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Drug War

"A New Opium War"

Yoshie Furuhashi

If you look at the changes in the political economy of Afghanistan, you may conclude that this is neither a "war on terror" that Washington says it is nor a pipeline war as some of its critics allege. It looks as if it is the latest Opium War, regardless of intentions of all parties (Afghans, Americans, Europeans, and others) involved.

According to the Afghanistan Opium Survey 2004 by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), opium cultivation has increased 64% since 2003. The opium industry now employs 2.3 million in Afghanistan (compared to 1.7 million in 2003), i.e., 10% of the Afghan population. The export value of Afghan opium is estimated to be $2.8 billion, a 22% increase since 2003. The opium export today accounts for more than 60% of Afghanistan's Gross Domestic Product.

New York State Votes to Reduce Drug Sentences

Michael Cooper, The New York Times

ALBANY, Dec. 7 — After years of false starts, state
lawmakers voted Tuesday evening to reduce the steep
mandatory prison sentences given to people convicted of
drug crimes in New York State, sanctions considered
among the most severe in the nation. The push to soften the so-called Rockefeller drug laws
came after a nearly decade-long campaign to ease the
drug penalties instituted in the 1970's that put some
low-level first-time drug offenders behind bars for
sentences ranging from 15 years to life.

"Bill to Screen, Medicate Kids May Hit Senate This Week"

Christopher Getzan, The NewStandard

   Legislation to test children for "mental health disorders" and then provide them commercial drugs — which would be highly controversial if people knew about it — could reach Congress during this month's lame duck session.

Funding for a controversial Bush administration plan to submit the nation's school children to mental health testing and drug treatment may end up reaching the Senate floor this week, as GOP congressional leaders look to clear the legislative slate in order to set the table for George W. Bush's second term.

The plan, called the New Freedom Initiative (NFI), is the keystone of a package of initiatives by the President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health, a group of doctors and mental health care professionals established by the Bush Administration in 2002.

"The Pot Thickens"

Dean Kuipers, Los Angeles CityBeat

Drug policy reform activist Rob Kampia explains why the election was a breakthrough for marijuana legalization.

If President George W. Bush's squeaky reelection is supposed to be a mandate on conservative moral values, how do you explain that 17 out of 20 pro-marijuana initiatives on ballots nationwide were approved?

For instance, look at Montana: Energized evangelical voters in this pro-Bush state led a charge that amended their state constitution to make gay marriage illegal, but they also approved of medical marijuana by a massive 62 to 38 percent. The churches obviously didn't mobilize against pot like White House Drug Czar John Walters urged them to do. In fact, this election may be the breakthrough on marijuana legalization in general: Conservatives nationwide came out in favor of pot as medicine.

"Montana Approves Medical Marijuana"

Stop the Drug War

Montana Tuesday became the tenth state to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes, as voters there approved the Montana Medical Marijuana Act, known as I-148 on the ballot, by a margin of 62% to 38%, according to unofficial figures from the Montana Secretary of State's office Wednesday. The vote came in a conservative state that voted for President Bush and against gay marriage by nearly the same margin.

"Marijuana Arrests For Year 2003 Hit Record High, FBI Report Reveals"


Washington, DC: — Police arrested an estimated 755,187 persons for
marijuana violations in 2003, according to the Federal Bureau of
Investigation's annual Uniform Crime Report, released today. The total is
the highest ever recorded by the FBI, and comprised 45 percent of all
drug arrests in the United States.

Great Atlanta Pot Festival

Oct. 23, 2004

Hello Fellow CAMPERS! This weekend we are having our yearly rally and I wanted to let you know about it and ask that you join us if you can. If you can't make it, you can still help us out with this year's drive to Legalize!

We are presently updating our web-site at www.worldcamp.org and our ability to assist in the production and defense of 1st Amendment events like this one and the Million Marijuana March, as well as the annual July 4th event in Washington, D.C.

Pot Shots. The Civics Teacher

Fred Gardner


Bill Britt of Long Beach is the walking, talking soul of Prop 215 -him and a few hundred other people, up and down the state, who circulated petitions back in '96 and have fought tirelessly ever since, without much material reward, and risking retribution, to see that the law gets implemented.

Britt and his allies have convinced the Long Beach officials to adopt a policy whereby the police, upon finding marijuana plants, don't confiscate them until the status of the grower has been clarified. Few jurisdictions in Southern California are so enlightened.

Medical Marijuana Vote in US House This Week

Press Release from the Drug Reform Coordination Network

Since early last month we have been alerting our readers about
an upcoming medical marijuana vote in the US House of
Representatives, the Hinchey/Rohrabacher amendment to forbid the
US Department of Justice from using its resources to interfere
with state medical marijuana laws. This amendment would be
consistent with a recent ruling by the US 9th Circuit Court
which found that DOJ interference with state medical marijuana
laws is unconstitutional.

rxcannabis writes:

"The 3rd Annual Drug War Vigil Film Festival"

Vancouver, British Columbia, September 24-25, 2004

The Drug War Vigil Memorial Group is a social justice think tank that was founded in the fall of 2000, dedicated to ending the War on Drugs.

We recognize that the militarization of this medical issue and the criminalization of the chronically sick, terminally ill and chemically dependent have resulted in the needless loss of human life, and that this is the true crime.


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