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July 2004
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My show opened last night. It went extremely well, with a modest, but enthusiastic audience. Looking at a full house tonight (it’s running until August 28, so you have plenty of chances to see it).
So while I’m in Chicago, I’ve got a little time this afternoon to catch up on drug news. (Nothing like a 12″ Powerbook with airport extreme, Starbucks with T-Mobile and some dark roast.)
“bullet” First stop is D’Alliance, where Baylen Linnekin has an excellent detailed analysis of the 9/11 report as it relates to drugs. A must read. Short version:

The U.S. mistakenly put its resources and focus into the drug war rather than anti-terrorism efforts, and there’s no evidence that al Qaeda got any financing through drug trafficking.

I’d say the federal government owes pot smokers an apology (on both counts).
“bullet” Baylen also links to one of the sickest stories I’ve heard recently.

The incident occurred late Wednesday at the Rainbow Bridge on the U.S.-Canadian border in Niagara Falls, after Customs and Border Protection officers confiscated marijuana from a male pedestrian.

Officer Robert Rhodes, mistakenly believing the Chinese woman standing nearby was involved, allegedly sprayed her with pepper spray, threw her against a wall, kneed her in the head as she knelt on the ground and struck her head on the ground while holding her hair, according to witnesses. …

“Subsequent investigation reveals (the victim) had nothing to do with the marijuana smuggling but was merely a tourist who happened to be in the area,” a supervisor’s affidavit said.

I’ll be watching to see if Rhodes gets some real (deserved) jail time, but how much you want to bet that the peaceful male pedestrian gets jail for having some pot, but the sadistic homeland security officer gets nothing for beating up an innocent tourist.
“bullet” Last One Speaks has this post on a DOJ memo telling librarians to destroy reference documents related to civil and criminal forfeiture procedures. I’d like to know more about what these documents contain and why the DOJ thinks they should be classified as internal documents only (particularly since forfeiture is used so horrendously in the drug war).
“bullet” Also check out this post about a judge who regularly threw out small possession cases (“Little bags of marijuana, I’m not trying those cases.”) including one involving less than a gram. The Pennsylvania appeals court, in a strange decision, is requiring that the cases be tried.
“bullet” Richard Lake of Media Awareness Project sent out a letter that I think demonstrates how the individual can and has made a difference in shaping new views on the drug war. Individuals, like those who read this site, are going to make the change happen. In his letter, he also references a wonderful editorial against the drug war in the newspaper of a very small town in Louisiana. I’ve posted Richard’s letter and the article here.

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