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1 US CA: No Pot In OrcuttWed, 22 Jul 2009
Source:Santa Maria Times (CA) Author:Womack, Sam Area:California Lines:82 Added:07/27/2009

There will be no medical-marijuana dispensary in an Old Town Orcutt building despite approval from Santa Barbara County, the building's owner said Tuesday.

Neighbors and local business owners grew concerned when they received a letter late last week stating that the county had approved a land-use permit for the dispensary on West Clark Avenue.

At the time of the permit approval, Wellness Center Commercial Center had a lease agreement or approval from Orcutt Trade Center owner Greti Croft, according to county planning documents.

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2 US MD: OPED: Drug War's Wrong FocusMon, 27 Jul 2009
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Weiner, Robert Area:Maryland Lines:103 Added:07/27/2009

When It Comes to Treatment, the White House Should Put Its Money Where Its Mouth Is

In Baltimore last week, new U.S. drug czar Gil Kerlikowske made the case for expansion of drug courts to treat rather than imprison addicts and called for drugs to be considered a "public health crisis."

Why, then, is the Obama administration proposing to spend an even higher percentage of its anti-drug resources on law enforcement than the administration of George W. Bush?

Nowhere are these issues more resonant than in Baltimore. Felicia "Snoop" Pearson, a star of HBO's The Wire and a native of the city, said that her mother stole clothes off of her body for drug money and locked her in a closet. Darius Harmon, an 18-year-old learning-disabled boy from Baltimore, was killed in April by the Black Guerrilla Family gang because he was not good at selling drugs. Despite recent progress, the Drug Enforcement Administration in March found that Baltimore still has more drug-related crime than any other city in the nation.

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3US CA: Column: City Should Cash In On Sunset's Cash Crop: PotThu, 23 Jul 2009
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Nevius, C. W. Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:07/27/2009

San Francisco undercover police Officers Scott Biggs and Chris Oshita work one of the hottest marijuana-growing spots in the Bay Area: the Sunset District.

The foggy, family-friendly Sunset is a haven for pot farming. It turns out that the Sunset has it all: ocean breezes to blow away the aroma of ripe buds, lots of rental homes that can be gutted and converted to indoor farms, and hardworking residents who come home and mind their own business.

And most residents have no idea they are living next to a potentially combustible growth site until the cops arrive.

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4 US NC: Sheriff Says Muscle Car UsefulThu, 23 Jul 2009
Source:News & Observer (Raleigh, NC) Author:Biesecker, Michael Area:North Carolina Lines:108 Added:07/27/2009

RALEIGH - Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison says the Corvette Z06 being used by his deputies to pull over cars on Interstate 40 is a potent tool for fighting illegal drugs.

"We saw a need for it," Harrison said Wednesday about the special-model Chevy that goes 198 mph and was seized from a cocaine dealer. "We're going to get a lot of drugs off the road."

A Wake judge ordered Lawrence Creech Jr., the Corvette's previous owner, to forfeit it to the Wake Sheriff's Office following his arrest in December for cocaine possession and maintaining a vehicle for the keeping of controlled substances, according to court records. The 2007 car has a current retail value of $56,990, according to Kelley Blue Book.

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5 US IL: Column: County Board's Marijuana Vote Makes Him HappyThu, 23 Jul 2009
Source:SouthtownStar (Tinley Park, IL) Author:Kadner, Phil Area:Illinois Lines:118 Added:07/27/2009

It was strange to learn that James Gierach had not heard that the Cook County Board voted Tuesday to issue the equivalent of parking tickets to marijuana smokers.

For 20 years, the Palos Park attorney has been telling people that all drugs should be decriminalized. He ran for Cook County state's attorney on the issue in 1992 and for governor two years later.

"No, I had not heard that," Gierach said, when I told him the county board had voted to give sheriff's police the option of issuing $200 tickets to people in unincorporated areas who were caught with 10 grams or less of marijuana. "But that's good."

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6US CA: Editorial: To Save Money, Cut California's PrisonThu, 23 Jul 2009
Source:San Jose Mercury News (CA)          Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:07/27/2009

There are good reasons to be upset with the state budget that the Legislature will vote on today. The proposal to reduce the number of inmates in state prisons to save $1.2 billion is not one of them.

But that's what's bothering Republican lawmakers. Assembly Republican leader Sam Blakeslee of San Luis Obispo threatened to kill the budget if it included what he and others mischaracterized as the early release of 27,000 prisoners. The crisis was averted Wednesday when legislative leaders agreed to keep the savings in the budget, then vote separately next month on how to achieve them. But Blakeslee's threat was added evidence why voters must get rid of the requirement for a two-thirds majority to pass the state budget. It empowers a tyrannical minority.

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7 CN ON: Lifestyles Clash in the Crack Triangle: ChiefWed, 22 Jul 2009
Source:Barrie Advance, The (CN ON) Author:Watt, Laurie Area:Ontario Lines:93 Added:07/27/2009

The violent underbelly of Barrie. The Crack Triangle. And lewd behaviour that has people peeing up against walls, throwing beer cans and creating a disturbance.

It's more discouraging than ever, said downtown residents who packed the council chambers Monday night in a neighbhourhood meeting called to address crime after a woman was brutally beaten and raped last week on Mary Street.

Called by downtown Coun. Jeff Lehman, the two-plus hour meeting mainly allowed residents to vent to share their observations and their fears.

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8 US IL: Column: Cronkite Was Right About This 'War,' TooWed, 22 Jul 2009
Source:Chicago Tribune (IL) Author:Rodricks, Dan Area:Illinois Lines:95 Added:07/27/2009

Walter Cronkite, once the most trusted man in America and a leading figure in broadcast journalism's Mount Rushmore, believed the nation's war on drugs was unwinnable, and he said so on television. A decade after his years with CBS News, Mr. Cronkite succeeded in raising public awareness of the war's futility and provoking a Bill O'Reilly rant.

Of course, Mr. Cronkite is famous for having reached the same correct conclusion about the Vietnam War in 1968. All of his obituaries have recalled Mr. Cronkite's special report from Vietnam, his characterization of the war as stalemate and his call for a negotiated peace. President Lyndon B. Johnson was famously quoted as saying, "If I've lost Cronkite, I've lost Middle America." Later that year, Mr. Johnson decided not to seek re-election.

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9 US NY: PUB LTE: Give Addicts Heroin, Not Methadone, WhenMon, 20 Jul 2009
Source:Daily Gazette (NY) Author:Aiken, William Area:New York Lines:53 Added:07/20/2009

When announcing the approach to his drug policy, President Obama stated that his administration will put more of an emphasis on drug treatment and less reliance on the criminal justice systems. That shift in strategy is a wise one that will yield more cost-effective results while lowering the number of addicts.

However, President Obama should go further, and look to other countries that have had success with heroin maintenance clinics, such as Germany and Switzerland.

Not only have these clinics played a role in reducing drug-related crime in these countries by double digits, the addicts' recovery cycle is accelerated. They can work a job and be with their families while they receive heroin administrated by a doctor. In America, we offer addicts methadone clinics. Since the majority of addicts prefer heroin over methadone, they often go back to their drug of choice through black market resources.

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