A Department of Corrections proposal to prohibit all people on parole
or probation from obtaining medical marijuana, drinking alcohol or
gambling brought stiff resistance from several groups at a rules
An attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Montana called
the proposed ban on medical marijuana "flawed in nearly every aspect."
It is contrary to current state law, sentencing rules, and runs up
against the Montana Constitution, said Elizabeth Griffing.
"It's almost as if the Department of Corrections is trying to
obliquely regulate medical marijuana," she told a hearings officer.
"This is just an overreaching of your authority and
[continues 307 words]
Stanton Peele ("Drug Use and the Candidates," Dec. 31) writes that
"subtracting the approximately 20 million current drug users from the
110 million plus people who once used, almost 100 million Americans
have left drugs behind."
Mr. Peele's math is as poor as his approach to preventing adolescent
substance abuse. Dismissing educational programs that present
individuals ruined by drugs, he would let our naturally risk-taking
teens be risk-taking teens, just so long as they feel good about
themselves and "develop skills," whatever that means.
[continues 105 words]
Last week we lost one of our most colorful politicians, former Gov.
Lee Sherman Dreyfus. Although many commentators chose to focus on his
red vest, tax refunds and populist style, readers around the globe got
a different picture of a man they had probably never heard of before:
Dreyfus as a champion of gay rights.
According to the Associated Press headline reprinted around the world,
"Former Wisconsin Gov. Lee Sherman Dreyfus dies at 81; signed first
statewide gay rights law." Although local news reports tended to
downplay that historic move, we're grateful to the AP reporter, Scott
Bauer, for his description of the former guv.
[continues 103 words]
The drug war has been waged in a racist manner since its inception.
The Harrison Narcotics Act of 1914 was preceded by a wave of
anti-immigrant sentiment. Opium was identified with Chinese laborers,
marijuana with Mexicans and cocaine with African-Americans. Racial
profiling continues to be the norm, despite similar rates of drug use
for minorities and whites. Support for the drug war would end
overnight if whites were incarcerated for drugs at the same rate as
minorities. The drug war is a cultural inquisition, not a public
[continues 106 words]
To those Marc Emery Supporters. This man has been thumbing his nose at
the law for years and has gone scot free in the past. It seems to me
it's people who are using pot that are supporting his taunting of the
law. I personally feel this piece of crap should go to jail for life.
Herbert Lukings, London
Re: Americans Are Dopes On Pot
It isn't just Canadians that are outraged (Americans Are Dopes On Pot,
Jan. 16, 2008); millions of Americans also do not support extraditing
or caging Marc Emery.
As a North American Christian, it's insulting and offensive to cage
the heroic cannabis (kaneh bosm / marijuana) activist Marc Emery; not
according to just me but according to Christ God Our Father, the
Ecologician, who indicates He created all the seed bearing plants
saying they are all good on the very 1st page of the Bible.
If Canada doesn't want to lose it's sovereignty, protect it by not
allowing the extradition of Emery over such discredited law.
Further, next time elections come around, get rid of conservative
oxymoron, misnomer Christian right politicians, who support and enable
this luciferous persecution.
Stan White, Dillon, Colorado
Last May, when two Santa Rosa men were arrested and accused of pistol
whipping a Ukiah-area woman in her home and then robbed her of marijuana,
Mendocino County experienced its third pot-related home invasion in
just 37 days. In 2007, frightened and frustrated citizens throughout the county
appeared repeatedly before the Board of Supervisors with disturbing
stories and scary examples of what is happening in residential
neighborhoods taken over by illegal large scale marijuana growers.
"We are on the verge of an 1851 San Francisco post-gold rush," said
Dennis Smart, a 30-plus-year resident of a rural area south of Ukiah,
at the Dec. 11 Board of Supervisors' meeting. "Vigilante committees
are forming. You folks sit on a powder keg. You have unleashed an ugly
parasite on this county that we can't quite get a handle on anymore.
[continues 2086 words]
Early this week, British Columbia MARIJUANA Party leader, Cannabis Culture
magazine editor and pot seed salesman Marc Emery accepted a plea bargain
with American authorities to serve five years, mostly in Canadian jail,
with no hope of early release. Marc Emery will serve a longer sentence than
many violent crime offenders, but the alternative would be up to 20 years
in American prisons, for not only him but also two of his closest friends
(or "lieutenants," as one paper put it).
[continues 569 words]
So-called anonymous surveys that rely on the self-reporting of illegal
drugs use are virtually worthless in this age of zero tolerance.
Teenagers know that honesty could result in drug-sniffing dogs in
schools, locker searches and mass arrests.
Most teenagers outgrow their youthful indiscretions involving
An arrest and criminal record, on the other hand, can be
After admitting to smoking pot - but not inhaling - former President
Bill Clinton opened himself up to "soft on drugs" criticism. And
thousands of Americans have paid the price in the form of shattered
[continues 94 words]
The provision of stable safe housing, social supports, coun-seling, and a
regular family physician to substance-addicted people on Vancouver's
Downtown Eastside is clearly one of the most exciting and potentially
efficacious initiatives to be proposed in recent Vancouver medical care and
What is less clear is the rationale for tying these interventions to
pharmacological substitution-the core of the CAST (Chronic Addiction
Substitution Treatment Trials) initiative.
Even more troubling to us as physicians is the statement on the CAST web
site that "substitution therapy is a means of reducing the users' impact on
public order and public health until durable solutions are reached." This
is not health care, nor is it likely that it represents the goal of
[continues 273 words]
The most effective and best-studied treatment available in addiction
medicine is methadone maintenance treatment (MMT), which leads to a range
of benefits for individuals with opioid dependence and society at large.
Unfortunately, not all those with opioid dependence benefit from MMT and
there is no similar medication available for the treatment of stimulant
dependence (particularly crack cocaine or crystal methamphetamine).
The Chronic Addiction Substi-tution Treatment Trials (CAST) are planned as
a series of five scientifically rigorous, ethically sound clinical research
studies to be conducted in Vancouver to evaluate novel pharmacological
strategies for opioid and stimulant dependence.
[continues 394 words]
PHILADELPHIA -- It was an expression of regret that didn't seem to
register with the knot of journalists who came to cover the event --
an apology that deserves more than fleeting attention.
In a keynote address last week at a University of Pennsylvania
symposium commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Kerner Commission
report on the causes of racial disturbances in the 1960s, Bill Clinton
did what many politicians find hard to do: admit he made a big mistake.
"I regret more than I can say that we didn't do more on it," he said
about his administration's failure to end the disparate sentencing for
people convicted of crack and powder cocaine offenses. "I'm prepared
to spend a significant portion of whatever life I've got left on the
earth trying to fix this because I think it's a cancer," the former
president said of the devastating impact this sentencing imbalance has
had on blacks.
[continues 512 words]
The bill to limit medical marijuana in the Oregon workplace died --
smothered by opposition from businesses. House Bill 3635 was a bad
bill, but the problem the bill tried to address hasn't gone away.
Under Oregon's 1998 medical marijuana law, employers don't have to let
patients smoke pot on the job. The law isn't clear, though, about what
employers may do about an employee who comes to work impaired.
A 2006 Oregon Supreme Court decision didn't clear the air. In that
case, a millwright had muscle spasms in his legs that made it hard to
sleep. He used prescription medication and then switched to medical
marijuana. He said it worked better.
[continues 314 words]
At issue: Approval of a state petition to allow medical marijuana
Our view: The issue will go to state voters in November, but action is
wasted unless federal officials change their guidelines.
Should marijuana be legalized in Michigan for medical purposes? Voters
most likely will field that question in November and, despite sympathy
for the ill, they should just say no.
Michigan's Board of State Canvassers approved petitions Monday that
would allow patients to grow and use small amounts of marijuana for
personal use. Patients would need a doctor's approval, and would also
need to obtain a registry card to show law enforcement officials.
Despite those restrictions, about 496,000 residents signed petitions
in support. Only 304,101 valid signatures were needed, so support may
indeed be as high as the 70 to 80 percent approval claimed by some
[continues 459 words]
I totally agree with Bob Wood's Jan. 19th letter regarding the drug
I know what he was talking about, because I am a victim of one of
those terrorist raids.
Heavily-armed ninja-clad thieves broke into my home and robbed me.
They claimed that an anonymous source told them that I had marijuana
in my home. They went through my house as if they were at an estate
sale. They stole anything they wanted to steal. They took my wallet
right out of my pocket and stole all of my cash, and I had just cashed
my disability check. They stole my 20 ga. shotgun that I bought 20
years ago and have not used in 15 years.
[continues 312 words]
SPRINGFIELD -- The hazy path to legalizing medical marijuana in
Illinois cleared a little Wednesday when a committee on public health
sent the legislation to the Senate floor on a 6-4 vote.
The measure, sponsored by state Sen. John Cullerton, D-Chicago, would
allow marijuana card holders to receive prescriptions for medical
marijuana and the plant it grows on, thus avoiding any illegal means
of obtaining the drug.
"Our first obligation should be ensuring that our laws don't prevent
suffering patients from obtaining needed medicine -- or make them
criminals if they do," Cullerton said. "This is about the patients,
it's not about somebody abusing this law to illegally obtain marijuana."
[continues 332 words]
OU Associate Director of Health Promotion Terry Koons' assertion that
"smoking marijuana is more physically harmful than smoking cigarettes"
is discredited ("Depending on Whom You Ask, Pot's Harmless or
Hazardous," The NEWS, Feb. 21) since nobody has died due to cannabis
in over 5,000 years of documented use compared to over 1,000 Americans
who die daily due to cigarette use. When citizens actually ask
knowledgeable and honest people, we find out that cannabis is a
relatively safe God-given plant that should be re-legalized for
So, why doesn't Terry Koons speak the truth about marijuana's
Congress has funded our law enforcement officers well, and they have
done an excellent job. According to a recent report, 1 in every 100
Americans is in jail or prison. Because our jails and prisons are
packed, states have come up with alternatives such as community
corrections programs and drug courts in order to divert nonviolent
drug offenders away from the prison system to make room for the
Treatment for nonviolent drug offenders is more cost-effective but,
due to Congress not wanting to look soft on crime, these programs are
underfunded. We need to let members of Congress know they won't be
condemned for taking a more compassionate and cost-effective approach
to our drug-abuse problem. They need to reform the laws concerning
mere drug possession and free up more money for education, prevention
and treatment. This could lead to more money to treat all the people
with a drug-abuse problem, not just the ones who get caught.
[continues 57 words]
Letters Funding police anti-drug work not wise policy
In response to "Anti-drug effort must be funded" (March 12), I
In January, Sgt. Jim Henderson, vice president of the Alabama
Narcotics Officers Association, began protesting the federal
government cuts to his budget on the editorial pages of many Alabama
newspapers. He claimed the cuts would make drug task forces
When have they ever been effective? Every year the number of drug
arrests and the amount of drugs seized rises. If the tactics employed
by Sgt. Henderson and other drug warriors were working, then shouldn't
those numbers be going down?
[continues 164 words]
Since January, Sgt. Jim Henderson, vice president of
the Alabama Narcotics Officers Association, has protested the federal
government cuts to his budget on the editorial pages of many Alabama
newspapers. He claimed the cuts would make drug task forces
ineffective. When have they ever been effective? Every year the number
of drug arrests and the amount of drugs seized rises.
If the tactics employed by Henderson and other drug warriors were
working, then shouldn't those numbers be going down? Should they be
rewarded for repeated failure with more cash? Only in government does
something as asinine as rewarding failure happen. In the private
sector, they would be unemployed.
[continues 99 words]
Bill Wolcott uses one auto accident in which the driver may have been
under the influence of marijuana as "proof" that marijuana use is not
a victimless crime. ("Marijuana use seen as a minor character flaw":
3/16) Does he think we should reinstate Prohibition because a small
percentage of alcohol consumers foolishly drink and drive? In fact,
Prohibition actually increased the rate of needless death and crime
associated with alcohol by pushing the entire liquor market into the
[continues 131 words]
Project to Prevent Spread of Disease Legal Only in Bexar, Yet
SAN ANTONIO -- Bill Day uses his shoe to brush aside a couple of used
needles littering the ground near a concrete arroyo in a seedy west
The 73-year-old lay chaplain said he used to work with drug addicts at
this spot all the time. He'd park the white minivan paid for in part
by St. Mark's Episcopal Church and throw open the trunk.
[continues 870 words]
Regarding the Paul Campos March 10 column: Mandatory minimum prison
sentences have done little other than turn the land of the free into
the world's biggest jailer. If harsh penalties deterred drug use, the
goal of a "drug-free" America would have been achieved decades ago.
Instead of adding to the highest incarceration rate in the world, we
should be funding drug treatment. The drug war is a cure worse than
the disease. Drug prohibition finances organized crime at home and
terrorism abroad, which is then used to justify increased drug war
[continues 80 words]
As marijuana cultivation blossoms in Del Norte County, the federal
government is nearly doubling its funding for local law enforcement to
combat the growth.
Last year nearly 26,000 plants were pulled from public lands
throughout the county and more than 1,200 plants were seized from
indoor growing operations. That represented more than a 600 percent
increase from 2006 when approximately 4,000 plants were taken from
public lands and 465 from indoor grows.
Both the Drug Enforcement Agency and the U.S. Forest Service are
giving money to the Del Norte County Sheriff's Office to continue its
fight against the illicit plant, kicking in a combined $42,000 to the
department. This is an increase of $20,000 from last year.
[continues 430 words]
"We investigate marijuana as a drug. It's not a medicine. If they have
a medical marijuana card, then they can explain it to the judge."
This comment by Detective Sgt. Steve Morris in Nicholas Grube's March
13 story, "Funds to fight pot crops doubled," seems to advance the
notion that those who remain within growing guidelines and who have
legitimate medical recommendations (which are required by the law), or
even the additional cards provided by the county health departments
(which are not required by the law) will be considered criminals by
[continues 126 words]
I am in the ocean, doing nothing, just bobbing.
I am facing a golden-sugar beach, a low pink hotel, a thatched palapa
baking in the heat. To my left, a long crescent stretch of bay, a
cradling arm around a basket of blue. To my right, a stone jetty.
Beyond it, a port full of oceangoing tankers and the cliff-hugging
city of Manzanillo. Behind me, the limitless Pacific. All around,
pelicans loitering in the swells, which lift and gently drop me, my
arms out, toes brushing velvet sand.
[continues 2938 words]
An international forum to discuss United Nations drug policy, held in
Vancouver, BC Canada on Feb. 4 and 5, aired sharp criticism of the
current global Drug War.
The second of two "Beyond 2008: North America Regional Consultations"
took place to provide the UN drug control bodies, the Commission on
Narcotic Drugs (CND) and the UN Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC),
with public input on the effectiveness of international drug
strategies over the last decade.
Nearly 100 delegates representing non-governmental organizations
(NGOs) from the US and Canada and involved in the health, treatment,
prevention, criminal justice, human rights, alternative development,
prohibitionist and consumer sectors assembled for the two-day forum
at the Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue.
[continues 731 words]
I am highly irritated with the Tarika Wilson story. I do have
sympathy for her family and am deeply sorry that it took a death of a
human being to bring attention to the terrible drug problem. But the
fact that we want to blame the police officer for so-called
"murdering" her is beyond upsetting to me.
This man has served for the Lima community for 30 years, and that
should be accounted for. If this man is put in jail, I fear it will
make other officers think twice before firing and could possibly cost
their lives and lives of others.
[continues 65 words]
Rita Lowenthal raised her family in a nice Jewish home, lived in a
nice Jewish neighborhood and belonged to a nice Jewish temple. So how
did her son become a heroin addict at age 13?
The need for an answer to that question, as well as a desire for
closure, is what inspired Lowenthal to pen "One-Way Ticket: Our Son's
Addiction to Heroin" (Beaufort Books, $14), a memoir that compiles
her experiences and correspondence with her son and his journal
entries while in and out of San Quentin State Prison.
[continues 895 words]
The advertising flier left no doubt about its pitch: a giant marijuana
leaf with a phone number that ended GOT KUSH. A friend's teenage
daughter brought it home from last weekend's Earth Day celebration on
the Santa Monica Pier.
What else would I expect from a concert held on 4/20 -- a shorthand
reference to smoking pot -- that featured reggae artist Ziggy Marley,
son of Bob?
"Have you or anyone else experienced an illness [for] which you
believe marijuana could provide relief?" the flier read. "If you don't
qualify for a recommendation, your visit is free."
[continues 844 words]
Pain Sufferers Say It Has Medicinal Qualities
A few hundred people gathered at Fountain Square on Sunday for a rally
to support legalizing marijuana - a scene that played out in many U.S.
cities this weekend.
The crowd listened to music and speeches about why the drug should be
legalized before marching to the federal building a couple of blocks
Young and old sported hemp jewelry and shirts with the plant - all for
a drug they said should be available to "those who need it and those
who want it."
[continues 473 words]
Mexican president Felipe Calderon has been brave enough to try to
wrestle back control of his country from the vicious drug cartels that
have been terrorizing border areas and, increasingly, major Mexican
cities for years. Some of Calderon's foot soldiers - he has put about
30,000 armed troops into the field - have been brave enough to risk
their lives when it would be far easier for them to allow themselves
to be corrupted by the cartels.
The price for this courage has been high and is getting higher - more
than 100 people were killed as a result of drug-related violence last
week in Mexico, including about 20 police officers. One of the dead
was Edgar Millan Gomez, the chief of the Mexican federal preventive
police. Thousands of ordinary Mexican citizens marched through the
streets of Juarez (just across the Texas border) on Sunday to protest
the incredible violence that has crippled their nation and paralyzed
their own lives.
[continues 178 words]
Tallahassee's Mayor And an ACLU Leader Want the Death of an Informant
TALLAHASSEE - The mayor of Tallahassee and the Florida head of the
American Civil Liberties Union called for independent investigations
Monday after accusations that a 23-year-old woman should not have been
used as a police informant on a dangerous drug bust.
Rachel Hoffman's body was found Friday in rural Taylor County, two
days after she went missing. Hoffman, who was facing several felony
charges, was working with narcotics officers and posing as a buyer.
[continues 519 words]
The 18th-century poet Alexander Pope was a keen student of human
nature, and often delivered bits of timeless wisdom in
memory-friendly rhyming couplets.
One that opinion writers in particular should take to heart from his
Essay on Criticism is: "A little learning is a dangerous thing; drink
deep, or taste not the Pierian spring: there shallow draughts
intoxicate the brain, and drinking largely sobers us again."
The words "intoxicate the brain" bring to mind the Post's 2007
editorial on marijuana, enunciated in response to evidence that
Canada's marijuana consumption was the highest in the industrialized
world: "What is really remarkable about Canada's status as a cannabis
capital is that if you were to set out looking for reasons to worry
about it . you would have an awfully hard time finding them.
Legalizing pot makes sense."
[continues 614 words]
Science, Not Politics, Should Drive California's Drug Policy
With all of the talk about medical marijuana dispensaries in
California, it is hard to separate truth and science from ideology and
In recent years, marijuana activists in the state have donned white
coats and exclaimed a newfound concern for the seriously ill, while
legislators and judges have been left to wrestle with the consequences
of a poorly written referendum, Prop. 215. Known as the Compassionate
Use Act of 1996, it allowed patients with a valid doctor's
recommendation to possess and cultivate marijuana for personal medical
[continues 564 words]
Canada's Health Minister urgently needs an education in harm
reduction. Announcing his intention to shut down Insite, the
supervised injection facility serving drug addicts in Vancouver's
Downtown Eastside, Tony Clement told the House of Commons health
committee that "supervised injection is not medicine; it does not
heal the person addicted to drugs." Mr. Clement got one thing right:
Supervised injection does not heal addiction. It is, however,
completely in line with accepted medical practice.
Consider other areas of medicine. Prescribing inhalant medication to
open airways and reduce lung inflammation in smokers also does not
"heal" nicotine addiction: It only saves lives and improves quality
of life. Similarly, quadruple bypass surgery in overstressed type-A
business executives does not heal workaholism; insulin does not cure
people whose eating patterns and sedentary habits have triggered
diabetes, and intestinal bypass surgery in relief of morbid obesity
does not cure food addiction. But all of these medical interventions
are harm-reduction measures.
[continues 436 words]
I was surprised to read Gabor Mate's article To Help, Or At Least Do
No Harm (June 4). The examples he cites - providing inhalant
medications to smokers with lung inflammation or bypass surgery to
cardiac patients - are good examples of helpful treatments. More
important, these actions cause no harm. But injecting heroin, cocaine
or methamphetamine into a human's body does cause harm. We know the
injection itself causes harm, and we know the drugs cause harm -
assuming anyone knows what is actually contained within the untested,
unregulated brew that is being injected. Inhalant medications and
bypass surgery are not fair analogies to injection drug use. A more
apt analogy of what Insite, Vancouver's safe-injection facility, does
would be a doctor holding a cigarette to make sure a smoker doesn't
burn his lips, or watching a woman with cardiac problems eat fatty
French fries to ensure she swallows them properly.
[continues 78 words]
In response to Health Minister Tony Clement's response (Do No Harm,
Right? - letter, June 5) to Gabor Mate's column (To Help, Or At Least
Do Harm - June 4) in which he questioned Dr. Mate's choice of
analogies for Insite's functions, I would like to draw the minister's
attention to the finding by Mr. Justice Ian Pitfield of the B.C.
Supreme Court. The judge came to the "incontrovertible conclusion"
that "the risk of morbidity and mortality associated with addiction
and injection can be ameliorated by injection in the presence of
qualified health professionals." I see nothing in that statement or
the published literature that would support a contention that
supporting Insite, Vancouver's safe-injection facility, is either
hypocritical or advocating for the promotion of harm.
Hailey voters may not be able to skirt marijuana laws, but they can
voice their opposition to them. If health outcomes determined drug
laws instead of cultural norms, marijuana would be legal. Unlike
alcohol, marijuana has never been shown to cause an overdose death,
nor does it share the addictive properties of tobacco. Marijuana can
be harmful if abused, but jail cells are inappropriate as health
interventions and ineffective as deterrents.
The first marijuana laws were enacted in response to Mexican
immigration during the early 1900s, despite opposition from the
American Medical Association. Dire warnings that marijuana inspires
homicidal rages have been counterproductive at best. White Americans
did not even begin to smoke pot until a soon-to-be entrenched
government bureaucracy began funding reefer madness propaganda.
[continues 56 words]
AUSTIN -- As lawmakers last week approved sending millions to help
Mexico with its war against narco-traffickers, experts said the
government is doing little to address the root cause of that violence
and reduce drug use in the U.S.
"Throwing money into the drug interdiction processes is tantamount to
saying you can't prevent drugs coming into this country," said Larry
Birns, director of the Washington-based Council on Hemispheric Affairs.
The U.S. House on Tuesday approved the Bush administration's Merida
Initiative, authorizing $1.6 billion in aid to Mexico over the next
[continues 826 words]
With the introduction of legislation by Assembly
Health Committee Chairman Richard Gottfried, New York state is looking
to join California, Oregon, Washington and a handful of other states
that allow the use of marijuana by medical prescription.
Two local men are among a group of patients and advocates who lobbied
the Senate with Gottfried on Tuesday to seek approval of Gottfried's
bill. They and others argue that marijuana can alleviate some pain,
nausea, anxiety and a host of other symptoms better than any
conventional medicine available, and many doctors have echoed these
[continues 105 words]
Re: "Congress must help Mexico fight gangs," (Our Turn, Saturday):
Mexico's drug war has escalated to the bloodbaths of violence during
alcohol prohibition. Our current prohibition creates the black market
funding the cartel terrorists. Official lawlessness rules once again!
The tool we need to fight drug abuse is compassion. Treat nonviolent
abusers as patients, not criminals.
The cumulative effect of current policy is becoming obvious. While we
police individual recreational and medicinal use of drugs, murderers
and violent sexual predators roam free.
Repeal Prohibition! Restore justice in America. In the world,
construct science-based drug policies about saving and rehabilitating
instead of ruining lives. Get tough on violent crime! Warriors can get
their adrenaline rush increasing public safety, chasing killers and
other violent predators.
Mike Jones' June 7 op-ed ('Another example of addiction to the war on
drugs') was right on target. Drugs did not spawn Mexico's organized
crime net-works. Just like alcohol prohi-bition gave rise to Al
Capone, drug prohibition created the violent drug-trafficking
orga-nizations blamed for all the killing in Mexico.
With alcohol prohibition repealed in the U.S., liquor bootleggers no
longer gun each other down in drive-by shootings. It's worth noting
that Mexico's recent upsurge in violence began after an anti-drug
crackdown created a power vacuum among com-peting cartels. From a
political perspective, Mexican President Felipe Calderon stands to
ben-efit from the violence.
[continues 117 words]
We at The Cullman Times bet a lot of our readers were surprised to
learn how some young people in Cullman County are using a
hallucinogenic drug, called salvia divinorum, to alter their minds in
a fashion somewhat similar to LSD. We suspect you were also surprised
to learn that salvia is perfectly legal to buy, sell and use in Alabama.
We were definitely shocked.
Here in Cullman County, a place where adults can't legally buy a glass
of wine with their dinner, it's perfectly legal to sell a hallucinogen
to a 15-year-old. Granted, the only local store we know that sells
salvia requires the buyer to be at least 19, but that's not the law.
It's merely by choice, a decision that we think is made more for
public relations reasons than any sense of ethics on the part of the
[continues 303 words]
San Francisco juvenile probation officials - citing the city's
immigrant sanctuary status - are protecting Honduran youths caught
dealing crack cocaine from possible federal deportation and have given
some offenders a city-paid flight home with carte blanche to return.
The city's practices recently prompted a federal criminal
investigation into whether San Francisco has been systematically
circumventing U.S. immigration law, according to officials with
knowledge of the matter.
City officials say they are trying to balance their obligations under
federal and state law with local court orders and San Francisco's
policies aimed at protecting the rights of the young immigrants, who
they say are often victims of exploitation.
[continues 1409 words]
After 8 Years and Billions Spent, Cocaine Production in South America
It was probably unintentional, but "The Incredible Hulk" is much more
than a summer afternoon's escape; it's clearly a satire, a perfect
depiction of Washington's boneheaded belief that firepower can resolve
any problem. Although the creature is obviously bulletproof, soldiers
shoot him anyway. They get bigger guns, then tanks. He survives. They
get cannons. They shoot and shoot. The Hulk sulks for a bit and then
[continues 365 words]
To The Editor:
Regarding Isabella Jancourtz's thoughtful May 22 guest column
("Ending the losing 'War on Drugs'), there is a middle ground between
drug prohibition and blanket legalization.
Switzerland's heroin maintenance program has been shown to reduce
disease, death and crime among chronic users. Providing addicts with
standardized doses in a clinical setting eliminates many of the
problems associated with heroin use.
Heroin maintenance pilot projects are under way in Canada, Germany,
Spain and the Netherlands. If expanded, prescription heroin
maintenance would deprive organized crime of a core client base. This
would render illegal heroin trafficking unprofitable and spare future
[continues 130 words]
Adopting Narcan Plan Feared
WORCESTER-- A $300,000, three-year state grant awarded to the city
late last month to reduce overdoses from heroin and other opiates has
some neighborhood public safety advocates on guard for what they say
is a creeping shift toward coddling drug addicts.
The Main South Alliance for Public Safety's William T. Breault and
District 4 City Councilor Barbara G. Haller sent a two-page letter
this week to a long list of local, state and federal officials
decrying the "harm reduction" policies of state and local public
[continues 395 words]
In response to your editorial of June 7, "Medical marijuana makes
The last international NYU Medical conference on Marijuana and
Medicine (Humana Press), showed that the active psychotropic
pharmacological agent in marijuana, Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, did
provide properties for possible medical use.
The use of THC has been narrowed to an appetite stimulant for AIDS
patients and an anti-emetic in cancer chemotherapy. As an appetite
stimulant for AIDS patients, it is not effective since they have an
infection with a protein diathesis.
[continues 250 words]
There hasn't yet been a tin or copper war, but there once was a
nitrate war, and in the past decade Bolivia has seen both a water war
and a gas war-the latest struggles over the nation's only real riches,
the lucrative resources granted by God and geology.
In this country nearly twice the size of France, where Amazonian
jungles butt against 12,000-foot plateaus, the winners have always
come from elsewhere.
The Inca royalty of Cuzco (in modern-day Peru) took power from the
local Aymara; the Spanish took gold and silver; the British took tin;
recently, multinationals Bechtel and Suez tried to privatize the water
supplies of Cochabamba and El Alto, while other foreign companies
fought for control of Bolivia's prodigious supply of natural gas;
cartels continue to take the coca and its profits.
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