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July 2009



Open Thread

I’ll be up in Chicago for the next five days, staying in a delightful little dump of a hotel near Wrigley that may not have wireless. Got a friend visiting and we’re going to do some kayaking in the Chicago river, see shows, eat good food, etc. (plus my own show is continuing to run at National Pastime Theater). So blogging may be light. I’ll try to check in.
If I’m not around on Monday, that will be my 6 year blogiversary. Wow. I started doing this on July 27, 2003. What a long trip.
“bullet” In a completely incomprehensible manner, Mayor Daley rips into the Cook County Board for considering minor decriminalization of small amounts of marijuana, despite the fact that he had suggested the exact same thing for Chicago.
“bullet” Inappropriate behavior for a judge. When discussing a challenge to a school drug testing program, Superior Court Judge Brenda Weaver makes it clear that she’s going to make sure there is a drug testing program in the school one way or another.

“I want everyone in this courtroom to know where this judge stands – I will always stand there,” Weaver said. “If I am going to be in error, I’m going to be in error on the side of saving every child I can possibly save. I am passionate about this.”

“bullet” A must-read piece at Reason: Ryan Grim: The Drug Czar’s High Math – How phony statistics about cocaine prices hide the truth about the war on drugs
“bullet” National Geographic Channel has a series Locked Up Abroad (most are drug offense related).
“bullet” State votes could get a say on pot
“bullet” Better be careful about smooching with your girlfriend in a parked car. Apparently, that’s now suspicious activity to drug police.

Do call 911 immediately if you see a car with people sitting in it apparently going no where. They are waiting to make a drug connection.

“bullet” Legalizing a federal crime: How states could win he war over marijuana

Mikos suggests that by legalizing medical use of marijuana, states may have actually helped re-shape public attitudes toward the drug.
‹The use of marijuana may seem more beneficial and less dangerous or wicked simply because it‰s now permitted by state law.Š

Sentence entrapment

Larry Frankel has a good article in the Houston Chronicle: Stop sentence entrapment in drug case prosecutions

Many Americans have learned about the unjust disparity between crack and powder cocaine sentences but many do not know that this disparity allows law enforcement to exploit that difference in ways that compound the injustice. […] He described […]

Sadomoralist Souder is trying to mess things up again.

Congress is actually making progress toward giving us some real (if incremental) reform.

At least four of the worst excesses of the federal war on drugs appear likely to be rolled back this year — the crack/powder cocaine sentencing disparity, the federal ban on the funding of syringe exchange programs, the all-out federal war on […]