This Just In
(1)Mexican Police Chiefs Flee to U.S.
(2)Pot Industry Number Two Contributor to B.C.'s GDP
(3)High Times for Cannabis: Middle Class Loves It, Too
(4)Senate Approves Marijuana Dispensaries

Hot Off The 'Net
-Here We Go Again: White House Makes Scary Claims About Marijuana
-How Pot Became Demonized / By Wendy Chapkis And Richard J. Webb
-Tommy Chong On The Alex Jones Radio Show
-Some Detainees Are Drugged For Deportation
-South Carolina Supreme Court Reverses Regina McKnight Conviction
-Drug Truth Network
-Pot's Effects On Driving Performance Contrast Alcohol's, Study Says
-Mike Jones Of LEAP On WFLA-FM 100.7, Tallahassee, Fl

 THIS JUST IN  ( Top )


Pubdate: Thu, 15 May 2008
Source: Dallas Morning News (TX)
Copyright: 2008 The Dallas Morning News
Author: Brendan McKenna, Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON - Drug cartel attacks against Mexican police have become so violent and so common that some Mexican police chiefs are seeking safety in the United States.

Faced with cartel-sponsored assassinations that have claimed the lives of more than 25 officers since the start of May - including that of Edgar Millan Gomez, head of the federal police - and threats of further retaliation, some Mexican police are quitting their posts.

But three times in recent months, leaders of Mexican police have gone further, arriving at U.S. border crossings and applying for political asylum out of fear for their lives, according to Jayson Ahern, deputy commissioner of Customs and Border Protection.

"They're basically abandoned by their police officers or police departments in many cases," Mr. Ahern told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

A CBP spokesman confirmed the AP account to The Dallas Morning News on Wednesday but would not release further details.




Pubdate: Thu, 15 May 2008
Source: Nanaimo Daily News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2008 Nanaimo Daily News

DUNCAN - A B.C. magazine now places the province's marijuana industry in second place for its contribution to the B.C. gross domestic product.

B.C. Business magazine said recently that it now is in second place ahead of the forest sector and behind construction.

Forest Minister Rich Coleman reacted to the announcement by saying, "There's nothing a ministry can do to change a marketplace."

B.C. Business places the provincial marijuana industry at $7.5-billion with a labour force of over 250,000.




Pubdate: Fri, 16 May 2008
Source: Ottawa Citizen (CN ON)
Copyright: 2008 The Ottawa Citizen
Author: Misty Harris, The Ottawa Citizen

A new study says the drug is a hit with all kinds of Canadians.

A variety of educated, middle-class Canadians are "making a conscious, but careful choice to use marijuana" to relax or focus on leisure activities, say researchers behind a new study spotlighting smoking of the drug behind the nation's picket fences.

These people might drive minivans to their full-time jobs or run a household, but, come time to unwind, it's not Dr. Phil who's calming their nerves.

"It's an illegal activity, so it's still something people do in secret, usually in the privacy of their own home," says Geraint Osborne, whose study is published in the spring edition of the journal Substance Use and Misuse. "They're a little reluctant to come forward and talk about it, using the phrase that they're still 'in the closet.'"

A qualitative study of 41 adult Canadians nationwide suggests people of all ages and educational backgrounds are lighting up. Mr. Osborne, from the University of Alberta, and the University of Calgary's Curtis Fogel led the study, which shows most of the participants smoke marijuana to loosen up or enhance various leisure activities.




Pubdate: Fri, 16 May 2008
Source: Providence Journal, The (RI)
Copyright: 2008 The Providence Journal Company
Author: Steve Peoples, Journal State House Bureau

PROVIDENCE -- The Senate approved legislation yesterday that would create "compassion centers" where chronically ill patients enrolled in the state's medical marijuana program could openly purchase the drug.

Despite the 29-to-6 vote, the bill faces opposition in the House of Representatives and is not expected to become law this year.

"I would really have to have a sock over my head if I didn't know that," said the bill's sponsor, Sen. Rhoda E. Perry, D-Providence. The legislation is named in part for her nephew, Edward O. Hawkins, who died of complications from AIDS and cancer.

"What I think is important is to show movement," Perry said of yesterday's vote. "I think getting it out of a chamber is movement. It's showing that there is a level of understanding and a level of acceptance."





A story from Pennsylvania suggests that are jobs are going unfilled due to failed drug tests, and that some companies see failure rates of 60 percent and up. Why are we drug testing again? The question is more pertinent, but the answer may be murkier in Chicago, where the city's former, but long-standing drug test director is asking why he was dismissed. Also last week: a Wall Street Journal columnist uses the latest headlines to pick prohibition apart; and a college journalist corrects the mainstream press on that "huge" drug bust at San Diego State University.


Pubdate: Mon, 12 May 2008
Source: Erie Times-News (PA)
Copyright: 2008 Erie Times-News
Author: Jim Martin

Failure to pass drug tests is a major problem for some local job applicants and companies that would like to hire them, said Jake Rouch, vice president for economic development for the Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership.

One local employer, who has asked that his name not be used, has called drug testing a major hurdle to employment for a substantial pool of local employees.

Dennis Frampton, president of C&J Industries in Meadville, said his company tries to cut the problem off at the pass by telling applicants up front that they will be tested for drugs.

Even then, Frampton said applicants go the whole way through the application process only to fail the drug test.

The problem is far more pronounced for other employers.

"What you find is that is a screening tool, " Rouch said. "It's not a matter of 80 people took this drug test and five failed. That isn't what we are hearing. At some companies, 65 or 70 percent who are taking it fail."

That's expensive for the employers who pay for the testing and a potential lost job for someone who needs one.

The local shop owner who asked not to be named said some companies have considered excluding some drugs from testing as a way of qualifying more applicants.




Pubdate: Sun, 11 May 2008
Source: Chicago Tribune (IL)
Copyright: 2008 Chicago Tribune Company

Ex-City Official Denies He Mishandled Program

The former chief of Chicago's drug-testing program said Saturday that he was unfairly dismissed and denied all allegations of mismanagement.

Russell Baggett, 55, stands accused of failing to include more than 800 truck drivers with commercial driver's licenses in random drug-testing pools, according to a report from the inspector general's office. He also is accused of consistently notifying supervisors the day before tests.

The report, which recommended that Baggett be fired, found no evidence that he received payback, city officials said. The inspector general's office alleged that Baggett violated basic rules of compliance with federal regulations.

"Right now, I'm just disturbed," said Baggett, who was fired Friday after overseeing the city's drug and alcohol testing program for 14 years. "I've been dedicated to this field for over 20 years. I don't understand what's going on. I'm extremely disappointed."

The city conducts annual random drug tests on about half of its 2,000 employees from several city departments who hold commercial driver's licenses, he said.

Anthony Boswell, head of the city's new Office of Compliance, which oversees the drug and alcohol program, could not be reached for comment Saturday. Mayor Richard Daley said Saturday that he was unfamiliar with the case.

Baggett maintained he never alerted supervisors about upcoming tests. He also denied allegations that he allowed people who were absent from work the day of their random test to skip the test entirely. Federal rules require that the employee be tested the day they return to work.

"That is totally preposterous," he said.

Baggett said he tested all employees who required it, except in November 2006 when a supervisor instructed him to not test up to 10 Streets and Sanitation drivers. He said he challenged his supervisor but obeyed and then made a complaint that sparked the inspector general's investigation.




Pubdate: Mon, 12 May 2008
Source: Wall Street Journal (US)
Copyright: 2008 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Author: Mary Anastasia O'Grady

Stories of campus drug use in the U.S. are so common that last week's arrest of 75 alleged dealers at San Diego State University was shocking chiefly due to the number netted.

The occasional big bust aside, the long running drug war has become almost background noise.

At least in this country. American nonchalance about drug use stands in sharp contrast to what is happening across the border in Mexico. There lawmen are taking heavy casualties in a showdown with drug-running crime syndicates. On Thursday the chief of the Mexican federal police, Edgar Millan Gomez, was assassinated by men waiting for him when he came home, becoming the latest and most prominent victim of the syndicates.

What the activities of the San Diego students demonstrate is that here in the land of demand, the "war" isn't taken nearly as seriously as in the land of supply.

The Associated Press reported that when undercover agents decided to investigate drug dealing on the San Diego campus, they were surprised at how easy it was to "infiltrate" the crime ring. All they had to do was to reflect interest in a given substance and suppliers appeared. The transactions at the university went on "in front of dorms, in parking lots or behind frat houses, sometimes in broad daylight in full view of surveillance cameras," the AP reported.

It's no secret that the narcotics trade is like a roach infestation. If you see one shipment or dealer, you can be sure that there are many others that go undetected. That's why such brazen behavior at the university should be disturbing to America's drug warriors.

The signs of an infestation are everywhere, making a joke of their 40-year claim that any day now they will wipe out American drug use.

Yet if prohibitionists should find this lack of results troubling, imagine how Mexico must view it. That country doesn't even produce cocaine, but it became a transit route to the U.S. when enforcers had some success in curtailing supplies coming through the Caribbean in the late 1990s. That success didn't change the U.S. appetite for the mind-altering substances. Instead, drugs started flowing over land routes and Mexican cartels took charge.




Pubdate: Mon, 12 May 2008
Source: Daily Aztec, The (San Diego State, CA Edu)
Copyright: 2008 The Daily Aztec
Author: Tucker Wincele

Want to know the truth about Operation Sudden Fall? I wouldn't ask the Drug Enforcement Administration, the national news or even Stephen Weber, all of whom have thrown the students of San Diego State under the bus.

Last Tuesday, authorities wrapped up a year-long undercover investigation that began after an SDSU student died of a drug overdose. University officials feared this case was indicative of a larger culture of illegal drug use and invited federal agents to infiltrate the student body.

Breaking news on Tuesday morning made it appear that 96 people were arrested that day, 75 of them students. Impressions were that SDSU fraternities served as organized drug rings with strong gang connections and had been financing themselves with drug trafficking. National cable news companies were quickly on scene, describing with shock and awe to America how embedded the drug dealers were at SDSU.

What's wrong with this picture? Well, it's totally bogus.

Looking beyond the headlines, it becomes clear the DEA wildly distorted figures that have done irreparable damage to the already shaky reputation of this school. Do you think 75 students were arrested Tuesday? Guess again. Only 18 students were actually arrested, less than a dozen of them fraternity members.

Over the entire year-long investigation, an additional 15 students were arrested in conjunction with Operation Sudden Fall. The remaining 42 of the reported 75 students were arrested through routine police work, most of whom were charged with minor possession of marijuana and were unrelated to the DEA's operation.

In essence, this "huge drug bust" amounts to no more than a few individuals with serious drug trafficking charges, and only by lumping in dozens of minor student drug offenders did this case receive the attention it did.




Another tragic loss in the drug war as a young informant is killed. Her parents and many others are wondering why the police persuaded the victim to be an informant. In Arizona, prohibition-related violence is reportedly on the increase; in California, the governor folds on prison reform; and in and the northeast, a U.S. Attorney is busting stores for selling products that may (or may not) mask drug test results.


Pubdate: Sun, 11 May 2008
Source: Tallahassee Democrat (FL)
Copyright: 2008 Tallahassee Democrat
Author: Julian Pecquet, Democrat Staff Writer

Attorney, Family Want Questions Answered

Rachel Hoffman's death this week during a drug sting has raised questions about law enforcement's use of confidential informants.

Most of the questions are still unanswered.

"There are about a hundred questions I have and a hundred questions her family has," said Hoffman's attorney, Johnny Devine. "And a lot of them begin with 'why.'"

Hoffman, 23, was found dead Friday in rural Taylor County. Murder charges are pending against Andrea J. Green, 25, and Deneilo Bradshaw, 22, police said.

Hoffman, a 2007 Florida State University graduate, had recently become an informant for the Tallahassee Police Department after multiple drugs were found in her apartment, police said. She was also in a diversion program after a 2007 drug charge.

Her attorneys and the State Attorney's Office say they were not aware she was working with police.

"My job is to keep her out of harm's way, but I didn't have an opportunity because I didn't know," Devine said.

State Attorney Willie Meggs said it's common practice for his office to be notified when someone already in the justice system is recruited as an informant.




Pubdate: Wed, 14 May 2008
Source: Tallahassee Democrat (FL)
Copyright: 2008 Tallahassee Democrat
Author: Julian Pecquet, Democrat Staff Writer

Rachel Hoffman's participation in a court-ordered drug-treatment program should have precluded her from buying drugs for police, legal and mental-health professionals said Tuesday.

"It is my strong preference that the people who are in drug court not be around this kind of thing," Assistant State Attorney Owen McCaul said. "Drug court is to help them overcome drug addiction, and it's difficult for them to do that if they're living the lifestyle."

Hoffman, 23, was found dead Friday in rural Taylor County following a police-controlled drug buy gone awry. Deneilo Bradshaw, 22, and Andrea J. Green, 25, have been charged with kidnapping and armed robbery in connection with her disappearance.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement announced Tuesday that it would conduct the investigation into Hoffman's murder. Murder charges have not been filed, and Assistant State Attorney Jackie Fulford said prosecutors would wait for the investigation to be complete.

Nancy Daniels, Public Defender for the 2nd Judicial Circuit, said the drug court has an "informal practice" of not having people in drug court work as informants -- "the thinking being that someone in drug court is trying to get away from drug activity and drug use," she said.

David McCranie, spokesman for the Tallahassee Police Department, said the department is committed to reviewing its procedures in the wake of the Hoffman case.




Pubdate: Sun, 11 May 2008
Source: Arizona Daily Star (Tucson, AZ)
Copyright: 2008 Arizona Daily Star
Author: Dale Quinn, Staff Writer

Home Invasions, kidnappings target Rival Traffickers, Echo Mexico Horrors

Drug-fueled home invasions, kidnappings and other violent crimes have surged in Tucson recently, echoing the drug war raging in northern Mexico. As law enforcement cracks down on smuggling along the border, officials say, traffickers increasingly are turning to more desperate measures to continue their criminal activity.

In some cases, smuggling groups turn on each other, finding it easier to steal from competitors than bring drugs across the border themselves. And although the violence is most likely to hit those engaged in drug-related activities, there's always the risk that it will spill over and involve innocent people - a possibility that local law-enforcement agencies are scrambling to confront.

The violence is driven in part by the massive amount of drugs flowing through Arizona, officials say.

Although it's one of four states along the U.S.-Mexico border, 60 percent of illegal drugs that end up in the country come through Arizona, said Tucson Police Department Capt. Terry Rozema, commander of the multiagency Counter Narcotics Alliance.

Drug trafficking always has been a brutal trade, but lately the violence is on the rise, officials say.

In response, the Pima County Sheriff's Department, now assisted by the U.S. Border Patrol, recently created two border-crime units that target human and drug smugglers in rural areas.




Pubdate: Tue, 13 May 2008
Source: Sacramento Bee (CA)
Copyright: 2008 The Sacramento Bee
Author: Andy Furillo, Sacramento Bee

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has dumped his plan to release about 22,000 lower-risk inmates from prison before they complete their terms, The Bee learned Monday.

The revised budget he will present on Wednesday will jettison the plan, which would have freed prisoners doing time for crimes such as drug possession and car theft who had less than 20 months to go on their terms.

The governor had sought the change as part of a 10 percent, across- the-board general fund budget cut to deal with a multibillion-dollar deficit.

His plan was unlikely, however, to win support in upcoming budget negotiations. Not a single legislator in the state had expressed support for the idea.

Press secretary Aaron McLear confirmed that Schwarzenegger will drop the early release plan but declined to comment further.




Pubdate: Sun, 11 May 2008
Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA)
Copyright: 2008 PG Publishing
Author: Paula Reed Ward, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Five years after taking the lead in "Operation Pipe Dreams," which prosecuted people who sold marijuana pipes around the country, U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan is leading a similar investigation called "Operation True Test."

The newest project for Ms. Buchanan is looking into companies that sell "masking products" that are supposed to help drug-users pass employer drug tests.

Opponents of the products contend that they can put the public at risk if a person like an airline pilot were to use them to hide drugs in his system. The products are regulated on a state-by-state basis; there is no federal law covering them.

But critics, including comedian Tommy Chong, whom Ms. Buchanan prosecuted as part of Operation Pipe Dreams, say this is just another example of a frivolous prosecution and misplaced priorities.

"The terrorists crash into her area, and she's concentrating on porn and bongs," Mr. Chong said, referring to the Sept. 11, 2001, crash of United Flight 93 in Somerset County. "That kind of tells you the direction she's headed."

Search warrants for Operation True Test were served Wednesday at nine locations in six states -- though none in Ms. Buchanan's Western District of Pennsylvania.




Last week cannabis was "linked" to heart disease. The good news is that only extremely heavy use is implicated and no actual cannabis- induced heart disease has been identified.

It was encouraging to see some in the media not take the ONDCP's recent pronouncement that cannabis worsens depression at face value.

Efforts by some British Columbian communities to chase "grow-ops" from their neighbourhoods to neighbouring neighbourhoods by conducting safety inspections on homes with above average power bills is causing botched inspections and law suits.

The recent conviction of members of the Church of the Universe, who use cannabis as a sacrament but failed to defend their breaking the law on religious grounds, inspired one Canadian writer to question religious legal exemptions across the board.


Pubdate: Tue, 13 May 2008
Source: Edmonton Journal (CN AB)
Copyright: 2008 Reuters

But Skeptics Say Study Subjects Were Smoking 78 to 350 Joints Per Week

WASHINGTON - Heavy marijuana use can boost blood levels of a particular protein, perhaps raising a person's risk of a heart attack or stroke, U.S. government researchers said Tuesday.

Dr. Jean Lud Cadet of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, part of the National Institutes of Health, said the findings point to another example of long-term harm from marijuana. But marijuana activists expressed doubt about the findings.

Cadet said a lot of previous research has focused on the effects of marijuana on the brain. His team looked elsewhere in the body, measuring blood protein levels in 18 long-term, heavy marijuana users and 24 non-users.

Levels of a protein called apolipoprotein C-III were found to be 30 per cent higher in the marijuana users compared to the others. This protein is involved in the body's metabolism of triglycerides -- a type of fat found in the blood -- and higher levels cause increased levels of triglycerides, Cadet added.

High levels of triglycerides can contribute to hardening of the arteries or thickening of the artery walls, raising the risk of stroke, heart attack and heart disease.

The study did not look at whether the heavy marijuana users actually had heart disease.

"Chronic marijuana abuse is not so benign," Cadet, whose study is in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, said in a telephone interview.


A U.S. group supporting legal sales and regulation of marijuana disputed the findings. Marijuana Policy Project spokesman Bruce Mirken said, for example, the study involved people who were extremely heavy users.

"I think the low end was 78 joints a week. That's 10 or 11 joints a day," Mirken said in a telephone interview.

"We're talking about people who are stoned all the time. We're talking about the marijuana equivalent of the guy in the alley clutching a bottle of cheap wine. If you do anything to that level of excess, it might well have some untoward effects, whether it's marijuana or wine or broccoli," Mirken added.




Pubdate: Tue, 13 May 2008
Source: Denver Post (CO)
Copyright: 2008 The Denver Post Corp
Author: David Harsanyi

It could be argued that the most useless job in Washington, D.C., is held by John Walters, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy. He's otherwise known as the country's Drug Czar.

And when you consider the spectacular number of useless jobs in Washington, that's quite an accomplishment.

No one is saying, of course, that it's easy being a figurehead of a cost-inefficient organization charged with implementing the biggest domestic policy disaster since Prohibition. After all, it means advocating that thousands of non-violent offenders be sent to prison - -- quite often after paramilitary raids have reeled them in.

It means denying citizens dying of cancer, AIDS and other painful diseases the medical marijuana they claim alleviates their pain. It means ignoring the will of citizens in states like California and Colorado, where medical marijuana was legalized.

Being the Drug Czar means overstating and misleading Americans with so-called studies. He's not alone. From the Centers for Disease Control to the Surgeon General, government agencies are under the impression that when their view of some "greater good" is at stake, concocting studies to propagate flawed policy is acceptable.

Take, if you will, the new report titled "Teen Marijuana Use Worsens Depression: An Analysis of Recent Data Shows 'Self-Medicating' Could Actually Make Things Worse." Scary stuff.

"Adolescent marijuana use may be a factor that triggers psychosis, depression, and other mental illness," explains Walters, who admits "research about causality is still ongoing."

Ongoing, doubtlessly, until Walters unearths the answer he's looking for.




Pubdate: Tue, 13 May 2008
Source: Province, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2008 The Province
Author: Keith Fraser

Fifth Court Action Against City Since 2007

A Coquitlam homeowner has filed a class-action lawsuit after his power was cut off and his tenant forced to move out following a search for a marijuana grow-op.

More than a month after the inspection by authorities bent on cracking down on grow-ops, Nicola Monaco's home in the 300-block Seaforth Crescent remains shut down after the occupancy permit was revoked.

Based on the rate of electricity consumption, B.C. Hydro suspected the property was a grow-op and passed the information to city officials.

On March 26, Monaco received by courier a letter from Coquitlam demanding that he allow a "public safety-team inspection" by city and Hydro officials and two RCMP officers for the next day.

Inspectors dismantled parts of the property, including the ceiling tiles, to gain access to and inspect the interior walls.

Monaco's lawyer, Alexander Markham-Zantvoort, said Coquitlam claimed that it had found signs of a grow-op, but he insists the evidence is dubious.

He said the authorities are relying on two pieces of evidence -- the alleged misapplication of a fuse and an old wire allegedly used to power hydroponic equipment.

"That's all the evidence we're aware of at this point. There's no mould, no equipment, no alterations to the wiring, no power-tap found. Nothing whatsoever."


Monaco's case is the fifth lawsuit against Coquitlam since last year. One is in small-claims court, two are petitions, and one is a writ.

"In my view, the actions of Coquitlam are unlawful, whether they find a grow-op or not, because they're without a warrant, and the legislation or bylaw upon which they're purporting to act has no authority," said the lawyer.

He figured several hundred homeowners might join the case.




Pubdate: Mon, 12 May 2008
Source: Calgary Herald (CN AB)
Copyright: 2008 Canwest Publishing Inc.
Author: Les Brost

Things have really gone to pot for the Church of the Universe in Hamilton, Ont. Church founders Walter Tucker and Michael Baldasaro are facing hefty jail terms and have had their east-Hamilton "church" seized.

Tucker and Baldasaro were found guilty of selling small quantities of marijuana to an undercover police officer. The church, established in 1969, has used marijuana as a sacrament for the past 30 years.

Many folks won't be upset with the news that the Honchos of the Heavenly High will be spending time in the hoosegow.

After all, Canadian law expressly forbids the sale of cannabis for any reasons other than medical purposes. Breaking criminal law and then hiding behind the robes of religious doctrine doesn't cut it in a country governed by the rule of impartial law.

Or does it?

Are there examples of where Canadian law has turned a blind eye to criminal activity also cloaked by religious practice?

We don't have to look far to see an example. Bountiful, B.C., is home to the fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. This church has openly practiced polygamy for decades. Church leaders, purportedly following Divine Revelation, direct teenage girls to marry much older men who already have multiple wives.


Canadians should ask two questions of prospective members of Parliament during the next federal election. When religious beliefs come into conflict with the laws of the land, does Canadian criminal and civil law trump religious freedom? And why should the tokers at the Church of the Universe in Hamilton do hard time while the married satyrs of Bountiful, B.C., can keep saying; "I do?"



At the behest of U.S. prohibitionists, Colombia extradited 14 "top paramilitary warlords" accused of shipping "tons" of cocaine to the U.S. - from their prison cells in Colombia. Effect on the world glut of cheap cocaine? Nada. "Experts," according to the Wall Street Journal, "say the extradition likely won't slow the pace of cocaine that Colombia sends to the U.S... because other men will take over drug gangs."

In Mexico, drug-gangs continue to slug it out with police, killing yet another "top" police official in Ciudad Juarez - just across the border from El Paso, Texas. According to the Dallas Morning News, more than 25 cops have been shot dead this month alone. Mexican president Felipe Calder=F3n has intensified the drug "war" since taking office in 2006, only to see violence spiral to even higher levels.

It's official: the new legal "party pills" - rolled out when New Zealand politicians decided to ban BZP pills last April - are themselves causing problems like making people "scared, jittery and anxious" or "semi-hysterical". Bad reactions to the more than a dozen new types of pills are worse than problems with BZP, to begin with: "BZP really didn't make much of an impact in Wellington, but certainly over the past few weekends we've noticed a change." noted one emergency physician.

And finally, two articles from the city of Victoria, British Columbia. The city has just installed five needle disposal boxes in a bid to get used needles off of streets, sidewalks, and grassy areas. The $20,000 project is slated to be evaluated for effectiveness in six months. Also, a proposed downtown needle-exchange is having a rough start because neighbors - an elementary school among them - don't like the idea. The most recent space selected by the Health Authority is said to be large enough to keep people from loitering outside the facility.


Pubdate: Wed, 14 May 2008
Source: Wall Street Journal (US)
Copyright: 2008 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

Move Could Help Free-Trade Deal Advance in Congress

Colombia extradited 14 top paramilitary warlords to face drug-trafficking charges in the U.S., a dramatic move that could help the country secure a free-trade deal with Washington but endangers Colombia's fragile peace process.

Colombian President Alvaro Uribe said the 14 bosses of the paramilitary, a group believed responsible for shipping tons of cocaine to the U.S. as well as having participated in or ordered thousands of murders during Colombia's long-running civil war, violated the terms of their 2005 peace deal by continuing to run criminal groups and traffic drugs from prison.


The mass extradition, unprecedented in the war on drugs, should cement Colombia's position as the Bush administration's top ally in Latin America. Experts say the extradition likely won't slow the pace of cocaine that Colombia sends to the U.S. -- with a street value estimated at $12 billion a year -- because other men will take over drug gangs.




Pubdate: Sun, 11 May 2008
Source: Dallas Morning News (TX)
Copyright: 2008 The Dallas Morning News
Author: Alfredo Corchado, The Dallas Morning News

CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico - Hit men killed a top police official Saturday, capping a bloody week in this community on the Texas border and across the country.

Juan Antonio Roman Garcia, second in command of the beleaguered police department here, was shot more than 50 times early Saturday as he parked outside his home. One police official said Mr. Roman was able to return fire and probably hit an SUV that was later found with several bullet holes not far from the crime scene.

Mr. Roman, 54, was the third senior officer killed in Juarez this week and the sixth nationwide, including Edgar Millan, one of the country's top federal policemen. More than 25 police officers have been gunned down since May 1, nine of them federal agents.




Pubdate: Sat, 10 May 2008
Source: Dominion Post, The (New Zealand)
Copyright: 2008 The Dominion Post

A dramatic increase in people being admitted to hospital with severe reactions to party pills has experts calling for urgent action.

Four to five patients are being admitted to Wellington Hospital on a typical Saturday night after taking the new-generation pills, emergency doctor Paul Quigley says.

Patients were scared, jittery and anxious. "We're getting semi-hysterical type reactions." Other reported symptoms include insomnia and vomiting.

Dozens of new pills flooded the market last month, replacing BZP varieties whose sale was banned from April 1.

"BZP really didn't make much of an impact in Wellington, but certainly over the past few weekends we've noticed a change," Dr Quigley said.

Neuroblast, which was introduced last year, appeared to be a particular problem, and he believed much of the patient influx was due to a rush of users trying the new pills.




Pubdate: Tue, 13 May 2008
Source: Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC)
Copyright: 2008 Times Colonist

The city of Victoria has spent $20,000 on five needle disposal boxes aimed at getting injection drug needles off the street.

City spokeswoman Katie Josephson said the project will be evaluated in six months to see if the downtown locations have proved effective in reducing the number of openly discarded needles.

The boxes are at Reeson Park, Bastion Square behind the Yates Street parkade, the 900-block of Pandora Avenue, the 1700-block of Store Street and the 700-block of Fort Street.

The needle boxes were among dozens of recommendations to address street and homeless issues made in the Mayor's Task Force on Breaking the Cycle of Mental Illness, Addictions and Homelessness.

Before the task force was formed, the city council rejected a proposal to install the needle disposal boxes with several councillors saying the boxes would serve to advertise the city's drug problem to tourists.



Pubdate: Thu, 15 May 2008
Source: Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC)
Copyright: 2008 Times Colonist

Needle exchanges work. They protect the lives of intravenous drug users. They reduce health-care costs. They help drug users connect with needed services. They cut the number of discarded needles. And they do not increase drug use.


Their fears are, unfortunately, justified. A number of factors, mainly underfunding, led to major problems for neighbours of the current needle exchange on Cormorant Street. Those problems have now been greatly reduced thanks to increased staffing and police enforcement, but the damage has been done.

But there is good reason to accept assurances the problems will not be repeated at the new location. The former St. John Ambulance building is large enough to ensure people don't congregate outside; it will house a range of additional support services; and police have promised officers will be attached to the facility and will be patrolling in the area.

Needle exchanges operate in almost two dozen communities across Canada, large and small, with minimal disruption to neighbourhoods. That should suggest that the problems on Cormorant Street are a reflection of mistakes made here, not of the risk of needle exchanges themselves.



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By Matthew Robinson, PhD


The Fine Line Between Good Medicine and 'Dangerous Drugs'

By Wendy Chapkis and Richard J. Webb

A history of the battle between politics and science over the use of marijuana as a medicine.


Tommy Chong appears on Alex Jones' nationally syndicated radio show to discuss the recent FBI raid of Spectrum Labs and the seizure of 10,000 DVDs. Also on the show is Kevin Booth, creator of American Drug War: The Last White Hope; Josh Gilbert, creator of a/k/a Tommy Chong; and Matt Stevens, owner of Spectrum Labs.


Immigrants Sedated Without Medical Reason

by Amy Goldstein and Dana Priest, Washington Post Staff Writers

Page A1; May 14, 2008


Decision Recognizes Research Linking Cocaine to Stillbirths Based on "Outdated" and Inaccurate Medical Information


Century of Lies - 05/13/08 - Sanho Tree

Sanho Tree reports on situation in Colombia, Phil Smith reports on situation in Mexico + Drug War Facts with Doug McVay

Cultural Baggage Radio Show - 05/14/08 - Pat Lykos

Dean Becker of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition interviews Judge Pat Lycos, the Republican candidate for District Attorney in Houston, Harris County Texas


May 15, 2008 - Jerusalem, Israel

Jerusalem, Israel: Low doses of cannabis and alcohol have contrasting effects upon psychomotor performance, according to clinical trial data published in the current issue of the journal Accident Analysis and Prevention.


"The Morning Show" with Preston Scott and Eric Eggers

Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

Is it time?

It may surprise you to know that there are members, and former members, of the law enforcement community who believe it is time to legalize some, maybe even most, aspects of the drug trade.



Win $100 for the first LTE using a quote from the DTN transcripts.

Win $300 for the individual or organization with the most LTE's referencing DTN transcripts on December 31, 2008.

There are now many dozens of our shows with transcripts available at Use them in you LTE's, Op-Eds and other correspondence and make money for yourself and your organization.

DTN interviews judges, congressmen, politicians of all stripes, scientists, doctors, patients, prisoners and providers.

Working together, we can bring this drug war to a screeching halt.

To enter the contest, simply send an email with a link to the newspaper story with the DTN quote to

Good luck!


There is legislation pending in Canada (Bill C-26) which, if enacted, would impose mandatory minimum sentences for drug crimes. The Bill has passed second reading and been referred to Parliament's Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights (JUST). No hearings are scheduled yet.

If you have any suggestions or personal interest in testifying, please contact Kirk Tousaw at with your area of expertise, name, title, organization and contact information. If invited to testify, the policy of the committee is to reimburse travel and expenses of witnesses. And Ottawa is a lovely city.

If you are interested in more specific information about the Bill, Kirk has written about it on his blog at



By Lee Monnet

Dear Editor,

In the last two weeks Kevin Doran, Lawrence Sequin, and Stan White have submitted letters to the editor on issues that are having a substantial impact on our privacy and liberties. These gentlemen realize that our Government is using fear of terrorism and illicit drug use as a means to usurp our rights. I wonder how Thomas Jefferson or John Adams would react to the humiliation of having their person or belongings sniffed by a drug dog at a Border Patrol check point or having to produce a National ID card at Independence Hall.

I feel that our republic is in serious jeopardy when all three branches of Government have taken upon itself to determine what substances we can ingest or what documents we must carry to travel this great country.

A patriot defends the liberty of others even when it involves an issue unpopular with the majority. These three gentlemen have been outspoken defenders of liberty.

Lee Monnet

Pubdate: Sun, 11 May 2008
Source: Ogdensburg Journal/Advance News (NY)
Referenced: Referenced:


CNN's Lou Dobbs Is Clueless When It Comes To The Drug War  ( Top )

By Tony Newman

Mexico is experiencing a bloodbath right now thanks to drug prohibition. Drug wars are killing more Mexicans each year than Americans are perishing in Iraq. Three thousand Mexicans have died since January 2007. Lou Dobbs addressed the issue on Friday, May 9, after Esteban Robles Espinosa, the head of Mexico City's investigative police was assassinated. Mr. Espinosa's death came on the heels of Federal Police Chief Edgar Millan being gunned down Thursday outside his Mexico City home -- the tenth federal police officer killed by suspected drug cartel members in three weeks. Lou Dobbs was outraged by the mass killings and wondered whether Washington is paying attention.

While I appreciate Lou Dobbs' frustration with the mass killings, his analysis is totally clueless and his "solutions" will no doubt cause more harm than good. Here are three myths from Lou Dobbs that deserve attention.

Dobbs Myth No. 1 -- Washington Is Not Paying Enough Attention and Needs to Step Up Drug War

Lou Dobbs talks about our elected officials not paying attention and then quotes the White House press secretary calling on Congress to approve the Merida initiative. The law would provide funding to the Mexican government to "break the drug pipeline that ends up on America's streets." Far from not doing anything, our government's policy actually fuels the killings. For forty years we have been waging a "war on drugs" and "pushing" our failed zero-tolerance policies on other countries. Just what does our $40 billion-a-year drug war get us? Our prisons are exploding with nonviolent drug offenders, thousands die from street violence generated by prohibition's black market along the border, and drugs remain as plentiful and easy to obtain as ever.

In 2006, Mexican President Vicente Fox urged a bill that would drop criminal penalties for small amounts of drugs, but backed down after the uproar from the Bush administration. The problem is not what Washington is not doing, but what it is doing.

Dobbs Myth No. 2 -- We Need to Amplify the Drug War to Protect the Kids

Lou Dobbs and the Drug War Industrial Complex routinely argue that drug prohibition is there to "protect" the kids. Dobbs' correspondent Carrie Lee recycled the talking points from the ONDCP's press release and said in the same Mexico violence segment, "A new report from the White House finds teens in this country using marijuana are putting themselves at higher risk for serious mental health disorders and even suicide." Ms. Lee then goes on to say, "Most of the marijuana produced in Mexico is destined for U.S. drug markets."

Far from protecting kids, drug war-funded education programs have consistently misinformed our youth, creating an atmosphere of mistrust and disbelief. Despite 30 years of "Just Say No" rhetoric, half of all high-school seniors will smoke marijuana before they graduate. Teens say it is easier to get marijuana than alcohol, as drug dealers never check identification. The bitter irony of the drug war is that the same week the high-level Mexican police were murdered in the streets, 75 college students at San Diego State University were arrested for selling drugs. Yeah, the drug war is really protecting the kids.

Dobbs Myth No. 3 -- "Open Border Advocates Are Responsible for a Losing Role in Our Drug War"

What is a Lou Dobbs segment without slamming the "open border" advocates? Now Dobbs is blaming them for drugs coming into the country. We can't keep drugs out of maximum security prisons, but he thinks we are going to keep drugs out of the United States? Drug prohibition makes plants like marijuana and coca incredibly valuable. We can build as many fences and place as many agents on the border as we want, but as there are huge profits to be made, there will be people ready to smuggle and even to kill over the control of the massive, global drug market.

Lou Dobbs and the drug czar have huge platforms to spin their version of the drug war and their desire for a "Drug-Free America." We have tried to eradicate and incarcerate our way out of this problem for 40 years. There is nothing in the coca or marijuana plant that caused the 3,000 deaths in Mexico since 2007. Rather, it is prohibition that creates a profit motive that people are willing to kill for. Remember, when alcohol consumption was illegal in this country, we had Al Capone and shootouts in the streets. Today, no one dies over the sale of a beer.

It is time for an honest and open international debate about controlling, taxing and regulating illegal drugs so we can find an exit strategy from this unwinnable war. The health and well-being of the people of Mexico and the United States depends on it.

Tony Newman is director of media relations for the Drug Policy Alliance. This article first appeared at AlterNet -


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