After weeks of speculation that the Miami “face-eater” was high on bath salts—and an accompanying hysterical outcry—lab tests have found only marijuana in his system. Back in May, Ruby Eugene was shot and killed by Florida law enforcement, after violently attacking and "eating" the face (although no human tissue was found in his stomach) of 65-year-old Ronald Poppo. Many hypothesized that Eugene was under the influence of bath salts or LSD. Toxicology reports released yesterday found only traces of marijuana in the 31-year-old’s system and there was no evidence of other illicit substances. “The laboratory has tested for but not detected any other street drugs, alcohol or prescription drugs, or any adulterants found in street drugs,” reported the Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner. “This includes cocaine, LSD, amphetamines (Ecstasy, Meth and others), phencyclidine (PCP or Angel Dust), heroin, oxycodone, Xanax, synthetic marijuana (Spice), and many other similar compounds.” Investigators are now scratching their heads for an explanation. Following the attack, Poppo was left blind, and missing both his nose and one eye. Doctors from Jackson Memorial Hospital say he's been upbeat despite his traumatic experience. “It’s one of the most devastating cases we have seen,” says his plastic surgeon, Dr. Wroodcq Kassira. “It is going to take many, many facial reconstruction surgeries but we are hoping for the best.”
- Anti-Nicotine Vaccine Could Take the Pleasure Out of Smoking a Cigarette [Sky News]
- FDA Bill Aims to Address Foreign Drug Quality, Bans Synthetic Drug Chemicals [Washington Post]
- One in Six High Schoolers Drink Alcohol on Overnight College Admissions Visits [Boston.com]
- Recovery Advocates Recognized for Outstanding Achievement [FacesandVoicesofRecovery.org]
- No Bath Salts, Only Marijuana, Found in Face-Eater Toxicology Tests [Huffington Post]
- Australians, New Zealanders Are the World's Biggest Recreational Drug Users [Global Post]
- MMJ Users Can Be Arrested if They Don't Have Paperwork, Court Rules [Detroit News]
- Coke and Pepsi May Contain Minute Traces Of Alcohol [Daily Mail]
First The Beatles, now the "Zionists." Just 24 hours after Russia's health minister blamed his country's drug epidemic on the fab four, Iran's Vice President Mohammad-Reza Rahimi has held the Talmud, a central text of Judaism, responsible for the spread of illegal drugs around the world. The comments were made in front of European diplomats during an international anti-drug conference in Tehran that was co-sponsored by the UN. Rahimi went on to say that the Zionists—by which he meant Jews who support the state of Israel—were directly responsible for the global illegal drug trade. Iran's fight to stop drugs crossing its border with Afghanistan is one of very few Iranian policies to win support from the West—but Rahimi's speech has seemingly put a swift end to that. “The Islamic Republic of Iran will pay for anybody who can research and find one single Zionist who is an addict,” said Rahimi. “They do not exist. This is the proof of their involvement in drugs trade.” Right. The response to the speech from everyone in attendance—including the Iranian participants—was reported to be unanimously negative. “This was definitely one of the worst speeches I have heard in my life," says one European diplomat who wishes to remain anonymous. "My gut reaction was: why are we supporting any cooperation with these people?”
The Chicago City Council overwhelmingly voted to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana today, in an effort to save money, raise revenue for the city and allow police forces to focus on more serious crimes. Under the new law—which passed 43-3 and is backed by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel—anyone 18 years or older caught with about 15 grams or less of marijuana will receive a $250-$500 fine rather than an arrest, provided they have proper ID and aren't wanted for another crime. Under current law, anyone found a quantity of marijuana under one ounce can be charged with a misdemeanor, and could face up to a year in prison and a $2,500 fine. The Windy City has seen a 37% increase in its murder rate this year, so freeing up police officers is especially important. "Yes, marijuana is still bad. There's no way I can condone it," says Alderman Danny Solis, who sponsored the proposal. "But I know that we're going to have these police officers in these violent neighborhoods. And hopefully, that extra police man-hours will be helping to save lives of young men and women." Over a dozen states and several large US cities, including Seattle, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, have taken similar steps to reduce pot penalties. Opponents of decriminalization say it gives kids the message that smoking pot is OK, but supporters promise that the city will not become a drug haven under the new rules, which kick in August 4th. "If somebody thinks that they're going to get a free pass in Chicago," warns Alderman Ed Burke, "that they can stroll down Michigan Avenue smoking dope—that's not the case."
It hasn't been a smooth ride to sobriety for Andy Dick—and it certainly hasn't been a private one. The comedian's long and public battle with addiction has once again landed him in the spotlight—this time in the form of an on-air intervention staged by his boss and friends. Dick, 46, was filming his internet TV show, Andy Dick Live!, in Beverly Hills yesterday when Alki David, CEO of the online network that airs his show, interrupted the taping. “Everybody knows you have been going through your trials and tribulations,” David said to the former sitcom star. “I told you the other day that if this continued we can’t carry on." The entire filmed intervention—available for viewing here—shows the comedian break down and agree to get help. He was then escorted to Oasis, an Anaheim treatment center where he's currently staying. This is his thirteenth trip to rehab. In an exclusive interview last year, Dick, who was sober at the time, told The Fix that being in rehab "got me to see that there actually is a different and better lifestyle and if you choose to do it, you can do it."
Smuggling through the visiting room and tossing drugs over the fence are far from the only ruses responsible for the availability of marijuana, meth and much more inside our prisons. One serving prisoner gives The Fix details of a method that he calls "the package move," which takes advantage of an inmate being transferred from one institution to another. "My homeboy was at FCI McKean and got transferred to FCI Loretto [both in Pennsylvania]," the prisoner tells us. "Before his girl moved from McKean down to Loretto to be closer to him for visits, he decided to do a package move to get some weed and dope in. It was easy because he had the property slip from McKean." When a prisoner gets transferred, the Receiving and Discharge staff are responsible for boxing up his property and forwarding it to his new destination. They have to fill out a property inventory form, date it and give the prisoner a copy to keep as a receipt. This is so that when the prisoner receives his box on the other end, he can make sure all his property is accounted for.
"My homeboy just sent his property form from McKean to his girl, and she got a similar-sized box and filled it up with items listed on the form," the prisoner relates. "Except inside the commissary items like Ritz crackers, Nutty Buddy Bats and Tide, she put weed and heroin. We got high for weeks off that." Unsuspecting prison staff just follow routine. If the box is postmarked like all the others from McKean—and marked with the McKean return address—they assume it comes from the prison. Finding the property slip from McKean inside confirms their assumptions, and the box passes inspection. They process the property and call the prisoner to retrieve it. The package move and variations of it are being worked every day in correctional facilities across the country.