Friday, July 16, 2010

Daily Roundup: Dispensaries Against Prop 19; USDOE Finds Mandatory Student Drug Testing Doesn't Work

By David Downs
Fri, Jul 16, 2010 at 12:20 PM

1. The NORML Stash Blog is "tracking stories of dispensary owners who are publicly opposing the legalization of the product they sell, even shelling out money they’ve made from selling marijuana to oppose its legalization!" 'I’ll give you two reasons,' said an anti-Prop 19 dispensary owners. 'One is big tobacco. Did you know that Phillip Morris just bought 400 acres of land up in Northern California? The minute marijuana becomes legal, they’ll mass produce and flood the market. And of course, they’ll add the same toxins they put in regular cigarettes to get you addicted, and very little THC, so you’ll have to buy more… In short, they’re going to ruin weed. ... I like the way things are now.' [via Huffington Post]. More headlines after the jump.

2. Some of America's most harsh pot laws correspond with the huge increase in prescription drug abuse, the White House said this week. Both the Northeast and the South are suffering the most from a 400 percent increase in prescription painkiller abuse in the U.S. since 1998. Legal drugs like OxyContin are now the leading cause of overdose deaths in America.

3. Business Week reports, 'Here's a sure sign that marijuana dispensaries are on their way to becoming big business: On July 13 the city council of Berkeley, Calif., asked voters to approve a 2.5 percent tax on the city's marijuana outlets, three of which grossed a total of $19 million last year, all cash. 'This is huge,' says Mayor Tom Bates. The tax will not only help close a $16.2 million budget gap, but it also makes sure that as the sale of pot goes mass market, the local community benefits, not outside business interests, Bates says. 'We don't want to have Philip Morris coming in here, sucking up all the money.' [via MMJ News]

4. 'Budget Axe Falls on Stockton Narcs', Fox40 reports. "Spokesmen are warning of a jump in crime because of the lack of a dope squad. 'Drugs are a breeding ground for many other activities,' said Smith, 'and if these are going more and more unchecked, one would have to speculate that you're going to see a rise across the board in those types of criminal activities.' [via StopTheDrugWar.org]

5. Mandatory drug testing of high schoolers, a huge privacy violation, does not reduce drug use, the U.S. Department of Education found. 'While the presence of drug testing slightly reduced self-reported drug use among students engaged in extracurricular activities, the study found no impact on students not involved in extracurricular activities. In both drug testing and non-drug testing schools, 36% of those students reported using a drug within the past month.' Nor did the presence of drug testing programs have any impact on teens' plans to use drugs in the future. According to the study, 34% of students covered by drug testing reported they "probably will" or "definitely will" use drugs in the next year, compared to 33% of comparable students in schools without drug testing. [via StopTheDrugWar.org]

6. Hawaiian school cop says pot users are like meth addicts. "Those hooked on the 'new,' more-potent, quick-growing strains of Kaua‘i marijuana are similarly stealing to pay for the drugs, said KPD’s Mark Ozaki, a school resource officer assigned to Kaua‘i High School." [via TheGardenIsland]

7. And Boise, Idaho cops arrest Oakland rapper and long-time chronic fan Too $hort after he allegedly fought club security this week over some groupies, the Salt Lake Tribune reports.

8. Lastly, Stopthedrugwar.org is looking for student interns.

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