State & Local Government

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Teens' medicinal pot not OK on campus

Location: 
CA
United States
Publication/Source: 
The Union (CA)
URL: 
http://www.theunion.com/article/20070516/NEWS/105160166

Fighting Meth With Misinformation in Idaho

There is no question that methamphetamine is a potentially dangerous drug. Communities that take steps to prevent people from starting to use it in the first place are to be lauded. But if such efforts are to be credible with their target audiences, they need to include accurate information, not scary, demonizing distortions. Unfortunately, Blaine County, Idaho, is not doing that. In a new brochure from the Blaine County Sheriff's Office and the Community Drug Coalition written by a sheriff's office employee, comes the following amazing claim:
"One of the biggest dangers of meth is how quickly people can become addicted to it," the brochure says. "The National Methamphetamine Awareness Campaign says that 99 percent of people are hooked on meth after using it the first time."
Oh, come on. Yes, people can become dependent on meth. Yes, it is a drug whose biopharmacological effects make people want to binge on it. But no, 99% of people who try meth once are not hooked on it. And spewing such garbage—at taxpayer expense, no less!—is counterproductive at best. Here's what the federal government's meth resources web page has to say about methamphetamine addiction: "Long-term methamphetamine abuse results in many damaging effects, including addiction." Note that the site says long-term use, not one-time use. Neither do other federal government statistics back up the 99% claim. The 2005 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the most recent available, notes that 10.4 million people over the age of 12 reported using meth at least once in their lives, but only 512,000 reported current (last month) use. Even if we assume that everyone who reported using within the last month is an addict (and that's not a very reasonable assumption), we find that only about 5% of people who ever used meth are currently addicted. It is possible, I suppose, that the remaining 93% of all meth users ever got strung out on their first line, but have since managed to beat the addiction. If that's the case, which I doubt, they didn't get the monkey off their backs through drug treatment. In 1992, 21,000 were admitted for meth treatment; by 2004, that number was up to 150,000. But the number of people reporting using meth that year was 1.3 million. Of past year meth users, a little more than 10% got treatment in 2004, whether they sought it themselves or were forced into it. If you want to discourage people from using meth, you need to be believable. Unfortunately for Blaine County, Idaho, it has produced an anti-meth brochure that is more laughable than believable. Next they'll be telling me meth will make hair grow on the palms of my hands.
Location: 
ID
United States

Maryland Drug Reform Bill and Veto Threat

Maryland's governor, Martin O'Malley, is set to make a decision regarding the drug sentencing reform bill passed by the state's General Assembly by Thursday -- he initially supported it but is now threatening a veto -- and press coverage has continued. Editorials criticizing his veto threat have run in the Baltimore Sun and the Washington Post. (I'm having trouble finding a link for the Post article -- please post one here if you have it.) Some quotes from the two pieces, first the Post:
"Its veto would raise the question of whether Mr. O'Malley is more interested in political posturing than in constructive reform of the state's criminal justice system."
and the Sun:
The Sun editorial read: "Mr. O'Malley shouldn't veto the bill... the solution is not to retreat from a modest sentencing change, it's to allocate more money for drug treatment."
Location: 
MD
United States

Drug policy could be revamped by Fall Quarter

Location: 
OH
United States
Publication/Source: 
The Post (OH)
URL: 
http://thepost.baker.ohiou.edu/articles/2007/05/15/news/20070.html

New York Rockefeller Reports

DPA likes our Rockefeller report the best out of all of them...
Location: 
New York, NY
United States

County issues first pot cards

Location: 
CA
United States
Publication/Source: 
The Merced Sun-Star (CA)
URL: 
http://www.mercedsunstar.com/local/story/13583237p-14183139c.html

Opinion: A better bargain

Location: 
MD
United States
Publication/Source: 
Baltimore Sun
URL: 
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/bal-ed.drugs14may14,0,7788528.story?coll=bal-opinion-headlines

Cities apply to start needle program

Location: 
NJ
United States
Publication/Source: 
Cherry Hill Courier Post (NJ)
URL: 
http://www.courierpostonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070513/NEWS01/705130379/1006

Supreme Court of New Mexico Strikes Down State’s Attempt to Convict Woman Struggling with Addiction During Pregnancy

For Immediate Release: May 11, 2007 CONTACT: Reena Szczepanski (DPA): 505-983-3277 or Nancy Goldstein (NAPW): 347-563-1647 Supreme Court of New Mexico Strikes Down State’s Attempt to Convict Woman Struggling with Addiction During Pregnancy Leading Physicians, Scientific Researchers, and Medical, Public Health, and Child Welfare Organizations Applaud Court’s Order On May 11, the Supreme Court of the State of New Mexico turned back the state's attempt to expand the criminal child abuse laws to apply to pregnant women and fetuses. In 2003, Ms. Cynthia Martinez was charged with felony child abuse “for permitting a child under 18 years of age to be placed in a situation that may endanger the child's life or health. . .” In bringing this prosecution, the state argued that a pregnant woman who cannot overcome a drug addiction before she gives birth should be sent to jail as a felony child abuser. Today the Supreme Court summarily affirmed the Court of Appeals decision, which overturned Ms. Martinez’s conviction. New Mexico joins more than 20 other states that have ruled on this issue and that have refused to judicially expand state criminal child abuse and related laws to reach the issues of pregnancy and addiction. The Drug Policy Alliance (“DPA”) and the National Advocates for Pregnant Women (“NAPW”) filed a friend-of-the-court brief http://www.drugpolicy.org/docUploads/NMvMartinezAmicusBrief.pdf on behalf of the New Mexico Public Health Association, the New Mexico Nurses Association, and nearly three dozen other leading medical and public health organizations, physicians, and scientific researchers. During oral argument, the Justices referenced the amicus brief filed by these organizations and expressed grave concerns about the deterrent effect such prosecutions would have on women seeking prenatal care. Tiloma Jayasinghe, NAPW staff attorney, explained, “Making child abuse laws applicable to pregnant women and fetuses would, by definition, make every woman who is low-income, uninsured, has health problems, and/or is battered who becomes pregnant a felony child abuser. In oral argument, the state’s attorney conceded that the law could potentially be applied to pregnant women who smoked.” Reena Szczepanski, Director of Drug Policy Alliance New Mexico, said, “I hope that this case serves as a reminder that pregnant women who are struggling with drug use should be offered prenatal care and drug treatment, not prosecution. There are better ways to protect our children in New Mexico, and ensure that future generations will be safe and healthy.” A complete list of the Amici appears below: New Mexico Section of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists New Mexico Public Health Association New Mexico Nurses Association American College of Physicians, New Mexico National Association of Social Workers National Association of Social Workers, New Mexico National Coalition for Child Protection Reform Child Welfare Organizing Project American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry The Association for Medical Education and Research in Substance Abuse American Public Health Association Citizens for Midwifery Doctors of the World-USA Family Justice The Hygeia Foundation, Inc. National Perinatal Association National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health National Women's Health Network Our Bodies Ourselves Pegasus Legal Services for Children Physicians and Lawyers for National Drug Policy Center for Gender and Justice Yolanda Briscoe, M.D. Bette Fleishman Norton Kalishman, M.D. Eve Espey, M.D. Gavriela DeBoer Dona Upson, M.D., M.A. Elizabeth M. Armstrong, Ph.D. Wendy Chavkin, M.D., M.P.H. Ellen Wright Clayton, M.D., J.D. Nancy Day, M.P.H. Leslie Hartley Gise, M.D. Stephanie S. Covington, Ph.D., L.C.S.W. Ms. Martinez was represented by Jane Wishner of the outhwest Women's Law Center and Joseph Goldberg of the law firm of Freedman Boyd Daniels Hollander Goldberg & Ives, P.A.
Location: 
NM
United States

California Assembly Passes Hemp Farming Legislation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday May 10, 2007 CONTACT: Adam Eidinger Ph: 202-744-2671, E: adam@votehemp.com or Tom Murphy Ph: 207-542-4998, E: tom@votehemp.com California Assembly Passes Hemp Farming Legislation AB 684 Would Allow Farmers to Grow Non-Drug Varieties of Cannabis SACRAMENTO, CA – California’s Assembly today voted 41 to 29, with 9 not voting, to approve AB 684, the California Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2007. The legislation gives farmers the right to grow non-psychoactive Industrial Hemp which is commonly made into everything from food, clothing, paper, body care, bio-fuel and even auto parts. The bill now goes to the Senate where it is expected to have enough support to pass. The text of legislation can be found at: http://www.votehemp.com/state/california.html#Legislation. AB 684, the California Industrial Hemp Farming Act, was authored by Assemblyman Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) and Assemblyman Chuck DeVore (R-Irvine). This is the second time in two years that a bipartisan hemp farming bill has passed the Assembly. Last year, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed AB 1147 which is nearly identical to AB 864. At that time the Governor claimed that bill would put farmers in jeopardy of federal prosecution if they grew hemp despite assurances by Vote Hemp and other supporting organizations such as the California based Hemp Industries Association and California Certified Organic Farmers there would be a challenge to the Drug Enforcement Administration’s legal authority to interfere with the state hemp farming law prior to implementation. “Passage of the hemp farming bill in the Assembly is a sign it is likely to reach Governor Schwarzenegger’s desk for the second year in row,” says Vote Hemp legal Council and San Francisco Attorney Patrick Goggin. “The mood in Sacramento is this bill is consistent with California’s effort to be leader on US environmental policy. Hemp is a versatile plant that can replace polluting crops such as cotton and is taking off as an organic food and body care ingredient. It is time to jump into the expanding market for hemp that California companies currently import from Canada and elsewhere.” Today more than 30 industrialized nations grow industrial hemp and export to the US. It is the only crop that is both illegal to grow and legal for Americans to import. Sales of hemp food and body care products have grown rapidly in recent years fueling an expansion of hemp farming in Canada which topped 48,000 acres in 2006. A telephone poll with a 3.5% margin of error of likely California voters taken from February 22 – 26 showed a total of 71% support changing state law to allow farmers to grow hemp. The survey was conducted by the respected research firm Zogby International on behalf of Vote Hemp and five manufacturers of hemp food products including Alpsnack®, French Meadow Bakery®, Living Harvest®, Nature’s Path Organic Foods® and Nutiva®. Poll questions and results regarding industrial hemp farming policy and consumer attitudes on hemp products and nutrition can be viewed online at: http://www.votehemp.com/polls.html. There is evidence of strong support among men and women and self-identified liberal and conservative voters on the issue. Among California Republicans, 60% support changing state law on hemp while 74% of Democrats are in support. Support was also steady among all age groups, ranging from 54% of 18 to 29 year olds to 82% of 30 to 49 year olds, 74% of 50 to 64 years olds and 60% of those over 65 years old. # # More information about hemp legislation and the crop’s many uses can be found at www.VoteHemp.com.
Location: 
Sacramento, CA
United States

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