Stories by Kevin Nelson

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Posted on: Aug 31, 2004, Source: AlterNet

This week, the Alaska Court of Appeals narrows marijuana home search law; police in Ontario, Canada, arrest a senior citizen in a cannabis cafe; and a Calgary court sentences an RCMP officer to four years in prison for selling seized marijuana.

Posted on: Aug 17, 2004, Source: AlterNet

This week, US prisoners are increasingly being required to pay for their imprisonment; psychedelic drugs are again gaining credence as therapeutic agents; and marijuana's chemical components are shown to battle brain tumors.

Posted on: Aug 11, 2004, Source: AlterNet

This week, the Supreme Court agrees to rule on the constitutionality of the guidelines for federal criminal sentences; the Tajikistan general in charge of battling the drugs trade in his country and in Afghanistan has been arrested amid claims of murder and corruption; and U.S. Drug "Czar" John Walters admits that Plan Colombia has been a failure, but insists we must continue to stay the course.

Posted on: Aug 6, 2004, Source: AlterNet

This week, Miami Dolphins' Ricky Williams quits the NFL after failing his third drug test, and says he will continue to smoke marijuana; arrests for marijuana possession are down 30 percent in the UK and Canada; and the USA blames the UK for not doing enough to halt the opium trade in Afghanistan.

Posted on: Jul 26, 2004, Source: AlterNet

This week, several major religious denominations joined the movement to legalize medical marijuana use; medical researchers sue the federal government for speedy access to marijuana for scientific study; the number of Canadian marijuana smokers has reportedly doubled over the past 13 years; marijuana possession charges are dropped against a principal who planted pot in a locker to get a student expelled; and the Canadian Supreme Court rules that police can't go on "fishing expeditions" looking for evidence of lawbreaking when they stop someone.

Posted on: Jul 21, 2004, Source: AlterNet

This week, activists at the International AIDS Conference say that injection drug use is fuelling the global AIDS crisis; a long-term Florida methamphetamine investigation results in the arrest of 81 people and 16 pounds of meth; and White House Drug "Czar" John Walters argues that marijuana is more dangerous than heroin or cocaine and hopes to shift research and enforcement efforts away from "hard" drugs and onto marijuana.

Posted on: Jul 13, 2004, Source: AlterNet

This week, 11 Grateful Dead fans questioned for selling psychedelic mushrooms; Florida schools begin using aerosol spray kits to detect drug residue; marijuana use is up among US adults; the American Bar Association calls for the elimination of Mandatory Minimum sentences for minor drug offenses; and Bush's Deputy Drug Czar resigns to consider running for the Senate.

Posted on: Jul 7, 2004, Source: AlterNet

This week, the US Supreme Court agreed to decide whether the federal government can prosecute sick people who smoke medical marijuana; 20,000 Oakland, CA, voters sign an initiative to place casual adult marijuana use as the lowest police priority; a federal judge in West Virginia reduces a man's sentence from 20 years to 1 year based on a recent Supreme Court ruling; Florida's Board of Elections produces another flawed list of felons to be purged from the voter roles; and South Carolina's attorney general refuses to press charges against police who conducted a heavy-handed drug raid on a high school last year.

Posted on: Jun 29, 2004, Source: AlterNet

This week, the American Bar Association releases a report calling for an end to unfair justice system practices; China executes 18 to mark International Day Against Drug Abuse; and the US Justice Department releases a report showing that America's prison population tops the world.

Posted on: Jun 21, 2004, Source: AlterNet

This week, a report about a chronic pain patient sentenced to 25 years in prison for possession of an ounce of prescription painkillers; a Texas judge decides how to disburse a $6 million dollar settlement among 45 black defendants who had been framed by a racist cop in a phony drug sting; and the Navy discharges five SEALs for drug use.

Posted on: Jun 14, 2004, Source: AlterNet

This week, Washington state customs agents are looking at a record bust year, having confiscated almost two-thirds of 1 percent of the pot entering the U.S.; a major Canadian think-tank recommends legalizing marijuana; and Portuguese police will back off cannabis-smoking English soccer fans at the Euro 2004, and focus on alcohol.

Posted on: Jun 7, 2004, Source: AlterNet

This week, a new study says that smoking marijuana does not lead to oral cancer; a Canadian political leader promotes marijuana decriminalization; a federal judge allows drug reform ads on mass transit; a former NJ narcotics officer calls the drug war a "dismal failure"; California voters may have an opportunity to reorganize aspects of the 3-Strikes Law.

Posted on: May 24, 2004, Source: AlterNet

This week, U.S. soldiers may join Border Patrol agents in guarding the borders with Mexico and Canada; Vermont will become the ninth state to allow medical marijuana use; UK prison officers are deliberately skewing prison drug testing to record a falsely lower incidence of drug use, and thus ensure steady funding and job protection; and the chief health officer of Atlantic City, NJ, engages in civil disobedience by distributing clean needles to drug addicts.

Posted on: May 17, 2004, Source: AlterNet

This week, Vancouver crackdown backfires; Australia's NSW government seeks limited medical cannabis trials; Bayer to market first prescription pharmaceutical marijuana spray; Canada drops pot decriminalization bill; and Russia decriminalizes personal drug possession.

Posted on: May 9, 2004, Source: AlterNet

This week, Montel Williams admits smoking pot daily to cope with multiple sclerosis; a South Carolina narcotics officer killed in a single-car accident had a blood alcohol level twice the legal limit; the mayor of Vancouver calls for legalization; and International Marijuana Day is shut down in Tel Aviv.

Posted on: May 2, 2004, Source: AlterNet

This week, a Texas high school bans sack lunches and baked goods after a student brings marijuana brownies to school; nearly a third of Canadian medical marijuana patients return their government-grown marijuana due to inferior quality; and a new study maps the boom in U.S. prison building in the past 30 years.

Posted on: Apr 26, 2004, Source: AlterNet

This week, a Colombian peasant representative speaks out against America's "War on Coca"; Berkeley, CA's mayor supports increasing medical marijuana patients' personal plant grow limit from 10 to 72 plants; and a Canadian magazine mocks US drug Czar John Walters for giving their pot trade free advertising.

Posted on: Apr 19, 2004, Source: AlterNet

This week, a Kentucky grand jury declines to indict a police officer in the shooting of an unarmed black man and an Australian government pamphlet 'tells the truth' about marijuana and schizophrenia.

Posted on: Apr 12, 2004, Source: AlterNet

This week, the Supreme Court considers the constitutionality of allowing drug sniffing dogs during routine traffic stops; Holland's right-leaning government considers reclassifying potent marijuana as a hard drug; two top Mexican police officials are arrested for protecting drug traffickers; a Texas District Attorney will face legal action for his role in the Tulia drug sting; and the White House drug "czar's" office begins a nationwide tour promoting random drug testing in schools.

Posted on: Apr 5, 2004, Source: AlterNet

This week, despite having no clear evidence, US prosecutors announce an investigation of Jean Bertrand Aristide's alleged ties to cocaine traffickers; meanwhile, a Peruvian court tries Vladimir Montesinos -- a 30-year CIA asset -- for supplying Colombian drug traffickers with weapons.

Posted on: Mar 29, 2004, Source: AlterNet

This month, the Wall Street Journal reports about yet another invaluable drug derived from the marijuana plant; Canada moves to distribute marijuana at pharmacies; and a one-legged Vietnam vet is serving life in prison in Alabama for purchasing a pound of pot from a police informant in a sting operation.

Posted on: Mar 22, 2004, Source: AlterNet

This week, a medical marijuana bill is making its way through the CT state legislature; Congress looks at zero-tolerance "drugged driving" laws; federal courts are swamped with increased cases and decreasing funding; and the Oakland, CA, police department is accused of squashing internal investigations.

Posted on: Mar 15, 2004, Source: AlterNet

This week, a $5 million settlement is awarded to the 46 black residents of Tulia, TX, who were arrested and jailed on fabricated drug charges by a crooked, racist cop; and drug "czar" John Walters speaks out against marijuana chewers in Nevada, where a pending initiative may legalize adult possession and use of the plant.

Posted on: Mar 8, 2004, Source: AlterNet

This week, various police officers from the US and Canada are arrested on drugs and violence charges; and David Crosby is arrested for possession of marijuana and a loaded gun.

Posted on: Mar 1, 2004, Source: AlterNet

This week, the police chief in Eugene, OR, apologizes for a botched SWAT marijuana grow-op raid that yielded nothing but fear in local residents; Toronto, ON, police officers balk at the idea of being randomly drug tested; and "President" Bush's new anti-drug strategy targets prescription drug offenses, and massively boosting funding for student drug testing.

Posted on: Feb 23, 2004, Source: AlterNet

This week, a sheriff's "drug evidence" manager is arrested and charged with conspiracy to traffic in cocaine and marijuana; a Georgia sheriff fires a deputy who fatally shot an unarmed man in a drug search that yielded no drugs; and an assistant school principal in Colorado is placed on administrative leave for planting marijuana in a student's locker in an effort to get him expelled.

Posted on: Feb 17, 2004, Source: AlterNet

This week, a Massachusetts high school conducts a 30-minute drug raid that yields no drugs; law officers in CO, NY and KS, and a fire chief in CO, face drug-related charges; and an Alabama marijuana activist is convicted for possession of less than a gram of pot.

Posted on: Feb 14, 2004, Source: AlterNet

Over the course of 228 years, 43 presidents have served the United States. How do their words stand up through the lens of history?

Posted on: Feb 9, 2004, Source: AlterNet

This week, another dramatic school drug raid yielding nothing is hailed a success by police; a Massachusetts federal judge complains about misplaced priorities at the federal court level; CA Gov. Schwarzenegger changes course and backs an independent prison watchdog agency; and the hemp foods industry wins a court battle against the DEA.

Posted on: Feb 1, 2004, Source: AlterNet

This week, a new poll shows 75 percent of Californians support medical access to marijuana; a Washington state medical marijuana patient is sentenced to 3 years in prison for growing 23 plants at home; and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger moves to eliminate an independent prison watchdog agency despite a multitude of scandals in the CA corrections system.

Posted on: Jan 26, 2004, Source: AlterNet

This week, a study from the National Institute on Drug Abuse concludes that the advertising program of the Office of National Drug Control Policy has little to no impact on teenagers, just as the ONDCP prepares to unveil its latest ads during the upcoming Superbowl; a disabled Canadian woman is sentenced for growing 10 marijuana plants; and a Washington state medical marijuana patient is denied a legal defense and faces up to a 7-year sentence on January 30th.

Posted on: Jan 19, 2004, Source: AlterNet

This week, an award-winning New Hampshire DARE officer is arrested for threatening to kill his wife, and a new report sheds light on a massive cover-up in the highest levels of the California Department of Corrections.

Posted on: Jan 13, 2004, Source: AlterNet

This week, two separate drugs are showing promise in the treatment of cocaine and heroin addiction; and a New Jersey marijuana activist provides an alternative model for DNA retrieval.

Posted on: Jan 6, 2004, Source: AlterNet

The drug war continues to exact crippling costs to taxpayers, minority groups, the environment, civil liberties and struggling democracies around the world.

Posted on: Dec 17, 2003, Source: AlterNet

This week, the Canadian Justice Department drops marijuana possession charges against 4,000 people who were arrested during a 26 month period when the law was in limbo; a Colorado medical marijuana patient finds himself at the center of a power struggle between state and federal law enforcement after a local judge orders the feds to return his plants; and Irv Rosenfeld marks his 20th anniversary as one of the few federally supplied medical marijuana patients.

Posted on: Dec 9, 2003, Source: AlterNet

This week, a report shows Seattle police arrest black drug dealers in far greater numbers than the white dealers that dominate the local trade and constitute the majority of users; a Catholic school in Chicago will require drug testing of all students next Fall; 17 students from a South Carolina high school file a lawsuit against their principal and local law enforcement over a heavy-handed drug raid that yielded no drugs; and U.S. medical marijuana advocate and cancer survivor, Steve Kubby, who sought refugee status in Canada had his claim rejected.

Posted on: Dec 2, 2003, Source: AlterNet

This week, an hour-long lockdown of a West Virginia high school, involving 7 dogs and 21 police from eight different departments, yields one marijuana possession citation; for the first time in 35 years, Massachusetts allocates more funds for prisons than schools; and a group of police from Pennsylvania successfully argue to have their random drug test results thrown out.

Posted on: Nov 10, 2003, Source: AlterNet

This week, Louisiana narcotics officers offer an apology to a middle-aged couple after they conducted a mistaken drug raid on their home; a Surrey, BC, woman gets an absolute discharge after a judge rules she was inappropriately strip-searched by police after being caught speeding; and fourteen South Carolina police storm a high school hallway looking for marijuana and find nothing.

Posted on: Nov 2, 2003, Source: AlterNet

This week, UK police apologize to the family of an unarmed man shot dead in a bungled police raid; NORML reports the 2002 US marijuana arrest statistics; the city of New York pays $1.6 million to the family of a woman killed in yet another bungled drug raid; and the Winnipeg press reports that Canadian youth are more likely to smoke marijuana than tobacco.

Posted on: Oct 26, 2003, Source: AlterNet

This week, Bolivia's president may have been toppled due to citizen anger over US narco-imperialism; the Dutch government considers limiting marijuana coffeeshop sales to Dutch citizens only; and Forbes magazine estimates the value of Canada's marijuana production exceeds the revenues for cattle, wheat or logging.