THIS JUST IN ( Top )
(1) IS ONE OF THEM HIGH?
Pubdate: Thu, 07 Jun 2007
Source: Daily Times-Call, The (Longmont, CO)
Copyright: 2007, The Daily Times-Call
Author: Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times
Once a year or so, Roy Tialavea is summoned from his classes at Oceanside, Calif., High School to report to the athletic director's office bathroom. He receives a urine specimen cup and heads for a stall.
Tialavea is unruffled. Random drug testing has been going on for two years at the school. He's used to it. "I don't use drugs so I don't have to worry about getting caught," he says.
His mother, Robyn, thinks her son steers clear of drugs and alcohol. But, she says, no parent can know for sure what a teenager is up to.
"If he doesn't like testing, I really don't care," she says. "I think it's a wonderful tool. It creates the fear that they could be tested."
Call it the latest version of "just say no."
Concerned with high rates of adolescent substance abuse, hundreds of middle schools and high schools nationwide have begun testing some or all students for drugs -- to the dismay of some health and addiction experts.
Although less than 5 percent of all high schools have such programs, testing is common in schools throughout Texas, Florida, Kentucky and parts of California. Nationwide, as many as 1,000 schools have established programs, according to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.
The number of schools administering drug tests is expected to grow. Federal funding for school drug testing increased 400 percent between 2003 and 2006. The Bush administration spent $8.6 million on such programs last year and has requested $17.9 million for fiscal year 2008.
(2) FOUR MORE YEARS FOR HEROIN CENTRE TRIAL ( Top )
Pubdate: Fri, 08 Jun 2007
Source: Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)
Copyright: 2007 The Sydney Morning Herald
Author: Andrew Clennell, State Political Editor
THE heroin-injecting centre in Kings Cross will be allowed to remain open for four more years - but may be shut down if client visits decline by more than a quarter.
The Health Minister, Reba Meagher, told Parliament yesterday she would introduce legislation to extend the trial of the centre until October 2011.
It is the third extension for the trial - two of those extensions have come shortly after an election win. The injecting centre was set up by the former premier, Bob Carr, in 2001 in an attempt to halt drug use in public places and stop deaths by overdose.
Ms Meagher later said the centre could not be made permanent because she received legal advice that if it was not regarded as a part-time medical trial, it could be challenged in the High Court using two United Nations anti-drug conventions that Australia had signed.
"We have sought legal advice from numerous sources, mostly from the Crown Solicitor's [office]," Ms Meagher said. "It [extending the trial] is the safest way to continue the operation of the centre without exposing ourselves to perhaps quite costly and lengthy litigation."
Ms Meagher's proposal passed through cabinet without opposition yesterday but three MPs - the member for Blacktown, Paul Gibson, the member for Mount Druitt, Richard Amery, and Greg Donnelly in the upper house - expressed reservations in caucus.
In particular, the MPs questioned if the centre was working when only 11 per cent of people attending were being referred for drug treatment.
However, caucus passed the proposal, meaning Labor MPs will not have a conscience vote on the legislation, virtually assuring its passage through both houses of parliament.
(3) O'REILLY'S GOT HIS SHORTS IN A KNOT ( Top )
Pubdate: Thu, 07 Jun 2007
Source: Boulder Weekly (CO)
Copyright: 2007 Boulder Weekly
Column: The Danish Plan
Author: Paul Danish
For a guy who's running a no-spin zone, Bill O'Reilly has managed to get his shorts twisted into quite a knot over a Conference on World Affairs panel on sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll - as have 10 Republican members of the Colorado Legislature.
OK, I'm making up the part about rock 'n' roll. The actual title of the panel discussion, which took place at Boulder High School on April 10, was "STDs: Sex, Teens and Drugs."
At least one student who was forced to attend was outraged. When word of her outrage reached New York two months later (evidently communications between fly-over America and Manhattan are a bit slower than we've been led to believe), O'Reilly was outraged. A couple days later, when word that O'Reilly was outraged reached the Colorado Legislature (evidently news travels faster east to west than west to east), the 10 Republican members were outraged. Outrage, like sexually transmitted diseases, is contagious.
Anyway, O'Reilly is carrying on about how the road to ruination runs through Boulder High School, and the Republican amen chorus is howling for someone's job - presumably someone involved in setting up the panel or, failing that, anyone who wasn't sufficiently outraged.
Both O'Reilly and the 10 Republicans are showboating. The actual comments of the panelists (as excerpted in the Camera last Saturday) are pretty sensible advice - certainly more sensible than what teens could expect to hear from O'Reilly's side of the culture wars.
Consider a few examples:
Panelist Sanho Tree, who is the director of the Drug Policy Project at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, told the audience that "drugs make you feel good. That's the reason people take drugs."
(4) DEMOCRATS TO PRESS URIBE ON AID PACKAGE ( Top )
Pubdate: Thu, 07 Jun 2007
Source: Houston Chronicle (TX)
Copyright: 2007 Houston Chronicle Publishing Company Division, Hearst Newspaper
Author: Patty Reinert, and John Otis, HC Washington Bureau
With Signs That His Country Is Losing Its War On Drugs, Democrats Plan To Shift Aid Away From Military And Toward Humanitarian Programs
WASHINGTON -- President Alvaro Uribe of Colombia, in Washington yet again to lobby for trade and aid, will be greeted by Democrats planning a dramatic change in U.S. support for the South American nation -- away from military and anti-drug efforts and toward development and human rights projects.
Earlier this week, a House Appropriations subcommittee drafting the foreign aid budget cut Colombia's overall aid package by 10 percent, from $590 million to about $530 million.
(The country is expected to get an additional $150 million in purely military and police assistance through a separate appropriation in the defense budget bill.)
The biggest change, however, is that now that Democrats control Congress, they intend to alter the ratio between military and humanitarian foreign aid to the country.
Instead of allocating close to 80 percent to the Colombian military and drug-eradication programs, as has been the case for the past decade, lawmakers are proposing that only 65 percent of the total aid package go to the military, with the remaining 35 percent designated as economic and humanitarian aid.
The shift is due in part to mounting evidence that Colombia is losing its war on drugs, and in part to growing concern on Capitol Hill that Uribe's government might be tainted by ties to paramilitary death squads.
WEEKLY NEWS IN REVIEW ( Top )
Domestic News- Policy
COMMENTS: ( Top )
Once again, a new congress is seen as an opportunity for common sense
drug reform. But will the federal ban on using Washington, D.C. tax
money for needle exchanges finally be lifted? Before it happens,
some schools may seem more like surveillance centers. One
Chicago-area private school is ready to drug test all its students.
Some people outside of Colorado seem quite upset by a high school
presentation there on sex and drugs; most locals themselves don't
seem too troubled. And one Colorado commentator gets it: it's not
just discussing or portraying drugs that is the problem.
Once again, a new congress is seen as an opportunity for common sense drug reform. But will the federal ban on using Washington, D.C. tax money for needle exchanges finally be lifted? Before it happens, some schools may seem more like surveillance centers. One Chicago-area private school is ready to drug test all its students. Some people outside of Colorado seem quite upset by a high school presentation there on sex and drugs; most locals themselves don't seem too troubled. And one Colorado commentator gets it: it's not just discussing or portraying drugs that is the problem.
(5) NEEDLE FUNDING BAN MAY SOON END ( Top )
Pubdate: Tue, 05 Jun 2007
Source: Washington Post (DC)
Copyright: 2007 The Washington Post Company
Author: Susan Levine, Washington Post Staff Writer
Shift in Congress Stirs Hope Among D.C. AIDS Officials
Nearly a decade after it was first imposed, a unique congressional ban limiting the District's effort to fight AIDS could be lifted and the city again allowed to use local tax dollars for needle-exchange programs.
The ban's changed prospects owe to the changed balance of power on Capitol Hill, particularly in the House of Representatives, which has attached the prohibition year after year to legislation governing the District's budget. With Democrats now in control and support growing to give the city a vote in Congress and greater autonomy generally, health advocates are optimistic that the restriction could be history by fall.
"The moment may have come. The stars may have aligned," said Walter Smith, executive director of the nonprofit DC Appleseed Center for Law and Justice.
The District has among the worst rates of HIV-AIDS infection in the country -- with intravenous drug users accounting for about one-third of new AIDS cases annually. But it is the only city prohibited from spending its own funds to provide clean syringes to addicts. "There is a connection between those two facts," Smith said, "and it is time to uncouple it."
(6) SOME OFFENDED, SOME ARE FOR IT ( Top )
Pubdate: Wed, 30 May 2007
Source: Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Copyright: 2007 Daily Herald
Author: Kiran Sood
The rumors began to circulate around St. Viator High School around spring break -- that all students would be required to submit to drug testing next fall.
Initially, the reaction among the student body was largely negative, a group of juniors at the Arlington Heights school said Tuesday, the day the new policy was formally announced.
"I thought it was kind of a personal invasion of privacy," said junior Cara Condon, who was interviewed along with her peers with a school official present. "I was definitely initially surprised, and I didn't think that was an action the school would take."
Condon, of Itasca, said she was also originally "offended" at the idea of being tested. And she still has issues with it -- even though she, like the other students interviewed Tuesday, said they weren't personally worried about passing the test.
"It is not the responsibility of the school to take a drug test," she said. "It should be the responsibility of parents if they want to know that information about their kids."
(7) COLUMN: CRIMINALLY OFFENSIVE ( Top )
Pubdate: Thu, 31 May 2007
Source: Boulder Weekly (CO)
Copyright: 2007 Boulder Weekly
Author: Wayne Laugesen
If District Attorney Mary Lacey wants to help children, she'll bring felony charges against psychologist Joel Becker and haul him back to Boulder.
I told Becker Tuesday it appears he violated Colorado law in April by contributing to the delinquency of minors. I asked him if there was any reason he shouldn't be charged, considering the fact he encouraged hundreds of kids to use drugs - advice some of them certainly followed.
Becker: "One: My words were taken out of context. Two: I didn't mean to disrespect or offend anyone. And three: I think young people deserve open and honest information."
Me: "That's great, Dr. Becker, but why shouldn't you face criminal charges for contributing to the delinquency of minors? You said, 'use drugs.' "
Becker refused to answer and recited again his song and dance about out-of-context remarks.
Becker was on a four-member panel that spoke to Boulder High School students in April. Here, in unaltered context, are his introductory remarks:
"Hi. My name is Joel Becker, and I'm a clinical psychologist. I'm going to ducktail off a little bit of what Andee said, but I think I'm going to go in a little bit of a different direction, because I'm going to encourage you to have sex, and I'm going to encourage you to use drugs appropriately ( resounding applause from kids ). And why I'm going to take that position is because you're going to do it anyway. So, my approach to this is to be realistic, and I think as a psychologist and a health educator, it's more important to educate you in a direction that you might actually stick to."
It's a slam-dunk, Ms. Lacey. Colorado law says any person "who induces, aids or encourages a child to violate any federal or state law, municipal or county ordinance, or court order" commits a felony.
(8) FOCUS ON THE FAMILY ENTERS CWA FRAY ( Top )
Pubdate: Sat, 02 Jun 2007
Source: Daily Camera (Boulder, CO)
Copyright: 2007 The Daily Camera.
Author: Christine Reid
Attorneys Consider Whether CWA Discussion Broke Law
Focus on the Family attorneys are researching state law to see if there could be a criminal case against Conference on World Affairs panelists involved in a discussion about sex and drugs with teens at Boulder High.
Gary Schneeberger, spokesman for the Colorado Springs-based Christian organization, said his group is looking into the "contributing to the delinquency of a minor" statute.
"We just ask the question, 'If someone encourages students to take drugs, could that be viewed as encouraging them to violate state law?' " he said.
The April discussion, "STDs: Sex, Teens and Drugs," has drawn criticism from at least one student and observers including Fox News television host Bill O'Reilly for what they say was a talk encouraging teens to take drugs and have sex.
Conference on World Affairs and Boulder Valley school officials have defended the panel.
Focus on the Family has not yet contacted Boulder County District Attorney Mary Lacy with its concerns, and she did not return a call from the Camera.
(9) OPED: THE PROBLEM ISN'T YEARBOOKS; IT'S DRUG USE ( Top )
Pubdate: Wed, 30 May 2007
Source: Canyon Courier (CO)
Copyright: 2007 Evergreen Newspapers, Inc.
Author: Brad Bradberry
By now everyone has heard about the brouhaha over the Conifer High School yearbook and the pages that depict students using alcohol and illegal drugs. Some parents are up in arms, even going so far to as to demand the resignation of Amy McTague, an English teacher and yearbook adviser.
Those parents need to calm down and hear what principal Pat Termin said in a High Timber Times article. After admitting that the material was indefensible and should not have been included in the year book, she asked: "When are we going to leave the yearbook behind and go to the conversations that really need to happen about helping more kids make better choices?"
A study done several years ago showed that 25 to 28 percent of 10th-graders at Conifer used marijuana and/or alcohol. For upperclassmen, I wouldn't be surprised to find that figure to be higher, nor would I be surprised to find far higher levels of drug use in other schools.
To my way of thinking, the students who produced the yearbook and those who were quoted about the use of drugs and alcohol didn't think twice about the matter. That alone speaks volumes about the use of drugs and alcohol in Conifer High School, and I can tell you, that fine school is not the exception. It is the rule.
The fact that kids are using dangerous drugs like alcohol and cigarettes is of far more concern than a few kids depicting it in a yearbook.
Law Enforcement & Prisons
COMMENTS: ( Top )
Finally, a hard look inside the California prison system from a big
newspaper - though it isn't an American newspaper. Despite the
overcrowding crisis in the state's prisons, the illegal drug trade
is as lively and vicious as ever; police say it has led to a string
of homicides in and around San Francisco. But some other leaders
still don't get it, insisting more enforcement will stop the
problem, despite another sign that drug law enforcement creates more
Finally, a hard look inside the California prison system from a big newspaper - though it isn't an American newspaper. Despite the overcrowding crisis in the state's prisons, the illegal drug trade is as lively and vicious as ever; police say it has led to a string of homicides in and around San Francisco. But some other leaders still don't get it, insisting more enforcement will stop the problem, despite another sign that drug law enforcement creates more police corruption.
(10) CALIFORNIA PRISONS BURSTING AT SEAMS, INMATES LIVE IN HALLWAYS, ( Top )
Pubdate: Mon, 04 Jun 2007
Source: Ottawa Citizen (CN ON)
Copyright: 2007 The Ottawa Citizen
Author: Sheldon Alberts, Ottawa Citizen
Criminologists Say the State's Plan to Ship 8,000 Prisoners Elsewhere Will Not Solve the Problem, Writes Sheldon Alberts.
SANTA BARBARA, California - As she navigates the labyrinthine corridors of the jail where she has worked for 18 years, corrections officer Nancy Tracy pauses at each cell block to ask inmates a question that rarely brings a happy response: How many beds are crowded into their confined space?
"Twenty," one prisoner barks in response, "and they're all full."
Ms. Tracy just nods and continues her daily rounds.
Set back in the sun-seared hills overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the Santa Barbara County Jail has the scrubbed look of a place where prisoners might be able to do easy time -- but the picture-postcard exterior belies a much tougher reality inside.
Every night at this 1970s-era facility, as many as a dozen inmates sleep on the floor for lack of space. Some prisoners, lucky enough to have a bed, lie on bunks stacked three high.
And every morning, by court order, guards unlock the jail's gates to release prisoners into the community because there is simply no room for them behind bars.
"When I got hired, I understood my job was to take people who committed crimes and keep them in jail," says Ms. Tracy, the custody operations manager. "Now, a lot of my time is spent trying to figure out how to get them out."
(11) POLICE BELIEVE 2 HOMICIDES RELATED TO DRUG WAR ( Top )
Pubdate: Tue, 05 Jun 2007
Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)
Copyright: 2007 Hearst Communications Inc.
Author: Jaxon Van Derbeken
Weekend Killings Reflect Tenderloin, Soma Turf Battle
San Francisco police believe that two weekend homicides were part of a war between drug dealers from Oakland and Richmond over turf in the city's Tenderloin and South of Market areas.
On Monday, police released a still photo of a masked man they say committed the execution-style slaying on Market Street early Sunday of Ernest Johnson, 29, of Oakland. Johnson, they say, had a history of drug trafficking in Alameda and Contra Costa counties.
Johnson was gunned down inside a doughnut shop at 995 Market St. just after 1 a.m. in a killing that was captured on videotape. The police asked Monday for the public's help in the case and in identifying the masked man shown on the tape.
"The Tenderloin and Market Street area is a new hotbed of drug dealing," said Lt. John Murphy of the homicide detail. He said he has spoken to investigators in police gang and narcotics units about the spike in violence brought on by dealers and customers from outside the city.
"They say there is some kind of war going on in that area because there is so much money to be made down there," Murphy said.
So far this year, there have been 42 homicides in San Francisco. Of them, 15 are considered drug-related, two more than all of the drug-related homicides last year, when there was a total of 34 slayings at this point.
Of the drug-related attacks in 2007, five have been in the Tenderloin.
(12) PRESCOTT VALLEY MAYOR ANNOUNCES NEW NARCOTICS UNIT ( Top )
Pubdate: Wed, 30 May 2007
Source: Daily Courier (Prescott, AZ)
Copyright: 2007 Prescott Newspapers, Inc.
Author: Ken Hedler
PRESCOTT VALLEY - Declaring a war on methamphetamine and other drugs, Mayor Harvey Skoog on Tuesday discussed the formation of a two-person narcotics enforcement team in the Prescott Valley Police Department.
"Our goal is to get drug dealers out of town," Skoog said during a 20-minute press conference. He noted Prescott Valley police made 711 narcotics arrests in 2006.
However, Skoog downplayed a proposal that he listed in a memo dated May 21: The creation of a tent city to house people convicted of drug and alcohol offenses.
Acknowledging that Yavapai County jails in Prescott and the Verde Valley have an ample number of beds, Skoog said the proposal The Daily Courier reported Monday was merely a suggestion.
Instead, Skoog used the press conference to promote the narcotics unit, which is due to start July 1. The Town Council voted this past Thursday to approve a $111.5 million tentative budget for 2007-08 that would pay for the two officers, used vehicles and other equipment.
Police Chief Dan Schatz, who did not attend the press conference, requested $153,820 in the 2007-08 budget, which starts July 1, for the narcotics unit. Schatz previously stated that the short-term goal of the unit is to increase drug arrests by 30 percent.
(13) INDICTED DETECTIVE ADMITS TO DRUG USE, RETIRES ( Top )
Pubdate: Thu, 31 May 2007
Source: New Mexican, The (Santa Fe, NM)
Copyright: 2007 The Santa Fe New Mexican
Author: Jason Auslander, The New Mexican
Santa Fe Police Department: Danny Ramirez, a 19-Year Veteran of the Force, Tests Positive for Cocaine
A former Santa Fe narcotics detective under federal indictment for money laundering and other charges is addicted to cocaine and in need of drug treatment, according to court documents.
Danny Ramirez, 47, tested positive for cocaine May 16 during a drug screening by the U.S. District Court's Pre-Trial Services Division, according to a motion filed Tuesday by prosecutor Reeve Swainston. Ramirez, who was arrested on the federal charges while at work at the police department May 10, admitted to using cocaine and said he needed help dealing with his drug problem, the motion states.
"Defendant's addiction is especially evident by virtue of the fact that he tested positive for cocaine use, knowing that he was subject to random drug testing," Swainston wrote in the motion. Ramirez also might have an alcohol-abuse problem, the motion states.
Meanwhile, Police Chief Eric Johnson said Wednesday that Ramirez, a 19-year veteran of the police department, retired May 18.
Johnson said the department conducts random drug tests of its officers. However, he said federal laws prohibited him from saying whether Ramirez ever failed a drug test.
"( The cocaine allegations ) came as a total shock to me," said Johnson, who worked with Ramirez for nearly 20 years. "It's something that was totally unexpected."
The motion was filed in response to another motion written by Ramirez's lawyer asking that Ramirez be taken off electronic monitoring and home confinement. The reasons to release him from house arrest included his being a model employee of the police department; living in Santa Fe his entire life; having no criminal history and no history of drug or alcohol abuse; and not being a danger to the community, the motion says.
In a search of Ramirez's home after he was arrested, FBI agents found 6 ounces of marijuana with a Department of Public Safety Crime Lab evidence tag on it plus a smaller amount of marijuana and several marijuana smoking pipes. According to the motion filed by Ramirez's lawyer, Jason Bowles, Ramirez was convicted of DWI in 1992.
Bowles did not return a phone call seeking comment Wednesday.
Cannabis & Hemp-
COMMENTS: ( Top )
As this is being written, Governor Rell has not acted and reform
organizations are asking that Connecticut folks contact the
governor's office. From Spokane comes another story about the lack
of justice, or even common sense, in the war on drugs. In November
of 2000 Mendocino County voters approved Measure G by 58% - this
week the county finally met one of the requirements of the measure.
In Michigan it is full speed ahead for signature gatherers. Finally,
from a small Alaska weekly comes an in depth article with photos
about tests that can locate where in the world samples of marijuana
As this is being written, Governor Rell has not acted and reform organizations are asking that Connecticut folks contact the governor's office. From Spokane comes another story about the lack of justice, or even common sense, in the war on drugs. In November of 2000 Mendocino County voters approved Measure G by 58% - this week the county finally met one of the requirements of the measure. In Michigan it is full speed ahead for signature gatherers. Finally, from a small Alaska weekly comes an in depth article with photos about tests that can locate where in the world samples of marijuana are grown.
(14) MEDICAL MARIJUANA BILL IN RELL'S HAND ( Top )
Source: Journal-Inquirer (Manchester, CT)
Pubdate: Mon, 04 Jun 2007
Copyright: 2007 Journal-Inquirer
Author: Keith M. Phaneuf, Journal Inquirer
HARTFORD - For the last five years, state Rep. Penny Bacchiochi, R-Somers, and legislative allies from both parties have fought to legalize marijuana use for medicinal purposes. Though they have had more success this year than any prior, the controversial bill's fate now rests solely with Gov. M. Jodi Rell, who admits she struggles with mixed feelings about the measure. The bill, which cleared the House 89-58 on May 23, was approved 23-13 in the Senate late Friday night.
The legislation on Rell's desk would allow a doctor to certify that an adult patient has a debilitating condition that could benefit from using marijuana.
Patients and their caregivers then would have to register with the Department of Consumer Protection. Afterward, they could cultivate up to four plants, none of which could exceed 4 feet in height.
Rell told Capitol reporters two weeks ago that she is torn. On one hand, she said, when a loved one is suffering, "you would do anything in your power to alleviate that pain."
But the governor also said she understands those who fear legalization would send a dangerous message - especially to youth - that drug use, in general, isn't dangerous. The bill would have been better, Rell said, had it been limited only to terminally ill patients.
(15) MEDICAL MARIJUANA USER, 66, ACCUSED OF DEALING ( Top )
Source: Spokesman-Review (Spokane, WA)
Pubdate: Tue, 05 Jun 2007
Copyright: 2007 The Spokesman-Review
Author: Thomas Clouse, Staff writer
Meet Christine Rose Baggett, a 66-year-old great-grandmother who was formally charged Monday as a drug dealer in a county with a backlog of narcotics cases.
Baggett, a widow with no criminal record, suffers from two kinds of arthritis, two herniated discs in her back and a broken ankle that hasn't healed properly, she and her attorney said.
Her sight is failing and she has a laundry list of other ailments for which she walks with a cane and uses marijuana for relief.
"I just feel terrible when I take prescription medications," Baggett said. "I don't think I'm out to hurt anybody or have a big grow operation. I'm just out to ease my pain. That's what the whole deal is."
What the court record shows is that Baggett admitted purchasing an ounce of marijuana from a man on Aug. 23 for $180. But she gave some of it back to him "as payment for delivering the marijuana to her."
At the hearing Monday, Dougherty asked Price to force Baggett to undergo drug testing before her trial, which is scheduled for Aug. 20.
"The state believes monitoring is appropriate," Dougherty said. "The state believes that using marijuana is illegal."
Cikutovich told Price that his client does not intend to stop smoking marijuana. "I just don't want it to be a shock to the court in a week when we are back in here."
"It won't be a shock," Price replied. "I can guarantee you that."
Afterward, Cikutovich told Baggett what to expect.
"If you were my grandma," he told Baggett, "I would say use whatever medication you need and I will fight for you until my dying day.
(16) MENDOCINO: LEGALIZE POT ( Top )
Source: Press Democrat, The (Santa Rosa, CA)
Pubdate: Wed, 06 Jun 2007
Copyright: 2007 The Press Democrat
Author: Glenda Anderson, The Press Democrat
Mendocino County supervisors said Tuesday the war on marijuana is lost and it's time to legalize, regulate and tax the multibillion-dollar illicit crop.
"Whether you love marijuana or hate marijuana, you can agree it's time for a change," said Supervisor John Pinches, part of a 4-1 board vote in support of a letter asking state and federal lawmakers to legalize marijuana.
The letter, penned by Pinches, is addressed to North Coast Congressman Mike Thompson and copied to the governor, both California senators, other area representatives and President Bush.
(17) MEDICAL MARIJUANA PETITION APPROVED ( Top )
Source: Lansing State Journal (MI)
Pubdate: Thu, 07 Jun 2007
Copyright: 2007 The Associated Press
An effort to legalize marijuana for medical use in Michigan cleared a key procedural hurdle Wednesday.
A state elections board approved the form of petitions being circulated by the Michigan Coalition for Compassionate Care.
The group still needs to collect at least 304,101 valid signatures of Michigan voters within six months to send its issue to state lawmakers.
If state lawmakers vote to accept the proposal, it becomes part of Michigan law. If the Legislature doesn't vote on the measure or rejects it, the initiative would appear on the November 2008 ballot.
(18) ALASKA RESEARCHERS MAP MARIJUANA TO ITS SOURCE ( Top )
Source: Anchorage Press (AK)
Pubdate: Thu, 07 Jun 2007
Copyright: 2007 Anchorage Publishing, Inc.
Author: Casey Grove
What Alaska law enforcement hasn't had -- until now -- was a quantitative way of telling how much of the state's pot was grown here and how much was grown Outside. Nor could they pinpoint the geographic area in which a particular bag of pot was from. Now, researchers and police at the University of Alaska Fairbanks might have a way to find out exactly where in the world those buds grew.
Inside the lab at the Alaska Stable Isotope Facility in the Water and Environmental Research Center at UAF, bulky gray boxes with digital displays are connected to each other with venting ducts and bundles of wires that run up to the ceiling. A radio set to a classic rock station is playing somewhere. It's an attempt to mask the whirring, clicking and popping of the spectrometers and all the noise created by their peripheral devices. They also have the radio on "to keep the instruments happy," says Dr. Matthew Wooller, an associate professor at the university and one of the marijuana study's principal investigators.
COMMENTS: ( Top )
It looks as if the U.S. "Homeland" security efforts are paying off,
you know: preventing terrorists from entering fortress America.
Indeed, while TB-travelers are given nary a nod, alert border
authorities noticed a mom from British Columbia, Canada, traveling
to meet with investigators in Nevada about her daughter, who has
been missing for over a year there. Glendene Grant was told she
would not be allowed entry into the U.S. (though she had traveled to
and from Las Vegas many times before). Why? A "criminal conviction
for possession of a small amount of marijuana from 21 years ago."
Border officials told her not to bother trying again, as she is now
"flagged". And so America is protected from terrorism.
A tiny report in the Los Angeles Times this week confirmed the total
acreage devoted to coca in Colombia rose nearly 20% in 2006 over
2005, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP)
admitted. Excusing the absolute failure of Plan Colombia evident in
both the street price of cocaine in the U.S., as well as the
increase of coca planted in Colombia, the ONDCP said the increased
acreage may be because of differing methods of estimation, smaller
coca plots, and "rapid crop reconstitution."
The idea that Afghanistan's opium farmers could simply have their
crop purchased and used for medicines, as is done in Turkey and
elsewhere, is gathering steam as another Canadian newspaper endorses
the plan. "Isn't it just possible," editorialized the National Post,
"that NATO would find it easier to win hearts and minds in the
lawless parts of Afghanistan if farmers there knew that NATO
progress meant a big stake in a legal opium trade -- instead of the
status quo, whereby government busybodies are trying to get
everybody to burn their dollars-a-bushel poppies and grow
pennies-a-bushel onions instead?"
And from Scotland this week, a refreshing look at the issue of crime
and punishment from new justice secretary Kenny MacAskill. Jail
should be for "serious offenders" says MacAskill, "not for drink-
and drug-related offences, those with mental health problems,
first-time offenders and fine-defaulters," reported the Scotsman
newspaper. Scottish opposition parties were quick to find fault with
MacAskill's plans to jail fewer Scots. Said one Tory spokesman,
"there is nobody who is sent to jail who should not be." MacAskill
also said he wished to prevent private, for-profit prison
corporations from running "any new prisons".
It looks as if the U.S. "Homeland" security efforts are paying off, you know: preventing terrorists from entering fortress America. Indeed, while TB-travelers are given nary a nod, alert border authorities noticed a mom from British Columbia, Canada, traveling to meet with investigators in Nevada about her daughter, who has been missing for over a year there. Glendene Grant was told she would not be allowed entry into the U.S. (though she had traveled to and from Las Vegas many times before). Why? A "criminal conviction for possession of a small amount of marijuana from 21 years ago." Border officials told her not to bother trying again, as she is now "flagged". And so America is protected from terrorism.
A tiny report in the Los Angeles Times this week confirmed the total acreage devoted to coca in Colombia rose nearly 20% in 2006 over 2005, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) admitted. Excusing the absolute failure of Plan Colombia evident in both the street price of cocaine in the U.S., as well as the increase of coca planted in Colombia, the ONDCP said the increased acreage may be because of differing methods of estimation, smaller coca plots, and "rapid crop reconstitution."
The idea that Afghanistan's opium farmers could simply have their crop purchased and used for medicines, as is done in Turkey and elsewhere, is gathering steam as another Canadian newspaper endorses the plan. "Isn't it just possible," editorialized the National Post, "that NATO would find it easier to win hearts and minds in the lawless parts of Afghanistan if farmers there knew that NATO progress meant a big stake in a legal opium trade -- instead of the status quo, whereby government busybodies are trying to get everybody to burn their dollars-a-bushel poppies and grow pennies-a-bushel onions instead?"
And from Scotland this week, a refreshing look at the issue of crime and punishment from new justice secretary Kenny MacAskill. Jail should be for "serious offenders" says MacAskill, "not for drink- and drug-related offences, those with mental health problems, first-time offenders and fine-defaulters," reported the Scotsman newspaper. Scottish opposition parties were quick to find fault with MacAskill's plans to jail fewer Scots. Said one Tory spokesman, "there is nobody who is sent to jail who should not be." MacAskill also said he wished to prevent private, for-profit prison corporations from running "any new prisons".
(19) MISSING TEEN'S MOM STOPPED AT BORDER ( Top )
Source: Kamloops Daily News (CN BC)
Pubdate: Mon, 04 Jun 2007
Copyright: 2007 Kamloops Daily News
The Kamloops mother of a teen who vanished in Las Vegas 14 months ago says she won't let U.S. authorities keep her from the work of finding her daughter.
Glendene Grant said she was not allowed to enter the U.S. this week as she tried to board a plane for Las Vegas. Grant was bound for the Nevada city to meet with investigators and others there about the disappearance of her daughter Jessie Foster.
While she has been allowed into the U.S. many times before, this time around border guards pulled her aside and told her to turn around.
Grant said she has a criminal conviction for possession of a small amount of marijuana from 21 years ago, and wonders if that was the reason she was denied entry.
The border authorities told her she would remain flagged and further attempts to cross into the U.S. would also be refused.
Upset, Grant said she asked to speak to the woman's boss, a request that prompted the woman to call security and have Grant escorted out.
(20) U.S. DETECTS MORE COCA BEING GROWN ( Top )
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Pubdate: Tue, 05 Jun 2007
Copyright: 2007 Los Angeles Times
Despite widespread spraying of defoliants financed by the U.S., total acreage of coca cultivated in Colombia rose 19% in 2006 compared with 2005, according to an annual survey by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.
The report stresses that much of the gain may be attributed to an expansion of the area included in the survey, which is done by satellite, airplane and on the ground.
The White House said the increase was due partly to "rapid crop reconstitution," the use of smaller plots in more remote areas and farmers' increasing use of national parks, where aerial spraying is forbidden.
(21) LET'S BUY AFGHANISTAN'S POPPIES ( Top )
Source: National Post (Canada)
Pubdate: Mon, 04 Jun 2007
Copyright: 2007 Southam Inc.
At home, the red European wild poppy is a symbol of Canada's military heritage. But the Canadian soldiers of today are trudging through fields of opium poppies every day in Afghanistan, and for them, the potent tall-stalked plant has become a contemporary symbol of the frustrations of nation-building in a failed state.
Illicit poppy production is simultaneously a hard-to-replace source of income for thousands of small Afghan farmers and a valuable source of revenue for the enemies of NATO and the legitimate Afghan government. Over 90% of the world's illegal raw opium is thought to come from Afghanistan. Ultimately, its by-products go on to wreak havoc in cities around the world.
Consistent with the thinking that gave us Washington's failed "war on drugs," the preferred U.S. policy is to "eradicate" Afghan poppy fields through aerial spraying, which practically means driving the opium trade underground and hitting the small grow-ops hardest.
It is an approach guaranteed to fail: Similar U.S.-funded scorched-earth drug-eradication projects in Columbia and other Latin American countries have all been complete debacles in recent decades.
Given this, it's worth taking a look at a course of action being promoted in Canada by the Senlis Council, a liberal-minded, self-described "international drug policy think-tank." In recent years, its members' close attention to Afghanistan's drug trade has encouraged them to speak out on broader issues concerning the war there.
The basic idea is simple: Opium is medicine, so why destroy it? In an age of rising global prosperity and life expectancies, the medical demand for opioids such as codeine and morphine is rising all the time, and indeed is outstripping supply according to UN measures. Yet there are no legal arrangements for Afghan farmers to produce licensed opium legally for the international pharmaceutical market.
Nothing in international, Afghan or Islamic law stands in the way, and a similar program of pharmacization has already brought thousands of Turkish farmers in from the black market. The only thing missing in Afghanistan is the bridge between lawful authority and the areas in which poppies are now being grown illegally -- which is to say, the problem is that the war hasn't yet been won.
That's hardly a trivial hurdle to overcome, but there is a chicken-and-egg dynamic here: Isn't it just possible that NATO would find it easier to win hearts and minds in the lawless parts of Afghanistan if farmers there knew that NATO progress meant a big stake in a legal opium trade -- instead of the status quo, whereby government busybodies are trying to get everybody to burn their dollars-a-bushel poppies and grow pennies-a-bushel onions instead?
(22) 'JAIL SHOULD BE KEPT FOR LONG-TERM, SERIOUS CRIMINALS' ( Top )
Source: Scotsman (UK)
Pubdate: Thu, 07 Jun 2007
Copyright: 2007 The Scotsman Publications Ltd
Author: Hamish MacDonell
THOUSANDS of criminals, including thieves, housebreakers, vandals and fine-defaulters, will be spared prison sentences under radical plans announced yesterday by the new Scottish Executive.
Kenny MacAskill, the justice secretary, said he wanted to adopt a more liberal approach to penal policy.
Prison, he said, should be reserved for "serious offenders", not the "flotsam and jetsam" of society that, he claimed, was clogging up the nation's prisons unnecessarily. Of the 7,000 prisoners in Scotland today, most are in jail for sentences of six months or less.
Mr MacAskill believes many of these criminals should be serving community sentences instead, leaving prison for long-term, serious criminals.
He said he was really concerned with those imprisoned for drink- and drug-related offences, those with mental health problems, first-time offenders and fine-defaulters.
He confirmed, as expected, that he did not want private companies running prisons in Scotland but said this would apply to "new" prisons, leaving the future of Kilmarnock, Scotland's only private jail, unclear.
"We will detain the dangerous but treat the troubled," he said.
On drugs, he said: "We must stop the situation where young people - whether because of low self esteem or lack of opportunity - shoot up and opt out."
He said: "We need a coherent penal policy. Prison should be for serious and dangerous offenders, not fine-defaulters or the flotsam and jetsam of our communities.
"So we need to shift the balance, with less serious offenders currently cluttering our prisons sentenced to community punishments."
Bill Aitken, for the Tories, said: "Frankly, there is nobody who is sent to jail who should not be sent to jail. This is not done on a whim. Sentencing is a matter for judges who act in the public interest.
KEEP PRISONS PUBLIC
THE minister said he wanted to stop private companies from running any new prisons in Scotland.
HOT OFF THE 'NET ( Top )
2006 COCA ESTIMATES FOR COLOMBIA ( Top )
The results of the 2006 U.S. Government survey of cultivation in Colombia indicate that statistically there was no change in the amount of coca being grown between 2005 and 2006. The 2006 coca cultivation estimate is subject to a 90 percent confidence interval of between 125,800 and 179,500 hectares. The 90 percent confidence interval for the 2005 estimate was between 127,800 and 160,800 hectares. The significant overlap between the two years' estimates means that it is not possible to infer year-to-year trend information.
LIES, DAMNED LIES, AND DRUG WAR STATISTICS ( Top )
A Critical Analysis of Claims Made by the Office of National Drug Control Policy
Book Forum, Thursday, May 31, 2007, 12:00 PM
Featuring the authors: Matthew B. Robinson, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice, Appalachian State University and Renee G. Scherlen, Associate Professor of Political Science, Appalachian State University; with comments by Dr. David Murray, Senior Policy Analyst, Office of National Drug Control Policy; moderated by Timothy Lynch, Director, Project on Criminal Justice, Cato Institute.
CULTURAL BAGGAGE RADIO SHOW ( Top )
Tonight: 06/08/07 - Richard Traylor "pissed off" over faulty piss tests.
Listen Live Fridays 8:00 PM, ET, 7:00 CT, 6:00 MT & 5:00 PT at http://www.kpft.org/
Last: 06/01/07 - Ed Rosenthal and medical marijuana persecuted.
THE REPORT OF THE INDEPENDENT WORKING GROUP ON DRUG CONSUMPTION ROOMS ( Top )
A detailed examination of whether Drug Consumption Rooms (DCRs) should be introduced in the UK.
PEAKING ON THE PRAIRIES ( Top )
Long before touching down in San Francisco, LSD was primed to become a psychiatric wonder drug in Saskatoon
By Jake MacDonald
CANNABANOID CHRONICLES ( Top )
June 2007, Volume 4, Issue 9
AMERICANS FOR SAFE ACCESS MONTHLY ACTIVIST NEWSLETTER ( Top )
June 2007, Volume 2, Issue 6
WHAT YOU CAN DO THIS WEEK ( Top )
LET PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICIALS SAVE LIVES ( Top )
A DrugSense Focus Alert
PLAN FOR THE 2007 DPA CONFERENCE IN NEW ORLEANS ( Top )
LETTER OF THE WEEK ( Top )
STILL LOSING WAR ON DRUGS ( Top )
By Lee Franke
Re: "Troopers seized record amount of drugs in '06," Friday news story.
Why is this news? Next year, they will seize an even larger amount. The following year, another record. This will continue until the U.S. abandons its ill-conceived war on drugs and starts treating drug use as a public health, not a criminal, issue.
Did it do any good? Did it cause enough of a supply shortage to drive up the price? Any impact? Not really. They wasted their time, effort and safety chasing the jack-a-lope of a drug-free America.
If you think the war on drugs will succeed, you do not understand how capitalism works or believe in a free society.
Lee Franke, Frisco
Pubdate: Mon, 04 Jun 2007
Author: Lee Franke
Source: Dallas Morning News (TX)
FEATURE ARTICLE ( Top )
COLLATERAL COLLECTION ( Top )
By Mary Jane Borden
While it is well known that DrugSense provides many valuable services to the drug policy reform movement, organizations might not realize that DrugSense maintains links to paper-based materials belonging to many of their reform friends. We also are developing quite a collection of our own flyers and brochures.
All of these are available for download and use. Some come in the form of pre-formatted PDF files. Others include Microsoft Word documents, videos, MP3 files, and links to publications like Drug War Facts. We also offer banner graphics for Web pages. A number of organizations are represented from the large and well known MPP, NORML, and Drug Policy Alliance, to state-based groups like the Ohio Patient Network or ReconsiDer from New York.
The place to begin our tour of DrugSense's collateral material collection is at the DrugSense.org home page. From there, several links at the left of this page will take you to various materials.
Beginning at the top under Who We Are, the [Banners] link brings up a number of DrugSense/MAP graphics that can be placed on Websites. Our clients often find the DPC logo at the bottom of their pages indicating that our Drug Policy Central subsidiary is providing their Web services.
There is also the popular Media Awareness Project banner that is often used as a link to our site.
At the bottom of this page also lay two DrugSense handouts. The four-print-per-flyer "What bothers you the most about Prohibition?" on the left creates four handy postcard-size flyers with both black and white and color versions available.
Moving down the Who We Are list on the DrugSense.org home page finds the very next [Flyers] link referencing DrugSense's own growing collection of drug-war-related materials. Depending on your interest, you may find one of these existing flyers perfect for your meeting or conference. Topics range from the exorbitant cost of the drug war to a list of conditions shown by science to benefit from the medicinal use of cannabis.
We also have materials that discuss how to use our own services, like online help systems and media activism resources. A couple of brochures or flyers show how to integrate all of our offerings into one coordinated campaign designed to gain media attention and exposure for your reform message.
Perhaps of greatest interest to reform activists is our Downloads page. Here, you can access the collateral material of many reform organizations.
The search box at the very top of the page allows you to look for printed materials by subject matter. Say you need a pamphlet about marijuana. Simply type "marijuana" in the box, and a list of downloadable materials concerning cannabis will appear.
The Drug Reform Organization Downloads section appearing below the search box contains links to over 70 pieces from over 20 reform organizations. Materials range from LEAP videos, to Spanish language pamphlets from ReconsiDer, to public service ads from Common Sense for Drug Policy.
The best part is that you can add your organization's materials to this site. The Add Download link below the Search Box accesses a form, which you can fill out to both add your group to the list and upload your document. To do so, please remember to register with the DrugSense.org site first.
Printed brochures, PDF reports, and online video all help get reform information to new audiences. When reform organizations share what they have, the collection of information available to end prohibition multiplies benefiting everyone.
DrugSense Flyers & Brochures What Bothers You Most about Prohibition? A 4-print-per-flyer sheet that creates postcard- size handouts in both black and white and color. (http://mapinc.org/map4up.pdf)
Your Tax Dollars At Work A PDF listing of drug war costs as gleaned from clippings in MAP's DrugNews archive. (http://www.drugsense.org/flyers/taxatwork.pdf)
Cannabis Studies by Condition A PDF of studies in the DrugNews Archive concerning medicinal cannabis ordered by physical condition. (http://drugsense.org/flyers/cannabisstudies.pdf)
Making the Most of DrugSense A PDF of tips on how to make the best use of DrugSense/MAP services. http://www.drugsense.org/flyers/DSServicesFlyer.pdf
DrugSense How-2 Brochure Help A PDF of a two-color brochure on the various help topics found on DrugSense/MAP Web pages.
Other Flyers & Brochures Other DrugSense flyers can be found at (http://www.drugsense.org/html/modules.php?name=Downloads)
Mary Jane Borden is a writer, artist, and activist in drug policy from Westerville, Ohio. She serves as Business Manager/Fundraising Specialist for DrugSense.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK ( Top )
"Nobody makes a greater mistake then he who does nothing because he could only do a little." - Edmund Burke (1729-1797)
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NOTICE: ( Top )
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MAKE A TAX-DEDUCTIBLE DONATION TO DRUGSENSE ON-LINE ( Top )
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