MEXICAN DRUG LORDS BECOME THE WORLDS MOST POWERFUL
Hit men, pistols tucked in their
pants and walkie-talkies strapped to their belts, move freely
in this city of sorghum farmers and cattle ranchers, dropping
off their ostrich-skin boots with shoeshine boys in the city’s
plaza and stopping at local bars for a beer.
The openness with which they
operate - in Miguel Aleman and countless other towns across
Mexico - reflects the drug cartels’ grip on this nation of
nearly 100 million people, and the power they have gained as
the top supplier for Americans’ $65 billion illegal drug
gangs have been highly successful in the past two decades,
gradually replacing Colombian gangs in the United States to
control the profitable distribution of cocaine from
coast-to-coast. Colombia remains the world’s largest producer,
but Larry Holifield, the DEA’s director for Mexico and Central
America, told The Associated Press that Mexican cartels are
now the most powerful in the world.http://www.chieftain.com/national/1131294461/1
YOUTHS TO GET EARLY
LESSON ON THE PERILS OF METH
Gov. Phil Bredesen joined
district attorneys general from across the state yesterday to
announce a new campaign aimed at educating people about the
dangers of using methamphetamine. The
"Meth Destroys" campaign, which is mostly directed at young
people, grew out of a recommendation from the Governor's Task
Force on Meth Abuse.
"Tennessee has one of the
worst meth problems in the United States," Bredesen said. "It
is a critical time to educate Tennesseans about the effects of
the drug — not just on individuals, but also on their
families, neighborhoods and communities." The
yearlong campaign will focus on middle school and high school
students. Information will be distributed at schools, health
departments and law enforcement agencies.
District Attorney General
Dan Alsobrooks, who is spearheading the prosecutors' statewide
involvement in the campaign, said better educating people
would drastically affect the prosecution of meth cases.
ST CLOUD TIMES (MN)
U.S. MIGHT RESTRICT
COLD MEDICINE SALES
Congress is following the
lead of Minnesota and more than 29 states in considering
legislation to restrict sales of pseudoephedrine. A
Minnesota law restricting pseudoephedrine began July 1. It
placed pseudoephedrine products behind pharmacy counters,
limited the amount people could buy and required buyers to be
older than 18, produce identification and sign a log book.
Under the congressional
proposals, pills containing pseudoephedrine would be kept
behind pharmacy counters, and buyers would have to show
identification and sign a form each time they bought the
pills. Buying more than 7.5 grams per month would be banned.
That's about two boxes of full-strength Sudafed.
The Senate already has
approved the legislation. The House is considering a measure
that wouldn't restrict domestic pseudoephedrine sales. The two
chambers are working to settle the differences. The state law
has added 20 to 30 seconds to transactions involving
pseudoephedrine at CentraCare Health Plaza's pharmacy.
"It's just something we
have to do," said Keith Karsky, pharmacy manager of the
pharmacy at CentraCare Health Plaza.
The extra time comes
mostly from the buyer having to record his or her information
in the pharmacy's log book.
FORT WAYNE JOURNAL
HHS CHIEF SCORNED BY SOUDER
A member of President Bush’s Cabinet blocked a plan for
dealing with the country’s meth epidemic by dragging his feet,
Rep. Mark Souder, R-3rd, said Friday. He accused Michael
Leavitt, secretary of Health and Human Services, of
behind-the-scenes maneuvering to slow or stop congressional
action on a bill to restrict the sale of an ingredient used to
A spokeswoman for Leavitt
strongly denied Souder’s accusations and said he has wrong
information. Souder said Leavitt “is of the soft-on-drugs
cluster” and said journalists should “ask if he’s tied in with
the pharmaceutical industry so close that he won’t let us get
a pseudoephedrine bill.” He did not offer any evidence about a
linkage between Leavitt and the pharmaceutical industry.
Leavitt is “not soft on
drugs,” HHS spokeswoman Christina Pearson said. “Under him, we
have been promoting a balanced approach emphasizing
prevention, treatment, supply reduction.”
SAN DIEGO UNION
SUPERVISORS SUE STATE
OVER MEDICAL POT LAW
Rather than wait to be
sued for refusing to follow state medical marijuana laws, the
county Board of Supervisors is going to force the issue by
suing the state first.
The supervisors voted in
closed session Tuesday to challenge the law that requires
counties to provide identification cards to medical marijuana
users exempting them from criminal prosecution.
ANTI-METH BILL EXPECTED
TO MOVE TO HOUSE FLOOR
Senior House Republicans
said Tuesday that they plan to press ahead today with a
two-pronged approach to regulating pseudoephedrine, hoping to
bridge differences with the Senate and allow passage by year's
end. The measure is expected to clear the House Judiciary
Committee this morning at the urging of Chairman James
Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., and head to a floor vote before
Blunt did not provide
details of the plan. But a copy obtained by The Oregonian
shows that it merges House and Senate bills aimed at
controlling sales of pseudoephedrine, the key ingredient in
methamphetamine. The Senate plan deals with domestic
regulation of cold medicine containing pseudoephedrine. The
House bill would control the international trade of the
Negotiators for the two
chambers of Congress attempted to combine the legislation last
week and attach it to a spending bill. But they couldn't reach
agreement before the bill was voted on. Marc Wheat, staff
director and general counsel to the main House committee on
drug policy, said the House bill up for a vote today includes
provisions that both chambers tentatively agreed to last week.
ALBANY DEMOCRAT HERALD
COURT HEARS CASE ON
MEDICAL MARIJUANA IN THE WORKPLACE
An attorney for Columbia Forest Products Inc. argued before
the Oregon Supreme Court that voters who approved the Oregon
Medical Marijuana Act never intended to force companies to let
employees come to work with the drug in their systems.
But Philip Lebenbaum, an attorney representing a mill worker
who was fired after failing several drug tests, told the
justices Monday that his client's medical condition left him
legally disabled, requiring his employer to make reasonable
accommodations for him in the workplace under the Oregonians
with Disabilities Law.
The case pits an
employer's right to ensure a safe workplace against a worker's
right in Oregon to use marijuana at home to treat pain. It
started in 2001, when Robert Washburn was fired from the
company's mill in Klamath Falls after several failed urine
METH COMES OUT OF THE CLOSET
Chad Upham had been the kind of kid any parent would be proud
of -- an Eagle Scout, a good child who didn't cause problems
in his fundamentalist Christian family. He didn't touch a beer
until he was 21. Jump forward to an early Monday morning this
past July. Upham, now 27, had been up all night after another
weekend of drugs and sexual hookups with strangers he met
online.But instead of pushing his limits for indulgence again,
he made a different choice. Around 3 a.m., Upham sent an
e-mail to his friends and family with some unexpected news.
"Over the past four
months," he wrote, "I have become a regular user of crystal
methamphetamine." He added, "I acknowledge, without shame, a
concern for my mental, physical and emotional health." While
meth abuse is well-established in the U.S. heartland and
increasing in New York and Los Angeles, it has had a low
profile in the Washington area, where crack cocaine and
marijuana are still the targets of most anti-drug programs run
by law enforcement and public health agencies.
NEW RESTRICTIONS ON SELLING COLD
Pauline Cole, 10,
of Jeannette, walked up to the Wal-Mart pharmacy counter in
Greensburg, stood on her tiptoes and waved a card showing a
box of Sudafed at the pharmacist. "Where is this?" she asked,
peering over the counter. "If we have it, it would be on the
shelf over there," the pharmacist said, pointing to a shelf
located next to the pharmacy.
The freckle-faced girl walked
over to the shopper-friendly "Cough and Cold Express" station
and picked up a box of Sudafed Pennsylvania pharmacies do
not have to restrict sales of medicines that contain
pseudoephedrine -- such as Sudafed, Tylenol Flu and Aleve
Sinus & Headache -- but many are doing it on their own. The
ingredient can be illegally used to make the highly addictive
street drug, methamphetamine.
The U.S. Senate passed a bill
in September that would limit how much cold medicine people
can buy and require them to show photo identification and sign
a log. But for this cold season, at least, the potential for a
consumer nightmare has proven to be not so much of a hassle at
Prosecutors and federal drug-enforcement agents Monday talked
about putting the brakes on Lancaster County's "speed"
problem. Prosecutors and federal
drug-enforcement agents Monday talked about putting the brakes
on Lancaster County's "speed" problem.
About 60 people attended an educational program at Manor
Middle School titled "Methamphetamine: Not Just a Big City
Problem," hosted by Patrick L. Meehan, U.S. attorney for the
Eastern District; county District Attorney Donald Totaro; and
representatives of the federal Drug Enforcement Agency.
proliferation of methamphetamine, also known as speed, is a
major problem in rural areas of the Midwest and is beginning
to appear in Pennsylvania, Meehan said."We have a dramatic
problem that is working its way into our community, and our
challenge is to do something about it," he said.
Methamphetamine was cited as the No. 1 problem for
law-enforcement agencies around the country last year, Meehan
said. "As imposing as this problem is, we can do something
about it," Meehan said. "Education is what we need as the
first line of defense." Methamphetamine is a synthetic
stimulant that gives users a feeling of alertness and
increased motivation. The drug is highly addictive and has
destructive physical and mental side effects, Meehan said.
Most methamphetamine is still manufactured in labs in the
western United States and Mexico, but hometown labs have
sprouted up across the country, and two were recently
discovered in Lancaster County. "Methamphetamine is more
prevalent in the west, but it is moving our way," Totaro said.Prosecutors
and federal drug-enforcement agents Monday talked about
putting the brakes on Lancaster County's "speed" problem.
ST. LOUIS POST DISPATCH
METH ADDICTION TREATMENT CALLS FOR SPECIAL TACTICS, EXPERTS
Alex Stalcup has helped people battle addictions to
virtually all types of drugs for 18 years. But none of these
drugs poses a greater challenge to conquer than
methamphetamine, he says.That's why before meth users can
get sober, they need certain things that other drug users do
not, said Stalcup, the medical director of the New Leaf
Treatment Center in Lafayette, Calif., and former director
of the Haight Ashbury Free Clinic in San Francisco.
They immediately need anti-psychotic medication to counter
the mood-crashing low that follows the euphoric high.
And they need sleep. It's not uncommon to see users who have
been awake for an entire month, Stalcup says. They're cranky
and aggressive. "It's very hard to learn when you haven't
slept," Stalcup said at a training session last week in
Godfrey for people who work with meth addicts.
Meth chemically alters the brains of users, and its effects
linger even when they stop using the drug. Most people who
enter drug-treatment centers have stopped using. That's not
so with meth addicts, Stalcup said. Assume that they'll
begin using again at least three times during treatment, he
SYMPTOMS OF A KENNEDY LIFE
Christopher Kennedy Lawford had
just flown in from Boston to Washington for the second stop
on the promotional tour for his first book, "Symptoms of
Withdrawal." Tall and slim in a navy-blue suit and
open-necked white shirt, the author sat with ease in a
high-backed chair in a quiet corner of a hotel on
Massachusetts Avenue. With a head of thick dark hair flecked
with gray at the temples, clear gray eyes and smooth skin,
he looks nowhere near his 50 years.
He is feeling good. With positive advance reviews --
including jacket blurbs from Norman Mailer and Frank McCourt
-- his memoir quickly hit the New York Times best-seller
list. As an actor, Mr. Lawford has a strong role in "The
World's Fastest Indian" starring Anthony Hopkins. The film
received warm reviews at the Toronto International Film
He is proud of the resonance of his middle name --
prominently displayed on the book's dust jacket -- though as
the actor, he is billed as Chris Lawford. He earned a law
degree, but never practiced as a lawyer, and turned to
acting in the 1990s, when he became a star on the ABC soap
opera "All My Children." His father was English actor Peter
Lawford, a member of Frank Sinatra's high-living "Rat Pack."
Mr. Lawford looks a veritable clone of his father, who died
in 1984. His mother is Patricia Kennedy, sister of former
President John F. Kennedy. The glamour of it all is
difficult to match. Mr. Lawford fills many pages with
recollections of his youth. His mother seems to have kept
every note he ever wrote to her, which proved fortunate for
CASES OF DRUG-USING MOMS GIVE BIRTH ON THE RISE
The number of mothers delivering babies with illegal drugs
in their systems - most notably methamphetamine and cocaine
- has increased locally in recent years, according to
Parkview Medical Center officials. Susan Williams,
Parkview's director of women's services and Kidsville, said
she didn't immediately have exact numbers of the
But from her experience,
Williams said the number of women with drug problems has
grown in the past three years. More than one woman a month
delivers with complications caused by illegal drugs, she
said.Williams said the ages of the women giving birth
generally ranges from age 15 or 16, to those in their late
Most often, she
said, the scenarios plays out medically with placenta
separation and excessive bleeding during the births.
Williams said the growing number of occurrences is memorable
because many are high-risk deliveries - when both the
mother's and baby's lives are in jeopardy. "You see
complications, placenta separation and bleeding, which are
definitely a risk for the baby," she said. "You see pre-term
labor. You can actually see pre-term births because if the
placenta separates, that's a complete emergency delivery
because (the placenta) is how the baby gets its oxygen."
In about half of the cases
when the women go into labor and are ready to deliver,
Pueblo County Social Services officials already are aware
and involved in the situation, according to Williams
TAKE ACTION ON
FEDERAL FUNDING FOR ALCOHOL AND DRUG PREVENTION AND
Congressional staff are
currently discussing the final levels of funding for alcohol
and drug prevention, treatment, research and education
programs in the LHHS (Labor, Health and Human Services and
Education) spending bill. The House is still discussing the
possibility of doing an across-the-board spending cut
for all non-defense programs. This means that our programs
that are being level funded, including the Substance Abuse
Prevention and Treatment Block Grant are in jeopardy. The
Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities State Grants
Program is also still at risk of losing a significant
portion, if not all, of its funding.
Please fax and call your Senators and House
Representatives and ask them to support the attached field
recommendations for alcohol and drug programs. If you
live in a State or District with a member on the Conference
Committee that will be working out the differences between
the Senate and House passed bills, it is extremely important
that they hear from as many constituents as possible today
about the importance of protecting funding for these
House Members on the Conference Committee (Conferees):
Regula (R-OH), Istook (R-OK), Wicker (R-MS), Northup (R-KY),
Cunningham (R-CA), Granger (R-TX), Peterson (R-PA), Sherwood
(R-PA), Weldon (R-FL), Walsh (R-NY), Lewis (R-CA), Obey
(D-WI), Hoyer (D-MD), Lowey (D-NY), DeLauro (D-CT), Jackson
(D-IL), Kennedy (D-RI), and Roybal-Allard (D-CA)
Senate Members on the Conference Committee (Conferees):
Arlen Specter (R-PA), Thad
Cochran (R-MS), Judd Gregg (R-NH), Larry Craig (R-ID), Kay
Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Ted Stevens (R-AK), Mike DeWine
(R-OH), Richard Shelby (R-AL), Pete Domenici (R-NM), Tom
Harkin (D-IA), Daniel Inouye (D-HI), Harry Reid (D-NV),
Herb Kohl (D-WI), Patty Murray (D-WA), Mary Landrieu
(D-LA), Richard Durbin (D-IL), and Robert Byrd (D-WV).
field requested funding levels are:
billion for the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment
Block Grant, the foundation of the publicly supported
prevention and treatment system in this country.
$422.3 million for the Center
for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT), including $100
million for the Access to Recovery drug treatment voucher
$202.3 million for the Center
for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP).
million for the Safe and
and Communities State Grants program.
$452.3 million for research
at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
$1.035 billion for research
at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).
Questions? Please feel free
to call Alexa Eggleston or Gabrielle de la Gueronniere at
the Legal Action Center 202-544-5478 .
Thank You for Your
Alexa Eggleston, J.D.
Director of National
Legal Action Center
236 Massachusetts Ave. NE
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 544-5478 ex.11
(202) 544-5712 (Fax)
GOOD NEWS IN THE DRUG WAR
Big victories in the drug war are seldom big news.
Good news violates the old adage that "what bleeds
leads," especially in competitive nightly news.
But there is good news and it needs airing. It
also leads to next steps.
know, drug war stories are like castor oil. They
might be good for you, but they are no fun to read.
Yes, drug overdoses ended 20,000 young lives in
2003, crushing dreams, leaving gaping holes in
families, schools and communities. But that stuff
hurts to read. Don't you flip past that to the far
drugs fund terrorism from Colombia to Afghanistan,
but we are on that, aren't we? Surely that stuff is
being handled by state and federal law enforcement.
Do we have to be reminded -- again -- that we live
in the midst of hidden dangers? Who needs that?
Where's the sports page?
down. Here are some facts for parents, grandparents,
teachers, policy makers and the newsroom -- and then
some good news. First, talking with kids -- even if
it's a bit awkward -- about what you are about to
read could save them -- or a friend.
Second, drug purities are outrageously high. Not
long ago, heroin was 7 percent pure across the
country. Today, it is between 70 and 90 percent --
everywhere. Emergency rooms are awash. A teen caught
unaware and convinced to try it may not get a second
chance. No kidding. Heroin can be popped, smoked,
snorted or injected. They call it opium and other
your son or daughter if they know it can kill with
one use. Have they seen it on school grounds, going,
coming? Ever seen ecstasy, E, or butterfly? How
about cocaine, or prescription drugs like oxycontin?
Ask if they know marijuana is often laced with PCP.
Know who the sellers are? You'll be surprised what
they know. At some point, most kids are approached.
The number one reason most say no -- is you.
what about methamphetamine, or meth? You know about
meth, right? If
you don't, you are behind the times. One in 20 kids
has tried it. Addiction rates are rising. In 16
states, there are now more kids in treatment for
meth than either cocaine or heroin.
East Coast is getting hit by a major wave of
trafficking that started in California a decade ago,
led by Mexican "super labs" and cheap ingredients.
Those are (you knew this) over-the-counter
pseudo-ephedrine and ephedrine. Rapid increases in
use are being recorded in Illinois, Kentucky,
Alabama and Georgia, but Virginia, Maryland and the
District of Colombia are vulnerable.
purities doubled over the past decade. It is now 70
percent in many cities. Not many second chances
there. A few dollars will buy enough meth for
addiction; $25 dollars will buy several "rocks."
Like the heroin, meth takes over, masked by
increasing secrecy, kicking the unwitting teen into
an abyss from which climbing out is often harder
than escaping heroin addiction.
with that user goes her family -- parents and
siblings, or children of the addict. From there
radiate widening circles of pain. Yes, even "good
kids" from "good families" get caught -- by the
thousands. In major cities, between a quarter and a
third of all arrestees test positive for meth.
use induces unparalleled violence and depravity, as
previous values get left curbside. Brain damage --
ugly stuff -- accompanies chronic use. That
condition looks like Alzheimer's. Half of all states
now consider meth the number one drug threat to
kids. So, ask your son or daughter if they have ever
heard talk of ice, speed, chalk, crystal, crank,
glass, fire or poor man's cocaine. That's all meth.
where's the good news? Well, this summer, the Senate
Judiciary Committee finally approved -- with
administration support -- a thorough-going
anti-methamphetamine bill. This is more than talk.
leaving tough state drug laws in place, the bill
puts meth's primary ingredients -- pseudo-ephedrine
and ephedrine -- behind the counter. It takes away
easy access to these ingredients for those who were
using them, and that is a big, good news story for
kids, parents and families, not to mention law
next step is simple. If we apply international
pressure to the ephedrine and pseudo-ephedrine
producers in India, China, the Czech Republic and
Germany -- there are only nine -- we might be able
to stop at the source a major scourge. Of course,
that's another good news story you won't hear. But
it is worth trying all the same. Now, back to the
Robert Charles, former assistant secretary of state
for international narcotics and law enforcement,
2003-2005, is currently president of The Charles
Group, Gaithersburg, Md