The parliamentary committee that was given the job of reviewing the report of the National Commission on Ganja has recommended the acceptance of its proposal that the personal use of small amounts of marijuana be decriminalised...
We... sense that the mood in Jamaica is tolerant towards the proposed change... In this regard we expect that amendments to reflect the changes in the law will come to the House early in the new session, which starts in April...
The fact... is that to maintain the laws on ganja use as they currently are, would be to keep legislation out of step with popular sentiment and the society's instinct for justice and fair play.
The point is that Jamaicans, of all social classes, hardly view marijuana as a "drug" in the way they perceive cocaine or some other narcotic. Small amounts of ganja are culturally acceptable...
And that's the official editorial position of the newspaper.
We're at a very unique and special time in the history of our planet: Voices of marginalized peoples are now on the same level of those called on by the establishment media, thanks to the Internet.
With that in mind, I hope you will carefully consider a donation to the Fund for Authentic Journalism...
According to a report last night on the national Channel 11 News, Batíz lectured a city judge about overcrowding in the city's jails and prisons:
"There are places that are overpopulated by 100, 200 or 300 percent, where you put three or four times as many people as there should be per meter, and this harms security," Batíz warned Judge Luis Rodríguez Manzanera...
He also insisted that drug consumption should be legalized: "That can be a path to end the mafias. It is the path, also, to succeed in the rehabilitation or cure of those who are addicts, it would make that possible," he said.
Months ago, when Batíz, of the Center-Left Democratic Revolution Party, called for decriminalization, some beautiful losers claimed he wasn't serious (and they confused him with national prosecutors of a competing political party). But Batíz keeps up the fight!
Customs was seeking to have the agents case dismissed upfront -- on summary judgment -- before legal discovery and a trial. The judge's ruling stopped that effort in its tracks.
The class-action lawsuit, which was filed in May 2002 on behalf of some 400 active and former Hispanic special agents, alleges that Customs has engaged in a pattern of discrimination. That discrimination, the lawsuit claims, dates back to the 1970s.
In addition to back-pay and compensatory damages, the Hispanic agents are asking the court to order Customs to cease its illegal and discriminatory conduct," the lawsuit states.
In its pleadings for summary judgment, Customs claims that the Hispanic agents failed to exhaust the administrative remedies available to them outside of federal court. Customs also argues that the agents failed to meet the legal threshold for demonstrating discrimination.
I've translated some excerpts for your reading pleasure
The Narco News School of Authentic Journalism has offered one scholarship slot to The Fund for Authentic Journalism as a special incentive to help us to recruit good writers in our fundraising campaign on behalf of Narco News. This scholarship provides the ability for somebody to attend the ten-day session, tuition free, with room and board included. Narco News already has a rigorous application process for finding the most promising scholarship applicants. Duplicating it didn't seem to make sense. Since the art of good writing and the art of successful fundraising are so entwined, here is what we're going to do:
Announcing: The Authentic Letter Scholarship Contest
Now CIA Director George Tenet and Defense Intelligence Agency top gun Lowell Jacoby are all over the news telling us that, beyond Al Qaeda, we face an even greater threat from as-yet-unknown terrorists groups who are being spurred on in the wake of rising anti-Americanism.
Gee, I wonder why we're ticking so many people off? In any event, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to connect the dots and predict that because there's a rising tide of rage against the United States, there is likely more fuel being thrown on the fire of terrorism.
But what isn't being asked often enough in the media is what the current administration was focusing on prior to 9/11 in terms of perceived terrorist threats. A little-notice report prepared for the Department of Energy (DOE) some five months prior to 9/11 offers some clues.
It seems, according to that report, that some elements of the Bush administration were concerned about a potential rise in "left wing" terrorism. The title of the report says it all: Left-Wing Extremism: The Current Threat.
Why do we have warlords or whistleblowers, and fewer civil servants in between the extremes? The topic begs for discussion, and I have some personal thoughts of my own to share.
My father was a combat veteran of World War II, my mother a suburban pioneer with a lifetime of hurt behind her -- or thinking so when I came along in 1953. Growing up on white bread and thousands of bloody war stories, my oral history was punctuated by fantastic tales of survival in the 'hardest times there were.' The Great Depression and World War II were as steady a stream in our home as tea, coffee and old friends. I was raised under the shadow of remarkable events.
I was never sure if I was supposed to be grateful for growing up in cold war peace, and shopping ample aisles of grocery stores, or to feel guilty that I was. So I did both.
My public education included 'duck and cover' exercises in school. People who love peace, having lots of enemies -- a tired line, revived today -- was literally drilled into me as a child.
"How is that supposed to keep us alive if the A-bomb hits?" I would ask my teacher, after we pulled our terrified bodies from under our desks. Furthermore, how do you study after a near death experience?
Now that 80 of our 118 original copublishers are in the door, a critical mass has begun commenting, and there are starting to be more comments, we've turned on the "comments rating system" which allows you, the copublishers, to "vote" on which comments get linked on both page one of Narco News, and the front page of this Narcosphere.
That means that YOU, the copublishers, collectively decide which comments get page one placement. This is the main way that we assure that comments, corrections, enhancements, and additional information - especially regarding those news stories reported on Narco News - that the copublishers feel are important get prominent billing for the wider and massive universe of readers. In this, as publisher, I'm surrendering a significant amount of control to you.
Here, below, is how the ratings system works...
$7,023. That's the grand total raised for Narco News through The Fund for Authentic Journalism since we started over New Year's. Much of that money, along with funds raised for Narco News last year via the (now defunct) LiveArt1st, allowed us to qualify for that first $10,000 installment of our matching grant from Tides.
$3,443. That's the total raised since February 5th. That's everything we can be certain counts toward the next $10,000 batch of matching funds. That's just over one third of the way there.
$129.69 That's the average per day of what we've raised this year. That's a handful of people. Sometimes even one person. But always someone. One person at a time, putting their money where their beliefs are, who wont let mass media distortions go by unchallenged.
1 Minute. That's all it takes to contribute, right now. Please, go to http://www.authenticjournalism.org and use the PayPal buttons to make a contribution today. Thank you.
Narco News has obtained the texts of four "private" emails that are now published here, below. They demonstrate grossly unethical journalism on the part of Smith. We didn't hack anybody's email account: Smith sent them, by accident, last week to a public mailing list. He later posted a message to that list confessing: "This was supposed to be a private message."
The emails reveal:
Present your brilliant copublishing selves!
Al Giordano, ¡Presente!. I live somewhere in a country called América (too often in various somewheres all at once). I'm a journalist who reports on the drug war and democracy from Latin America, and I'm publisher of Narco News. I offer my partisan political opinions over at my weblog, BigLeftOutside.com, so if anyone wants to play at elections and that kind of thing, you're invited over there, too.
I sometimes subsidize this intercontinental ballistic trilingual online newspaper by strumming my Dobro in clubs. Over the next year, thanks to a recent stroke of good luck in the legal system, I (who have never owned a house before) plan on constructing a permanent oceanside campus-newsroom for the School of Authentic Journalism. In future years, we'll see some of you there, no doubt.
In the meantime, we're hard at work in the Narco Newsroom, and I'm very excited that so many of you are already here, inside the Narcosphere. Ahead of us on the highway is immediate history, and we're gaining on it!
Days after Brazil's Congress approved a bill to decriminalize drug users, a heavy hitter from Foggy Bottom was dispatched to Brazil to discuss, among other matters, "security concerns including terrorism and narcotrafficking," according to this press release from the U.S. General Consulate in São Paulo:
Brasília, February 19, 2004 Under Secretary of State Marc Grossman, the State Departments top political affairs official, is visiting Brazil February 18-19. After touring the new facilities of the U.S. Consulate General in São Paulo on February 18, Grossman will hold talks today with high-level Brazilian government officials in Brasília. These annual discussions are part of an on-going bilateral dialogue between the United States and Brazil.
Under Secretary Grossman will review a wide range of bilateral and multilateral issues in his meetings with senior Brazilian officials. Among the topics to be discussed are the state of bilateral relations, U.S. and Brazilian views on matters of regional and global importance, the United Nations, and security concerns including terrorism and narcotrafficking.
Let's take this opportunity to look at the U.S. Embassy and Consulate's team on the field in Brasilia and São Paulo, and their past histories that just happen to coincide with US Embassy dirty tricks and other atrocities in those regions, for some perspective on the underhanded smear campaign that has begun against leading drug policy reform advocates in Brazil at the very moment that the movement is on the verge of victory...
I informed y'all this would happen eight days ago.
More details, plus news from Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, and...
Miami Oligarchs on Parade Tomorrow!
Details follow below...