all sides - drug gangs to display their power, law enforcement to show resolve and the public so people in Mexico can learn about incidents the mainstream media is forced to ignore or play down.

U.S., Mexico Drug Policies Need Debate (Opinion)

Daniel Robelo, a research associate at the Drug Policy Alliance, points out that multiple former and current national leaders are calling for a debate about legalizing drugs to reduce the killings in Mexico, and the issue has made front page news and is causing unprecedented debate around the world. Yet, sadly, legalization is not even part of the policy dialogue in D.C. In fact, the U.S. drug czar has repeatedly said it's not even part of his or President Obama's "vocabulary."

This Week in History

Events and quotes of note from this week's drug policy events of years past.

Out-of-Staters Now Eligible for Medical Marijuana: New Rule Could Draw Patients Seeking Medical Marijuana Cards

Patients rejoice -- as of four weeks ago, people from out of state can go to Oregon and participate in the Oregon medical marijuana program. The state changed its rule after Department of Justice attorneys reviewed a Court of Appeals case and determined that the law as written doesn’t actually exclude out-of-staters.

A war on drugs? No, this is a war on the Mexican people (Opinion)

With the Mexican drug war's popularity plummeting and calls for legalizing marijuana get louder, Luis Hernandez Navarro describes what he sees as the price of President Calderón's popularity bid -- 29,000 dead, human rights leaders murdered, and the Mexican constitution violated.

Mexican Drug Traffickers' New Weapon in Border War – The Car Bomb, US Authorities Warn of Potential 'American Casualties' After Blast Just Steps From US

As violence along the U.S.-Mexico border escalates, Mexican drug cartels have turned to car bombs. A Department of Homeland Security report highlights "the potential for American casualties if similar attacks are conducted in the future."

How Bogus Drug Scares Get Started

Bogus drug scares are a mainstay of mainstream media reporting and reactionary parenting. Gawker put together this roundup of the latest in ludicrous drug trends. Look back at how bogus substances have stirred panic for more than a century now.

ACLU: Flint Can't Require Drug Tests for Subsidized Tenants

The executive director of the Flint Housing Commission wants drug testing to be a lease condition for people who rent subsidized housing, but the ACLU says that would be unconstitutional and is threatening a class action lawsuit if they enact a drug testing policy.

Former Undercover Cop Says Legalize Marijuana (Media Advisory)

MEDIA ADVISORY


Mexico Hopes $270 Million in Social Spending Will Help End Juarez Drug Violence

In lieu of ending drug prohibition and stripping the drug traffickers of their ability to function, the Mexican government has put together a $270 million rescue package for Ciudad Juarez. The campaign is called "Todos Somos Juárez" -- "We are all Juarez". Few believe the campaign can turn the city around anytime soon.

Shield Banks that Deal with Medical Marijuana Industry: The Federal Government Should Clearly State That Banks Won't Be Targeted for Doing Business with Legal Pot Producers (Opinion)

The Denver Post opines that as Colorado embarks on the laborious process of writing rules for the medical marijuana industry, it is clear that regulators would be in a much better position to enforce the complex new law if they had banking records to review. Unfortunately, that is becoming more difficult as banks, concerned that marijuana is still illegal under federal law, shy away from holding accounts for medical marijuana businesses.

Boulder's Medical Marijuana Shops Struggle with 'grueling' Paperwork

Following legislation passed earlier this year, medical marijuana businesses in Colorado must apply for operating licenses through both the state and the municipalities in which they operate. As of today, none of the estimated 100 dispensaries and greenhouses doing business in Boulder has turned in a completed application, which some business owners say is lengthy, complicated and expensive to put together.

Even Drug Dealers Have to Pay Taxes

In some states drug dealers have to pay taxes on their drugs. If they don't in South Carolina, they can be fined up to $10,000 and get up to five years in prison. Perhaps the state needs to get the word out better -- in fiscal year 2007-2008, the South Carolina Department of Revenue collected only $214.

Hamas to Execute Drug Offenders: Move Comes Just Three Months After the First Use of the Death Penalty in Five Years

Unfortunately, the Gaza Strip's de-facto government adopted an Egyptian law that permits the execution of convicted drug dealers, and it's using it.

Public Hearing Scheduled for Medical Marijuana Bill (Press Release)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 11, 2010
Pennsylvanians for Medical Marijuana PA4MMJ
www.pa4mmj.org


Legalizing Drugs the Only Answer (Opinion)

International affairs writer Jonathan Power opines on drug legalization against the backdrop of the history of opium in China.

Medical Marijuana Supporters Hold Statehouse Rally

Advocates are rallying around House Bill 478, which would legalize the use of medical marijuana. If passed, Ohio would be the 15th state in the country to allow the use of medical marijuana.

Mexican President Open to Change in Drug Strategy

President Felipe Calderon said today that he is willing to change Mexico's drug-war strategy -- even legalize drugs. But, he also said that unilateral legalization is not the answer, hinting that the United States needs to join any legalization effort.

Group Turns in Petitions to Make Marijuana the "lowest possible priority" for Kalamazoo Law Enforcement

Voters in Kalamazoo, MI are one step closer to deciding the way law enforcement deals with the possession of small amounts of marijuana in the city. The Kalamazoo Coalition for Pragmatic Cannabis Laws turned in 4,776 signatures to the City Clerk’s Office — 2,000 more than required — seeking to amend the city charter to state that the possession of one ounce or less of marijuana by those 21 and older should be the “lowest possible priority” for law enforcement.

Marijuana Legalization in Mexico Gaining Support

Once a subject so taboo that college kids didn't even whisper about smoking pot, the idea of legalizing marijuana in Mexico has gained increasing favor, especially among a vocal group of academics, intellectuals and politicians. Analysts say the shift – which echoes an increasing openness to legalization in the U.S. – is both a function of changing generational attitudes toward drugs and growing public frustration with the country's drug war.

Marijuana Entrepreneur Tries to Trademark the Word "ganja" with U.S. Copyright Office

On April 1, the U.S. patent office announced a new trademark: "Processed plant matter for medicinal purposes, namely medical marijuana." The category was killed three months later when the Wall Street Journal asked about it, but in the meantime ganjapreneurs nationwide filed some very interesting pot trademarks -- with some of the most colorful coming from Colorado.

Sex Party Wants Drug Use Decriminalised ‎

Sex Party president and Victorian Senate candidate Fiona Patten said the party would push for the decriminalization of personal drug use if it won a seat in Australia's federal parliament. The policy calls for the decriminalization, not legalization, of possession and consumption of drugs for personal use, up to a quantity of up to 14 days' supply for one person.

Sign the Petition to President Obama: End the War on Marijuana

Find the latest marijuana policy news on the JustSayNow page.


Marijuana Business Bans Hurt More Than Just Business Owners

To the detriment of their seriously ill citizens, several cities across Montana have banned or are considering banning medical marijuana businesses. That's forcing some patients to turn to the dangerous black market to get their medicine, exactly what medical marijuana laws are intended to guard against.

Mexican Prison Doubles as a Hotel for Cartel Hit Men

Mexico's prisons are infested with internal crime, drug use, bad treatment and corruption. At some prisons, inmates are allowed to leave, provided with weapons, and loaned police vehicles to carry out their dirty work. Essentially, they use the prison itself as a safe house.

Mexican journalists seek more protection

Thousands of Mexican journalists demonstrated during the weekend as part of protests across Mexico asking authorities to do more to safeguard members of the news media from drug prohibition-fueled violence. Aggression against journalists has increased from both law enforcement agents and drug trafficking organizations.

Vote for a New Member of MPP's Board of Directors

 

 

Dear friends:


COPs on the Hill: Stories from the week of July 30, 2010

COPs on the Hill

Stories from the week of July 30, 2010


Sophisticated Schemes Used to Smuggle Drugs Into L.A. County Jails

Drug prohibition breeds innovation in smuggling techniques -- this is why such a small percentage of drugs is ever seized by authorities. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department struggles daily to keep drugs out of the nation's largest county jail system. Read about the elaborate schemes used to breach jailhouse security for major profit.

ACTION ALERT: Denver to BAN Caregivers (in most areas)

 

Poor patients need caregivers; Don't let Denver destroy them!

 

ACT NOW: 


Ex-Mexico President Calls for Legalizing Drugs

It looks like the Mexicans are finally understanding the folly of drug prohibition. Last week, Mexico's President Felipe Calderon agreed to open the door to discussions about the legalization of drugs. Now, Mexico's former president, Vicente Fox, is joining with those urging Calderon to legalize drugs in Mexico, saying that legalization could break the economic power of the country's brutal drug trafficking organizations.

Florida smoke shops sue state over new law restricting pipe sales

Smoke shops throughout Florida are hoping a new law that regulates what they can sell will be repealed. The law makes it a misdemeanor for a smoke shop to generate more than 25 percent of its sales from pipes or smoking devices. Thirty businesses have sued to block enforcement of the rules, which took effect in July.

What if California makes marijuana legal?

California's Proposition 19 on whether to legalize marijuana has fueled a debate among bloggers and pundits over this question: Because Canada exports a large percentage of its marijuana to the United States, could legalization in the U.S. cripple the Canadian economy?

A Unique Chance to Rethink Drugs Policy (Editorial)

The Guardian (UK) editorializes that this is a moment in which a political leader could steer the drug debate out of its current dead-end track and towards something more meaningful and more likely to deliver what the public ultimately wants: safer, healthier, happier communities.

Drug Truth Network: Quigley, Cannabis Cooking, Confusion on Colombia, Pledge

PLEDGE DRIVE (1 Wk) FOR Drug Truth Network, Sun Aug 8, 6:30-7:30 PM...


Tell Your Congressperson to Oppose S.258

 

Dear friends,


Rasmussen Poll: Fewer Than One In Five Americans Say Marijuana Is More Dangerous Than Booze

Marijuana prohibition's days are numbered. Only 17% of those polled said that marijuana is the more dangerous than alcohol. A majority of respondents (65 percent) said that they believed that marijuana would be legal in the United States within ten years.

Drug Economics in Burma’s New Political Order

Drug prohibition has not been successful at stopping the production of opium or keeping foreign governments from being corrupted. Burma remains the world’s second-largest opium producer after Afghanistan, and processed 330 metric tonnes, or 17 per cent, of last year’s world supply, according to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) 2010 World Drug Report. Poppy cultivation has also been on a steady incline for the past three years.

D.C. Rules for Medical Marijuana Program

Citizens of Washington, DC have waited more than 12 years to see the implementation of I-59, the medical marijuana law passed by more than 69% of voters. District officials released regulations today that will govern the city's implementation of its medical marijuana program.

ASA Activist Newsletter - August 2010


2012 Mexican Elections May Yield New Approach To Drug Cartels

From the 1960s through the ’80s, organized crime was intertwined with the government, according to Diego Enrique Osorno, a Mexican journalist and author of the recently published history, The Sinaloa Cartel. Whoever wins the 2012 elections is expected to take a new approach toward the cartels. Many voters may hope for a return to the days when the PRI let organized crime run drugs unfettered up to the U.S. border, but kept the violence off the streets.

Police Raid of Medical Cannabis Dispensary Puts Patients at Risk (Press Release)

For Immediate Release: August 5, 2010

Police Raid of Medical Cannabis Dispensary Puts Patients at Risk


Marijuana legalization may harm Canada's export economy

A thriving marijuana industry has aided Canada's economy, but it is almost completely dependent on U.S. exports. Various agencies and economists agree that marijuana is Canada's largest cash crop ($20 billion per year) and the industry employs 250,000 in British Columbia alone. Now, political shifts in the U.S. and at home are now threatening this boost to Canada's economy.

U.S. Warns Terrorists May Enter the Country From Mexico as Drug War Rages

Many fear that drug prohibition may play a roll in a future terrorist attack in the United States. Now, the U.S. State Department is warning that Mexico’s drug prohibition violence is straining local law enforcement in the northern part of the country, making it easier for terrorists to enter the U.S. through the border.

Calderon: Mexico drug gangs seeking to replace state

Drug prohibition can even lead to governments being overthrown. Mexican President Felipe Calderon has warned that drug gangs are seeking to replace the state and impose their own law in parts of the country. The gangs were imposing fees like taxes in areas they dominated and trying to impose their own laws by force of arms, said Calderon.

NAACP Praises Reduced Disparity in Cocaine Sentences ‎

The NAACP thanks Congress and the president for a new law that will reduce the gap between federal mandatory sentences for convictions for crack cocaine and powder cocaine.

MPP Insider Newsletter Volume 1, Issue 4

 

 


Meet Neill Franklin, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition's New Executive Director

 

Jack A. Cole,
Chairman of the Board


U.S. Marines to Costa Rica: What's Behind the Story?

Why is the Costa Rican government now inviting the U.S. Navy to patrol its local waters? Offically, the Americans will be deployed to help stem the flow or drugs northward. But, moves to bring the U.S. Navy to Costa Rica have sparked widespread suspicions that Washington is looking for a justification to remilitarize the Central American region.

Obama admin skewers GOP attack on stimulus cocaine monkeys (Opinion)

Are your stimulus dollars really being wasted on an Obama administration plot to get monkeys high on crack and cocaine as select Republicans and conservatives have been saying recently? No. The money is actually being spent on research into how to treat drug addiction in humans.

Will Marijuana Crash the Tea Party? (Opinion)

With marijuana policy very much a states' rights issue and the Obama administration enacting a policy of deference to state policies on medical marijuana, NORML's "Radical" Russ Belville opines on whether the Tea Party's constituency is made up of ideological allies of marijuana law reform.

Outraged

 


Mexico's Vacation Paradise Marred By Drug Carnage

Once a playground for Hollywood stars and the epitome of jet-set glamour, Acapulco has been reduced to more of a local delight. Tourism is traditionally Mexico's third largest source of revenue, but drug prohibition violence in the past 3 1/2 years has claimed some 28,000 lives and sent foreign tourists looking for other holiday destinations.

Initiate This!


August 2010

Initiate This!


Sign of drug gangs' new tactic floats in with tide: Lost cargoes turning up more often on state's beaches

Law enforcement seizes a small percentage of drugs being smuggled into the country, and drug traffickers simply send more to compensate for what is seized. Now, according to federal officials, small fortunes in illegal narcotics are washing up on Texas beaches with increased frequency after being dumped by smugglers. They say it's mostly cocaine, followed by marijuana and methamphetamine.

Medical Marijuana Advocates Try Again With Limited Bill

The Texas Coalition for Compassionate Care, Texas NORML, and Medcan University are lobbying legislators in hopes of reforming Texas’ marijuana laws. The organizations don't agree on strategy, however, with the TCCC pushing only for a limited law allowing medical use as a defense against criminal charges, and the others seeking broader legalization that would include permitting and regulating sales outlets.

This Week in History

Events and quotes of note from this week's drug policy events of years past.

Amid Mexico's Drug War, A Rush For Bulletproof Cars

Drug prohibition violence usually tends to negatively affect business, but that's not the case with businesses involving bulletproofing cars. Fourteen armoring companies are certified by Mexico's federal government, and business is getting better by the day.

Five Ways the Drug War Hurts Kids (Video)

One of drug prohibition's many unintended consequences is negative effects on children lives. Reason.tv's Ted Balaker sat down with Franklin to discuss how battling drug dealers in Baltimore turned him against the war on drugs and why ending prohibition would improve safety for children, as well as the rest of us.

Don't Bogart That Deduction: Is Medical Marijuana a Medical Expense?

With tens of millions of people living in states that protect the right of patients to use medical marijuana, inquiring minds want to know whether their doctor recommended medical care qualifies for tax deductions.

Mexico ready to debate legalisation as drug war claims 28,000 lives: President says he is open to hearing pros and cons of making marijuana legal despite being personally opposed to the idea

It looks like the consequences of drug prohibition -- in this case needless deaths and assorted violence -- are making Mexico react in a more logical way. Mexico's president, Felipe Calderón, said today he would consider a debate on legalising drugs, as his government announced that more than 28,000 people have been killed in prohibition violence since he launched a crackdown against cartels in December 2006.

What Prohibition Can Teach Us About Marijuana Legalization (Opinion)

Daniel Okrent, the author of Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition, answers readers' questions about marijuana and alcohol prohibition.

Mexican Government Raises Figure For Drug War Deaths For Second Time In Four Months

Drug prohibition is responsible for a lot more deaths than drugs. Now, the Mexican government is reporting that 28,000 people have been killed since President Felipe Calderón initiated an offensive against the country’s drug cartels three years ago. The announcement, made by Mexico’s intelligence service director Guillermo Valdés, marks the second time in four months that the government has increased its estimate of the number of violent deaths caused by prohibition violence.

Marijuana Initiative: "Just Say Now"

Backers of a new initiative to end the federal prohibition on marijuana made the case that a "silenced majority" of Americans are "beginning to rise up" to express their support for ending what they say has been a failed war on marijuana. The organizations -- Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, and FireDogLake -- are circulating a petition online and on college campuses asking President Obama to end the federal ban on using the drug.

US Law Enforcement Group Urges President Obama to Join Mexican President Calderon in Debate on Legalizing Marijuana (Press Release)

Contact: Tom Angell – 202-557-4979 or [email protected]

Trevor FitzGibbon - 202-406-0646


ACLU ready to challenge local marijuana ordinances

Officials in the Michigan cities of Birmingham and Bloomfield Hills prohibited the dispensing of medical marijuana by creating laws that state it is "unlawful for any person or business to engage in any activity, conduct, use or venture in the city that is contrary to federal, state, or local laws or ordinances." Medical marijuana is still considered a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law, thus it would now be illegal to use in those cities even though 63 percent of voters statewide voted the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (MMMA) into law. The ACLU sent letters to both cities challenging the ordinances, which the ACLU claims violate the rights of medical marijuana users.

Cops: Crack, heroin dealt from senior homes

Drug prohibition skews typical market forces -- including real estate options for selling products -- often resulting in danger. In Detroit, drug dealers targeted senior buildings because the high traffic that comes with drug sales wouldn't draw as much attention from law enforcement at multi-unit complexes as it would in individual residences, and because the senior citizens who lived there were easy to bully into keeping quiet.

Why Marijuana Decriminalization Should Be a Christian Issue (Opinion)

U.S. drug policy condemns millions of our neighbors to be warehoused in prisons for nonviolent offenses. Today, 1 in 100 American adults is living behind bars. James Clark, a community organizer and Candler School of Theology graduate, reflects on the systemic denial of Christian love and compassion toward those struggling with addiction.

Obama signs bill to narrow sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine convictions

Drug prohibition allows for massive disparity in sentencing, and this disparity is one of the many reasons millions of Americans see it as the new Jim Crow. President Barack Obama signed into law a bill to reduce the disparity between federal mandatory sentences for convictions for crack cocaine and the powder form of the illegal drug. The quarter-century-old law that Congress changed with the bill Obama signed subjected tens of thousands of black cocaine users to long prison terms while specifying far more lenient sentences to those, mainly whites, caught with powder cocaine.

How should employers handle workers who use medical marijuana where legal? (Poll)

The Wall Street Journal wants to know what you think. Should employers create policies for workers with medical marijuana prescriptions? How should the conflicts be balanced?

Drug Truth Network: Leonard Pitts, Joseph McNamara, Larry Talley

Cultural Baggage * Century of Lies * 4:20 Drug War NEWS  *  Time 4 Hemp


Commentator: Why Do Pols, Society Ignore Failure Of Drug War? (Opinion)

Last year, Professor Neil McKeganey of the University of Glasgow, one of the most respected academics in Britain, established that the authorities seize just 1% of the heroin that enters Scotland in any one year. But where are the headlines about this utter failure? Documentary filmmaker Angus Macqueen thinks he knows the answer -- our drug policies have been hijacked by the emotive rhetoric of moralists.

Colombia: Welcome to a drug lord's playground

Drug prohibition is responsible for a lot of harm to poorer people, with unequal ratios of land distribution being a type rarely discussed. Over the years, traffickers are believed to have acquired more than 9 million acres — representing about 8 percent of Colombia's best grazing and farm lands. So far, the government has managed to expropriate only about 250,000 acres, less than 3 percent of the total land.

Is Ketamine a Quick Fix for Hard-to-Treat Depression?

The Archives of General Psychiatry published a randomized, controlled trial hailing ketamine as a promising treatment for depression among patients with bipolar disorder. The new paper says that in most cases ketamine "resulted in a robust and rapid (within minutes) antidepressant response."

Juarez Grenade Attack Caught On Tape; Attack Comes 2 Weeks After Bomb Blast

Drug prohibition violence continues in Ciudad Juarez where Mexican federal police officers were attacked with a grenade, nearly two weeks after Mexican federal police were attacked with a car bomb. 262 people were killed in Ciudad Juarez in July -- that's about 8 per day.

Afghan border police chief on trial over drug smuggling

With hundreds of billions of dollars involved, drug prohibition seems to corrupt at all levels. Now, a 60-year-old former Afghan police general who was in charge of border police in the three western provinces of Herat, Farah and Badghis is on trial for corruption charges -- accepting tens of thousands of dollars -- involved in the smuggling of 1,450 pounds of opium across the country's western border to Iran.

Could Pot Drive Turnout In Key Elections?

A survey making the rounds among strategists, which has yet to be made public, indicates that pot could be just the enticement many reluctant voters need to get to the polls. Support for marijuana legalization has been ticking up over the past decade as residents of states with legal medical marijuana realize that the sky hasn't fallen. And backing has surged more recently amid deficit hysteria and a declining economy, as voters are less inclined to spend tax dollars on a drug war when instead marijuana could itself be taxed and used to create jobs.

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