This Just In
(1)FBI Looking into Pot Raid of Maryland Mayor's Home
(2)Fingerprint Test Tells What a Person Has Touched
(3)New Law Passes First Test In Saint John Courtroom
(4)Guilty on All Charges

Hot Off The 'Net
-7 Reasons Parents Should Not Test Kids For Drug Use / By Lindsay Lyon
-Drug Truth Network
-MAPS News August 2008
-Why We Need A Cost-Benefit Analysis
-The 5 Greatest Things Ever Accomplished While High

 THIS JUST IN  ( Top )


Pubdate: Fri, 8 Aug 2008
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Copyright: 2008 The Associated Press
Author: Associated Press

Cheye Calvo and His Wife Appear to Be Innocent Victims of a Marijuana Smuggling Scheme. Their Two Dogs Were Shot Dead by Officers.

BERWYN HEIGHTS, MD. -- Mayor Cheye Calvo got home from work, saw a package addressed to his wife on the front porch and brought it inside.

Suddenly, police with guns drawn kicked in the door and stormed in, shooting to death the couple's two dogs and seizing the unopened package. Inside was 32 pounds of marijuana that evidently didn't belong to the couple.

Police now say the mayor and his wife appear to have been innocent victims of a scheme by two men to smuggle millions of dollars' worth of the drug by having it delivered to about half a dozen unsuspecting recipients.

The men, who are under arrest, include a FedEx deliveryman. Investigators allege that he would drop a package off outside a home and that the other man would come by soon after to pick it up.

Now federal authorities say they're looking into what happened during the July 29 raid. FBI Special Agent Rich Wolf said late Thursday that the bureau had opened a civil rights investigation.




Pubdate: Fri, 8 Aug 2008
Source: New York Times (NY)
Copyright: 2008 The New York Times Company
Author: Kenneth Chang

With a new analytical technique, a fingerprint can now reveal much more than the identity of a person. It can now also identify what the person has been touching: drugs, explosives or poisons, for example.

Writing in Friday's issue of the journal Science, R. Graham Cooks, a professor of chemistry at Purdue University, and his colleagues describe how a laboratory technique, mass spectrometry, could find a wider application in crime investigations.

The equipment to perform such tests is already commercially available, although prohibitively expensive for all but the largest crime laboratories. Smaller, cheaper, portable versions of such analyzers are probably only a couple of years away.

In Dr. Cooks's method, a tiny spray of liquid that has been electrically charged, either water or water and alcohol, is sprayed on a tiny bit of the fingerprint. The droplets dissolve compounds in the fingerprints and splash them off the surface into the analyzer. The liquid is heated and evaporates, and the electrical charge is transferred to the fingerprint molecules, which are then identified by a device called a mass spectrometer. The process is repeated over the entire fingerprint, producing a two-dimensional image.




Pubdate: Thu, 07 Aug 2008
Source: Telegraph-Journal (Saint John, CN NK)
Copyright: 2008 Brunswick News Inc.
Author: Bobbi-Jean MacKinnon

SAINT JOHN - A 33-year-old Saint John man is the first in New Brunswick to be convicted for drug-impaired driving based on new investigative tools provided by federal legislation.

Ralph Daniel Craig, a Dilaudid addict, was subjected to new drug detection tests by police after rear-ending another vehicle and "failed miserably," Crown prosecutor Chris Titus told provincial court. Craig was "clearly impaired by drugs," Titus said.

Craig, of no fixed address, was sentenced to 35 days in jail after pleading guilty to impaired driving, failing to remain at the scene of an accident and violating a probation order to keep the peace and be of good behaviour.




Pubdate: Thu, 7 Aug 2008
Source: New Times (San Luis Obispo, CA)
Copyright: 2008 New Times
Author: Kylie Mendonca

Sentencing Is Scheduled for October 20, but Attorneys Vow to Appeal

Los Angeles - Charles Lynch, in his recent federal trial for selling what he wasn't allowed to call medical marijuana in Morro Bay, had set out to do the unlikely.

Selling marijuana is illegal under federal law, and yet he didn't dispute, on the stand of a federal court, that he'd sold marijuana.

Selling marijuana to people under age 21 is an even more serious crime under federal law, and yet he didn't dispute, on the stand of a federal court, that he'd sold marijuana to people younger than 21.

And selling lots of marijuana is especially illegal, and yet he didn't dispute, on the stand of a federal court, that he'd sold millions of dollars worth, to thousands of patients.

In short, he entered a system rigged entirely against him and demanded a trial by a jury of his peers.

It was a bold tactic-nearly everyone who has been arrested by federal authorities for running medical marijuana dispensaries has taken plea bargains-but it wasn't really quixotic. Lynch's defense was that he'd talked to representatives of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration-they didn't deny it-and understood he wouldn't be prosecuted if he opened a medical marijuana dispensary ( they did dispute that ).His attorneys argued that Lynch was entrapped.

The jury didn't buy it.





The Rachel Hoffman case in Florida has one state legislator proposing compensation for Hoffman's parents, while a grand jury heard testimony about the tragedy. In Lima, Ohio, however, a victim's family is looking for justice through the civil courts now. And, in Hawaii, the State Attorney General decides that teachers have negotiated away their constitutional rights.


Pubdate: Mon, 4 Aug 2008
Source: Tallahassee Democrat (FL)
Copyright: 2008 Tallahassee Democrat
Author: Paul Flemming, Florida Capital Bureau

Al Lawson Seeks to Pressure City to Compensate Family

State Sen. Al Lawson has filed a claims bill to compensate the parents of Rachel Hoffman, who was shot and killed in May in an undercover drug sting gone awry, for the negligence of Tallahassee police in her death. Advertisement

Lawson filed his legislation Friday, the same day a grand jury released a damning report that concluded the police department's operations were negligent and led to 23-year-old Hoffman's death. Friday was also the deadline to get claims bills considered in the spring legislative session. The legislation is required if Hoffman's parents ever settle or get a court judgment of more than $200,000 from the city in an upcoming wrongful death suit.

Lawson said Sunday he seeks to pressure the city.

"I wanted to beat the deadline ... to maybe encourage the city and everybody else involved to continue to resolve some issues in this case," Lawson said. "We're going to keep the pressure on them at the state level."




Pubdate: Thu, 31 Jul 2008
Source: Tallahassee Democrat (FL)
Copyright: 2008 Tallahassee Democrat
Author: Nic Corbett

A Leon County grand jury will continue to hear testimony today about the May shooting death of Rachel Hoffman, a 23-year-old woman who was working as a Tallahassee police informant.

The grand jurors will decide whether to file first-degree murder charges. Two men, Deneilo Bradshaw, 23, of Tallahassee, and Andrea Green, 25, of Perry, have been charged with armed robbery in the case. Hoffman was to buy drugs and a gun from the men with $13,000 in marked bills, but Tallahassee police lost track of her, and she and the men disappeared. Green and Bradshaw, who were later arrested in Orlando, led investigators to her body in rural Taylor County, police said.

State Attorney Willie Meggs said about 10 witnesses, including one police officer, testified Tuesday during the closed grand jury session, which began about 9:30 a.m. and ended about 6 p.m. All grand jury testimony is kept secret.

Meggs is unsure when the grand jury could return an indictment.




Pubdate: Tue, 5 Aug 2008
Source: Blade, The (Toledo, OH)
Copyright: 2008 The Blade

A family member of the woman who was fatally shot during a police raid at her home seven months ago filed a lawsuit Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Toledo against the City of Lima and police Sgt. Joseph Chavalia, claiming a violation of civil rights.

Darla Kaye Jennings filed the lawsuit on behalf of Sincere Wilson, her 1-year-old grandson who was injured when his mother, Tarika Wilson, 26, was shot. The lawsuit asks for compensation for Sincere's injuries as well as seeking an end to "police abuse by requiring that high risk search warrant executions be limited to situations where they are truly needed and where the least amount of force necessary to the situation is employed."

The lawsuit was filed a day after Sergeant Chavalia was found not guilty for misdemeanor charges of negligent homicide and negligent assault. After 3 1/2 days of testimony, the jury deliberated for about three hours before returning the verdicts.

The charges were a result of a drug raid held at Wilson's home on E. Third Street in Lima on Jan. 4. Lima police officers executed a search warrant looking for Anthony Terry, who was arrested at the home.

An unarmed Wilson was holding her son just outside a second-floor bedroom when officers entered the home. Her five other children were in the upstairs bedroom.




Pubdate: Wed, 6 Aug 2008
Source: Honolulu Star-Bulletin (HI)
Copyright: 2008 Honolulu Star-Bulletin
Author: Alexandre Da Silva

Ratification Meant Acceptance of Random Testing, the State Attorney General Says

Hawaii public school teachers gave up their right to raise privacy concerns about random drug tests last year when they ratified a contract requiring the screenings, the state argued yesterday. State Accuses HSTU Of Bargaining In Bad Faith

In a 33-page opinion, the state Attorney General's Office wrote that the contract's approval by a majority of some 13,000 isle teachers in May 2007 invalidates "any constitutional search and seizure or privacy concerns" over a random drug-testing program.

The report, released Friday by Deputy Attorney General Girard Law, came a month after the Hawaii State Teachers Association failed to implement a drug-testing program by a June 30 deadline. It was addressed to Board of Education Chairwoman Donna Ikeda, who asked for the opinion.

Ikeda could not be reached for comment.




As noted above, a Lima, Ohio family needs to look for justice in the civil courts, as a grand jury found that no one was responsible for the shooting of an unarmed mother during a drug raid.

The fruits of the drug war make themselves apparent in Florida, where vacant homes now occupy the time of local police; and in Georgia, where more evidence suggests that Mexican cartels are taking control of some domestic U.S. drug markets. And prescription drugs apparently have a market in one North Carolina prison.


Pubdate: Tue, 5 Aug 2008
Source: Blade, The (Toledo, OH)
Copyright: 2008 The Blade
Author: Jennifer Feehan, Blade Staff Writer

Jury Determines His Actions Weren't Negligent

LIMA, Ohio - Police officers filling the cramped courtroom breathed a sigh of relief, and family members of Sgt. Joseph Chavalia gasped and whispered, "Thank God."

And those who loved Tarika Wilson cried out in anger and frustration as a judge read the two "not guilty" verdicts for Sergeant Chavalia yesterday.

"We're supposed to take this with a smile? We're supposed to believe in justice?" asked an incredulous Ivory Austin II, whose half-sister was shot to death by the veteran police officer during a Jan. 4 drug raid at her home.

After hearing 3 1/2 days of testimony in Allen County Common Pleas Court, the jury of four white men and four white women deliberated a little more than three hours before returning the not-guilty verdicts for misdemeanor charges of negligent homicide and negligent assault.




Pubdate: Sat, 02 Aug 2008
Source: News-Press (Fort Myers, FL)
Copyright: 2008 The News-Press
Author: Don Ruane

Captain Tells Chamber About Area Crime Rates

Vacant houses and houses filled with growing marijuana plants keep deputies busy, the captain of the Lee County Sheriff's Office district in Lehigh Acres told the chamber of commerce Tuesday.

The crime rate would be a lot lower without the vacant houses, Capt. Ed Tamayo told about 80 people at the chamber's monthly luncheon while talking about residential burglaries.

Tamayo spoke after he and 13 other members of the district received a standing ovation and accepted the chamber award as member of the month.

They protect us and our families every day, said chamber member Aldo Ibarra, who referred to the July 18 murder of Fort Myers police officer Andrew Widman as an example of the danger law enforcement officers face on a daily basis.




Pubdate: Fri, 1 Aug 2008
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA)
Copyright: 2008 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Author: Jeremy Schwartz, Cox International Correspondent

Atlanta a Hub for East Coast

Violence Is Following, but to a Lesser Extent

Mexico City - A series of drug-related kidnappings in Gwinnett County is part of the emergence locally of what federal authorities say is a problem of national scope: powerful Mexican drug cartels whose tactics have been honed in years of bloody conflicts in their home country.

They say the cartels operate in dozens of U.S. cities, including metro Atlanta, and are moving to consolidate their control of the entire supply chain of illegal drugs.

The Justice Department says that in the Atlanta area, Mexican trafficking organizations already control the lucrative methamphetamine trade, with the arrival of purer Mexican ice methamphetamine supplanting local powder meth production.

In violence associated with the cartels, Gwinnett has seen at least nine drug-related kidnappings this year, including a man who was bound and chained in a basement in Lilburn and repeatedly beaten over an alleged $300,000 drug debt.

David Nahmias, U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, said the Atlanta area is considered especially enticing to the cartels because it is a convenient distribution hub for the highly profitable East Coast market.




Pubdate: Wed, 06 Aug 2008
Source: Fayetteville Observer (NC)
Copyright: 2008 Fayetteville Observer
Author: Deuce Niven

WHITEVILLE - Two state prison guards in Columbus County have resigned after being charged with trafficking in prescription medication. Lawrence Patrick Norris, 29, of Old Cribb Town Road in Chadbourn, and John Wesley Batten, 32, of Whitehall Road in Whiteville, are charged with trafficking in opium or heroin by possession of Percocet tablets by using forged prescriptions. Norris is charged with three counts involving incidents on three dates. Batten is charged with one count. Both men surrendered to authorities.

There is no indication that either man was conducting any drug business inside prison, said Keith Acree, the public affairs director for the state Department of Correction.

Norris is in the Columbus County Jail with bail set at $100,000. Batten was released on a $50,000 bond.

Warrants were obtained by Kevin Norris, a drug detective with the Sheriff's Office. He is not related to Patrick Norris.

The detective said Patrick Norris obtained 90 Percocet tablets on March 4 and Jan. 31 from Dameron Drugs in Tabor City and on Jan. 25 from Rite Aid in Whiteville.




Those imaginative trouble-makers at SAFER Colorado are up to it again, this time calling attention to the hypocrisy of cannabis prohibition, by calling attention to alcohol "dealers" such as potential first lady Cindy McCain.

The U.S. Drug Czar paid a royal visit to California to praise outdoor cannabis eradication efforts and stage a press conference. One doubts that reporters asked any relevant questions.

A legally registered medicinal cannabis user in Ottawa is asserting his right to smoke cannabis wherever tobacco smoking is permitted, but finding little sympathy from tobacco smokers, nor any support from a city counselor.

Pam Lichty of the Drug Policy Forum of Hawai'i took state officials to task for compromising the medical records of medicinal cannabis users, and for abdicating their responsibility to implement a working regulatory regime.


Pubdate: Wed, 6 Aug 2008
Source: Denver Post (CO)
Copyright: 2008 The Denver Post Corp
Author: Christopher Sanchez
Cited: Cited:

A Denver group that advocates for marijuana decriminalization launched an Internet ad campaign Tuesday labeling Sen. John McCain's wife, Cindy, a "drug dealer" because of her ownership stake in an Anheuser- Busch distributorship.

SAFER Colorado director Mason Tvert said it would be hypocritical if a first lady owned a beer company while people were being jailed for smoking marijuana.

"It clearly lays out the case that Cindy McCain is not only the dealer of a drug," Tvert said, "but the dealer of a drug far more harmful than marijuana."

The McCain campaign declined to comment.

Safer Alternative For Enjoyable Recreation is the group behind the 2007 initiative that made marijuana Denver's "lowest law enforcement priority" and a 2005 initiative that legalized marijuana possession of 1 ounce or less in the city.

In 2006, the group called Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper and former Republican U.S. Senate candidate Peter Coors drug dealers for their involvement with beer sales.

Cindy McCain is the chairwoman of Hensley & Co., an Arizona beer distributor.

The website features wanted posters of Cindy McCain, claiming that she "makes millions of dollars dealing" alcohol.

Tvert said the group is not attacking the McCain campaign. The group isn't even anti-alcohol, he said.

"As we've been saying, this is not about party politics - it's about partying politics," he said. "And right now when people in this country party, they are being punished if they decide to smoke marijuana."




Pubdate: Wed, 6 Aug 2008
Source: Porterville Recorder (CA)
Copyright: 2008 Freedom Communications Inc.
Author: Alex K.W. Schultz, The Porterville Recorder

VISALIA -- Last week's drug bust involving a massive marijuana grow site above Porterville is drawing national attention with the arrival today of the nation's drug czar.

Ten media outlets, including CNN and CNBC, converged on the National Guard Armory building in Visalia shortly after noon for a press conference to address the relative success of the joint operation.

John Walters, director of the White House's Office of National Drug Control Policy, McGregor Scott, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of California, and Tulare County Sheriff Bill Wittman each spent several minutes answering reporters' questions.

Thursday's drug raid, which involved federal and state agencies, confiscated 26,363 marijuana plants from public lands located in the Blue Ridge area, a Joint Information Center news release said.


"This task force has a sense of passion, a sense of confidence," Scott said, "because we're having success."

The ongoing operation, dubbed Operation LOCCUST (Locating Organized Cannabis Cultivators Using Saturation Tactics), has led to the seizure of about $1.4 billion in marijuana plants and 36 arrests, authorities report.


Walters, the nation's drug czar, said he is proud of what federal, state and local agencies have recently accomplished.

"It's so important for the whole country because [the marijuana] is being shipped across the border," he said, "and it's being used to destabilize the government of Mexico."




Pubdate: Tue, 5 Aug 2008
Source: Ottawa Sun (CN ON)
Copyright: 2008 Canoe Limited Partnership
Author: Laura Czekaj, Sun Media
Cited: Gord Hunter

Marijuana Activist Angry at Councillor's E-Mail

A federally licensed medicinal marijuana user is fuming after receiving correspondence from his city councillor telling him to "Quit taking up taxpayers' dollars" with a "frivolous" human rights complaint.

Russell Barth lit up a joint in on the lawn of Ottawa City Hall this weekend as he relayed his disgust at an e-mail he received from Coun. Gord Hunter in response to an e-mail of his own.

"I am not asking for anything special except the same rights that tobacco smokers have," he said between puffs. "I don't think I should be forcing my smoke on other people, but I offer tobacco smokers and non-smokers far more courtesy than most tobacco smokers do."

Barth e-mailed Hunter on Friday asking to meet in person to discuss his assertion that his human rights were violated when a cigarette smoker outside his doctor's office building "asked me to move along."

The local comedian had previously filed a complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Commission following an incident on May 7 when he and his wife -- Christine Lowe, who is also a federally licensed user -- were told not to smoke marijuana outside a comedy club.

Amend Legislation

The complaint states that the government has failed to "amend legislation to accommodate licensed medical marijuana users" because the club's liquor licence could be suspended if someone was caught smoking marijuana on the premises -- even if they have a medicinal licence.

In Barth's e-mail to Hunter, he asks for a meeting to discuss "rectifying" the matters that led to the perceived violation of the couple's rights.

"Tough luck on you that you feel you had your human rights violated," Hunter responded in an e-mail. "Tough luck on the taxpayers of Ontario that you feel this is a serious matter."



 (16) BLUE CARD BLUES  ( Top )

Pubdate: Wed, 6 Aug 2008
Source: Honolulu Weekly (HI)
Copyright: 2008 Honolulu Weekly Inc.
Author: Pamela Lichty

Will a Government Mix-Up Create a Chilling Effect?

It's been a bad couple of months for Hawai'i's medical marijuana program. First the Department of Public Safety's Narcotics Enforcement Division (NED) mistakenly released the database of all 4,200 patients to the Hawai'i Tribune Herald. Then on July 8, Gov. Linda Lingle vetoed a bill that would have set up a task force to look at problems with the program and report back to the Legislature.

The release of the patients' names, addresses, the location of their plants (an invitation to thieves!), their certificate numbers and their doctors' names caused widespread consternation among the patients, their families and physicians, even though the information never appeared in print. All individuals have a constitutional right to health information privacy under Article I, Section 6, Right to Privacy of the Hawai'i constitution, and the Brende v. Hara Supreme Court decision.

As advocates for the seriously ill patients registered with Hawai'i's medical marijuana program, the Drug Policy Forum of Hawai'i (DPF) received three waves of phone calls and e-mails: When the original article appeared on the front page of the Hilo paper on June 27; again when the Honolulu Advertiser reported the breach on July 12; and when patients received a letter of apology from Public Safety.

To their credit, NED did appear to take the breach of confidentiality seriously. They say they've taken steps to ensure that this won't happen again and instructed the Herald to destroy all paper and electronic data they may have received. They then sent a letter to registered patients (although some never received it) informing them of what happened, detailing the steps the NED had taken to prevent a recurrence and apologizing for the breach.




The Canadian Health Minister, Tony Clement, was in Mexico City last week to hector the U.N. World Health Organization (WHO) on harm reduction, labeling that as "encouraging people to inject heroin into their veins." Responded Teguest Guerma (associate director of the HIV-AIDS department at WHO): "The WHO supports harm reduction... including all interventions that benefit injecting drug users."

In Mexico, deputy attorney general Noe Ramirez Mandujano resigned last week, reportedly due to the lack of results and increasing violence in Mexico's intensified drug war. Lamented one Mexican politician, "This is a state without control, incapable at a local or national level of combating the narcos... There is no strategy for the struggle against this."

In another defection from the ranks of prohibition, senior U.K. police officer Chief Constable Tom Lloyd joined the growing chorus of those who realize drug prohibition (locking up users) isn't working. "Let's give [heroin] on the [National Health Service] and stabilise communities, then sort out the other problems. We have doubled the number of prisoners over the last 20 years. It hasn't worked and never will."

When MDMA was banned in New Zealand, many people turned to (then-legal) substances like BZP. What happens when BZP is outlawed? People go back to MDMA, or maybe methamphetamines, too. That is the conclusion to which Otago University law professor Kevin Dawkins came, reports The Press newspaper in New Zealand. "Since prohibition cannot repeal the law of supply and demand, those who prefer to continue using BZP will be forced into the black market and the arms of the gangs," noted Dawkins.


Pubdate: Wed, 6 Aug 2008
Source: Globe and Mail (Canada)
Copyright: 2008 The Globe and Mail Company
Author: Andre Picard, Public Health Reporter

Health Minister's Denunciation Occurs at Event Strongly Advocating Safe Injection

MEXICO CITY -- The World Health Organization has strongly endorsed safe injection sites like Vancouver's Insite as one of the "priority interventions" that countries should implement to slow the spread of HIV-AIDS, a view that was swiftly and firmly rejected by Canada's Health Minister.

"Allowing and/or encouraging people to inject heroin into their veins is not harm reduction, it is the opposite. ... We believe it is a form of harm addition," Tony Clement said yesterday in Mexico City, where he is attending the XVII International AIDS Conference.


The Health Minister's comments left officials from the agency flummoxed and red-faced.

Teguest Guerma, associate director of the HIV-AIDS department at the WHO, who was clearly uncomfortable about the exchange between the minister and reporters about the apparent contradiction in Canada's position, would only say: "The WHO supports harm reduction."

She repeated the phrase more than a dozen times, only once adding "including all interventions that benefit injecting drug users."




Pubdate: Fri, 1 Aug 2008
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Copyright: 2008 Los Angeles Times
Author: Marla Dickerson, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

Noe Ramirez Mandujano, a Deputy Attorney General, Had Come Under Pressure Because of Poor Government Results.

MEXICO CITY -- A high-ranking official in the Mexican attorney general's office has resigned under pressure amid poor results in the nation's battle against kidnappers and drug traffickers.

Noe Ramirez Mandujano had served for 20 months as deputy attorney general in charge of the Office for Special Investigation Into Organized Crime before tendering his resignation Wednesday.

Violence has exploded across large swaths of Mexico as drug gangs fight for control of lucrative smuggling routes to the United States.

More than 2,300 people have died this year in Mexico in narcotics-related violence, according to a July 18 body count by the national daily Reforma.


"This is a state without control, incapable at a local or national level of combating the narcos," said Juan Guerra, a federal legislator. "There is no strategy for the struggle against this."



Pubdate: Thu, 31 Jul 2008
Source: Mirror, The (UK)
Copyright: 2008 The Mirror
Author: James Lyons, Political Correspondent

Heroin should be handed out on the NHS because the fight against drugs is failing, a senior police officer said yesterday.

Chief Constable Tom Lloyd believes giving users a free fix could stop them turning to crime and harming others.

He also warned locking up junkies was not working. The Cambridgeshire police boss said: "If people are addicted to heroin and getting it on the street, that causes problems.

"Let's give it on the NHS and stabilise communities, then sort out the other problems. We have doubled the number of prisoners over the last 20 years. It hasn't worked and never will."

Mr Lloyd spoke out after a report from the UK Drug Policy Commission warned that the fight against dealers and traffickers is being lost. It found attempts to shut off supplies have had almost no impact on Britain's UKP 5.3billion drugs market. Police and customs spend hundreds of millions of pounds targeting smugglers and dealers.




Pubdate: Fri, 1 Aug 2008
Source: Press, The (New Zealand)
Copyright: 2008 The Christchurch Press Company Ltd.
Author: Kerry Williamson

The banning of BZP party pills was "a sham" based on unreliable research and will feed a black market headed by drug-running gangs, a criminal law professor says.

In an article in the New Zealand Law Journal - titled The Great BZP Hoax - Otago University professor Kevin Dawkins accuses the Government of rushing through legislation to ban BZP, ignoring regulatory measures that could have curbed rampant use of the drug.

He calls the Misuse of Drugs (Classification of BZP) Amendment Act, passed on April 1, "legislative folly" and writes that the BZP ban will push the drug underground and expose users to other drugs such as P and ecstasy.

"Since prohibition cannot repeal the law of supply and demand, those who prefer to continue using BZP will be forced into the black market and the arms of the gangs," he says.



 HOT OFF THE 'NET  ( Top )


By Lindsay Lyon

Why experts say drug testing should be left to the professionals.


Century of Lies - 08/05/08 - Barney Frank

Marijuana: Threat or Menace? Featuring Congressmen Barney Frank & Ron Paul + Bruce Mirken of the Marijuana Policy Project, Terry Nelson of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and an extract from a BBC report featuring author Misha Glenny

Cultural Baggage Radio Show - 08/06/08 - Lee Brown

American Bar Association panel on drug reform with Judge Arthur Burnett and former Drug Czar Lee Brown + Poppygate report from Glenn Greenway & Drug War Facts with Doug McVay

MAPS NEWS AUGUST 2008  ( Top )

What do Israel, Jordan, and Burning Man Have in Common?


A testimony published by RAND CORP earlier this year reflects what Transform has long been calling for - a cost-benefit analysis of all the policy options for the control of drugs.


By Jack O'Brien



California's Medical Marijuana In The News. A DrugSense Focus Alert.


Last week Rep. Serrano introduced a bill that would repeal the national syringe funding ban. If enacted, it could save hundreds of thousands of lives and millions in taxpayer dollars. Please urge your representative to support this urgent, life-saving bill.



By Seymour Amlen

In his article on Mexico's drug cartels, Kurtz-Phelan notes that even though Colombia has received billions of dollars from the U.S. in the war against drugs, "there has been no significant decrease in drug flows out of Colombia or in the availability of cocaine or heroin in the United States -- and yet Colombia is considered a success story." I am sure the next time the D.E.A. announces the seizure of a large quantity of illegal drugs, the newspapers will publish this "news" without putting it into context -- namely, that if 10,000 tons are seized, at least that much probably got through.

I am also sure that during Prohibition, the papers published the claims by authorities about the confiscation of thousands of gallons of illicit alcohol as if it were "news," instead of a denial of reality.

Seymour Amlen New York

Pubdate: Sun, 3 Aug 2008
Source: New York Times Magazine (NY)


DrugSense recognizes Kirk Muse of Mesa, Arizona for his four letters published during July, bringing the total number of published letters archived by MAP to 1,064. Kirk is also a dedicated volunteer newshawk, having newshawked 329 MAP archived articles so far this year.

You may read Kirk's published letters at:


Best Bet For Seeing ACLU Marijuana Video Featuring Steves? Comcast  ( Top )

By Carol M. Ostrom

Seattle Times health reporter

The TV program is titled "Marijuana: It's Time for a Conversation," but it's unlikely many viewers of network stations will be talking about it.

Of the three local network stations, only one agreed to run the show, produced by the American Civil Liberties Union and hosted by travel writer Rick Steves.

KOMO-TV turned down the ACLU this week; KIRO-TV never got back to the group at all. KING-TV ran the program in March - but only at 1 in the morning.

ACLU produced the video to engage people in a serious conversation about whether marijuana laws are good and working well, or are actually harming society, said Alison Holcomb, ACLU of Washington's marijuana-education project director.

"Our frustration is that we see plenty of prime-time TV shows depicting marijuana use in a humorous light, yet when we produce a half-hour program designed to take a serious look at our marijuana laws and their impact on our communities, we can't get any airtime."

Steves, the host of a panel discussion on the video, has been an outspoken advocate of decriminalization of marijuana and will speak Aug. 16-17 at Seattle Hempfest.

Producing the program cost more than $100,000, partly for studio time at KOMO, where Steves moderated a panel of local and national experts with an attentive audience nodding approval in the background.

But the heads of the TV stations, when asked to sell airtime, weren't so receptive.

Jim Clayton, vice president and general manager at KOMO, the ABC affiliate, refused to sell time. The show, he said, promoted marijuana use.

"The last I checked, it's illegal," Clayton said. "We don't use our public airways to promote illegal things."

Monday, Clayton met with ACLU Director Kathleen Taylor and others. "They said, 'How do we generate discussion?' " Clayton recalled. "I said, 'Get it on the ballot.' "

KIRO-TV, the CBS affiliate, did not respond to requests from the ACLU.

At KING-TV, Pat Costello, vice president and station manager, said the video was a "very well-done program" that was "fairly balanced" and outlined the arguments "pretty fairly, given that it's done by a group that has an objective."

However, the show delivered "an adult message," he said. "We don't want to send the wrong message to kids that might be impressionable."

Locked into network programming slots, and not wanting to run the show during hours when children might watch, he said, left the 1 a.m. slot. In March, the show ran 11 times on KING and its affiliate, KONG, at 1 a.m. Holcomb said KING leaders told the ACLU that they were concerned about the business impact of running the show in an earlier slot, particularly about reaction from advertisers.

Holcomb said the turndown by KOMO was particularly troubling, because the ACLU had repeatedly shared the program script with KOMO officials, telling them they planned to buy time. They were not told of any concerns, she said.

Comcast, which runs the show on its "On Demand" service, has reported no complaints, Holcomb said.

But there's a big difference having to actively seek out a show and having it on a channel a viewer might stumble upon while channel- surfing, Clayton said.

"We're a federally licensed entity. People welcome us into their homes by flipping a switch. [The ACLU officials] said the thing is doing really well on Comcast On Demand. Of course it would. You say, 'Oh, I want to find out more about the marijuana I'm smoking right now.' "

Carol M. Ostrom is a health reporter for the Seattle Times, where this article first appeared.


"Freedom is like taking a bath -- you have to keep doing it every day!" - Florynce Kennedy

DS Weekly is one of the many free educational services DrugSense offers our members. Watch this feature to learn more about what DrugSense can do for you.


Please utilize the following URLs


Policy and Law Enforcement/Prison content selection and analysis by Stephen Young (, This Just In selection by Richard Lake ( and Stephen Young, International content selection and analysis by Doug Snead (, Cannabis/Hemp content selection and analysis, Hot Off The Net selection and Layout by Matt Elrod ( Analysis comments represent the personal views of editors, not necessarily the views of DrugSense.

We wish to thank all our contributors, editors, NewsHawks and letter writing activists. Please help us help reform. Become a NewsHawk See for info on contributing clippings.

NOTICE:  ( Top )

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.



Mail in your contribution. Make checks payable to MAP Inc. send your contribution to:

The Media Awareness Project (MAP) Inc. D/B/a DrugSense 14252 Culver Drive #328 Irvine, CA, 92604-0326 (800) 266 5759

RSS DrugSense Weekly current issue this issue

Back Issues: 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010