Reporting from Int’l Conference on Drug Policy Reform

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

(Not quite live from the Albuquerque Convention Center, I’ll be updating through the weekend.)

Opening plenary

El Paso City Councilman Beno O’Rourke:

With a District bordering Ciudad Juarez which had been rocked with 1600 “cartel” murders in the previous year,  the City Council took up a resolution deploring the deaths.

He moved an amendment, calling for the US and Mexican governments to begin an open and honest debate on ending Prohibition to stop the violence. To his surprise, the amendment carried unanimously.

Congressman Reyes, who represents the El Paso, then  called all the City Council members, threatening to cut off funding to the City. In a subsequent vote, the Council retreated.


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  1. our national drug policy is a farce, is there any hope for improvement in the near future?

    • dkmich on November 13, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    When it comes to useless expenditures, wars (drug) and military equipment we don’t use, jobs are important.  When it comes to trade, offshoring, inshoring, and states buying corporations, jobs are unimportant and American workers make too much.   Just ask them.

    It isn’t that we can’t hope, it’s just that Obama and the Democrats have turned that word into something of a joke.

    • banger on November 13, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    is very lucrative and that means that legalization is impossible unless all the parties involved (including police and intel organizations) are paid off. Since it is also impossible to speak the truth about anything substantial in this country that’s unlikely.

    Americans think there are “good guys” fighting “bad guys” and that’s the extent of what our school systems have been able to teach our population. It’s ludicrous and, frankly, I have to laugh.

    • Ben Masel on November 13, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    Institute for Policy Studies Fellow  Sanho Tree notes  Kerlikowski’s commitment to shift from supply side to demand side, within existing budgets


    William McColl AIDS Action: Drugs won’t be a signature issue. Syringe Exchange: Left federal ban on use of AIDS funding for syringe exchange in Labor, Health  Budget. Admin won’t drive change, but won’t resist change bubbling up via Congress.

    He credits Rep. Jose Serrano Community AIDS and Hepatitis Prevention Act as re-opening the debate on syringe exchange.

    Ban was removed in House Appropriations Subcommittee, but a Republican  Amendment in the full Committee banned exchange within 1000 feet of school, parks, video arcades.  On the floor, the removal of the ban on funding, but carrying the 1,000  foot restriction, was approved 218-211

    Next, Conference Committee, Senate version keeps overall ban on funding.


    Floor question from Wash Office on Lat Amer. Despite Kerli’s “end” of War rhetoric, Spraying  to go on, 10 more US mil bases in Colombia.

    • Ben Masel on November 13, 2009 at 7:34 pm

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