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MOMSTELL February 6, 2006 Edition

When Haley Shaffer, a senior at Portage Area High School, pledged to stay away from drugs and alcohol, she said it was an easy decision to make. Nearly 75 percent of her fellow high school students made the same commitment. Shaffer said she has been a member of the Remembering Adam Club since she was in eighth grade. The Remembering Adam Club encourages students to remain alcohol and drug free through random drug testing.

The club was started by Deb Fowler of Carrolltown after her son, Adam, died of a heroin overdose in 1998. Fowlers son was a graduate of Cambria Heights High School. I respect it very much, Shaffer said of her membership. Its an honor to be to be in it and the younger kids look up to you. It makes them want to be in the club and not to do drugs.

I think the more you are involved in your school the less time you have to do drugs or to get into bad things, she said. High school Principal Thomas Kakabar said he is happy that so many students are participating in the club.

Our primary reason for having this is it just gives the students another reason to say no if they are put in a peer-pressure situation, he said.
Law-enforcement officials in Tennessee have a new approach to fighting meth: naming names. Now the public can search an online database for the name, alias and birth date of anyone convicted of manufacturing the drug since last March. It's the first compilation of its kind nationwide, an attempt to curb meth production in a state that last year ranked third in seizures of labs, waste and equipment. Makeshift meth labseasily set up in a kitchen or garageare prone to explosions and fires, and leave behind harmful chemicals.
"Meth is unique in the way it's a public threat," says Jennifer Johnson, spokesperson for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, which operates the site. By using the registry, landlords or property owners could make sure they're not renting to cookers. The names will stay on the site for seven years, at which time the offenders can appeal to be removed.
The manager of the Spencers Gift store at the Oxford Valley Mall and the CEO of Spencers Gift, LLC had drug paraphernalia charges lodged against them after police seized water "bongs" and other marijuana-related items, police said yesterday.  Spencers CEO and President Steven Silverstein, 46, of Summit and store manager Wayne Oles, 53, of Philadelphia, were charged with delivery of or possession with the intent to deliver drug paraphernalia and criminal conspiracy.

The misdemeanor charges come after a raid on Sept. 21, 2005 when Middletown police Detective Dan Baranowski went to the store and bought a $39.99 bong, or "hookah" and a number of posters depicting marijuana and one that said "Johnny likes thin girls, but he never turns down a fattie."A "fattie" is street slang for a large marijuana cigarette or blunt, Baranowski said in the affidavit of probable cause with the criminal complaint.

He also purchased a poster that had a picture of a jar filled with a green substance that appeared to be marijuana. When Baranowski visited the retail store on Sept. 14 he also saw key chains, T-shirts,, hats, leis of imitation marijuana leafs, stationary, incense, headbands, boxer shorts, candles, ice cube trays, coasters, dishes, glasses, phone books, chess sets, cookie cutters and more depicting marijuana themes or pictures some of which were subsequently seized, according to the affidavit.
 There were signs, years ago, that something was amiss. Like the lengthy Minneapolis Star Tribune article that raised questions about some of the more outlandish vignettes in James Frey's memoir, "A Million Little Pieces," shortly after its release in April 2003. Or the few mainstream critics - the precious few - who expressed gentle skepticism at the B-movie flourishes in the book's tale of drug abuse, crime and recovery. Janet Maslin, in this newspaper, for instance, winkingly noted that a well-meaning fan, writing a "customer review" at Amazon.com, inadvertently extolled Mr. Frey as "a new voice in fiction."

And what was unknowingly foreshadowed in this final passage of a profile of another troubled writer, in The New York Observer of May 21, 2003, struggling with truth and addiction? "On the nearby coffee table was a copy of 'A Million Little Pieces,' the memoir by the self-rehabilitated drug addict, James Frey. Sticking from it was a business card, which he took out. It said: Jayson Blair, Reporter. Then: The New York Times.

"Jayson Blair looked at it. 'This is my new bookmark,' he said." Mr. Frey has not disputed the allegations of myriad embellishments in his book, made by the Smoking Gun Web site two weeks ago. Chief among these is his three-month stint in jail, which apparently never happened. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/23/technology/23link.html?_r=1

The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to follow San Diego County in filing suit against the state for legalizing the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes, a legalization that attorneys for both counties contend is in conflict with federal law. The lawsuits - San Diego County filed Jan. 20 and San Bernardino County could file later this week - mark yet another episode in the saga since voters passed California's Compassionate Use Act, also known as Proposition 215, in 1996.

The Supreme Court ruled last year that Congress does have authority under the Constitution's commerce clause to make federal laws prohibiting marijuana use, a decision that further clouded the act's legal clarity. San Bernardino County officials, prodded by a memorandum sent in December by Sheriff Gary Penrod, decided the legal inconsistency was too much.

"The federal government and state government have put us in conflicting situations where we don't know what to do," said 3rd District Supervisor Dennis Hansberger. "Let's resolve it. Whatever the court says is the law." San Diego County Counsel John Sansone said the suit, with which San Bernardino County's will likely be consolidated, said the legal action is about resolving conflicting laws.

"What precipitates this is the state mandating counties to issue medical marijuana cards, and the board here took issue with that because the use of marijuana is a federal crime," Sansone said. "What is a federal crime? Does federal law pre-empt state law or not?" Sansone said the Supreme Court's ruling last year put the state's medical marijuana laws on shakier ground.                                                 http://www.sbsun.com/news/ci_3434074


A sick, filthy and possibly jaundiced 11-month-old West Lakeland Township baby was taken from his mother earlier this month and placed in the care of child protective services, nearly nine months after authorities found a trace of methamphetamine in his body. Ramsey County childprotection officials had been looking for the toddler and his mother, 19-year-old Lindsey Marie Adams, since March when county officials were awarded emergency custody of the baby boy after he tested positive for meth. It's unclear what prompted that testing.

Adams, who was arrested Jan. 15 on suspicion of endangering a child, failed to appear at a hearing scheduled Thursday, court officials say, and a warrant was issued in the case.Attempts to locate Adams for comment were unsuccessful, and the Washington County Public Defender's Office would not release the name of her attorney to comment on her behalf.

According to the criminal complaint, an informant who tipped off investigators about their location this month said the child was sick and had skin that was yellowed, a sign of possible jaundice. The informant also said Adams and the boy's father had been physically fighting over a bag of meth in front of the child on Jan. 14.When Washington County deputies entered Adams' Stagecoach Trail residence the next day, the complaint states, they found the baby in dirty clothing with a dirty diaper. Deputy Angela Hanson saw dried yellow mucus around the boy's eyes and in his nose.

Because the child's diaper needed changing, Sgt. Cheri Dexter reached for clean diapers out of a diaper box. When she opened the box, Dexter found a glass baby bottle with what looked like meth residue, as well as tubing and small plastic baggies, according to the complaint.They sent the boy to Gillette Children's Hospital, and he is now in protective custody.                                 http://www.twincities.com/mld/twincities/13732026.htm?template=contentModules/printstory.jsp

By an overwhelming majority , the state Senate on Tuesday approved a bill that would allow sufferers of serious medical conditions to smoke marijuana without fear of prosecution.  Strong majorities of both political parties contributed to the 34-6 passage of SB258, sponsored by Sen. Cisco McSorley, D-Albuquerque .

"I think it's wonderful," said Essie DeBonet, an Albuquerque AIDS sufferer who has lobbied for the bill the past two sessions. "The Senate showed their concerns for people."  Although an assistant to the White House drug czar flew to New Mexico to testify against the bill last week, 12 of the Senate's 18 Republicans voted for it.

With two of the Senate's most socially conservative senators Sen. Kent Cravens, R-Albuquerque ; and Sen. Bill Sharer, R-Farmington voting for the first time in favor of a medical-marijuana bill, it might seem that the political landscape has shifted for this issue. However, to become law, the bill first must make it through the House, where last year's bill died as a "hostage" in political wrangling over an unrelated bill. Most involved in the issue agree the House won't be as easy as the Senate especially during the last half of a short session.

An attorney for jailed medical marijuana activist Steve Kubby on Tuesday asked that the cancer-stricken inmate be allowed to eat cannabis in food or pills while behind bars, or be released to serve his time under house arrest. Kubby, a former Libertarian candidate for governor of California, fled Placer County in 2001 and moved to Canada to avoid a 120-day jail stint he contends would have been a death sentence without marijuana.

Since being diagnosed with adrenal cancer in the mid-1970s, Kubby has smoked cannabis, which his doctors believe helps blunt the lethal illness.

Kubby returned after he exhausted his attempts to avoid deportation from Canada, and was promptly arrested last Thursday when his flight arrived in San Francisco.

Smoking cannabis is strongly associated with delinquent and aggressive behaviour in young teenagers, a major study has found. Researchers in the Netherlands revealed the link after surveying more than 5,500 adolescents aged 12 to 16.  The results showed that "externalising" problem behaviour, such as criminality and aggression, increased with higher use of cannabis. No similar association was found with "internalising" problems of withdrawal and depression.

The scientists, led by Ms Karin Monshouwer, from the Trimbos Institute in Utrecht, accounted for confounding influences including social background, regular smoking and alcohol consumption. They wrote in the British Journal of Psychiatry: "This study shows that at young ages the use of cannabis is already strongly associated with delinquent and aggressive behaviour, even after controlling for strong confounders such as alcohol use and smoking.

"The strength of the associations increased with higher frequency of use, and significant associations were only present among those who had used cannabis recently." Cannabis users who had not taken the drug in the preceding year did not show any more signs of delinquency than teenagers who had never smoked a joint. "Heavy" cannabis use was also associated with thought and attention problems.

As school systems step up monitoring students for alcohol abuse, police and health officials say more teenagers are getting high on prescription drugs like the antianxiety pill Klonopin, which family members said an Arlington teen took before killing himself last week.  The drug, distributed in tablets known by young people as K-pins, is harder to detect than alcohol and perceived to be safer than street drugs like heroin and cocaine. Klonopin is widely available in families' medicine cabinets and can be purchased online through offshore pharmacies for between $2 and $5 a dose, doctors said.

''Faculty in schools across the region have been very effective at cracking down on alcohol. To counter that, the kids now have gone to using Klonopin as the drug of choice," said Arlington Police Chief Frederick Ryan, who plans to talk to area police chiefs about the drug at an upcoming meeting. Teenagers are experimenting with Klonopin and Vicodin even before they try traditional gateway drugs such as alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana, said Dr. John Knight, director of the Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse Research at Children's Hospital.         http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2006/01/29/a_new_choice_in_drug_abuse/


By an overwhelming majority , the state Senate on Tuesday approved a bill that would allow sufferers of serious medical conditions to smoke marijuana without fear of prosecution. Strong majorities of both political parties contributed to the 34-6 passage of SB258, sponsored by Sen. Cisco McSorley, D-Albuquerque .

I think its wonderful, said Essie DeBonet, an Albuquerque AIDS sufferer who has lobbied for the bill the past two sessions. The Senate showed their concerns for people. Although an assistant to the White House drug czar flew to New Mexico to testify against the bill last week, 12 of the Senates 18 Republicans voted for it.

With two of the Senates most socially conservative senators Sen. Kent Cravens, R-Albuquerque ; and Sen. Bill Sharer, R-Farmington voting for the first time in favor of a medical-marijuana bill, it might seem that the political landscape has shifted for this issue.

However, to become law, the bill first must make it through the House, where last years bill died as a hostage in political wrangling over an unrelated bill. Most involved in the issue agree the House wont be as easy as the Senate especially during the last half of a short session.


Colombian drug dealers smuggled heroin into the United States by surgically implanting the powerful drug into puppies, the Drug Enforcement Administration said on Wednesday. Special Agent-in-Charge John Gilbride of the DEA's New York Field Division said in a statement that 21 Colombian nationals were arrested on Wednesday for smuggling over 20 kilograms (44 lb) of heroin, worth $20 million at street prices, into the United States.

Among the methods used to transport the drugs were human couriers, who swallowed heroin packets, as well as the Labrador Retriever puppies. In one planned shipment, six puppies were found impregnated with three 6.6 lb of liquid heroin packets. DEA spokeswoman Erin McKenzie-Mulvey said that in January 2005, DEA officers and police in Colombia found six puppies with scars on their bellies at a makeshift veterinarian clinic on a rural property.

Ultrasound scans revealed the heroin hidden inside the young dogs, three of which later died of infection. Another four puppies were found with no drugs inside them, she said. McKenzie-Mulvey said the traffickers had planned to retrieve the heroin after the dogs had passed U.S. customs. She said the surviving dogs are now, "living happily with families in Colombia."

The smugglers also hid heroin in body creams and aerosol cans and sewed it into the lining of purses and luggage, the DEA said. http://today.reuters.com/News/newsArticle.aspx?type=topNews&storyID=2006-02-02T112657Z_01_RID228973_RTRUKOC_0_US-CRIME-PUPPIES.xml


A proposal before the Utah Legislature would limit the use of peyote to federally recognized Indian tribes during traditional religious ceremonies.

Peyote is illegal for general use, but federal law allows for limited use in American Indian religious ceremonies.  The Utah bill is intended to prevent people from escaping prosecution by claiming Indian heritage and religious use of peyote without being able to prove it.

The bill follows state and federal court cases against Linda and James Mooney, founders of the Oklevueha EarthWalks Native American Church of Utah. In 2000, the couple were charged with drug distribution for providing peyote to members of their church and its visitors. A state court conviction of the couple was struck down by the Utah Supreme Court, which said Utah law failed to recognize portions of federal law that restrict peyote use to members of federally recognized tribes.

The use of peyote is considered sacred, so the circus of publicity surrounding the Mooney case was troubling for Utah's tribes, said Forrest Cuch, executive director of Utah's Division of Indian Affairs.                                                                                                       

STARS AND STRIPES                                                                                                                                      N.H. LAWMAKERS REJECT BILL TO LOWER DRINKING AGE FOR TROOPS                                                   New Hampshire lawmakers are saying no to a proposal to lower the legal drinking age for members of the military on active duty. The bill to reduce the legal drinking age to 18 for members of the armed forces was rejected Wednesday by the House Judiciary Committee. The committee voted to recommend that the full House kill the bill.

Rep. James Splaine, D-Portsmouth, a sponsor of the bill, says its not fair to send 18-to-21-year-olds to war, but then deny them from drinking an alcoholic beverage. But those speaking against the bill said lowering the drinking age would lead to an increase in alcohol-related accidents among young people.

Last summer, Wisconsin state Rep. Mark Pettis, R-Hertel, introduced a bill to drop the $500 fine for underage drinking to just $10 for servicemembers. The bill would allow officials to skirt federal drinking age minimums but still protect the states more than $50 million in federal highway funds, which could be revoked if the federal age minimum of 21 is repealed even in part. A Wisconsin House committee approved the bill 7-2 in November. Officials from Pettis office said the next step is a vote before the full House, but no timetable has been set. http://www.estripes.com/article.asp?section=104&article=33778&archive=true

REUTERS                                                                                                                                                 MARIJUANA SHOW AIMS FOR NEW HIGH IN AMSTERDAM                                                                                 Marijuana growers gathered in Europe's pot-smoking capital on Sunday for a trade show that is taking on the trappings of a major industry fair, complete with scantily clad models, glossy brochures and, of course, samples. But instead of posing next to muscle cars, the models explained the intricacies of hydroponics culture such as the "iGrow-box Intensive Irrigation System" and exhibitors showed off their bongs, grinders, rolling paper, reflective film, hemp-fabric apparel and how-to marijuana growing videos.

"This gives you an uplifting high, up in the mind, not in your body," marijuana cultivator Arjan Roskam said of his latest Cannabis Cup-winning strain, "Arjan's Haze #1". Roskam, who says he has hosted celebrities such as 50 Cent and Eminem in his Amsterdam coffee shops, was selling his prize-winning plant seeds for 100 euros (69 pounds) alongside other strains such as the "Great White Shark" and "Hawaiian Snow". http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060122/od_uk_nm/oukoe_uk_marijuana_1

Toxicology tests have confirmed that a high school senior had drugs in his blood stream when the SUV he was driving crashed and rolled over, killing his 17-year-old passenger. Ralph Tarchine III, 18, of Bedford, was expected to be charged in the December fatal crash, said Bedford Police Chief Chris Menzel said. It would be the second driving while intoxicated charge against the teen in two months.

On Friday, the teenager got into another accident in which he and his passenger were injured, said Menzel. Tarchine was given a chemical test at the time of the first accident but it took a month for the results to come in. He was allowed to get behind the wheel again because he had not yet been charged in the fatal crash.

"Charges are imminent in the first case," said Menzel. "I regret that there is a such a delay, but that is the way the system is designed." Tarchine, a senior at Fox Lane High School in Bedford, was driving his SUV on Route 22 on Dec. 10 when it crashed and rolled over, killing his passenger, Michael Plunkett, of Ridgefield, Conn.

On Friday, Tarchine was driving his parents' Saab convertible when he smashed through a utility pole and struck a tree, Bedford police said. Tarchine and his passenger, Daniel Gibbs, 17, of Mount Kisco, were ejected and Tarchine's legs were pinned under the car. Both teenagers were taken to Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla. Trachine's injuries were serious but not considered life threatening. Gibbs was treated and released.

Methamphetamine Alert!!!

1.  Below please find a correction to the link for Faces of Meth that was sent in the last Methamphetamine Alert. I had indicated the incorrect domain extension. It should be:http://www.facesofmeth.us/

2.  Harry Patterson of CAM (CommUNITY Against Methamphetamine) in Bradford County wrote, "Came across this world traffic map for ephedrine and pseudoephedrine powder on the internet that I thought you might find interesting." I have attached this flow chart to this Alert. It is very helpful and provides an excellent visual resource.

3.  Lister Tim Philpot passed along this brief from WJET, concerning a meth lab bust in Springfield Township, Erie County. According to officials, this was the second bust in the West County (northwestern PA) in just a few weeks, and the 8th meth bust in NW Pennsylvania so far this year.http://www.wjettv.com/news/default.asp?mode=shownews&id=6017

4.  From the Fargo, ND In-Forum, the state prisons in North Dakota now have a full-time dentist, who actually came from PA. The article states that dental costs among prisoners have tripled since 1990, in part due to the "meth mouth" problem experienced by many meth users.http://www.in-forum.com/articles/index.cfm?id=115615&section=News

5.  Forwarded by one of our listers, this article in the Bangor Daily News describes meth mouth in more depth. It also addresses the ripple effect on society and children.http://www.bangornews.com/news/templates/?a=128291&z=535

6.  The Hagerstown Morning Herald reports a conviction in Franklin County, PA for a man charged with meth manufacturing. He was sentenced to 1-5 years in state prison.http://www.herald-mail.com/?module=displaystory&story_id=129668&format=html

7.  The Chambersburg Public Opinion reported a postponement in the preliminary hearing for one of the two NC men accused of operating a meth lab in a Waynesboro, PA hotel.http://www.publicopiniononline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060125/NEWS01/601250317/1002

8.  A follow-up article from the same publication reported that the charges against the above-referenced man were dropped.http://www.publicopiniononline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060202/NEWS01/602020337/1002

9. The Citizens Voice published this article about Luzerne County, in geographical proximity to Bradford County, is bracing for meth to hit the county, incorporating meth prevention into curriculums and and monitoring cold medicine sales in local pharmacies.http://www.citizensvoice.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=15988009&BRD=2259&PAG=461&dept_id=455154&rfi=6

10.  From Towanda Daily Review, after 2 years, the criminal trial begins for a man charged with killing two deputies in Bradford County who were attempting to serve an arrest warrant to someone else on the premises for methamphetamine charges. http://www.thedailyreview.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=15978361&BRD=2276&PAG=461&dept_id=465049&rfi=6

11.  Also printed in the Towanda Daily Review, the following is a list of guilty pleas announced by the Bradford County District Attorney. As you scroll down you will see some meth-related pleas.  http://www.thedailyreview.com/site/news.cfm?BRD=2276&dept_id=465045&newsid=16024266&PAG=461&rfi=9

12.  The following article appeared in the Baltimore Sun regarding two Maryland residents sentenced to federal prison for meth lab busts in MD and PA. Two other individuals from Pennsylvania who also pleaded guilty of drug conspiracy are scheduled to be sentenced shortly.http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/bal-md.meth21jan21,1,16073.story?coll=bal-local-headlines&ctrack=1&cset=true

13. The Baltimore Sun published this follow up regarding the additional sentencing: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/harford/bal-meth0202,1,5723534.story?coll=bal-local-harford&ctrack=1&cset=true

14.  Lister Victor Lidz of Drexel University College of Medicine shared the following article from The New York Times. He describes this article: "The efforts in the Midwest to reduce production of meth in small home labs by controlling supplies of materials, e.g., Sudafed, is resulting in greater imports of crystal meth from Mexico, greater abuse, more toxicity and negative health effects, more overdosing, and greater crime as the drug is now more expensive."http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F30C12FB385B0C708EDDA80894DE404482

15.  This New Jersey Herald article reflects on a proactive meth conference in Sussex County, NJ, presented by the Newton-based Center for Prevention and Counseling to raise awareness about the drug methamphetamine and help the public recognize the signs of a meth lab. http://www.njherald.com/358561021339983.php

16.  From Genetic Engineering News, Lister Louise Kennedy, Community Engagement Specialist at the Bucks County Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc., shared the following article concerning an educational grant of $320,000 from Hythiam, Inc., a healthcare services management company, awarded to the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association to study the effects of meth on the gay community. http://www.genengnews.com/news/bnitem.aspx?name=1152969XSL_NEWSML_TO_NEWSML.xml

17.  In conjunction with the above announcement, headlining Genetic Engineering News on 1/30/06 was the following: "Nationally Recognized Physician and HIV Specialist Becomes Hythiam's Newest Licensee; Dr. Gary Ross Cohan to Serve as Peer Educator on Substance Dependency in Gay and Lesbian Medical Community." Dr. Cohan has been licensed to conduct Hythiam, Inc. PROMETA protocols for methamphetamine treatment, which target the neurological changes in the brain and nutritional deficits from substance abuse as well. He views current clinical trials as a very positive step toward expanding the scope of treatment for meth dependence.http://www.genengnews.com/news/bnitem.aspx?name=1154894XSL_NEWSML_TO_NEWSML.xml

18.  Below are two websites from Oregon that provide some helpful resources and interesting information regarding initiatives to combat the meth epidemic in that state.

The Methamphetamine Awareness Project, founded by the Oregon Partnership, combines drug awareness education with filmmaking, allowing students to have a voice. http://www.methawarenessproject.org/

From the website, "Target Meth is a community building and awareness project founded in the notion that every community has some existing resources and needs some resources to build a meth awareness program." This site provides a variety of tools to promote awareness including TV programs and downloadable presentations. http://www.targetmeth.com/

Melanie Swanson, M.Ed.
Prevention Specialist
Bucks County Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc.
252 West Swamp Road, Unit 12
Doylestown, PA 18901
Phone 215-230-7739
Voicemail  215-230-8715, ext. 3123
Fax 215-230-8205