Media Awareness Project Drug News
  1. US TN: Like Its Music, Nashville May Soften On Marijuana

    New York Times, 19 Sep 2016 - NASHVILLE - Willie Nelson's famous habit of smoking marijuana is not seen as a badge of outlaw courage here anymore, so much as the frivolous foible of an eccentric uncle. A popular FM station disgorging the Boomer rock hits of yesteryear calls itself Hippie Radio 94.5; one of its sponsors is a smoke shop that incessantly hawks glass pipes and detox kits. Even mainstream country acts mention smoking marijuana now and again among the litany of acceptable American pastimes. So perhaps it is not surprising as much as telling that this city, which residents often refer to as the Buckle of the Bible Belt, may be on the cusp of joining the long roster of American cities, including New York, that have decriminalized the stuff.
  2. US TN: PUB LTE: New Approaches Needed For Drugs

    Chattanooga Times Free Press, 17 Jun 2016 - Everyone seems suddenly concerned about drug use and drug addiction. After years of losing the "War on Drugs," many are trying new approaches. An example is the police chief who has set up a voluntary program whereby users and addicts can hand in their drugs and agree to submit to treatment. No criminal charges are made. The humanity of the program is captured in the insistence the word "junkie" will never be used. So what's going on with the chief and his program? Obviously he has plenty of firsthand contact with countless users/addicts. He knows real progress is not in a jail cell but in medical and or psychiatric treatment.
  3. US TN: OPED: There's Something Missing From Our Drug Laws:

    Commercial Appeal, 22 May 2016 - Congress and President Obama are under pressure to reschedule marijuana. While rescheduling makes sense, it doesn't solve the state/federal conflict over marijuana (descheduling would be better). But more important, it wouldn't fix the broken scheduling system. Ideally, marijuana reform should be part of a broader bill rewriting the Controlled Substances Act. The Controlled Substances Act created a five-category scheduling system for most legal and illegal drugs (although alcohol and tobacco were notably omitted). Depending on what category a drug is in, the drug is either subject to varying degrees of regulation and control (Schedules II through V) - or prohibited, otherwise unregulated and left to criminals to manufacture and distribute (Schedule I). The scheduling of various drugs was decided largely by Congress and absent a scientific process - with some strange results.
  4. US TN: OPED: Through The Haze, Ripple Effects Unclear

    Commercial Appeal, 22 May 2016 - In six months, California will join Maine, Nevada and probably a few other states in deciding whether to legalize large-scale commercial production of marijuana. Residents will be inundated with wild claims about the promises and pitfalls of these initiatives. You will hear debates about government revenue, criminal justice benefits, the environment and the effect of legalization on Mexican drug-trafficking cartels. Public health conversations may prove especially contentious. Some will claim that legalization will constitute a net gain for health. Others will say the exact opposite.
  5. US TN: OPED: Scientists Want to Study It. Big Pot Just Wants

    Commercial Appeal, 22 May 2016 - Since 1970, when President Richard Nixon signed the Controlled Substances Act, marijuana has been a Schedule I drug. Congress placed it in the most restrictive category of psychoactive substances, those with no currently accepted medical value and a high potential for abuse or dependence. The upshot was a renewed ban on marijuana, except for highly restricted research purposes. I say renewed because Congress first prohibited marijuana use for non-industrial purposes in 1937. The Schedule I designation ratified the status quo, with one notable exception: The 1970 CSA in fact reduced federal penalties for cannabis possession, a bit of Nixon-era liberality few recall.
  6. US TN: OPED: States Will Have Last Word Regardless of Federal

    Commercial Appeal, 22 May 2016 - There are rumors that the federal government may soon lift its ban on marijuana, but that wouldn't end marijuana prohibitions in the United States. This incongruity is the result of federalism: the ability of each jurisdiction - the federal government and every state - to maintain its own laws as to which drugs are illegal and which are not. Completely legalizing marijuana in the United States would require the actions of both the federal government and every state government. If the federal government repealed its criminal prohibition of marijuana or rescheduled the drug under federal law, that would not change state laws that forbid its possession or sale. Likewise, state governments can repeal their marijuana laws, in whole or in part, but that does not change federal law.
  7. US TN: Pot Referendum Bill Dies In Senate

    Commercial Appeal, 19 Apr 2016 - A bill that would have allowed Tennesseans to weigh in on whether to decriminalize possession of low-level amounts of marijuana has failed in the Legislature. The Senate Judiciary Committee killed the proposal April 12. The measure, which was sponsored by Memphis Democrats Antonio Parkinson and Sara Kyle, would not have legalized marijuana possession. Instead, it would have allowed voters to make their opinion known on whether police should arrest people in possession of one ounce of marijuana or less or give them a warning instead.
  8. US TN: PUB LTE: Cannabis Prohibition Is A Farce

    The Tennessean, 14 Apr 2016 - If "reason and honesty" were part of the public discourse regarding cannabis (marijuana) prohibition (Letter: "Marijuana misinformation," by Bob Alley, April 3, 2016), it would never have been orchestrated from the beginning. Historically, its existence is due to racism, greed and the omission of science.
  9. US TN: LTE: Painkillers Not A Treatment

    The Tennessean, 14 Apr 2016 - Re: "Culture of healing needed to battle painkiller addiction," by David Plazas, April 8. In response to your article, I would like to express how strongly I agree that our culture relies entirely too much on painkillers.