Ashburn arrested for DUI

California Sen. Roy Arthur Ashburn, R-Bakersfield, who represents Porterville, was arrested early this morning for allegedly driving under the influence in Sacramento County.

Shortly before 2 a.m. officers with the California Highway Patrol spotted him “weaving” in downtown Sacramento, near L Street and 13th Street. Upon pulling Ashburn over, they noticed signs that he may be intoxicated, according to Sgt. Rick Campbell.

Ashburn agreed to do a field sobriety test, and was subsequently arrested. He was booked into the Sacramento County Jail, and has since been released.

“Senator Ashburn was extremely cooperative during the entire process,” Campbell said.

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The Chemist’s War

The little-told story of how the U.S. government poisoned alcohol during Prohibition with deadly consequences.

It was Christmas Eve 1926, the streets aglitter with snow and lights, when the man afraid of Santa Claus stumbled into the emergency room at New York City’s Bellevue Hospital. He was flushed, gasping with fear: Santa Claus, he kept telling the nurses, was just behind him, wielding a baseball bat.

Before hospital staff realized how sick he was—the alcohol-induced hallucination was just a symptom—the man died. So did another holiday partygoer. And another. As dusk fell on Christmas, the hospital staff tallied up more than 60 people made desperately ill by alcohol and eight dead from it. Within the next two days, yet another 23 people died in the city from celebrating the season.

Doctors were accustomed to alcohol poisoning by then, the routine of life in the Prohibition era. The bootlegged whiskies and so-called gins often made people sick. The liquor produced in hidden stills frequently came tainted with metals and other impurities. But this outbreak was bizarrely different. The deaths, as investigators would shortly realize, came courtesy of the U.S. government.

Frustrated that people continued to consume so much alcohol even after it was banned, federal officials had decided to try a different kind of enforcement. They ordered the poisoning of industrial alcohols manufactured in the United States, products regularly stolen by bootleggers and resold as drinkable spirits. The idea was to scare people into giving up illicit drinking. Instead, by the time Prohibition ended in 1933, the federal poisoning program, by some estimates, had killed at least 10,000 people.

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Army Alcoholics: More Soldiers Hitting the Bottle

After Army Sgt. Edison Bayas‘s car finally came to a rest on its roof, his jumbled, drunken thoughts immediately turned to the men he left in Iraq, as if he was still on the battlefield.

But he wasn’t in Iraq. He was in an El Paso intersection with a blood alcohol content more than three times the legal limit, his 19-year-old victim nearly decapitated in her car a few feet away.

Bayas, a decorated career soldier, is now serving a 15-year-prison sentence for intoxication manslaughter. He’s just one of thousands of soldiers whose problems with alcohol spun out of control in the midst of two wars, mounting pressure and a continuing stigma that macho guys don’t get help.

After years of increasing alcohol abuse within their ranks, soldiers are now seeking treatment in record numbers, according to new figures put out by the Army.

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A little brain food for the perpetually Recovering City of Big Bear Lake Council and other prostitutes of the Prison-Industrial Complex

Who knows better than NASA about getting high?

A bag of cocaine was discovered in the space shuttle Discovery‘s hangar at NASA‘s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Only shuttle workers are authorized to enter the area.

The bag with a small amount of the drug was discovered on Tuesday by an employee and handed over to security, reports

“This is a rare and isolated incident, and I’m disappointed that it happened, but it should not detract from the outstanding work that is being done by a dedicated team on a daily basis,” Bob Cabana, Director of Kennedy Space Center and a former astronaut, said in a statement. “We are conducting an investigation and working with center security and law enforcement officials to get to the bottom of it.”

About 200 NASA employees and contractors have access to the shuttle hangar, and now they all must undergo drug tests.The agency said it took the incident very seriously and will have zero-tolerance on illegal substances.

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Former Pendleton Marine scum sentenced in DUI killing

SANTA ANA, Calif. — A former Marine has been sentenced to 15 years to life in prison for a deadly drunken driving crash that occurred hours after he attended a driving safety briefing.

Former Lance Cpl. Elijah Ferguson was sentenced Friday in Santa Ana for the crash that killed an Orange County doctor and injured the victim’s wife in February 2008.

The 22-year-old was convicted in December of second-degree murder and driving under the influence causing injury.

The crash occurred after Ferguson attended a safety briefing at Camp Pendleton that addressed the dangers of drunken driving.

Prosecutors say Ferguson rammed into the back of a car in Newport Beach, killing radiologist Michael Sein.

A message was left for deputy public defender Stephen Michael Womack.

Big Bear’s Out, Aspen’s in Cannabis competition coming to Aspen this spring aims to find out

[ Don't waste your time in the Recovering Big Bear, where the Nazi Republican pigs are stinking, business sucks and attitudes offend visitors.  Big Bear is now devoted to AA and urine samples.  Let's head for Aspen! ]

ASPEN, Colo. (AP) — It’s like a beer competition for marijuana.

A cannabis festival in Aspen, Colorado, this spring will be the first in the state for approved growers to put their strains in a contest.

The Western Slope Cannabis Crown will have about 50 medical marijuana growers enter their strains of weed. The marijuana strains will be diagnostically tested for their THC levels. Growers will also be able to sell to medical marijuana patients. The customers would vote on a “people’s choice” strain.

The Cannabis Crown organizer, Bobby Scurlock, says about 1,500 tickets have been sold for the two-day event.

Just a reminder to the pig-sucking, brain-dead, flacid, perpetually-Recovering City of Big Bear Lake Council

Paul Chabot would love this commercial:

Teens Too Smart To Buy Anti-Drug Ads

A kid of about 13 wanders through a house party.  He goes outside where there are a quartet of pot smokers who offer him a joint.

He thinks for a moment, then there are all these quick flashes of him with pills, hiding stuff under his bed, getting into fights with his family, falling asleep in class and getting busted at school.

The ad implies that trying pot once will turn you into a full-on drug fiend within days.  This flies in the face of all science on the subject, but since when were facts used in anti-drug ads?

So the kid just shrugs and goes back into the party — ostensibly to eat more junk food and, quaff ‘energy drinks’, and listen to L’il Wayne and Snoop Dogg.

Does anyone really think kids will believe this fear-mongering balderdash?

In the 1980s, when I was a teen, they tried to stuff all this ‘Just Say No’ stuff down our throats and all it did was make us think that adults were morons.  If this new ad campaign is anywhere near as effective as previous government-run, anti-marijuana messages, we should see the number of teen drug users increase 10% within the next few years.

Now, instead of representing their constituents, like the pretty girl above, our mayor and council work for these guys…

Top row:  Rodney (“Baby Rod”) Hoops and Floyd Tidwell.  Bottom row: Gary Penrod and Cindy Beavers

And these guys work by preying on you.

Bob (RIP) and Mayor Liz, by the way, used to run a little back-room operation from their tourist shop.  They would purchase and re-sell meals to the Sheriff’s Department for their inmates.  They could have bought them direct, but were feeding their sheep while primping for the Master’s Work.

Liz, you’re supposed to be a psychologist.  Do you remember that little thing that Erikson called “ego integrity?”  Where will you find yours?  Tell the truth, Doc.

Lawmakers Say No To Higher Alcohol Taxes

California — State lawmakers have a rejected the idea of raising fees on alcoholic beverages to help mitigate some of the effects of alcohol abuse. It’s the second time in a year the proposal has died in the California Assembly Committee on Health.

The assembly bill would have raised fees about 10 cents a drink. It would have generated an estimated $1.4 billion a year. Supporters say the money would have helped pay for some of the public health and criminal justice costs of alcohol abuse in California.

Jim Gogek is with the San Diego County Alcohol Policy Panel. He says polls show support for higher alcohol taxes.

“But the alcohol lobby is stronger in Sacramento than public opinion, and so the alcohol lobby has always been able to kill alcohol taxes,” Gogek says.

The alcohol industry argued higher taxes would have cost thousands of jobs.

Alcohol taxes haven’t been raised in California since 1992.

Here comes “Pinky” for his final disgrace

[ Before making a big mistake, insist that "Pinky" Stout debate Mike Ramos in public and make a recording available on the Internet.  This jerk can hardly tie his shoes.  He was put into office by the military/prison-industrial complex mafia bosses, in an era of secrecy and censorship.  He was chosen for his ignorant obedience.  Let's see how he looks when we can really see him. By the way, MID/PID scum:  You don't run this county any more. ]

SAN BERNARDINO – Former district attorney Dennis Stout says he’s ‘committed’ to winning back his old job.

Stout is determined to root out government corruption…

“During eight years that I was district attorney, we prosecuted over fifty major corruption cases. By the time I completed my second term, corruption in San Bernardino County was pretty much under control. But, during the last seven years, it has reared its ugly head again.”

Stout did not seek re-election in 2002 and was replaced by Mike Ramos.

Stout expects to make a formal campaign announcement within two weeks. (INT)

Story Date: January 6, 2010

Retired Air Force colonel pleads guilty to fatal DUI

BATON ROUGE, La. — Authorities say a retired Air Force colonel who was intoxicated when he rear-ended a car on an interstate service road in Baton Rouge in 2008, killing two Ascension Parish teenagers, has pleaded guilty.

Fifty-eight-year-old Chris Michael Bourgeois was sentenced Monday to two years in prison.

He must serve one year of home incarceration after his release from prison, then will be placed on active supervised probation for five years.

State District Judge Louis Daniel also ordered Bourgeois to use an ignition interlock device on his vehicle as a condition of his probation.

Bourgeois was scheduled to stand trial Monday on two counts of vehicular homicide in the deaths of 15-year-old Ladarius Favorite and 13-year-old Andre Queen. He instead pleaded guilty to the charges.

Celebrate 2010 with a Kalashnikov

OK, we don’t mean emptying a full mag into the sky — that would be inconsiderate. This year, we’ll celebrate with a different kind of shot from a Kalashnikov: the 82-proof variety.

That’s right, Mikhail Timofeyevich Kalashnikov, inventor of the iconic AK-47 assault rifle, has lent his name to a brand of vodka. We don’t know what his licensing fee is, but Kalashnikov hopes that his favorite firewater will, uh, help advance world peace.

“I’ve always thought — and still think — that weapons should serve to promote peace between countries,” he says in a video posted on the Kalashnikov vodka website. “What I’m doing now is promoting this vodka, to strengthen peace and friendship between peoples.”

That’s a nice enough sentiment, so I think I’ll retire the snark for 2009. After the jump, three of Kalashnikov’s high priestesses of peace prepare to usher in 2010. Happy New Year, y’all!

Resistance Against Checkpoints

Law enforcement agencies have declared they will hold 300 “DUI” checkpoints during the holiday season statewide. Furthermore, they have declared 2010 “the year of the checkpoint.” Checkpoints are a military tactic that violate the Fourth Amendment and condition society to passivity toward police interference in daily activities. They disproportionately impact immigrant communities, who face deportation due to 287(g) agreements, which deputize local law agencies to enforce federal immigration law. For these reasons, resistance to “the checkpoint society” has been fierce, and has included lobbying local officials, holding vigils and marches, creating communication networks, and actually being present at checkpoints to warn passing motorists and document abuses. Follow reports from the struggle:

Op/Ed: Checkpoints Violate the Fourth Amendment and Normalize the Police State by Rockero

From the newswire: Pomona anti-checkpoint action by Direct Action Claremont | | Documentación de un caso de injusticia ejecutada en un retén policial por Rockero | | Protest LAPD Stealing Cars from Raza during Xmas Season!! by Unión del Barrio

This week’s checkpoints: Retenes navideños / Christmas checkpoints (25/dec-2/ene) by Checkpoint response

Troops admit to abusing prescription drugs

About one in four soldiers admit to abusing prescription drugs, most of them pain relievers, in a one-year period, according to a Pentagon health survey released Wednesday.

The study, which surveyed more than 28,500 U.S. troops last year, showed that about 20 percent of Marines had also abused prescription drugs, mostly painkillers, in that same period.

The findings show the continued toll on the military from fighting wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan since 2003. Those wars have required troops to serve multiple combat deployments.

“We are aware that more prescription drugs are being used today for pain management and behavioral health issues,” Brig. Gen. Colleen McGuire, director of the Army Suicide Prevention Task Force, said Wednesday. “These areas of substance abuse along with increased use of alcohol concern us.”

The survey showed that pain relievers were the most abused drug in the military, used illicitly at a rate triple that of marijuana or amphetamines, the next most widely abused drugs.

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A video to warm the heart of Big Bear’s new “appointed” shill, “Doc” Harris

Another win for Big Alcohol: The Recovering City of Big Bear Lake Council bows to the prison-industrial complex

[ BBOP Comment: There's a related post at Cactus Thorns.

Liz, didn't you and your deceased husband once feed yourselves by brokering jailhouse meals?  Still in the business?

Greg, enough with the deceitful propaganda.  Your boss, like Assembly candidate Paul Chabot, is developmentally disabled from childhood trauma due, significantly, to the war on drugs.  Direct him to seek counseling from Law Enforcement Against Prohibition - and become a real cop.

The latest poll shows that the MAJORITY of American want pot legalized, period - not just medical marijuana.  And the DEA was forced to remove its false statements about marijuana from its website when the American Medical Association stepped into the act.  That woman who was pistol-whipped...?  Tell us why, Greg.  What was the assailant after, and why?  A good argument for legalization, would you not say?  As quoted in this Grizzly article, you are a liar, if by omission.  Who, exactly do you represent?

You all SHOULD be red.  Where are those new clothes, Emperor? This is what you and your Brownies serve.

The truth is that legalization is the key to ending drug violence, Eliot Ness. This issue has now become a matter of national security (even if that mattered, in the face of more important PEOPLE).  It is time to eliminate welfare for terrorists.

Your legacies, as will be known to your children and future generations, are a matter of your choice. Stand up, tall and proud, and choose yours. ]

The city of Big Bear Lake is saying no to marijuana dispensaries. During the Dec. 14 City Council meeting, council members unanimously approved two ordinances prohibiting dispensaries within the city limits.

The city’s director of building and planning, Jim Miller, said the ordinances will clarify the city’s stance in prohibiting medical marijuana dispensaries. “(The development code) does have language prohibiting land use in violation of federal law,” Miller said. “We felt it was important to strengthen our municipal code.”

Medical marijuana dispensaries are prohibited by federal law under the Controlled Substances Act. These same dispensaries are legal under the state of California’s Compassionate Use Act. The city of Big Bear Lake does not have specific language in its municipal code regarding medical marijuana dispensaries. The ordinance will clarify local regulation of land use, Miller said.

According to Miller, the city has received several inquiries and one business license application to establish medical marijuana dispensaries within the city limits. The city denied the requests based on Development Code Section 17.01.030 (F) that prohibits land use in violation of federal, state or county plans, regulations or laws.

The City Council also passed a second ordinance that serves as an interim regulation while the municipal code is amended. The interim urgency ordinance places a 45-day moratorium on the establishment and operation of medical marijuana dispensaries. The ordinance can be extended for an additional 10 months and 15 days after public notice and a public hearing.

Miller said in light of recent problems in Los Angeles County and San Diego County, city staff believes it is necessary to immediately address the issue. There seems to be an increase in the potential risk of criminal activities near dispensary sites, according to the staff report. “This has created a lot of controversy,” Miller said.

Capt. Greg Garland of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department urged the City Council to approve the ordinances. “San Diego is going through the same problems that we’ve been reading about in Los Angeles,” Garland said. Recently, a woman was pistol-whipped while inside a San Diego dispensary, he said.

“We’re looking at how other counties are dealing with the rules and regulations,” Garland said. “We just want additional time to research.”

Mayor pro tem Bill Jahn asked why the moratorium couldn’t automatically extend to the full 10 months. Miller explained that state law requires the 45-day moratorium and subsequent expansion.

The moratorium allows city staff to do more research before recommendations are made to amend the municipal code.

Drunken Narcotics Officer Kills Woman in Crash

FORT WORTH — The medical examiner says an off-duty Fort Worth Police Department officer’s blood-alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit when he was involved in a crash that killed a woman.

Results released Thursday indicate the blood-alcohol level for Jesus Cisneros was .17 at the time of the fatal collision Dec. 11. The legal limit in Texas is .08.

Fort Worth police say they are now trying to determine how fast Cisneros was driving in his unmarked car and will investigate the crash as an intoxication manslaughter case.

The narcotics officer has not been charged but is now on restricted duty.

Woman testifies judge sought relationship in return for favor

Harris County, Texas, Court-at-Law Judge Donald W. Jackson told a 28-year-old woman with a pending drunken driving case that he could get her a lawyer who could win her case if she became interested in him, but that if she did not, she would be convicted, the woman testified Tuesday.

Jackson is on trial for misdemeanor official oppression, accused of propositioning Ariana Venegas in February.

“He said, ‘Let me put it to you bluntly, I’m interested in you. I don’t want a one-night stand, I want a relationship.’ ” Venegas, 28, said on the witness stand.

“He told me that if I wasn’t going to get interested, that I would get convicted because he’s the judge.”

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63rd District: You need to know Paul Chabot

Paul Chabot,  who is running for California’s 63rd State Assembly District, recently participated in a debate over drug legalization, which included former judge James “Jim” P. Gray of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Ethan Nadelmann of the Drug Policy Alliance.

Chabot was damaged in childhood by incompetent parenting and by the war on drugs. While compassion and support for the handicapped is honorable, outright patronization and exaggerated, unreal flattery is an insult.

The military, the criminal justice system and many religious cults go a step further and recruit from sources such as Alcoholics Anonymous, where a couple of percent of forced participants who actually are handicaps (euphemistically called “addicts“), buy into the concept of helplessness and are anxious to turn the control of their minds and bodies over to a “higher power.”  Chabot has been a subject of their nurturing since age 12.

These are the people sought by the recruiters.  They will do what rational people will not.  Note that 1 in 8 combat troops needs alcohol counseling.  Note the escalated activity by law enforcement to round them up during “wartime.”

Chabot has already proven his helplessness and mindless obedience to both the prison- and military-industrial complexes.  The next step for such victims is abandonment – or “promotion” to public office for one final round of exploitation.

If he is abandoned now, further damage to himself and his family might be avoided.  Even if this was not the case, society cannot accept the threat he will represent to all of us if he is patronized into a political career as a windfall cut-out for his handlers.

Do you want another “leader” who cannot handle his alcohol and/or drugs?  A leader whose goal is to punish all normal, healthy people for his disease and weakness?  It is time to take control of government away from the vulgar, self-serving military- and prison-industrial complexes and put them back under our control where they belong.  Have they not disgraced us all enough?  Listen to the debate…

Listen to the debate here.

His “testimonial-fired” personal website is here.

His political website is here.

His “bio” is here.

The Fact That Drunk Drivers ‘Choose’ to Drive Drunk Is Completely Irrelevant

Mark R. Crovelli

There is a virtual consensus among the American public that drunk driving is an horrific crime that deserves only ruthless punishment. Indeed, the level of consensus on this issue is so unanimous that virtually the only debate that ever occurs with regard to drunk driving revolves around how best to step up enforcement and inflict ever more merciless punishments on people who choose to drive drunk. Few and far between are any substantive criticisms of the idea of hunting down and imprisoning people, just because they happen to have an arbitrary amount of alcohol in their blood.

One of the major reasons why this level of consensus has emerged in recent decades is that the proponents of drunk-driving prohibition have seized the moral high ground. They have accomplished this primarily by portraying drunk drivers as uniquely dangerous and uniquely evil drivers – drunk drivers are the great and deadly scourge of the modern world. The drunk driver is painted as the moral and legal equivalent of a man pointing a loaded shotgun at a crowd of innocent people – a menace crying out for the state to step in and “disarm” (i.e., mercilessly punish him) before he kills or hurts anyone.

The glaring problem with the argument that drunk drivers are uniquely dangerous and uniquely evil, however, is that there are plenty of other drivers in this world that are equally dangerous and deadly, but who are not vilified, hunted down and imprisoned by the state. There are sleepy drivers, drivers toying with their stereos, drivers old enough to have seen Great Depression I, drivers with dogs on their laps, drivers putting on makeup, drivers with glasses thicker than their taillights, teenage drivers, drivers looking at maps, drivers with the flu, drivers screaming at their spouses, drivers with kids fighting in the backseat, drivers eating tacos, virtually every single driver in Los Angeles…

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Czechs Allow 5 Cannabis Plants For Personal Use From 2010

The interim government of the Czech Republic, led  by chief statistician-turned-Prime Minister Jan Fischer, Monday took another step towards making casual marijuana smoking a worry-free affair.

Fischer’s cabinet defined what constitutes “small amounts” of cannabis for personal use, clarifying the country’s new penal code that from next year decriminalizes cultivation and possession of the plant by individuals.

As of Jan. 1 ordinary Czechs can grow up to five marijuana plants or have several marijuana cigarettes in their pockets without fear of criminal prosecution. Previously what constituted a small amount was not specified and the police and courts loosely interpreted the penal code case by case, often resulting in incarceration of home growers.

See story on the cannabis decision from Czech news agency CTK.

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Court rejects rule making sailors report DUI Arrests

The Navy’s rule forcing sailors to “promptly” tell their commanding officers if they have been arrested for an off-base drunken-driving violation is unconstitutional, the Navy and Marine Corps’s highest military judges have ruled.

The requirement, which dates back to 1999, forces sailors to incriminate themselves, a violation of the Fifth Amendment “for which no exemption exists,” according to the Nov. 25 ruling from the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeal.

The case could force the Navy to change its policy and also prompt officials to reconsider some past punishments for drunken driving or failure to report a civilian driving-while-intoxicated arrest.

“There is no doubt that this case will be taken up to the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, so we’ll have to see what shakes out,” said Michael Navarre, a former Navy judge advocate who is now a lawyer in Washington, D.C.

Navy officials declined to comment on the ruling. The Navy has 30 days to decide whether it will take the case to the CAAF, which is the last stop before the U.S. Supreme Court.

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iePolitics Commentary: Sheriff Hoops, Part 2

Sheriff Rod Hoops let’s continue from my last posting.

I do not want our readers to think that misconduct such as the credentials falsification issue with Sheriff’s Captain Bart Gray is nothing but an aberration.

It is actually the opposite. In other words it happens quite frequently.

Not only are special accommodations made for ranking employees when caught committing crimes, so are their family members. More often than not.

And to be fair to you, I acknowledge that this pattern and practice is nothing you designed or created. You are simply picking up where others have left off, and carrying on the culture and traditions of the department.

Maybe people will realize this is why some are appointed Sheriff within the ranks versus the County seeking outside applicants.

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Pendleton Marine Beats Woman’s Face with Beer Mug, Nearly Severs Ear

A woman’s ear was nearly severed at a Temecula bar early Wednesday when a 22-year-old Marine struck her in the head with a glass object, authorities said.

About 12:30 a.m., police were called to Aloha J’s at 27497 Ynez Road, where they found Jackson Gabriel Reyes, of Camp Pendleton, detained by security. They also found a Murrieta woman, who is in her early 20s, suffering from serious injuries, Temecula police Sgt. Mike Canizales said.

The woman was treated at the scene, then taken to a hospital, a news release said.

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Government adviser fired for saying alcohol is more dangerous than drugs

Professor David Nutt, the government’s chief drug adviser, has been sacked a day after claiming that ecstasy and LSD were less dangerous than alcohol.

Nutt incurred the wrath of the government when he claimed in a paper that alcohol and tobacco were more harmful than many illegal drugs, including LSD, ecstasy and cannabis.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “The home secretary has asked Professor Nutt to resign as chair of the ACMD [Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs].

“In a letter he [Alan Johnson] expressed surprise and disappointment over Professor Nutt’s comments which damage efforts to give the public clear messages about the dangers of drugs.

“We remain determined to crack down on all illegal substances and minimize their harm to health and society as a whole.”

Nutt had criticized politicians for “distorting” and “devaluing” the research evidence in the debate over illicit drugs.

Arguing that some “top” scientific journals had published “horrific examples” of poor quality research on the alleged harm caused by some illicit drugs, the Imperial College professor called for a new way of classifying the harm caused by both legal and illegal drugs.

“Alcohol ranks as the fifth most harmful drug after heroin, cocaine, barbiturates and methadone. Tobacco is ranked ninth,” he wrote in the paper from the centre for crime and justice studies at King’s College, London, published yesterday.

“Cannabis, LSD and ecstasy, while harmful, are ranked lower at 11, 14 and 18 respectively.”

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Saved from First Time Ignition Interlock Requirements in DUI cases

San Diego Dui Offenders will be spared the requirement of installing Ignotion Interlock Devices in their cars if they are convicted of a first offense.

Governor Swartzenegger signed a bill requiring first time offenders in Sacramento, Alameda, Tuare and Los Angeles counties to install ignition interlock devices.

What is so strange about this bill is that it omits the majority of counties, including San Diego, Orange, Riverside, etc…

We can expect a substantial equal protection challenge from criminal defense attorneys in the counties where this requirement takes effect in January.

For more, see:

“Road police blood tests are an act of rape”

The pilot program that is happening in Idaho and Texas to take blood forcibly from individuals unwilling to blow a breathalyzer is aimed at prosecuting more people, says Georgetown University professor Andrew Einhorn.

A new federal program has already been tested in Idaho and Texas which allows American traffic police to forcibly take blood samples from drivers they suspect of driving drunk.

Einhorn estimates that in about 22% of the cases, people refuse to take a breathalyzer because their defense attorneys told them that doing so would create evidence, without which the situation is only word against word.

“If officers are restraining a suspect who is thrashing around… to take his blood, there is the potential situation that a needle could strike both the suspect and the officer, exposing the officer to HIV,” said Einhorn.

On top of that, he added, “If you strap somebody down and you are penetrating their body against their will, in my mind you are committing an active rape.”

Never Let A Cop Administer A Breathalyzer Test

Judge: State law barring underage drinking is unconstitutional

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) – If you’re younger than 21 in South Carolina, you cannot buy alcohol. But what about having it in your possession or drinking it?

A court ruling today suggests state law contains nothing that would make it illegal for many young people to own or use alcoholic beverages.

“This magistrate in Richland County has concluded that the statute that criminalizes possession and consumption is unconstitutional,” says attorney Joe McCulloch.

In a ruling issued Monday morning, Richland Co. Magistrate Mel Maurer sided with McCulloch, acting on behalf of a 20-year-old client ticketed March 9th for possession.

McCulloch argues Article 17, Section 14 of the state constitution conditionally gives those 18 and over the “full legal rights and responsibilities” of all other adults, with one exception — the General Assembly can restrict the sale of alcohol.

But that section of the constitution does not specifically address consumption or possession.

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California Supreme Court says defendants can challenge Breathalyzer results

The court permits drunk-driving defendants in some cases to question blood-alcohol findings, which are sometimes inaccurate depending on factors such as gender and medical conditions.

Accused drunk drivers now have more ammunition for challenging Breathalyzer findings as a result of a unanimous ruling Thursday by the California Supreme Court.The ruling is expected to make drunk-driving cases more complicated and possibly more difficult to prosecute, lawyers said. Courts in two other states, Arizona and Vermont, have reached similar conclusions.

Under the law, a suspected drunk driver can submit to either a blood test, which measures the amount of alcohol in the blood, or a breath test. Alcohol levels in a breath sample are converted mathematically to derive a blood-alcohol percentage. In California, a person is legally drunk when his or her blood-alcohol level is 0.08% or higher.

The standard formula for converting breath results to blood-alcohol levels is not accurate for everyone, however, and can vary depending on an individual’s medical condition, gender, temperature, the atmospheric pressure and the precision of the measuring device, the court said.

See also: Breathalyzer Source Code Required for Use as Evidence

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Australia: Column: Drugs Aren’t Evil, So Stop the Moralizing

PEOPLE have been getting high for thousands of years, and there’s nothing that will stop them.

They seek out different states of mind for different reasons – they want to experiment or escape or feel pleasure or avoid pain.

Poor old Wacko Jacko chose legal drugs – lots of them – and he wasn’t alone.

People are endlessly inventive.  They will always find a different sort of poison to self-medicate with.  If they can’t get alcopops, they’ll get cheap wine.

If they can’t get cheap wine, they’ll make moonshine rum.

If they can’t make moonshine rum, they’ll drink something else.

If people can’t get speed on the streets, they’ll run a car through a chemist’s window and steal cold and flu tablets and make their own.

They’ll smoke plants they find in their back yard or help themselves to a parent’s medicine cabinet.

Or if they have the time and the money they’ll doctor-shop – like Michael Jackson reportedly did – and get myriad bottles of colorful pills made to bring you up or pull you down, and they will concoct their own special way to get out of touch with reality.

They always have.

People have been getting high for as long as they’ve been making music and it’s about time we stopped thinking of drug taking as a dirty disgrace and start treating it as a public health issue.

Opium, cannabis and hallucinogens have been important parts of trade, of history, of religious and spiritual enlightenment.

Some of our best musicians were addicted to drugs or used them for inspirational flights of fancy.  Poets, writers and philosophers – from Keats to Shelley – took opium.

Society is full of functioning drug users who look at gritty black-and-white ads telling them that speed will make them dig up the skin on their arms and feel nothing, because that is not them.

Drugs are not some pure evil.

They are chemicals used for various ends by a wide range of people.

Sometimes, those people are in dire mental straits and need all the help they can get to deal with their inner demons.  Sometimes, people mess around and try a few things, then move on and have a productive and useful life.

The effect of drug addiction on a person’s life can be devastating.

So can binging.  Anyone who has had a serious hangover with all its shaking anxiety and pervasive toxicity, knows alcohol is a drug – and a depressive one at that.

Emergency specialists will tell of the toll the serious amphetamines take – the violence, the wild and unwieldy aggression.

But most of them also say alcohol is worse, that it is the bigger evil.

Drugs have a long and rich social history, but they have become a moral battleground.

While we condemn these drugs on the one hand, declare war on them, compete to be the very toughest on drugs that we can be, we allow other drugs to become a normal part of life.  We normalize the pills and potions made by those other drug lords, Big Pharma.

Governments have to be seen to be doing something.

So they do something.  They act tough on illicit drugs.  But it’s not proving to be the right thing.

Prohibition of alcohol did not work, and neither did zero tolerance.  It’s pointless and expensive to try banning drugs.

The only realistic approach is to work out the point at which it starts destroying lives and impacting communities and tackle that.

We need to listen to the people who are studying why people are ruining their own lives with drugs – whether they are drugs bought from a stinking back alley or a man in a white coat.

What is it in people’s lives that drive them to self-destruct on alcohol or on Demerol or on ice?

Society has categorized drugs, but the categories they have chosen are moral, not medical, and that needs to change.

Cop Who Brutally Beat Female Bartender Receives Probation

Editor’s note: The judge in the case gave the lame excuse that sentencing the sadistic cop, Anthony Abbate, wouldn’t prevent him from getting drunk and hitting people in the future. Abbate remains on the police force in Chicago, demonstrating that crime does indeed pay.

(WGN-AM)- A Chicago police officer was sentenced to two years probation Tuesday for pummeling a woman who was tending bar, even though prosecutors produced a previously unseen video showing him beating someone else at the bar hours earlier.

Anthony Abbate — who declined to say anything to the judge before he was sentenced — could have gotten up to five years for beating Karolina Obrycka in February of 2007. The attack was captured by the bar’s security camera and the video was shown around the world.

Judge John Fleming said he decided against jail time, explaining he did not believe the crime was serious enough and that throwing Abbate in prison would not be a deterrent to others.

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1 in 8 combat troops needs alcohol counseling

One in eight troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan from 2006 to 2008 were referred for counseling for alcohol problems after their post-deployment health assessments, according to data from the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center.

Service members complete their initial health assessments within 30 days of returning home.

The authors of the study, published in the Medical Surveillance Monthly Report, compared numbers of active-duty service members who had an alcohol-related medical encounter with those who received counseling for alcohol, noting that studies have shown troops with post-traumatic stress disorder are more likely to be substance abusers.

Defense officials said they are aware of the data. “Substance misuse/abuse is a psychological health issue, and thus one we are actively involved with,” said Navy Capt. Edward Simmer, Senior Executive Director for Psychological Health Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health.

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Second-ranking state prison administrator arrested

Scott Kernan, the second-ranking administrator of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, has been arrested on suspicion of driving while under the influence of alcohol in his state car, triggering a disciplinary review and postponement of a June 24 state Senate confirmation hearing, a spokesman said Wednesday.

Kernan, 47, was appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in November as undersecretary for prison operations for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, a job that had him running the state’s 33 prisons on a daily basis, said agency spokesman Seth Unger.

The arrest was made at 8:10 p.m. Sunday by California Highway Patrol officers in Sacramento County. Kernan has been placed on paid personnel leave pending possible disciplinary action that could range from suspension to termination, Unger said.

Kernan “notified the [CDCR] secretary immediately and expressed deep remorse for his actions,” Unger said.

Kernan started work for the agency in 1983 as a correctional officer and later worked as a warden.

City Pimped by Illegitimate Sheriff’s/Church’s Bogus “Operation Breakthrough” Cash Cow Again

An answer to underage drinking in Big Bear Valley has been proposed, and it aims to hit the pocketbooks and wallets of parents, older siblings and anyone else who supplies alcohol to minors.

After its presentation on adult accountability for underage drinking last month, Operation Breakthrough proposed that a social hosting ordinance is the best solution to reduce the number of underage drinkers in the Valley.

“Doing this would give law enforcement another tool,” said Bonnie Shaffer, a prevention specialist at Operation Breakthrough. “But it doesn’t give cops the right to just walk into your house, protective measures are in place to prevent that.”

See also:

Second-ranking state prison administrator arrested

College presidents want lower drinking age

Old enough to fight, old enough to drink

Let My Students Drink

60 Minutes on Lowering the Drinking Age

Ron Paul: “End the War on Drugs”

We have recently heard many shocking stories of brutal killings and ruthless violence related to drug cartels warring with Mexican and US officials. It is approaching the fever pitch of a full-blown crisis. Unfortunately, the administration is not likely to waste this opportunity to further expand government. Hopefully, we can take a deep breath and look at history for the optimal way to deal with this dangerous situation, which is not unprecedented.

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60 Minutes on Lowering the Drinking Age

Click image for 60 Minutes item on the drinking age.

See also:

Let My Students Drink

Old enough to fight, old enough to drink

College presidents want lower drinking age

Let My Students Drink

John McCardell, the former president of Middlebury College, says his time on campus taught him that trying to stop college students from drinking was a fool’s errand. The 1984 federal law raising the minimum drinking age to 21 not only wasn’t working; it was encouraging more reckless consumption.

Two years ago, McCardell started an organization called Choose Responsibility, which waged a national campaign to lower the drinking age to 18. The soft-spoken scholar soon found that many other campus executives felt the same way. In early 2008 he started the Amethyst Initiative, a collective of college presidents urging a public discussion about the drinking age. At press time, the Amethyst Initiative had 130 signatories, including the presidents of Duke, Tufts, Dartmouth, and Johns Hopkins.

See related:

Old enough to fight, old enough to drink

College presidents want lower drinking age

Students ’should be given smart drugs to get better exam results’

Scientists Back Brain Drugs For Healthy People

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Breathalyzer Source Code Required for Use as Evidence

Here’s a very interesting case from Florida, where an appeals court has upheld a lower court ruling that threw out evidence from a breathalyzer test in a drunk driving case because the manufacturer of the device refused to release the source code and allow defense experts to analyze the accuracy of the machines.

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Armed and Drinking: Rules about off-duty law enforcement officers consuming alcohol while carrying guns get fresh look

Yet, law enforcement officials in the Inland region and across the U.S. can’t seem to agree whether that rule should apply to off-duty officers.

Some agencies have enacted policies that explicitly forbid off-duty officers from carrying their weapons while consuming alcohol. Others use more flexible language, saying officers should use “good judgment.”

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Laws against providing alcohol to minors at homes being considered

Inland law enforcement officers can arrest minors who have alcohol in public and they can bust bartenders and shopkeepers who sell it to them, but they have trouble stopping
underage drinking where it happens most: at home.

*** NOTICE by BBVM: ***

We strongly suggest that you read these articles before allowing the Prison Industrial Complex to think for you.  The life and health of your youth is your responsibility, not that of the State.

College presidents want lower drinking age

Author: Letting kids drink early reduces binging

Drinking age should be lowered: Dr. Engs

Old enough to fight, old enough to drink

You may also wish to consult these people:

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College presidents want lower drinking age

RALEIGH, North Carolina — College presidents from about 100 of the best-known U.S. universities, including Duke, Dartmouth and Ohio State, are calling on lawmakers to consider lowering the drinking age from 21 to 18, saying current laws actually encourage dangerous binge drinking on campus.

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