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How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Tag: Drugs

Open Letter to DEA Chief: It’s Not Time to Resign – Yet – of Marijuana Remarks

Chuck Rosenberg

Chuck Rosenberg

By David Casarett, M.D.
for Huffington Post

Dear Mr. Rosenberg:

When I heard you say recently that you thought medical marijuana was a “joke,” I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. But I knew then what I think you’re beginning to figure out now, which is that saying something like that gets you in a whole heap of trouble.

As I think you’ve realized, those opinions are direct repudiation of the beliefs of all of those people who are using marijuana for medical reasons. (Even the most conservative estimates based on registered users conclude that well over a millionpeople in the U.S. alone are using marijuana medically).

So I’m sorry for what you’ve been through in the past two weeks. Especially those pesky people (about 100,000 of them) who have signed a petition calling for your resignation. That must be bothering you a bit.

But don’t give up. All is not lost, and you could learn to see marijuana differently.

I can say that with confidence because two years ago I thought medical marijuana was a joke too. I figured it offered no real medical benefits, and that it was just a way to get high legally.

My (re)education started in my work as a palliative care physician, when one of my patients asked me whether I thought medical marijuana might help her. The answer I gave her, I’m embarrassed to admit, is pretty much what you told people of United States: Marijuana has no medical benefits. Put simply, I told her that the idea of “medical” marijuana is a joke.

That patient of mine could’ve walked out of my office to look for another, more open-minded doctor. But, luckily for me, she didn’t. Instead she handed me several reprints of randomized controlled trials showing that in fact medical marijuana does offer real medical benefits.

So in that moment I had to admit that my patient knew more than I did about the science of medical marijuana. And I figured if I was that ignorant about marijuana’s benefits, then many of my colleagues probably were too. That’s when I decided to spend two years researching and writing a book about the medical benefits of marijuana.

In the last two years I’ve had to admit that I was wrong. Very wrong. (In much the same way, and for the same reasons, that you’re wrong now.)

To read more click here. 

Other Stories of Interest

DEA Busts 2 Members of Venezuelan President’s Family in Alleged Drug-Smuggling Scheme

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, via Wikipedia.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, via Wikipedia.

By Steve Neavling

The DEA has busted a drug-smuggling ring that led to the arrest of the Venezuelan president’s family in Haiti, reports. 

Arrested were two nephews of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

Efrain Antonio Campo Flores and Francisco Flores Freites are accused of trying to smuggle 1,700 pounds of cocaine from Haiti to the U.S.

The nephews tried to claim they had diplomatic immunity, a claim that didn’t work with the DEA.

They were taken to New York awaiting a court hearing today.

Other Stories of Interest

Federal Lawsuit: FBI Agents Used Excessive Force with 3 Children in Drug Raid

courtroomBy Steve Neavling

A federal lawsuit accuses FBI agents of using excessive force during a drug raid at a New Mexican trailer where three children were sleeping, the Albuquerque Journal reports.

According to the suit, FBI agents blew open the front door with a stun grenade, causing shrapnel to strike a 10-year-old boy in the head and shoulder. A 12-year-old girl was forced to walk outside on glass, cutting her feet. All three children, including the 9-year-old, were emotionally traumatized, the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Las Cruces alleges.

The May 2013 raid was part of a pre-dawn bust of 22 suspected drug and gun dealers.

The FBI declined to comment on pending litigation.

DEA Agent’s Gun Fires As Suspect Tries to Wrestle a Gun from Him

dea-badgeBy Steve Neavling

It was a tense moment for a DEA agent who was trying to arrest a drug suspect.

The suspect tried to remove a gun from the agent, causing the weapon to fire as the suspect and a female suspect fled in a hotel parking lot near JFK Airport on Tuesday, the New York Post reports. 

A witness saw the incident unfold and initially thought the agent was the aggressor as the female suspect screamed.

“He was running after her and she was running back towards the Hampton Inn parking lot. He jumped and tackled her here behind the car, like a football tackle,” said Tyesha Davis, 29.

“I ran over and started hitting him, saying, ‘Get off her!’ He reached in his shirt and pulled out a badge and said, ‘Stop, I’m a DEA officer.’”

“I asked, ‘Who is she?’ and he said, ‘She’s a drug trafficker, I’m making an arrest,’” Davis continued.

The man who tried to wrestle the gun away from the agent was still at large Tuesday night.

Other Stories of Interest

The Continuing Rapid Rise of Seizures and Overdose Fatalities Involving Fentanyl

By Ross Parker

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) issued an alert this week about the continuing rapid rise of seizures and overdose fatalities involving fentanyl. As reported in this column last June, fentanyl is a fast-acting opioid , 50-100 times stronger than morphine, that is now being used by sellers to mix with heroin in order to increase the “high.” The problem is that the substance is so much more potent that users often do not know of this increase and have a greater risk of suffering a fatal overdose.

The danger posed by this development has risen dramatically in the last three years, and the increase in 2014 was at epidemic levels. DEA has responded with ramping up enforcement activity. Seizures have gone from 618 in 2012, 949 in 2013, to a staggering 4,585 in 2014. These seizures are concentrated in ten states, with Ohio having the highest number of seizures (1,245), followed by Massachusetts (630), and Pennsylvania (419).

Most of this rise has been from illegal manufacturing operations rather than diversion of pharmaceutically produced drugs, according to a report by the DEA Office of Diversion Control. The alert was reported in this week’s Medscape Medical News.

The CDC asked law enforcement to participate in expanded surveillance and record-keeping programs, along with medical examiners and emergency rooms, to report these seizures to local public health departments. It also warned law enforcement officers to take special safety precautions to avoid exposure to the drug either through skin contact or by inadvertently inhaling it.

DEA Agent Sentenced to 6.5 Years for Stealing Digital Currency from Drug Site Silk Road

250px-Silk_Road_LogoBy Steve Neavling

A DEA agent who stole more than $700,000 in digital currency from online drug dealer Silk Road was sentenced Monday to 6.5 years in prison for extortion and other charges, the Associated Press reports. 

DEA Agent Carl M. Force, 46, went undercover as a drug dealer with ties to hit men.

Silk Road operator Ross Ulbricht was recently sentenced to life in prison.

Force was accused of selling information about the investigation.

Other Stories of Interest

Weekend Series on Crime: Mexican Oil and the Drug Cartels

Mexican Cartel Leader Convicted of Torture, Murder of DEA Agent Could Soon Be Released

dea-badgeBy Steve Neavling

A Mexican cartel leader convicted of the 1985 torture and murder of DEA Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena Salazar could soon be released from prison in Mexico, Fox News reports.

Ernesto “Don Neto” Fonseca Carrillo, 85, who was one of the leaders of the Guadalajara Cartel has served 30 years of a 40-year sentence.

Fonseca Carillo is eligible for house arrest.

The government is considering a proposal by defense attorneys to move Fonseca Carillo to a house, which would be guarded.