Archive for the War on Brains Category

Spottedcrow Update

 

This story makes me want to scream.

In an order issued Friday, Associate District Judge Robert Davis decided to suspend the final four years of the sentence for Patricia M. Spottedcrow, stating she has “done better in the structure of the Department of Corrections than she had during her adult years in the community.”

Spottedcrow, 26, received the sentence last October after selling the marijuana to a police informant in December 2009 and January 2010. Her mother, Delita Starr, 51, was also charged.

Their stories were publicized in a Tulsa World series earlier this year about Oklahoma’s high female incarceration rate.

In blind guilty pleas before a judge, Spottedcrow received prison time and her mother received a 30-year suspended sentence. Neither had prior criminal convictions.

Oklahoma City attorney Josh Welch, who represents Spottedcrow, said the punishment does not fit the crime.

“We are pleased Judge Davis recognized her sentence needed to be modified, but we are simply not pleased with the amount of time that was modified,” Welch said. “I don’t walk away from this feeling good even with four years knocked down, and I’m not going to give up until she is released.”

[snip] Continue reading Spottedcrow Update

98% of Florida Welfare Recipients Pass Drug Test

Huh...

Since the state began testing welfare applicants for drugs in July, about 2 percent have tested positive, preliminary data shows.

Ninety-six percent proved to be drug free — leaving the state on the hook to reimburse the cost of their tests.

The initiative may save the state a few dollars anyway, bearing out one of Gov. Rick Scott’s arguments for implementing it. But the low test fail-rate undercuts another of his arguments: that people on welfare are more likely to use drugs.

At Scott’s urging, the Legislature implemented the new requirement earlier this year that applicants for temporary cash assistance pass a drug test before collecting any benefits.

The law, which took effect July 1, requires applicants to pay for their own drug tests. Those who test drug-free are reimbursed by the state, and those who fail cannot receive benefits for a year.

[snip]

More than once, Scott has said publicly that people on welfare use drugs at a higher rate than the general population. The 2 percent test fail rate seen by DCF, however, does not bear that out.

According to the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, performed by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services, 8.7 percent of the population nationally over age 12 uses illicit drugs. The rate was 6.3 percent for those ages 26 and up.

A 2008 study by the Office of National Drug Control Policy also showed that 8.13 percent of Floridians age 12 and up use illegal drugs.

Newton said that’s proof the drug-testing program is based on a stereotype, not hard facts.

Read the whole thing…
(h/t raysny!)

Drug Tsunami

Here’s a good article on the drug war from CounterPunch:

Drugged Out America

 Now, four decades later, the forces of moral order, in league with the police-corporate complex, have scooped up $1 trillion and left behind a failed, second temperance movement, the “war on drugs.” These drug-opportunists have left wrecked lives in their wake. An untold number of drug-related dead bodies and destroyed lives litter the national landscape.

This pisses me off…

Can anyone make a rational and honest argument for keeping pot illegal?

 

Feds: Pot has no medical purpose

The federal government officially declared that marijuana has no accepted medical use and should remain classified as a dangerous and addictive drug. It will remain in the same class of drugs as heroin.

The Department of Justice declared Friday: “DHHS concluded that marijuana has a high potential for abuse, has no accepted medical use in the United States, and lacks an acceptable level of safety for use even under medical supervision.” (Read the rest of the ruling here.)

The decision comes almost a decade after medical marijuana supporters asked the feds to reclassify cannabis. The activists point to research that showed its effectiveness in treating certain diseases, like glaucoma and multiple sclerosis, and the side effects of chemotherapy. The LA Times spoke to advocates who criticized the ruling, but said it came with a silver lining because they could now move the issue to the federal courts. Continue reading This pisses me off…

Boy and Girl meet on AA campus; Rape ensues

Last night I had dinner with an old friend who is a clinical psychologist at a state prison. And, once again, I heard about concern about the predators that get into AA. However, I was surprised to hear about it from a non-AA member and from a professional who deals both with predators and victims.

This morning, I got up and read this story in the paper, and was once again reminded how important the work is that Massive Attack does.

Here is the link: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/705314537/Provo-man-arrested-in-rape.html

Rehab Nation

Who didn’t see this coming? Anthony Weiner has checked himself into treatment for “sexual addiction!”

We all know what will happen next.

After he leaves rehab, Weiner will make the tearful apology to his constituents and wife on television. Whether he then leaves his office or stays, he will have joined the growing number of celebrities, politicians and ordinary Joes who have come to see bad behavior as a “disease.” He will become “powerless.”

Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post doesn’t appreciate the contamination of American culture by the addiction culture. She writes: Continue reading Rehab Nation

Why We Were Chosen

Why We Were Chosen Group

Sometime in the 1980s, a meeting chairman in San Francisco gave me a wallet-sized card engraved with a portion of the text from “WHY WE WERE CHOSEN,” an eponymous speech given by Judge John T. on the fourth anniversary of Chicago’s first AA club in 1943. He said that, although GSO Conference had declined to approve the text as AA literature, the San Francisco groups had thought it such an important message that they handed it out to newcomers and visitors.

“WHY WE WERE CHOSEN” talks about drunks as prophets and saints, and places AA as a movement as important as Christianity. It’s both grandiose and inane at the same time and a real Christian might find it offensive, as Dr. Arthur H. Cain did when he called it “idolatry” in his Saturday Evening Post article. You can read both the tract and Cain’s response on Orange’s blog: http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-Why_We_Were_Chosen.html

By the time I first saw the tract, I had already heard all kinds of BS, from an aging hippie explaining that Bill Wilson’s birth was the “dawning of the Age of Aquarius,” to how AA was so “cutting edge that science was trying to catch up with it.” I considered most “Meaning of AA” proclamations as either psychobabble or Godbabble, and I thought it was harmless drivel. But, twenty years later, I got to see harmless drivel in action.

A friend asked me to speak at a “Chicago” Group here in my home state. She explained that Chicago Groups follow the 90 minute format of the groups in that city using a speaker who introduced the topic, and a chairman who “calls up” responses from the group. She didn’t particularly like the group format, because she thought the men used it to exclude women. She had been going simply because her daughter attended, and now she hoped to change the group by bringing in women speakers. She wanted me to be her first speaker, even though she wouldn’t be able to be there that night. I didn’t know what a Chicago Group was, but I liked her and I thought it would be fun. I also wanted to encourage young women.

On the day of the meeting, I got a call from a man who introduced himself as the Powerfully Recovered Alcoholic who would give me the Chicago Group speaking rules. I needed to wear a “modest” dress and make-up, to introduce myself as a “Recovered” Alcoholic, to give both my sobriety date and sponsor’s name, to not use curse words, and to limit quotations either to the first 164 pages of the Big Book or to the “Other” Big Book.

Well, okay.

When I got to the clubhouse, a young woman wearing a flowered Sister Wife dress opened the door. She was in the middle of introducing me to the other similarly dressed Sister Wives when I realized she was the daughter of my friend. Her Andrea Yates thousand-mile stare had been so flat that I hadn’t recognized her. She handed me to a faded young man in a baggy suit, unpressed tie and scuffed shoes, and then she faded into the wall.

The young man was the Powerfully Recovered chairperson. He showed me to my seat, and began to read “WHY WE WERE CHOSEN” from the podium. He was near the end of the tract when I noticed that everyone wore oversized clothes.

I picked an innocuous topic and I told the usual jokes, but I just couldn’t connect with anyone. I was the only person wearing the right size and a smile in the room. I realized that looking like a normal person might very well constitute immodesty in this crowd.

After I spoke, the Powerfully Recovered chairperson began choosing men (not women) from the audience to give short responses. The gloomy men spoke about duty and privilege, and the (nearly) cheerful men talked about their new lives. They inserted “Praise God” an average of once every 90 seconds, and thanked their tireless sponsor, who was the Powerfully Recovered chairperson.

I was glad when the meeting was over and, for the first time in AA, I did not stay and talk to the crowd. I never went back.

My friend later told me that she had gotten her daughter into therapy and that the therapy had caused her daughter to leave the group. The daughter had the divorced her husband, mainly because he lost his job because he was missing work to be at the group. He then left the group and moved back to Iowa to live with his parents. Both of them blamed the group for destroying their marriage.

The Powerfully Recovered chairperson admitted that he has twice been hospitalized for depression, and he has left the group, which shrunk from a club house to a weekly meeting.

Still Sober

Don’t Murder Someone

…before the miracle!

I don’t know this guy’s criminal history, but the AA material they found, the DWB excuse for pulling him over, and the fact that he panicked, suggests to me that Cain and Ray are casualties of the War on Drugs.

Three-time convicted felon pleads guilty to killing bicyclist while fleeing police in 2009 Continue reading Don’t Murder Someone

Choice

Dear Abby: For some, a gift of alcohol could be devastating

DEAR ABBY: You advised “Susan in Southern Oregon,” who asked about the appropriateness of giving alcohol as a gift at an office party, that “the only time that alcohol would be an inappropriate gift is when the giver knows the recipient doesn’t use it.” As a former psychiatric social worker, I would say that the only time alcohol would be an APPROPRIATE gift is when the giver knows the recipient would use it, and do so responsibly.

People aren’t always forthcoming about their views and experiences regarding alcohol, so it’s best to play it safe. Many people abstain from alcohol because they are recovering alcoholics or have seen the devastating results that alcoholism has had on a loved one’s life. Others have religious reasons for not imbibing.

Giving alcohol as a gift may not only dismay the recipient, it could also lead to worse results if the giftee is someone who is struggling to stay sober.

– Amy in Dover, Del.

DEAR AMY: You have raised many valid points. Most of my readers disagreed with my answer, and their reasons have made me reconsider my advice to Susan. I was wrong. (Mea culpa.) Read on: Continue reading Choice