Drug & Alcohol Headline Week in Review from MOMSTELL.COM

 JULY 11, 2004 EDITION

 

  1. SCHOOLS MAY USE SPRAY TO TRACE KIDS' DRUG USE - MIAMI HERALD

  2. EDITORIAL: LET STATES MAKE THIS CHOICE - PORTLAND OREGONIAN

  3. DRUG SEIZURES AT AIRPORT UP, BUT ARRESTS THERE DROP - NASHVILLE TENNESSEAN

  4. DRUNKEN PERMITTOR HELD LIABLE FOR DESIGNATING A DRUNK AS A DRIVER - NEW JERSEY LAW JOURNAL

  5. DUI LAWS MAY JAIL THOUSANDS IN VA. - WASHINGTON POST

  6. JUDGE WON'T SHIELD DRUG-CASE DOCTOR - SACRAMENTO BEE 

  7. IOWA REPORTS FINDING MOST METH LABS IN U.S. - DES MOINES REGISTER (IA)

  8. STATE ESTIMATES OF PERSONS NEEDING BUT NOT RECEIVING SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT, 2002 - SAMHSA

  9. U.S. HOUSE VOTES AGAINST MEDICAL MARIJUANA USE - ASSOCIATED PRESS

  10. ARKANSAS CLOSER TO MEDICAL MARIJUANA BALLOT INITIATIVE - AAMM

  11. MARIJUANA MAGAZINE SHIFTS TO ACTIVISM - NEW YORK TIMES


1. SCHOOLS MAY USE SPRAY TO TRACE KIDS' DRUG USE
- MIAMI HERALD
Two years after approving the use of drug-sniffing dogs, Broward County schools may have another narcotic-fighting weapon: an aerosol spray that detects residue on school desks or backpacks, similar to bomb-detection equipment used in airports.
 
Despite research that shows drug use is down among high school seniors since the early 1980s, school systems nationwide are becoming more aggressive at trying to curtail the problem. And the federal government is helping, with grants to more than 20 school systems that want to try the new spray.
 
If the Broward School Board approves the kits this fall, a principal could rub sticky paper on a locker or desk -- or anything else that might have been touched by a drug user -- and then spray it with a chemical to find traces of marijuana, cocaine, heroin, speed and Ecstasy.
 
The paper may display one of a rainbow of colors, depending on the illicit substance: reddish-brown for marijuana, purple for heroin, canary yellow for amphetamines.
http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/9043403.htm?template=contentModules/printstory.jsp 
 

 
2. EDITORIAL: LET STATES MAKE THIS CHOICE
- PORTLAND OREGONIAN
The U.S. Supreme Court's decision to hear a case about medical marijuana should clear the air in a controversy over the power of the federal government to intervene in states' medical decisions.
 
We hope we see a trend of federalism here, with states being free to decide medical marijuana issues without federal interference.
 
Diseases such as cancer, AIDS and multiple sclerosis and afflictions such as glaucoma and chronic pain don't discriminate geographically or on the basis of patients' political beliefs. Political conservatives and liberals should find common cause in pushing for medical marijuana solutions made in their state legislatures rather than by federal bureaucrats pushing electoral agendas.
http://www.oregonlive.com/printer/printer.ssf?/base/editorial/1088596579233960.xml 



 
3. DRUG SEIZURES AT AIRPORT UP, BUT ARRESTS THERE DROP - NASHVILLE TENNESSEAN
Travelers caught with illegal drugs at Nashville International Airport are allowed to go free without arrest about half the time, recent statistics show.
 
In the past four years, airport screeners and airport police found an increasing number of people with illegal drugs a side effect of searches for weapons, bombs and other illegal items that ramped up after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, records and interviews with airport police show.
 
Chief Duane McGray, who heads the airport's Department of Public Safety, said his officers were using more discretion as the intense bag searches continue and his officers encounter small amounts of marijuana.
 
McGray would prefer that his officers be available to protect the public from more serious threats, rather than spending hours writing reports and in court for minor marijuana crimes, he said yesterday.
http://www.tennessean.com/local/archives/04/07/53958239.shtml?Element_ID=53958239
 

 
4. DRUNKEN PERMITTOR HELD LIABLE FOR DESIGNATING A DRUNK AS A DRIVER - NEW JERSEY LAW JOURNAL
Being too intoxicated to know right from wrong is no defense to the charge of letting another drunk drive your car, a Camden County, N.J., judge has ruled.

In a trial court decision approved for publication on June 14, Superior Court Judge William Cook found that being drunk does not create the lack of knowledge defendants need to avoid prosecution under N.J.S.A. 39:4-50(a) for putting their vehicles in the hands of someone who is drunk.

The case, State v. Zanger, 51-2003, is one of first impression, but lawyers who represent drivers say the ruling is another example of New Jersey's near-zero tolerance for defenses to alcohol-related offenses -- particularly in cases where, like this one, a death ensued.
http://www.law.com/jsp/printerfriendly.jsp?c=LawArticle&t=PrinterFriendlyArticle&cid=1088699799122
 

 
5, DUI LAWS MAY JAIL THOUSANDS IN VA. - WASHINGTON POST
Virginia's new, tougher drunken driving laws are likely to put thousands more drivers behind bars each year and require them to install expensive breathalyzer equipment in their cars, lawmakers said.
 
Drivers charged with having a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or higher will continue to be charged with drunken driving. But those who reach the threshold of 0.15 -- the new level at which tougher laws kick in -- will face at least five days of jail and be required to use a dashboard breathalyzer that prevents them from starting their cars if they are legally drunk.
 
Lawmakers estimate that as many as 8,000 additional offenders annually will face those penalties in Virginia, said Del. Robert B. Bell (R-Charlottesville), who sponsored the law lowering the threshold. That would be an increase of more than 300 percent statewide, according to estimates.
 
Figures from at least one local jurisdiction illustrate the potential increase. In one week in September, for example, 91 people were arrested in Fairfax County for drunken driving, according to county records. Twenty-six of those drivers had a blood alcohol level of 0.15 or more -- nearly three times the number above 0.2.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A37633-2004Jul8?language=printer 
 
 
 
6. JUDGE WON'T SHIELD DRUG-CASE DOCTOR - SACRAMENTO BEE 
A judge here refused on Thursday to block a threatened drug-dealing prosecution against Dr. Molly Fry, who recommended marijuana to patients at a clinic in Cool and may have sold them pot-growing kits.
 
"If somebody's innocent, they get vindicated at trial," U.S. District Judge William Alsup told Fry, who could be charged in federal court in Sacramento.
 
Fry asked for a temporary restraining order in San Francisco because Alsup four years ago issued an injunction barring federal drug authorities from harassing doctors who recommend pot to their patients under Proposition 215, California's medical marijuana initiative.
http://www.sacbee.com/content/politics/ca/story/9933421p-10855366c.html 
 
 

 
7. IOWA REPORTS FINDING MOST METH LABS IN U.S.
- DES MOINES REGISTER (IA)
Iowa reported the discovery of more methamphetamine labs and manufacturing equipment during the first half of this year than any other state, according to a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration intelligence center.

The 564 incidents in which meth equipment, labs or dump sites were found between Jan. 1 and July 1 also placed Iowa first per capita, followed by Arkansas and North Dakota.

http://desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20040709/NEWS01/407090350/1001/NEWS 
  
 

8. STATE ESTIMATES OF PERSONS NEEDING BUT NOT RECEIVING SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT, 2002 - SAMHSA

SAMHSA's 2002 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that 2.7% of persons aged 12 or older nationwide needed but did not receive treatment for an illicit drug problem and 7.3% needed but did not receive treatment for an alcohol problem. The States with the highest rates of indviduals needing but not receiving substance abuse treatment were mainly in the West. The States with the highest rates of individuals needing but not receiving alcohol treatment were mainly in the Midwest and West.

http://oas.samhsa.gov/2k4/StateGaps/StateGaps.cfm     Publication date: June 2004

9. U.S. HOUSE VOTES AGAINST MEDICAL MARIJUANA USE - ASSOCIATED PRESS 7/8/2004

The U.S. House of Representatives voted against an amendment that would have shielded medical-marijuana users from federal prosecution in states with their own medical-marijuana laws, the Associated Press reported July 7.

The amendment, which was supported by Democrats and some conservative Republicans, would have affected people in Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington, all of which now allow people to use marijuana for medical purposes if recommended by a doctor.

The amendment, attached to a bill providing $39.8 billion for the departments of Justice, State and Commerce, was defeated by a 268-148 vote. Rep. Max Burns (R-Ga.) said the amendment was "simply the first step in a scheme to overturn all the substance-abuse laws." 
 
  
10. ARAKANSAS CLOSER TO MEDICAL MARIJUANA BALLOT INITIATIVE - AAMM  7/9/2004

The Arkansas Alliance for Medical Marijuana (AAMM) said it has submitted the required number of signatures to place an initiative to legalize marijuana for medical use on the November state ballot, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported July 3.

Chloe Crater, a spokesman for AAMM, said the group turned in about 67,000 signatures. In order to qualify for the Nov. 2 ballot, 64,456 signatures of registered voters must be certified by the Secretary of State's office.

Under the proposed initiative, Arkansas residents with "debilitating medical conditions" who receive permission from their physician would be able to obtain a registry card allowing them to use marijuana, which they or a caregiver can grow.

Opponents of the initiative said it would conflict with the state's drug laws and make it difficult for police to enforce criminal drug laws. They also fear that the measure would lead to complete legalization of marijuana.

"Despite their heartfelt and intense feelings, medical marijuana is poor public policy and terrible medical policy. Smoking crude marijuana is not necessary; it's unsafe, it's unproven," said Larry Page of the Coalition Against Legalized Marijuana, a newly formed state organization.

Currently, Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington have medical-marijuana laws.


11. MARIJUANA MAGAZINE SHIFTS TO ACTIVISM - NEW YORK TIMES

High Times magazine, which is known for its centerfold photo spreads of marijuana, is making a shift towards activism, the New York Times reported June 28.

"High Times started out as a celebration of outlaw culture in America," said Jason Flores-Williams, the magazine's political writer. "Then the magazine became pot porn, just a stoner mag."

Under publisher and editor-in-chief Richard Stratton, the magazine is being reshaped to embody activism. In the September/October issue, the magazine urges readers to protest the Republican National Convention, which is being held Aug. 30 through Sept 2 in New York.

"I would liken it to Rolling Stone coming along at the birth of rock 'n' roll," said Flores-Williams. "Activism is the new rock 'n' roll."

Although the editorial focus has changed, advertisements in the magazine continue to tout marijuana and various related products.

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