I WISH to thank Dr Alex Wodak for his support of the Australian National
Council on Drugs position paper on heroin overdose (Letters, 14/9).
The federal Government's Tough on Drugs strategy was begun less than two
years ago and it takes time for it to be fully implemented and for the
results to become apparent.
The Tough on Drugs strategy has provided $500 million to Australian
services to combat the drug problem: research projects; new and expanded
treatment services; education and other prevention programs; extended
needle exchange and methadone programs; family support services; expanded
police and customs services; the court diversion services; and indigenous
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A civilian chemist placed on leave from the State Police crime lab's
now-closed drug section will plead guilty to a felony charge alleging he
faked tests on drug evidence, federal prosecutors announced Thursday.
Todd Owen McDaniel, 31, skipped preliminary tests on suspected marijuana
evidence at the lab's Drug Identification Section from 1993, after he
started at the lab, until he was placed on leave Sept. 8, U.S. District
Court filings in his case said.
McDaniel, of Charleston, also failed to perform similar tests on suspected
crack cocaine evidence in at least five cases between July and August, the
filings by prosecutors said.
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LAREDO, Texas -- They're done begging, through threatening, sick of talking.
Broke and bogged down, some county prosecutors along the U.S.-Mexico border
vowed to ban federal drug cases from their courts starting Monday. Their
decision promises to drop even more cases into the swamped federal courts on
the nation's southern edge.
But prosecutors say they have no choice: Struggling counties lose millions
of dollars and weeks' worth of court time prosecuting federal drug cases.
From now on, they say, the U.S. government is on its own.
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The Initiative Would Require Drug Treatment Programs, Not Jail Time, For
Nonviolent Offenders, Diminishing Judges' Power
The same folks who helped pass Proposition 215, the medical marijuana
initiative, are again challenging California's drug laws, this time with a
measure that would require drug treatment rather than prison for most
nonviolent drug offenders.
Under the Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act, on the November ballot
as Proposition 36, people convicted of being under the influence or of
possessing illegal drugs for personal use would face probation and up to 18
months of mandatory drug treatment.
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Member for Gippsland West, Susan Davies, has told parliament that legalising
heroin injecting rooms is "not a high priority for my electorate or me."
This was despite the fact that she cast the deciding vote for injecting
rooms, in the Lower House.
"It is not an issue that has stirred the passions of most of the people in
my electorate, despite some intense efforts to create a controversy," Ms.
Davies told parliament.
She claimed her electorate was more interested in additional treatment
facilities for drug and alcohol problems, than safe injecting rooms.
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WASHINGTON -- Until now, I have admired Al Gore's candor on the marijuana
After all, he is the first presidential candidate to admit not only that he
smoked marijuana but that he even inhaled it.
His boss, President Clinton, confessed during his 1992 campaign to smoking
the wicked weed in his youth but insisted he "didn't inhale." That's like
saying you subscribe to Playboy for the articles. Maybe he enjoyed that
distinctive marijuana smell, which is sort of like burning socks.
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Education could be described as a process designed to instruct children on
the folly of their elders. If so, kids in one school after another across
America are learning a lot.
One of the common lessons is that normally rational adults sometimes lose
all sense of proportion when dealing with adolescents. Teenagers then end up
victimized by policies that are either excessively punitive or overly
protective--neither of which teaches respect for the rights of others or
prepares kids for the responsibilities of adulthood.
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UKIAH, Calif. - No one can say for sure when the first seeds were planted,
or how things reached the point where marijuana became Mendocino County's
No. 1 cash crop and claim to fame.
What is a given is that pot (the word of choice) is part of life here. It
is so pervasive that residents, when asked how pervasive, just chuckle and
say you must be from somewhere else. Nearly everyone has an anecdote about
stumbling onto the plant in a field or knowing a friend who grows it in the
back yard. A local law firm makes a practice of marijuana legal defense and
a public radio station warns residents when government helicopters are
scanning the countryside looking for marijuana gardens.
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None of us want our teenagers to use drugs (Lessons column, Sept. 27).
Still, after two decades of the "just say no" message, half of high school
students have used drugs, with one in four reporting that they used
marijuana in the previous month.
Teenagers have learned that the use of one drug does not usually lead to the
use of others, and that there are vast differences between experimentation,
abuse and addiction. Even as we stress abstinence, we must also give
teenagers the in-formation and resources to ensure that they do the least
harm to themselves. Since many will use marijuana despite our strong
admonitions, they need to be strongly encouraged to use in moderation and
only occasionally - never at school, work, while playing sports or while
David C. Leven
Marijuana is on the ballot across the West this fall, from proposals to
allow its medicinal use in Colorado and Nevada to measures that would let it
flourish in Alaska and the pot-growing "Emerald Triangle" of Northern
Recent polls suggest the proposals are likely to pass in Nevada and
Colorado. In the past four years, similar medical-marijuana measures have
become law in California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Maine and Hawaii.
Nevada's Question 9 would let doctors prescribe marijuana for severe illness
and pain. Nevada voters approved medical marijuana by 59 percent in 1998,
but adding it to the state's constitution requires another "yes" vote on
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