Send comments, tips,
and suggestions to:
Join us on Pete's couch.
couch, the longest running single-issue blog devoted to drug policy, is published by the Prohibition Isn't Free Foundation
February 2009



Mexican protests – real or staged? – does it matter?


Hundreds of Mexicans blocked roads and bridges into the United States on Tuesday in a protest of army operations against drug gangs that officials said was organized by drug traffickers. About 300 protesters, some with handkerchiefs tied over their faces, carried signs saying “Army Get Out!” in front of the town hall in the […]

Illinois trying again on medical marijuana

This certainly isn’t the first time for Illinois, but it could be the best shot to date.
Now we still have Limey Nargelenas, deputy director of the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police irresponsibly shooting off his mouth about gateways and children..

Nargelenas said the problem is that individuals who just want to get high — and who aren‰t seriously ill — could abuse a medical marijuana law like the one Haine envisions.
Further, characterizing marijuana as medicine ‹sends a real bad message to the kids,Š he said.
‹We just see so many kids today that when they do try marijuana, they start experimenting with other drugs too,Š Nargelenas said. ‹We believe (medical marijuana) should be very restricted, just like any other kind of medication.Š

…but note that last comment: “just like any other kind of medication.” Ah, Limey, so you’re admitting that it is medicine.
There’s a step.
Here are the positive things that Illinois has going for it this time around:

John Walters won’t be flying in with his entourage to browbeat the state legislature into defeating it
There could be a less negative feeling about how the state law will interact with the federal law now.
This year’s bill sponsor, William Haine, is a former State’s Attorney. That could ease things with law enforcement.
The previous sponsor, John Cullerton, is now Senate president.
Michigan passed it last year, so the midwest is in play.

Programming note

Tune into NPR today to hear Berwyn Heights Mayor Cheye Calvo’s interview with Michelle Martin on her Program “Tell Me More.” Cheye will be discussing the botched SWAT team raid on his home last July; the international response to the incident; and pending legislation in Maryland to require more transparency and accountability for police departments […]