This Just In
(1)Few On Either Side Happy With Proposed Medical-Marijuana Licensing Rules
(2)Washington's Medical-Pot Measure Would Widen List Of Prescribers
(3)Kopbuster Busted
(4)DEA Agent Links Defendants In Drug Trial To High-Level Cartel Leaders

Hot Off The 'Net
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-Marijuana Addiction, Part 3. Danny Chapin Responds / Pete Guither
-Don't Criminalize 'K2,' Regulate It / Grant Smith
-Tobacco Prohibition At Fraser Regional Correctional Center
-Medical Marijuana's Not Getting Any Better / Russ Belville
-Drug Truth Network
-Jack Cole Speaks For Marijuana Legalization

 THIS JUST IN  ( Top )


Pubdate: Fri, 05 Mar 2010
Source: Denver Post (CO)
Copyright: 2010 The Denver Post Corp
Author: John Ingold, The Denver Post

Marijuana activists and law enforcement officials sparred Thursday as the bell rang on the fight over medical-marijuana dispensary regulations at the state Capitol.

The first committee hearing on House Bill 1284 -- which would require dispensaries to be licensed by both state and local governments and is the more controversial of the two medical-marijuana bills at the Capitol -- stretched into the evening. Lawmakers said late Thursday that they would not vote on the measure until another date.

What was most clear in early rounds was that neither the law enforcement community nor large sections of the medical-marijuana community much care for the bill.

Activists argued the bill could restrict patient access to marijuana, infringe upon constitutional rights and lead to suffering. Law enforcement groups raised concerns that a legal dispensary system would lead to fraud and a perpetuation of the illegal marijuana market.

A rewrite of the bill unveiled at the hearing would require dispensaries to first obtain a license from a local government and then get a state license. Dispensaries would have to grow most of the marijuana they sell. But the new version would also allow for separate licenses for marijuana-growing facilities tied to dispensaries -- which could sell a portion of what they grow to other dispensaries -- and for marijuana product-makers.




Pubdate: Fri, 05 Mar 2010
Source: Seattle Times (WA)
Copyright: 2010 The Seattle Times Company
Author: Mark Rahner, Seattle Times staff reporter

Patients who qualify for medical marijuana will be able to get prescriptions for it from a wider range of health-care professionals, under a bill that appears headed to the governor's desk.

Under Senate Bill 5798, it won't just be doctors who can get sick people access to pot.

The bill expands the list of licensed medical practitioners who can also recommend medical marijuana to physicians' assistants, nurse practitioners and naturopathic physicians, said one of its sponsors, Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle.

"The reason is that, especially in rural areas in the state and away from Puget Sound, because of long distances, many people do not see M.D.s. They see nurse practitioners and physicians assistants who have prescriptive authority," Kohl-Welles said.

A representative of Kohl-Welles said the bill passed through the House Wednesday night "with little debate."




Pubdate: Thu, 04 Mar 2010
Source: Odessa American (TX)
Copyright: 2010 Odessa American
Author: Jim Mustian

Pot Advocate Jailed On Possession, False Report Charges

For his next DVD series designed to help marijuana smokers avoid the hassle of law enforcement, Barry N. Cooper may want to come up with a new name.

The former Odessa narcotics agent and producer of the promotional video series "Never Get Busted" was jailed Tuesday on multiple charges - - including possession of marijuana - while conducting one of his notorious hoaxes on police in Florence, Texas, authorities said.

Williamson County Sheriff's Office Sgt. John Foster said Cooper recently called in a suspicious package on the campus of the Florence Middle School. Foster said the package contained "a glass pipe that is normally used to smoke crack cocaine."

"Apparently, he was doing this to test us," Foster said. "When you do something like this on a school grounds, even though it's after school hours . I'm sure the parents and faculty would probably have been quite alarmed to find a crack pipe on their campus."

Foster said the officers were being filmed but did not know it at the time. Cooper was jailed on charges of filing a false report, a misdemeanor. Travis County authorities searched his house shortly after the arrest and reportedly located a small amount of marijuana, Foster said. Cooper also was charged with one count of misdemeanor possession of marijuana.




Pubdate: Thu, 04 Mar 2010
Source: El Paso Times (TX)
Copyright: 2010 El Paso Times
Author: Diana Washington Valdez

EL PASO -- A DEA agent testified Wednesday that telephones seized as evidence in a major drug trial linked many suspects to high-level Mexican drug leaders affiliated with the Sinaloa cartel.

The agent and other witnesses in the trial of Fernando Ontiveros-Arambula and Manuel Chavez-Betancourt also revealed the new hierarchies of organized crime in Chihuahua state since the drug wars began two years ago.

For example, witnesses said Joaquin "Chapo" Guzman's Sinaloa drug cartel toppled Vicente Carrillo Fuentes' drug-cartel leaders in the Valle de Juarez -- a corridor across the border from Fabens, Fort Hancock and Tornillo.

Witnesses said Gabino "Ingeniero" Salas-Valencio is in charge of the Valle de Juarez smuggling route for Guzman, and Jose Antonio Torres-Marrufo is his new top man in Juarez.

Noel Salguero, who is wanted by the DEA, is a high-level leader of La Gente Nueva (the new people). U.S. drug investigators have said La Gente Nueva is an emerging group that has made incursions into drug-trafficking in Juarez.

Contacts on telephones seized from Ontiveros-Arambula and his associates included those of operatives who adopted feline animals for nicknames -- "puma," "pantera" (panther) and "jaguar."

The DEA agent said "pantera" is the nickname of a Mexican military official who provided the Sinaloa cartel with intelligence about rival drug dealers.





The times seem to be a changin'. A California insurer has designed a program for medical marijuana providers. Elsewhere, some (including a Chinese government official) realize that drug testing is not a viable solution for drug problems. And, the U.S. raises alerts for travelers headed to Juarez, Mexico, while city officials insist tourists are safe.


Pubdate: Tue, 02 Mar 2010
Source: Sacramento Bee (CA)
Copyright: 2010 The Sacramento Bee
Author: Mark Glover

A Rancho Cordova-based insurer Monday launched what it calls the first nationally available insurance coverage designed specifically for the medical marijuana industry.

Only 14 states allow use of medical marijuana today, but Statewide Insurance Services is nonetheless offering coverage in all 50 states.

"Given the growth in the industry, I think it's only a matter of time" before other states allow medical marijuana, said Mike Aberle, a commercial insurance agent with the local firm and national director of its Medical Marijuana Specialty Division.

He added: "Now that we can offer (services) in all 50 states, we can start the minute they go legal, without delay."

Aberle said the nationwide program covers "all aspects of the industry," including medical marijuana dispensaries (MMDs for short), workers' compensation, general liability, auto insurance (motor vehicles used to transport product), equipment breakdown/damage, property/product loss (including pot spoilage) and operations related to marijuana growing.




Pubdate: Sat, 27 Feb 2010
Source: Topeka Capital-Journal (KS)
Copyright: 2010 The Topeka Capital-Journal
Author: Ric Anderson

Finally, someone has had the courage to tackle the scourge of drug abuse at the Statehouse, where legislating under the influence is a problem of epidemic proportions.

Senators, stoned.

House members, half-baked.

It's like Woodstock, except with suits and comb-overs. Shoot, did you see that a committee approved a bill last week naming an official state grass?

Clearly, it's time for an intervention.

OK, enough kidding around. None of the above is remotely true except for the part about the official state grass, and that designation would go to little bluestem - not to anything you might find on Willie Nelson's tour bus.

The reality is that a good many legislators probably wouldn't know Thai stick from a Popsicle stick and would be surprised to learn that those tiny glass "flower vases" sold at some convenience stores are actually crack pipes. And even if lawmakers did have a taste for narcotics, it would be hard to get away with drug use for long in the very public and fiercely partisan environment of the Legislature.

So it was hard not to snicker at Rep. Kasha Kelley's proposal to start randomly drug-testing state legislators.

Or it would have been, anyway, if not for the fact that Kelley's suggestion - which she apparently made with a straight face - would result in a waste of perfectly good time and money if adopted.




Pubdate: Tue, 02 Mar 2010
Source: Standard, The (China)
Copyright: 2010 The Standard Newspapers Publishing Ltd.
Author: Beatrice Siu

A top narcotics advisor says expanding the school drug testing scheme to all districts would be too costly.

Action Committee Against Narcotics chief Daniel Shek Tan-lei said schools themselves, rather than the government, should take the lead if the scheme is to be extended.

He also called for more attention to be focused on drug abusers in other age groups.

His comments follow a report by the Narcotics Division which said projections based on its 2008-09 survey suggest that as many as 3,000 upper primary and three times as many secondary students could be abusing drugs.

A total of 158,000 students, comprising about 20 percent of the student population of 817,000, were polled. The survey said up to 4.3 percent of secondary school students could be into drugs - an increase of one percentage point over a survey conducted four years earlier.

Shek said that while the figures are alarming, the situation is not as bad as in North America.

Nonetheless, it has exposed the "fairy tale" that children from prestigious schools or with rich parents are not involved.

Shek said the drug-testing scheme, which began in Tai Po schools last December, is proving a success.

"But it involves a huge amount of manpower and resources," he said.




Pubdate: Thu, 25 Feb 2010
Source: El Paso Times (TX)
Copyright: 2010 El Paso Times
Author: Daniel Borunda

EL PASO -- A new State Department travel alert advises U.S. citizens to "exercise extreme caution" when visiting Juarez, Chihuahua state and other violent regions of Mexico.

The latest alert, which updates one issued in August, has stronger language than those in the past two years as drug violence has flared in different parts of the country.

An alert is just a step below a travel warning.

The alert mentioned Juarez, Nuevo Casas Grandes and other communities in northwestern Chihuahua and the Valley of Juarez (across the border from Fabens).

Jaime Torres, a spokes man for the Juarez city government, countered that despite the violence that has claimed more than 4,600 lives since 2008, the city is safe for visitors because of high-visibility security, including army soldiers, in tourist zones.




More corruption, bankruptcy and terror associated with the drug war.


Pubdate: Mon, 01 Mar 2010
Source: Fresno Bee, The (CA)
Copyright: 2010 The Fresno Bee
Author: Pablo Lopez, The Fresno Bee

A year after the Fresno Police Department disbanded its major narcotics squad, a criminal case under way in federal court is shedding light on what may have gone wrong.

The case involves Theresa Martinez, who is on trial in U.S. District Court in Fresno, accused of selling drugs to a police informant.

Martinez's defense lawyers say the charges are bogus because she was working as a Fresno police informant when she was arrested in March 2008. They say narcotics officers set her up.

But prosecutors say she wasn't an informant at all by that time and is just looking for a way to get off the hook.

"When the muck settles, it will be crystal clear that Ms. Martinez is guilty," Assistant U.S. Attorney Elana Landau said.

Her allegations, meanwhile, have sparked a flurry of testimony about the credibility of Fresno's narcotics investigators -- and so far it paints a picture of cozy relationships between drug informants and police officers. For example:

A sergeant testified that he and other officers let an informant get away with the armed robbery of drug dealers. The informant was not arrested, and no police reports were made.

An officer testified that he gave informants cell phones that police had confiscated from drug dealers. The cell phones were never booked into evidence.

Two officers related by marriage were disciplined for renting a relative's house to an informant, one of the officers testified.

Police Chief Jerry Dyer disbanded the drug unit in February 2009 after two of its officers were charged with stealing a drug suspect's van.




Pubdate: Mon, 01 Mar 2010
Source: Clarion-Ledger, The (Jackson, MS)
Copyright: 2010 The Clarion-Ledger
Author: Molly Parker

Also, Legislation Would Allow More To Earn Their Freedom

The economic squeeze on the Mississippi Department of Corrections means hundreds of nonviolent inmates could see fewer days behind bars.

MDOC Commissioner Chris Epps said he has asked the state Parole Board to review the files of some 2,100 inmates who have been denied parole.

"I recommended to the governor that, in my view, we should have the parole board relook at these individuals," Epps said.

He estimated that about 25 percent - or 525 inmates - could earn parole on a second look for a savings of about $1.5 million before the fiscal year ends June 30.

Epps also is backing legislation moving through the Legislature that would allow drug offenders, excluding traffickers, to earn 30 days off their sentence per month for every equal day they participate in a work, rehabilitation or education program.

He said granting 30-for-30 trusty time to drug offenders could net savings as high as $8 million from this March through 2013. Other nonviolent offenders are already eligible.



 (11) TURN 'EM LOOSE?  ( Top )

Pubdate: Sun, 28 Feb 2010
Source: Post and Courier, The (Charleston, SC)
Copyright: 2010 Evening Post Publishing Co.
Author: Yvonne Wenger and Glenn Smith

Legislature Weighs Early Release Of Prisoners To Help With Budget Woes

COLUMBIA -- Word that the state's latest cost-cutting plan included possibly dumping 3,000 prison inmates on the streets sent shivers through South Carolina last week, but experts say millions could be saved with little danger to the public.

States across the nation are grappling with the same problem as prison costs chew up a sizable chunk of their budgets in the midst of a crippling recession. Law enforcement officials argue that the potential threat to public safety justifies the expense. But others aren't so sure.

"We can't afford the high cost of incarceration. Period," said Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter, an Orangeburg Democrat and a longtime member of the House Ways and Means Committee. "The reality is that we, for years, have locked everybody up without any thought to the cost."

The proposal comes at a time when lawmakers are scrambling to save money. Falling revenues and a series of tax cuts passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature have bled more than $2 billion from the state budget. Spending is now about $5.2 billion.




Pubdate: Sun, 28 Feb 2010
Source: El Paso Times (TX)
Copyright: 2010 El Paso Times
Author: Aileen B. Flores, El Paso Times

Mexican authorities on Saturday arrested a third man in connection with the massacre at a house party last month in Juarez that left 15 people dead.

Chihuahua Joint Operation officials said former municipal police officer Aldo Favio Hernandez Lozano, 36, allegedly worked as a hit man for the Juarez cartel, also known as La Linea.

Officials said Hernandez Lozano told authorities he killed at least one person who tried to escape the shooting Jan. 30 at a birthday party in the 1300 block of Villas del Portal. Eleven of the victims were teen agers.

While officials said some of the victims were gang members, most were identified by friends and relatives as students and athletes.




Yet another study on the "link" between long-term cannabis use by young people and psychosis, with a yet more tenuous link to the "debate about the level of controls over its use."

Police in Denver seem to be conducting business as usual, despite the passage a lowest enforcement priority measure two years ago, arguing that they are duty-bound to enforce state law.

Some medical cannabis advocates in Colorado fear that proposed regulations go too far in forbidding patients who buy from dispensaries from also growing their own.

Finally, a specimen of anti-medicinal-cannabis propaganda from Iowa to keep you on your toes and writing those letters-to-the-editor.


Pubdate: Tue, 02 Mar 2010
Source: Vancouver Sun (CN BC)
Copyright: 2010 The Vancouver Sun
Author: Kate Kelland, Reuters

Those Who've Smoked For At Least 6 Years Are Twice As Likely To Have Delusions As Non-Users

Young people who smoke cannabis or marijuana for six years or more are twice as likely to have psychotic episodes, hallucinations or delusions than people who have never used the drug, scientists said Monday.

The finding adds weight to previous research that linked psychosis with the drug -- particularly in its most potent form as "skunk" -- and will feed the debate about the level of controls over its use.

Despite laws against it, up to 190 million people around the world use cannabis, according to United Nations estimates, equating to about four per cent of the adult population.

John McGrath of the Queensland Brain Institute in Australia studied more than 3,801 men and women born between 1981 and 1984 and followed them up after 21 years to ask about their cannabis use and assessed them for psychotic episodes. Around 18 per cent reported using cannabis for three or fewer years, 16 per cent for four to five years and 14 per cent for six or more years.

"Compared with those who had never used cannabis, young adults who had six or more years since first use of cannabis were twice as likely to develop a non-affective psychosis (such as schizophrenia)," McGrath wrote in a study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry journal.


An international group of drug policy experts published a book earlier this year arguing that laws against cannabis have failed to cut its use but instead led to vast numbers of arrests for drug possession in countries such as Britain, Switzerland and the United States, which causes social division and pointless government expense.



Pubdate: Mon, 01 Mar 2010
Source: Denver Post (CO)
Copyright: 2010 The Denver Post Corp
Author: John Ingold

More than two years after Denver voters approved a measure making minor marijuana crimes the city's lowest law-enforcement priority, city officials continue to prosecute marijuana cases at a steady clip. Denver city attorneys last year prosecuted 1,696 cases in which possession of less than an ounce of marijuana was at least one of the charges.

In 2008, 1,658 cases were prosecuted. In 2006 - the year before the initiative was approved - prosecutors handled 1,841 marijuana cases.

Police citations for possession of small amounts of marijuana continue unabated as well. Figures for citations and prosecutions were released last week at a meeting of the city's Marijuana Policy Review Panel.

The continued enforcement has frustrated some members of the panel, which was created by the voter initiative to implement the new law.

"Police should not be spending any time arresting and citing people for marijuana," said Mason Tvert, who runs the pro-marijuana- legalization group SAFER and is a member of the panel. "Voters do not want them to issue those citations."

Denver prosecutors, meanwhile, say their hands are tied in the marijuana cases because they are bound in those cases to follow state law, not local law.




Pubdate: Wed, 03 Mar 2010
Source: Summit Daily News (CO)
Copyright: 2010 Summit Daily News

DENVER - Lawmakers who want to regulate the state's growing medical marijuana industry are now willing to let dispensaries advertise and operate for profit, but they want to make sure the state can keep tabs on the source of their products.

The overhauled regulations, up for their first vote at the Capitol on Thursday, were worked out in negotiations with dispensaries and patient advocates after the bill was introduced a month ago by Rep. Tom Massey, R-Poncha Springs, and Sen. Chris Romer, D-Denver.

The latest compromise, however, hasn't satisfied everyone.

Patient groups believe the bill goes too far in limiting the rights of patients. Patients would give up their right to grow their own marijuana if they purchase pot at a dispensary, and no one could possess medical marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school or a daycare center.

Brian Vicente, the executive director of Sensible Colorado, a medical marijuana patients' group, said that could stop people from using medical marijuana in their own homes.

"We're pretty upset that after months of negotiations, we've reached a point where this bill wholesale sells patients out for the interests of dispensaries and law enforcement," he said.

His group is preparing to ask voters to pass an alternative plan this fall if they think lawmakers go too far.


The legitimacy that comes from regulation is exactly why the bill is strongly opposed by those in law enforcement, including Attorney General John Suthers.

Ted Tow, executive director of the Colorado District Attorneys Council, said voters only intended for there to be small scale grows of marijuana by individuals or their care givers, not businesses, when they passed the medical marijuana law in 2000.

"It's a significant step toward decriminalization," Tow said.




Pubdate: Wed, 03 Mar 2010
Source: Dispatch, The (Moline, IL)
Copyright: 2010 Moline Dispatch Publishing Company, L.L.C.
Author: Chris Endress

The supporters of "the compassionate use of marijuana" for the sick and dying have numerous stories of cancer-stricken family members who received some benefit from using marijuana. Those stories tug at your heart leaving you with the idea that if it makes them more comfortable before they die, then what is the harm in letting them smoke marijuana?

The harm comes when legislators allow patients to grow their own marijuana and grow for other patients. Several states have lost control of medical marijuana programs and I want to share their problems before we make the same mistake.

First, we must accept that marijuana is the most sought after illegal drug in the United States. It is a multi-billion dollar illegal industry.

The compassionate use of marijuana program is intended for people suffering from cancer, AIDS and other debilitating diseases. However, there is a catchall in the legislation that usually states, "Or any other condition where a doctor believes marijuana would benefit the patient."This means anyone who wants to smoke marijuana can and will with the right doctor's recommendation. In a study in San Diego, only 2 percent of the medical marijuana patients actually had cancer, AIDS or glaucoma. The other 98 percent reported some form of pain or anxiety. The overwhelming majority of medical marijuana patients were males under the age of 40.

Who can recommend medical marijuana? A qualifying practitioner is any physician, dentist, podiatrist or veterinarian licensed to prescribe drugs. So yes, you could get a recommendation from your veterinarian to smoke marijuana. In California, it has been reported that doctors have opened up shop in hotel rooms for the weekend advertising medical marijuana recommendations. This is obviously not the legislators' intent for "compassionate care."


Chris Endress is director of the Quad City Metropolitan Enforcement Group.



Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva is forming a committee to re-open investigations into the "extra-judicial" murders of over 2,500 people in the name of fighting drug abuse. The killings were believed to be the work of police who had been urged by then-prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra to rid the land of drug users. Earlier, Abhisit "accused Thaksin of committing crimes against humanity by ordering the extra-judicial killings of more than 2,500 people suspected of involvement in drug trafficking, during the war on drugs in 2003."

Although the Washington Times in February assured readers the "assault under way in southern Afghanistan", has a "secondary mission of disrupting insurgent drug trafficking" (DrugSense Weekly, Feb. 19) This week, the Associated Press assured readers that the "Taliban, not drugs" is the "focus of US-Afghan offensive". These days, according to AP writer Alfred de Montesquiou, instead of the DEA tossing big opium producers -- the people that make the raw material for heroin -- into jail, "the whole 'hearts and minds' thing kicks in." So, "Instead, they'll hand him [the guy with the opium lab] $600 in rent for using his place as a base."

The U.S. government just wanted you to know, in case there was any doubt: they may be giving the Mexican government billions of dollars, it may send to the Mexican army rifles and weapons of every shape in description. The U.S. government (at taxpayer expense of course) may cycle Mexican police and military personnel through endless training sessions (again, the U.S. taxpayer pays) in every resort city you can think of to keep the Mexican army and police sharp and capable, capable to keep drugs from youth. (Almost as capable as U.S. police, but not quite.) All this to fight "drugs" (read: marijuana). But if there is one thing the U.S. government is not doing it is this: they're not "embedding" what would be called "agents" in "anti-drug units in Juarez." The government denials follow Washington Post reports that U.S. anti-drug agents have been entangled with Mexican police in exactly that way.

In Canada, we get a glimpse into the shock when someone realizes that people tossed into jail stand a good chance of having worse drugs problems when they get out of jail, as when they went in. That is if they don't drop dead of a drug O.D. inside of the prison, first. "Why are inmates dying of drug overdoses in locked facilities? Don't you feel embarrassed?," asks Chris Campbell in the Maple Ridge Times last week. Rather than examine or question the whole rotten edifice of prohibition and question any basic fundamental assumptions, Campbell meekly chips around the edges. Someone "thinks guards might be bringing in drugs" and so "wants better measures to keep drugs out of prison."


Pubdate: Fri, 26 Feb 2010
Source: Bangkok Post (Thailand)
Copyright: The Post Publishing Public Co., Ltd. 2010

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva will set up a committee to reinvestigate the extra-judicial killings of drug suspects during the Thaksin Shinawatra administration's war on drugs.

Mr Abhisit announced the formation of the panel yesterday after being questioned in parliament by Chalerm Yubamrung, chief of the Puea Thai Party MPs.

Mr Chalerm said that when Mr Abhisit was the leader of the opposition bloc, he accused Thaksin of committing crimes against humanity by ordering the extra-judicial killings of more than 2,500 people suspected of involvement in drug trafficking, during the war on drugs in 2003.


The Justice Ministry had looked into the extra-judicial killing allegations and found that many claims were true.

The panel appointed by the Surayud government did not reach any recommendations on who was responsible for the killings.

The panel's tenure expired before it could complete its findings and the People Power Party-led coalition government did not take it up.



Pubdate: Wed, 03 Mar 2010
Source: Denver Post (CO)
Copyright: 2010 The Denver Post Corp
Author: Alfred de Montesquiou, Associated Press Writer


Two U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration employees nosing around the base found more than two kilograms (4.4 pounds) of opium, five large bags of poppy seeds, some 50 sickles, jugs and a large scale for measuring opium.

When the Marines leave the compound this week, though, they won't detain the old, bearded Afghan man suspected of owning the hidden cache. Instead, they'll hand him $600 in rent for using his place as a base.

It's a story that illustrates the shift in strategy to stall the Taliban's momentum in Afghanistan. The more than 2-week-old military offensive on the town of Marjah-NATO's largest ever combined Afghan offensive-is a war on the Taliban, not drugs.


Murad could face arrest and prosecution. "But then the whole 'hearts and minds' thing kicks in," Joe said, referring to the U.S. military's policy of doing its best not to antagonize local Afghan civilians.

Anyhow, the cache wasn't substantial enough to go through the wobbly legal system in Kabul. "It doesn't meet the threshold," said Jack, stating the best bet for prosecution would be at the local level in Marjah, with the council of elders.

But Murad, as it turns out, heads the local council, making him an unlikely target for prosecution.

"I'd like his case to be investigated," said Lt. Scott Holub, of 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines, who negotiated renting the compound with Murad. "But the squeeze isn't worth the juice."

Soon afterward, they piled up all the evidence and set it on fire.



Pubdate: Thu, 25 Feb 2010
Source: El Paso Times (TX)
Copyright: 2010 El Paso Times
Author: Adriana Gomez Licon

EL PASO -- The U.S. Embassy in Mexico denied news reports that the U.S. government is embedding agents in Mexican anti-drug units in Juarez.

Embassy officials said cooperation between both countries was limited to equipment, training and sharing of law enforcement intelligence.

Carlos Pascual, U.S. ambassador to Mexico, on Wednesday denied information published by The Washington Post that U.S. agents would work from a Mexican command center to catch drug cartel leaders and hit men in the deadliest city in Mexico.


The El Paso Times reported in 2008 that Drug Enforcement Administration agents began working with the Mexican military and federal police in Juarez to battle drug cartels.

DEA officials in El Paso did not want to comment on the cooperation on Wednesday.

The DEA has had agents in Juarez, Mexico City and other cities in Mexico for decades, and when Mexican President Felipe Calderon began cracking down on the cartels, the U.S. government began sharing intelligence and training Mexican military.




Pubdate: Fri, 26 Feb 2010
Source: Maple Ridge Times (CN BC)
Copyright: 2010 Lower Mainland Publishing Group Inc
Author: Chris Campbell


I'm full of questions this week.

A different question is to the people who run our prison system: Why are inmates dying of drug overdoses in locked facilities? Don't you feel embarrassed?

The Tuesday edition of The TIMES told the story of Kyle Wigham, a young man who died of a heroin overdose less than a month after arriving at Maple Ridge's Fraser Regional Correctional Centre. A coroner's report said there was evidence of other drugs in the cell, including oxycodone.

Kyle's mom Patricia -- who turned her son in after he robbed a 7-Eleven store because she wanted him to get drug treatment -- thinks guards might be bringing in drugs. She wants better measures to keep drugs out of prison.

She also said Kyle had not tried heroin before he went to jail. What does this say about our prison system?

You might have read Kyle's story and wondered why we should care. After all, he was just a criminal. Aside from the fact that he's somebody's son, my question to you is if you want to see crime go down, wouldn't you want the drug addicts committing the crimes to get treatment so when they get out of jail they don't have to steal to feed their habit? And wouldn't you want them to not develop even worse drug habits while in prison?



 HOT OFF THE 'NET  ( Top )


A report by the NAO into government action to tackle problem drug use published today has concluded that:

"Without an evaluative framework for the Strategy as a whole, the NAO is not able to conclude positively on value for money."

No evaluative framework. This is a pitiful point to have reached, two years after the 2008 strategy was supposedly reviewed for efficacy, its success trumpeted repeatedly.


By Radley Balko

Maryland's SWAT transparency bill produces its first disturbing results


By Pete Guither

We've been having a fabulous conversation about the meaning/validity of the phrase "marijuana addiction" and how that has been and should be addressed.


By Grant Smith, Special to CNN

Story Highlights

* Grant Smith: "K2," sometimes called synthetic marijuana, should be regulated for safety

* But, he says, lawmakers must not duplicate costly, futile war against marijuana

* Criminalizing the treated herbal mix K2 will turn trade over to drug dealers, Smith writes

* Smith: Regulating K2 generates revenue, saves millions on prosecution of users


By David Malmo-Levine

This article was written in Fraser but I chose to wait to publish it until after I was released - those who run the jail may not have taken my constructive criticism with a completely open mind.


The Time For Re-Legalization Is Now!

By Russ Belville, NORML Outreach Coordinator

With New Jersey recently becoming the 14th medical marijuana state, activists in marijuana law reform have been celebrating.


Century of Lies - 02/28/10 - Dane Schiller

Dane Schiller, reporter w/Hou Chronicle covers Mexican war + Aaron Houston, Dir of Govt Relations for Marijuana Policy Project

Cultural Baggage Radio Show - 02/28/10 - Richard Lee

Richard Lee, founder Oaksterdam Univ, marijuana "death" in Ohio, Dr. Robert Melameade, Bill Piper of DPA, Tim Meehan on Canada's "progress" & DTN tries K2


Jack Cole of Law Enforcement Against Drug Prohibition speaks for marijuana legalization at the MA State House before the Joint Judiciary Committee.



Please sign the petition to support LEAP speaker and Canadian police officer David Bratzer in his right to free speech.

Watch: "VicPD Officer Ordered to Stay Quiet"



Fred Bilello

Kevin Metcalfe shot Larry Kuahuia because Kuahuia surreptitiously entered his property in the middle of the night in order to steal marijuana. Kuahuia is dead, Metcalfe faces prison for manslaughter, and the taxpayers are out thousands of dollars in court fees, plus additional costs, for incarcerating Metcalfe.

Needless to say, this "drug-related" incident wouldn't have happened if not for the federal government's maniacal refusal to heed the wishes of those it is charged to serve and protect rather than dominate.

This was just one incident, and it occurred on a tiny corner of a volcanic island in the Pacific Ocean. But it's part of the United States, and there aren't many people who know how often such tragedies occur each and every year in our country, and the resulting loss of life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and tax dollars.

No one has to tell us why murder, rape, assault, corruption, extortion, drunken driving and theft are illegal. But marijuana use is illegal because of lies, and it remains illegal for self-serving government purposes that have nothing to do with sanity or civil order, and it epitomizes the arrogance of government power.

The war on marijuana is an illegal war against the American people and the world. It is a war without end and it promotes anarchy. It is a federal crime that produces civil crime on a massive scale, and if marijuana were ever to become legal, a dramatic decline in the crime rate would be a foregone conclusion.

Since the above incident was the direct result of a federal crime, the federal government should at least pay for the court costs, and if they have a conscience, they should end the madness.

Fred Bilello Pahoa

Pubdate: Sat, 20 Feb 2010
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald (Hilo, HI)



By The New York Times

The federal law that mandates harsher prison terms for people arrested with crack cocaine than for those caught with cocaine powder is scientifically and morally indefensible. Bills to end the disparity are pending in both the House and Senate. Democrats who worry about being pegged as "soft on crime" will have to find their backbones and push the legislation through.

Congress passed the law during the crack hysteria of the 1980s when it was widely and wrongly believed that crack - cocaine cooked in baking soda - was more addictive and led to more drug violence than the chemically identical powdered form. These myths were soon disproved. But by then, Congress had locked the courts into a policy under which minority drug addicts arrested with small amounts of crack were being sent to prison for far longer terms than white drug users caught with a satchel full of powder.

The United States Sentencing Commission, which sets guidelines for the federal courts, found several years ago that more than 80 percent of those imprisoned for crack offenses were black.

The tough sentencing guidelines also drive drug policy in the wrong direction - imprisoning addicts for years when they could be more cheaply and effectively treated in community-based programs. An analysis by Senator Richard Durbin, a Democrat of Illinois, estimates that ending the sentencing disparity could save the country more than a half-a-billion dollars in prison costs over the next 15 years.

In the House, a bill that ends the disparity has been voted out of committee but has yet to go to the floor. The Senate bill is having trouble attracting support, including from Democrats. It is time to finally put aside crack myths and hysteria. This isn't a question of being soft on crime. It is an issue of fairness and sound public policy.

Pubdate: Wed, 3 Mar 2010
Source: New York Times (NY)
Copyright: 2010 The New York Times Company


"Under pressure of the cares and sorrows of our mortal condition, men have at all times, and in all countries, called in some physical aid to the moral consolations - wine, beer, opium or tobacco." - Edmund Burke

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