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Stop and Seize: An Investigation into Asset Forfeiture

Stop and Seize: Aggressive police take hundreds of millions of dollars from motorists not charged with crimes. A multimedia investigation by the Washington Post.
posted by milquetoast on Sep 7, 2014 - 66 comments

“young men’s compromised legal status transforms the basic institutions"

How Poor Young Black Men Run From The Police [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 26, 2014 - 21 comments

Why?

The world's most extensive study of the drug trade has just been published in the medical journal BMJ Open, providing the first "global snapshot" of four decades of the war on drugs. To sum up their most important findings, the average purity of heroin and cocaine have increased, respectively, 60 percent and 11 percent between 1990 and 2007. Cannabis purity is up a whopping 161 percent over that same time. Not only are drugs way purer than ever, they're also way, way cheaper. Coke is on an 80 percent discount from 1990, heroin 81 percent, cannabis 86 percent. After a trillion dollars spent on the drug war, now is the greatest time in history to get high.
posted by mannequito on Oct 7, 2013 - 96 comments

"The Logic Of Violence In Criminal War"

Criminal Cartels And The Rule Of Law In Mexico: Summary, PDF
The cartels have thousands of gunmen and have morphed into diversified crime groups that not only traffic drugs, but also conduct mass kidnappings, oversee extortion rackets and steal from the state oil industry. The military still fights them in much of the country on controversial missions too often ending in shooting rather than prosecutions. If Peña Nieto does not build an effective police and justice system, the violence may continue or worsen. But major institutional improvements and more efficient, comprehensive social programs could mean real hope for sustainable peace and justice.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Apr 25, 2013 - 20 comments

The thirst for urine can be traced to the military’s 1971 Operation Gold

"Settling into an upholstered chair across from his mom, 50-year-old Marc Taulé laughs nervously, recalling the last time his mom made him hand over his urine—last year. To everyone’s surprise, he tested positive for cocaine. He’s not a cocaine user; he had been prescribed a painkiller called Lidocaine after minor surgery. “I love them, and just don’t want to see them in trouble,” Elaine Taulé explains." -- For The Nation, Isabel MacDonald looks at the history of drug testing and some of the characters who want every school child in America to pee in a cup.
posted by MartinWisse on Apr 13, 2013 - 22 comments

Today we begin a "cyber march" on Washington

A group of respected entertainers (and some not-as-respected celebrities), businessmen, Civil Rights leaders and academics have signed an open letter calling on the President to #EndTheWarOnDrugs. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Apr 9, 2013 - 49 comments

This Is Working

"Twelve years ago, Portugal eliminated criminal penalties for drug users. Since then, those caught with small amounts of marijuana, cocaine or heroin go unindicted and possession is a misdemeanor on par with illegal parking. Experts are pleased with the results." [more inside]
posted by vidur on Mar 27, 2013 - 125 comments

Itching to snitch

The latest Dwayne Johnson vehicle, Snitch, has used an activist approach for its marketing campaign in a bid to expose the human damage caused by police activity in the War on Drugs. Meanwhile, the BBC notes that some law enforcement agencies in the US use informants in as many as 90% of their drug cases, with little oversight or consistency. Snitching is now an end in itself: at least 48,895 federal convicts — one of every eight — had their prison sentences reduced in exchange for informing, with much higher rates in certain states. Since the murder of informant Rachel Hoffman in 2008, there has been a growing focus on reforming the business of snitching, what the ACLU calls the "unnecessary evil." [more inside]
posted by MuffinMan on Mar 27, 2013 - 29 comments

"Len Bias would become the Archduke Ferdinand of the Total War on Drugs"

Len Bias has been dead for longer than he has been alive. For ESPN Michael Weinreb examines how the tragic death due to a cocaine overdose of this young, up and coming basketball star affected both the sport and American drug policy. Meanwhile at Deadspin, Tommy Craigs explains how twentytwo years after his death Len Bias still makes everyone crazy.
posted by MartinWisse on Mar 7, 2013 - 16 comments

Why a Smokeless America isn't Desirable

The Case Against a Smoke Free America "Tobacco is viewed as pure vice by public health officials. Surgeon General Everett C. Koop famously hoped for a smoke-free America by the year 2000. Koop echoed Lucy Page Gaston, the early twentieth century prohibitionist who campaigned for 'a smokeless America by 1925.' This impulse was revived by Surgeon General Richard Carmona, who testified before Congress in 2003, 'I see no need for any tobacco products in society.'... In Elizabethan England, the then novel act of smoking was described as 'dry drinking.' The metaphor is apt: Neither alcohol nor tobacco is essential to life, but both offer pleasant flavors while enhancing mood and sociality. And, of course, both are harmful when consumed in excess."
posted by bookman117 on Dec 25, 2012 - 230 comments

Something convoluted needs explaining.

Breaking The Taboo, an ambitious and star-studded critique of the War on Drugs, saw its public premier today via YouTube.
posted by troll on Dec 7, 2012 - 24 comments

The Truce on Drugs

What Happens Now that the War on Drugs has Failed?
posted by Glibpaxman on Nov 26, 2012 - 100 comments

Alcohol yesterday, drugs today

"Based in Brisbane, Australia, Stuart uses the medium of comics to explore serious issues with a unique perspective and a sense of fun." - War on Drugs and more, and even more. [Previously]
posted by vidur on Oct 10, 2012 - 6 comments

A Confederacy of Doobies

A Voter’s Guide to Legalizing Marijuana..at the state level
posted by daksya on Oct 7, 2012 - 60 comments

Recommended laboratory procedures

Thousands of drug-related convictions in Massachusetts may be challenged as investigators learn more about improper evidence handling and testing at a Department of Public Health laboratory. Over 50,000 samples related to 34,000 convictions were tested by a single chemist at the lab, who is alleged to have violated multiple laboratory protocols. Governor Deval Patrick's office has identified 1,141 inmates currently serving time in Massachusetts whose convictions may be affected by the investigation. [more inside]
posted by catlet on Sep 25, 2012 - 35 comments

Pawns in the War on Drugs

Sarah Stillman for the New Yorker on confidential informants and the ends they meet -- "Gaither was tortured, beaten with a bat, shot with a pistol and a shotgun, run over by a car, and dragged by a chain through the woods." [more inside]
posted by grobstein on Aug 28, 2012 - 84 comments

A Snitch’s Dilemma

"Alex White, Professional Snitch: What do you do when the cops you work for are dirtier than you are?" Metafilter previously on Kathryn Johnston.
posted by andoatnp on Jun 29, 2012 - 13 comments

"Hey, dude, light the bowl!"

"Barry also had a knack for interceptions. When a joint was making the rounds, he often elbowed his way in, out of turn, shouted "Intercepted!," and took an extra hit. No one seemed to mind." A User's Guide To Smoking Pot With Barack Obama. [more inside]
posted by T.D. Strange on May 25, 2012 - 171 comments

This is your war on drugs.

On April 20, Daniel Chong went to get high at his friend's place. Next morning the DEA raided the house. Chong was detained and placed in a 5x10' holding cell. He was left there with his hands cuffed behind his back for four days without food, water or human contact. He hallucinated, drank his own urine, and eventually, convinced he was going to die, he broke his eyeglasses and carved 'Sorry Mom' on his arm as a final message. When he was final released he was taken to hospital where he was treated for kidney failure, dehydration and a perforated esophagus. The DEA says it was an accident. NYT, AP, interview, interview.
posted by unSane on May 4, 2012 - 140 comments

Pareto's law on drugs

Rethinking the War on Drugs (WSJ video / not OpEd). A more nuanced view than typically found in the anti-drugs vs. legalize drugs ad nausea. Practical solutions being done today. [more inside]
posted by stbalbach on Apr 21, 2012 - 87 comments

More fallout from the War On Drugs, in Mexico.

In Mexico, extortion is a booming offshoot of drug war. 'From mom-and-pop businesses to mid-size construction projects to some of Mexico's wealthiest citizens, almost every segment of the economy and society has been subjected to extortion schemes, authorities and records indicate. Even priests aren't safe. Extortionists have shut entire school systems, crippled real estate developments, driven legions of entrepreneurs into hiding or out of the country.' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword on Mar 18, 2012 - 35 comments

SWAT Raids, Stun Guns, And Pepper Spray: Why The Government Is Ramping Up The Use Of Force

Shortly after Jared Loughner allegedly opened fire in the parking lot of a Tucson grocery store last January, we saw much hand-wringing about the threat of violence against the government. In fact, violence against government officials is actually pretty rare. But just three days before Loughner's rampage, police in Framingham, Mass., raided the home of 68-year-old Eurie Stamps. Stamps wasn't the target of the drug raid. Police were after the son of Stamps' girlfriend, and actually apprehended him outside the home. They raided the house anyway. Stamps, who was unarmed and broke no laws, was shot and killed by a police officer. By my count, he's at least the 46th innocent person killed in a botched drug raid. Every politician in Washington condemned the Loughner shootings, and rightly so. But nearly every politician in Washington supports the laws and policies that led to the death of Eurie Stamps.
-- Radley Balko continues his lonely crusade documenting the ongoing militarization of America's police forces.
posted by empath on Dec 5, 2011 - 62 comments

very tough love

Many listeners have written to us since our episode about Georgia Judge Amanda Williams, asking what ever happened to her. Did she face any consequences for the things we documented on our program? Yesterday, Georgia’s Judicial Qualifications Commission filed formal charges [PDF] against her. The twelve counts include a number of things reported in our episode: sending away inmates for indefinite detention, jailing Charlie McCullough for 14 days for exercising his right to contest a drug screen, and using “rude, abusive, or insulting language” with individuals appearing before her. Local reporting from the Altanta Journal-Constitution. Previously.
posted by gerryblog on Nov 10, 2011 - 43 comments

it's just a matter of faith!

Attention all units, please respond to Central and Broadway, reference a large crowd. It's a war on drugs.
Just Say No: a music video featuring former Albuquerque sheriff Darren White. On vocals.
posted by NoraReed on Jul 16, 2011 - 29 comments

Cory Maye free

After spending ten years in prison for capital murder, most of it on death row, Cory Maye is to be set free.
posted by vivelame on Jul 1, 2011 - 32 comments

"He is survived by his wife of over eight years, Vanessa, and their two children, ages 4 and 5."

Jose Guerena, 26, was a Marine veteran and father of two. He served two tours in Iraq in 2003 and 2005. On May 5th, he was killed in his home by a SWAT team looking for narcotics [more inside]
posted by dubold on May 26, 2011 - 465 comments

Exile Nation: Drugs, Prisons, Politics, and Spirituality

"I realized that I was one of those extremely rare individuals who was a former POW of the drug war, and who got out and had the opportunity to share his story with the world." "It kind of makes an activist out of you when 3 helicopters land in your backyard and guys jump out with guns and destroy your place before your very eyes." Exile Nation is a documentary [complete film] [trailer] and an ongoing memoir, a work of “spiritual journalism”, and eventually "a documentary archive of interviews and testimonies […] revealing the far-ranging consequences of the War on Drugs to the American Criminal Justice System." [more inside]
posted by nTeleKy on May 13, 2011 - 11 comments

Loaded

Law enforcement authorities are in awe of the new wave of narco "supersubs" that are being found in the jungles of Colombia. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Apr 13, 2011 - 60 comments

The New Jim Crow

“More African American men are in prison or jail, on probation or parole than were enslaved in 1850, before the Civil War began.” [more inside]
posted by TheGoodBlood on Mar 28, 2011 - 143 comments

The Great American Counterterrorism Memo

Employed as a Counterterrorism Analyst, But Think Your Bosses Are Misunderstanding the Problem? Quit your DoD post and write a book! Offer it for free, on the Web. Oh, and do it anonymously. Reddit AMA here.
posted by darth_tedious on Mar 22, 2011 - 29 comments

A Model for the Rest of Us

The AP reports that the drug policy in Portugal is paying off.
posted by gman on Dec 27, 2010 - 39 comments

White Lines

Cocaine - how it's made, how it moves, and who might be cutting it with a deadly cattle-deworming drug, a follow up to the mystery of the tainted cocaine.
posted by Artw on Nov 6, 2010 - 41 comments

The War In Mexico

No one asks or answers this question: How does such an escalation benefit the drug smuggling business which has not been diminished at all during the past three years of hyper-violence in Mexico? Each year, the death toll rises, each year there is no evidence of any disruption in the delivery of drugs to American consumers, each year the United States asserts its renewed support for this war. And each year, the basic claims about the war go unquestioned. Who Is Behind the 25,000 Deaths In Mexico?
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 on Jul 27, 2010 - 60 comments

Makes Disturbances Melt Away?

In a pilot Phase II study of PTSD sufferers with a median of 19 years since diagnosis, MDMA-assisted therapy resulted in 10 out of 12 patients no longer meeting the diagnostic criteria. [more inside]
posted by daksya on Jul 24, 2010 - 88 comments

Murders in Mexico

Statistical Analysis and Visualization of the Drug War in Mexico
posted by daksya on Jul 7, 2010 - 22 comments

Mexico votes to decriminalize drugs.

The Mexican legislature has voted quietly to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and other drugs.
posted by flyinghamster on Jun 22, 2009 - 162 comments

United States surrenders, terror, drugs win.

Without much fanfare, the Global War on Terror has ended. The new name for these military interventions is the Overseas Contingency Operation. Press Q&A. Some Republican representatives discuss. (SPOILER: They are not pleased.) Military blogs discuss. Similarly, the War on Drugs also looks to be on the way out, though no new name for the project has been announced at this time.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim on May 14, 2009 - 53 comments

The Changing Racial Dynamics of the War on Drugs

The Changing Racial Dynamics of the War on Drugs. The Sentencing Project has just released a report (pdf) finding that, for the first time in 20 years, the number of Black Americans in state prison for drug offenses has fallen. Between 1999 and 2005, the number of White drug offenders in state prisons rose about 43 percent, while the number of Black offenders declined by 22 percent. One cause may be a rise in the use of drug courts, which are locally administered programs that divert offenders into treatment rather than incarceration. The Sentencing Project has a recent report (pdf) on this issue as well.
posted by lunit on Apr 16, 2009 - 32 comments

DEA's Greatest Success?

In May 1995, the American government's Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) made an attempt to disrupt the supply chain of methamphetamine precursors, such as pseudoephedrine, by shutting down two major suppliers of the precursors under authority granted by the Domestic Chemical Diversion Control Act. Was it successful? Only temporarily, according to new research by Carlos Dobkin and Nancy Nicosia. (via)
posted by Pants! on Apr 8, 2009 - 47 comments

Green Grow the Rushes Go

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is signalling that marijuana policy will now be considered a matter of state jurisdiction. For obvious reasons, medical marijuana champions are celebrating the administration's committment to depart from the Bush and Clinton eras' previous policies of conducting frequent DEA Raids on medical marijuana dispensaries in California. But with recent signs of a U.S. economy in even more rapid decline than anyone anticipated, and with California being particularly hard hit, some California politicians are suggesting the time has finally arrived to end the prohibition and put full legalization of marijuana on the table, pointing to potential windfalls in the range of a billion dollars in new tax revenue annually. [more inside]
posted by saulgoodman on Feb 27, 2009 - 124 comments

The Spice Must Flow

(Some links NSFW) Any down on their luck stoner is familiar with so called, "legal bud" Herbs of all kinds have been marketed online to the connectionless or legally restricted that offered a marijuana like high without the legal consequences. Everyone knows they are all scams. It might surprise you, that some were not. Commonly sold under the names Spice or Zohai, mixtures of herbs sprayed with synthetic cannabinoid substances such as HU-210 or JWH-018 have been available online for at least the past four years. [more inside]
posted by furiousxgeorge on Jan 25, 2009 - 53 comments

Ibuprofen: serious business

In 2003 a school official ordered that a student be searched for the substance known as 2-[4-(2-methylpropyl)phenyl]propanoic acid. The case has now made its way to the United States Supreme Court. [more inside]
posted by mullingitover on Jan 16, 2009 - 99 comments

Practising drugs safely?

Towards a culture of responsible drug use - an essay by the creators of Erowid [via]
posted by daksya on Sep 8, 2008 - 53 comments

Another week, another benefit

We all know that marijuana has some medical uses. It has been discussed on Mefi many times before. Earlier this month a group of pharmacists and chemists published a study in which they found that cannabis is a source of antibacterial chemicals for multidrug resistant bacteria. If you are a pharmacists or chemist here is the actual study. A synopsis of the study for everyone else.
posted by Mr_Zero on Aug 27, 2008 - 48 comments

Police raid mayor's house, shoot dogs, recommend land war in Asia.

A SWAT team in Maryland raids a city's mayor's house and kills his dogs. Oh, and the warrant was wrong.
posted by Optimus Chyme on Aug 7, 2008 - 117 comments

Well whaddaya know? Strip searching a 13 year old on a hunch IS unconstitutional!

Strip searching 13 year old girls is bad mmmkay. Today the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled in a 6-5 decision that students cannot be strip-searched based on the uncorroborated word of another student who is facing disciplinary punishment. In an even bigger twist, the court has found that the school official who ordered the strip search, Vice Principal Kerry Wilson, is financially liable in the case and cannot claim qualified immunity.
posted by Talez on Jul 13, 2008 - 98 comments

BREAKING NEWS: Americans Love War, Drugs, see War on Drugs as No-Brainer

A new WHO study finds that Americans by far lead the world in rates of illegal drug use, despite America's crusading role in prosecuting the Global War on Drugs. [more inside]
posted by saulgoodman on Jul 1, 2008 - 33 comments

Ten Years in Jail for Selling Lightbulbs

Ten Years in Jail for Selling Lightbulbs
posted by lalochezia on Mar 6, 2008 - 91 comments

Take a drag of pot, kid. You ain't chicken are you?

Hooked! Trapped! Teenage Booby Trap! Users Are Losers! Vintage anti-drug comics scanned and posted by Ethan Persoff. Plus dozens of other "Comics with Problems"-- like "Rex Morgan, MD Talks About Your Unborn Child" and "Capt Veedee-O and Ms. Wanda Lust in VD Claptrap."
posted by dersins on Dec 6, 2007 - 15 comments

"we upheld against proportionality attack a sentence of 40 years' imprisonment for possession with intent to distribute nine ounces of marijuana" - Justice Kennedy

DrugPolicyCases.com - Yakov Spektor, a New York-based attorney, combed through two decades of US Supreme Court opinions "to discern certain trends in the Court's treatment of various issues" related to the War on Drugs. The collection of opinions are organized by case, author and topic.
posted by daksya on Nov 26, 2007 - 8 comments

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