- Philip Seymour Hoffman Died Of Massive Drug OD, Autopsy Says [Daily News]
- George Lopez Arrested For Drunkenness In Canadian Casino [Los Angeles Times]
- Chris Brown Diagnosed With Bipolar Disorder, PTSD [TMZ]
- British Student Suspected Of Ketchup Addiction [Metro]
- White House Says President Obama Has Not Tried E-Cigs [Washington Times]
- Colorado Veterinarians Seeing More Dogs That Have Eaten Edible Marijuana [CBS Denver]
- Utah College Students Busted For Smoking Pot In Igloo [CNN]
- Drunk Chicago Man Takes Pet Tiger For Walk Through Downtown [KSDK]
Tennessee, one of the last states that allows citizens to have open containers of alcohol in moving cars, is set to change their ways. The proposed "Pass the Bottle" law would punish both drivers and passengers for any open containers of alcohol in their vehicle.
The bill's sponsor, Rep. Jon Lundberg (R), says that Tennessee law basically allows citizens to drink while they drive. “It’s really quite sad…It’s legal to drink alcohol in a car in Tennessee,” Lundberg said. “Often it’s the driver doing it and when the car is pulled over, he simply passes the bottle to the passenger.”
The current law only fines the driver if an officer is able to determine that the driver was the one drinking, but Lundberg's proposed law would fine all occupants of the vehicle if an open container of alcohol is present. Local municipal governments back Lundberg's bill because, as one of the 11 states that fails to comply with federal road regulations, Tennessee has “foregone more than $90 million in federal transportation funding."
If enacted, the 650 open container violations each year could bring in $40 each and $1.5 million in annual federal funding to the state. “These are monies that could be used to build roads and build bridges,” Lundberg said.
Critics of the bill say it's a superfluous measure that attacks the freedom of law-abiding drinkers who have assigned a designated driver and does not address the issue of drunk driving. Passengers of limousines or living quarters of recreational vehicles are exempt from the bill.
After 20 months of buildup, it took jurors only an hour to find Kerry Kennedy not guilty on charges of driving while impaired. The daughter of Robert F. Kennedy and former wife of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo faced up to a year in jail on the charges, but the acquittal was swiftly handed down after a five-day trial.
Kennedy, 54, was arrested in July 2012 after hitting a tractor trailer with her SUV on a highway in Westchester County. She was later found slumped over her steering wheel and with her car stalled, the result of swallowing Zolpidem, a generic form of the sleeping pill Ambien. Kennedy insisted that she accidentally took the pill after mistaking it for thyroid medication and didn’t realize her mistake until after the accident took place.
She faced up to a year in jail if convicted, but many felt prosecutors were trying to make an example of her based on her last name. There are 2,500 DUI cases in Westchester County, but the bulk of them typically result in a fine and jail time isn’t considered as an option. Lucian Chalfen, a spokesman for the Westchester district attorney, Janet DiFiore, said that the case “was treated no differently from any of the others.” But rather than express bitterness, Kennedy said outside the courthouse after the verdict that “anger is the last feeling I have right now. I’m full of gratitude.”
One of Kennedy’s lawyers, Gerald B. Lefcourt, said convicting Kennedy would have required proof that “she’s a callous person and knowing she was under the influence of Zolpidem and continued to drive. [There’s no] evidence from the prosecutor, who has the burden of proof, that Kerry Kennedy did realize she accidentally took the sleeping pill Zolpidem and continued to drive. This is a case with not a reasonable doubt — there is overwhelming doubt.”
The nationwide shortage of drugs used to execute death row prisoners is forced back into the spotlight by lawsuits filed by two Oklahoma inmates seeking information about the drugs that will be used to put them to death.
Clayton Lockett and Charles Warner are scheduled to be executed by the state on March 20 and 27 for murder charges, but both have sought a restraining order against state corrections officials in order to determine whether the trio of drugs that will be used for executions have been contaminated with “particulate foreign matter or a microbial biohazard that could lead to a severe allergic reaction upon injection,” according to the suit filed by their lawyers.
Like many states that uphold the death penalty, Oklahoma has been forced to find substitute execution drugs after drug makers, mostly based in Europe, refused to sell their pharmaceuticals to Stateside prisons and corrections departments. The state’s response was to drop the requirement that inmates receive a sedative continuously during the execution and shield information about the exact nature of their execution methods.
Lawyers for Lockett and Warner do not challenge their clients’ guilt or the death penalty imposed upon them. Rather, they seek full disclosure of Oklahoma’s execution policies. Specifically, they want to know if the Tulsa-based compounding pharmacy The Apothecary Shoppe has provided the state with execution drugs. The company made national headlines earlier this year when lawyers for death row inmate Michael Taylor challenged the state of Missouri’s decision to use drugs from a compounding pharmacy, which is not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. As a result, the drug has caused inmates to unduly suffer in the course of the execution, as was the case in the January 2014 execution of Oklahoma death row inmate Michael Lee Wilson, who screamed that his “whole body [was] burning” after receiving an injection of pentobarbital.
The Apothecary Shoppe later agreed to not supply the pentobarbital for Taylor’s death sentence, which took place on February 26. Lockett and Warner’s lawyers have also expressed concern that the pentobarbital supplied to the state may have been provided by a veterinary medical supplier. A spokesperson for the Oklahoma Department of Corrections said that the office had received the lawsuit, while the director of communications for Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt noted that Oklahoma is “in compliance with the law” in regard to execution procedure.
If you’ve looked for rehab for yourself or someone else before, chances are you’ve desperately combed through dozens of websites with the hopes of finding a recovery center that actually works. If drug rehab centers all look and sound the same, it’s because many of them are. Most treatment centers follow the 12-step model, with total lockdown in a retreat-like setting. Perhaps you or your loved one has been to one of these places already, or like many of our clients, upwards of five or ten. The revolving door of unsuccessful rehabilitation with traditional treatment is both infuriating and disheartening.
Morningside Recovery is different. Our program radically differs from the typical model of 12-Step work plus isolation in an artificial environment. Hiding from reality doesn’t teach people how to face it. That’s why we created our regulated open-model of recovery. Rather than run from real life, we give clients the tools to healthfully function within it. In addition to our core daily support network, we assess clients individually in order to customize treatment through a broad range of programs and experiential therapies. At Morningside Recovery locations throughout Orange County, California, you can attend classes at a local college, work part-time, have your cellphone, and be visited by family as often as you’d like. In other words, you are as close to real life as you can get, with the help of a comprehensive recovery plan tailored to your specific needs.
In this model, Morningside utilizes a therapeutic staff comprised wholly of Masters and Doctorate level clinicians. This differs greatly from most treatment centers, which are generally staffed by drug and alcohol counselors with significantly fewer hours of education in the psychological issues that impact addiction. It is this highly qualified clinical team in conjunction with a unique and extensive experiential program that makes Morningside Recovery the leader in dual-diagnosis treatment. With the ability to not only treat an individual’s current addiction and mental health state, but the underlying trauma and other disorders that often go hand-in-hand with addiction, Morningside has created one of the most successful dual-diagnosis programs in the world.
www.MorningsideRecovery.com | Speak with a Counselor: (866) 387-5775
A Utah electrician who torched an entire apartment complex and caused $6 million in damages is blaming his addiction to the synthetic weed known as Spice for the mishap. Dustin Bowman, 34, set ablaze the still unfinished building that was supposed to have 61 units and cover 64,000 square feet, but no injuries were reported afterwards.
Surveillance video showed Bowman starting the fire by lighting cardboard and throwing it into a bathtub leaning against a wood wall. He offered a bizarre explanation for his behavior afterwards, telling prosecutors that "maybe I wanted to see the fire department." U.S. Attorney Office prosecutor Drew Yates said that "the last year has been a difficult one for Mr. Bowman."
But Federal magistrate Dustin Pead was less sympathetic and decided to keep Bowman in jail. Pead said that while he was concerned about Bowman's spice addiction, he was more upset about his arrests on drug-related charges on consecutive days, failure to appear in court on those charges, and continuing to use despite attending court-ordered drug rehab. "He had all the incentive in the world to avoid future problems and he was unable to do that," said Pead. Bowman's attorney, Jamie Zenger, acknowledging that it would have been difficult to keep him out of jail based on the overwhelming evidence against him. He is scheduled to be arraigned on March 6.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency has also classified Spice as a Schedule I controlled substance as of three weeks ago. The drug has been designated with the special “temporary” status as federal officials are now moving forward to make synthetic pot a permanent member of the list which also currently includes marijuana, crack cocaine, and heroin.
“The vast majority of (synthetic cannabis) are manufactured in Asia by individuals who are not bound by any manufacturing requirements or quality control standards,” said the DEA. “There is an incorrect assumption that these products are safe.”