Mom Feeds Son Marijuana Muffins

"We hate this whole thing being characterized as a 'war on drugs.' It's management of a criminal activity like any city has. You never win it. We'll never be able to turn out the light."
-- Edward W. Logan, U.S. Customs Service special agent in charge for Southern California

July 9 -- The Indianapolis Star reports: A Gary police officer who is accused of killing a drug dealer from whom he stole cocaine while in uniform could face the death penalty along with three of his accomplices. Officer James Ervin is among 10 men, including another Gary police officer, charged in a 36-count indictment by a federal grand jury.

The 10 are charged with running a drug organization that distributed cocaine and heroin from January 1997 to December 1999, U.S. Attorney David Capp announced Monday.

Luis Roman Jr., another Gary police officer, faces one charge of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and heroin and three money laundering charges. He faces up to 60 years in prison and $5.25 million in fines.

July 10 -- The AP reports: The estate of a man who committed suicide in jail while being held on drug charges has been ordered to pay $750,000 to the Nassau County, New York district attorney's office. The ruling, part of a settlement in a civil forfeiture case, was the first in the state in which a prosecutor sought assets from a dead person.

Robert Vorbeck, 38, was arrested July 2, 1999, for allegedly selling cocaine to undercover officers, and committed suicide in his county jail cell 11 days later. He had faced life in prison if convicted of felony drug charges.

July 11 -- The Sacramento Bee reports: Placer County, CA is seeking to take a boy away from a mother who says the cannabis muffins she feeds her son have improved his life.

For more than four years, the child had been a terror at home, unmanageable at school and a challenge to doctors and nurses who had ministered to him during three psychiatric hospitalizations. According to a Web site published by his mother, she has tried everything to stabilize his illness, administering 19 drugs prescribed by 16 doctors over a span of four years. When all failed, the homepage revealed, the mother turned to a home remedy approved by her son's pediatrician: muffins flavored by a pinch of marijuana.

Five weeks later, the results were in: "My son for the first time in his life is laughing and loving life," the 30-year-old Rocklin woman wrote. "He has very little to no angry outbursts, he is compliant, is doing great in school, and actually is making friends."

The change in her son's demeanor even prompted a letter from one of his school counselors, she said on the Web site. It read, "Your boy's behavior over this past five weeks has taken a dramatic turn. He has gone from daily multiple visits to our behavior intervention room to one brief visit last Thursday ... a 180-degree turn."

Not everyone is enamored of the woman's approach to her son's affliction, however. Placer County's Child Protective Services has "taken me to court," she said on the Web site, "with accusations of me abusing my son."

July 13 -- The Orange County Weekly reports: The CIA has always denied it used drug traffickers to raise cash for Ronald Reagan's 1980s war against the Nicaraguan Sandinista government. But FBI documents recently released to the OC Weekly show that William Earl Nelson, a former top agency official, met throughout that period with Ronald J. Lister, an ex-Laguna Beach cop who claimed to be the CIA's link between the South American cocaine trade, the Nicaraguan contras and LA's most notorious drug trafficker, Danilo Blandon.

July 14 -- The AP reports: A ban on giving federal aid to college students with drug convictions could mean more than 34,000 people will be denied loans and grants in the coming school year -- more than triple those turned away in 2000-01.

Even the measure's author -- Mark Souder, R-IN -- says enforcement has been taken too far. Souder intended the aid ban to apply only to college students already getting loans or grants when convicted, an aide said.

Send tips or comments to author Kevin Nelson at kcnelson@premier1.net.

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