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8/21/14 3:30pm

Student Charged In Philip Seymour Hoffman Death Reports on Treatment


Juliana Luchkiw Photo via

The Parsons student who was arrested for drug possession in connection with the death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman is successfully getting treatment, her lawyer said on Tuesday.

Juliana Luchkiw pleaded guilty to misdemeanor cocaine possession in April. She, along with her then-boyfriend Max Rosenblum and neighbor Robert Vineberg, were arrested in February after the police searched their Mott Street building and uncovered two bags of cocaine in Luchkiw and Rosenblum’s apartment, as well as 350 packets of heroin in Vineberg’s apartment.

An informant, who told police Vineberg regularly sold heroin to Hoffman, led investigators to the building. The information made police believe that Vineberg may have sold Hoffman his fatal batch of heroin. The 46-year-old actor was found dead in his West Village apartment in February with a needle in his arm.

The Parsons, The New School for Design student was 22 at the time of her arrest. She was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, her lawyer Stephen Turano said. “She’s a college student. She is not a drug dealer,” he said.

Luchkiw is able to enter a new plea to disorderly conduct, which is a violation, after completing six months of drug treatment. She appeared in court to give an update on her progress.

“She’s doing very well. She’s been fully compliant with her substance abuse program,” Turano said.

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By Victoria Kim

the undecider

8/21/14 1:00pm

Jeb Bush Torn Between Being Anti-MMJ and Pro-States' Rights


I dunno. Photo via

On the issue of medical marijuana, the former governor of Florida Jeb Bush is conflicted.

Last Thursday, Bush issued a written statement urging Floridians to vote against the proposed amendment, also known as Amendment 2, which would allow physicians to recommend medical marijuana to individuals with debilitating medical conditions.

However, when asked by a reporter on Friday about the federal government’s role in enforcing federal drug laws in medical marijuana states, Bush, who is considering a presidential bid for 2016, said, “I don’t know. I’d have to sort that out. I think that states ought to have a right to decide these things. I think the federal government’s role in our lives is way too overreaching.”

“I believe it is the right of the states to decide this issue,” he said in a statement. “And I strongly urge Floridians to vote against Amendment 2 this November.”

Amendment 2, or the Florida Right to Medical Marijuana Initiative is on the November 4, 2014 ballot in Florida as a proposed constitutional amendment.

So far, the proposed amendment is popular among voters in the Sunshine State. According to a recent Quinnipiac University poll, 88% of Florida voters support legal medical marijuana, and more than half of voters favor the idea of allowing adults to have small amounts of pot for recreational use.

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By Victoria Kim

celebrity addicts

8/21/14 10:30am

Brooke Mueller's Ex-Assistant Says He Was Her 'Drug Mule'



The former assistant to socialite and occasional actress Brooke Mueller has filed a lawsuit against her, claiming that she made him act as a “drug mule” to fuel her multiple addictions.

Lior Masaphor is only suing for unpaid wages during his time working for her from December 2012 to March 2013, but claims in court documents that he watched her twin boys while she got “so high as to be literally wasted.” He also claims that her young children were in the room while she engaged in sex acts with other people. Mueller, the ex-wife of Charlie Sheen, has not commented on the lawsuit.

Unfortunately, Mueller’s history of drug abuse is well-documented. She made her 20th trip to rehab last summer to address an ongoing addiction to prescription drugs. Last September, Radar Online posted a video of what appeared to be the socialite smoking crack cocaine. The video came on the heels of her losing temporary custody of her twin boys last May, whom she had with Sheen, and a very public custody battle between the two that included the actor calling her a “whore” on Twitter.

In the video, Mueller appeared in a bathrobe, disoriented, and smoking what looked to be crack cocaine out of a glass pipe. As she bargains for crystal meth in the video, she asks someone off-camera, "Where is the crystal? I am giving you $1500." A source who claimed to be present during the video said this was “just another crazy night of her getting high. I know that she is aware that if she doesn't stop doing drugs, she is going to lose her kids [for good]...hopefully she can stop."

However, Mueller was photographed earlier this week with her children and appeared to be happy and sober, at least for now.

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By McCarton Ackerman


8/21/14 8:30am

Bogus 'Facebook Drug Task Force' Story Goes Viral



A new report that Facebook has instituted a “Facebook Drug Task Force” has left potheads across the country in panic, but it turns out that the story was a hoax.

Satirical news site National Report was responsible for the bogus post, which has since received 150,000 shares. The story reported that Facebook head Mark Zuckerberg had hired a team whose sole purpose it was to monitor posts and messages for any sign of users trying to buy or sell drugs. The story was inspired by Facebook’s announcement that they would be adding “satire” tags to fake news stories after many gullible users were taking outrageous stories posted by other people to heart.

The story included a 24-hour hotline for the Facebook Drug Task Force, but those who called it were taken to the direct line of the notoriously anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church. Despite the absurdity of the story given its source, several anxious drug users took to Twitter with comments that included “THE FEDS ARE WATCHING” and “How the fuck am I going to buy drugs now?” A Facebook spokesperson was forced to address the story and labeled it as “spectacularly false."

Facebook has regularly been the source of drug-related controversy. Residents of Clermont County in Ohio were outraged at three teenagers injecting their friend with heroin and posting photos of his dead body to the social media site last October, and even more so after only one of them was charged with a crime. Dylan Owens, 19, died from the injection, but only Maddison Rogers, 22, was charged with involuntary manslaughter and corrupting another with drugs after administering the fatal heroin dose.

The Clermont County prosecutor said he doesn’t expect the other two individuals, both 20, to be charged with a crime unless new evidence is presented. “There were three people there, there were three people involved and they should all pay for what they did to Dylan,” said his mother, Tina Owens. “I don't know why they would do that, I don't know why they'd be so callous and cruel and heartless. Dylan would have my back and I want to have his and I just want justice."

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By McCarton Ackerman


8/21/14 7:00am

Morning Roundup: Aug. 21, 2014


All aboard! Photo via

By Shawn Dwyer

synthetic drugs

8/20/14 7:30pm

Head Shop Owner Gets 17½ Years for Selling Synthetic Drugs


Jim Carlson. Photo via

Jim Carlson, owner of the Last Place on Earth head shop in Duluth, Minn., was sentenced to 17½ years in prison for selling synthetic drugs out of his shop. A U.S District Judge doled out the long sentence during a hearing at the federal courthouse in Minneapolis last Thursday. 

The case serves as one of the first tests in a federal court of how authorities can begin to fight synthetic drugs, which have previously been difficult for authorities to regulate due to drug makers constantly adjusting their formulas to stay ahead of the law. Lawmakers and police officials believe that the stiff sentence will send a clear message to the many people who continue to sell synthetic drugs.

During the hearing, Carlson, 57, of Superior, Wis., delivered a statement criticizing drug-laws and the government. “All over the place, not a person got bothered but me and my family,” he told the judge. “I was always told that laws are applied equally. I cannot see how this is equal.”

Carlson went on to argue that dozens of other stores and countless Internet sites across the country sell synthetics without interference from the government. “Everybody admits the war on drugs is not working. It's a fiasco,” Carlson complained.

Carlson’s defense attorney, Randall Tigue, told reporters of plans to appeal because Judge Doty prevented them from explaining why Carlson believed his actions were legal. “We'll have an appeal filed by Monday,” Tigue said.

After the hearing, U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar issued a statement praising the sentence. “Today’s action sends a strong message about our commitment to cracking down on synthetic drugs and the people who push them,” she said. “Synthetic drugs are tearing families apart and claiming young peoples’ lives in Minnesota and across the country.”

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By Desiree Bowie


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