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March 2004
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Catching up…

While I was gone, LastOneSpeaks had outstanding coverage of the major drug war reform news, including the following highlights:
“bullet” Students Speak, DEA Sneaks Away, showing once again that drug warriors are terrified to debate honestly, because their “facts” just… aren’t.
“bullet” Deep in the Heart of Texas. I’ve talked a bit about the tragedy in Tulia that ended up with the pardons of 35 people who had been railroaded in a gross miscarriage of justice. A $5 million settlement and the dismantling of the drug task force is a step in the right direction.
My favorite quote on this is from Vanita Gupta, an attorney with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund:

“It’s not simply that Tom Coleman was a rogue officer,” she said. “The city
of Amarillo has recognized that federally funded task forces are
ineffective tools of law enforcement and they operate as rogue task forces
because they are unaccountable to any oversight mechanism.”

That’s one to remember.
“bullet” Have Drug Czar – Will Travel for Prohibition. LastOneSpeaks notes that the Drug Czar is continuing to tell his lies in Nevada in an attempt to influence the election process there.
“bullet” Double Jeopardy. Saturday’s New York Times article A Student Aid Ban for Past Drug Use Is Creating a Furor by Greg Winter is an excellent article about the horrible HEA provision that denies education to students who aren’t rich and have been caught with marijuana (while not penalizing rapists or murderers).
Nick Gillespie at Hit and Run has the best take on it:

“It is absurd on the face of it,” says Rep. Mark Souder (R-Ind.). He knows what he’s talking about: He wrote the goddamned law, which was passed in 1998. “I am an evangelic Christian who believes in repentace,” he says, “so why would I have supported that?…Why would any of us in Congress?”

Souder’s subsequent Damscus Road experience aside, the short answer to his question is: Because Congress is filled with jackasses.

We need to push for complete repeal of the provision, not just a modification.

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