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Drug Law News

Billie Joe Armstrong Battles Addiction

Posted on July 14, 2013 in Drug Law News

In a tale too often told, another rock star has revealed that his stint in rehab was due to alcohol and prescription pill addiction.

Billie Joe Armstrong, who has enjoyed another round of success following his early 1990s success with punk rock group Green Day, recently revealed that he would use substances to such a degree that he would black out. He said that at times he would awaken in a strange place, unaware of how he got there.

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Will FDA Restrictions on Vicodin and Other Opioids Lower Addiction

Posted on July 6, 2013 in Drug Law News

Will FDA Restrictions on Vicodin and Other Opioids Lower AddictionToday, around 47 million Americans are taking pills made with Hydrocodone to manage some form of chronic pain. Known as opioids, these painkillers have become the focal point of a swirling debate. On one side are patients who are living with barely manageable chronic pain for whom the drugs are a godsend. On the other side are the families of those addicted to opioids, drug enforcement agencies and even the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  According to the CDC, abuse of prescription opioids is an epidemic problem in this country.

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Policymakers Urge FDA to Do Its Part in Limiting Prescriptions for Vicodin

Posted on June 29, 2013 in Drug Law News

Limiting Prescriptions for VicodinIn a letter to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia demanded that the organization stand up for the American people and take a stronger stance against drugs containing Hydrocodone. Hydrocodone such as that found in Vicodin, is a powerful narcotic painkiller that is highly addictive. As such, it is often taken recreationally in the United States.

The letter comes on the heels of a meeting by the FDA advisory board in which members voted overwhelmingly to re-class drugs with Hydrocodone from Schedule III to Schedule II because of their high potential for misuse. While the FDA normally acts on the advice of its panels, so far the organization has remained silent.

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The Downside of Drug Courts: A Call for Change

Posted on May 3, 2013 in Drug Law News

The Downside of Drug Courts: A Call for ChangeIn the long search for solutions to the problem of chronic drug abuse, one of the most promising developments has been the creation of drug courts reserved for non-violent offenders caught possessing illegal substances. Drug courts offer substance abusers taken into custody by the police an opportunity to avoid jail time–if they agree to submit to treatment and rehabilitation. Those who have been arrested for possession of an illegal intoxicant can apply for diversion to a drug court, and, if they have no history of violent crime, have not previously been convicted of selling illegal substances, and can prove they really are suffering from an addiction, their chances of being moved into the drug court system are excellent-assuming, of course, that drug courts are available (there are about 2,600 of these alternative judicial bodies in the U.S.).

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Two U.S. Senators Push for Police Training to Help Identify Drugged Drivers

Posted on February 10, 2012 in Drug Law News

Recently, two United States Senators made a statement saying federal money from a proposed transportation funding bill should be used in order to train law enforcement officials to identify drugged drivers.

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Drug Courts a Win-Win in Many States

Posted on August 8, 2011 in Drug Law News

Plagued by denial, drug addicts are infamous for refusing to get help. But when faced with the threat of jail time, many addicts will agree to the treatment in lieu of incarceration offered by some drug courts. While some will return to drugs or alcohol, studies show that drug court programs by and large have been a win-win for all involved.

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More Bans on Spice Drug

More Bans on Spice Drug

Posted on October 8, 2010 in Drug Law News

Legislators in Baltimore County, Maryland recently banned a synthetic form of marijuana called “Spice” or “K2”. Those who are found to have sold, possessed or distributed the drug could face up to 60 days in jail, a $500 fine and will be guilty of a misdemeanor. Various cities and states across the US have already banned the substance.

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Patent Medicines with Addictive Substances Necessitated Food and Drug Act

Patent Medicines with Addictive Substances Necessitated Food and Drug Act

Posted on October 3, 2010 in Drug Law News

When many people think of patent medicines, they conjure up images of wagons going town to town with sales agents promoting “cure alls,” or of the days of the old west when these drugs gained large-scale popularity. Many people may not realize, however, that patent medicines of the late 1800s and early 1900s contained dangerous drugs like heroin and opium, often without knowledge to the user. The drugs were heavily advertised, and their abuse helped contribute to the establishment of today’s drug regulations that help safeguard millions of prescriptions and over-the-counter medications.

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How Would the Legalization of Marijuana Impact California?

How Would the Legalization of Marijuana Impact California?

Posted on July 19, 2010 in Drug Law News

The idea of legalizing marijuana has been argued for years and many believed it was simply the rights of the “pot-heads” at stake. In truth, authorities are looking at a much bigger issue, one that involves the violence spilling over from Mexico and the constant, losing battle between users and the law. The assumption is that legalizing marijuana will allow for a flooding of the market, which will drive the price down and make it less appealing for dealers.

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Drug Addiction and Good Moral Character Measures in Immigration Law

Posted on February 15, 2010 in Drug Law News

During my third year in law school, I had to begin the process of applying to the California Bar. Whether or not I would eventually be licensed to practice law in the state depended largely on my ability to pass the dreaded California Bar Exam, where average pass rates hover between fifty and sixty percent.

However, even if I were to successfully pass the Bar Exam, I still had to convince the powers that be that I was a person of good moral character. California Bar applicants who cannot prove that they are of good moral character will not be allowed to practice law here.

So, what characteristics epitomize good moral character for California lawyers? Unfortunately, there is no set standard and each applicant is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Further, despite the name, the burden of proof is not to show good moral character but rather that you do not have bad moral character. Some issues, such as criminal history, poor financial management, and mental health issues (including alcoholism or drug addiction) may cause an in-depth study into one’s moral fiber. Thus, there are likely a number of lawyers who have neither good moral character nor bad moral character but, because proving good moral character to any degree of certainty is impossible, were given a bar card anyway.

I believe a moral character determination prior to giving an individual a license to practice law is extremely important, especially since it is almost impossible to fully regulate the character of California’s almost quarter-million attorneys after they become licensed. I wish more state bar regulators realized the value of preventing harm from happening, rather than simply reacting to unethical lawyers only after a client has been harmed.

The United States government also worries about moral character, but not with regard to US lawyers. United States immigration laws have been drafted with an eye toward ensuring that the less savory of the planet’s occupants never set foot on US soil or, if they are already here, get ejected as quickly as possible.

If you are already a United States citizen, do not fret. Your nationality cannot be stripped simply because you do not possess good moral character (unless, of course, you are a naturalized citizen and lied during the immigration process). Although we may sometimes wish to load all of the dangerous criminal US citizens on a deportation flight bound for Antartica, the Fourteenth Amendment currently does not provide for that. Instead, the United States focuses on the moral character of those who are not yet US citizens.

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