This Just In
(1)Drug Charges May Deny Students Financial Aid
(2)Get Serious About Decriminalizing Drugs; Others Are
(3)County Responds To Lawsuit Over Pot
(4)Pot, Nudity And Taxes The Talk Of The Town

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 THIS JUST IN  ( Top )


Pubdate: Thu, 1 Oct 2009
Source: Grand Valley Lanthorn (MI Edu)
Copyright: 2009 Grand Valley Lanthorn
Author: Amanda Lechel, GVL Staff Writer

More than 20,000 college applicants were declined eligibility to receive financial aid in 2006 because of drug convictions on their records. Of those 20,000, 6,722 were from Michigan.

Those students were declined because of the Higher Education Act's Aid Elimination Penalty passed by Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1998. For more than a decade, students who have applied for federal aid have been required to reveal past drug convictions.

On Sept. 17 students at Grand Valley State University had a chance to make their voices heard about a bill going through the House of Representatives to keep the Aid Elimination Penalty intact.

In July, the House of Representatives passed the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act, which would repeal the Aid Elimination Penalty for students convicted of drug possession policies. If the act becomes a law, only students convicted of drug distribution offenses would lose their financial aid eligibility.

Two weeks ago, U.S. Rep. Mark Souder of Indiana, who wrote the act in 1998, offered an amendment to reinstate the Aid Elimination Penalty. Souder wanted the law back to its original format where students with misdemeanor drug convictions would still not be able to receive financial aid.

"When Souder launched his campaign on Thursday to keep misdemeanor charges within the law, (Students for a Sensible Drug Policy) launched a counterattack," said Joel Mounts, a SSDP representative. "All the chapters of SSDP were involved, including Grand Valley. We had members contacting their local representatives to let them know how we felt about misdemeanors being included in this law."




Pubdate: Thu, 1 Oct 2009
Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA)
Copyright: 2009 San Jose Mercury News
Authors: Timothy Lynch and Juan Carlos Hidalgo

The international war against the black market trade in narcotics seems to be at a tipping point, as a new approach is gaining traction globally: decriminalization. More and more policymakers are coming to the view that it is wrong to jail drug users as criminals.

Last November, Massachusetts voters approved a referendum that decriminalized marijuana. In December 2007, voters in Denver approved a law that made adult marijuana possession the city's "lowest law-enforcement priority." In California, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced it is time to closely study the decriminalization of marijuana, which is already the state's largest cash crop.

American policy makers seem to be cautiously following the shift in public opinion on drug policy. A recent Zogby poll showed that 52 percent of those polled thought marijuana should be legal, taxed and regulated. The shift is probably the result of experience: Many Americans have either used drugs or have relatives or friends who have tried marijuana or other drugs and do not see their friends and loved ones as criminals.




Pubdate: Fri, 2 Oct 2009
Source: Ukiah Daily Journal, The (CA)
Copyright: 2009 The Ukiah Daily Journal
Author: Tiffany Revelle, The Daily Journal

The county responded Monday to the lawsuit claiming the county's marijuana regulation code is unconstitutional.

Attorney Edie Lerman filed the lawsuit Sept. 11 in Mendocino County Superior Court on behalf of five medical marijuana patients. The suit seeks to stop the county from enforcing its marijuana cultivation code, claiming the ordinance limits cultivation in ways state law does not.

County Counsel Jeanine Nadel filed a response on behalf of the Board of Supervisors and county Sheriff Tom Allman. In it, Nadel says the county is within its constitutional rights to enforce the regulations and to treat violations as nuisances.

"Concerned about increasing violent crime and other health and safety issues related to large marijuana grows in the county's unincorporated areas, the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors exercised its broad constitutional police powers and enacted ... a non-criminal ordinance governing how and where marijuana is to be cultivated in its jurisdiction," Nadel writes.

State law governing medical marijuana is outlined in Proposition 215, the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, and in Senate Bill 420. Attorneys Edie Lerman and J. David Nick jointly filed the lawsuit against the county.

Lerman said Thursday she rescheduled the Oct. 9 hearing date to determine whether a preliminary injunction will be granted. An amended motion with a new hearing date of Feb. 5, 2010 was filed Wednesday, but Lerman said it had nothing to do with the county's opposition, because she hasn't had time to look at the documents.




Pubdate: Fri, 2 Oct 2009
Source: Daily Camera (Boulder, CO)
Copyright: 2009 The Daily Camera.
Author: Erika Stutzman, for the Camera Editorial Board

Clarity and the Law

We've been beset recently with confusion over certain laws, how they are -- or should be -- applied and whom they impact.

The answer to the latter: All of us. Which may be surprising, since the laws in question only apply to a small percentage of the community.

Pot: Boulder District Attorney Stan Garnett said this week that the state's medical marijuana laws need more clarity, and he's not interested in prosecuting cases that fall in the gray areas between legalization and prohibition of the drug. We think he's right on target, on both.

Clarity is needed. The law wasn't crafted in such a way to make dispensaries fully protected, and municipalities as diverse as Summit County and Superior are moving to ban marijuana businesses from setting up shop. Meanwhile, sick people who use marijuana -- frequently to relieve extreme pain -- are sometimes swept up by the disconnect between state and federal laws.

And while we seek clarity, we shouldn't be prosecuting those who fall into the gray area, either.





The San Francisco Chronicle published a story about new medical research on the illegal drug LSD. At the same time, other research indicates an illegal drug may help to prevent damage from overuse of a legal drugs. Meanwhile, an argument against further crackdowns on legal tobacco is made by a drug policy reformer; and one candidate in the Kalamazoo, Michigan city council race is blunt in sharing his opinions about current cannabis laws. Hope he gets elected.


Pubdate: Sun, 27 Sep 2009
Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)
Copyright: 2009 Hearst Communications Inc.
Author: Erin Allday, Chronicle Staff Writer

LSD, the drug that launched the psychedelic era and became one of the resounding symbols of the counterculture movement of the '60s, is back in the labs.

Nearly 40 years after widespread fear over recreational abuse of LSD and other hallucinogens forced dozens of scientists to abandon their work, researchers at a handful of major institutions - including UCSF and Harvard University - are reigniting studies. Scientists started looking at less controversial drugs, like ecstasy and magic mushrooms, in the late 1990s, but LSD studies only began about a year ago and are still rare.

The study at UCSF, which is being run by a UC Berkeley graduate student, is looking into the mechanisms of LSD and how it works in the brain. The hope is that such research might support further studies into medical applications of LSD - for chronic headaches, for example - or psychiatric uses.

"Psychedelics are in labs all over the world and there's a lot of promise," said Rick Doblin, director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies in Santa Cruz. "The situation with LSD is that because it was the quintessential symbol of the '60s, it was the last to enter the lab."




Pubdate: Mon, 28 Sep 2009
Source: Tufts Daily (MA Edu)
Copyright: 2009 Tufts Daily
Author: Derek Schlom

New Study Explores Possible Benefits Of Marijuana For Binge Drinkers

A controversial new study found that smoking marijuana may improve brain functions.

Before you down that fifth shot of Jagermeister, you might want to fire up a joint. Research shows that compared with alcohol, marijuana causes less brain damage.

In a study completed at the University of California, San Diego, the results of which were published in the current issue of the scientific journal "Neurotoxicology and Teratology," researchers examined the white brain matter of 42 teenage participants. The participants were placed into three groups: those classified as binge drinkers (defined in this case as males who consume five or more drinks in one sitting and females who consume four or more), binge drinkers who also smoked marijuana "regularly" and a control group of those who neither drank nor smoked.

The binge drinkers displayed lower fractional anisotropy (FA) scores - indicating white brain matter damage - in all eight sections of the brain than the control groups, whereas the second group (those who also smoked marijuana) had lower FA scores than the control in only three sections. Additionally, in a finding the researchers termed "surprising," the second group had higher FA scores than the first in seven of the brain sections.

So, how are the experts reacting to these findings? Mason Tvert, co-author of "Marijuana is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink?" and executive director of the marijuana legalization advocacy group Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation, sees validation in the results.

I find it ironic that marijuana can actually protect you from alcohol," he said. "It's just one more way in which marijuana is safer than alcohol, and I hope this dispels the myth that marijuana kills brain cells when it's actually protecting brain cells from damage. Marijuana gives a temporary euphoric effect, whereas binge drinking causes long-term permanent damage."




Pubdate: Fri, 25 Sep 2009
Source: AlterNet (US Web)
Copyright: 2009 Independent Media Institute
Author: Tony Newman

The war on cigarettes is heating up. This week a new federal ban went into effect making flavored and clove cigarettes and illegal.

The new regulation halted the sale of vanilla and chocolate cigarettes that anti-smoking advocates claim lure young people into smoking. This ban is the first major crackdown since Congress passed a law in June giving the Food and Drug Administration the authority to regulate tobacco. There is talk of banning menthol cigarettes next.

Meanwhile, another major initiative to limit smoking wafted out of New York City last week.

A report to Mayor Michael Bloomberg from the city's health commissioner called for a smoking ban at city parks and beaches to help protect citizens from the harms of secondhand smoke. To his credit, Bloomberg rejected this measure, citing concern over stretched city and police resources.

While I support many restrictions on public smoking, such as at restaurants and workplaces, and I appreciate public education campaigns and efforts aimed at discouraging young people from smoking, I believe the outdoor smoking ban and prohibition of cloves and possibly menthols will lead to harmful and unintended consequences. All we have to do is look at the criminalization of other drugs, such as marijuana, to see some of the potential pitfalls and tragedies.




Pubdate: Wed, 30 Sep 2009
Source: Kalamazoo Shopper (MI)
Copyright: 2009 Birch River Group, LLC.
Author: Jessica Short

As an enthusiastic young man running for one of the seven seats this year on the Kalamazoo City Commission, Louis Stocking is taking a stand on many issues facing the city of Kalamazoo including one that no other candidate has spoken for: medicinal marijuana.

As the founder and director of the Kalamazoo Coalition for Pragmatic Cannabis Laws, Stocking believes that Kalamazoo is in need a more liberal marijuana policy and is pursuing a charter amendment in 2010.

The Michigan Medical Marijuana Act (enacted in November of 2008) allows severely ill patients to use the otherwise illegal drug. Patients, or their designated primary caregivers, can grow marijuana; however, there is not place in the state of Michigan to legally purchase medical marijuana.

"At Bronson the doctors can't recommend marijuana use. They can only recommend different clinics for people to contact," said Stocking. "It's taking away the liberties of doctors to do what's best for their patients."




Some law enforcement officials in California are still upset that the medical cannabis dispensary system exists, but they are starting to realize they can't do much about it. But there's plenty of drug war overkill elsewhere, like in Alabama where the government wants to take a house from an innocent woman who has already lost her husband to the drug war. Elsewhere, New York City Police suggest that heroin "mills" are active in the city, while police in a New Hampshire town don't seem to be reacting to some public cannabis use.


Pubdate: Sat, 26 Sep 2009
Source: Inland Valley Daily Bulletin (Ontario, CA)
Copyright: 2009 Los Angeles Newspaper Group
Author: Liset Marquez

ONTARIO - Fighting back against marijuana dispensaries was the topic of discussion at the Coalition for a Drug Free California's daylong planning conference on Friday.

More than 20 community leaders, elected officials and law enforcement officials met at the Ayres Hotel to discuss the reality of shutting down or stopping dispensaries, co-ops, collectives from opening.

Attorney Martin Mayer said it will be a difficult battle because those in favor of medical marijuana always have people in attendance when the issue is being discussed in meetings or in the court.

"I don't think you can organize the way your opposition is organizing, I haven't seen it," said Mayer, who serves as legal counsel to sheriffs and chiefs of police in 70 law enforcement agencies throughout the state.

More than 12 years ago, when the Assembly passed Proposition 215, which allowed possession or cultivation of marijuana for medical purposes, there were a lot of proponents financially backing it up, Mayer said.

In order to fight it, opponents of medical marijuana dispensaries such as the coalition would have to fund a new proposition, which is not financially feasible at this time, he said.

Another battle facing the organization, he said, is the law.

"Many times we wind up in court and we lose," he said.In Texas, some officials near the Mexican border say the problem of violence spill-over from Mexico isn't as big a problem as some officials stationed further from the border insist. Yet, an official from the Mexican side of the border came to the U.S. last week to remind citizens that our drug policies are the root of the horrible violence in his country.

Elsewhere, another upbeat story in the prospects for drug reform, but one expert notes that the mainstream media is still missing crucial stories that would be helpful to reform.



Pubdate: Sun, 27 Sep 2009
Source: Montgomery Advertiser (AL)
Copyright: 2009 The Advertiser Co.
Author: Scott Johnson

A widowed cancer survivor faces the prospect of being homeless unless she can fight off federal seizure of her house and land.

Mara Lynn Williams' husband, Royce, killed himself in May while awaiting a verdict in a federal drug case against him.

The U.S. attorney's office accused Royce Williams of growing marijuana on his Chilton County land with the intent to sell it. They now are attempting to seize his land -- about 40 acres -- and the house where Mara Lynn Williams still lives.

Mara Lynn Williams, 56, said she didn't know that her husband was growing marijuana, and she said federal authorities should not be trying to take the land, which has been in her husband's family for generations.

"It is not morally right. My husband has paid with his life. What else do they want?" Williams said.

Asset Forfeiture Coordinator Tommie Brown Hardwick said the U.S. attorney's office is following standard procedure.




Pubdate: Sun, 27 Sep 2009
Source: New York Times (NY)
Copyright: 2009 The New York Times Company
Author: Cara Buckley

In New York City, heroin is being packaged in covert locations and distributed at levels not seen since the heroin crisis of the 1970s. The evidence, according to the city's special narcotics prosecutor, Bridget G. Brennan, is the enormous number of tiny glassine bags, containing single doses of heroin, seized during recent drug raids, which suggest heavy local distribution and use.

In recent months, drug agents have discovered unusually productive heroin mills, Ms. Brennan said, where the drug is often cut with lactose, baby laxatives or vitamin B in coffee bean grinders that are bought in bulk because their motors burn out from overuse. The mills are operated around the clock by as many as eight workers at a time in quasi-assembly lines.

In the 1970s, Ms. Brennan said, the purity level of heroin was less than 5 percent; these days, it can be as high as 20 percent, making overdoses more likely. Also, younger, more educated people are getting hooked, she said.

"One of the key things is to educate people, and that's where we've fallen a little short," she said. "We've let our guard down."




Pubdate: Thu, 24 Sep 2009
Source: Union Leader (Manchester, NH)
Copyright: 2009 The Union Leader Corp.
Author: Melanie Plenda

KEENE - As city councilors debate a resolution to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana, a small group has quietly taken matters into their own hands -- lighting up on Central Square.

"Every day at 4:20 p.m., we get together to smoke pot in the square," Noah Wood, 19, of Keene said yesterday. "Everyone smokes it. Well maybe not everyone, I'm sure, but a lot of people smoke it and so why keep it a secret? Why keep it illegal? It should be out in the open."

In the drug subculture, 420 refers to the consumption of marijuana.

Wood said he wasn't the one to start the local movement, he's just been helping by passing the word.

"This kid said to me 'Hey, I heard there's smoking going on in the common,' " said Jason Hart, 20, who identified himself as a student at Franklin Pierce University in Rindge. "I'm just against prohibition. It doesn't work."

Hart said over the last week, the number of smokers at Central Square has grown to about 30.

"No one's really hassled us," said Wood. "We've seen police circling the square, but no one's said anything. You know, look at us, we're out here chilling, doing our thing. No one's gotten hurt. There's no fights, no car crashes, no one's died. No one's even really noticed."




Cannabis activists emerged invigorated and optimistic from the Annual NORML Conference last week.

As cannabis becomes more mainstream, many journalists seem to be taking our torrent of letters-to-the-editor to heart, wondering out loud if our police and courts do not have better things to do.

Law enforcement organizations in California are stepping up their counter-attack on dispensaries.


Pubdate: Sat, 26 Sep 2009
Source: Times-Standard (Eureka, CA)
Copyright: 2009 Times-Standard
Author: Donna Tam, Times-Standard

SAN FRANCISCO -- Citing a worsening economy, high profile support and greater education through the Internet, marijuana advocates say the public is more open to marijuana legalization than ever before.

On the second day of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws 38th annual conference Friday, marijuana activists said America is ready to talk about legalization, largely due to a "sea change" in the way the public sees marijuana smokers, and a growing recognition that marijuana is a cash crop.

"It's certainly connected to California's economy, which is in the toilet," said Assemblyman Tom Ammiano during the day's opening remarks.

Ammiano, who introduced California's first marijuana legalization bill earlier this year, called the current political environment "the perfect storm" for marijuana law reform.

"I got a lot of hallway conversations -- 'This is great'; 'man, I smoked this (stuff) when I was in college'; 'we should tax the hell out of it,'" Ammiano said.

Ammiano said despite the warm private response, elected officials would not be ready to support the bill publicly until they polled their constituents.

Ammiano said he will be holding an informational hearing on the bill within the next month and hopes to have a constructive conversation about marijuana.

"It's not going to be 'marijuana's good, or marijuana's bad,'" he said. "It's going to be about all the intricacies you have when you have a public policy."

NORML members say support from high-profile people like Ammiano is helping to sway public opinion.




Pubdate: Wed, 30 Sep 2009
Source: Airdrie Echo (CN AB)
Copyright: 2009 Osprey Media
Author: Scott Mitchell, Senior Reporter

It was a minor marijuana bust to you and to the police, but it was perhaps somebody's grandparents.

I don't mean to make light of an arrest and a police matter, but it again brings to the forefront the issue of marijuana use and grow-ops and whether or not it should be legalized.

Before I get started, I'll let you know that I don't have an opinion on marijuana users, marijuana use, nor do I care whether or not it is ever legalized.

It's not part of my lifestyle and unless it suddenly replaces the lettuce at my local Safeway, I doubt I'll ever have an opinion on it.

But if my grandparents were "on the pot" I may have to rethink that.

The story is of an elderly couple in Balzac that was busted last week with $24,000 worth of cannabis marijuana at their residence.

A total of 16 mature plants were seized, as well as some growing equipment.

There are likely hundreds of grow-ops in Alberta just like this one and there are two sides of the fence you could find yourself on.

For those who don't believe marijuana should be legalized, parties are probably being thrown after seeing the elderly couple being led away in handcuffs. Others, including many who sent letters into the Echo, believe it's over-policing and there are bigger fish to fry.

That is the area where I would tend to agree.

It's not because I want to be able to go out and light up a spliff after work, it's because police resources in this province and all over the country are taxed as it is.




Pubdate: Wed, 30 Sep 2009
Source: USA Today (US)
Copyright: 2009 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc
Author: William M. Welch, USA TODAY

Officials Struggle to Restrict Stores to Intent of Laws

LOS ANGELES - Almost 13 years after California became the first state to allow the sale of marijuana for some medical conditions storefront purveyors of the drug are nearly as easy to find as a taco stand.

Yet police and prosecutors say the law is vague on who can sell pot and in what circumstances. They worry that the state unwittingly created safe havens for drug pushers who are doping the population with immunity.

"They appear to be run by drug dealers who see an opening in the market and a way to make a fast buck," says San Diego district attorney Bonnie Dumanis, who says every pot store her office has looked at is operating illegally.

The tangle of regulations and alleged criminality that has followed in the aftermath of California's first-in-the-nation law allowing medical marijuana is hardly restricted to the Golden State.

Thirteen states, from New England to the Pacific Northwest, have passed laws by ballot or legislative action permitting marijuana possession for some medical reasons even though the drug is illegal under federal law.

Some, like Rhode Island, where a medical-marijuana law passed in 2006, officials are still trying to figure out how to set up places where people can buy the drug. In Colorado, which approved sales of medical marijuana in 2000, cities are passing moratoriums to halt the blossoming of marijuana stores. New Mexico's lone non-profit licensed to distribute pot is overwhelmed by demand.

In Washington state, a legal dispute rages over whether the law permits people to just grow their own pot or also buy it from dispensaries.

Stewart Richlin, lawyer for more than 150 medical-marijuana collectives in Southern California, says states that legalize medical marijuana must accept the commerce that follows.

"Once we acknowledge patients have a right to cannabis, they have to get it somewhere," he says.




Pubdate: Thu, 1 Oct 2009
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Copyright: 2009 Los Angeles Times
Author: John Hoeffel

He and Other L.A. Legal Officials Say State Law Allows Collectives to Grow and Distribute - but Not Sell or Buy - Medical Marijuana.

At hundreds of medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles, cash is changing hands, typically about $45 for an eighth of an ounce.

The dispensary owners call it a donation because state law requires their stores to operate as nonprofit collectives. But their critics - -- police, the district attorney and the newly elected city attorney - -- insist that it's a sale and that marijuana sales remain illegal under state law.

The debate turns largely on the interpretation of one sentence in the law, but it touches on one of the biggest concerns about dispensaries in Los Angeles: that the rapid proliferation of stores is being driven by people who are hoping to profit from the so-called Green Rush and who are buying rather than growing much of their cannabis.

"The people who are simply trying to make a profit are the ones messing it up for those people that need it and those legitimate distributors who are trying to help people," said L.A. City Councilman Dennis Zine.

The issue boiled over at two recent meetings of the City Council planning committee, which has struggled for two years to write an ordinance to control medical marijuana.

On Tuesday, the committee kicked an unfinished draft over to the Public Safety Committee without resolving some of the thorniest issues, including whether to prohibit sales.

"We punted," Zine said.

The City Council's drawn-out deliberations could be a civics lesson on unintended consequences. The council adopted a moratorium on new dispensaries in 2007, but failed to ensure it was enforced.

It wasn't, and in the last two years the 186 dispensaries allowed to stay open during the ban have been joined by hundreds of others.

That has irked law enforcement officials who argue that many, if not most, of the dispensaries operate as nonprofit collectives in name only. Next week, police officers and prosecutors from around the county plan to meet for a training lunch to discuss "the eradication of medical marijuana dispensaries."




Marc Emery turned himself over to Canadian authorities for extradition to the U.S. last week, but he remained defiant. Elsewhere in Canada, one city council is supporting the idea of crack kit distribution for addicts; and a welfare office is fighting the drug war by barring clients from the bathroom. And, Mexico and the U.S. are talking about the drug war, but they still don't seem to be making much sense.


Pubdate: Tue, 29 Sep 2009
Source: Amherst Daily News (CN NS)
Copyright: Amherst Daily News 2009

VANCOUVER - After flouting marijuana laws for decades, British Columbia's so-called prince of pot turned himself in to authorities Monday to face extradition to the U.S.

But Marc Emery was defiant until the end.

"Plant the seeds of freedom. Over grow the government everyone," Emery yelled as he was led away by sheriffs at the B.C. Supreme Court in downtown Vancouver.

His wife Jodie Emery wept during the short court process where Justice Anne MacKenzie committed Emery for surrender to the United States.


Continues: :


Pubdate: Fri, 25 Sep 2009
Source: Comox Valley Record (CN BC)
Copyright: 2009 Comox Valley Record
Author: Lindsay Chung

AIDS Vancouver Island hopes to distribute safe crack cocaine kits in the Comox Valley, and Courtenay council has thrown its support behind the idea.

Councillors unanimously voted to write to the Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA) supporting the expansion of AIDS Vancouver Island (AVI)'s harm reduction program to include the distribution of safer crack pipe kits Monday following a presentation about the initiative.

AVI has been offering harm reduction services in Courtenay for nine years.

"That program is mandated and funded through VIHA, and the goal is to prevent the spread of blood-borne pathogen diseases such as Hepatitis C and HIV," said counsellor advocate Sarah Sullivan.

Harm reduction is about a pragmatic response that keeps people safe and minimizes death, disease and injury associated with high-risk behaviour, explained Dr. Charmaine Enns, VIHA medical health officer.



Pubdate: Wed, 23 Sep 2009
Source: Victoria News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2009 Black Press
Author: Roszan Holmen

It can be a long wait to see a welfare caseworker, and if nature calls, an even longer one.

Recently, the income assistance office in Victoria at 908 Pandora Ave. shut down its client washrooms.

For Alex Gomez, that meant finding one in the surrounding neighbourhood when he visited the office.

"This is a place where a client has to sometimes wait anywhere up to four to six hours before seeing a caseworker," he wrote in an e-mail to the Victoria News.

"When one leaves to find a washroom close by, that person will lose his or her spot in the cue."

Gomez said he's concerned about the mothers with children or people with health issues that need to use the washroom more frequently.

When asked about washrooms, a security guard at the office directs clients to the nearby McDonald's restaurant, or to Our Place, a drop-in-centre for the homeless located across the street.

The washrooms were closed to curb drug use, the security guard confirmed. Nobody from the Ministry of Housing and Social Development was available to a request for interviews.




Pubdate: Mon, 28 Sep 2009
Source: Latin American Herald-Tribune (Venezuela)
Copyright: 2009 Latin American Herald-Tribune

MEXICO CITY - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met in New York with Mexican Foreign Secretary Patricia Espinosa to discuss the Merida Initiative, especially the chapter on drug trafficking, the Foreign Relations Secretariat said.

The two diplomats discussed bilateral cooperation against organized crime via the initiative, a plan under which the United States will provide Mexico with $1.4 billion between 2008 and 2010 to fight drug cartels.

Clinton and Espinosa also discussed other security matters, as well as North American and hemispheric issues, including the crisis in Honduras.



 HOT OFF THE 'NET  ( Top )


Covering The Drug War - Journalism


By Tony Newman

Marijuana's coming-out party is kicking into high gear across America -- but way too many people still are getting cuffed for it.


Last March, Sally Harpold, an Indiana grandmother of triplets, bought two boxes of cold medication in less than a week. Together, the two boxes contained 3.6 grams of pseudoephedrine, putting her in violation of the state's methamphetamine-fighting law, which forbids the purchase of more than three grams by one person in a seven-day period.

By Radley Balko


As Marc is about to surrender to the courts, he gives an inspiring speech and urges us to come to his aid. The full conference is shown in 3 parts.


Century of Lies - 09/27/09 - Mike Gray

Reports from the NORML conference in San Francisco with Mike Gray, Mike Bifari, Tom Ammiano, Bruce Mirken, Dr. Robert Melamede, Jeff Jones, Harry Levine, Steve Kubby and Cannabis Cup winner

Cultural Baggage Radio Show - 09/27/09 - Craig Reinarman

Report from UT El Paso Drug Conference with Prof Craig Reinarman, Dr. Dennis Bixler y Marquez, John Burnett of NPR, Juan Carlos Hidalgo & Judge James Gray


By Mason Tvert

Yesterday, on the Today show, Matt Lauer interviewed the editor of Marie Claire magazine and another woman about the use of marijuana among female professionals. This interview was inspired by an article on the same subject in the current issue of Marie Claire entitled, "Stiletto Stoners."


On September 24, during his visit to the US, Victor Ivanov, Director of Russia's Federal Service for the Control of Narcotics (Russia's Drug Czar), gave a talk at The Nixon Center on "Drug Production in Afghanistan: A Threat to International Peace and Security." Ivanov discussed the effects of drug trafficking on Russia and the world and called for U.S.-Russian cooperation in eradicating the trade.


Write A Letter  ( Top )


A DrugSense Focus Alert.


Don't let a rogue prosecutor and the DEA use any more of your tax dollars to hurt patients and harass the people who provide their medicine. Urge the California governor and attorney general to hold them accountable.


Pubdate: Wed, 23 Sep 2009  ( Top )


By Alex Wassermann

Oh, please! I've read quite a few stories in The Union that have made me cringe but nothing like the front page of the Sept. 10 edition: "Pot operation uprooted" and "Council bans medi-pot shops in 3-2 vote." These made me livid.

Here we are as a country struggling through some of the most difficult issues that we have ever had to face; coming at us all at the same time. Education, poverty, health care, and our stupendous fiscal debacle. And, we, as citizens have to tolerate such a waste of money and effort that go into the control of marijuana.

In no way do I fault The Union for reporting on these stories. It's the fact that they are stories which make me crazy. This is truly such a non-issue. This "drug," just like alcohol, will be legal in less than 10 years, folks. It's a huge money maker and the government needs money; just like cigarettes and alcohol, tax it to high heaven.

And the fact that marijuana has proven to be a source of relief for medical patients is a huge issue as well. Just like our health care system, those without enough money do not have access to this relief that is available in a few medical marijuana shops for a lot of money.

Let's add up all the dollars that it took to raid this plantation on the Ridge: time, fuel, equipment; impending legal costs. Couldn't those dollars be put to a much better use?

I think that the people who are against legalization of marijuana are out there behind the barn smokin' themselves, because their heads are in some kind of cloud.

Alex Wassermann Nevada City


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By Mark Greer

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