Sir Paul McCartney is finally giving up marijuana for the sake of his 8-year-old daughter, Beatrice. The 69-year-old former Beatle tells Rolling Stone magazine that he finds caring for his daughter more important than smoking dope. “I did a lot, and it was enough... When you’re bringing up a youngster, your sense of responsibility does kick in, if you’re lucky, at some point,” he says. “Enough’s enough—you just don’t seem to think it’s necessary.” The 69-year-old was first introduced to marijuana in the mid-sixties by fellow songster Bob Dylan. From there, McCartney experimented with cocaine, heroin and LSD which is rumored to have inspired many of the Beatles hit songs. McCartney’s love for pot has also gotten him into some trouble with the law. Back in 1972, he was busted for possession in Scotland and in Sweden. Then in 1980, officials in Japan found marijuana in his luggage and McCartney was deported. Four years later, he was arrested again, along with his first wife Linda, after buying some pot at a beach in Barbados. Sir Paul’s ex-wife Heather Mills, the mother of Beatrice, claims the star “smoked marijuana as often as most people drink cups of tea” during the couple's divorce trials.
- Hazard of the Trade: Bankers' Health [Wall Street Journal]
- Multiple Disorders Leave Addicted Women MIA [Women's ENews]
- Whitney Houston's Doctors Told to Provide Drug Record [LA Times]
- MMJ Banking Bill Dies in Colorado [Denver Westword]
- Why Prescription Drug Addiction is Growing Among Teens [MyHealthNewsDaily]
- 30 Pounds of Cocaine Seized on Cruise Ship in San Francisco [San Francisco Chronicle]
- Attractive Undercover Cops Entraps Teens to "Sell" Her Marijuana [Huffington Post]
Rival budgets that have been approved by the Florida House and Senate—both Republican-controlled—would do very different things to funding for substance-abuse and mental-health treatment in the Sunshine State. The first would increase funding by $32 million. And the other? It would slash-and-burn state outlays to treatment programs by $87 million—40% below current levels. The reason for the cuts is simple: Florida is facing a budget shortfall of $2 billion, and that money’s got to be made up somewhere. The Senate would much rather take that cash from programs that help drug addicts and the mentally ill than from those serving children, disabled people and grandparents. (Could it be a coincidence that one of those groups—old folks—traditionally has super-high voter turnout?) “When it comes to funding, an 85-year-old woman in a nursing home matters more to me than a 45-year-old guy with a substance-abuse problem,” says Sen. Joe Negron, who's responsible for the health care portion of the Senate’s budget. “It’s all about priorities.”
But various interest groups in Florida think the Senate’s got its priorities backwards. The legislative chair of the Florida Sheriffs Association says that without funding, drug abusers and the mentally ill will terrorize the community and fill jails. And the executive director of the Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association sums up the issue in fiscal terms: “It’s cheaper to treat somebody than it is to put them in a prison. It’s cheaper to treat somebody than it is to take their children away in child welfare. It’s cheaper to treat somebody than for them to show up at the emergency room."
Something as innocuous-sounding as a faulty battery caused an electric cigarette to explode in a man's mouth in Florida Monday night, with devastating consequences. Niceville resident Tom Holloway, 57, was puffing on the device as part of an attempt to quit real cigarettes and improve his health. But the explosion blew away some of his front teeth and a section of his tongue, and caused severe burns to his face. Joseph Parker, division chief of the North Bay Fire Department, describes the situation as like "trying to hold a bottle rocket in your mouth when it went off." He adds, "The battery flew out of the tube and set the closet on fire." The battery in question is believed to have been of the rechargeable lithium variety, but the brand of e-cigarette is still unknown. Two and a half million Americans used electronic cigarettes last year. "There have been billions and billions of puffs on the cigarettes and we have not heard of this happening before," says Thomas Kiklas, co-founder of the Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association.
The trauma of being assaulted by an ex-boyfriend in a motel room earlier this month has led the wife of California's State Treasurer to undergo treatment at a rehab for "chemical dependency," as well as for injuries stemming from the beating and chronic pain from a 2002 car accident. Nadia Lockyer, who is an Alameda County Supervisor, married current California treasurer and former state attorney general Bill Lockyer in 2003. "Alcoholism and addiction are diseases from which many of us suffer, and unfortunately, I have not been spared," she said in a statement. "With the strong encouragement of the people in my life who love me, including my husband, my family, and my friends, I decided to get help and treatment so that I may fully heal and recover." Nadia Lockyer told police she met her ex at a motel in Newark, California on February 3, after an argument with her husband. She didn't go into details about events inside the motel room. Bill Lockyer said his wife had portrayed the ex-boyfriend as a troubled person whom she believed was having a crisis. He added that the ex "seems to have a long history of involvement with the criminal justice system, but her [Nadia's] only fault is occasionally having one too many drinks." The Lockyers have now reunited after a brief separation.
British Prime Minister David Cameron plans to deploy a fleet of "drunk tanks" and "booze buses" as part of a grand effort to crack down on public intoxication in the hard-drinking UK. "Booze buses" are ambulances that administer medical aid to drunken patients on board. "Drunk tanks"—a model that originated in the US—are cells-on-wheels, confining inebriated troublemakers as they sober up overnight. The new proposals are intended to prevent British hospitals and police stations becoming overcrowded due to widespread drunkenness, which costs the UK more than more than £2.7 billion ($4.2 billion) annually. Last year, alcohol was responsible for 200,000 hospital admissions in the UK, and the problem is getting worse, fast. "Over the last decade we’ve seen a frightening growth in the number of people—many underage—who think it’s acceptable for people to get drunk in public in ways that wreck lives, spread fear and increase crime," says Cameron.