THIS JUST IN ( Top )
(1) MINISTER RULES OUT PRESCRIBING HEROIN TO HELP DRUG ADDICTS
Pubdate: Fri, 07 Sep 2007
Source: Scotsman (UK)
Copyright: 2007 The Scotsman Publications Ltd
Author: Peter MacMahon, Scottish Government Editor
FERGUS Ewing last night firmly rejected growing demands for drug addicts to be prescribed heroin.
The minister for community safety said the Scottish National Party government would instead concentrate on getting people off drugs.
Mr Ewing's intervention came as the Scottish Parliament heard details of how prescribing heroin works in the Netherlands and one Nationalist MSP publicly advocated the idea.
Vincent Hendriks, a researcher with the Parnassia Addiction Research Centre, told parliament's Future's Forum yesterday that giving out the drug was a good use of taxpayers money.
He said that it had been shown in the Netherlands that prescribing heroin led to a reduction in petty crime, as addicts did not steal to fund their habit. It also stabilised addicts' lives and so they did not require so much attention from social services.
Mr Hendriks argued that prescribing heroin was good medical practice. He said: "The first thing a physician does is try to cure the 'disease'. If he cannot, he tries to alleviate the symptoms.
(2) 'BONG HITS' CASE GOES BACK TO COURT ( Top )
Pubdate: Thu, 06 Sep 2007
Source: Juneau Empire (AK)
Copyright: 2007 Southeastern Newspaper Corp
Frederick's Attorney Says Client Has Right to Sue for Damages
Despite a U.S. Supreme Court ruling earlier this year on Joseph Frederick's free-speech case, the legal debate is not over.
The case of the former Juneau-Douglas High School student was returned to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which is an automatic part of the legal process.
"There is still a dispute," said Frederick's attorney, Doug Mertz.
The 9th Circuit Court will either dismiss the case outright or send it to the U.S. District Court in Alaska for Frederick to argue for his banner, "Bong Hits 4 Jesus," under state free speech laws and civil liability issues.
At the heart of Mertz's argument is Frederick's motive when he and others lifted the 14-foot banner - and whether Frederick retains the right to sue for damages. Mertz said part of Frederick's argument attempts to protect future JDHS students from a district policy enforced by then-Principal Deborah Morse.
The attorney said that five years later, the Juneau School District "continues to deny that students have free speech on serious matters."
(3) YOUTH ABUSING DRUGS BY 14, REPORT FINDS ( Top )
Pubdate: Thu, 06 Sep 2007
Source: National Post (Canada)
Copyright: 2007 Southam Inc.
Author: Meagan Fitzpatrick, CanWest News Service
More Smoke Pot Than Cigarettes, Abuse Centre Says
OTTAWA - By the time they're 14, many Canadian youth have done it all - -- cigarettes, drugs and alcohol -- and a new report on substance abuse and addiction should serve as a "call to action" to change that, the organization behind the research says.
The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse says Canadians need to pay closer attention to the facts that the average age when a child smokes a cigarette for the first time is about 12, 13 when he or she uses alcohol and 14 for first-time drug use.
In a report released yesterday, titled Substance Abuse in Canada: Youth in Focus, the CCSA outlines gaps in Canada's overall approach to dealing with these worrying statistics and suggests several strategies to plug the holes.
The report paints an alarming portrait of drug and alcohol use by youth. By the time they are in their first year of high school, about two-thirds of students had consumed alcohol, according to one survey. Another survey of youth age 15-24 showed that 83% were currently drinking or had consumed alcohol within the past year. If it's any comfort to parents, the students characterized their drinking as light to infrequent.
More than a third of students in Grades 7 to 9 have binged on alcohol, meaning they consumed five or more drinks on a single occasion, researchers found. The same was true for 40% of 15-to 19-year-olds, while another survey showed that one-third of young drinkers drank at a hazardous level.
After alcohol, cannabis was the most commonly used illegal substance among youth. Cannabis use is reported by 17% of students in Grades 7 to 9, about 29% of 15-to 17-year-olds and almost half of 18-to 19- year-olds, the CCSA report said.
Pot smoking, in fact, now exceeds the rate of cigarette smoking among youth, the study found.
(4) ADDICT HOOKERS NAILED ( Top )
Pubdate: Thu, 06 Sep 2007
Source: Toronto Sun (CN ON)
Copyright: 2007, Canoe Limited Partnership.
Author: Rob Lamberti, Sun Media
Police Put Deep Freeze On 25 Prostitutes In Downtown Oshawa, Many Of Them Drug Users
Twenty five women were arrested in a four-day prostitution sweep of downtown Oshawa.
Durham police say most of the women are addicted to drugs and are plying the trade to pay for their habit.
Project Minnesota was launched Tuesday in response to community complaints about prostitution in the downtown core, Community Response Sgt. Peter Keegan said.
"The reasoning behind why they're doing this is often fuelled by drug use," primarily crack cocaine, he said. Keegan said one woman was arrested twice in one night.
He said police impose conditions on the women, prohibiting them from returning to the area where they were arrested.
'WE DO WHAT WE CAN'
Police filed 16 prostitution charges, five drug offences and 25 breaches of court orders, mostly dealing with ignoring instructions to stay out of specific areas.
"We try to keep them out of the downtown, but it's sometimes not easy," Keegan said. "When you see the amount of breaches, it's a tough one to enforce. We're fighting the oldest profession in the world, so to speak. We do what we can to address the community complaints."
WEEKLY NEWS IN REVIEW ( Top )
Domestic News- Policy
COMMENTS: ( Top )
The headline of this first story caught my eye as I had trouble
believing anyone could get a life sentence on a possession charge.
As I read the article I was further dismayed by what passes for
justice in this small Texas town.
Even though our last issue contained several poppy articles, I found
some interesting opinion pieces to include this week. A Neal Peirce
column found print in several papers examining Taliban profits from
poppies. An OPED by members of the New America Foundation
concentrated on the effects of our failed eradication efforts.
Meanwhile, Afghanistan's Vice President calls for increased efforts
by way of aerial spraying!
The headline of this first story caught my eye as I had trouble believing anyone could get a life sentence on a possession charge. As I read the article I was further dismayed by what passes for justice in this small Texas town.
Even though our last issue contained several poppy articles, I found some interesting opinion pieces to include this week. A Neal Peirce column found print in several papers examining Taliban profits from poppies. An OPED by members of the New America Foundation concentrated on the effects of our failed eradication efforts. Meanwhile, Afghanistan's Vice President calls for increased efforts by way of aerial spraying!
(5) MAN GIVEN LIFE SENTENCE IN DRUG POSSESSION CASE ( Top )
Pubdate: Thu, 30 Aug 2007
Source: Herald Democrat (Sherman,TX)
Copyright: 2007 Herald Democrat
Author: Jerrie Whiteley, Herald Democrat
Jurors spent a little more than an hour Wednesday deliberating Michael Dewayne Kimmel's fate after convicting him of possessing approximately $8,000 worth of crack cocaine in a drug-free zone in 2005.
Kimmel's vicious verbal outbursts earlier in the day assured he was almost encircled by law enforcement officers when he heard jurors' decision that he should spend the rest of his life in prison.
The jurors started Wednesday hearing about Kimmel's previous interactions with the law. To that end, Cate introduced into evidence a stack of Texas Youth Commission records as a large as an American Collegiate Dictionary, as she prepared to question Kimmel's probation officer. The move seemed to cause Kimmel some concern because the young man grabbed his neck tie and held it up above his head as though he were being hanged.
"Go ahead, my life is over. I am hung. I am as good as dead. I am as good as dead. Don't nobody give a ( explicative deleted ) about me. Com e on, give me the needle. Tell that deputy to pull out his gun and shoot me. Give her ( Cate ) what she wants," Kimmel gushed in a voice loud enough that jurors would have had a hard time not hearing.
The rest of the afternoon Cate presented jurors with testimony from Grays on County deputies and jailers who testified to problems they have had with Kimmel in the nearly two years he has been in their custody.
The complaints ranged from cursing and threatening officers to attacking other inmates. Jailers testified that the situation reached the point where Kimmel is not allowed to leave his cell without his hands and feet shackled. And he still managed to attack a mentally challenged inmate.
Garland Cardwell spent the day trying to remind jurors that the charge for which they convicted Kimmel had nothing to do with his problems with the jail staff, his previous activities with a Fort Worth street gang or the murder charge.
He urged them to consider only the drug charge when they considered what he should pay for that charge.
(6) COLUMN: DRUG WAR'S LATEST ACHIEVEMENT: BOOSTING GLOBAL TERRORISM ( Top )
Pubdate: Tue, 04 Sep 2007
Source: Seattle Times (WA)
Copyright: 2007 The Seattle Times Company
Author: Neal Peirce, Syndicated columnist
But now, we're learning, there's a jarring new dimension. The drug war i s directly feeding international terrorism. The most startling new evidence comes from Afghanistan, where the U.S. is leading a full-blown NATO campaign to eradicate production of poppies, the plant from which heroin is derived.
Colossal failure is already apparent. Afghanistan is producing 95 percent of the world's poppies; production rose 58 percent last year alone.
And the biggest beneficiary? It's the Taliban, gaining popularity as it protects local poppy farmers against the Western-led eradication campaign. Then it becomes the opium sales agent into international markets, reaping huge amounts of money it can plow back into its terrorist campaign against the West.
Will we find a presidential candidate willing to talk to us honestly about our disaster-strewn policy, to suggest rational paths toward drug legalization? To credit us with intelligence -- that if we cared enough about our health to reduce drastically our consumption of readily available red meat, alcohol and tobacco, we might just be smart enough to resist dangerous narcotics?
I'm not holding my breath. Though, refreshingly, the rest of the world is starting to think afresh.
A prime example: The Senlis Council, a European-Canadian drug-policy institute that's done major research in Afghanistan, proposes licensing Afghanistan with the International Narcotics Control Board to sell its opium legally. Even a Western subsidy to pay Afghan farmers the same price the Taliban and drug lords do -- about $600 million a year -- would be well below what we're spending on eradication. And addiction is rare among pain patients.
Here's a chance for the West to spend money, visibly, helping poor Afghan farmers survive, instead of destroying their livelihoods. Simultaneously, the Taliban would lose its big revenue source for terrorist activities. Couldn't we be this humanitarian and smart -- for once?
(7) OPED: THE WAR ON POPPIES ( Top )
Pubdate: Sun, 02 Sep 2007
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Copyright: 2007 Los Angeles Times
Authors: Peter Bergen and Sameer Lalwani
U.S. Efforts to Eradicate Afghanistan's Crop Are Empowering the Taliban by Sowing Seeds of Resentment.
Stepping onto the balcony of the governor's mansion in Uruzgan in southern Afghanistan, you quickly grasp the scale of the drug problem gripping the country.
Beginning at the walls of the mansion and stretching as far as the eye can see are hundreds of acres of poppy fields ready for harvesting for opium sap, pretty much the only way to earn a living in poverty-stricken Uruzgan.
All across the country, Afghan support for poppy cultivation is on the upswing; 40% of Afghans now consider it acceptable if there is no other way to earn a living, and in the southwest, where much of the poppy crop is grown, two out of three people say it is acceptable. In Uruzgan's neighboring province, Helmand -- which supplies about half the world's opium, the raw material for heroin -- favorable ratings for the Taliban now run as high as 27% ( compared with 10% in the whole of Afghanistan ).
Most farmers who cultivate poppies do so because few other options -- either alternative crops or alternative livelihoods -- exist in their part of the world.
You simply cannot eviscerate the livelihoods of the estimated 3 million Afghans who grow poppies and not expect a backlash.
What's more, our policy is not effective.
The Taliban derives not only substantial financial benefits from the opium trade, according to U.S. military officials in Afghanistan, but wins political benefits from its supportive stance on poppy growing, masterfully exploiting situations in which U.S.-sponsored eradication forces are pitted against poor farmers.
Eradication has also become a wedge in the fragile relationship of the NATO countries that are part of the coalition in Afghanistan. Many European countries, including the Dutch, who have forces stationed in Uruzgan, oppose the American eradication policy.
The priority of the United States and NATO should be first to thwart the Taliban insurgency while bettering the lives of typical Afghans through significant economic and reconstruction efforts to win hearts and minds. Doing nothing on the poppy front would do more to achieve this goal than the counterproductive eradication path the U.S. currently pursues.
The U.S. should adopt a "first do no harm" policy that temporarily suspends eradication while implementing a promising portfolio of new initiatives to build up alternatives for farmers.
The U.S. and NATO should also endorse a pilot project proposed by the Senlis Council, an international nongovernmental organization with office s in southern Afghanistan, to harness poppy cultivation for the production of legal medicinal opiates such as morphine for sale to countries, such as Brazil, that are in short supply of cheap pain drugs for patients.
The U.S. must stop targeting poor farmers and focus on the traffickers who make the bulk of the profits from heroin.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents on the ground should step up efforts to interrupt money-laundering networks and interdict labs and shipments.
The DEA should also turn Afghanistan's shame-based culture to its advantage by making public the list of top Afghan drug suspects, including government officials, as it did in the 1990s, when it publicized the names of Colombia's drug kingpins.
(8) OPED: LEAVE IT TO U.S. TO END THE POPPY CURSE ( Top )
Pubdate: Sun, 02 Sep 2007
Source: Sunday Telegraph (UK)
Copyright: Telegraph Group Limited 2007
Author: Ahmad Zia Massoud, First Vice-President of Afghanistan
I have no doubt that the efforts of Britain and the international community in fighting the opium trade in Afghanistan are well-intentioned and we are grateful for their support. But it is now clear that your policy in the south of our country has completely failed.
Why, when so much has been spent, has the policy failed so badly? The primary reason is insecurity. Opium cultivation has continued due to the pressure exerted by the Taliban, who "tax" every aspect of the poppy crop. In more secure provinces, in the north and centre, we have succeeded in reducing opium cultivation. Second, and almost as important, the counter-narcotics policy has been much too soft. We are giving too much "carrot" and not enough "stick". Of course, it is important to bring development and alternative employment to the people. Millions of pounds have been committed in provinces including Helmand for irrigation projects and road-building to help farmers get their produce to market. But for now this has simply made it easier for them to grow and transport opium.
What is missing is the "stick". Eradication was so low last year, at only about 10 per cent of the crop, that it hardly made an impact on the production and will not be enough to deter farmers from planting in the future.
The time has come for us to adopt a more forceful approach. We must switch from ground-based eradication to aerial spraying. This has several advantages. It is safe - the main ingredient, glyphosate, has been in use for 30 years - it requires fewer people, and they will be able to operate in greater safety. It also has the benefit of being indiscriminate: farmers will no longer be able to bribe officials to protect their crop.
This should not create anger against the government, since it is acting with religious and legal justification, nor should it increase rural poverty. Some of the poorest provinces are succeeding in getting rid of the poppy, though it is essential that long-term projects are implemented to develop the economy and provide alternative livelihoods.
Law Enforcement & Prisons
COMMENTS: ( Top )
Thank goodness there was one humane being in the crowd at a North
Carolina State Trooper training exercise. An officer made the brave
decision to hand over a recording of animal abuse to the proper
Many citizens end up in cuffs when police officers use the "knock
and talk" method. A 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decision may
set a Wisconsin man free after ruling the officers went too far.
Closing with a puff piece reporting an increase in the number of
narcotics officers has led to an increase in arrests. Nothing
extraordinary here but it continues to aggravate me when the media
treats this as if it is somehow newsworthy.
Thank goodness there was one humane being in the crowd at a North Carolina State Trooper training exercise. An officer made the brave decision to hand over a recording of animal abuse to the proper authorities.
Many citizens end up in cuffs when police officers use the "knock and talk" method. A 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decision may set a Wisconsin man free after ruling the officers went too far.
Closing with a puff piece reporting an increase in the number of narcotics officers has led to an increase in arrests. Nothing extraordinary here but it continues to aggravate me when the media treats this as if it is somehow newsworthy.
(9) TROOPER ACCUSED OF DOG ABUSE ( Top )
Pubdate: Sat, 01 Sep 2007
Source: News & Observer (Raleigh, NC)
Copyright: 2007 The News and Observer Publishing Company
Internal Affairs Got Cell-Phone Video
The state Highway Patrol stripped one of its canine handlers of his badge and dog Friday while officials investigate an animal abuse complaint against him, a spokesman said.
Sgt. Charles L. Jones, a 12-year veteran of the patrol, has been under scrutiny by internal affairs investigators since a training exercise in Raleigh in early August. A fellow patrolman recorded Jones' treatment of Ricoh, a Belgian Malinois, with his cell-phone video camera. The patrolman turned the video over to internal affairs investigators. On Friday, week s after the incident, Brian Beatty, the state Secretary of Crime Control an d Public Safety, asked agents at the State Bureau of Investigation to determine whether Jones broke the law. It is a felony to abuse a law enforcement animal.
(10) COURT SAYS SEARCH VIOLATED RIGHTS ( Top )
Pubdate: Wed, 29 Aug 2007
Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI)
Copyright: 2007 Journal Sentinel Inc.
Author: John Diedrich
Milwaukee Police Lacked Warrant
Taking aim at a tactic used by Milwaukee police, a federal court found that officers and federal drug agents violated constitutional protections when they broke down the door of a north side home in 2005 in a search that le d to 500 grams of cocaine and a gun.
The 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals reversed the decision to allow the drugs and gun as evidence against Darnell Ellis, who was sentenced to nearly six years in prison, according to the ruling released this week. "The problem in this case is that the officers and agents lacked a warrant when they approached the home and utilized tactics that, if allow ed to go unchecked, would eliminate the Fourth Amendment warrant requirement for a home with any connection to drugs," the opinion written by Appeals Court Judge Michael Kanne says.
Ellis' attorney, Brian Kinstler, said officers crossed the line in their search.
"That line is the Constitution," he said. "The war on drugs has more officers close to that line than ever before."
The uniformed officers knocked and asked Ellis, 27, if they could come in because they were investigating a missing child, which was a lie. Ellis said he didn't live in the house, also a lie, and refused to let them in.
An officer at a side door said he heard running on stairs in the house an d concluded someone was trying to destroy drugs, calling that out to the others. They broke down the door and found cocaine residue. Then they got a warrant signed by a state judge, searched more and found a gun and 2.5 kilograms of cocaine.
The appeals court found that people running inside a house surrounded by police wasn't enough to conclude drugs were being destroyed.
The search was upheld by Magistrate Judge Aaron Goodstein and U.S. District Chief Judge Rudolph Randa. Ellis pleaded guilty but reserved the right to appeal the search.
Ellis remains in prison, Kinstler said. If prosecutors don't appeal the ruling, the case will return to Randa.
(11) POLICE NARCOTICS UNIT HAS A BUSY YEAR ( Top )
Pubdate: Tue, 04 Sep 2007
Source: Stamford Advocate, The (CT)
Copyright: 2007 Southern Connecticut Newspaper, Inc.
Author: Natasha Lee, Staff Writer
STAMFORD - The Police Department's narcotics and organized crime unit nearly doubled its arrests in 2006, crediting a citywide crackdown and increase in officers for the success.
Narcotics officers made more than 1,200 arrests last year, up from 677 in 2005, the unit reported. Arrests include narcotics violations, warrant arrests, liquor law violations, assaults and larcenies.
Police also seized close to $3 million worth of drugs, including $2 million of cocaine and heroin.
With 17 narcotics officers, the unit was able to beef up surveillance at the city's downtown train station, where police say drugs are trafficked in from New York City, and had more officers available for surveillance.
Investigations with federal agencies such as the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration, along with state parole and probation departments, have helped Stamford police nab criminals and seek harsher and lengthier prison sentences, Fontneau said.
Cannabis & Hemp-
COMMENTS: ( Top )
In Oregon a rare victory for medicinal marijuana patients from a
federal judge. But in New Mexico we find a cowardly Attorney General
who refuses to support and defend the state's laws as AGs in other
states normally do.
Legal herbs are not grown in forests so they do not cause
environmental damage. But it seems that the governments of two
countries are determined to provide price support for marijuana
growers as part of a publicity stunt. B.C. Bud is grown indoors, not
in forests on Vancouver Island, where three of the four members of
the DrugSense webmastering team live (
And in the United Kingdom the reefer mania continues.
In Oregon a rare victory for medicinal marijuana patients from a federal judge. But in New Mexico we find a cowardly Attorney General who refuses to support and defend the state's laws as AGs in other states normally do.
Legal herbs are not grown in forests so they do not cause environmental damage. But it seems that the governments of two countries are determined to provide price support for marijuana growers as part of a publicity stunt. B.C. Bud is grown indoors, not in forests on Vancouver Island, where three of the four members of the DrugSense webmastering team live ( http://www.drugpolicycentral.com ).
And in the United Kingdom the reefer mania continues.
(12) RULING PROTECTS POT PATIENTS PRIVACY ( Top )
Pubdate: Thu, 06 Sep 2007
Source: Oregonian, The (Portland, OR)
Copyright: 2007 The Oregonian
Author: Anne Saker, The Oregonian
A Federal Judge Denies a Grand Jury Access to Oregon Medical Marijuana Treatment Records
A federal judge has thrown out sweeping subpoenas for patient records kept by Oregon's medical marijuana program and a private clinic, saying privacy concerns overruled a grand jury's demand for information.
Chief U.S. District Judge Robert H. Whaley in Yakima ruled on the subpoenas four months after a grand jury in that city issued them. The grand jury wanted to know about 17 patients who got medical marijuana from a grower with operations in Oregon and Washington.
Advocates for medical marijuana have said the subpoenas marked a new tactic in federal efforts to stop state-run programs such as Oregon's. In California, federal drug agents have closed medical marijuana dispensaries and prosecuted doctors who prescribed marijuana to patients.
The state of Oregon and the private Hemp and Cannabis Foundation went to court this summer to stop the subpoenas, and Whaley convened a hearing Au g. 1.
In his eight-page decision issued Tuesday, Whaley wrote that grand juries have wide latitude to conduct investigations and can issue subpoenas for almost any kind of information. The subpoenas cannot be quashed unless the person or organization fighting the subpoena can show the demand is unreasonable, the judge said.
Whaley found that the subpoenas against Oregon's program and the foundation were unreasonable.
(13) MEDICAL MARIJUANA PATIENTS FACE DIFFICULT TASK OF FINDING DRUG ( Top )
Pubdate: Tue, 04 Sep 2007
Source: Albuquerque Tribune (NM)
Copyright: 2007 The Albuquerque Tribune
Author: Sue Vorenberg
Earlier this year, the Legislature told the Department of Health to find a way to produce and distribute medical marijuana - but to do so would subject its employees to federal prosecution.
Gov. Bill Richardson told Attorney General Gary King to support the Department of Health, but to do so would subject him to removal from office under state law.
"It's a fairly complex situation," King said.
Since the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act was signed in April, the issues have put the Attorney General's Office and the Health Department in a bind, said Alfredo Vigil, secretary of the Department of Health.
"We're going to continue the certification process for patients as long a s possible, but the whole distribution system - which was a way we thought we could break new ground - has turned out to be a total impossibility," Vigil said.
So far, about 30 people have been certified to use medical marijuana in New Mexico, and applications are starting to slow down, Vigil said.
(14) MORE POT MEANS MORE LAW OFFICERS IN CALIFORNIA'S NATIONAL ( Top )
Pubdate: Wed, 05 Sep 2007
Source: Record Searchlight (Redding, CA)
Copyright: 2007 Record Searchlight
Author: Dylan Darling
Bucking the national trend of shrinking forest staff, the U.S. Forest Service is doubling the number of law enforcement officers in the state a s part of an effort to uproot illicit marijuana growing operations.
By May, there should be 160 law enforcement officers, patrol captains and special agents working the 18 national forests in California, said Ron Pugh, special agent in charge of the Forest Service's Pacific Southwest region, which encompasses all of the state.
Although he said the increase in workers -- which will cost $6 million --= should help, Pugh said the Forest Service could use more in tackling the "daunting task" of stopping those behind marijuana plantings.
"A hundred and sixty is about a third of what we should have," he said.
Even with the increased staff and other strategies, the Forest Service will be hard-pressed to stop those planting marijuana gardens in the state, said Bruce Mirken, spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project, a Washington, D.C.-based group advocating for marijuana legalization.
"This is a war they can't ever win, but they can keep a lot of people employed fighting it," Mirken said.
By busting more gardens and groups funding the gardens, the Forest Service will drive the price of marijuana up, he said, giving more incentive for others to grow.
(15) MARIJUANA BUSTS SET A RECORD ( Top )
Pubdate: Fri, 31 Aug 2007
Source: Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC)
Copyright: 2007 Times Colonist
Author: Rob Shaw, Times Colonist
Team Finds 19,000 Plants at 350 Sites in Nine-Day Campaign
Island police say they've destroyed the largest amount of marijuana since they started a summer eradication program eight years ago.
A combined team of RCMP, municipal police and Canadian Forces personnel found more than 19,000 plants at 350 sites during a nine-day campaign that ended this week.
Critics call the police's summer eradication program a public-relations exercise and an ineffective use of taxpayer dollars.
Last year's program cost approximately $40,000, including fuel for the helicopters, said Cox. But he said value of the marijuana seized exceeded the costs.
(16) OPED: AN EPIDEMIC OF CANNABIS USE? ( Top )
Pubdate: Mon, 03 Sep 2007
Source: New Statesman (UK)
Copyright: 2007 New Statesman
Author: Raj Persaud
An enigma which frequently clouds the cannabis debate is - if it's as dangerous as doctors and scientists claim - how come despite being possibly the most used illicit drug worldwide, the ill effects appear to affect so few?
For example surveys suggest that as many as one in four of those aged fro m the late teens to the early twenties in the UK admit to having smoked cannabis recently -- yet the rate of schizophrenia remains relatively but stubbornly low in comparison -- roughly one in a hundred.
Previously the debate over the dangers of cannabis had focused on other controversial areas such as how dependency inducing it was and what was t he physical damage, but now psychiatrists in particular are concerned at the accumulating evidence cannabis produces devastating effects on mental health in the form of psychosis.
As far back as 2002 a large-scale study of more than 50,000 men conscript ed into the Swedish army between 1969 and 1970 suggested that those who had used cannabis more than 50 times before the age of 18 years had an almost sevenfold increased risk of developing schizophrenia in later life. In a New Zealand study published at the same time, those who started cannabis use by age 15 years (but not those who started later) showed a fourfold increase in the risk of developing schizophrenia-like illness by age 26 y ears.
But in a sense all the statistics or data in the world may make little difference to the cannabis debate for one key psychological reason -- we have a natural human tendency to be poor at assessing risk when its presented to us in the form of numbers or data. Our brains are wired up much more to making decisions over risk in actual real world situations -= - we make assessments from our direct experience.
Few will directly experience psychosis either in themselves or others.
COMMENTS: ( Top )
In Thailand, the long-awaited independent panel investigating over
2,500 extralegal executions of drug offenders during the Shinawatra
government,= met for the first time last week. The 12-member panel
was empowered by the new government "to sort out human rights
violations in Thailand." Of the 2,500 (roughly) killings, "fewer
than 100 complaints had been lodged by relatives of victims - but
that reflected public lack of faith in the justice system."
A rather bleak editorial from The Herald newspaper outlines the
failure of Scottish drug policy, noting deaths from drugs rose last
year. The reason, according to The Herald? No, it is not that
prohibition (punishing, jailing drug users) makes the problem
worse. Why, it is "too much emphasis on harm reduction" that's
caused the deaths, the Herald insinuates.
On beautiful Vancouver Island, that pretty park could hide needles
an IV drug user has tossed aside. This has Cowichan Valley Regional
District's Community Safety Advisory Committee and the mayor of
Cowichan asking, if not a full needle-exchange, why not at least a
safe needle disposal program? "We're focused on public safety about
sharps left in the open environment," said Mayor Phil Kent.
And from Belfast, Northern Ireland this week, news of a tarring and
feathering: of an alleged "drug dealer." Because police refused to
"take action" against the south Belfast man, "masked men poured tar
over him an d covered him in feathers as women and children looked
on." According to some observers, those responsible for the tarry
assault on the suspected drug dealer, were themselves suspected
paramilitary group members.
In Thailand, the long-awaited independent panel investigating over 2,500 extralegal executions of drug offenders during the Shinawatra government,= met for the first time last week. The 12-member panel was empowered by the new government "to sort out human rights violations in Thailand." Of the 2,500 (roughly) killings, "fewer than 100 complaints had been lodged by relatives of victims - but that reflected public lack of faith in the justice system."
A rather bleak editorial from The Herald newspaper outlines the failure of Scottish drug policy, noting deaths from drugs rose last year. The reason, according to The Herald? No, it is not that prohibition (punishing, jailing drug users) makes the problem worse. Why, it is "too much emphasis on harm reduction" that's caused the deaths, the Herald insinuates.
On beautiful Vancouver Island, that pretty park could hide needles an IV drug user has tossed aside. This has Cowichan Valley Regional District's Community Safety Advisory Committee and the mayor of Cowichan asking, if not a full needle-exchange, why not at least a safe needle disposal program? "We're focused on public safety about sharps left in the open environment," said Mayor Phil Kent.
And from Belfast, Northern Ireland this week, news of a tarring and feathering: of an alleged "drug dealer." Because police refused to "take action" against the south Belfast man, "masked men poured tar over him an d covered him in feathers as women and children looked on." According to some observers, those responsible for the tarry assault on the suspected drug dealer, were themselves suspected paramilitary group members.
(17) 'DRUG WAR' PANEL OUTLINES ITS WORK ( Top )
Pubdate: Thu, 30 Aug 2007
Source: Nation, The (Thailand)
Copyright: 2007 Nation Multimedia Group
In its first meeting yesterday, an independent committee looking into 2,5 69 drug-related killings during the first Thaksin Shinawatra government laid out its work agenda and officially appointed heads of six sub-panels.
The 12-member committee, headed by former attorney-general Khanitna Nakhon, repeated that it was authorised to prosecute anyone found to be involved in the killings and would mainly perform a fact-finding role and work out compensatory solutions for relatives of the victims.
Kraisak said fewer than 100 complaints had been lodged by relatives of victims - but that reflected public lack of faith in the justice system.
"If the investigation can bring the wrongdoers to justice in only one of two cases, that would mean a historic success."
(18) EDITORIAL: LOSING THE DRUGS WAR ( Top )
Pubdate: Fri, 31 Aug 2007
Source: Herald, The (UK)
Copyright: 2007 The Herald
It is both frustrating and depressing that despite the expenditure of literally hundreds of millions of pounds on tackling Scotland's illicit drugs problems, drug-related deaths rose sharply last year. Statistics released yesterday show 421 deaths, a 25% increase over the previous year . Of that total, 280 fatalities were the direct result of drug abuse, 76 mo re than 2005. Even breaking down the figures offers little comfort beyond a slight dip in such deaths in Lothian and fewer dying from the effects of cocaine and diazepam.
In both Grampian and west-central Scotland, drug deaths have risen sharply and heroin and morphine - responsible for just 84 deaths a decade ago - last year claimed the lives of 260.
This is an indictment of a policy that has placed too much emphasis on harm reduction and not enough on effective treatment and rehabilitation. It is a scandal that after three years on methadone only 3% of addicts are drug free.
(19) POLITICOS PUSHING FOR SAFE NEEDLE DISPOSAL ( Top )
Pubdate: Sat, 01 Sep 2007
Source: Cowichan News Leader (CN BC)
Copyright: 2007 Cowichan News Leader
Author: Peter Rusland
Regional politicians want public feedback about providing public tool kit s for safe disposal of used drug syringes found locally.
The Cowichan Valley Regional District's Community Safety Advisory Committee recently introduced the issue.
Following debate, it may back a funding application by an agency such as Social Planning Cowichan toward the public safety drive against a glut of used needles being found locally.
City Mayor Phil Kent describes a community partnership among various groups that might provide tool kits for residents.
"We're focused on public safety about sharps left in the open environment ."
Needles are regularly dropped in a disposal container in the city's train station washroom.
(20) JUSTICE, BELFAST-STYLE, FOR DRUG DEALER ( Top )
Pubdate: Wed, 29 Aug 2007
Source: Scotsman (UK)
Copyright: 2007 The Scotsman Publications Ltd
Author: Alan Erwin
STREET vigilantes tarred and feathered an alleged drug dealer because police refused to take action against him, it was claimed yesterday.
But despite the heavy influence of Ulster Defence Association men within the Taughmonagh estate, the paramilitary organisation's advisers insisted they were not involved.
According to Alban Maginness, a nationalist SDLP Assembly member, the paramilitary organisation was to blame.
He said: "It is quite clear that it was an element of the UDA which was responsible for this.
"These things are not done spontaneously by the community. It would seem to be a very provocative act."
HOT OFF THE 'NET ( Top )
THE TOP TEN REASONS MARIJUANA SHOULD BE LEGAL ( Top )
High Times Magazine
Prohibition has failed to control the use and domestic production of marijuana -- it's time everyone faced this and the rest of the compelling arguments for legalizing it.
AMERICA'S TALIBAN-SUPPORT PROGRAM ( Top )
With luck, Afghanistan could become the Colombia of the Middle East
By Jacob Sullum, September 5, 2007
NORML LAUNCHES `IN-WORLD' OFFICE ON SECOND LIFE ( Top )
September 5, 2007 - Washington, DC, USA
Washington, DC: The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) is expanding its online message and presence to the popular 3-D virtual world Second Life.
IN POT WE TRUST ( Top )
The medical use of marijuana is examined from every side of a very complex issue with this documentary that charts the suffering of four ... all ¯ chronically ill patients whose reliance on the illegal drug as a pain killer is in jeopardy due to federal anti-narcotic legislation. Reform organizations, prohibitionist groups, politicians, drug war critics, scientists, and celebrities all get their say in this fascinating analysis.
WHY DO PEOPLE THE GOVERNMENT SAYS DON'T EXIST KEEP WRITING US? ( Top )
By David Borden and Paul Armentano
CULTURAL BAGGAGE RADIO SHOW ( Top )
Tonight: 09/07/07 - Wash Post Writer Neal Peirce + Drug War Facts, Poppygate & Hempfest heroes
Last: 08/31/07 - Seattle Hempfest "Pot Pride" + Terry Nelson & LEAP report, Drug War Facts & BBC News re Afghanistan
Listen Live Fridays 8:00 PM, ET, 7:00 CT, 6:00 MT & 5:00 PT at http://www.kpft.org/
THE WAR ON DRUG'S BLOODY FACE ( Top )
By Joseph Grosso / September 6th, 2007
DRCNET PUBLISHES DRUG WAR CHRONICLE ISSUE 500 ( Top )
If you want to be in the loop about what's going on in drug policy and the reform movement, Drug War Chronicle is a concise but essential read.
WHAT YOU CAN DO THIS WEEK ( Top )
COLOMBIA: HUMAN RIGHTS & WARS ( Top )
Radio & Internet Broadcast
Sep 8, 2007 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
The show will broadcast from Cincinnati on 88.3 FM WAIF, live streamed via www.waifstream.com
JOB ANNOUNCEMENT: EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, JUSTICE POLICY INSTITUTE ( Top )
The Justice Policy Institute is a Washington, DC-based research, policy and communications advocacy organization whose mission is to end society's reliance on incarceration, and to promote effective solutions to social problems.
To apply, please first visit the website ( www.justicepolicy.org ); to review the full position announcement, and review the organizations work.
LETTER OF THE WEEK ( Top )
LEGALIZE, REGULATE ( Top )
By J. Michael Jones
I appreciate the concerns expressed by Santa Fe County Commissioner Harry Montoya and Diego Lopez in the Aug. 30 article, "Montoya takes on new pot law."
However, fear might have clouded their minds.
I do not advocate drug use.
I do advocate personal responsibility and the legalized regulation of drugs.
I share similar goals with Montoya and Lopez: the protection of, and chance for a better life for, our children.
Who makes the decision to sell drugs to our children?
Criminals, who aren't licensed or regulated, whose drugs vary in strength , purity and fillers because there are no standards.
Will legalized regulation end the drug problem? No, but experience indicates it will improve the situation.
Drug use and abuse should be treated as what they are -- health care issues, not crimes.
Divert a large portion of the $69 billion being spent annually on enforcement toward prevention, education, and treatment.
Take criminals out of the equation -- for our children. Visit www.leap.com [sic]
J. Michael Jones, Ret. Deputy Chief of Police, Ranchos de Taos
Pubdate: Sat, 01 Sep 2007
Source: New Mexican, The (Santa Fe, NM)
Referenced: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v07/n1009/a09.html Note: The correct link to Law Enforcement Against Prohibition is
FEATURE ARTICLE ( Top )
STORIES CAN HURT ( Top )
By Jo-D Harrison
I always tell people I joined the fight for drug policy reform when my employer asked me to pee in a cup. While this was certainly a major turning point in my life, I recently re-discovered my first brush with our drug war during a class called "Telling Our Stories".
Due to massive disharmony in my dad's house, I moved in with my mother and step-father in the middle of my freshman year of high school. The transition of my home life went fairly smooth and was certainly for the better, but moving from an Illinois middle class school to an upper class Virginia school proved to be challenging.
Mount Vernon High School is located in Fairfax County, Virginia and is one of the suburbs of Washington D.C. Many wealthy Senators and Congressmen make the crowded commute from this location, since living in downtown D.C. is not pleasant. Even though Mount Vernon is a public school, from the first time I walked down the carpeted hallways in search of the main office it was obvious that more money poured into it.
Since this was an unplanned move, my transcripts had not arrived, and my counselor was forced to try to figure out my new class schedule by asking me questions. Everything seemed to match up fairly well except for an Illinois history class. I was assigned to work in the office to fill this blank, and off I went to try to find my way in my new school.
Everyone's probably seen it in the movies or on TV -- the new kid walks late into a classroom and all eyes turn toward her. She's dressed differently from the "wrong" tennis shoes all the way to "wrong" book bag she carries. But, until you have personally experienced those curious stares, you just can not imagine the weight that they carry. Sure, the teacher tries to be overly nice, but the introduction she is making is barely heard as the new student clumsily works her way to an open desk.
The rest of that day and week were a blur as I negotiated my way from class to class and attempted to learn the ways of this new world. My parents were very supportive and encouraged me in every way they could. That first weekend they introduced me to neighbors with a daughter my age who also attended Mount Vernon. Her name was Lisa and she did her best to help me find my way.
It was during the second week that darkness began to surround me. I started noticing cliques of people seemingly whispering and pointing at me as I walked by. My mom had taken me shopping and I had tried to upgrade my clothes to more accurately match "theirs." I even talked her into buying me the best backpack available for my books. In band I was doing fairly well playing french horn and had started, I thought, to make some new friends.
It was in the restroom that I began to get a hint at what was going on. I had just sat down when I heard the main door burst open, "NARC! You Suck!" echoed throughout the tiled walls. I later found out that the local paper had recently printed an article which claimed undercover narcotic agents were to be planted in the school system. This meant the timing of my transfer just could not have been worse.
Adding to my problems, my transcripts had still not arrived, and another student office worker had spread this fact around far and wide. Her name was Terri, and I still do not know why she had taken an instant dislike to me. Perhaps she had an inferiority complex and I became her latest mark.
But "marked" I was, and the next few weeks went from bad to worse. People stopped talking every time I walked up, lunchtime was a total nightmare, and I felt sure I'd never have another boyfriend. Terri had gotten her buddies to help her make my life miserable. Riding home on the school bus gave them their favorite place to taunt me.
My parents did their best to comfort me as I sat crying at our kitchen table every afternoon. Lisa promised she would try to pass counter-rumors since she knew the truth about me. But, as usual, gossip was much more interesting than truth, and by the end of the following week the story made me "the lead federal narc."
At this point Terri had decided she'd just take things into her own flaming-red fingernailed hands and challenge me to a duel! During math class a note was passed back to me which said, "Get off at my bus stop and I'm gonna kick your ass!"
I spent the rest of the day trying to figure out whether to call home sick, purposely miss the bus or actually try to fight. I decided that I didn't want to cause more hassles for my parents, and the first two options would just delay the confrontation that seemed inevitable. I didn't then, and still don't believe in violence, so I continued to try to come up with a better solution.
The bus seemed fuller that day as we headed into the posh townhouse subdivisions. Of course I knew which stop was Terri's and could feel the tension and whispers mounting as it neared. The only "idea" I had come up with was to ignore whatever happened and to continue to deny their accusations.
As the bus door flew open, Terri and her friends stood up and stared at me.
"Come on, narc - time to face your jury," she sneered.
"I'm not a narc and I'm not gonna fight you," I replied and stared out the window feeling, once again, all eyes upon me.
"Move it on out, I've a schedule to keep," shouted the bus driver. I heard a few more taunts, "Narcs suck" and "We'll get you," as they slowly shuffled off the bus.
The very next day my transcripts finally arrived, and it slowly filtered throughout the hallways that I was, indeed, just another gangly freshman with a "B" average and an interest in sports and music.
Within weeks I realized that Terri was not as popular as I had originally thought and her group of friends was smaller than I had imagined. As I continued to ignore her, I found there were plenty of other kids I could hang with. There were many who had not believed the rumors she started.
I will never forget the added stress and fear I felt due to Terri's choosing to start those stories about me. I had never been a "gossip" before that time and certainly avoided passing along juicy tidbits thereafter. To this day, when I hear someone spouting off about someone else, I try to interject an "Are you sure" or "How do you know that" into the conversation.
Jo-D Harrison is the DrugSense Membership Coordinator and an Assistant Webmaster.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK ( Top )
"Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one." -- Charles Mackaya
DS Weekly is one of the many free educational services DrugSense offers our members. Watch this feature to learn more about what DrugSense can do for you.
TO SUBSCRIBE, UNSUBSCRIBE, OR UPDATE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS:
Please utilize the following URLs
Policy and Law Enforcement/Prison content selection and analysis by Jo-D Harrison (firstname.lastname@example.org), Cannabis/Hemp content selection and analysis by Richard Lake (email@example.com), International content selection and analysis by Doug Snead (firstname.lastname@example.org), This Just In selection, Hot Off The Net selection and Layout by Matt Elrod (email@example.com). Analysis comments represent the personal views of editors, not necessarily the views of DrugSense.
We wish to thank all our contributors, editors, NewsHawks and letter writing activists. Please help us help reform. Become a NewsHawk See http://www.mapinc.org/hawk.htm for info on contributing clippings.
NOTICE: ( Top )
In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest i n receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.
MAKE A TAX-DEDUCTIBLE DONATION TO DRUGSENSE ON-LINE ( Top )
Mail in your contribution. Make checks payable to MAP Inc. send your contribution to:
The Media Awareness Project (MAP) Inc. D/B/a DrugSense 14252 Culver Drive #328 Irvine, CA, 92604-0326 (800) 266 5759 MGreer@mapinc.org