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Archive for November 9th, 2015

Marijuana Use and Disorders Double

By Ross Parker
ticklethewire.com

Marijuana use has doubled in the last decade, and with that has come a doubling in the use disorders associated with it, according to a recent medical study by a Columbia University epidemiologist published this week in The Journal of the American Medical Association Psychiatry and in Medscape Medical News.

Dr. Deborah Hasin reported that the attitude of increasing numbers of the population is that the drug is a harmless natural substance. Because of that shift in perception, the prevalence rates of use have increased from 4.1% in 2001 to 9.5% in 2014. This increase was greatest among women (2.6% to 6.9%), African Americans (4.7% to 12.7%), Hispanic Americans (3.3% to 8.4%), and older people (.04% to 1.3%). Lower income groups showed the greatest increase.

The study’s findings were based on two nationally representative, face-to-face interview surveys of US adults aged 18 years and older: the 2001 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions, and the 2013 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions.

marijuana-istock

The prevalence rates of marijuana use disorders among the general population nearly doubled from 1.5% to 2.9%. Among marijuana users, however, that figure declined from 35.6% to 30.6%. The difference lies in the increased number of users in the general population as more states legalize its use in one way or another and more people consider its use as having no risks. Currently 23 states authorize use for medical purposes and 4 for recreational use.

If the number of states legalizing use continues to rise, the authors of the study advise that we should be prepared for greater numbers of addiction, vehicle crashes, emergency room visits, psychiatric symptoms, poor quality of life, cognitive decline, and use of other drugs, according to other published medical studies.

Parker: Marijuana Use and Disorders Double

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.

Ross Parker

Ross Parker

By Ross Parker
ticklethewire.com

Marijuana use has doubled in the last decade, and with that has come a doubling in the use disorders associated with it, according to a recent medical study by a Columbia University epidemiologist published this week in The Journal of the American Medical Association Psychiatry and in Medscape Medical News.

Dr. Deborah Hasin reported that the attitude of increasing numbers of the population is that the drug is a harmless natural substance. Because of that shift in perception, the prevalence rates of use have increased from 4.1% in 2001 to 9.5% in 2014. This increase was greatest among women (2.6% to 6.9%), African Americans (4.7% to 12.7%), Hispanic Americans (3.3% to 8.4%), and older people (.04% to 1.3%). Lower income groups showed the greatest increase.

The study’s findings were based on two nationally representative, face-to-face interview surveys of US adults aged 18 years and older: the 2001 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions, and the 2013 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions.

marijuana-istock

The prevalence rates of marijuana use disorders among the general population nearly doubled from 1.5% to 2.9%. Among marijuana users, however, that figure declined from 35.6% to 30.6%. The difference lies in the increased number of users in the general population as more states legalize its use in one way or another and more people consider its use as having no risks. Currently 23 states authorize use for medical purposes and 4 for recreational use.

If the number of states legalizing use continues to rise, the authors of the study advise that we should be prepared for greater numbers of addiction, vehicle crashes, emergency room visits, psychiatric symptoms, poor quality of life, cognitive decline, and use of other drugs, according to other published medical studies.

DEA to Crack Down on Heroin Abuse with First-of-Its-Kind Program

800px-HeroinBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Hoping to crackdown on the rise of heroin and opioid abuse, the DEA has launched a first-of-its-kind program to target drug-related crime.

The Tribune-Review reports that the pilot program will be established in the Pittsburgh and focus on finding long-term solutions.

That will involve working with health care and social services agencies.

Why Pittsburgh?

Local authorities have been shocked by the proliferation of heroin and drug overdoses recently.

“Heroin and pill overdoses are through the roof, and it’s making us in law enforcement look at some different approaches,” DEA spokesman Patrick Trainor said.

In Pennsylvania, heroin or opioid deaths have increased from 47 in 2009 to more than 800 in 2013.

It’s not year clear how the pilot program will work and what impact it will have on existing prevention and enforcement efforts.

Other Stories of Interest

FBI to Help Investigate Downed Russian Plane That Killed 224

Google-map-SinaiBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has been called on to help investigate the crash of a Russian plane in the Sinai Peninsula that killed all 224 people onboard on Oct. 31.

CBS News reports that Russian officials have asked the FBI to help with forensic analysis.

The FBI has agreed to assist.

ISIS claimed responsibility for the plane’s downing, which authorities believe was caused by a bomb.

The plane crashed in El Arish, Egypt.

Russian officials are examining airport security.

New York Post: Report Whitewashes Hillary Clinton’s Most Serious Violations

hillary-clintonBy Editorial Post
New York Post

Well, whaddya know? Maybe those Hillary Clinton e-mails didn’t include top-secret information, after all.

At least, that’s the conclusion reportedly drawn by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper’s office — overruling the finding of Intelligence Community Inspector General Charles McCullough that two Clinton e-mails (from a sample of just 40) contained highly classified info.

Hmm. Clapper answers to the president — who issued clear marching orders months ago, announcing that Clinton’s server scam was “not a situation in which America’s national security was endangered.”

Oddly, news of Clapper’s finding got leaked to Politico soon after the Washington Free Beacon reported Clinton did indeed, right after taking over at State, acknowledge her responsibility to properly guard classified info — and that “negligent handling” of it could bring criminal penalties.

Until the Beacon broke that news, even the State Department was unclear on whether Clinton ever signed the Sensitive Compartmented Information Nondisclosure Agreement. By so doing, she promised not to put classified info at risk — by, say, storing it on a home-brewed e-mail server.

Which she immediately turned around and did, because she didn’t want a record of her communications available to . . . the government of the United States of America.

That said, Clapper’s ruling whitewashes Clinton’s most serious known violations, and could serve as a pretext for shutting down the FBI’s probe into Clinton’s server use. But it shouldn’t.

To read more click here. 

Internal Review by Border Patrol Rejects Body Cameras for Agents

Border Patrol agents reads the Miranda rights to a Mexican national arrested for transporting drugs.By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Even as Border Patrol faces increased scrutiny for using excessive force along the U.S.-Mexico border, CBP concluded that body cameras aren’t needed for agents, MSNBC reports. 

The yearlong internal review found that body cameras would be too costly, sink agent morale and make law enforcement more ineffective.

The review was prompted by complaints of excessive force – even deadly force – by Border Patrol agents.

The conclusions drawn in the view are “dated” and don’t “reflect the agency’s deliberations over the past months or conclusions of CBP leadership, the agency said in a statement.

More than 20,000 agents patrol the U.S. border, which would make it the largest law enforcement agency in the nation to use body cameras.

“Body-worn cameras have the potential to provide huge benefits for Customs and Border Protection and the public,” said Jacinta Ma, Director of Policy and Advocacy at the National Immigration Forum. “As the largest law enforcement agency in the country, CBP has an opportunity to step up.”

Border Patrol Agent Charged in the Decapitated Death of Man in Texas

Border PatrolBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent with suspected ties to a Mexican drug cartel has been charged in the decapitation death of a man whose body was found floating near Texas’ South Padre Island, the Associated Press reports. 

Authorities are investigating whether the 30-year-old agent, Joel Luna, is tied to a Mexican drug cartel that involves his two brothers.

The decapitated body of Honduran native Jose Francisco “Franklin” Rodriguez Palacios Paz was found in March.

Luna, who has been charged with capital murder and other crimes, is jailed without bond.

He is a 6-year veteran of the agency.