US TN: Column: Economics Of Drug Trade Have Far-reaching Consequences
The Daily Times, 28 Jul 2014 - The only time I ever thought about where the illegal drugs I was purchasing might have come from was when I lucked up in the purchase of some particularly potent cocaine. I didn't ask about the urgency to move such product at such cheap prices, but when we got the eight ball back to our dinghy hotel room and started to break it up, we saw it: a mysterious-looking stamp pressed in the smooth side of the lump of coke, a skull and some words in Spanish prominent in the indention. The sight of it filled me with a little bit of unease, because it was further proof that we were indulging in a game that could have had potentially deadly consequences. It was obviously from someplace south of the border, and rather than contemplate the violence that had accompanied it north to the streets of Myrtle Beach, S.C., we busted it up and proceeded to get high and not think of it again.
US TN: Algood PD Starts Drug Tip Hotline
Herald-Citizen, 17 May 2014 - ALGOOD -- In an effort to engage the community in making their city safer, Algood Police have launched a drug tip hotline. "We're asking anyone inside the city limits of Algood to report -- anonymously -- any drug activity or crime," detective Justin Medlin said. "We can't be everywhere at once, so we need the public's help."
US TN: PUB LTE: Decriminalization Of Marijuana Makes Sense
The Tennessean, 02 May 2014 - I recently had the privilege of being selected to serve on a jury. I sat through a full morning with 50 other citizens before they were seated on a jury or sent home. The judge thanked everyone and apologized for the time it took, but he said the courts were backed up. The case was for simple possession of marijuana. The defendant was cited nearly a year ago. Several months later, the case went before a grand jury and it was determined there was enough evidence to go to trial.
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: 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.