"From 2008 to 2012, the city of 1.3 million people was widely deemed the most dangerous place on Earth." And now Juárez is a thriving city with parks where children can play. (SL National Geographic, some graphic imagery)
The Hunting of Billie Holiday. "How Lady Day found herself in the middle of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics’ early fight for survival." [more inside]
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]
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]
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]
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.
The Mexican legislature has voted quietly to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and other drugs.
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)
Stories from Inside: Prisoner Rape and the War on Drugs (PDF). A new report by the human rights group Stop Prisoner Rape. [Via Drug WarRant.]
The Drug War Goes to the Dogs. SWAT teams (usually the young ones) seem to commit a lot of puppycide. (Via The Agitator, who is also a MeFite.)
High school kids. Doing drugs! A 23-year-old female undercover agent posed as a student at Milford High School. The investigation culminated Friday with the arrest of 16 students on drug-trafficking charges. Twelve are juveniles. Public opinion is running 20 - 1 in favor of the sting. Sandy Howdyshell, a 34-year-old Milford graduate who has an elementary school student in the district, said she was undecided on the school district's $108.6 million bond issue that will appear on ballots May 3 - until she heard about the undercover investigation... "I think it was a brilliant idea to put an undercover cop in the high school," Howdyshell said. "This event certainly has made an impact in my eyes. Now I know I'll be voting to support Milford schools."
NORML Releases "Most Comprehensive Analysis Of US Marijuana Arrest Data To Date" Among the reports' findings: * The enforcement of state and local marijuana laws annually costs US taxpayers an estimated $7.6 billion, approximately $10,400 per arrest. * While adult African Americans account for only 8.8% of the US population and 11.9% of annual marijuana users, they comprise 23% of all marijuana possession arrests in the United States.
A slim majority of sampled economists favor drug decriminalization, according to this .pdf article in the newly-launched Econ Journal Watch.
Via Marginal Revolution.
Via Marginal Revolution.
Tommy Chong in prison. 3 months into his 9 month prison sentence for selling bongs, the LA City Beat talks to Tommy Chong and the LA Weekly talks with his family about the details of his case. [Via Drug WarRant.]
Drug War Roundup V. "It's the most horrible mistake I've ever made," says a juror who helped convict Ed "Guru of Ganja" Rosenthal of marijuana production. The judge in Ed's case didn't consider him a flight risk, but may have after reading "The Drug War Refugees" (reg. req.), about Americans fleeing to Canada. The entire drug trade is approximately "the size of the Spanish economy and about 8 percent of world trade." And, of course, is responsible for hippo migration to Columbia.
USA May Expand Columbian War I know, let's drag the rest of Latin America into this stupid war! Sure sounds good to me. . .
Jesse Jackson Slams US Drug War Man, if Al would have picked Jesse for veep, I might not be voting for Nader after all.