Newsbrief: Asian Speed Shows Up, Feds Feed USA Today "New Drug" Story 8/30/02

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20. Newsbrief: Asian Speed Shows Up, Feds Feed USA Today "New Drug" Story

"Fed Raid Targets New Asian Drug," screamed the headline in USA Today on August 21, as Gannett Corporation headline writers dutifully regurgitated a story spoon-fed their reporter by US Customs officials. The feds had busted 10 people in the Sacramento area on conspiracy charges for attempting to import a "new drug," known as "Ya Ba," into the United States. The "new drug," however, is not so new: Ya Ba (Thai for "crazy medicine") is plain old methamphetamine, produced in pill form by mass production laboratories operated by Burmese rebels the United Wa States Army.

The stuff has fed a speed frenzy across Southeast Asia and has been dribbling into the US for at least the last two years -- Customs said it had seized 45 shipments since 2000 -- but the Sacramento bust appears to mark the coming out party for a new "drug threat." Ya Ba packs a "powerful and long-lasting high stronger than that provided by the club drug Ecstasy," worried USA Today, and more insidiously, the pills are often flavored, "apparently to make them more appealing to young people," Customs told the newspaper.

The "powerful methamphetamine from Asia is gaining favor among teens and young adults on the West Coast," Customs warned USA Today. Heck, maybe they'll stop blowing themselves up with kitchen meth labs.

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Issue #252, 8/30/02 Editorial: War Crimes Against Patients | Incarceration Nation: US Population Under Correctional Control Hits New Record | Not All Students Will Start School This Week -- Tens of Thousands Lose Aid Due to Drug Convictions | Initiative Foes Play Hardball in Michigan -- Effort Threatened by Certification Board, Conyers Calls for Investigation of Federal Lobbying | RAVE Act Opponents Gear Up | More Black Men in Prison Than College, Study Finds | Dr. Hurwitz Calls It Quits: Leading National Pain Management Physician to Close Practice, Cites Fear of Feds | The (F)Utility of DAWN: Experts Look at the Drug Abuse Warning Network | Criminal Justice Policy Foundation Publishes Comprehensive, Nationwide Guide to Clemency | Medical Marijuana Through the Ages: New Info on MarijuanaInfo.org | Offer: Tapes of Stossel Legalization Special Now Available | Newsbrief: Texas Opens Belated Investigation into Tulia Bust | Newsbrief: New Hampshire Cop Wants to Seize College Dorm After Drug Raid | Newsbrief: Western Washington US Attorney Solicits Marijuana Cases, No Bust Too Small | Newsbrief: Canadian Cops Call for National Drug Strategy, Oppose Legalization | Newsbrief: Canada Medical Marijuana Battles Continue -- Protests in Toronto, Minister Changes Tune | Newsbrief: Drug Raid Leads to Mini-Riot in Minneapolis | Newsbrief: Oklahoma Governor Overrules Parole Board, Orders Man Held for Life for Cocaine Possession | Newsbrief: Vietnam Beefs Up Customs Drug Budget | Newsbrief: Asian Speed Shows Up, Feds Feed USA Today "New Drug" Story | Demos Fellowships in Criminal Justice and Democracy Reform | Legislative Alerts: Rave Bill, Medical Marijuana, Higher Education Act Drug Provision | The Reformer's Calendar
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