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Drug & Alcohol Headline Week in Review from MOMSTELL.COM

 

NOVEMBER 06, 2004 Edition

 
  •  

    1. MARIJUANA CAMPAIGN DRAWS IN $857,000
    2. POT STATISTICS USED TO DEFEND BOTH SIDES
    3.
    ADDICTION COUNSELOR CAN'T VOTE
    4.
    CITY MAY FOLLOW SUBURBS' LEAD ON POT: WRITE TICKETS
    5.
    THE MYSTERY OF THE COCA PLANT THAT WOULDN'T DIE
    6.
    RESEARCHERS FIND DRUG HIGH A POTENT FIELD OF INQUIRY
    7.
    DRUGS COMPLICATE COLOMBIA'S PEACE PLAN
    8.ALASKA:  INITIATIVE TO LEGALIZE POT FAILS BIG
    9.
    MONTANA: MEDICAL MARIJUANA APPROVED
    10.
    CALIFONIA: KEY BALLOT MEASURES GO GOVERNOR'S WAY
    11. CALIFORNIA: VOTERS: MAKE POT A LOW PRIORITY
    12.
    OREGON: MEASURE 33 - BID TO EXPAND MEDICAL MARIJUANA FAILS
    13. MISSOURI: BOTH POT PROPOSITIONS PASS BY A LARGE MARGIN
    14. NEARLY 75% OF THE WEST NOW COVERED BY MEDICAL MARIJUANA LAWS
    15. LIQUEFIED HEROIN DISCOVERED IN FRUIT JUICE BOXES
    16. CANADA: MARIJUANA BILL REINTRODUCED
    17. PHILADELPHIA DA USES WMD LAW AGAINST ALLEGED DRUG DEALER
    18. ALASKA: MAN WHO CAUSED 2 SEVERE CRASHES MAY GET 60 DAYS
    19. BUSH ADMINISTRATION DRUG POLICY IN THE UNITED STATES: A RECORD OF SUCCESS
    20. MARIJUANA MYTHS AND FACTS
    21 SUMMARY OF OUTCOMES ON MARIJUANA BALLOT INITIATIVES

     
  •  ANCHORAGE DAILY NEWS

    MARIJUANA CAMPAIGN DRAWS IN $857,000

    The main group pressing to legalize marijuana in Alaska has taken in $857,000, making its effort the most expensive ballot issue campaign in Alaska since at least 1997, according to new campaign finance reports.
     
    Alaskans For Marijuana Regulation and Control has already spent about $831,000 on polls, canvassing, staff services, mailers and print and broadcast advertisements pushing Ballot Measure 2, which will appear on Tuesday's ballot and aims to legalize pot for adults 21 and older.
     
    Almost all of the group's money comes from the Washington, D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project, according to reports filed with the Alaska Public Offices Commission. The organization is also funding legalization efforts in other states this year including Nevada, Montana and Oregon.
    http://www.adn.com/Alaska/story/5726845p-5660685c.html

    FAIRBANKS DAILY NEWS-MINER 

    POT STATISTICS USED TO DEFEND BOTH SIDES

    It's not often when people on both sides of an issue use the same statistics to make their points. 
    Both opponents and proponents of a ballot measure to legalize marijuana, however, cite some of the same figures in arguing whether voters should approve ro defeat the measure Tuesday.
     
    Opponents of Ballot Measure No. 2 have rallied against marijuana legalization by pointing to statistics such as one-fourth of Alaska students reporting in a 2003 survey that they had used marijuana at least once in the last 30 days.
     
    The response by initiative supporters: Thanks for making our case that current marijuana criminalization efforts don't work.
     
    Four years after rejecting a more liberal marijuana legalization proposal 59 percent to 41 percent, voters will be asked Tuesday whether all civil and criminal penalties for marijuana use, distribution and possession should be removed from state law and if the state should be able to regulate the drug like alcohol or tobacco.
    http://www.news-miner.com/cda/article/print/0,1674,113%257E7244%257E2504065,00.html

    MIAMI HERALD

    ADDICTION COUNSELOR CAN'T VOTE

    Released from prison in 1990, Jimmy Klinakis can't find out why his rights haven't been restored. The former heroin addict is now an addiction counselor.
    http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/state/10059506.htm?template=contentModules/printstory.jsp 

    CHICAGO TRIBUNE

    CITY MAY FOLLOW SUBURBS' LEAD ON POT: WRITE TICKETS

    When Brandon Sobon and two friends were ticketed in Wilmette for marijuana possession, they weren't happy but knew it could have been a lot worse. They could have been stopped in Chicago.

    Sobon and his friends were returning from dinner in July when police pulled the driver over for a minor traffic violation.  A Wilmette officer searched the vehicle and discovered a small bag of marijuana--about one joint's worth-- in the glove compartment.

    If a Chicago police officer had stopped them, they could have been arrested, fingerprinted and assigned a court date.   Instead, each received the equivalent of a parking ticket, a $100 fine under a village ordinance regarding the possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana.

    As Chicago officials consider a similar method of ticketing people caught with small amounts of marijuana, they need not look far to find examples of how it might play out on the streets. Many Chicago suburbs have done it for decades.
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-0411010142nov01,1,3913744,print.story?coll=chi-news-hed
     
      

      
    WIRED

    THE MYSTERY OF THE COCA PLANT THAT WOULDN'T DIE

    Over the past three years, rumors of a new strain of coca have circulated in the Colombian military. The new plant, samples of which are spread out on this table, goes by different names: supercoca, la millonaria. Here in the southern region it's known as Boliviana negra. The most impressive characteristic is not that it produces more leaves - though it does - but that it is resistant to glyphosate. The herbicide, known by its brand name, Roundup, is the key ingredient in the US-financed, billion-dollar aerial coca fumigation campaign that is a cornerstone of America's war on drugs.
     
    One possible explanation: The farmers of the region may have used selective breeding to develop a hardier strain of coca. If a plant happened to demonstrate herbicide resistance, it would be more widely cultivated, and clippings would be either sold or, in many cases, given away or even stolen by other farmers. Such a peer-to-peer network could, over time, result in a coca crop that can withstand large-scale aerial spraying campaigns.
     
    But experts in herbicide resistance suspect that there is another, more intriguing possibility: The coca plant may have been genetically modified in a lab.
    http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/12.11/columbia.html?tw=wn_tophead_6
     
    BALTIMORE SUN

    RESEARCHERS FIND DRUG HIGH A POTENT FIELD OF INQUIRY

    A decade ago, when Daniele Piomelli went to scientific conferences, he was often the only researcher studying cannabinoids, the class of chemicals that give marijuana users a high.
     
    His work often drew snickers and jokes - but no more. At the annual Society for Neuroscience conference last week, scientists here delivered almost 200 papers on the subject.
     
    Why the attention? Many scientists think marijuana-like drugs might be able to treat a wide range of diseases, far beyond the nausea and chronic pain typically treated with medical marijuana.
    http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/health/bal-te.marijuana01nov01,1,4084331,print.story?coll=bal-nationworld-headlines
     
      
    CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR  

    DRUGS COMPLICATE COLOMBIA'S PEACE PLAN

    Francisco Javier Zuluago, otherwise known as "Gordolindo," is one of Colombia's most notorious drug traffickers, having served as a trusted aide in one of the country's powerful drug cartels.
     
    But "Gordolindo" suddenly has a new calling card: political chief of the Pacific Bloc of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC), the country's feared right-wing death squad.
     
    Gordolindo and other renowned Colombian drug dealers, including Diego Montoya Sanchez, who is on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted List alongside Osama bin Laden, have suddenly undergone a political makeover. They have donned paramilitary fatigues and begun calling themselves "comandante."
     
    For 22 months, the government of President Alvaro Uribe has been trying to get the country's 20,000 irregular soldiers, who have fought a decades-long battle with leftist insurgents, to lay down their weapons. The first breakthrough could come this week: the AUC has pledged to demobilize 3,000 men in what would be the biggest such move in Colombian history. Many of them could be granted a full pardon. But under Colombian law, that immunity would not extend to narcotraffickers. So some of the country's biggest drug dealers are now joining - and even buying their way into - these militias, trying to garner the benefits of a potential peace deal. This "narcoization" of the paramilitaries is threatening to undermine an already fragile peace process.
     
    Paramilitaries involved in drug trafficking isn't a new phenomenon - several renowned AUC chiefs have been indicted or are wanted for extradition by the US on drug-related charges. But some say the AUC is now primarily a drug cartel, a far cry from its founding as an opposition force to the heavily armed Marxist guerrillas, who began their war against the government in 1964.
    http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/1102/p06s02-woam.htm

    ALASKA
     
    INITIATIVE TO LEGALIZE POT FAILS BIG

    A massive spending campaign by the fans of legalized marijuana in Alaska failed to convince voters.
     
    With about 82 percent of precincts reporting Tuesday night, voters rejected by a crushing margin the notion that pot should be legal for adults 21 and older to possess, grow, buy or give away. Backers of Ballot Measure 2 spent huge sums making their case in print and broadcast media, vastly outspending foes.
    http://www.adn.com/election04/e_night/story/5738386p-5674960c.html
     

    MONTANA
     
    MEDICAL MARIJUANA APPROVED

    Montanans suffering from certain medical conditions may be able to legally smoke marijuana to ease their symptoms come January 1.
     
    The Medical Marijuana Act passed by a 63 to 37 percent margin Tuesday with 375 of 881 precincts reporting. The new act will protect patients, their doctors and their caregivers from state and local arrest and prosecution for the medical use of marijuana.
    http://www.billingsgazette.com/index.php?id=1&display=rednews/2004/11/03/build/state/50-med-pot.inc

     
    CALIFORNIA
     
    KEY BALLOT MEASURES GO GOVERNOR'S WAY

    On one of the most crowded initiative ballots in California history, two of the most contested measures — to ease the state's three-strikes law and require businesses to provide workers with health insurance — were behind with more than 70% of the vote counted.
    And a proposition expanding authorities' ability to collect DNA samples was approved.
    In the final days of the election, none of those measures captured as much attention as Proposition 66. The initiative aimed to ease California's three-strikes law by allowing life sentences to be meted out for third-strike crimes only if those offenses were violent or serious as defined by the criminal code.
     
    Though it had inspired similarly tough laws in other states, California's law had remained one of the harshest even as crime fell in recent years.
     
    September and October polls that showed the proposition leading heavily persuaded Schwarzenegger to spend about $2 million of his own campaign kitty to fight it.
    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-calelect3nov03,1,2167601,print.story?coll=la-headlines-california

    CALIFORNIA

    VOTERS: MAKE POT A LOW PRIORITY

    Voters on Tuesday laid the groundwork for the decriminalization of marijuana by voting overwhelmingly for Measure Z, which orders the Oakland Police Department to make private, adult use of pot its lowest priority.
    According to early unofficial returns, Measure Z received almost two-thirds of the vote, appearing to win decisively.
     
    Celebrating at the Old Bulldog Cafe in the heart of what was once known as "Oaksterdam," supporters said the victory heralded the end of the drug war in Oakland.
    http://www.oaklandtribune.com/Stories/0,1413,82~24524~2509998,00.html

     
    OREGON
     
    MEASURE 33 - BID TO EXPAND MEDICAL MARIJUANA FAILS

    Oregon voters have rejected a ballot measure that would have expanded the state's current medical-marijuana law.
    Measure 33 lost decisively Tuesday, leaving in place Oregon's current medical marijuana statute, the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act.
     
    Opponents of the measure, including law enforcement officials and the Libertarian Party, hailed voters' decision for starkly contrasting reasons.

    http://www.statesmanjournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20041103/STATE/411030331
     
    MISSOURI
     
    BOTH POT PROPOSITIONS PASS BY A LARGE MARGIN

    With the passage of two marijuana-related initiatives Tuesday, Columbia voters have placed the city on the progressive edge of drug-law reform in the United States.
     
    With more than half the ballots tallied, voters were approving Proposition 1 69 percent to 31 percent as of press time. The measure makes it legal for chronically ill patients to possess and use marijuana with a doctor's consent. Physicians who prescribe marijuana to patients will no longer face arrest and prosecution.
     
    Supporters of the measure were elated with the results, which represent a landmark in Missouri.
    http://digmo.org/news/story.php?ID=10399 


    ARIZONA REPUBLIC
     
    NEARLY 75% OF THE WEST NOW COVERED BY MEDICAL MARIJUANA LAWS

    With Montana's approval of a medical marijuana initiative, nearly three-fourths
    of Western states now have such laws - while only two of the 37 states outside
    the West have adopted them.
     
    Why is the West so much more receptive to the idea?
     
    From a procedural standpoint, it's just easier to get pot issues on Western
    ballots because most states in the region allow such initiatives. Nationwide,
    just 24 states allow citizens to put issues on the ballot by petition, bypassing
    the Legislature. Eleven of those states are in the West.
     
    But activists and political scientists also say Westerners are less willing than
    other Americans to tell their neighbors what they can and can't do. And
    historically, Western states tend to be in front on social trends.
    http://www.azcentral.com/php-bin/clicktrack/print.php?referer=http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/1104MedicalMarijuana04-ON.html 

     
    LIQUEFIED HEROIN DISCOVERED IN FRUIT JUICE BOXES

    MIAMI
    -- Nearly 100 fruit juice boxes containing liquid heroin were > intercepted Wednesday in a shipment from Colombia, federal officials said.
     
    The 6-ounce boxes, labeled "Hit Fruit Drink," contained a total
    of 38  kilograms, or about 84 pounds, of heroin worth $1.7 million.

    The juice boxes were part of a private shipment that wasn't destined for the  United States food supply, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents said.
     
    The juice would be deadly if consumed.  The 6-ounce boxes, labeled "Hit Fruit Drink," contained a total of 38
    kilograms, or about 84 pounds, of heroin worth $1.7 million.
    Customs agents said the juice was initially bought from a grocery store in  Colombia, then emptied and refilled with heroin. The shipment was relabeled and  five pallets of boxes were shipped alongside pallets of legitimate juice  boxes, the agents said. 

    The pallets were intercepted at an undisclosed location in Miami and
    federal  agents are working to track the drug dealers responsible, customs agents said.  In 1990, a 25-year-old man died after drinking a cocaine-laced Colombian soft  drink that was part of a drug smuggling scheme. It went awry when burglars broke into a warehouse, stole cases of the drink not knowing what they contained, and sold them to local grocers.
    The FBI discovered at least 45 contaminated bottles of Pony Malta, some on  store shelves.  Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material  may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. 

    WORLD BRIEFINGS

     

    CANADA: MARIJUANA BILL REINTRODUCED

    The government reintroduced legislation to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana. Under the plan, anyone possessing 15 grams (about half an ounce) or less would be issued a fine rather than face criminal charges. The government has pledged several times to pass the bill, despite opposition from the United States, but earlier efforts were scuttled when parliamentary sessions ended prematurely. Colin Campbell (NYT)

    PHILADELPHIA DA USES WMD LAW AGAINST ALLEGED DRUG DEALER

    by KYW's Mike DeNardo

    A man and his two sons are facing trial in Philadelphia, on charges they kept weapons of mass destruction in their North Philadelphia home.

    But the defendants aren't political terrorists -- they're alleged drug dealers.

    This is the first use of a Pennsylvania law enacted after September 11th that increases penalties for terrorists.

    The Philadelphia DA is using it against drug dealers who use explosives to protect their stashes.

    A Pennsylvania state law adopted after 9/11 defines weapons of mass destruction as biological or chemical agents or bombs and explosives devices used for unlawful purposes.

    In the first case headed for trial, police say a father and his two sons had an armor-piercing rocket, three grenades, and 20,000 rounds of ammo in their North Philadelphia house.

    In a second case, police say, a Northeast Philadelphia man had rigged a bomb to protect his methamphetamine lab.

    Convictions under the "WMD" law can tack on an extra 20 years to any sentence.

    WMD Trial in Progress Room 306 CJC, 1301 Filbert Street - Jury Selection to End Tuesday, Openings and Testimony to begin on Wednesday.

    ALASKA:  MAN WHO CAUSED 2 SEVERE CRASHES MAY GET 60 DAYS

    By DAVID DOEGE
    ddoege@journalsentinel.com
    Posted: Oct. 31, 2004

    Juneau - In the span of six months, Nicholas Vogg caused two major car crashes that left one man dead and critically injured a friend.

    Authorities suspected that marijuana played a role in the first crash and that alcohol contributed to the second.

    But Vogg could walk out of Dodge County Circuit Court with only a term of probation and 60 days in jail as punishment because a new law took effect too late to be invoked for the first crash and because he walked away from the scene of the second.

    Wisconsin's so-called drugged-driving law didn't take effect until six months after Vogg pulled away from a stop sign and into the path of a car driven by Paul Kozlowski, killing him.

    Of the first case, Dodge County District Attorney Steven Bauer said in an interview last week, "Now we have the exact law that I could have used for the circumstances. I understand that the family (of Kozlowski) is upset, but we did what we could under the law."

    After a lengthy investigation, Bauer decided he could charge Vogg only with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia for what was found in the car and nothing for what was found in his system.

    Not enough to convict

    "The level of THC (the active ingredient in marijuana that produces its high) was low, and there was no one that would testify that it made him impaired," Bauer said. "There was not enough to convict him of operating while impaired.

    Vogg has been charged with two felony counts of injury by intoxicated use of a vehicle in November 2003 in connection with the second crash.

    Cindy Kozlowski, whose husband of 43 years was killed in the first accident, wrote in a letter to the judge presiding over Vogg's cases that the second crash demonstrated that he had no remorse.

    "A life was cut short due to his actions!" she wrote in a letter to Dodge County Circuit Judge Daniel Klossner. "This second accident caused my family and myself almost as much anguish, grief and stress as the first one."

    Bauer said he would have liked to come down harder on Vogg, but circumstances and the law prevented him from doing so.

    As for the second crash, Bauer said, "The case has some problems with proving impairment. He wasn't actually arrested until some time after the accident."

    Although he was drinking on the night of the second incident - a rollover crash in which he critically injured a friend, then abandoned him and the overturned car - by the time he was arrested, it was too late to accurately determine his blood-alcohol concentration at the time of the crash, investigators said.

    Bauer said he has learned that because of Vogg's late arrest and the delay in getting blood, there would be difficulty proving his impairment at the time of the crash.

    Both cases were scheduled for Thursday, but the proceedings were postponed.

    DA: No comment on deal

    Bauer said Thursday, "I'm not going to comment on pending plea negotiations. I do not want to talk about anything that could have an impact on his (Vogg's) ability to have a trial if he chooses to do so." Attempts to reach Vogg's defense attorney, Patrick H. Madden, were unsuccessful.

    But Linda Kozlowski Bourret, Paul Kozlowski's daughter, said she was informed by the district attorney's office that both cases are expected to be resolved in a plea bargain involving misdemeanor - not felony - convictions and an expected sentence of probation and 60 days in jail, an outcome she considers lenient.

    The first crash occurred on March 16, 2003, when Paul Kozlowski, 67, of Neosho was eastbound on Highway 33 in the Town of Hubbard. A Dodge County Sheriff's Department report says that Vogg, now 22, of Neosho, was northbound on county Highway TW when he pulled away from a stop sign and into the path of Kozlowski's car.

    Kozlowski died from internal injuries while Vogg and a passenger in the car he drove, Christopher Hertzel, 20, survived. At a hospital, Vogg admitted having smoked marijuana "on the night of March 15, 2003," according to a criminal complaint.

    "If Nicholas Vogg hadn't have been smoking pot while driving, his judgment at that intersection wouldn't have been compromised," Kozlowski Bourret says in another letter to Klossner.

    'Numerous' empty beer cans

    The second crash occurred at 2:30 a.m. on Sept. 13, 2003, when a car Vogg was driving roared through a stop sign on county Highway P in the Town of Ashippun, hit an embankment, went airborne and landed on its roof in a thicket, spewing "numerous" empty beer cans, according to a Dodge County Sheriff's Department report.

    When he left the scene, Vogg left his friend, Thomas J. Miller, 21, with a broken leg, a broken elbow and head injuries. Deputies finally found Vogg walking along a county trunk highway, and he readily admitted having been the driver.

    Blood samples were obtained from him at 9:15 a.m. and 9:30, according to court records, and subsequent tests fixed the alcohol concentration in them at 0.11 and 0.10. A level of 0.08 is considered evidence of intoxication.

    While undergoing treatment at Beaver Dam Community Hospital, Vogg said he'd been involved in accidents in the past and probably would be in the future, according to a sheriff's deputy's report.

    "Vogg also told me that he had the best lawyer in Dodge County and that it was well worth the money spent to stay out of jail, as this lawyer could get him out of most of his charges," Deputy Kevin Harvancik said in the report.

    BUSH ADMINISTRATION DRUG POLICY IN THE UNITED STATES: A RECORD OF SUCCESS

    Committee on Government Reform
    http://reform.house.gov/CJDPHR/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=6131


    Washington, Nov 1 - Bush Administration Drug Policy in the United States: A Record of Success

    Prevention

    Recent Successes:

    • Despite being outspent by as much as 30 to 1, initiatives that would legalize or decriminalize marijuana and other drugs failed last year in Nevada, Ohio, Arizona, and Missouri. This marks a significant change in public opinion regarding drug-policy.

    • Anti-drug coalitions, which work to stem drug use locally, now number over 5,000.

    Demand Reduction

    According to
    University of Michigan’s Monitoring the Future study:

    • Use of any illicit drug in the past year decreased by a statistically significant amount from 2001 to 2002 among 8th and 10th graders. Use at least once in the student’s lifetime declined among 8th graders, and use in the past month declined among tenth graders. The percentages of 8th and 10th graders using any illicit drug were at their lowest level since 1993 and 1995, respectively.

    • Among 10th graders, marijuana use in the past year and past month decreased from 2001 to 2002, and daily use in the past month was down as well. The past-year marijuana use rate of 14.6 percent among 8th graders is the lowest level seen since 1994.

    • Ecstasy use in the past year and past month decreased significantly among 10th graders from 2001 to 2002. Ecstasy use was down in all three grades. Past-year use rates were below those for year 2000 in each grade. This is a major turning point.

    • Lifetime and past-year LSD use decreased significantly among 8th, 10th and 12th graders. Past-year and past-month LSD use by 12th graders reached the lowest point in the 28-year history of the survey.

    • Lifetime use of inhalants decreased in 8th and 10th graders, and past year use declined for 8th graders.

    Long-Term Successes, according to the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse:

    • Adolescent drug use was prevalent in less than 1 percent of twelve-to seventeen-year-olds in 1962. By 1979, that number peaked at 34 percent. By then, 65 percent of high-school seniors had tried an illicit drug, 39 percent were using drugs monthly, and 1 in 9 smoked marijuana daily. Young peoples' alcohol use paralleled their drug use, and while the death rate for all other age groups declined, adolescents' death rate rose by 8 percent, an increase fueled by the unprecedented upsurge in drug use.

    • Political leadership, an increased stigma attached to drug use, parent groups, and other community organizations drove down drug use between 1979 and 1992. This effort cut
    regular drug use in half among all Americans (from 25 million to 11 million), by two thirds among adolescents and young adults, and cut daily marijuana use among seniors by 500 percent (from 11 percent to 2 percent).

    • Though rising again in the mid-nineties, drug use has fallen again.

    Treatment

    • Drug courts, court supervised programs where arrestees receive treatment in lieu of incarceration, are expanding rapidly. As of August 2004, there are nearly 1,500 drug courts in existence or being planned around the country.

     
    American University’s Drug Court ClearinghouseØ reports that over 400,000 drug-using offenders have participated in drug court programs since their inception in 1989. In 1997, the Government Accounting Office (GAO) reported that 71% of all offenders entering drug courts since 1989 have either successfully completed their drug court program or are currently actively participating in their program.

     Recidivism among all drug court participants has ranged from 5 to 28% and less than 4% for drug court graduates.

    • The Federal government has sponsored the Cannabis Youth Treatment Study (CYT), which has developed innovative and effective treatment methodologies.

     Using these treatment approaches, the percentage of
     youth reporting abstinence from intake went from 4% to 13% (3 months) to 34% (6 months) & those with no past month symptoms of substance-abuse related problems went from 19% to 39% (3 months) to 61% (6 months).

    • When fully implemented, the President’s Access to Recovery Initiative will reach 300,000 people otherwise unable to receive individualized drug treatment from a variety of community sources.

    Supply Reduction

    • President Uribe has made substantial progress over the past two years. He has shown that when democracy, stability and security flourish, progress can be made against the narco-terrorists who threaten our way of life.

     U.S. estimates of coca
    Ø eradication have shown a dramatic drop of 21 percent in coca cultivation in Colombia for 2003. Net coca cultivation dropped from 144,450 hectares in 2002 to 113,850 hectares in 2003. This compares to 169,800 hectares cultivated during the peak growing year of 2001.

     According to the GOC, the number of
    kidnappings in Colombia has almost halved in the first half of this year. 966 people were abducted in the first six months of 2004, compared with 1,906 in the same period last year

    • In Mexico, intensive efforts have resulted in the eradication of 36,600 hectares of marijuana. Mexico also eradicated 20,000 hectares of opium poppy.

    • Major progress continues to be made in both interdicting drugs (those manufactured in Mexico as well as those being transshipped through Mexico) and attacking drug trafficking organizations and cartel leadership. In 2003, Mexican law enforcement agencies seized 2,019 metric tons of marijuana, 191 kilograms of opium gum, 289 kilograms of heroin, 20 metric tons of cocaine, and 726 kilograms of methamphetamine.

    • In April, Mexican Authorities Captured Otto Herrera Central America’s Most-Wanted Drug Smuggler. Herrera had been linked to Cali cartel in Colombia and has cooperated with reputed Mexican kingpin Ismael ‘El Mayo’ Zambada, whose drug smuggling syndicate is thought to be based in the resort city of Mazatlan. In August of 2004, Mexican authorities captured Gilberto Higuera Guerrero, a drug trafficker accused of handling half of the illegal drugs smuggled into the U.S. from Mexico
    .

    Research

    • The National Institute on Drug Abuse now funds over 85% of the world’s research on drugs, and their budget has been increased $36 million to $996 million in FY 2004.

     

    MARIJUANA MYTHS AND FACTS
    The Truth Behind 10 Popular Misperceptions

     http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov/publications/marijuana_myths_facts/

     SUMMARY OF OUTCOMES ON MARIJUANA BALLOT INITIATIVES

    Thanks to Kevin Sabet for this information: 

    Ballot measures that did not pass

    Alaska did NOT PASS marijuana legalization -- huge victory for us there.
     
    Oregon did NOT PASS a measure to expand their existing medical marijuana structure. Very good for us.
     
    The city of Berkeley did NOT PASS (by 1%) a measure to greatly liberalize the amount of plants allowed to be distributed by existing medical mj dispensaries or care givers. Very good for us.
     
    MPP more or less did not succeed in unseating and reshuffling the VT legislature to make it more med mj friendly.
     
    MPP DID NOT succeed in unseating their targeted House members who voted against the last medical marijuana House Resolution.
     
    The bad news:
     
    Montana DID pass medical marijuana, making it the 10th state to do so. Not good, but not a surprise.
     
    The city of Oakland DID PASS a measure to treat marijuana as the lowest law enforcement priority; it also mandates the Oakland City Council to lobby for marijuana legalization on the state and federal level. Not good for us,  but
    not surprising.
     
    In Ann Arbor, Measure C, which amends the city charter to permit medical use of marijuana, passed. This is the second win for medical marijuana in Michigan this year: Detroit's Measure M passed 60% to 40% on August 3.
     
    Columbia voters approved a local medical marijuana proposal, Proposition. Proposition 2, which would treat misdemeanor marijuana possession cases as civil matters in municipal court, reducing penalties to a maximum $250 fine (instead of a possible year in jail) with no criminal record, was also ahead at 60% to 40%. I am a bit surprised Prop 2 passed.
     

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