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September 2005



Reader’s Digest takes on mandatory minimums

The historically conservative Reader’s Digest comes through with Petty Crime, Outrageous Punishment by Carl M. Cannon. The article goes after the three-strikes law, but includes a lot more mandatory minimum madness, including this amazing story:

A Florida welfare mom, Clyburn accompanied her boyfriend to a pawnshop to sell his .22-caliber pistol. She provided her ID […]

Seize This!

You may recall that Boulder City Attorney Dave Olsen wants to seize the home of 56-year-old Cynthia Warren for her misdemeanor charge of growing 6 marijuana plants (see here and here). The editorials in the papers have been slamming Olsen. At the time, several commenters here noted that Dave Olsen pled no contest to a […]

We spent HOW much?

After five years of unprecedented runaway spending (that has almost made LBJ look fiscally conservative), a group of Republican House members apparently finally looked at our credit card statements. It all came to a boil when they were trying to decide which card still had enough credit limit left to buy the brand new Sim […]

Fact-checking the media

Via News of the Weed: The Times Online (UK) published a reefer-madness article by Will Iredale and Holly Watt on Sunday: Mental problems soar among children using cannabis.

The number of children treated for mental disorders caused by smoking cannabis has quadrupled since the government downgraded the legal status of the drug, according to a […]

Around the world

I’ve just started rehearsals as musical director for Marat/Sade – quite a fascinating challenge, so my posting may occassionally be erratic. For today, let’s take an interesting trip around the world… “bullet” Controversy in Mexico over the decision by the Catholic Church to accept donations from drug traffickers. The Bishop says such money can be […]

The drug war doesn’t fight crime, it fuels crime.

I always love reading Robert Sharpe. Such clarity in his writing, and he’s always able to hit all the important points in a way that is palatable to, and resonates with, those not in the reform community. Check out his OpEd in the Charlotte Observer.

Given that marijuana is arguably safer than legal alcohol — […]

Sentencing the indefensible

A real bad apple:

[Thomas] Pfortmiller, a 14-year police officer before he resigned in May 2004, pleaded no contest on July 15 to 17 counts of perjury, 11 counts of theft of more than $500 but less than $25,000, 11 counts of forgery and 11 counts of official misconduct. Pfortmiller, who originally was charged with […]


Letter to the editor in the Globe and Mail by Robert Melamede, associate professor and chair, Biology Department, University of Colorado:

I hope Canadians have the intelligence and courage not to be mindless slaves to the oppressive stupidity of America’s drug war. This war has its roots in racism, ignorance and greed. Sadly, the U.S. […]

Downing Street’s Secret Drugs Report

Go see Daksya’s new blog, Psychotonic. He’s done a great job of laying out the Downing Street Report (something he had sent to me, but I had not gotten around to posting). Here it is in four installments:

Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3 – Part 4


The Return of Reefer Madness

At Salon, Maia Szalavitz takes on the ONDCP’s advertising campaigns, including some of the borderline and outright lies about mental illness, depression, and cancer. Nothing new to those of us who follow this regularly, and it’s not particularly compelling reading, but still nice to see it as the lead article on Salon once was […]