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Archive for March 7th, 2014

Marijuana Legalization Triples Poison Calls for Young Children

By Ross Parker
ticklethewire.com

The data on the costs to children–both in human and monetary terms—in states which have legalized marijuana continues to mount.

Not only have medical studies shown serious health risks, increased hospital admissions, and more prevalent use by teenagers in those states, but now a study has shown that even younger children will also pay the price.

The Center for Substance Abuse Research out of the University of Maryland reported this week that the rate of Poison Center calls concerning unintentional pediatric exposure more than tripled in states where marijuana had been legalized in some form. Using information from the National Poison Data System, the study tabulated the number of calls from 2005 to the end of 2011 to U.S. poison centers involving children age 9 and younger.

In states which had legalized marijuana either for recreational or medical use prior to 2005, these numbers increased from 3.9 calls per million population in 2005 to 14.8 calls in 2011. States which had passed such legislation during the 2005-2011 period also had substantial increases in the number of calls to poison centers. States without such legislation showed no increase in the number of calls.

What the study means is that states which legalize marijuana in some form will have increased use by adults. When that happens, there will be more children who accidentally ingest marijuana and need medical advice or end up in a medical facility or hospital emergency room.

The authors of the study concluded that such potentially harmful exposures are likely to increase and more children will need medical care. They suggested the need for state legislation for childproof packaging, warning labels, and public education about the dangers of marijuana to children.

On a related note, Vanderbilt University Medical Center published a study in the magazine Neuron this week that cannabinoid receptors have been identified for the first time in the part of the brain involved in regulating anxiety and the fight/flight response. Researchers suggested that, although initial use of marijuana may act as a sedative in the effect on these receptors, chronic use could paradoxically increase anxiety by down regulating the receptors.

The question is whether state legislators who are considering legislation on legalization for adults as part of this trend are considering the inevitable costs to children.

 

Parker: Marijuana Legalization Triples Poison Calls for Young Children

Ross Parker

Ross Parker was chief of the criminal division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit for 8 years and worked as an AUSA for 28 in that office.
 
By Ross Parker
ticklethewire.com

The data on the costs to children–both in human and monetary terms—in states which have legalized marijuana continues to mount.

Not only have medical studies shown serious health risks, increased hospital admissions, and more prevalent use by teenagers in those states, but now a study has shown that even younger children will also pay the price.

The Center for Substance Abuse Research out of the University of Maryland reported this week that the rate of Poison Center calls concerning unintentional pediatric exposure more than tripled in states where marijuana had been legalized in some form. Using information from the National Poison Data System, the study tabulated the number of calls from 2005 to the end of 2011 to U.S. poison centers involving children age 9 and younger.

In states which had legalized marijuana either for recreational or medical use prior to 2005, these numbers increased from 3.9 calls per million population in 2005 to 14.8 calls in 2011. States which had passed such legislation during the 2005-2011 period also had substantial increases in the number of calls to poison centers. States without such legislation showed no increase in the number of calls.

What the study means is that states which legalize marijuana in some form will have increased use by adults. When that happens, there will be more children who accidentally ingest marijuana and need medical advice or end up in a medical facility or hospital emergency room.

The authors of the study concluded that such potentially harmful exposures are likely to increase and more children will need medical care. They suggested the need for state legislation for childproof packaging, warning labels, and public education about the dangers of marijuana to children.

On a related note, Vanderbilt University Medical Center published a study in the magazine Neuron this week that cannabinoid receptors have been identified for the first time in the part of the brain involved in regulating anxiety and the fight/flight response. Researchers suggested that, although initial use of marijuana may act as a sedative in the effect on these receptors, chronic use could paradoxically increase anxiety by down regulating the receptors.

The question is whether state legislators who are considering legislation on legalization for adults as part of this trend are considering the inevitable costs to children.

 

Weekend Series on Crime History: Lobbyist Jack Abramoff

FBI Takes Note of the 7th Anniversary of the Disappearance of Ex-FBI Agent Robert Levinson

Robert Levinson

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI issued a press release on Friday denoting the seven-year anniversary of the disappearance of former FBI agent Robert Levinson.

The release said that Levinson, who turns 66 on March 10, retired from the FBI in 1998. On March 8, 2007, he traveled to Kish Island, Iran, “as a private investigator. He went missing the next day and is now one of the longest-held Americans in history.”

The release makes no mention of his wife Christine Levinson’s statements in January to CBS that her husband was a consultant for the CIA.

The FBI announced two years ago that it was offering a $1 million reward in the case.

“Bob’s absence over the past seven years has exacted an enormous toll on his family, and we will not waver in our commitment to bringing him home safely to his loved ones and his country,” FBI Director James B. Comey said in a statement. “We continue to request the assistance of our international partners, as well as the Islamic Republic of Iran, and we continue to ask anyone with information regarding Bob’s disappearance to contact the FBI.”

House Bill Would Prohibit Secret Collection of Americans’ Records Without Approval of Surveillance Court

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The U.S. House is considering a bill that would restrict the ability of the FBI and NSA to secretly collect records of U.S. citizens, the Missoulian reports.

The bill, introduced on Thursday by John Waslh, D-Mont., would ban the collection of telephone, financial and e-mail records without the approval of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

That would require a case to be made for targeting a individual on the basis that the person is tied to international terrorism or foreign intelligence.

“As I’ve been traveling around the state … this is an issue that I’m hearing about from Montanans, about the government trampling on our civil liberties,” Walsh told the Missoulian. “I said that when I came here, I wanted to identify problems, find a fix for the problem and solve that problem.”

 

Jim Gilmore: Balancing Challenges of Homeland Security And Civil Liberities

By Jim Gilmore
The Washington Times

Our country is currently in a struggle between the need to protect our citizens from terrorism and the need to protect the civil liberties of our citizens. How can we do both while not sacrificing either?

During my five years as chairman of the National Commission on Homeland Security, we analyzed and debated issues of national security and presented our finding to the president and Congress, which became the framework for the Department of Homeland Security.

America must never make the mistake of sacrificing liberty for security. However, an equally severe mistake would be to give up the ability to track the enemy because of a fear of government. This duality of purpose demands oversight, not dismantling.

While our security focus has been primarily on non-state entities such as al Qaeda, the past several weeks in Ukraine have been a sobering reminder of the threat we face from state actors as well. The easiest way for such entities to circumvent our security is by revealing the tools we use in order to protect our country.

A perfect example of this are the crimes committed by Edward Snowden. Some would argue he is a patriot. I can tell you those people are dead wrong. Mr. Snowden swore an oath to protect his country and, in turn, was given the trust of America.

Sen. Robert Menendez, New Jersey Democrat, said it best: “Edward Snowden is not a whistleblower worthy of protection, but a fugitive deserving of prosecution. He violated his sworn pledge to protect classified information. He jeopardized our national security. And he betrayed the trust of the American people. This man is no hero.”

Mr. Snowden’s traitorous act is a perfect example of the dual threat we face from state and non-state actors. His actions helped al Qaeda by revealing a program used to track terrorists, while at the same time giving the world’s largest bully a propaganda tool used to legitimize its actions.

Click here to read more.

DEA Albuquerque Office Gets New Leadership Role As Assistant Special Agent in Charge

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Sean R. Waite, a longtime DEA agent, has been appointed as a new agent in charge of the agency’s Albuquerque, NM, office, the Republic reports.

Waite replaces Keith Brown, who left to become the agent in charge of the DEA’s New Orleans field office last year.

The office is part of the El Paso Field Division, which has been busy with synthetic drug trafficking.

ATF Agent Awarded for His Time Spent Mentoring for Big Brothers

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

As if being an ATF agent wasn’t busy enough, Larry Wozniak has spent countless hours mentoring a boy who is now 17 years old.

CBS LA reports that Wozniak was named Orange County’s Big Brother of the year for his time dedicated to mentoring children.

“Sometimes you see kids that stray for different reasons and I just want to try and have a positive influence and impact on at least one kid’s life,” Wozniak.

The little brother, Geoffrey, said he’s a better person because of Wozniak.

“He really taught me to not think just about myself but about the community,” Geoffrey said.

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