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Mexico's Orphans Are Casualties of Drug Prohibition War

Location: 
Mexico
"At least 12,000 children have lost one or both of their parents," said Gustavo de la Rosa, an official from Mexico's human rights commission. Those motherless and fatherless children, said de la Rosa, are a lasting and tragic legacy of Mexico's drug prohibition war. After witnessing the execution of a parent, the children -- even if physically uninjured themselves -- face a lifetime of emotional scarring.
Publication/Source: 
Agence France-Presse (France)
URL: 
http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jCtIvBVbEyDDJeQlCQjavLmwlXWA?docId=CNG.ce4ce7a67bd66d9150ddc80ebf588abb.1e1

Is DARE Program Worth It?

While participants remain enthusiastic, scientific reviews have been negative on the effectiveness of the DARE program, which started in Los Angeles in 1983. A 2006 report by the U.S. Surgeon General concluded that those who participate in DARE are just as likely to use drugs as those who don’t. Khadija K. Swims, of Grand Valley State University, reviewed several studies on DARE and concluded the program is "ineffective" in preventing future drug, alcohol and tobacco use in adolescents. The results of such studies mean schools can’t spend federal money on DARE. Under rules that went into effect in 1998, the Department of Education requires agencies that receive federal money to prove within two years that their programs reduce drug use among students.
Publication/Source: 
Chicago Sun-Times (IL)
URL: 
http://www.suntimes.com/lifestyles/4497466-418/is-dare-program-worth-it.html

More Kids Caught in the Crossfire of Mexico’s Drug Prohibition War

Location: 
Acapulco, GRO
Mexico
Sadly, the fatal shooting of a 4-year-old girl brought to three the number of children to die violently in the Mexican resort city of Acapulco within the last 72 hours. Fifteen people have been slain in Acapulco since Tuesday, including a woman and two of her grandchildren gunned down inside the family home. The mayhem is taking a toll on tourism in Acapulco, scaring away many of the U.S. college students who would normally flock to the city for spring break.
Publication/Source: 
Latin America Herald Tribune (Venezuela)
URL: 
http://www.laht.com/article.asp?ArticleId=389711&CategoryId=14091

PA School Districts Sued Over Student Drug Testing

The ACLU and a Philadelphia law firm are suing two Pennsylvania school districts for maintaining random drug and alcohol testing of students who participate in extracurricular activities or who drive cars to school. The separate lawsuits were filed last week.

Some educators require remedial litigation to ensure they understand their students' privacy rights. (Image courtesy DVSD)
The US Supreme Court has held that the random drug testing of student athletes or students involved in extracurricular activities does not violate the US Constitution. But some state supreme courts, including Pennsylvania's, have found protections against random drug testing of students in their state constitutions.

The lawsuits filed by the ACLU of Pennsylvania and the law firm Dechert LLP charge that the school districts have maintained student drug testing policies that violate a 2003 Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision holding that random drug testing of students is unconstitutional unless the school districts can show that the group of students being tested had a high drug use rate. That case was Theodore v. Delaware Valley School District.

Delaware Valley is one of the districts named in the law suit. The other is the Panther Valley School District. Read the respective complaints here and here.

Delaware Valley, the defendant in the 2003 case, has never changed its policy, the complaint said. Instead, the district has "essentially ignored that ruling and continued to enforce the drug testing policy." The district has never attempted "to compile data that would support or refute a need for the policy" even though the Supreme Court held that any such policy "must be born out of a true and documented need for random testing of the student population affected."

The plaintiffs in the Delaware Valley lawsuit are Glenn and Kathy Kiederer and their two daughters, identified only by their initials. The Kiederers complain that when their daughters refused to sign drug testing consent forms, they were excluded from participating in athletics and extracurricular activities, ironically including joining the school's Junior Students Against Drug Abuse.

"We are very frustrated that the Delaware Valley School District has ignored the State Supreme Court's guidelines and has refused to change the drug testing policy to comply with the court opinion. We feel that the proper education for our children is to teach them to defend their constitutional rights, especially in the present times we are living in," said the Kiederers.

The Panther Valley suit was filed on behalf of high school senior Jeremy Thomas and his ninth-grade sister, identified only by her initials. According to the complaint, Thomas, an Eagle Scout and Junior ROTC member, was thrown off the school golf team after refusing to sign a consent form. He was also barred from attending the senior prom. Thomas's parents, Morgan and Donna, said in the lawsuit they refused to sign the consent form because they believe the drug testing program violates their son's right to privacy.

"These policies teach young people to accept extreme invasions of their privacy when they've done nothing wrong," said Mary Catherine Roper, senior staff attorney at the ACLU of Pennsylvania and one of the attorneys representing the students and their parents. "Random drug testing is also counterproductive, as studies have shown that extracurricular activities help students avoid drug use. Schools should not be putting up barriers to students' participation in after-school activities," she continued.

Neither school district has yet responded publicly to the lawsuits.

PA
United States

Delaware Valley School District Sued Over Drug Testing Policy

Location: 
DE
United States
ACLU lawyers are fighting Delaware Valley School District's drug-testing policy in court on behalf of two students. The ACLU believes the district's policy violates a 2003 Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling, Theodore vs. Delaware Valley School District. That decision required schools to justify suspicionless drug testing programs with evidence of a widespread drug problem among students, unless the school could show additional evidence that the group of students undergoing testing had a high rate of drug use.
Publication/Source: 
Pocono Record (PA)
URL: 
http://www.poconorecord.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110310/NEWS/103100321/-1/NEWS01

Derek Copp Sues Ottawa County Over Drug Raid Shooting at Grand Valley State University

Location: 
Allendale, MI
United States
A GVSU student shot in the chest by a deputy during a marijuana raid is suing the deputy who fired the shot. In March 2009, Derek Copp was living in an off-campus apartment he shared with a roommate, who was the target of a drug investigation. The federal lawsuit claims "gross negligence and willfull recklessness" in how the raid was conducted. Copp and his lawyers are asking a judge to make changes in how Ottawa County deputies use firearms and conduct searches.
Publication/Source: 
WZZM (MI)
URL: 
http://www.wzzm13.com/news/article/156997/14/Copp-sues-Ottawa-County-over-drug-raid-shooting

Knox County D.A.R.E Drug Prevention Curriculum Bumped in Face of Call for Measurable Results

Location: 
TN
United States
This spring, the Knox County Sheriff's Office will teach its final classes of the 25-year-old Drug Awareness Resistance Education program in local county schools. D.A.R.E., developed as a drug prevention curriculum by the Los Angeles Police Department for children 10-12 years old, has been long criticized by many studies and organizations -- including the U.S. Surgeon General, the National Academy of Sciences, and the U.S. Department of Education -- for not being effective at keeping kids away from drugs later in life.
Publication/Source: 
Knoxville News Sentinel (TN)
URL: 
http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2011/mar/08/d-a-r-e-drug-prevention-curriculum-bumped/

Synthetic Marijuana Widely Used at Naval Academy, Some Midshipmen Say

Location: 
Annapolis, MD
United States
A synthetic form of marijuana is widely used at the U.S. Naval Academy because it cannot be detected in routine drug tests, according to several former midshipmen. Since its introduction at the academy last year, synthetic marijuana has become popular among rank-and-file midshipmen and on the football and wrestling teams. Some isolated corners of the historic Annapolis campus have become well-known gathering spots for smoking it.
Publication/Source: 
The Washington Post (DC)
URL: 
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/27/AR2011022703605.html

Medical Marijuana Using High School Student Back in Class After Apology from School District's Lawyer

Location: 
Colorado Springs, CO
United States
A high school student kept off campus for using medical marijuana has received an apology from the district's lawyer and is back in school. The student has a rare disease called Myoclonus Diaphragmatic Flutter, and it causes him to have seizure such as spasms in his diaphram. At the beginning of every attack, he takes a 10 mg medical marijuana throat lozenge. The student's family wants to take legal action and are in talks with an attorney from Denver to make it legal for nurses to administer medical marijuana on campus.
Publication/Source: 
KXRM (CO)
URL: 
http://www.coloradoconnection.com/news/story.aspx?id=585138

Marijuana Arrests in New York City Skyrocket to 15 Percent of Total

Location: 
New York, NY
United States
More than 50,000 people were arrested last year in New York City for low-level marijuana offenses, according to the New York Division of Criminal Justice Services. Those 50,383 arrests represented 15 percent of all arrests by the New York Police Department. The 50,000-oplus figure is more marijuana arrests in one year than the number of similar arrests made by the New York Police Department over the entire period from 1978 to 1996, according to an analysis for the alliance done by Harry Levine, a sociology professor at Queens College.
Publication/Source: 
International Business Times (NY)
URL: 
http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/111662/20110211/marijuana-arrests-new-york.htm

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