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1 US AZ: PUB LTE: Drug Treatment Critical for Meth UsersMon, 08 Jan 2007
Source:Mohave Valley Daily News (AZ) Author:Sharpe, Robert Area:Arizona Lines:40 Added:01/08/2007

How should Arizona respond to illicit methamphetamine use? During the crack epidemic of the eighties, New York City chose the zero-tolerance approach, opting to arrest and prosecute as many offenders as possible.

Meanwhile, Washington, D.C., Mayor Marion Barry was smoking crack and America's capital had the highest per capita murder rate in the country. Yet crack use declined in both cities simultaneously.

Simply put, the younger generation saw firsthand what crack was doing to their older brothers and sisters and decided for themselves that crack was bad news.

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2US CA: Local Director Explores Meth Among GaysSat, 13 Jan 2007
Source:Desert Sun, The (Palm Springs, CA) Author:Guzman, Richard Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:01/13/2007

As the mostly male audience settled into their seats, some eating popcorn and chatting with friends at the Palm Springs International Film Festival premiere of "Meth"on Monday, filmmaker Todd Ahlberg warned them about his documentary.

"For anyone recovering from addiction there could be some trigger moments here so don't feel bad if you need to run out this is not a happy-go-lucky film," he said.

With honest, open and at times brutally graphic testimonies, the documentary explores the alarming rise of crystal methamphetamine use in the gay community.

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3 CN BC: PUB LTE: The Purgatory Of ProhibitionMon, 01 Jan 2007
Source:Columbia Journal (CN BC) Author:Povery, George Area:British Columbia Lines:110 Added:01/01/2007

Though not mentioned in guidebooks, some tours of Vancouver include a spin through our fresh-air chemical bazaar and shooting gallery at Main and Hastings where tourists may photograph consumers with evident under-nutrition, TB and AIDS, many of them homeless, often with sad histories of childhood violence and mental illness. Wealthier and healthier consumers shop more discretely from their cars and shoot up at home.

Dependencies - on jobs, beliefs, gambling, relationships or food or sex or psychoactive drugs - are complex disorders about which we talk much but know little. What we know for sure is that not one of us is immune, and that management is lengthy, costly and uncertain.

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4 US CO: Editorial: Can Drug Courts Fight Recidivism?Sun, 21 Jan 2007
Source:Rocky Mountain News (Denver, CO)          Area:Colorado Lines:72 Added:01/28/2007

Denver Court Will Be Watched

As Colorado's new governor, Bill Ritter has set reducing recidivism - the rate at which criminals return to prison - as a top priority. In his State of the State address, he mentioned drug courts as one possible tool. Coincidentally, Denver is creating a new drug court after abandoning one in 2002. If the court works, it could be a model. From Denver's perspective, the drug court will be worthwhile even if it only results in the speedier disposition of cases and thus a reduction in jail overcrowding. As it is, drug cases represent 42 percent of the Denver district attorney's filings, and it can take up to three months to process a case.

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5US AL: Drug and Murder Indictments Dominate in January Grand ReportSat, 20 Jan 2007
Source:Press-Register (Mobile, AL) Author:McElroy, Gary Area:Alabama Lines:Excerpt Added:01/20/2007

The deaths of a 3-month-old boy by beating and shaking, a woman killed in a DUI-related car crash, the slayings of two women in domestic violence incidents and the strangulation of a 70-year-old man were among cases processed this month by the Mobile County grand jury.

In a relatively modest 47-page report, January grand jurors announced they considered 338 cases, and of those handed down 232 indictments -- 201 felonies and 31 misdemeanors.

Drug crimes accounted for 70 percent of the grand jury's docket, along with a smattering of cases such as resisting arrest; criminal mischief; dog fighting and cruelty to animals in a related incident; obstruction of justice; and impersonating a police officer.

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6 US TX: OPED: Legalize All DrugsSat, 27 Jan 2007
Source:Hood County News (TX) Author:Nelson, Terry Area:Texas Lines:67 Added:02/03/2007

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (www.leap.cc), a group of former judges, cops, prosecutors, prison wardens and concerned citizens, knows from decades of experience that drug lords and street dealers accept death at the hands of the state or other dealers as a condition of employment.

That is why the ever-increasing penalties for trafficking which now include massive mandatory-minimum sentences have not been effective in reducing availability of illicit drugs on the streets of America.

According to the Associated Press KUWAIT CITY (AP) -- A court has convicted a member of Kuwait's ruling family for drug trafficking and the court has condemned him to death, according to a ruling obtained Monday. It is believed to be the first time that a member of a ruling family in one of the Gulf Arab states received the death sentence for a drug offense.

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7 US: Editorial: Bonkers At The BorderFri, 26 Jan 2007
Source:Wall Street Journal (US)          Area:United States Lines:104 Added:01/26/2007

Most people would consider corrupt border patrol agents to be part of the illegal immigration problem, not the solution.

So it's passing strange that anti-immigration Republicans in Congress are calling for the federal government to release Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean, two former border guards from Texas who were sent to prison last week for shooting an unarmed man in the back and then trying to cover up their crime. Several GOP lawmakers, including outspoken restrictionists like Congressmen Tom Tancredo and Duncan Hunter, have hailed the ex-agents as American heroes. President Bush is even being urged to pardon Ramos and Compean, who received sentences of 11 years and 12 years, respectively. GOP Representative Dana Rohrabacher has gone so far as to accuse Mr. Bush of being "on the side of [America's] enemies" for allowing the men to go to jail. CNN's Lou Dobbs has also weighed in repeatedly with pseudo-reporting designed to rile up his viewers rather than inform them of the facts. Speaking of facts, they are as follows, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Texas and evidence presented at the ex-agents' jury trial: Agents Ramos and Compean were guarding the Mexican border near El Paso, Texas, on Feb. 17, 2005, when they encountered a van driven by Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila. When the driver saw the agents he sped off, eventually abandoning the vehicle and fleeing toward the border on foot. At one point, Aldrete-Davila stopped running and raised his empty hands to surrender.

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8 US: Spot Deep In Brain Linked To AddictionFri, 26 Jan 2007
Source:Wall Street Journal (US)          Area:United States Lines:67 Added:01/26/2007

WASHINGTON -- Damage to a silver-dollar-sized spot deep in the brain seems to wipe out the urge to smoke, a discovery that may shed important light on addiction. The research was inspired by a stroke survivor who claimed he simply forgot his two-pack-a-day addiction -- no cravings, no nicotine patches, not even a conscious desire to quit.

"The quitting is like a light switch that went off," said Antoine Bechara of the University of Southern California, who scanned the brains of 69 smokers and ex-smokers to pinpoint the region involved.

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9 CN ON: Edu: Book Review: Bud Inc Makes Humanist Case ForThu, 18 Jan 2007
Source:Fulcrum, The (U of Ottawa, CN ON Edu) Author:McClelland, David Area:Ontario Lines:61 Added:01/18/2007

Before reading Ian Mulgrew's Bud Inc., if I had been asked what Canada's most profitable agricultural product was, I probably would have said something pedestrian like cattle or wheat. I would have been wrong. According to the Vancouver Sun writer's 2005 non-fiction work, the answer is, in fact, marijuana.

Bud Inc. is subtitled "Inside Canada's Marijuana Industry" and is presented as a look at the economics of pot in Canada, an argument for its legalization, and--perhaps most interestingly--as a way of humanizing those involved with the sale and production of the plant. While the book is promoted as being about business and economics, don't let that scare you away. It's highly engaging, and all the statistics used are easy to understand.

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10 US: Column: Practically Dutch in the Heart of Sin CityFri, 02 Feb 2007
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Schwammenthal, Daniel Area:United States Lines:138 Added:02/02/2007

Amsterdam - When a Belgian politician called the Netherlands a "cesspool of sin" in 2005, Dutch Foreign Minister Ben Bot knew that his country could no longer be blase about its libertine reputation. Not when its southern neighbor, usually the subject of many barbed jokes here, was laying claim to the moral high ground.

So Mr. Bot gathered his ambassadors around him and told them to go forth and counter the "foreign press caricatures" of the Netherlands. That's a tough job when the facts paint a rather bizarre picture.

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11 US MI: OPED: America's 'War On Drugs' Isn't Working; NewSun, 04 Feb 2007
Source:Midland Daily News (MI) Author:Cameron, Jerry Area:Michigan Lines:101 Added:02/04/2007

It seems everyday I read stories like that in the Daily News about the recent drug bust in Midland and Gladwin Counties ("Big drug bust in Gladwin County," Jan. 12). Every day, in virtually every city across the country, we have busts like this. Occasionally we will arrest a major trafficker or make a large seizure but the stories continue to roll on.

So, are we any closer to ending this new Prohibition, this War On Drugs?

As a former Chief of Police trained by both the FBI and DEA I have watched for years as these busts continue unabated. Every bust of a trafficker, whether of a major player in the illicit drugs trade or a street level hustler, merely creates an opening for some new entrepreneur to step up and gain a foothold in an extremely lucrative trade with customers eager to buy, often regardless of product quality or purity.

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12 UK: PUB LTE: What About MS Sufferers?Thu, 08 Feb 2007
Source:News & Star (UK) Author:Stringfellow, A Area:United Kingdom Lines:46 Added:02/08/2007

MOST of the articles I've read about the THC4MS Three focus on the three convicted for supplying cannabis chocolate, rather than on the 1,000-plus MS sufferers, who are now deprived of an effective treatment.

Surely they are the most important feature of this whole case?

MS is a most unpleasant and incurable illness.

Its sufferers often have to live with symptoms such as painful muscle spasms, incontinence, loss of mobility and control of hands and limbs etc.

For some sufferers, cannabis relieves these symptoms and can even eliminate them altogether.

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13 US VA: Edu: LTE: Virginia Tech Has a Reputation to UpholdWed, 07 Feb 2007
Source:Collegiate Times (VA Tech, Edu) Author:Callahan, John Area:Virginia Lines:42 Added:02/07/2007

As a resident advisor and representative of this university, I am appalled by the efforts of the SSDP and the lone SGA senator to reduce the punishment for student marijuana use "High Hopes," (CT, Feb. 6).

The reputation of Virginia Tech is based upon academic excellence, innovative research, community service and outstanding athletics. None of these attributes would be enhanced by easing the penalties for drug use or possession. Doing so would legitimize the use of marijuana on campus and tarnish the reputation of Virginia Tech and its students. I know first hand the ramifications of marijuana use because I lived with a drug-abuser and dealer my freshmen year here. He never went to class, got a job to support his habit, spent all of his money on marijuana, neglected his schoolwork and never left his bed unless it was to smoke. As a student, I do not want to work with, study with or cheer our title-bound Hokies on with this type of person. As a resident advisor, I do not want the SGA to work toward condoning the use of marijuana within our residence halls. I would hate to look back five or 10 years from now and have my alma mater known better for its leniency towards drug use rather than its academics, service, and athletics. I am confident that the SGA will see through this unjustified legislation and will prevent its passage for the benefit of all Hokies; past, present and future.

John Callahan

Junior, political science

[end]

14 US VA: Edu: LTE: SSDP Should Set Their Goal HigherThu, 08 Feb 2007
Source:Collegiate Times (VA Tech, Edu) Author:Cheatham, Scott Area:Virginia Lines:44 Added:02/08/2007

Maybe the Students for Sensible Drug Policy has set their goal too low when trying to reduce the punishment for marijuana usage. There is another deadly chemical compound that currently has no punishment in the Virginia Tech Judicial System.The name of this deadly compound is Dihydrogen Monoxide. It kills more people every year than marijuana and alcohol usage combined. In its variety of forms DHMO contributes to acid rain, soil erosion, automobile brakes failure and can also cause death through inhalation, ingestion and even mere gaseous exposure. In fact, the Tech administration looks the other way as this compound is made readily available to most Tech students at little to no cost. Since DHMO is more dangerous than marijuana, and DHMO currently has no judicial punishment, pot should have no punishment also, right? Wrong. Arguing that a punishment for one deadly substance should be decreased to the level of another deadly substance's punishment is a logical fallacy. Gandhi said "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind." Maybe in this case it makes us drunk and high.

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15 CN BC: Surrey School Vehicles Tell Kids: 'Say No To Meth'Thu, 01 Feb 2007
Source:Cloverdale Reporter (CN BC) Author:Maxwell, Ursula Area:British Columbia Lines:47 Added:02/01/2007

Talk to your kids about drugs, you might save their life. That's the message from Surrey School District #36, the City of Surrey, and the Province of BC. They hope to get that message out through a campaign with School Fleet Media and partners Career Gate Community College and the Surrey Board of Trade.

Recently the team unveiled a new school vehicle ad campaign to get people talking about the dangers of Meth and to promote the new resource center at www.no2meth.ca.

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16US CO: Frieling Won't Enforce New Marijuana LawTue, 13 Feb 2007
Source:Daily Camera (Boulder, CO) Author:Schmid, Eric Area:Colorado Lines:Excerpt Added:02/18/2007

An associate municipal court judge in Lafayette resigned Monday in protest of stiffer penalties for marijuana possession in the city.

Leonard Frieling, a Boulder criminal-defense lawyer, said he is resigning out of principle after more than eight years as a backup to Lafayette Municipal Judge Roger Buchholz.

"I cannot in good conscience sit on the bench while being unwilling to enforce the municipal ordinances," Frieling said in a resignation letter to city officials. "Specifically, since you have seen fit to increase the penalty for cannabis possession from a $100 fine (which matches the state penalty) to a $1,000 fine and a year in jail, I find that I am morally and ethically unable to sit as a judge for the city."

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17 US MN: LTE: Medical Marijuana Is Too ProblematicWed, 14 Feb 2007
Source:Post-Bulletin (Rochester, MN) Author:Roschen, Deb Area:Minnesota Lines:41 Added:02/18/2007

Kudos to Sen. Steve Murphy for being in touch with the real needs of District 28! Forget about the education disparity, high taxes, or roads. Murphy keeps busy authoring a bill to legalize the medical use of marijuana. Who voted for this guy?

In the bill there is page after page of applicability and restrictions. Is it safe to assume that Murphy will need to create more government jobs to monitor the use and sale of "illegal drugs" in Minnesota?

The bill says users can have 12 plants upon possessing a "registration card." Gee, is it possible people will make a business pirating these registration cards? Is it also possible unethical doctors in Minnesota will misuse the prescription of this illegal drug?

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18 US MN: LTE: Sen Murphy, You Must Be JokingThu, 08 Feb 2007
Source:Winona Daily News (MN) Author:Roschen, Deb Area:Minnesota Lines:48 Added:02/08/2007

Kudos to Sen. Steve Murphy for being in touch with the real needs of District 28! Forget about the education disparity, high taxes or roads. Murphy keeps busy authoring a bill to legalize the medical use of marijuana. Who voted for this guy?

As a self-proclaimed substance abuser himself, I thought Murphy would have realized this bill is nothing more than a Pandora's box. I read the bill. There is page after page of applicability and restrictions. Is it safe to assume that Murphy will need to create more government jobs to monitor the use and sale of "illegal drugs" in Minnesota? He should consider the release of drug dealers to monitor the sale of this new "illegal" miracle drug. They are certainly qualified, and it would free up space in our already over-crowded prisons.

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19 US: OPED: Puff PieceTue, 13 Feb 2007
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Letts, Quentin Area:United States Lines:79 Added:02/19/2007

Britain's opposition leader is again facing claims that he took cannabis. Conservative David Cameron, an image-conscious dude, is doing little to discourage the story.

In a country where right-wingers have long been regarded as improbably square, "Cameron Smoked Pot!" headlines suit him fine. The claims appear in a coming biography -- the first work of its kind, for Mr. Cameron is only 40 and has led the previously puny opposition for barely a year. The book states that as a 15-year-old schoolboy he and some friends were pulled in by his headmaster and busted for dope. They were fined and "grounded" for two weeks (i.e. prevented from leaving the premises of their pukka boarding school, Eton College). The young shavers were also forced to write out reams of Latin verse.

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20 US NY: Editorial: A Battle Over PrisonsMon, 12 Feb 2007
Source:New York Times (NY)          Area:New York Lines:49 Added:02/12/2007

Gov. Eliot Spitzer of New York took on one of the state's most powerful special-interest groups when he proposed a commission to determine which of the state's expensive and underused prisons should be closed. He is in for a tough battle, but it is well worth fighting.

Even a modest closings program like the one proposed by Gov. George Pataki could have saved the state nearly $75 million in the first three years, freeing up money for schools, health care and mass transit. But Mr. Pataki was blocked by the powerful correction officers' union and by state lawmakers who reap campaign contributions from the union and early do its bidding.

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21 CN BC: Crystal Meth Problem GrowingSun, 18 Feb 2007
Source:Eagle Valley News (CN BC) Author:Labere, Lachlan Area:British Columbia Lines:95 Added:02/18/2007

Traffickers in harmful drugs such as crystal meth and GBL (gamma buytrolactone -- also referred to as a date-rape drug), will be a key target for Sicamous RCMP in 2007.

The details of RCMP Sgt. Jim Harrison's annual report, delivered to Sicamous council at their regular meeting of Feb. 1 4, ranged from good to disconcerting.

"Basically we saw some improvements in 2006 in regard to our crime rate," said Harrison. "We saw some things go down, we saw some things go up."

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22 New Zealand: OPED: Obsession With Past Hides Present IssuesSat, 17 Feb 2007
Source:New Zealand Herald (New Zealand) Author:Thomas, Paul Area:New Zealand Lines:119 Added:02/17/2007

Bill Clinton famously claimed that he tried marijuana once but "did not inhale". Amazingly enough this wasn't necessarily Slick Willie's most preposterous public statement. Years later he would stare into the camera and intone, "I did not have sex with that woman" when even a Mongolian goatherd knew otherwise.

(Apparently he was invoking some entirely private distinction between oral sex and the real thing.)

Later still he stonewalled a grand jury with: "It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is."

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23 New Zealand: The Forbidden PainkillerSat, 17 Feb 2007
Source:Dominion Post, The (New Zealand)          Area:New Zealand Lines:194 Added:02/17/2007

This morning, in his Lower Hutt home, Richard will heat and inhale a few drops of cannabis oil.

The thick smoke carries delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), an active ingredient that helps him relax, reducing muscle tension and therefore pain.

In Levin, Billy McKee will today smoke five joints, each containing about a gram of the dried plant. His supply at the moment is "garbage", so he needs larger amounts than usual.

Often he will smoke only five small balls of weed each day in a pipe. When he gets top-quality cannabis, he'll eat the "beautiful, herby" plant fresh.

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24 US MD: Edu: LTE: The Other Risks Of SmokingTue, 20 Feb 2007
Source:Diamondback, The (U of MD Edu) Author:Campbell, Emilie Area:Maryland Lines:52 Added:02/20/2007

In response to Ari Schreiber's letter to the editor on Feb. 14: In incidents as severe as illicit drug use in the dorms, the problem does not solely lie in the illegality of marijuana, but also in the fact that these individuals are jeopardizing the safety of other residents. The dorms are equipped with sensitive sprinkler systems that, when set off, flood all the rooms on the individual's floor and every floor below. In addition to causing water damage, smoking in a dorm room could start fires. Students need to understand they are part of a community that includes more than 11,000 residents - decisions made by anyone in a dorm can directly affect the safety of the masses.

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25 US MD: PUB LTE: No SWAT Teams Entering Private HomesSat, 10 Feb 2007
Source:Baltimore Chronicle (MD) Author:White, Stan Area:Maryland Lines:31 Added:02/10/2007

Editor:

Dear Editor of the Baltimore Chronicle, When reading "The Empire Turns Its Guns on the Citizenry" (Jan. 24, 2007), I'm reminded of the Nazi swastika, and the resemblance makes me associate SWAT with the newly-coined term SWATSTIKA.

America must stop using SWAT military-style power for the war on drugs. SWAT has a history: using Gestapo tactics and entering private homes to conduct drug war warrants, including too many raids at wrong addresses, with too many innocent citizens killed in as little as 11 seconds. Police are to serve and protect; SWAT is primed to kill.

SWATSTIKA; If the shoe fits and police doesn't like it, they should change shoes.

Stan White

[end]

26US OR: Democrats Spar Over Medical Pot for WorkersMon, 26 Feb 2007
Source:Oregonian, The (Portland, OR) Author:Har, Janie Area:Oregon Lines:Excerpt Added:03/03/2007

On the Job - One Legislator's Bill Would Let Employers Fire Legal Weed Users; Another's Stops Them

The political stakes might not be as high as for school funding or tax increases, but two Democratic senators are jousting over workers' right to smoke medicinal dope.

Last Monday, Sen. Rick Metsger of Welches hustled out of his business and transportation committee a bill giving employers leeway to boot workers who use medical marijuana.

Today, Sen. Floyd Prozanski of Eugene will take up a bill in his Commerce Committee that would prohibit those same employers from discriminating against legal pot smokers.

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27US CA: Column: Drug Legalization Decisions Are Better Off Left to the StatesSun, 04 Feb 2007
Source:Orange County Register, The (CA) Author:Stossel, John Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:02/04/2007

U.S. drug agents launched raids on 11 medical-marijuana centers in Los Angeles County last month. The U.S. Attorney's Office says the centers violated laws against cultivation and distribution of marijuana. Whatever happened to America's federal system, which recognized the states as "laboratories of democracy"?

According to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, 11 states (Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington) have eliminated the penalties for physician-approved possession of marijuana by seriously ill patients. In those states people with AIDS and other catastrophic diseases may either grow their own marijuana or get it from registered dispensaries.

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28 Canada: Safe Injection Site Breaks Treaties, UN Agency SaysFri, 02 Mar 2007
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Edwards, Steven Area:Canada Lines:122 Added:03/06/2007

Federal Health Minister Will Be Urged to Shut Down Initiatives

UNITED NATIONS -- The United Nations drug control agency is expected to warn Health Minister Tony Clement at a conference later this month that Canada is flouting international drug control treaties by enabling illicit drug use at a supervised injection site in Vancouver.

Clement will be urged to shut down the initiative, which the agency says effectively condones the use of drugs that Canada has agreed in an international forum are banned substances outside prescription.

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29 US CA: Edu: Column: Legalization Will Win U.S. 'War on Drugs'Thu, 01 Mar 2007
Source:Daily Aztec, The (San Diego State, CA Edu) Author:Erler, Michael Area:California Lines:103 Added:03/01/2007

It's been approximately 1,400 days since President Bush stood proudly on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln in front of a gigantic "Mission Accomplished" banner and announced to the world that "Major combat operations have ended ... and in the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed."

Despite this bold declaration on May 1, 2003, this real war - against enemies who can be captured or killed - is still occurring.

When or how it'll end is anyone's guess.

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30 US MD: LTE: Neighborhood Groups Working to Discourage Drugs,Wed, 14 Feb 2007
Source:Cumberland Times-News (MD) Author:Michael, Melanie Area:Maryland Lines:90 Added:02/14/2007

To the Editor:

The level of interest in the related issues of drug abuse and gangs in our community that has been demonstrated by recent articles, letters to the editor, radio and online discussions is encouraging to see. We believe this reflects genuine concern on the part of community members who we have previously been unable to engage in addressing these important problems.

The Cumberland Neighborhood Advisory Commission (NAC) and the neighborhood organizations involved in the NAC partner with a broad range of groups in Allegany County who advocate not only working from the legal end to reduce drug abuse and its effects, but also with groups who assist persons with substance and co-existing mental problems and groups that teach developmental assets in youth to give them the ability and desire to live healthy, drug and gang-free lives. In fact, a person would be hard pressed to find a service organization in our county that the NAC or one of our neighborhood associations has not partnered with in some capacity or another. Our chief role is to promote stability and improve the quality of life in the neighborhoods of Cumberland and we realize that it takes a multi-faceted approach to curtail the detrimental effects of drug and gang related issues.

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31 US NY: PUB LTE: Govn't Reefer Madness ContinuesFri, 23 Feb 2007
Source:New York Blade (NY) Author:White, Stan Area:New York Lines:25 Added:02/23/2007

Re: Medical Marijuana Can Save Lives (Op-Ed, Feb. 16)

It seems like every week medical researchers and journals report more benefits and therapies available from cannabis (aka marijuana) with fewer side effects. How much longer can the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration's reefer madness keep cannabis away from American citizens?

Dillon, Colo.

[end]

32 US: PUB LTE: Slippery Legal Situation In HollandSat, 10 Feb 2007
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Koning, Paul Area:United States Lines:50 Added:02/10/2007

In regard to Daniel Schwammenthal's "Practically Dutch In the Heart of Sin City" (de gustibus, Taste page, Weekend Journal Feb. 2): I believe Mr. Schwammenthal has not yet been in Holland long enough to realize that the veneer of pragmatism and good sense in the Dutch policy of "gedogen" is covering up something rather ugly.

One problem with the practice of officially "tolerating" things that were formally illegal is that it destroys the rule of law. When toleration is practiced, people know that the law says one thing but the reality is very different -- but just what the real rules are is not clear at all. When something is "tolerated," what are the boundaries of that toleration, and who has the authority to set or change them? How can a democracy function when the actual rules, as opposed to the rules in the lawbooks, are made up on the fly, by people and processes not governed by any law or constitution?

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33 US TX: PUB LTE: Legal Pot, Emptier JailsSun, 18 Feb 2007
Source:Dallas Morning News (TX) Author:Betzen, Stephen Area:Texas Lines:27 Added:02/18/2007

A new study in Neurology clearly shows that marijuana was not only helpful in treating chronic pain in AIDS patients, but many times worked better than other prescription drugs and had fewer side effects. This only validates the experiences of patients and their doctors.

Yet despite the overcrowding of our costly prison system and mounting evidence of the benefits of medical marijuana, our state still incarcerates medical marijuana patients.

It is time for Texas to join the 11 other states that have adopted medical marijuana legislation and stop incarcerating the sick and dying.

Stephen Betzen, Dallas

[end]

34 US LA: Edu: PUB LTE: Cannabis, "The Tree of Life," BringsMon, 26 Feb 2007
Source:Daily Reveille (LA Edu) Author:White, Stan Area:Louisiana Lines:29 Added:02/26/2007

The tree of life, also known as cannabis, kaneh bosm and marijuana, is a plant, not a drug. However, it is one of the most important considering your column: "Religion, Drugs Similarly Affect Brain" (Feb. 23, 2007), though America's current political leaders - read, disobedient Christians - deem it the devil weed. Cannabis holds survival in its realm; the very last page of the Bible tells us the leaves of the tree of life are for the healing of the nations. Healing in every sense of the word with the ability to bring world peace and cure disease. Interestingly, while God, The Ecologist, indicates all the plants are good on the very first page of the Bible, cannabis prohibition may be the original sin. If there ever was a plant that greedy war mongers should fear and exterminate, it's the tree of life.

Stan White

Dillon, Colo. resident

[end]

35 CN BC: PUB LTE: Legalize MethThu, 01 Mar 2007
Source:Aldergrove Star (CN BC) Author:Felger, Tim Area:British Columbia Lines:61 Added:03/01/2007

Editor:

Making ingredients illegal won't make crystal meth go away, only more toxic and violent.

There are good reasons to legalize, then regulate and then even tax crystal meth.

Foolishly, our present government policy of drug prohibition is injecting price increases and violence into the black market.

Making it more illegal will only make it more toxic and violent.

I agree crystal meth is poison; the question is how to control it without eroding our freedoms and making the problems worse.

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36 US NJ: PUB LTE: Hamilton Drug Tests Undermine Nurse-PatientWed, 21 Feb 2007
Source:Times, The (Trenton, NJ) Author:Wolski, Ken Area:New Jersey Lines:53 Added:02/21/2007

I read with interest the story about the student drug testing in "Drug test angers family" (Feb. 9). My concern was the nurse's involvement in this school administrator-ordered test.

I was involved with some of the first urine drug testing among in mates in the New Jersey Department of Corrections (NJDOC) when I worked as a nurse in a juvenile facility in the mid-1980s. At that time, nurses were required to collect the urine, sign as witness to the collection, label the containers, complete the "chain-of-evidence" form, store the containers in a locked refrigerator, and send them off for analysis. We nurses protested that these were inappropriate actions since:

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37 US NV: PUB LTE: Illegal-Drug War Will End in DefeatThu, 01 Mar 2007
Source:Nevada Appeal (Carson City, NV) Author:Muse, Kirk Area:Nevada Lines:55 Added:03/01/2007

I'm writing about John DiMambro's column: "Carson City's drug war will be long and deadly" (2-11-07). I'll make another prediction about Carson City's drug war: It will be a complete waste of time, money and effort.

Ninety years ago, all types of recreational drugs were legally available in local pharmacies for pennies per dose.

Ninety years ago, the term "drug-related crime" didn't exist. That's because drugs like pure pharmaceutical-grade Bayer heroin sold for about the same price as Bayer aspirin.

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38 US OH: Edu: USG Votes to Help Fund HempfestThu, 01 Mar 2007
Source:Lantern, The (OH Edu) Author:Dannemiller, Mary Area:Ohio Lines:65 Added:03/01/2007

The Undergraduate Student Government voted Feb. 21 to give $1,000 to Students for Sensible Drug Policy to cover security and safety costs at the student organization's annual Hempfest.

The bill passed by a 13-10 vote, with five abstentions. Before the vote, some senators expressed concern about the group's political nature.

"I was expecting a lot of opposition, and going in I knew it was a matter of framing the issue," said Sen. Nick Marconi, who sponsored the bill.

[continues 265 words]

39US KY: Scribner Students Complete DAREFri, 09 Mar 2007
Source:Courier-Journal, The (Louisville, KY) Author:Kaukas, Dick Area:Kentucky Lines:Excerpt Added:03/11/2007

Ceremony Marks Drug Awareness

As she stood in the bleachers yesterday in the Scribner Middle School gym, sixth-grader Teresa Ross praised the DARE drug-awareness program she recently completed.

"I learned a lot about not smoking and drinking," she said.

Down on the gym floor, Josh Baker, another sixth-grader at the New Albany school, agreed. He said lessons such as "do not smoke, and all that," were easy to remember.

All 260 sixth-graders at Scribner, part of the New Albany-Floyd County school system, took part in a ceremony yesterday to mark their completion of 10 DARE classes.

[continues 369 words]

40 CN BC: New Bylaw Holds Landlords More AccountableWed, 07 Mar 2007
Source:Oliver Chronicle (CN BC) Author:Knelsen, Karen Area:British Columbia Lines:124 Added:03/12/2007

Do you know who your tenants are?

You better -- because if you are a landlord, there's a new bylaw in Oliver that will hold you more accountable for what happens in your home.

"It's a strong message to landlords to keep an eye on their properties," said Oliver mayor Ron Hovanes regarding a new bylaw currently under readings by town council.

The bylaw, called the Controlled Substance Nuisance Bylaw, is expected to be adopted in March, and proposes requirements on controlled substance properties and property owners. According to a report put forth by town staff, the bylaw demands that landlords (or their representatives) inspect their properties once every three months, and make hard copy notes, to be produced on request by bylaw enforcement officers, to prove that there is no illegal or unsafe activity occurring on their land. As well, it states that no property found to be in contravention can be re-occupied until it receives approval from a municipal building inspector.

[continues 720 words]

41 US PA: City Cop BustedSat, 03 Mar 2007
Source:Times-Tribune, The (Scranton PA) Author:Goodenow, Evan Area:Pennsylvania Lines:115 Added:03/03/2007

A Scranton police officer was arrested late Thursday after allegedly dealing drugs while on duty.

Officer Mark Conway, 36, of 1012 Maple St., was in uniform when Lackawanna County detectives found five OxyContin pills and 33 methadone tablets in his car, according to authorities.

He was charged with possession of methadone, possession of OxyContin, unlawful delivery of OxyContin and two counts of using a telephone for a drug transaction, First Assistant District Attorney Eugene M. Talerico Jr. said.

He was arraigned and released on a $25,000 bond.

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42 Australia: Drug Users Target Powerful PainkillerFri, 02 Mar 2007
Source:Age, The (Australia) Author:Nader, Carol Area:Australia Lines:70 Added:03/02/2007

STATE health authorities are concerned that a prescription drug used to relieve severe pain is being obtained fraudulently and misused.

The drug, OxyContin, is an opioid prescribed for people with conditions such as cancer and severe joint pain.

For years its misuse has been a problem in the United States, where it has been dubbed "hillbilly heroin".

The Department of Human Services has issued two alerts to doctors in recent months, urging caution when supplying prescriptions for OxyContin.

An alert issued late last year said that in some cases drug-dependent people feigned pain and presented forged hospital discharge letters citing a diagnosis of cancer or another painful condition. It said some drug-seekers may ask doctors to prescribe high-dose forms, which could be sold for $1 a milligram.

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43 US OR: Weekend Heroin Bust Could Sway Local UsersTue, 06 Mar 2007
Source:Hillsboro Argus, The (OR)          Area:Oregon Lines:62 Added:03/06/2007

Local police will be watching to see if a massive Washington state "black tar" heroin bust will affect the marked increase in possession of the drug in west Washington County.

Cornelius Police Department Cmdr. Ed Jensen says black tar heroin had been on a decline for a long time, but over the last 10 days was seen often enough to unnerve officers.

The increase could be tied to a regional drug ring that was busted by Tacoma, Wash., police Friday, March 2, Jensen said.

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44 Canada: LTE: Stoned By Lack Of EvidenceThu, 01 Feb 2007
Source:Canadian Family Physician (Canada) Author:Shepherd, Robert Area:Canada Lines:43 Added:02/01/2007

In the debate on medical marijuana in the December 2006 issue,1 Dr Ware wrote, "Cannabis has not yet been formally evaluated in clinical trials." His conclusion that "there is solid scientific rationale for therapeutic use of cannabis" is therefore not supported by the information that he provided.

--Robert Shepherd

Victoria, BC by fax

Reference

1. Ware M. Is there a role for marijuana in medical practice? Yes [Debate]. Can Fam Physician 2006:52:1531-3 (Eng), 1535-7 (Fr).

Response

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45 US CA: OPED: Many Tools Needed to Reduce Drug AbuseWed, 28 Feb 2007
Source:Times-Standard (Eureka, CA) Author:Goldsby, Mike Area:California Lines:120 Added:02/28/2007

I have nothing good to say about methamphetamines. Working in drug abuse treatment from 1984 to 2002, I met hundreds of individuals and families that had been nearly destroyed by the drug. Speed, crank, crystal, meth -- no matter what you call it, it is a deadly toxin, harmful to minds and bodies, to families and communities.

Right now, meth is drawing public attention to the problems caused by drugs. This attention is valuable and it serves to underscore the ongoing problems caused by alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, heroin, and prescription drugs.

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46 US IL: Edu: Baer: Drugs Not Huge Problem On CampusFri, 09 Mar 2007
Source:Bradley Scout (IL Edu) Author:Puchner, Abby Area:Illinois Lines:92 Added:03/09/2007

On the evening of Feb. 24, Ricky Jackson, 26, stood inside the Michel Student Center foyer with almost half a pound of marijuana, a hitter pipe and a scale in his backpack.

There was no one else in the building when University Police approached Jackson and found the paraphernalia on his person, but police said the evidence was clear -- Jackson intended to sell the marijuana.

Few drug deals are documented in University Police reports, and University Police chief Dave Baer doesn't view it as a pervasive problem.

[continues 494 words]

47US MI: Friend Charged In Overdose Death Of Girl, 13Tue, 06 Mar 2007
Source:Grand Rapids Press (MI) Author:McClellan, Theresa D. Area:Michigan Lines:Excerpt Added:03/06/2007

HASTINGS -- Nearly a year after a 13-year-old Shelbyville girl died of a drug overdose, authorities have charged a 15-year-old former classmate with giving her the pills that caused her death.

Susan Falvo, 15, is charged with delivery of a controlled substance causing death. She also is accused of possessing methadone, vicodin and marijuana.

Two of those prescription drugs -- methadone and vicodin -- were found in the body of Falvo's friend, Lexy Purdum, when she died in her home May 6.

[continues 474 words]

48US VT: Burlington Man Pleads Not Guilty To Manslaughter ChargeThu, 08 Feb 2007
Source:Burlington Free Press (VT)          Area:Vermont Lines:Excerpt Added:02/08/2007

A Burlington man pleaded not guilty Thursday to two charges, including manslaughter, in connection with a May 2006 drug-overdose death of an acquaintance.

Jesse J. Davis, 35, was ordered jailed on $35,000 bail during his arraignment at Vermont District Court in Burlington. He faces up to 18 years in prison if convicted on charges of manslaughter and delivery of a narcotic drug.

Police say Davis provided a fentanyl patch to Michael Delphia, who later overdosed and died. Delphia ingested part of the patch containing a painkiller and became ill. Davis then drove Delphia home and left him on a couch, where Delphia later was found dead, police said in court papers.

Davis' next court hearing is scheduled for Feb. 28.

[end]

49 US NY: Arrest Ends Probe Into Teen's OverdoseWed, 07 Mar 2007
Source:Newsday (NY) Author:Armario, Christine Area:New York Lines:72 Added:03/07/2007

When Joseph Devine died after ingesting a combination of Xanax, heroin and alcohol, he left behind two devastated parents and five siblings who struggled to comprehend how the quiet, good-humored honor student with no known history of drug abuse could have left them so suddenly.

Michael and Elizabeth Devine traced their 19-year-old son's steps to one evening last May when, while home from his first year of college, he went to a party and was discovered dead the next morning.

[continues 385 words]

50 US CA: PUB LTE: Cancer Patients Receive Relief From MarijuanaWed, 14 Mar 2007
Source:Auburn Journal (CA) Author:Davies, Lanette Area:California Lines:49 Added:03/13/2007

Only here in America can a murderer receive a lower sentence than a sick patient that grows medical marijuana for themselves and other sick patients.

Here in California where we have the Compassionate Use Act, law enforcement and government officials have been requested to take a new look and revamp their thought process and policies.

Patients are not criminals. You cannot look at the age, gender or religion of a person to determine if they are a patient, you cannot look at the appearance of that person to make that determination.

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