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Sheriff: Drug Trafficking Organization Showdown in Arizona Desert Imminent

Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu said that a showdown with drug trafficking organizations is just around the corner. "We're going out to directly meet these cartels. We're saying this is coming through our county and we've had enough," he said. The sheriff has recently purchased 130 new semi-automatic rifles and night vision goggles. In Pinal County, they're holding an offensive position to counter the members of drug trafficking organizations and the bandits looking to steal drugs in the desert.

Oakland Could Have A New Medical Marijuana Policy in Two Weeks

The Oakland City Council is talking about sanctioned medical marijuana cultivation again after some legal scares put the issue on ice late last year, and a new policy could be in place within two weeks. The council voted in December to hold off implementing its program to permit and tax industrial-sized medical marijuana cultivation businesses. The proposal, which would also double the number of permitted dispensaries, was delayed until the new cultivation law could be revised to address some legal concerns that local prosecutors said could land the council members in jail.

Drug Prohibition Gang Gunbattles, Street Blockades in Mexico's Second-Largest City

Suspected drug trafficking organization gunmen hurled grenades, burned vehicles and blocked streets in a rapid series of attacks in Mexico's second-largest city. The seven attacks within two hours appear to have been coordinated. A policeman and two transportation workers were injured in the attacks.

New Jersey DHSS Mum About Medicinal Marijuana Program Conflicts (Press Release)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 2, 2011

CONTACT: Ken Wolski at (609) 394-2137

DHSS Mum About Medicinal Marijuana Program Conflicts


Iowa Legislative Panel Rejects Plan Linking Welfare to Drug Tests

A legislative panel has rejected a proposal to require people to pass a drug test before being eligible for state welfare benefits. Republican Rep. Matt Windschitl, of Missouri Valley, had proposed the requirement, but a subcommittee blocked the bill because of questions about how it would be implemented.

LPGA Cancels Tournament in Mexico Over Drug Prohibition Violence Fears

The LPGA has canceled the $1.3 million Tres Marias Championship in Mexico due to concerns over drug prohibition violence.

Nebraska Lawmakers Won't Require Electronic Drug Log for Cold Medicine

Nebraska lawmakers have dropped a bill that would require pharmacists to check an electronic database before selling products containing pseudoephedrine, an ingredient sometimes used to make methamphetamine. The bill, LB20, from Senator Beau McCoy of Omaha was tabled after disagreement over whether pharmacists should be immune from lawsuits under the proposed law.

Advocates for Michigan's Medical Marijuana Law Fear Disclosure of Records Will Hurt Patients

As founder of Michigan Association of Compassion Clubs, Jamie Lowell thinks the federal government's request for records on the state's medical marijuana registry will discourage legal use. He knows of a teacher who could use marijuana, but she is terrified of being identified. "When you get the application, you are under the impression all of the information will remain confidential," he said.

Columbian Marching Powder: How Reforms to the Rockefeller Drug Laws Could Help the Alleged Ivy League Drug Dealers

In 2009, after years of debate and political wrangling, the New York state legislature finally passed a bill revising the state's notorious Rockefeller drug laws. Now it turns out that the first high-profile beneficiaries of the reforms could be a bunch of kids from Columbia University. The arrest of five students on Dec. 7 — they allegedly sold $11,000 worth of marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy, Adderall, and LSD — may be a "test case" for the new reforms.

This Week in History

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

Arizona Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Introduced by GOP State Rep John Fillmore

Under a bill introduced by Representative John Fillmore possession of two ounces or less of marijuana -- by anyone -- would become a petty offense and carry a fine of only $100. Fillmore says that marijuana isn't a gateway drug, as critics unscientifically claim, and all the money and time wasted by law enforcement on marijuana prohibition enforcement would be better spent elsewhere.

Denver City Council Makes Compromise on Zoning Issues for Medical Marjiuana Growing Facilities

Denver City Council members reached a tentative compromise over what to do with medical marijuana growing facilities that aren't located where they're supposed to be. The compromise allows the facilities to remain in place for two years, after which they will have to go to a public hearing to decide whether they can stay.

Drug-Sniffing Dog Performance Massively Affected by Handlers' Beliefs

A new study by researchers at UC Davis has found that drug-sniffing dog/handler teams' performance is affected by human handlers' beliefs, possibly in response to subtle, unintentional handler cues. The study found that detection-dog/handler teams erroneously 'alerted,' or identified a scent, when there was no scent present more than 200 times-particularly when the handler believed that there was scent present.

2011: Fighting Hard for Our Rights!

 


Georgia Governor Pushing More Alternative Programs for Non-Violent Drug Offenders

Gov. Nathan Deal says he's moving ahead to reduce Georgia's prison population by diverting non-violent drug offenders to other programs. A 2009 national report said drug prohibition related crimes were listed as the primary offense for about 17 percent of Georgia's prisoners. Deal has made it clear he's not interested in springing repeat or violent offenders. But locking up non-violent offenders wastes their lives, strains the state's budget and depletes its work force, he said.

Medical Marijuana Proponent Files Ethics Complaint Against Iowa Representative

A Des Moines man filed an ethics complaint against a state legislator who admitted he lied about having hemorrhoids and depression to obtain a medical marijuana recommendation in California last year. Mike Pesce said he brought the complaint against Rep. Clel Baudler, R-Greenfield, because the representative said he knowingly provided false information to obtain a California medical marijuana card as a way to demonstrate why a similar program should not be adopted in Iowa.

Canadian Patients Ask Ottawa to Fix Flawed Medical Marijuana Program

A group of medical marijuana patients traveled to Parliament Hill to draw attention to the government's "wildly dysfunctional and onerous medical marijuana regulations" and the effects they are having on sick Canadians. "Ten years ago, we put in place a government program, a legal government program, that would allow sick patients to have access to a medicine that worked for them," said Member of Parliament Dr. Carolyn Bennett. "We now are seeing a perfect storm of administrative delays that have these patients with a licence waiting four to six months till the point that it expires – and then they are criminalized because they don't have a licence because the government's backlogs and lack of resources have put them there."

Bill to Restrict Medical Marijuana in Montana Draws Fire

A proposal to make it harder for people to get medical marijuana cards for severe and chronic pain drew plenty of opposition and little support at a hearing. Senate Bill 170, by Senate Majority Leader Jeff Essmann, R-Billings, would require a panel of three physicians experienced in pain management to review and ultimately decide whether to approve or reject another doctor's recommendation that a patient be authorized to use medical marijuana for severe and chronic pain. The lone supporter of SB170 was Mark Long, representing the Montana Narcotics Officers Association.

Czech Police Want to Use Seized Marijuana for Treatment

Czech policemen have proposed that the seized marijuana be used for medical purposes -- for instance, for the treatment of patients with multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease. The Justice Ministry does not oppose the idea. "It is certainly logical," Justice Minister Jiri Pospisil (senior government Civic Democrats, ODS)) said.

Berkeley Exports Its Cannabis Expertise

In a sign of the growing professionalization of the medical cannabis industry, Mark Rhoades and Ali Kashani, the owners of the Berkeley development company Citycentric Investments, have teamed up with Debby Goldsberry, a founder of the Berkeley Patients Group, to open a number of medical marijuana facilities around the East Bay. Goldsberry, Rhoades, and Kashani represent a new breed of medical marijuana entrepreneurs: people expert in land use policy, non-profit work, and running cannabis collectives. It’s a set of services that is growing in demand as more states adopt medical marijuana laws and as more people try to navigate the byzantine laws permitting medical marijuana in California.

Republican Lawmakers Shifting Tough-On-Crime Stance As State Budget Problems Multiply

In no state is the philosophical U-turn more abrupt than in Oklahoma, where last year the Legislature was barreling in the opposite direction. New Republican Speaker of the House Kris Steele is expected to unveil a package of proposals that would divert thousands of nonviolent lawbreakers from the prison system and ramp up paroles. Similar crash prison reductions are going on from coast to coast. Michigan has shuttered 20 correctional facilities and slashed spending by nearly 7 percent. South Carolina expects to reduce its inmate numbers by 8 percent by putting drug dealers, burglars and hot check writers into community programs instead of behind bars.

Australia: Ecstasy Emerges As Secret Choice of Middle Age

Publicity about people being caught with party drugs usually concentrates on those in their teens and 20s. So when the Austalian Labor aide Matthew Chesher, 44, was charged with possessing one ecstasy tablet last week, the lid was lifted on a quite different phenomenon: the growing number of middle-aged ecstasy users. The generation that championed the drug in the '80s and '90s is getting older.

Commission: Illinois Minorities More Likely to Face Prison for Drug Crimes Than White Offenders

A state commission says minority offenders in Illinois are far more likely to go to prison for minor drug crimes than whites are. Blacks, for instance, served time in 19 percent of low-level drug cases, while only 4 percent of white offenders were imprisoned.

Arizona Releases New Draft Rules for Medical Marijuana Program

A new set of draft rules for Arizona's medical marijuana program were published on the state Department of Health Services' website. The rules cover everything from applying for a patient or caregiver registered identification card, to revocation of identification cards, to dispensary information, including the application process.

Former Senior China Anti-Drug Official Gets Death Penalty for Drug Trafficking

A court handed down the death penalty to the former deputy head of anti-narcotics efforts in China's most populous metropolis, Chongqing. Luo Li had been collaborating with drug dealers in Chongqing since 2005 and took 1.2 million yuan ($233,038) in bribes to turn a blind eye to the activities of two of them, the official Xinhua news agency said, citing a court statement.

Did Armenian Ex-President Levon Ter-Petrosyan Profit by Iranian Drug Trafficking?

Wikileaks has published new documents about the correspondence of the US Embassy in Baku (BAKU 000917). This time the documents were published in Norway's Aftenposten and are about the Azerbaijani statements on drug trafficking through Armenian and the NKR territory.

The Deadly Failure of Drug Policy in the Americas (Opinion)

Jeffrey Haire believes that our prohibitionist drug policy has failed and opines that removing the profit from drug trafficking organizations will effectively destroy them. He says the "Law enforcement–Industrial complex" is already up and running and could handle any enforcement issues related to minors using adult substances or people operating vehicles or acting out in public. We have the expertise and the economic savvy to remove the profit from the drug traffickers and produce substances that are safe for recreational use. The key though, is to produce substances cheaply enough, and tax them reasonably so that their price still falls below what a black market producer could afford to market.

Bill Would Limit Firings of Medical Marijuana Users

Californians who use medical marijuana outside of work would be protected from job dismissal due to medical marijuana use under a bill that has been introduced by state Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco. The bill, SB129, would make it illegal for an employer to consider either a worker's status as a registered patient or a positive drug test when making hiring and firing decisions. The bill would not change existing laws that bar employees from using medical marijuana at the workplace or during work hours.

A New Political Approach to Drug Legalization: Debate

There appears to be a new standard that’s developed in political-speak for elected officials who are asked about drug legalization but don’t want to roundly condemn the idea. The answer, the seeming equivalent of dipping a toe into the waters of legalization, is that the idea should be "open for debate." That’s the approach President Barack Obama took in a town hall event broadcast on YouTube.

Marijuana Activists Fight DEA Efforts to Eviscerate Medical Privacy

If the State of Michigan won't protect the people, activists will. So went the cry of medical marijuana groups in Michigan, concerned that the privacy of medical marijuana patients there is at grave risk. The Michigan Association of Compassion Clubs filed an emergency motion this week to halt efforts by the federal government to gain access to the records of several Michigan medical marijuana patients.

Is the Drug Prohibition War Creeping into Mexico City?

This week the Mexican military pursued drug prohibition-created trafficking suspects in operations smack in the middle of the sprawling capital. Marines raided a hotel and a home in the middle-class districts of Napoles and Del Valle, arresting one suspected member of the Zetas drug trafficking organization. On Wednesday, army units searched homes in the Iztacalco borough. Is something changing?

Massachusetts State Legislator Files Marijuana Legislation

Ellen Story, D-Amherst, responding to the 69 percent of the voters in her district who instructed her to vote "in favor of legislation that would allow the state to regulate and tax marijuana like alcohol" on Nov. 2, 2010, is sponsoring "An Act to Regulate and Tax the Cannabis Industry." Assigned House Docket Number 01091, it will receive a bill number in the near future. If enacted, the state’s current prohibition upon adults having or growing a personal supply will be repealed, analogous to alcohol-control laws for home winemaking.

NJ: Medical Marijuana Patients Move Issue Forward

Jennifer Lande, Stephen Cuspilich and Charles Kwiatkowski are fighting for legal access to medical marijuana. They traveled to Trenton on a bitterly cold day to participate in a rare process of the state Constitution. They all live with serious medical conditions and offered honest and, at times, painful testimony. Their pleas for a working medical marijuana program in New Jersey created an important record for how to proceed next.

Obama: Drugs Should be Treated as a Public Health Problem

Responding to a deluge of questions regarding marijuana and drug policy that came from YouTube, President Obama acknowledged that the war on drugs has not been effective and said he thinks of drugs as "more of a public health problem." More than 140,000 questions were submitted to the president on YouTube for his virtual question-and-answer session and visitors cast more than 1 million votes. 198 of the 200 highest-rated questions related to drug policy. While drug policy is hardly a top priority in Washington, President Obama said it is an "entirely legitimate topic for debate."

Obama Responds to Pro-Legalization Cop, Says Topic "Legitimate for Debate" (Press Release)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 27, 2010


Former President Alejandro Toledo: Peru Must Consider Decriminalizing Drug Use

Former president Alejandro Toledo, the frontrunner in Peru's presidential race, said he would consider decriminalizing drug use if elected. Peru currently allows people to possess small amounts of recreational drugs, including cocaine. Toledo said he might loosen them further. A growing number of Latin American countries already have relaxed laws targeting drug consumers in order to focus police resources on traffickers.

US Churches Divided on Sending Missionaries, Volunteers to Deadly Juarez

The deadly drug prohibition war in Ciudad Juarez and Mexico has some U.S. churches and ministries divided on whether or not to continue to send missionaries and volunteers across the border.

Former Brazil Fire Chief Accused of Killing Drug Users in Alleged Retaliation to Son's Killing

Drug prohibition feeds negative stereotypes of those who use drugs, making them targets for many kinds of abuse. A former fire chief in Brazil, Jorge Luiz Thais Martins, is suspected of killing at least eight drug users in the neighborhood where his son was shot dead in a robbery attempt. "Police are investigating the possibility the crimes were committed as vengeance," said Giovani Santos, a spokesman for the public safety department. He said Martins is being investigated in part because a drug user who survived a recent attempted killing identified Martins as the shooter.

President Obama to Answer Top Questions Posed by Public on YouTube Today, Top 100 Most Popular Questions ALL Related to Marijuana Law and Drug Policy Reform (Press Release)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: JANUARY 27, 2011

President Obama to Answer Top Questions Posed by Public on YouTube Today


Drug Smugglers Use Catapult to Launch Bales of Marijuana Across Border

An example of the folly of prohibition and the endless innovation of prohibition-created drug trafficking organizations, this grainy surveillance video shows smugglers using a catapult to launch small bales of marijuana across the Arizona-Mexico border.

Cut Drug War Spending (Action Alert)


Medical Marijuana Attorney Rob Corry Calls Colorado's Dept. of Revenue Draft Regs "Death by 1,000 Cuts"

When asked to synopsize his problems with the regs as written Corry said, "It's hard to pick out the more significant ones, because there are so many. But I think probably my greatest concern is the cameras." "This is an intrusive, Orwellian proposal. Every single patient who comes into a center and purchases any amount of medicine has to place his or her registry card on an overhead projector, and that person's name, address, Social Security number, the amount of the purchase and where they live will all be recorded," he added.

Pro-Legalization Cop Gets 1st Place in YouTube's "Ask Obama" Contest (Press Release)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 27, 2010


How Afghan Poppy Eradication Efforts Are Helping the World's Largest Heroin Dealers

It has long been known inside Afghanistan that heroin dealers in high positions benefit from the United States and Afghan governments' counternarcotics policies. Now the American public can get a glimpse. US embassy cables published recently by WikiLeaks expose the insider opinion that Afghan officials are using poppy eradication teams to weed out the competitors of major traffickers with whom they are linked.

Obama Barraged by Marijuana Questions for Upcoming YouTube Town Hall

Of the top 100 most popular questions as rated by YouTube users, 99 are about the drug war or marijuana. Of the next one hundred, 99 are again about drug policy. The marijuana questions don't stop there, but Huffington Post stopped counting deep into the 200s, as the president is unlikely to answer all of them. A White House spokesman told Huffington Post that the president will answer whatever questions YouTube puts before him.

US Missionary Possibly Killed by Drug Prohibition Gang in Mexico Over Truck

An American missionary couple who were allegedly attacked by drug prohibition gunmen in a dangerous part of Mexico may have been targeted for their expensive pickup truck, because drug gangs covet the vehicles, police said. Sam Davis told investigators that that he and his wife were driving near the city of San Fernando, about 70 miles south of the Mexican border city of Reynosa, when gunmen in a pickup truck tried to stop them. When the Davises sped up, the gunmen fired, shooting Nancy Davis in the head.

Patient Privacy Should Be at the Heart of Medical Marijuana Regulations (Opinion)

Steph Sherer, a medical marijuana patient and Executive Director of Americans for Safe Access, opines on medical marijuana patient privacy.

Drug Prohibition's Cocaine Traffickers Have Proven Both Vicious and Resilient

Since the beginning of the drug prohibition war, the drug trade has ballooned, spreading violence and corruption across large parts of the globe. Despite billions spent on combating them drug traffickers have for decades outwitted the authorities, keeping consumers in North America and Europe supplied at a price and purity that remains remarkably consistent despite law enforcement officials around the world frequently heralding the dismantling of trafficking networks.

The Drug Prohibition Related War on Cold Medicine Isn't Working (Opinion)

Jim Hightower, the best-selling author of "Swim Against the Current: Even a Dead Fish Can Go With the Flow," opines on the drug prohibitionists' war against pseudoephedrine. He says restricting its sale has created a very lucrative black market for the pills, luring thousands of new peddlers, hustlers and opportunists into the illicit meth underworld.

Medical Marijuana in Washington, DC: Mayor Gray Could Tweak Medical Marijuana Program

Mayor Vince Gray is reviewing the policies that will govern the District's medical marijuana program and is being pushed to make changes that could help improve the program's reception on Capitol Hill. At-large Councilman David Catania informed Gray that if the mayor doesn't act, the city's Alcoholic Beverage Control Board will be able to send out solicitations for marijuana dispensary applications on February 14. Gray said, "Hopefully by [Feb. 14] we'll be operative, but we'll see how it works out."

"Ask Obama" Top 100 Questions About Drug War, Pot

NORML took the time to review the Top 100 questions on the "Ask Obama" site and condense each one into a few words so President Obama could get an idea what is important to the country. When Obama did this in 2010 he heard loud and clear about marijuana law reform. Americans asked about re-scheduling cannabis to allow medical marijuana to flourish, decriminalizing marijuana to end thousands of arrests, legalizing pot to raise tax revenue, ending prohibition to cripple Mexican drug traffickers, regulating cannabis to keep it out of kids’ hands, reforming drug laws to re-prioritize police resources, embracing industrial hemp as a truly green energy source, and using science, not politics, to dictate our drug policy. And President Obama flat-out ignored the citizenry, despite those questions dominating in both quantity and popularity. When Obama did this in 2009 he got the same response from the public. That time he didn’t ignore his fellow Americans; he just laughed at them.

Mexican Mayor Accuses Police Over Bodyguard's Death

The mayor of Ciudad Juárez has accused federal police of killing one of his bodyguards in an incident that underlines the growing tension between the different authorities in Mexico's drug prohibition war capital. "My bodyguard, accompanied by another, identified himself, raised his hands and was shot in the head," Héctor Murguía Lardizábal told reporters. "That's a murder." The mayor said that when he went to the federal police base in a nearby hotel to demand an explanation, he received a volley of insults an had a gun pointed at him.

Sensible Washington Files New Marijuana Legalization Initiative, Despite Plea to Hold Off

Undeterred by last year's failure to pass a marijuana legalization initiative, and a plea by national advocacy groups to hold off until next year for another effort, Sensible Washington is filing a new initiative with the Secretary of State.

Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne Recommends State Tax on Medical Marijuana

Attorney General Tom Horne announced a plan for Arizona to tax medical marijuana. Horne added that the Department of Revenue informed his office that they plan to take the advice and tax the sales. The taxes could yield revenues for the state in the approximate amount of $40 million per year, according to a report.

Iowa Lawmaker Says He Lied to Get a Medical Marijuana Recommendation in California

A medical marijuana supporter says he'll file an ethics complaint against an Iowa lawmaker who says he obtained a medical marijuana prescription in California under false pretenses to show the flaws in such a program. The Des Moines Register says Mike Pesce told a House subcommittee that Rep. Clel Baudler, of Greenfield, should be investigated.

Delaware House Committee Approves Rewrite of Drug Laws

A House committee has approved a sweeping revision of Delaware's drug laws that supporters say will bring more consistency and fairness to the criminal justice system.

International Day of Action in Defense of Coca Chewing Underway

Coca growers from the Chapare (Cochabamba) and the Yungas (La Paz) — Bolivia’s two coca-growing regions — have travelled to Bolivia’s nine departmental capitals today to publicly chew the traditional leaf and to support the Bolivian government campaign to end the UN prohibition on coca chewing.

Just Say Now: Obama and Marijuana (Action Alert)

Friends,


Where's the Outrage Over 'Wrong-Door' Drug Raid? (Opinion)

Bob Goldberg opines on the surprise early morning raid by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and the Spring Valley police which terrorized an innocent Spring Valley family asleep in their home.

In Russia, a Glut of Heroin and Denial

Twenty one percent of the 375 tons of heroin produced from Afghanistan's opium fields now finds its way through central Asia into Russia, according to the United Nations. Unlike most countries around the world, Russia refuses to finance harm reduction programs such as needle exchanges, or to legalize methadone. Over the past few months, Moscow has decided to discontinue the work of foreign donors and NGOs with heroin addicts. Critics go as far as to accuse Moscow of willfully neglecting its citizens and thereby fueling what the World Health Organization says is one of the fastest growing HIV/AIDS epidemics in the world.

Mexico's Business Capital Fears for Future Amid Drug Prohibition Violence

Monterrey, Mexico's business capital and third-largest city, is being pushed to the breaking point by a drug prohibition war that has left about 80 people, including 14 police officers, dead this year alone and pushed authorities to the limit. The city, home to more than 50,000 corporations, including some of the largest multinational businesses in Mexico, fears for its future if the prohibition-caused violence is not stopped. "This is a very difficult time, perhaps the most difficult in the recent history of Nuevo Leon" state, Gov. Rodrigo Medina said.

Massachusetts Governor Patrick Proposes Sentencing, Parole Reforms for Drug Offenders

Mandatory minimum sentences for drug crimes that don’t involve guns or children would be repealed, giving more discretion to judges, and certain drug offenders serving mandatory minimums in state prison would be eligible for parole after serving half their maximum sentence, under legislation Gov. Deval Patrick plans to file with his budget.

The Drug War, Minorities and the Rust Belt

The Rust Belt is no stranger to America’s drug prohibition war. In her recent book, "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness," former Stanford Law professor, civil rights lawyer, and current Ohio State University faculty member, Michelle Alexander convincingly paints the war on drugs as far more than just a failed multi-decade policy that has resulted in America becoming the prison capital of the world. She positions the drug war as part of a racial caste system that has imprisoned over a million African American men and disenfranchised even more.

This Week in History

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

State Senator: Should Indiana Legalize Marijuana?

A state senator is asking a question she hopes will spur debate over sentencing laws and possibly save Indiana millions of dollars: Should the state legalize marijuana? Sen. Karen Tallian, D- Portage, is sponsoring a bill that would direct the criminal law and sentencing study committee to examine Indiana's marijuana laws next summer and come up with recommendations. Senate Corrections Committee Chairman Brent Steele, R-Bedford, said he would give Tallian's proposal a legislative hearing.

YouTube Questions for President Obama Have Gone to Pot

On Reddit earlier today, a user noted that the top 50 most popular questions were all related to marijuana use and drug crimes. Will President Obama address America's burning questions about legalizing marijuana and other drugs?

Washington State Bill Proposes to Sell Marijuana Through State Liquor Stores

State Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson, D-Seattle, is again proposing that the state legalize marijuana and regulate it much like alcohol. House Bill 1550, filed today, proposes that marijuana be sold through state liquor stores to adults aged 21 and over, and that the state Liquor Control Board issue licenses to commercial growers. Dickerson sponsored similar legislation in the previous legislative session, but the bill was voted down in the House Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Committee.

Border Patrol Agent Fired for Views on Drug Legalization (Press Release)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 25, 2010

CONTACT: Tom Angell - (202) 557-4979 or [email protected]


Reefer Madness Forever: Califano Tries to Pin Tucson Shootings on Pot (Opinion)

"'Marijuana's Role in the Tucson Shooting' was the extremely misleading headline on an article by Joe Califano that the Huffington Post ran Jan. 21," said Fred Gardner, managing editor of O'Shaughnessy's, the journal of cannabis in clinical practice. Gardner explains his opinion in this article.

Senator Margaret Rose Henry Introduces Medical Marijuana Bill in Delaware (Press Release)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: JANUARY 25, 2011

Senator Margaret Rose Henry Introduces Medical Marijuana


Connecticut Man Sues Town Over Drug Test Requirement to 'Urinate on Demand'

A former public works employee is suing the town of North Branford for terminating his job after he was unable to take drug tests due to a medical condition that prevents him from being able to "urinate on demand." The suit he filed this month says that he has never had "any sort of problem" with alcohol or drugs and that his medical issues came into play in February 2008 when he was required to take a drug test by urinating into a container. He asked instead for a blood test because of his medical disability and informed the town of the issue, but his request was refused.

Medical Marijuana in the Workplace

Montana's House Human Services Committee today hears a bill tackling medical marijuana in the workplace. This the third bill to come from an interim committee that spent six months working on medical marijuana legislation, Republican Representative Gary MacLaren’s (House District 89,) House Bill 43 gives guidelines and restrictions to employers on how to handle employees who use medical marijuana. Medical cannabis supporters say they interpret the bill to mean that an employer could terminate an employee simply for having a medical marijuana card, at the same time subjecting them to drug testing that violates privacy.

Nurses Fight for Viable Medical Marijuana Program in New Jersey

Medical marijuana officially was recognized as a medication in the state of New Jersey on Jan. 18, 2010, when former Gov. Jon Corzine signed the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act into law. Two days later, a request to delay implementing it was established by newly inaugurated Gov. Chris Christie. Nurses have been fighting to get a viable program under way ever since.

Know Your Drug Prohibition War: $15 Billion Will Be Spent by the Feds Alone in 2011

Here's a look at some highlights of how your dollars are being spent, from the Office of National Drug Control Policy's Drug Control Strategy 2011. Remember, they also hide several billion from the total by not including the cost of incarceration. Total drug prohibition war spending by the federal and various state governments will be approximately $69 billion.

Reagan Turns 100: Fawning Media Ignore His Disastrous War on Drugs (Opinion)

Tony Newman, communications director for the Drug Policy Alliance, opines on Ronald Reagan's legacy. Newman says Reagan's harsh drug policies not only exploded the prison population, he also blocked programs that could have prevented hundreds of thousands of AIDS deaths.

Weedmart: Marijuana Superstores. IPOs. Reality TV.

Read about the new ganja service industry, test your medical marijuana knowledge with a quiz, or see the full Mother Jones special report on the coming pot boom.

Will Obama Answer Marijuana Legalization Questions Online?

This Thursday, President Obama will field questions submitted from the world of social media during a live-streamed YouTube interview. In two prior online question-n-answer sessions with the American public since taking office over two years ago, the question of ending America’s failed Cannabis Prohibition was a top question both times –- which speaks to the importance and urgency of the public’s want to actually control cannabis via taxation and regulation. However, regrettably, President Obama has dismissed ending Cannabis Prohibition in no uncertain terms.

The War on Drugs' Female Victims

The untold story of Mexico's prohibitionist campaign against drug trafficking organizations is the surge in lethal violence against women. As Mexico enters its fifth year of conflict and escalating militarization, the country's ability to ensure basic protections for its citizens – and, in particular, for those most at risk – has never been less certain.

Montel Williams Urges Passage of Maryland Medical Marijuana Bill (Press Release)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE            JANUARY 24, 2011

MONTEL WILLIAMS URGES PASSAGE OF MARYLAND MEDICAL MARIJUANA BILL


Medical Marijuana Rules in Colorado -- Your Chance to Speak Out

 

Public Hearing on Medical Marijuana Rules This Thursday and Friday


Dutch Parliament to Be Lobbied to Legalize All Recreational Drugs

The recently formed Dutch coalition government is expected to be handed a 40,000-signature petition in the next few months aimed at opening a debate in parliament on the legalization of all recreational drugs. The petition is being promoted by the Netherlands Drugs Policy Foundation, and has high-profile support from former EU commissioner Fritz Bolkestein and former deputy prime minister and scientist Dr. Els Borst-Eilers.

Will the IRS Extinguish Medical Marijuana?

The Internal Revenue Service is reportedly auditing some of California's largest and most reputable medical marijuana dispensaries, examining their compliance with an obscure section of tax law aimed at drug dealers. Dispensary owners say that the provision, if strictly applied, could effectively snuff out the nation's burgeoning medical marijuana industry.

On Eve of Clinton Visit Mexican Drug Trafficking Organization Gunmen Kill Seven at Soccer Match

Gunmen who attacked a group of youths playing soccer killed seven people in the violent northern border city of Ciudad Juárez. The latest drug prohibition violence came on the eve of a one-day visit to Mexico by US secretary of State Hillary Clinton to discuss bilateral cooperation against the country's powerful drug trafficking organizations. The stadium where the shooting occurred was inaugurated just four months ago as part of a campaign called "We are all Juarez" that the local government has hoped will help stem a wave of drug prohibition related violence.

Ex World Leaders, Branson Launch Anti-Prohibitionist Drug Campaign

"There is a growing perception that the 'war on drugs' approach has failed," the Global Commission on Drug Policies said in a statement, as it began an inaugural two day meeting in Geneva. "Eradication of production and criminalization of consumption did not reduce drug traffic and drug use," the commission said. It concluded that the harm from corruption and violence resulting from prohibition "largely exceeds the harm caused by drugs."

Clinton to Focus on Drug Prohibition Violence in Mexico

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visits Mexico today for talks expected to focus on the country's accelerating drug prohibition violence. The Mexican government says the bloodshed is a sign the gangs are weakening. But business leaders and rights groups worry the strategy has backfired, sparking an endless stream of revenge killings that is spilling across the country.

Medical Marijuana Called Boon to Ailing Seniors

Proponents of medical marijuana touted its benefits for aging baby boomers at a weekend conference in California. Speakers, including physicians and researchers, described the benefits of medical cannabis and efforts at quality control and self-regulation.

Australia Clean Needle Program Keeping HIV at Bay

Australia's early and widespread use of clean needle programs seems to have kept HIV rates among injection-drug users in check over the long term, according to a study. In many countries, needle exchange programs allow drug users to trade in used needles for new ones, but in Australia users are simply given new ones.

Drug Truth Network 01/23/11

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


Ex-Border Patrol Agent Sues Over Firing After Making Drug Legalization Statement

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit for a former Border Patrol agent who claims he was fired - just weeks before his probationary period ended - in part because he said drug legalization would reduce violence in Mexico.

Family Home Stormed in Another Botched Drug Prohibition SWAT Raid

Another police raid and yet another innocent family caught up in a failed drug prohibition war that sends heavily armed, masked and hyped up cops in search of largely nonviolent offenders. This time the raid happened in Spring Valley, New York, and left a 13-year-old child vomiting and gasping for air in an asthma attack triggered by the over-the-top and misdirected actions of police and DEA agents.

Washington State Debates Big Changes to Medical Marijuana System

A dozen years after voters approved Washington's medical marijuana system, state lawmakers are debating major changes that would give patients greater protection from arrest and bring the supply chain out of a legal gray area.

Dealers' Choice: Job Or Jail: New Program for Entry-Level Drug Sellers Announced in North Charleston, South Carolina

A new program hopes to clean up a drug-plagued neighborhood by steering entry-level dealers into a jobs program.

Mexican Drug Lords Importing Beauty Queens

Juliana Sossa, 25, was arrested alongside Jorge Balderas Garza (a.k.a. "El J.J.") after she posted the location of her Mexico City neighborhood on her Facebook page. In November, Mexican police arrested Colombian model Juliana Lopez Aguirre along with Harold Mauricio Poveda, who police say was a go-between for Colombian drug traffickers. Last May Argentine authorities arrested Colombian Angie Sanclemente (Coffee Queen 2000), who prosecutors say married the Mexican drug lord "El Monstruo" ("The Monster"), and then moved to Argentina to manage young women serving as drug mules. And in 2009, Mexican model Laura Elena Zuniga (Miss Hispanic America 2008) was released from jail after claiming she had been kidnapped by her boyfriend, Angel Orlando Garcia Urquiza, and that she did not know he was head of a Ciudad Juarez-based drug trafficking organization.

Idaho Republican Lawmaker Introduces Medical Marijuana Bill

Rep. Tom Trail, R-Moscow, sponsored the Idaho Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act to establish a system for patients to legally obtain and use medical marijuana. "This legislation provides another option for medically challenged citizens and provides protections for our citizens as a whole," Trail said. "It gets down to a states rights issue: Should the use of medical marijuana be determined by the doctor-patient relationship, or by Congress and law enforcement?" The bill has been assigned to the House Judiciary, Rules and Administration Committee.

Clinton to Discuss Mexico's Drug Prohibition War on Monday

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will make a one-day visit to Mexico next week to discuss bilateral issues including organized crime. The visit comes as drug prohibition violence continues to plague Mexico, including a string of attacks in the Pacific resort city of Acapulco and the northern business hub of Monterrey since the start of the year. Drug prohibition violence left 15,273 dead in Mexico in 2010, according to official figures, making it the deadliest year yet since President Felipe Calderon launched a military crackdown on drug trafficking organizations four years ago, with tens of thousands of troops.

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