US TN: OPED: Legalization Can't End Our Drug Trouble
Commercial Appeal, 23 Feb 2014 - A new conventional wisdom is on the rise: Drug prohibition, or "the war on drugs," is a costly flop. It not only failed to cut drug use and associated social ills significantly but has also imposed additional social costs - or "catastrophic harm," as my colleague Radley Balko put it - far exceeding the benefits. Those costs include violent crime linked to the black-market drug trade as well as the mass arrest and incarceration of small-time users, a disproportionate number of whom are African-American. It follows that the only solution is legalization, at least of marijuana and maybe other substances. Apropos of Philip Seymour Hoffman's death, for example, former congressman Barney Frank suggested legalizing heroin. Then we could abandon the fool's errand of prohibition and concentrate on "harm reduction" strategies such as treatment.
US TN: PUB LTE: Drop The War On Drugs
Chattanooga Times Free Press, 20 Feb 2014 - Albert Einstein purportedly defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. This perfectly describes our country's drug policy. In his column of Feb. 12, David Cook is of two minds about legalizing drugs, saying correctly that legally selling drugs does not qualify the U.S. to be that shining beacon on the hill we all wish it to be, but his conclusion that we therefore should not legalize them is incorrect. Under present laws, extensive tax funds are used to pursue, capture, prosecute and incarcerate nonviolent drug users. This foolish program of proven failure should be scrapped, and all drugs should be legalized, taxed and rigidly controlled, and the funds diverted to education and other positive state needs, such as rehab for those who want it, cleaning our neighborhoods, promoting business and fighting poverty. Many adults can safely use drugs, and do (alcohol and tobacco are legal). The problem isn't drugs, it's addiction, and its cost to society. If you want to pay fewer taxes, drop the war on drugs. We know what doesn't work; it's time to try something else.
US TN: PUB LTE: Adults In Tennessee Should Have Freedom To
Johnson City Press, 17 Feb 2014 - I'm writing about, "Hundreds march for medical marijuana rights," that appeared Feb. 8. I'd like to add that the cannabis legalization issue, medical and otherwise, is not whether cannabis is completely safe for everybody, including children and adolescents. It is not. The issue is freedom of choice for adults. Children have died from eating peanuts and peanut butter, but we don't cage peanut growers, sellers or consumers. And the voters of Colorado and Washington state have decided that we should not cage cannabis growers, sellers or consumers.
US TN: PUB LTE: Fumes From Colorado
Chattanooga Times Free Press, 09 Feb 2014 - You can be sure of one thing. That those politicians have their windows open up in the state capital in Nashville, smelling that sweet smell of marijuana from Colorado. It will only smell like more easy money to them. Kind of like the lottery. CHARLES WIDGER, Spring City, Tenn. - --- MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom
US TN: Hundreds March For Medical Marijuana Rights
Johnson City Press, 08 Feb 2014 - Allison Folsom brought her family all the way from Bristol to tote her "Moms for Medical Marijuana" sign Saturday. The mother of two, infants Damon and Addie, said she doesn't smoke marijuana for fear of losing her job, but constantly suffers through chronic migraines, something she said would be completely relieved if she were able to smoke marijuana to fight the symptoms.
US TN: PUB LTE: Addictions Can Be Overcome
Chattanooga Times Free Press, 08 Feb 2014 - Addiction experts believe there are only three possible outcomes for an addict who doesn't escape the lure of drugs or alcohol: death, prison or a destroyed life. For far too many, including screen stars like Philip Seymour Hoffman, death is the intended or unintended result from an apparent overdose when they can't stay in recovery. Sadly, addiction doesn't discriminate. It doesn't just strike the rich and famous or thugs and bad guys. It invades and controls the lives of "average" people. Numerous research studies have demonstrated that, just as some people inherit genes that cause cancer and other diseases, addicts may inherit genes that make them more vulnerable to drugs or alcohol. Like many diseases, addiction is incurable. But it doesn't have to be fatal. Addiction is treatable. As my sister Sylvia and I wrote in a book we co-authored ("HOOKED BUT NOT HOPELESS: Escaping the Lure of Addiction"), many addicts survive to live a better life, and broken families are often healed. After admitting she was powerless over addiction and turning her disease over to God, Sylvia has been in recovery for more than four years following a 17-year battle with prescription drug abuse. She was hooked but not hopeless. SHERRY HOPPE, President Emeritus Austin Peay State University - --- MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom
US TN: PUB LTE: Don't Punish The Innocent
Chattanooga Times Free Press, 06 Feb 2014 - The governor's anti-meth bill will force many law-abiding citizens to see their doctors and get prescriptions before they can purchase safe, effective cold medicine. If Gov. Bill Haslam's bill passes and you need more than 10 days of medicine that contains pseudoephedrine (the active ingredient in Sudafed and many other cold medicines), you'll have to take off work or hire a sitter; get a prescription; go to the pharmacy, get your medicine and go home ... all while miserable with a cold or flu.
US TN: Column: Drug War Needs New Strategy
Commercial Appeal, 04 Feb 2014 - WASHINGTON - Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman is yet another victim of the war on drugs. Prohibition is not working. It is time to try something new. Hoffman, 46, was found dead in the bathroom of his Manhattan apartment Sunday morning, apparently the victim of a heroin overdose. According to widely published reports, there was a syringe in his arm. Police found the place littered with small plastic bags stamped "Ace of Spades" or "Ace of Hearts" - brand names that street dealers use.
US TN: Local Activist Hopeful Tennessee Approves Medical
Bristol Herald Courier, 03 Feb 2014 - BLUFF CITY, Tenn. - For local medical-marijuana activist Seth Green, the ability to fill his lungs with a full breath of air - without wincing in pain - outweighs the risk of landing in jail. "I know what the consequences are from it," he said of smoking the weed, which is illegal in Tennessee. "I'd rather not have 60 to 80 seizures in a week's time."