August 28, 2004 Edition
2) MEDICAL MARIJUANA USE
LIMITING COLD PILLS IN METH WAR
SCHOOLS REJECT DRUG TESTING POLICY
5) STILL DRINKING AND DRIVING
CATCHING METH COOKS
7) CLAMPDOWN ON CANADIAN
BALTIMORE LAUDS ITS NEEDLE EXCHANGE
9) CENTRAL VA. FIGHTS GROWING
10) MARIJUANA RIGHTS GROUP
UNITING BEHIND KERRY
11) MARIJUANA QUESTIONS ON
SEVERAL LOCAL BALLOTS
12) MEXICO ARRESTS CARTEL
13) SHIFT IN
INMATE REHAB SIGNALED
14) METH CRACKDOWN SIGNED INTO
15) IOWA DRUG BABY NUMBERS
CONTINUE TO SOAR
16) JAILED, FORGOTTEN: PLIGHT
OF MENTALLY ILL DETAILED
17) NARCONON BANNED FROM S.F.
SCHOOLS - ANTI-DRUG TEACHING TIES DO
SCIENTOLOGY CALLED INACCURATE
18) PUTTING CAPS ON TEENAGE DRINKING
FOOD STAMPS FOR SOME DRUG FELONS
20) DWI DEATHS DROP AFTER
FEDERAL AD CAMPAIGN
21) "ALCOHOL WITHOUT LIQUID"
VAPORIZER MACHINE DEBUTS
MINNEAPOLIS COUNCIL REJECTS MEDICAL MARIJUANA INITIATIVE
23) AMERICAN ACADEMY OF
CONGRESS APPROVES FUNDS TO EXPAND PARENT CORPS
There is alot of
news this week. The so-called medical marijuana issue continues to
make headlines as well as alot of methamphetamine use! Student
drug testing is being challenged in California. We continue to
write letters to educate Governor Schwarzenegger on the dangers
of this bill( SB1386). The are two funding issues to be concerned
about, the Drug Free Communities funding and the National Guards
funding for the Drug Demand Reduction Program(NCTC). We need these
Sharon L. Smith
Mechanicsburg, Pa. 17055
MEDICAL MARIJUANA USE PETITIONS FILED
Supporters of a proposal to legalize marijuana for medical use
delivered 30,000 new signatures on Wednesday and resubmitted more
than 17,000 after having them notarized in an effort to get the
measure on the Nov. 2 ballot.
The deadline to submit the additional signatures was Wednesday.
EDITORIAL: DOCS AND PAIN
New guidelines for prescription painkillers represent an equitable
strategy for physicians and federal drug enforcement.
The rules balance the need for stronger vigilance of illicit
prescription-drug use with doctors' need to aggressively treat
pain. Non-medical use of prescription drugs ranks second only to
marijuana use as the most commonly abused drug in the U.S. One
drug, OxyContin, is blamed in more than 100 deaths. It is
appropriate, then, for the Drug Enforcement Administration, by
regulating doctors who prescribe opioid painkillers such as
morphine and OxyContin, to combat prescription-drug misuse.
But some efforts have had a chilling effect on the medical
profession. The arrest of 50 doctors nationwide last year on
charges that they prescribed or distributed controlled substances
beyond the scope of medical practice led doctors to fear if they
prescribed significant amounts of painkillers they would be
singled out by law enforcement.
The new guidelines should go a long way toward easing doctors'
fears. Created by a team of physicians and the nation's top cops,
they help law-enforcement agents and prosecutors distinguish
aggressive pain management from drug diversion.
STATE PONDERS LIMITING COLD PILLS
IN METH WAR
Gov. Sonny Perdue said Wednesday he will study whether restricting
sales of cold pills might help Georgia in its fight against
"We know that Oklahoma has done that with some purported success,"
Perdue said in an interview after a two-day meth summit he
convened at the Omni Hotel in Atlanta.
Under an Oklahoma law that took effect in April, only pharmacies
may sell tablets containing pseudoephedrine, such as Sudafed, a
key ingredient used to make the illegal stimulant methamphetamine.
Convenience stories and other retailers had to remove the tablets
from their shelves. And pharmacies must keep the drugs behind
their counters and require customers to show photo identification
and sign for the medicine.
Oklahoma reports a dramatic decrease in meth labs since the law
took effect. The number of labs raided dropped from 100 in March
to 50 in June.
Oklahoma's law was a hot topic among law-enforcement officers at
Georgia's meth summit, the first such gathering in Georgia. By the
summit's end Wednesday, they had recommended that the governor
explore seeking a similar law for Georgia.
REJECT DRUG TESTING POLICY
Officials in eight of nine school districts in Northern Virginia
say they will not administer drug tests to students participating
in extracurricular events, though new state guidelines clarify the
The Virginia General Assembly voted in favor of drug testing two
years ago, and in June the state's education department issued
guidelines on the nonmandatory testing.
The random drug testing of students gained national attention in
1995 then in 2001 when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the practice
in Oregon and Oklahoma public schools, respectively, was
Drug testing in schools has gradually increased in the United
States, especially in California, as more students, particularly
athletes, have shown signs of taking drugs.
The National Institute of Citizen Anti-Drug Policy and the group
Drug Free Kids: America's Challenge have endorsed Virginia's
drug-testing law and guidelines.
DRINKING AND DRIVING
Thousands of motorists in Colorado are ticking time bombs,
continuing to drive drunk even after they've had their licenses
A Rocky Mountain News
review of state driving offenses for one year found:
- About 11
motorists a day are caught driving with a revoked license or a
license with restrictions because of a drinking and driving
- Every five or
six hours in Colorado, someone is cited by police for at least the
second time for drinking and driving.
drunken-driving offenders often kill themselves or other people on
- Four of every 10
drunken drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2002 had at least one
prior arrest for DUI.
These stubborn repeat offenders confound prosecutors.
METH COOKS PINK-HANDED
It may fall a shade shy of catching thieves redhanded, but for
farmers fed up with methamphetamine cooks filching their
fertilizer, staining them pink will do just fine.
Assuming you can discourage thieves you cannot easily catch, a new
product called GloTell -- which is added to tanks of anhydrous
ammonia -- will not only besmirch the hands of those who touch the
fertilizer, but leaves its mark on anyone who snorts or shoots the
GloTell is already proving to be a handy deterrent, but details
had to be worked out between its birth as a farmer's brainstorm
and finished product. The additive had to withstand the cold,
corrosive nature of anhydrous ammonia. It had to be safe for the
environment, safe for crops and even safe around children.
And in the two years it took to develop GloTell, researchers at
Southern Illinois University-Carbondale found it did much more
than just stain thieves pink. The visible stain, even if washed
off, was still detectable by ultraviolet light 24 to 72 hours
later. As an added benefit, the additive helped farmers detect any
tank leaks, said Truitt Clements, spokesman for Illinois-based
CLAMPDOWN ON CANADIAN BORDER
BELLINGHAM, Wash. — As part of a sharp increase in surveillance of
the border with Canada, federal officials Friday dedicated the
first of five planned bases for regular flights to look for drug
runners and others crossing illegally by air or land.
The Bellingham Air Marine Branch is to have a staff of about 70,
two helicopters, an airplane and a high-speed boat by year's end.
Similar bases have policed the U.S.-Mexico border for three
decades, but the new facility is the first on the Canadian border.
The five new bases, which will dot the border from Washington
state to upstate New York, are a response to the Sept. 11
terrorist attacks as well as smuggling of illegal aliens and
drugs, including British Columbia's potent strains of marijuana.
LAUDS ITS NEEDLE EXCHANGE
In Baltimore, the nation's largest city-run exchange program for
used intravenous drug needles has taken more than 6 million
needles off the city's heroin-ravaged streets, the city's health
commissioner said yesterday.
The aim of the program is to reduce the spread of HIV, the virus
that causes AIDS. The program has enrolled more than 14,000
addicts and tested more than 2,800 people for HIV, said Peter
Beilenson, the city health commissioner.
"Is it perfect? No. Do people still share needles sometimes? Sure.
But the fact that 6 million fewer needles have been shared clearly
has had an impact," Beilenson said.
CENTRAL VA. FIGHTS GROWING METH TRAFFIC
If different colors stood for different illicit drugs, a narcotics
map of the Washington region would look like a kaleidoscope:
everything everywhere, in every direction. There are trends --
heroin in Baltimore, crack in the District, "club drugs" such as
Ecstasy in Northern Virginia, but drug enforcement officials
describe the area as a hodgepodge.
With one exception.
Virginia's Shenandoah Valley is isolated in its affair with
methamphetamine, a powerfully addictive drug made with ingredients
that sound less-than-intoxicating, such as battery acid, cold
medicine and drain cleaner.
In the past five years, meth has become the No. 1 drug seized
along the north-south corridor between Winchester and
Harrisonburg, a belt that parallels Skyline Drive as well as
Interstate 81. What stumps local authorities is that the deadly
wave of meth, which began rolling east from Mexico and California
in the 1990s, seems to have stopped -- or paused -- in central
RIGHTS GROUP UNITING BEHIND KERRY
SEATTLE -- More than 150,000
denizens of the Northwest will gather this weekend in a waterfront
park for Hempfest, billed as the largest promarijuana gathering in
the country, to listen to speeches from the biggest names in the
national drug-law reform movement between band sets and bong hits.
But this year, attendees will hear an explicitly partisan message,
too: Organizers are pushing pot smokers to help elect Senator John
F. Kerry president.
The size of Hempfest indicates the potential power of the pro-pot
vote, particularly in the Northwest, reformers said. Organizers
think that registering even a few thousand Hempfest attendees
could make the difference in a close election. ''It is essential
for our crowd to understand that there is nothing more important
they can do for drug policy reform than to go out and cast their
ballots in the Democratic box in November," said Dominic Holden,
27, a spokesman for the festival.
MARIJUANA QUESTIONS ON SEVERAL LOCAL BALLOTS
Drug reform activists, convinced that law enforcement resources
would be better spent on other crimes, will ask voters in several
area communities this fall to weigh in on reducing penalties for
Proponents of the change have succeeded in getting a series of
nonbinding questions -- meant to gauge public opinion -- on
ballots this November in communities across Greater Boston. In
Bellingham and Milford, voters will consider the legality of
medicinal marijuana -- allowing seriously ill patients to grow the
drug for medical use. In Boylston, Northborough, Franklin, and
parts of Medway, voters will weigh in on whether the penalty for
possession should be reduced from a criminal charge to a civil
violation subject to a fine.
According to state law, first-time marijuana offenders are
typically placed on probation, but the law also allows for
imprisonment and fines for possession. Opponents of relaxing the
rules say marijuana use is often the first step toward drug
addiction and see no point in amending current policies, but
supporters of the change say it's a waste of money to prosecute
low-level possession offenses.
One of Mexico's most wanted drug-trafficking suspects was captured
without a shot fired over the weekend, authorities said Monday,
the latest in a series of high-profile arrests by Mexican law
enforcement using intelligence supplied by U.S. anti-narcotics
The arrest of Gilberto Higuera Guerrero at a safe house in
Mexicali in Baja California on Sunday morning is a major victory
in President Vicente Fox's campaign against major drug cartels.
Leaders in each of the four largest groups have been arrested in
recent months, although officials say the flow of drugs through
Mexico into the United States probably has not waned.
It is also the latest example of the growing cooperation between
U.S. and Mexican law enforcement, which have worked in tandem to
pull off several recent captures. American officials say they are
increasingly impressed with the willingness of Mexican anti-drug
forces to act on U.S. surveillance information, an inclination not
always evident in the past.
INMATE REHAB SIGNALED
Signaling a sharp turn in attitudes about rehabilitating state
prisoners, lawmakers Tuesday approved a sweeping new program to
give inmates more schooling and job training to better prepare
them for release.
By the slimmest of margins, the state Assembly endorsed a bill
aimed at reducing the huge proportion of ex-convicts who commit
new crimes or parole violations and wind up back behind bars. If
signed by the governor, the bill would trigger "an unprecedented
shift" in the mission of state prisons, an Assembly analysis said.
The bill would require corrections officials to evaluate inmates'
educational and "psychosocial" needs within 90 days of their
incarceration and tailor a schooling program for them, one that
would include vocational training and high school equivalency
degrees. The new approach would be phased in over three years
beginning in January 2006, and would not apply to convicts on
death row or those serving life without the possibility of parole.
A spokesman for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said the governor had
no position on the bill. At the Department of Corrections,
however, officials were opposed for fiscal reasons. They said the
legislation would create an onerous and costly new burden,
requiring them to craft an individualized education and
job-training plan for each inmate.
CRACKDOWN SIGNED INTO LAW
Drug stores will have to start locking up common cold medicines
that contain chemicals used to make methamphetamine and limiting
sales of those medicines to two at a time under a bill Gov.
Blagojevich signed Tuesday.
The new law, initiated by Attorney General Lisa Madigan, also
requires that the medicines themselves contain no more than three
grams of ingredients used in meth production.
BABY NUMBERS CONTINUE TO SOAR
The number of drug-affected babies born to Iowa mothers nearly
tripled last year and state officials say the numbers continue to
Last year, 1,167 children — almost all of them newborns — tested
positive for illegal drugs. That's up from 397 in 2002, said Vern
Armstrong, chief of the state Bureau of Protective Services, a
branch of the Iowa Department of Human Services.
He said the trend is continuing, with 719 cases reported for the
first half of 2004. He projects that number to reach 1,500 this
MORNING HERALD (Australia)
FORGOTTEN: PLIGHT OF MENTALLY ILL DETAILED
Australia's neglect of mental health services is regressing to a
"lock them up and throw away the key" approach, with many mentally
ill people ending up wrongly in prison, according to the Human
Rights Commissioner, Sev Ozdowski.
Dr Ozdowski said the commission had been presented with
"horrifying" evidence of the failure of mental health services to
give appropriate care, particularly for disturbed young people.
Recent community forums held by the commission and the Mental
Health Council showed an endemic lack of services, particularly
for those whose conditions were worsened by drugs.
"I listened to many, many first-hand accounts where alcohol and
drugs were linked to schizophrenia and depression. Stories about
violent behaviour, suicide attempts and endless bouts of
hospitalisation and imprisonment," Dr Ozdowski told the National
He said a frequently mentioned issue at the forums was the
evidence that widespread use of marijuana, amphetamines, alcohol
and ecstasy was contributing to an increased rate of mental
illness among young people.
BANNED FROM S.F. SCHOOLS - ANTI-DRUG TEACHING TIES DO SCIENTOLOGY
An anti-drug program with ties to the Church of Scientology will
be barred from San Francisco classrooms because of concerns about
its scientific accuracy, city schools Superintendent Arlene
Ackerman said Tuesday.
Ackerman's decision followed a review of the Narconon Drug
Prevention & Education Program by school health officials, who
found that some of its teachings were not "100 percent accurate.''
Ackerman said her concern was raised after The Chronicle revealed
in June that Narconon's classroom lectures reflected Scientology's
beliefs about drugs and anatomy -- such as the idea that drug
residues remain indefinitely in body fat and cause recurring
flashbacks and drug cravings.
In addition to barring Narconon, Ackerman said San Francisco
schools will implement a stricter policy forbidding outsiders from
teaching children until their curriculum has been reviewed and
Each year, dozens of groups lecture students, from Alcoholics
Anonymous to Magicians With a Message.
PUTTING CAPS ON TEENAGE
by Jim Gogek
A year ago, at the request of Congress, the National Academy of
Sciences issued a nationwide strategy to reduce underage drinking.
It hasn't been adopted, and since then more than 3,000 Americans
have been killed and nearly 1 million injured in traffic crashes,
shootings, stabbings, beatings, drownings, burns, suicide attempts
and alcohol poisonings - all linked to underage drinking.
And there have been more than 1.1 million property crimes and
nearly 400,000 incidents of high-risk sex among youths, according
to research conducted over the years by our institute.
This week, nearly 1,000 prevention advocates and alcohol law
enforcement officers are meeting at a conference in San Diego to
promote the recommendations from the National Academy report. But
despite their dedication to the cause, they probably won't succeed
- without a lot more help from Washington. A few federal agencies
have taken small steps, and two pieces of legislation have been
developed but sit languishing. Lawmakers may be too preoccupied
right now to tackle a thorny social problem. And the power of the
alcohol lobby makes everybody in Washington skittish.
FOOD STAMPS FOR SOME DRUG FELONS
The California Senate approved legislation Wednesday allowing
certain drug felons to receive food stamps, in an effort to
reverse a nearly eight-year ban enacted when the state overhauled
the welfare system.
Although the food stamp program is funded entirely by the federal
government, the state has the right to set certain rules for
people using it. In 1997, California prohibited people convicted
of possessing, manufacturing or selling drugs from receiving food
stamps for their entire lives.
DEATHS DROP AFTER FEDERAL AD CAMPAIGN
Drunken-driving deaths fell in all but one of 13 states targeted
by a campaign that includes money for ads and enforcement efforts
to get drinkers off the road, the government said Wednesday.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wants to expand
the $5 million program, if Congress approves a long-delayed
NHTSA spent $10.5 million on advertising in 2003 and $14 million
in 2004. In both years, $5 million went to the 13 states, which
were targeted because of their high death rates from drunken
The program paid for ads around the July 4 and Labor Day holidays.
States added to that by increasing the number of police officers
and highway checkpoints.
Nationally, drunken-driving deaths dropped 3 percent in 2003, from
17,524 to 17,013. That was the first decline since 1999.
Twenty-eight states had fewer alcohol-related deaths.
"ALCOHOL WITHOUT LIQUID" VAPORIZER MACHINE DEBUTS
A machine that lets its users inhale
liquor by mixing it with pressurized oxygen is debuting in
Manhattan. The machine makers say
it takes about 20 minutes to inhale one vaporized shot, leaving
users euphoric, but not drunk, and without the aftereffects of
alcohol. Existing state law is not the only obstacle the machine
faces. Westchester County Executive Andrew Spano has said he wants
the AWOL machine prohibited for fear it will attract underage
drinkers, and State Sen. Carl Kruger has pledged to introduce
legislation to ban it.
Associated Press, August 23, 2004.
For the entire article click on
MINNEAPOLIS-ST PAUL STAR TRIBUNE
MINNEAPOLIS COUNCIL REJECTS MEDICAL
The Minneapolis City
Council's Intergovernmental Relations Committee voted against
putting a medical-marijuana ballot question before voters this
November. The action could lead to a lawsuit from Citizens for Harm
Reduction, which pushed for the initiative, the
Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune reported Aug. 18.
Committee chairman Scott Benson said the initiative contradicts
current state and federal laws. The measure would have amended the
City Charter "to require that the City Council shall authorize,
license, and regulate a reasonable number of medicinal-marijuana
distribution centers in the city of Minneapolis as is necessary to
provide services to patients who have been recommended medicinal
marijuana by a medical or osteopathic doctor licensed to practice in
the state of Minnesota to the extent permitted by state and federal
The Washington, D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), which is
funding the Citizens for Harm Reduction group, said it would sue to
get the initiative on the ballot. "We are fully prepared to go to
court and to spend whatever it takes to prevent the city's voters
from being disenfranchised," said Neal Levine, director of public
policy at MPP.The entire council is expected to consider the measure
at its next meeting, but a similar outcome is expected.
DELAWARE NEW JOURNAL
GROWER BLAMED FOR FATAL FIRE
Man charged in firefighters' deaths
DAVID B. CARUSO
PHILADELPHIA -- A blaze that killed
two firefighters Friday began in a tangle of wires, fans and
high-powered lamps that a man had set up in a basement closet to
grow marijuana, authorities said. The man police believe was
responsible for the array has been arrested and charged with
third-degree murder. Fire Capt. John Taylor, 53, and firefighter Rey
Rubio, 42, died when they were trapped by quick-moving flames as
they worked near the source of the smoky blaze in the home's cellar.
Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne
Abraham called suspect Daniel Brough "reckless," "foolish" and
"greedy" for his role in the deaths. "This is unacceptable criminal
conduct," she said. Brough, 35, faces other charges, including
marijuana possession, involuntary manslaughter and causing a
Fire officials said the blaze
apparently started in the electrical circuits set up to run the
equipment used to nurture the marijuana plants, and spread more
quickly because the hot lights had dried out the wood in the closet.
Authorities say the firefighters were working in the basement of the
row house in the Port Richmond section of the city when they ran
into trouble. Taylor triggered a distress button on his radio, but
rescuers could not get to them in time. The men appear to have died
of smoke inhalation, officials said.
Taylor was a 32-year veteran of the
department. He had a wife and two children. Rubio had one child, and
is survived by his mother, father and nine siblings. He had been
fighting fires for 12 years. Both men had been decorated for their
service to the city. They were the second and third firefighters to
die this year in Philadelphia. Fire Lt. Derrick Harvey, 45, suffered
fatal burns fighting a blaze in January.
THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS
AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS OPPOSES
LEGALIZATION OF MARIJUANA
June issue of Pediatrics,
the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, featured a
policy statement entitled "Legalization of Marijuana: Potential
Impact on Youth". It should be noted that their two
recommendations (see below) endorse scientific research on
cannabinoids, not cannabis/marijuana, i.e., legitimate
scientific research into possible medical applications for the
more than 60 cannabinoids found in the marijuana plant.
1. The American Academy
of Pediatrics opposes the legalization of marijuana
2. The American Academy of Pediatrics supports rigorous
scientific research regarding the use of cannabinoids for the
relief of symptoms not currently ameliorated by existing legal
The Policy statement notes:
"In contrast [to their recommendation for
scientific research] the significant neuropharmacologic,
cognitive, behavioral, and somatic consequences of acute and
long-term marijuana use are well known and include negative
effects on short-term memory, concentration, attention span,
motivation, and problem solving, which clearly interfere with
learning; adverse effects on coordination, judgment, reaction
time, and tracking ability, which contribute substantially to
unintentional deaths and injuries among adolescents (especially
those associated with motor vehicles); and negative health
effects with repeated use similar to effects seen with smoking
CONGRESS APPROVES FUNDS TO EXPAND PARENT CORPS
The U.S. Congress has approved more than $4 million in funding
to expand Parent Corps, a grassroots organization to fight
alcohol and other drugs,
Fox News reported Aug. 19.
Parent Corps has chapters in three states. The latest
funding will expand the initiative to nine states. "Our goal is
to have each parent leader mobilize 400 parent volunteers," said
Sue Rusche, executive director of National Families in Action.
The federal funds will be used to recruit parents, train them,
and pay for two Parent Corps organizers in each of the states.
Parent Corps works to reduce alcohol and other drug use among
children. "Though schools are able to provide an awful lot, in
many ways they have taken on too many parental roles, and it
would be nice to put it back in the parents hands," said Dana
Smith, a parent.
Parent Corps hopes to have a full-time parent leader in every
school in the nation by 2014.
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