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News On California's Proposition 36
A News Analysis By Steve Grinstead

California continues to move ahead in the implementation of Proposition 36 which calls for treatment instead of incarceration for non-violent drug offenders.  Progress is being made but many challenges need to be faced, not the least of which if finding adequate funding for the the needed expansion in treatment slots.

CATO Institute Policy 
Briefing On The War On Drugs (04-16-01)

Although the Clinton administration shows signs of  abandoning the most oppressive tactics in Washington's war on drugs, more radical policy changes are needed. The administration should immediately declare an armistice in the international phase of the drug war. The "supply-side" campaign waged by the Reagan and Bush administrations throughout Latin America was an exercise in destructive futility. Washington's "Ugly American" tactics caused horrendous social and economic problems in the drug-source countries, undermined their fragile democratic systems, and poisoned U.S. relations with those societies.   The Clinton administration should avoid the temptation to continue the hemispheric drug war in a more "humane" fashion by emphasizing crop-substitution programs instead of eradication and interdiction. Crop substitution has already been tried and has failed.  Administration officials must also realize that Washington's domestic prohibitionist strategy creates the black-market premium and other perverse incentives that have enabled the illegal drug trade to become a powerful political and economic force in Latin American countries.

Prescription Drug Abuse (04-12-01)
A News Analysis By Terence T. Gorski

Here's the details on the new federal initiative to curb prescription drug abuse.  This initiative could cause a collision between a public health addiction policy and the war on drugs policy.  Public Health Addiction Policy seeks to help addicted people with early intervention and treatment.  War On Drugs Policy is intent upon viewing prescription drug abusers as criminals and the pharmacists and doctors who make the drugs available as drug dealers.  Unless this initiative is clearly governed by a Public Health Addiction Policy, this initiative could turn into another federal drug offensive that back fires because of the law of unintended consequences.  The nation could easily end up incarcerating more sick people who need treatment and driving people who  legitimately need medication into the illicit drug market.  

Controlled Substances Act Of 1970

The Controlled Substances Act (CSA), Title II of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970, is the legal foundation of the government's fight against the abuse of drugs and other substances. This law is a consolidation of numerous laws regulating the manufacture and distribution of narcotics, stimulants, depressants, hallucinogens, anabolic steroids, and chemicals used in the illicit production of controlled substances.

DEA Congressional Testimony On Marijuana (03-27-01)

Here is the official testimony of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) regarding the decision to continue marijuana as a Schedule I Controlled Substance.  There is an excellent description of the drug scheduling system, it's legal basis in legislation, and the procedures for scheduling and changing the scheduling of control substances.  <Go To DEA Internet File>

Medical Use of Marijuana
Public Health vs. Criminal Justice Approach (03-29-01)
A News Analysis By Terence T. Gorski

Determining if marijuana can be an effective medication is a public health issue, not a criminal justice problem.  Patients with severe symptoms need options that work, not restrictions that can turn them into criminals and put them in prison. They need help from medical and behavioral health professionals, not threats from criminal justice professionals.  It would be tragic if we began arresting and prosecuting terminally ill patients undergoing chemotherapy for using marijuana to seek symptom relief. This news analysis explains why addiction and mental health professionals should be heavily involved in the issue of the medical use of marijuana.

California's Proposition 36

Gorski's Position 
On Implementing California's Proposition 36 (2-11-01)

Public pressure is building to change how nonviolent drug offenders are treated within the criminal justice system.  California's Proposition 36 has mandated that nonviolent drug offenders be assigned to community-based treatment instead of prison.  Here's how and why addiction professionals should get involved.

Implementing Prop 36
A Message From Judge Steven V. Manly (03-13-01)

See what Judge Steven V. Manly, President of the California Association of Drug Court Professionals (CADCP) and a nationally recognized leader in the judicial management of nonviolent drug offenders has to say about the implementation of California's proposition 36.  

CA Prop 36 - Recommendation of the Administrative Office of the Courts (03-09-01)

Here are the new recommendations for the judicial implementation of California's Proposition 36 developed by Proposition 36 Implementation Workgroup Administrative Office of the Courts.   Trial Courts Program Division on February 28, 2001. A thank you goes to Judge Manley of the California Drug Court Association for providing this information.

CA Prop 36 Program Certification Standards (03-06-01)

Here's a link to the program certification standards that are required of drug treatment programs applying for funding under California's Proposition 36.

N.Y. Reconsiders Tough Drug Laws (02-22-01): 
A News Summary By Terence T. Gorski

The future of New York State Governor Pataki's efforts to soften the New York State Drug Laws is uncertain because law-and-order legislators won't soften the punishment for drug offenses and some liberal lawmakers want the reforms to go further and won't compromise.  This is bad news for the  21,000 imprisoned non-violent drug offenders and their families.  So far the Professional Addiction Organizations in New York State have not published their position.

Washington State Drug Law Reform (02-15-01)

Washington State is considering changes in its drug laws that will reduce the penalties for drug crimes and place more emphasis on treatment and prevention programs.  These changes are based upon the observation that past drug laws have placed too much emphasis on enforcement and not enough emphasis on prevention and treatment.  The result has been that drugs are more available, more potent and less expensive than they've ever been before.  This proposed legislation is based upon the belief that a more balanced approach will be more effective.

Future Of Drug Reform Under Bush (02-07-01)

President George W. Bush has made no official statement about his policy on drug control.  Under his leadership as Governor, Texas shifted from a heavy focus on treatment to a strong focus on enforcement.  John Ashcroft, Bush's new attorney general who will shape national drug law enforcement, is a strong believer in enforcement over treatment.  In the area of drug policy. The American people seem to disagree with it's leaders.  According to a 1998 Harvard School of Public Health report, 78 percent of Americans believe anti-drug efforts have failed, with 58 percent stating that after five years of increased anti-drug spending, the nation's drug problems have not improved. 


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