Texas Adults Aren't Crazy About Pot, But We Sure Do Like Our Liquor

Categories: Drugs

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United States Fish and Wildlife Service
None for us, thanks. We're pretty much all just raging alcoholics.

A new report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) collects data from each state to determine the use of alcohol and drugs. Among the findings? We Texans like our booze, and we like a lot of it.

The report divides the findings by age group and type of substance abuse, such as general alcohol use, binge drinking, illicit drugs, and marijuana use. For Texas adults, numbers show that we aren't generally fond of pot. Only around 5 percent of adults smoked pot in the past month.

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Texas Researcher Might Have Some Treatments for Ebola, Needs Money

Categories: Drugs

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NIAID
The yellow part is the normal cell, and the blue lines are the Ebola virus.
Ever since a doctor from Fort Worth became one of two Americans recently infected with the Ebola virus on a mercy trip in Liberia, the Western public has developed a renewed interest in the rare disease, often described as incurable.

For researchers like University of Texas virologist Dr. Thomas Geisbert, this means they're more likely to finally get all that money they need to continue studying Ebola, which might just be a few human tests and millions of dollars away from a cure, after all. "We have developed treatments that can completely protect monkeys against Ebola if we give it different times after exposure," Geisbert says.

The next step for Geisbert would be to test those treatments on healthy humans. To do that, he just needs millions of dollars. Big pharmaceutical companies seem like obvious candidates to put up that money. It's "something that big pharmaceutical companies could do," Geisbert says, except that they won't. "I've talked to representatives of those companies, at different meetings and things, and pretty much was told it's just not a moneymaker."

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After Latest Bust, Dallas Should Probably Lay Off the (Fake) Pot

Categories: Drugs

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In a perfect example of why it's best -- if you're looking to run a successful drug empire -- to keep the manufacturing and distribution arms of your outfit separate, the Drug Enforcement Administration moved to seize 35 financial accounts, six cars, jewelery, almost $20,000 in cash, seven gold Canadian "Maple Leaf" coins and 18 properties from Lawrence Shahwan of Lewisville, Gas Pipe head shop owner Jerry Shults and others associated with the Texas and New Mexico-based chain.

According to court documents, the seizure comes after a months-long investigation consisting primarily of federal agents going to Gas Pipe shops and purchasing what the documents call "synthetic marijuana," but is more accurately described as a varying cocktail of hallucinogenic chemicals mixed with a plant base. The substance is packaged as potpourri or incense or something else that shouldn't be ingested. Before July 2012, synthetic marijuana was legal. That month, President Obama banned it. It's now just as illegal as actual marijuana.

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Tea Partying Steve Stockman Was the Only Texas Rep to Support an Important Pot-Law Amendment

Categories: Drugs

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U.S. Representative Steve Stockman is the Texas lawmaker who is probably least likely to whip out a joint at the party and share it with everyone. He likes families, straight people, guns and fertilized eggs that might one day become babies. He hates liberals.

Not as much as he hates the federal government, though, which is why he was the only Texas lawmaker to sign a new amendment that could make getting medical pot a little easier.

"This is a matter of following the Constitution," his spokesperson Donny Ferguson told Unfair Park in an email.

The House last week passed a historic amendment that would prevent the DEA from raiding medical marijuana dispensaries in states that allow them. The bipartisian amendment isn't law yet, but the 219-189 decision is an encouraging turn in places like California, which legalized medical weed in 1996 yet faced sweeping federal raids on dispensaries as recently as three years ago.

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Phenazepam, the Soviet-Made Designer Drug, Hits North Texas

Categories: Drugs

In case you missed the September 2012 issue of Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience, here's a heads up: phenazepam, a powerful anti-anxiety drug sometimes sold as "Zannie" or "bonsai," is hitting the U.S. streets.

It's not exactly a new product -- it was developed in the 1970s by Soviet scientists to treat epilepsy, anxiety and sleep disorders -- but only recently has its recreational use spread, first to Western Europe and now to the United States.

See also: Denton County Police Discover That They Make Marijuana Candy and Soda Now

It's several times more potent than valium, another benzodiazepine, and has been cited as the cause of a growing number of hospitalizations and deaths. Now -- cue the Sweeps Week-style freakout -- it's arrived in North Texas.

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Dallas Police and the DEA Seized a Quarter-Ton Shipment of Xanax Over the Weekend

Categories: Crime, Drugs

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Drug Enforcement Agency
William Ian Brown did not have a prescription for the single alprazolam (Xanax) pill he was allegedly carrying in his pocket when he was arrested on Sunday. A crime, to be sure, but a minor one. If prosecutors decided to pursue the case -- given that it was a single pill, they might not bother -- the worst outcome would be a short stretch in Lew Sterrett, a modest fine and a misdemeanor conviction.

But that pill wasn't his problem. It was the 550 pounds of alprazolam he and his business partner, Brandon Lynell Gardner, had allegedly just taken possession of near Interstate 35 and Northwest Highway.

According to federal court documents, Brown and Gardner, are both officers of Dynasty Global Systems LLC, a local freight-hauling company. Gardner had arranged a shipment of two pallets from Denver to be delivered to a Northeast Dallas warehouse.

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Denton County Police Discover That They Make Marijuana Candy and Soda Now

Categories: Crime, Drugs

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The days when you had to actually smoke marijuana to get dosed with THC ended long ago with the discovery that the chemical can be melted into butter and baked into brownies.

Ganjapreneurs in Colorado are taking things to a completely different level. In Denver, you can get high via balms, massage oil, under-the-tongue tinctures, and, yes, soft drinks and candy.

This was news to police in Corinth, Texas, who were surprised to discover that, in addition to a half pound of marijuana, Marisol Noriega, 20, was arrested with THC-infused gummies and sodas. An alleged accomplice, 23-year-old David Ramos, was arrested on Wednesday.

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Husband of Mineral Wells Woman Found Dead in Her Freezer Arrested for Giving Her Meth

Categories: Crime, Drugs

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Cecil Huddleston
At first, Mineral Wells police were stumped by Shannon Herrin Huddleston's death. How could a grown woman, her home and person bearing no sign that she'd been attack, wind up locked in her own freezer?

Things became clearer when the autopsy report came back in October and speculated that Huddleston "likely crawled into the freezer while under the effects of methamphetamine." The toxic effects of the drug, compounded by hypothermia, killed her.

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Why Travel for Colorado Pot When You Can Buy It From Your Friendly Neighborhood Dealer?

Categories: Drugs

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In the weeks since marijuana became legal in Colorado, there have been a thick plume of stories on how to plan a pot-smoking vacation. Even The Dallas Morning News, which still blanches at the notion of fully legalized pot, offered a buyer's guide.

The pot tourism boom, however large it will prove to be, is all well and good, but what about the pot enthusiast who, through lack of time or means, can't make the trip? Will they never have the opportunity to partake of legally produced Colorado weed?

They will, thanks to entrepreneurs who, as the Houston Chronicle reported this weekend, are already shuttling the stuff into Texas.

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Texas Governor Rick Perry Is Still a Long Way From Legalizing Pot

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@TexGov
It's not often that Texas Governor Rick Perry has occasion to wax at length about his views on drug policy, but when you find yourself in Davos, Switzerland, on a World Economic Forum panel devoted to the "drug dilemma," there isn't much else to talk about.

This morning's discussion (it was late evening in Switzerland) focused on narcotics as a intractable global ill that stretches from the poppy fields of Afghanistan to the Latin American cartels to street-level pushers everywhere, and it featured insights from former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and Human Rights Watch executive director Kenneth Roth.

Perry's expertise, and the apparent reason he was included on the panel, stems from the fact that he leads a U.S. state, and that states, particularly post-weed legalization in Colorado and Washington state, have established themselves as laboratories of drug policy.

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