BIG ISLE DRUG BUST NETS 47 ARRESTS
Wiretaps helped dismantle four drug distribution organizations
supplying 40 percent of the crystal methamphetamine, or "ice,"
on the Big Island, U.S. Attorney Edward Kubo Jr. said
yesterday. "Operation Capsize," an ongoing joint investigation
involving federal law enforcement agencies, the IRS, U.S. Postal
Service and the Hawaii County Police Department has so far
netted 24 pounds of ice, $429,677 cash and the arrest of 47
suspects. The four groups imported more than 200 pounds of ice
into Hawaii since 2002, with a street value of more than $1
million, Kubo said.
The four Big Island drug organizations imported drugs from
Northern California aboard barges hidden in empty cattle
containers, in the engine block and body panel of vehicles, on
couriers riding aboard passenger airplanes and through the
mail. Kubo said the group responsible for importing the most ice
was headed by Audwin Aiwohi. Police raided Aiwohi's 50-acre
ranch in Glenwood in May and seized $192,523 in cash, 17
firearms and 7 1/2 pounds of ice buried in containers on his
So far, only 19 of the 47 suspects have been charged in federal
court. The others, whose actions involved less than the 50 grams
of ice required for federal prosecution, could be charged in
state courts. However, because Hawaii's wiretap law is more
restrictive than federal law, the state cannot prosecute them
using evidence obtained through the wiretaps.
State law requires the appointment of an attorney who will
oppose wiretap applications when prosecutors appear before state
judges seeking authorization. Federal law has no such
OP/ED: DEBUNKING THE DRUG
By John Tierney
America has a serious drug problem, but it's not the "meth
epidemic" getting so much publicity. It's the problem identified
by William Bennett, the former national drug czar and gambler.
"Using drugs," he wrote, "is wrong not simply because drugs create
medical problems; it is wrong because drugs destroy one's moral
sense. People addicted to drugs neglect their duties."
This problem afflicts a small minority of the people who have
tried methamphetamines, but most of the law-enforcement officials
and politicians who lead the war against drugs. They're so
consumed with drugs that they've lost sight of their duties.
Like addicts desperate for a high, they've declared meth the new
crack, which was once called the new heroin (that title now
belongs to OxyContin). With the help of the press, they're once
again frightening the public with tales of a drug so seductive it
instantly turns masses of upstanding citizens into addicts who
ruin their health, their lives and their families.
LOS ANGELES TIMES
WAR OF THE WEED
Famed for the biggest trees in the world, Sequoia National Park is
now No. 1 in another flora department: marijuana growing, with
more land carved up by pot growers than any other park. Parts of
Sequoia, including the Kaweah River drainage and areas off Mineral
King Road, are no-go zones for visitors and park rangers during
the April-to-October growing season, when drug lords cultivate pot
on an agribusiness-scale fit for the Central Valley.
"It's so big that we have to focus our resources on one or two
areas at a time, because otherwise it's beyond our scope," says
Sequoia's lone special agent assigned to the marijuana war, who,
for his own safety, can't be identified. He and two seasonal
employees face an army of growers who turn expanses of land set
aside as untouched wilderness into contraband cropland. "In a
national park everything is protected," notes the agent. "You're
not even supposed to take a pine cone. It's beyond what should be
acceptable in today's society."
So far, park visitors and the growers rarely cross paths; the pot
farms are in areas with little public appeal — remote slopes at
lower, hotter elevations. However, officials report five
encounters between gun-wielding growers and visitors on national
forest lands in California this year.
SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS
QUARTER OF PROP. 36 DRUG OFFENDERS COMPLETE TREATMENT, UCLA
Nearly five years ago, California voters approved a ballot measure
that gave judges the discretion to send some nonviolent drug
offenders to a drug treatment program instead of prison. About a
quarter of those who entered the alternative treatment completed
the program and had similar outcomes to traditional treatment
methods, according to a new UCLA study.
The study released Monday by UCLA's Integrated Substance Abuse
Programs sparked a renewed debate over how Proposition 36's
results compare to alternative programs. About 70 percent of
those eligible under Proposition 36 entered treatment, and about
34 percent of the treated population completed the program,
researchers found. Those figures, and the 25 percent completion
rate for all those eligible under Proposition 36, are similar for
other criminal justice referrals, said lead researcher Douglas
Longshore, a behavioral scientist.
CHAVEZ REIGNITES WAR OF WORDS WITH
Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez escalated his war of
words with America yesterday, when he accused the US drug
enforcement administration (DEA) of spying, and said Venezuela was
suspending cooperation with the agency. Mr Chávez, who regularly
accuses the US of plotting against him, said "the DEA is not
absolutely necessary for the fight against drug trafficking."
The DEA was using the fight against
drug trafficking as a mask to support drug trafficking and to
carry out intelligence in Venezuela against the government, Mr
Chávez told reporters. Under those circumstances we decided to
make a clean break with those accords, and we are reviewing them,"
Mr Chávez said, referring to the cooperative agreements under
which the DEA has operated in Venezuela.
Prosecutors last month opened an
investigation into the DEA's activities in Venezuela. "We have
detected intelligence infiltration that threatened national
security and defence," Mr Chávez said. While he recognised that
Venezuela is a transit point for Colombian cocaine, Mr Chávez said
Venezuela's armed forces have made important advances against
WALGREEN PULLS PSEUDOPHEDRINE FROM
Walgreen Co., the nation's largest drugstore chain, on Friday said
it will move all products containing pseudoephedrine -- used to
make methamphetamine -- behind the pharmacy counter in all stores
nationwide by the end of October. Pseudoephedrine is found in cold
medicines such as Sudafed, NyQuil and Tylenol Cold, and can be
used to make the highly addictive, illegal drug.
A growing number of retailers,
including Target Corp., CVS Corp., and Albertsons Inc., as well as
many state legislatures, are restricting the sale of
over-the-counter cold medicines, in an effort to help law
enforcement tackle the growing national problem of methamphetamine
Methamphetamine can be made using
common household and agricultural ingredients following recipes
easily found on the Internet.
According to a survey of law
enforcement organizations conducted by the National Association of
Counties and released in July, 58 percent of county law
enforcement agencies now see meth as their largest drug problem.
METH ABUSE SOARING IN THE WORKPLACE
couple of hours before going to work, Scott Chubb would open a
small bag and inhale a white, odorless, crystalline powder. The
methamphetamine gave him a quick high. At work as a waiter at
Bennigan's Grill & Tavern, dashing between his five tables, he
felt jittery and frenetic. For seven years he used the drug,
sleeping only a few hours before his shifts and sometimes not at
all. He lost weight and looked gaunt. Dark circles appeared like
bruises under his eyes. A $60 bag of meth had once lasted him all
weekend; now it was gone in hours.
Then, in January 2004, he abruptly
asked a co-worker to take over his shift. "I needed to leave,"
says Chubb, 31, a model, aspiring actor and waiter in Chicago who
is in several recovery programs at once. "I needed to find help. I
was living a double life. I quit cold turkey that day. I stopped
using drugs, but it wasn't easy."
Methamphetamine, also known as
speed, meth and chalk, is a fast-growing illegal stimulant that
has been tried by more than 12 million Americans, according to the
National Institute on Drug Abuse. Its presence in the workplace
has also soared.
METHADONE DEATHS TO BE STUDIED
In the wake of a $2.8 million jury award last week to the family
of a Leslie County man who died while being treated for drug
addiction at a methadone clinic, state regulators are taking the
first steps toward monitoring the deaths of clinic patients.
"There is no investigation process for the state with the death of
a client," said Mac Bell, administrator for the State Narcotic
Authority, which oversees 11 methadone maintenance programs in
Bell said his office has no legal
jurisdiction to investigate deaths reported to his agency. "When
there's a death, that goes back to the clinic director -- the
doctor in the program," he said. After a five-day trial in a
wrongful-death lawsuit, a Perry County jury decided Friday that
the Hazard Professional Associates clinic -- not a doctor and
nurse named in the suit -- was negligent in the 2002 death of
Jason Caldwell, 21, of Leslie County.
Caldwell was a former coal
miner who was injured in a car wreck and became addicted to the
powerful painkiller, OxyContin, said Gary C. Johnson, a Pikeville
attorney who represented Caldwell's estate. Caldwell went to the
methadone clinic in Hazard to "get off" OxyContin, but died five
days later after receiving allegedly toxic doses of methadone,
Johnson said. Bell said his agency receives reports of about five
deaths a year at methadone clinics in Kentucky. The number of
methadone patients is rising across the state -- as many as 1,800
patients are being treated in methadone clinics, Bell
HAS TV GONE TO
Is Hollywood going one toke over
the line? Marijuana use is cropping up on some critically
acclaimed shows, and anti-drug forces fear the glamorization of
pot could boost its use among youths.
Pot is an ongoing theme on HBO's
"Entourage" (Sundays, 10 p.m.), which centers on a rising young
movie star and his New York buddies who have gone Hollywood.
Sunday's episode features two teens getting high at a bat mitzvah.
Streetwise Maurice "Smoke" Williams
(Kirk Jones) lit up on last week's premiere of "Over There"
(Wednesdays, 10 p.m.), FX's gritty Iraq war drama.Marijuana is the
core premise of Showtime dramedy "Weeds" (sneak peview Sunday, 11
p.m.; regular time Mondays, 10 p.m.), a dark version of "Desperate
Housewives" suburbia with Mary-Louise Parker as a pot-dealing
soccer mom. In Sunday's special preview, a teen sells pot to
grade-schoolers until Parker's character blackmails him to stop.
Recurring or episodic pot themes
also have fueled HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm," FX's "Rescue Me"
and Fox's "That' 70s Show." Hollywood's embellishment of
marijuana use is "irresponsible," says Tom Riley of the White
House's Office of National Drug Control Policy.
DUI LAW RULED UNCONSTITUTIONAL
A Fairfax County judge has ruled that key components of Virginia's
drunken-driving laws are unconstitutional, citing an obscure,
decades-old U.S. Supreme Court decision that could prompt similar
Virginia's law is unconstitutional because it presumes that an
individual with a blood-alcohol content of 0.08 or higher is
intoxicated, denying a defendant's right to a presumption of
innocence, Judge Ian O'Flaherty ruled in dismissing charges
against at least two alleged drunken drivers last month.
As a district judge, O'Flaherty's rulings do not establish any
formal precedent, but word of the constitutional argument is
spreading quickly among the defense bar. Every state has similar
presumptions about intoxication at a 0.08 blood-alcohol level, so
defense lawyers across the nation are likely to make similar
GLOBE AND MAIL
OTTAWA STIFFENS PENALTIES TO FIGHT CRYSTAL METH
The federal government announced Thursday that it is stiffening
the penalties for production and use of crystal meth. Health
Minister Ujjal Dosanjh, Attorney-General Irwin Cotler, and Deputy
Prime Minister Anne McLellan are to announce officially Thursday
morning an increase in the maximum penalties for possession,
trafficking, importation, exportation and production of
methamphetamines, known in one form as speed or meth and in
another as crystal meth.
Methamphetamine has been moved to Schedule I of the Controlled
Drugs and Substances Act, which increases the penalty for
production and distribution of crystal meth from 10 years to life
in prison. The drug will now carry the same penalties as such
drugs as cocaine and heroin.
Earlier this year, Health Canada also proposed amendments to add
four substances used in the production of methamphetamine to the
list of controlled chemicals under the Precursor Control
The possession of these "precursor chemicals," for the purposes of
producing a controlled substance such as methamphetamine, would
become an offence resulting in either a fine of up to $5000, up to
three years imprisonment or both
2% TEST POSITIVE FOR 'ICE' USE
Nearly two out of every 100 people who undergo pre-employment and
random workplace drug screening in Hawaii test positive for
crystal methamphetamine, or "ice," the state's largest drug
testing laboratory has found.
Of the 9,419 prospective and current employees screened by
Diagnostic Laboratory Services in the first three months of this
year, 179, or 1.9 percent, tested positive for ice. In the
previous 12 months, 1.8 percent tested positive.
"We always knew ice was a problem here, but we didn't look at it
in an organized way," said Carl Linden, the lab's scientific
ADDICTS GET TREATMENT BEHIND BARS
Two of Pennsylvania's most
successful drug and alcohol treatment programs offer intense
therapy with a minimum 90-day stay, regardless of your income or
insurance plan. That's the good news. The bad news: To get in,
you must be an inmate at the Allegheny County Jail or the State
Correctional Institution at Chester, near Philadelphia.
This is the state of modern drug
and alcohol treatment. As governments have barely held the line on
public funding for substance abuse programs in communities, they
have shifted more money and attention to providing treatment after
an abuser has committed a crime. Where once the debate was whether
to treat addicts or imprison them, we now do both.
Nearly $3 million was cut from the
state drug and alcohol budget this year, but the state is spending
more than $28,000 annually per inmate -- nearly $32 million at SCI
Chester alone -- for inmates' lodging, food and security as they
kick their addictions and turn their lives around. More than 60
percent of new inmates to Pennsylvania's state prisons are
diagnosed with a drug or alcohol dependency. And almost all the
recent growth in Pennsylvania's inmate population (41,347 as of
April 30, up 525 from a year ago) can be attributed to drugs and
property crimes, says Jeffrey A. Beard, secretary of the
Pennsylvania Department of Corrections.
WHEN TREATMENT SUFFERS, IT SHOWS
Every year, Pennsylvania police officers and drug agents
make 50,000 new drug arrests. Since 1997, the state has seen a 142
percent increase in admissions for heroin treatment and there's
been a 16 percent increase in drunken driving arrests. Yet
Pennsylvania's drug and alcohol programs this year face a
reduction of almost $3 million in state funding, which state
officials say won't affect treatment programs, and they stand to
lose millions in federal funding over the next three years.
It's a trend that goes back years:
Addictions and alcohol abuse rise while funding to treat them
remains flat or goes down. Allegheny County, as one example, has
virtually the same funding for drug and alcohol treatment today as
it did in 2000, but it's serving half again as many people. Should
The National PTA Convention this year featured Marsha Rosenbaum,
pro-legalization advocate talking on the topic of teens and drugs.
This is the second year that Ms. Rosenbaum spoke to the national
Drug prevention advocates from across
the country have written to Ms. Anna Weselak, President of the
National PTA. The letters of protest have noted that Ms. Rosenbaum
is the Director of the San Francisco office of the Drug Policy
Alliance, one of the largest pro-drug organizations in the
country. This group works to normalize and legalize the use of
marijuana and other illicit drugs.
Ms. Rosenbaum is also the director of
the Drug Policy Alliance’s "Safety First" project that stresses
that children are going to experiment with drugs anyway, so they
should be taught how to use drugs responsibly…
Susie Dugan, Executive Director
For the entire article, and instructions on how to contact the
National PTA, click on
Faces & Voices Rising!
Recovery in Action Summit Just One Month Away
Join us in Washington, DC to be inspired to take the next steps in
Hotel registration deadline extended to
August 13, 2005.
Summit registration deadline:
August 26, 2005.
Raise your voice in the nation's
capitol and experience being part of building our national
- Connect and strategize with
other recovery advocates
- Find out how the recovery
community is organizing to change public attitudes and
- Take home new skills and tools
that you can use to set change in motion in your community and
build the growing network of grassroots recovery community
organizations and recovery advocates
- Put your advocacy into
- Be inspired to take the next
Join with other people in
recovery, their family member, friends and allies - recovery
advocates from around the country - as we take the next steps in
our campaign to end discrimination, broaden social understanding
and achieve a just response to addiction as a public health
Faces & Voices of Recovery is
hosting this important convening so that we can share our
experiences and expertise with one another and policymakers in
the nation's capitol. You will hear from some of the nation's
foremost addiction recovery experts, examine a variety of tough
issues and gain the tools you need to strengthen your recovery
In addition to an exciting,
hands-on strategic planning and skills building day on September
7 and other activities that will build our movement from the
ground up, we will be kicking off Recovery Month 2005 at a
Washington Nationals baseball game and sponsoring a Recovery
Month luncheon on Capitol Hill on September 8. We look forward
to seeing you this