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1 US: Web: Swapping Politics for Science on Drug PolicyMon, 04 Jan 2010
Source:Nation, The (US) Author:Schwartzapfel, Beth Area:United States Lines:262 Added:01/08/2010

Policy wonks and deficit hawks weren't the only ones paying attention when President Obama signed the Fiscal Year 2010 Consolidated Appropriations Act last week. HIV activists, public health experts and communities of drug users celebrated--not for what's in the appropriations bill, but for what's not in it: a ban on federal funding for needle exchange programs, which has appeared in the federal budget every year since 1988.

After two decades, this change is a historic achievement. Obama had already missed one opportunity to lift the ban, neglecting to pull it out of his budget in May. Still, that same month former Seattle chief of police Gil Kerlikowske was sworn in as the director of national drug control policy, calling for a new common-sense approach to drug addiction. When the drug czar calls for an end to the war on drugs, it's clearly the start of a new era.

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2 US TX: Don't Smoke ItWed, 05 Aug 2009
Source:Fort Worth Weekly (TX) Author:Gorman, Peter Area:Texas Lines:448 Added:08/06/2009

Quick: What single plant can you use to build, insulate, and heat a house; help build and run cars; turn into the finest textiles; use to make tortillas, cheese, veggie burgers, perfumes, skin creams, and suntan lotions - and also to get stoned?

Gotcha. The answer is none. But if you leave out the stoned part, you're talking about hemp, the non-smokable variety of cannabis sativa, botanical cousin of the cannabis that gets you high. It's currently grown legally in 30 industrial nations, has a history that dates back to the earliest days of man, was touted by George Washington and Benjamin Franklin, was probably used to make the first American flag, and - if given the chance - might help bring Texas farmers out of troubled times.

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3 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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4 US: The Drug War In Six ActsWed, 01 Jul 2009
Source:Mother Jones (US) Author:Wallace-Wells, Ben Area:United States Lines:219 Added:07/01/2009

How Right-Wing Posses Started the Crack Trade, and Other Tales That Will Blow Your Mind.

Vivian Blake's War

In the late 1970s, a young Jamaican man named Vivian Blake, a scholarship kid from the Tivoli Gardens ghetto of Kingston, arrived in New York as part of a traveling cricket exhibition, stuck around, and began selling marijuana.

One of the last great political proxy fights of the Cold War was then unfolding in Jamaica: Both the left-wing party, friendly to Castro, and its right-wing opponents built violent electioneering posses to persuade friendly voters and attack unfriendly ones--800 Jamaicans died. Blake was affiliated with the right-wing Shower Posse. He helped funnel pot and, later, cocaine to the United States and sent guns back home to help the posses intimidate voters. After the election, the new government tried to drive the posses off the island, and many arrived in New York and Miami, fully formed, violent organizations, deprived of their political purpose and looking for something to do.

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5 US: This Is Your War on DrugsWed, 01 Jul 2009
Source:Mother Jones (US) Author:Bauerlein, Monika Area:United States Lines:110 Added:06/30/2009

Since 1998, the Drug Czar Has Been Mandated to Lie to the American People. So What Would a Fact-Based Drug Policy Look Like?

AMONG OUR LEADERS in Washington, who's been the biggest liar? There are all too many contenders, yet one is so floridly surreal that he deserves special attention. Nope, it's not Dick Cheney or Alberto Gonzales or John Yoo. It's a trusted authority figure who's lied for 11 years now, no matter which party held sway. (Nope, it's not Alan Greenspan.) This liar didn't end-run Congress, or bully it, or have its surreptitious blessing at the time only to face its indignation later. No, this liar was ordered by Congress to lie--as a prerequisite for holding the job.

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6 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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7 US FL: Former Drug Czar Sees Heroin Risk To SoldiersWed, 20 May 2009
Source:Palm Beach Post, The (FL) Author:Abramson, Andrew Area:Florida Lines:68 Added:05/23/2009

PALM BEACH GARDENS -- Destroy opium plants, or U.S. soldiers will continue to abuse heroin and terrorism will continue to thrive in Afghanistan.

That's the message from former U.S. drug czar, Gen. Barry McCaffrey, who was Wednesday's keynote speaker at a conference for the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers at PGA National Resort.

McCaffrey, a retired four-star general who served as the nation's drug czar under President Clinton, believes that drug abuse among soldiers has doubled in the last four years.

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8 CN MB: OPED: Canada's Forgotten War on DrugsMon, 06 Apr 2009
Source:Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB) Author:Ford, Tom Area:Manitoba Lines:101 Added:04/08/2009

YUCATAN, Mexico -- The Canadian guy at the swim-up bar seemed ready to fall off his stool and float away.

In an effort to help him focus, I asked him about Canada's involvement in Mexico's brutal drug war.

"What involvement?" he said.

And that's the problem. A lot of Canadians don't know about our stake in Mexico's war against drug lords, which now has a higher death rate than the war in Iraq.

The war's statistics are staggering: More than 7,000 people killed this year and last; 50,000 Mexican troops and federal police battling five big drug cartels armed with rocket-launchers, machine guns, grenades and armour-piercing sniper rifles over a drug trade valued at $50 billion a year.

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9 US: US Aid Delays In Drug War CriticizedSun, 05 Apr 2009
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Booth, William Area:United States Lines:200 Added:04/05/2009

Mexicans Seek 'True Solidarity'

MEXICO CITY -- After promising $1.4 billion last year under a landmark initiative to help fight drug trafficking in Mexico, the U.S. government has spent almost none of the money, fanning criticism on both sides of the border that the United States is failing to respond quickly to the deepening crisis.

In June, Congress appropriated $400 million to assist Mexico under the first installment of the Merida Initiative, which was signed into law by President George W. Bush. The three-year aid package was passed as an emergency measure because of deteriorating security in Mexico. In December, the State Department announced that $197 million had been "released."

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10 Mexico: State of WarWed, 01 Apr 2009
Source:Foreign Policy (US) Author:Quinones, Sam Area:Mexico Lines:257 Added:03/30/2009

Mexico's hillbilly drug smugglers have morphed into a raging insurgency. Violence claimed more lives there last year alone than all the Americans killed in the war in Iraq. And there's no end in sight.

What I remember most about my return to Mexico last year are the narcomantas. At least that's what everyone called them: "drug banners." Perhaps a dozen feet long and several feet high, they were hung in parks and plazas around Monterrey. Their messages were hand-painted in black block letters. They all said virtually the same thing, even misspelling the same name in the same way. Similar banners appeared in eight other Mexican cities that day--Aug. 26, 2008.

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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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12 Canada: Column: A War You Can StopSat, 14 Mar 2009
Source:National Post (Canada) Author:Frum, David Area:Canada Lines:110 Added:03/14/2009

Guess which city leads the world in kidnappings?

No, not Beirut. Not Baghdad. Mexico City.

And guess who comes second? Ready? It's Phoenix, Ariz.: 370 recorded cases in 2008 alone, and who knows how many unrecorded cases.

When you think Phoenix, you may think of retirees and golf courses. But here's what the late Paul Harvey used to call "the rest of the story," courtesy of the Web site Stratfor.com:

"Late on the night of June 22, [2008] a residence in Phoenix was approached by a heavily armed tactical team preparing to serve a warrant. The members of the team were wearing the typical gear for members of their profession: black boots, black BDU (battle dress uniform) pants, Kevlar helmets and Phoenix Police Department (PPD) raid shirts pulled over their body armour. The team members carried AR-15 rifles equipped with Aimpoint sights to help them during the low-light operation and, like most cops on a tactical team, in addition to their long guns, the members of this team carried secondary weapons --pistols strapped to their thighs.

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13 US: Choice Of Drug Czar Indicates Focus On Treatment, Not JailThu, 12 Mar 2009
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Johnson, Carrie Area:United States Lines:133 Added:03/12/2009

The White House yesterday said that it will push for treatment, rather than incarceration, of people arrested for drug-related crimes as it announced the nomination of Seattle Police Chief R. Gil Kerlikowske to oversee the nation's effort to control illegal drugs.

The choice of drug czar and the emphasis on alternative drug courts, announced by Vice President Biden, signal a sharp departure from Bush administration policies, gravitating away from cutting the supply of illicit drugs from foreign countries and toward curbing drug use in communities across the United States.

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14 Mexico: The Making of a Narco StateThu, 19 Mar 2009
Source:Rolling Stone (US) Author:Lawson, Guy Area:Mexico Lines:740 Added:03/09/2009

As Mexico Descends into Brutality and Lawlessness, the Government Istelf Has Become a Tool of the Drug Lords

The target of the raid was the narcotraficante known as "El Conejo" - the Rabbit. In keeping with his stature as the main supplier of cocaine to one of Mexico's most powerful drug cartels, the Colombian was throwing a lavish party at a sprawling mansion on the south side of Mexico City. As always, there would be plenty of high-end prostitutes, who served a dual purpose: They not only made money for Conejo while they were working, they could also be sent back to Colombia loaded down with the cash from his drug trafficking - by some accounts as much as $40 million in profits every month.

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15 US PA: Editorial: Mexico's drug violence: Us In The Cross HairsTue, 03 Mar 2009
Source:Tribune Review (Pittsburgh, PA)          Area:Pennsylvania Lines:42 Added:03/08/2009

Americans are under attack not in some foreign province but in their very homes and neighborhoods. Brutal drug cartel violence that wracks Mexico is increasingly seeping over the border into U.S. jurisdictions.

In Phoenix, armed extortionists are kidnapping Americans from their homes and cars. In Southern California, citizens have been abducted by armed gangs linked to the Tijuana drug rackets. And in Texas, Gov. Rick Perry is requesting an additional $135 million for border security to stem transnational gangs that threaten communities across the Mexican border.

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16 US TX: Officials Brace For Spillover Violence From MexicoSat, 07 Mar 2009
Source:Ft. Worth Star-Telegram (TX) Author:Montgomery, Dave Area:Texas Lines:221 Added:03/08/2009

AUSTIN -- The state and federal governments have prepared contingency plans to deal with "spillover violence" from across the border as Mexican troops clash with ruthless drug cartels terrorizing the United States's southern neighbor.

"Anything you can think of that's happened in Mexico, we have to think could happen here," said Steve McCraw, Gov. Rick Perry's director of homeland security. "We know what they're capable of."

A crackdown by Mexican President Felipe Calderon has turned the City of Juarez, just across the border from El Paso, into a war zone as federal troops battle feuding cartels.

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17 Mexico: On the Trail of the TraffickersThu, 05 Mar 2009
Source:Economist, The (UK)          Area:Mexico Lines:399 Added:03/05/2009

Illegal Drugs Are Causing Havoc Across the World. Over Four Articles, We Look at Attempts to Curb Supply and Cut Demand, Beginning in Mexico

IN RECENT months Mexicans have become inured to carefully choreographed spectacles of horror.

Just before Christmas the severed heads of eight soldiers were found dumped in plastic bags near a shopping centre in Chilpancingo, the capital of the southern state of Guerrero. Last month another three were found in an icebox near the border city of Ciudad Juarez. Farther along the border near Tijuana police detained Santiago Meza, nicknamed El Pozolero ("the soupmaker") who confessed to having dissolved the bodies of more than 300 people in acid over the past nine years on the orders of a local drug baron.

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18 US PA: Editorial: Losing The War On DrugsSun, 01 Mar 2009
Source:Philadelphia Inquirer, The (PA)          Area:Pennsylvania Lines:86 Added:03/01/2009

Mexico

Imagine if murders in Philadelphia tripled. Imagine if they quadrupled. Imagine living in Juarez, Mexico. With a population about the same as Philadelphia's 1.4 million, Juarez had 1,600 murders last year; Philadelphia had 332.

Last month, Juarez had more than 80 murders. If you think that sounds like a war zone, you would be right. Juarez is on the front lines of the so-called war on drugs. That multi-decade misadventure has filled U.S. prisons with thousands of drug-law violators, but hasn't done enough to stem our demand for drugs.

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19US: Mexico Attorney General: We Don't Need U.S. Troops to Intervene in Drug WarWed, 25 Feb 2009
Source:Dallas Morning News (TX) Author:Gillman, Todd J. Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:02/25/2009

WASHINGTON -- Mexico's attorney general said Tuesday he sees no need for U.S. troops to intervene in his country's war on drug cartels, nor to gear up for a spillover of violence across the border.

"I don't see that," Attorney General Eduardo Medina-Mora said in an interview with The Dallas Morning News. "I don't see the U.S. military playing an active role. The size of the problem on the U.S. side is not calling for that, and certainly Mexico has enough institutional capabilities to deal with this."

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20US TX: Gov. Perry Wants U.S. Troops Guarding BorderWed, 25 Feb 2009
Source:El Paso Times (TX) Author:Valdez, Diana Washington Area:Texas Lines:Excerpt Added:02/25/2009

EL PASO - Gov. Rick Perry said he wants 1,000 troops to help guard the Texas-Mexico border, and for the U.S. to fund strong security measures to fight the Mexican drug cartels that have spread violence and fear in Mexico, including Juarez.

"We're (also) asking the (Texas) Legislature for $135 million for border security - to go after transnational gangs, for technology and aviation assets, and for 1,000 troops," said Perry at a news conference Tuesday at the Chamizal National Memorial.

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