This Just In
(1)Marijuana And Cocaine Should Be Legalised, Says Latin American Drugs Commission
(2)Half of Men Arrested Test 'Positive' For Drugs
(3)Senate Approves Medical Marijuana Bill, Sends It To House
(4)Governments' Drug-Abuse Costs Hit $468 Billion, Study Says

Hot Off The 'Net
-Don't Blame Pot -- There's No Such Thing As A "Gateway Drug"
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-Did The Drugs Make Them Do It? / By Jacob Sullum
-What Would Happen If Marijuana Were Decriminalized?
-Drug Truth Network
-B.C. Pot Grower Won't Forfeit House, Supreme Court Rules
-Under The Radar: US Democrats Overseas Pass Marijuana Resolution

 THIS JUST IN  ( Top )


Pubdate: Fri, 29 May 2009
Source: Guardian, The (UK)
Copyright: 2009 Guardian News and Media Limited
Author: Duncan Campbell

Marijuana and cocaine for personal use should be decriminalised because the "war on drugs" has been a disaster, according to some of Latin America's most powerful politicians and writers.

The current international policy on drugs encourages corruption and violence that is threatening democracy throughout the continent, according to the former president of Brazil, Fernando Enrique Cardoso, who is a co-president of the Latin American commission on drugs and democracy. As well as politicians, the commission includes the writers Mario Vargas Llosa of Peru, and Paulo Coelho of Brazil.

The election of Barack Obama has opened up the best opportunity for decades to address the failure of the "so-called drugs war", Cardoso told the Guardian today on a visit to London. He said he was hopeful that the international community would acknowledge that the time had come for a "paradigm shift" in the debate on drugs. "The war on drugs has failed in spite of enormous efforts in places like Colombia - the area of coca crops is not reducing," he said.

The current system of prohibition encouraged corruption among police officers, politicians and even judges. "It poisons the whole system, it undermines democracy," Cardoso said. "The war on drugs is based on repression . How can people believe in democracy if the rule of law doesn't work?" Users should be offered treatment rather than jail, he said.

"The starting point has to be the United States," he said. "Now we have a new American administration, which is much more open-minded than before." He said he had held talks with the U.S. state department in the later years of the Bush administration and found that, privately, many of the officials there shared his views.




Pubdate: Thu, 28 May 2009
Source: USA Today (US)
Copyright: 2009 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc
Author: Donna Leinwand, USA TODAY

10-City Study Shows Need to Offer Treatment

Half of the men arrested in 10 U.S. cities test positive for some type of illegal drug, a federal study found.

Not only do the findings show "a clear link between drugs and crime," they also highlight the need to provide drug treatment, says Gil Kerlikowske, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, which will make the data public today.

Assessing offenders for drug and mental health problems and providing treatment is "important if you want to stop recidivism and recycling people through the system," says Kerlikowske, who supports drug courts that offer court-ordered drug treatment.

"There's an opportunity when someone is arrested to divert them to treatment if they need it," says Bill Piper, director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance Network, a group that supports legalizing marijuana and treating drug use as a public health issue. "But people shouldn't have to get arrested to get treatment."




Pubdate: Thu, 28 May 2009
Source: Galesburg Register-Mail (IL)
Copyright: 2009 Galesburg Register-Mail

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- A measure legalizing medical marijuana finally made it through the state Senate on Wednesday, but a major hurdle remains before it can become Illinois law.

The Senate voted 30-28 for Senate Bill 1381, giving the measure right at the 30 'yes' votes needed to pass. The measure would allow doctors to prescribe cannabis to patients with diseases like AIDS and glaucoma.

Sen. Dale Righter, R-Charleston, raised concerns about the lack of background checks for people who would handle the drugs. But Sen. Bill Haine, the measure's sponsor, insisted only those who were prescribed cannabis would have access to the drug.

"It is not intended to be a stealth legalization ( of marijuana )," said Haine, D-Alton.

The majority of senators who voted in favor of the measure said the legalization of medical marijuana was about relieving suffering.




Pubdate: Thu, 28 May 2009
Source: New York Times (NY)
Copyright: 2009 The New York Times Company
Author: Erik Eckholm

Government spending related to smoking and the abuse of alcohol and illegal drugs reached $468 billion in 2005, accounting for more than one-tenth of combined federal, state and local expenditures for all purposes, according to a new study.

Most abuse-related spending went toward direct health care costs for lung disease, cirrhosis and overdoses, for example, or for law enforcement expenses including incarceration, according to the report released Thursday by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, a private group at Columbia University. Just over 2 percent of the total went to prevention, treatment and addiction research. The study is the first to calculate abuse-related spending by all three levels of government.

"This is such a stunning misallocation of resources," said Joseph A. Califano Jr., chairman of the center, referring to the lack of preventive measures. "It's a commentary on the stigma attached to addictions and the failure of governments to make investments in the short run that would pay enormous dividends to taxpayers over time."

Beyond resulting in poor health and crime, addictions and substance abuse -- especially alcohol -- are major underlying factors in other costly social problems like homelessness, domestic violence and child abuse.

Shifting money from hospitals and prisons to addiction treatment and research has never been politically easy, and it is all the harder now because the federal government and most states face large budget deficits and are cutting many key services. But Mr. Califano said that many preventive measures had rapid payoffs in medical and other expenses.





The violence and corruption of drug prohibition continues to reach into echelons of society which once seemed immune. The Wall Street Journal reports that shipping departments of major U.S. businesses are being unknowingly used as drug mules. Meanwhile, Harvard University experienced a drug-related killing inside one of its dorms last week.

Elsewhere, the new U.S. drug czar describes drug abuse as a health issue. A commentator who calls himself Capt. Black offers a different view.


Pubdate: Wed, 27 May 2009
Source: Wall Street Journal (US)
Copyright: 2009 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Author: Joel Millman

Narcotics Stashed in Shipments of Televisions, Auto Parts, Take Advantage of Security Clearances for Open Trade

U.S. Customs agents got a surprise on April 9, when they checked a trailer of an 18-wheel truck crossing into El Paso, Texas, from Mexico and found more than 9,000 pounds of marijuana hidden among auto parts bound for U.S. factories.

A startling aspect of the bust: The pot was packed into a shipment belonging to auto parts giant Delphi Corp. The Michigan-based company has operated in Mexico for decades, ranks among the country's top three private employers, and, until now, has never had an incident where drugs were found among its cargo, according to the company.

Delphi spokeswoman Xochitl Diaz confirmed the company had been notified about the seizure by U.S. Customs, but declined to offer details, citing a continuing U.S. investigation.

The bust highlights one of border control's endless conundrums: how to deter clever criminals from manipulating security systems for their own benefit.

In an era of open trade, Customs officials encourage exporters to beef up internal security measures to earn the privilege of fast transit through border checkpoints. Thousands of manufacturers, shippers and cargo expediters have been certified under a number of U.S. government programs that designate compliance. The unintended result of that compliance: Those same exporters are increasingly likely to be targeted by smugglers, who look to piggyback their contraband on legal cargo that makes low-friction border crossings, according to law enforcement officials.




Pubdate: Sat, 23 May 2009
Source: Boston Globe (MA)
Copyright: 2009 Globe Newspaper Company
Authors: John R. Ellement and Eric Moskowitz

Student Tied To Suspect Barred From Graduating

CAMBRIDGE - A plot to rob a marijuana dealer inside a Harvard residence hall Monday went badly awry and ended with the shooting death of a 21-year-old Cambridge man, authorities said yesterday, as details began to emerge about two female Harvard students who knew both the victim and his alleged assailants.

Middlesex District Attorney Gerard T. Leone Jr. said the botched "drug rip" that cost the life of the suspected dealer, [name redacted], centered on a pound of marijuana and $1,000 in cash that [name redacted] Copney of New York and two others allegedly came to Cambridge to steal.

[name redacted], 20, was arraigned in Cambridge District Court yesterday and charged with first-degree murder, being an accessory after the fact of murder, and unlawful possession of a firearm. He pleaded not guilty and was ordered held without bail.

"The common denominator that led to the intent to rip off [name redacted] of both money and drugs was that [names redacted] were known to each other through Harvard students," Leone told reporters.

Leone indicated that the men gained entrance to the dormitory because they had been provided an electronic-access card by one of the female students.

The killing inside an entranceway of Kirkland House was a rare intrusion of deadly street violence on the usually quiet academic enclave, and it prompted questions about drug use on the Harvard campus. Harvard President Drew G. Faust said yesterday the case raises "serious concerns that require both serious reflection and action."




Pubdate: Tue, 26 May 2009
Source: Oregonian, The (Portland, OR)
Copyright: 2009 The Oregonian
Author: Kimberly A.C. Wilson, The Oregonian Staff

Seattle's Police Chief, Gil Kerlikowske, Will Direct the White House on Its National Drug Policy

SEATTLE -- During nearly a decade as Seattle's top law enforcement officer Gil Kerlikowske was confronted with concerns about corner drug dealing almost daily.

"I would meet with community folks and they would say 'about two blocks from here,' or 'over in Belltown near where I live,' or 'down the street from my house, there's people selling drugs on the corner at all hours.' "

Kerlikowske's response as chief was playbook police work -- deploying officers to the scene, arresting players along the illegal drug trade food-chain and seizing territorial, if temporary, victory on the drug corners.

But a week into his new assignment as President Barack Obama's drug czar, Kerlikowske is using the platform to recast the "War on Drugs" as a matter of national public health and not simply the domain of the criminal justice system.

"I'd be happy if I can change the conversation about drugs. We recycle people through the criminal justice system but it's more than that," Kerlikowske said Thursday during a visit to Seattle before wrapping up his move to Washington, D.C., to direct the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.




Pubdate: Tue, 26 May 2009
Source: Savannah Morning News (GA)
Copyright: 2009 Savannah Morning News
Author: Nadra Enzi

Crack dealers who are destroying the black community must not be coddled.

Neither Batman's arch-enemy the Joker nor Superman's nemesis Lex Luthor could outdo the real life evil genius who created the bio-chemical super weapon called crack.

It spawns legions of zombie-fied addicts, hordes of gun blazing thugs and, for extra credit, birth defects, diseases and property crime out of this world.

Against such a backdrop the Obama Administration wishes to change federal sentencing guidelines because of the disparate number of Black men imprisoned for selling this super weapon ( mostly to their own people ).

The counter argument that White powder cocaine dealers need 100 times as much of their product to hit the same sentencing thresholds as captured crack dealers illustrates racial unfairness, to be sure. But unfairness masks yet another - crack's incredibly destructive, multi-dimensional impact in so many immediate and long-term ways. It earns its dealers much harsher penalties.

Here is a law that leapt over the tradition of lesser punishment for victimizers of Black citizens and is as much civil rights legislation as federally mandated school desegregation.

Changing its punitive dimension, as liberals so in love with crack dealers hope to do, tells impacted communities that your right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness is once again assigned second class status.

I fear the ultimate goal is to reduce sentencing for crack altogether, as bleeding hearts hope to pull these terrorists close to their bosoms.

Memo to Black crack dealers: When you decided to sell poison to your own people, you decided to create demand for harsher penalties, which besieged inner cities did in the late 20th century as this plague literally turned them inside out. Selling crack is equivalent to firing a cannon repeatedly into a sinking boat ( the inner city ) and crying "foul!" when the passengers take you prisoner.

I support the harshest possible punishment for crack dealers and dare anyone to look at its huge number of inner city victims without lobbyists or other highly paid mouthpieces.



COMMENTS: (9-12)

A California newspaper explains why the drug war continues without ever explicitly explaining that point, as they profile a narcotics officers association that lobbies for tougher drug laws. In Baltimore, at least one politician has seen street crime and now has some different ideas. In Florida, the power company is on the lookout for grow ops, and a report from Canada suggests that the most powerful crime groups reap profit while lower levels of the drug trade experience most of the violence.


Pubdate: Mon, 25 May 2009
Source: Signal, The (Santa Clarita, CA)
Copyright: 2009 The Signal
Author: Brian Charles

A Santa Clarita-based nonprofit is on the front line of the statewide battle against drugs, according to the association's executive director.

The California Narcotics Officers' Association helps law enforcement officials and prosecutors enforce California's drug laws while lobbying state legislators to pass even more stringent drug laws, said Joe Stewart, executive director.

The association trains personnel from nearly all of the state's law-enforcement agencies in drug-abuse recognition, undercover-officer safety, search-warrant preparation and drug-lab laboratory investigation, Stewart said.

The association is supported by member donations and by tuition paid by law-enforcement agencies for its programs, he said.


However, the Narcotics Officers' Association does more than train law-enforcement personnel on how to fight the statewide war on drugs, Stewart said. The association employs John Lovell, a registered lobbyist who tries to persuade California legislators to toughen drug laws.

"You are talking to legislators about the nature of the drug problem," said Lovell. He gathered legislative support for a recently passed a law to require a prescription to possess pseudoephedrine, common in cold remedies and one of the building blocks of the street drug methamphetamine.

"( The CNOA ) was able to get legislators to vote for the bill because we brought in a district attorney from Lincoln County, Ore., to testify on the dangers of methamphetamine," he said.




Pubdate: Sun, 24 May 2009
Source: Baltimore Sun (MD)
Copyright: 2009 The Baltimore Sun Company

Our view: Baltimore's police commissioner was right to say that the police alone can't solve it; in the end, it's up to all of us

When Baltimore police roll into city neighborhoods known for serious drug violence, the first thing they often hear are shouts of "Five-O! Five-O!" from lookouts warning of their approach. The lookouts, mostly men in their 40s and 50s who are considered too old to play much of a role in the street-level drug trade, earn a meager subsistence on the periphery of the business. Younger, up-and-coming dealers pay them a pittance to keep watch, usually in the form of just enough heroin or crack cocaine to get them through another day.

So when Baltimore Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III, who came up through the ranks and once walked those mean streets himself, considers how to manage Baltimore's endemic crime problem, he's got to be thinking of those middle-age guys on the street who, broke, unemployed and addicted, are as much victims of the city's violent drug trade as are the junkies who line up in the shadows to buy their daily fix.

"The best thing I could possibly do to reduce crime in Baltimore would be to give all my officers two kinds of cards to hand out," the commissioner says. "One would name a drug treatment clinic people could enter that day; the other would tell them where to find a job. If I had those two cards, it would be amazing what this city would look like."




Pubdate: Mon, 25 May 2009
Source: Tampa Tribune (FL)
Copyright: 2009 The Tribune Co.
Author: Josh Poltilove

On Windmill Ridge Road in Plant City, one 2,400-square-foot home uses $120 a month in electricity. Another uses $220 a month.

Tampa Electric Co. estimates a third home used about $4,200 a month in electricity.

But the electricity there was stolen - used to power a marijuana grow house with 22 grow lights at 1,000 watts each and two 5-ton air-conditioning units, investigators say.

Such homes are common. There's no way to tell exactly how much power or money is stolen each year from TECO, but the company's chief theft investigator said many he helps uncover involve grow houses.

John Hammerberg supervises TECO's revenue protection department, which helps identify cases of stolen electricity.

Hammerberg said his department's investigators will work about 600 to 700 electricity theft cases this year. About 50 will be grow houses.

The average restitution for a simple case of electricity theft is about $1,000; the average restitution for a grow house is about $20,000.

"It's a huge amount of money that we're losing," Hammerberg said.

Many in law enforcement consider grow houses a burgeoning problem. In Hillsborough and Pinellas counties last year, 102 indoor grow operations were busted and nearly 8,000 plants were seized, according to a report by the state's Office of Agricultural Law Enforcement.




Pubdate: Tue, 26 May 2009
Source: Vancouver Sun (CN BC)
Copyright: 2009 The Vancouver Sun
Author: Kim Bolan

B.C.'s top-echelon crime groups are co-existing "peaceably" despite high-profile tit-for-tat slayings among lower-level gangs, a new RCMP report says.

The 2009 Integrated Threat Assessment on Organized Crime also says the number of organized crime groups in B.C. has risen for the sixth straight year to 135 in all.

Three-quarters of the gangs operate in the Lower Mainland, but an increasing number are cropping up in other parts of the province.

While marijuana is still the most lucrative illicit cash crop for export, it is being rivalled now by the production of synthetic chemical drugs such as ecstasy and crystal meth, says the document, prepared by RCMP E Division's criminal analysis section.

The drug trade is defined by the violence it breeds, particularly among low- and mid-level gangsters, the report says.

"Murder, vicious assaults, shootings, kidnappings, extortions and other acts of violence are largely committed by lower-level associates and gang members, embroiled in internal and external disputes, mostly over drug-trafficking territory and/or in retaliation for drug rips/debts. All have ready access to firearms and many have access to or are involved in the trafficking of weapons," the document says.



COMMENTS: (13-16)

Sigh. Why must the press make tiresome pot puns and evoke stoner stereotypes when reporting very serious efforts by patients to secure a safe and reliable source of cannabis for medicinal purposes? Activists are understandably growing tired of Health Canada's recalcitrance.

Marc Emery has won another reprieve from extradition to the United States, no thanks to Canadian prosecutors who seem anxious to wash their hands of him.

The California cannabis plant eradication counts are in for 2008, and once again the numbers are up. A continuing success or failure, depending on your perspective.

But take heart, the rising tide of support for cannabis legalization is gradually eroding the sand castle of prohibition.


Pubdate: Wed, 27 May 2009
Source: Montreal Gazette (CN QU)
Copyright: 2009 Canwest Publishing Inc.

(CNS) - New federal regulations allowing designated medical marijuana producers to grow cannabis for two approved users of marijuana - up from one - are a "slap in the face," advocates said yesterday.

The changes, to be announced today, come nearly 16 months after a Federal Court judge struck down the one-to-one ratio as unconstitutional and unnecessarily restrictive.

Alison Myrden, who has been a vocal advocate for medical marijuana users, said the changes are an "outrage" and run contrary to the court's decision.

"None of us will settle for this," Myrden said. "This is so disingenuous of our government, because we are sick and dying people. We'll have to go back to court again."

The old regulations restricted designated producers to growing cannabis for no more than a single approved user of marijuana.

Federal Court Justice Barry Strayer ruled in January 2008 that the one-to-one restriction is "arbitrary," not "rationally related to legitimate state interests" and violates the principles of fundamental justice.




Pubdate: Tue, 26 May 2009
Source: Province, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2009 Canwest Publishing Inc.
Author: Keith Fraser

Marc Emery's Lawyer Cites Possible U.S. Deal

The extradition hearing for marijuana activist Marc Emery, which was scheduled to begin next week, has been adjourned.

Emery's lawyer, Ian Donaldson, told B.C. Supreme Court Justice Anne Mackenzie that he needed more time to finalize an agreement with U.S. prosecutors that would end the need for the hearing.

Donaldson noted that two of Emery's co-accused have pleaded guilty to their part in a scheme in which marijuana seeds were sold for use in grow-ops south of the border.

He said that since the pleas by Michelle Rainey and Gregory Williams were entered in Seattle last month, he has been in discussions with the U.S. prosecuting counsel.

"He and I have a general framework capable of resolving the case for Mr. Emery," said Donaldson.

He said that, under the agreement, Emery would consent to be committed for extradition on one of the three criminal counts he faces. He noted that the Canadian authorities are opposed to such a move.


Kerry Swift, a lawyer for the federal justice department, told the judge that her superiors in Ottawa were opposed to the adjournment.

She noted that the case had already been delayed a number of times and previous negotiations to resolve the matter had gone off the rails.




Pubdate: Wed, 27 May 2009
Source: Willits News (CA)
Copyright: 2009 Willits News
Author: Linda Williams

The Mendocino County Sheriff's Department eradicated more than 401,000 marijuana plants in 2008. Most large county seizures involve multiple local agencies and frequently state, federal and resources from other counties as well.

The County of Mendocino Marijuana Eradication Team accounted for 363,000 plants, with the state program Campaign Against Marijuana Planting contributing 231,802 to the total. The Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force accounted for 17,000 plants; other sheriff's groups accounted for 21,000 plants. The July 2008 federal raid of several northern Mendocino County properties seized an estimated 10,000 plants not included in the sheriff's totals.

The county seizures are up from the 320,809 plants in 2007 and the 232, 231 in 2006 despite the nearly two-month summer period where much of the sheriff's department resources were allocated to supporting the firefighting efforts throughout the county.

"We are not trying to rack up any numbers or break any records," says Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman. "We are focusing on larger grows and that results in larger plant counts, arrests and seizures. I remain committed to the seven main marijuana enforcement objectives for 2009."

The sheriff's department top marijuana enforcement objectives include focusing on commercial operations, those causing environmental damage, cultivation on public lands, trespass cultivation, grows which conduct illegal water diversions, neighbor complaints and conducting compliance checks requested by caregivers and patients.



 (16) LEGALIZE POT NOW  ( Top )

Pubdate: Wed, 27 May 2009
Source: Boston Phoenix (MA)
Copyright: 2009 The Phoenix Media/Communications Group.
Author: Mike Miliard

With Support From The Unlikeliest Circles, This Could Be Marijuana's Moment

The Obama administration, already overtaxed with two foreign campaigns, made headlines this past week when it waved a white flag in a fight much closer to home. Gil Kerlikowske, the White House's newly minted director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy - -- the so-called drug czar -- called for an end to the "War on Drugs."

Granted, Kerlikowske wasn't signaling an intention to lay down arms and pick up a pack of E-Z Widers. His was a semantic shift -- a pledge to abandon gung-ho fighting words and imprisonment in favor of treatment. But it was newsworthy nonetheless. As Bruce Mirken, communications director of the Marijuana Policy Project -- the biggest pot-policy-reform group in the country -- puts it: "Can you imagine [Bush administration czar] John Walters saying that? The Earth would open up!"

It wouldn't be surprising if Kerlikowske's speech was actually a subtle testing of the political landscape surrounding the marijuana question, as we find ourselves, quite suddenly, at a pivotal moment in the push for pot legalization. The horrific violence of Mexican cartels, which make perhaps as much as 75 percent of their money from marijuana (in Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard's estimation), has started ebbing across our Southwestern borders. The budget meltdown in California has led state pols -- even, once unthinkably, GOP governor Arnold Schwarzenegger -- to reconsider the tax revenues ($14 billion, according to Time) that could be harvested from the Golden State's biggest cash crop. Politicians, no longer confined to the left and libertarian right, are increasingly willing to say that legalization makes sense.



COMMENTS: (17-20)

It is almost summertime in Afghanistan, but back at the U.N. it is time for the Latest Big Idea on how to force Afghan farmers to do the bidding of prohibitionists in Washington and stop growing those forbidden poppy plants. "How?" says Pinky. "I know!" says Brain (UNODC's chief, Antonio Maria Costa), "We want to create a flood of drugs within Afghanistan. There will be so much opium inside Afghanistan unable to go out that the price will go down!"

A U.K. prison in Wiltshire last week was touted as "winning war against drugs" after having taken delivery of "a BOSS chair - bodily orifice security system - in which prisoners are sat down and a high intensity metal detector finds if they are carrying a mobile phone inside them."

Prohibition causes black market drug prices to be much higher than otherwise. Sometimes people are tempted to smuggle drugs by swallowing packets of them. Such smugglers, said the National Post newspaper in Canada this week, were "forcing investigators to sift through messy evidence" to incriminate body-packing drug smuggling suspects. In onc case last month, police waited three days for four men to expel 184 pellets, whereupon they were charged with importing cocaine.

And finally this week, a slightly humorous look at prohibition from author Ryan Crocker in the Review newspaper in Manitoba, Canada. U.S. prohibition embodies the idea that "illegal drugs are dangerous and should be illegal to ensure our safety and security. Period, the end - leaving no room for compromise and certainly no room for considering the experiences of other countries." Contrasted is the example of Portugal, which "in 2001, decriminalized the possession of all drugs... everything from marijuana to heroin." Was the nation and society destroyed? Of course not. "Actually, it worked."


Pubdate: Wed, 27 May 2009
Source: Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)
Copyright: 2009 The Sydney Morning Herald
Author: Jon Boone

UNITED NATIONS officials in Afghanistan are trying to create a "flood of drugs", which will destroy the value of opium and force poppy farmers to switch to legal crops such as wheat.

After the failure to destroy fields of the scarlet flowers in the volatile south, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime says the answer is to stop the drugs from leaving the country.

"Manual eradication is incompetent and inefficient," the UNODC's chief, Antonio Maria Costa, said during a visit to the western Afghan province of Herat. "So we want to see more efforts to stop the flow of drugs across Afghanistan's borders and the hitting of high-value targets to create a market disruption.

"We want to create a flood of drugs within Afghanistan. There will be so much opium inside Afghanistan unable to go out that the price will go down."




Pubdate: Tue, 26 May 2009
Source: Wiltshire Times (UK)
Copyright: 2009 Wiltshire Times
Author: Lewis Cowen

Erlestoke Prison is winning its battle against drugs, according to a report published by the prison's independent monitoring board.


Prisoners can be very cunning about smuggling drugs and mobile phones - - with which drugs are ordered - into the prison. The prison recently acquired a second drugs sniffer dog and the amount of seizures of drugs increased. The prison recently took delivery of a BOSS chair - bodily orifice security system - in which prisoners are sat down and a high intensity metal detector finds if they are carrying a mobile phone inside them.




Pubdate: Thu, 28 May 2009
Source: National Post (Canada)
Copyright: 2009 Canwest Publishing Inc.
Author: Adrian Humphreys

Ingested Cocaine; In One Case 89 'Pellets' Passed Over Nine Days, Police Say

Border guards at Toronto's Pearson international airport faced a sudden flush of travellers trying to conceal cocaine by swallowing balls of the powerful drug wrapped in plastic, forcing investigators to sift through messy evidence.


Both were examined by CBSA and found to have also swallowed numerous cocaine pellets. After three days of a "bedpan vigil," they had expelled 184 pellets, according to police. All four were medically cleared and charged with importing cocaine.

The discoveries come after last month's marathon monitoring of a Scarborough man accused of swallowing 76 pellets of cocaine.


The RCMP said the health-care costs were several thousand dollars in that one case.



Pubdate: Sat, 23 May 2009
Source: Review, The (CN MB)
Copyright: 2009 The Review
Author: Ryan Crocker


North America, from prosperous and pretentious suburbs of Canada to bustling and bloody border towns of Mexico, has been entrenched in a so-called war on drugs for years. The United States, in many ways, has led the charge - one many of us support.

We believe illegal drugs are dangerous and should be illegal to ensure our safety and security. Period, the end - leaving no room for compromise and certainly no room for considering the experiences of other countries.


And, like all three, Portugal was faced with a drug problem. Instead of bringing the hammer of justice down, Portugal decided to throw the hammer away and, in 2001, decriminalized the possession of all drugs.

Seriously, all drugs - everything from marijuana to heroin.

While the drugs that were illegal before in Portugal remain so - and trafficking in them is still very much a crime - citizens caught with these drugs in their possession aren't guilty of anything.

Can you guess what happened?

Portugal has become the destination of choice for drug users. Rates of drug use have more than doubled every year since 2001 and, consequently, rates of new HIV infections due to the related use of needles have skyrocketed. Drug-fuelled violence, both between traffickers and by users, has turned many Portuguese resorts into something more akin to war zones.

Just kidding.

Actually, it worked.

Since Portugal threw the hammer away, rates of drug use have declined significantly, rates of new HIV infections have likewise dropped, and the number of drug users seeking treatment has more than doubled.



 HOT OFF THE 'NET  ( Top )


By Scott Morgan, DRCNet.

Anti-drug zealots created the "gateway" theory from thin air. And it's easily refuted: most marijuana users just don't use other drugs.


By Teo Ballve


Drug czar Gil Kerlikowske says the latest data from the Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring (ADAM) program "reaffirm the strong link between drug use and crime," while the headline over his office's press release about the survey's 2008 results says, "New Study Reveals Scope of Drug and Crime Connection." But what is the nature of this connection?

By Jacob Sullum


A Freakonomics Quorum

By Stephen J. Dubner


Century of Lies - 05/24/09 - Jeffrey Miron

Harvard Professor Jeffrey Miron, author of "Drug War Crimes - The Consequences of Prohibition" + DASH Award

Cultural Baggage Radio Show - 05/27/09 - David Rosenbloom

David Rosenbloom the new president and CEO of CASA - the Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse + Kevin Zeese, president of Common Sense for Drug Policy & Abolitionist Moment


In a landmark ruling, the country's top court said Friday that a convicted marijuana grower in North Vancouver won't lose her house as part of her sentence.


By Stephen C. Webster



The Illinois Senate passed the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, also known as SB 1381, by a vote of 30-28. SB 1381 would allow seriously ill patients with diseases like cancer, HIV/AIDS, and multiple sclerosis to use marijuana if recommended by their doctor. If this legislation becomes law, patients with a state- issued ID card would be allowed to possess up to six plants and 2 ounces of usable marijuana.

Here are a couple of things you can do to help keep SB 1381 moving forward:



Steve Persky

Mr. Kerlikowske should go further and propose that marijuana be treated like alcohol and tobacco, which the government regulates, strictly controls and taxes. Advertising should be prohibited, and a significant percentage of tax revenues should be used to fund drug-treatment programs for those who seek help for substance-abuse conditions, including alcoholism. As a taxpayer, it sickens me to think of the waste of my tax payments and the damage to liberty and lives which result from arresting and imprisoning nonviolent drug offenders.

It is not surprising that supporters of the status quo include the prison lobby and some elements of law enforcement. It is only they and narco-criminals who profit from prohibition.

Steve Persky Los Angeles

Pubdate: Sat, 23 May 2009
Source: Wall Street Journal (US)


The AP Continues To Write Articles With The Main Point Missing  ( Top )

By Pete Guither

There are a number of versions of this AP article by David Crary article in the papers today around the country, but all of them seem to have the same defect.

They talk about American appetites for drugs, Mexican cartels profiting, and even about supply and demand, but never once mention prohibition as a factor.

"The Mexican drug cartels battling viciously to expand and survive have a powerful financial incentive: Across the border to the north is a market for illegal drugs unsurpassed for its wealth, diversity and voraciousness.

Homeless heroin addicts in big cities, 'meth heads' in Midwest trailer parks, pop culture and sports stars, teens smoking marijuana with their baby boomer parents in Vermont -- in all, 46 percent of Americans 12 and older have indulged in the often destructive national pastime of illicit drug use.

This array of consumers is providing a vast, recession-proof, apparently unending market for the Mexican gangs locked in a drug war that has killed more than 10,780 people since December 2006. No matter how much law enforcement or financial help the U.S. government provides Mexico, the basics of supply and demand prevent it from doing much good.

'The damage done by our insatiable demand for drugs is truly astounding,' said Lloyd Johnston, a University of Michigan researcher who oversees annual drug-use surveys."

Colorful writing with strong statements that lead... nowhere. And again, all of the pieces of the puzzle are there, they just fail to put it together.

For example:

'''It's a drug dealer's dream -- sell it in a place where he can make the most money for the risk taken,' said Dr. H. Westley Clark, director of the federal Center for Substance Abuse Treatment...

'When the U.S. government turns up the pressure a lot, then is when you see a return to the old formula of saying [to Americans], ''You also have corruption, you consume the drugs, you're the biggest drug consumer in the world,''' said Jose Luis Pineyro, a sociologist at Mexico's Autonomous Metropolitan University...

'People say, ''It's easier for me to get pot than to buy a beer,''' said Barbara Cimaglio, deputy commissioner of the state Health Department's Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Programs."

Hello??? Every part of this article points to prohibition, and yet prohibition is never mentioned, let alone what might happen if prohibition were changed or eliminated.

This is irresponsible reporting. Even worse, it's stupid reporting.

Imagine a sports reporter covering a baseball game, say between the Cubs and the Cardinals, that ended up with the Cubs winning 35-2. He goes on about how each of the Cubs had at least 3 hits (including the pitcher) and how incredibly great they all are at hitting. But he never once mentions the Cardinals' pitching (or the fact that none of the regular pitchers were even at the ball park having all come down with the flu). He'd probably lose his job as a sports reporter.

And yet, the major newswires do this all the time when it comes to reporting the drug war.

Pete Guither is the author of Drug WarRant ( http:/ ) a weblog at the front lines of the drug war, where this piece was first presented.


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