Monday, March 26, 2007

News of the Day, March 26, 2007

  • I hope that, when I question the logic and consistency of our War on (Some) Drugs and the delegitimizing and destructive impact it has on our crim just system, I don't give any indication that I support drug use or admire the people who distribute them. This story will tell you why. Candy-flavored meth? Just how low can these people go? Wait . . . don't want to know.
  • SC is now the latest state to start playing the "pay us or we won't keep your state inmates" game with the corrections folks there. Same old story, just different characters.
  • Always interesting to see the hows and whys of a state's prison pop increases over the last 2-3 decades. This account of MO's growth is another example, including the surprising role first-degree robbery plays in maintaining pop size there.
  • And next door to MO in KS, an equally interesting juxtaposition of corr sent stories, this one on how the state has dropped the ball on funding treatment programs for parolees and this one on how the state is increasing penalties on DUI. Mr. Right Hand, meet Mr. Left Hand. You're both slapping Mr. Face.
  • More self-face-slapping in MD, where the legislature still continues to make parole for second-time drug offenders impossible. In my time in MD, the state was ahead of most in terms of getting funds to treatment, but, that said, the gap was still enormous. So the solution is apparently not to put money into effectiveness but to continue the path they're on. The judges there want the programs. With the exception of a few, they just weren't that good as politicians.
  • In the "I" states, ID continues to solve its prison problem by spending money out of state, while IN hops on board the "more women in prison" train.
  • Finally, another example of horrible corr sent journalism (and also of horrible research just generally). Here's the headline: "Cannabis-related Schizophrenia Set To Rise, Say Researchers." Here's the key quote in the story: "John Macleod, co-author and academic GP, said: “We need to remember that our study does not address the question whether cannabis causes schizophrenia: this remains unclear.” Matthew Hickman, lead author of the study, added: “The challenge now is to improve our data on schizophrenia occurrence to see whether the projected increase occurs. This will tell us more about how important cannabis is as a cause of schizophrenia.” Get it? We don't know if marijuana has anything to do with schizophrenia, we've maybe heard some stories, but there's an increase coming if there is. Just think what they can find if carrot consumption might be going up and might be connected to kleptomania!!!!

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