Source: ABC News
Concerted campaigns over recent years have brought down drink-driving rates in Australia, but experts say it is now time for a new focus - drugs. A report released today has found that an alarmingly high number of people are getting behind the wheel within hours of taking drugs.
There is also very little awareness of the dangers, particularly amongst the group most at risk, young men. The Australian Drug Foundation (ADF) surveyed almost 7,000 drivers about their drug use and researcher Dr Jane Mallick says the results were shocking.
Source: The New York Times
Author: Stephen J Dubner
I have a favorite thought exercise: look at an issue that’s important, complex, and interesting — something like healthcare, education, or electoral politics — and pretend that you could rebuild the system from scratch, without the convoluted histories and incentives that currently exist.
What would the new system look like? How differently would you think about key issues if there were no precedent or blueprint? So here’s an example. Pretend that humankind made it all the way to the 21st century without alcohol or marijuana. (Perhaps this would not have been possible?) Now pretend that alcohol and marijuana are simultaneously discovered, and think about what kind of laws would be put in place, if any, to govern their use.
Source: ABC South East SA
Police have found cannabis plants and hydroponics equipment during drug raids in six south-east South Australia homes. The police dog squad spent the weekend searching the homes in Bordertown, Western Flat, Frances and Naracoorte. Senior Sergeant Dave Thomas says items were seized from each of the homes searched.
Source: New South Wales Police Force
A man and a woman will face court today after more than four kilograms of cannabis was found in a car on state’s south-west. 15am yesterday police from Dareton were patrolling the Sturt Highway when they stopped a car at Gol Gol. The officers searched the car and it will be alleged they located 4.57 kilograms in the boot of the vehicle.
Source: The Australian
Author: Andrew McGarry
POLICE raids on dozens of bikie-related properties in Adelaide have discovered caches of weapons and quantities of cash and drugs, including a haul of cannabis in an underground bunker.
In one of the biggest operations of its type in South Australian history, 120 police, including a group from the anti-bikie unit Operation Avatar, simultaneously launched early-morning raids on 25 properties in the northern and southern suburbs and the Adelaide Hills.
Source: Missoulian.com (News Online)
Author: Michael Moore (of the Missoulian)
Robin Prosser, a Missoula woman who struggled for a quarter century to live with the pain of an immunosuppressive disorder, tried years ago to kill herself. Last week, she tried again. This time, she succeeded. After her earlier attempt failed, Prosser wound up in even more trouble after investigating police found marijuana in her home. She used the marijuana to help cope with pain.
That marijuana charge was eventually dropped in an agreement with the city of Missoula, and Prosser had reason to rejoice in 2004 when Montanans passed a law allowing medical use of the drug. She was a high-profile campaigner for the Montana Medical Marijuana Act, and like others, she was dismayed when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that drug agents could still arrest sick people using marijuana, even in states that legalized its use.
Source: ABC News
A South Australian parliamentary report has found some positive roadside drug tests have been proved wrong in a laboratory. The report on the first year of the testing regime also shows 3 per cent of SA motorists tested had traces of either cannabis, methamphetamine or ecstasy in their bloodstream.
The figure was compared to 1 per cent of drivers who have tested positive in Victoria. South Australia's opposition police spokesman David Ridgway says he is concerned that 6 per cent of positive tests were later found to be wrong.
Source: News.com.au (AAP)
Author: Daniel Pace
Backyard drug labs, rather than large-scale organised crime, are responsible for a spike in drug arrests in Queensland, an academic says.
University of Queensland senior researcher Greg Fowler conceded the Sunshine State had the highest number of illegal amphetamine laboratories and drug-related arrests in the country. But Mr Fowler said the figures were misleading.
"The reason that the number of clandestine labs is higher in Queensland is because there's lots and lots of small operations, mum and dad operations, just making a cupful at a time," Mr Fowler said.
Source: The Advertiser
Almost 300 drivers tested positive to drug driving during the first year of the laws being introduced in South Australia, figures show.
The figures released in a report on the first year of operation, found one in 34 drivers tested positive to one or more illegal drugs.
Source: Christian Today
Crossreach, the social care arm of the Church of Scotland, has joined forces with professional theatre company Daisy Chain Associates for a project to present five powerful new short plays over five consecutive weeks, followed by a talk given by an expert guest speaker.
After the latest in the series, Paul Dillon, Information Manager at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre in Sydney, Australia, shared his perspective on drug and addiction issues with the assembled audience. Dillon launched into a strong attack on the media and claimed that drug use was hyped up by the media in tandem with negative stories about young people. “It is all about perspective,” explained Paul. He went on to describe how the media “doesn’t lie but they don’t tell the whole truth”.
Source: The Esperance Express
Author: Liam Ducey
ESPERANCE Police have issued a stern warning regarding the sending of illicit materials through the post after seizing 15 grams of cannabis in two parcels at the Esperance post office.
The parcels, sent from South Australia, were addressed to a man in Esperance who has since moved back to South Australia, according to Esperance Police Constable Jared Pearsall.
Source: The Epoch Times
Author: Emma-Kate Knezevic
When taking a closer look at the numerous uses of hemp—nature's strongest, most durable plant fibre—it is a surprise this environmentally friendly fiber isn't utilised on a more commercial basis. As a society that now openly embraces the realism of environmental consequence, green campaigns are popping up everywhere we look.
As a society that now openly embraces the realism of environmental consequence, green campaigns are popping up everywhere we look. Colin Buckler of G.R.E.E.N Hemp believes so. Mr Buckler became involved with the hemp industry after seeing "how cotton growing practices destroyed valuable rich land". G.R.E.E.N Hemp, which stands for Global Revival of Environmental Economic Nations, has been producing hemp products in Australia since the late 1980s.
Source: Northern Territory News
Author: TARA RAVENS
A black market in petrol has grown in the Territory, an inquiry has found. The trade in fuel follows the introduction of the non-sniffable Opal in Central Australia. A parliamentary investigation also found that alcohol and cannabis abuse is rife in Aboriginal communities across the Territory.
It said there were "large gaps" in the Federal Government's response tothe crisis. The report, Confronting the Confusion and the Disconnection, identified petrol, grog and cannabis as the three biggest problems in communities.
Source: The Age
Author: Jason Dowling
THE number of Victorian workers forced to take regular drug tests has doubled in the past year, as employers crack down to improve workplace safety. Thousands of workers — from miners and truck drivers to council staff — already face mandatory testing, with about one in 30 returning a positive result.
Now, smaller companies are demanding that their employees agree to screening for drug use. At least 2500 Victorian workers had saliva swabs last year, a figure set to soar, industry experts say.
Michael Wheeldon, the manager of a Victorian drug testing company, Integrity Sampling, said his company had performed about 10,000 tests across Australia last year, mainly in mining, transport and construction, but there was increasing interest from local governments, especially in NSW and South Australia, where some council workers already participate in drug testing.
Source: ABC News (abc.net.au/news)
Police will be targeting people driving under the influence of drugs from this afternoon with the launch of Western Australia's first drug bus. The road side saliva tests will detect illegal drugs including cannabis, speed and ecstasy.
Source: Blue Mountain Gazette
Tony Trimingham: The Family and Human Services Committee made an inquiry into the effects of illicit drugs on families (tabled in September, 2007 as The Winnable War On Drugs Report). It has six coalition MPs and four Labor MPs. The coalition MPs have been fairly right wing. What we were worried about right from the start was that this was going to be a very biased report and we've been proved right.
This is the final report and it’s all about zero tolerance and getting rid of harm minimisation strategies, making methodone more difficult to obtain, pro locking up people with drug problems. The big one that's been in the media is a proposal to take kids away from drug using parents, not just temporarily but permanently through adoption.
Source: The Sydney Morning Herald
Seven people have been arrested for drug offences as police raided 10 properties in South Australia, seizing more than 150 cannabis plants. Most of the properties were in Adelaide's western suburbs but a raid on a larger property at Myponga, south of the city, found 48 cannabis plants growing in an elaborate hydroponic set-up, police said.
In other raids, a total of 130 plants were found ranging from about 30cm to 1.6 metres tall.
Source: The Times (South Africa)
Not even Hollywood hotshot Quentin Tarantino could have written and produced a better tale. The death of mining magnate Brett Kebble two years ago has inadvertently plunged the country into a national crisis, put the spotlight on the questionable dealings and associations of South Africa’s top cop and cracked an international drug syndicate.
It’s a story with all the classic elements. The probe into the execution-style murder of the mining tycoon on September 27 2005 unearthed one of the biggest crime networks — and led to a Randburg magistrate issuing a warrant for the arrest of National Police Commissioner Jackie Selebi.
Source: The West Australian
The West Australian coroner was today shown squalid conditions in northern WA in which a series of alcohol and drug fuelled deaths have occurred, and told communities need help dealing with cannabis ravaging indigenous youth. Alastair Hope is probing the deaths of 11 people in outback Fitzroy Crossing and the surrounding Fitzroy Valley this week as part of a wider probe into the impact of alcohol and marijuana on the indigenous community.
Tom Stephens MP was with the coroner today when he visited Yiyili community, which is more than two hours drive from Fitzroy Crossing. It is where a murder-suicide took place after a drink and drug fuelled argument on October 18, 2005.
Source: Sky News
A leading headteacher has backed a zero tolerance approach to the "evil" of drugs. Anthony Seldon, the master of Wellington College, said pupils must not be given a second chance - even if they are caught with cannabis.
Although cannabis is regarded as a "softer" drug, Dr Seldon said it could still ruin people's lives. He also criticised the Government's approach to illegal drugs, saying it was too lenient.
Source: ABC News
A police cannabis operation spanning two states has resulted in three people being arrested in South Australia. Police say a 23-year-old man from New South Wales had nine kilograms of cannabis when he was arrested at West Beach yesterday afternoon.
A 42-year-old man and a 31-year-old woman were later arrested at a Salisbury East house, where police say six hydroponic cannabis plants were found, along with almost $60,000.