US PA: OPED: Growing Heroin, Opioid Epidemic Demands Action
The News-Item, 26 Aug 2014 - Over the past five years, nearly 3,000 heroin-related overdose deaths have been identified in Pennsylvania. Overdose deaths in our state have increased by an astounding 570 percent, rising from 2.7 to 15.4 per thousand over the last two decades. Nationally, more people aged 25 to 64 are dying from heroin overdoses than in vehicle crashes.
US PA: PUB LTE: Pennsylvania Needs To Legalize Pot
Observer-Reporter, 25 Aug 2014 - When I read the the Associated Press article, "More schools mixing beer, football" in the Saturday newspaper, I thought of the Prohibition era. Happily, Americans realized the government cannot legislate the drinking habits of its citizens. Prohibition lasted only 13 years. I wonder how long it will take the Pennsylvania Legislature to lose its Carrie Nation-like attitude and follow the enlightened laws of some states and allow the recreational use of marijuana. The article stated two reasons for allowing the drinking of beer at college football games: Cash-strapped athletic departments; and getting fans to the game, rather than sitting in front of their television sets or at sports bars. Is any state more cash-strapped than Pennsylvania? Colorado reported an income of $4.7 million for June from its marijuana sales tax.
US PA: PUB LTE: What Is It Good For?
The Philadelphia Inquirer, 25 Aug 2014 - In the case of marijuana activists Chris Goldstein and Don DeZarn, U.S. District Judge Cynthia M. Rufe used the defense's overblown rhetoric, comparing the defendants' civil disobedience to that of Mohandas Gandhi, against them ("A Gandhi analogy fails to sway judge in marijuana case," Aug. 21). This was a cheap shot, and it exposed the judge's lack of concern for the hundreds of thousands of citizens who have been persecuted, incarcerated, and marginalized by the war on drugs. The drug war has had the same effect as the Jim Crow laws that incarcerated and denied rights to people of color for decades. When Rufe denigrated these defendants, they truly did become victims of the drug war, and she the point of a misguided spear. Conveniently for the judge, these two defendants were white, while the majority of the drug war's victims are brown or black. Therefore she could safely ignore issues such as police repression by class and race, arbitrary and selective enforcement of the law, and anything that smacks of legitimate dissent in the defendants' case.
US PA: OPED: High And 'Near-Broken Societies'
Tribune Review, 25 Aug 2014 - Four-star Marine Corps Gen. John Francis Kelly is commander of the U.S. Southern Command, which is responsible for security planning and military operations in Central and South America and the Panama Canal. Regarding the growing number of unaccompanied minors piling up at the southern U.S. border, escaping the escalating violence in their hometowns in Central America, Kelly in an essay last month in the Military Times said he spent more than a year "observing the transnational organized crime networks" in Central America.
US PA: Column: Militarization Is A Threat To Democracy
Daily Review, 22 Aug 2014 - The killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and the heavy-handed police tactics that have followed point to a growing problem in this country: the threat of a police state that endangers not only public safety, but democracy itself. After the fatal shooting of the unarmed Brown by Ferguson officer Darren Wilson, local law enforcement descended upon the city like an occupying force, complete with military weapons, tear gas, rubber bullets and armored personnel carriers.
US PA: Magee, Insurers Launch Recovery Center For
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 21 Aug 2014 - At a time when heroin use and prescription drug abuse have reached epidemic levels, local health care providers are stepping up to the plate to help one targeted group: pregnant women. On Wednesday, Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC, along with several local insurers, announced the launch of what it called the "first-of its kind" outpatient recovery center in the country for pregnant women addicted to opiates - heroin and Vicodin, Oxycontin, hydrocodone and other highly addictive painkillers. And West Penn medical officials said a similar program is in the works.
US PA: Paraphernalia Penalty Can Be Worse
Pike County Courier, 21 Aug 2014 - Paraphernalia Shops Abound In Pike, And So Do Arrests: Plastic Bags, Lighters And Wrapping Paper Can Also Lead To Charges MATAMORAS - Those plastic ziplock bags at the supermarket might look harmless. But in Pennsylvania, they can lead to serious criminal charges if found alongside a stash of drugs.
US PA: Narcotics Officer Who Lied Insists He's Being Truthful
The Philadelphia Inquirer, 20 Aug 2014 - Two years ago, a veteran police narcotics officer was labeled a liar by a Philadelphia judge who tossed evidence seized from an alleged drug dealer, destroying the prosecution's case. The Philadelphia Police Department has removed Christopher Hulmes from street duty pending the outcome of an Internal Affairs investigation; the city has paid $150,000 to settle a civil-rights lawsuit against him, and another is pending in federal court.
US PA: Regional Panel On Drug Addiction Drafts Initial
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 14 Aug 2014 - A four-month old panel aiming to stem the rise of prescription narcotic addiction and reduce overdose deaths has developed nearly a dozen initial recommendations and is probably a month away from its final report. "We're really in the home stretch of our work," U.S. Attorney David Hickton said today at a meeting in his office of the Working Group on Addiction: Prevention, Intervention, Treatment and Recovery. He urged the 18 members to "sprint to a final report in early September and start acting."