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1 CN MB: PUB LTE: What Are They Smoking?Wed, 17 Jun 2009
Source:Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB) Author:Barth, Russell Area:Manitoba Lines:35 Added:06/18/2009

Re: The editorial Drug law a bummer (June 10).

Having no economic, environmental, foreign policy or social plans, the Conservatives are using crime to pander to their myopic, visceral, misinformed and punishment-happy voter base.

Bill C-15, for example, appears designed specifically to increase crime. Mandatory sentences will scare off the mom-and-pop pot growers, who represent direct market competition to the gangsters.

With the little guys out of the game, the big guys will get more business and profit. This will lead to more violence, which the police and government will use as justification for even more draconian laws, more cops with bigger budgets and more powers, and further suppression of our civil rights and liberties.

The media-addled public is being duped once again.

Nepean, Ont.

[end]

2 US MI: Ambiguity in New Marijuana Law Is CitedThu, 18 Jun 2009
Source:Detroit Free Press (MI) Author:Satyanarayana, Megha Area:Michigan Lines:60 Added:06/18/2009

A district court judge dismissed felony drug charges Wednesday against a Madison Heights couple embroiled in one of the first major tests of the state's medical marijuana law.

Calling it "one of the worst pieces of legislation I've ever seen in my life," 43rd District Judge Robert J. Turner criticized multiple ambiguities in the voter-initiated law, including how much marijuana a supposed medical user could possess and still be free from prosecution. Under the law, there are several scenarios in which a person can be in valid possession of a various amount of marijuana.

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3 CN BC: Editorial: Suppressed Report Raises Questions About Drug PolicyThu, 18 Jun 2009
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC)          Area:British Columbia Lines:99 Added:06/18/2009

In 1991, an editorial in the British Journal of Addiction condemned the inordinate amount of resources devoted to drug law enforcement, and compared the war on drugs to the witch hunts of the past.

It's an apt comparison, since drug warriors around the world are influenced more by myths, stereotypes and propaganda than by solid evidence. And when confronted by evidence that conflicts with the myths, stereotypes and propaganda of the drug war, the warriors seek to bury it rather than address it head on.

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4US CO: Tight Laws Keep Police Unaware of Legal PotWed, 17 Jun 2009
Source:Daily Camera (Boulder, CO) Author:Miller, Vanessa Area:Colorado Lines:Excerpt Added:06/18/2009

Other Caregivers Worried About Theft After Boulder Robbery

BOULDER, Colo. -- Due to tight privacy regulations built into Colorado law, few people know the names of medical-marijuana caregivers or how many people are certified to provide the drug in the state.

In fact, the law makes it so difficult to identify the people who can legally provide marijuana that the Boulder County Drug Task Force doesn't know how many certified marijuana caregivers are in the Boulder County region. That has officers spending considerable time investigating pot-growing operations purporting to be legal; double-checking caregiver certificates and patient cards; and making sure caregivers don't have more than the allowed amount of marijuana, said task force Sgt. Barry Hartkopp.

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5 US NY: PUB LTE: Time to End Prohibition for Drugs?Thu, 18 Jun 2009
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Brautigam, Michael G. Area:New York Lines:54 Added:06/18/2009

To the Editor:

As a former prosecutor who did his time in the war on drugs (Brooklyn in the golden age of crack, late '80s, early '90s), I agree wholeheartedly with Nicholas D. Kristof's views that the war on drugs is over ("Drugs Won the War," column, June 14).

In addition to Mr. Kristof's three main points, let me add two of my own. First, abandoning the war on drugs will provide a tremendous opportunity to appropriately intervene in the lives of people who are abusing drugs. Forcing an addict to register with the government and be subject to attempts to influence his or her behavior in exchange for access to the drug of choice is appropriate; kicking in the door and arresting the person are inappropriate.

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6 US NY: PUB LTE: Time to End Prohibition for Drugs?Thu, 18 Jun 2009
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Weitzner, Ari Area:New York Lines:30 Added:06/18/2009

To the Editor:

As every physician knows, alcohol is a very addictive drug that truly destroys lives. Death and disease from alcohol and alcohol withdrawal are daily occurrences on a vast scale. In my medical practice, I have never seen someone get sick or die from marijuana, nor go into withdrawal.

It utterly defies common sense to legalize alcohol but not marijuana. The war on drugs is nonsensical. It only serves to generate enormous cash profits to criminals and wastes precious resources -- our money and the lives of law enforcement officials.

Ari Weitzner

New York

[end]

7 US NY: LTE: Time to End Prohibition for Drugs?Thu, 18 Jun 2009
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Weiner, Robert Area:New York Lines:54 Added:06/18/2009

To the Editor:

Drugs have not "won the war." With a comprehensive anti-drug strategy in place, involving foreign policy, enforcement, education, treatment, prevention and media, America's overall drug use has declined almost by half in the past three decades -- from 14.1 percent of the population in 1979 to 8.3 percent now who used drugs in the past month. In addition, cocaine use, including crack -- the source of much of the former record-high violent crime numbers -- is down 70 percent. Want to go back?

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8 US NY: PUB LTE: Time to End Prohibition for Drugs?Thu, 18 Jun 2009
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Ehrlichman, Sam Area:New York Lines:25 Added:06/18/2009

To the Editor:

Nicholas D. Kristof has it exactly right. When alcohol prohibition ended, the violent bootleggers had the financial rug pulled out from under them. We need to do the same to the Mexican cartels and the Taliban today.

Sam Ehrlichman

Maplewood, N.J.

[end]

9 US NY: PUB LTE: Time to End Prohibition for Drugs?Thu, 18 Jun 2009
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Poeton, Richard Area:New York Lines:40 Added:06/18/2009

To the Editor:

Nicholas D. Kristof makes clear the price paid for the wrongheaded "war on drugs." He notes Norm Stamper's experience as a young police officer in San Diego in 1967 thinking that he could be "doing real police work" rather than breaking down the doors of marijuana users.

I would argue that the failed war on drugs is worse than useless; it has undermined the rule of law. In 1967 I was a young college student encountering the drug culture on an East Coast campus. I had the experience of having my friends arrested and getting midnight calls to bail them out. At that time it was even illegal, where I lived, merely to be in the presence of someone smoking pot.

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10 US NY: PUB LTE: Time to End Prohibition for Drugs?Thu, 18 Jun 2009
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Shainberg, Lawrence Area:New York Lines:26 Added:06/18/2009

To the Editor:

Thanks to Nicholas D. Kristof for saying again what so many have said for years about the war on drugs. Given the evidence that the war on drugs is a futile, tragic disaster, one can only paraphrase what Winston Churchill said about democracy: Decriminalization of drugs is the worst idea, except for all the others.

Lawrence Shainberg

Truro, Mass.

[end]

11 Canada: Tories Propose Paying Prisoners to ReformWed, 17 Jun 2009
Source:Ottawa Citizen (CN ON) Author:Tibbetts, Janice Area:Canada Lines:61 Added:06/18/2009

Reward-for-rehab plan would offer inmates incentives: Van Loan

Sex offenders, drug addicts and alcoholics serving time in prisons could be rewarded with money if they take part in treatment programs, says Public Safety Minister Peter Van Loan.

He raised the prospect of incentive pay Tuesday as he announced that the government is taking legislative steps to ensure prisoners take responsibility for completing their rehabilitation plans.

"One of the aspects of our legislation is to allow for greater incentives, to encourage inmates to carry out their correctional plan, and that may take the form of enhanced prison pay," Van Loan told a news conference.

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12 CN AB: City's First Methadone Clinic to OpenTue, 16 Jun 2009
Source:Lethbridge Herald (CN AB) Author:Zentner, Caroline Area:Alberta Lines:90 Added:06/18/2009

When up to 40 per cent of patients using emergency room services are there because of addiction to pain pills, having a methadone clinic in the city makes perfect sense to Bill Leslie.

Leslie, director of the Central Alberta Methadone Program, already knew the need existed because he saw at least 100 Lethbridge clients at methadone clinics in Medicine Hat and Calgary. When he learned space was available at the Northside Medical Clinic, he and his team went into action. Leslie oversees methadone clinics in Red Deer, Calgary and Medicine Hat.

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13US MI: Judge Dismisses Madison Heights Couple's Medical Marijuana ChargesThu, 18 Jun 2009
Source:Detroit News (MI) Author:Chambers, Jennifer Area:Michigan Lines:Excerpt Added:06/18/2009

Madison Heights -- Declaring Michigan's medical marijuana act the "worst piece of legislation" he has ever seen, an Oakland County judge on Wednesday dismissed felony drug charges against a couple who say they grew pot for medical reasons.

Torey Clark and Bob Redden jubilantly walked out of the Madison Heights courtroom of 43rd District Court Judge Robert Turner . The judge had heard testimony from the physician who qualified the couple to use medical marijuana under the state's new law.

Clark and Redden were charged with growing marijuana after Madison Heights police raided their home March 30 -- days before the medical pot law took effect -- and found 21 plants. With prior drug convictions, they faced up to 14 years in prison.

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