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Drug Headlines across the U.S. for the week of September 4 Edition

 

DON"T MISS THIS FREE TRAINING OPPORTUNITY!!!!!
Grant Writing Class Offered at NCTC
The Northeast Counterdrug Training Center (NCTC) will hold a Grant Writing class on October 24-28, 2005 at the Center at Fort Indiantown Gap, Annville, Penn. The trainer Denise Schelegel is  incredible! great teacher!. We met when I took her Grant Writing Coursecourse at NCTC. The course is open to all Drug Demand Reduction programs including nonprofits, partnerships and coalitions. The course and housing and meals at the training center are offered at no cost to participants. Coalition participants from previous sessions have offered rave reviews of the course and its usefulness.

This practical grant writing course will provide participants with the fundamental skills needed to research, develop, write, and submit grant proposals. This course will cover grant development, creation of grant components, research and identification of funding sources, development of goals, objectives and evaluation plans.
To gain the maximum benefit from this course, all participants must come to the course with a project idea or a Request for Proposal from a funding source or funding announcement.
You may register for the course through the NCTC Web site, at
www.counterdrug.org.
For additional information, contact MSgt. Howard Soule, by e-mail at
c-hsoule@state.pa.us, or by telephone at 717-861-2329.
These classes are totally free once you arrive.. That includes lodging and meals and materials. You just have to get yourself there!.
 

MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE
  
MARIJUANA  IS MAKING A COMEBACK
Marijuana is now the drug of choice for dealers in Minneapolis. In the past year, police said, they've begun finding startling amounts of cannabis on the streets, probably because of its profitability, lighter jail sentences for violations and its social acceptance.  Police have no doubt the resurgence of marijuana is one of the reasons serious reported crime in the city has increased 7.5 percent compared with this time last year. Many gangs, some of whom don't hesitate to use guns to settle turf issues, now sell marijuana instead of other drugs.
The violence killed a 35-year-old man from Albuquerque, N.M., who was searching for crack cocaine to buy one June afternoon. But he was shot to death in his truck on a north Minneapolis street when he refused to buy marijuana from the two dealers and they robbed him, police said.The demand for marijuana has refocused the enforcement efforts of a local drug task force, resulting in three seizures of more than 1,000 pounds apiece since early 2004. Each bust had a value easily exceeding $1 million.

Minneapolis has become a destination point for such large amounts to satisfy a growing demand here, and that has created new markets in the inner city and has kept police scrambling to get peddlers off the streets                                           http://www.startribune.com/stories/467/5594691.html
 

REUTERS
ON BOURBON STREET THE JUNKIES ARE JUMPY                                                                                     Heroin, cocaine and crack are no longer on the menu on Bourbon Street, and junkies strung out since Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans are feeling the pinch. On a sidewalk near Johnny White's bar on Bourbon Street, known for its raucous Mardi Gras party, an addict negotiates with a burly, black man dressed like a short-order chef with a stained apron and baseball cap.  Those in the know call him "The Man."  Looking shifty and nervous, the junkie pulls out a spanking new pair of jeans, with the Levi's tags still on them. "Ask him does he have a 34-inch waist," another dealer who wants in on the trade shouts at "The Man."
Two pairs of jeans, looted from a store after hurricane Katrina hit the city, are handed over and the junkie gets what he needs — a couple of morphine pills to feed his habit. A woman drinking whiskey and coke outside Johnny White's said of the drug dealer, "He's probably got $8,000 in his back pocket right now. Business has been brisk here." Asked how business was going without a steady supply of heroin, crack and cocaine, "The Man" said with a smile, "We're surviving. The good thing is that all these places here were looted, so there is stuff all over the place."

On offer now are morphine tablets for $40, sleeping pills for a few dollars each to sleep off a bout of "fiending" and, for $20, Oxycontin — the prescription painkiller known as "hillbilly heroin."  Heroin addict Anthony Goffredo is desperate to get out of New Orleans. Slumped outside Johnny White's, one of just three bars open since hundreds of thousands of people fled the city, he waits for a sleeping pill to take the edge off his withdrawal.                                                                                                                                                     http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory?id=1102343
 

BILLINGS GAZETTE (MT) 
STATE EYES BIGGER METH PRISON
Corrections officials intend to triple the size of a proposed meth treatment prison authorized by the 2005 Legislature. Joe Williams, administrator of Corrections' Centralized Services Bureau, said Tuesday that the agency is looking for a private contractor to build a 120-bed lockdown meth treatment center that could be open as early as next fall.
 
Prison watchers such as the American Civil Liberties Union praised the move, while the clinical director for Billings' Rimrock Foundation, one of the state's largest drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers, called the expansion a mistake that will only expand the empire of one of Corrections' main contracting companies. The 2005 Legislature gave Corrections the freedom but not the money to contract for some kind of meth treatment prison. Lawmakers suggested a 40-bed facility.
 
But Williams said meth plays such a strong role in filling up Montana's prisons and overworking its probation and parole officers that the agency decided to ramp up the meth treatment prison. Plus, meth addiction hit home with the agency late last month when a Billings probationer addicted to meth exchanged gunfire with his longtime probation officers and several Billings police officers.
http://www.billingsgazette.com/index.php?id=1&display=rednews/2005/09/08/build/state/65-meth-prison.inc
 
REUTERS  
DRUG CASH SMUGGLING BOOMING ON U.S.-MEXICO BORDER
For decades, U.S. law enforcement agencies have clamped down on Mexican drug cartels hauling cocaine, marijuana, heroin and amphetamines north over an ever-more tightly watched border to the United States.
 
Now, with stricter controls on bank accounts and wire transfers, officials are concerned that drug gangs are increasingly running illicit profits back to Mexico in piles of hard cash in cars, trucks and even on foot.
 
U.S. authorities have seized almost $40 million in bank notes headed into Mexico since 2002 and say cases like that of the van, which was stopped at random crossing into Tijuana in June, are just the tip of the iceberg.
http://today.reuters.com/News/newsArticle.aspx?type=lifeAndLeisureNews&storyID=2005-09-08T122432Z_01_FLE844578_RTRIDST_0_LIFESTYLE-MEXICO-CASH-DC.XML 
 
ASSOCIATED PRESS  
PARENTS' SMOKING AND DRUNIKING INFLUENCE  CHILDREN                                                                            Preschoolers pretending to shop for a Barbie doll’s social evening were more likely to choose cigarettes if their parents smoked, and wine or beer if their parents drank, a study found. Researchers observing the children’s play found that the ones who watched PG-13 or R-rated movies also were more likely to choose alcohol for Barbie. A 4-year-old girl chose Barbie-sized tobacco in the pretend store and said: “I need this for my man. A man needs cigarettes.” A 6-year-old boy offered the doll cigarettes and said: “Honey, have some smokes. Do you like smokes? I like smokes.”

Parents who watched from behind a one-way mirror were surprised by their children’s choices, said study co-author Madeline Dalton of Dartmouth Medical School. “It’s a very humbling experience to be a parent and see your children mimic your behaviors,” she said.

The study suggests that prevention efforts should target younger children, Dalton said. It was published Monday in the September issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.                                                                                               
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9216875/

ASSOCIATED PRESS     
METHADONE CLINIC'S MEDICAL DIRECTOR FACE CIVIL, CRIMINAL CHARGES
                                          A methadone clinic and its outspoken medical director are facing both civil and criminal charges for alleged violations of rules concerning Medicaid administration and controlled drugs. According to the government, Marc S. Shinderman falsified records and ignored regulations designed to prevent diversion of methadone, which was cited as a factor in the high number of overdose deaths in 2002.

Neither Shinderman nor the clinic is charged directly for causing any of the 28 overdose deaths that year.Shinderman's attorneys would not address the specific allegations, but said the aggressive investigation of CAP Quality Care in Westbrook reflects a conflict between different branches of the government over the best way to treat narcotics addiction.

Some members of law enforcement agencies see the clinics as a source of illicit drugs in the community, while the treatment community sees them as necessary to control drug use, said Jay McCloskey, Shinderman's defense lawyer. http://www.boston.com/news/local/maine/articles/2005/09/06/methadone_clinics_medical_director_
face_civil_criminal_charges/

YOUTH DRUG USE CONTINUES TO DECLINE                                                                                           
Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt announced a 9 percent decline in illicit drug use among American youth between the ages of 12 and 17 from 2002 to 2004. Marijuana use also declined by 7 percent among young adults between the ages of 18 and 25 during this same period. Marijuana continues to be the most commonly used illicit drug, with a rate of 6.1 percent (14.6 million current users) for the U.S. population 12 and older. The findings are from the 2004 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) released today at the annual National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month press conference.

For more information, please visit: http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov/news/press05/090805.html

ASSOCIATED PRESS                                                                                                                                         
As lawmakers crack down on the sale of marijuana-flavored lollipops, another debate is raging between their manufacturers and hemp product advocates over what is in the candy. Hemp advocates say the candy makers aren't being honest about what's in their confection and that publicity is hurting the sale of legal hemp products, made from a variety of the cannabis plant.

Chicago's City Council and Suffolk County, N.Y. both have passed laws banning the sale of marijuana-flavored candies. Lawmakers in Michigan, New Jersey and New York also have introduced legislation to ban or control the candies. California-based Chronic Candy advertises that every lick of its candy is "like taking a hit." The company, though, says the candies contain only hemp oil, a common ingredient in health food, beauty supplies and other household products.

"There is nothing illegal in our ingredients and they are ingredients that are in most hard candy in the United States," said Tom Durkin, a Chicago attorney who represents California-based Chronic Candy. Though they have no proof, hemp advocates maintain the candies contain cannabis flower essential oil, which they say is distilled from the flowers of the cannabis plant. That, they say, is illegal.

Rusty Payne, a spokesman for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, said cannabis flower essential oil would be illegal if it contains tetrahydrocannabinols, or THC, which is the illegal substance in marijuana, but he did not know whether it did. Hemp oil has a nutty flavor, said Adam Eidinger, spokesman for Vote Hemp, an advocacy arm of the hemp industry.

"It tastes nothing like these lollipops," he said. "These lollipops taste and smell like marijuana." Hemp has only a trace of THC, he said. It cannot be legally grown in the United States without a permit from the DEA, he said. Hemp supporters acknowledge they cannot prove their claim about what's in the lollipops and neither the U.S. Food and Drug Administration nor the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration have tested the candies to determine their ingredients.

George Pauli, an associate director in the Office of Food Additive Safety at the FDA, said ingredients used in food and candy have to be approved generically by the FDA or be recognized as safe by scientists. Manufacturers are not required to register their formulas or ingredient lists with the FDA. Payne said the DEA probably will test the lollipops in the future. "Certainly, they are on the radar," he said. "It's something we're aware of."

While the debate over the lollipops' ingredients continues, states and cities across the country already are acting. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has issued a subpoena seeking information on the advertising and marketing practices of Chronic Candy. "Just because something isn't illegal doesn't make it right. These are lollipops that are clearly targeted at kids," Madigan said. "As parents, you spend an enormous amount of time and energy saying to kids, 'Don't smoke, don't drink, don't do drugs.' Anything the glamorizes or lures them into these destructive behaviors shouldn't be promoted."

Durkin, the Chronic Candy attorney, said the lollipops are geared toward adults and the company has never intentionally targeted children. He also said the company had given Madigan's office a list of ingredients in the lollipops although a Madigan spokeswoman said the office does not have the list. While Vote Hemp has raised concerns about the contents of the marijuana-flavored lollipops, the group is not pushing to ban the lollipops, board member Tom Murphy said.

"We are pushing to make sure that people understand the difference between hemp oil, which is legal, and something that is illegal," he said. "What legislators and states choose to do is their own business." Note: Hemp advocates say pot candy manufacturers give misleading information about their ingredients, drawing bad publicity for legal hemp products.

Source: Associated Press (Wire)
Author: John Bazemore, The Associated Press
Published: September 8, 2005
Copyright: 2005 The Associated Press

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