Washington Times, 28 Feb 2014 - This month's capture of the world's most-wanted narcotics kingpin, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, will have little to no impact on the amount of drugs flowing into the U.S. across the Mexican border, experts say. Guzman's Sinaloa drug cartel - the largest in Mexico and the world - has a leadership succession plan that most likely has placed Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada at its helm.
The Record, 27 Feb 2014 - The arrest of the powerful and elusive Sinaloa Cartel boss Joaquin (El Chapo) Guzman will, for at least a short time, be a major notch in the belt for the government of Enrique Pena Nieto, who promised to reduce Mexico's drug violence after the carnage that took place under his predecessor, Felipe Calderon. During Calderon's tenure, nearly 60,000 Mexicans lost their lives in drug-related violence.
Daily Courier, 27 Feb 2014 - The libertarian side of me thinks we should legalize all drugs. There would have to be some adjustments in our criminal procedures and additional laws dealing with punishments for those who commit crimes while under the influence of drugs. There could be sentencing enhancements. Those who commit crimes while under the influence of any drug should have a mandatory five years added to the sentence for the crime itself. Ten years could be added to the sentence for each and every injury caused during the commission of a crime while under the influence. A mandatory life sentence would apply to any conviction of a crime committed while under the influence, where a death occurs.
The Equinox, 27 Feb 2014 - A recent Business Insider report of the 50 "Most On-Campus Drug Arrests Per 1,000 Students," ranked Keene State College at number 20. On a wider scale, KSC has contributed to a small percentage of drug-related arrests made nationally since President Richard Nixon's "War on Drugs" began. Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, or LEAP, has proposed one possible way of reducing future drug use and drug related arrests in the United States; legalizing all drugs at once. "This [drug use] is a health problem, not a crime problem. Let's not let the criminal justice system take care of this issue. Let's save a whole bunch of money and a whole bunch of lives and help educate people. We have to end prohibition in order to do this. We legalize all drugs. Drugs like marijuana, drugs like cocaine, drugs like heroin. That sounds pretty radical. We're not making it up," Richard Van Wickler, a speaker for LEAP, stated at the non-profit organization's KSC presentation on Tuesday Feb. 18.
Baltimore Sun, 27 Feb 2014 - Legalization of Marijuana Might Make Sense, but Deeper Problems Will Persist Have you heard why the war on drugs will never end? It's because of the enormous number of people involved in it: police officers, federal agents, defense attorneys, judges, prosecutors, wardens, prison guards, parole and probation officers. The nation has made such a huge investment in the war on drugs that politicians will keep it going forever, the theory goes. Disrupt it, and we would lose four decades of sunk costs and a significant part of the public-sector economy.
Nelson Star, 26 Feb 2014 - Violent Episodes Drug Related in Neighbouring Castlegar Nelson police took note of two violent episodes in Castlegar earlier this week, both believed to be related to methamphetamine use - a drug that's started appearing on Nelson streets.
The Philadelphia Inquirer, 25 Feb 2014 - Jeffrey Walker, a 24-year police veteran who plotted to rip off a drug dealer, will testify against former colleagues in a plea deal. A veteran Philadelphia narcotics officer has agreed to testify against his former colleagues in a widening federal grand jury probe of corruption in the Police Department's drug squad.
Baltimore Sun, 25 Feb 2014 - In 1982, the late Gov. William Donald Schaefer was running for his last term as mayor. He held one of those big dinners that politicians are famous for at P.J. Crickets on Pratt St. All the political leaders were there. I was the chef that evening and can honestly tell you this: When I arrived at the restaurant that afternoon, I climbed into the back of my blue VW mini-camper and smoked a bowl of marijuana. That evening, many of the attendees stuck their heads into the kitchen to thank the chef for the wonderful meal they had enjoyed. Today, I'm submitting testimony to the Maryland Judicial Proceedings Committee in favor of Senate Bill 658, the Marijuana Taxation and Regulation Act, which would essentially legalize marijuana in the state.
Chicago Sun-Times, 24 Feb 2014 - The hidden scourge of heroin addiction has been sneaking up on Illinois, and we need far better counter-measures before more people die needlessly. As state Rep. Lou Lang (DSkokie) says, "What we are doing now is failing."
Washington Times, 24 Feb 2014 - Banks That Accept Proceeds Based on Official Assurances Will One Day Regret It The Obama administration recently released departmental "guidance" saying banks may "provide financial services to marijuana related businesses operating legally under state law." Let's be clear: No federal trump card exists that can erase bank liability for handling of drug money.
Washington Post, 24 Feb 2014 - Sacramento - The Canna Care dispensary, an evangelical medical marijuana provider renowned for doling out buds with Bibles, is waging a public fight with the Internal Revenue Service over an $873,167 tax penalty sought under a tax code aimed at drug traffickers. On Tuesday, the U.S. Tax Court in San Francisco is due to hear Canna Care's challenge over whether the IRS can impose the hefty tax demand under a 1982 law intended to close a loophole that allowed a Minneapolis cocaine and methamphetamine dealer to claim tax deductions for a scale, his apartment rent and telephone expenses.
Commercial Appeal, 23 Feb 2014 - A new conventional wisdom is on the rise: Drug prohibition, or "the war on drugs," is a costly flop. It not only failed to cut drug use and associated social ills significantly but has also imposed additional social costs - or "catastrophic harm," as my colleague Radley Balko put it - far exceeding the benefits. Those costs include violent crime linked to the black-market drug trade as well as the mass arrest and incarceration of small-time users, a disproportionate number of whom are African-American. It follows that the only solution is legalization, at least of marijuana and maybe other substances. Apropos of Philip Seymour Hoffman's death, for example, former congressman Barney Frank suggested legalizing heroin. Then we could abandon the fool's errand of prohibition and concentrate on "harm reduction" strategies such as treatment.
The Gazette, 23 Feb 2014 - Al Capone's simple words in the 1930s couldn't be more ironic and relevant today, when we consider another adult substance: marijuana. After our failed Prohibition experiment, which corrupted entire cities, murdered hundreds and imprisoned thousands more, we learned better - we allowed state and local governments to regulate spirits, wine and beer. Today, Colorado produces over 23 million barrels of beer annually and has some of the best breweries in the world - happily generating millions for public coffers since the repeal of Prohibition 80 years ago. With this understanding, Manitou's City Council recently decided to regulate marijuana like alcohol.
Washington Post, 23 Feb 2014 - MARIJUANA'S MOMENT? San Bernardino, Calif. - In the "medication area" of the nation's biggest marijuana exposition, scantily clad young women hand out marshmallows they've dipped into a rushing fountain of pot-laced chocolate. A few steps away, Anthony Ramirez offers free hits from a bong filled with the waxy marijuana extract that his family started producing when a friend's mother needed relief from the pain of lupus.
U.S. News & World Report, 21 Feb 2014 - There's a good reason drugs are illegal: They're dangerous. Medical marijuana has arrived in the nation's capital. Why would we wish drug's destructive effects on more Americans? By Carrie Wofford Feb. 21, 2014 One comment SHARE Legalizing drugs has long been a rallying cry on the left, and not without good reason. Progressives remain deeply concerned about the large numbers of low-income males - especially African-American males - who lose their prime years to prison for what seems like the harmless crime of possessing drugs. Legalizing drugs, therefore, seems a sensible way to decriminalize the activities of low-income young African-American men who might feel that the drug economy is the only economy available. Proponents also argue that legalizing drugs would reduce drug-related violence and protect drug users from tainted drugs (on the assumption that the government would sell cleaner, purer drugs).
Globe and Mail, 21 Feb 2014 - Supreme Court Upholds Conviction in Drug Case, but Rules Witnesses Such As Police Officers Must Not Use Personal Experiences As Fact The Supreme Court of Canada has told the country's prosecutors that expert witnesses, including police officers, must not give opinions based on their experience.
Globe and Mail, 21 Feb 2014 - As the legalization debate quickens, scientists warn there is a lot we don't know about marijuana and brain development. Erin Anderssen examines why teens should wait to smoke up Parents seeking direction on what to tell their teens about pot might take some pointers from the President of the United States, who explained in a recent New Yorker profile how he'll put it to his two daughters: "It's a bad idea, it's a waste of time, not very healthy."
The Middletown Press, 21 Feb 2014 - A new conventional wisdom is on the rise: Drug prohibition, or "the war on drugs," is a costly flop. It not only failed to cut drug use and associated social ills significantly but has also imposed additional social costs - or "catastrophic harm," as my colleague Radley Balko put it - far exceeding the benefits. Those costs include violent crime linked to the black-market drug trade as well as the mass arrest and incarceration of small-time users, a disproportionate number of whom are African American. It follows that the only solution is legalization, at least of marijuana and maybe other substances. Apropos of Philip Seymour Hoffman's death, for example, former congressman Barney Frank suggested legalizing heroin. Then we could abandon the fool's errand of prohibition and concentrate on "harm reduction" strategies such as treatment.
Vancouver Courier, 21 Feb 2014 - Federal Sentencing Law Has 'No Force' In B.C. A Vancouver provincial court judge ruled Wednesday that applying the Harper government's mandatory minimum sentence law of one year in prison to a small-time drug dealer constitutes "cruel and unusual punishment" and declared it to be "of no force and effect" in B.C.
Vancouver 24hours, 20 Feb 2014 - A B.C. Provincial Court judge ruled mandatory minimum sentences for drug convictions are unconstitutional and instead handed down a 191-day sentence on top of time served to an offender Wednesday. The controversial one year minimum sentences were part of 2012's federal Safe Streets and Communities Act.