Drug Forum Draws National Interest

Drug Forum Draws National Interest
Posted by CN Staff on May 30, 2005 at 08:03:57 PT
By Rusty Carter, The Virginia Gazette
Source: Virginia Gazette
Williamsburg, VA -- Drug prevention is so high on the radar screen that the White House is watching how a local initiative plays out. The Historic Triangle Substance Abuse Coalition is hosting a town hall Wednesday night about the pros and cons of testing student athletes. A press conference has been scheduled to draw more attention, and a dozen students were planning a pro-testing picket.
The WJC School Board has heard two presentations on drug testing but has deferred voting until after the forum. Local parent Dee McHenry, who helped organize a parental task force seeking testing for high school athletes, recently called the Office of National Drug Control Policy to request one of two booklets on student drug testing the agency publishes. “I'd never actually talked to anyone there before,” McHenry said Tuesday. “But when they heard it was Williamsburg, they said they were very aware of our efforts and their drug czar [John P. Walters] wanted to know how it turns out.” More promotion came from Dr. Andrea Barthwell, herself a former deputy drug czar who now works on the local level in Chicago against marijuana usage. She helped defeat an Illinois bill to legalize marijuana. Barthwell joined the Bush administration in January 2001. When she left in July 2004, she was in charge of “Demand Reduction,” which included prevention and intervention. “When I got home, I was confronted by my son's middle school principal because they had found a fifth-grader with marijuana,” Barthwell said. “I had been working on the national level against drugs but hadn't done enough at the local level to protect my own child.” Why Williamsburg? “The students are asking for it,” Barthwell said. “They're asking for help from responsible adults.” Barthwell enlisted the help of John Pastuovic, whose Chicago public relations firm specializes in issues promotion. He's sent alerts to local and national media about Wednesday's press conference, including to the networks, cable news and major newspapers. “There's been lots of interest,” he said. “No commitments until the last minute, but I think they do that to harden my arteries.” Should the national media turn out, they'll get some visuals to shoot. Students advocating drug testing plan to hold an informational picket outside the library. “Random student drug testing is a valuable tool that gives students another reason to say no when approached to use drugs,” said Christine Bottles, a junior at Jamestown High. Pastuovic said the issue appealed to him because he has two young children. “I'd like to see a policy in place so that kids like my own have a good reason to say no if they're offered drugs. “Random drug testing is important because children become addicted more rapidly than adults, and their recovery is less likely,” said DeForest Rathbone, chairman of National Institute of Citizen Anti-drug Policy, in a news release that will go out Wednesday. “The intent of this program is not to punish students. The goal is to deter kids from using drugs.” Watchdog groups could see the issue here as a test case for how difficult it is to implement a drug-testing policy at the grassroots. If the effort fails, it could serve as a live manual on what to do differently. Discussion over drug testing began almost a year ago, and the parent task force pushing for implementation was formed last fall. The group hopes to have testing in place by September, but that's iffy even if the School Board approves the plan in June. McHenry said she e-mailed numerous national groups looking for information and advice, but she never expected the focus on what's happening here. “What I hope is that it causes the School Board to say ‘This is bigger than Williamsburg.'” Source: Virginia Gazette, The (Williamsburg, VA)Author: Rusty Carter, The Virginia GazettePublished: May 25, 2005Copyright: 2005 The Virginia GazetteContact: editor vagazette.comWebsite: Drug Testing Archives
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Comment #2 posted by jose melendez on June 02, 2005 at 20:39:09 PT
ONDCP breaks another U.S. law
ONDCP: Unlike Jail, Church Attendance Can Reduce Risk for Future Drug Use Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.
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Comment #1 posted by jose melendez on June 02, 2005 at 20:04:32 PT
sent lte
Date:	Thu, 26 May 2005 06:29:47 -0700 (PDT)
From:	"Air Jose Melendez" 
Subject:	letter to editor with corrections: Mississippi, ElSohly
To:	editor
Add Addresses Editor, The "Just Say No" crowd insists that restraining the
cannabis (marijuana) trade sends a message to kids.
What's not so obvious is that such messages are
consistently exposed as lies, with self interest at
their root. For example, the article "Drug forum draws national
interest" quotes Andrea Barthwell, formerly employed
at the Office of National Drug Control Policy.  Dr.
Barthwell publicly and politically campaigned against
medical marijuana as a hoax, until she was hired by an
overseas company to assist with facilitating Food and
Drug Administration approval of Sativex, a high THC,
raw cannabis extract currently approved in Canada as
an oral medication. In US law, it is illegal to wage war against
Americans, or enable our enemies. It is also unlawful
to construct a device in restraint of trade, create a
monopoly or fix prices.  Yet the ONDCP colludes with
the Partnership for a Drug Free America to pay for
large, often full page newspaper advertisements across
the country, falsely claiming that marijuana is far
more harmful than pharmaceutical alternatives. Undisclosed in any of these ads is the fact that 15
of the top corporate donors to the PDFA manufacture
and distribute often deadly, defective drugs and
delivery devices.  From his drug testing facility and
15 acre farm, one Mississippi marijuana grower,
Mahmoud ElSohly is allowed a monopoly on any legal
marijuana sales in the government estimated $10.5
billion dollar annual pot market. Online at there are articles proudly
detailing how hemp enabled early Williamsburg
industry, providing gainful and honest employment to
the young and poor.* Indeed, this issue is larger
than Williamsburg. A war on (some) drugs undermines
truth, justice and the American way.   - - -  *
 In 1776, officials of the Williamsburg Manufacturing
Society advertised for apprentices in order to make
"some provision for the better maintenance of poor
Children." A year later the society sought young
people of African descent. John Crawford, Williamsburg
Manufactory manager, announced that a hemp mill was
being built and that the society would pay a fair
price for cotton, wool, flax, and hemp. *
 A Virginia Gazette still serves the city of
Williamsburg today. Books were more time-consuming and
complicated to produce. They were printed in
signatures of four, eight, 12, or 16 pages - two or
more pages on each side of a sheet that, when folded
and cut, presented the text in the proper order for
binding.A bookbinder compiled the signatures and beat
them with a heavy hammer to make the sheets lie close.
He arranged them on a sewing frame and stitched them
together at the back fold with linen thread. As he
sewed, he looped the strands around thick hemp cross
threads, which created characteristic horizontal
ridges across the spine and unified the assembly.  - - - Perhaps Virginia Gazzette editors will consider
disclosing these self evident truths in future
articles.  Jose MelendezDeLand, FL 32724386-848-1877
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