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 September, 2000
Colombia - Submarine (14.4 | 28.8)
All Things Considered, September 8, 2000
Authorities conducting a drug raid in Colombia, outside Bogota, found drug runners were constructing a submarine large enough to smuggle 200 tons of cocaine. Linda talks with Ruth Morris, who covered the story for the Los Angeles Times.

Narcotics Anonymous Convention in Colombia (14.4 | 28.8)
Morning Edition, September 4, 2000
NPR's Martin Kaste reports from Cartagena, Colombia on the international convention of Narcotics Anonymous, a 12-Step Program for recovering drug addicts. About 15-hundred members of NA, mostly from the Americas, gathered in the Caribbean port city to celebrate their ongoing recovery from drug addiction. Ironically, the host country, Colombia, is the world's largest supplier of cocaine, and the second largest supplier of heroin and marijuana.

  August, 2000

Plan Colombia (14.4 | 28.8)
Morning Edition, August 30, 2000
NPR's Martin Kaste reports from Cartagena, Colombia, on President Clinton's visit today. The President wants to show support for Plan Colombia, which aims to end Colombia's 40-year cycle of political and criminal violence. The U.S. will provide nearly a billion dollars toward the plan, much of it in military aid. Human rights groups are worried that the plan will contribute to even more violence against civilian populations.

Heroin - Harm Reduction (14.4 | 28.8)
All Things Considered, August 29, 2000
Frank Browning reports on an effort to reduce the number of heroin overdoses in San Francisco. The city has the dubious distinction of the highest rate of heroin overdoses in the country. A group called UFO -- You Find Out -- is trying to teach drug users how to shoot up more safely, and medical techniques like CPR to save lives.

Rockefeller Drug Laws (14.4 | 28.8)
Weekend Edition - Sunday, August 27, 2000
NPR's Eric Westervelt reports from New York state, which has some of the most stringent drug laws in the country. These laws were enacted by the late governor Nelson Rockefeller in the 1970s. A growing chorus of judges, activists and family members of those imprisoned under these laws are calling for reform. They say the penalty for murder can be less harsh than that for possession of drugs.

American Aid Package for Colombia (14.4 | 28.8)
Morning Edition, August 24, 2000
Steven Dudley reports from Bogota that non-governmental relief agencies are worried that the newly approved American aid package for Colombia relies too heavily on military solutions to the drug problem. The NGO's say that the 1.3 billion-dollar program puts them in danger.

Chandler Petitions for New Trial (14.4 | 28.8)
Morning Edition, August 9, 2000
From member station WABE, NPR's Josh Levs reports on the case of Alabama marijuana grower Ronnie Chandler, the first person sentenced to die under the federal drug kingpin law. Chandler was convicted of ordering the murder of a man who told authorities about Chandler's drug dealings. But the only evidence the prosecution had linking Chandler to the case was a statement by the gunman, who now says he lied about Chandler's involvement. Chandler's attorneys are petitioning for a new trial.

Colombia - Environment (14.4 | 28.8)
All Things Considered, August 7, 2000
NPR's Martin Kaste reports that in addition to all of the usual problems associated with illegal drug production, the drug trade in Colombia is causing environmental problems. Chemicals such as ammonia and sulfuric acid, used in the production of cocaine, end up in rivers that flow through sensitive ecosystems such as the country's rain forest. Colombian officials have used the environmental argument to obtain a billion dollars of U-S aid money to fight the cocaine industry. They say their efforts to eradicate illegal drug production will save vast areas of rain forest.

US - Colombia (14.4 | 28.8)
Morning Edition, August 2, 2000
NPR's Martin Kaste reports from Bogota on a new US aid plan to Colombia. U-S officials say the plan is designed to stem the drug trade but skeptics claim it's just a cover for American imperialism.

  July, 2000

Colombia Aid (14.4 | 28.8)
All Things Considered, July 28, 2000
NPR's Tom Gjelten reports that some members of Congress are pressing President Bill Clinton not to certify that Colombia is making progress in improving its human rights record. The determination is a precondition to the release of a billion-dollar U.S. aid package for the South American nation. Colombia's military has come under criticism for its ties to notorious right-wing paramilitary groups, which are responsible for most of the country's rights abuses.

NW Drug Deaths (14.4 | 28.8)
All Things Considered, July 21, 2000
A report from the U.S. Centers for Disease control says the number of deaths from heroin overdoses has more than doubled in Seattle and Portland over the last few years. Jeff Brady from member station KOPB in Portland visited a local drug treatment center and filed this report.

NW Drug Deaths (14.4 | 28.8)
All Things Considered, July 21, 2000
A report from the U.S. Centers for Disease control says the number of deaths from heroin overdoses has more than doubled in Seattle and Portland over the last few years. Jeff Brady from member station KOPB in Portland visited a local drug treatment center and filed this report.

  June, 2000

Cleansing the Doors of Perception (14.4 | 28.8)
Weekend All Things Considered, June 24, 2000
A discussion with religious scholar Huston Smith about his new book, Cleansing the Doors of Perception. It's a collection of his writings over 40 years about the religious use of mind-altering substances.

NY Drugs (14.4 | 28.8)
All Things Considered, June 23, 2000
NPR's Melissa Block reports on a broad overhaul of the way New York State courts handle drug addicted offenders. Addicts who agree to plead guilty to many non-violent offenses will be able to choose a strictly monitored drug treatment program, instead of prison. The plan is expected to keep 10,000 defendants in treatment each year.

Prison Visitors (14.4 | 28.8)
All Things Considered, June 23, 2000
To prevent illegal drugs from reaching inmates, some prisons have started running a hand-held "sniffing" device over visitors. Prison officials say it's stopped some smuggling and is better than more intrusive checks for drugs. But critics say it's catching many of the wrong people. Joyce Russell of Iowa member station WOI has the story.

Colombia Aid (14.4 | 28.8)
All Things Considered, June 22, 2000
NPR's Peter Kenyon reports on final efforts in the Senate to pass President Clinton's request for beefed-up anti-drug aid to Colombia. The Senate beat back efforts to sharply reduce the president's request and passed a $934 million aid package. But some lawmakers remain hesitant, citing fears about getting involved in the civil war enveloping Colombia. The South American nation is currently battling an insurgency from leftist guerillas, who have formed an alliance with the country's drug traffickers.

Colombia Aid Reax #1 (14.4 | 28.8)
All Things Considered, June 22, 2000
Host Robert Siegel talks to Eric Sterling, president of the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation in Washington, D.C. Sterling says giving Colombia money is not an effective way to address the U.S. drug problem. He suggests it would be far more effective to manage demand for drugs here, than to fight the supply from Colombia.

Colombia Aid Reax #2 (14.4 | 28.8)
All Things Considered, June 22, 2000
Host Robert Siegel talks with reporter Steve Dudley in Bogota, Colombia, about what the Colombian government says it will do with the U.S. anti-drug money.

China - US Drugs (14.4 | 28.8)
All Things Considered, June 19, 2000
NPR's Rob Gifford reports from Beijing that Barry McCaffrey, head of the White House Drug Control Policy Office, is in China. He's trying to arrange closer cooperation with China in stopping drug trafficking through that region, and to the West. The infamous Golden Triangle region, on China's southwestern border, is a source of heroin. It's also the source of what McCaffrey describes as a major new threat, a potent derivative of crystal methamphetamine known as "ice."

Blacks and Whites in Prison (14.4 | 28.8)
All Things Considered, June 8, 2000
Human Rights Watch released a report that found many more blacks are being sent to prison for drug offenses than whites - even though more whites use drugs than blacks. The nation's drug czar, retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey, says that he doesn't believe racism is to blame -- but he admits he's concerned by the findings in the report. NPR's Tovia Smith reports.

  May, 2000

Drug Free Schools (14.4 | 28.8)
All Things Considered, May 17, 2000
About half the kids in Chambersburg Middle School in Pennsylvania have volunteered to take drug tests as part of a local program that gives drug-free kids discounts at local stores and preferential treatment with local employers. A quarter of the high school students also participate in the program, which requires random drug tests. Beau Boughamer has the story.

Drug Testing in School (14.4 | 28.8)
Morning Edition, May 16, 2000
NPR's John Burnett reports on the mandatory school drug testing policy in Sundown, Texas. Two years ago, the small community decided to test all students in grades 6 through 12, and last year, schools in the town of Lockney also instituted universal drug tests. Most schools with drug screening policies limit the tests to special groups such as athletes. Civil libertarians say such tests threaten the privacy rights guaranteed in the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution. The courts are divided on the issue. But parents in Sundown unanimously support the policy.

 April, 2000

Former Army Commander Pleads Guilty (14.4 | 28.8)
Morning Edition, April 18, 2000
NPR's Tom Gjelten reports that the former commander of U.S. Army anti-drug operations in Colombia has pleaded guilty to a felony charge related to money laundering. Colonel James Hiett admitted that, while serving in Bogota last year, he helped his wife hide about $25,000 she received from selling heroin in the United States.

Drug Treatment Programs for Inmates (14.4 | 28.8)
Weekend Edition Saturday, April 15, 2000
NPR's Scott Simon visits two drug treatment programs for prison inmates in California. The programs are operated by Phoenix House, a nonprofit organization that has provided substance abuse treatment for three decades. As prisons fill up with criminals convicted of drug-related crimes, state governments are beginning to recognize the importance of treating drug addictions. More information on Phoenix House can be on the web at More information on the California Department of Corrections can be found at NOTE: This piece contains several instances of profanity.

FedEx Drug Bust (14.4 | 28.8)
All Things Considered, April 14, 2000
Federal agents arrested dozens of people -- including more than 20 Fed Ex employees -- in a bust of a drug smuggling ring. The Fed Ex workers were allegedly bribed to help distribute tons of Mexican marijuana. Host Robert Siegel speaks with Rodney Benson Assistant Special Agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration Special Operation Division.

  March, 2000

Colombia Paramilitary (14.4 | 28.8)
All Things Considered, March 31, 2000
Steven Dudley reports from Bogota on the Colombia paramilitary fight against drug trafficking. The House of Representatives has passed an emergency spending bill that includes $1.7 billion dollars to help Colombia with this fight. Critics say that the military has failed to cut its ties to right-wing paramilitary groups, which commit most of the human rights violations in Colombia.

British War on Drugs (14.4 | 28.8)
All Things Considered, March 30, 2000
Host Robert Siegel speaks with Tony Thompson, crime reporter for The Observer in London, about the report this week by a commission of the Police Foundation concluding that the tough drug policy in effect since 1971 "produces more harm than it prevents." The commission recommends Britain move away from the American emphasis on enforcement and prison sentences toward the European model where many drugs are decriminalized.

War Against Drugs (14.4 | 28.8)
Morning Edition, March 23, 2000
Steven Dudley reports on the Colombian Navy's efforts to stop the growing of coca and production of cocaine in the southern part of the country. Putumayo state produces about half of Colombia's coca, and leftist rebels provide protection to cocaine traffickers, in return for part of the proceeds from the illegal drug. The U.S. Congress is debating a bill that would provide $1.6 billion to Colombia to help fight the drug war. About half of that amount would go to Colombia's armed forces and a special military command center in Putumayo.

Canada Sends U.S. The Dope (14.4 | 28.8)
Morning Edition, March 17, 2000
NPR's Vicky O'Hara reports on marijuana cultivation in British Columbia, Canada. Lax local law enforcement and potent hybreds have resulted in a multi-million dollar industry. The U.S. is pressuring Canada to stop exports of "BC Bud," as the marijuana is called, to California and other parts of the United States.

Methadone Ban (14.4 | 28.8)
All Things Considered, March 13, 2000
Susan Hansen reports there's a battle brewing over methadone in Vermont. The treatment for heroin addiction is banned in the state, so some addicts must travel out of state each day for treatment. Vermont Governor Howard Dean says legalizing methadone could make the state a magnet for heroin addicts looking to get clean.

 February, 2000

Latin American Drug War (14.4)
All Things Considered, February 9, 2000
NPR's Tom Gjelten reports that the Clinton administration's push for a large anti-drug aid package for Colombia has angered other Latin American countries caught up in the drug war. Bolivia, Peru and Panama say the U.S. is focusing too narrowly on Colombia, to the detriment of the overall fight against narcotics trafficking. For example, Bolivia says it needs more money to compensate farmers who give up growing coca.

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