Author Archive | Easy Rider

Marijuana Use At 30-Year High Among U.S. Teenagers

MarijuanaAnahad O’Connor reports in the NY Times:

One out of every 15 high school students smokes marijuana on a near daily basis, a figure that has reached a 30-year peak even as use of alcohol, cigarettes and cocaine among teenagers continues a slow decline, according to a new government report.

The popularity of marijuana, which is now more prevalent among 10th graders than cigarette smoking, reflects what researchers and drug officials say is a growing perception among teenagers that habitual marijuana use carries little risk of harm. That perception, experts say, is fueled in part by wider familiarity with medicinal marijuana and greater ease in obtaining it.

Although it is difficult to track the numbers, “we’re clearly seeing an increase in teenage marijuana use that corresponds pretty clearly in time with the increase in medical marijuana use,” said Dr. Christian Thurstone, medical director of the adolescent substance abuse treatment program at Denver Health and Hospital Authority, who was not involved in the study.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Missouri is the U.S. Meth Capital, Again

Breaking BadWalter White has some serious competition. Chad Garrison writes in the Riverfront Times:
​Missouri has once again been ranked as the nation's biggest meth-producing state based on the number of drug labs busted last year. According to Missouri Highway Patrol figures published in the Post-Dispatch, law enforcement seized 1,774 meth labs in 2009 — up 20 percent from the 1,487 confiscated in 2008. Missouri outpaced the No. 2 state — Indiana — which had 1,096 meth lab busts in 2009. Jefferson County, Missouri, led the state with 227 labs confiscated last year. The news comes as Missouri legislature considers a bill that would require pseudoephedrine — the key ingredient for meth — to be sold only as a prescription.
Continue Reading

The True Cost of Commuting

I-80

Photo: Minesweeper (CC)

Via Mr. Money Mustache:

It was a beautiful evening in my neighborhood, and I was enjoying one of my giant homebrews on a deck chair I had placed in the middle of the street, as part of a nearby block’s Annual Street Party.

I was talking to a couple I had just met, and the topic turned to the beauty of the neighborhood. “Wow, I didn’t even realize this area was here”, the guy said, “It’s beautiful and old and the trees are giant and all of families hang out together outside as if it were still 1950!”. “Yeah”, said his wife, “We should really move here!”.

Then the discussion turned to the comparatively affordable housing, and the other benefits of living in my particular town. By the end of it, these people were verbally working out the details of a potential move within just a few months.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

5 Tons of Marijuana Seized in Indianapolis, State’s Largest Drug Bust

Indiana BustMary Beth Schneider reports in the Indianapolis Star:
An investigation that started in March with money falling from a hidden compartment in a truck ended last week as apparently the largest drug bust in Indiana history. More than 5 tons of marijuana and more than $4.3 million are now in law enforcement hands, with four men in the Marion County Jail on charges that could put them in prison for life. The size of the bust has law enforcement confident that they have, at least for now, halted a large drug distribution operation in Indianapolis and probably affected a Mexican drug cartel ...
Continue Reading

Obama’s Crackdown on Medical Marijuana

Medical Marijuana

Photo: O'Dea (CC)

Justin Elliott writes in Salon:

Back in July, I interviewed a drug policy expert about an apparent change in Justice Department policy that suggested a crackdown on medical marijuana — which is legal in many states but illegal under federal law — might be coming.

Now, with the announcement last week by California’s four U.S. attorneys that pot dispensaries will be targeted with harsh criminal sanctions, the shift feared by drug policy reform advocates appears to have come to pass. The rhetoric from candidate Barack Obama about not prioritizing medical marijuana cases now seems a distant memory.

To learn more about what’s happening in California, I spoke to Bob Egelko, a veteran reporter who covers courts for the San Francisco Chronicle and has been following the story.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Marijuana Will Make You Sad (If You Are Prone To Be Depressed)?

Sad KeanuVia Science Daily:

Young people who are genetically vulnerable to depression should be extra careful about using cannabis: smoking cannabis leads to an increased risk of developing depressive symptoms. This has emerged from research carried out by Roy Otten at the Behavioural Science Institute of Radboud University Nijmegen that is published in the online version of the scientific journal Addiction Biology. Two-thirds of the population have the gene variant that makes one sensitive to depression.

Many young people in the Netherlands use cannabis. Nearly 30% of 16-year-olds indicate that they have used cannabis on at least one occasion, and 12% that they have used it during the past month. Besides worse performances at school, the use of cannabis also increases the risk of developing schizophrenia and psychosis. Smoking hashish and weed were thought to increase the risk of depression but no conclusive evidence for this was available to date.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Prescription Drug Use Now Kills More People Than Traffic Accidents

OxyContin Setup

Photo: 51fifty (CC)

Via the Inquisitr:

In 1979 the U.S. Government began tracking drug-related deaths and for the first time those deaths have surpassed the number of traffic fatalities on an annual basis. The most recent statistics which were taken in 2009 shows that 37,485 people died in traffic related accidents while 36,284 people died from drug related activities in a one year period.

Surprisingly the main culprit of those deaths were not street illegal drugs but rather prescription options including Xanax, OxyContin and the main culprit Vicodin which killed more people than cocaine and heroin combined.

Speaking to the Los Angeles Times a Santa Barbara sheriff said: “The problem is right here under our noses in our medicine cabinets.”

The study also revealed that traffic related fatalities have actually fallen by a third since the 1970s even as the number of drivers using American roadways continues to increase, while drug related deaths have doubled in the last decade.

Read the rest
Continue Reading