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The Coastal Packet

The longtime national journal, Progressive Review, has moved its headquarters from Washington DC to Freeport, Maine, where its editor, Sam Smith, has long ties. This is a local edition dealing with Maine news and progressive politics.

1/7/10

ALLEGED TEEN AGED DRUGGIE FACES MORE TIME THAN MURDERER

Here's a good example of the madness of the war on drugs. A teen aged-alleged druggie faces up to 30 years in jail for using a drug of approximately the same danger to an individual as alcohol. Cocaine use has a far lower death rate than either tobacco or alchohol.

In the same week and the same state, however, a man got 20 years for the strangulation of a woman, which suggests that Maine considers the use of cocaine 50% more repugnant than murdering someone. 



Times Record - A Freeport woman was arrested in Westbrook on Sunday afternoon and charge with aggravated trafficking of scheduled drugs, a Class A felony that carries a potential sentence of 30 years in jail.

Abigail Autumn Shipley-Rega, 18, of 6 Stagecoach Road in Freeport, was arrested with 18-year-old Christopher Grover of 93 Woodford St., Portland, during a traffic stop just before 3:30 p.m., according to a release from Westbrook Police Sgt. Thomas Roche.

Police searched the vehicle, which Grover was driving, per order of his bail conditions from two prior arrests, During the search, officers allegedly discovered 63 grams of crack cocaine with a street value of $6,300.

"Also found in the vehicle and on the occupants was $1,220 in cash and various drug paraphernalia items associated with the sale of drugs," the release states.

Grover was charged with aggravated trafficking of scheduled drugs, possession of drugs and violation of bail conditions. . .

63 grams would keep a typical coke addict going for about two weeks. There are 298 million grams of cocaine consumed in the U.S. each year.

WGME - 62-year-old Roger Bernier of New Hampshire was sentenced Tuesday to 20 years in prison for the 1986 strangulation of Mary Kelley in Portland. Bernier pleaded guilty to manslaughter in October in the death of Kelley, whose body was found in the bathtub of her downtown Portland apartment.


Wikipedia - By the turn of the twentieth century, the addictive properties of cocaine had become clear, and the problem of cocaine abuse began to capture public attention in the United States. The dangers of cocaine abuse became part of a moral panic that was tied to the dominant racial and social anxieties of the day. In 1903, the American Journal of Pharmacy stressed that most cocaine abusers were "bohemians, gamblers, high- and low-class prostitutes, night porters, bell boys, burglars, racketeers, pimps, and casual laborers."

In 1914, Dr. Christopher Koch of Pennsylvania's State Pharmacy Board made the racial innuendo explicit, testifying that, "Most of the attacks upon the white women of the South are the direct result of a cocaine-crazed Negro brain." Mass media manufactured an epidemic of cocaine use among African Americans in the Southern United States to play upon racial prejudices of the era, though there is little evidence that such an epidemic actually took place.

In the same year, the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act outlawed the sale and distribution of cocaine in the United States. This law incorrectly referred to cocaine as a narcotic, and the misclassification passed into popular culture. Cocaine is a stimulant, not a narcotic. . .

Cocaine was not considered a controlled substance until 1970, when the United States listed it as such in the Controlled Substances Act. Until that point, the use of cocaine was open and rarely prosecuted in the US . . .

In many countries, cocaine is a popular recreational drug. . . . Cocaine use is prevalent across all socioeconomic strata, including age, demographics, economic, social, political, religious, and livelihood.

The estimated U.S. cocaine market exceeded $70 billion in street value for the year 2005, exceeding revenues by corporations such as Starbucks. . .

In 1995 the World Health Organization and the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute announced in a press release the publication of the results of the largest global study on cocaine use ever undertaken. However, a decision in the World Health Assembly banned the publication of the study. In the sixth meeting of the B committee the US representative threatened that "If WHO activities relating to drugs failed to reinforce proven drug control approaches, funds for the relevant programs should be curtailed". . . .

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