An Irish drug addict has been sentenced to seven years in prison (with the final three suspended) after he took a photograph of himself on a phone. Which he then left behind in the house he just robbed. Thirty-four-year-old Jason Glennon pleaded guilty to three burglaries committed last June, including the incident that Judge Patrick McCartan said made Glennon a candidate for "the title of Ireland's stupidest criminal." Glennon stole a backpack and a pink Nokia phone just one day after being released from prison for a similar offense. When he broke into a nearby house, the owner woke to find him in the bedroom and chased him out; Glennon dropped the backpack and phone as he fled. His mugshot was discovered and he was arrested the next month. Glennon, with 82 previous convictions, has been a drug addict since the age of 14. "(He is a) menace as long as he is in the community and using drugs," said McCartan.“It is my duty to protect the community and the only blunt implement I can use for this purpose is Mountjoy Prison." The judge suspended the last three years on condition that Glennon goes straight from prison to residential addiction treatment after his release.
Joe Biden’s current pro-prohibition tour of Central America may be hogging headlines, but a more spectacular proponent of such views resides in Colorado, where the new head of Denver’s Drug Enforcement Agency has been stirring up major controversy. In a recent interview with the Denver Post, Barbra Roach railed against the liberal approach toward medical marijuana in her new home state. Roach—who had ambitions to become a criminal lawyer before deciding “It's more fun to catch ‘em than cook ‘em” when it comes to drug users—has already vowed to find a city in Colorado where “no marijuana dispensaries are allowed” for her and her family to live. “By federal law, marijuana is illegal," she says. "There is no medical proof it has any benefit.” And then, in a bizarre think-of-the-children twist, Roach attacks marijuana growers over the dangers of…mold.
“People are not taking into account what can happen to those who are growing it,” Roach warns. “There are homes with mold and water damage in the hundreds of thousands and there are children in there too.” In response to this bizarre scaremongering, Representative Jared Polis (D- Colo) tweeted, “Drug Enforcement Agency's new motto: Protecting America from mold & water damage... Running out of excuses vs #marijuana.”
Roach’s opposition to the democratic opinions of the people of Colorado (some of the most pro-MMJ folk in the US) has caused a firestorm in the Denver Post comments section: “This woman's job is the oppression of innocent people who need marijuana for relief from debilitating illnesses, and those who provide the medicine they need," says one observer. "Her apparent delight in wielding usurped power points to a depraved, power-hungry personality. I hope someday she gets the serious professional help she needs.” Obviously still equally incensed by Roach’s comments, Rep. Jared Polis has taken to his Facebook page to issue a longer rebuttal, which reads in part: “Her choice of where to live in our state is absolutely her own decision (though I question her judgment...) but to publicly state shortly after arriving in a state that living in our premier city and many of our great towns is outright unacceptable to you is nothing short of an affront to our entire state.”
Weekend cigarette-smokers are messing with their memories just as much as those who smoke every day, a new study shows. Researchers tested 28 social smokers who smoke around 20 cigarettes once or twice a week (mostly on the weekends), comparing them with 28 people who smoke 10-15 cigarettes daily, and 28 non-smokers. The participants in the Northumbria University study, published in the Open Addiction journal, were each given a video-based prospective memory test, asking them to recall a series of fixed actions. Results showed that both groups of smokers performed equally badly compared with the non-smokers. “Smoking-related memory decline in general has been linked with increases in accelerated cerebral degeneration such as brain shrinkage,” says Dr. Tom Heffernan, who helped conduct the study. “This new research suggests that restricting smoking to weekends makes no difference—smoking damages your memory.” Period.
A new survey suggests that the US recovery community is even bigger than previously believed. An amazing 10% of adults aged 18 and older answered yes to the question, "Did you once have a problem with drugs or alcohol, but no longer do?" That translates to some 23.5 million adults living in the US today who battled addiction at some point and came out on the other side. The study—released today by the Partnership at Drugfree.org and the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS)—could make a valuable contribution to research into America's biggest public health crisis. It reveals some interesting demographic tidbits: more recovering adults fall into the 35-44 age group than any other, while the male/female breakdown has 12% of men reporting that they're in recovery, compared to 7% of women. Meanwhile the Midwest, sometimes dubbed America's "Binge Belt," has a higher proportion of people in recovery (14%) than any other region. Amid frequent pessimism over the scale of addiction-related problems in the US, the news that so many Americans have already found recovery is highly encouraging. "This research marks a vitally important step for those who are struggling with addiction by offering clear evidence to support what many know experientially," says New York State OASAS Commissioner Arlene Gonzalez-Sanchez. "Millions of Americans have found a path to recovery."
Motel rooms are prime locations for meth labs; their obscurity, anonymity and cheapness all count in their favor when people go looking for places to cook and sell the drug. In recent months, police have busted motel-based meth labs in several cities. "Often, people will go into hotels because they can go unnoticed," says Pennsylvania State Police spokesperson Michelle Davis. "They can get it cheap, and nobody is really checking for them there." She spoke after a meth lab was discovered at the Budget Inn in Guilford Township, Chambersburg. Among the three people arrested there, police found cylinders of crystal meth, hypodermic needles, and papers listing the ingredients and instructions for cooking meth. Vigilant motel staff may wish to pay attention to any odor resembling cat urine (although you'd like to think they would anyway); it could be caused by a liquid fertilizer called anhydrous ammonia that's used to make meth. Similar motel busts have recently been made in Jefferson, West Virginia, Augusta, Georgia and Orange County, Florida. The tendency of meth labs to explode and contaminate nearby areas is one reason for motel owners to be wary; the constant threat of police swoops is another.