28 Oct 2005 23:19:44 -0400
Subject: MOMSTELL: Headlines across the Nation week of
From: Sharon L Smith <firstname.lastname@example.org>
LEVEL OF ADDICT SERVICES DECRIED
Three Baltimore-area judges leveled blunt criticism at Gov.
Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s administration yesterday, contending
that a shortage of funding has made it all but impossible
for them to sentence addicted lawbreakers to long-term drug
treatment rather than jail or prison.
The judges told a House subcommittee overseeing substance
abuse issues that they had grown increasingly tired of being
told that defendants they had sentenced to treatment would
have to wait as long as 18 months for an inpatient slot to
open. Defendants cost the state more money sitting behind
bars waiting for openings, the judges said, and often see
their jail terms end before a treatment slot becomes
The judges said the state health department, by failing to
make enough treatment slots available, was effectively
violating a state law that empowers judges to commit
defendants with serious drug problems to inpatient treatment
and that requires the health department make room for them
A DEFENSE LAWYER'S CHALLENGE TO THE SCIENTIFIC INTEGRITY
OF THE MACHINE THAT GAUGES SOBRIETY COULD AFFECT THOUSANDS
One night last December, a Houston man drove away from a
downtown bar and had an accident. After taking a breath
test, he joined 98,000 other Texans charged that year with
driving while intoxicated.
The case's outcome was far from routine, however.
In September, a judge threw out the charge after a defense
lawyer raised questions about not only the scientific
integrity of the machine that gauges sobriety, but about the
state's breath-alcohol testing program, too.
Those questions — sparked by the discovery that Texas
disregards the manufacturer's guidelines for operating the
machine — potentially could affect thousands of cases
throughout the state as authorities and defense lawyers
debate the credibility of breath tests.
NEW YORK TIMES
SUSPECT IN DRUG RING IS EXTRADITED TO THE U.S.
Afghan identified as one of the world's most wanted drug
kingpins, who has been linked to the Taliban and once
boasted that selling heroin to Americans was a form of
jihad, has been extradited from
to face drug smuggling and other charges, federal officials
in New York announced yesterday.
The suspect, Baz Mohammad, 47, was accused of leading an
organization that smuggled heroin worth $25 million into
this country in a 15-year operation that controlled poppy
fields in Afghanistan, heroin refining plants there and in
and a trafficking network that reached around the world to
the streets of New York, Washington, Chicago and other
Mr. Mohammad was also accused of using drug profits to
support terrorism and the Taliban, the Islamic
fundamentalist party that ruled Afghanistan for years and
was allied with Al Qaeda and
Osama bin Laden.
While the Taliban was ousted by American troops in 2001, it
has remained a force in large areas of Afghanistan,
especially along the eastern border with Pakistan, and the
drug money bought its protection for poppy crops, heroin
laboratories, shipments and conspirators, the federal
BBC NEWS (UK)
AFGHAN OPIUM PRODUCTION 'DROPS'
Afghanistan has registered a drop in the cultivation of
opium for the first time since the fall of the Taleban, the
United Nations says.
The area under cultivation for opium has dropped by 21%,
says the head of the UN Office for Drugs and Crime.
But the actual output has not changed much and Afghanistan
is still the largest producer of opium in the world,
accounting for almost 90% of supplies.
B.C.'S "PRINCE OF POT" FIGHTS EXTRADITION ON DRUG CHARGES
Marc Emery differs in so many ways from most people accused
of big-time drug dealing, it's hard to know where to
Even though he faces the possibility of decades in a U.S.
prison for selling marijuana seeds to Americans, Emery
regularly welcomes a steady stream of journalists. That's an
approach most people accused of drug dealing avoid
instinctively, or on advice of their attorneys.
Not Emery, founder of the B.C. Marijuana Party, who
maintains that his legal troubles spring from the U.S.
government's desire to muzzle him and the movement he claims
He relishes his reputation as the so-called "Prince of Pot"
and "Mayor of Vansterdam," the latter a reference to
Vancouver and Amsterdam, the Dutch city where marijuana can
be purchased from "coffee shops." He proudly proclaims his
long-term vision to "overgrow the government" by spreading
marijuana faster than drug agents could eradicate it.
Unlike others accused of drug dealing, Emery has for years
made no effort to hide the fact he earns his living from
marijuana, making millions selling marijuana seeds and
paraphernalia through his Vancouver store and the Internet.
It's that marijuana-centered business that has landed Emery
in hot water in the U.S., where a Seattle-based grand jury
has indicted him and two of his employees on drug and
SAN JOSE MERCURY
CITY OKS MEDICAL MARIJUANA DEPT.
In a move that divided the city's famously left-leaning
politicians, the Santa Cruz City Council on Tuesday voted to
create a city department to distribute medicinal marijuana.
If it eventually comes into being -- something that is
doubtful at this point -- the Office of Compassionate Use
would become the first such municipal office in the country.
The vote marks the latest salvo by the council in a
long-running battle over medicinal pot. Three years ago, the
council allowed medicinal marijuana to be given away on the
steps of City Hall as journalists from around the world
recorded the moment.
This time, however, council members didn't seem to be
thumbing their noses at U.S. drug laws. The council made
clear Tuesday it had no intention to establish the office
unless it wins a legal fight with federal officials in a
court of law.
SANTA CRUZ SENTINEL
STATE TO TAX MEDICAL MARIJUANA DISPENSARIES
The state approved a policy this week that opens the door
for medical marijuana distributors to collect and pay state
The policy, while
requiring marijuana retailers to feed state coffers just
like department stores or any other California retailer,
also considers their unique fear of being targeted by
federal authorities because of legal questions surrounding
approved medical marijuana in 1996, it remains illegal under
Under the new policy
passed by the state Board of Equalization, businesses can
get what is known as a sellers permit, allowing them to
collect sales tax, without indicating whether their
merchandise is lawful to sell.
DEAL WITH MEDICAL MARIJUANA ISSUES
The number of Oregonians carrying a medical marijuana card
is growing each year and more than ever employers are
finding themselves walking a fine line between their
companies’ drug-use policies and Oregon law.
Oregon employers and medical marijuana card holders await a
November Court of Appeals decision about whether companies
must accommodate employees with marijuana in their system.
The decision stems from a lawsuit brought by a former
employee of Columbia Forest Products in Klamath Falls.
had obtained a medical marijuana card in 1999 and was later
fired after a urine test indicated the presence of THC, the
active chemical in marijuana. The lawsuit contends a positive
drug test based on a urine sample doesn’t prove the employee
used or had marijuana at the workplace. A blood test is a more
accurate measuring tool.Another factor being considered is
what constitutes “reasonable accommodations.”
CHICO ENTERPRISE RECORD
MEDICAL MARIJUANA GROWS CREATING "TARGET RICH" ENVIRONMENT FOR
Thefts from marijuana gardens in Butte County are increasing
in number, and they're becoming increasingly violent,
authorities believe. Plants grown legally for medicinal
purposes — often in gardens visible from roadways — have
created popular target for thieves. In the past two weeks,
police agencies have responded to three incidents where
violence accompanied attempts to burglarize property with pot
plants — turning two of them into armed robberies, and one
into an arson investigation.
On Oct. 6 three
men wearing camouflage clothing cleaned out a small
medicinal marijuana grow off Highway 70 near Yankee Hill.
The men ran from the property, firing a shot in the general
direction of the victim. He was growing 12 plants for
friends and showed authorities three prescriptions from a
later, a Chico woman who grows medical marijuana on property
owned by her mother near Third and Mangrove avenues heard
boards being torn away from a fence beside the garden and
went to investigate. She discovered a male adult pulling her
mature marijuana plants through slants in the fence. When
she began a tug-of-war with the man, he produced a
small-caliber handgun and reportedly said, "I have a gun."
INCREASE OF WOMEN IN PRISON TIED TO DRUGS
Women made up 7
percent of all inmates in state and federal prisons last
year and accounted for nearly one in four arrests, the
government reported yesterday. A co-author of a Bureau of
Justice Statistics report, Paige Harrison, linked an upswing
in the rate of arrest for women to their increased
participation in drug crimes, violent crimes and fraud.
The number of
women incarcerated in state and federal prisons in 2004 was up
4 percent compared with 2003, nearly double the 1.8 percent
increase among men, the study said. In 1995, women made up 6.1
percent of all inmates in those facilities. "The number of
incarcerated women has been growing at a rate nearly double
that of men, due in large part to sentencing policies in the
war in drugs," The Sentencing Project, a group promoting
alternatives to prison, said in a statement.
The group said
the number of drug offenders in prisons and jails has risen
from 40,000 in 1980 to more than 450,000 today. According to
FBI figures, law officers in 2004 made more arrests for drug
violations than for any other offense -- about 1.7 million
arrests, or 12.5 percent of all arrests. Those sentenced for
drug offenses made up 55 percent of federal inmates in 2003,
the report said.
TWO-THIRDS OF ICE USERS'HOOKED" STUDY SAYS
Nearly two-thirds of the people who take the methamphetamine
known as ice are dependent on the drug, new research by the
National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) shows.The
finding was revealed in the first major study of Australia's
methamphetamine market, to be released in Sydney on Thursday.
methamphetamine - also known as crystal meth, crystal, shabu,
glass and base - is an increasingly popular party drug, with
Australian Customs officers seizing several massive shipments
in recent years. Estimated to be 10 times more powerful than
traditional amphetamines such as speed, the potentially lethal
designer drug can be smoked, snorted, injected or swallowed.
major seizure of the drug came in December 2000, when police
and Customs officers intercepted 79 kg of ice, with an
estimated street value of $15.8 million, in shipping
containers sent from China.In May 2003, police seized a record
223 kg, with a street value of $112 million, shipped from
China to Sydney in boxes of rice noodles.
Two more raids
that month uncovered further large quantities of ice.The
latest research from the NDARC, which is based at the
University of NSW, was funded by the National Drug Law
Enforcement Research Fund.Law enforcement, Customs and health
officials will attend the release of the report on
Substance Abuse Policy Research Program
One Leadership Place
Greensboro, NC 27410
LATEST STUDY ADDRESSES
POLICY MAKERS' CONCERNS ON SPENDING PUBLIC DOLLARS ON DRUG AND
Washington, DC -- Every
dollar spent on substance abuse treatment generates $7 in
monetary benefits for society, according to a new study from
researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles
Published in the on-line early edition of the peer-reviewed
journal, Health Services Research, the study finds that the
average cost of substance abuse treatment is $1,583, resulting
in monetary benefits of $11,487 through reduced medical
expenses, reduced costs of crime and increased employment
"Policy makers are generally more inclined to support
treatment programs for substance abuse if they pay for
themselves through reductions in other types of costs, such as
health care, criminal justice expenses, social programs, and
unemployment benefits. This study clearly demonstrates the
financial benefits of providing treatment for drug and alcohol
problems," according to Susan Ettner, lead author and
professor of general internal medicine and health services
research at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine and School
of Public Health.
The researcher team used data from 2,567 clients in 43
treatment programs in 13 California counties during 2000 and
2001, through the California Treatment Outcome Project (CalTOP).
The research team estimated cost of treatment for an
individual by multiplying the number of days spent in each
treatment setting, such as residential or outpatient, by the
average daily cost of each mode of treatment, estimated using
cost data collected from treatment providers.
Monetary benefits associated with treatment were estimated
using administrative records as well as data provided by each
client prior to treatment and nine months after treatment
began. The study examined costs of medical care, mental health
services, criminal activity, earnings, and related costs of
government programs such as unemployment and public aid.
The California Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, the
Center for Substance Abuse Treatment and the Robert Wood
Johnson Foundation's Substance Abuse Policy Research Program (SAPRP)
provided primary support for the study.
"Substance abuse treatment is often needed by those who are
indigent and are therefore dependent on services that are
publicly financed. Given the stigma associated with substance
abuse and the skepticism about the value of rehabilitation,
financing for substance abuse treatment often runs into the
question of whether or not it is beneficial in human and
monetary terms. This study adds to a growing body of research
showing the benefits of substance abuse treatment," according
The study's other findings:
Treatment costs of clients who began with outpatient care
totaled $838 compared to $2,791 for those who began in
Reductions were seen in hospital inpatient, emergency room
and mental health services costs, but only the $223
reduction in emergency room costs was statistically
Reduction in the cost of victimization and other criminal
activities averaged $5,676.
No significant changes were seen related to unemployment or
disability costs. However, welfare payments increased
slightly, perhaps due to increased referrals to public aid
California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs (ADP)
implemented CalTOP to allow regular assessments of drug abuse
treatment clients and their outcomes so counties can adjust
programs to address changing needs over time.
Substance Abuse Policy Research Program of the Robert Wood
Johnson Foundation is a $54 million program that funds
research into policies related to alcohol, tobacco and illegal
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing
health and health care issues facing our country. As the
nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving
the health and health care of all Americans, the Foundation
works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to
identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful and
For more than 30 years the Foundation has brought experience,
commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems
that affect the health and health care of those it serves.
Helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they
need--the Foundation expects to make a difference in our
lifetime. For more information, visit
Last Chance To
Weigh In On FY 2006 Funding For the National Guard Counterdrug
Program October 27, 2005
The President’s FY 2006 budget recommended $169.4 million
for the Governor’s State Plans program, within the National
Guard Counterdrug Program. The House passed its version of the
Department of Defense Appropriations bill for FY 2006, which
included $185.4 million for the program. The Senate passed its
version of the bill and included $268.1 million. The next step
in the process is for this bill to go to Conference.
Historically, when a bill goes to Conference the House and
Senate compromise on a funding level midway between the higher
and lower levels each house has included for a particular
program. However, with enough advocacy from the field, it is
possible that the National Guard’s Counterdrug program could
receive the Senate passed level of $268.1 million. Therefore,
it is critical that you fax the members of your congressional
delegation NOW to help ensure that
this program receives the Senate passed level of $268.1
The National Guard Counterdrug Governor's State Plans Program
provides invaluable mission and programmatic support to
community coalitions and their partners around the nation. The
National Guard is uniquely qualified and positioned to support
community, state and national goals to eliminate the use of
illegal drugs, as well as their production, importation and
distribution. If this program receives the House passed level,
it will reduce the number of soldiers and airman available to
support community anti-drug coalitions and law enforcement in
their efforts to prevent and combat illegal drug use by more
MEMBERS OF THE CONFERENCE COMMITTEE
Republicans: Chairman Ted Stevens (AK), Thad Cochran
(MS), Arlen Specter (PA), Pete Domenici (NM), Christopher Bond
(MO), Mitch McConnell (KY), Richard Shelby (AL), Judd Gregg
(NH), Kay Bailey Hutchison (TX), Conrad Burns (MT), Bill Young
(10th/FL), David Hobson (7th/OH), Henry Bonilla (23rd/TX),
Randy Cunningham (50th/CA), Rodney Frelinghuysen (11th/NJ),
Todd Tiahrt (4th/KS), Roger Wicker (1st/MS), Jack Kingston
(1st/GA) and Kay Granger (12th/TX)
Democrats: Ranking Member Daniel Inouye (HI), Robert
Byrd (WV), Patrick Leahy (VT), Tom Harkin (IA), Byron Dorgan
(ND), Richard Durbin (IL), Harry Reid (NV), Dianne Feinstein
(CA), Barbara Mikulski (MD), John Murtha (12th/PA), Norman
Dicks (6th/WA), Martin Olav Sabo (5th/MN), Peter Visclosky
(1st/IN), James Moran (8th/VA) and Marcy Kaptur (9th/OH)
To send a fax to your legislator, click here
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