Drug & Alcohol Headline Week in Review from MOMSTELL.COM

December 20 Edition

ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION:  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 black.
 
"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.
http://www.ajc.com/news/content/news/1203/11schoolraid.html

BOSTON GLOBE:
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 concerns.
http://www.boston.com/business/globe/articles/2003/12/15/firms_turn_to_hair_test_to_check_for_
drug_use?mode=PF
 

ARIZONA REPUBLIC: 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 Angeles.

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 the country.
http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/1215drugs15.html
 
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 activity.
 
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.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A2980-2003Dec15.html
 
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.
http://www.bayarea.com/mld/cctimes/news/state/7502806
 
LEXINGTON HERALD-LEADER: 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 last year.
 
The new system will allow officers to transport the chemicals in buckets to the storage containers at the post for pickup.
 
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.
http://www.kentucky.com/mld/kentucky/news/local/7501742.htm 
 
RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH: TOUGHER PENALTIES FOR DUI PROPOSED
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 years.
 
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.
http://www.timesdispatch.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=RTD%2FMGArticle%2FRTD_BasicArticle
&c=MGArticle&cid=1031772639375&path=%21news&s=1045855934842
 
 

LAS VEGAS REVIEW JOURNAL: INMATE DRUG PROGRAMS LOSE FUNDING
Nevada officials are protesting a budget cut that eliminates federal money for a successful drug treatment program for prison inmates.
 
"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 last year.
 
"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 January.
http://www.reviewjournal.com/lvrj_home/2003/Dec-17-Wed-2003/news/22817157.html
 

 
SACRAMENTO BEE (CA): MAJOR RULING FAVORS MEDICAL MARIJUANA
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 federal authorities.
 
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.
http://www.sacbee.com/content/politics/story/7967617p-8904647c.html 
                                                    
LOS ANGELES
: MEDICAL POT USERS WIN KEY RULING
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 purposes.

"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 California.

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.
http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/front/la-me-medpot17dec17,1,1315732,print.story?coll=la-headlines-frontpage 
  
DES MOINES REGISTER (IA)
: CRACKDOWN ON COLD PILLS SOUGHT
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 methamphetamine.
 
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.
http://desmoinesregister.com/news/stories/c4788993/23037512.html 
  
MIAMI HERALD: CAR DEVICE TRIPS UP DUI DRIVERS
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 and drive.
 
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.
http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/state/7508866.htm 
 

House Punishes Transit Agencies for Running Drug-Reform Ads 12/17/2003

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 anti-marijuana campaign.

"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 marijuana-decriminalization ads.
 

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