Stories by Phillip Smith

Phillip Smith is editor of the AlterNet Drug Reporter and author of the Drug War Chronicle. subscribe to Phillip Smith's feed

Posted on: Aug 12, 2002, Source: DRCNet

As if urine screenings in schools were not humiliating enough, a school in South Dakota is accused of allowing a suspicionless drug search by a canine that resulted in terrified children.

Posted on: Jul 28, 2002, Source: DRCNet

To win the drug war, we first need to win the war of public opinion. If the editorial reaction to the British decrim move is any indication, end of pot prohibition maybe around the corner.

Posted on: Jul 11, 2002, Source: DRCNet

Caught between a clamor for an end to cannabis prohibition and the grumblings of reactionaries on the other, David Blunkett is making a mess of what was supposed to be a straightforward move to decriminalize marijuana possession in Great Britain.

Posted on: Jul 10, 2002, Source: DRCNet

The U.S. drug war in Bolivia took a severe blow this week as results trickled in from last Sunday's presidential elections.

Posted on: Jul 2, 2002, Source: DRCNet


Posted on: Jun 24, 2002, Source: DRCNet

Steven Silverman, the head of a newly formed group, Flex Your Rights, teaches Americans how to protect themselves from illegal drug arrests.

Posted on: Jun 19, 2002, Source: DRCNet

Britain's third political force, the Liberal Democrat Party, is moving to put its policy where its platform is with a plan which would effectively decriminalize hard drug possession in the London borough of Southwick.

Posted on: Jun 12, 2002, Source: DRCNet

The FBI's cutback on drug war agents has law enforcement officials hollering that they need even more money to take up the slack.

Posted on: Jun 5, 2002, Source: DRCNet

A recent DEA joint campaign with a group of female legislators is being touted as educating youth and parents about the dangers of "club drugs" but could have more serious political ramifications.

Posted on: May 28, 2002, Source: DRCNet

The latest addition to the ever-growing debate over British drug policy came this week as the parliamentary Home Affairs Select Committee studying current policy released its long-awaited report, "The Government's Drugs Policy: Is It Working?"

Posted on: May 20, 2002, Source: DRCNet

Philadelphia is now into its second week of Operation Safe Streets, a massive police crackdown on some 300 identified open-air drug markets in the City of Brotherly Love.

Posted on: May 15, 2002, Source: DRCNet

Raphael Perl, an international terrorism and narcotics specialist, recently spoke about the correlation between drug use, crime rates and decriminalization. His remarks indicate that serious drug analysts are beginning to understand the trade-off between prohibition and crime.

Posted on: May 7, 2002, Source: DRCNet

Former British cabinet minister Mo Mowlam, who ran Prime Minister Tony Blair's drug policy until less than a year ago, has called for the legalization of all drugs.

Posted on: Apr 30, 2002, Source: DRCNet

At its national convention in Seattle last weekend, the US branch of Amnesty International, the world's largest human rights organization, voted to have the organization investigate the links between US drug policy and human rights abuses at home and abroad.

Posted on: Mar 31, 2002, Source: DRCNet

Attorney General John Ashcroft's Justice Department is digging in its heels over proposed changes to federal cocaine sentencing guidelines.

Posted on: Mar 27, 2002, Source: DRCNet

Officials at Colorado State University in Fort Collins announced recently that CSU has become the first college in the nation to operate a drug court for students accused of campus drug and alcohol violations.

Posted on: Mar 20, 2002, Source: DRCNet

Britain's move away from US-style drug policies took on added momentum this week, with three developments heralding change for the better.

Posted on: Mar 13, 2002, Source: DRCNet

A flurry of newspaper headlines in the Scottish press over the weekend announced a pending drug policy shift in Scotland, but there may be less to the move than meets the eye.

Posted on: Mar 6, 2002, Source: DRCNet

The editor of DRCNet's Week Online interviews Sasha Abramsky, author of a new book on our prison system, focusing on the non-violent and petty criminals that fill America's prisons and the drug war connection.

Posted on: Feb 27, 2002, Source: DRCNet

Finally calling the bluff on a new government study titled "The Economic Costs of Drug Abuse in the United States, 1992-1998".

Posted on: Feb 20, 2002, Source: DRCNet

Bolivian coca farmers and the government arrived at an agreement which might end the blockades and violence -- for now.

Posted on: Feb 13, 2002, Source: DRCNet

America's leading radical intellectual speaks on the fallacy of the drug war, terrorism and the evolution of anarchist and libertarian ideology.

Posted on: Feb 11, 2002, Source: DRCNet

Philip Smith of the Drug Reform Coordination Network interviewed San Miguel County Sheriff Bill Masters about his new book on drug law reform and corruption in the Colorado police force.

Posted on: Feb 7, 2002, Source: DRCNet

not yet done

Posted on: Jan 31, 2002, Source: DRCNet

Reinstating the ban on poppy cultivation in Afghanistan is music to the ears of dealers in Kandahar, one of whom gleefully reacted by telling the press, "We'll be rich!"

Posted on: Jan 23, 2002, Source: DRCNet

Drug law reform laws move forward in Brazil, as the global war on drugs continues its collapse.

Posted on: Jan 16, 2002, Source: DRCNet

The Bush Administration is attempting to repeal a ruling which maintains the right not to consent to a suspicionless drug search on public transportation. Is it anti-terrorist or unconstitutional?

Posted on: Jan 9, 2002, Source: DRCNet

As the Americans and their local allies in Bogota apply pressure on the Colombian cocaine and heroin business, the red flag of Maoist insurrection waves once more in Peru.

Posted on: Dec 19, 2001, Source: DRCNet

American music listeners are familiar enough with the drug-laced lyrics and spaciness of stoner rock and the gritty drug war milieu of gangster rap, but most non-Spanish-speaking gringos remain totally oblivious to the narcocorrido, a musical genre drenched in the Mexico-US drug trade whose leading stars sell millions of albums on both sides of the border.

Posted on: Dec 11, 2001, Source: DRCNet

Deaths and other human rights abuses by Bolivian security forces have mounted in recent weeks as they confront angry coca-growing peasants determined to protect their crops and their economic well-being.

Posted on: Dec 10, 2001, Source: DRCNet

The coca fields of Colombia are a long way from Philadelphia's gritty Kensington neighborhood, but a local anti-poverty group is making the connections with an innovative and interesting new tactic.

Posted on: Dec 6, 2001, Source: DRCNet

The Taliban may be brutal, thuggish, backward-looking, fundamentalist fanatics, but when it comes to marijuana policy, they've got nothing on the US.

Posted on: Nov 28, 2001, Source: DRCNet

A bill which would allow the D.C. Child and Family Services Agency to test children at birth for signs of drug exposure and take custody of those children is full of flaws and would serve to target the poor, ignoring the underlying issues of addiction.

Posted on: Nov 26, 2001, Source: DRCNet

The "D.A.R.E. Generation" works to change drug policies on campuses. The Students for Sensible Drug Policy met this month to talk about ways to bring drug policy awareness to campuses across the country and, according to DRCNet, they are not alone in their effort.

Posted on: Nov 20, 2001, Source: DRCNet

Drug treatment is big business, and the drug treatment industry is turning to Madison Avenue techniques and grand coalitions to ensure that it gets even bigger.

Posted on: Nov 13, 2001, Source: DRCNet

Indonesia's President Megawati Sukarnoputri has moved away from a logical drug policy, creating stricter laws and mandatory-minimum sentencing and implementing the death penalty for drug producers and dealers.

Posted on: Nov 6, 2001, Source: DRCNet

In the days following the Sept. 11 attacks, law enforcement and industry sources reported drug seizures were down dramatically. Now it's back to business as usual for the black market.

Posted on: Nov 1, 2001, Source: DRCNet

Even as Congress grows increasingly queasy about U.S. drug war investments in Central America -- slashing the Andean counter-drug budget by 22 percent last week -- Bush administration officials and congressional drug war diehards are turning up the "terrorist" rhetoric in an effort to strengthen their cause.

Posted on: Oct 17, 2001, Source: DRCNet

As europe embraces harm reduction, acting U.S. drug czar Edward Jurith fumes against it. Why we need harm reduction now more than ever.