Friday, July 01, 2011
A Commission in Washington has voted to reduce sentences for inmates jailed for crack cocaine offences, in a decision that could affect about 12,000 prisoners. As many as 2,000 prisoners will be able to seek a reduced sentence within the year, provided they can show they are not likely to be risks to public safety.
Monday, June 27, 2011
Founder and director of the Drug Policy Alliance, Ethan Nadelman and César Gaviria, president of Colombia from 1990 to 1994 and a commissioner on the Global Commission on Drug Policy, discuss the Global Commission on Drug Policy report and why they say the global war on drugs has failed.
Friday, June 03, 2011
The Global Commission on Drug Policy released a report on Thursday arguing the "global war on drugs as failed.” The findings detail how criminalization of drugs and drug users has led to devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world. With millions of people involved in the cultivation, production and distribution of illicit drugs to some 250 million users worldwide, the question of what to do next is of grave importance.
Thursday, May 26, 2011
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there has been a tenfold increase in prescriptions for opioids like OxyContin in the U.S. since 1990, and during that time the number of accidental deaths from drug overdose have nearly quintupled. In a growing number of states, unintentional overdoses replaced motor-vehicle incidents as the leading cause of accidental death. New York Times reporter Sabrina Tavernise discusses the factors behind prescription painkiller abuse, how these controlled substances are readily accessible to so many, new legislation aimed at curbing the problem, and why prescription pill abuse is so prevalent in Appalachia.
Friday, May 13, 2011
On today's Please Explain, we'll look into the science behind and history of generic drugs. Just how identical are they to their name-brand counterparts? Could they be part of the solution to America's rising health care costs? Are there certain instances when you shouldn't go for the generic option? Joe Graedon, author of The People's Pharmacy, will answer these questions and more.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Would you want to know whether or not you'll have Alzheimer's if you had the opportunity? The National Institute on Aging and the Alzheimer's Association released new guidelines on the disease, in order to diagnose it earlier in its nascent stages as well as encourage more drug development. Readers and Takeaway listeners shared their own stories about the disease, worrying about the problems associated with early diagnosis. I don't think I would want to know. I sure as hell wouldn't want the insurance companies to know. Early screening and diagnosis sounds like a great way for insurance companies to expand the field of 'pre-existing conditions,'" writes Takeaway listener, Miriam, from Westwood, NJ.
Tuesday, March 08, 2011
Can fear change you for the better? Gregory Warner from Marketplace takes us to a clinic in Russia that aims to scare patients sober--with a pill called "the torpedo." Vyacheslav Davidov, the doctor who runs the clinic, describes the treatment and makes a case for the therapeutic powers ...
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
(Helena, MT – Jackie Yamanaka, YPR) – Montana lawmakers are considering a bill that would revise the impaired driving law to add that any amount of a dangerous drug is a violation.
But supporters of medical marijuana worry House Bill 33 would criminalize the nearly 27,000 people who hold medical marijuana cards.
Colonel Mike Tooley, head of the Montana Highway Patrol, says the effects of drugs on driving wasn’t tracked until 2009 but the results are sobering, even in Montana. “In 2010, there were 857 drugged driving cases that measured 18 different drugs,” Tooley says.
In a notable case, Tooley says the man who hit and killed Montana Highway Patrolman Michael Haynes in 2009 had a blood alcohol content of point-one-eight and had high levels of THC in his blood. THC is the main, active chemical in marijuana.
Advocates for medical marijuana say House Bill 33 unfairly targets them because the bill says, quote “driving with any amount of a dangerous drug or its metabolite in a person’s body is a violation.”
Rose Habib is a chemist and cannabis scientist from Missoula. “The presence of metabolites is only indicitive of past use or exposure not of impairment,” she says. Habib says THC can remain in the body for up to 30 days.
Opponents of the bill worry they’ll be targeted by law enforcement. Not so, say the bill’s supporters who say the burden still lies with law enforcement to show there’s probable cause, such as erratic driving.
The House Judiciary Committee did not immediately vote on the bill.
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Tuesday, January 11, 2011
— Dr. Michael Stone, Forensic Psychologist on The Brian Lehrer Show
Tuesday, December 07, 2010
By Bob Hennelly
Dozens of police officers with dogs and battering rams swept through three Columbia University fraternities early Tuesday morning on a drug raid. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly says five students and three off-campus individuals, who allegedly supplied the campus operation, were arrested.
Friday, October 29, 2010
Earlier this week, it was reported that Russia was considering several joint initiatives with NATO in Afghanistan. Today, a Russian news agency has quoted the country's top drug enforcement official, Viktor Ivanov as saying Russia and the United States have collaborated on drug raids in Afghanistan, destroying $250 million of heroin and morphine. Clifford Levy, Moscow bureau chief for The New York Times, says Russia's role in these raids is relatively small.
Friday, October 29, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
In under a week, the nation will vote in gubernatorial, Senate and Congressional elections that seem very likely to shift the national balance of power. But in many states, those same voters will be deciding on ballot initiatives that will have more dramatic and immediate consequences.
In California, voters are going to decide on Proposition 19, a ballot initiative that would legalize the use of marijuana for non-medicinal purposes. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder says that even if California were to legalize pot, the Department of Justice will prosecute Californian users and growers under federal drug laws.
Friday, October 08, 2010
If Barack Obama and the Democrats really wanted to re-arouse the coalition of voters that gave Obama the White House two years ago, all it would take is a single issue we aren’t hearing about amidst the earnest back-and-forths over health care, TARP and taxing small business.
Thursday, September 30, 2010
A major shortage of a drug called sodium thiopental is hampering the ability of states to put inmates to death. The first execution in California in four years was postponed this week, and it's likely not to be the last. Though nine states across the nation have 17 lethal injections scheduled between now and the end of January, it is uncertain whether they will be able to perform the executions due to the shortage.
State prison systems are scrambling to find supplies of sodium thiopental, but they have competition in their search. Over the last few years, the drug has become popular with hospitals, where it is used as an anesthetic for surgery and to induce medial comas. Hospitals had previously used a drug called propofol, though that too has become scarce.
Thursday, September 09, 2010
In 2005, the small coastal West African nation of Guinea-Bissau was a poor, sleepy backwater whose main export was cashews. Now, in 2010, it is the hub of West Africa's burgeoning cocaine trade, and many observers believe that it is in danger of becoming a narco-state--completely at the whim of drug traffickers in Latin America and Hezbollah leaders who depend on a cut of a profits to fund their terrorist efforts. For today's second Underreported segment, James Traub, a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine, and Paolo Gorjao, the director of the Portuguese Institute of International Relations and Security, a think tank that focuses on Portugal and former Portuguese colonies like Guinea-Bissau, tell us how Guinea-Bissau became the hub of this new drug nexus.
Tuesday, September 07, 2010
As the debate over immigration rages on in the political spotlight, and candidates all over the country use the sensitive topic as a platform to gain votes for coming November election, Robert Rodriguez’s new movie, "Machete" does the same. Op/Ed pages contributing editor for The Los Angeles Times and creator of Ask A Mexican, Gustavo Arellano, joins us to discuss Rodriguez's film and its satirical look at the immigration issue, corruption in politics and drug trafficking. He also revels in the revenge fantasy.
Monday, August 30, 2010
Earlier this month, former Mexican president Vicente Fox wrote that Mexico should consider legalizing drugs and current president Felipe Calderon has called for a debate on the idea. More than 28,000 people have died in Mexico in drug-related violence over the last 3 years.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Journalist Paula Park discusses the proliferation of counterfeit drugs around the world, and how these fake medications have led to the development of drug-resistant strains of malaria. We’ll find out who’s making and distributing these counterfeit drugs, and more about the efforts being made in Cambodia and other countries to close down illegal outlets. Her article “Lethal Counterfeits” appeared in World Policy Journal’s summer issue.