This Just In
(1)Cannabis: Police Seizures Show Drop in Drug's Strength
(2)Cannabis Club Crackdown
(3)OPED: Fighting HIV-AIDS One Syringe at a Time
(4)Billionaire Keen to Nix Pot Laws

Hot Off The 'Net
-The Democratic Convention Is Over / Pete Guither
-'The Dope Craze That's Terrorizing Vancouver' / Lani Russwarm
-Canadian Health Minister Has No Insite
-Yes On 5: Martin Sheen Is Wrong / Margaret Dooley-Sammuli
-Drug Truth Network
-Commentaries On UN Conventions Now Available Online
-Be Dubious Of ONDCP Claims / Allen St. Pierre
-LEAP Speaker Jerry Paradis On New Zealand Radio

 THIS JUST IN  ( Top )


Pubdate: Thu, 28 Aug 2008
Source: Guardian, The (UK)
Copyright: 2008 Guardian Newspapers Limited
Author: Paul Owen

Official Data Seen by Shows Potency of Marijuana Gathered in Police Seizures Has Fallen

The potency of cannabis gathered in police seizures has dropped, new official data reveals, casting doubt on one of the government's key arguments for reclassifying the drug from class C to class B.

Figures collected by the Forensic Science Service and seen by show that the potency of herbal cannabis, which includes the strong "skunk" strain, has dropped from 12.7% to 9.5% since 2004, when it was first moved from class B to the less serious class C.



Pubdate: Fri, 29 Aug 2008
Source: Wall Street Journal (US)
Copyright: 2008 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Authors: Justin Scheck and Rhonda L. Rundle

California Attorney General Jerry Brown issued restrictive guidelines this week for medical-marijuana sellers, bolstering his tough-on-crime credentials as he looks ahead to a possible gubernatorial bid in 2010.

Mr. Brown's guidelines say medical-marijuana dispensaries -- which operate in a legal gray area -- should operate as small nonprofits. The guidelines instruct state law-enforcement officials that "excessive amounts of marijuana" and "excessive amounts of cash" may indicate a dispensary is operating unlawfully.



Pubdate: Fri, 29 Aug 2008
Source: Washington Post (DC)
Copyright: 2008 The Washington Post Company
Author: Jose E. Serrano

HIV infections among Latinos and African Americans in the United States are increasing at a dangerous rate. Hispanics represented about 22 percent of new HIV and AIDS cases diagnosed in 2006 -- though they were only about 14 percent of the overall population. In addition, there are fewer HIV-positive people in seven of the 15 target countries of the Global AIDS Initiative than there are HIV-positive African Americans here at home.

Locally, the situation is even more dire: A recent Kaiser Family Foundation survey found that Hispanics in the District have the highest rate of new AIDS cases in the country.



Pubdate: Thu, 28 Aug 2008
Source: Toronto Sun (CN ON)
Copyright: 2008 The Associated Press
Author: Steve Leblanc, The Associated Press

Financier Backs Measure on Minor Possession

BOSTON -- A measure that would decriminalize minor marijuana-possession is on the ballot in Massachusetts largely because of one man: billionaire George Soros.

Of the $429,000 collected last year by the group advancing the measure, $400,000 came from Soros, who has championed similar efforts in several states and spent $24 million to fight President George W. Bush's 2004 re-election bid.





D.A.R.E. maybe fading, but it's not dead yet, as some communities either expand programs, or reinstate discontinued programs, though everyone involved seems to understand that the program doesn't do anything. Speaking of fading anti-drug programs, some communities are trying to figure out what to do with out Byrne Grants. And, in Florida, those tough new grow house laws are not necessarily leading to many convictions.


Pubdate: Thu, 21 Aug 2008
Source: Sun News (Myrtle Beach, SC)
Copyright: 2008 Sun Publishing Co.
Author: Steve Jones

Determent Program Offered To Seventh- And Fifth-Graders

SHALLOTTE, N.C. -- Brunswick County school board members plan to spend $50,000 this year to expand an anti-drug education program that some studies say does not work.

In addition, school board members voted to begin a Drug Abuse Resistance Education ( DARE ) program for Brunswick County seventh-graders without having qualified educators review the curriculum.

"It is supposed to be better," said Reeda Hargrove, Brunswick County Schools' director of student support services.

Hargrove said she was told the seventh-grade program had a new curriculum, but that no school administrators had reviewed it before school board members voted to spend the money for it.

DARE classes are offered to the county's fifth-grade students, Hargrove said, and students who take it choose it as an elective at the same level as physical education, music and art.

She said parental permission is not required for students to enroll in the DARE courses, which critics have said may actually push students to hard drug use by making no distinction between "soft" drugs such as marijuana and more addictive substances such as heroin.



 (6) DARE IS BACK  ( Top )

Pubdate: Fri, 22 Aug 2008
Source: Gilroy Dispatch, The (CA)
Copyright: 2008 The Gilroy Dispatch
Author: Sara Suddes

The school district is fighting back against the ever present influence of drugs and gang violence on its students.

In conjunction with the Gilroy Police Department, the Gilroy Unified School District will reinstate the Drug Abuse Resistance Education Program, an initiative that disappeared from the curriculum in 2005 as a result of new guidelines and lack of state funding. The program was taught in Gilroy schools for 18 years and reached 9,000 students before it was scrapped and replaced by the current LifeSkills Training program.

The LifeSkills program is offered to fifth and sixth graders and focuses on self-esteem, social skills and drug resistance. However, the program does not cover the primary drugs abused in Gilroy, gang violence, peer pressure, bullying and Internet bullying, district staff argued. The D.A.R.E program does, they said.

Superintendent Deborah Flores surveyed fifth grade teachers for input on reinstating the D.A.R.E program.

"They wanted D.A.R.E.," she said.

"Obviously we have a gang problem in Gilroy . heavy drugs are predominant around this city," said Sgt. Kurt Ashley during his presentation to the board of trustees. "The D.A.R.E program covers that."




Pubdate: Thu, 21 Aug 2008
Source: Montrose Daily Press (CO)
Copyright: 2008 Montrose Daily Press
Author: Katharhynn Heidelberg

MONTROSE - Law enforcement agencies stopped just short of passing the hat, but they made it clear: the local drug task force is in dire need of funding.

The Seventh Judicial District Meth/Drug Task Force is reeling from the cessation of federal Byrne grant funding, which, officials say, was hardly adequate to begin with. The task force is now seeking anything from grants to private donations.

Its $47,000 Byrne allotment for this fiscal year wasn't enough to pay rent, Colorado Bureau of Investigation Agent Curt Williams said Wednesday, during a multi-jurisdictional meeting about the task force.

Byrne grant funding expires in September. Montrose County and the city of Montrose have stepped up their funding contributions, as have other governments, though it hasn't been easy. Gunnison, for instance, had to put some of its other projects on hold to make a cash contribution to the task force, which is comprised of officers from several agencies within the Seventh Judicial District. Those agencies pay the officers' salaries. They're also on the hook for overtime pay, which, Williams said was "off the charts" for his agents.

While participants Wednesday disagreed over whether to seek more federal funding, or to, as San Miguel County Sheriff Bill Masters put it, take care of their own problems, there was general agreement that the community needs to step up to the plate.




Pubdate: Sun, 24 Aug 2008
Source: News-Press (Fort Myers, FL)
Copyright: 2008 The News-Press
Author: Don Ruane

Only 9 Out of 46 Cases Prosecuted

Getting caught inside or near a marijuana grow house in Lehigh Acres doesn't necessarily lead to a long stay behind bars.

Nine of 46 people arrested in or near marijuana grow houses during a six-month period ending March 31 have been convicted, but 22 others escaped prosecution by the state attorney's office, according to a review of the cases. Fifteen cases remain pending.

The most severe sentence handed out so far is 46 months in prison plus fines and court costs totaling $26,786. That penalty was ordered for Diosledy Lezcano-Veliz, 23, who was brought up on trafficking and cultivation charges and claimed sole responsibility for 52 plants found at a house on Hatfield Street. Three others were arrested in the case. Two of them were not prosecuted and the third still faces charges stemming from that case.

Sheriff Mike Scott said it's the revolving door of justice. It's frustrating but not unexpected.

It's difficult to prove someone's involvement even though they might be found in a grow house, said Samantha Syoen, spokeswoman for the state attorney's office.

Being able to prove someone is involved is one factor, but law enforcement often intimidates people into letting them into the house and that exposes a case to unlawful entry attacks, said attorney Rene Suarez, who has represented nine of the 46 people.




The Eureka Reporter is getting more information about the costs of a series of raids on allegedly commercial cannabis grow operations. Still not all government agencies have responded, but the tally keeps getting higher. Elsewhere, more corruption allegations; anger from a columnist in Canada about drug evidence; and a case dismissed on the grounds of an unwarranted cell phone search.


Pubdate: Sun, 24 Aug 2008
Source: Eureka Reporter, The (CA)
Copyright: 2008 The Eureka Reporter
Author: John C. Osborn, Staff Writer

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service spent at least $48,000 in its part in June's Operation Southern Sweep and had about 99 inspectors across the Western U.S. working on the investigation. Combined with the $347,000 spent by the California Department of Justice, law enforcement agencies involved in the operation spent at least $395,000 to break up an alleged commercial marijuana grow operation that spanned Humboldt and Mendocino counties.

According to a Freedom of Information Act response to an inquiry by The Eureka Reporter about the costs of the operation, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service reported that it spent at least $48,000 in operating costs during the almost weeklong raid between June 24 and 28.

About 99 inspectors from the San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle and Phoenix Divisions of the office of Global Security and Investigations "assisted with an estimated 8,050 hours expended for the investigation," the response stated.

In terms of how much that translates into dollars, it's not known at this time.

U.S. Postal Inspector for the San Francisco Branch Hillary Smith said she couldn't find that specific information on Friday.

"As far as I can tell," she said, "( the salaries ) are not public information."

The Eureka Reporter also sent out Freedom of Information Act requests to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Agency and Internal Revenue Service - all agencies involved in the operation.

Requests to both the FBI and DEA are still pending.




Pubdate: Sun, 24 Aug 2008
Source: Minneapolis Star-Tribune (MN)
Copyright: 2008 Star Tribune
Author: Rochelle Olson

The federal case against two top aides and friends of Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher will enter its second week today with more testimony about how the investigation unfolded.

Inside details of the investigation emerged Friday when a witness, FBI Special Agent Timothy Bisswurm, revealed that it began in spring of 2004 when he first spoke with Shawn Arvin of St. Paul, a former drug dealer who was working with the DEA to reduce a potential 17-year prison sentence.

In early November, Bisswurm used Arvin to set up the first "integrity check" designed to see whether St. Paul police officer Timothy Rehak would act lawfully when presented with money or valuables.

A federal indictment alleges Rehak, in concert with Mark Naylon, the spokesman for the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office, broke the law. Both men were working for Fletcher's Special Investigations Unit, although Naylon was not a peace officer. He was, however, the best man at Fletcher's second wedding.

Bisswurm last week introduced into evidence numerous recorded profanity-laden phone conversations between Arvin and Rehak, including the one in which Arvin set up the first "integrity check."

The FBI had left $13,500 cash at the Kelly Inn. Naylon and Rehak are seen on an FBI videotape pocketing $6,000 during a search warrant executed in the room rented at the Kelly Inn by the fictional Vincent Pellagatti, a supposed drug dealer. The defendants do not dispute they took the money. But their lawyers say the action was a practical joke on a third officer involved in the search.

The officers left a search warrant receipt in the room saying they recovered $7,500 from the search.




Pubdate: Sun, 24 Aug 2008
Source: Toronto Sun (CN ON)
Copyright: 2008 Canoe Limited Partnership
Author: Alan Shanoff

We expect a lot from the police. We expect them to help clean up crime ridden neighbourhoods, knowing full well that they are risking their lives when they do so. That's why the police shake their heads in amazement every time a judge acquits an obviously guilty person and releases the criminal back into the neighbourhood.

Here's what happened one night in January 2006 in a Toronto apartment complex known for its drug use, drug trafficking, guns and gang violence. The police were present with the permission of the landlord. Two officers were walking up a stairwell when they smelled marijuana. They opened the door to the ninth floor to find a man tightly clenching a knapsack.

The police asked "Hey buddy, what are you doing?" He said the one thing criminals are apt to say in this situation, namely "Oh s--t." He then did what criminals in this situation are apt to do: He ran. He also grabbed a shopping cart and tried to block the pursuing officers. He raced to another stairwell and threw away his knapsack. For much of this time the police are yelling "Stop, police."

The police finally tackle the "suspect" on another floor. They retrieve the knapsack and in what must have been a huge surprise found 680 grams of cocaine, two digital scales and three cellphones. And, of course our suspect had cash, $1,720 of it in his pocket.

Not Difficult

Does this seem like a difficult case to you? I didn't think so. But it was a difficult case for the trial judge who acquitted this "suspect."

You see, the judge concluded that the police had no good reason for stopping the "suspect" and therefore everything that happened from the "Hey buddy" was a gross violation of the rights of this fine upstanding citizen.

Worse yet, this shameful conduct by the police was so egregious that the admission of the evidence found in the knapsack would bring the administration of justice into disrepute. Hence no evidence. Hence no conviction.




Pubdate: Sun, 24 Aug 2008
Source: Journal Times, The (Racine, WI)
Copyright: 2008 The Journal Times
Author: Janine Anderson

Illegal Stop, Search Lead To Dismissed Case

RACINE -- The Racine County Sheriff's Department made two costly mistakes when deputies arrested a man for marijuana possession and manufacturing in October 2006, according to court rulings.

Those mistakes - an unlawful traffic stop based on a cell phone call and search of the contents of a digital camera and GPS device found after the arrest - have forced the District Attorney's Office to drop all six charges against the suspect.

Dean Brown, 39, was arrested Oct. 13, 2006, after Racine County deputies caught up with him following a cell phone call from a driver who believed Brown was acting suspiciously, possibly trespassing. The deputy who made the traffic stop reportedly smelled raw marijuana in the car and searched the vehicle. In the car, the deputy allegedly found garbage bags full of marijuana plants. In total, deputies allegedly recovered nearly 36 pounds of marijuana with a possible street value as high as $140,000.

Deputies also found a digital camera and GPS unit. The camera contained images of marijuana growing in fields. Members of the Racine County Metro Drug Unit checked out recently used coordinates on the GPS unit and discovered several marijuana grow sites.

Brown was then charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and four counts of manufacturing marijuana.

Brown's attorney, Patrick Cafferty, challenged the charges. He filed motions to suppress all evidence in the case, saying the deputy did not have grounds to stop his client in the first place and that any evidence obtained from the searches of the contents of the camera or GPS unit was inadmissible because deputies did not have warrants to search the contents of the devices.

Cafferty's challenges were successful.




California's AG Jerry Brown issued state "guidelines" for medical marijuana clubs, cultivation and possession last week, some of which may be unconstitutional, if not unAmerican.

Efforts to impose medicinal cannabis plant limits in Washington State are meeting with resistance, enough to convince legislators to allow more time for criticism and commentary.

A reported in Alberta has finally done the math and concluded that if a third of Canadians confess to using cannabis, and over half of Canadians support legalization, they can't all be stereotypical potheads.

Given promises by both U.S. presidential candidates to wean the U.S. economy off of foreign oil, perhaps the next administration will reconsider the "holistic way of hemp."


Pubdate: Tue, 26 Aug 2008
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Copyright: 2008 Los Angeles Times
Author: Eric Bailey, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

Jerry Brown Outlines Steps to Help Patients and Dispensaries Stay Within The Law, Help Police Know When to Step in And, It's Hoped, Keep the Federal Government at Bay.

SACRAMENTO -- For the first time in the dozen years of turmoil since state voters legalized medical marijuana, California's top law enforcement official stepped into the fray Monday with new guidelines designed in part to quell the ongoing friction between the state and federal authorities.

Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown issued an 11-page directive intended to help legitimate patients avoid arrest while giving police the tools to distinguish legal medical marijuana operations from illegal cultivators and criminal middlemen.

He suggested his new "road map" would serve as a shield against the federal government, which has waged war against the state's pot rules by conducting raids and mounting court challenges.

"Hopefully the feds will back off in instances where people are really following these guidelines," Brown said Monday in a telephone interview.

The guidelines affirm the legality of many of the state's medical marijuana dispensaries, but only those operated as collectives or cooperatives and not in business for profit.

"Clearly there have been abuses, places that served as big fronts for illegal drug dealing," Brown said. "This will help get criminals out of medical marijuana."


Brown's guidelines urge patients to apply for state-sanctioned medical marijuana ID cards -- and advise police to accept authenticated cards as proof of medical need.

Patients are prohibited from using cannabis near schools and recreation centers or at work, unless an employer gives permission. Police, meanwhile, must return seized cannabis to patients who are later proved legitimate.

Brown takes a notably hard line on for-profit dispensaries.


Bruce Mirken of the Marijuana Policy project questioned the nonprofit distinction, saying, "The last I heard, Walgreens isn't a charity."

But the rules essentially give police a green light to raid for-profit storefront dispensaries.




Pubdate: Tue, 26 Aug 2008
Source: Seattle Times (WA)
Copyright: 2008 The Seattle Times Company
Author: Jack Broom

TUMWATER, Thurston County - More than 100 activists who jammed a state Health Department hearing Monday to protest proposed medical-marijuana limits won at least a minor victory: getting more time to make their case.

Responding to concerns by advocates, Assistant Health Secretary Karen Jensen extended until 5 p.m. Friday the deadline for comments on a proposed rule to limit medical-marijuana users to possessing 24 ounces of cultivated marijuana, six mature plants and 18 immature plants.

The action came at a 2- 1/2-hour hearing in which about 50 patients, doctors and other marijuana supporters blasted the proposal as unfair, unrealistic and unduly influenced by law-enforcement agencies. "We're not criminals. We're patients," said Melissa Leggee, of Spokane. "We just want to be left alone to do what we need to do to survive."

Leggee said she uses marijuana to ease chronic pain, irritable bowel syndrome and other conditions.

Dr. Karen Hamilton, of Redmond, who has treated patients helped by marijuana, said the proposal would "effectively take treatment out of the doctors' hands," adding that there is no "one-size-fits-all" appropriate marijuana dose.

Speaker after speaker said six mature plants can't possibly provide the amount of marijuana most patients need to combat pain, nausea and symptoms of more than a dozen ailments the drug is used to treat. As a result, they argued, users would need to find drug dealers to augment their supply.

"You're going to make everyone in this room a felon," if the proposed limit is adopted, Steve Sarich, of Kirkland, told the panel of Health Department officials. Sarich is director of CannaCare, which provides legal assistance and starter plants to patients.

Lawsuit Filed

Sarich and another activist, John Worthington, of Renton, filed a lawsuit Friday in Thurston County Superior Court that they hope will force the state to reclassify marijuana, now on a list of "Schedule I" drugs deemed to have no valid medical use.




Pubdate: Wed, 27 Aug 2008
Source: Calgary Sun, The (CN AB)
Copyright: 2008 The Calgary Sun
Author: Michael Platt

As Albertans go, they outnumber Catholics, smokers, Edmontonians, voters and overweight folk -- though a massive intake of potato chips might soon balance out the latter.

They're pot smokers, and a new study by Health Canada shows a staggering -- and presumably peckish -- 45.3% of Albertans have inhaled marijuana, with 34.7% returning for a regular hit of weed.

The 2007 federal government statistics place supposedly clean-cut, law-and-order Alberta as the second-most stoned province, just behind hippy-infested B.C., where 37.4% of citizens are repeat tokers of Cannabis sativa.

Cannabis sativa, for those who've avoided cultural contact for the past 40 years, is a psychoactive herb that generally produces pleasant emotions ranging from giddiness to well-being in smokers while stimulating hunger.

Before you start packing your bags, determined to leave this wasted western Babylon behind, take note that Alberta and B.C. aren't anomalies when it comes to dope consumption.

Just under a third of Canadians, or 32.2%, have smoked pot more than once, with another 6.9% admitting to at least trying marijuana.

Even in Newfoundland, the least cannabis-prone province, 26.4% of citizens have smoked up more than once.

It's reefer madness, no matter what side of the bong you're sitting on.


For those who might be sitting on the fence over marijuana's legal and social status, hearing a university professor's sober opinion is a refreshing change, even if it reflects what many out-of-the-closet smokers have been saying all along.

Too often, the legalize-weed proponents come off as total waste-heads - -- but the new numbers, suggesting widespread use by more than a third of Albertans, prove chronic smokers are to marijuana what the chronic drunk is to alcohol.

Someone whose life is consumed by a drug is not a worthy spokesman for change.




Pubdate: Sun, 24 Aug 2008
Source: New Zealand Herald (New Zealand)
Copyright: 2008 New Zealand Herald
Author: David Linklater

Lotus has created a concept car that takes a different, some might say more worthy, approach on the idea of a "green" car.

The Eco Elise has been designed with a holistic philosophy that does not rely solely on exhaust emissions, says the car maker.

Sustainable materials - hemp, eco wool and sisal - have been developed for body panels and trim, as well as water-based paint solutions to showcase new green technologies.

A green gearchange display has been integrated into the dashboard and weight has been reduced by 32kg.

Solar panels have been set into the hemp hard top to help power the electrical systems and give a means of renewable energy generation.

Lotus says the energy expended to manufacture the car has been evaluated, working to the 3Rs - reduce, reuse and recycle.

Dramatic improvements to the culture and operations at Lotus have resulted in energy saving already.

For this year, electricity use has been reduced by 14 per cent, gas by 30 per cent and water by 11 per cent, compared with 2006.

Fifty-seven per cent of waste product is now being recycled.

The emphasis for the Eco Elise is on natural, biodegradable engineering materials. Hemp technical fabrics make up the primary constituent in the composite body panels and the spoiler. With the use of locally farmed hemp, the carbon miles to produce the Eco Elise are reduced.




In Canada, Prime Minister Stephen Harper seems to be eager to call an election, making his Harsher-Than-Thou approach to drugs policy a centerpiece of his strategy. A "drug flyer" direct mail piece the PM sent out to millions of Canadians using taxpayer funds ("Junkies and drug pushers don't belong near children and families. They should be in rehab or behind bars.") angered many. The flyers are "dishonest and just plain stupid... political ads, masquerading as legitimate communications" said Paul Willcocks in a Nelson Daily News piece. And this when the "crime rate in B.C. is at a 30-year low", according to provincial government statistics also released last week.

Insite, the supervised injection center in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, remained in the news even as the ruling minority conservatives misrepresent the center, and attempt to close it down. While Insite is derided as not helping addicts to "get off of drugs", Onsite, the detox center in the same building as Insite, cannot meet demand. And now, the same organization which runs Insite and Onsite (the Portland Hotel Society) has plans for another facility, called "Offsite". For addicts with no home, no family, and few skills, Offsite will be a place for recovering addicts to "take care of horses as part of a long-term recovery program".

Newspaper readers in Kenya learned that students engage in rioting because they abuse drugs. The Daily Nation newspaper in Kenya reported this week that recent student unrest is to be blamed on "drug abuse... A parliamentary committee investigating the recent wave of unrest in secondary schools was told that the abuse of drugs and other substances among students was rampant."


Pubdate: Tue, 26 Aug 2008
Source: Nelson Daily News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2008 Nelson Daily News
Author: Paul Willcocks

The federal Conservatives seem set on confirming many people's worst fears with their sleazy, dishonest and just plain stupid direct mail pieces to millions of Canada homes.

And at the same time, they're playing fast and loose with taxpayers' money, pretending that partisan promotional material is legitimate communication between MPs and the public.

You've seen them. The flyers are cheap looking single sheets, with a picture or two of Steven Harper and a headline on some issue. Then there's a ballot, with an arrow aimed at Harper's name.


But these aren't information pieces. And they're not going to the people MPs represent. They're political ads, masquerading as legitimate communications.


It has a picture on the outside of a syringe laying a playground, and a big headline: "Safe?"

Inside, there's a jail door and more headlines: "Junkies and drug pushers don't belong near children and families. They should be in rehab or behind bars."

The Liberals let thugs and drug pushers write the rules, the flyer says. The Conservatives will "keep junkies in rehab and off the streets."

It's really offensive, perhaps mostly because the flyer assumes Canadians are both dumb and lacking in basic compassion. While many Canadians might be sick of dealing with the effects of addiction, they are not stupid.



 (18) B.C.'S CRIME RATE HITS 30-YEAR LOW  ( Top )

Pubdate: Wed, 27 Aug 2008
Source: Vancouver Sun (CN BC)
Copyright: 2008 The Vancouver Sun
Author: Catherine Rolfsen

But Gangs Still A Major Concern

The reported crime rate in B.C. is at a 30-year low, according to statistics released Tuesday by the provincial government.


A recent report from the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics -- a body that collects crime numbers from police forces across the country -- shows an eight-per-cent decrease in crime rates in B.C. between 2006 and 2007. This trend is mirrored across Canada.

Much of this decrease can be attributed to drops in high-volume, non-violent crimes like theft, motor vehicle theft, fraud and counterfeiting, the report said.


The violent crime rate is at a 20-year low, the report said.




Pubdate: Mon, 25 Aug 2008
Source: Globe and Mail (Canada)
Copyright: 2008 The Globe and Mail Company
Author: Anna Mehler Paperny

VANCOUVER -- Onsite, the detox and recovery facility a floor above Vancouver's controversial supervised-injection site, is approaching its first anniversary operating at full capacity: Its beds are full, it has a 30-person waiting list and the facility's proponents point to it as evidence that Insite succeeds in helping the city's most desperate addicts get off the street and into treatment.


Since Onsite opened in September, 2007, its detox centre has had 343 visits, 157 people graduated to its longer-term stabilization facility, and 46 of them made it at least one month drug-free. Supervisor Russell Maynard said he personally knows nine people who have been through Onsite and have been clean for several months.

In that year-long period, more than 2,000 injecting drug users have made use of Insite's sterilized syringes, drug paraphernalia and nurse supervision. Insite gets 800 visits a day, some from repeat users who will come as many as 10 times daily to shoot up. The supervised-injection site recently celebrated its millionth visit since it opened in 2003.

Insite connects addicts with treatment they would not otherwise get, said Mark Townsend, a spokesman for the Portland Hotel Society which runs Insite and Onsite along with the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority.




Pubdate: Tue, 26 Aug 2008
Source: Globe and Mail (Canada)
Copyright: 2008 The Globe and Mail Company
Author: Anna Mehler Paperny

Vancouver's InSite May Purchase Land So Recovering Addicts Could Tend Horses


VANCOUVER -- First there was InSite, then there was OnSite. Next up could be OffSite. The Vancouver-based organization behind the city's controversial supervised-injection site hopes to purchase a piece of land where recovering hard-core addicts could take care of horses as part of a long-term recovery program geared toward those using its supervised-injection site and detox facilities.

The program would allow the city's most destitute addicts a chance to recover in a supported environment, said Portland Hotel Society spokesman Mark Townsend.

He sees it as a continuation of the drug-treatment spectrum of InSite, which gives addicts a clean place to shoot up, and OnSite, the detox facilities that lie upstairs.

"It's hard for them to access detox, hard for them to access treatment and hard for them to access long-term treatment," Mr. Townsend said.


"Even if we could get one of our residents [at OnSite] clean in a way, they don't have very much: They don't have anywhere to live, they don't have much education, they don't have a family," he added.

Health Minister Tony Clement has strongly criticized the supervised-injection site for allowing users to shoot up.




Pubdate: Wed, 20 Aug 2008
Source: Daily Nation (Kenya)
Copyright: 2008 Nation Newspapers
Author: Benson Amadala

Drug abuse, absence of role models in society and failure by leaders to embrace dialogue when handling disputes have been cited as factors contributing to indiscipline in schools.

A parliamentary committee investigating the recent wave of unrest in secondary schools was told that the abuse of drugs and other substances among students was rampant.

The parliamentary committee chaired by Mosop MP David Koech was receiving views from Western Province at Kakamega High School. Fifteen schools in the province were affected by the unrest.



 HOT OFF THE 'NET  ( Top )


By Pete Guither at


By Lani Russwarm

The long, true history of hard drugs in Canada's poorest neighborhood.


Tony Clement discusses harm reduction at the Canadian reception at the International AIDS Conference (3-8 August 2008) in Mexico City.


By Margaret Dooley-Sammuli

Last time I checked, Martin Sheen was an actor, not a policy expert. But that hasn't stopped him from asking our elected officials to oppose Prop. 5. In a letter last week, Mr. Sheen urged our representatives in Sacramento to ignore all of the state's public health advocates and side with him.


Century of Lies- 08/26/08 - Graham Boyd

Graham Boyd of the American Civil Liberties Union + Valerie Corral of Wo/Mens Alliance for Medical Marijuana

Cultural Baggage Radio Show - 08/27/08 - Wendy Chapkis

Wendy Chapkis, co-author of "Dying To Get High - Marijuana as Medicine" + Terry Nelson of LEAP, Official Govt Truth w/ Winston Francis, Ernesto Aguilar reports from Denver and the DNC


The International Harm Reduction Association recently received digital copies of the Official Commentaries on the 1961, 1971 and 1988 UN Drug Conventions, as well as the Commentary to the 1972 Protocol amending the 1961 Convention, from the Legal and Treaty Affairs team at UNODC, all now available online.


By Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director

Since the ONDCP's inception, citizens and organizations that are not proponents of prohibition have not been afforded either opportunity or courtesy.


Retired Canadian Judge Jerry Paradis discussed drug policy and LEAP with Radio New Zealand while on a speaking tour of the country.



Brown's Rules On Medical Marijuana. A DrugSense Focus Alert.



By J. Thomas Dilberger

In response to the July 28 article "More, cheaper heroin seen in Shore area," the ongoing attempt to stem the flow of drugs is absurd.

Unfortunately, people want to use drugs, and billions of tax dollars have been flushed down the toilet trying to stop the illicit drug trade. We should stop the charade and either legalize drug use or stop enforcement of the unenforceable drug laws.

The government shouldn't be in the business of changing behavior. If people want to use heroin, or any other drugs for that matter, they should be allowed. It will have no effect on the number of deaths overall. Drug use is the same as drinking or any other vice: A certain number of unfortunate people will overdose and die, others will use drugs and destroy their lives, and the majority of people will try drugs, discontinue using them and live productive lives.

To continue wasting the resources of our police and judicial system on this comedy of arrest, trial and incarceration does the taxpayers of New Jersey no good.

Drop the anti-drug programs, evict all nonviolent drug offenders from prison and discontinue all cooperation with federal anti-drug authorities.

I don't use drugs, nor do I advocate drug use. My ideas represent the only reasonable solution to the problem and are long overdue.

J. Thomas Dilberger Belmar

Pubdate: Sat, 16 Aug 2008
Source: Asbury Park Press (NJ)


Law Enforcement Against Prohibition Becomes Latest Victim Of  ( Top )


Retired police detective, Howard Wooldridge, representing Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), was ousted from the National Asian Peace Officers Association (NAPOA) Conference in Crystal City because he was representing a view contrary U.S. government policy.

LEAP is a 10,000-member organization of police, judges, prosecutors, DEA & FBI agents, and others who know ending drug prohibition will reduce death, disease, crime, and addiction, while saving billions of our tax dollars each year.

On Tuesday (8-26-2008) acting under pressure from unnamed federal officials, Reagan Fong, President of the NAPOA, insisted on the immediate removal of LEAP from the conference vendor roster. It appears that some of the event's other exhibitors took exception to the LEAP message and put pressure on the event organizer to expel LEAP from the event. While the incident was civil and took place prior to the second day's session it represents a serious violation of Constitutional rights as cited within the First Amendment.

Federal agency representatives manning booths at the conference included DEA, Federal Air Marshals, NCIS, and Coast Guard. The prior day LEAP's spokesperson had visited the DEA booth and described the agent as "decidedly unhappy" with an opposing viewpoint. In sharp contrast at 37 national and international law enforcement Conferences where LEAP has been allowed to exhibit, 80 percent of booth visitors agreed with LEAP's stance for ending this failed drug war.

As for the Crystal City NAPOA incident, the appearance of impropriety is almost as bad as the real thing. LEAP has attempted to establish contact with Mr. Fong, NAPOA President, to confirm the details of the incident but we have received no response so we can only conclude it is blatant censorship originating from a judgmental "Big Brother" mentality. LEAP believes that this group owes us an apology. We ask that Mr. Fong identify the individual, agency or group that lobbied for our eviction from the event.

If this was an independent effort then he or she was acting outside the scope of authority and should receive administrative punishment for unprofessional actions. If this action was sanctioned by upper level management then the managers need to explain their behavior in an open forum. If this was sanctioned official action by the U.S. Government it is a serious matter which requires serious and immediate attention.

For more information about LEAP, visit


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