Stories by Kevin Nelson

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Posted on: Oct 13, 2003, Source: AlterNet

This week, a report about a cannabis café opening in New Brunswick; the Liberal Canadian government seems poised to decriminalize cannabis soon; Rush Limbaugh admits serious addiction to painkillers and checks himself into rehab; and the US Supreme Court upholds doctors' rights to discuss medical marijuana options with their patients.

Posted on: Oct 6, 2003, Source: AlterNet

This week, Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien, having blocked marijuana law reform for 30 years, jokes that he may try marijuana once it becomes decriminalized (and he retires); and the former housekeeper of right-wing talk show host, (and staunch drug war advocate) Rush Limbaugh, alleges that she was coerced into supplying him with 11,900 powerful painkillers over a four-year period, to maintain his addiction.

Posted on: Sep 24, 2003, Source: AlterNet

This week, Seattle voters pass Initiative 75, encouraging police and prosecutors to make marijuana possession their lowest enforcement priority; Drug Czar John Walters, visiting Seattle prior to the vote, weighs in against the Initiative and calls for a national debate on marijuana legalization -- an unprecedented suggestion from a drug czar in 66 years of marijuana prohibition; and the Boston Freedom Rally draws 45,000 people calling for marijuana law reform.

Posted on: Sep 17, 2003, Source: AlterNet

This week, the UK gears up for relaxing marijuana possession laws starting in January; Canadian medical marijuana patients call the new government provided marijuana "disgusting" and ineffective; and the Patriot Act is criticized for being used in a wide range of non-terror related crimes.

Posted on: Sep 4, 2003, Source: AlterNet

This week, Canadian medical marijuana patients begin receiving government-grown cannabis; the Alaskan Court of Appeals rules in favor of allowing personal possession of live marijuana plants; a federal judge in California dismisses efforts by local government to halt federal raids on medical marijuana co-ops; and the Dutch begin selling medical marijuana in pharmacies.

Posted on: Aug 24, 2003, Source: AlterNet

This week, a new report shows one in every 37 adults is/has been imprisoned; Florida’s recent prison population upsurge due to dramatic drug treatment budget cuts; Seattle Hempfest receives praise for its diversity, success; John Ashcroft is chastised for keeping lists of judges using their own discretion; and Texas governor Rick Perry pardons the Tulia drug war victims.

Posted on: Aug 18, 2003, Source: AlterNet

This week, a senior Bush administration lawyer claimed that states currently defying the federal government with their medical marijuana laws are no better than Southern states that defied national civil rights laws.

Posted on: Aug 10, 2003, Source: AlterNet

This week, a major crackdown on a powerful Mexican drug cartel puts a slight damper on illegal drug flow from Mexico; drug addiction soars as Afghanistan residents cope with life in a violent anarchy; and John Ashcroft orders federal prosecutors to alert him to judges who give lighter sentences than the federal mandatory minimums.

Posted on: Aug 5, 2003, Source: AlterNet

This week, a Mississippi Sheriff is arrested by state officials on extortion charges one day after being arrested by federal officials on separate extortion charges; Congressman/Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich vows to legalize medical marijuana if elected; and Swisher County Texas District Attorney Terry McEachern faces possible disbarment over his role in suppressing evidence in the Tulia drug debacle that arrested 39 innocent Black residents.

Posted on: Jul 29, 2003, Source: AlterNet

This week, California's treatment-not-jails law (Prop. 36) reportedly saves the state over $250 million in its first year; a Hawaiian medical marijuana patient receives a $2000 insurance check for her stolen marijuana plants; a high ranking NY DEA agent is charged with embezzling $150, 000; and America's prison population grows by 2.6 percent despite a falling crime rate.

Posted on: Jul 20, 2003, Source: AlterNet

This week, Pataki offers another attempt at reforming the harsh Rockefeller Drug Laws; Canadian Senator now supports legalization after two years of studying the issue on a Senate committee; UK reformers demand an explanation for the brutal prosecution of MS sufferer/medical marijuana distributor, Biz Ivol; and a California man remains in custody in Mexico after purchasing a car at a drug-seizure auction that turned out to have marijuana secreted away.

Posted on: Jul 14, 2003, Source: AlterNet

This week, Colombian armed forces get U.S. aid; Bush enlists faith-based drug war supporters; and DEA head nominee Karen Tandy promises more raids on medical pot co-ops.

Posted on: Jun 29, 2003, Source: AlterNet

This week, heavy drinking reportedly a far bigger threat to young New Zealanders than hard drugs; the U.S. federal government considers legislation to strip state drug war funding from states with voter-approved medical marijuana initiatives; and Canada is set to open a safe injection site in Vancouver, which draws criticism from the White House.

Posted on: Jun 22, 2003, Source: AlterNet

This week, the Bush Administration plans to resume anti-drug air-interdiction flights over Peru that were halted when an American missionary family was shot down in 2001; the British government plans new hardline laws against marijuana use that include sentences of 14 years in prison for having a private pot party, and allow for the seizure of the homes of cannabis users.

Posted on: Jun 16, 2003, Source: AlterNet

This week, a 19-year-old Florida college student is raped in prison as he serves a weekend stint on a marijuana charge; the RAVE Act is used to shut down a marijuana reform rally in Montana; and a US Military spokesman admits that there are no plans for American troops to eradicate the opium fields of Afghanistan.

Posted on: Jun 10, 2003, Source: AlterNet

This week, 14 wrongfully convicted black residents of Tulia, TX, are released; California moves toward supplying state issued medical marijuana cards to protect patients from arrest; and Ed Rosenthal, the "guru of ganja" is convicted and sentenced to one day in prison for growing medical marijuana.

Posted on: Jun 2, 2003, Source: AlterNet

This week, Afghanistan reclaims their spot as the world's biggest opium producer; House Republicans want to drain drug enforcement money from police in states that have passed medical marijuana laws; Iran/Contra villain Elliot Abrams takes center stage in the Bush II Administration; and New York City medical examiners rule as homicide the death of a 57 year old woman killed after police threw a concussion grenade in her apartment.

Posted on: May 27, 2003, Source: AlterNet

This week, the Austin American Statesman asks Texas governor to give an absolute pardon to 38 black Tulia residents imprisoned on the lies of a racist cop; Maryland's governor signs a "controversial" bill to reduce penalties for sick and dying medical marijuana patients; and NYPD make their second mistaken address drug raid in two weeks.

Posted on: May 19, 2003, Source: AlterNet

This week, a Boston city councilor recommends legalization; court overrules Canada's pot possession laws, decriminalizing pot in the province; an innocent woman dies after police throw a flash grenade into her apartment during a drug raid; and one of Scotland Yard's most senior officers calls for legalization of all drugs.

Posted on: May 11, 2003, Source: AlterNet

This week, The Economist warns of Attorney-General John Ashcroft‚s power grabs; and Bill Bennett, former Drug Czar and moral crusader, is exposed as a gambling addict, losing $8 million in the past ten years.

Posted on: May 4, 2003, Source: AlterNet

This week, Chretien introduces legislation to decriminalize small amounts of pot; the commanding officer of the Vancouver Police Department's Vice and Drug Section believes marijuana should be legalized; and Renee Boje, an American citizen, continues to fight for refugee status in Canada, as a victim of U.S. drug war extremism.

Posted on: Apr 28, 2003, Source: AlterNet

This week, Santa Cruz sues John Ashcroft and the DEA for raiding an area medical pot farm; 83 percent of Canadians support decriminalizing of marijuana; Canadian Prime Minister candidate Sheila Copps supports legalization; and Health Canada consults Netherlands about medical marijuana distribution in Canada.

Posted on: Apr 21, 2003, Source: AlterNet

This week, NORML holds its annual conference to in San Francisco; UK studies could make marijuana the aspirin of the 21st century; California officials file suit against John Ashcroft and the DEA to stop them from raiding local medical pot facilities.

Posted on: Apr 13, 2003, Source: AlterNet

This week, American medical marijuana laws are on trial in Canada as adrenal cancer patient Steve Kubby vies for protection from being returned to the United States where he would be prosecuted and perhaps die in jail for lack of his illegal medicine; and U.S. House Speaker Daniel Hastert affirms that he will not allow American medical marijuana patients to defend themselves in federal court, by barring them from mentioning the reasons for their marijuana use.

Posted on: Apr 6, 2003, Source: AlterNet

This week, marijuana possession cases are stayed in Ontario and Prince Edward Island, as Canadian laws against marijuana possession appear to be on the verge of collapse; the White House Drug Control Office reports an abrupt end to their controversial "drugs support terrorism" ad campaign; and hope arrives for 38 black defendants in Tulia, Texas, originally sentenced for drug sales solely on the word of a now-exposed corrupt, racist undercover cop.

Posted on: Mar 30, 2003, Source: AlterNet

This week, President Bush nominates the first woman to head the DEA; the Maryland Senate, against the wishes of the Drug Czar, votes to reduce medical marijuana use to a fine of $100; the Belgian government legalizes personal possession of marijuana; and the Jamaican Attorney General predicts marijuana decriminalization soon.

Posted on: Mar 23, 2003, Source: AlterNet

This week, the Netherlands legalizes medical marijuana for distribution in pharmacies; Maryland legislature votes to fine medical marijuana users rather than jailing them; Afghanistan warns it may slip back into the heroin producing capital of the world; and Peruvian coca farming increases with cutbacks in Colombian coca production.

Posted on: Mar 16, 2003, Source: AlterNet

This week, Oklahoma looks at decriminalizing marijuana possession; two Mexican anti-narcotics helicopters are shot down, killing 5 agents on board; Peruvian Prime Minister pleads for a resumption of American program of shooting down suspected drug cargo planes; an Iowa college president is caught smoking and growing marijuana; and a Canadian court throws out a marijuana possession charge, stating that it is currently legal to possess less than 30 grams of marijuana in Canada.

Posted on: Mar 9, 2003, Source: AlterNet

This week, the world's most cannabis friendly cities, the Swiss extend heroin program and Thailand responds to criticism of its drug war killings.

Posted on: Mar 3, 2003, Source: AlterNet

This week, high terror alert; Ashcroft deploys 1200 agents on pot users; U.S. drop biological agents into Colombia.

Posted on: Feb 23, 2003, Source: AlterNet

This week, California lawmakers battle feds; Canadians want legal pot; football star speaks up on marijuana.

Posted on: Feb 17, 2003, Source: AlterNet

This week, a former Chicago police officer is charged with stealing and reselling 49 kilos of cocaine from evidence lockers; a former Mexican Drug Czar, who both fought and aided drug traffickers was found shot dead; a jury sides with two former narcotics agents who claimed that the CIA drug money was diverted to a Dominican presidential candidate.

Posted on: Feb 7, 2003, Source: AlterNet

This week, a Tacoma, WA, police officer is sentenced to six years in federal prison for heroin distribution; the New York Times writes a scathing editorial about the federal prosecution of medical marijuana grower, Ed Rosenthal; Afghanistan once again reigns as the world's leading supplier of heroin; Ed Rosethal's jurors speak out against his unfair trial and conviction; and San Diego, CA, adopts guidelines allowing patients to possess up to one pound of marijuana.

Posted on: Feb 2, 2003, Source: AlterNet

This week, a middle schooler's science fair project about medical marijuana is barred from competition; Drug "Czar" John Walters claims immunity from Nevada state campaign accounting laws; Ed Rosenthal, a deputized medical marijuana supplier in Oakland, Calif., is found guilty of breaking federal marijuana laws; and Kansas contemplates drug treatment rather than jail time for non-violent drug offenders.

Posted on: Jan 26, 2003, Source: AlterNet

This week, an Alabama high school student receives 26 years in prison for selling marijuana to an undercover narc; a retired New Jersey cop speaks out against the drug war; DEA director Asa Hutchinson is approved to be undersecretary of the Department of Homeland Security; and four Marines are killed in a drug task force helicopter crash.

Posted on: Jan 19, 2003, Source: AlterNet

This week, Canadian legal experts predict medical marijuana will be legally available from government sources within six months; many Canadians predict that pressure from the US government will halt marijuana law reform; two US pilots who killed four Canadians in a friendly-fire incident in Afghanistan begin trial; and a Wisconsin town drops 442 citations and all charges issued to dancers at a rave, issued in a blanket arrest.

Posted on: Jan 11, 2003, Source: AlterNet

This week, possessing marijuana is no longer illegal for anyone in Canada, U.S. pilots who accidentally killed four Canadian soldiers says the Air Force had pressured the pilots to take amphetamines prior to the flight, the state of New Jersey has asked a judge to delay enforcement of a ruling that bans sharing the loot seized in civil forfeiture cases, and marijuana author and activist Ed Rosenthal of Oakland is headed for trial on federal drug charges.

Posted on: Jan 5, 2003, Source: AlterNet

In 1998, drug warriors vowed to make America "virtually drug-free by 2002". Kevin Nelson gives us his annual overview of the drug war.

Posted on: Dec 19, 2002, Source: AlterNet

This week, stories of mandatory minimum outrages, Ian Stillman, a deaf charity worker whose imprisonment on drugs charges was described as one of the worst miscarriages of justice, was freed after two years in an Indian prison, of the 58,000 drug convictions won by prosecutors in Harris County, Texas over the past five years, 77 percent involved less than a gram of a drug, and Calif. Governor Gray Davis spares prisons in his recent budget cuts.

Posted on: Dec 15, 2002, Source: AlterNet

This week, the Canadian federal government may introduce legislation early next year to decriminalize the use of marijuana, a similar Canadian proposal to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana is causing concern in the United States, and Valerie and Michael Corral, the founders of a medicinal marijuana farm that was busted in early September, are now deputies by order of the Santa Cruz City Council.