4. 'THREE-STRIKES' DRUG LAW CLARIFIED BY COURT
- ARIZONA REPUBLIC
Charles Reinhardt was holding an open beer bottle when Prescott
Valley police pulled over the car he was riding in. The police
officer made him empty his pockets, and found plastic bags with
marijuana and methamphetamine.
It was a simple bust, but it turned into a test case for the
state's "three-strikes-and-you're-out" drug law.
According to a Yavapai County Superior Court judge, Reinhardt had
earned himself two strikes and accordingly, the judge sent him to
The Arizona Court of Appeals, in a recent decision, called it an
error. Strike 1, the higher court said.
It's a classic example of interplay between the courts and the
Legislature. The Legislature writes the laws, and the courts
5. MARIJUANA PROPOSAL: ACLU SUES, TRIES TO SAVE
INITIATIVE - LAS VEGAS REVIEW
The American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada and supporters of the
marijuana-regulation initiative filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday
that seeks to restore the measure in time for this year's general
Accompanying the lawsuit was an emergency motion for a court order
that would force Secretary of State Dean Heller to place the
initiative on the November ballot.
Although more than 66,000 registered voters signed petitions for
the initiative, according to the motion, officials are preventing
the measure from appearing on the ballot "based on a raft of
unreasonable, purposeless and unconstitutional restrictions."
To qualify for the 2004 general election, the initiative petition
needed the signatures of 51,337 registered voters by June 15.
Heller announced two weeks ago that supporters of the initiative,
which seeks to legalize possession of small amounts of marijuana,
had failed to secure enough valid signatures to qualify the
measure for the ballot.
6. CHILDREN TO GET
JABS AGAINST DRUG ADDITION - THE BELFAST TELEGRAPH
A radical scheme to vaccinate
children against future drug addiction is being considered by
ministers, The Independent on Sunday can reveal.
Under the plans, doctors would
immunise children at risk of becoming smokers or drug users with
an injection. The scheme could operate in a similar way to the
current nationwide measles, mumps and rubella vaccination
Childhood immunisation would
provide adults with protection from the euphoria that is
experienced by users, making drugs such as heroin and cocaine
pointless to take. Such vaccinations are being developed by
pharmaceutical companies and are due to hit the market within two
The Department of Trade and
Industry has set up a special project to investigate ways of using
new scientific breakthroughs to combat drug and nicotine
A national anti-drug immunisation
scheme is one of the proposals being put forward by the Brain
Science, Addiction and Drugs project, an expert committee of
scientists appointed by the Government earlier this year.
Professor David Nutt, a leading
government drugs adviser who sits on the committee, told the IoS
that anti-drug vaccines for children are likely to be among the
panel's recommendations when it reports next March.
Professor Nutt, head of
psychopharmacology at the University of Bristol and a senior
member of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, said:
"People could be vaccinated against drugs at birth as you are
against measles. You could say cocaine is more dangerous than
measles, for example. It is important that there is a debate on
this issue. This is a huge topic - addiction and smoking are major
causes of premature death."
According to the Government's own
figures, the cost of drug addiction - through related crime and
health problems - to the economy is £12bn a year. There is a
strong incentive for the Government to find new ways to halt
spiralling addiction. Last week, the IoS revealed that cocaine use
had trebled in Britain with increasing numbers of users switching
to highly addictive crack cocaine.
Scientists are already conducting
trials for drugs that can be used by doctors to vaccinate against
cocaine, heroin and nicotine addiction.
Xenova, the British biotechnology
firm, has carried out trials on an anti-cocaine vaccine which
showed that 58 per cent of patients remained cocaine-free after
Meanwhile, experts at the Scripps
Research Institute in San Diego, California, have developed a
super-virus, harmless to humans, which produces proteins that can
block or reduce the effects of cocaine.
The team at Scripps tested the
virus on rats by injecting it into their noses twice a day for
On the fourth day, the rats were
given a shot of cocaine. The researchers found that cocaine had
more effect on the rats not injected with the virus than those
that were. Scientists hope that the virus will help stop the
cravings experienced by cocaine users for the drug by blocking the
pleasure they normally associate with cocaine. This anti-drug
medication is expected to be available to users within the next
two years in the form of a nasal spray.
Proposals to introduce a national
anti-drug vaccination programme have been given a cautious welcome
by MPs and experts.
Ian Gibson, head of the Commons
Science and Technology Committee, said the Government would have
to carry out public consultation. "There is no reason to think
this would not be a starter or beneficial," said Dr Gibson, Labour
MP for Norwich North. "But ... proper consultation with the public
needs to happen well in advance."
David Hinchliffe, chairman of the
Commons Health Committee and Labour MP for Wakefield, said: "This
could have a huge impact on society in terms of preventing damage
to others and dealing with addicts. [But] the ethical perspective
does need to be looked at closely."
The National Treatment Agency,
which manages drug-addiction programmes
7. SENATE SUBCOMMITTEE ON
SUBSTANCE ABUSE AND MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES HOLDS HEARING ON
PERFORMANCE AND OUTCOMES MEASURES IN SUBSTANCE ABUSE AND
MENTAL HEALTH PROGRAMS
This week, the Senate Health,
Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee’s Subcommittee on
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services held a hearing on
performance and outcome measures in substance abuse and mental
health programs. Senator Mike DeWine (R-OH), Chair of the
Subcommittee, was in attendance. The panelists included: Charles
G. Curie, Administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health
Services Administration (SAMHSA); Thomas McLellan, Ph.D.,
University of Pennsylvania and the Treatment Research Institute;
Howard H. Goldman, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry, Director
of Mental Health Policy Studies, University of Maryland; Gary
Tester, Director of the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug
Addiction Services (ODADAS); and Marsha Medalie, LICSW, ACSW, Vice
President/Chief Operating Officer, Riverside Community Care and
Mental Health & Substance Abuse Corporations of Massachusetts.
Senator DeWine (R-OH) opened the
hearing by expressing his concern with how to improve the
performance and data analysis of programs within the Substance
Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA),
particularly within the context of the upcoming SAMHSA
reauthorization. Senator DeWine stated his concern that the
development of performance measures for alcohol and drug illnesses
lag behind other chronic diseases. Additionally, Senator DeWine
raised a question about the amount of research that is sufficient
to produce accurate data and ensure proper funding.
In his testimony, Administrator Curie
remarked that performance measurement is a management issue and
highlighted the importance of considering social factors such as
housing, employment, family connections and lack of involvement in
the criminal justice system as critical outcomes. He expressed
that SAMHSA will continue to move forward with their partners to
make sure that the data that is collected is valuable and useful
to those who are collecting it as well as SAMHSA. Additionally,
Administrator Curie commented that the goal of the performance
partnership grant approach is to promote greater accountability
and flexibility, and to work with each state within their given
Dr. McLellan’s testimony highlighted
five main points. First, addiction treatment can be evaluated
through scientific methods in the exact same manner in which the
FDA evaluates new medications. Second, effectiveness does not
mean a cure, but it does mean more than abstinence. Dr. McLellan
explained that effectiveness means a significant reduction in
substance abuse, improvement in personal health and social
function, and reductions in public health and public safety
problems. Third, not all treatments are effective or competent.
Fourth, addiction treatment has changed over the last decade, and
the contemporary approach of treating addiction like any other
chronic illness is appropriate, effective and has significant
implications for treatment evaluation. Finally, the basic
infrastructure of this country’s treatment system is in very bad
condition and needs a significant investment of resources in order
Dr. Goldman testified concerning the
state of mental health treatment in the United States. Dr.
Goldman stated that the federal government has to play a critical
role in the development of performance measurement systems and
must not only develop and disseminate data, but also ensure
funding for local government to perform the research
Mr. Tester testified from a state
director’s perspective about the accomplishments that Ohio has
produced in the past several years in implementing an
across-the-board outcomes framework initiative. Mr. Tester also
testified about data collection and that there is still much work
to be done in order to produce accurate data. Ms. Medalie
testified concerning the operation of Riverside Community Care, a
large behavioral healthcare organization in the Massachusetts area
and its data collection system. She highlighted the benefits of
their system, which has resulted in improved collection rates,
sharing of resources across programs and developing alternative
strategies to defray costs. Additionally she highlighted the need
for new federal funds specifically for data management
infrastructure development and maintenance.
8. H.R. 4888, THE "SOBER TRUTH
ON PREVENTING UNDERAGE DRINKING ACT," BIPARTISAN LEGISLATION
INTRODUCED IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
This week, H.R. 4888, the “Sober Truth
on Preventing Underage Drinking Act” was introduced in the House
of Representatives by Representatives Lucille Roybal-Allard
(D-CA), Frank Wolf (R-VA), Tom Osborne (R-NE), Rosa DeLauro
(D-CT), and Zach Wamp (R-TN). H.R. 4888 is designed to provide
programs and activities that prevent underage drinking. The bill
highlights the widespread underage drinking that is prevalent with
today’s youth and seeks to assist the underage drinker, as well as
the parents. The legislation also recognizes the need for a
multi-faceted approach to the prevention of underage drinking,
including prevention, intervention, treatment, and research.
Key provisions of the legislation
Establishing an interagency
coordinating committee under the Department of Health and Human
Services in collaboration with other Federal officials that will
report to Congress with data on the Federal government’s
programs and policies that address underage drinking.
Requiring the Secretary of Health
and Human Services to issue an annual report card for each state
on their enactment and enforcement of laws and policies
concerning underage drinking.
Initiating a national media campaign
to prevent underage drinking through the Secretary of Health and
Human Services and the Ad Council. The Secretary and the Ad
Council will coordinate with the alcohol beverage industry and
public health and consumer groups to produce the campaign.
Developing community-based coalition
grants to prevent underage drinking and strengthen collaboration
among federal, state, local and tribal governments.
Developing grants to reduce alcohol
abuse among college-age youth.
The bill was referred to the House
Committee on Energy and Commerce.
URGENT, URGENT, URGENT NEED YOUR NAMES AND HELP FOR THE AMICUS
DEADLINE, MONDAY, August 9, 2004 TO MY E-MAIL
Please forward to your lists, ask your families, neighbors and
organizations to join us.
We already have a great list of groups and individuals
to be added to the US Supreme Court amicus brief. (One
organization represents 60,000 narcotics officers!)
Other great news is that we’ve raised the money to pay
our attorney’s minimal fees.
Now, we’re trying to get at least one name from
every state and a separate list of parents’ names who have
lost children to the drug epidemic.
Basically, we want to make a clear statement that “Marijuana does
kill –by accident and violence and most certainly by leading to
other drugs and then finally lethal overdose.”
We would like all the moms and dads who signed on for
the 420 Resolution and reading of deceased children’s names on
Capitol Hill April 20, 2004 to sign up for the Supreme Court
All we need to put them on the list is one sentence:
One sentence saying "Please add my name to the US SUpreme Court
Give me their
Address (including state)
We will only Print the name of person or group and state where
“Please add my name to the US Supreme Court amicus list in
Ashcroft v Raich.”
(Then give us your Name, Address and a phone number for our
files only. ONLY YOUR NAME AND STATE WILL APPEAR ON THE LIST) WE
STILL ALSO HAVE NEED FOR ORGANIZATIONS, NEIGHBORS, AND FAMILY
MEMBERS TO BE LISTED. THE MORE NAMES IN SUPPORT OF STOPPING
DRUG LEGALIZATION UNDER THE HOAX THAT MARIJUANA CIGARETTES ARE
MEDICINE, THE STRONGER OUR CASE. In the first case on this
issue we won unanimously
8 – 0. Let’s do it again!
WE ALSO WANT TO BE ABLE TO SAY IN PRESS RELEASES “HUNDREDS OF
PARENTS AND INDIVIDUALS HAVE JOINED IN AN EFFORT TO DEFEAT
We’re counting on each of you. This could slam the door on drug
legalization for a long time to
Respectfully, Joyce Nalepka