In this PSA from the 80's, Johnny Depp and fellow cast-members of the TV series 21 Jump Street demonstrate that it's cool to not do drugs, warning kids that they "can really mess you up". Now the stars of the big screen version of 21 Jump Street, which opens in theaters this weekend, warn us of the dangers of "fictional drugs" in this Funny or Die throwback video. Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill and Rob Riggel, who play undercover cops investigating "HFS," a made-up synthetic drug, raise awareness about other fictional hazards, such as: "shooting up air freshener, or glading", "belgian taffy," "Blink-182 CDs," or just "good old-fashioned Jamie Lee Curtis."
Twenty people—most of them addicts and alcoholics—have been found working as slaves on a cannabis plantation in far eastern Russia. The plantation was ruled over by a "paramilitary unit," and raiding cops found a large stash of weaponry, as well as night-vision goggles, binoculars and radios, according to Russian media. The drug-dealing overseers brought local addicts to the plantation and subjected them to beatings if they refused to work. They also prevented them from contacting relatives in the outside world. Police also discovered 80 sacks of dried marijuana, weighing 880 pounds, which they say had been harvested for local buyers in Primorye province. Five alleged overseers have been arrested, along with the operation's suspected organizer; aged between 27 and 35, they all have previous convictions including theft, robbery, armed robbery and drug offenses.
A drug bust that led to over 30 arrests in the town of Ferriday, Louisiana last week has met with anger from residents who claim the arrests make it harder for them to sell their own drugs. The arrests, which were for selling crack, cocaine, marijuana and firearms in the neighborhood, followed a yearlong multi-agency investigation. "You have to realize, we don't have no jobs around here or nothing," says resident Derrick Brown to local news outlet KALB. "Every time we try to make a little something to get on our feet or try to feed our family, [the police] come kicking the doors in and knocking us back down again." The video [below] has spread online to the point where Ferriday Mayor Glen McGlothin has accused KALB's reporter of sensationalism. But former narcotics cop and current executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition Neil Franklin says the town's outlook isn't unusual. "This is an economic issue," he notes. "In communities like this, there is no opportunity for employment or education. If there are no jobs, what do you expect they'll do?" Approximately 47% of Ferriday's residents live below the poverty line.
The US Army is still postponing rolling out its confidential counseling program for soldiers to all bases. Army research shows that one in four soldiers has a drink problem—and such problems have been linked to domestic abuse cases, sexual assaults and suicides. Back in 2009, the Army started a pilot program offering soldiers counseling for substance abuse issues. Now, because of the high drop-out rate, officials are unsure where the program can go from here. "Folks who have an investment in a career won't come within 100 yards of [Army counseling] because they're afraid it's going to damage their career," says Col. John Stasinos, addiction consultant to the Army Surgeon General. The first confidential counseling installations were set up in 2009 in Hawaii, Alaska, and Washington, and the program expanded to Colorado, Kansas and Missouri in 2010. Last year the expansion of the program to all 60 army bases was postponed due to a 70% drop-out rate. The Army hopes to get that rate down 30% before expanding the program to all bases. But H. Westley Clark, head of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment at the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, believes that waiting for a 30% dropout rate is unrealistic, while delaying this program could lead to greater problems down the road, "You don't want to wait until someone is totally dysfunctional…becoming very depressed or suicidal," he says.“Even a limited amount of counseling can be beneficial.”
- Latest Insider Trading Case Starts With AA Meetings [Wall Street Journal]
- California Lawmaker Proposes Reward For Reporting Drunk Drivers [Los Angeles Times]
- Tweens At A Critical Time For Smoking, Drinking [PsychCentral]
- Addiction To Cocaine And Sugar Could Be Caused By The Same Faulty 'Circuit' In The Brain [Daily Mail]
- Medical Marijuana Cancer Patient Booted From UCSF [SF Weekly]
- Drug Addiction In Oklahoma Costs More Than Entire State Budget [AllGov]
- There Is Now A Strain Of Marijuana Named For Jeremy Lin [USA Today]
Weeks after Whitney Houston's suspected drug-related death, the media drama around the singer rages on. Houston's hairstylist Tiffanie Dixon—who was in her Beverly Hills hotel room when she died—has come under fire for cashing in for interviews with NBC's Dateline and Today Show. According to several reports, the network agreed to pay her up to $100,000 in return for exclusive sit-downs and photos of Whitney. (Reps for ABC and CBS both claim that Dixon also approached them with offers of a similar deal, but they turned down her down.) Houston's passing is also reaping rewards for her old pal Oprah Winfrey. The talk show host's struggling network, OWN, scored its highest ratings ever for Oprah's Sunday night interview with Houston's daughter Bobbi Kristina, which attracted 3.5 million viewers. Even in death, Houston seems able to prove that she knows what friends are for. Meanwhile, LA's Coroner says toxicology reports to determine Houston's cause of death will be released shortly.