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couch, the longest running single-issue blog devoted to drug policy, is published by the Prohibition Isn't Free Foundation
May 2006



Radley: Raiding Reality

In this article in National Review Online, Radley Balko nails Sensenbrenner and Hastert for caring more about fellow congressmen than their constituents.

Funny. Congress — especially GOP leaders like Hastert and Sensenbrenner — don’t seem nearly as concerned when much more violent, confrontational raids happen to their own constituents. In fact, last week, just as […]

Another victim of the drug war: science

At Don’t Try This at Home by Steve Silberman in Wired.

Garage chemistry used to be a rite of passage for geeky kids. But in their search for terrorist cells and meth labs, authorities are making a federal case out of DIY science.

A fascinating article on the legal hurdles placed in the path of […]

Do you know the Muffin Man?

… well you may have to visit him in prison for the next 10-20 years. Check out this must-read post by Micah over at Dare Generation Diary about the honor student and his friend who brought some marijuana-spiked muffins to the teachers lounge at school as a prank. Prosecutors are now looking to upgrade the […]

Deadly Drug… prohibition

A Deadly Heroin Mixture Is Claiming Dozens of Lives This story has been picking up steam in recent days as more and more people are dying around the country from this mix of heroin and fentanyl. This is a serious problem and is a fault of prohibition. Remember:

Under prohibition, we have given the […]

Caption contest

Odds and Ends

“bullet” Weed Control by Jessica Winter in the Boston Globe. A fascinating article about the effort to free up research marijuana from the NIDA monopoly — this article also touches upon a laundry list of other issues related to the history of medical marijuana and current research. (Not a whole lot new to us, but a great primer article for the general public.)
“bullet” Uribe wins easily in Colombia

Law-and-order President Alvaro Uribe was re-elected in a landslide Sunday in Colombia’s most peaceful elections in more than a decade, strengthening the U.S. ally’s mandate to crack down on armed groups and drug traffickers. […]
Colombia remains the world’s largest producer of cocaine. Uribe, a key ally in U.S. drug-interdiction efforts, is urging the United States to beef up an aerial-fumigation fleet of 20 planes that spray coca crops.

“bullet” Editorial: High School Drug Tests Not A Panacea — in the Peoria Journal-Star (very close to my area).

Testing is not a panacea and is no substitute for attentive, responsible parents. […]
The 500 kids it can test – – those involved in baseball, chess, cheerleading, etc. – may be least likely to experiment with drugs. Those points were raised in a 2002 U.S. Supreme Court case. Though the justices narrowly upheld the legality of random urine tests, dissenters worried they might discourage participation, which can itself be a drug deterrent. […]
Though it may be legal to test, that doesn’t necessarily make it right or effective. A 2003 University of Michigan survey of 76,000 adolescents found almost identical rates of substance use regardless of whether their schools tested.
We appreciate that these policies can give parents peace of mind. Still, we prefer the voluntary, tough-love approach of Bartonville, which distributes at-home drug and alcohol tests to families. Engaged moms and dads are the most effective deterrent.

“bullet” More opting for jail over treatment. Via The Drug Update comes this note that many drug offenders in Calaveras County are choosing jail over treatment because they know the jails are so overcrowded that they’ll generally get a shorter sentence in jail than in treatment.
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What we are attempting, in our own small way, is to
not only tackle the big headline stories about drugs but also try and focus on
the faces behind the stereotypes and the people who don’t make the front pages.
In addition we would like to explore the connections between those who produce
and consume drugs, legal or illegal, as well as those who campaign for or
against their use.

Nall Y’all makes a difference

Check out Alabama gubernatorial candidate Loretta Nall’s story of her opportunity to speak to The National Coalition of 100 Black Women. What a wonderful moment she had.

Congressman subjected to office raid by men in suits

I don’t have a lot to say about the FBI visit to Congressman William Jefferson’s office. Certainly it has the potential to raise interesting Constitutional issues, but I don’t know enough about the warrant, or the circumstances around the search of his office. However, the response by Congress has been… disturbing. Suddenly, Democrats and Republicans […]

and the cracks in the facade begin to show

Fayetteville Observer Editorial”

… We have been at this for decades. Americans are now the most imprisoned people on the planet. The pace is picking up. And we seem to have no other main-line defense in prospect. That burdens supporters of the lock-’em-up ideology with the duty of answering a few questions. Is this what […]

An ad I’d like to see