There will be no medical-marijuana dispensary in an Old Town Orcutt
building despite approval from Santa Barbara County, the building's
owner said Tuesday.
Neighbors and local business owners grew concerned when they received
a letter late last week stating that the county had approved a
land-use permit for the dispensary on West Clark Avenue.
At the time of the permit approval, Wellness Center Commercial Center
had a lease agreement or approval from Orcutt Trade Center owner Greti
Croft, according to county planning documents.
[continues 413 words]
When It Comes to Treatment, the White House Should Put Its Money
Where Its Mouth Is
In Baltimore last week, new U.S. drug czar Gil Kerlikowske made the
case for expansion of drug courts to treat rather than imprison
addicts and called for drugs to be considered a "public health crisis."
Why, then, is the Obama administration proposing to spend an even
higher percentage of its anti-drug resources on law enforcement than
the administration of George W. Bush?
Nowhere are these issues more resonant than in Baltimore. Felicia
"Snoop" Pearson, a star of HBO's The Wire and a native of the city,
said that her mother stole clothes off of her body for drug money and
locked her in a closet. Darius Harmon, an 18-year-old
learning-disabled boy from Baltimore, was killed in April by the
Black Guerrilla Family gang because he was not good at selling drugs.
Despite recent progress, the Drug Enforcement Administration in March
found that Baltimore still has more drug-related crime than any other
city in the nation.
[continues 585 words]
San Francisco undercover police Officers Scott Biggs and Chris Oshita
work one of the hottest marijuana-growing spots in the Bay Area: the
The foggy, family-friendly Sunset is a haven for pot farming. It turns
out that the Sunset has it all: ocean breezes to blow away the aroma
of ripe buds, lots of rental homes that can be gutted and converted to
indoor farms, and hardworking residents who come home and mind their
And most residents have no idea they are living next to a potentially
combustible growth site until the cops arrive.
[continues 506 words]
RALEIGH - Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison says the Corvette Z06
being used by his deputies to pull over cars on Interstate 40 is a
potent tool for fighting illegal drugs.
"We saw a need for it," Harrison said Wednesday about the
special-model Chevy that goes 198 mph and was seized from a cocaine
dealer. "We're going to get a lot of drugs off the road."
A Wake judge ordered Lawrence Creech Jr., the Corvette's previous
owner, to forfeit it to the Wake Sheriff's Office following his arrest
in December for cocaine possession and maintaining a vehicle for the
keeping of controlled substances, according to court records. The 2007
car has a current retail value of $56,990, according to Kelley Blue
[continues 668 words]
It was strange to learn that James Gierach had not heard that the
Cook County Board voted Tuesday to issue the equivalent of parking
tickets to marijuana smokers.
For 20 years, the Palos Park attorney has been telling people that all
drugs should be decriminalized. He ran for Cook County state's
attorney on the issue in 1992 and for governor two years later.
"No, I had not heard that," Gierach said, when I told him the county
board had voted to give sheriff's police the option of issuing $200
tickets to people in unincorporated areas who were caught with 10
grams or less of marijuana. "But that's good."
[continues 704 words]
There are good reasons to be upset with the state budget that the
Legislature will vote on today. The proposal to reduce the number of
inmates in state prisons to save $1.2 billion is not one of them.
But that's what's bothering Republican lawmakers. Assembly Republican
leader Sam Blakeslee of San Luis Obispo threatened to kill the budget
if it included what he and others mischaracterized as the early
release of 27,000 prisoners. The crisis was averted Wednesday when
legislative leaders agreed to keep the savings in the budget, then
vote separately next month on how to achieve them. But Blakeslee's
threat was added evidence why voters must get rid of the requirement
for a two-thirds majority to pass the state budget. It empowers a
[continues 358 words]
The violent underbelly of Barrie. The Crack Triangle. And lewd
behaviour that has people peeing up against walls, throwing beer cans
and creating a disturbance.
It's more discouraging than ever, said downtown residents who packed
the council chambers Monday night in a neighbhourhood meeting called
to address crime after a woman was brutally beaten and raped last week
on Mary Street.
Called by downtown Coun. Jeff Lehman, the two-plus hour meeting mainly
allowed residents to vent to share their observations and their fears.
[continues 537 words]
Walter Cronkite, once the most trusted man in America and a leading
figure in broadcast journalism's Mount Rushmore, believed the nation's
war on drugs was unwinnable, and he said so on television. A decade
after his years with CBS News, Mr. Cronkite succeeded in raising
public awareness of the war's futility and provoking a Bill O'Reilly
Of course, Mr. Cronkite is famous for having reached the same correct
conclusion about the Vietnam War in 1968. All of his obituaries have
recalled Mr. Cronkite's special report from Vietnam, his
characterization of the war as stalemate and his call for a negotiated
peace. President Lyndon B. Johnson was famously quoted as saying, "If
I've lost Cronkite, I've lost Middle America." Later that year, Mr.
Johnson decided not to seek re-election.
[continues 623 words]
When announcing the approach to his drug policy, President Obama
stated that his administration will put more of an emphasis on drug
treatment and less reliance on the criminal justice systems. That
shift in strategy is a wise one that will yield more cost-effective
results while lowering the number of addicts.
However, President Obama should go further, and look to other
countries that have had success with heroin maintenance clinics, such
as Germany and Switzerland.
Not only have these clinics played a role in reducing drug-related
crime in these countries by double digits, the addicts' recovery cycle
is accelerated. They can work a job and be with their families while
they receive heroin administrated by a doctor. In America, we offer
addicts methadone clinics. Since the majority of addicts prefer heroin
over methadone, they often go back to their drug of choice through
black market resources.
[continues 193 words]