Drug & Alcohol Headline
Week in Review from MOMSTELL.COM
December 20 Edition
JESSE JACKSON TO HOLD MARCH OVER HIGH SCHOOL DRUG RAID
The Rev. Jesse Jackson said
Wednesday that he plans a march next week to protest a drug
sweep at a suburban high school in which police pointed guns
at students and ordered them to floor.
Critics of the Nov. 5 drug sweep at Stratford High School in
Goose Creek said it was too aggressive and occurred during
the early morning, when most of the students on campus were
"Those children must not feel they are abandoned or they are
alone," said Jackson, who plans the march next Tuesday.
Last week, prosecutor Ralph Hoisington asked state Attorney
General Henry McMaster to investigate whether any state laws
were broken during the sweep, in which more than 100
students were ordered to crouch in a hallway while 14
officers and a drug dog searched for drugs. None were found
and no drug arrests were made.
Seventeen students have filed a federal lawsuit against
Goose Creek and the Berkeley County school district,
alleging they were terrorized during the raid.
FIRMS TURN TO HAIR TEST TO
CHECK FOR DRUG USE
Employers nowadays want a strand of your hair rather than a
cup of your urine.
The Boston Police Department changed to hair testing a year
ago. So did Illinois-based Kraft Foods.
Even the federal government, which still relies heavily on
urine tests, is considering changing its regulations and
procedures to include hair and other testing methods. Final
regulations are expected in about 18 months. One reason for
the switch is that employers are facing a new industry with
an odd mandate: help workers beat urine tests.
Sold mainly through the Internet and publications like High
Times, the products touted by this cottage industry have
names like Clear Choice, Urine Aid, and Urine Luck. The
merchandise runs from additives that mask illegal substances
to a fake phallus with a pouch to hold clean urine.
But making the switch from urine to hair testing might not
be easy. Labor unions, privacy advocates, and groups like
the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws,
or NORML, would likely denounce a governmental switch
because of potential privacy violations. NORML also argues
that hair testing could discriminate against
African-Americans and pregnant women, raising legal
OFFICERS TRYING TO CHOKE
DRUGS ON MAJOR PIPELINE
Most of the highway's drug traffic from Mexico comes through
the border communities of Nogales, Mexico, and Nogales,
Ariz., said Steve Volden, a DPS spokesman.
But traffic also comes from California, where it enters from
Tijuana and gets to I-40 by passing through San Diego or Los
The Arizona traffic heads north through Tucson and Phoenix.
These drugs are mainly transported to Columbus, Ohio;
Chicago; and New York City, as well as cities in
Massachusetts, Indiana and Missouri, DPS officials said.
Although the Midwest is one of the main markets for drugs
passing through Flagstaff, the traffickers are from all over
WASHINGTON POST: JUSTICES' RULING SETS
BROAD 'PROBABLE CAUSE' STANDARD IN DRUG ARRESTS
The Supreme Court ruled yesterday that Baltimore County
police acted properly four years ago when they arrested all
three occupants of a car after the officers discovered drugs
and cash inside and everyone denied owning them.
By a vote of 9 to 0, the court said that such an arrest was
consistent with the constitutional requirement that arrests
be based on "probable cause," because under the
circumstances it was reasonable to assume that one, some or
all of the people in the car were involved in illegal
The decision reversed the judgment of Maryland's highest
court, which last year overturned the conviction of the one
occupant of the car who was eventually tried in the case,
Joseph Jermaine Pringle. The Maryland court ruled that his
arrest was unconstitutional because the police had lacked a
reason to think he was individually involved in a crime.
THE CONTRA COSTA TIMES (CA): MARIJUANA GROWING
HITS THE BIG TIME
Mexican cartels have taken over much of California's
marijuana farming, boosting both the potency of the drug and
the propensity for violence from armed guards protecting the
crop, the nation's drug czar said Monday.
California's Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement estimated that
84 percent of plants seized this year were controlled by
Mexican gangs, in what the bureau called "a major strategic
and organizational shift" from recent decades.
The multibillion-dollar Mexican cartels have discovered it
is safer and more profitable to grow marijuana in the United
States than to try to smuggle it across the border, he said.
Instead, they often import guards and hand them firearms
with orders to shoot at anyone coming by.
Three-fourths of the marijuana gardens discovered by
California authorities this year were on public lands such
as state and national parks and forests. As recently as
2001, the majority of plants were seized from private land.
FEDERAL PILOT PROGRAM FOR
STORING CHEMICALS IN METH SEIZURES BEGINS IN KENTUCKY
Kentucky is the first state to receive a federal grant that
will improve the way police store confiscated chemicals used
to make methamphetamine.
The Drug Enforcement Administration will allocate $300,000
to the state starting next month for storage containers that
hold up to 220 pounds of chemicals.
DEA officials say Kentucky was chosen for the pilot effort
because of its growing and statewide methamphetamine
problem, which they blame in part on an increase in "tweaker
labs" or "mom and pops," which can brew a batch of the
stimulant in a few hours.
Numbers recorded by the El Paso Intelligence Center, which
tracks meth lab seizures, show that 19 labs were seized
throughout Kentucky in 1998 - a number that increased to 372
The new system will allow officers to transport the
chemicals in buckets to the storage containers at the post
An 8-by-10-foot container will be stationed at each of the
16 Kentucky State Police posts in the next several months.
There, trained officers can take properly packed confiscated
labs for storage.
TOUGHER PENALTIES FOR DUI
The General Assembly will grapple with an ambitious package
of bills in the upcoming session that seeks to stiffen the
state's drunken driving laws.
Three Republican members of the House Courts of Justice
Committee yesterday outlined 15 proposed bills that would
increase penalties for drunken driving, target repeat
offenders and close loopholes in current state law that let
drunken drivers avoid penalties.
Democrats and Republicans have called for toughening drunken
driving laws this session, a perennial issue for at least 20
Democratic Lt. Gov. Timothy M. Kaine announced in October a
proposal to increase the penalty when a person is convicted
of repeat offenses and removing the incentive for repeat
offenders to refuse a breathalyzer test when stopped for
suspected drunken driving.
LAS VEGAS REVIEW
INMATE DRUG PROGRAMS LOSE
Nevada officials are protesting a budget cut that eliminates
federal money for a successful drug treatment program for
"I guess we'll go back to warehousing inmates and not
treating their drug problems," said Jackie Crawford,
director of the Nevada Department of Corrections.
Gov. Kenny Guinn decried the move to eradicate Residential
Substance Abuse Treatment grants. Nevada received $616,138
"Nevada needs the funding for this beneficial program to
help protect the public safety of our citizens," Guinn wrote
to Nevada lawmakers on Monday.
Guinn said the program saves millions of dollars by treating
inmate drug addictions and keeping prisoners from returning
to jail. The money has been used to treat more than 1,500
inmates and has a 78 percent success rate, according to the
Nevada Department of Corrections.
Money for the $7 million Justice Department grant program
was stripped out of the year-end spending bill that the
House passed on Dec. 8. The Senate will consider the bill in
SACRAMENTO BEE (CA):
MAJOR RULING FAVORS MEDICAL
The highest court in the West ruled Tuesday that personal
cultivation and use of medical marijuana in a state that
permits such activities can be outside the control of
The decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
directly affects only Angel Raich of Oakland and Diane
Monson of Oroville, who sued to block federal interference
with their pot supplies. But its rationale would apply to
others who, like Monson, grow their own pot or, like Raich,
obtain it free from local grower-caretakers without
involving interstate traffickers.
The 9th Circuit said such activity appeared to be neither
commercial nor economic and, therefore, probably was outside
the legal reach of the federal government, which is
empowered to regulate commerce between the states.
MEDICAL POT USERS WIN KEY
People who use marijuana for medical purposes won a victory
Tuesday from a federal appeals court that ruled they cannot
be prosecuted by the federal government so long as they grow
their own or obtain pot from other growers without charge.
The 2-1 decision from the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals
in San Francisco would protect many medical marijuana users
from prosecution in California and six other Western states
— Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon and Washington —
that have laws approving the use of marijuana for medical
"This is huge. This essentially makes Prop. 215 federal law
in California," said Dale Gieringer, a coauthor of the
proposition, which legalized medical use of marijuana in
The measure, approved by voters in 1996, was the nation's
first such law. Despite its passage, federal officials have
pursued a number of cases against medical marijuana users,
growers and distributors in the state.
DES MOINES REGISTER (IA):
CRACKDOWN ON COLD PILLS
Iowa's drug policy chief this winter will ask the
Legislature to impose what are thought to be the toughest
restrictions in the nation on the sale of cold medicines
containing pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient used to make
The Governor's Office of Drug Control Policy will announce
today a proposal to make pseudoephedrine a Schedule V
controlled substance, which means Iowans would have to show
identification and sign a log to buy common cold or allergy
medicines containing the decongestant. They could buy common
medicines such as Nyquil or Sudafed only at pharmacies, even
though prescriptions would not be required.
MIAMI HERALD: CAR DEVICE TRIPS UP DUI
Repeat drunken drivers in Florida soon will have to blow
into an ignition lock to start their cars as part of a
federal mandate aimed at cracking down on those who drink
As of Feb. 1, an estimated 20,000 Florida drivers convicted
a second or third time of driving under the influence since
July 1, 2002, will be required by a judge to install the
breath-alcohol recognition devices that prevent inebriated
drivers from starting the engine.
The penalty will be imposed on drivers convicted of multiple
DUIs, as well as first-time offenders with a blood-alcohol
level of 0.20 percent or more or with a child in the vehicle
at the time of the offense.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed
legislation that prohibits local transit agencies from
receiving federal funding if they run ads on buses, trains,
or subways promoting medical marijuana or drug-reform
initiatives, the Oakland Tribune reported Dec. 11.
The provision is included in the $373-billion omnibus
spending bill. It reads that no funding from the bill can be
given to any transit agency that is "involved directly or
indirectly in any activity that promotes the legalization or
medical use of any substance listed in Schedule I of Section
202 of the Controlled Substances Act."
Medical-marijuana and drug-reform advocates are criticizing
the measure, calling it pure censorship. The same bill, said
Bill Piper, associate director of national affairs for the
Drug Policy Alliance, allows funding for the government's
"The government can't spend taxpayer money promoting one
side of the drug-policy debate while prohibiting taxpayers
from using their own money to promote the other side," he
said. "This is censorship and not the democratic way."
The provision was added to the spending bill by Rep. Ernest
Istook (R-Okla.) after he learned that the Washington, D.C.,
Metro transit system gave advertising space to the
Massachusetts-based nonprofit, Change the Climate, for its
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