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Report: Illegal Drug Use Up Sharply Last Year
Posted by CN Staff on September 17, 2010 at 09:49:11 PT
By Sam Hananel, Associated Press 
Source: Associated Press
Washington, D.C. -- The rate of illegal drug use rose last year to the highest level in nearly a decade, fueled by a sharp increase in marijuana use and a surge in ecstasy and methamphetamine abuse, the government reported Wednesday.Gil Kerlikowske, the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, called the 9 percent increase in drug use disappointing but said he was not surprised given "eroding attitudes" about the perception of harm from illegal drugs and the growing number of states approving medicinal marijuana.
"I think all of the attention and the focus of calling marijuana medicine has sent the absolute wrong message to our young people," Kerlikowske said in an interview.The annual report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found marijuana use rose by 8 percent and remained the most commonly used drug.Mike Meno, a spokesman for the pro-legalization Marijuana Policy Project, said the survey is more proof that the government's war on marijuana has failed in spite of decades of enforcement efforts and arrests."It's time we stop this charade and implement sensible laws that would tax and regulate marijuana the same way we do more harmful  but legal  drugs like alcohol and tobacco," Meno said.On a positive note, cocaine abuse continues to decline, with use of the drug down 32 percent from its peak in 2006.About 21.8 million Americans, or 8.7 percent of the population age 12 and older, reported using illegal drugs in 2009. That's the highest level since the survey began in 2002. The previous high was just over 20 million in 2006.The survey, which was being released Thursday, is based on interviews with about 67,500 people. It is considered the most comprehensive annual snapshot of drug use in the United States.Other results show a 37 percent increase in ecstasy use and a 60 percent jump in the number of methamphetamine users. In the early 2000s, there was a widespread public safety campaign to warn young people about the dangers of ecstasy as a party drug, but that effort declined as use dropped off."The last few years, I think we've taken our eye off the ball on ecstasy," Kerlikowske said.Meth use had been dropping after a passage of a 2006 federal law that put cold tablets containing pseudoephedrine behind pharmacy counters. But law enforcement officials have seen a rise in "smurfing," or traveling from store to store to purchase the medicines, which can be used to produce homemade meth in kitchen labs.Kerlikowske attributed the rise in meth abuse to more people getting around the law and an increase in meth coming across the border with Mexico.The rise in marijuana use comes as California voters prepare to decide in November whether to legalize the drug. An Associated Press-CNBC poll earlier this year found that most Americans still oppose legalizing marijuana, but larger majorities believe it has medical benefits and want the government to allow its use for that purpose.Medical marijuana sales in the 14 states that allow it have also taken off since the federal government signaled last year that it wouldn't prosecute marijuana sellers who follow state rules. The survey does not distinguish between medicinal and non-medicinal marijuana use.The survey found the number of youths aged 12-17 who perceived a great risk of harm from smoking marijuana once or twice a week dropped from 54.7 percent in 2007 to 49.3 percent in 2009.Online:SAMHSA: http://www.samhsa.gov/Source: Associated Press (Wire)Author: Sam Hananel, Associated Press Published:  September 16, 2010Copyright: 2010 The Associated PressCannabisNews Medical Marijuana Archiveshttp://cannabisnews.com/news/list/medical.shtml
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Comment #16 posted by museman on September 20, 2010 at 09:32:58 PT
local 'stimulus'
Economic solution #1More cops; more citations. More citations; more money for the local politicians (and lawyers)At this point it really looks like most of the 'jobs' created in this country from the 'stimulus' are law enforcement -(and many, many, new shiny cars, uniforms, badges and guns), and public service (government) jobs. It appears that way... and nothing is forthcoming from the people to indicate anything else. You cannot rely on socially acceptable media, it's thoroughly bought and sold. So what else is left but ones own eyes, to see for themselves? But of course, some folks have to have state (status quo) approval before they do or believe anything.The writing is on the wall, some might dismiss it as grafitti, but there was a similar thing that occurred during the 30's in Germany, where most of the 'good citizens' refused to look at their own complicity in what the Nazis did.The game of masters and peasants is well on its way, and as long as the peasants are content to allow their masters continued control over their lives there will be no celebration of 'victory' because ultimately the minor compromises most are willing to make for the sake of their perceived comfort will allow and support the status quo, the ways and means of which is corrupted beyond repair, and the powers of have been deeply embedded for thousands of years (and that is history - if one knows how to read it) will remain in place while our reality begins to resemble more and more sci-fi warnings from the last century like; "1984" "Brave New World" 
"Soylent Green" "Logans Run" "THX138" and a few more that don't come right ot my mind.But we can argue the minor details of the obvious until the time is all used up, or not...I choose not.LEGALIZE FREEDOM
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Comment #15 posted by runruff on September 20, 2010 at 07:36:50 PT
I have been hearing from everyone....
...that the valley was crawling with cops.Yesterday my wife drove to grants Pass for pet food. She came home and said, "wow, is there a war out there?"No dear, harvest!The only real means left for cops to gather in "their" share of the crops.This method was wildly successful for them last year so this year it is the same game times 10 or 20!There are frigging cops everywhere!My wife said on the way home from shopping yesterday she saw a very young deputy with a very old lady pulled over searching her van. We know what he is looking for!My wife said the little old lady acted very distressed, the young cop seemed to be having a very good time!Everyone is saying how it is not safe to go out on the roads right now, the cops are on a treasure hunt!AMERIKA!
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Comment #14 posted by museman on September 19, 2010 at 08:17:43 PT
J.C.
Ultimately. I'd say the 'proof' is in the pudding, namely the coinciding explosion of cops with the "Stimulus dollars were supposed to be used to keep current cops (and teachers and firefighters) from being fired, not to hire a slew of new ones."Well, considering how this county and state have been struggling with things like keeping libraries open, and programs in the schools like music and other things besides gladiator sports, it gets really noticeable when all of a sudden there are literally cops everywhere where there wasn't before,Oh yes it is an observational conclusion based on personally observed facts, and several reports from California (though it's hard to tell, there has never really been much of a shortage of cops in CA.) and other parts of the country.I am not in the habit of relying on statistics, and status quo releases of select and controlled information, I base my conclusions on the real time, in-the-street happening.If Obama is not aware, and did not intend this situation, then he is not in control of his own administration, which in my mind, is a bit worse than if he did. And if these cops are acting without federal approval then America has a serious issue with loose cannons.Asking for proof of Obama's complicity is like asking to review China's financial records, for one who is not in the game, it is impossible, and I will never get close enough to the human political ilk to gather that kind of proof, that is left to people like real investigative journalists which are in short supply. The current raiding going on in this county is exactly as i report, and I did look for articles in the local news, but they aren't releasing this information, draw your own conclusions on that one.There you have it. Hey runruff, you seeing what I'm seeing? Speak up please.LEGALIZE FREEDOM
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Comment #13 posted by JoeCitizen on September 19, 2010 at 07:51:27 PT
Museman- more information please
You state that stimulus dollars were used to hire these new jackboots. Is that a fact you can prove, or an assumption on your part?It's possible that these cops have found some new Federal funds (from the DEA or such), but I doubt it came from the stimulus. Stimulus dollars were supposed to be used to keep current cops (and teachers and firefighters) from being fired, not to hire a slew of new ones. If that was done in your state, there should be some scandal whipped up about it, it's a misuse of Federal funding.You also state that Obama (or his administration) knew and approved of what these dollars were to be used for. What is your evidence of that?
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Comment #12 posted by rchandar on September 18, 2010 at 17:14:28 PT:
Meth
Yes, the biggest mistake that this country's government continually makes is that it makes no distinction between hard and soft drugs. That meth use is up that much is extremely disturbing; when this goes through the ONDCP's lame culture filter, what usually happens is some ballyhooed statement that drugs are wrecking our society and that punitive measures are needed.If you use meth, get off it. Now. It's a debilitating drug that destroys your life. Such a number should send up an alarm, but in the past has only meant that MJ is associated with the increase because drug dealers carry everything.So in other words: our numbers didn't rise that much. And: well within the range of the arrest numbers. So Kerlikowske shouldn't have said anything: not much has changed, and that means that legalization/decriminalization wouldn't change the numbers much.But wait and see.
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Comment #11 posted by b4daylight on September 18, 2010 at 12:45:22 PT
devil
"Gil Kerlikowske, the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, called the 9 percent increase in drug use disappointing but said he was not surprised given "eroding attitudes" about the perception of harm from illegal drugs and the growing number of states approving medicinal marijuana. "
Translation,I spend all my time with Cannabis, that I don't have any time to focus on Meth or prescription drugs. If they won't believe me that Cannabis is the devil, well then how am I suppose to stop Meth? 
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Comment #10 posted by museman on September 18, 2010 at 11:59:32 PT
Slightly OT:
What is happening in my neck of the woods;Obama's 'stimulus' has populated our highways, forests, towns, and cities with a new breed of cop, recruited from the recent war-mongering training of Iraq. Where there were occasional cops, there are now literally cops everywhere.In Josephine county Oregon (coined the 'lawless county' by the sheriffs we consistently voted out of our town) the old 'Joint' team who used to be funded by the fed, has teamed up with the new sheriffs, and are going around not just harassing medical growers, but actually going in, ripping up the plants, and charging the growers with federal raps.Though the growers have so far all been in compliance with our atate law, and will all no doubt 'win' in a court of law, in the meantime the ones they are messing with, including their patients are being screwed out of this years harvest.There is no legal right for them to do this, they have just decided that they are 'the law' and have taken Obama's "We won't be using federal funds to prosecute 'legal' medical marijuana patients and providers...," as a license to find loopholes in the state laws so that the persecution and prosecution can continue. Funds were provided BY HIS ADMINISTRATION WITH HIS APPROVAL to do this.This has happened, in my mind because too many people are still trying to make this failed system work, and they have ignored the obvious corruption for a few minor concessions and a shitload of wishful thinking. So while some are celebrating their Pyrrhic victory the enemy has amassed at the gates, better sober up folks...LEGALIZE FREEDOM
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on September 18, 2010 at 05:57:55 PT
Sinsemilla Jones
Yes it should. They just don't know what to do anymore. They are afraid because what will happen to the drug testing industry and what will happen when we won't need as many police or prisons. Lots of lost revenue is what they see. 
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Comment #8 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on September 18, 2010 at 01:22:49 PT
60% jump in the number of methamphetamine users!
Shouldn't this be the lead item of this story, rather than an 8 percent increase in cannabis users, many of whom are new medical users?
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on September 17, 2010 at 19:09:34 PT
konagold
Thank you for the link. I can't bring myself to watch it though. I hope it was good.
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Comment #6 posted by Paint with light on September 17, 2010 at 18:36:51 PT
comment 5
That was fun to watch.We need more to come over to the light from the dark side.Finally the same arguments they have tried to use against us have been turned on them.I have always thought that for every sound bite and talking point we need to have an equal and more compelling sound bite and talking point.And now we do.Maybe on the internet they should be called sound bytes.Legal like alcohol.
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Comment #5 posted by konagold on September 17, 2010 at 13:07:36 PT
FoM
great interview on fox news with San Jose ex-police-chief Joseph McNamarahttp://video.foxnews.com/v/4339649/saying-yes-to-marijuana/?playlist_id=86856
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Comment #4 posted by GentleGiant on September 17, 2010 at 11:51:50 PT:
To solve Gil's problem, it's simple, legalize it.
73 years and still counting the marijuana war. If this this agency wants to control drug use or more per se, marijuana, then let's control it. Legalize and let's regulate it!!! This agencies's sick, demented, and out of control mind set needs to change. I wish President Obama would step-in to straighten Gil and this agency up. This agency, as well as others, DEA and NIDA, needs to stepup and quit lying about the abundant medical faculities of medical marijuana, which, incidently is still the same marijuana that you and me, we, the recreational users smoke.Legalize and Regulate Marijuana!!!
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on September 17, 2010 at 10:58:02 PT
Just My Thoughts
Gil has been hanging around with the former people in this office. He is starting to sound like them.
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Comment #2 posted by HempWorld on September 17, 2010 at 10:54:01 PT
Excellent!
Good work Gil!
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Comment #1 posted by rchandar on September 17, 2010 at 10:39:38 PT:
Oh, So This Is Bad?
Our economy isn't doing well, and people are out of work. We're fighting two wars with no success and-big surprise-have less money to spend on the things we need to. Gil, stop waving your finger and stomping your fist. Nobody needs you to preach to us when our wallets are empty and we're not getting any work done. I wish to reiterate something very basic:What's great about America?Oh, so we have pot laws as strict as--Poland. Or: The United Arab Emirates. And there's no difference between our philosophy on social policy from that of : Russia. Or, East Germany.Those who would bring back the kind of draconian statutes that condemn pot smokers to prison time and big fines are the un-Americans. There is simply no point anymore to this kind of rhetoric, too many of us are implicated in that kind of thinking and that is unacceptable. Smoking pot doesn't deprive the system of any meaningful control or direction of the American experience. These ideas are just unfounded.I can't preach morality to a 15-year old kid who made a "mistake"--should we call it even that--that anybody could have made. I can't keep airbrushing my country of an experience that many have welcomed and saw truth and light through.Those of you who are that 9 percent increase--thanks. May you find happiness and inclusion that the WoD didn't give you.Don't call on me, Kerlikowske!--rchandar
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