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Drug Headlines across the U.S. for the week of June 24, 2005


 
Hi,
 
There is alot of news this week  regarding D&A, not only around the country, but in other countries as well.
I wrote to the public relations person at Hershey Foods to alert them to the Reeses Peanut Butter Cup look alike "Cronic Candy" called Reefers Peanut Butter Cups! I wanted them to know that the marijuana flavored candy was out there touting: "candy bars sure to spark and cure the munchies at the same time: Smokers (Snickers), Reefers Peanut Butter Cups,  Buddhafinger (Butterfinger), and many more. This  is truly "reefer" madness to put this so called candy out there accessible to children! Here  is another one of the articles referring to the candy.  http://www.demingheadlight.com/cgi-bin/artman/exec/view.cgi?archive=463&num=4327
 
We have accomplished so much but there is lots more to do! Have a very productive week!
 
Sharon
Sharon L. Smith
President-MOMSTELL
Box 450
Mechanicsburg, Pa. 17055
www.momstell.com
 
ASSOCIATED PRESS  
POT-FLAVORED POPS UPSET LAWMAKERS   
Raspberry, butterscotch, sour apple . . . and pot? Marijuana-flavored lollipops may seem an unlikely product, but sugary treats with weed-inspired flavors such as Purple Haze, Acapulco Gold and Rasta are appearing on the shelves of convenience stores and smoke shops nationwide.

Marketers call them a harmless novelty. Anti-drug advocates say the candies encourage people, particularly teens and young children, to smoke pot. "This kind of thing is reprehensible," said state Sen. Vincent Fort, an Atlanta lawmaker who has organized demonstrations against the candy. "It's nothing but dope candy, and that's nothing we need to be training our children to do."

Several companies offer an array of lollipops, gumdrops and other candies flavored with hemp oil, which gives the sweets an oily, grassy taste marketers say is similar to the flavor of smoking marijuana — but with none of the narcotic effects. While the candies have caught the attention of government and law enforcement officials across the country, there's nothing even questionable about their legality. Hemp oil is used in products ranging from health food to beauty supplies.       http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/0605/19potcandy.html

DALLAS NEWS
DRUG WARS' LONG SHADOW
For five years, the Juαrez cartel has been battling its archrival, the Gulf cartel, for control of drug routes into the United States – a bloody feud that has turned parts of the Texas-Mexico border into a virtual war zone.
 
Most coveted of those routes is Interstate 35, which extends from the banks of the Rio Grande to the shores of Lake Superior.
 
Authorities fear that the growing border violence has moved up the I-35 corridor to Dallas, whose major roadways and airports make it among the most important drug distribution points in the country, drug authorities say. In early June, a federal task force arrested more than three dozen people, most of them in Dallas, in a major drug bust that officials said involved Mexican drug cartels.
http://www.dallasnews.com/cgi-bin/bi/gold_print.cgi 
 
USA TODAY 
STATES STILL PUSH FOR MEDICAL POT
State lawmakers in several states are pushing ahead with medical-marijuana legislation, despite a recent Supreme Court ruling and the U.S. House of Representatives' rejection Wednesday of a bill that would protect medical-pot users from federal prosecution.
 
Lawmakers in at least seven states — Alabama, Connecticut, Minnesota, New Mexico, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Wisconsin — say they will continue efforts to pass laws allowing residents to use marijuana for medical reasons. Some say, however, that recent federal action may dampen their chances for success. Others are halting their plans.
http://www.usatoday.com/printedition/news/20050616/a_potlaws16.art.htm 
  
SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS 
PERRY SIGNS ANTI-METHAMPHETAMINE LEGISLATION
Gov. Rick Perry signed bills Wednesday that are aimed at curbing the use of methamphetamine.  
One of the bills requires products containing pseudoephedrine be placed behind a pharmacy counter or in a locked case.
 
The bill by Rep. Leo Berman, R-Tyler, also says that people who buy pseudoephedrine or similar products must be at least 16, show identification and sign for the purchase.
http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/metro/stories/MYSA061605.03B.perry_meth.12c9bceb.html

SANTA FE NEW MEXICAN 
GROWING HALLUCINOGENIC MUSHROOMS NOT ILLEGAL, STATE APPEALS COURT RULES
Growing hallucinogenic mushrooms isn't prohibited by a New Mexico law against manufacturing an illegal drug. That's the legal conclusion of the state Court of Appeals, which has overturned the felony drug-trafficking conviction of an Alamogordo man for growing psilocybin mushrooms in his home.

Under state law, drug trafficking includes the manufacturing of illegal drugs. However, the court said growing mushrooms was not covered by the drugtrafficking law's definition of "manufacture." The hallucinogenic substance in the mushrooms, psilocybin, is an illegal controlled substance under state and federal law. Street terms for the mushrooms include "magic mushrooms" and "shrooms," according to a U.S. Justice Department Web site.

The court, in making its decision , cited a 1999 ruling that concluded that growing marijuana does not constitute manufacturing under New Mexico's law against drug trafficking.
http://www.freenewmexican.com/news/29120.html 
 
NEW YORK TIMES   
ARRESTS FOLLOW SEARCHES IN MEDICAL MARIJUANA RAIDS       
SAN FRANCISCO,  Federal agents executed search warrants at three medical marijuana dispensaries on Wednesday as part of a broad investigation into marijuana trafficking in San Francisco, setting off fears among medical marijuana advocates that a federal crackdown on the drug's use by sick people was beginning.
About 20 residences, businesses and growing sites were also searched, leading to multiple arrests, a law enforcement official said. Agents outside a club in the Ingleside neighborhood spent much of the afternoon dragging scores of leafy marijuana plants into an alley and stuffing them into plastic bags.

"The investigation led the authorities to these sites," the law enforcement official said. "It involves large-scale marijuana trafficking and includes other illicit drugs and money laundering." In a separate investigation, a federal grand jury in Sacramento indicted a doctor and her husband on charges of distributing marijuana at the doctor's office in Cool, a small town in El Dorado County. http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/23/national/23marijuana.html? 

KANSAS CITY STAR 
BLUNT SIGNS ANTI-METH BILLS
Missourians with colds and hay fever have 30 days to stock up before it becomes harder to buy Sudafed and other medicines to relieve their suffering.
 
Gov. Matt Blunt signed legislation Wednesday to require tablets that contain ephedrine and pseudoephedrine — used to make methamphetamine — be kept behind a counter and sold only by pharmacists and pharmacy technicians.
http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/news/local/11905208.htm 

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE 
'SMOKELESS' MEDICINAL POT HAS ITS ADVOCATES                          
The future of medicinal marijuana is floating in a plastic, 2-foot- long turkey roasting bag, being sucked into the lungs of grandmas and AIDS patients at cannabis dispensaries and homes across the country.
 
The allure to the sick -- and the health-conscious looking for a cleaner high -- is that the toke is nearly smokeless. The device that generates the smokeless drag is called a marijuana vaporizer. Medical cannabis advocates hope these devices -- which stand slightly larger than a blender and can cost close to $500 -- will help legitimize marijuana's medicinal use and take a swipe at its reputation as the devil's weed.
 
By heating cannabis to a point where vapors are formed but before the herb combusts, a vaporizer creates a clear substance that, advocates say, is practically free of many of the toxins found in marijuana smoke. Becoming smoke-free, they hope, will make marijuana more palatable as a medicine to federal officials, scientists and regulators who are dubious about the health value of a smoked drug.
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2005/06/20/MNG9GDBBLK1.DTL&type=printable 
 
LONDON DAILY  TELEGRAPH                                                             
LONG-TERM USE OF CANNABIS 'LEADS RO HARDER DRUGS'           
Teenagers and young adults who occasionally smoke cannabis over long periods are more likely to turn to more addictive drugs such as heroin, according to a study. While it has been assumed that the brain is almost fully formed by the time children reach their teens, there is evidence that the brain continues to develop until as late as 25.

Experiments on rats by Prof Yasmin Hurd, of the Karolinska Institute, Sweden, show that chronic periodic use of cannabis can interfere with brain development.If confirmed, the findings suggest that children and young adults who use the drug over long periods would be more prone to anxiety and more dependent on anxiety-reducing drugs.

"The developing brain is definitely more sensitive," she said. "Many people think that all cannabis does is to give you a calm, relaxed feeling and no long term effects." Given the brain effects and link between smoking and lung cancer, she questioned "why governments would want to decriminalise this drug". http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/06/18/ndrug18.xml&sSheet=/news/2005/06/18/ixhome.html


SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER

SPECIAL COURTS COULD CUT DUI TOLL, SAY ADVOCATES

People who drink and drive in Washington state could find themselves winding up in courts specifically set up to handle DUIs.
 
The Washington Traffic Safety Commission is recommending that the state create courts specifically designed to deal with drunken drivers -- much like drug courts, which have proved to be successful.
 
The idea would allow judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys specializing in DUI law to assess defendants for problem drinking. With court-ordered treatment, the state has an opportunity to reduce the number of repeat offenders, backers say.
 
PORTLAND OREGONIAN 
MEDICAL POT CARDS ISSUED AGAIN, WITH LEGAL GO-AHEAD
Oregon resumed issuing registration cards for medical marijuana Friday after the state attorney general declared that a U.S. Supreme Court decision last week does not invalidate the program. "What we're happy about is to get clarification that we're not doing anything in violation of federal law," said Dr. Grant Higginson, administrator of the state Department of Human Services community health office. "We're going back to standard operations."
 
The state temporarily suspended issuing registration cards for the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program on June 6, when the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that federal law enforcement can ignore states' medical marijuana laws, seize plants and make arrests.
 
Oregon officials continued to process applications while they waited for assurance from state Attorney General Hardy Meyers that they were not violating federal law. They approved 547 applications in the interim and began Friday mailing 100 to 150 cards a day to catch up, Higginson said.
 
The high court decision upheld a position that federal officials have taken since Oregon's law passed in 1998 -- that they have the authority to go after medical marijuana users, even if the users are protected from state prosecution.
http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/news/
1119089178131700.xml&coll=7 

 
ATLANTA JOURNAL CONSTITUTION                                               
DELTA CLEARED IN ALCOHOL SUIT

The Georgia Supreme Court ruled Thursday that commercial airlines cannot be sued for serving alcohol to intoxicated passengers who then get into serious auto accidents on the drive home.
 
The 6-1 decision is a legal victory for Delta Air Lines. The carrier was sued by a man who was severely injured in 2001 when an inebriated Delta passenger crossed the center line on the drive home from the airport, causing a head-on collision.
 
The state Supreme Court held that the Georgia Dram Shop Act, typically used on behalf of victims who have been injured or killed by drunken patrons driving away from bars and restaurants, does not apply to airlines. The law says anyone who serves alcohol to a noticeably intoxicated person, while knowing that person will soon be driving, may be held liable for an accident.
 
With restaurants and bars, the court said, patrons are likely to be leaving in their cars. But connecting an airline passenger's alcohol consumption during a flight to the passenger driving drunk on the way home is "much more remote and attenuated."
http://www.ajc.com/business/content/business/delta/0605/16deltadui.html 
 
BOSTON GLOBE 
IN STUDY, BOSTON AREA TALLIES HIGHEST RATE OF MARIJUANA USE
The Boston area is the nation's capital for marijuana use, according to a federal study that found that more than 12 percent of the area's youths and adults smoked pot. Public health officials and other observers chalked the high ranking up to the large population of college students and to relatively liberal attitudes toward marijuana in the region.
http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2005/06/17/in_study_boston_area
_tallies_highest_rate_of_marijuana_use/
 
ASSOCIATED PRESS                                                                        
 COCAINE RING SUSPECTED IF FINANCING HEZBOLLA BUSTED IN EQUADOR SUSPECTED
 
Police broke up an international cocaine ring led by a Lebanese restaurant owner suspected of raising money for Hezbollah, the Shiite Muslim group the U.S. classifies as a terrorist organization, authorities said. Ecuadorean authorities on Tuesday declined to elaborate on the smugglers' alleged links to terrorist activities, saying the ties needed to be further investigated.
 
But the arrest raised the possibility, often cited as a threat by Washington, of cooperation between drug syndicates and terrorist networks. In particular, U.S. defense officials say Hamas and Hezbollah conduct significant fundraising activities in a few areas in South America, including Ecuador, with large Islamic populations.

An internal police report obtained by The Associated Press said preliminary evidence "confirms the relationship between this organization and the terrorist movement Hezbollah." The document said the gang sent "up to 70 percent of its profits to the Islamic group." Authorities detected the operation in September. The group smuggled cocaine principally to Europe and Asia in shipments valued at $1 million each, the report said.
http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/world/wire/sns-ap-ecuador-hezbollah-cocaine,0,6721885.story?coll=sns-ap-world-headlines

ABC NEWS                                                                                                  
WEBSITE TO OFFER JELP ON ALCOHOL, DRUG ADDICTION                 
A new website is being launched today in Canberra, recounting the personal stories of those who have beaten drug addiction and alcoholism. Positive Stories, an initiative of the Australian National Council on Drugs, is intended to give inspiration and offer avenues of practical support.

Salvation Army spokesman Brian Watters says the website is an Australian first. "There are people who are telling these amazing stories of resilience and of courage and overcoming the greatest possible obstacles and get on and live a fruitful life," he said.  Major Watters says it is hoped the website will also be used by people helping those on the path to wellbeing.

"If we can do what we can to minimise the harm that people are doing to themselves whilst we are helping them to become drug free that's a good thing," he said."The danger is there are people in our society who use harm minimisation as a euphemism as another terms to cover up - what they're calling for is legalisation and acceptance of drug use." http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200506/s1396515.htm

BALTIMORE SUN
PROPOSED FEDERAL ANTI-DRUG CUTS DECRIED
Local law enforcement officials decried yesterday huge budget cuts proposed by the Bush administration to a national network of drug-interdiction task forces, including one that provided more than $12 million to the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area this year.
 
Members of the Maryland State Police, Baltimore Police Department and the Charles County Sheriff's Department joined a bipartisan group of senators and representatives on Capitol Hill to protest President Bush's recommendations to cut funding for the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area programs by more than half.
 
Under the administration's budget, funding would be reduced from $227 million to $100 million for the coming fiscal year. Administration officials and some conservative groups complain that the 15-year-old program has become misguided and bloated, expanding its budget some sixfold since its inception and venturing far afield in 33 areas to tackle local drug problems, such as methamphetamine labs in small Midwestern cities.
 
But Thomas H. Carr, director of the Washington-Baltimore regional program, said he has been told that the cuts would mean the end of his $3.5 million drug treatment program for nonviolent offenders offered at 12 sites, including ones in Baltimore City and Baltimore County.
 
"I don't know what planet we're on if we don't find sufficient resources to fight drugs in this country," said Democratic Sen. Max Baucus of Montana. Utah Republican Sen. Orrin G. Hatch blamed the White House's drug czar, John P. Walters, who heads the Office of National Drug Control Policy, for failing to fully support a joint local-federal initiative that has proven its worth.
 
"I don't want to see this strategy dumped because we're so stupid," he said at the morning news conference. "I hope that ONDCP gets the message."
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/bal-md.drugs24jun24,1,7218438,print.story?coll=bal-local-headlines

USA TODAY                                                                                            
S
PRAY ALTERNATIVE TO POT ON THE MARKET IN CANADA
Canadians now have access to a legal spray alternative to medical marijuana. Beginning this week, multiple sclerosis patients with constant tingling pain can get a doctor's prescription for a new drug, Sativex, derived from the marijuana plant.
 
The under-the-tongue spray, approved only in Canada, is one of several emerging alternatives to smoking pot for medical relief. The new pharmaceuticals, some of which may not enter the U.S. market for years, may alter the public debate about medical marijuana.
http://www.usatoday.com/printedition/news/20050624/a_potalternatives24.art.htm
 
HOSPITALS WAGE A DIFFERENT WAR: AGAINST ADDICTION
Iraqi and American medical experts say they have noticed a rise in drug abuse and trafficking in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.
 
"The pattern is similar to what we have seen in other post-conflict situations," Hamid Ghodse, president of the International Narcotics Control Board, said during the United Nations agency's spring meeting in Vienna. "Weakening of border controls and security infrastructure make countries into convenient logistic and transit points," he said.
http://www.usatoday.com/printedition/news/20050624/a_iraqweek24.art.htm

ARKANSAS NEWS BUREAU 
RULING MAKES DRUG DOG SEARCHES MORE LIKELY, JUDGE SAYS
A state Supreme Court ruling gives police more authority to search cars with drug dogs - too much authority, according to one justice..

"Despite the absence of reasonable suspicion, the majority approves the canine sniff of [a suspect's] Grand Am merely because it was parked in a restaurant parking lot which was open to the public," Justice Robert L. Brown wrote in his concurring opinion in the case of Alvis E. Dowty.

Brown agreed with the other six justices that police acted appropriately in the Dowty case, but said the court's ruling goes too far in allowing searches.

"Under this reasoning, all vehicles parked in public places will be subject to a canine sniff based on anonymous tips," Brown wrote.

http://www.arkansasnews.com/archive/2005/06/24/News/323393.html 

 
LAS VEGAS SUN 
FUND FOR FIGHTING DRUGS, GANGS DRIES UP
A special fund used mostly for battling drugs and gangs in Nevada has shriveled in recent years, an apparent victim of the federal government's ever-increasing emphasis on homeland security.
 
The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program, or JAG, has annually distributed money allocated by Congress through the Justice Department to the 50 states for crime fighting. The money is distributed to states by a formula based on population and crime statistics and then siphoned to a variety of programs.
 
In Nevada the cash has been used mostly for drug and gang task forces. But the Nevada JAG budget is drying up, dropping from $4.3 million in fiscal year 2003 to $4.2 million in 2004 and $2.9 million for 2005. Congress is poised to approve just $1.5 million for the program this year, according to the office of Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.
 
Other federally funded Justice Department programs are on the chopping block, too, said Sandra Mazy, the state administrator of the program money. Money may be disappearing for federal programs in Nevada that take aim at gun violence in neighborhoods, help women victims of violence and treat prisoners who have drug addictions, Mazy said.
http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/text/2005/jun/23/518950579.html
 
PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER 
RULING MAKES IT HARDER TO CONVICT DWI TEST REFUSERS
TRENTON -
A state Supreme Court ruling yesterday changed the standard of proof for convicting a driver of refusing to take a Breathalyzer test.

 
The justices ruled unanimously that for someone to be convicted of refusing to take a required breath test to measure blood alcohol, the prosecutor must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the standard for criminal cases.
 
Previously, prosecutors had to show only that the preponderance of evidence was on their side, the standard for civil cases.
 
The court wrote that the change was needed because penalties for refusing to take a breath test had increased substantially in recent years, elevating the offense to a "quasi-criminal matter." For a first-time offense, a driver's license can be suspended for seven months to a year, which generally is as severe as a drunken-driving conviction.
http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/news/local/11972864.htm?template=contentModules/printstory.jsp
 
STATE JOURNAL-REGISTER (IL) 
MANY FAIL COLD-MEDICINE CHECK - Stores surveyed on observance of anti-meth law
More than one third of Illinois stores recently visited by state authorities failed to properly restrict the sale of cold tablets that criminals use to produce methamphetamine, Attorney General Lisa Madigan said Thursday.
 
Representatives from Madigan's office began spot-checking retailers in April to see if they are complying with a new state law requiring them to keep a close eye on medicines with ephedrine or pseudoephedrine.
http://www.sj-r.com/Sections/News/Stories/59213.asp#
 
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE 
19 NAMED IN MEDICINAL POT INDICTMENT - More than 9,300 marijuana plants were seized in raids
The U.S. government unsealed an indictment Thursday accusing 19 Bay Area people of drug trafficking and of using three San Francisco medical marijuana dispensaries as fronts for organized crime.
 
Agents arrested 15 people -- four are still at large -- in connection with the case and seized more than 9,309 pot plants with an estimated street value of $5 million Wednesday, effectively closing down two cannabis clubs in the Ingleside district and a third in the Inner Sunset district. Investigators called the raids at 26 Bay Area locations -- including homes and businesses -- one of the largest drug trafficking busts in the area since 1996.
 
Besides taking the marijuana plants, agents seized three firearms, 50 tabs of ecstasy, two Rottweilers and a plethora of sweets -- candy bars, brownies and cookies -- all laced with marijuana and packaged for commercial sale. The raids were the first in the Bay Area since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that federal law trumped state law when it comes to medicinal marijuana. In 1996 California voters passed Proposition 215 legalizing pot for people who have a legitimate medical need. But two weeks ago the country's top court said marijuana use was illegal -- plain and simple.
http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2005/06/24/BAGV9DEC4C1.DTL&type=printable
 
NEW YORK TIMES 
EDITORIAL: WHEN MEDICAL MARIJUANA IS MISUSED
Those who believe, as we do, that marijuana should be legally available for medical treatments have to be concerned about reports of abuses in California's pioneering medical marijuana program. If the abuses cannot be curbed, a political backlash could undermine the ability of thousands of patients to get marijuana to treat the nausea of chemotherapy, the loss of appetite that accompanies AIDS and other medical problems.
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/24/opinion/24fri4.html?pagewanted=all 
 
BBC NEWS (UK) 
'HEZBOLLAH DRUGS RING' BROKEN UP
Police in Ecuador say they have broken up an international drugs ring which was raising money for the Islamic militant group, Hezbollah. The authorities have declined to give details of the gang's alleged links with the group, but say it was sending Hezbollah up to 70% of its profits.
 
Ecuadorean officials say the drugs network was run by a Lebanese restaurant owner in the capital, Quito. Officials are hailing it as a success in both the war on drugs and on terror.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4117960.stm 
 
 

BOSTON NEWS.COM                                                                            
GOV'T FINDS HIGHEST, LOWEST MARIJUANA USE

Both college towns, Boston and Boulder, Colo., share another distinction: They lead the nation in marijuana use. Northwestern Iowa and southern Texas have the lowest use.
For the first time, the government looked at the use of drugs, cigarettes, alcohol and various other substances, legal as well as illegal, by region rather than by state for a report Thursday.
 
Regions could be as specific as Riverside, Calif., or as broad as all of the state of New York (minus New York City). Federal officials say the information will help states decide where they should spend money for treatment and prevention programs.
http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2005/06/17/govt_finds_highest_
lowest_marijuana_use/ (The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) report can be found at http://oas.samhsa.gov/2k5/subStateMJ/subStateMJ.htm )
 
NEW YORK TIMES 
SENATE VERSION OF BILL PUSHES STATES TO ADOPT STIFF DRUNKEN DRIVING PENALTIES
The Senate version of the giant highway bill now before Congress would push the states to adopt stiff penalties for three categories of drunken drivers responsible for much of the death toll on the roadways: repeat offenders, those with very high blood-alcohol levels, and those whose licenses were suspended for drunken driving but kept driving anyway.
The Senate action has set off vigorous lobbying on the House side, which has rejected similar language in the past. The bill is in a conference committee, where a variety of issues, including the overall spending level, are in negotiation.
 
But the House has generally opposed the mechanism specified by the Senate: tying highway financing to changes in state law. That has been used to force an increase in the drinking age, to 21 from 18, and to compel states to adopt a uniform standard for intoxication, at 0.08 percent blood alcohol content for people of drinking age, and at any detectible level for people below drinking age. Those measures and a change in attitude toward drinking and driving have cut the death toll, but little progress has been made in the last few years.
 
LEXINGTON HERALD-LEADER 
ANTI-METH LAW ADDS A STEP AT DRUGSTORE
Congested consumers will have to take extra measures beginning Monday to remedy their runny noses.
 Purchasing cold medicines that contain pseudoephedrine -- a key ingredient for making illegal meth-amphetamines -- will require photo identification and a signature.
 
"It's probably the most major change to pharmacy practices in the state I've seen in a long time," said Joel Thornbury, president of the Kentucky Pharmacists Association. "But it's a beneficial change." 
Senate Bill 63, aimed at curbing increased meth abuse in the state, is one of 158 state laws approved in this year's legislative session of the General Assembly.
 
The law requires that cold medicine be kept behind counters and away from public access. "No one likes change. For the consumers it will make it more difficult to access these products. But this change will benefit the community."
 
Anyone buying cold medicine will have to show a photo ID and enter his or her name, address, date of birth and signature in a log. Only pharmacists or pharmacy technicians will be able to sell the cold medicines.
http://www.kentucky.com/mld/kentucky/11916364.htm?template=contentModules/printstory.jsp 
 
WASHINGTON POST 
DOING JUSTICE TO THE WAR ON DRUGS?
Bush administration plans to slash funding by more than half for the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program and move it from the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy to the Justice Department has the programs across the country in an uproar.
 
The 33 HIDTA directors have formed the National HIDTA Directors Association which, with the National Narcotics Officers' Associations' Coalition, will let their opposition be known at a news conference today.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/22/AR2005062202152.html 
 
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE 
3 S.F. POT CLUBS RAIDED IN PROBE OF ORGANIZED CRIME - Medical marijuana dispensaries used as front for money laundering, authorities say
Federal authorities raided three San Francisco medical marijuana dispensaries Wednesday, and investigators arrested at least 13 people as part of an alleged organized crime operation using the clubs as a front to launder money.
 
Agents seized marijuana and other items from two cannabis clubs on Ocean Avenue in the Ingleside district and a third on Judah Street in the Inner Sunset district. The raids were the first in the Bay Area since the U.S. Supreme Court dealt a blow to the medical marijuana movement two weeks ago by ruling that the federal government had the authority to prosecute people whose activities are legal under state law.
 
The actions prompted concern from medical marijuana advocates that the raids could be the first step in a federal crackdown on dispensaries. Authorities, however, said they were not specifically targeting such outfits but were aiming at an enterprise that was dealing large amounts of marijuana and laundering money through cannabis clubs.
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2005/06/23/MNGRODDG321.DTL 
 
ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION 
DRUG COURTS LOWER COSTS, RECIDIVISM, OFFICIALS TOLD
More than 190 judges and court officials gathered Wednesday in Marietta to learn about a low-cost program that is reducing the stream of repeat drug offenders that clog court calendars in Georgia.
 
Drug treatment courts, first developed in Miami in response to the 1980s crack cocaine epidemic, add rehabilitation to traditional punishment of offenders. But they are far from "Get out of jail free cards," said Cobb County Superior Court Judge George Kreeger, who heads Georgia's drug court committee.  
Georgia's first drug court was established in Bibb County in 1994 by Superior Court Judge Tommy Day Wilcox. It is still in operation and there are now 33 counties with treatment courts, according to Georgia's Administrative Office of the Courts.
 
The current rise in the use of methamphetamine across Georgia is cited by court and prison officials as a reason for the growth of alternatives to the traditional revolving-door legal system, chockablock with repeat offenders.
http://www.ajc.com/news/content/metro/cobb/0605/23drugcourt.html 
  
LOS ANGELES TIMES 
POWER OF "METH CAUCUS" GROWS
The Bush administration's effort to shift federal money away from traditional police programs and toward anti-terrorism measures is running into a tough obstacle: the growing "meth caucus" in Congress.

The group, which has more than 100 House members, is waging an increasingly effective fight to counter the president's proposed budget cuts and to funnel more money — not less — into domestic law enforcement.

The influence of the group, formally known as the Congressional Caucus to Fight and Control Methamphetamine, reflects the political pressures created by the spread of methamphetamine through rural communities in the Midwest, where some police and health agencies are besieged. It also shows a modest swing of the pendulum back toward domestic concerns, like the drug war, that were once priorities but were overshadowed by the post-Sept. 11 counterterrorism push.

Last week, the self-dubbed meth caucus defied the White House and GOP congressional leadership by leading the effort to restore $10 million in antidrug funds for police programs — on top of $350 million they had won through negotiations. The Bush administration had sought to reduce or eliminate five antidrug programs, for a saving of $1.6 billion, in favor of more money for the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/asection/la-na-meth23jun23,1,2209102,print.story?coll=la-news-a_section 
 
PORTLAND OREGONIAN 
HOME LABS MAY SOON VANISH, BUT NOT METH
For many police officers and social workers, the death of the home methamphetamine lab can't come too soon.
 
They cheered news Wednesday that drug companies are rapidly reformulating cold medicines to further cripple kitchen-sink producers of the illicit stimulant. Already, fewer small meth labs have been found this year in Oregon because of recent restrictions on cold medicines used to make meth.
 
Still, no one in Oregon or Southwest Washington expects the insidious street drug, and the crime and family tragedies it has spawned, to simply disappear with a new breed of cold pills.
 
More potent, ice-like meth supplied by Mexican drug cartels already is filling the void, police say.
http://www.oregonlive.com/printer/printer.ssf?/base/front_page/111952072219160.xml&coll=7 
 
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
'SMOKELESS' MEDICINAL POT HAS ITS ADVOCATES
 Vaporized fumes said to be cleaner, almost toxin-free The future of medicinal marijuana is floating in a plastic, 2-foot- long. A turkey roasting bag, being sucked into the lungs of grandmas and AIDS
patients at cannabis dispensaries and homes across the country.
 
The allure to the sick -- and the health-conscious looking for a cleaner high -- is that the toke is nearly smokeless. The device that generates the smokeless drag is called a marijuana vaporizer. Medical cannabis advocates hope these devices -- which stand slightly larger than a blender and can cost close to $500 -- will help legitimize marijuana's medicinal use and take a swipe at its reputation as
the devil's weed.
 
By heating cannabis to a point where vapors are formed but before the herb combusts, a vaporizer creates a clear substance that, advocates say, is practically free of many of the toxins found in marijuana smoke.  Becoming smoke-free, they hope, will make marijuana more palatable as a
medicine to federal officials, scientists and regulators who are dubious about the health value of a smoked drug.
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2005/06/20/MNG9GDBBLK1.
 
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE 
EDITORIAL: JUST SAY YES TO MEDICAL POT
The Bush administration's ongoing crusade against medical marijuana has been a misguided waste of government resources. In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling that the federal government has the power to prosecute patients who legally light up in a number of states, Congress has a chance to show its leadership and legalize medical pot for patients with debilitating illnesses without fear of going to jail.
That test will come today, when members of Congress are scheduled to vote on an amendment that would prevent the Department of Justice from spending money to prosecute medical-marijuana patients in states where such use has been declared legal.
 
The bipartisan Hinchey-Rohrabacher amendment is a good- faith effort to bridge the sizable gap between states' rights and federal authority on certain medical issues.
Suggesting that Congress should allow states to follow their own rules and regulations on medical issues is hardly a radical suggestion. The Supreme Court decision did not overturn existing state laws that permit medical use of marijuana, but rather upheld the federal government's power to regulate activities that could affect interstate commerce.
 
The Hinchey-Rohrabacher amendment is a timely, sensible and humane solution to a problem affecting seriously ill people complying with the law.
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2005/06/15/EDG3VD83NU1.DTL&type=printable
 
L.A. TIMES                                                                                                 
L.A. COUNTY TO ALLOW SALES OF NEEDLES

Los Angeles County joined a growing list of California counties and cities on Tuesday that have embraced a controversial effort to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS and other serious infections by legalizing over-the-counter sales of syringes.

The Board of Supervisors voted 3 to 2 to allow pharmacies that register with the county's Department of Health Services to sell customers up to 10 syringes without a prescription. The new policy is backed by a coalition of pharmacies, health officials and AIDS-awareness advocates who argue that providing clean needles to illegal intravenous drug users is a vital step in the fight against AIDS.

Until recently, California was one of only five states that outlawed over-the-counter sales. But a law that took effect in January allows cities and counties to authorize registered drugstores to sell needles without fear of prosecution.

http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/california/la-me-needles15jun15,1,974190,print.story?coll=la-headlines-pe-california 
 
CHICAGO TRIBUNE 
COCAINE PRODUCTION RISING, SHIFTING TO PERU AND BOLIVIA
South America's cocaine output rose 2 percent last year, bucking a 5-year downward trend as increases in Peru and Bolivia outpaced Colombia's clampdown on coca cultivation, a UN report said Tuesday.

Cocaine production rose 35 percent in Bolivia and 23 percent in Peru from 2003 to 2004 while falling 11 percent in Colombia, according to the annual survey from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. The UN's top counternarcotics official blamed political unrest in Bolivia and lawlessness in two Peruvian regions for the increase in coca leaf cultivation and cocaine production there.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-0506150291jun15,1,7581643,print.story?coll=chi-newsnationworld-hed 
  
NEW YORK TIMES 
CALIFORNIA REINS IN CLINICS USING MARIJUANA FOR MEDICAL PURPOSES
The best sellers at the Green Cross medical marijuana dispensary here are whipped up in the kitchen of Kevin Reed, the founder and president. Fresh-baked marijuana cakes. Marijuana cookies with Ghirardelli chocolate chips. Marijuana peanut butter, lollipops, peanut brittle and espresso truffles. Each comes packaged with a warning: "Please keep out of the reach of children and pets."
 
Mr. Reed, 31, a former mobile home salesman from Alabama who moved here after being arrested twice for marijuana possession, said the warning was added to the sweets when a customer reported that "their grandma ate one of them."
 
The Incredible Edibles, as the confections are called, account for 40 percent of sales at the Green Cross, a thriving nonprofit organization in a neighborhood of hip bars, trendy restaurants and Victorian row houses. The 150 or so customers it serves each day can pay with Visa or MasterCard and need only a doctor's recommendation to gain entry.
 
It has been nine years since voters in California passed the first state law allowing sick people to use marijuana for medical purposes. The measure passed in San Francisco with 78 percent of the vote, the largest percentage in the state. But the city, where dozens of dispensaries like the Green Cross, known as pot clubs, have sprouted, is now among many struggling with the excesses of the law's success.
 
Even before the United States Supreme Court last week upheld federal authority over marijuana, even in states where its use for medical purposes is legal, city officials, dispensary owners and medical marijuana advocates in San Francisco had begun questioning how much of the drug was enough.
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/15/national/15marijuana.html?pagewanted=print
 
EDITORIAL: FAIR SENTENCING IN CONNECTICUT
Connecticut will abandon one of the most discriminatory drug sentencing policies in the nation if Gov. Jodi Rell keeps her promise to sign a bill that would equalize sentences for crack cocaine and the powdered form of the drug. The bill is not perfect, but the basic idea deserves to be emulated by other states and by Congress, which has failed to make a similar adjustment in federal law despite being repeatedly urged to do so by the United States Sentencing Commission.
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/15/opinion/15wed4.html?pagewanted=print 
  
MARIJUANA-FLAVORED CANDY SHOWS UP AT STORES NATIONWIDE
Some anti-drug advocates are a little out of joint -- over marijuana-flavored candy.  
Lollipops with names like Purple Haze, Acapulco Gold and Rasta are showing up on the shelves of convenience stores and smoke shops nationwide. The novelties are flavored with hemp oil from the marijuana plant.
 
But any trace of THC, the stuff that gives marijuana its high, has been removed.
http://www.wesh.com/irresistible/4629149/detail.html 
 
NEWARK STAR LEDGER 
JUDGE BLOCKS NEEDLE PROGRAM
A judge in Mercer County has temporarily halted the creation of needle exchange programs in Atlantic City and Camden that were expected to begin next month, handing a victory to legislators who say the practice condones illegal drug use.
 
Appellate Court Judge Stephen Skillman on Friday granted an injunction at the request of seven state legislators who say former Gov. James McGreevey overstepped his authority last fall when he signed an executive order permitting up to three experimental needle exchange programs in cities hardest hit by the AIDS virus.
 
McGreevey's executive order declared a public health emergency in cities with high HIV infection rates due to injection drug use, and allowed three communities under the supervision of the state Health Department to operate a pilot program.
The cities would have to provide intravenous drug users with access to clean syringes in exchange for used needles, as well as links to health care, social services and addiction treatment if addicts requested them.
http://www.nj.com/printer/printer.ssf?/base/news-0/1119329975111430.xml&coll=1 
 
CARTHAGE PRESS (MO) 
LAWMAKERS TEAM UP IN THE FIGHT AGAINST METH
In Baltimore, Md., the code word for methamphetamine is 417. A big city recognizing southwest Missouri as the seat of meth use by only an area code speaks volumes for the problem Jasper County and neighboring counties face.
 
Senator Jim Talent was in Joplin Friday to discuss aspects of his Combat Meth Act bill, co-sponsored with Congressman Roy Blunt in the House and Senator Diane Feinstein in the Senate. Talent hopes to get the bill passed in the current legislative session. Governor Matt Blunt signed two state bills into law Wednesday that will keep meth components sold over the counter behind the pharmacy counter.
 
Talent's bill would establish protocols for documenting conditions of child endangerment when a meth lab is seized. His bill would also keep pseudoephedrine behind the pharmacy counter and allow the sale of only seven and a half grams per month, compared to nine grams under the governor's new law.
http://www.carthagepress.com/articles/2005/06/20/news/news4.txt 
  
BBC NEWS                                                                                         
CANNABIS: WHAT TEENAGERS NEED TO KNOW
 
                                        
Panorama explores the latest scientific research on the effects of cannabis on the human mind. In particular, the programme will look at the growing evidence of links between cannabis and psychotic illness in young people.

British youngsters are using Cannabis earlier and smoking more of it than any previous generation. Most don't even think of it as a drug, and the popular perception is that it has no serious long-term effects. However, the truth is that, until very recently, very little was known about how cannabis actually affects developing brains.

The programme meets young people who have developed psychotic illnesses after heavy cannabis use and speaks to the psychiatrists who have found links between users' genetic makeup and the risk of developing mental illness.

The programme features the work of scientists who have used the latest technology to look inside peoples' heads and see - quite literally - how cannabis changes the way people think. It meets the scientist whose unpublished new research suggests that cannabis can cause long-term chemical changes in users' brains and supports the idea that it can be a "gateway" making users more likely to take other drugs.                                                       http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/panorama/4082196.stm

BELLEVILLE ILLINOIS                                                                
VIDEOTAPE LEADS TO METH LAB RAID

Police raided a methamphetamine lab in a Collinsville home after two people slipped inside, videotaped it and showed it to police, according to a police affidavit filed Tuesday.  The pair's videotaping led to the arrest last week of Norbert S. Staroba, who was residing in a house at 31 Pat Drive with his mother. The videotapers are not identified in the affidavit. Trooper Matt Weller of the Illinois State Police Meth Response Team said he could not give their identity "because people's safety is at risk."
 
According to the affidavit: One of the two videotapers had been told by Staroba's mother that she noticed a strange smell coming from the basement of the home, and she had developed a throat irritation -- both common signs of cooking methamphetamine. On June 11, when the videotapers knew Staroba would be gone, they went into the home with a camera.
 
"While in the basement, the sources observed an area of the carpet on the floor had a chemical burn and a chemical odor, hypodermic needles in a tool box and a white powdery substance on a table." the affidavit states. "The ceiling had some type of chemical splatter on it."
 
A plastic bag in the ceiling contained two empty bottles with powdery residue. The videotapers tried to open a locked filing cabinet which Staroba's mother had been instructed not to open. They could hear glass jars banging together inside. The information allowed police to obtain a warrant to search the home.
http://www.belleville.com/mld/belleville/news/local/11954409.htm?template=contentModules/printstory.jsp 

PORTLAND OREGONIAN 
POLITICAL PRESSURE DRIVES DRUG INDUSTRY TO CHANGE
Cold medicine manufacturers, in an abrupt change, are reformulating their products in a way that likely will cripple home meth labs, which account for 35 percent of illegal meth production. Drug companies are rushing to replace their pseudoephedrine-based products with the decongestant phenylephrine, which can not be made into methamphetamine. The new cold medicine is expected to dominate the U.S. marketplace within the next two years. Previous industry opposition has vanished in the face of growing political recognition of the meth epidemic and the drug's devastating impact.
 
Officials at Pfizer, the leading U.S. maker of pseudoephedrine products, told The Oregonian that the company expects to convert half its lineup of Sudafed, Actifed and other products to phenylephrine by January. The company plans to stop actively promoting its pseudoephedrine-based products, some of which it will keep for pharmacy use. Pfizer officials said they would now support federal legislation to confine the sale of pseudoephedrine products to pharmacies, as Oregon and other states have done. The company will endorse such legislation on the condition that it pre-empts state pseudoephedrine rules.
 
"Given the patchwork quilt of state regulations now in place, the time has come for a single national standard for moving all pseudoephedrine behind the counter," Gordon Knapp, president of Pfizer Consumer Healthcare North America, said through a spokesman.
http://www.oregonlive.com/printer/printer.ssf?/base/front_page/1119434719147560
.xml&coll=7 

SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS
GRAND JURY SLAMS PROP 36                                                                  

One out of three non-violent drug offenders never show up for court-ordered treatment appointments in San Mateo County, and only about 25 percent of the offenders finish their treatment programs. That's according to a grand jury report issued Monday that concludes Proposition 36 has failed to reduce crime in San Mateo County or to consistently keep people off drugs.
 
The 2000 voter-approved measure that places non-violent drug offenders into treatment instead of jail has not served the county well, despite its well-intentioned, reformist aims, the report stated. The problem is that Proposition 36 doesn't require enough accountability, the grand jury wrote. There isn't an incentive, such as avoiding jail, to motivate drug offenders to stick with treatment, and relapses aren't punished in a useful way, the report states.

San Mateo County's civil grand jury is not the first group to question the measure, also known as the Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act. In November, a University of California-Los Angeles study found that 31 percent of offenders treated under the measure were re-arrested, compared with an 18 percent rate for other diversion programs. http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/local/states/california/peninsula/11946346.htm

OTHER MOMSTELL HEADLINE ISSUES ON DPNA.ORG