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Drug War Chronicle, Issue #628 -(urls + editorial)- 4/16/10

Von: B Sellers (bliss@sfo.com) [Profil]
Datum: 16.04.2010 18:46
Message-ID: <hqa48u$fhb$1@news.eternal-september.org>
Followup-to: talk.politics.drugs
Newsgroup: talk.politics.drugs rec.drugs.psychedelic rec.drugs.misc alt.hemp alt.drugs.culture alt.drugs
Drug War Chronicle, Issue #628 -- 4/16/10
Phillip S. Smith, Editor, psmith@drcnet.org
http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/628

A Publication of Stop the Drug War (DRCNet)
David Borden, Executive Director, borden@drcnet.org
"Raising Awareness of the Consequences of Drug Prohibition"

Get your copy of 10 Rules for Dealing with Police, the new video that
every activist -- and every American -- should memorize:
http://stopthedrugwar.org/10rules

Table of Contents:

1. FEATURE: DRUG CZAR GETS GRILLED ON "NEW DIRECTIONS IN DRUG POLICY" BY
SKEPTICAL SOLONS, ACTIVISTS, AND ACADEMICS
The drug czar was in the hot seat at a Wednesday congressional hearing,
and activists and academics got a chance to weigh in on the flaws of US
drug policy as well.
http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/628/drug_czar_ondcp_kerlikowske_testimony_nadelmann_fe
lbab_brown_carnavale_reuter_kucinich

2. DRUG WAR CHRONICLE BOOK REVIEW: "OPIUM: UNCOVERING THE POLITICS OF
THE POPPY," BY PIERRE-ARNAUD CHOUVY (2010, HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS, 256
PP., $28.95 HB)
Pierre-Arnaud Chouvy has spent years trudging through the poppy fields
of Asia on his way to becoming one of the world's leading experts on the
opium trade. With the publication of "Opium: Uncovering the Politics of
the Poppy," the fruits of his labors are now available in English, and
we should be thankful for that.
http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/628/book_review_chouvy_opium_politics_poppy

3. OFFER AND APPEAL: ORDER "10 RULES FOR DEALING WITH POLICE" -- FREE
WITH A DONATION TO STOPTHEDRUGWAR.ORG
StoptheDrugWar.org is pleased to be the first drug policy organization
to offer this important new video to our members -- your donations will
support our work of building the movement and fueling public debate, too.
http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/628/10_rules_for_dealing_with_police_movie

4. LAW ENFORCEMENT: THIS WEEK'S CORRUPT COPS STORIES
It's a veritable potpourri of prohibition-related police misconduct this
week, from small town departments to the Big Apple to the ATF.
http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/628/police_drug_corruption

5. MEDICAL MARIJUANA: ARIZONA INITIATIVE APPEARS HEADED FOR NOVEMBER BALLOT
An initiative to legalize medical marijuana in Arizona is poised to make
the November ballot. If it does, and if it is approved, it will mean
medical marijuana is the law of the land from the Pacific Coast to the
Texas border.
http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/628/arizona_medical_marijuana_inititiative_signatures_
november_ballot

6. PROHIBITION: CONTAMINATED DRUG SUPPLY THREATENING COCAINE USERS IN
NORTH AMERICA, HEROIN USERS IN EUROPE
One of the side-effects of prohibition is contamination of unregulated
illicit drug supplies, putting users at risk. Two now familiar, but
disturbing, contaminants are in the news this week: anthrax in European
heroin and levamisole in North American cocaine.
http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/628/scotland_anthrax_heroin_quebec_cocaine_levamisole

7. HARM REDUCTION: COLORADO BILL WOULD LEGALIZE NEEDLE EXCHANGES
Legal needle exchanges may be coming to Colorado -- if a bill before the
state Senate passes. But injection drug users in Boulder already benefit
from an exemption allowing exchanges, and drug users in Denver can take
advantage of an underground exchange.
http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/628/colorado_needle_syringe_exchange_bill

8. MARIJUANA DECRIMINALIZATION: NEW HAMPSHIRE BILL DEFEATED IN SENATE
COMMITTEE
There will be no marijuana decriminalization in the Granite State -- at
least not this year. A veto-wielding governor managed to scare off the
state Senate after the House passed it overwhelmingly, but activists
aren't giving up. Instead, they are vowing to return until the
legislature gets it right.
http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/628/new_hampshire_marijuana_decriminalization_bill_sen
ate_committee_vote

9. LATIN AMERICA: MEXICO'S CARTELS DECLARE WAR ON THE ZETAS
In the violent and volatile world of Mexican drug cartels, no alliance
is forever. Now, the Zetas have grown too threatening, and the other
cartels are joining forces against them. Meanwhile, Chapo Guzman and his
Sinaloa cartel have taken Ciudad Juarez.
http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/628/mexico_drug_cartels_zetas_sinaloa_gulf_familia

10. LATIN AMERICA: COCA COLLA GOES ON SALE IN BOLIVIA
Drink up -- it's Coca Colla time! Yes, it's a coca-based soft drink, but
you'll have to go to Bolivia to try it. And this isn't some
de-cocainized soft drink; it's the real thing.
http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/628/bolivia_coca_colla_soft_drink_on_sale

11. BERMUDA: RULING PARTY MEMBERS CALL FOR DEBATE ON MARIJUANA
DECRIMINALIZATION
Bermuda has long taken a hard-line on marijuana possession, but now
members of the ruling party are suggesting it's time for a change.
http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/628/bermuda_ruling_party_debate_marijuana_decriminaliz
ation

12. DRUG WAR CHRONICLE VIDEO REVIEW: "10 RULES FOR DEALING WITH POLICE,"
FROM FLEX YOUR RIGHTS
Millions of people have viewed -- and benefited from -- the film
"Busted: The Citizen's Guide to Surviving Police Encounters." The new
Flex Your Rights film, "10 Rules for Dealing with Police," has taken
things to the next level, in more ways than one.
http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/628/10_rules_for_dealing_with_police_flex_your_rights_
video_review

13. FEEDBACK: DO YOU READ DRUG WAR CHRONICLE?
Do you read Drug War Chronicle? If so, we need your feedback to evaluate
our work and make the case for Drug War Chronicle to funders. We need
donations too.
http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/628/do_you_read_drug_war_chronicle

14. WEEKLY: THIS WEEK IN HISTORY
Events and quotes of note from this week's drug policy events of years past.
http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/628/drug_war_history

15. WEEKLY: BLOGGING @ THE SPEAKEASY
"Michelle Obama's Awesome Plan for Winning the Drug War," "Drug Cartel
Assassins Caught on Camera," "The Government is Still Trying (and
Failing) to Prove That Marijuana is Dangerous," "The Best Argument Ever
for Legalizing and Taxing Marijuana," "Teachers for Marijuana
Legalization," "Dr. Drew Endorses Planting Evidence on Drug Users to Get
Them Locked Up," "Mike Huckabee Compares Using Drugs to Committing
Incest," "Eating Your Stash Won't Keep You Out of Jail."
http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/628/blogging_at_the_speakeasy

16. STUDENTS: INTERN AT STOPTHEDRUGWAR.ORG (DRCNET) AND HELP STOP THE
DRUG WAR!
Apply for an internship at DRCNet and you could spend a semester
fighting the good fight!
http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/628/drcnet_internships_to_stop_the_drug_war

17. JOB OPPORTUNITIES: CANNBE HAS FIVE!
CannBe, a medical cannabis consulting firm based in Oakland, CA, and
comprised of many leaders in the medical cannabis industry and movement,
is hiring high-achieving professionals for several open positions
including Business and Organizational Development Specialist, Junior
Government Relations Specialist, Operations Development Administrator,
Office Administrator, and Partner Support Administrator.
http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/628/cannbe_five_jobs

(Not subscribed? Visit http://stopthedrugwar.org to sign up today!)

===============

1. Feature: Drug Czar Gets Grilled on "New Directions in Drug Policy" By
Skeptical Solons, Activists, and Academics
http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/628/drug_czar_ondcp_kerlikowske_testimony_nadelmann_fe
lbab_brown_carnavale_reuter_kucinich

Gil Kerlikowske, head of the Office of National Drug Control Policy
(ONDCP -- the drug czar's office --
http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov), testified on Capitol Hill
Wednesday that the Obama administration is seeking "a new direction in
drug policy," but was challenged both by lawmakers and by a panel of
academics and activists on the point during the same hearing. The action
took place at a hearing of the House Domestic Policy Subcommittee in
which the ONDCP drug budget and the forthcoming 2010 National Drug
Strategy were the topics at hand.

The hearing comes in the wake of various drug policy reforms enacted by
the Obama administration, including a Justice Department policy memo
directing US attorneys and the DEA to lay off medical marijuana in
states where it is legal, the removal of the federal ban on needle
exchange funding, and administration support for ending or reducing the
sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine offenders.

But it also comes in the wake of the announcement of the ONDCP 2011 drug
budget, which at $15.5 billion is up more than $500 million from this
year. While treatment and prevention programs got a 6.5% funding
increase, supply reduction (law enforcement, interdiction, and
eradication) continues to account for almost exactly the same percentage
of the overall budget -- 64%--as it did in the Bush administration. Only
36% is earmarked for demand reduction (prevention and treatment).

Citing health care costs from drug use and rising drug overdose death
figures, the nation "needs to discard the idea that enforcement alone
can eliminate our nation's drug problem," Kerlikowske said. "Only
through a comprehensive and balanced approach -- combining tough, but
fair, enforcement with robust prevention and treatment efforts -- will
we be successful in stemming both the demand for and supply of illegal
drugs in our country."

So far, at least, when it comes to reconfiguring US drug control
efforts, Kerlikowske and the Obama administration are talking the talk,
but they're not walking the walk. That was the contention of
subcommittee chair Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) and several of the
session's panelists.

"Supply side spending has not been effective," said Kucinich,
challenging the budget breakdown.

"Supply side spending is important for a host of reasons, whether we're
talking about eradication or our international partners where drugs are
flowing," replied the drug czar.

"Where's the evidence?" Kucinich demanded. "Describe with statistics
what evidence you have that this approach is effective."

Kerlikowske was reduced to citing the case of Colombia, where security
and safety of the citizenry has increased. But he failed to mention that
despite about $4 billion in US anti-drug aid in the past decade,
Colombian coca and cocaine production remain at high levels.

"What parts of your budget are most effective?" asked Kucinich.

"The most cost-effective approaches would be prevention and treatment,"
said Kerlikowske.

"What percentage is supply and what percentage is demand oriented?"
asked Rep. Jim Jordan (D-OH).

"It leans much more toward supply, toward interdiction and enforcement,"
Kerlikowske conceded.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) was more old school, demanding a tougher
response to Mexico's wave of prohibition-related violence and
questioning the decision not to eradicate opium in Afghanistan. "The
Southwest border is critical. I would hope the administration would give
you the resources you need for a Plan Colombia on steroids," said Issa.

"There is no eradication program in Afghanistan," Issa complained. "I
was in areas we did control and we did nothing about eradication."

"I don't think anyone is comfortable seeing US forces among the poppy
fields," Kerlikowske replied. "Ambassador Holbrooke has taken great
pains to explain the rationale for that," he added, alluding to
Holbrooke's winning argument that eradication would push poppy farming
peasants into the hands of the Taliban.

"The effectiveness of eradication seems to be near zero, which is very
interesting from a policy point of view," interjected Rep. Bill Foster
(D-IL).

Kucinich challenged Kerlikowske about harm reduction. "At the UN, you
said the US supported many interventions, but you said that, 'We do not
use the phrase harm reduction.' You are silent on both syringe exchange
programs and the issue of harm reduction interventions generally," he
noted. "Do you acknowledge that these interventions can be effective in
reducing death and disease, does your budget proposed to fund
intervention programs that have demonstrated positive results in drug
overdose deaths, and what is the basis of your belief that the term harm
reduction implies promotion of drug use?"

Kerlikowske barely responded. "We don't use the term harm reduction
because it is in the eye of the beholder," he said. "People talk about
it as if it were legalization, but personally, I haven't spent a lot of
time thinking about whether to put a definition on it."

When challenged by Kucinich specifically about needle exchange programs,
Kerlikowske conceded that they can be effective. "If they are part of a
comprehensive drug reduction effort, they make a lot of sense," he said.

The grilling of Kerlikowske took up the first hour of the two-hour
session. The second hour consisted of testimony from Drug Policy
Alliance (http://www.drugpolicy.org) executive director Ethan Nadelmann,
Brookings Institute foreign policy fellow and drugs and
counterinsurgency expert Vanda Felbab-Brown, former ONDCP employee and
drug policy analyst John Carnevale, and University of Maryland drug
policy expert Peter Reuter. It didn't get any better for drug policy
orthodoxy.

"Let me be frank," said Nadelmann as he began his testimony. "We regard
US drug policy as a colossal failure, a gross violation of human rights
and common sense," he said, citing the all too familiar statistics about
arrests, incarceration, the spread of HIV/AIDS, and drug overdose
deaths. "All of these are an egregious violation of fundamental American
values."

"Congress and the Obama administration have broken with the costly and
failed drug war strategies of the past in some important ways,"
Nadelmann. "But the continuing emphasis on interdiction and law
enforcement in the federal drug war budget suggest that ONDCP is far
more wedded to the failures of the past than to any new vision for the
future. I urge this committee to hold ONDCP and federal drug policy
accountable to new criteria that focus on reductions in the death,
disease, crime and suffering associated with both drugs and drug
prohibition."

Nadelmann identified four problems with current drug strategy:

* The drug war's flawed performance measures;

* The lop-sided ratio between supply and demand spending in the
national drug budget;

* The lack of innovation in the drug czar's proposed strategies;

* The administration's failure to adequately evaluate drug policies.

"They want to move toward a public health model that focuses on reducing
demand for drugs, but no drug policy will succeed unless there are the
resources to implement it," said Carnevale. "Past budgets emphasizing
supply reduction failed to produce results, and our drug policy stalled
-- there has been no change in overall drug use in this decade."

Carnevale noted that the 2011 ONDCP budget gave the largest percentage
increase to prevention and treatment, but that its priorities were still
skewed toward supply reduction. "The budget continues to over-allocate
funds where they are least effective, in interdiction and source country
programs."

"The drug trade poses multiple and serious threats, ranging from threats
to security and the legal economy to threats to legality and political
processes," said Felbab-Brown, "but millions of people depend on the
illegal drug trade for a livelihood. There is no hope supply-side
policies can disrupt the global drug trade."

Felbab-Brown said she was "encouraged" that the Obama administration had
shifted toward a state-building approach in Afghanistan, but that she
had concerns about how policy is being operationalized there. "We need
to adopt the right approach to sequencing eradication in Afghanistan,"
she said. "Alternative livelihoods and state-building need to be
comprehensive, well-funded, and long-lasting, and not focused on
replacing the poppy crop."

"Eradication in Afghanistan has little effect on domestic supply and
reduction," said Kucinich. "Should these kinds of programs be funded?"

"I am quite convinced that spending money for eradication, especially
aerial eradication, is not effective," replied Carnevale. "The point of
eradication in Colombia was to reduce the amount of drugs coming into
the US, but I see no such effect."

"We're dealing with global commodity markets," said Nadelmann. "If one
source is knocked out, someone else will pop up. What's missing is any
sort of strategic analysis or planning. If you accept that these drugs
are going to be produced, you need to manage it to reduce the harms."

"The history of the last 20 years of the cocaine and heroin trade shows
how much mobility there is in cultivation and trafficking," said Reuter.
"What we do has a predictable effect. When we pushed down on trafficking
in Florida, that lead to increases in Mexico. The evidence is striking
that all we are doing is moving the trade."

Times are changing in Washington. What was once unassailable drug war
orthodoxy is not under direct assault, and not just from activists and
academics, but among members of Congress itself. But while the drug czar
talks the happy talk about "new directions in drug policy," the Obama
administration -- with some notable exceptions -- looks to still have a
drug policy on cruise control.

================ ...


___________________

It's time to correct the mistake:
truth:the Anti-drugwar
<http://www.briancbennett.com>

Cops say legalize drugs--find out why:
<http://www.leap.cc>

Stoners are people too:
<http://www.cannabisconsumers.org>
___________________


later
bliss -- Cacoa  Powered... (at sfo dot com)

--
bobbie sellers - a retired nurse in San Francisco

"It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
It is by the beans of cacoa that the thoughts acquire speed,
the thighs acquire girth, the girth become a warning.
It is by theobromine alone I set my mind in motion."
--from Someone else's Dune spoof ripped to my taste.













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