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.
Richard Paey Speaks - An interview with the paraplegic man sentenced to 25 years in prison for treating his own pain, but now out after a full pardon by the Florida Governor. [more inside]
"An open society must be prepared to listen to those who offer a critique of its conventional wisdom—and our conventional wisdom about drugs and addiction should be no exception."
Spiritual Highs and Legal Blows - the power and peril of religious exemptions from drug prohibition
"The system for classifying illegal drugs in Britain, which determines how users are punished, is unscientific and illogical and should be completely overhauled", according to a new report. See updated chart on the harm potential of various drugs.
So how's the War on Drugs proceeding in Afghanistan? Barry McCaffrey, former drug czar, trumpets, "Opium production has been dramatically slashed by 48% just in the past year.". Oops, actually that's the acreage of opium cultivation; production went down by only 10%, due to increased yields. In any case, that's so last year. Instead of the socially detrimental policy of poppy eradication, wouldn't it be preferable to allow licensing of poppies for legitimate medical needs? The Afghan farmers agree, but some think the idea is flawed.
Can the current prohibition really be blamed on one guy? First he tells Congress that "marijuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind" and then World War 2 comes and farmers are encouraged to grow it. After the War, he turns around and tells Congress that it could be used by the Russians to make our men lazy and pacifistic. If he had kept his original argument, our men would be insane killers against the Russian army. What would the country be like if there never was a HARRY J. ANSLINGER ?
Drug War Roundup IV. An athlete who refused a drug test was stripped of her awards. She plays bridge. American Indians who honed their skills tracking drug smugglers recently trained Baltic border guards in the hopes of preventing nuclear weapon proliferation. Another chapter was written in the ongoing "is ecstasy all that dangerous?" debate. Salvatore Gravano is on his way back to prison for running an ecstasy ring. Nevada is edging closer to legalizing up to three ounces of marijuana, to the disdain of Bush's Drug Policy director and Nevada's biggest police group. A Canadian right wing party and cops came out against their government's recent pro-legalization report. I see a pattern, but maybe it's just the pudding.
The War on Drug Wars. "Ashkan Sahihi is a photographer who is infuriated by the hypocrisy of the war on drugs. It is this hypocrisy that inspired Sahihi to take eleven people out of their daily environments, get them high, and photograph them." Does this project warrant attention as a political statement, as an art project, as all of the above, or as none of the above? Please explain your answer. Partial credit will be given.