This Just In
(1)New Pot Club Laws Change Little, Says NORML
(2)City Refuses to Pay for Dead Pot Plants
(3)Prescription Drugs a Gateway for Teen Drug Abuse
(4)Illicit Drug Use Down Among Young

Hot Off The 'Net
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-2007 National Survey On Drug Use And Health
-Obama, McCain: Who'll Lead On Drugs, Bloated Prisons? / By Neal Peirce
-Eternal War Music Video

 THIS JUST IN  ( Top )


Pubdate: Thu, 4 Sep 2008
Source: Berkeley Daily Planet (US CA)
Copyright: 2008 The Berkeley Daily Planet
Author: Richard Brenneman

California Attorney General Jerry Brown has issued new guidelines for medical marijuana clubs, but Northern California's leading cannabis advocate says they don't represent any major changes.

The new guidelines "could be a healthy development, if they indicate the attorney general wants the state to take over enforcement efforts and keep the DEA out of it," said Dale Gieringer, state coordinator for California NORML.



Pubdate: Thu, 4 Sep 2008
Source: Fort Collins Coloradoan (CO)
Copyright: 2008 The Fort Collins Coloradoan
Author: Trevor Hughes

The city of Fort Collins has rejected a local couple's request for more than $200,000 in compensation for their destroyed marijuana plants, possibly leading to a precedent-setting court fight.

Under the state's medical marijuana law, Amendment 20, the government is supposed to maintain someone's marijuana plants if they are seized as part of a criminal investigation. If the investigation reveals the plants were properly kept as the law permits, the agency is supposed to return them.

But when James and Lisa Masters got their 39 plants back last December, they were all dead.



Pubdate: Fri, 5 Sep 2008
Source: Houston Chronicle (TX)
Copyright: 2008 Houston Chronicle Publishing Company Division, Hearst Newspaper
Author: Cindy George

With Many Substances Harder to Find, Study Shows Drop in Illegal Drug Abuse

A new national survey that shows a continued decline in teen substance abuse mirrors trends in the Houston area, local experts say.

The report, released Thursday by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, also revealed that more American teens trying drugs for the first time are getting high on prescription medications.

"Prescription medications are becoming the gateway drugs for adolescents, where it used to be alcohol and marijuana," said Matt Feehery, CEO of Memorial Hermann System's Prevention and Recovery Center, a residential treatment facility that added a wing for children 13 to 17 last month.



Pubdate: Fri, 5 Sep 2008
Source: USA Today (US)
Copyright: 2008 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc
Author: Janet Kornblum, USA TODAY

But Survey Finds Jump in Abuse of Prescriptions in Those 18-25

Teenagers and young adults are using fewer street drugs -- cocaine, heroin and marijuana -- than they did in 2002, says a government report out Thursday.

Children ages 12 to 17 are using fewer prescription drugs for non-medical purposes.

The survey by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) shows young adults 18 to 25 are using more prescription drugs illicitly.




Interesting analysis was featured by the Sacramento Bee this week on the potential for two drug reform initiatives in California to change the state, and possibly the country. In Florida, at least one state university government body seems to be looking out for their classmates when it comes to marijuana policy. And, some thoughts from a pair of psychiatrists that deviate from standard drug war ideology.


Pubdate: Tue, 2 Sep 2008
Source: Sacramento Bee (CA)
Copyright: 2008 The Sacramento Bee
Author: Peter Schrag

Although hardly anyone's noticed, billionaire financier George Soros and some other very deep pockets are back on the California ballot with a drug and criminal sentencing reform measure that makes their prior efforts seem modest.

Given the prison mess we've locked ourselves into, Soros' proposal may be the brightest light on a bleak horizon.

This one, Proposition 5, called NORA, the Nonviolent Offender Rehabilitation Act, is a monster plan designed to direct many more drug-using lawbreakers to treatment and keep them out of the slammer. It puts more money into diversion and rehabilitation for both adults and youthful offenders, for whom there is now no drug treatment program at all.

It's a complicated and costly plan, running to an estimated $1 billion a year. It would allocate more resources to treatment, probation and parole. But the Legislative Analyst's Office believes it could save the state as much money, especially in prison construction, as it will cost, and maybe more.

The numbers are a little iffy. Nonetheless, the LAO says the program could reduce the state's adult inmate population, now roughly 171,000 prisoners, by 18,000 at $46,000 per year apiece, that's not peanuts and reduce the rolls of parolees by an additional 22,000.

NORA is part of what's become a long procession of drug reform and criminal sentencing reforms underwritten by Soros, John Sperling, the founder of the private for-profit University of Phoenix, and a group of other rich liberals.

They funded California's Proposition 215 in 1996 and a string of similar measures in other states legalizing the medical use of marijuana, as well as a variety of other drug "harm reduction" laws. Among them was California's Proposition 36 to divert drug using offenders to treatment instead of prison.

Proposition 5 expands on that idea, creates "rehabilitation wardens" in the prison system and makes possession of small amounts of marijuana an infraction, not a misdemeanor. All those changes are part of a larger strategy by Soros and his co-sponsors to radically reform U.S. drug-control policy, with its vast establishment of narcs and other drug cops, by shifting from a criminal model to a medical model, as much of Europe has done.




Pubdate: Fri, 29 Aug 2008
Source: FSView & Florida Flambeau (FL Edu)
Copyright: 2008 FSView & Florida Flambeau

Amid a nationwide debate on the legality of marijuana, last month the Florida State University Student Government Association passed a resolution in support of two federal bills on marijuana.

The bills, HR5842 and HR5843, would both move federal law toward weakening penalties for possession of marijuana and both go before the United States House of Representatives in the 2009 session. HR5843, of particular interest to proponents of decriminalization, would abolish criminal penalties for possession of up to 100 grams of marijuana. While redundant state laws would effectively eliminate any pragmatic effects for Floridians were the bill to pass through the House and U.S. Senate, FSU NORML President John Mola said that the bill would nonetheless be a victory for pro-legalization groups such as NORML ( National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws ).

"If the federal government decided that it was in their best interest to leave it up to the states to decide, it would leave the door open for us to further work on trying to get it decriminalized in Florida," Mola said.

FSU SGA Resolution 67, which was voted through the student senate by a 12-to-10 vote on Aug. 6, was authored and sponsored by FSU Sen. Forat Lutfi, who had listened to Mola speak "several times" in front of Senate before approaching him to propose the resolution.

Lutfi himself is not involved in any pro-legalization groups and cited the 2006 "safer initiative" - an item on the ballot in the 2006 SGA elections at FSU in which 60 percent of the voting student body voted in favor of decriminalization - as his primary reason for drafting the resolution.

"A lot of students feel strongly about the decriminalization of marijuana," Lutfi said. "As senators, it's our duty to represent the voice of all students. That was my main concern: to make sure their voice was heard."




Pubdate: Mon, 01 Sep 2008
Source: New York Times (NY)
Copyright: 2008 The New York Times Company
Author: Sally Satel, M.D

We've heard it before. "Drug abuse is an equal opportunity destroyer." "Drug addiction is a bipartisan illness." "Addiction does not discriminate; it doesn't care if you are rich or poor, famous or unknown, a man or woman, or even a child."

The phrase "addiction doesn't care" is not meant to remind us that addiction casts a long shadow -- everyone knows that. Rather, it is supposed to suggest that any individual, no matter who, is vulnerable to the ravages of drugs and alcohol.

The same rhetoric has been applied to other problems, including child abuse, domestic violence, alcoholism -- even suicide. Don't stigmatize the afflicted, it cautions; you could be next. Be kind, don't judge.

The democratization of addiction may be an appealing message, but it does not reflect reality.


Though the National Institute on Drug Abuse describes addiction as a "chronic and relapsing disease," my patients, seeking help, are actually the exception. Addiction is not an equal opportunity destroyer even among addicts because, thankfully, most eventually extricate themselves from the worst of it.

Gene Heyman, a lecturer and research psychologist at Harvard Medical School and McLean Hospital, said in an interview that "between 60 and 80 percent of people who meet criteria for addiction in their teens and 20s are no longer heavy, problem users by their 30s." His analysis of large national surveys revealed that those who kept using were almost twice as likely to have a concurrent psychiatric illness.




Pubdate: Tue, 02 Sep 2008
Source: Press Democrat, The (Santa Rosa, CA)
Copyright: 2008 The Press Democrat
Author: Chris Smith, Press Democrat Columnist

Dr. Stephen Frye, a psychiatrist who served 30 years ago as Sonoma County's mental health director, is giving over his retirement to working to legalize all the drugs that people rob and kill for.

"The war on drugs kills far more people than the drugs themselves," Frye said from his home in Reno. "We have to stop getting tough and start getting smart."

He's talking to anybody who will listen about his book, "We Really Lost This War! 25 Reasons to Legalize Drugs."

It's a jarring notion, but Frye makes a strong argument that drug laws, like prohibition, have succeeded mostly in making the narcotics trade obscenely profitable and bloody, and providing job security to prison guards.




Some Canadian police appear more skeptical of drug war hype than some of their U.S. counterparts. When an email suggesting that fruit-flavored methamphetamine was the latest drug craze started circulating in Vancouver, the police decided to debunk it. And representatives of a smaller Canadian police department show some compassion in dealing with the addicted. Elsewhere, an Illinois deputy is arrested on drug charges out of state; and in Minnesota, police claim success in the drug war, even if a significant local area doesn't want to be part of that war.


Pubdate: Wed, 03 Sep 2008
Source: Vancouver Courier (CN BC)
Copyright: 2008 Vancouver Courier
Author: Naoibh O'Connor

No Evidence To Support Schoolyard 'Strawberry Quick' Warning

Do you know "strawberry quick"? Coloured pink, it looks like strawberry pop rocks--the candy that sizzles and pops in your mouth--but it's actually crystal methamphetamine circulated in schoolyards to lure kids into drug use.

Kids ingest it, believing it's candy, and must be rushed to hospital. The drug also comes in chocolate, peanut butter, cola, cherry, grape and orange.

This warning is being circulated through email as the new school year approaches. People who receive it are asked to read it and tell their kids.

"Pass this email on to as many people as you can ( even if they don't have kids ) so that we can raise awareness and hopefully prevent any tragedies from occurring," the message advises. Sounds scary, but there's one major problem--according to police, the story is an Internet hoax.

Detective Jim Fisher, Vancouver Police Department Drug/Gang Section Operational Intelligence Coordinator, said the flavoured crystal meth advisory has circulated online since January 2007, but there appears to be no truth to it. The drug section has not recovered or been made aware of any methamphetamine flavoured with anything resembling Strawberry Quik.




Pubdate: Mon, 01 Sep 2008
Source: Telegraph-Journal (Saint John, CN NK)
Copyright: 2008 Brunswick News Inc.
Author: Andrew McGilligan

Law Officers Say Most Of The Calls They Receive Are Related To Drugs

SAINT JOHN - "I'm going to commit a crime."

Hearing those words sounded odd to Const. Michelle Bliss of the Saint John Police Force.

It's not often someone confesses to police before committing a crime.

However, not much surprises Bliss and Sgt. Jim Fleming when it comes to dealing with drug and drug addiction in the city.

In terms of a pre-emptive confession, Bliss said it was out of desperation - a criminal act as a cry for help.

"I've had girls tell me they were going to commit a crime hoping the judge would put them in ( methadone ) treatment," Bliss said. "They don't want to do something bad, but they feel they need to do something to get the help they need."

Police deal with the barrage of people in need of help due to an opiate addiction, many committing crimes to feed their habit.

Fleming and Bliss deal with drugs and their spin-offs such as crime and mental health issues on a daily basis. In fact, the pair agree that dealing with a call or individual not associated with drugs is rare.

"The vast majority of crimes we deal with - car breaks, damage, disorder, fighting, arguing - is from a desperation to get drugs," Fleming said. "It's very seldom we deal with someone who isn't addicted - it's the exception."

Both have heard pleas from addicts for help. Some want to change, but the city's lone methadone maintenance program is at capacity and not accepting any new patients. The program involves treating the addiction with methadone, a drug that helps reduce an addict's cravings, and a variety of social services, including counselling.




Pubdate: Tue, 02 Sep 2008
Source: Times Record News (Wichita Falls, TX)
Copyright: 2008 The E.W. Scripps Co.

GROOM, Texas ( AP ) - An Illinois sheriff's deputy and his traveling companion have been arrested on drug possession charges after Texas authorities say they found 138 pounds of marijuana and 4,000 grams of cocaine in their vehicle during a traffic stop along Interstate 40.

Cook County Deputy Darryl Jenkins, 47, and [Redacted] both of Calumet City, Ill., were arrested Sunday evening after Texas Department of Public Safety troopers pulled over a minivan near Groom in Carson County, about 50 miles east of Amarillo.

The two remained in the Carson County Jail on Tuesday on bail of $60,000 each, said Carson County Sheriff Tam Terry. He said the two did not have attorneys retained.

During the traffic stop, troopers noticed something suspicious and were given consent to search the vehicle, DPS said in a news release. The drugs, with a street value of about $368,000, were found inside luggage, DPS said.




Pubdate: Tue, 2 Sep 2008
Source: Bemidji Pioneer (MN)
Copyright: 2008 Forum Communications Co
Author: Brad Swenson, Bemidji Pioneer

Beltrami County has been holding its own in the war against drugs, says Gary Peterson, supervisor of local drug task force efforts.

"Our efforts are unique in Minnesota, and probably in the United States," Peterson, a Beltrami County deputy assigned supervise the task forces, told Beltrami County commissioners last month.

A state-funded task force, the Paul Bunyan Drug Task Force, operates out of Bemidji and includes officers from many local city and county jurisdictions. The Headwaters Safe Trails Task Force, funded through the FBI, is also headquartered at Bemidji, and is responsible for drug enforcement efforts on area American Indian reservations.

"We have the benefit of two task forces here, with two Beltrami County deputies on each," Peterson said. "The FBI furnishes vehicles and gas to all on the task force, as well as cell phones and overtime up to $15,310 a year. These are dollars that don't have to come out of county budgets."


The Red Lake Band of Chippewas initially pulled out of the Safe Trails Task Force, but Peterson said the task force still operates on the reservation, as all officers are cross-deputized as federal agents and the Red Lake Police Department recognizes that authority.

The Red Lake Tribal Council "had a difference of opinion" in puling out, Peterson said, but the band's public safety director, "sees it as an officer safety issue too. ... We do go up there, even though there is no signed memorandum of understanding.

"The work is getting done, as we have special federal jurisdiction," he added. "The Sheriff's Office, however, can't pursue ( suspects ) on the reservation."




Authorities are still grappling with how to handle large gatherings and events in which a significant proportion of the attendees elect to partake of the forbidden herb, such as Reggae concerts.

Known for attracting crowds and clouds, Marc Emery, Canada's Prince of Pot, savoured his freedom by paying a visit to his northern subjects in the Yukon Territory, to extol the virtues and champion the rights of cannabis culture, and sample the local weed.

Cannabis culture icons Cheech and Chong sparked up their reunion tour, "Light Up America," at the prestigious National Arts Centre in Ottawa, reigniting a serious debate within the Canadian cannabis community over the costs and benefits of cannabis comedy.

In case cannabis law reformers are being too discrete, there are still a few vocal anti-drug groups left over from the late '70s to expose us in the media for being the late '60s counter-culture radicals we are.


Pubdate: Mon, 01 Sep 2008
Source: San Diego Union Tribune (CA)
Copyright: 2008 Union-Tribune Publishing Co.
Details: Author: Terry Rodgers, Staff Writer

Outdoor Concerts Can Hinder Enforcement

The stage lights go dim. A pungent odor saturates the air.

And those aren't fireflies flickering in the summer night.

In American culture, music and marijuana have been like popcorn and butter since the advent of the jazz era in the early 20th century.

That history doesn't discourage drug-prevention specialist Lisa Silverman of Carmel Valley from trying to reverse society's casual attitude toward the forbidden herb.

In August, Silverman attended a free Ziggy Marley concert at the Del Mar Racetrack, just as she had the previous year, to see if pot smokers were as abundant as before. Sure enough, bongs, blunts and joints were ablaze.

Not only were the pot-puffing reggae fans not intimidated by security guards, they offered some to anti-marijuana crusader Silverman, 49.

"There were very few attendees who were not smoking marijuana," Silverman said, recounting her reconnaissance mission recently to a stunned board of directors for the fairgrounds.

Officials for the 22nd District Agricultural Association, the state agency that oversees the 360-acre fairgrounds, appeared concerned and agreed to investigate.

One possible backlash: The state-owned fairgrounds may avoid booking bands that attract a plethora of pot smokers. The fairgrounds hosts about 30 major concerts each year, including 10 booked by the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club to boost attendance at the summer races. The club leases the fairgrounds' racetrack.

"The ball is in their court," said Tim Fennell, the fairgrounds' general manager, referring to music fans. "Don't jeopardize the music you like by doing something improper."

Experts on the concert scene say snuffing out marijuana smoking, especially at outdoor venues, might not be a realistic goal.

"If people want to get high, they will get high no matter what the regulations are," said Kenny Weissberg, a veteran San Diego concert promoter.

Reggae, hip-hop and classic rock groups seem to attract more cannabis users than a traditional country act such as George Strait, Weissberg said.




Pubdate: Fri, 29 Aug 2008
Source: Yukon News (CN YK)
Copyright: 2008 Yukon News
Author: Genesee Keevil

Marc Emery smokes a lot of pot.

And he has a lot of beliefs that some might consider. wacky.

You're a safer driver if you're high. Smoking pot during pregnancy cures morning sickness and makes your children more creative. Pot smokers will never get lung cancer. And marijuana helps grow new brain cells. The Prince of Pot admits these claims sound a little radical. "But sometimes the truth appears radical," said Emery.

"It does make for better drivers and healthier children." But the marijuana activist didn't bring any weed to the Yukon. "Typically I let the locals smoke me up," said the 50-year-old leader of BC's Marijuana Party. "That way, I can experience what you're smoking here."

It's Emery's first time championing cannabis in the territory. And Whitehorse RCMP is worried. Known for smoking big reefers in front of police stations across the country, Emery is a self-described "crusader for freedom." When local RCMP heard Emery was coming, they called up organizer Chris Gilbert and asked why he was bringing him north.

"They asked why I didn't just watch him on TV," said Gilbert. "Then they told me, 'If there's illegal activity, and you're part of the event, you're responsible.'" According to Emery, the RCMP also called the owner of Doc's Deli, the venue where Emery was speaking on Thursday night, and gave him a similar warning.

"They said they were going to have a uniformed officer here tonight," said Emery. "But they can't do that - what we have here is a police state." However deli owner Dave Locke never heard officially from the RCMP. And there were no uniformed officers at Thursday's event.

"I got about 20 calls inquiring whether the talk was here," said Locke. "And one of them could have been the RCMP, but no one identified themselves as RCMP." When he first offered the restaurant to Gilbert, Locke had no idea who Emery was.

"I thought it was going to be poems," he said. "I didn't know what was going on." However, now that he's done a bit of research, Locke doesn't regret his offer. "Freedom of speech - I'm all for it," he said. "As long as there's nothing illegal going on, and they assured me there wouldn't be."

There were rumours Emery would be throwing hash into the crowd, and there'd be a big smoke-up at the end of the night, said Gilberts.



 (15) ON GOLDEN BONG  ( Top )

Pubdate: Mon, 01 Sep 2008
Source: Ottawa Citizen (CN ON)
Copyright: 2008 The Ottawa Citizen
Author: Chris Cobb

Grumpy Old Stoners Cheech & Chong Are Back On Tour And Unrepentant

When Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong attempted to reconcile their professional differences earlier this year, the meeting degenerated into a bickering session over who had written the best routines during their heady days as cultural icons. Chong went home and told his wife Shelby that Cheech had a bad attitude and was acting weird.

"You guys should call your next movie Grumpy Old Stoners," sighed Shelby Chong, "because that's what you've become."

It seemed impossible back in the spring, but with the help of skilled managerial mediation, and wifely common sense, the grumpy old stoners buried their hatchets. Light Up America, their first tour in almost 30 years, starts Sept. 5 with two shows at the National Arts Centre.

"It came down to what we can argue about the least," says Cheech, in an interview from Malibu. "A short time ago we had a row and were calling each other every kind of motherf#%&*er that there is and everyone around us was looking at us like we're crazy. So we've decided to be friends and it's as friends that we can go forward and do this."

The two or three previous efforts to recreate the old Cheech and Chong spark had ended in similar fashion -- fighting over past-perceived injustices and reviving old resentments. Like most successful show business duos, they had grown so close the friction became unbearable. They were part competing brothers, part old, bitter married couple.


The two grandfathers, still hippies to their tie-dyed cores, did a dry run at a comedy club a few weeks back and clicked immediately.

"Neither one of us knew how much we missed each other until we started working again," says Chong.

Cheech admits to being surprised: "We haven't worked together for 27 years," he says, "and if felt like a week. It's a strange relationship. We are each other's biggest fans and are fiercely loyal to each other, but can still piss each other off at the drop of a hat."




Pubdate: Tue, 2 Sep 2008
Source: San Bernardino Sun (CA)
Copyright: 2008 Los Angeles Newspaper Group
Author: Roger Anderson

The Inland Valley Drug Free Community Coalition supports San Bernardino County's decision to ask the state Supreme Court to intervene on State Attorney General Brown's demands that people be allowed to smoke pot. San Bernardino County was not fooled by a small group of pro-pot users who marched in mid-August demanding the county issue pot ID cards. The failed protest attempt by pro-drug legalizers is reminiscent of a drug culture craze a generation ago. Those days are long gone and so is the perceived innocence of marijuana. Thankfully, the leaders of San Bernardino County saw through their smoke.

However, in Riverside County, where the Board of Supervisors approved medical marijuana ID cards, more than 1,000 ID cards have been issued. Yes, nearly 1,000 - and at taxpayer expense. This angers citizens, especially in tough economic times when funds should be diverted to legitimate services for the community. The fact that taxpayer dollars are being used to pay county employees to issue these cards is beyond absurd. Nonetheless, a small radical group of drug legalizers got their way. Riverside County made a mistake and we are confident they will learn from this failure and join San Bernardino and San Diego counties in the courts to fight back against the failures of Proposition 215.

California was fooled by Proposition 215. Guess how many people in California use so-called medical marijuana? A jaw-dropping quarter million Californians, and growing! Tell me there isn't something seriously wrong with that. Thankfully not a single pot card has been issued in San Bernardino County. But the pot protestors have the audacity to march on the county and demand more pot use! Give us a break.

Marijuana use brings harm to our children and our communities. It's clear now that a faltering drug legalization movement is afoot in the Inland Empire and the Inland Valley Drug Free Community Coalition stands alongside law enforcement and elected officials in San Bernardino for their decision to not issue or recognize marijuana ID cards. Our hearts go out to anyone suffering from an illness; however, in the case of marijuana, we have seen time and again how the drug legalization movement hides behind the sick for their own selfish cause.




In British Columbia, Canada, the 17th Al Capone style gangland slaying this year isn't blamed on prohibition, as it was for the prohibition of alcohol. No, say the editors of the Langley Times newspaper, such slayings are instead to be blamed on the pot smoker, "recreational drug users who can't see through their own smoke." Maybe one day we'll see a headline closer to the mark, like, "Drug Prohibition Funds Gangland Slayings."

As the ruling minority Canadian Conservatives prepare to call an election this fall they are again casting about for an issue which they may show themselves to be "tough on drugs". This week Tories have settled upon the issue of drugs getting into prisons, which is ironic considering the numbers of people in prison for drug law violations in the first place. Not asking why tough-on-drug Tories haven't been able to rid even prisons of drugs, many Canadian papers instead uncritically reported the Harper prohibition plan de jour.

What's 80 feet long and carries 12 tons of Colombian contraband cocaine, underwater? If you answered "drug smuggling semi-submersibles," you're be correct. While expecting to discover as many as 60 to 100 of the cocaine submarines this year, U.S. officials admit the other 80 percent slip by. "Most of the boats have been intercepted in the eastern Pacific between South and Central America," according to the Christian Science Monitor.

Speaking in New Zealand, retired Canadian judge Jerry Paradis delivered the message that it is time to rethink the failed war on drugs. "Drugs are too important to leave in the hands of criminals. We have to start thinking about a better way of dealing with it," noted the former British Columbia judge of 30 years. "Drugs 101: Safety, Health and Human Rights" was the topic of the judge's speech, delivered at the University of Otago.


Pubdate: Sat, 30 Aug 2008
Source: Langley Times (CN BC)
Copyright: 2008 Langley Times

The gangland-style assassination of a local realtor last week sent shock waves through Chilliwack.


But onus should not rest solely with the person who pulled the trigger.

If Gordon was indeed killed by organized crime, his murder was funded - - in part - by the recreational drug users who can't see through their own smoke to understand the world they are financing.

Money drives organized crime. And every dollar spent on illicit drugs trickles up the ladder to people who think nothing of ending a life.



Pubdate: Tue, 02 Sep 2008
Source: Maple Ridge Times (CN BC)
Copyright: 2008 Lower Mainland Publishing Group Inc
Author: Jane Tibbets

The Conservative government announced last week that it will increase prison security in an effort to restrict the flow of illicit drugs.The initiative includes more drug-sniffing dogs, security staff, scanners, and new search rules to detect smugglers visiting the institutions.




Pubdate: Mon, 25 Aug 2008
Source: Christian Science Monitor (US)
Copyright: 2008 The Christian Science Publishing Society
Author: Gordon Lubold

WASHINGTON - Drug cartels have turned to a new and effective vehicle to smuggle their goods, using small, homemade "semi-submersibles" that are hard to detect and yet effective at carrying millions of dollars worth of cocaine and other illicit drugs that end up in the United States.

Military officials who oversee Latin and South America have grown alarmed by the increased use of these boats, which poke out above the water only a foot or so but carry more than 12 tons of cargo. The military's ability to interdict the craft is hampered in part because its attention has been focused on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and on border security.

"We're in a holding pattern," says Rear Adm. Joseph Nimmich, who heads a military joint task force in the Florida Keys overseeing the drug fight. "We are maintaining our own but not making huge progress."

The semi-subs, known as "self-propelled semi-submersibles," also represent a serious national security threat: Today it's drugs, but tomorrow's cargo could be heavy weaponry, senior defense officials warn.

Interdictions set to double from 2006

Military officials, working in conjunction with the US Coast Guard and law-enforcement agencies, say they apprehended about 25 of the hard-to-find semi-subs a couple of years ago but this year are on track to find as many as 60. Another military official says that number could be as high as 100 by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, the semi-subs have an estimated success rate - actual delivery of cargo - of about 80 percent, Admiral Nimmich says, adding that he is confident the US can tackle the problem given more focus and resources.

Most of the boats have been intercepted in the eastern Pacific between South and Central America. In the last two years, the vessels have emerged as an increasingly viable way to transport large quantities of drugs that ultimately make their way into the US.




Pubdate: Wed, 03 Sep 2008
Source: Otago Daily Times (New Zealand)
Copyright: 2008 Allied Press Limited
Author: John Gibb

New Zealand is ideally placed to rethink the "huge" international hysteria surrounding drug prohibition, and to take a more rational approach to drug use, retired Canadian judge Jerry Paradis says.

Judge Paradis, who retired as a judge for the Provincial Court of British Columbia in 2003 after nearly 30 years on the bench, was in Dunedin this week as part of a national speaking tour supported by Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP).

Leap is an international organisation comprising current and former members of the law enforcement and criminal justice communities who speak out about the failures of existing drug policies.

Judge Paradis, who lives in Vancouver and is an executive board member of LEAP, will next week make a presentation to the New Zealand Law Commission's review on drug policy and the law.

The long-running "war against drugs" had failed, with illicit drugs more readily available, and associated violence and deaths rising internationally through the involvement of criminals in drug distribution and supply, he said in an interview.


"Drugs are too important to leave in the hands of criminals. We have to start thinking about a better way of dealing with it," he said.


Mr Paradis gave a public lecture on "Drugs 101: Safety, Health and Human Rights" at the University of Otago on Monday night.


 HOT OFF THE 'NET  ( Top )


By Arran Frood, New Scientist. Posted September 2, 2008.

Doblin: "I awoke to psychedelics' value just as the law was shutting them down. It was very painful -- like having something snatched away."


Century of Lies - 09/02/08 - Richard Van Winkler

Richard Van Wickler, superintendent for the Cheshire County (NH) Department of Corrections and member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.

Cultural Baggage Radio Show - 09/04/08 - Peter Christ

Peter Christ, one of the founding members of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition discusses failings of current drug war policy.


By Ethan Nadelmann, Drug Policy Alliance

It's hard to know what to make of Senator McCain's selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate. She's admitted to smoking marijuana -- but then again that's also true of every Democratic nominee for president since 1992, as well as Newt Gingrich, Clarence Thomas and lots of other prominent Republicans.


By Paul Armentano, NORML

Well what do you know? A mainstream media outlet finally picked up on this story!


Drug War Chronicle, Issue #550, 9/5/08

The tense relations between the Bush administration and Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez grew even more strained this week as Washington and Caracas traded charges and counter-charges over Venezuela's fight against cocaine trafficking.


This report presents the first information from the 2007 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), an annual survey of the civilian, noninstitutionalized population of the United States aged 12 years old or older. This initial report on the 2007 data presents national estimates of rates of use, numbers of users, and other measures related to illicit drugs, alcohol, and tobacco products.


By Neal Peirce

Will America's ill-starred "war on drugs" and its expanding prison culture make it into the presidential campaign?

Standard wisdom says "no way."


The Drug Truth Network has released of a new anti-drug-war song, Eternal War from "Adult Users"

The radio version in WAV and MP3 formats as well as video versions in AVI, MOV, MPG and WMV formats are available at:

The video is now on YouTube at:



Policy Forum, Thursday, September 11, 2008, 4:00 PM

The Cato Institute will be hosting an event next week on no-knock police raids featuring Mayor Cheye Calvo, Radley Balko, author of the Cato study, Overkill, and LEAP's Peter Christ. If you're in the DC area, they hope you can make it. For those outside the DC area, you can watch the event live on the web.

For more information, visit:


SAFER has a fun on-line petition going on... Please check it out and spread the word if you're interested.



By Edward H. Decker

Some people don't seem to understand why crime is associated with the drug war. ( Don't give up on drug war," Aug. 26. )

It's no different than the U.S. experience with Prohibition. Before Prohibition, there were people with drinking problems. After Prohibition, there still were people with drinking problems, but we added organized crime such as Al Capone, the Purple Gang and Murder Inc.

Law enforcement can't enforce all laws all the time. Ask any of the illegal immigrants in this country who have been caught with fake IDs.

The bottom line is that if drugs weren't illegal, drug addicts could get help without fear of going to jail and there would be no profit for drug hustlers. We taxpayers would save billions of dollars. There would be no profit for drug dealers, and we taxpayers would save hundreds of billions of dollars.

The drug war is 94 years old, and yet we arrest more than 800,000 people a year just for marijuana offenses.

Don't give up? Sorry, but no matter how much you beat a dead horse, it still isn't getting back up again. If you pick up a hot pot and it hurts, the smart person puts on a hot mitt or puts down the pot, instead of doing the same dumb thing again.

Edward H. Decker Manchester

Pubdate: Fri, 29 Aug 2008
Source: Asbury Park Press (NJ)


DrugSense recognizes Alan Randell of Victoria, B.C. for his three letters published during August which brings his career total, that we know of, to 480. You may review his superb letters at


New Drug Survey Demolishes Drug Czar's Claims  ( Top )

By Bruce Mirken

"When we push back against the drug problem, it gets smaller." -- John Walters, White House Drug Czar

Well, now we know why federal officials chose to release the 2007 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) ( see )on a day when the Republican convention's climax and a string of hurricanes is likely to keep it out of the headlines. The survey pretty much dynamites Office of National Drug Control Policy chief John Walters' claims of success in reducing marijuana and drug use during his tenure, which he'd like us to attribute to his aggressive policies, and particularly ONDCP's near-obsession with demonizing marijuana.

First, some raw numbers: The total number of Americans who have used illicit drugs is up from 108 million in 2002, the first full year of Walters' tenure, to 114 million in 2007. And the number of Americans who've used marijuana has passed the 100 million mark for the first time -- up from 95 million in 2002.

Rates of drug use have gone up as well. In 2002, 46.0 percent of Americans had used an illicit drug at some point in their lives. In 2007 it was 46.1 percent. For marijuana, the rate went from 40.4 percent to 40.6 percent. Both the "any illicit drug" and marijuana use rates had dropped a bit in 2006 and spiked notably in the new survey. Illicit use of painkillers such as OxyContin is up notably -- a disturbing trend considering the addictive nature of such drugs, not to mention the risk of fatal overdose (a nonexistent risk with marijuana). "Current" (past 30 days) use of illicit drugs is down only marginally since 2002 -- from 8.3 percent to 8.0 percent for all illicit drugs, and the trend for marijuana is similar.

And, strikingly, despite all of Walters' huffing and puffing about marijuana, the number of Americans starting marijuana use for the first time has not budged during his tenure.

If this is success, someone please tell me what failure looks like.

But wait, there's more. ONDCP officials regularly argue that maintaining criminal penalties for marijuana possession is essential to stopping drug abuse. So what's happened with a dangerous drug whose possession is legal: cigarettes? NSDUH conveniently provides figures for past-month cigarette use, and both the number of users and the rate of cigarette use is down markedly. In 2002, 26 percent of Americans were current cigarette smokers; now it's 24.2 percent, continuing a decades-long decline. And the decline in current cigarette smoking for 12-to-17-year-olds is even more dramatic, from 13 percent to 9.8 percent.

That, of course, is with zero arrests for cigarette possession, compared with 739,000 marijuana possession arrests in 2006 (the last year for which stats are available).

The numbers are in. Marijuana prohibition is a wasteful farce. And John Walters' tenure as drug czar has been a failure.

Bruce Mirken is communications director for the Marijuana Policy Project -


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