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Drug Headlines across the U.S. December 4 Edition

LOS ANGELES TIMES  
STUDY SUGGESTS ANTIDEPRESSANT MAY HELP TREAT METH ADDICTION
A common antidepressant, bupropion, can reduce the craving for methamphetamine, providing the possibility of a drug treatment for the powerfully addictive stimulant, according to a study by UCLA researchers published today. Dr. Thomas F. Newton, a UCLA psychiatrist who led the study, found that subjects who were given bupropion reported a lesser high after a meth injection as well as a less intense craving after watching a video of actors favorably portraying meth use. Although the four-week study involved only 20 patients, its results were encouraging because there is no drug treatment for methamphetamine addiction.

Bupropion, sold under the trade name Wellbutrin, has long been used as an antidepressant and treatment to stop smoking. The "study is provocative and potentially promising," said Dr. Eric Collins, a psychiatry professor and drug expert at Columbia University who was not involved in the research. A related study, involving 120 patients, will be presented next month at a National Institute for Drug Abuse meeting, said that study's principal investigator, UCLA psychiatry professor Richard A. Rawson.

"The new and larger trial … may be the real test of the treatment," Collins said.
Most addicts are treated with counseling, and recovery rates are low — about 20%, experts say.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-sci-meth23nov23,1,6784993.story?coll=la-headlines-nation 
 
HUNTSVILLE ITEM (TX)  
METH AND DESTRUCTION, PART I
Mike's an addict from way back. He's been addicted to some drug or another for decades, but he said none has ever done to him what meth has. Mike's name has been changed to protect his identity, and from an interview in the Walker County Jail on Monday, he said meth is a drug no one should touch.

"I started meth a couple of years ago," the 30-something-year-old man said. "I had always done marijuana."

Marijuana is the drug of choice for many, but expedience is key, according to Mike, and the timing issue led him to meth.

"I was on probation for marijuana," he said. "Marijuana stays in your system longer than meth. Meth gets out of your system in three days and you can pass a piss test."

http://itemonline.com/articles/2005/11/25/news/local/news4.txt
 
METH AND DESTRUCTION, PART II
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration ranks Texas the top-yielding state in the nation for methamphetamine seizures. In 2002, approximately 288 pounds were seized. By 2004, that number jumped to about 1,481 pounds, an amount that could garner more than $28 million on the street.
http://itemonline.com/articles/2005/11/25/news/local/news5.txt
 
METH AND DESTRUCTION, PART IV
As methamphetamine moves from the rural Heartland into American cities, police, experts and health officials sort through their toolbox for ways to fight the epidemic. It's a challenge that can be seen from the darting eyes of recovering users to the wringing hands of concerned community members. But allowing use to spread unimpeded is costly to the public pocketbook.

More than 12 million people in the United States have used meth at least once, estimated a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services survey. More women now use meth than cocaine.

Despite its spread, methamphetamine remains a rural drug in much of the country.
http://itemonline.com/articles/2005/11/26/news/local/news7.txt
 
DALLAS MORNING NEWS  
VIDEO OFFERS BRUTAL GLIMPSE OF DRUG CARTEL
The four men sit bruised, bloody and bound on the floor before a curtain of black garbage bags. Prodded by an unseen interrogator, they coolly describe how they enforce the rule of Mexico's Gulf cartel: Enemies are kidnapped, tortured and shot in the head, their bodies burned to ashes. 
Among those killed, the men say in a video sent to The Dallas Morning News, were a radio reporter who "didn't want to work anymore" for their cartel and a chamber of commerce leader who called too loudly for federal help against the drug gangs. "Break him because he is causing controversy," was the order from his cartel boss, says one of the men.
 
After six minutes of such confessions, a 9 mm pistol held by a black-gloved hand enters the picture and fires a bullet into the head of one of the self-proclaimed killers. Authorities on both sides of the border said the interrogation video appears genuine, offering a rare and extraordinary look into the Gulf cartel's inner workings and its well-armed allies, known as the Zetas. They also said the crude home movie raises unsettling questions about the cartels' possible reach into Mexico's government, military and media – though a government spokesman said that impression could be misleading.
http://www.dallasnews.com/cgi-bin/bi/gold_print.cgi
 
TAPED KILLING A 'WAY TO BLOODY WATERS'
They're the latest weapon in the drug war: videotaped executions. Like tapes of beheadings made by terrorists, these videos can show in graphic detail the consequences of crossing the drug cartels.
 
"This is what you do in wars," said an investigator familiar with the video.
Those who put it together and distributed it, the investigator said, clearly wanted to unnerve the Zetas, whose men are being interrogated on camera.
http://www.dallasnews.com/cgi-bin/bi/gold_print.cgi

CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR  
INMATES TRY BOOT CAMP FOR KICKING DRUGS
In this remote section of Minnesota woods, the 14 prisoners of Echo Squad march in seamless military formation, dressed in neat khakis and blue hats, repeating cadence calls that are more Dr. Phil than Sergeant Hartman: "Now it's time to be a man; fix our problems while we can. Restorative justice, giving back; trying to get our lives on track."
 
The men are almost done with the boot-camp portion of a Minnesota program that gives early release to nonviolent drug offenders, most of whom are in on methamphetamine-related crimes. (A similar camp exists for women inmates.) The state's program has become a rare model. At a time when the federal and several state governments are moving away from boot-camp programs, Minnesota is showing how nonviolent drug offenders can return to society and remain sober.
 
With meth use becoming a serious problem across the Midwest and West, states are fighting back by restricting the sale of ingredients, like cold medicines, used to make the drug and increasing mandatory minimum sentences. The House of Representatives is considering a bill that would do both at a federal level.
 
But some states are also seeing economic and social benefits by replacing prison time with treatment, particularly with those who are in the drug business because of a personal addiction rather than for profit. Proponents say they alleviate the growing burden on prisons and improve the chances that drug offenders will be able to kick their habit and return to society.
http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/1201/p02s01-ussc.htm 
 
SEATTLE TIMES  
LUMMIS ENLIST FIRE, AN OLD ALLY, AS THEY BATTLE SCOURGE OF DRUGS
LUMMI NATION, Whatcom County — It began quietly with the beat of a single elk-skin drum. Then came the songs and prayers, as powerful as the fire set to this house to burn it to the ground. Painted with red ochre for spiritual protection, Dorothy Charles, a spiritual leader of the Nooksack tribe, led family members in setting the house ablaze and, with it, trying to destroy the scourge of drug abuse killing some Lummi people.
 
Boarded up, abandoned and condemned, the house destroyed in a burning ceremony on the Lummi reservation Thursday was last lived in by a renter who used it, without the knowledge of its owners, to deal drugs. The dealer is now in jail. The family that owns the home agreed to the burning to cleanse the ground, and through the fire, bring a fresh start not only to the family but to the tribe.
 
Of 170 babies born on the reservation in 2003, 28 are believed to have been affected by alcohol or drugs. The Lummi have responded, beginning in 2002 with a communitywide, anti-drug program that has thrown everything at the drug problem, from detectives and prosecuting attorneys to drug testing, surveillance cameras — and even banishment of dealers from the reservation. And still it is not enough. To begin the healing, the tribe has returned to the teachings of its ancestors.
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/cgi-bin/PrintStory.pl?document_id=2002659378&zsection_id=2002111777&slug=burning02m&date=20051202
 
PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER
 
COURT REBUFFS STATE PROSECUTORS ON DWI DEVICE
With hundreds of drunken-driving cases in limbo, a state appellate panel yesterday ordered a new hearing to determine the reliability of the device that is replacing the Breathalyzer.
 
The ruling is a defeat for state prosecutors, who maintained that a Camden County judge's 2003 ruling established the accuracy of the Alcotest 7110 MKIII-C. But because no appellate court reviewed that decision, defense lawyers contended that it was not binding in the state's 20 other counties.
 
Since the 2003 ruling, 10 counties besides Camden have deployed the Alcotest. The remaining 10 are to use it by November.
http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/news/local/13308280.htm?template=contentModules/printstory.jsp
 
DALLAS MORNING NEWS  
AGENTS HELD IN TAPED KILLING
Corrupt federal agents working for drug traffickers are the primary authors of a shocking video in which four enforcers for a rival cartel are interrogated and one is shot in the head, a top Mexican prosecutor said Thursday.
Eight federal agents and two civilians are in custody, accused of kidnapping and torturing the Nuevo Laredo-based Zetas, allies of the Gulf cartel, said Deputy Attorney General José Luis Santiago Vasconcelos. The eight are members of the elite Federal Investigative Agency, modeled on the FBI. Three more agents are considered fugitives, he added, and seven civilians are still at large.
The video of the interrogation and shooting was made public Thursday by The Dallas Morning News, prompting Mr. Vasconcelos to hold a news conference to respond to the graphic revelations.
http://www.dallasnews.com/cgi-bin/bi/gold_print.cgi 
 
LOS ANGELES TIMES  
MEXICO TO EXTRADITE MORE SUSPECTS TO U.S.
Mexico's Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to allow the extradition of criminal suspects who face life sentences abroad, clearing the way for thousands of alleged killers and drug traffickers to stand trial in the United States. The court's 6-5 vote ends four years of wrangling between the U.S. and Mexican governments over murder suspects who have been protected by Mexico's ban on life sentences.

U.S. lawmakers this fall threatened to cut off millions of dollars in aid to Mexico unless it turned over suspects in a number of high-profile cases, including the fatal shootings of a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy and a Denver police detective. Since 1978, Mexico has barred the extradition of its citizens accused of crimes that carry the death penalty. The Mexican Supreme Court extended the extradition ban in October 2001 to Mexicans facing life in prison, a penalty the court said violated the country's constitution as a cruel and unusual punishment.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-mexico30nov30,1,3104758,print.story?coll=la-headlines-world

BOSTON GLOBE  
COCAINE'S NEW ROUTE- DRUG TRAFFICKERS TURN TO GUATEMALA
With Washington's attention focused elsewhere, Guatemala has quietly become the transshipment point for more than 75 percent of the cocaine smuggled into the United States, according to US authorities.
 
Loosely patrolled borders, two coastlines, staggering corruption, lax enforcement, and judicial impunity have long made Guatemala a favored transit point for contraband. But with US resources channeled toward battling drugs in Colombia and terrorism in the Middle East, organized crime has made even more dramatic inroads here in the past several years.
 
In the first half of this year, traffickers moved 90 percent of US-bound cocaine through Central America, much of it through Guatemala, a top US Drug Enforcement Administration official told Congress this month. As Mexico has stepped up antidrug patrols and interdiction in recent years, traffickers are increasingly looking to Guatemala as a dropoff point for their payloads.
http://www.boston.com/news/world/latinamerica/articles/2005/11/30/cocaines_new_route?mode=PF
 
WASHINGTON TIMES  
ALITO FOES FOCUS ON DRUG CASE AS OMEN ON PRIVACY
A key battleground in the fight over Supreme Court nominee Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. has become his ruling last year in favor of police officers who searched a 10-year-old girl during a raid on a suspected drug house. Liberals accuse Judge Alito of generally supporting police searches of children and frame his dissent in Doe v. Groody as part of a broader hostility toward "privacy rights."
 
Judge Alito's defenders say the liberal attacks oversimplify the case to the point of dishonesty and distort his ruling. Judge Alito's dissent, they say, was not a policy statement supporting the strip-search of children, but rather an opinion saying that officers were immune to a civil lawsuit filed by the drug suspect over the search of his daughter.
http://www.washtimes.com/functions/print.php?StoryID=20051129-102531-1628r
 
THE BOSTON GLOBE                                                                                                                                          LAWMAKER WANTS TO LOWER THE DRINKING AGE FOR TROOPS
A Portsmouth lawmaker wants to lower the drinking age for troops. State Rep. James Splaine said his bill would let the youth over 18 use their military identification card to buy alcohol. The current drinking age is 21. "I think it is unconscionable for us to be sending you people into battle and still be saying there are some rights you don't have and one of them is the right to drink," said Splaine, a Democrat.

Critics of Spline's bill say alcohol inhibits brain development in the young and would put New Hampshire's federal highway funding at risk. Federal law conditions the aid on the drinking age being 21.Splaine said he would make the age change in New Hampshire conditional on winning a waiver from the federal government so highway aid would not be affected.

"I think this will be a good debate to have," said Splaine. "I don't know if the bill stands a chance of passage, but we need to generate the discussion on how to best educate people to handle alcohol. Age doesn't seem to be the main element." http://www.boston.com/news/local/new_hampshire/articles/2005/11/27/lawmaker_wants_to_lower_
drinking_age_for_troops/

 

ARIZONA REPUBLIC  
STUDY: METH LINKED TO KIDS' DEATHS
For the first time, researchers studying childhood deaths in Arizona looked behind the statistics to determine what really led to a youngster's death.
The answer, in one out of five cases where the death was a result of maltreatment, was methamphetamines. The Arizona Childhood Fatality Review Team's annual report, released Tuesday, showed that 21 of the 102 child deaths linked to drug and alcohol use by a parent or caregiver in 2004 were due to meth. Alcohol and other drugs contributed to 10 percent of all childhood deaths last year, with alcohol identified in 50 of the deaths.

Unlike the previous 11 years, researchers dug through the case histories of the 1,048 child deaths in 2004 to find the root cause of their deaths.
Instead of listing a child's death as caused by falling from a window, for example, researchers looked for reasons why the child fell, namely inattentiveness by parents or caregivers who were using drugs and alcohol at the time.

 http://www.azcentral.com/php-bin/clicktrack/print.php?referer=http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/
1130childdeaths.html

 
HONOLULU ADVERTISER  
METH MOTHER'S CONVICTION OVERTURNED
In a precedent-setting decision, the Hawai'i Supreme Court ruled yesterday that women cannot be prosecuted for the death of their children caused by detrimental conduct while pregnant. The ruling reversed a manslaughter conviction for a 32-year-old Kane'ohe woman whose newborn infant died because she smoked crystal methamphetamine during her pregnancy.
 
The high court ruled that the homicide prosecution of Tayshea Aiwohi did not fall under state law because her unborn child was not a "person" when she smoked the drug. No court in America has upheld a homicide conviction based on a mother's conduct while pregnant. An offshoot of the Hawai'i Supreme Court decision is that it suggests a person who injures a pregnant woman cannot be prosecuted for the death to her newborn child.
http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2005/Nov/30/ln/FP511300342.html/?print=on 
 
BBC NEWS                                                                                                                                                  
DRUG DOUBLES FATAL CRASH RISK
Driving after taking even small amounts of cannabis almost doubles risk of a fatal road accident, research suggests. The French National Institute for Transport and Safety Research found evidence of cannabis use among 7% of drivers involved in fatal crashes. However, the figure was dwarfed by the 21.4% who tested positive for alcohol consumption. The British Medical Journal study was based on 10,748 drivers involved in fatal crashes between 2001 and 2003.
All of the drivers had compulsory tests for drugs and alcohol. The researchers found the risk of being responsible for a fatal crash increased as the blood concentration of cannabis increased. While even small amounts of cannabis could double the chance of a driver suffering an accident, larger doses could more than triple the risk. The findings also showed 2.9% of drivers tested positive for both cannabis and alcohol use. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/4486308.stm

ASSOCIATED PRESS
HEAVY SMOKERS COULD BE DENIED  NHS TREATMENT
Patients with illnesses deemed to be 'self-inflicted' could be denied treatment under guidance introduced by the drugs rationing watchdog. Heavy drinkers or smokers and those who are overweight could all be refused help. Patients' groups last night demanded to know how far the definition of 'self-inflicted' illness might go.

They are concerned it could also cover conditions such as sports injuries. Details of the guidelines emerged days after health trusts in Suffolk announced that obese patients would be banned from having knee and hip replacements. It appears in a document produced by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence to help decide how new drugs and treatments could best be employed.

In the section on self-induced illnesses, the document, entitled Social Value Judgments, says treatment could be withheld if the selfinflicted cause of the illness affects the 'clinical or cost effectiveness' of a drug or treatment.  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/health/healthmain.html?in_article_id=369918&in_page_id=
1770&in_a_source=&ito=1490

ASCRIBE NEWSWIRE                                                                                                                              
LOWERING THE DRINKING AGE INCREASES CAR CRASHES AMOUNG YOUTH, STUDY FINDS: INJURIES; DEATHS ON THE RISE AFTER NEW ZELAND LAWS CHANGE                                
             
Lowering the drinking age causes a dramatic increase in alcohol-related car crashes among young people, according to a new study based on data from New Zealand, where the government dropped the drinking age to 18 six years ago.  This evidence is significant for the United States, because drinking and driving patterns among young people are similar. Theres continuing pressure in the United States, particularly from alcohol industry interests, to reduce the minimum legal drinking age. Currently, five states have pending legislation to lower their drinking age.

There is no traffic safety policy with more evidence for its effectiveness than minimum legal drinking age laws, said Robert B. Voas, Ph.D., an author of the study. Traffic crashes by young drivers were declining in New Zealand when that country decided to lower its drinking age. Thereafter, the overall road toll for those drivers rose dramatically. People in the United States who argue for lowering the drinking age should pay attention. Voas, a senior research scientist at PIRE Public Services Research Institute, has studied alcohol-related traffic issues for more than three decades.

The study, published in the January edition of the Journal of American Public Health Association, found that the rate of alcohol-related traffic crashes with injuries among males increased 12 percent for 18- to 19-year-olds and 14 percent among 15- to 17-year-olds in the four years before and after the law changed. For females, the rate increased 51 percent for 18- to 19-year-olds and 24 percent for 15- to 17-year-olds. The authors estimated that 400 serious injuries and 12 deaths a year among 15-19 year olds could be avoided in New Zealand by raising the drinking age. Most remarkable was the trickle-down effect that was seen in the 15- to 17-year-olds, Voas said. Clearly, theyre getting alcohol from older friends.                                                                                                                                                                                  http://www.ascribe.org/cgi-bin/behold.pl?ascribeid=20051128.082640&time=09%2024%20PST&year=2005&public=1

THE STAR LEDGER                                                                                                                                                                            
CAMDEN CRIME A PROBLEM HERE, TOO                                                                                                 
 
Fueled by the illegal drug trade, Camden's crime problem is becoming Gloucester County's headache. For the second straight year, Camden has been dubbed the most dangerous city in America by city crime rankings from Morgan Quitno in Lawrence, Kan. But crime in Camden is not only caused by those who live in that city. It's just as much the fault of Gloucester County residents and those from other suburban communities, according to Camden County Prosecutor's Office spokesman Bill Shralow.

Drug dealing is the core of Camden's crime problem, Shralow said; however, between 60 and 70 percent of those arrested for trying to buy drugs in Camden come from outside the city. "People in this area know that Camden has somewhere in the neighborhood of 150 open-air drug sets," Shralow said. "The narcotics trafficking wouldn't exist -- at least not to the extent that it does -- without demand from places like Gloucester County."

Each day, law enforcement officials in Camden work to arrest dealers and buyers. Once they are out of jail, though, many go right back to what they were doing. "It's a big hill to climb," Shralow said. "We've put a considerable amount of focus on targeting buyers and trying to reduce the suburban demand."                                                                                                              http://www.nj.com/news/gloucester/index.ssf?/base/news-0/1133169364159750.xml&coll=8

THE SAN FRANSICO CHRONICLE                                                                                                
SACRAMENTO HIGH COURT TO RULE ON MEDICAL POT FIRING
                                                             

The state Supreme Court waded into the conflict between state and federal drug laws Wednesday and agreed to decide whether employees in California can be fired for using medical marijuana. The justices granted a hearing on an appeal by Gary Ross of Sacramento, who was fired after eight days of work as a systems administrator for an information technology company when he tested positive for marijuana on a pre-employment physical exam. Chief Justice Ronald George and Justices Joyce Kennard, Kathryn Mickle Werdegar and Carlos Moreno, a majority on the court, voted to review the case.

The ruling will determine whether Proposition 215, the 1996 initiative that legalized marijuana for medical purposes in California, protects employees who can show that they are capable of doing the job. In his lawsuit, Ross said he had suffered back injuries while in the Air Force, started using marijuana with his doctor's approval in 1999 and was able to work without impairment. He was hired by Ragingwire Telecommunications in September 2001 but fired after the company received results of his drug test. http://www.jointogether.org/sa/news/summaries/reader/0%2C1854%2C578680%2C00.html 

THE DAYTONA BEACH NEWS                                                                                                             
PARSLEY-POT RUSE GETS KEDS SUSPENDED                                                                                            
Two Flagler County elementary school pupils were arrested last week after pretending a plastic bag of parsley was marijuana. An arrest report by Cpl. Don Apperson, a school resource deputy with the Flagler County Sheriff's Office, said the two girls, each 10-year-old pupils at Old Kings Elementary School, were showing classmates a plastic bag with a green leafy substance they said was marijuana.

School officials learned of the alleged bag of marijuana and called the girls into a conference with their parents. The girls admitted they did not have marijuana and said that the bag of parsley, which they brought to school in their book bags, was a prank, the report said. The girls were charged under a state law that makes it a crime to claim that a substance is a drug -- whether or not the item is intended for sale or distribution, according to Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Debra Johnson. They were taken to the Flagler County Inmate Facility and later released to their parents.

The girls were also suspended from school and ordered to attend drug awareness classes.                                                              
 
http://www.news-journalonline.com/NewsJournalOnline/News/Flagler/03FlaglerFLAG02112905.htm

HERE ARE THE RESULTS SO FAR FROM THE WISCONSIN POLL TO LEGALIZE MARIJUANA:  PLEASE ADD YOUR VOTE TO OVER TURN THIS POLE!

A TV station in WI is doing an online poll on MedMJ. 
 
Do you think marijuana should be legalized in Wisconsin for medicinal purposes?
Choice Votes Percentage of 1071 Votes
Yes 677 63%
No 366 34%
Not sure 28 3%


www.saveoursociety.org
Assembly Bill 740 sponsored by Rep. Gregg Underheim (R-Oshkosh) would allow
medical excuse marijuana in Wisconsin.  On Tuesday November 22, 2005 there
was a public hearing before the Wisconsin Assembly Health Committee.  It is
imperative to contact the members of the Health Committee and urge them to
not pass the medical excuse marijuana bill.  Do NOT let Wisconsin residents
use marijuana.  It is important to act NOW so that this bill does not come
up for a vote.  With your help we can shut this bill down.  Please take a
minute and write a letter to the members on the committee and urge them to
not pass the medical marijuana bill.  Also you can call the members and ask
them to oppose A. B. 740.  Please take a minute to TAKE ACTION NOW AND KEEP
MEDICAL EXCUSE MARIJUNANA OUT OF WISCONSIN!
Go to www.saveoursociety.org and
take action.
 
Here is a list of the members on the Health Committee:
Rep. Leah Vukmir (R), vice chairperson, 608-266-9180 Rep. Curt Gielow (R)
608-266-0486 Rep. Steve Wieckert (R) 608-266-3070 Rep. Judy Krawczyk (R)
608-266-0485 Rep. Jean L. Hundertmark (R) 608-266-3794 Rep. Pat Strachota
(R) 608-264-8486 Rep. Terry Moulton (R) 608-266-9172 Rep. Sheldon Wasserman
(D) 608-266-7671 Rep. Jennifer Shilling (D) 608-266-5780 Rep. Amy Sue
Vruwink (D) 608-266-8366 Rep. Chuck Benedict (D) 608-266-9967 Rep. Tom
Nelson (D) 608-266-2418 Regards,
 
Logan Eisler
Research Specialist
Save Our Society From Drugs
P: 727-828-0211
F: 727-828-0212
www.leisler@saveoursociety.org
 

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