Winston-Salem Journal _NC_ 1/1/1997 - 31/12/2017
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1 US NC: Libertarian VP Candidate: Drug War Is a FailureMon, 27 Aug 2012
Source:Winston-Salem Journal (NC) Author:Young, Wesley Area:North Carolina Lines:42 Added:08/29/2012

Libertarian vice-presidential candidate Jim Gray called the country's anti-drug policies a disaster on a trip to Salem College today.

Gray, a retired superior court judge from California, said the country's drug enforcement laws and efforts only put big profits into the pockets of major drug dealers without putting a real dent into the supply of drugs or their effects on society and the people who use them.

"We couldn't do it worse if we tried," Gray said. "Drug prohibition is the biggest failed policy in America."

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2 US NC: PUB LTE: The Preacher And PotMon, 19 Mar 2012
Source:Winston-Salem Journal (NC) Author:Stockmeister, Patricia Area:North Carolina Lines:49 Added:03/20/2012

In response to Tamara Dietrich's column, "Pat Robertson, a hero to hippies," this is the first thing he has said in many years that makes sense: Legalize pot, marijuana, whatever name you put to cannabis.

Robertson said, "I think it's just shocking how many of these young people wind up in prison and they get turned into hard-core criminals because they had possession of a very small amount of controlled substance. The whole thing is crazy."

Let's look at the numbers. According to this column, 2.5 million are incarcerated for "soft" nonviolent drug offenses. This costs billions of dollars: $41.3 billion a year on enforcement, $25.7 billion to state and local governments. Legalizing pot alone would save $9 billion. Then, if these drugs are taxed at rates comparable to alcohol and tobacco, it would yield $46.7 billion a year, $8.7 billion from pot.

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3 US NC: Editorial: State Legislature Must Fight Portable Meth LabsSun, 01 May 2011
Source:Winston-Salem Journal (NC)          Area:North Carolina Lines:49 Added:05/01/2011

A recent upswing in methamphetamine-lab activity means law-enforcement officers will have to work all the harder to keep up the progress they've made against the drug in recent years. State legislators should help by tightening the law on meth labs.

Rep. Craig Horn, a Republican from Union County, told the Journal this week that a bipartisan group of legislators is working with law enforcement on legislation to battle portable labs, and they hope to soon get it passed.

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4 US NC: Dangers of Drugs to Be TaughtSat, 29 Aug 2009
Source:Winston-Salem Journal (NC) Author:Garber, Paul Area:North Carolina Lines:95 Added:08/31/2009

Gathering at Dash Field Paid for With Seized Drug Money

Today, more than 500 parents and children will take part in activities at Wake Forest Baseball Park to help youngsters learn about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse.

They will also be given free Winston-Salem Dash hats and T-shirts for taking a short quiz about those risks.

And it is being paid for by the very people who peddle those illegal drugs.

The Parent Kid Challenge is the latest activity sponsored by a partnership between the Winston-Salem Police Department, the Dash baseball team, and Drug Free North Carolina, an anti-drug advocacy group.

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5 US NC: Editorial: Habitual FelonsTue, 07 Jul 2009
Source:Winston-Salem Journal (NC)          Area:North Carolina Lines:74 Added:07/09/2009

No reasonable person disputes that public safety is one of government's core responsibilities. Systems for law enforcement, criminal justice and incarceration must be strong enough to protect law-abiding citizens from those who endanger them.

There are times, however, when legislators overreact to public fears about crime and put disproportionately large resources into incarceration. North Carolina's habitual-felons law is an example.

The General Assembly has an opportunity this year, in its closing days, to improve a 42-year-old law that imprisons some nonviolent repeat offenders for too long. It's not that we feel any sympathy for these lawbreakers, but changing the law would amount to a better use of tax money.

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6 US NC: Editorial: A Deadly ScourgeSun, 21 Jun 2009
Source:Winston-Salem Journal (NC)          Area:North Carolina Lines:130 Added:06/21/2009

A heartbreaking trend in this country's never-ending drug problem is playing out in Northwest North Carolina. Prescription-drug deaths, as well as prescription-drug abuse and crime, are rising in rural counties.

More organizations and individuals should join law-enforcement officers and confront the problem before its human and financial costs spiral. "It's unbelievable how bad this is," Donna Reeves of Wilkes County recently told the Journal's Monte Mitchell. Her 20-year-old daughter, Casey, was one of 18 people who died in Wilkes County in 2006 of a prescription-drug overdose. There were more than 22 "unintentional poisonings," a state category made up mostly of prescription-drug deaths, per 100,000 people in parts of the mountains and foothills in 2006-2007, compared with 10 deaths per 100,000 in the rest of the state.

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7 US NC: Prescription Drugs Leading KillerFri, 12 Jun 2009
Source:Winston-Salem Journal (NC) Author:Mitchell, Monte Area:North Carolina Lines:177 Added:06/13/2009

WILKESBORO -- Donna Reeves was worried about her daughter Casey's drug use.

"I told her, 'I don't want to get that phone call (that) somebody's found my daughter dead,'" Reeves said.

"Mom, I know my limits," Casey told her.

But one Saturday, Casey stayed in bed uncharacteristically late. Her father had gone out of town to a charity event and her mother was upstairs.

"I was the one who had to make that phone call to her daddy and tell him that his daughter was dead, because I'm the one who found her," Reeves said.

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8 US NC: PUB LTE: Stop The RepressionSun, 12 Apr 2009
Source:Winston-Salem Journal (NC) Author:Wishnevsky, Stephen T. Area:North Carolina Lines:47 Added:04/15/2009

A joke in the Reagan era was that in the "War on Poverty, poverty won." It's not hard to see who won the War on Drugs, a war that has destroyed more lives than drugs ever have. Note that in the greatest days of America, no drugs were illegal; opium and cocaine were available from Sears Roebuck.

The groundswell for marijuana legalization is so obvious that President Obama had to acknowledge it in his recent cyber town-hall event. He sloughed off the issue, observing that legalization would not "grow the economy." However, Sens. Jim Webb, D-Va., and Arlen Specter, R-Pa., have introduced legislation to rescue America's malfunctioning prison system. Some decriminalization of drugs will be part of the package.

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9 US NC: PUB LTE: Drug War In MexicoSun, 08 Mar 2009
Source:Winston-Salem Journal (NC) Author:Wishnevsky, Stephen T. Area:North Carolina Lines:45 Added:03/08/2009

Some worry that Afghanistan will become President Obama's war, but a nearer conflict requires dispassionate analysis before we become immersed in yet another quagmire. I refer to the bloody drug war in Mexico ("Gangs oust police chief with threats on officers," Feb. 21). In Iraq last year, 2,592 allied forces were killed. In Mexico, twice that number of people were murdered, many of them police. That facile drug-war label may not relate to reality.

Given increased border security, how do these so-profitable drugs get through? Given the massive aid to the rightwing Colombian government, how are the drugs produced? Given the overwhelming anti-terrorist initiatives of the last administration, how do thousands of American guns go south? Either we are being lied to or our government is ignorant of the true conditions. "Bush Pattern Misinformation" is a familiar constant. Texas must have some interests here; what are they? If not a smuggling dispute, is this an insurrection? If so, who is revolting? Who can find out?

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10 US NC: Ex-Deputy Admits GuiltTue, 27 Jan 2009
Source:Winston-Salem Journal (NC) Author:Galindo, Dan Area:North Carolina Lines:59 Added:01/27/2009

He Says He Stole, Lied About Cancer

A former Yadkin County sheriff's deputy will spend at least 34 months in prison after he pleaded guilty yesterday to charges that he embezzled money from the agency and concocted a lie that led people to raise money for his cancer treatments.

Darrell Thornton admitted in Yadkin Superior Court that he changed a doctor's colonoscopy report to make fellow employees think he had cancer. Thornton pleaded guilty to 10 counts of embezzlement, two counts of attempting to traffic in opium and OxyContin, one count of obtaining property by false pretenses and common-law forgery. The pleas were part of a deal with prosecutor Fred Bauer in which eight counts of larceny by an employee were dropped and all the guilty pleas were merged into four charges for sentencing.

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11 US NC: Drug Tests Scaled BackWed, 13 Aug 2008
Source:Winston-Salem Journal (NC) Author:Boone-Wood, Lisa Area:North Carolina Lines:58 Added:08/13/2008

School Board Makes Change To Save Money

The Winston-Salem/Forsyth County school board decided last night to reduce the number of random drug tests for students involved in extracurricular activities.

The board voted to lower the percentage of students tested from 33 percent to 20 percent to lower the costs of the drug-testing program. A federal drug-testing grant awarded to the school system will run out this fall. That means that the system will have to spend about $30,000 to cover the costs of testing even 20 percent of students involved in extra-curricular activities, school officials said.

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12 US NC: Prison Gap Said To Be SmallerSun, 27 Apr 2008
Source:Winston-Salem Journal (NC) Author:Gutierrez, Bertrand M. Area:North Carolina Lines:83 Added:04/27/2008

Group Says It Reported Incorrect Prison Rates For Blacks, Whites

A Washington-based advocacy group reported last December that Forsyth County led the nation's largest counties in having the widest disparity in the rate at which blacks and whites go to prison on drug-related charges.

The disparity remains, with more blacks going to prison on drug charges than whites, but the national disparity isn't as wide as originally reported by the Justice Policy Institute. And it also turns out that Forsyth County does not have the widest disparity in the nation.

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13 US NC: Column: Davidson Officials Holding the Line in BattleSun, 10 Feb 2008
Source:Winston-Salem Journal (NC) Author:Railey, John Area:North Carolina Lines:82 Added:02/11/2008

In the first three weeks of December, Davidson County deputies raided three methamphetamine labs. It was the classic good/bad news: good because the deputies were on the job, and bad because there's still so much meth out there for them to find.

But there could be a lot more of this highly addictive, destructive drug out there. In the meth theater of the otherwise losing war on drugs, the good guys have won some battles. It's far too early to declare a victory. But it's worth noting that in Davidson, just as in other counties across the state, law-enforcement officials and others have waged a concerted effort that may just stop meth from becoming, to use the cliche, the crack cocaine of the 2000s. "We feel like it is subsiding," said Sheriff David Grice of Davidson County. If that does turn out to be the case in Davidson and other counties, a lot of lives will be saved. And without so many meth addicts, millions of tax dollars won't have to go toward supporting them and their families, whether the addicts are in prison or outside it.

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14 US NC: Yadkin's Special Drug Team Finds SuccessThu, 07 Feb 2008
Source:Winston-Salem Journal (NC) Author:Youngquist, Sherry Area:North Carolina Lines:113 Added:02/09/2008

Rural Communities Following Lead of Large Cities in Efforts to Work With Federal Agencies

YADKINVILLE - The Yadkinville police officer had a hunch about the comings and goings from the parking lot at the Days Inn motel.

First, a woman got out of a Jeep Liberty and into a Dodge Durango. Then, a group of men outside the hotel got in the Jeep and left. When they returned, they switched vehicles again and drove away.

The officer called for backup from Yadkin County's drug-interdiction team. And with that call local officers also got help with surveillance from the federal Drug Enforcement Agency's El Paso Intelligence Center. According to a search warrant, the night's journeys had just begun. The Durango made stops in Hamptonville, North Wilkesboro, a small Wilkes County community called Hayes and Winston-Salem before returning to a house in Hamptonville.

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15 US NC: Drug Tests Begin SoonSun, 13 Jan 2008
Source:Winston-Salem Journal (NC) Author:Galindo, Dan Area:North Carolina Lines:68 Added:01/13/2008

Deputies First, Then Firefighters

Random drug testing is expected to start soon for Forsyth County sheriff's deputies, with testing for county firefighters and paramedics to follow. The heads of the county's three public-safety agencies said that random drug testing is a good way for the county to ensure public confidence. The sheriff's office is working out the last details before starting testing, and firefighters and paramedics may start testing by March 1. "That's overdue," said Sheriff Bill Schatzman. "We can't have that (drugs) in law enforcement, when you're talking about guns and taking a life and taking people's civil liberties." Winston-Salem police have had random drug tests since the early 1990s, but the sheriff's office has not. It relied instead on the policy that applies to all county employees, which did not have random testing. Both police and the sheriff's office allow a supervisor to have an officer tested when they have reasonable suspicion to believe that officer might be using drugs. Both agencies test an officer or deputy before hiring. Police also require testing when an officer is in a wreck that does a lot of damage to a car, or a wreck with serious injuries in which the officer is at fault, said Lt. Brad Yandell, a police spokesman.

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16 US NC: Editorial: Governor's PardonsThu, 27 Dec 2007
Source:Winston-Salem Journal (NC)          Area:North Carolina Lines:64 Added:12/28/2007

People like Gary Don Holt should be able to get out and do a little hunting.

Holt, of High Point, is, however, a convicted felon, and under current federal law, he can't even handle a gun legally unless he is pardoned for his 1986 marijuana-possession conviction. That should be easy, considering that Holt, a furniture warehouse supervisor, has been a good citizen since he broke the law as a 21-year-old and pleaded guilty.

That pardon, however, won't come from Gov. Mike Easley who, according to a recent story on The Associated Press wire, has denied all of Holt's requests for mercy. It's typical of Easley, who has pardoned only five former felons in his seven years in office. Former Gov. Jim Hunt, by comparison, pardoned more than 200 in his previous eight years.

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17 US NC: 'Candy-Flavored' Meth Is Ashe Senator's TargetWed, 19 Dec 2007
Source:Winston-Salem Journal (NC) Author:Mitchell, Monte Area:North Carolina Lines:114 Added:12/19/2007

Fear That Dealers Are Targeting Kids Sparks Effort, But Skeptics Say That Threat Is Only A Myth

JEFFERSON Drug dealers could be distributing candy-flavored methamphetamine to children. Or reports that they are could be an urban legend spreading on the Internet and in the news media, depending on who you believe. But in Ashe County, Sheriff James Williams' nose told him that a batch of pink meth seized by his investigators during a three-month investigation earlier this year sure smelled different.

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18 US NC: Editorial: Sentencing DisparitiesThu, 06 Dec 2007
Source:Winston-Salem Journal (NC)          Area:North Carolina Lines:73 Added:12/06/2007

For whatever reasons, Forsyth County is at the top of a new study's nationwide list for having the widest disparity between blacks and whites going to prison for drug charges. Maybe the county doesn't belong at the top of the list, but the study has raised at least two questions that local leaders, both in law enforcement and outside it, should try to tackle: Is the size of that disparity correct, and, if so, what can be done about it?

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19 US NC: Forsyth Comes Up High in RatingTue, 04 Dec 2007
Source:Winston-Salem Journal (NC) Author:Gutierrez, Bertrand M. Area:North Carolina Lines:140 Added:12/04/2007

Black-White Disparity Found

A new study that compares the nation's largest counties puts Forsyth County at the top of its list as having the widest disparity between blacks and whites going to prison on drug charges.

The study, released today, was done by the Justice Policy Institute, a research and advocacy group in Washington. Jason Ziedenberg, the executive director, said yesterday that the purpose of the study was to start a debate about who is going to prison and for what reasons.

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20 US SC: S.C. Agents Search High And Low In Effort To EradicateSun, 29 Jul 2007
Source:Winston-Salem Journal (NC)          Area:South Carolina Lines:118 Added:07/29/2007

Recently, Authorities Have Found Bumper Crop Of Pot Plants

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- From the ground, the pine forests near the North Carolina line appear unremarkable -- rows of trees that eventually will be chopped down to make way for a housing development.

More than 30,000 marijuana plants have been seized this month in two raids just south of Charlotte, N.C., bringing the total number of marijuana plants seized this year to 38,000.

That's nearly three times the number confiscated across South Carolina in all of 2005, and nearly as many as were seized statewide last year.

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