ADH Working On Statewide Regulations
JONESBORO - Throughout Northeast Arkansas, cities and counties have
passed ordinances in recent months banning the sale of synthetic
marijuana and making its use illegal.
Now the Arkansas Municipal League wants those laws rescinded,
according to The Associated Press. Earlier this month the Arkansas
Department of Health passed temporary regulations banning the
substances and is working on permanent regulations, AML attorney Mark
In Northeast Arkansas five governmental entities - Sharp, Lawrence and
Greene counties, Walnut Ridge and Pocahontas - all passed bans on the
substances marketed under the names K-2, K-2 Spice, Spice, Summit or
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A couple of weeks ago, we pondered on how hard it is to fathom the
human toll in a disaster such as Haiti's earthquake. This weekend
there was another tragedy down on the border that's just the latest
nightmare in the disaster that is Mexico's drug war.
In Ciudad Juarez, just across from El Paso, Texas, gunmen blocked off
a dead-end street and went on a rampage through three houses,
including one where there was a birthday party in progress. When the
shooting stopped, 10 people were dead, and six more died later at
hospitals, according to The Associated Press.
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In 2008 the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, or DEA, named
methamphetamine Arkansas' "primary drug of concern," due to the state's
rural landscape and widespread availability of ingredients, including
In 2005 the Federal Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act placed limits
on the amount of pseudoephedrine and phenylpropanolamine that
individuals could purchase over the counter and required pharmacies to
keep written or electronic logs of such purchases.
It wasn't until May 2008 that pharmacies in Arkansas were required to
keep electronic logs of individual's purchases that could be traced
both locally and across state lines. Leadsonlabs.com, an online
investigative service that tracks purchases of methamphetamine
ingredients using a picture ID, allows pharmacies to view purchases
within a 24 hours and 30-day periods within the state and
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Locals Weigh The Green Option
Arkansas Sen. Randy Laverty, a Democrat from Jasper, may plant a
legislative seed in 2011.
In an effort to aid the state's overburdened prisons, Laverty may
bring a budding discussion to the state Senate floor on the topic of
legalizing medicinal marijuana in Arkansas.
Laverty told The Associated Press legalizing or lessening criminal
penalties for marijuana may be one way to "curb overcrowding in
But District 4 State Sen. Michael Lamoureux said he would be
surprised if the issue was turned into a law anytime soon.
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One of the medications prescribed by my personal physician for my
arthritis pain and inflammation has the rare potential side effect of
death. In other words, if I take this medication as prescribed, I can
die as a result.
On the other hand, marijuana has never been documented to have killed
a single person in the 5,000-year history of its use.
For me, marijuana is the more effective medication. Right now, if
adult citizens opt for the safer and more effective medication, they
are subject to arrest and being sent to jail with violent criminals.
Shouldn't adult citizens have the freedom to choose what goes into
their own bodies in the privacy of their own homes?
Missing from the balanced report of Doug Smith on medical marijuana
was the sad fact that every hour my profession spends chasing and
arresting the non-problem causing marijuana user, the less time we
have for the deadly DUI and those who hurt our children and women.
When detectives fly around in helicopters looking for a pot garden,
they are not arresting a rapist or child molester. When road officers
are searching car after car for a baggie of pot, the deadly DUIs sail
on by and kill innocents. Marijuana prohibition reduces public safety period.
Detective/Officer Howard Wooldridge (ret)
Many Are Ready, Including A Prominent Legislator.
State Sen. Randy Laverty of Jasper says that after the news media reported
last month on his proposal to legalize medical marijuana, he got more
response than on any issue he'd been associated with in his 15 years as a
legislator -- telephone calls, e-mails and personal contact. "And it was
That never happens."
Laverty says that at the next regular legislative session, in 2011, he'll
introduce a bill to permit the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.
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Arnold Schwarzenegger proved last week he's not a girly-man when it
comes to the debate over whether marijuana should be legalized and
taxed in California. Gov. Arnold called for a large-scale study of
the consequences of legalizing pot for recreational use in California
and suggested that the study might benefit from looking at the
effects of drug legalization moves already made by European countries.
Arnold earned high praise from drug-law reformer Ethan Nadelmann for
doing what most politicians are too chicken to ever do -- go on
record as being in favor of honestly discussing the pros and cons of
ending drug prohibition.
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Dear Editor of The Herald,
Another beneficial component of re-legalizing cannabis (marijuana)
that doesn't get mentioned (Grass Could Bring In Governmental Green,
Mar. 12, 2009) is that it will lower hard drug addiction rates.
DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) will have to stop brainwashing
youth into believing lies, half-truths and propaganda concerning
cannabis, which creates grave future problems.
How many citizens try cannabis and realize it's not nearly as harmful
as taught in DARE type government environments? Then they think other
substances must not be so bad either, only to become addicted to
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The United States has been fighting a losing war on the consumption
and possession of marijuana for decades.
In the 1970s Nixon began the 'War on Drugs,' which imposed stricter
penalties and stronger regulations, but also defined drugs in
different levels or 'schedules' depending on the severity of each drug.
For example, in Arkansas, anyone in possession of less than an ounce
of marijuana will be charged with a misdemeanor, making marijuana the
only drug offense that will not bring a felony charge just for simply
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Dr. Joycelyn Elders, a living monument to the black experience in
Arkansas, may be retired, but she's not retiring about the issues
that made her a controversial surgeon general.
Fourteen years after President Bill Clinton fired her as surgeon
general of the United States for uttering one final impolitic remark,
Dr. Joycelyn Elders is long into retirement, but hers is not a repose
that the meek would envy or her many old critics would cheer.
And if you were wondering, no, she never shut up or took up mincing words.
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Stuttgart, Ark. - Since 1988, Arkansas has been involved in "Red
Ribbon Week," which has given awareness to school-aged children about
the choice of a drug-free lifestyle.
Red Ribbon week in Stuttgart will be held Oct. 27 through 31 and will
feature a celebration rally from 3:30 to 5 p.m., Monday, Oct. 27 at
the Reinsch Softball Complex on West 22nd and Buerkle Streets.
"Throughout the United States Red Ribbon Week is a celebration to
bear witness to the efforts of one person who can make a difference
in the fight against drugs," Beth Prine, of Community Organization
for Drug Education (CODE), said.
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Clarksville High School will spend $7,000 this year on random drug
tests of students. The school is one of more than 100 in Arkansas
that administers such tests.
Don Johnston, Clarksville School District superintendent, hasn't seen
studies that suggest such tests are effective. In fact, two studies
by the University of Michigan suggest that random drug tests do
nothing to reduce student drug use.
Studies or no, Johnston says he believes the drug tests work in
Clarksville, and that parents, for the most part, support the program.
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The group Sensible Fayetteville has gathered enough signatures to put
a measure on the Nov. 4 ballot that will make a misdemeanor
possession of marijuana the lowest priority for law enforcement.
Many have mixed feelings about the effect this ordinance could have
on the city: Jacob Holloway, field organizer for Sensible
Fayetteville, said an initiative like this sends "a message that we
will no longer accept inaction," while City Attorney Kit Williams
said the ordinance essentially would have "no effect" on Fayetteville
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Sensible Fayetteville will submit its second round of signatures
today in hopes of giving local voters the choice on election day to
make adult marijuana possession the lowest priority for police.
"We needed about 300 additional signatures, and so far, we've
collected upwards of 900,"Ryan Denham, campaign director, said."We've
almost tripled what we needed, and we're still going. We'll turn them
in at the end of [today ]."
Sensible Fayetteville is a local coalition made up of the OMNI Center
for Peace, Justice & Ecology, the Green Party of Washington County,
the University of Arkansas student branch of the National
Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws and the Alliance for
Reform of Drug Policy in Arkansas Inc.
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When any legendary performer who's climbing up into his years comes
anywhere close to Little Rock, I dial up his age, add about 10 years
for hard living and road wear and, if that puts him anywhere near 80,
which is the upper reaches of an average American male's life
expectancy, I usually drop what I'm doing and catch a show. Apply
that system on Friday and you'll feel an extra bit of urgency when
you go hunting tickets.
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BERRYVILLE -- "Re-energize" was the buzz word of the day when more
than a dozen people from various state and local agencies met Tuesday
to continue the work started by the Partnership for a Drug Free
Carroll County Coalition.
The coalition got its start five years ago with a $100,000 grant,
renewable for four years, to fund its prevention activities.
An 800 number for crime tips was established, drug kits were
distributed to police departments, schools and parents, a successful
drug court was started, and educational materials provided.
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Mary Ann Gunn has witnessed how methamphetamine ruins lives and
She's taking her message to stay off meth and other drugs to parents
and students in the Lincoln community today.
"I want to see it stopped. I think prevention is the key," she
Gunn is the 4 th Judicial District judge in Division IV who runs the
Washington County Drug Treatment Court program. She is the keynote
speaker for a Project Right Choice town hall meeting that begins at 7
p.m. in the Frank Holman Auditorium at Lincoln Public Schools.
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The following letter from the children of a methamphetamine addict
was sent to 4 th Judicial District Circuit Judge Mary Ann Gunn, who
runs the Washington County Drug Court Treatment program.
Once upon a time there was this guy that we didn't really know. He
didn't visit very much. But when he did, he always fell asleep when he
got there. He got mad if we woke him and he acted weird and shaky. He
didn't seem to like us very much. We couldn't go places with him,
not even to his house. He would lie to my Mom about where he was, and
what he was doing. They would fight a lot and he would cuss and call
her names that made her cry. We had to be careful what we did or said
cause he got mad real easy. We started thinking maybe it would be
good if he didn't even come back. Then he started doing the drug
program with Judge Gunn and he started changing. He stopped going out
with his friends and started being nice. Then Judge Gunn sent him to
Ft. Smith to a drug place for a while. We visited him on the
weekends. He is home now and he is awesome ! He goes to church with
us and helps us with homework. He takes us outside to play basketball
and football all the t! ime. He gets along good with our Mom and he
is always acting funny and making us laugh. Then we realized that we
knew this guy, he was our Dad. We are glad he is our Dad again and we
wish we could share him with all the other kids that don't have Dads.
Thank you, Judge Gunn for caring about our Dad to help him come back
to us. This has made a big change in our life. Thank You !!
Source: From the children of an addict, ages 9 and 12.
Regarding your April 21 editorial:
Alcohol prohibition once financed urban terrorism between rival
gangsters, but that's no reason to reinstate it. Intensifying the drug
war is the equivalent of throwing good money after bad. The
supply-side drug war provides artificial price supports for organized
crime at home and terrorists abroad. Make no mistake, the drug war is
a cure worse than the disease. Attempts to limit the supply of illegal
drugs while demand remains constant only increase the profitability of
drug trafficking. For addictive drugs like heroin, a spike in street
prices leads desperate addicts to increase criminal activity to feed
desperate habits. The drug war doesn't fight crime, it fuels crime.
There is a middle ground between drug prohibition and blanket
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