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1US FL: Editorial: Bondi Takes Initiative On Dangerous DrugsSat, 29 Jan 2011
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL)          Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:01/29/2011

It is encouraging to see new Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi quickly act to curtail the use of dangerous drugs, especially since Gov. Rick Scott and state lawmakers seem less than resolute.

Scott immediately eliminated the Office of Drug Control, which had made a priority of fighting the "pill mills" that proliferate in Florida and prescribe pain killers wantonly. State officials say seven people a day die due to the inappropriate use of prescription drugs.

Scott said a separate office wasn't needed to handle the task, and he may be right. But he has done nothing to replace the office that coordinated the anti-drug effort among state agencies and had been a leader in highlighting the threat of pill mills.

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2US FL: Editorial: Scott's Prison BreakWed, 26 Jan 2011
Source:Pensacola News Journal (FL)          Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:01/28/2011

It's way too soon to know if Gov. Rick Scott really understands that he is now a politician who needs legislative allies, or still thinks he's a CEO who can issue orders to get things done.

So the fact he thinks he can cut 40 percent from the state prison budget when key legislators think that's a pipe dream -- without simply releasing thousands of prisoners -- might be one of the reality checks headed his way.

But Scott might have hit an administrative home run with his selection of former Indiana prison system chief Edwin Buss to run Florida's prisons.

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3 US FL: PUB LTE: Regulation Key To Legalizing MarijuanaTue, 18 Jan 2011
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) Author:Sharpe, Robert Area:Florida Lines:37 Added:01/18/2011

Regarding Nicole Brochu's Jan. 11 column: There is a big difference between condoning marijuana use and protecting children from drugs. Decriminalization acknowledges the social reality of marijuana and frees users from the stigma of life-shattering criminal records. What's really needed is a regulated market with age controls. Drug dealers don't ID for age.

Separating the hard and soft drug markets is critical. As long as organized crime controls marijuana distribution, consumers will continue to come into contact with sellers of hard drugs like cocaine and heroin. This "gateway" is a direct result of marijuana prohibition.

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4 US FL: Bath Salts Misused As 'Fake Cocaine' Send Florida Users to HospitalsSun, 16 Jan 2011
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) Author:Campbell, Alexia Area:Florida Lines:131 Added:01/16/2011

The half-gram bottle of bath salts promises an "invigorating" and "energizing" experience.

But to local and federal authorities, it's another dangerous product misused as fake cocaine that's sending youths to emergency rooms and mental hospitals in Florida and across the country.

As federal officials prepare to ban synthetic marijuana, specialty shops and convenience stores across Florida have started stocking up on bottles of bath salts. Louisiana and Florida authorities have linked these bath salts to at least two suicides in Louisiana, 21 calls to Florida poison control centers and dozens of hospital visits in Central and South Florida in the past year.

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5 US FL: Column: Bid to Legalise Marijuana All Smoke and MirrorsFri, 14 Jan 2011
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) Author:Brochu, Nicole Area:Florida Lines:117 Added:01/15/2011

It's difficult to raise the topic of marijuana usage in America today without somehow touching off intense debate over whether this relatively mild, but still harmful drug should be decriminalized, even fully legalized. That's how much the pro-pot crowd has hijacked the national conversation over the nation's ongoing struggle with drug use.

Exhibit A: an opinion piece posted in this space earlier this week by a drug treatment psychologist bemoaning a national spike in teen pot smoking and attributing it largely to society's growing tolerance of marijuana use.

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6 US FL: PUB LTE: Treat Substance AbuseSat, 15 Jan 2011
Source:Ledger, The (Lakeland, FL) Author:Reed, Carl Area:Florida Lines:49 Added:01/15/2011

The state has a budget deficit. One area where large savings can be found is in providing effective community treatment rather than incarceration. Florida has more than 100,000 in 60 prisons and plans to build 10 more. There are thousands more in county jails.

The Florida Substance Abuse and Mental Health Corp. reports 66 percent of the inmates have substance-abuse problems and many are mentally ill. Few receive badly needed treatment. A criminal record is difficult to overcome.

Florida ranks 16th in the nation in incarceration and 48th in mental health treatment per capita funding.

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7 US FL: Column: Ho-Hum Attitude Toward Pot Has More Teens Lighting UpTue, 11 Jan 2011
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) Author:Brochu, Nicole Area:Florida Lines:87 Added:01/11/2011

Given the amped up push to legalize pot, it was no surprise to many of us that a recent study shows marijuana use has spiked among teenagers. But it is interesting to hear the perspective from an expert in drug addiction as to why more and more teens are lighting up a joint, and why this may be a trend that continues to climb. So give Dr. Kaufman's viewpoint a read and tell me what you think at nbrochu@sun-sentinel.com. -- Nicole Brochu

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8 US FL: South Florida Man Smokes Marijuana At Taxpayers' ExpenseTue, 11 Jan 2011
Source:Miami Herald (FL) Author:Tasker, Fred Area:Florida Lines:195 Added:01/11/2011

For Three Decades, a Federal Agency Has Supplied Irvin Rosenfeld With Marijuana to Control a Rare Disease. He Tells About It in a New Book.

On a recent chilly morning, Fort Lauderdale stockbroker Irvin Rosenfeld interrupted his client calls for a quick marijuana cigarette in the company parking lot. Then he went back to work.

The cigarette - perfectly legal for him - was one of about 120,000 the federal government has provided to him at taxpayer expense for the past 29 years. He's one of only four people who remain in a now-closed "compassionate" drug program that at its peak provided 13 patients across the country with daily doses of pot to help manage medical conditions.

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9 US FL: Fight Against Drug Abuse Will Continue Without State OfficeSun, 02 Jan 2011
Source:News Herald (Panama City, FL) Author:Olwell, Chris Area:Florida Lines:55 Added:01/02/2011

PANAMA CITY -- With or without a statewide Office of Drug Control, local advocates will continue their work to prevent substance abuse.

Gov.-elect Rick Scott announced recently he would close the Florida Office of Drug Control, which prompted a critical response from the Drug Free America Foundation.

"Without this office, Florida will most assuredly face the prospect of increased substance abuse, treatment costs, medical costs, crime and incarceration," Executive Director Calvina Fay said in a news release.

Locally though, the closure won't have a profound impact, said Tunnie Miller, vice president of the Florida Association of DUI Programs and CEO of Chemical Addictions Recovery Effort (CARE) in Bay County.

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10 US FL: LTE: Mayfair Once Was A Great Place To LiveThu, 30 Dec 2010
Source:Pensacola News Journal (FL) Author:Wallo, Marie D. Area:Florida Lines:40 Added:01/01/2011

The letter "Difficult seeing Mayfair decline" (Dec. 10) mentioned what a nice development the Mayfair subdivision was when the writer came here more than 40 years ago. Ditto.

Mayfair was a home for many retired Navy officers and working people. You could ride a bike without being mugged. You did not need a Doberman for protection, or to lock your doors the minute it turned dark. We were proud of our homes with manicured yards and flowers. It was an enjoyable place to live.

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11 US FL: Editorial: Smoking's Harm: Tamp Out Teen Marijuana UseWed, 29 Dec 2010
Source:Ledger, The (Lakeland, FL)          Area:Florida Lines:66 Added:01/01/2011

Two recent reports on smoking describe two very different trends. One report is national, the other from California.

When it comes to tobacco, a California Health and Human Services Agency survey released Dec. 20 found that more and more California residents are kicking the habit. The rate of decline is more than double the national average, and California's incidence of lung cancer has fallen three times as fast as the national average. Let us hope that California's reputation as a harbinger holds true in this case.

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12 US FL: Editorial: Addiction To BureaucracyWed, 29 Dec 2010
Source:News Herald (Panama City, FL)          Area:Florida Lines:78 Added:12/31/2010

Gov.-elect Rick Scott has trimmed a cuticle on the body of Florida's state government. But judging by the reaction it has received, you would think he had hacked off an arm.

Before Christmas, Scott announced he would abolish the Office of Drug Control and fold its duties into the departments of Health and Law Enforcement. The loss to Florida: four staffers and $500,000.

Given the fact that the state is facing a budget shortfall of nearly $3 billion in 2011, the savings are minuscule. But critics say the impact on drug abuse will be enormously negative.

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13 US FL: Bill Would Criminalize the Sale of Fake Pot in FloridaMon, 27 Dec 2010
Source:Florida Times-Union (FL) Author:Dixon, Matt Area:Florida Lines:74 Added:12/28/2010

State representatives file bills to ban sales of the risky get-high product.

Identical bills filed by two Jacksonville-area lawmakers would make the sale of synthetic marijuana illegal in Florida.

The product is marketed as incense, and many packets are labeled as not for human consumption, but its growing popularity as a way to get high has caught the attention of lawmakers across the country. It's banned in more than a dozen states.

"A friend of mine told me her daughter got into it," said state Sen. Stephen Wise, R-Jacksonville. "She said it felt like her heart was going to jump out of her chest."

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14US FL: Column: Woman Finds The Path To Beat DrugsSun, 26 Dec 2010
Source:Pensacola News Journal (FL) Author:OBrien, Mark Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:12/26/2010

Kimberly Madison is poised and confident, well-dressed, with sunglasses perched atop her thick, dark hair.

"She glows," says a friend, Mary Petrella.

It's a big jump from Madison's dull-eyed photo of six years ago, when she was a drug addict whose one-woman crime spree meant prison stints in Florida and Alabama.

"It's like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," says Madison, 47. "I do look better now than I did at the end of my 'using' years."

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15 US FL: Editorial: Marijuana: Worse Than TobaccoTue, 21 Dec 2010
Source:Florida Times-Union (FL)          Area:Florida Lines:75 Added:12/22/2010

Cigarettes are a natural nemesis for parents of teenagers. But perhaps parents should be more worried about marijuana.

A recent annual report by the National Institute on Drug Abuse at the University of Michigan says pot smoking went up for 2010 over the previous year in all three grades surveyed: eighth, 10th and 12th.

And then there's this: More high school seniors smoked marijuana (21.4 percent) during the last 30 days than smoked cigarettes (19.2 percent).

The institute says marijuana affects learning, judgment and motor skills at a time when young brains are still developing and are most at risk.

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16US FL: Fake Pot, Real HighSat, 18 Dec 2010
Source:Daytona Beach News-Journal (FL) Author:Gant, Andrew Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:12/19/2010

Ban Targets 'Synthetic Marijuana'

DAYTONA BEACH -- Rob Smith reached to the floor behind his store's front counter, pulled a thin, green packet from its box and dealt it like a playing card on the glass.

"Anyone from bikers to lawyers to doctors," he said. "You'd be surprised if you sat here for one day. I've had 67-year-old people coming in here for this stuff. I've had people on chemo."

The "stuff" in the packet is Lux Stimulus, the newest brand of herbal incense available at Pumpernickel Pops, a beachside smoke shop on International Speedway Boulevard open since 1978. Smith, the new owner of the store, keeps each packet stored out of sight, where a customer has to specifically ask for one.

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17 US FL: PUB LTE: 'Fact Based' Discussions Have Been UselessSat, 18 Dec 2010
Source:Gainesville Sun, The (FL) Author:Chase, John Area:Florida Lines:30 Added:12/19/2010

Dr. Dixon explains the need for "a fact-based public discussion of the problem free of the hysteria and morality play..." But fact-based discussions, so far, have been useless because they begin with the tacit assumption that the problem is "drugs." so we flap our gums comparing drug A to drug B to drug C, and end by agreeing that no drug is risk-free. We should have been discussing how to manage that risk. If the problem were "drugs" we'd have prohibited such substances as laughing gas and model airplane glue (for sniffing), tobacco and alcohol. (Actually, we did prohibit alcohol in the 1920s, but learned not to try again, and not to try with tobacco.) So, yes, a fact-based public debate, "resolved that prohibition causes more societal damage than it prevents."

John Chase,

Palm Harbor

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18 US FL: PUB LTE: Time to End the War on DrugsSat, 18 Dec 2010
Source:Gainesville Sun, The (FL) Author:Froehlich, Anders Area:Florida Lines:43 Added:12/19/2010

Kudos to William Dixon for speaking the truth about our absurd war on drugs. A fact-based public discussion is exactly what is needed.

When questioned about the utter ineffectiveness of their efforts, drug war bureaucrats crow about the latest seizures and arrest figures as evidence of success.

In fact, the only legitimate measure of success for drug policy is whether it saves more lives than it destroys. In that regard, prohibition is an unmitigated disaster. The overwhelming scientific consensus is that black market violence, adulterated drugs, and the spread of HIV are all exacerbated by prohibitionist policies.

Yet when confronted with hard evidence, our politicians choose to disregard scientific fact and mutter vaguely about "the message this sends to our children".

It's time for drug policies based on scientific evidence, not political dogma.

Anders Froehlich,

San Rafael, CA

[end]

19 US FL: OPED: Let's Talk About MarijuanaThu, 16 Dec 2010
Source:Orlando Sentinel (FL) Author:Hardin, Herb Area:Florida Lines:66 Added:12/17/2010

Perhaps the time has come for the government to consider legalizing marijuana and treating its use and sale the same as alcoholic beverages. I have never used it or knowingly been around anybody smoking it, but it appears that almost anyone who has a desire to use it could buy some. The billions of dollars a year in largely illegal sales - medical marijuana is legally sold in some states - are going directly to drug cartels and criminals.

Several states control the sale of alcoholic beverages by allowing those beverages to be sold only through state owned and operated stores. This could be done with marijuana, and the state would then become the beneficiary of any profit and taxes received.

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20 US FL: OPED: Our Insane War On DrugsThu, 16 Dec 2010
Source:Gainesville Sun, The (FL) Author:Dixon, William Area:Florida Lines:98 Added:12/17/2010

In Mexico the drug cartels bribe politicians and police officers while slaughtering those whom they can't buy. Murders this year of gang members, government officials and innocent bystanders number in the thousands. Related Links:

In New York arrests were made of five University students selling drugs out of their dorm rooms " to pay for college". Students at one of the nation's elite universities selling drugs? What next?

Albert Einstein defined insanity as "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results". That is what we have been doing in our efforts to combat illicit drugs.

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