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1 US CA: Editorial: Pot Policy: Feds Back Off, Now City MustTue, 24 Mar 2009
Source:Los Angeles Daily News (CA)          Area:California Lines:75 Added:03/24/2009

FINALLY, the federal government is going to allow Californians to buy marijuana as a medication - 13 years after state voters approved it. Now, local and state governments must move quickly to come up with sane and practical regulations for medical marijuana dispensaries.

Medical marijuana was approved for medicinal use in California after Proposition 215 was passed by voters in 1996. After that, dispensaries opened all over Los Angeles and enjoyed virtually no regulation by state or local government. The unchecked growth naturally led to abuses and to community concerns in places like North Hollywood, which has more than its fair share of dispensaries. As a result, in 2007, federal agents started raiding existing dispensaries and L.A. was forced to put a temporary halt on new ones.

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2 US MI: When The Good Guys Go BadTue, 24 Mar 2009
Source:Detroit Free Press (MI) Author:Swickard, Joe Area:Michigan Lines:113 Added:03/24/2009

Case Turns Law Enforcement Upside Down

Even in metro Detroit, an area long familiar with staggering levels of dope trafficking, Inkster cops earned high-fives all around when they grabbed 47 kilos of cocaine back in 2005.

But now that seizure from a Texas narcotics pipeline -- one of the largest local narcotics busts this area has seen -- has turned the regular law enforcement roles upside down, with the state now expecting to seek felony charges against the cops and the trial prosecutor. The trial judge also may be named in a criminal warrant request brought after a nine-month investigation by the Michigan Attorney General's Office.

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3US FL: Column: End The War On Drugs, ProstitutionTue, 24 Mar 2009
Source:Pensacola News Journal (FL) Author:Dogan, Reginald T. Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:03/24/2009

Is anyone really surprised that two years after anti-crime sweeps, drugs and prostitution still plague Brownsville?

I'm not.

Much like America's war on drugs, Operation Brownsville and its aftermath have been colossal failures.

Any war on drugs, whether waged on a national or local scale, is a losing battle.

This is not for want of effort.

The United States alone spends some $40 billion each year trying to eliminate the drug supply, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. It arrests more than a million of its citizens each year for drug offenses, locking up half a million of them.

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4US OH: Cleveland Relaxes Policy on Drug Arrests With Trace AmountsTue, 24 Mar 2009
Source:Plain Dealer, The (Cleveland, OH) Author:Puente, Mark Area:Ohio Lines:Excerpt Added:03/24/2009

Trace Amounts Now Bring Misdemeanors

People busted with drug residue in pipes and syringes in Cleveland are no longer automatically charged as felons, bringing the city's policies in line with other urban areas throughout the state.

Until two weeks ago, drug abusers faced felony possession charges if caught with trace amounts of drugs in a crack pipe or heroin syringe. They now face misdemeanor charges, which allows them to seek treatment through the Greater Cleveland Drug Court.

City officials announced the policy change in November, but it took about four months to implement it because the courts and prosecutor's office had to prepare for the change.

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5 CN NK: Meth Seizures On The Rise In N.B.Tue, 24 Mar 2009
Source:Times & Transcript (Moncton, CN NK)          Area:New Brunswick Lines:97 Added:03/24/2009

Methamphetamines Highly Addictive, Linked To Violence

Methamphetamine seizures are on the rise in New Brunswick and that's not a good thing, according to police.

Wayne Jeffery, a Vancouver-based forensic drug expert who retired after more than 30 years as a police officer, says meth is one of the most addictive drugs a person can take, trailing only heroin. And people hooked on meth are prone to violence, both because of the psychological effects of the drug and the junkies' desperation to get their next fix.

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6 US CA: County Ends Regulation Of Marijuana DispensariesTue, 24 Mar 2009
Source:Bakersfield Californian, The (CA) Author:Burger, James Area:California Lines:55 Added:03/24/2009

Kern County supervisors repealed an ordinance Tuesday that limited and controlled the number of medical marijuana dispensaries that could open here in Kern County.

The split vote, with Supervisor Mike Maggard objecting, followed a long question session with county attorney John Irby, who has tracked the legal fate of California's controversial marijuana law.

Irby said the dispensaries the board is familiar with -- six were allowed under county ordinance -- won't come back.

He said the dispensaries are now clearly illegal under guidelines set by California Attorney General Jerry Brown.

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7US NY: NYPD Narcotics Detective Faces Perjury Charges As CaseMon, 23 Mar 2009
Source:New York Daily News (NY) Author:Gendar, Alison Area:New York Lines:Excerpt Added:03/24/2009

A Bronx narcotics detective was indicted Monday on charges she juiced the truth about a big pot bust - lies that got the case against the dealers tossed out.

Detective Debra Eager, a 15-year NYPD veteran, said on the stand that she and her partner saw two drug suspects toting boxes into a Holland Ave. apartment.

Eager, 41, said she followed the duo into the building, heard them enter an apartment and then made an arrest.

Her testimony, however, "was starkly contradicted by video surveillance" at the building, Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson said.

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8 CN AB: Editorial: War On Drugs Should Include TreatmentTue, 24 Mar 2009
Source:Didsbury Review, The (CN AB) Author:Singleton, Dan Area:Alberta Lines:76 Added:03/24/2009

The Harper government has introduced legislation that, if passed, will impose mandatory minimum prison sentences for serious drug crimes committed in west central Alberta and everywhere else in Canada.

By putting more drug offenders in jail and keeping them there longer, the government hopes to make communities safer while deterring young people from getting involved with illegal drugs in the first place.

"These measures are a proportionate and measured response designed to disrupt criminal enterprise; drug producers and dealers who threaten the safety of our communities must face tougher penalties," said federal justice minister Rob Nicholson.

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9 UK: Column: Mexico: A Toxic Drugs Cocktail In a 'Failed State'Wed, 25 Mar 2009
Source:Times, The (UK) Author:Loyd, Anthony Area:United Kingdom Lines:56 Added:03/24/2009

Forget Afghanistan: America is waking up to the fact that it is about to become embroiled with its own neighbour's drugs war. Mexico may be the US's second-biggest trading partner but according to a report by the US Joint Forces Command it sits alongside Pakistan as being most likely to become a failed state, crushed by cartel violence.

More than 10,000 people have died since President Calderon of Mexico committed troops to tackle the six main cartels in December 2006. Beheadings have become a common way of enforcing discipline within the cartels. Earlier this year Santiago Meza, aka "the Stew Maker", confessed to having dissolved more than 300 gangland execution victims in acid.

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10 US: FBI Deployed By US To Fight Mexican Drug LordsWed, 25 Mar 2009
Source:Guardian, The (UK) Author:MacAskill, Ewen Area:United States Lines:78 Added:03/24/2009

. Washington fears carnage will spread across border

. Proposals echo battles to control mafia

The White House yesterday revealed plans for a crime-fighting operation targeting Mexican drug cartels on a scale not seen since the battles against the US mafia.

Washington is dispatching more federal agents and equipment to its south-western border with Mexico to target the cartels. Among them are a newly formed FBI unit, to deal with the ringleaders, and treasury officials who will track drug money. An extra 100 customs officers are to be sent to the border within the next 45 days.

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11 US: U.S. Stepping Up Response To Mexican Drug ViolenceWed, 25 Mar 2009
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Hsu, Spencer S. Area:United States Lines:107 Added:03/24/2009

No New Troops Or Funding in Obama's Plan

The Obama administration announced plans yesterday to move more than 450 law enforcement agents and equipment to the southern U.S. border to combat Mexican drug cartel violence, but its "comprehensive response" was also notable for what it omitted.

President Obama asked for no new troops, legislation or funding from Congress for now, beyond the three-year $1.4 billion Merida Initiative lawmakers gave Mexico and Central America for counter-trafficking programs last year and a small amount of stimulus money for border security.

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