Another teenage death has been linked to the use of the synthetic drug widely known as K2. Logan Matthew Kushner, a 19-year-old from Florida, and his friend were smoking the synthetic "herbal incense" at around 2:30 am Sunday morning. Kushner drowned in a creek within hours. Although the DEA recently banned synthetics drugs, also known as incense and bath salts, in addition to several of the active chemicals used to produce them, new variants of the drug have circumvented the ban. They're marketed under different brand names and contain chemicals that have so far remained legal. The fast-moving evolution of synthetic drug development reflects a budding industry of great adaptability that's used to staying ahead of the law. The new variants can still be commonly found in convenience stores and gas stations nationwide, marketed under enticing names like "Scooby Snax Potpourri"—which was discovered on sale at a gas station near the latest incident.
Rapper Snoop Dogg was arrested in Texas this weekend after a drug-sniffing dog found marijuana on his tour bus. According to law enforcement, Snoop’s tour bus was stopped at a routine checkpoint in Sierra Blanca—the same town where country singer Willie Nelson was caught with weed in 2010. Authorities performed a standard inspection and found several joints inside a trash can on Snoop's bus, as well as a prescription bottle containing under a half-ounce of marijuana. Cops say that Snoop was cooperative and admitted that the pot belonged to him. He has a medical cannabis prescription that's valid in California, but found out the hard way that Texas has zero tolerance for marijuana use. Snoop received a citation and misdemeanor for drug possession and was then released. If convicted on the drug charge, he could face up to 180 days in jail.
- Nicotine Gum and Skin Patch Face New Doubt [New York Times]
- Mexican Cartels Using Young Children To Smuggle Drugs [Fox News]
- Citing Rise In Meth Labs, Missouri Seeks Statewide Ban of Pseudoephedrine [Missouri Net]
- Ireland's Heroin Addicts Neglected By Overburdened State [Irish Times]
- Trooper Discovers 39 Pounds Of Cocaine At Routine Traffic Stop [KETK]
- While More People Favor Legalizing MMJ, Local Governments Move To Block Legislation [Sacramento Bee]
Stopping short of a recall, the FDA has warned of a possible drug mix-up of several widely used over-the-counter-medications by manufacturer Norvartis Pharmaceuticals. The drugs' packagings may have been accidentally switched with those of powerful opiate pain medications. Whoops. Non-prescription pain reliever Excedrin and anti-gas medication Gas-X are two of the meds involved; Norvartis fears packages of these drugs have been filled with addictive prescription pain pills like Percocet, Endocet, Opana and Zydone, which are manufactured at the same Endo Pharmaceutical plant.Norvartis has received several complaints about broken and damaged pills as well as inconstant packaging, but as yet, no reports of consumers having taken the drugs or accidental ODs. Norvartis Pharmaceuticals have asked that consumers return any suspect drugs for a refund, opting for a voluntary recall, even though the FDA has stated it won't order a recall due to the small risk posed. The FDA’s Dr. Edward Cox says, “The likelihood of finding a wrong tablet in an opiate pain medication dispensed to patients is low and patients should not be unduly alarmed.”
Former Cambodian drug czar Moek Dara was sentenced sentenced to life in prison last Thursday for masterminding illegal drug trafficking and accepting bribes. Upon his arrest in January 2011, he was serving as the secretary general for the National Anti-Drug Trafficking Department. “I did not commit any crime like the accusation. It’s life imprisonment, sentencing me (as though) I am a mastermind in drug trafficking, but there is not even one pill of drug,” said Dara after his sentencing. He plans to appeal the verdict, which he has one month to do under Cambodian law. Although the country has outlawed the death penalty for drug trafficking, Cambodian drug laws and treatment of addicts remain among the strictest in the world. Two of Dara’s accomplices in the corruption racket have also received lengthy sentences: Chea Leng, former Ministry of Interior anti-drug chief, was sentenced to life in prison while Morn Doeun, who is currently in hiding, was sentenced to 25 years in absentia.
A Bronx Assistant DA was busted for DWI this weekend—he's the third from his office within a year. Rafael Urena was stopped by cops at a checkpoint on Manhattan's East 61st Street at 3:40 am Saturday morning. He blew a .081 on the breathalyzer and was taken into custody. When asked by police if he was familiar with the breathalyzer, he brazenly replied, "Yeah, I know what it is; I'm a Bronx assistant district attorney." Urena is the third person from the Bronx District Attorney's office to be charged with drunken driving in the last 12 months: in early 2011, Assistant DA Jennifer Troiano was involved in a major accident on the Major Deegan Expressway, while Assistant DA Stephen Lopresti was also involved in a major collision on the Grand Concourse. Lopresti was later acquitted by a jury.