Pot Clinic Raided but Not Busted

October 4- California's Auburn Journal reports: A clinic that has dispensed more than 6,000 medical marijuana recommendations remained open Wednesday, despite a Drug Enforcement Administration raid that removed files and computer records.

Federal and West El Dorado Narcotics Enforcement Team agents searched the offices of the California Medical Research Center on Friday.

At the same time, another team used a federal search warrant to seize files and 32 pot plants from the rural El Dorado County home of center directors Dale Schafer and Mollie Fry.

Schafer, an attorney who announced in July that he would run for El Dorado County district attorney, said the medical and legal records of as many as 6,000 to 7,000 patients were seized. Fry is a general practitioner, breast cancer survivor and medical marijuana patient.

October 4- UK's New Scientist reports: Smoking marijuana could help prevent recovering cocaine addicts relapsing, research on rats suggests. Dutch and US scientists deprived cocaine-addicted rats of the drug for 14 days and then exposed them to environmental cues associated with their drug-taking. Such cues often trigger relapse in recovering human addicts.

When the rats were also injected with a synthetic drug that blocks cannabinoid receptors -- the same receptors targeted by the active compounds in marijuana -- they were much less likely to seek an injection of cocaine.

"We found that in the rats exposed to environmental cues associated with cocaine injection in the past, or to cocaine itself, the likelihood of relapse was reduced by 50 to 60 per cent," says Taco de Vries, who led the research at Vrije University in Amsterdam and the US National Institute on Drug Abuse. Unpublished studies by the team on heroin-addicted rats have shown similar results, he told New Scientist.

October 4- The Charlotte Observer reports: A sheriff's deputy posing as a high school student busted five Forest Hills High School students Wednesday on drug charges and charged one with having a gun at school, Union County Sheriff Frank McGuirt said.

At the request of Forest Hills Principal Archie Price, a 21-year-old female deputy posed as a student, taking classes, attending school activities and setting up bogus drug deals.

October 5- The Tucson Citizen reports: Drug seizures along the U.S.-Mexico border dropped drastically after last month's terrorist attacks, but business is booming again, federal agents said. That's despite heightened security along the border.

Federal officials in Washington said drug seizures along the Arizona-Sonora border are higher than normal.

Between Sept. 11 and the beginning of October, more than 2,500 pounds of marijuana were seized by Customs Service officials at Arizona's six ports of entry. During the same period last year, 1,834 pounds were seized.

October 5- British Columbia's Daily Courier reports: The federal privacy commissioner says Kelowna, BC, should scrap its downtown video surveillance camera. The mayor and local RCMP say it stays and they'll put up more.

The commissioner's report, released Thursday, states the video surveillance at the Bennett Clock on Queensway Avenue contravenes the Privacy Act. However, if the film isn't running continually, it technically skirts the Act.

Federal Privacy Commissioner George Radwanski opined "The level and quality of privacy in our country risks being struck a crippling, irreparable blow if we allow ourselves to become subjected to constant, unrelenting surveillance and observation through the lens of proliferating video cameras controlled by the police or any other agents of the state."

But Mayor Walter Gray said the commissioner has his agenda, and the city has its own.

"He says 'privacy will be the defining issue of the new decade' and I say safety and security will be the defining issue of this community," said Gray.

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

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