Popularization of Worse Drugs

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Missoula OKs initiative relaxing enforcement of marijuana laws (Helena Independent Record, MT)

Location: 
United States
URL: 
http://www.helenair.com/articles/2006/11/09/montana/a06110906_02.txt

Nevadans: Say no to pot, raise minimum wage, restrict smoking (Las Vegas Sun)

Location: 
United States
URL: 
http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/nevada/2006/nov/08/110810178.html

South Dakotans defeat medical marijuana measure (Pioneer Press, MN)

Location: 
United States
URL: 
http://www.twincities.com/mld/twincities/15954962.htm

Prescription Painkillers Becoming More Popular Than Marijuana, SAMHSA Says

Location: 
Washington, DC
United States
Publication/Source: 
Join Together Online
URL: 
http://www.jointogether.org/news/research/summaries/2006/prescription-painkillers.html

Colorado: Amendment 44 Campaign to Air Television Ad Pointing Out the Potential Harms to Women Posed by Our Alcohol-Only Culture

PRESS RELEASE For Immediate Release -- Oct. 30, 2006 Amendment 44 Campaign to Air Television Ad Pointing Out the Potential Harms to Women Posed by Our Alcohol-Only Culture Ad addresses staggering number of alcohol-related rapes and acts of domestic violence Contact: Mason Tvert, SAFER campaign director, (720) 255-4340 DENVER -- Starting tomorrow, on CNN, Fox News, and CNBC in the Denver Metro area, the Amendment 44 campaign will be airing a powerful commercial designed to point out the dangers associated with alcohol use and question why we prohibition adults from using the safer alternative, marijuana. The text of this commercial is included at the end of this release, and the commercial can be viewed at -- http://www.youtube.com/v/r7KkPFIEW9Q The domestic violence statistic comes from the U.S. Department of Justice* and the statistic related to college rapes comes from the Harvard School of Public Health. A summary of the Harvard study is available at -- http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/cas/Documents/rapeintox-pressRelease/ [* Note: There was an error during production of the ad, which led to an understating in the ad of the portion of spousal abuse cases that are alcohol-related. Here is the actual data: Two-thirds of victims who suffered violence by an intimate (a current or former spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend) reported that alcohol had been a factor. Among spouse victims, 3 out of 4 incidents were reported to have involved an offender who had been drinking. Source: U.S. Department of Justice. Bureau of Justice Statistics. National Crime Victimization Survey 2002.)] "The goal of this campaign is to educate the public about the fact that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol," said SAFER Campaign Director Mason Tvert. "The statistics cited in this commercial are further evidence of this fact. Marijuana use does not increase the likelihood of violent behavior, yet we allow the use of alcohol by adults and punish adults who use marijuana. Giving adults the option of using marijuana instead of alcohol will truly make Colorado safer." ==================== Text of the new Amendment 44 television commercial: Why should adults be able to use marijuana instead of alcohol? Two-thirds of all spousal abuse cases are alcohol-related. And nearly three-quarters of all college rapes occur while a female is intoxicated by alcohol. Think about it... Do we want our daughters growing up in a society where the only legal substance for recreation is alcohol? Not if we love them. Help make Colorado safer. Vote YES on Amendment 44.
Location: 
United States

Maybe They Just Like the Way it Smells

People are getting wasted on cocaine again. Science Blog reports on data from the University of Florida that may suggest a coming epidemic:

Like some drug déjà vu, cocaine use is once again on the rise among students and the rich and famous, a trend University of Florida researchers say likely signals a recurring epidemic of abuse.


"Our data is closest to real time to any data available in the United States," [Dr. Mark] Gold said. "With death reports, there is no fudge factor. The other states will show the same thing: That we are in the early stages of a new cocaine epidemic that is being led by the rich and famous and students with large amounts of disposable income and that is responsible for more emergency room visits and more cocaine-related deaths than we have seen at any time since the last cocaine epidemic."

Oh man, that sounds bad. But Congress will probably think of something. Maybe we’re not being tough enough on cocaine dealers.

And we should warn kids about the dangers of marijuana, which could be causing the cocaine abuse.

Location: 
United States

Heroin 'Abundant' in Scottish Jails

Location: 
United Kingdom
Publication/Source: 
BBC News
URL: 
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/6054182.stm

Europeans Turn to Cocaine and Alcohol as Cannabis Loses Favor

Location: 
Publication/Source: 
The Guardian
URL: 
http://observer.guardian.co.uk/world/story/0,,1923023,00.html

Marijuana: DEA Steps in Deep Doo-doo in Denver With Abortive Bid to Defeat November Legalization Initiative

Jeff Sweetin, the DEA special agent in charge in Denver, probably wishes he had just kept his mouth shut. It was bad enough that the University of Colorado newspaper the Daily Camera reported Sunday that one of his special agents had sent out an e-mail on a Department of Justice account seeking a campaign manager for “Colorado’s Marijuana Information Committee,” an apparent astroturf organization being set up to defeat the Colorado marijuana legalization initiative. That initiative would legalize the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana by adults.

But then Sweetin really stepped in it, telling the Daily Camera that the law "allows his agency to get involved in the process to tell voters why they shouldn’t decriminalize pot" and that the committee had raised $10,000 from "private donations, including some from agents' own accounts."

That was enough to draw out the initiative's sponsor, SAFER Colorado, which criticized the agency for unwarranted interference in a state electoral matter. "Taxpayer money should not be going toward the executive branch advocating one side or another," the group's executive director, Steve Fox, told the Daily Camera. "It's a wholly inappropriate use of taxpayer money."

But SAFER Colorado wasn’t alone in taking offense at the untoward DEA actions. The state's two largest and most influential newspapers, the Rocky Mountain News and the Denver Post, both condemned the move in editorials. The News' position was clear from its headline: "DEA Should Keep Out of State Politics."

The Post took a more concerned approach, worrying that the DEA politicking might pass the bounds of propriety, if not legality. "Providing facts to people who want them is one thing," the Post wrote. "Using the agency as a platform to influence elections is another. Sweetin says he clearly understands the difference. We certainly hope that's the case."

If Sweetin hoped the story would just go away, he didn’t help matters any when he further clouded the waters when KMGH-TV in Denver Tuesday reported that: "Sweetin said, despite reports to the contrary, his office is not campaigning against it or fundraising. When asked about the committee and the $10,000 mentioned in the E-mail, Sweetin said, 'There is no $10,000 in money that I've ever heard of.'"

That led SAFER Colorado to raise a whole series of questions about which version of the DEA activism was true, which they kindly sent to Colorado media. "We think it's really fishy that the same DEA agent who made it clear the committee had funds from private donors and agents is now saying he's never heard of this money," said campaign coordinator Mason Tvert. "We think DEA thought they could actively campaign against us, but then got told by some sort of legal counsel it couldn’t happen that way. In any case, we're just trying to spin this into the biggest story we can," he told Drug War Chronicle.

Push Down, Pop Up Even Worse

An article this morning in the Daily Journal in northeast Mississippi reports that efforts to restrict purchase of the chemical components of methamphetamine have caused a reduction in the number of meth labs in Lee County. But don't get too excited: there's just as much meth available in the county now as before. Now, though, it's imported, and the stuff is worse -- it's crystal meth, also known as ice, and according to Sheriff Jim Johnson it's a lot more potent than the stuff people are making locally. Push Down, Pop Up -- as long as there's demand for the drugs, someone will figure out how to supply it, and you may wish for the old supply instead. Prohibition is the cause both of the meth labs and the popularization of more potent and damaging forms of drugs. The only way to get rid of the meth labs is through legalization, and regulation has a much better chance of shifting people away from the hardest stuff like ice than the drug war, which seems to be promoting it. Daily Journal letter to the editor information is online .
Location: 
Tupelo, MS
United States

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