Quick hits tonight:
- Fruit-flavored meth again. This time strawberry, this time AR (Arkansas, not Arizona).
- USA Today coverage of the move in 3 states to give sex offenders self-identifying license plates. Good overview if you're unfamiliar with it. Check out the quote that sex offenders are "entrepreneurial." I'll have to check that one out with Kim English in CO.
- While on sex offenders, AZ (Arizona, not . . . huh) is trying to prevent needless harm to young people by reforming its sex crime legislation for teens. Despite opposition from prosecutors who have been authorized by God to determine truly evil people, which all teen sex offenders are, most legislators aren't so blessed: “I think people realize there’s a difference between the hardcore predator, who nobody is wanting to be soft on for any reason, and the 13- or 14-yearold boy who gets caught up in the system because of a mistake he made at that age,” said Rep. Mark Anderson, R-Mesa. (h/t Sentencing Law and Policy)
- If you’re in the mood for a full-fledged blast at private prisons, Pam Clifton has what you’re looking for at Think Outside the Cage.
- Some good research out of the UK about effective intervention with and treatment of children with parents with substance abuse problems. Which, not coincidentally, turns out to be a crime-fighting program of its own.
- Via Psychology and Crime News, more evidence here that hard-core sex offenders find it more difficult to give the socially acceptable answers to questions in treatment or counseling when they find themselves hooked up to machines that they think can give them away. Just imagine what's going to happen when they start having their MRIs compared to those of convicted sex offenders.
- Okay, two KY judges in the same jurisdictions find the state's sex offender residency restriction law unconstitutional while another one from the same area says, no, it's okay. Things get thrown into appellate laps, then will likely face the same future on the federal level before, maybe, this stuff gets settled. What's the over/under on the number of years in state and federal courts?
- Grits for Breakfast tips us to a really good reentry article on an Austin program. Nice personal example (not of Grits, the woman in the article).
- Did my unbiased duty yesterday and alerted you to the recent research linking marijuana and schizophrenia in hard-core, long-time pot users. At Mind Hacks, we get the full story, which, while not letting grass off the hook, isn't (surprise) exactly as the popular media reported it. (Not that Mind Hacks is unpopular.) A couple of the points to remember: The difficulty is that just because something seems to cause similar effects to psychosis, it doesn't necessarily mean it is strongly linked to it. For example, a dose of alcohol can 'produce' similar symptoms to Alzheimer's disease - loss of memory, disorientation, mood swings, aggression and so on - but that isn't a good basis to say that the alcohol is doing the same thing in the short-term as the degenerative brain disorder does in the long-term. More convincing are the results from the cognitive tests: impairment in immediate and delayed recall, attention and working memory without impairing orientation. And this one: Another fascinating finding, is that as well as containing the possibly psychosis increasing THC, cannabis also seems to contain an antipsychotic called cannabidiol or CBD. One study presented by Prof Markus Leweke found that purified CBD had a beneficial effect equal to amisulpride, a widely used pharmaceutical antipsychotic medication. As soon as I know how to pronounce either one of them, I'll let you know.