Drug War Chronicle #580 - April 10, 2009

1. Feature: Twenty Years of Drug Courts -- Results and Misgivings

By some measures, drug courts are a success. They reduce recidivism and drive down criminal justice system costs, most observers agree. But when it comes to whether they are a desirable response to drug use, that's a different story.

2. Feature: Michigan Medical Marijuana Law in Effect

Michigan voters approved a medical marijuana initiative in November. This week, it took effect.

3. Drug War Chronicle Book Review: "Cool Madness: The Trial of Dr. Mollie Fry and Dale Schafer," by Vanessa Nelson (2008, MMA Publishing, 353 pp., $19.95 pb.)

"Cool Madness" is a riveting account of the federal trial California medical marijuana patient and provider Dr. Mollie Fry and her husband, Dale Schafer. If you believe federal medical marijuana trials have anything to do with justice or fairness after reading her account, I have some bridges you might be interested in.

4. Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Another crooked judge, another dirty border guard, more problems for Philly's narcs, and a guilty plea in Detroit.

5. Marijuana Legalization: For First Time, Poll Finds Majority Support in California

Support for marijuana legalization has gone over the 50% mark in California for the first time, according to a new poll. It comes as the California Assembly ponders a legalization bill, and the poll itself hints that a legalization/tax and regulate initiative may be coming down the pike.

6. Sentencing: US Jail, Prison Population Hits Another Record High, Well Over Half a Million Drug Offenders Behind Bars

We really get tired of writing the same old story about record prison and jail populations every year, but it's that time again.

7. Salvia Divinorum: Ohio's First Bust Came Day Before Law Went Into Effect

Ohio's law criminalizing salvia divinorum went into effect Tuesday, but the first arrest under it came Monday. Go figure.

8. Medical Marijuana: Florida Petition Drive Under Way

A grassroots petition drive to get medical marijuana on the 2010 ballot in Florida is underway. Organizers need almost 700,000 signatures and $5 million for the drive and the election campaign, and they're counting on web-based activism to get them there.

9. Europe: Britain Could Save $20 Billion a Year by Legalizing Drugs, Study Finds

The British government contends that drug legalization could not possibly have enough benefits to justify switching from prohibition, but it has never provided the evidence. Now, a new study that actually has done a comparative analysis finds the UK could be saving billions a year by legalizing.

10. Weekly: This Week in History

Events and quotes of note from this week's drug policy events of years past.

11. Job Opportunity: Policy Analyst/Content Editor, Common Sense for Drug Policy -- DRCNet Office in Washington, DC

Common Sense for Drug Policy is seeking an editorially-skilled individual to maintain and grow its network of web sites, including the in-depth online presentation on drug policy issues, DrugWarFacts.org.

12. Students: Intern at StoptheDrugWar (DRCNet) and Help Stop the Drug War!

Apply for an internship at DRCNet and you could spend a semester fighting the good fight!

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.
Permission to Reprint: This issue of Drug War Chronicle is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Articles of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.

Drug War Issues

Criminal JusticeAsset Forfeiture, Collateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Court Rulings, Drug Courts, Due Process, Felony Disenfranchisement, Incarceration, Policing (2011 Drug War Killings, 2012 Drug War Killings, 2013 Drug War Killings, 2014 Drug War Killings, Arrests, Eradication, Informants, Interdiction, Lowest Priority Policies, Police Corruption, Police Raids, Profiling, Search and Seizure, SWAT/Paramilitarization, Task Forces, Undercover Work), Probation or Parole, Prosecution, Reentry/Rehabilitation, Sentencing (Alternatives to Incarceration, Clemency and Pardon, Crack/Powder Cocaine Disparity, Death Penalty, Decriminalization, Defelonization, Drug Free Zones, Mandatory Minimums, Rockefeller Drug Laws, Sentencing Guidelines)CultureArt, Celebrities, Counter-Culture, Music, Poetry/Literature, Television, TheaterDrug UseParaphernalia, ViolenceIntersecting IssuesCollateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Violence, Border, Budgets/Taxes/Economics, Business, Civil Rights, Driving, Economics, Education (College Aid), Employment, Environment, Families, Free Speech, Gun Policy, Human Rights, Immigration, Militarization, Money Laundering, Pregnancy, Privacy (Search and Seizure, Drug Testing), Race, Religion, Science, Sports, Women's IssuesMarijuana PolicyGateway Theory, Hemp, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Marijuana Industry, Medical MarijuanaMedicineMedical Marijuana, Science of Drugs, Under-treatment of PainPublic HealthAddiction, Addiction Treatment (Science of Drugs), Drug Education, Drug Prevention, Drug-Related AIDS/HIV or Hepatitis C, Harm Reduction (Methadone & Other Opiate Maintenance, Needle Exchange, Overdose Prevention, Safe Injection Sites)Source and Transit CountriesAndean Drug War, Coca, Hashish, Mexican Drug War, Opium ProductionSpecific DrugsAlcohol, Ayahuasca, Cocaine (Crack Cocaine), Ecstasy, Heroin, Ibogaine, ketamine, Khat, Marijuana (Gateway Theory, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Medical Marijuana, Hashish), Methamphetamine, New Synthetic Drugs (Synthetic Cannabinoids, Synthetic Stimulants), Nicotine, Prescription Opiates (Fentanyl, Oxycontin), Psychedelics (LSD, Mescaline, Peyote, Salvia Divinorum)YouthGrade School, Post-Secondary School, Raves, Secondary School

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