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February 2004
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The Drug War Chronicle

This week’s Drug War Chronicle is worth reading cover to cover. Some amazing articles including:
“bullet” Drug War Kills More Than a Cop a Month
Yes, that’s at least one policeman every month. Give this to your law-and-order-I-support-the-drug-war friends:

“These police deaths are totally unnecessary,” said Cole. “If we ended drug prohibition, none of these officers would have had to die. We’re killing our police. All we have to do is legalize drugs and that would not be happening. Can’t we learn from Alcohol Prohibition?” Cole asked. “We had the highest murder rate in our history and cops were dying right and left.”

“These are casualties of war,” said LEAP member Peter Christ, a retired police captain with 20 years of experience fighting the drug war. “It’s a war we shouldn’t be fighting,” he told DRCNet. “Drug prohibition creates an environment where we put cops in a job where they can’t win, and you have to expect these kinds of results. The answer is a no-brainer, at least for me: You have to legalize drugs.”

“bullet” Marijuana Rx for Methamphetamine? Hawaii May Give It a Try
This is fascinating and I’d like to see if it catches on in medical marijuana states.

Medical marijuana is “a multi-purpose therapeutic aid” that can do a better job of treating ice users than current programs, Adler said. …

While there are no studies of the therapeutic effect of marijuana on methamphetamine users, studies of its use in treating crack users have returned promising results. In a Brazilian study, researchers followed crack users who turned to pot to break their addiction. After nine months, they reported, “most of the subjects ceased to use crack and reported that the use of cannabis had reduced their craving symptoms, and produced subjective and concrete changes in their behavior, helping them to overcome crack addiction.” In another study from Jamaica, researchers followed 33 crack-smoking women for nine months and found that “cannabis cigarettes (“spliffs”) constitute the cheapest, most effective, and readily available therapy for discontinuing crack consumption.”

“It could work,” said Dr. Ethan Russo, Senior Medical Advisor to British pharmaceutical company GW Pharmaceutical’s Cannabinoid Research Institute. GW is the maker of Sativex, a sublingual cannabinoid medicine. “Cannabis is helpful for a variety of addictions, and the mechanisms of crack and meth are quite comparable.”

“bullet” HEA Struggle Enters New Year as Bush Budget Pushes Souder Reform
As you may be aware, a current heinous provision in the Higher Education Act denies financial aid to students who have had a drug conviction (not rape or assault or any other charges — just drugs — and it usually ends up damaging young people who got caught with pot at some point).
For years, we’ve been fighting this provision and it looks like there’s finally a better chance of getting it repealed in Congress. So Bush’s current budget has done an end run around the reform efforts and joined with drug warrior Mark Souder to propose a modification to the provision (still bad) rather than repeal. Go to RaiseYourVoice to see how you can get involved in this.
“bullet” There’s lots more good stuff in this issue of the Drug War Chronicle including a newsbrief about San Francisco giving an OK to possible city-supported medical marijuana co-ops. And you can also get fun stuff like Stop the Drug War strobe lights and ink stamps by donating.

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