Firing an employee who tests positive for marijuana does not violate the Fair Employment and Housing Act, even if the employee can show that he uses marijuana for medicinal purposes under Proposition 215, the Third District Court of Appeal ruled yesterday. The court rejected Gary Ross’ claim that because the initiative protects his right to physician-approved marijuana use as treatment for lower back strain and muscle spasms, his employer’s refusal to accommodate his use of the drug constituted discrimination on the basis of disability and a violation of public policy.
Because the possession and use of marijuana is illegal under federal law, a court has no legitimate authority to require an employer to accommodate an employee’s use of marijuana, even if it is for medicinal purposes and thus legal under California law,”Presiding Justice Arthur Scotland wrote. “If FEHA is to be extended to compel such an accommodation, that is a public policy decision that must be made by the Legislature, or by the electorate via initiate, and not by the courts
LONG-TERM USE OF CANNABIS ‘LEADS TO 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
STORM CHAOS CUTS HELP FOR ADDICTS
At the Baton Rouge Treatment Center, people suffering a unique, hurricane-related misery have poured in by the hundreds, waiting as long as two hours each day for relief.The center is one of the few places remaining in Louisiana where they can get methadone, a medication given to those addicted to heroin or other opiate drugs. Without it, they face a harrowing withdrawal certain to compound their already considerable despair.
The suffering of drug addicts might not garner much public sympathy in the face of the overwhelming agony stirred by Hurricane Katrina, but some say it’s a plight that should not be ignored.”They’re people. Don’t we care about the people?” said Kathleen Kane-Willis, a Roosevelt University researcher who has pushed for greater aid for displaced heroin addicts. “Why should we make a judgment that the people who use drugs aren’t deserving of care?”
Among the estimated 1 million people left homeless by Katrina are thousands of drug abusers and alcoholics, some who have never been in treatment but many who have been torn away from their recovery programs. http://www.grandforks.com/mld/grandforks/news/nation/12618166.htm
BOSTON HERALD WITH $3 HEROIN HIGH CHEAPER THAN BEER., ADDICT ADVOCATES DO BATTLE FOR AID
A cheap, pure heroin that costs as little as $3 a bag is fueling the state’s growing drug problem, hooking a new generation of users as public health officials scramble to restore shuttered detox centers. `It’s cheaper to buy a small bag of heroin that would get one person high for an evening than it is to buy one six-pack of beer,” said John Auerbach, executive director of the Boston Public Health Commission.
Since 1999, there’s been a “dramatic” increase in the use and availability of a cheap, high-purity heroin throughout New England, said Michael Botticelli, assistant commissioner for substance abuse services at the stateDepartment of Public Health. The heroin mainly comes from South America and into New York City before making its way to Massachusetts, Botticelli said.
Because of its purity, more people are snorting it rather than injecting it, Botticelli said. But addicts like John P. Gagliardi Jr., who died after injecting himself in broad daylight at the Public Garden Thursday, are reflective of the state’s “severe problem,” he said.
“This was really tough to see. This is really a vivid and tragic portrayal of what has been happening with heroin, not just in Boston, but statewide,” Botticelli said. Heroin use is rapidly rising among Bay Staters of all ages, officials said.
REACHING OUT TO THE FRINGES
At a time when heroin remains Baltimore’s leading drug scourge, city officials wish more addicts like the couple would make use of the exchange program — a key tool in efforts to curb the spread of HIV. But despite growing up in the shadow of AIDS, or acquired immune deficiency syndrome, most younger drug users are not participating, a problem especially acute among whites in their teens and 20s.
A recent study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health found that only 10 percent of people who started injecting drugs in the past five years rely on the exchange as their main source for syringes. An additional 18 percent of the 294 users surveyed, most of whom were interviewed in Southwest Baltimore, said they were mainly obtaining their syringes from pharmacies, where a 10-pack costs about $2.50.
But most users said they bought needles on the street — a risky practice because they can’t be sure the needles are new — or shared them.
While the study found that addicts were more likely to visit the exchange as they grew older, Susan G. Sherman, the lead author, said “it’s really important” to attract users soon after they first start on drugs.
DALLAS MORNING NEWS
WITNESS: DRUG INFORMANTS PLANNED IT ALL OUT
Crooked narcotics informants on the Dallas police payroll in 2001 operated like a highly regimented drug gang, planting powdery packages containing worthless billiards chalk on innocent people, witnesses in the trial of one of the informants testified Tuesday.
Each informant had specific duties. Some purchased cones of billiards chalk by the caseload. Others crushed the cones into powder before compressing it into bricks and wrapping it with cellophane to resemble kilo-sized packages of cocaine. Still others took part in the insidious task of selecting innocent people for arrest, witnesses said.
MORE MD. PRISON INMATES TESTING POSITIVE FOR DRUGS
The number of Maryland prison inmates testing positive for drugs has increased sharply this year — running about 20 percent higher than in 2004, records show. The increase in positive test results, which suggests that more drugs are penetrating security checkpoints and getting into the state’s prisons, comes amid complaints that recent staff cutbacks have compromised prison safety and security.
The state reports show that 343 of 12,035 inmates tested in Maryland’s 12 medium- and maximum-security prisons during the first six months of this year had positive results for drugs including heroin, cocaine and marijuana.
DRUG ADDICTION ADDS TO BURDEN OF VICTIMS
Before Katrina hit, untold numbers of its victims already were suffering a different kind of wrath: drug addiction. Now, thousands of addicts are thought to be among the hundreds of thousands displaced by the storm, seeking drug fixes, recovery or simple compassion in the new places they are temporarily calling home.
The diaspora has created challenges in communities from Alexandria and Baton Rouge, La., to Houston and San Antonio, where taxed addiction counselors already have full caseloads and, in some cases, all staffed treatment beds are full. In communities where addicts are arriving, there is concern about the long-term worsening of local drug problems, but also stories of heroic compassion.
Some addicts who relocated to shelters have sought prescriptions for the painkiller OxyContin and other narcotics. Others simply tell intake workers they are users or in a perilous phase of recovery – in need of methadone to keep withdrawal and drug cravings at bay. Still others are given away by the body tremors, sweating, diarrhea or vomiting that withdrawal can bring.
WIRE SERVICE REPORTS
U.N. SAYS AMPHETAMINE-TYPE ABUSE RISING IN ASIA
Traffickers have been shifting to the manufacture of amphetamine-type drugs in Asia as cultivation and production of heroin drops sharply, a senior United Nations official said on Monday. Akira Fujino, head of the Bangkok-based U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime, said there had been an alarming increase in abuse of “shabu” and ecstasy in Southeast Asia over the last few years, as shown by a rise in the number of narcotics laboratories found.
“There’s an increasingly serious problem in amphetamines in Southeast Asia because they do not require any agricultural production,” Fujino told Manila-based foreign correspondents.
He said China and Myanmar were the world’s top makers of amphetamine-type stimulants
SAN DIEGO UNION TRIBUNE
MEXICAN ATTORNEY GENERAL ANNOUNCES NEW STRATEGY AGAINST DRUG TRAFFICKING GROUPS
Mexico’s top prosecutor said he is placing a new emphasis on undermining entire drug trafficking groups that have shown resilience despite the capture of kingpins.
The new focus involves working more closely with Treasury officials. the banking industry and U.S. authorities to trace drug money and to seize cars and real estate from drug traffickers, he said.
VENEZUELA GOVERNMENT UNHELPFUL IN WAR AGAINST DRUGS, U.S. SAYS
The Bush administration declared Thursday that Venezuela had failed to cooperate in the fight against drug trafficking, a move likely to worsen already strained relations between the countries. The administration said the government of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez had reduced anti-drug cooperation with the United States, replaced qualified drug officials with unqualified political loyalists and, through neglect, allowed more narcotics to flow through its borders to the United States and Europe.
Venezuela “has been a disappointment,” John P. Walters, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, told reporters, adding that Chavez “acts as if he no longer wants a productive relationship with the United States.”
The administration’s move, part of a congressionally required report, came amid continuing friction between Washington and Chavez, a populist with strong ties to Cuba who has expressed strong anti-U.S. sentiment. Washington has charged that Chavez is a regional troublemaker who is undermining democratic institutions in Venezuela and threatening to destabilize neighboring countries through support for radical leftist groups.
SUPREME COURT CONSIDERING WORKPLACE MEDICAL MARIJUANA ISSUE
The Oregon Supreme Court says it will review an appellate court ruling that suggests employers make allowances for workers who use medical marijuana. The case involves Robert Washburn, a former millwright at the Columbia Forest products plant at Klamath Falls. Washburn had a state-issued card allowing him to use marijuana to ease neck and muscle pain that disrupted his sleep. But the company, which prohibited workers from coming to the plant with controlled substances in their system, fired Washburn in 2001 after he failed several urine tests.
Washburn sued the company, claiming it should have made an allowance for his disability. A circuit court dismissed the lawsuit, citing a provision in the state medical marijuana law that employers don’t have to “accommodate the medical use of marijuana in the workplace.”
The appeals court disagreed, saying the test results didn’t establish that Washburn had used the drug at work. Moreover, the appeals court said the lower court should decide whether, under the circumstances of the case, Washburn’s employer should have had to allow his medical marijuana use. The Supreme Court is to hear arguments in the case on Nov. 7.
CANADIAN PHAMICIES TO SELL MEDICAL MARIJUANA
Starting in early 2006, Canadians who want to use marijuana for medical purposes will be able to purchase the drug at select pharmacies, the Canadian Press reported Sept. 14.
Health Canada plans to let certified medical-marijuana patients get their drugs from pharmacies, basing the distribution system on that used in the Netherlands. Currently, a government contractor grows and distributes marijuana to 237 Health Canada patients, sending $150, 30-gram bags of marijuana by courier to patients or their physicians. Other medical-marijuana patients are authorized to grow the drug themselves, but Health Canada would like to see a pharmacist act as an intermediary between the drugs and patients.
The agency is now identifying a network of urban and rural pharmacies that can distribute marijuana. “Ideally, we’d like to run it in more than one province,” said Health Canada spokesperson Christopher Williams. “Once we recruit the pharmacists, we’ll make sure (they) receive specialized training in dispensing the marijuana for medical purposes.”
A nationwide distribution system could take up to three years to establish, according to the agency.
CANADIAN NATIONAL POST
MARIJUANA SOLD IN DRUGSTORES IN 2006
Health Canada’s long-delayed plan to sell government-certified marijuana in drugstores appears to be back on track for early next year. The pilot project would stock medicinal pot in some pharmacies for use by authorized patients, making Canada only the second country after The Netherlands to allow easier access through drugstores.
Currently, 237 patients can get Health Canada’s medical marijuana through Prairie Plant Systems Inc., which grows the weed in Flin Flon, Man., under a $5.75-million contract with the federal government. Thirty-gram bags of dried buds, costing $150 each, are couriered directly to patients or their physicians.
But since early 2003, when senior officials visited The Netherlands to investigate that country’s marijuana distribution program, Health Canada has looked for a way to insert a pharmacist between the manufacturer and the patient.
Thanks to Educating Voices for this news!!!
the dangers of drugs
September 12, 2005
Leading Drug Prevention Experts Call For Governmental
Action Against Marijuana-Flavored Candy/Other Hemp
Leading drug prevention advocates from around the country are calling on state and federal governments to fulfill their responsibilities to protect children from hemp and the illegal drug culture it promotes and glamorizes. Specifically, the drug prevention advocates request that the Federal Trade Commission exercise its authority to investigate Hydro Blunts, LLC,
he manufacturer of Kronic Kandy, and the Chronic Candy Corporation, the manufacturer of Chronic Candy, for potential
deceptive acts and false advertisements. The two companies distribute, market, and sell lollipops advertised to contain
hemp oil and/or cannabis oil.
For the entire information click on http://www.educatingvoices.org/EViPreventionScoop.asp
View the Chronic Candy Website at: https://store.chroniccandy.com/default.aspx
View the Chronic Candy Flash page (a MUST see) at: http://www.chroniccandy.com/flash/main.html
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 Schlegel is an excellent teacher! I took her Grant Writing course at NCTC. The course is open to all Drug Demand Reduction Programs including nonprofits, partnerships and coalitions. The training, materials, meals and housing at the Ft. Indian Town Gap,PA 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
These classes are totally free once you arrive.. That includes lodging and meals and materials. You just have to get yourself there!
Category: Drug News