I applaud NOW's bravery for publishing the article Fuzz Cooling To
War On Drugs, by Gwynne Dyer (NOW, January 11-17).
I am a legal medical marijuana user due to the chronic indications of
multiple sclerosis and a terrible pain in my face 24 hours a day
caused by a condition called tic douloureux. I am also a retired law
enforcement officer and one of Canada's busiest speakers for LEAP
(Law Enforcement Against Prohibition).
I'm a perfect example of people in this country and around the world
who are caught in the middle of this catastrophic drug war. The
strain of cannabis that works best for my health has been held
hostage in the street market for the past 13 years. This, I'm sad to
say, is not unusual. I receive minimal relief unless the strain
available to me legally is coupled with more than 30 pharmaceutical
pills a day and up to 2,000 milligrams of morphine. But I won't give up.
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Editor, The Gazette:
No matter what is causing climate change, one of the best things
Canadians could do to reduce greenhouse gasses is grow lots of Industrial Hemp.
We have the people, we have the land, we have the know-how - we just
have no political will.
Hemp (the legal, non-drug version of the Cannabis plant) produces
more ethanol fuel per acre than any other crop. It can be used for
car, truck, boat, and airplane fuel, polymer body parts, lubricants,
paint, and about 25,000 other things.
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Richard Paey, the man who uses a wheelchair and was sentenced as a
drug trafficker for illegally obtaining the pain medication he needs,
hasn't given up on the courts just yet.
The Pasco man, who is serving a 25-year sentence, has asked the
Florida Supreme Court to review his case.
Among the issues Paey's lawyer, John Flannery, wants the court to
decide is: Does the trafficking statute Paey was sentenced under in
2004 apply to patients obtaining drugs for their own treatment?
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After his March extradition to the United States, alleged Israeli
crime boss Ze'ev Rosenstein had a few words for his supporters: "This
year a prisoner in Miami; next year a free man in Israel."
He got his fate half right. On Tuesday, the reputed godfather of the
Israeli mob pleaded guilty to two drug smuggling charges as part of
an unusual deal that could have him back in his native country within
a week, although not as a free man.
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Re "Wrong system to change addicts," Jan. 9 letter:
I agree with the letter writer that people are infuriated when crimes
are committed against their family members by drug users and dealers.
If they are doing crimes, they should be incarcerated. Drug use is no
excuse for doing crimes. The best way to put drug dealers out of
business is not to purchase their merchandise.
It is amazing to me that with all of the information that has been
put out about what drugs can do to people and their families, that
people continue to use them. No, I have never touched an illegal drug
in my life.
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There's a worthy effort in Annapolis to increase money for
substance-abuse treatment around the state, using funds from the
proposed $1 increase in the cigarette tax. A proposal that will be
considered by the General Assembly would dedicate as much as $30
million a year to fighting drug and alcohol abuse - about half going
to Baltimore - a desirable change from the yearly catch-as-catch-can
funding that treatment typically receives.
It's another good reason, in addition to providing more money for
health insurance, to support the cigarette tax increase.
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ASHEVILLE - A city councilman who says police are doing too little to
combat illegal drug sales drew criticism this week after officers
said he had endangered their safety.
Two officers, in e-mails to Chief Bill Hogan, said Councilman Carl
Mumpower approached police three times during a traffic stop Friday
outside the West Asheville police substation on Haywood Road.
Sgt. Mike Yelton, in an e-mail to his supervisor, said Mumpower
distracted an officer watching for signs of trouble in a stop that
involved a cocaine seizure.
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TWO reports released this week on Canada's drug strategy underscore
the pointlessness of Ottawa's promise to get tough on drugs.
A poll of nearly 3,000 Canadians, published Tuesday, has shown that
two-thirds of us would like to see greater emphasis on treatment and
prevention. This comes just a day after the B.C. Centre for
Excellence in HIV/AIDS, an agency funded partly by the province,
concluded that close to three-quarters of federal funding intended to
combat the problem goes toward enforcement. The Conservatives have
recently promised to increase that commitment.
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Ambulance Called To Courthouse After Grandmother Passes Out
A grandmother collapsed in a Kitchener courtroom yesterday and her
daughter sobbed for almost an hour after learning they and three
other relatives must give up three houses they used to grow marijuana.
An ambulance was called to Ontario Court for Nam Thi Dinh, 53, who
passed out after Justice Gary Hearn delivered his ruling. By the time
paramedics arrived, Dinh was sitting up and sipping water, however.
She and her daughter, Que Kim Thi Nguyen, 28, who care for children
found in the homes, were obviously devastated by the decision. It
isn't clear how soon the families will have to move, but defence
lawyers don't think it will be immediate.
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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- The governor sent buses with guards to ferry
children to school in violence-wracked neighborhoods Tuesday and was
considering calling on National Guard troops to back police in
response to a surge in drug-related violence in this U.S. Caribbean territory.
Gov. Anibal Acevedo Vila was expected to announce later in the day
whether he will call up National Guard troops to help police patrol
housing projects in the Rio Piedras suburb of the capital and
elsewhere where drug traffickers are battling each other for control.
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ORANGE CITY Apartment manager James Stevens has a problem he never
dreamed he would face in this quiet Central Florida town: prostitutes
soliciting his tenants for sex in the street outside.
"I'm having to run them out of the parking lot here," said Stevens,
who owns Fountainview Apartments. "People are moving out because of this."
Orange City -- once a bucolic town where 19th century paddlewheel
steamers docked on the St. Johns River -- might seem an unlikely home
But authorities in this small-but-growing city southwest of Daytona
Beach say prostitution is on the rise.
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Proponents Say A Fungus Could Eradicate Crops; Skeptics Ask If It's
Effective And Safe
Is it a silver bullet in the war on drugs or an outlawed biological weapon?
Frustrated by the nonstop flow of cocaine and heroin into the United
States, some American lawmakers are promoting mycoherbicides, weed
killers made from toxic, mold-like fungi that they believe could be
used to eliminate illegal drug crops for good.
For years, mycoherbicides had been largely written off by many U.S.
officials. They were concerned the fungi could mutate to kill
legitimate crops and that their use overseas would violate the United
Nations' 31-year-old Biological Weapons Convention and other treaties.
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