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- DISCONTINUED IN APRIL 1996
- 28 March 1996 -- The U.S. and Mexico agreed on a common strategy
to combat drug trafficking, at a high-level meeting of U.S. and
- 25 March 1996 -- U.S. President Clinton met with state attorneys
general to endorse lawsuits brought by states against tobacco
- 21 March 1996 -- Sixty more drug convictions were overturned in
Philadelphia, bringing the total to 116, in a police corruption
scandal in which six former officers have confessed to planting drugs
on suspects, stealing their money and falsifying police reports.
Hundreds more cases are being re-investigated.
- 19 March 1996 -- Testimony released by the U.S. Food & Drug
Administration includes William A. Farone, director of applied
research at Philip Morris from 1976 to 1984, saying that "It is well
recognized within the cigarette industry that there is one principal
reason why people smoke -- to experience the effects of nicotine."
- 16 March 1996 -- The New York Times on new U.S. Drug Czar
Barry McCaffrey's rejection of "war" as a metaphor for the anti-drug
effort: "The analogy of cancer is far more adaptive and useful as a
model to a way of thinking and talking about the problem," the general
said. War, he said, was focused violence directed toward an achievable
end, with a unity of command an element of surprise. "None of those
associated military concepts are useful to us talking and thinking
about this problem."
- 15 March 1996 -- The Ligget Group, the fifth-largest cigarette
manufacturer in the U.S.A., settled lawsuits brought against it by
five states who were suing to recover millions of dollars paid out
through medicade to people with smoking-related illnesses. Not all
states with lawsuits pending settled, and other cigarette manufacturers
are also targeted by similar suits. The U.S. government estimates
that 400,000 citizens die from smoking-related illnesses each
- 8 March 1996 -- Two years after California's "Three Strikes
You're Out" sentencing law went into effect, twice as many defendants
have been imprisoned under the law for marijuana possession as for
murder, rape and kidnapping combined, according to a report issued
today by the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice in San
- 8 March 1996 -- President Clinton on drugs: "They are illegal
and therefore wrong, but they are also dangerous."
- 7 March 1996 -- U.S. President Clinton, Vice President Gore,
and Drug Czar McCaffrey were among the speakers at The White House
Conference on Youth Drug Use and Violence, designed to emphasize
the Clinton administration's commitment to the drug war in the face
of evidence showing that children of the DARE generation are using
drugs in large numbers.
- 6 March 1996 -- Canada's "Bill C-7" was revived as "Bill C-8."
- 6 March 1996 -- Retired General Barry McCaffrey became the new
"drug czar," as head of the U.S. War on Drugs. President Clinton
expanded the Office of National Drug Control Policy from 21 members
to 150 members, and promoted redirecting $250 million in Defense
Department spending to the Drug War effort, saying "Drugs are as much
a threat to our security as any outside enemy is today."
- 6 March 1996 -- The U.S. House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime
is holding a hearing to investigate the adequacy of existing federal
penalties for marijuana-related offenses in the wake of sentencing
reforms initiated by the U.S. Sentencing Commission, and an upcoming
medical marijuana bill. The committee was told that the average age
of a first-time marijuana user is now 13.5 years, and that marijuana
use among 14- and 15-year-olds doubled between 1992 and 1994.
- 5 March 1996 -- The United States government, citing reports of
abuse and use as a tool in facilitating sexual assault, banned imports
of the sedative Rohypnol, and said it would seize the substance from
individuals, in the mail, or in commercial shipments.
- 4 March 1996 -- The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the government
may use civil forfeiture to confiscate and sell property owned by
innocent people who had no idea that the property was being used
during the commission of a crime. In this case a car that the woman
co-owned was seized after her husband had sex with a prostitute in
the car. Dissenters in the 5-4 ruling protested that "fundamental
fairness prohibits the punishment of innocent people," but Justice
Thomas, who backed the court ruling, said "the Federal Constitution
does not prohibit everything that is intensely undesirable."
- 4 March 1996 -- The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to decide whether
motorists stopped for traffic violations must be told that they are
free to go before police inquire about contraband or ask to search the
- 2 March 1996 -- Canada's Liberal government annouced its
intention to revive bill C-7, the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act,
which died when Parliament ended its session on February 2nd.
- 1 March 1996 -- The U.S. refused to extend certification as drug
war allies to six countries: Afghanistan, Iran, Burma, Nigeria,
Colombia, and Syria.
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