• Mexico's Drug War, Feminized

    Katie Orlinsky
    The New York Times - SundayReview
    Sunday, August 14, 2011

    Mexico's drug war is more than an armed conflict. With government estimates of its death toll well above 30,000, it is now a humanitarian crisis affecting families and shaping the lives of children. Photo reportage

  • Majority of Americans ready to legalize marijuana

    As was the case last year, most respondents believe the “War on Drugs” has been a failure
    Angus Reid Public Opinion
    Press release
    Tuesday, August 9, 2011

    Many Americans continue to believe that marijuana should be legalized, but are not supportive of making other drugs readily available, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found. In the online survey of a representative national sample of 1,003 American adults, 55 per cent of respondents support the legalization of marijuana, while 40 per cent oppose it. The groups that are the most supportive of making cannabis legal in the U.S. are Democrats (63%), Independents (61%), Men (57%) and respondents aged 35-to-54 (57%).

  • Medical marijuana: The Justice Department speaks – again

    Jonathan Caulkins
    The Christian Science Monitor (US)
    Monday, August 8, 2011

    Medical marijuana suppliers complain that the Justice Department is tightening the federal government's approach to enforcement. That's a disingenuous response to the department's latest directive that medical marijuana is not a business – though suppliers sure want it to be. The June 29 memo largely reaffirms one from October 2009 – known as the "Ogden" memo. Both memos advise US attorneys that individual marijuana users with serious illnesses – and their caregivers – are not an enforcement priority, but those in the business of cultivating, selling, or distributing marijuana are.

  • A miscarriage of justice on marijuana

    US police are using a flawed scientific test in drugs busts that gives 'false positives' to strongarm citizens into plea bargaining
    The Guardian (UK)
    Thursday, August 4, 2011

    As if America's highly-publicised "war on drugs" were not already facing a credibility gap, two US superior court judges – one in Washington, DC, another in Colorado – are raising questions about whether the federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and police departments are using "pseudo-scientific" drug identification methods to bust hundreds of thousands of suspected drug users, many of them inner-city minority kids. A flawed drug test means that innocent people are being locked up as suspects, deprived of their due process rights, and then pressured to accept plea bargains, whether they're guilty or not. The Duquenois-Levine test, widely used by police in the US, can detect marijuana, but also gives 'positive' results for numerous other commonly occurring substances.

  • Liberal Democrats want inquiry into decriminalising drug possession

    Motion based on Portuguese reforms said to have reduced problematic drug use expected to be passed at party conference
    The Guardian (UK)
    Thursday, August 4, 2011

    Liberal Democrats are expected to call for an independent inquiry into the decriminalisation of possession of all drugs. A motion to be put at the party's annual conference next month is likely to be passed. It would be the first government-sponsored inquiry into decriminalisation, but is unlikely to have the support of David Cameron who has hardened his approach to drugs after being a past advocate of more liberal legislation as a member of the home affairs select committee.

  • Government set to decriminalize drug use

    E Kathimerini (Greece)
    Wednesday, August 3, 2011

    The government is preparing a bill that would decriminalize drug use, although the possession and supply of drugs and the cultivation of cannabis are to remain punishable actions.

  • Drug users to receive crack pipes as part of pilot project

    Vancouver health officials aim to reduce spread of diseases such as hepatitis C by giving clean equipment to non-injection users
    The Vancouver Sun (Canada)
    Tuesday, August 2, 2011

    canada safer crackVancouver health officials will distribute new crack pipes to non-injection drug users this fall as part of a pilot project aimed at engaging crack cocaine smokers and reducing the transmission of disease such as hepatitis C, HIV and even respiratory illnesses. The program, part of Vancouver's harm reduction strategy, is expected to start in October and run for six months to a year. The intent is to connect health care workers with crack cocaine smokers to evaluate how many of the drug users are in the city and what equipment they need to lower their risk of catching diseases. A kit with a clean, unused pipe, mouthpiece, filter and condoms will be handed out to the participants.

  • A French economist argues for the legalization of cannabis

    Business Insider
    Tuesday, August 2, 2011

    University of Paris economist Pierre Kopp wants to legalize marijuana for entirely economic reasons. Kopp tells Le Monde [translated]: "For economists, the public good is that which minimizes the cost to society, in other words those which permit the improvement of public well-being at the least cost."

  • Federal judge rules Florida drug law unconstitutional

    St. Petersburg Times (US)
    Friday, July 29, 2011

    A federal judge has declared Florida's drug law unconstitutional, potentially throwing thousands of criminal cases into jeopardy. U.S. District Judge Mary Scriven of Orlando issued a ruling Wednesday that struck down the state's Drug Abuse Prevention and Control law, saying it violates due process because it doesn't require that prosecutors prove that a person knew he or she possessed illegal drugs. See also: Attorneys seek dismissal of hundreds of local drug cases

  • Obama’s Drug Policy: Yet Another Broken Promise

    White House Drug Policy Bound to Become Major Administration Issue
    Natalia Cote-Muñoz
    Council on Hemispheric Affairs (COHA)
    Thursday, July 28, 2011

    obama-cannabisWhen Obama first took office in 2009, he promised a drug policy more focused on public health. However, recent statements from the DEA and raids on medical marijuana providers have proved  otherwise. External pressures are escalating as drug cartel-led violence across the border intensifies. Internal pressures are also becoming more widespread, as the public is seeing few changes affecting drug policy. Obama should seriously consider re-evaluating his approach to drug policy for his 2012 campaign.

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