Major Drug Busts of the Week

April 28th, 2009 by Rick

Police Handcuffs

Trucker Busted, 600 Pounds of Pot Seized

On Thursday, a trucker from Texas was pulled over on Interstate 70 in Lafayette County in NW Missouri and after a search of his tractor trailer at a secondary location, police find 600 pounds of marijuana.

Two Arrested on Missouri Drug Bust

A drug raid was authorized in Neosho, Missouri which led to 2 arrests and the seizure of an undisclosed, but large amount of meth, individually packaged for resale, marijuana, drug paraphernalia, and a large amount of cash.

Heroin Packed Iranian Books Seized

On Friday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers said that earlier in the week at a DHL center based in Wilmington, Ohio they intercepted a shipment of heroin, hidden in books that originally came from Iran.

Border Patrol Agents Score a Turkey

In 3 separate incidents, U.S. Border Patrol agents from the Tucson Center, stopped hidden compartment smuggler operations. All together 3,684 pounds of marijuana were seized. All together in the first 6 months of the fiscal period of 2009, the Tucson Center has seized about 600,000 pounds – a record for Border Patrol.

On Wednesday, at Border Patrol Checkpoint State Route 85, agents arrested 4 people when they found 1,000 pounds of marijuana ($800,000) within a hidden compartment in 2 vehicles’ trailers.

Also on Wednesday, at Interstate 19 Checkpoint, a man was arrested after a K-9 drug sniffing dog alerted agents to the presence of possible contraband in a vehicle and after a secondary inspection was conducted 127 pounds ($101,600) was discovered in a hidden compartment.

Agents from the same station on early Thursday chased a suspicious vehicle and stopped the vehicle 3,000 feet north of Mexico causing the driver to bail and like Speedy Gonzalez, haul ass back home, leaving behind 2,557 pounds (over $2,045,000) of marijuana, packaged in 105 bales.

NPR Hallucinates Weed Utopia

April 27th, 2009 by Russ

National Public Radio

While academics and public policy hounds have debated the potentials of weed legalization for years, the topic seems to finally be in vogue today. Now, only 30 years or so after its initial relevance, the plodding basket-weavers at National Public Radio have decided to air their own speculation on what a prohibition-free US landscape would actually look like.

In its thought experiment, NPR postulated that weed had already been legalized for two years and regulated under the same conditions as alcohol. It asked a panel of experts and luminaries to speculate on what this scenario might look like.

Willie Nelson weighed in with a surprisingly balanced prediction:

We don’t worry about going to jail anymore for smoking it. [...] a lot of our old friends who dealt it are out of work.

Apparently, Willie doesn’t see his dealer friends as good candidates for management in the future’s Big Pharma Uber-Corporate Ganja Conglomerate.

Sarah Bird, an Austin, Texas novelist, imagined her sanctioned weed in a more domestic capacity:

It’s been a godsend for the temperamentally tense such as myself. It’s really been a boon to getting me off my addiction to Ambien and Yellowtail Merlot… It’s low-calorie.. it’s great for the libido, and it’s popular at dinner parties, baked into Belgian chocolate brownies.

On the flip side, Robert Almonte, director of the Texas Narcotic Officer’s Association, had a more cautious view:

We’re seeing a more potent marijuana. And with that we’re seeing… an increase in the emergency room admissions.

And so the debate rages on.

Mom Cooks Meth Today, Food Tomorrow

April 27th, 2009 by Rick

Roxanne Halvorson - Just say no to Meth!

On Thursday, Roxanne Halvorson, 38, of Grand Forks, North Dakota, reached a plea agreement of 2.5 years in prison and a supervised probation for being an accomplice to manufacturing meth, possessing drug paraphernalia and child endangerment. Her sentencing hearing is being held on June 16.

Last year, on November 15th, Halvorson let her nephew, Derik Ostlund, 20, and his girlfriend, Candy Reed, 33, cook and use methamphetamine in her duplex — while her children were home. A fire erupted, apparently caused by heated meth pipes. Nobody was hurt, but nine people, including four that lived above the duplex lost their homes in the blaze.

Reed was sentenced to 4 years in prison and 4 years supervised probation for making methamphetamine and reckless endangerment. Ostlund is scheduled to be sentenced May 27, facing the same charges.

Top Canadian Court Ends Monopoly

April 27th, 2009 by Rick

Canadian Supreme Court

Canada’s Supreme Court in Ottawa, with a three-judge panel, shot down the Canadian government’s appeal of a ruling from another case that ended their monopoly on marijuana.

The decision comes as great news to the group of medical marijuana patients that originally challenged the federal regulations in 2008. Saying that they should be allowed to find their own source for marijuana because the government-issued pot, supplied by Prairie Plant Systems in Manitoba, was too weak.

Study: Medicinal vs. Recreational Teen Pot Use

April 27th, 2009 by Erin

Teens Smoking Weed

With the increasing difficulty of acquiring affordable healthcare in the US, especially as a young adult, it’s no surprise that many teens have turned to alternative medicine as an aid for otherwise pricey medical issues.

When you’re young, you should be spending your money at the movies and saving up for college, not on overpriced health insurance and expensive doctor visits. A new study in BioMed Central’s Substance Abuse, Treatment, Prevention and Policy found that about one third of teens who use marijuana use it as a form of medication, not recreation.

Joan Bottorff, alongside a team of researchers from the University of British Columbia interviewed 63 adolescents who use marijuana regularly. Out of these, 20 stated that they used cannabis as a means of managing a variety of health problems; the most common included emotional problems such as depression and anxiety, insomnia, physical pain and difficulty concentrating.

Some of the kids had been previously prescribed prescription drugs such as Ritalin, Prozac or sleeping pills and stopped using them because they found them ineffective, as well as coming with an assortment of unpleasant side or after-effects. Cannabis provides them with immediate relief; making it their primary choice of medication.

Bottorff said:

Marijuana is perceived by some teens to be the only available alternative for those experiencing difficult health problems when legitimate medical treatments have failed or when they lack access to appropriate health care.

While cannabis use is still a significant part of this study, the authors would like to emphasize that “the unmet medical needs of these teens are of key importance in these findings.”

Sentencing Delayed for Charles Lynch, Again

April 27th, 2009 by Rick

Charles Lynch

Sentencing for Charles Lynch, who was convicted on five marijuana-related offenses before the new policy change from the Obama Administration took effect, was postponed until June 11th.

Last Wednesday, U.S. District Judge George Wu listened to both sides for more than two hours before rendering his decision. He said he would consider reducing Lynch’s sentence but said he believes he is bound by law to sentence Lynch to at least one year in prison.

Ex-Jaguars WR Smith Ashamed at Arrest

April 24th, 2009 by Rick

Ex Jaguar Jimmy Smith

On Wednesday, former Jaguar wide receiver, Jimmy Smith, was pulled over by Florida Highway Patrol for having too dark of a tint on his 2009 Mercedes Benz. A Trooper then claimed that the car smelled like marijuana, which prompted a search that resulted in Smith being charged with possession of crack cocaine, marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Free on a $11,500 bail, Smith released a statement via Premier Sports & Entertainment today:

I realize that I cannot be the husband, father, son and citizen I want to be until I overcome my addiction. [...] It is my highest priority, and will be the toughest challenge of my life, but I am going to get the help that I need to achieve a complete recovery.

Smith also added:

I am ashamed and humiliated by my actions and I apologize for the embarrassment I have caused my family, friends and everyone in the Jacksonville community who have supported me throughout my career.

His arraignment is on May 6.

Smith was with the Jaguars for a decade during the 1995 – 2005 seasons and retired from the Jaguars in 2006 with 862 receptions and 12,287 receiving yards with 67 touchdowns.

Former Drug Smuggler Interviewed on CNN

April 24th, 2009 by Rick

CNN American Morning’s Drug Nation held an interesting interview with Brian O’Dea, former drug smuggler, turned author. In the 1980s, Brian O’Dea was responsible for bringing in at least 75 tons of marijuana into the country from South East Asia. While serving 10 years in prison he decided to put his collective experiences into a book called, High.

O’Dea believes that marijuana needs to be legalized and regulated so that the addicts can be helped. He also believes that drugs are a medical issue and that all drugs need to be legalized. The anchor continues to push the issue that if drugs were legalized and made readily available, then people would partake in them and become addicted.

O’Dea says that he had never met anybody that did not do drugs, solely because they were illegal. He makes a good point that drug use ranges from the wealthiest to the poorest. He goes on to say that if drugs were legalized then there would be less distribution of them and that the people that were addicted could be educated and rehabilitated.

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