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Chronicle AM -- April 16, 2014

Methamphetamine (STDW) - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 19:54

President Obama commutes a marijuana offender's sentence, organized opposition to a legalization initiative emerges in Alaska, draconian heroin bills are moving in Louisiana, and more. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:left caption:true]Marijuana Policy

Denver Crime Rate Drops in First Months of Legal Marijuana Sales. According to crime statistics from the Denver Police, crime is down over the previous year in the first three months of legal marijuana sales there. Violent crime (including homicide, sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault) fell by 6.9% in the first quarter of 2014, compared with the same period in 2013. Property crime (including burglary, larceny, auto theft, theft from motor vehicle and arson) dropped by 11.1%.

Alaska Legalization Initiative Gets Organized Opposition. An organized opposition group has emerged to campaign against the Alaska legalization initiative. A group calling itself "Big Marijuana, Big Mistake, Vote No on 2" officially filed with the Alaska Public Offices Commission last week. The group includes only a handful of Alaskans and says it is not affiliated with Project SAM, the anti-legalization group that has been playing up the "Big Marijuana" theme across the country.

Legalization Bill Filed in New Jersey Assembly. Assemblywoman Linda Stender (D-Scotch Plains) and Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-Trenton) have filed Assembly Bill 3094 to legalize marijuana. The bill is companion legislation to Senate Bill 1986, which was filed by Sen. Nick Scutari (D-Linden) earlier this session.

Medical Marijuana

Tennessee Legislature Approves CBD Medical Marijuana Study Bill. The House voted 97-0 Monday to approve Senate Bill 2531, which would create a four-year study of the use of CBD cannabis oil in treating intractable seizures. The measure passed the Senate last week, and now goes to the desk of Gov. Bill Haslam (R).

Methamphetamine

Tennessee Senate Passes Pseudoephedrine Restriction Bill. A bill that would restrict non-prescription purchases of OTC cold medications containing pseudoephedrine, a precursor chemical in meth manufacture, passed the Senate Tuesday. The bill would cap purchases at 4.8 grams per month and 14.4 grams per year of allergy and cold medicines like Sudafed that could be bought without a prescription. The Senate version differs from the House version in the allowable amounts. The House version has already passed, too, so the two will have to be reconciled before final passage.

Heroin

Draconian Heroin Bill Passes Louisiana Senate Committee. A bill to increase maximum penalties for heroin offenses from 50 to 99 years received approved Tuesday from the Senate Judiciary Committee. Senate Bill 87, sponsored by Sen. Dan Claitor (R-Baton Rouge), now heads for the Senate floor. Another draconian heroin bill, House Bill 332, sponsored by state Rep. Joe Lopinto (R-Metairie) would double mandatory minimums for heroin use and distribution. The full House passed that bill 94-1, and it will now be heard in the Senate.

Sentencing

President Obama Commutes Sentence for Marijuana Offender. President Obama Tuesday granted clemency to a marijuana offender sentenced to too much time because of a typographical error. Ceasar Huerta Cantu had been sentenced to 180 months in federal prison for marijuana distribution conspiracy and money laundering. Obama commuted the sentence to 138 months, which is what it would have been had his initial sentence been calculated correctly. That means Huerta will get out more than three years early. Obama commuted only one sentence in his first term but has been using the power more in his second.

International

Mexico Anti-Cartel Militias Refuse to Lay Down Arms. The so-called autodefensa militias in the southwest Mexican state of Michoacán -- which took up arms against the Knights Templar cartel more than a year ago -- are now refusing the government's demand to put down their weapons. The government had allowed them to keep their arms and integrate into the security forces, but early this month, announced its intention to disarm all civilians in the state. But the militias say they will disband only once the leaders of the Knights Templar Cartel are killed or arrested. "We prefer to die at the hands of the government than at the hands of a goddamned son of a bitch who dismembers and butchers you -- without releasing even a fingernail to your family. Because, that's what the criminals do," one militia leader told VICE News.

Categories: Methamphetamine

US WV: Meth-ingredient Drug Sales Double At CVS In W.Va.

Methamphetamine (MAP) - Mon, 04/14/2014 - 07:00
Charleston Gazette, 14 Apr 2014 - CVS Pharmacy sales of a cold medication that's also used to manufacture illegal methamphetamine have doubled over the past year in West Virginia, according to a Charleston Gazette analysis of sales data released last week. CVS stores are now West Virginia's No. 1 seller of pseudoephedrine, a key meth-making ingredient sold under brand names such as Sudafed and Allegra-D.
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US ND: Increasing Drug Trade, Violence Mar Positive Effects Of

Methamphetamine (MAP) - Mon, 04/14/2014 - 07:00
The Billings Gazette, 14 Apr 2014 - WILLISTON, N.D. - The blood-drenched man had survived a brutal attack: Beaten with brass knuckles, shocked with a stun gun, slashed with a razor blade, then dumped 40 miles away in Montana, he staggered to a farmhouse for help. His path eventually led authorities back to a quiet backyard in this oil boom town. What they uncovered was a large-scale methamphetamine ring. The members of this violent gang were all relative newcomers to Williston.
Categories: Methamphetamine

Thailand: Two Killed In Chiang Mai Drug Bust

Methamphetamine (MAP) - Sun, 04/13/2014 - 07:00
Bangkok Post, 13 Apr 2014 - Two drug couriers were killed and 100,000 methamphetamine pills seized in two clashes between soldiers of the Pha Muang Force and a band of drug traffickers near the Thai-Myanmar border in Chiang Mai's Mae Ai district on Sunday morning, according to force commander Maj Banjerd Changpoonthong. Maj Gen Banjerd said the clashes followed the deployment of combined teams of regular soldiers and rangers to border areas on suspicion that drugs would be smuggled across the border during the Songkran festival.
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US NV: Modern Addiction: Our Heroin Epidemic

Methamphetamine (MAP) - Sun, 04/13/2014 - 07:00
Las Vegas Sun, 13 Apr 2014 - How Your Medicine Cabinet Can Lead You To A Back Alley Drug Not even the funeral of his beloved older brother, dead from a lethal injection of their shared drug of choice, could put the brakes on Dylan Engle's downward spiral.
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US MI: Group Pushes For Legal Marijuana

Methamphetamine (MAP) - Sat, 04/12/2014 - 07:00
The Times Herald, 12 Apr 2014 - Local activists are collecting signatures to allow adults in Port Huron to possess small amounts of marijuana. The Coalition for a Safer Port Huron needs more than 1,000 signatures from city voters to get the proposal to change the city charter on the Nov. 4 ballot. If passed by voters, it would erase any ordinance prohibiting the possession and use of less than one ounce of marijuana by anyone 21 or older.
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US VA: EDU: Column: Legalize Drugs

Methamphetamine (MAP) - Fri, 04/11/2014 - 07:00
Cavalier Daily, 11 Apr 2014 - The War on Drugs Should End Because It Is Costly, Anti-American and Unnecessary The purpose of this piece is not to disprove the widespread notion that drug use is bad; rather, I want to illustrate how legalization is the best way to limit the social, human and economic costs of drug use. As a clarifier: this argument covers recreational drugs like marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine, MDMA, LSD and heroin.
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US WA: Editorial: Need To Reclassify Cannabis

Methamphetamine (MAP) - Thu, 04/10/2014 - 07:00
The Herald, 10 Apr 2014 - NEED TO RECLASSIFY CANNABIS Now that the federal government has finally, belatedly given the OK to a long-delayed study looking at marijuana as a treatment for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, the same government needs to take another step and remove the legal hypocrisy that prevents such research in the first place.
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US ID: Spokane Man Says ISP Profiled Him Due To Washington

Methamphetamine (MAP) - Thu, 04/10/2014 - 07:00
Spokesman-Review, 10 Apr 2014 - A Spokane man says he was pulled over by the Idaho State Police on Interstate 84 last summer and accused of having marijuana solely because he had Washington license plates and had his car windows open. "At that point, my jaw just dropped," said Paul Dungan, 58. "I said 'No.' I told him, 'This is the way I cruise in the summer time ... so I don't fall asleep.' ... He said, 'I want to search your car,' and I said, 'No, you have no right to search my car.'"
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US CA: Lathrop Just Says No To Medical Pot Dispensaries

Methamphetamine (MAP) - Tue, 04/08/2014 - 07:00
Manteca Bulletin, 08 Apr 2014 - LATHROP - Barber poles let people know where they can get a trim. Red crosses on a building or a blue sign with a white H? That means that you're either at or nearing a hospital. So how about the green cross? Well, in Lathrop it really doesn't mean anything since the City Council decided on Monday on a 4-0 vote to outlaw medical marijuana collectives, cooperatives and dispensaries that have appropriated the symbol as an identifier after California allowed "compassionate use" with the passing of Proposition 215 in 1996.
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US MN: New Ulm Man Files Lawsuit For Medical Pot Freedom

Methamphetamine (MAP) - Tue, 04/08/2014 - 07:00
The Journal, 08 Apr 2014 - Counterclaim Says Hansen, As a Farmer, Has the Right to Grow Marijuana NEW ULM - A Mankato attorney for a 33-year-old New Ulm man facing felony violations related to a marijuana-growing operation in his home filed an answer and counterclaim Friday in Brown County District Court.
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US CA: Three Men Arrested After Panga Found With Stacks Of

Methamphetamine (MAP) - Mon, 04/07/2014 - 07:00
Los Angeles Times, 07 Apr 2014 - Three men are in custody on suspicion of attempting to smuggle drugs into the country after authorities found their panga-style boat washed ashore Monday in Malibu and loaded with as much as a ton of marijuana, authorities said. The men, whose identities haven't been released, could make their first court appearances Tuesday, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Lori Haley wrote in an email Monday.
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US: Heroin Surging North Out Of Mexico Spreads In U.S.

Methamphetamine (MAP) - Mon, 04/07/2014 - 07:00
Washington Post, 07 Apr 2014 - As Changing State Laws Cut Pot Prices, Cartels Turn to Opium Poppies TEPACA DE BADIRAGUATO, MEXICO - The surge of cheap heroin spreading in $4 hits across rural America can be traced back to the remote valleys of the northern Sierra Madre.
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US: Heroin Spreads Misery

Methamphetamine (MAP) - Sun, 04/06/2014 - 07:00
The News-Item, 06 Apr 2014 - 'We're All Paying' For This Scourge On a beautiful Sunday last October, Detective Dan Douglas stood in a suburban Minnesota home and looked downat a lifeless 20-year-old - a needle mark in his arm, a syringe in his pocket. It didn't take long for Douglas to realize that the man, fresh out of treatment, was his second heroin overdose that day.
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US MO: Curtman Keeps Pushing For More Drug Court Funding

Methamphetamine (MAP) - Sun, 04/06/2014 - 07:00
Missourian, 06 Apr 2014 - State Rep. Paul Curtman's attempt to get an additional $7 million added to the state's drug court program was unsuccessful in the Missouri House, but he plans to keep up the effort. The Missouri House passed its version of the budget without the additional funding that Curtman proposed.
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Police Kill Wisconsin Man in "No Knock" Drug Raid

Methamphetamine (STDW) - Sat, 04/05/2014 - 20:16

A Red Cedar, Wisconsin, was shot and killed by police during a February drug raid. Although we didn't catch the story at the time, Dennis Grohn, 32, becomes the 13th person to die in US domestic drug law enforcement operations so far this year.

[image:1 align:left][Editor's Note: We only saw this story when a new story about Grohn's autopsy results came out. We strive to catch every drug war-related death in the US, but we're only as good as our Google news searches, so we once again implore readers to send us any news of drug war deaths they come across. We may have seen them already, but we may not have, either, and we appreciate your input in our bid to be as comprehensive as possible.]

According to The St. Paul Pioneer Press, citing police sources, members of the Dunn County sheriff's office, the West Central Drug Task Force and Eau Claire County Regional Tactical Team hit Grohn's home with a "no knock" search warrant at 2:00am on February 12.

The details of what happened next are sketchy, but Grohn ended up shot and fatally wounded shortly thereafter. He was pronounced dead in the emergency room of the Mayo Health Clinic.

There is no mention in either the initial accounts of the raid or in the autopsy story of Grohn having or brandishing a weapon. But according to the search warrant, police were looking for weapons, as well as methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, and other indicia of drug sales at his home.

But Dunn County District Attorney James Peterson determined last month that the use of deadly force by the Eau Claire County Regional SWAT team was justified and offered up the following detail:

"According to an investigation done by the State Department of Criminal Investigation, a member of the SWAT team entered Grohn's garage and saw him sitting in a chair. The deputy says Grohn growled and charged him. The men collided, and the deputy shot Grohn once. The two then fell to the floor in a struggle. Another officer told investigators he saw Grohn's hand on the deputy's rifle and that he feared for his own, and the deputy's, life. He then fired one shot at Grohn, killing him. Prior to entering the home the swat team had been advised that this was considered a high risk entry. Grohn had a history of violence toward police officers, weighed 280 pounds, was suspected of having a shotgun and was likely under the influence of meth. Peterson says Grohn was also likely aware he was facing a lengthy prison sentence if he was caught selling meth." 

The autopsy report on Grohn came out this week, and the Dunn County Medical Examiner's Office said he was "heavily under the influence of methamphetamine at the time of his death," and that the amount of meth in his blood was "near a toxic range." But it wasn't meth that killed Grohn, it was a policeman's gun shot.

Categories: Methamphetamine

US CO: Legal Pot In Colorado Hasn't Stopped Black Market

Methamphetamine (MAP) - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 07:00
Daily Review, 04 Apr 2014 - DENVER (AP) - A 25-year-old is shot dead trying to sell marijuana the old-fashioned, illegal way. Two men from Texas set up a warehouse to grow more than they would ever need. And three people buying pot in a grocery store parking lot are robbed at gunpoint. While no one expected the state's first-in-the-nation recreational sales would eliminate the need for dangerous underground sales overnight, the violence has raised concerns among police, prosecutors and pot advocates that a black market for marijuana is alive and well in Colorado.
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US OK: Test At Halfway House Finds Many On Drugs

Methamphetamine (MAP) - Sat, 03/29/2014 - 07:00
Tulsa World, 29 Mar 2014 - The Community Corrections Center Is Run by Avalon, Which Closed in Tulsa. OKLAHOMA CITY - A surprise drug screening at a private Oklahoma City halfway house this week showed that more than half of the offenders were using illegal drugs.
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US MO: About 50 Gather For Marijuana Legalization Town Hall

Methamphetamine (MAP) - Thu, 03/27/2014 - 07:00
Southeast Missourian, 27 Mar 2014 - SIKESTON, Mo. -- About 50 people attended the Show-Me Cannabis town hall meeting Tuesday at the Clinton Building in Sikeston to discuss the possibility of legalizing marijuana. John Payne, executive director of Show-Me Cannabis, said his efforts are not motivated by a desire to legally get high -- he doesn't use cannabis. His motivations include freedom, human-rights issues, meeting medical needs and economic development.
Categories: Methamphetamine

US CA: Column: Addicts Are Made, Not Born

Methamphetamine (MAP) - Wed, 03/26/2014 - 07:00
SF Weekly, 26 Mar 2014 - The War on Drugs is working. There are fewer and fewer drug addicts every year - just 4 million "chronic" cocaine and methamphetamine users in the entire country, according to a RAND Corporation estimate published last month - but those who do use are in no less trouble. They are lost. Crack or smack or crystal, it doesn't matter. Once hooked, they're fallen, reduced to stumbling mindlessly about the streets, stopping only to swipe up recycling or shit between parked cars.
Categories: Methamphetamine
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