Drug War Chronicle, Issue #1143
Phillip S. Smith, Editor, psm...@drcnet.org
A Publication of StoptheDrugWar.org
David Borden, Executive Director, bor...@drcnet.org
"Raising Awareness of the Consequences of Drug Prohibition"
This issue of Drug War Chronicle is dedicated to our much-missed friend
to hear interviews
with Bill and
remembrances by friends.
Table of Contents:
1. OREGON DRUG DECRIM IS SLASHING DRUG ARRESTS, MASSIVELY FUNDING
It's been a year since Oregon voters approved drug decriminalization.
How's it working?
2. CHRONICLE BOOK REVIEW: THE DOPE [FEATURE]
Do you want to know how Mexico's infamous drug cartels came to be. Start
3. CHRONICLE BOOK REVIEW: THE AFGHANISTAN PAPERS
How to eke out a loss in war, while losing to the opium poppy, too.
4. MEDICAL MARIJUANA UPDATE
Mississippians will have to wait even longer for their medical
marijuana, Coloradans will face some restrictions on medical marijuana
purchases, and more.
5. THIS WEEK'S CORRUPT COPS STORIES
A Pennsylvania trooper's heroin habit gets him in trouble, a Georgia
cop's protection of her drug-dealing boyfriend gets her in trouble, and
6. THREE SENATE DEMS SEEK PARDONS FOR NONVIOLENT MARIJUANA PRISONERS, MS
MEDMJ WILL HAVE TO WAIT, MORE... (11/11/21)
Massachusetts legislation would legalize health insurance coverage for
medical marijuana, federal lawmakers seek language in Justice spending
bill to protect legal marijuana states, and more.
7. CO ANNOUNCES STRICTER MEDMJ RULES, GERMAN COALITION NEARING MARIJUANA
LEGALIZATION DEAL, MORE... (11/12/21)
A New Jersey judge's ruling keeps an Atlantic City needle exchange
program alive (for now), the Scottish government is trying to find a way
to open a safe injection site in Glasgow, and more.
8. IN DEMOCRATS CALL FOR MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION, PA ACLU OPPOSES
PARENTAL DRUG SCREENING BILL, MORE... (11/15/21)
Renewed clashes between prison gangs linked to rival drug cartels left
at least 68 more dead over the weekend, an Oklahoma marijuana
legalization initiative gets hit with a nuisance lawsuit, and more.
9. DRUG ODS TOP 100,000 IN ONE YEAR, GOP FEDERAL MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION
BILL FILED, MORE... (11/17/21)
A Czech marijuana magazine editor gets convicted of promoting
"toxicomania," the DEA has to return money it stole from Americans in
two separate cases, New Yorkers rally for sentencing reform, and more.
10. CAPITOL HILL DEMOCRATS DIVIDED ON MARIJUANA REFORM PROGRESS,
ADMINISTRATION RELEASES MODEL NALOXONE LEGISLATION, MORE... (11/18/21)
South Dakota lawmakers are ready to take up marijuana legalization in
the next session, the drug czar suggests the pandemic-related easing of
methadone restictions could be made permanent, and more.
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1. OREGON DRUG DECRIM IS SLASHING DRUG ARRESTS, MASSIVELY FUNDING
In a groundbreaking move a year ago now, Oregon voters approved
decriminalization for personal use amounts of all illicit drugs, with
passing with a healthy 59 percent of the vote. That made the state the
first in the US to make this dramatic break with decades of the war on
drugs. Now, as other states pondering a similar move look for evidence
to bolster their case, some of the initial results in Oregon are looking
Measure 110 promised not only thousands fewer drug arrests, but also a
turn from the punitive to the compassionate -- providing hundreds of
millions of dollars for greatly expanded access to evidence-informed
drug treatment, peer support, housing, and harm reduction services,
without raising taxes to do so. Services would be funded through excess
marijuana tax revenue (over $45 million) and savings from no longer
arresting, incarcerating, and prosecuting people for drug possession.
State analysts estimated the excess marijuana tax revenue alone should
result in over $100 million in funding for services in the first year
up to $129 million by 2027.
The state analysts were off the mark. Last week, the Drug Policy
) (DPA), whose legislative action
arm, Drug Policy Action spearheaded the successful campaign, and the
Oregon Health Justice Recovery Alliance
), which is working
to implement treatment, harm reduction, and support programs, announced
they had secured funding of $302 million over the next two years. That's
over $150 million a year, including $30 million
lawmakers agreed to release ahead of schedule in May of this year.
That initial round of grants went to 70 organizations in 26 of the
state's 36 counties, with these results:
* 33 harm reduction and addiction recovery service providers expanded
access to treatment services for indigent, uninsured individuals.
* 52 organizations hired peer support specialists -- a role that
addiction medicine experts have long heralded as essential to one's
* 32 service providers added recovery, supportive and transitional
* 30 organizations increased harm reduction services, which include
life-saving interventions like overdose prevention; access to naloxone,
methadone and buprenorphine; as well as drug education and outreach.
"We were about to have to close our doors in Wasco County, which would
have been devastating to the people that depend on us for support there,
but thanks to Measure 110 passing, we were not only able to get the
funding we needed to stay open, but also to expand the services and
spectrum of care we were able to provide our clients," said Monta
Knudson, Executive Director of Bridges to Change
), a nonprofit that offers peer
recovery support, housing and treatment services in the state.
"Addiction has touched us all somehow, some more personally and
heartbreakingly than others," said Tera Hurst, Executive Director of the
Health Justice Recovery Alliance. "Too many of us have lost loved ones
to addiction, or struggled with it ourselves. COVID-19 has made things
much worse, decreasing access to care during a time when Oregonians need
these services more than ever before. That's why we celebrate the great
strides made when it comes to addressing Oregon's addiction crisis,
while recognizing that there's still much work to be done. Our immediate
focus is to ensure every Oregonian knows these critical harm reduction
and recovery services are being invested in and expanded so that they
will be available to anyone who wants and needs them, and that they can
feel comfortable and safe accessing them."
But while the huge expansion of treatment, harm reduction, and related
social services is undeniably a good thing, drug decriminalization is
ultimately about getting people out of the criminal justice system by
not getting them sucked into it in the first place. It's looking like
Measure 110 is achieving that goal.
According to the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission, there were roughly
9,000 drug arrests a year
) prior to passage of
Measure 110, and while it is too early to have precise numbers,
thousands of Oregonians who would have been arrested for drug possession
this year have instead faced only their choice of a $100 fine or a
health assessment. It won't be 9,000 fewer drug arrests, though, because
some felony drug possession arrests (possession of more than the
specified personal use amounts) have been downgraded to still arrestable
misdemeanors. Still, it will be thousands fewer people subjected to the
tender mercies of the criminal justice system and all the negative
consequences that brings.
"A year ago, Oregonians voted yes on Measure 110 to remove criminal
penalties for possession of drugs and expand access to health services.
Now, because of this measure, there are thousands of people in Oregon
that will never have to experience the devastating life-long barriers of
having a drug arrest on their record, which disproportionately and
unjustly affected Black and Indigenous people due to targeted policing,"
said DPA Executive Director Kassandra Frederique. "Because of this
measure, there is more than $300 million in funding that did not exist
before being funneled into community organizations to provide adequate
and culturally competent care that people desperately need. And while
the devastation of 50 years of cruel and counterproductive policies
can't be erased overnight, by all metrics we hoped to achieve, and what
voters asked for, we are going down the right path."
A number of states (https://drugpolicy.org/decrim/laws
) -- including
Washington, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, New York, Rhode Island,
Maryland and Kansas -- the District of Columbia
and even the United States Congress
have introduced bills or launched campaigns to similarly remove criminal
penalties for drug possession and increase access to health services
since the passage of Measure 110. These initial results should provide
plenty of ammunition for advancing those campaigns.
It's time to correct the mistake:
Cops say legalize drugs--find out why:
Stoners are people too:
bliss -- Cacao Powered... (-SF4ever at DSLExtreme dot com)
bobbie sellers - a retired nurse in San Francisco
"It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
It is by the beans of cacao that the thoughts acquire speed,
the thighs acquire girth, the girth become a warning.
It is by theobromine alone I set my mind in motion."
--from Someone else's Dune spoof ripped to my taste.