This Just In
(1)Pot Activist Bows to Extradition
(2)Medical Marijuana Bill Gains Support
(3)Coloradans Report Drinking Less, Smoking More Pot
(4)Vt. Has Highest Rate of Pot Smokers

Hot Off The 'Net
-Drug Truth Network
-An Interview With Rick Doblin Of MAPS
-Nutmeg: An Exploration Of The Narcotic Spice / Ibo Nagano
-Nice People Take Drugs
-Can THC Help Some Schizophrenics? / Bruce Mirken
-The Prince Of Pot And Jodie: Big Changes
-Effort To Block Rockefeller Reform Is Dead In The Water

 THIS JUST IN  ( Top )


Pubdate: Fri, 5 Jun 2009
Source: Globe and Mail (Canada)
Copyright: 2009 The Globe and Mail Company
Author: Ian Bailey

Marc Emery, the self-described "Prince of Pot," says he is willing to stop fighting his extradition to the United States on charges of selling pot seeds to Americans and plead guilty on a drug charge even though it could mean up to eight years in a U.S. jail.

Mr. Emery says his Vancouver lawyer persuaded him that he could not win a fight against extradition that began after his 2005 arrest on charges of conspiracy to distribute marijuana seeds and marijuana and conspiracy to engage in money laundering.

Mr. Emery, 51, said his lawyer told him he had never seen the Canadian government refuse a U.S. extradition request.

"The [federal] Conservative government under this Prime Minister is not going to start with you," Mr. Emery said in an interview Thursday, quoting his lawyer, Ian Donaldson.

"Literally, my lawyer refused to [proceed] because he said there's no hope to it. He said it would just be a waste of a week or two weeks of court time for a result he cannot anticipate will be a positive one."

He also noted that his wife, Jodie, preferred any option that would reduce his jail time.

"She would feel more comfortable knowing I was going to be back in two or three or four years than perhaps never, or 10 to 15, 20 years."




Pubdate: Fri, 5 Jun 2009
Source: Star-Ledger (Newark, NJ)
Copyright: 2009 Newark Morning Ledger Co
Author: Susan K. Livio, Statehouse Bureau

Assembly Panel Passes Version Listing Diseases

The effort to allow severely ill New Jerseyans to use marijuana to ease their pain gained momentum yesterday as an Assembly committee cleared a revamped bill that would also set strict limits on who can grow, distribute or get the drug.

The bill, which would make New Jersey the 14th state to allow marijuana use for medical purposes, includes restrictions lawmakers added in response to criticism that a measure passed earlier this year by the state Senate was too lax, allowing patients to grow their own.

Assemblyman Reed Gusciora ( D-Mercer ), one of the sponsors, said, "When all other medical conventional treatments do not work, this will at least give an opportunity for patients and their doctors to explore other methods of treatment, but in a responsible way."

The bill cleared the Assembly Health Committee despite opponents' arguments that legalizing marijuana for any use sends the wrong message to young people.




Pubdate: Thu, 4 Jun 2009
Source: Denver Post (CO)
Copyright: 2009 The Denver Post Corp
Author: Joey Bunch, The Denver Post

Coloradans say they are doing less hard drinking than they did in the past few years but say they are more likely to smoke pot, according to a two-year federal assessment to be released today.

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health found Colorado was the only state to log a decrease in those who think they are at risk to binge- drink since the last study completed in 2006, from 29.8 percent in the previous study to 25.8 percent in the most recent.

Meanwhile, Colorado is one of seven states that notched "significant" increases in teens and adults who say they are more likely to smoke pot at least once a month than those who participated in the last government survey.

"We've been saying for some time that many adults want a safer alternative to drinking," said Mason Tvert, executive director of the Denver-based pot-legalization group Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation, which has passed two pro-pot public votes in the city since 2006.

The increase in stoners could logically be tied to the rocky economy, said Tvert, co-author of a book to be released in August that measures the economics of getting buzzed, "Marijuana Is Safer: So Why Do We Drive People to Drink?"




Pubdate: Fri, 5 Jun 2009
Source: Rutland Herald (VT)
Copyright: 2009 Rutland Herald
Author: Brent Curtis, Staff Writer

Vermont ranked highest nationwide for marijuana use in a new survey released Thursday by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

The survey, conducted in 2006 and 2007, compares drug use by age and by type across all 50 states.

While Vermont doesn't have the highest level of drug use -- that distinction goes to Rhode Island where 12.5 percent of the populace reported illicit drug use in the past month -- the Green Mountain State was cited in the report for having the highest incidence rate of marijuana use among people aged 12 and older.

While the national average for marijuana use was 1.6 percent in 2006 and 2007, use of the drug in Vermont was 2.5 percent during the same time frame.

That's nothing new, according to researchers at the SAMHSA, who said Thursday that Vermont has consistently ranked high for marijuana use.





The mainstream media again squanders an opportunity to explicitly show how prohibition causes drug violence. The New York Times instead chooses to demonize particular substances instead of looking at policies. There is a refreshing alternative to this kind of reporting, and this week it was found in Canada's Globe and Mail, which explored the idea that heroin can actually help with addiction problems.

Elsewhere, another member of the Obama administration chooses to blame Americans and not stupid policy for violence at the Mexican border; while a colleague of William F. Buckley's offers a vision for conservatism that goes beyond today's losing formula.


Pubdate: Sun, 31 May 2009
Source: New York Times (NY)
Copyright: 2009 The New York Times Company
Author: Randal C. Archibold

War Without Borders

GROVE CITY, Ohio -- For five hours, Dana Smith huddled stunned and bewildered in her suburban living room while the body of her son Arthur Eisel IV, 31, lay slumped in an upstairs bathroom, next to a hypodermic needle.

Family and friends streamed in. Detectives scurried about. For Mrs. Smith, the cold realization set in that her oldest son Artie -- quiet, shy, car enthusiast, football and softball fanatic -- was dead of a heroin overdose.

The death was the end of a particular horror for Mrs. Smith, whose two other children, Mr. Eisel's younger brothers, also fell into heroin addiction "like dominoes," she said, and still struggle with it.

To the federal government, which prosecuted the heroin dealers for Mr. Eisel's death, it was a stark illustration of how Mexican drug cartels have pushed heroin sales beyond major cities into America's suburban and rural byways, some of which had seen little heroin before.

In Ohio, for instance, heroin-related deaths spread into 18 new counties from 2004 to 2007, the latest year for which statistics are available. Their numbers rose to 546 in that period, from 376 for 2000 to 2003.

Federal officials now consider the cartels the greatest organized crime threat to the United States. Officials say the groups are taking over heroin distribution from Colombians and Dominicans and making new inroads across the country, pushing a powerful form of heroin grown and processed in Mexico known as "black tar" for its dark color and sticky texture.




Pubdate: Wed, 03 Jun 2009
Source: Globe and Mail (Canada)
Copyright: 2009 The Globe and Mail Company
Author: Justine Hunter

VICTORIA - Even if groundbreaking research into a substitute treatment for heroin is successful, heroin itself should be available as a medical option for addicts, a top addictions researcher told The Globe and Mail Tuesday.

"Like in any other medical condition, patients respond well to a given treatment, but not all of them," Eugenia Oviedo-Joekes said in a forum on The Globe's website.

Dr. Oviedo-Joekes is a principal investigator of the SALOME project, which is recruiting heroin addicts for a medical trial that will offer both heroin and a legal narcotic substitute to determine their effectiveness as a harm-reduction treatment. While the long-term goal is to help the addicts get off hard drugs, in the short term, the plan is to get them away from the more dangerous aspects of heroin addiction, such as committing crimes, sharing needles, and shooting up in back alleys.

The Study to Assess Longer-term Opioid Medication Effectiveness, set to open clinics in Montreal and Vancouver by the end of this year, is building on a previous medical trial that found addicts were healthier and committed fewer crimes when given heroin in a clinic.




Pubdate: Wed, 03 Jun 2009
Source: Toronto Star (CN ON)
Copyright: 2009 The Toronto Star
Author: Linda Diebel

While Mexico Sends Drugs North, American Cash And Guns Flow South, Fuelling Success Of Drug Cartels

OTAY MESA CROSSING - Newly appointed U.S. border czar Alan Bersin delivered a surprising message during his debut appearance near the border crossing between San Diego and Tijuana: Don't just blame Mexico for the smuggling of illegal drugs into the United States.

Standing behind enormous red-bound bales of seized marijuana piled higher than him, Bersin delivered an unprecedented acknowledgement, both of Mexico's best efforts to stop trafficking and U.S. guilt for being part of the problem.

"One major new difference," he told reporters, gathered at this busy crossing a few kilometres south of San Diego, "is the recognition by the government of Mexico that drug trafficking is a national security threat and ( there's a ) need to build honest, reliable law enforcement and an honest judiciary."

That evolution, he stressed, "represents a departure from all past Mexican history."

Bersin spoke at the Pacific side of a highly militarized border - with a fence planned for a third of the 3,169-kilometre route - that stretches to the Gulf of Mexico in the east. Helicopters searching for smugglers - of drugs and people - buzzed overhead and, a few hundred metres away at the actual Otay Mesa crossing, border agents with drug-sniffing dogs stopped and searched vehicles.

But it wasn't simply the verbal message to Mexico that's changed. Even the optics of the news conference were different.

There were, as usual, drugs on display, in this case the bales of marijuana seized headed north out of Mexico and displayed by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents.

What was different, however, was the sample of weapons, including an AK-47, M-10, M-4, sawed-off shotgun and Winchester bolt-action hunting rifle, as well as a package of about $120,000 in U.S. dollars - - all seized while headed in the other direction, south into Mexico.

The point, said Bersin, is that while drugs go north, cash and guns mainly flow south from the United States into Mexico. In fact, 90 per cent of the weapons seized in Mexico originate in the United States.

Continues: :


URL: Pubdate: Mon, 1 Jun 2009
Source: Wall Street Journal (US)
Copyright: 2009 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Author: Richard Brookhiser

The most important lesson of his career is that there are limits to accommodation.

In times of perplexity evangelical Christians ask themselves, "What would Jesus do?" Conservatives trying to regroup in the age of Obama might ask themselves, "What would William F. Buckley Jr. do?"

Buckley died in 2008 after almost 60 years as a public intellectual and celebrity. His quirky and hyperarticulate defense of his ideas, in books and columns and on television, gained him celebrity, and he used his stardom to propagate his ideas. He fought in great victories -- he helped create the climate of opinion in which Ronald Reagan was elected president -- and he saw great debacles, from the fall of South Vietnam to the travails of George W. Bush. I wrote for him and worked with him for almost 40 years, and I believe conservatives might turn to him now, not for salvation, but for a little mental clarity and temperamental reinforcement.


Another Buckley lesson is always think for yourself. No one was more deferential to the wisdom of his betters. He loved Edmund Burke's purple passage about "the great principles of government . . . which were understood long before we were born" and will continue to be understood "after the grave has heaped its mould upon our presumption, and the silent tomb shall have imposed its law on our pert loquacity." But Buckley was always trying to apply those great principles to the problems of the day, and he could be very pert when they took him in new directions. The problem of drug addiction preoccupied him as early as his mayoral run, and he kept thinking about it for years. In 1972 he ran an article in National Review by Richard Cowan, later executive director of The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, calling for the decriminalization of marijuana. By 1996 he edited a symposium in the magazine concluding, bluntly, "The War on Drugs is Lost." This made him! the pet of liberals and pot-heads. He didn't care: The drug laws, he decided, were capricious and unenforceable and ought to be changed. That was the proper conservative position, and he would uphold it even if he was almost alone in doing so.

COMMENTS: (9-12)

Mexico's drug war keeps getting worse and more corrupt. In the most recent round of actions, several local officials have been arrested. And one reporter learns the only way to avoid the violence is to leave the country. In the U.S., oped writers are recognizing the need for reform, while Rockefeller reform laws in New York may already be in jeopardy.


Pubdate: Thu, 28 May 2009
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Copyright: 2009 Los Angeles Times
Author: Tracy Wilkinson, Reporting from Mexico City

Mexico Under Siege

Calderon Had Been Focused on a Military Offensive Targeting Drug Figures and Corrupt Police. Now Officials Are Being Questioned to See How Far the Cartels Have Penetrated 'Local Political Elites.'

The detention this week of more than two dozen local officials in Michoacan on suspicion of aiding a narcotics cartel marks a new tack in Mexico's bloody drug war, a strategic shift that Wednesday sent nervous politicians running for cover.

Ten mayors and 17 other officials were swept up Tuesday in raids by federal authorities, and were interrogated Wednesday in Mexico City. Ricardo Najera, spokesman for the federal attorney general's office, said the officials are suspected of having ties to La Familia, one of Mexico's most violent drug syndicates.

President Felipe Calderon declared war on drug gangs when he took office in December 2006, saying that traffickers had "overwhelmed" a number of local governments.




Pubdate: Tue, 02 Jun 2009
Source: Toronto Star (CN ON)
Copyright: 2009 The Toronto Star
Author: Linda Diebel

Mexican Reporter Took Cop's Warning Seriously, Left Town Shortly Before Colleague Gunned Down

SURREY, B.C. - Bang-bang. You're dead.

That's not exactly how the cop warned crime reporter Luis Najera in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez that he could be assassinated, but that was the intent.

The officer was a good contact and, one day last September, he casually brushed past Najera in the street as if he didn't see him, flicked out his hand and whispered: "Aguas!"

He didn't even say it, really; it was more a rush of air. The word means "waters," but in Mexican slang, it's "Be careful!" Najera, 38, who wrote about drug trafficking, knew he was getting one last chance to run for his life.

He hurried home, packed three suitcases with five changes of clothes and, with his wife and three children, 17, 8 and 2, fled for their lives to Vancouver.

He arrived on Sept. 27 to a city he'd never visited, in a country he didn't know, to claim refugee status and begin the battle to stay in Canada.

On Nov. 13, 2008, his colleague Armando Rodriguez, 40, from El Diario de Juarez, was shot dead by unidentified gunmen. They blasted his body with eight bullets in front of his home as he prepared to drive his daughter to school in Juarez, across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Tex. He died at the scene; she was not physically injured.




Pubdate: Wed, 3 Jun 2009
Source: Christian Science Monitor (US)
Copyright: 2009 The Christian Science Publishing Society
Author: Mark Lange

Treating Prisoners Like Toxic Social Waste Isn't Working. Here's A Better Way.

San Francisco - They're the least popular constituency in America. People we'd rather forget. Last year, a record 1 in every 100 American adults was in prison. One in every 30 men aged 20 to 34. And among black males in that age group? One in 9. Why?

Because America's crime and punishment policies reflect an incoherent mix of motives: justice, retribution, vengeance, the illusion of expedience, the cruel bigotry of nonexistent expectations. And absent decent job training, counseling, and re-entry programs, the system only incites violence and invites recidivism.

It's past time to reconsider our approach to prisons, for practical reasons - and because it seriously undermines our effectiveness as a society and our moral authority with other nations.




Pubdate: Tue, 2 Jun 2009
Source: Huffington Post (US Web)
Copyright: 2009 HuffingtonPost com, Inc.
Author: Anthony Papa

Recently, Gov. Paterson passed legislation that brought meaningful Rockefeller Drug Law reform to New York State. But it did not come easy. Opponents of the reforms fought tooth and nail and swore that bringing forth these changes would open the flood gates of hell. Thank goodness common sense prevailed. But now District Attorneys and Republican Senators, who were the main opponents of the reforms, have struck back. They are now seeking to mount a campaign to repeal the reforms. For a start they have chosen to hide behind the shield of public safety and promote their own political agenda of making those responsible for the reforms look soft on crime. But that shield gets worn out when their arguments do nothing more then undermine the recently passed reforms that advance a public health and safety approach to drug use and addiction.

Their argument now is centered on a provision in the recent reforms that allows judges to seal drug offenders' records. They claim that criminals will be able to hide their criminal past while applying for jobs and doing so would jeopardize public safety. The truth is that only people with low-level, nonviolent offenses, who complete court supervised treatment in lieu of prison, are eligible to have their records sealed. The records are always available to law enforcement, and if there's a public safety threat the judge won't seal the record in the first place.

Sealing records is nothing new. For decades, the district attorneys throughout New York have had the power to seal records or dismiss cases entirely. Under current law people who successfully complete drug court programming have their guilty pleas withdrawn and cases dismissed. This practice is widely understood as an important process for successful community re-integration.

The new law that now is being questioned by prosecutors is essentially the same -- except now judges, not prosecutors, make the decision to determine whether or not a person's record can be sealed. Prosecutors have opposed the restoration of judicial discretion on any grounds, including record sealing. This isn't surprising. They simply do not want to give up their tremendous power.

But the 10-fold increase since 1980 of incarceration for small-time drug use has put half a million people, one-fifth of the total prison population, behind bars. While crime comes in degrees, the basic risk assessment we apply to every other human enterprise - from military interventions to medicine to making children's toys - doesn't seem to apply here. Instead, the crudest and broadest possible sentencing mandates treat many offenders as domestic terrorists, with little regard for the severity of the crime or the risk to society.



COMMENTS: (13-16)

Marc Emery seems destined to serve time in a U.S. federal prison for mailing cannabis seeds to consenting Americans, but it is not too late to register your objections with the powers that be. See "What You Can Do This Week" below.

With political will, overwhelming public support, and ignorant opposition, it seems state level medicinal cannabis law reform merely awaits funding and organized activists on the ground.

Lacking the U.S. ability to appeal to voters, Canadian activists are still chipping away at cannabis prohibition in the courts, trying to establish that, lacking a functional exception for medicinal use, laws prohibiting cannabis are null and void.

Thank goodness young people are becoming more active in cannabis law reform, now pioneering portable activism, as some of us old folks mapped out online activism a decade ago.


Pubdate: Mon, 1 Jun 2009
Source: Charlotte Observer (NC)
Copyright: 2009 The Associated Press
Author: Jeremy Hainsworth, Associated Press Writer

VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Psychedelic rock booms through The Vapour Lounge. In the store, young and some not-so-young people smoke pot through a variety of devices. And owner Marc Emery stands in the middle of it all, proclaiming his goal of defeating the U.S. war on drugs. Known as the Prince of Pot, Emery has sold millions of marijuana seeds around the world by mail over the past decade. In doing so, he has drawn the attention of U.S. drug officials, who want him extradited to Seattle.

Emery has agreed to plead guilty in Seattle to one count of marijuana distribution in exchange for dismissal of all other counts, and the U.S. District Attorney is pressing for a sentence of five to eight years in a U.S. prison. The case is the latest twist in Emery's two- decade-long fight against the prohibition of marijuana in North America. To his supporters, he is a brave crusader for the use and sale of a drug with both recreational and medicinal value. To drug officials, he is a criminal and the biggest purveyor of marijuana from Canada into the United States.

Emery sits "right smack in the middle" of the North American debate over marijuana prohibition, said Allen St. Pierre of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws in Washington, D.C. St. Pierre predicted that Emery's trial would "kick-start it all again."

But drug officials say they are simply going after one of the world's top 50 drug traffickers. U.S. authorities claim Emery's seeds have grown $2.2 billion worth of pot.

"We've been very clear it had nothing to do with Mr. Emery's political stand," said Emily Langlie of the U.S. District Attorney's Office in Seattle. Emery himself, a two-time candidate for mayor of Vancouver who has never shied away from publicity, seems almost gleeful about the legal saga. He calls it the greatest platform he could have in his crusade, and his Facebook page notes that these days he hums the chorus from Canadian musician Baron Longfellow's "I'm Going to Need a Miracle Tonight". He predicted he will be in a U.S. jail by August, and will then ask supporters to push for his transfer to a Canadian jail.

"I do have millions of supporters in the U.S. and Canada," he said, unburdened by false modesty. "It's my job as leader of the cannabis culture to thwart the United States government."




Pubdate: Mon, 1 Jun 2009
Source: Blade, The (Toledo, OH)
Copyright: 2009 The Blade
Author: Jim Provance, Blade Columbus Bureau Chief

Opposition Awaits Possible Legislation

COLUMBUS - From football to taxes, the rivalry between Ohio and its neighbor up north is the stuff of legend. But when it comes to legalizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes, Ohio is showing little sign of following Michigan's lead.

A bill is being negotiated behind the scenes for possible introduction this fall, but even the concept's strongest supporters know it faces an improbable climb in the General Assembly.

The spear carrier this time may be Rep. Kenny Yuko (D., Richmond Heights), who believes he has a special perspective given his diagnosis of multiple sclerosis.

"It's given me a spirited interest," he said. "People come to me about MS and other illnesses. I've never had a marijuana cigarette in my life. I have no idea what that's like, but people have told me about the comfort it brings them in dealing with very excruciating illnesses."


John Murphy, executive director of the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association, has heard the rumors in the Statehouse halls about a renewed effort in Ohio. The association remains opposed to the idea.

"It's viewed as a controlled substance, and there must be a reason for that," he said. "It's regarded as harmful and habit-forming, all the usual reasons. It should remain that way."

While the issue went directly to voters in Michigan, the emphasis in Ohio remains on the General Assembly, particularly in the House, where Democrats recently regained the majority. There's been little talk of pursuing an expensive ballot issue, despite a recent Ohio Poll released by the University of Cincinnati that showed 73 percent of Ohioans generally favor the concept.

"The passage of the issue up there [in Michigan] came through [wealthy Democratic activist] Peter Lewis' money," said Ed Orlett, a former state representative from Columbus who has advocated changes in Ohio's drug policy.

"We understand that the whole [ballot] effort would cost $2 million," he said. "It's a question of priorities. There are efforts in 12 other states, so someone is putting money into those states rather than Ohio."




Pubdate: Mon, 01 Jun 2009
Source: National Post (Canada)
Copyright: 2009 Canwest Publishing Inc.
Author: Shannon Kari

Advocates Say Previous Rule A 'Mockery'

Medical marijuana advocates are planning a court challenge aimed at legalizing all cannabis use, in response to the latest restrictions announced by Health Canada.

The federal government announced last week that it would allow designated producers to grow marijuana for as many as two medical users, instead of a maximum of one, permitted under the old regulations.

The previous rules were ruled unconstitutional by a Federal Court of Canada judge in January, 2008, because they did not provide for a sufficient legal supply of cannabis for medical users without having to use the black market.

Health Canada appealed unsuccessfully to the Federal Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, which refused in April to hear the case.

It was the eighth time in the past decade that Health Canada has lost in court trying to uphold its medical marijuana policies and regulations, each time over restrictions on supply.


"It is time for the vicious cycle to end. It means we have to take it to the next level, to show the government it cannot thumb its nose at our courts," said Mr. Marzel.

The lawyer explained that he is organizing a court challenge this summer on behalf of a number of people in Ontario facing marijuana trafficking charges, and has asked that all charges be dismissed.

If he is successful, it would effectively mean that there is no prohibition on possessing or producing marijuana, for medical or recreational use.

"This is the only way. The courts have repeatedly given the government time to come up with a workable solution. They didn't do it. Health Canada has brought this upon itself," suggested Mr. Marzel.




Pubdate: Mon, 1 Jun 2009
Source: Central Florida Future (U of Central Florida, FL Edu)
Copyright: 2009 Central Florida Future
Author: Virginia Kiddy

When two siblings, David and Elizabeth Gregory, were laid off from their jobs in January, they used their free time to create an iPhone application focusing on the legalization of marijuana.

CHRONIC-les was released for sale May 21 and has had more than 1,000 downloads, ranking it at number seven under the Lifestyle section in the iTunes App Store.

The app features the laws and consequences for possession in each state, facts and figures supporting why marijuana should be legal and a pre-written letter to President Obama that can be sent by pushing a button, described by David as "petition on the go." It can also locate the nearest NORML chapter.

Elizabeth, 26, is an applied sociology graduate student. She finished her undergraduate degree in marketing in 2005. David, 24, took classes at UCF but has been taking time off to work. Neither of them had any programming experience, so they borrowed library books and taught themselves. David does the programming and Elizabeth writes the content.

The siblings have plans in the works to create other applications, which they could not disclose. Elizabeth said some of them will be free, "to give back to people."

Central Florida Future: When did you guys first come up with the idea, and how?

David: We thought, well, there's no application to promote the legalization of marijuana. And that's, like, one of the big things, being the first type of application in a specific genre. There's no political category, and there hasn't been an application on marijuana. That sounds funny. It was just an idea that was floating around. I read an article about this 9-year-old that made a drawing application for an iPhone. So we're like, man, if a 9-year-old can do it, anyone can.



COMMENTS: (17-20)

In Canada, Stephen Harper's social conservatives appear to have cowed enough parliamentary members to vote for a mandatory minimum drug bill which promises to pack prisons with people involved in petty pot crimes. Harper's extreme right wing party has been pushing hard for the bill's passage for months, and police have been stoking media with drug-crime scare stories. Stats contradict police claims of rising violent and property crime? No problem! Just turn around and claim crime was "Under-Reported".

Explained police (who stand to gain handsomely upon passage of mandatory minimum drug laws) drug users are, "like automatons: 'must break in, must break in, must break in.'" And of course, explains Vancouver police Chief Jim Chu, drug users "need to be institutionalized," because, after all, "you either incarcerate the person to protect the community, or you just let them commit crimes". Much institutionalization is expected to be the result of the Harper mandatory minimum bill, although "13 of the 16 witnesses who appeared before the House of Commons" committee "lambasted" the proposed bill as sure to "fill jails with drug addicts rather than drug kingpins."

And finally, here's an event you won't hear much about in the U.S. mainstream media. The Latin American Commission On Drugs And Democracy including former president of Brazil, Fernando Enrique Cardoso, denounced drug prohibition as encouraging violence and as a threat to democracy. "The war on drugs has failed in spite of enormous efforts in places like Colombia - the area of coca crops is not reducing," said Cardoso. "The war on drugs is based on repression. How can people believe in democracy if the rule of law doesn't work?" The Commission recommended that marijuana be decriminalized for personal use.


Pubdate: Mon, 1 Jun 2009
Source: Province, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2009 Canwest Publishing Inc.
Author: Elaine O'Connor, The Province

That's The Downtown Eastside's Status, Police Say, and It's An Under-Reported Problem


Hinton's police radio crackles: there's an unconscious woman on the street, possibly a heroin overdose, and a man who's been stabbed with a needle. Sirens wail. Just another night in Vancouver's drug and crime epicentre.


"There's a lot of under-reporting of crime down here," Hinton explains. "I know assaults and violent crime are under-reported. There's a lot of fear of intimidation and retaliation, and lack of co-operation from victims and witnesses in dealing with violent crime, because these guys have to come out and see the same dealer.




Pubdate: Tue, 02 Jun 2009
Source: Province, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2009 Canwest Publishing Inc.
Author: Elaine O'Connor

In a wide-ranging interview with Province reporter Elaine O'Connor, Vancouver police Chief Jim Chu offered these thoughts on the Downtown Eastside.

What can we do to improve the situation in the Downtown Eastside? "I think we can make positive changes. It will take someone senior to listen to the input from a lot of people and make decisions, because you will never get consensus.

"I think what's really important is the ideology around deinstitutionalization. For some it was good, but they went too far and a lot of people who shouldn't be on the streets are out there. A lot of these people cannot function in the community. They need to be institutionalized. I'll say it. If you don't believe me, walk down there, there are some sick people. That may sound cruel to some people, but really you are killing people with their rights.


"But when all else fails, you either incarcerate the person to protect the community, or you just let them commit crimes and put them in for a day, and let them commit more crimes and put them in for another day. We don't believe that's the answer."




Pubdate: Thu, 04 Jun 2009
Source: Windsor Star (CN ON)
Copyright: 2009 The Windsor Star
Author: Janice Tibbetts, Canwest News Service

Critics Say It Will Flood Prisons

(CNS) - A federal bill to impose automatic jail terms for drug crimes, for the first time in Canada, is headed for passage in the House of Commons in a final vote that could happen as early as today.

If the proposed legislation succeeds as anticipated, judges will be stripped of their discretion on whether to incarcerate drug traffickers, including offenders who grow and then sell as few as five marijuana plants.

The bill was lambasted by 13 of the 16 witnesses who appeared before the House of Commons justice committee during public hearings this spring.


Several witnesses warned the justice committee the proposed legislation will fill jails with drug addicts rather than drug kingpins, who will continue to thrive, while small-time dealers are knocked out of commission.



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 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.


Cardoso said that the changes would have to be co-ordinated. "We need an international convention, otherwise you will have different countries doing different things," he said. "But the climate is changing for the first time for many years. Even in the US, they recognise we are in deadlock now." Obama had already made it clear that the idea of a "war on drugs" was not workable. The need for change is urgent, said Cardoso, because of what is happening in Latin America. "There is a very grave situation in Mexico," he said. "More people are being killed there (through the drugs war) than in Iraq." He said that it was easier for former presidents who were no longer in office or running for election to speak out on such a controversial issue. He added that ending the war on drugs would be not be a signal that drugs were acceptable but a recognition that current policies had failed.



 HOT OFF THE 'NET  ( Top )


Century of Lies - 05/31/09 - Sanho Tree

Sanho Tree of Institute for Policy Studies & "Poppygate" report on UN Drug Czar's call to let Afghans glut the opium market + Mark Mauer of the Sentencing Project re drug use rate of criminals & first edition of the "Stupid NEWS"

Cultural Baggage Radio Show - 06/03/09 - Marc Emery

US Prison Sentences await Marc Emery - Canada's Prince of Pot, Reverend Eddy Lepp and cannabis dispensary owner Charles Lynch, comments from Ed Rosenthal the guru of ganja.


MAPS' new podcast series, Psychedelic Spotlight, hosted by Ken Allen, debuted with an interview with MAPS President Rick Doblin Ph.D.


By Ibo Nagano, Entheogen Review

Humanity has used nutmeg as a medicine, narcotic, aphrodisiac, dream enhancer and inebriant.


Our colleagues over at Release - long time reform campaigners and defenders of those who fall foul of the UK's unjust, outdated and often plain ridiculous drug laws - have launched a new campaign as part of their wider project to drag the drug policy debate out of the stagnant waters of politically driven drug-war posturing and into what rational pragmatists might call 'the real world'.


By Bruce Mirken, Marijuana Policy Project

Report cites "grossly psychotic, assaultive," schizophrenic "became calm, logical, nonviolent, and cooperative within days" after taking THC.


Jodie and Marc Emery bring us up to date on all of the changes around Cannabis Culture Magazine, Cannabis Culture Headquarters, and in the extradition battle Marc has fought for 4 years.


By Phillip S. Smith, DRCNet

How the mighty have fallen! Until recently, opponents of drug law reform in New York were successful using fear-mongering and demagoguery.




Heroin In The Heartland. A DrugSense Focus Alert


Medical Marijuana Is About Compassion  ( Top )


By Gene Tinelli

To the Editor:

Bravo for the courage of both Joe Gamble, who took the risk to put a human face on the use of marijuana for medical purposes, and to the Post Standard for the lead story and long article on his plight May 18.

For Joe Gamble, the use of the herbal cannabinoid marijuana has benefits that far outweigh its costs. Unfortunately, it is prohibited and makes a criminal of a man with a life of outstanding service. Some criminal.

The soft underbelly of our harsh and pernicious "war on drugs," which is actually a war on people like Joe Gamble, is the lack of compassion for human suffering. In medicine, we have only two ethical canons, to relieve suffering and preserve patient autonomy. Our prohibition of marijuana violates both.

In addition to being an effective herbal therapy for multiple sclerosis, acute glaucoma, neurodegenerative diseases, AIDS, the effects of chemotherapies and other symptoms/syndromes, use of marijuana can relieve both acute pain and the memories of chronic suffering.

One of the oldest chemical information systems in our bodies is the endocannabinoid system, which helps us "forget" severe suffering. We can "remember" our worst pain but cannot experience it in the present moment. If we did, we'd be unable to function. This is the same system that marijuana activates.

People with less than optimal internal endocannabinoid systems may have illnesses with no legal, effective medical treatments. When they use marijuana, our society's response is to arrest them and throw them in jail.

On Sept. 6, 1988, DEA Administrative Law Judge Francis L. Young ruled that "Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man."

End of story. Legalize medical marijuana now. It's time.

Gene Tinelli Addiction psychiatrist SUNY Upstate Medical University Syracuse

Pubdate: Tue, 26 May 2009
Source: Post-Standard, The (Syracuse, NY)


DrugSense recognizes Bruce Mirken of San Francisco for his six published letters during May, which brings his total published letters that we know of to a total of 216. Bruce is the Director of Communications for the Marijuana Policy Project

You may read his published letters at:


Megan Fox: 'I Hope They Legalise Cannabis'  ( Top )

Megan Fox has openly admitted to smoking cannabis and called for the drug to be legalised.

In an interview with GQ magazine, the actress said the American government's anti-drugs stance was "all propaganda."

"I can't tell you how much bullsh*t I've been through because I will openly say that I smoke weed," she said.

"People look at it like it's this crazy, hippy, f*cked-up thing to do. And it's not. I hope they legalise it."

The Transformers star, who recently admitted to being a bisexual, added that she "would be the first in line to buy a pack of joints" if the drug was legalised.

Fox's comments about drugs are the latest in a series of unexpected revelations from the actress.

This piece was originally published at:


"Many politicians are in the habit of laying it down as a self-evident proposition that no people ought to be free till they are fit to use their freedom. The maxim is worthy of the fool in the old story who resolved not to go into the water till he had learned to swim." - Thomas Macaulay

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


Please utilize the following URLs


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

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

NOTICE:  ( Top )

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



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

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

RSS DrugSense Weekly current issue this issue

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