• Drug War Chronicle, Issue #903 -- 9/24/15 - Table of Contents with live

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    Drug War Chronicle, Issue #903 -- 9/24/15
    Phillip S. Smith, Editor, psmith@drcnet.org <http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/903>

    A Publication of StoptheDrugWar.org
    David Borden, Executive Director, borden@drcnet.org
    "Raising Awareness of the Consequences of Drug Prohibition"

    Table of Contents:

    1. COLOMBIA REVAMPS DRUG POLICY, AS PEACE NEGOTIATIONS ADVANCE [FEATURE] Colombian President Santos is opening a new chapter in that country's
    struggle to come to grips with coca and cocaine production. It is
    happening at the same time that peace negotiations with the long-running
    FARC insurgency have reached a breakthrough too. <http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/2015/sep/23/colombia_revamps_drug_policy_pea>

    A sitting US senator addresses the marijuana industry, California cops
    raid an Indian reservation grow op, Florida signature-gathering for
    another initiative is well underway, and more. <http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/2015/sep/23/medical_marijuana_update>

    A strange tale out of Kentucky, and two New York cops get slapped on the
    wrist for their misdeeds. <http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/2015/sep/23/weeks_corrupt_cops_stories>

    It's looking like Arizona will vote on marijuana legalization next year,
    the Obama administration eases restrictions on the opiate maintenance
    drug buprenorphine, needle exchanges expand in West Virginia, and more. <http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/2015/sep/18/chronicle_am_needle_exchanges_sp>

    Michigan has two legalization initiative campaigns and now it has a legalization bill, Ohio's legalization initiative ballot language is
    set, a key UFCW organizer gets indicted, Chuck Schumer calls on the DEA
    to do something about Chinese drug sales web sites, and more. <http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/2015/sep/21/chronicle_am_midwest_marijuana_c>

    DRUGS" BILL FILED, MORE (9/22/15)
    Signature gathering is getting underway in Massachusetts; the
    Albuquerque city council votes narrowly for decriminalization, but faces
    a possible veto; New York's junior senator addressed the National
    Cannabis Industry Association, and more. <http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/2015/sep/22/chronicle_am_ma_legalization_cam>

    The era of aerial herbicide spraying of Colombia's coca crops is at an
    end, California cops raid an Indian reservation marijuana operation,
    medical marijuana bills are moving in Michigan, and more. <http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/2015/sep/23/chronicle_am_ca_cops_raid_indian.

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    1. COLOMBIA REVAMPS DRUG POLICY, AS PEACE NEGOTIATIONS ADVANCE [FEATURE] <http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/2015/sep/23/colombia_revamps_drug_policy_pea>

    Marking the end of an era, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos
    Tuesday unveiled a new policy for dealing with coca cultivation and
    cocaine production, one that will rely on crop substitution and
    alternative development, with manual crop eradication only to be used as
    a last resort.

    Santos then flew to Havana, where he met with leaders of the leftist
    FARC guerrillas and Wednesday announced an agreement (<http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-34338208>) on a
    transitional justice deal that should lead to the end of the world's longest-running insurgency by March 2016. The agreement on how to deal
    with combatants in the nearly half-century long civil war is the latest
    in peace talks that have been going on in Havana since November 2012. Negotiators had already forged agreements on the thorny issues of land
    reform, the FARC's political participation after peace is achieved, and
    how to deal with illicit drug production.

    Colombia's years-long policy of attempting to eradicate coca crops by
    spraying fields with herbicides will be history at the end of this
    month. That policy was backed and financed by the United States as part
    of its multi-billion dollar effort to defeat drug trafficking and,
    later, to defeat the FARC.

    Despite the billions spent, Colombia remains the world's largest coca
    and cocaine producer, according to the US government. While production
    is down from record levels early this century, it rose 39% last year to
    about 276,000 acres. Figures from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime show
    a lower extent of cultivation (170,000 acres), but echo that it is on
    the increase. According to UNODC, the increase was 44% last year.

    The plan announced Tuesday, the Integrated Plan for Crop Substitution <http://wp.presidencia.gov.co/SitePages/DocumentsPDF/6FrentesPlanIntegralSustitucionCultivos_20150922.pdf>,
    has as its goals reducing the crime associated with the drug trade by reorienting policing efforts toward processing, trafficking, and money laundering -- not harassing peasants -- improving state capacity through
    the improvement of social, economic, and political conditions in the countryside, and dealing with drug consumption with a focus on human
    rights, public health, and human development.

    It sets out six foci:

    * Social Investment. That will include state and private spending on
    roads, energy supply, water supply, and investment in public health and education.
    * Crop Substitution. A phased-in plan with community involvement that
    will create socio-economic stabilization and create new income
    opportunities. Agreements will be made with whole communities, not
    individual growers. Once a community has agreed to crop substitution,
    voluntary coca eradication will begin. If there is no agreement to
    eradicate, the government will do it manually, by force.
    * Interdiction. Interdiction will continue, but in concert with the priorities of local communities and farmers. The plan also envisions "strengthening the legal tools available to fight the illegal drug
    * Investigations and Prosecutions. The government will give top
    priority to going after "intermediate and top links of the drug
    trafficking chain," not peasant farmers.
    * Prevention and Treatment. The new plan will emphasize youth
    prevention, as well as drug treatment using "programs founded on
    evidence." The plan calls for an increase in the quantity and quality of
    drug treatment offered.
    * Institutional Reforms. The plan will create a new agency for
    alternative development in illicit cultivation zones. The agency will
    establish metrics for success, which will be made public on a regular basis.

    The government's plan is in line with the recommendations of its
    Advisory Commission on Drug Policy in Colombia, which in a May report <http://www.odc.gov.co/Portals/1/comision_asesora/docs/informe_final_comision_asesora_politica_drogas_colombia.pdf>,
    called for drug policy to be based on evidence and the principles of
    public health, harm reduction and human rights, with effective state institutions to coordinate policy implementation. Combating the drug
    trade should focus on trafficking organizations and money laundering,
    and peasant coca growers should be offered alternative development, not criminal prosecution, the report also recommended. (The report and the
    issues it addressed were recently discussed at this <http://www.brookings.edu/events/2015/09/21-colombian-antidrug-policies-a....
    " target="_blank">Brookings Institution event.)

    "With this program we hope to have a twofold result: reducing the
    illicit cultivation and improving the living conditions of hundreds of thousands of peasants," Santos said in a speech <http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2015/09/22/colombia-santos-announces-new-anti-drug-plan/>
    from the presidential palace.

    The plan will focus on the southern provinces of Narino and Putumayo,
    "where there are some 26,000 families that produce coca," Santos said.
    "Work will be done to construct roads, schools, health clinics,
    aqueducts and service networks," he added, noting that coca cultivation
    is most extensive in areas where the state is weakest.

    While the government will seek agreements with communities to
    voluntarily eradicate their coca crops, "if an agreement is not reached,
    forced eradication will be resorted to," Santos warned. Forced
    eradication has led to conflict between farmers and eradicators in the
    past, with nearly 200 eradicators killed <http://www.wsj.com/articles/colombia-takes-u-turn-on-drug-policy-1431650471> in attacks from unhappy peasants or guerrillas of the FARC, which has
    taxed and protected coca cultivation in areas under its control.

    When Santos arrived in Havana Wednesday he was sounding optimistic, both
    about the new approach to coca cultivation and about the prospects for

    "We've already started. And if we can move forward now, imagine how much
    we could move forward if we do away with the conflict," said Santos.
    "We've already talked with the FARC about joint plans for the
    substitution of crops. Imagine what this means. That the FARC, instead
    of defending illicit crops and the entire drug trafficking chain, will
    help the state in their eradication. As the slogan says, with peace we
    will do more," Santos said.

    ================ ...


    It's time to correct the mistake:
    Truth:the Anti-drugwar <http://www.briancbennett.com>

    Cops say legalize drugs--find out

    Stoners are people too: <http://www.cannabisconsumers.org>

    bliss -- Cacao Powered... (-SF4ever at DSLExtreme dot com)

    bobbie sellers - a retired nurse in San Francisco

    "It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
    It is by the beans of cacao that the thoughts acquire speed,
    the thighs acquire girth, the girth become a warning.
    It is by theobromine alone I set my mind in motion."
    --from Someone else's Dune spoof ripped to my taste.

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