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
July 2005



The drug czar has blood on his hands


“The drug czar has blood on his hands for blocking the humane and medical use of cannabis for sick, disabled and dying people,” Kubby said.

“Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood clean from my hand? No, this my hand will rather the multitudinous seas incarnadine, making the green one red”— Macbeth

[Update: […]

Note to press – just say NO to ‘Meth Babies’

Jacob Sullum properly points out the hysteria behind the latest unfounded crack baby: the meth baby. He quotes from an open letter from physicians and drug treatment specialists:

Despite the lack of a medical or scientific basis for the use of such terms as “ice” and “meth” babies, these pejorative and stigmatizing labels are increasingly […]

U.S. takes over Canadian police, arrests and extradites Mark Emery

I’m out of town and missed the news until today, but as the many contributors who wrote me said… this needs to be posted:

Cannabis activist and two others arrested
By Jennifer Garner

Canadian police acting under orders from US officials raided the headquarters of the British Columbia Marijuana Party (BCMP) in Vancouver today (Friday, July 22).

The search warrants were authorized at the highest levels of the provincial government in concert with a cross-border US-Canada law enforcement pact authorized by the a US-authored Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters treaty (MLAT) between the US and Canada.

The US has issued extradition orders for Marc Emery, who was arrested while traveling in Halifax to a hemp festival, as well as two others who work with Emery on television productions and other endeavours.

American officials accuse Emery of “a conspiracy to produce marijuana and distribute marijuana seeds, and money laundering.”

The DEA and other agencies are claiming that by selling seeds to pot-growing Americans, Emery is engaged in a criminal enterprise with the growers.

“Their activities resulted in the growing of tens of thousands of marijuana plants in America,” claims US federal attorney Jeff Sullivan. “[Emery] was involved, allegedly, in an illegal distribution of marijuana in [the United States.] He is a drug dealer.”

Vancouver police armed with a search warrant raided the legendary store in the heart of Vancouver’s “Vansterdam” district.

Chris Bennett, manager of Pot-TV who was onsite when the BCMP center was raided today, said he is particularly angry that Canadian police were acting as enforcers of American drug laws.

‹They’re taking him down to face charges in the United States of America, where sentences are much harsher that one would face in Canada,” said Bennett.

More at:

Cannabis Culture Forums
Last One Speaks – start at the top and keep reading.

Thanks to Tim and others.

Why go through the door?

This is nothing new — something I’ve railed about for some time as it relates to drug task forces here in the states, but this article from Canada just kind of drove me a little nuts.

It was a drug raid that came close to going tragically wrong.

As armed narcotics officers got set to […]

Know your rights and responsibilities: Jury Nullification

Make sure you read Radley Balko’s latest at Fox: Justice Often Served by Jury Nullification

The doctrine of jury nullification (search) rests on two truths about the American criminal justice system: (1) Jurors can never be punished for the verdict they return, and (2) Defendants cannot be retried once a jury has found them not […]

Good ruling in Michigan

Via NORML’s ezine comes this ruling: (I’m quoting extensively, because it’s pretty important)

Traverse City, MI: The presence of cannabis’ primary metabolite, THC-COOH, is insufficient evidence of impairment to warrant a conviction under the state’s “zero tolerance” per se drugged driving law, according to a recent ruling by the Michigan Court of Appeals. The decision […]

Bush’s War on Pot

Great article in the Rolling Stone by Robert Dreyfuss

America’s long-running war on drugs has, literally, gone to pot.

More than two decades after it was launched in response to the spread of crack cocaine — and in the midst of a brand-new wave of methamphetamine use sweeping the country — the government crackdown has […]

Souder vs. the White House

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Seeing Drug War Religious Extremists Mark Souder and John Mica rake the Drug Czar’s office over the coals for not being tough enough in the war on drugs is simultaneously hilarious and sad. The Representatives made it clear that Meth is the new Heroin (or the new […]

A new appointment to the Drug Czar’s office

President Bush has sent a new nomination to the Senate for confirmation as Deputy Director for Demand Reduction, ONDCP to replace Andrea Barthwell. (Note: the word “vice” also means “to replace” — just seems odd to use it there.) The nominee is Bertha K. Madras, a researcher with Harvard Medical School. Her expertise appears to […]

Drug WarRant is 2

That’s right — two years ago today, I started blogging. I thought at the time that I’d post once a week or so (since this is post #1062 I think you can see that my estimate was a bit off). I just went back and looked at my first post. It was a report on […]