Drug Related News in Colorado

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Marijuana or Alcohol, is Marijuana Really Safer?

February 16, 2014

Since the 60's, when many of us were first trying marijuana, the arguement was that marijuana is safer than alcohol and alcohol is legal and marijuana isn't. Well, part of that statement is no longer true. Marijuana is now legal, but is it safer than alcohol.

President Obama was quoted from an interview in the New Yorker Magazine as saying:

"As has been well documented, I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life," "I don't think it is more dangerous than alcohol."

Certainly he was trying not to alienate himself from his political base, so he was careful in his comments, but what research was he referencing when he made this comment?

Certainly, you have many more deaths from alcohol and they are directly related to the the consumption of the drug. Each years the CDC reports that 88,000 people die from alcohol. Not sure if it also includes the alcohol-related deaths, but the number is far higher than any documentation you can find for marijuana.

Alcohol deaths are mostly due to overdoses or the asphyxiation that occurs when one is unconscious and vomiting from over doses of alcohol. Of course, there are many accidents that come from alcohol related accidents, but marijuana more closely represents that kinds of deaths that come from cigarettes. 880,000 deaths last year were related to cigarette smoking.

The research onthe detrimental effects of marijuana is going to take years to compile. There are animal studies, but there haven't been many studies with humans since it has been illegal to posses and use the drug. Colorado's Health Science Center maybe able to capitalize on the legalization by having some of the first and only research on the effects of "recreational" use of marijuana.

Colorado Drug Rehab isn't very interested in the physical side effects of long term or even short term marijuana use. We are more interested in the subject that isn't presented in most of these debates. What are the effects of marijuana on a person's personality, his character, his motivation and his "beingness" vs. alcohol. And, is marijuana a gateway drug that leads to the use of harder and more addictive substances.

From our years of experience working with people addicted to drugs, about 10% of those we get calls from or help are dealing with marijuana addiction. Most are addicted to physically addicting drugs like opiates or emotionally addicting drugs like methamphetamines.

However, in the 40 years that I have been counseling addicted persons and I can count on one hand those that didn't start their addiction with the use of marijuana.

I now do alcohol and drug assessments for persons that have DUIs and DWIs as well as other isses with the courts. From that sampling of 500 assessments and evaluations, about 65% report that they have used marijuana in the past. Usually admitting to only doing it in high school, but still having used it when they were in their adolescences.

What I can say without any ambiguity is that the use of marijuana does stunt the development of adolescents and its effects on this population make their progress through their emotional developmental stages more troublesome.

Chronic marijuana use cause a person to become demoralized. They begin to identify less with others and become more introverted and involved in their own gratification. That is one reason that it fits so well into the adolescent's world. As one continues to smoke marijuana on a regular basis, we find that their motivation to confront difficult tasks or deal with difficult situations is hampered. Soon they will discount challenging personal problems by disregarding them as no being important, hense, a lack of identification with society and their fellow man.

Alcohol used in moderation appears to be less toxic to the body and mind in these above mentioned ways. An adult can have a drink a day and not experience the same detrimental effects that he would if he were smoking a joint each day. It is difficult to use marijuana in moderation unless you are taking the medicinal types. We all know that detrimental effects of alcohol and how it cost our society billions of dollars each year.

So the question shouldn't be "Marijuana or Alcohol" is should be why do we feel we need either?

There is plenty of research to document these statements and I welcome others to debate this issue of to add to the support of these tenents by sending in your opinions or experiences.

You are also wecome to call: 888.781.7060 and talk to Mac or one of our other counselors if you have questions about any of the news articles.

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Colorado Cocaine Users Do Not Feel Empathy for Others

January 22, 2014

On January 21, 2014, the the Medilexicon website issued a report aht the University of Zurich in Switzerland found that Cocaine users struggle with the ability to feel empathy for situations where others that don't use cocaine regularly feel more human emotions. The finding were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggest that rehab of cocaine addicts should inclued social skills training. The latest stats for cocaine use in the US comes from the National Survey of Drug Use in 2008 by NIDA and they estimate that there are 1.9 million cocaine users.

News Item s like this one are justifications for university research and do offer some benenfit to the drug rehab field in Colorado, but not much. There are a few discerning elements in this paragraph that are troublesome. First of all, the quote about 1.9 million users doesn't differitiate between casual users and those addicted to cocaine. It has been our experience that all drugs are dehumanizing and one way that is expressed is seen in a lack of empathy for others. People on cocaine and meth have very similar attitudes towards their fellow humans and that is to care as little as they can. They have learned this by trying to survive while being addicted and they have done so many things that they feel are shameful, that they begin to stop seing the world in terms of empathy and caring.

The other problem that stands out in the report is the cure for this lack of empathy...to include social skills training. In our 40+ years of experience in rehab, we have yet to see a course that can teach empathy. Certainly it can be brought to one's attention that they have a hardened attitude, but the way that human feelings of care return to users have long periods of drug abuse is to give them the time to get the toxins of the drug out of their body, replenish their nervous system with the proper vitamins and minerals and then have them search and confront their own past to find those those areas and behaviors that are shameful and hard to confront. You will see that when an addict begins to confront his painful past, he will also begin to feel and care for others.

The other problem in most research of this type is that all addicts are lumped together as the "subjects" of the article and there is as much diversity in feelings and abilities in addicts as there is in you and I. Some are not as mentally bright as others and they weren't able to feel empathy without drugs. One has to realize the obvious, that drugs are do change feelings and you can't expect someone on drugs to be normal in terms of human feelings, but one must realize that cocaine treats some people differently than others. It is historical fact that Edgar Allen Poe was a cocaine user and he was certainly able to represent empathy in others even though he may not have exhibited it himself.

It is easy for us to extrapolate that those people in Colorado that are using legal marijuana have less empathy than they did before they used the drug. One reason why people do drugs is because they can't take the stress of caring for others. Alcohol and drugs have been in Colorado since the first settlers came to our territory. We have grown emotionally as a country, but sometimes it doesn't appear that we have made as much progress as we should have. Colorado certainly has access to any drug that one might want and it will always be the easier way out to not feel, but to use a drug kill the warmth of human feelings. Coloardo's best rehab and treatment program revitalize those feelings and give people the ability to have courage enough to care for others as much as they care for their own needs to find stimulation... one of the pitfalls in man's hierarchy of needs Top learn more about the drug cocaine, click here.

* Update...the feds have worked out a solution as to how the sellers of marijuana can deposit their profits in the back without the banks being liable for damages around illicit monies.


Marijuana is the major new story since January 01, 2014

When seeking news about drugs in Colorado, the only stories that we are finding is how popular the new recreations marijuana sales have been and problems related to those shops. The Washington Times reported that marijuana shop owners in Colorado are not allowed to stash their money from the sales of their stage in their banks. The Federal laws prohibited banks from taking money that is made illegally and according to Federal, the sale of marijuana is illegal.

Other news about marijuana is reporting the tremendous demand on the drug and that other states are watching the process in Colorado, in particular, New York, where Governor Como has made it legal for hospitals to distribute marijuana to patients that are in severe pain or other indicated conditions. It will be interesting to see if our society has come to a place where it feels that being drugged on marijuana is an okay way to find escape from stress and to enhance their parties.

Drug Ring Arrested in Colorado

Taken from the Home Page of Colorado Drug Rehab: October 20, 2010: In our ongoing interdiction of drugs in Colorado, Colorado Springs Drug Enforcement Agency personnel today disclosed the results of a 22-month investigation that disrupted a operation that shipped large quantities of drugs from Mexico through Colorado Springs.

This is a huge win for our cause in that this case amounted to 35 arrest and seizure of 30 POUNDS of methamphetamines, 3.75 POUNDS of heroin 13 POUNDS of cocaine and $1.4 million in cash. This was announced on Oct. 20 at the 4th Judicial District Attorney's office. Some of these arrest have been made as earlier as June of this year, but announcement of the extent of this drug trafficking was held off until the DEA could complete their investigation and arrest.

The emphasis is on POUNDS of these drugs and the large number of arrest connected to them. Because of the great work of the DEA and local authorities, Colorado is a little more drug free than would have been the case without their heroic efforts. Colorado Drug Rehab congratulates these efforts to protect our communities. Colorado Drug Rehab will expect to have an increase number of calls from addicted public that will no longer be able to find the drugs of their choice because of these interdiction efforts.

Sept. 27, 2010: A multi-agency investigation revealed a drug ring that was transporting and selling methamphetamines from Mexico to Denver and other parts of northern Colorado. The Colorado Attorney General said in a press release: Colorado Attorney General John Suthers announced today that his office has secured an indictment for Gabriel Farias-Chavez (DOB: 3/15/1983) and Ramon Chavez (DOB: 3/5/1980) and the members of a methamphetamine trafficking ring suspected of moving up to 50 pounds worth of the drug per month into the Denver metro area and other parts of the state between March 1, 2010 and July 15, 2010.

As most of us know, meth has devastated many individuals and families in Colorado and when law enforcement began cracking down on home labs, smugglers from Mexico began bringing in crystal meth to meet the demand. This arrest is to be applauded since it will take some of the meth off our streets and free up time for more investigations.

• Comments on Charlie Sheen's Addiction Problem

On August 9, 2010, Charlie Sheen pleaded guilty to charges that he had threatened the life of Brooke Mueller, his wife, on Christmas morning, 2009 in Aspen, Colorado. The plea agreement is allowing Charlie to attend a Drug Treatment Program in California and to be on probation rather then serve jail time. All of us know that his fame and money helped him get this agreement, but we should trust the system enough to think that this court doesn't want to see Charlie with a repeat offense or worse in the foreseeable future, so the recommendation for treatment is a calculated position by the courts that addiction is Charlie's real problem and if that were handled, he doesn't show a history or a personality that would lead to further violent crimes.

The role that Mr. Sheen plays in movies and on TV lead us to feel that he is a decent chap and that he should handle his addiction so that he isn't driven to acting out and dramatizing his anger with his loved ones or others. So we all hope that Charlie will find a cure for his addiction. That is where Colorado Drug Rehab feels that he may not have as good a chance of being free of his problems as the courts and his fans hope.

Most drug rehab programs in California are graduating clients with a 5-10% success rate. Charlie will, more than likely, attend one of the up-scale programs, probably in Malibu where the outcomes are similar to those just quoted, but the creature comforts are among the top 10% in the country.

Charlie didn't call our help line, even though we have helped other stars of his caliber, and we really wished that he would have taken advantage of our advice since we have spent over 35 years researching what works and what doesn't in the alcohol and drug rehab field and we could have offered him a choice of programs in California that routinely graduate clients with a 75% or better successes rate. Not only do these graduates no longer crave alcohol or other drugs, but they sustain their straight or sober lives by being ethical and purpose driven. Ex-addicts and alcoholics stay off of these drugs when their lives have meaning and purpose and they feel dedicated to others to do the right actions because their lives are invaluable to society. Because of his public exposure and influence, Charlie has a unique opportunity to change his image from being the middle aged actor who acts like an adolescent to someone that garners respect and gratitude from the public for rising above his problems and then contributing to helping others do well.

We sincerely hope that Charlie future will be filled with that type of success and not be driven further into the ground by his addiction. It is up to Charlie to some extent, but it is also unethical for rehab programs to graduate clients that are not equipped to easily become their better selves. It is a shared responsibility, but our rehab field seems to be less responsible than their clients in doing what is expected of them. If you have a line to Charlie, have him call us at 888.781.7060.

New Colorado Law Requires Hospitals to Report Suspicious Health Care Workers

On June 5, 2010, Governor Bill Ritter signed into law Saturday two new bills that regulate the health care industry, specifically surgical technicians. This bill was sponsored by Rep. Sara Gagliardi, D-Arvada, which addresses surgical technicians need to register with the state department of regulatory agencies, DORA. This bill was sparked by a patient that contracted Hepatitis C from an outpatient surgery in Parker where a surgical tech, who was infected wtih Hep C, had been sharing syrings at his workplace. The Governor noted that this bill will mandate that health care facilities report to DORA anyone that exhabits suspicious behaviors related to addiction so that these individuals cannot gain employment at other facilites once they have been reported.

• HB 1284 Medical marijuana bill changes rejected by House, special committee to be formed...

Earlier today, May 12, 2010 it seemed like HB 1284, the bill to regulate the medical marijuana industry, had cleared its highest hurdles.

But more obstacles lie ahead. Today, Charlotte Jackson, assigned to the legislative bill room at the state capitol, confirms that the House rejected the changes to HB 1284 made by the Senate on its third reading of the measure. Now, a special committee must be formed to work out the differences between versions from the two chambers by midnight tomorrow, when the session ends.

The likeliest sticking point? The portion of the bill that allows the addresses of marijuana-grow operations to be kept secret. Does this roadblock mean the bill is dead? Not necessarily. Jackson notes that plenty of measures that required the formation of eleventh-hour conference committees have ultimately moved forward. But there's no guarantee. (Reprinted from Denver Westward Blogs) http://blogs.westword.com/latestword/2010/05/medical_marijuana_bill_changes_1.php

• National Alcohol and Drug Prevention News at the Bottom of this Page

• Is Colorado Testing Ground for Maximizing Pharma Profits?

Everyone in Colorado has been hearing about the controversy regarding marijuana sales in licensed establishments as medical marijuana. Is anyone asking: "Who is really behind the legalization of marijuana?"

The DEA reports that prescription drugs are second only to marijuana in total numbers of American addicted. Big Pharma wants control of marijuana under the guise of control and regulation, but profits are always the real reason. Let's not let the guys that have already drugs our children and caused the violence that we have seen in our schools, now start finding ways that all of us need marijuana to handle life. (Please go to the form below and add your comments.) Look at the next article to see the value of medicating feelings.

The Most Important Data You can Have Regarding Treatment for Addictions or Unwanted Emotional Feelings:

Those professionals that have been in the forefront of effective alcohol and drug programs have contended for years that many programs that use "Mental Health" testing and diagnosis to determine that addicts have a "chemical imballance" and should, therefore, be placed on psychiatric medicaitons are now, finally, getting support from real science and the media.

Everyone should read the article: The Depressing News About Antidepressants showing that Studies suggest that the popular drugs are no more effective than a placebo. In fact, they may be worse. http://www.newsweek.com/id/232781

Only drug-free programs can reclaim someone's life that has been addicted to alcohol or other drugs.

• All Other Drug News is Overshodowed by Medical Marijuana

In the Month of May, 2010, of the top 21 news stories regarding illicit drugs in the State of Colorado, there were only articles about legalization and control of medical marijuana. We all know that methamphetamine has more social and personal problems associated with its use than with medical marijuana and we, the public, should be keeping abreast of these other drug problems and solutions, but for now...the name of the game in Colorado is "MEDICAL MARIJUANA".

Reports of Blackouts Believed Caused by 'Date Rape' Drugs Boom in Aspen

Authorities Say They Have Fielded at Least 11 Reports of Suspected Drugging

A young man who awoke disoriented in a movie theater showing "Avatar" 10 miles from where he had been drinking with friends is one of at least 11 people from the tony ski town of Aspen, Colo., who claimed that someone surreptitiously slipped drugs into their drinks, police say.

A recent uptick in reported use of the date rape drug Rohypnol, or "roofies," is alarming and has authorities searching for an assailant they know won't be easy to find, Pitkin County Undersheriff Joe DiSalvo said today. Several young adults, both male and female, have reported going out with friends in the Aspen and Snowmass areas and suddenly blacking out, DiSalvo said. The victims have claimed that they did not believe their symptoms were from alcohol but rather from the drug, which is known to cause amnesia-like effects. Copied from ABC News of March 5, 2010. Read more at: http://abcnews.go.com/Travel/aspen-colorado-sees-increase-reports-date-rape-drug/story?id=10012176

It Can Happen to Anyone.. Alcohol and Other Drugs are Addicting:

CASTLE ROCK, Colo. - March. 22, 2010..An on-duty Colorado state trooper was arrested Monday on suspicion of driving drunk in a marked patrol car while in uniform and carrying a gun, authorities said.

David Dolan, 48, was arrested by Douglas County deputies about 7 a.m. on Colorado 470, a beltway around southwest Denver, the Sheriff’s Department said.

He was booked on charges of driving under the influence and prohibited use of weapons. Colorado law makes it illegal for anyone to have a firearm while intoxicated.

Colorado's Medical Marijuana Laws Maybe Revisited

A bill introduced in the House earlier this month would require dispensaries to be designated as state nonprofits and would allow cities to regulate or ban dispensaries at their discretion. House Bill 1284 is sponsored by Rep. Tom Massey, R-Poncha Springs, and would also impose a one-year moratorium on the opening of new medical marijuana centers.

The owner of Jane Medicals at the Denver-Aurora borderline is one of many dispensary owners that might have to adapt to the proposed legislation or face being run out of business in the coming weeks.

"What they're trying to do is keep businesses from actually flourishing in this industry," said the owner, who goes by the name James Hale. Hale doesn't use his real name because he's enrolled at the University of Denver's law school and fears that pending state legislation might damage his prospects of finding a job in the future. He opened Jane Medicals four weeks ago. "I don't understand the rational basis behind a lot of things they are proposing."

Another proposal, Senate Bill 109, would tighten restrictions for patients seeking medical marijuana and doctors approving it for them. Hale says he agrees with some of that bill's provisions but thinks legislators ultimately want to limit or ban dispensaries.

"There are people that are abusing the system but that is not a reason to deny all the people that really need it," said Hale, "We have many, many patients that have real issues like migraines, chronic soreness, depression, fatigue, injuries ... Just because people abuse the system is no reason to get rid of the system."

Dispensaries shouldn't be treated any differently than liquor stores or pharmacies, which are for-profit businesses, he said.

Massey says a change to a nonprofit model will not prevent dispensary owners from making money.

"In essence, it changes their name and sets up a little different model for them, but they can still operate within the parameters of a regulated structure," Massey said. "If ( they ) adhere to the regulatory model we put in place, they stay in business." His bill would also require dispensaries to grow their own marijuana or purchase it from another licensed medical marijuana center, as well as require the businesses to report and pay monthly sales taxes. People growing and supplying marijuana to five or fewer patients would be protected under the bill.

Sen. Chris Romer, D-Denver, sponsor of S.B. 109, says the Legislature is simply trying to find a middle ground in the medical marijuana debate.

"There are going to be people on both sides of this debate who will be disappointed in the bill," he said. "We're going to figure out something in the middle that's going to be a set of common-sense rules for a new industry."

His bill would prohibit doctors from being paid by dispensaries to write recommendations for medical marijuana, and it would require doctors to assess the patient's medical history and conduct a thorough physical exam before recommending medical marijuana to him or her.

The bill has passed through the House Judiciary Committee and is also incorporated in Massey's bill.

Hale argues that some patients might not be able to afford doctor's visits and would therefore obtain medical marijuana illegally.

"That's a legitimate point," Sen. Romer said. "We're particularly worried about veterans who by definition cannot have their primary physician write their prescription. I'm particularly sympathetic to that, and I'm hoping that medical marijuana centers or clinics will create a policy where they'll reimburse veterans for their medical marijuana expenses."

But Rep. Massey says Hale's argument is invalid.

"If you have a problem with having a physical exam before you're given a recommendation then I would have to question your authenticity," he said.

Local medical marijuana advocacy groups are paying close attention to the language in the proposed bills, making sure that patients' rights are at the forefront of legislators' minds.

One of the main concerns for Brian Vicente, executive director of the nonprofit advocacy group Sensible Colorado, is the provision in Massey's bill that cities can ban dispensaries at their discretion.

"We think that just simply hurts patients," he said.

Ultimately, Vicente believes that the dispensary model will not be threatened because voters will not allow that.

"I think we have a good chance of protecting the dispensary model, that's generally the best way for sick people to access medical marijuana," he said. "We also feel confident that if we're forced to go to a vote of the people statewide, that we will win."

Polls show about 65 percent of Coloradoans support regulated dispensaries, he said.

Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates has advised city council members at committee meetings to oppose a dispensary model because he says there is crime associated with the proliferation of dispensaries.

Vicente says his group receives dozens of calls each year from patients who would like to see medical marijuana dispensaries in Aurora.

Thus far, applications for marijuana dispensary licenses have been denied in Aurora.

"There's a growing frustrating that city councils, like Aurora's, aren't looking out for the best interest of their sick citizens," he said. "It's our hope that we can take action at the state level to make sure that people in places like Aurora get protected."

thanks for this article paublished in Feb. 2010 by Aurora Sentinel

National News:

Wed. May 12, 2010 from the Washington Times (DC) Details at: http://www.mapinc.org/media/492


The Obama administration unveiled a new drug-control policy Tuesday that emphasizes community-based prevention and the role of doctors in screening for drug problems, signaling a shift in strategy while continuing to embrace key tenets of the decades-old war on drugs.

But while the strategy outlined Tuesday represents a new tack on several fronts, supporters and critics of the drug war alike agreed it's not a major departure from previous administrations.

"When push comes to shove, they're making a few little steps and giving lip service in the direction of a public-health approach, but you can still see their knee-jerk reflex is to focus on law enforcement and supply-and-control strategies that have never worked well in the past," said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, a group devoted to ending the federal drug war.

The White House's first anti-drug plan calls for prevention at the local level through mentoring programs and education initiatives, not just for children, but also for their parents at the workplace, as well as expanding treatment programs from specialty facilities to community health centers. The policy also lays out a series of five-year goals that include cutting youth drug use by 15 percent, drug-caused deaths by 15 percent and instances of "drugged driving" by 10 percent.

Obama drug czar Gil Kerlikowske billed the strategy as "a balanced policy of prevention, treatment, enforcement and international cooperation."

The administration has already taken some steps to reform drug policy, repealing a long-standing ban on federal funds for needle-exchange programs aimed at preventing HIV and deferring to states that pass laws allowing medical marijuana. Mr. Obama has also asked Congress to amend federal law so that sentencing guidelines treat crack and powder cocaine the same.

As a candidate for the Senate in 2004, Mr. Obama described the war on drugs as an "utter failure" and suggested the country look at decriminalizing marijuana, but he has consistently sided against legalization as president. Indeed, the White House policy stresses that the administration "firmly opposes the legalization of marijuana or any other illicit drug."

While Mr. Nadelmann lauded some of the administration's efforts, he likened changing U.S. drug policy to "trying to turn around an ocean liner." He said the administration's budget reflects a continued emphasis on prosecution and imprisonment, as opposed to tackling drug addiction as a health issue.

At the other end of the spectrum, Calvina L. Fay of the Drug Free America Foundation praised the administration for "still embracing the comprehensive approach with prevention, treatment and law enforcement all having a role to play."

In particular, Mrs. Fay said she was pleased to see a focus on educating parents in the workplace, where they're a captive audience, as well as efforts to curb substance abuse among prisoners.

But she said she was disappointed at what appeared to be a lack of emphasis on random drug testing in schools. "From what we've seen, that's been a very effective approach not only in intervening ... it's been a tremendous deterrent."

The Obama plan also includes a push to screen patients early for signs of substance abuse, even during routine appointments, and the expansion of prescription-drug monitoring programs. It also calls for more international cooperation in disrupting the flow of drugs and money, as well as promoting alternative career paths for farmers abroad who grow coca and opium.

Drug News

Colorado lawmakers' long-running devotion to the disastrous "War on Drugs" has helped to jam Colorado prisons full at a huge cost to taxpayers. In the meantime, illicit drugs remain readily available in Colorado.

Maybe it's time to try something different.

The Colorado Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice (CCJJ), tasked with making recommendations to the legislature to reform Colorado's sentencing and parole policies, has broken down into several sub-groups, including a Drug Policy Task Force to take a hard look at the state's previously untouchable drug laws and policies. It's been a long time coming.

In 1992, Colorado lawmakers surrendered their prerogative to write the state's criminal law and enacted the Uniform Controlled Substances Act, written by drug war bureaucrats in Washington, D.C., which created both numerous new drug offenses, and sentencing enhancements for those offenses.

And the result?

In the last 20 years, the percentage of inmates whose most serious sentencing offense is a drug offense has quadrupled to around 20 percent of Colorado's total prison population. Drug offenders now constitute the single largest category of people admitted to Colorado prisons, around 23 percent of total admissions in 2007. There are more drug offenders in prison today than the entire prison population 25 years ago when the entire inmate population was around 3,500.

Given all this, you might think a drug-free Colorado is close at hand. You would be wrong.

According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's 2007 State Fact Sheet for Colorado, heroin is not only "available in the major metropolitan areas of Colorado," but "various law enforcement and treatment indicators suggest that heroin use and availability may be on the rise in Colorado." As for cocaine, "enforcement activities reflect a steady supply of cocaine coming into and through Colorado."

Crack cocaine is "available in the larger metropolitan areas of Colorado, generally in street level amounts." And marijuana, according to DEA, "is available throughout Colorado."

In other words, one of the main policy goals driving the mass incarceration of drug offenders -- the supply-side strategy of disrupting illicit drug availability -- is a long-running failure.

It costs an average of $31,000 per year to keep someone in Colorado prison. A June 30, 2007, snapshot of the state's prison population showed just under 4,500 drug offenders. So the current cost to taxpayers of Colorado's attempt to incarcerate away the drug issue is roughly $140 million per year.

Overuse of criminal sanctions for drug offenses also inflicts huge indirect economic costs on the state, because drug offenders who are given a felony conviction will have a much harder time getting jobs and becoming productive, tax-paying citizens in the future.

The imprisonment of one drug dealer (or even an entire network) only temporarily disrupts the flow of illegal drugs. As soon as one supplier is gone, another quickly moves in to take his place. Basic economic laws of supply and demand say that as long as there is a demand for a product, a market will make that product available.

Using incarceration to try and halt the availability of drugs can only be achieved by imprisoning every drug user and addict (who constitute the majority of the small-time dealers) and everyone willing to break the law in return for financial reward (dealers in the upper levels of the drug world).

The consequences to taxpayers of Colorado's failed experiment in the mass incarceration of drug offenders have simply become fiscally unsustainable. So while the Drug Policy Task Force clearly has its work cut out for itself, it is well past time to significantly re-think drug policy in Colorado.

Thanks to: Mike Krause For the Colorado Daily Posted: 09/20/2009 09:12:51 PM MDT

This Article Speaks Volumes

Taken From the Denver Post, Jan. 22, 2010

The woman gracing Kush Colorado's centerfold is long-limbed and lovely, but the new magazine's real star is the marijuana plant she clutches to her breast.

Billed as the "premier cannabis lifestyle magazine," the slick glossy debuted in Colorado last month, one more sign of galloping growth in the state's medical-marijuana business.

The city of Denver has more than 300 medical-marijuana dispensaries, the highest number in the nation outside California.

The pace of growth in the industry prompted the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws to recently name Denver "America's cannabis capital." While Los Angeles has more than 1,000 dispensaries, Denver outstrips the City of Angels on a per-capita basis, with more storefronts selling pot than Starbucks shops peddling coffee.

Colorado Debut

Kush Colorado was already on the free-magazine racks at local 7-Eleven stores, King Soopers and other retailers when the national organization bestowed the title.

In the first four days it was available, shoppers snapped up 20,000 copies from stands at retail stores and dispensaries around the metro area, Kush publisher Michael Lerner said. Racks are reloaded twice a week.

"It is flying off the shelves," Lerner said.

Articles in Kush Colorado's first issue include an interview with comic Tommy Chong - "It's a magical plant, man. We should see it as the gift that it is" - a guide to shopping while stoned and a description of lighting options for those who want to grow marijuana indoors.

Lerner, a Los Angeleno with back problems, dreamed up the idea for a lifestyle magazine that focuses on marijuana after he started using pot to control pain. Lerner and two other friends launched Kush LA last May.

Though all have credentials to use medical marijuana, they bear little resemblance to the clueless stoners popularized by Chong and partner Richard "Cheech" Marin.

Lerner turned to the drug rather than continue a regimen of pain pills that left him groggy, he said. "This really is not an addictive drug; it truly is a medication. I believe: My body, my choice," he said.

Growing Demand

Lerner, 48, is an entrepreneur whose resume includes forming baseball camps for children and adults and producing the 2007 movie "Three Days to Vegas," starring Peter Falk and Rip Torn.

The other Kush magazine founders are Bob Selan, 55, a lawyer and co-founder of the baseball camp, and Randy Malinoff, a former Web marketing chief for Universal Studios, who has worked in the recording industry.

Kush Colorado's 81 pages are dense with ads - many of them full-page and most for medical-marijuana dispensaries - at a time when advertisers are abandoning print in droves.

Colorado is the magazine's first foray outside Los Angeles, but it won't be the last.

Kush Michigan and clones in several other cities in California and Oregon are expected to roll off the presses shortly. Each magazine will feature content that is generated locally.

With medical-marijuana laws on the books in 13 states, New Jersey poised to become the 14th and bills that would permit the drug's use pending in others, Lerner expects the Kush brand to circulate in 34 cities by the end of the year.

Demand is so strong that potential advertisers in Michigan clamored for space before Lerner officially announced his magazine was coming to the state.

"I can't open the markets fast enough," Lerner said.

Drug Rehab Colorado's Response

Whether marijuana or other drugs are legalized and controlled will have very little effect on the extent of problems from the use of these drugs. Effective Prevention has always delivered a message of truth and we must continue to educate our young that taking a posion into their bodies has dreadful consequences. We must also create activites in our communities that will keep our youth from choosing drugs over life.

Editorial: The BP Catastrophe

From the perspective of an addiction professional, I am not surprised when when the public claims that addiction is the stupidity of the user, while turning our backs on the input that we all have in creating a society where we don't have effective prevention messages nor do we have effective treatment.

Certainly the addict has his level of responsibility and needs to take ownership for his actions, except when you are consuming large amounts of cocaine, you really can discern what are the responsible actions. This is why it takes all of us to begin to understand the errors of others with enough compassion to to recognize that assigning blame doesn't solve a thing, other than some smug satisfaction that "he got his".

We all share this planet and at some level we all know that "no man is an island" and everyone's actions affects another, so what do we do when someone hurts themselves on alcohol or other drugs and what do we do when oil "professionals" make mistakes that truly diminish our lives?

I am not nieve enough to that people calling the shots at BP will face consequences equal to the damage that their actions have caused. It would be impossible to find such a punishment, whether it me in money or prison. So we will all have to forgive and move forward, but when we have someone that is caught in an addiction and also caught with an illicit substance, he faces serious jail time. Can we begin to feel that revenge isn't going to make any of us happier.

The only solution is that we accept responsibility for allowing our government to make sweetheart deals because we elected those that convinced us that "drill-baby-drill" is good for America. To be responsible, we must question authority and try to have compassion and understanding for everyone at all levels. It can start by caring for your family member or neighbor that is drinking too much or using drugs. They won't get better with punishment, but over my years in the addiction field, I have seen everyone that recovers from their self-abuse, becomes more responsible and assumes a larger sphere of responsibility and has much higher level of compassion and care for others.

In finding what actually happened in the drilling platform accident, we will see that there were people in responsible positions that were either drunk or loaded on drugs, or both that made decisions that affect millions of innocent people and animals. These are the consequences of

Cocaine is considered a significant drug threat to Colorado. Powder cocaine is readily available throughout the State and crack cocaine is available in urban population areas.

Club drugs, which are mostly synthetic substances, are increasing in availability and use in Colorado. LSD in liquid form is readily available in the metropolitan areas of Colorado. During 2001, 34% of those surveyed in Colorado reported lifetime usage of MDMA. 4.5% of those surveyed reported usage of MDMA within the past 30 days. The average user age was 17.3, and the average age of first time use was 15.9 years.

Heroin - The most common types of heroin available in Colorado are Mexican black tar heroin and brown powdered heroin. New heroin users in Colorado are often young adults who smoke or snort the drug rather than inject it. This is due to a misconception that this practice is safer and less likely to lead to addiction.

Marijuana is readily available in multi-pound quantities throughout Colorado . A highly potent form of marijuana, called "BC Bud," is also easily obtainable. Marijuana typically is transported into Colorado along the state's interstate highway system. Operation Pipeline data from 2000 indicate that I-25 is the highway most often used to transport marijuana to Colorado. I-25 transects Colorado Springs and law enforcement have arrested gangs that were distributing from Colorado Springs in hopes of being less obvious than in the Denver area. In FY2002 in Colorado Springs, marijuana from Mexican sources sold for $300 to $1,200 per pound and $100 to $150 per ounce.

Methamphetamineis a primary drug threat to Colorado. Crystal methamphetamine, also known as glass in Colorado, is becoming increasingly available throughout the State and has tested as high as 90% pure. Purity levels for methamphetamine vary in Colorado.

Prescription Drugs - The diversion and abuse of OxyContin (oxycodone) is a significant problem in Colorado. Hydrocodone (Vicodin) and Darvocet are the most commonly abused controlled substances.

If you have a loved one that might fit into these stats, don't hesitate to call us at: 1-888.781.7060

Links to Government Sites With More Data on Drugs and their Effects....

Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)

National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC)

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign

Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP)

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