Drug & Alcohol Headline Week in Review from MOMSTELL.COM

August 1, 2004 EDITION

 

1.  WHEN HELL COMES TO TOWN - THE GLOBE AND MAIL (CANADA)
2.  WEAKENED TIJUANA DRUG CARTEL STILL DEADLY -  LOS ANGELES TIMES
3.  VOTERS TO CONSIDER TWO MORE INITIATIVES ON BALLOT
- THE MISSOURIAN (MT)
4.  'THREE-STRIKES' DRUG LAW CLARIFIED BY COURT - ARIZONA REPUBLIC
5.  MARIJUANA PROPOSAL: ACLU SUES, TRIES TO SAVE INITIATIVE -
LAS VEGAS REVIEW JOURNAL
6.  CHILDREN TO GET JABS AGAINST DRUG ADDITION - THE BELFAST TELEGRAPH
7.  SENATE SUBCOMMITTEE ON SUBSTANCE ABUSE AND MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES HOLDS HEARING ON PERFORMANCE AND OUTCOMES  MEASURES IN SUBSTANCE ABUSE AND MENTAL HEALTH PROGRAMS
8.  H.R. 4888, THE "SOBER TRUTH ON PREVENTING UNDERAGE DRINKING ACT," BIPARTISAN LEGISLATION INTRODUCED IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 
9 URGENT, URGENT, URGENT NEED YOUR NAMES AND HELP FOR THE AMICUS LIST  

 
1.  WHEN HELL COMES TO TOWN -
THE GLOBE AND MAIL (CANADA)
In the London, Ont., area, the Angels met with resistance. And that meant war -- one that neither rival gangs nor local law-enforcement could win
 
In quiet Kitchener, Ont., the Angels maintain a squeaky-clean image as the friendly 'neighbourhood watch.' But local cocaine statistics tell a different story
 
This is where the war began.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews/TPStory/LAC/20040717/CENTRE17/TPNational/Canada

PART I

For longer than most care to remember, a particularly irksome crack dealer lived on grimy Weber Street West, near the Hells Angels' fortified clubhouse. Not any more. Not after the Angels had a word with him.
"We had limousines pulling up at 3 o'clock in the morning. We had prostitutes running down the street to get their crack," recalled neighbour Robert Taylor, sipping an early-afternoon beer on his front porch. "The guy was arrested many times, we had meetings, but the cops couldn't [seem to] do anything."
 
So there were no complaints a couple of years ago, when the Angels persuaded the dealer to relocate. In fact, many local residents evidently regard the bikers as heroes.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20040716.wxhells0717/BNStory/Front/
 

PART II
This is where the war began.
It was Oct. 22, 1999, a blustery Friday. Wayne (Wiener) Kellestine, the grizzled boss of the St. Thomas Loners and one of the most feared bikers in Ontario, was off to a wedding.
 
For weeks, the world's most powerful biker gang had courted the Loners, hoping to assimilate them and gain a beachhead in the lucrative Southwestern Ontario drug trade. For weeks, thanks to Mr. Kellestine's obdurate sense of independence, they had failed.
 
But within moments of his 4-by-4 pulling up to the deserted crossroad in this sleepy hamlet southwest of London, Ont., Mr. Kellestine would discover an elemental truth about the Hells Angels: They don't take no for an answer.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20040716.wxhells20717/BNStory/Front/

 

2.  WEAKENED TIJUANA DRUG CARTEL STILL DEADLY -  LOS ANGELES TIMES
Despite the arrests of key figures in the Arellano Felix drug cartel and the encroachment of rival gangs, Tijuana's dominant narcotics traffickers are as dangerous as ever — if not more so, U.S. law enforcement officials say.

Evidence of the mayhem wrought by the so-called Tijuana cartel is plentiful and appalling. Last month, Francisco J. Ortiz Franco, an editor at the crusading Zeta newsweekly, which had recently detailed alleged dealings by the Mexican gang, was gunned down in front of two of his children.

U.S. law enforcement officials believe that the cartel has been weakened by the arrests of a dozen top members, including leader Benjamin Arellano Felix in 2002 and lieutenants Efrain Perez and Jorge Aureliano Felix last month. But some U.S. authorities' recent assertions that the cartel is in ruins are now viewed as having been made prematurely. Although the arrests have loosened the group's once-ironclad grip on heroin and cocaine smuggling along the western U.S.-Mexico border, the gang has moved into other violent enterprises, including kidnapping and the production and export of methamphetamine, said Special Agent John Blake of the FBI's San Diego office.
http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/front/la-fg-tijuana17jul17,1,4498280,print.story?coll=la-headlines-frontpage 
 

3. VOTERS TO CONSIDER TWO MORE INITIATIVES ON BALLOT
- THE MISSOURIAN (MT)
Initiatives to more than double the taxes on most tobacco products and legalize marijuana for medical purposes qualified for the November ballot Friday.
 
148 would allow Montanans to grow, possess and use limited amounts of marijuana to treat certain medical conditions and combat related pain, nausea, seizures and muscle spasms. Patients could use marijuana, under medical supervision, to alleviate symptoms related to such diseases as cancer, glaucoma and AIDS.
http://www.missoulian.com/articles/2004/07/17/news/mtregional/news04.txt
 

 
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 jail.

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 interpret them.
http://www.azcentral.com/php-bin/clicktrack/print.php?referer=http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/local/articles/0726twostrikes26.html 
 

 
5.  MARIJUANA PROPOSAL: ACLU SUES, TRIES TO SAVE INITIATIVE -
LAS VEGAS REVIEW JOURNAL
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 election.
 
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.
http://www.reviewjournal.com/lvrj_home/2004/Jul-28-Wed-2004/news/24406144.html
 

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 programme.

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 years.

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 addiction.

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 three months.

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 three days.

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 capacities.

 

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 to function.   

 

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 include:

 

  • 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.

 

 

9 URGENT, URGENT, URGENT NEED YOUR NAMES AND HELP FOR THE AMICUS LIST   

DEADLINE, MONDAY, August 9, 2004 TO MY E-MAIL

Please forward to your lists, ask your families, neighbors and organizations to join us.

Dear All,

          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 amicus.      

All we need to put them on the list is one sentence:

One sentence saying "Please add my name to the US SUpreme Court amici list.
Give me their
Name
Address (including state)
Phone # 
We will only Print the name of person or group and state where located

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 MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION.”

We’re counting on each of you.  This could slam the door on drug legalization for a long time to come.                               

Respectfully,   Joyce Nalepka
AmerCares@aol.com

 

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