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November 2005



Operation Meth Merchant update

A few months ago, I mentioned the horrible Operation Meth Merchant:

Now they’ve got this thing called Operation Meth Merchant that has bizarrely managed to arrest 32 Indians named Patel for working at convenience stores, following the law, but just not quite understanding the Engliish drug slang used by the undercover cops.

The arrests were […]

Prison costs

“bullet” Check out this AP story from North Carolina: Former judge calls drug war a ‘failure’

RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina should consider decriminalizing illegal drugs as it tries to stem the need for additional prisons, a former state Supreme Court chief justice said Monday.

Burley Mitchell, the state’s top judge from 1995 to 1999, […]

Stupid Drug Warrior Tricks in Afghanistan

We’ve talked before about the folly of all-out poppy eradication efforts in Afghanistan, but nobody in power appears to understand basic economic principles. With high demand for opium and very few viable alternatives (and no strong infrastructure yet in the country), all that eradication can do is cause the people to oppose the U.S. and […]

Constitutionality of long drug sentence to be tested

You may remember me talking about the case of Weldon Angelos — a music producer with no previous record who sold marijuana three times to officers. Because he had a gun (never used or even brandished), his total potential sentence was 63 years. The absolute minimum the judge could sentence him was 55 years (which […]

Guatemalan case – what does it mean?

A number of people have already blogged about this: Check out this AP article by Mark Sherman:

WASHINGTON — Guatemala’s top anti-drug investigators have been arrested on charges they conspired to import and distribute cocaine in the United States after being lured to America for what they thought was training on fighting drug traffickers.

A […]

Marijuana World

A fascinating article in the Tucson Weekly:
Marijuana World: A look at pot: its users, its trade, its cultivation, the research and the anti-prohibition movement by Rene Downing.
Very nicely done.

[Thanks, Scott]

We have to take back our country

In the current Drug War Chronicle, editor David Borden is looking for the soundbites that make it easier to quickly make the case for ending the drug war. You can never express it all in a single soundbite, but there are lots of soundbites that can be effective (based on the situation and the audience […]

Drug Czar’s arbitrary victory claims getting some press skepticism

A reported increase in cocaine prices has naturally caused the Drug Czar to step forward and claim victory in the war on drugs and in the Colombian fiasco in particular. But while this Knight-Ridder story, picked up by a ton of papers, repeats Walters’ bragging, it also gives the other side, with an overall sense […]

Kids ‘helping’ Kids

Radley Balko has a great couple of pieces (1, 2) on the new version of the horrendous Straight programs (see also our discussion about the Semblers last week) called Kids Helping Kids. The Agitator already has this list, but it’s worth repeating. Check out these warning signs put out by the group (any four means […]

The Reefer Madness Dogs are back!

In the early history of marijuana prohibition, there were plenty of bizarre stories. There was government expert Dr. James Munch who testified in court, under oath, that marijuana had turned him into a bat (until even Anslinger was embarrassed by his testimony). Then there was the evidence presented to Congress about the dangers of marijuana: