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This page is designed to provide information and links to articles that speak to current moral issues facing our society. Please reference the original article (if available) when using quotes from these resources.
 
ALCAP does not necessarily agree with opinions or “conclusions” that are reached in the following articles, but offers these articles as resource material for research purposes.

Summary of Provisions of the Alabama Human Life Protection Act and Comments

To Pregnancy Resource Centers, from Eric Johnston The Alabama Human Life Protection Act (“AHLPA”) was signed into law on May 15, 2019. A federal court lawsuit was filed resulting in a preliminary injunction, which subsequently was dissolved by court order on June 24, 2022, as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in  Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The AHLPA went into legal effect that very same day. It is now enforceable in the State of Alabama. The purpose of this memo is to briefly outline and comment on the operative provisions of the Act as follows: * 26-23H-3, 1975 Code of Alabama :                       (1) The definition of abortion includes the surgical or medical (chemical) termination of the pregnancy. It does not include an activity done with the intent to:                                     (a) save the life or preserve the health of an unborn child                                     (b) remove a dead

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Roe and Casey Overruled – Abortion is not a Constitutional Right any Longer

An Educational Update from Eric Johnston of the Southeast Law Institute In 2018, the Alabama Pro-Life Coalition thought the time might be ripe for a review of Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which legalized abortion on demand.  In 2019, we authored the Alabama Human Life Protection Act (“AHLPA”), with the idea of being among those states which may be bringing cases to SCOTUS for review.  Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case involving a Mississippi law limiting abortion to before fifteen weeks, was the first case to make it. In a five-four majority, Justice Samuel Alito writing for the court, rejected any incremental approach and completely threw out the right to abortion as a federal right under the U.S. Constitution.  The opinion leaves the decision to the states.  The opinion concentrated on two issues.   The first is whether there is a U.S. Constitutional right to an

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Gambling Issues in Alabama

On Wednesday, October 19, attorney Eric Johnston of The Southeast Law Institute joined ALCAP President and CEO Greg Davis on Priority Talk to update the citizens of Alabama on various gambling issues in the state. They walk through the history of gambling in the state, and bring the conversation to the present day. With the development of technology, there is a new frontier that must also be addressed: electronic and online gambling. Gambling goes beyond simple card games these days, and Christians need to be aware of its various forms. “A lot of our legislators, both Republican and Democrat, are all for comprehensive gambling and/or a lottery here in the state of Alabama,” Greg said. Let your local representatives know that you are not! You can find the podcast episode here.

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The Fight Against Legalized Marijuana in Alabama

On Thursday, October 13, ALCAP President and CEO Greg Davis joined with ALCAP advisor Christine Carr in releasing an open letter to Alabama urging them to be aware and act against the acceptance of medical marijuana in their community. They write that many innocent people with honest intentions are tricked into supporting a movement that only leads to addiction and other destructive practices. The letter is designed to help inform and educate its readers so that they will not believe lies on this important issue. The letter, published by The Alabama Baptist, states: “The profit-driven marijuana industry will wreak havoc in your community, as they have done in other states before us, if you do not speak out and help stem the coming tide.” Greg Davis and Christine Carr go on to discuss the devastation that marijuana causes, why the term “medical marijuana” is misleading, the money motives behind the

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Is Sexual Perversion Being Taught in Alabama Schools?

On Tuesday, October 4, Pat Ellis joined ALCAP President and CEO Greg Davis on Priority Talk to discuss the pornographic material being shown and taught in our Alabama classrooms all across the state. They talked about how our leaders in places of power (federal, state, school administrators, and more) are trying to quietly indoctrinate our kids into perverse sexual behavior, without parents knowing about it or consenting to it. “If you don’t think this is happening or could happen in your schools, you’re in denial,” Greg said. Pat Ellis, a Jasper resident, served on Congressman Robert Aderholt’s staff from 1997-2012. She has been a board member with Eagle Forum of Alabama since 2000. She recently wrote an explosive article on 1819.com titled “Pornography in Alabama Schools and Youth Organizations? You Be the Judge.” You can listen to the conversation here, and on all major podcast carriers.

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A Trip Down Memory Lane: The North Carolina Lottery’s Passage and Its Relevance Today

By Rev. Mark CreechChristian Action LeagueMarch 18, 2022 Now and then, North Carolinians read or hear a news story about someone who won big bucks playing the state lottery. For instance, Fox 8 reported that Kelly Wyatt of Statesville bought a $30 scratch-off ticket and won $1 million last week. She bought the ticket at a convenience store. After required state and federal tax withholdings, Wyatt took home a little over $426,000. The excitement of winning hundreds of thousands of dollars is what most people think about when they think of the lottery. Rarely do they ever consider its original purpose, which was to fund education in the state. That objective has proven to be a sham.

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Ill-gotten gain: As backroom betting goes digital, states that make it legal may find the stakes are high

By Kim Henderson, WNG – January 27, 2022 At Southeastern Louisiana University, the pitcher’s mound belonging to Alumni Field lies in the shadow of the press box belonging to Strawberry Stadium. Both arenas, like most of the school, are closed off, cold. The only hint of an approaching spring semester is hurried workers, on all fours, hand-floating concrete in a new section of sidewalk along North General Pershing Street.  As students return to the state’s third-largest public university, academic fresh starts won’t be the only opportunity coming their way. Lawmakers last summer voted to bring betting to the bayous, and mobile sports betting apps are expected to launch in Louisiana any day. Or at least in time for the Super Bowl.  David Cranford pastors First Baptist Church in nearby Ponchatoula, and he was president of the Louisiana Baptist Convention when that group went up against powerful political operatives backing the

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The Briefing – Monday, February 14, 2022

Albert Mohler, President, Southern Baptist Seminary PART 1: The Big Story of the Super Bowl LVI? Gambling. — How the Snowball of Legal Gambling Predictably Turned into an Avalanche PART 2: You Simply Bought A Chance to Win a Game of Chance: The Temptations of Sports Betting and the Waning Evangelical Concern of Legalized Gambling PART 3: An Unfolding Series of Moral Challenges in the Beijing Olympic Games: Russia Finds Itself Mixed Up in Another Doping Controversy To listen further to these discussions about the important issues of today, follow the link included below. https://albertmohler.com/2022/02/14/briefing-2-14-22 You can also listen on Apple Podcasts at the following link. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-briefing-albertmohler-com/id390278738?i=1000551020061

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Utah’s new drunken driving law is paying off

By Gregory Wallace, CNN – February 12, 2022 Deaths and crashes linked to drunken driving dropped almost 20% in Utah, the only state with a lower legal limit of .05, according to a new study. The conclusions are a piece of encouraging news for highway safety, where the number of deaths rose at the highest rate ever recorded during the pandemic, despite fewer cars on the road, shorter distances driven, and more safety features in new cars. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration study looked at collisions in Utah, where in late 2018, the blood alcohol content legal limit lowered to .05 from .08. To read more about this encouraging update, follow the link to the original article included below. https://www.cnn.com/2022/02/12/us/utah-dui-drunken-driving-law/index.html

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If you think that glass of wine is good for you, it’s time to reconsider

CNN Opinion by Jonathan Reiner www.cnn.com Updated 9:16 PM ET, Sun January 23, 2022 For many years it was thought moderate doses of alcohol were associated with a reduced risk of death, whereas higher amounts of drinking were associated with increased risk. And while there has been research to suggest a glass of wine a day can promote longevity or heart health, the consensus on alcohol’s salutary effects has started to change. Click on the following link to read the full article. https://www.cnn.com/2022/01/22/opinions/alcohol-heart-health-reiner/index.html

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Will A New High-Water Mark of Opioid Deaths Mark a Turning Point?

By Rob Chambers / November 23, 2021 The following article was written by Rob Chambers, current President of the American Council on Addiction & Alcohol Problems (ACAAP). While ALCAP agrees with most of the article, we would discourage accepting government funds by faith-based ministries (ALCAP does not accept government funding). Those funds usually have conditions attached (if not presently, in the future) that would restrict what faith-based ministries can and cannot teach. The latest provisional data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) shows the U.S. on track to exceed 100,000 overdose deaths in 2021, the first time such a grim milestone would be reached. America clearly has a drug problem that will require a massive effort from all walks of society to bring under control. As one physician put it, the current drug crisis the United States is experiencing is “worse than the crack epidemic” that upended American society

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Rate of Teen Marijuana Vaping More Than Doubled Between 2013 and 2020

Partnership to End Addiction By Partnership Staff at drugfree.org October 2021 The rate of teens who said they’ve ever tried vaping marijuana more than doubled between 2013 and 2020, from 6.1% to 13.6%, according to a new analysis of studies reported in JAMA Pediatrics. Researchers analyzed 17 studies conducted in the United States and Canada, with a total of almost 200,000 teens. They found past-year marijuana vaping doubled from 2017 to 2020 — from 7.2% to 13.2%. The percentage of teens who said they had vaped marijuana in the past month rose from less than 2% to more than 8%. Teens’ preference for cannabis products may be shifting from less potent products like dried herbal cannabis to highly potent vape oil and concentrates, the researchers noted. Click here to read the full article on the Partnership to End Addiction website and access article links.

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Prescription Stimulant Misuse and Prevention Among Youth and Young Adults

The misuse of prescription pain relievers, tranquilizers, sedatives, and stimulants among youth and young adults aged 12 to 25 is a major public health issue in the United States. Click here to read this report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Click here to visit the SAMHSA website for more publications and digital products.

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Alcohol and Marijuana Use and Motivations Among Young Adults During the Pandemic

NIAAA SpectrumVolume 13, Issue 3 | Fall 2021 Stay-at-home and physical distancing orders during the COVID-19 pandemic have led to increased stress, anxiety, depression, and boredom, and reports suggest that some people may be consuming more alcohol as a coping mechanism. A recent study supported by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism now reveals changes in patterns of alcohol and marijuana use during the pandemic, as well as changes in motives for use among young adults. Click here to read the rest of the article.

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Infrastructure Bill Requires New Technology to Prevent Drunk Driving

Partnership to End AddictionNovember 2021 The $1 trillion infrastructure package expected to be signed soon by President Biden includes a provision requiring automakers to include new technology to prevent drunk driving, the Associated Press reports. The legislation requires automakers to include monitoring systems to stop intoxicated drivers in all new vehicles as early as 2026. The Transportation Department must first determine the best type of technology to install in vehicles, the article notes. The legislation mandates that the technology must “passively monitor the performance of a driver of a motor vehicle to accurately identify whether that driver may be impaired.” More than 10,000 people died in drunk-driving crashes in the United States in 2019, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The new legislation “will virtually eliminate the No. 1 killer on America’s roads,” Mothers Against Drunk Driving National President Alex Otte said in a news release. “We need

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Preventing Marijuana Use Among Youth

SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) has developed a resource guide to review the literature on prevention of marijuana use among youth, distill the research into recommendations for practice, and provide examples of the ways these recommendations can be implemented. Abstract Marijuana use among youth and young adults is a major public health concern. Early youth marijuana use is associated with:1. Neuropsychological and neurodevelopmental decline2. Poor school performance3. Increased school drop-out rates4. Increased risk for psychotic disorders in adulthood5. Increased risk for later depression6. Suicidal ideation or behavior As policy and legalization efforts evolve and the availability of legal marijuana increases, communities and families need guidance to support the prevention of marijuana use among youth. This guide covers programs and policies to prevent marijuana use among youth aged 12 to 17, including:1. Environmental strategies, such as regulating the price of marijuana products, where these products are sold, the

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Anti-Doping Group Will Review Cannabis Ban After Sha’Carri Richardson’s Suspension

September 15, 2021 / NPR.org / Bill Chappell, Reporter, Producer The World Anti-Doping Agency will review its ban on cannabis, in what the agency says is a response to “requests from a number of stakeholders” in international athletics. But it’s not clear when, or if, a change to the controversial policy might take effect: cannabis will remain forbidden for the 2022 athletic season. The news comes after WADA’s ban on cannabis prevented U.S. sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson from competing in the Tokyo Olympics, despite her victory in the 100-meter race at the U.S. Olympic trials. Click here to read the rest of the article on NPR.org.

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Gender Ideology Run Amok

Hillsdale College • Imprimis • June/July 2021 • Volume 50, Number 6/7 • Abigail Shrier The following is adapted from a speech delivered on April 27, 2021, in Franklin, Tennessee, at a Hillsdale College National Leadership Seminar. In 2007, America had one pediatric gender clinic; today there are hundreds. Testosterone is readily available to adolescents from places like Planned Parenthood and Kaiser, often on a first visit—without even a therapist’s note. How did we get to this point? How is it that we are all supposed to pretend that the only way you can know I’m a woman is if I tell you my pronouns? How did we get to an America in which a 13-year-old in the State of Washington can begin “gender affirming” therapy without her parents’ consent? How did we get to an America in which a 15-year-old in Oregon can undergo “top surgery”—elective double mastectomy—without her

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Marijuana and Lung Health

American Lung Association / https://www.lung.org The American Lung Association is concerned about the health impacts of marijuana use, especially on lung health. We caution the public against smoking marijuana because of the risks it poses to the lungs. Scientists are researching marijuana now, and the American Lung Association encourages continued research into the effects of marijuana use on lung health. Smoke is harmful to lung health. Whether from burning wood, tobacco or marijuana, toxins and carcinogens are released from the combustion of materials. Smoke from marijuana combustion has been shown to contain many of the same toxins, irritants and carcinogens as tobacco smoke. Beyond just what’s in the smoke alone, marijuana is typically smoked differently than tobacco. Marijuana smokers tend to inhale more deeply and hold their breath longer than cigarette smokers, which leads to a greater exposure per breath to tar. Secondhand marijuana smoke contains many of the same

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Vaping is threatening to become a public health crisis

July 23, 2021 www.ntdailey.comby Tania Amador The first electronic cigarettes were successfully manufactured and patented in 2003 by Hon Lik, a 52-year-old pharmacist and smoker after his father died of lung cancer. He hoped this would help him quit smoking. It did not. Known as “vapes,” “pens,” or “carts,” electronic cigarettes were first introduced in the United States in August 2006. What was originally marketed as a cessation tool and healthier alternative to smoking has actually become a step backward for public health. Click here to read the rest of the article.

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The Make-Believe World of Digital Horse Racing Sends a Wrong Message

July 28, 2021 / John Horvat II / tfp.org People today live in make-believe worlds. They are conditioned to believe they can be or do whatever they want. Usually, such fantasies are limited by the real world. However, modern technologies now facilitate the illusions of making believe by creating illusions. The business world is not far behind by providing products that humor people into believing their fantasies can be real. People can then effortlessly indulge in them if they pay the right amount of money. The latest craze in fantasy-enabling is the Non-Fungible Token (NFT) mania shaking the virtual world. People can claim to own original digital images (often readily available online) by registering their purchases on blockchain platforms. Buyers have nothing to show for their purchase save the original code of historical video moments, gifs and other digital creations. These digital assets often sell for tens of thousands of

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“Learn the Law: How Does Your State Prevent Underage Drinking?” Series

SAMHSA / Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services AdministrationNew Publication: July 27, 2021 / https://store.samhsa.gov Alcohol remains the number one substance used by young people. These 24 legal policy summaries allow you to track how your state regulates underage drinking as compared to other states in order to help inform your prevention work. Click here to download a copy of the document.

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New WHO Study Links Moderate Alcohol Use With Higher Cancer Risk

14-Jul-2021 4:35 PM EDT, by Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) Newswise — July 14, 2021 (Toronto) A new study from the World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), published in the journal Lancet Oncology, has found an association between alcohol and a substantially higher risk of several forms of cancer, including breast, colon, and oral cancers. Increased risk was evident even among light to moderate drinkers (up to two drinks a day), who represented 1 in 7 of all new cancers in 2020 and more than 100,000 cases worldwide. In Canada, alcohol use was linked to 7,000 new cases of cancer in 2020, including 24 per cent of breast cancer cases, 20 per cent of colon cancers, 15 per cent of rectal cancers, and 13 per cent of oral and liver cancers. “All drinking involves risk,” said study co-author Dr. Jürgen Rehm, Senior Scientist,

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Editorial: What legalization? California is still the Wild West of illegal marijuana

By THE TIMES EDITORIAL BOARD / July 15, 2021 / https://www.latimes.com Nearly five years after Californians voted to create a legal marijuana industry through Proposition 64, the illegal weed market is as big as or even bigger than it was before the ballot measure passed. The end of prohibition at the state level was supposed to be the beginning of a highly regulated marijuana market served by legitimate, taxpaying companies (even though marijuana remains illegal under federal law). Legalization was billed as a way to tame the Wild West-style marijuana industry, which often flouted environmental and health strictures and was a bastion for organized crime. It hasn’t worked out that way for a variety of reasons. Nowhere is the failure of Proposition 64 more apparent than in the deserts of Southern California, where a booming illegal marijuana industry has spread across the arid landscape. Click here to read the rest

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Rethinking Your Post-COVID Relationship With Booze

By Lambeth Hochwald / June 28, 2021 / https://www.webmd.com The pandemic was more than unnerving, lonely, and isolating. It ended up being a drinker’s dream, with margarita Mondays and wine Wednesdays becoming a regular occurrence on top of nightly happy hours. In fact, nearly 1 in 4 adults said they managed pandemic stress by drinking more, according to an American Psychological Association survey released in February. “Drinking particularly increased among people who don’t consider themselves to have an alcohol problem,” says Joseph Volpicelli, MD, executive director of the Institute of Addiction Medicine in Plymouth Meeting, PA. “It creeped up on people.” On the other end of the spectrum, COVID-19 prompted many Americans to start taking steps to eliminate alcohol entirely. If you’re among this group, science is definitely on your side, with recent studies increasingly showing that no amount of alcohol is healthy and that alcohol can be cancer-causing. Click

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Juul to Pay North Carolina $40 Million to Settle Teen Vaping Suit

By Partnership Staff / July, 2021 / https://drugfree.org E-cigarette maker Juul Labs agreed to pay North Carolina $40 million to settle a lawsuit that claimed the company’s marketing practices encouraged teenagers to vape, The New York Times reports. Click here to read the article on the drugfree.org website.

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Fetal alcohol exposure data underscore need for public health interventions

By Michael Greenwood / June 28, 2021 / https://news.yale.edu/ While alcohol consumption during pregnancy may result in harm to developing embryos and fetuses, a new study led by the Yale School of Public health finds that a significant number of pregnancies that result in live birth still involve alcohol exposure. Click here to read the rest of the article.

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Alabama NIL Tracker: Three More Players Join the Action

We are grateful the University of Alabama Athletics Department placed restrictions on student athlete sponsorships. Student athletes may not accept sponsorships from the following: a tobacco company or brand, including alternative nicotine products; any alcoholic beverage company or brand; any seller or distributor of a controlled substance, including but not limited to, marijuana; any adult entertainment business; and any casino or entities that sponsor or promote gambling activities. We also hope these restrictions will stand. Please click on the link to read the full article. By: TYLER MARTIN AND JOEY BLACKWELL JUL 2, 2021 A new era of college athletics arrived at midnight on July 1. For the first time ever, all NCAA athletes can begin to make money off of their name, image and likeness. Click here to read the full article.

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Do you have a beer or wine most nights? Maybe two? The big C is more of a risk than you might think.

By Paige Cockburn ABC Health & Wellbeing / https://www.abc.net.au/news/health What would be a good enough reason for you to actually cut back on booze? If you were gaining weight? If you were tired all the time? Having relationship difficulties? What about cancer? Chances are, this one didn’t make your list. But five in every 100 Australians who exceed 14 drinks a week will develop cancer by age 85, according to Dr Peter Sarich, who led a landmark study published in the British Journal of Cancer. Dr Sarich found by age 85, the absolute risk of alcohol-related cancer was 17.3 per cent for men and 25 per cent for women who were drinking less than 14 drinks a week. Click here to read the rest of the article.

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Featured News: Protecting Young People in the Age of Marijuana Legalization

Partnership to End Addiction / By Partnership Staff / May 2021 www.drugfree.org As more states legalize marijuana, how can parents and policymakers protect young people from the risks marijuana can cause? Partnership to End Addiction CEO Creighton Drury spoke with Kevin Sabet, Ph.D., CEO of Smart Approaches to Marijuana and author of Smoke Screen: What the Marijuana Industry Doesn’t Want You to Know, and Linda Richter, Ph.D., Vice President, Prevention Research and Analysis at Partnership to End Addiction, about the issue and possible solutions. Click here to read the rest of the article.

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Read Newsmax: More Pot-Linked Poisoning Cases as Edibles’ Popularity Booms | Newsmax.com

Wednesday, 26 May 2021 Newfangled marijuana products — edibles, concentrates, vapes — are driving an overall increase in pot-related calls to U.S. poison control centers, a new study shows. There were more than 11,100 calls related to marijuana use in 2019, up from about 8,200 in 2017, researchers said. More and more of those calls are related to manufactured products that contain distilled amounts of THC, CBD, and other chemicals found in cannabis. “We saw this generalized increase in calls nationally,” said lead researcher Julia Dilley, an epidemiologist with the Oregon Public Health Division in Portland. “But when we dug into it, that increase is being driven by these manufactured products,” Dilley continued. “Flower cannabis exposure calls are actually declining.” Pot plant exposures made up the bulk of calls to centers in 2017, with 7,146 pertaining to marijuana plants and just 1,094 related to manufactured products. But by 2019, calls

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Pot commercialization tied to self-harm by younger men, study suggests

Author: Tracie White / April 16, 2021 / https://scopeblog.stanford.edu April 16, 2021 States that legalize recreational marijuana use, and in some cases allow retail sales of the drug, may see more suicide attempts and other self-harm among younger men, a new Stanford Medicine study suggests. Researchers examined whether rates of self harm injuries — which include suicide attempts and non-suicidal behaviors like cutting — correlate with changing marijuana laws and found an increase among men younger than 40 in states that allow recreational use. The study indicated no such correlation with states that allow only medical marijuana use. “States that legalize, but still constrain commercialization, may be better positioned to protect populations from unintended harms,” said Keith Humphreys, PhD, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences. Humphreys is the senior author of the study published March 18 in JAMA Network Open. Ellicott Matthay, PhD, a post doctoral scholar at UC-San Francisco,

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Brain Research: A Focus on Childhood Trauma and Alcohol Misuse

NIAAA Spectrum / Volume 13, Issue 2 News reports of college drinking tragedies, and concerns about increased access to alcohol in the home during the pandemic, make clear that COVID-19 has provided no reprieve from the problems of underage drinking. A perennial public health priority, alcohol misuse by young people increases the likelihood of myriad serious consequences, including altered brain development, academic problems, unsafe sexual behavior, physical and sexual assault, traffic crashes, injuries, overdoses, and alcohol use disorder (AUD). To be sure, efforts to reduce underage drinking have seen success in recent decades. Epidemiological data from the annual Monitoring the Future survey, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, show that by 2020, proportional declines in the prevalence of binge drinking, following recent peaks reached in the 1990s, were 66 percent, 60 percent, and 47 percent for grades 8, 10, and 12, respectively. George. F. Koob, Ph.D., Director of

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Any amount of alcohol can harm the brain, study suggests

Study authors hypothesize that ethanol is the ‘biological pathway to damage’By Kayla Rivas | Fox Newshttps://www.foxnews.com/health/alcohol-harm-brain-health Any amount of alcohol can cause damage to the brain, and more so than previously realized, according to a study in what researchers call one of the largest of its kind to date. The preliminary findings from Oxford University were recently posted to medRxiv ahead of peer review, drawing on clinical data and imaging samples from over 25,000 adults in the U.K. Biobank study. Subjects were aged 40 to 69 years when they were first recruited from 2006 to 2010. Nearly all participants were classified as current drinkers, while just 5.2% were non-drinkers, per the study. Almost half of participants were consuming alcohol at levels above U.K. ‘low risk’ guidelines, though few were considered heavy drinkers, researchers wrote. Through MRI analyses, the team looked for correlations between alcohol use and grey matter in the

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Alcohol Misuse Prevention: A Conversation for Everyone – SAMHSA

May 7, 2021 / SAMHSAhttps://blog.samhsa.gov The global coronavirus pandemic has forced us to learn new ways of doing many things. Employees in some job sectors learned to work from home, while others had to find entirely new sources of income. Parents learned to be teachers for their kids, while teachers themselves learned to do their jobs in less-than-ideal remote environments. We figured out how to use technology to celebrate birthday parties, host award shows, and even conduct a presidential inauguration. One thing we can do to benefit ourselves as a nation is talking with friends, family, and neighbors about underage drinking and adult problem drinking prevention. According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 54.3 percent (or 18.3 million) people ages 18 to 25 and 55 percent (or 119.1 million) people ages 26 or older drank alcohol in the past month. Alcohol misuse stays under the radar

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Opinion: Recreational marijuana is bad for public health and safety

By DR. GREGORY SHANGOLDHARTFORD COURANTAPR 05, 2021 Legalizing recreational marijuana has been cast as a state budget matter, but to physicians, marijuana use is a public health matter. At the start of each physician’s career, we take the Hippocratic Oath, committing ourselves to science and a set of ethical principles that promote health, honesty, trust and service to all patients in need of medical care. Fragments of the oath can be traced back thousands of years, making it sacred to medical providers like me. The Connecticut State Medical Society believes it must ensure that Connecticut policymakers and their constituents — our patients — are informed about the health and societal ramifications of public policies. One such issue is legalizing recreational marijuana, which the CSMS sees as a bad idea. Click here to read the full op-ed.

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May is Marijuana Mental Health Awareness Month at Johnny’s Ambassadors!

May is Mental Health Awareness Month! So, Johnny’s Ambassadors is hosting Marijuana Mental Health Awareness Month, to draw attention to the mental harms that can come to youth who use marijuana! Please join the Marijuana Prevention Challenge! Click on the following link to be a part of Johnny’s Ambassadors Marijuana Prevention Challenge.https://johnnysambassadors.org/mentalhealth/

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The forgotten crisis

OPIOIDS AND COVID-19The opioid overdose epidemic surges and rages alongside the coronavirus pandemicJoseph Friedman and Morgan Godvin, Los Angeles Times The opioid overdose epidemic surges and rages alongside the coronavirus pandemic While Americans have focused on the COVID-19 pandemic, another epidemic has also been killing people across the country in unprecedented numbers: overdose deaths. And the two crises are connected. Click on the following link to read the article. https://birminghamnews-al-app.newsmemory.com/?publink=0617df7bc

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LEGALIZATION INVITES BLACK MARKET, LAWLESSNESS INTO STATE

FEBRUARY 1, 2021 EDITOR https://poppot.org Black market growers of marijuana destroyed my Colorado retreatWhenever you listen to or read dialog from the pro-marijuana crowd, they say that legalizing marijuana will make the black market go away. This statement is a blatant lie. Rather, legalizing marijuana invites criminal organizations into your state and allows them to grow pot illegally under the guise of running a legal operation. I am the owner of a summer home in rural Colorado with beautiful mountain views. In the midst of this beauty, a Chinese group purchased a ten-acre parcel with a house near my home. Within a year, they had cleared a section of the indigenous vegetation, which is so important to the survival of the local wildlife, and illegally grew thousands of marijuana plants. These marijuana plants are not even native to Colorado or North America; in fact, they had to grow them in

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More than half of people using cannabis for pain experience multiple withdrawal symptoms

Minority experience worsening of symptoms over time, especially younger peopleDate: January 8, 2021Source: Michigan Medicine – University of MichiganSummary: More than half of people who use medical marijuana products to ease pain also experience clusters of multiple withdrawal symptoms when they’re between uses, a new study finds. And about 10% of the patients taking part in the study experienced worsening changes to their sleep, mood, mental state, energy and appetite over the next two years as they continued to use cannabis. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/01/210108142134.htm

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New Alcohol Recommendations from the CDC

The following is copied by permission from an article in the MICAP/RECAP Newsletter, published by the Michigan Council on Alcohol Problems (MICAP) and was written by Vernon Smith, PhD, and a member of the MICAP Board The biggest news in decades about recommendations for alcohol use came from the CDC in August 2020. In an 835-page report, the CDC indicated that it is making significant changes to its recommendations on alcohol use, and the recommendation is clear: consume less alcohol. Regarding alcohol consumption, the [“2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans”] report makes two major changes to previous guidance. Until this year, the Dietary Guidelines recommended no more than “moderate” alcohol intake, defined as no more than one drink per day for women, and two drinks per day for men. The new report will change that recommendation to no more than one drink per day, eliminating the distinction between men and women. Equally significant,

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Governor Ivey Issues Statement Regarding the Study Group on Gambling Policy Report

MONTGOMERY – Governor Kay Ivey on Friday issued the following statement:  “Earlier this year, I established the Study Group on Gambling Policy to thoroughly review and gather all the facts surrounding the seemingly endless debate on gambling in Alabama. They were tasked with providing detailed information to allow public officials and the people of our state to make the most informed decision possible, should we decide to pursue legislation to deal with this issue.  “I offer my sincerest thanks to Mayor Todd Strange and the members of the Study Group for their diligent work, especially for adapting when COVID-19 interrupted in-person meetings.   “After initial discussions with them regarding their report, I believe their research will be pivotal as gambling policies are being considered, debated and potentially voted on. As my team and I pour over the findings, I encourage the Legislature and the people of Alabama to do the same.

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Think ya know, is marijuana safer than alcohol?

Is marijuana really safer than alcohol? Parents Opposed to Pot tackles this common misconception with provoking facts. With the proliferation of ads for CBD products across the U.S., it is important to know what a Colorado psychiatrist has to say about such products. Joseph C. Godfrey, Executive Director, ALCAP

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Drug legalization ‘all about money’

Chris Woodward (OneNewsNow.com) THE HEAD OF AN ORGANIZATION THAT BELIEVES THE PROBLEMS RELATING TO ALCOHOL AND OTHER DRUGS ARE IN DIRECT PROPORTION TO CONSUMPTION IS SPEAKING OUT AGAINST THE FEDERAL EFFORT TO DECRIMINALIZE MARIJUANA. Dr. Joe Godfrey, president of the American Council on Addiction and Alcohol Problems (ACAAP)), says the House bill is all about money. “It’s being pushed by the marijuana industry, people who stand to make billions of dollars from people that get addicted to their drug,” Dr. Godfrey continues. He further acknowledges the argument that marijuana is not addictive as “bogus.” “State governments and the federal government see it as a tax revenue source, but they’re all ignoring the social costs,” Dr. Godfrey submits. “They don’t count the cost of broken homes and families and destroyed lives [or] lost time at work. The marijuana industry is ignoring all of that.” He believes the same could be said

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What are the risks of underage drinking?

Partnership to End Addiciton / www.drugfree.org A young person’s brain is not fully developed until they reach their mid- to late 20s, and any drinking while the brain is still developing can be problematic. Regardless of age, alcohol lowers inhibitions and impairs judgment and coordination. It can also increase the incidence of aggressive or violent acts. Consuming large quantities in a short period of time — or binge drinking, which is defined as having 4-5 drinks on one occasion and is common among young people — can cause alcohol poisoning and even death. More than 16 million Americans misuse or are addicted to alcohol, which is a substance that is legal, widely available and normalized in our society. Prolonged, heavy use of alcohol can lead to addiction (known as alcohol use disorder, or alcoholism), liver and heart disease, and other health consequences such as a weakened immune system and increased risk

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Deaths and Years of Potential Life Lost From Excessive Alcohol Use — United States, 2011–2015

What is already known about this topic? Excessive drinking is a leading cause of preventable death in the United States and is associated with numerous health and social problems. What is added by this report? During 2011–2015, excessive drinking was responsible for an average of 93,296 deaths (255 per day) and 2.7 million years of potential life lost (29 years lost per death, on average) in the United States each year. What are the implications for public health practice? Widespread implementation of prevention strategies, including those recommended by the Community Preventive Services Task Force (e.g., increasing alcohol taxes and regulating the number and concentration of places that sell alcohol) could help reduce deaths and years of potential life lost from excessive drinking. Click here for a printable copy of this report. Citation: Esser MB, Sherk A, Liu Y, et al. Deaths and Years of Potential Life Lost From Excessive Alcohol Use —

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Does drinking alcohol increase your risk for COVID-19? Two doctors explain

Alcohol weakens your immune system and can put you at a greater risk for COVID-19. How much is too much? Mercey Livingston https://www.cnet.com Alcohol, especially frequent and excessive drinking, can present some serious risks to your health, especially when it comes to COVID-19, your immune system and overall risk for developing serious complications from the virus. Click here for the full article.

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Reducing Vaping Among Youth and Young Adults

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) In 2019, more than five million, or 28 percent, of high school students reported nicotine vaping in the past 30 days, a significant increase from 2018 (21 percent) and more than double the rates in 2017 (12 percent). Evidence suggests that some youth who would not otherwise use nicotine or tobacco products are vaping. SAMHSA developed a guide that discusses effective programs and policies to prevent vaping among youth and young adults, challenges to reducing e-cigarette use and vaping, and program and policy implementation strategies that can be used to address those challenges. Click here for a copy of Reducing Vaping Among Youth and Young Adults.

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The facts on e-cigarette use among youth and young adults

e-cigarettes.surgeongeneral.gov Over the last half century, the U.S. Surgeon General has released 32 comprehensive reports outlining the impact of tobacco use on this nation’s health and well-being. The 33rd report, which addresses e-cigarette use among youth and young adults, adds significant data and analysis to the science of this important public health issue. Surgeon General’s Reports are the gold standard of scientific reports, and each is developed and reviewed by hundreds of expert researchers. More than 150 scientists and public health professionals contributed to the development of this latest Surgeon General’s Report. Click here to get the facts!

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Quick Facts on the Risks of E-cigarettes for Kids, Teens, and Young Adults

What’s the Bottom Line on the Risks of E-cigarettes for Kids, Teens, and Young Adults? The use of e-cigarettes is unsafe for kids, teens, and young adults. Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine. Nicotine is highly addictive and can harm adolescent brain development, which continues into the early to mid-20s. E-cigarettes can contain other harmful substances besides nicotine. Young people who use e-cigarettes may be more likely to smoke cigarettes in the future. Click here to visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more information

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My Child Tried Drugs. What Should I Do?

Partnership to End Addictionwww.drugfree.org If you’ve just discovered or have reason to believe your child is using substances, the first thing to do is sit down and take a deep breath. We know this is scary, but you’re in the right place. Take a beat and prepare yourself for the important conversations ahead. Some brief preparation now can lay a foundation for more positive outcomes ahead. Click here for resources available through Partnership to End Addiction.

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All Hands on Deck Needed to End the Opioid Crisis

By: Rob Chambers, President, American Council on Addiction and Alcohol ProblemsTownhall October 30, 2019 The United States is currently fighting one of the worst addiction problems in its history by way of the opioid crisis. While many Americans are aware of its existence, few likely understand the ongoing issues surrounding this large-scale public health emergency and the extent to which it is undermining the foundations of our great country. The human and financial toll of this crisis is staggering. In 2018 alone over 47,000 people died from opioid-related overdoses. Meanwhile, a recent analysis from the Society of Actuaries found that over a four-year period from 2015 to 2018, the total economic cost of the opioid crisis was $631 billion. This crisis is also destroying families and stretching social service programs to the brink. During that same four-year period, an additional $39 billion was spent on child and family assistance programs and education programs. Every day children

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Teens and Vaping

getsmartaboutdrugs.gov Vaping marijuana continues to dramatically increase in popularity among teens, according to numbers from the latest Monitoring the Future study. “Vaping” is the use of an e-cigarette to inhale vapors from nicotine, marijuana or flavorings. About 37 percent of 12th graders admitted to “vaping” within the last year; an increase from 27.8 percent in 2017. In addition, 13.1 percent of 12th graders reported vaping marijuana within the past year — an increase from the 9.5 percent in 2017. Researchers have been conducting this survey each year since 1975. This year, they surveyed over 44,000 8th, 10th, and 12th graders across the country about their drug use. Click here for more information.

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Lung Illnesses Associated with Use of Vaping Products

www.fda.gov FDA Statement on consumer warning to stop using THC vaping products amid ongoing investigation into lung illnesses – October 4, 2019 Both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are working tirelessly to investigate the distressing incidents of severe respiratory illness associated with use of vaping products. The FDA and CDC are working closely with state and local health officials to investigate these incidents as quickly as possible, and we are committed to taking appropriate actions as a clearer picture of the facts emerges. While the work by federal and state health officials to identify more information about the products used, where they were obtained and what substances they contain is ongoing, the FDA is providing consumers with some information to help protect themselves. Click here for more information.

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Lung Injuries From Vaping Look Like Toxic Chemical Exposure: Report

OCTOBER 3, 2019www.drugfree.orgBY PARTNERSHIP NEWS SERVICE STAFF Doctors who examined lung tissue from patients suffering from vaping-related lung illnesses report the damage resembles exposure to toxic chemicals. In this week’s New England Journal of Medicine, doctors from the Mayo Clinic write that the injuries look like those seen in people exposed to poisons such as mustard gas, a chemical weapon used in World War I, The New York Times reports. The doctors examined lung tissue from 17 patients who became ill after vaping nicotine or marijuana products. Two of the patients died. About 70 percent had a history of vaping marijuana or cannabis oils, the article notes. Scientists initially thought vaping-related lung injuries were caused by the oils being vaped, such as THC oil or vitamin E oil. But the Mayo Clinic researchers said they did not see any signs of oil accumulating in lung tissue. Lead researcher Brandon Larson said it is

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Teens and Young Adults Should Avoid E-Cigarettes, CDC Advises

BY PARTNERSHIP NEWS SERVICE STAFFwww.DrugFree.org The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is investigating at least 215 possible cases of severe lung disease associated with vaping. Teens and young adults should not use e-cigarettes, the agency said. Adults who do not currently use tobacco products should not start using e-cigarette products, the CDC advised. Cases of lung disease linked to e-cigarettes have been reported in 25 states, according to HealthDay. Additional reports of lung disease are being investigated by states to determine whether those illnesses are related to e-cigarette use, the CDC said. An adult in Illinois recently died after being hospitalized with a severe respiratory illness after vaping, the article notes. “In many cases, patients reported a gradual start of symptoms, including breathing difficulty, shortness of breath, and/or chest pain before hospitalization,” the CDC said in a statement. “Some cases reported mild to moderate gastrointestinal illness including vomiting and diarrhea,

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Some Schools Respond to Vaping with Treatment Instead of Punishment

May 30, 2019 by Partership News Service Staff Some schools are beginning to rethink their response to students’ e-cigarette use, emphasizing prevention and treatment over punishment, the Associated Press reports. One school district that has begun emphasizing prevention and treatment is the Conejo Valley Unified School District in Southern California. It recently stopped suspending students for a first vaping offense. Instead, students are sent to a four-hour Saturday class on the marketing and health dangers of vaping. For a second offense, students receive a one- or two-day suspension, combined with several weeks of a more intensive counseling program that includes parents. Atherton High School in Louisville, Kentucky has begun an intensive anti-vaping education program this year with the help of the American Association of Pediatrics. Teens learn about how e-cigarette companies have been marketing flavored products to them. It seems to be having an effect, said the school’s principal, Thomas Aberli. “You

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Colorado Court Complicates Life For Drug-Sniffing Dogs

National Public Radio www.npr.org The role of police dogs in Colorado to find drugs is changing. The state’s Supreme Court ruled last week that a dog trained to alert to marijuana cannot be used before an officer establishes probable cause. The ruling was over a 2015 arrest where a police dog alerted officers that drugs were inside a suspicious truck. Officers found drugs, a meth pipe and some residue. And the driver was convicted on two drug possession charges. Click here to read the article.

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Unapproved CBD products may not be as safe as they seem

Kenneth Finn, MD / Meds / May 26, 2019 In recent years, a flood of cannabis and cannabis-derived products like CBD have entered the market – often claiming to cure or treat an array of health issues and ailments. These products are everywhere, but there is little scientific evidence to support the hype that surrounds them. As a doctor, I’m deeply concerned at where this industry is heading – and the potential risks to patients and consumers. I urge my peers to take this issue seriously and stand with me in addressing these growing concerns. As doctors, we strive to alleviate suffering Most people are unfamiliar with my chosen specialty, known as physical medicine and rehabilitation medicine. My peers and I are called physiatrists. Together, we seek to restore the functional abilities and enhance the quality of life of people that face a wide range of physical, psychological or emotional

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Colorado Court Complicates Life For Drug-Sniffing Dogs

National Public Radio www.npr.org The role of police dogs in Colorado to find drugs is changing. The state’s Supreme Court ruled last week that a dog trained to alert to marijuana cannot be used before an officer establishes probable cause. The ruling was over a 2015 arrest where a police dog alerted officers that drugs were inside a suspicious truck. Officers found drugs, a meth pipe and some residue. And the driver was convicted on two drug possession charges. Click here to read the article.

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Chicago health commissioner: Big Tobacco is targeting our youth and we must stop them

BY DR. JULIE MORITA, OPINON CONTRIBUTOR The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently announced a crackdown on e-cigarette sales to minors, but before then, the city of Chicago had already taken matters into its own hands. The City Council passed an ordinance to require tobacco dealers to post warning signs at their doors about the health risks of e-cigarettes and other tobacco products. These signs, once designed and distributed, will also contain quit-line numbers to help our residents beat a nicotine addiction. The ordinance, introduced by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, reflects the nation’s growing understanding that e-cigarettes, also known as vaping products, are the latest effort by Big Tobacco to get our kids hooked on a risky and potentially deadly habit. To be sure, our country has made strides fighting tobacco use, with declining rates of smoking and lung cancer deaths. In Chicago, we have reduced cigarette smoking rates by high

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Alcohol advertisers warned of possible court action for flouting rules

By John Glenday Alcohol brands are being warned that they must be ready to face potential court action for conveying irresponsible messages to consumers through advertising, including the inadvertent targeting of underage drinkers. The warnings were made at a mental health and alcohol event where attendees raised fears of the growing embrace of influencer marketing, in which bloggers and celebrities are paid to promote brands on social media. Click here to read the article.

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50-State Analysis of Drug Overdose Trends: The Evolving Opioid Crisis Across the States (Infographics)

This set of two-page infographics uses estimates from SHADAC’s State Health Compare online data tool to explore the evolving opioid overdose epidemic across all 50 states and the District of Columbia, examining state variation in both the prevalence of opioid deaths and the types of opioids associated with these deaths. Additionally, due to growing concern and evidence that the opioid crisis may be expanding to other non-opioid illicit drugs, we have included data on drug overdose deaths from two types of drugs that are commonly involved in opioid overdoses: cocaine and psychostimulants, such as methamphetamine. [1],[2] The infographics highlight key findings for trends in drug overdose deaths from 2000-2017, show how each state’s overdose rates compare to the national average, and provide a high-level comparison of all 50 states’ overdose death rates broken down by each of the five drug types. Click here to access the analysis.

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Fentanyl now America’s deadliest drug, federal health officials say

Doyle Rice, USA TODAY Updated: 1:34 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2018 Fentanyl is now the deadliest drug in America, federal health officials announced Wednesday, with over 18,000 overdose deaths in 2016, the most recent year for which statistics are available. It’s the first time the synthetic opioid has been the nation’s deadliest drug. For the previous four years (2012 to 2015), heroin topped the list. On average, in each year from 2013 to 2016, the rate of overdose deaths from Fentanyl increased by about 113 percent per year. In fact, the report said that fentanyl was responsible for 29 percent of all overdose deaths in 2016, up from just 4 percent in 2011. Overall, more than 63,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2016, according to the new report, which was prepared by the National Center for Health Statistics, which is part of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This is

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How to Talk With Your Kids About Vaping [GUIDE]

Partnership for Drug-Free Kids Vaping’s popularity exploded seemingly overnight, and it took many parents and families by surprise. Vaping, or Juuling as it is often referred to by teens and young adults (named after a popular vape device called JUUL), is the inhaling and exhaling of an aerosol produced by using a vape device. According to the University of Michigan’s 2017 Monitoring the Future study, nearly 1 in 3 high school seniors tried vaping in the past year. Advertising is often geared toward teens and young adults, with brightly colored vape pens and thousands of flavors to choose from. Some kids vape marijuana, too. But for every story or article touting the benefits of vaping, there are an equal number raising concerns about the risks of vaping, especially for teens and young adults. We’ve created a vaping guide for parents to help you understand what vaping is, its appeal to youth and what research

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While Pro-Marijuana Forces in NC Prepare to Push for Legalization, State Lawmakers Should Look at Colorado’s Huge Costs

By L.A. Williams, Christian Action League Even as pro-marijuana forces in North Carolina are preparing to push for local-option legalization, officials in Colorado are being forced to face the high cost of their state’s embrace of cannabis. Colorado approved medical marijuana in 2000. The substance became legal for recreational use in 2014 with, pardon the pun, high hopes for big revenues. While the money has come in — $247 million in tax revenue for 2017 — it has gone out even more quickly. According to a Centennial Institute report issued late last year, for every dollar gained in tax revenue, Coloradans spent approximately $4.50 to mitigate the effects of legalization, with healthcare costs and those related to high school drop-outs among the largest price tags. Car accidents involving impaired drivers cost the state nearly $84 million, the report shows. Driving Under the Influence court costs for those who tested positive

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Esport betting platform gets license for video game gambling

By:  JAKE SEINER, AP Sports Writer https://www.centralillinoisproud.com Video gamers in the United States and elsewhere will soon be able to bet on themselves.  The live-betting esports platform Unikrn had its wagering license approved by the Isle of Man on Tuesday, clearing the way for users to legally gamble on competitive video games.  “There is finally a legitimate, regulated operator in the space that has a pretty comprehensive offering,” Unikrn CEO Rahul Sood told The Associated Press. “It’s huge.”  Unikrn immediately began rolling out to 20 countries a variety of online products, and will soon bring esports wagering to most of Europe, South Korea and other Asian countries, and parts of Latin America. Certain types of esports betting will also be available in the U.S.  Unikrn had previously only been licensed to provide real-money betting on esports in the U.K. and Australia.  In countries with legalized sports betting, Unikrn users will

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It’s high time we took a breath from marijuana commercialization

The Denver PostBy BOB TROYER | Guest Commentary In 2012 we were told Colorado would lead the nation on a grand experiment in commercialized marijuana. Six years later — with two major industry reports just released and the state legislature and Denver City Council about to consider more expansion measures — it’s a perfect time to pause and assess some results of that experiment. Where has our breathless sprint into full-scale marijuana commercialization led Colorado? Well, recent reports from the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, from Denver Health, from Energy Associates, from the Colorado Department of Revenue and from the City of Denver should be enough to give everyone in this race pause. Now Colorado’s youth use marijuana at a rate 85 percent higher than the national average. Now marijuana-related traffic fatalities are up by 151 percent. Now 70 percent of 400 licensed pot shops surveyed recommend that

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FORMER NYT WRITER’S NEW BOOK WARNS OF MARIJUANA, VIOLENCE, MENTAL ILLNESS

Parents Opposed to Pothttp://www.poppot.orgSEPTEMBER 25, 2018 EDITOR A former New York Times reporter and now a best-selling author, Alex Berenson has an important new book, Tell Your Children: The truth about marijuana, violence and mental health. Simon & Schuster will publish and release it on January 8, 2019. Indeed Berenson’s book promises to confirm the facts that we’ve been warning about: the marijuana-psychosis links; that pot use often makes people violent; that it leads to more crime, more overall drug abuse and more fatalities. As we try to “tell our children,” NO amount of marijuana use is worth the risks. The Inconvenient TruthAlmost no one is in prison for marijuana;A tiny fraction of doctors write most authorizations for medical marijuana, mostly for people who have already used;Marijuana use is linked to opiate and cocaine use. Since 2008, the US and Canada have seen soaring marijuana use and an opiate epidemic.

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Alcohol responsible for one in 20 deaths worldwide: WHO

AFP – Yahoo News Nina LARSON Geneva (AFP) – Alcohol kills three million people worldwide each year — more than AIDS, violence and road accidents combined, the World Health Organization said Friday, adding that men are particularly at risk. The UN health agency’s latest report on alcohol and health pointed out that alcohol causes more than one in 20 deaths globally each year, including drink driving, alcohol-induced violence and abuse and a multitude of diseases and disorders. Men account for more than three quarters of alcohol-related deaths, the nearly 500-page report found. “Far too many people, their families and communities suffer the consequences of the harmful use of alcohol through violence, injuries, mental health problems and diseases like cancer and stroke,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement. Drinking is linked to more than 200 health conditions, including liver cirrhosis and some cancers. Alcohol abuse also makes people

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Alcohol Outlets such as Liquor Stores are More Often Associated with Violent Crimes

Article ID: 700910 www.newswise.com Source Newsroom: Research Society on Alcoholism Newswise — Previous research has shown that violent crimes are associated with greater access to alcohol outlets. It is unclear, however, whether on-premise outlets such as bars, or off-premise outlets such as liquor stores, have a stronger association with violent crimes. This study used more precise measurement of outlet locations to examine associations between violent crimes and access to different types of alcohol outlets in Baltimore, Maryland. The researchers collected data on 1,204 alcohol outlets: 519 (43%) on-premise outlets, 264 (22%) off-premise outlets, and 421 (35%) outlets allowed to sell alcohol on-premise or packaged alcohol for off-premise drinking (this license is called “LBD-7”). Additional data in their analyses included the number of violent crimes from 2012 to 2016 (n=51,006), and social markers such as owner-occupied housing, median annual household income, drug arrests, and population density. Access to alcohol outlets that

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The Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado: The Impact

VOLUME 5 UPDATE 9/2018 the 2018 Rocky Mountain HIDTA report contains the most up-to-date facts on the impact of legal marijuana in Colorado. RMHIDTA has published annual reports every year since 2013 tracking the impact of legalizing recreational marijuana in Colorado. The purpose is to provide data and information so that policy makers and citizens can make informed decisions on the issue of marijuana legalization. This year (2018) RMHIDTA elected to provide an update to the 2017 Volume 5 report rather than another detailed report. Executive Summary Section I: Traffic Fatalities & Impaired Driving Since recreational marijuana was legalized, marijuana related traffic deaths increased 151 percent while all Colorado traffic deaths increased 35 percent. Since recreational marijuana was legalized, traffic deaths involving drivers who tested positive for marijuana more than doubled from 55 in 2013 to 138 people killed in 2017. This equates to one person killed every 2 ½

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‘The Chute’: The Newest Premium Area of Tiger Stadium

Michael Bonnette,  Assoc. Athletic Director/Communications BATON ROUGE – “The Chute,” the newest addition to Tiger Stadium, will be unveiled when LSU opens the 2018 home schedule against Southeastern Louisiana on Saturday, Sept. 8. The Chute will be open to any fan 21-years of age or older with a game ticket. Located on the ground level of the south side of Tiger Stadium, The Chute will give fans the opportunity to purchase beer and food while watching the game and highlights on a giant-screen HD video board and numerous HD televisions. Click here to read the rest of the article.

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Binge Drinking—Predictors, Patterns, and Consequences

Edited by Aaron M. White, Susan Tapert, and Shivendra D. Shukla NIAAA Binge drinking, broadly defined as consuming a large amount of alcohol in a short period of time, is a dangerous—and sometimes fatal—practice. Despite the adverse consequences associated with it, far too many people, particularly young adults, binge drink. The current issue of Alcohol Research: Current Reviews examines the predictors, prevalence, and patterns of binge alcohol consumption and its effects on health and well-being. Click here to read Binge Drinking – Predictors, Patterns, and Consequences.

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Apparent Per Capita Alcohol Consumption: National, State, and Regional Trends, 1977–2016

Surveillance Report #110 National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Division of Epidemiology and Prevention Research Alcohol Epidemiologic Data System HIGHLIGHTS: This surveillance report on 1977–2016 apparent per capita alcohol consumption in the United States is the 32nd in a series of consumption reports produced annually by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). The following are highlights from the current report, which updates consumption trends through 2016: • Per capita consumption of ethanol from all alcoholic beverages combined in 2016 was 2.35 gallons, representing a 0.9 percent increase from 2.33 gallons in 2015. • Between 2015 and 2016, changes in overall per capita consumption of ethanol included increases in 33 States, decreases in 12 States, and no changes in 5 States and the District of Columbia. • Analysis of overall per capita alcohol consumption by U.S. Census region between 2015 and 2016 indicated an increase of 1.3 percent in the Northeast, 0.4

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Young adults ‘drinking themselves to death,’ as alcohol-related liver disease deaths rise

By Jennifer Ortiz Front Page News Deaths from cirrhosis–the late stages of liver damage–jumped by 65 percent between 1999 and 2016. The biggest group of victims were people between the ages of 25 and 34 and the major cause was alcohol. (Getty Images) WASHINGTON — New data suggest young adults are drinking themselves to death, and Maryland is the only state in which the cirrhosis mortality rate is improving. According to data published in the journal BMJ, deaths from cirrhosis — the late stages of liver damage — jumped by 65 percent between 1999 and 2016. The biggest group of victims were people between the ages of 25 and 34 and the major cause was alcohol. In 2016, 11,073 people died due to liver cancer, double the number of such deaths in 1999. Cirrhosis can be caused by a virus like hepatitis C or fatty liver disease, and as liver

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A Spike In Liver Disease Deaths Among Young Adults Fueled By Alcohol

The following article also covers the rise in liver disease deaths among young adults: www.npr.org PAUL CHISHOLM Dr. Elliot Tapper has treated a lot of patients, but this one stood out. “His whole body was yellow,” Tapper remembers. “He could hardly move. It was difficult for him to breathe, and he wasn’t eating anything.” The patient was suffering from chronic liver disease. After years of alcohol use, his liver had stopped filtering his blood. Bilirubin, a yellowish waste compound, was building up in his body and changing his skin color. Disturbing to Tapper, the man was only in his mid-30s – much younger than most liver disease patients. Tapper, a liver specialist and assistant professor of medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School, tried to get the patient to stop drinking. “We had long, tearful conversations,” Tapper says, “but he continued to struggle with alcohol addiction.” Since then, the

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DRIVERS OFTEN DON’T SEE INTOXICATED PEDESTRIANS IN THE ROADWAY UNTIL IT’S TOO LATE

Walking drunk can be a deadly choice Jenni Bergal Birmingham News Stateline.org It’s 11 p.m. on a typical Saturday on U Street in Washington, and music is blaring from the glittery bars and clubs. Many of the partiers, decked out in their finest, will stick around until the bars close at 3 a.m., then pour out onto the sidewalks — and sometimes into the streets. “I’ve seen drunk people wandering into the street around 2 or 3 in the morning like zombies,” said Austin Loan, a bouncer checking IDs at Hawthorne, a restaurant with five bar areas and DJs on the weekends. “When you get drunk, you think you can rule the world. You may not be paying attention to anything else.” That could have deadly consequences. Whether they’re emptying out of bars, going home from football watch parties, or trying to get across the highway, drunken walkers are dying

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How Teenage Vaping Puts Structure in Place for Heroin and Cocaine Addiction

THE RAPID ADOPTION OF E-CIGARETTES HAS BEEN DRIVEN, AT LEAST IN PART, BY A HUGE JUMP IN THE POTENCY OF E-LIQUIDS. By Indra Cidambi, M.D.U.S. News & World Report CIGARETTE SMOKING AMONG teenagers is on the wane. While data show smoking among teenagers has dropped over the past few years, it’s not all good news. Teenagers are vaping nicotine instead. One in 8 – or 12 percent of – teenagers in New Jersey have tried e-cigarettes and/or hookah at least once. When cigarette smoking and nicotine vaping are added together, nicotine use may actually have increased. The rapid adoption of e-cigarettes has been driven, at least in part, by the huge jump in the potency of e-liquids (both nicotine and marijuana) used in vapes. Nicotine and marijuana act on the brain in ways similar to other substances of abuse and prime the brain for addiction to other potent drugs down

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Alabama’s Longtime Hostility to Gambling Shows Signs of Fading

By Alan Blinder BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Even more than its Bible Belt neighbors, Alabama has steadfastly resisted legalizing gambling for generations.  The clout of evangelical Christians helped make sure of it: Joe Godfrey, the top lobbyist for the state’s most powerful churches, once received an Inauguration Day promise from an influential politician that no proposal for gambling would make it through the State House while he was in office.  But the resistance is now openly fraying, suggesting that gambling is no longer a potent moral issue that animates voters and politicians the way it once did.  As the landscape shifts in Montgomery, the state capital, the consequences may reverberate across the South, where nearby states gladly rake in billions of dollars that Alabamians are not allowed to wager at home.  The Supreme Court opened a new front last month when it cleared the way for sports betting in any state

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How to Know if Your Kid is Vaping Marijuana — and What to Do About It

BY THE PARTNERSHIP Hardly a week goes by without another news article about vaping. In 2014, vaping was selected as Oxford Dictionary’s word of the year, beating out other candidates like “Bae” and “Budtender”. If they were picking a word today, it would more likely be JUUL or Juuling, the wildly popular “stealth vape” of adolescents. Juuling kids are vaporizing flavored e-juices with nicotine, but what about vaping marijuana? According to Monitoring the Future, an annual survey of nearly 50,000 adolescents, 3 percent, 8 percent and 10 percent of 8th, 10th, and 12th graders respectively had vaped marijuana in 2017. According to a study published by the American Academy of Pediatrics, e-cigarettes use may lead to marijuana initiation. The authors hypothesize that e-cigarette use may be a marker of risk-taking behaviors, and that e-cigarette users are more likely to smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol, which are associated with marijuana use.

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Marijuana and Opioid

The United States is currently experiencing what has commonly been referred to as the “worst drug epidemic in U.S. history.” As it stands today, the abuse of opioids, such as prescription opiates, heroin, and illegally manufactured fentanyl, is the leading cause of death for people under the age of 50 in the country. There are an estimated 115 deaths per day caused by opioid overdose with 16,000 deaths a year from prescription opioids alone. In light of this, there has been a lot of talk surrounding the relationship with marijuana and opioids. The only firmly established relationship in the literature is one showing that marijuana use can often be a precursor to opioid use. It’s true that most people who use marijuana don’t go on to misusing opiates, but it’s also true that most people who misused opiates used marijuana first. But the for-profit pot industry wants to say something

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Feds crack down on e-liquid packaging that looks like candy, juice boxes

By Laurie McGinleywww.washingtonpost.comMay 1, 2018 Federal regulators warned 13 companies that the way they market liquids used in cigarettes could entice dangerous ingestion by small children. (U.S. Food and Drug Administration)Federal regulators warned more than a dozen manufacturers, distributors and retailers Tuesday that they are endangering children by marketing e-cigarette liquids to resemble kid-friendly products such as juice boxes, candy and whipped cream. The Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission said the packaging of the products — some of which feature cartoonlike images — could mislead children into thinking the liquids, which can be highly toxic if swallowed, are actually things they commonly eat and drink. “E-liquids,” as they are called, are typically a mix of nicotine, flavors and other ingredients. Ingesting them can cause nicotine poisoning — and even death — for small children, experts say. The government cited a recent analysis that found between January

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Publications from SAMSHA

Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration5600 Fishers Lane | Rockville, MD 208571-877-SAMHSA-7 (1-877-726-4727) www.samhsa.gov Tips for Teens fact sheets provide information about the effects of short- and long-term use of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and inhalants. These insightful and easy-to-read brochures provide important facts teens need to know, answer frequently asked questions, and help to dispel common myths about each of the substances covered. Tips for Teens: The Truth About CocaineCocaine is a white powder that can be snorted or dissolved in water and injected to cause a brief high. Cocaine is highly addictive and affects both the brain and body. It can increase the risk of paranoia, anxiety, and psychosis and change emotions. Inventory#: PEP18-01 Tips for Teens: The Truth About HeroinHeroin can be a white or dark brown powder or a black tar, and is often mixed with other substances that can make it even more dangerous. Heroin

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Senate Resolution, SR109

Senate Resolution, SR109, passed by the Alabama Senate during the 2018 Regular Session of the Alabama Legislature, was an important pro-life resolution. Newspapers and the mainstream media in our state seem to be ignoring this resolution, but ALCAP wants its supporters to know what the resolution states. Please share this resolution with others. Click here for a printable copy of SR109 CONDEMNING THE VOTE AGAINST THE PAIN-CAPABLE UNBORN CHILD PROTECTION ACT WHEREAS, The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 36) which the United States Senate recently voted upon would have provided nationwide protection from abortion for unborn children who are capable of feeling pain, beginning at 20 weeks fetal age; and WHEREAS, only three months ago, the junior Senator from Alabama, when attempting to persuade conservative and moderate voters in Alabama to vote for him stated “the law for decades has been that late-term procedures are generally restricted except in

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“You Pay Even If You Don’t Play.” Debunking Gambling Proponents Top Arguments with National Policy Expert Les Bernal

Nate Grasz  Capitol Connection Episode 68  You’ve likely heard about all the money Nebraska is “losing” every year to casinos across the Missouri River in Iowa. Now, proponents of expanding gambling in Nebraska are saying the losses will worsen and the state will lose even more money if Nebraska lawmakers don’t legalize sports betting.  If people are already gambling, shouldn’t we capitalize on increased tax-revenue and legalize casinos in Nebraska? Couldn’t the state use this revenue to pay for education, gambling addiction funds, and lower property taxes? Should Nebraska legalize sports betting? Wouldn’t legalizing more forms of gambling eliminate illegal gambling?  While these questions and arguments are recycled every year, it’s important to know the facts and realities of state-sponsored gambling. Hear the answers to these questions and why every citizen – especially Nebraskans –  should care about what their state decides to do with gambling on this week’s Capitol

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Trends in NCAA Student-Athlete Gambling Behaviors and Attitudes

Executive Summary November 2017 Findings: Overall rates of gambling among NCAA men have decreased.  Fifty-five percent of men in the 2016 study reported gambling for money within the past year, compared to 57% of respondents in the 2012 study and 66% in 2008.  As in the general population (college-aged and otherwise), women engage in nearly all gambling activities at much lower rates than men.  Over the 12-year period studied, participation in most gambling activities decreased among all student-athletes despite the expansion of land-based and online gambling opportunities during this time. However, in contrast to activities such as poker or online casino games, sports wagering remains popular among student-athletes.  In 2016, 24% of men reported violating NCAA bylaws within the previous year by wagering on sports for money (9% reported wagering on sports once per month or more).  These rates are just slightly lower those seen in the 2008 and 2012

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Juul e-cigs: The Controversial Vaping Device Popular on School Campuses

Josh HafnerUSA TODAY NETWORKOctober 31, 2017 A new vaping device that’s “gone viral” on high school and college campuses doesn’t look like a vaping device at all, and its popularity has adults wondering what can be done to address it. The Juul vaporizer (stylized as “JUUL”) looks like a USB flash drive. It even charges when plugged into a laptop. It’s small enough to fit inside an enclosed hand, and comes with flavors like creme brulee, mango and fruit medley, all of which are too “kid friendly” for U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer’s taste. The rise of “gadgets like Juul, which can fool teachers and be brought to school, demands the FDA smoke out dangerous e-cigs and their mystery chemicals before more New York kids get hooked,” Schumer, a Democrat from New York, said in a statement this month. Click here to read the full article.

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New ads accuse Big Tobacco of targeting soldiers and people with mental illness

By William Wan Truth Initiative, a leading tobacco-control nonprofit, has bought TV ads to run this Sunday during MTV’s Music Awards that accuse tobacco companies of purposely targeting mentally ill people and U.S. soldiers. The ads focus on this stark but little known fact: Roughly 40 percent of cigarettes sold in the U.S. are smoked by people with mental health issues, including depression, anxiety or substance-abuse problems. The ads also note that 38 percent of military smokers start after enlisting. Robin Koval, chief executive of Truth Initiative, accused tobacco companies of exploiting the mentally ill and military for profit. “As the number of smokers drops, the industry is finding it harder and harder to find those replacement smokers,” Koval said in an interview. “So the industry is targeting people based on their challenges in life, on who they are. It’s shocking and appalling.” Click here to read the full article.

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Nonresistance to Alcohol Compromises Marijuana Resistance

By Dr. Mark Creech Executive Director Christian Action League of North Carolina The votes for advancing alcohol sales across the Tar Heel state were alarming this year. A total of 27 alcohol referendums were held in Alexander, Bertie, Burke, Camden, Cleveland, Davidson, Davie, Gaston, Haywood, Johnston, and Stanly counties. Every referendum succeeded with votes in favor of greater access to alcohol besting limited sales by an average of 62.3% to a 37.1% margin. It used to be 30 to 40 years ago, if there was an alcohol referendum on the ballot in some city or town in North Carolina, nearly every mainline church would join forces to defeat it. There was a general consensus among churches that easier access to alcohol was inherently problematic, bringing with it hosts of social problems. Today, however, it’s difficult to find a handful of churches willing to oppose an alcohol referendum. Thus, the primary

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Thrasher bans all Greek life on campus (with video)

Tallahassee Democrat  www.tallahassee.com by Byron Dobson Florida State University President John Thrasher has indefinitely suspended all fraternities and sororities effective immediately. The suspension follows the death of 20-year-old Andrew Coffey, a Pi Kappa Phi pledge, and the recent arrest of 20-year-old Garrett John Marcy, a Phi Delta Theta fraternity member who is accused of selling cocaine. “For this suspension to end, there will need to be a new normal for Greek life at the university,” Thrasher said in his statement. “There must be a new culture, and our students must be full participants in creating it.” All fraternity and sorority chapters are prohibited from holding new member events, chapter meetings, chapter organized tailgates, socials, philanthropy, retreats, intramurals and organized participation in Market Wednesday and Homecoming. . A ban on alcohol has also been issued at all Recognized Student Organization events during the interim suspension. “All of our student organizations –

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Gambling or skill? Alabama lawmakers ponder whether to turn fantasy sports into a reality

By John Sharp www.al.com Is fantasy sports gaming a battle of wits and smarts that’s worthy of free-market protection? Or is it just dolled-up digital gambling that deserves being outlawed? Josh Adams, following the debate in Montgomery from 50 miles away, can speak to the questions as well as anyone in the country.  Adams, 38, who lives in Auburn, is already nationally known for his views on the matter.  In the past two years, both the New York Times and the PBS show “Frontline” have come to talk to Adams, a recovering gambling addict, featuring him in deeply-reported stories about fantasy sports gaming and the risky obsessions associated with it.  “I want people in Alabama to be able to play daily fantasy sports,” Adams, who works for an entertainment production company in Opelika, said in an interview this week with AL.com. “Most people can play responsibly.”  And for people who

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Dripping’ may be a new, dangerous trend for teens who vape

Ryan W. Miller , USA TODAYFebruary 6, 2017 One in four high school teens who have used e-cigarettes have also tried a potentially dangerous new vaping method called “dripping” — dropping e-cigarette liquid directly onto the hot coils of the device to produce thicker, more flavorful smoke — a new study found. “Dripping,” which differs from normal e-cigarette use that slowly releases the liquid from a wick onto a hot atomizer, may expose users to higher levels of nicotine and to harmful non-nicotine toxins, such as formaldehyde and acetaldehyde — known carcinogens. Sixty-four percent of the surveyed teens said they dripped for the thicker smoke, 39% for the better flavor and 28% for the stronger throat hit or sensation, according to the study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics. “When people smoke cigarettes, they say they smoke it for, for lack of a better word, a tingling in the back

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Dripping’ may be a new, dangerous trend for teens who vape

Ryan W. Miller , USA TODAY One in four high school teens who have used e-cigarettes have also tried a potentially dangerous new vaping method called “dripping” — dropping e-cigarette liquid directly onto the hot coils of the device to produce thicker, more flavorful smoke — a new study found. “Dripping,” which differs from normal e-cigarette use that slowly releases the liquid from a wick onto a hot atomizer, may expose users to higher levels of nicotine and to harmful non-nicotine toxins, such as formaldehyde and acetaldehyde — known carcinogens. Sixty-four percent of the surveyed teens said they dripped for the thicker smoke, 39% for the better flavor and 28% for the stronger throat hit or sensation, according to the study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics. “When people smoke cigarettes, they say they smoke it for, for lack of a better word, a tingling in the back of the

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Alabama Christian leader warns ‘Illegal gambling is again taking over this state’

by Cliff Sims MONTGOMERY, Ala. — The leader of an interdenominational organization that lobbies the Alabama legislature on behalf of the Christian community issued a stern warning on Tuesday: “Illegal gambling is taking over this state.” Dr. Joe Godfrey is the executive director of the Alabama Citizens Action Program (ALCAP), an almost 80-year-old organization that describes itself as “Alabama’s moral compass” and has long been one of the state’s most active anti-gambling groups. Dr. Godfrey’s latest comments came in response to the imminent re-opening of VictoryLand, a Macon County casino that has opened and closed time and again since 2010 when the State first raided the facility and seized its electronic bingo machines. Alabama’s Constitution contains amendments declaring gambling illegal statewide, but also includes other county-specific amendments legalizing certain types of gambling — most notably “bingo” and dog racing — in a handful of counties, while they remain forbidden in

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An ‘advisory council’ on gaming?

Guest Voices, www.al.com By Eunie Smith, Eagle Forum of Alabama; Joe Godfrey, ALCAP; and A. Eric Johnston, Southeast Law Institute  On October 3, 2016, Governor Robert Bentley announced he was appointing an advisory council on Gaming. Among the reasons reported is that it was necessary to resolve ongoing disagreements over electronic bingo, to resolve disputes and controversy that have existed for years on gambling, to avoid selective enforcement of gambling laws, to settle a lack of consensus among the judiciary and determine best practices from other states.  In the Governor’s wisdom, all of this needs to be reviewed and then presented to the people for a vote. In other words, the Governor is now working for gambling interests in this state and he expects the Council to advise a repeal of that provision in the Alabama Constitution which prohibits games of chance. In the process, the Governor will discover a

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The World View in 5 Minutes

By Adam McManusJoe Godfrey, Executive Director of Alabama Citizens Action Program, spoke to The World View about the suspension of Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore who dared to affirm traditional marriage in the face of the Obergefell Supreme Court decision last June. “I am not surprised by the suspension of Judge Moore, but I’m very disappointed because I feel that it was an attack on religious liberty in America. I admire Judge Moore for his stance — that marriage is between one man and one woman – because, in this case particularly, he was standing on constitutional law.” Godfrey is hopeful that Chief Justice Moore will be exonerated and restored to his former position by his former colleagues. “It is my hope that the Alabama ​State ​Supreme Court will overturn the decision of the Court of the Judiciary. But my sense of the likelihood of that happening is

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Study Links Teens’ Exposure to Alcohol Ads and How Much of Those Brands They Drink

BY PARTNERSHIP NEWS SERVICE STAFF Home https://drugfree.org/ September 8th, 2016 A new study finds a link between teens’ exposure to alcohol ads and how much of those brands they drink. Researchers at Boston University studied more than 1,000 13- to 20-year-olds who said they had consumed alcohol in the past month. Underage drinkers who didn’t see any alcohol ads drank about 14 drinks per month, compared with 33 drinks for those who had seen an average amount of alcohol ads, CNN reports. The findings appear in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. “I think one of the implications for the broader society is that currently our controls on television advertising for alcohol are minimal and they’re self-regulatory, so I think we should definitely tighten up that seam,” said lead researcher Timothy Naimi, MD, MPH.

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Parents of teen fatally hit by vehicle files wrongful death lawsuit against Pelham Hooters

www.shelbycountyreporter.com By Briana Harris PELHAM – The family of a teenager who was hit and killed by a vehicle in front of a Hooters restaurant in Pelham has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the restaurant chain because of alleged liquor law violations that led to the teen’s death. Shortly after Ryan Rohr, 18, left Hooters with friends on May 25, a vehicle fatally hit him while crossing Cahaba Valley Road (Alabama 119), according to a lawsuit filed in Shelby County Circuit Court by Birmingham-based firm Cory Watson Attorneys on behalf of Rohr’s parents. According to the lawsuit, the impact propelled Rohr’s body about 30 feet down the road. The lawsuit seeks unspecified punitive damages from Hooters of Pelham LLC and Hooters of America LLC. A jury will determine the amount if Rohr’s family wins the lawsuit. The suit claims that waiters at Hooters served Rohr alcohol without asking him

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REPORT: MARIJUANA COMMERCIALIZATION FAILING IN COLORADO

Click here for the supplement to the following report, “The Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado The Impact, Volume 3.” Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (RMHIDTA) report shows significant increases in traffic fatalities, child poison control exposures, hospitalizations, youth use, amongst other alarming data, detailing how Colorado’s experiment with retail marijuana regulation is a public health and safety failure. DENVER, CO – The Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (RMHIDTA) has released its updated report, “The Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado The Impact, Volume 3,” which outlines the most alarming data to date, demonstrating how Colorado marijuana legalization policies have harmed public safety and health. Click here for a pdf copy of this report. Highlights from the report show serious changes since 2014, when retail marijuana businesses began operating in Colorado, including: Traffic deaths:  A 32 percent increase in marijuana-related traffic deaths in just one year from 2013

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Lottery Not the Answer

Lottery Not the AnswerTHOUGHTS By Bob Terry When Gov. Robert Bentley announced his support for a state-run lottery in Alabama he sounded as if he had found some magical cure for all the ills of the state. He promised a state-run lottery would be a “permanent solution” to the state’s financial problems. Bentley said taxes would never have to be raised if a lottery were approved because the state-sponsored gambling scheme would “provide funding we can count on for year after year.” Like other advocates of this get-rich-quick scheme, Bentley’s words are as hollow and misleading as those of all the gambling crowd with which he has now aligned himself. Look at the experience of Missouri, a state with a lottery for the past 30 years. Originally lottery proceeds went to the state’s General Fund but in 1992 voters specified that all lottery proceeds go to education. Despite the earmarked

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ALCAP Alert Dated 8/4/2016

COMMENTARY ON THE LOTTERY FROM ALCAP BOARD MEMBER DON WALLACE, CPA We must call into question how much the lottery will siphon from the Education Trust Fund, etc. and tell Alabama Legislators NO. For example, if I spend $100 on goods then $4 in Sales Tax Revenue goes to schools. If I now spend $25 of that money on a “get-rich-quick” lottery scheme, then only $3 goes to the Education Trust Fund. Based on the Governors “lofty expectations” this would mean $12 million dollars in tax revenue diverted from the Education Trust Fund, as well as the lost revenue to local cities, counties, and local school tax revenues generated from the other 5-6% of sales tax that doesn’t go to the state. EASILY, THE GOVERNOR’S PLAN DIVERTS AT LEAST $30 MILLION FROMTHE EDUCATION TRUST FUND AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT BUDGETS. Speaking from client experience, the lottery hurts the small business as

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CLEARING THE HAZE

http://gazette.com The Colorado Springs, Colorado newspaper The Gazette kicks off a four-day perspective series, “Clearing the Haze,” that examines health, social, regulatory and financial issues associated with the world’s boldest experiment with legal marijuana. CLICK HERE TO START WITH DAY 1: REGULATION “… The ugly truth is that Colorado was suckered. It was promised regulation and has been met by an industry that fights tooth and nail any restrictions that limit its profitability. ”– Ben Cort, Director of Professional Relations for the Center for Addiction Recovery and Rehabilitation at the University of Colorado Hospital

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GordonDrugAbusePrevention.com

The GordonDrugAbusePrevention.com website has been created as a public service to help address the problem of the use of marijuana and other mood- and mind-altering substances in the United States and around the world. A purpose is help inform the public, the media, and those in positions of public responsibility of the challenges facing the nation as a result of the widespread use of psychoactive and mood-altering substances, particularly marijuana and designer drugs. Click here for lists of references and resources on Marijuana, key legal developments, presentations, testimony, articles, reports, and open letters.

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ALCAP ALERT DATED 7/29/2016

Governor Bentley announced this morning that he is calling for the Special Session of the Alabama Legislature to consider a constitutional amendment allowing Alabama to vote on a state-sponsored lottery will begin August 15. Please contact your House Member and State Senator and let them know that you oppose this government scheme that has failed in every state where it has been enacted! I am asking you to do the following: 1) Contact your House Member and State Senator and ask him/her to oppose any pro-gambling legislation during the Special Session and get others to do the same. 2) Order the EDUCATION EDITION of a new documentary entitled, “OUT OF LUCK.” Be sure to order the EDUCATION EDITION because that version drops the sound when foul language is used. The original version contains some offensive language at different times during the movie. The movie is 1 hour and 45 minutes,

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Southern Baptist leader questions Gov. Bentley’s motives for lottery push

By Greg Garrison | [email protected] The Rev. Joe Godfrey, executive director of ALCAP, will lead churches in the fight against a state lottery in Alabama. Southern Baptists have been fighting gambling since the days of brush arbor revivals across the South. They remain some of the staunchest opponents of gambling, believing it promotes immorality and hurts the poor. Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley, who took office flouting his reputation as a staunch Southern Baptist upholder of morality, has now called for a special session to consider a state lottery. The minister assigned to lead the Southern Baptist fight against gambling in Alabama questions Bentley’s motives. “Either his morals are not as strong as he claims they are, which we’ve already seen, or this is a distraction from the scandal,” said the Rev. Joe Godfrey, executive director of the Alabama Citizens Action Program, an anti-gambling lobby supported by the Alabama Baptist Convention.

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Secondhand marijuana smoke damages blood vessels more than tobacco smoke

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWShttp://news.heart.org Secondhand marijuana smoke may damage your blood vessels even more than tobacco smoke. In a new study, arteries in rats that inhaled secondhand marijuana smoke for one minute carried blood less efficiently for at least 90 minutes. Similar exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke caused blood vessel impairment for 30 minutes. “While the effect is temporary for both cigarette and marijuana smoke, these temporary problems can turn into long-term problems if exposures occur often enough and may increase the chances of developing hardened and clogged arteries,” said Matthew Springer, Ph.D., study senior author and professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco’s Division of Cardiology. Click here to read the rest of the article.

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Alcohol Is Even Deadlier Than You Think, Scientist Reminds Us

IF YOU’VE RECENTLY HAD A DRINK, WE HAVE SOME TERRIBLE NEWS FOR YOU. http://www.huffingtonpost.com An opinion piece published in the scientific journal Addiction in July gathers evidence to argue that alcohol is a direct cause of cancer in several areas of the body. The article reviews 10 years’ worth of studies from several organizations, including the World Cancer Research Fund, the American Institute for Cancer Research and the International Agency for Research on Cancer. And its conclusions are dire. Nearly 6 percent of cancer deaths worldwide can be linked to alcohol, including in people who drink light to moderate amounts of alcohol, according to author Jennie Connor, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Otago in New Zealand. “From a public health perspective,” she writes, “alcohol is estimated to have caused approximately half a million deaths from cancer in 2012.” Click here to read the rest of the article.

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A DANGEROUS MIX

AAA research suggests legalizing marijuana for recreational use poses risks to traffic safetywww.alabama.aaa.com This election year, voters in five states will decide whether to legalize recreational marijuana use. Among them are California with Proposition 64 and Maine with Question 1. Any states that do will join the four others where the drug is already legal for recreational use. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety analyzed cannabis use by drivers in one of those states, Washington, and found that the proportion of drivers involved in fatal crashes who had recently used marijuana more than doubled after Washington legalized the drug for recreational use. In addition, there’s currently no easy way to test whether a driver is impaired by marijuana: Unlike alcohol, it can’t be determined by breath or blood tests. Click here to read the rest of the article.

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The Dark Side of Medical Marijuana’s Miracle Elixir

by Amanda Chicago Lewiswww.buzzfeed.com CERTAIN COMPOUNDS IN CANNABIS HAVE SERIOUS MEDICAL POTENTIAL FOR EVERYONE FROM CANCER PATIENTS TO CHILDREN SUFFERING FROM SEIZURES. BUT PATIENTS AND PARENTS HAVE NO WAY TO DISTINGUISH THE SNAKE OIL SALESMEN FROM THE TRUSTWORTHY COMPANIES. Now that 38 states have legalized some form of cannabis, many people assume the plant’s therapeutic uses are being carefully regulated, dosed, and studied. This is not the case. Marijuana is still illegal everywhere under federal law, which prevents the agencies that would traditionally provide oversight from getting involved. Consumers have no way to know for sure what they are actually buying. Click here to read the article.

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Smoking cannabis ALTERS your DNA ‘causing mutations that can trigger serious illness, including cancer’

By Lizzie Parry For Dailymail.com Smoking cannabis alters a person’s DNA, causing mutations, experts say These mutations can trigger serious illness, including cancer Mutations passed to children and future generations, raising their risk too = Smoking cannabis can alter a person’s DNA, causing mutations that expose a user to serious illnesses, experts have warned. Furthermore, the heightened risk is not exclusive to the marijuana user, a study has shown. The disease-causing mutations are passed on to their children, and several future generations, it has emerged. Though the link between cannabis and severe illnesses, such as cancer, has previously been documented, how this occurs and the implications for future generations was not well understood. Dr Stuart Reece, and Professor Gary Hulse from the University of Western Australia’s School of Psychiatry, analyzed literary and research material to understand the likely causes. Dr Reece said: ‘Through our research we found that cancers and

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2016’s Most Gambling-Addicted States

by Richie BernardoApril 25, 2016https://wallethub.com Gambling exists in every state — even Hawaii and Utah, where gambling is prohibited by law — but not everyone gambles the same. First, there are “recreational” or “social” gamblers who might, for instance, buy the occasional scratcher, take the rare casino trip or bet small stakes in fantasy sports. But they also possess the mental capacity to quit at any point and prevent catastrophic financial loss. Then there are “professional” gamblers — the likes of math genius Edward Thorp and high-stakes sports bettor Bill Krackomberger — who gamble well enough to make a living out of it while separating work from personal life. But when the business or pleasure gets out of control, gambling becomes a real medical condition. Gambling disorder, as the affliction is known, affects slightly more than 2 percent of all U.S. adults. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Gambling can stimulate

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Simulated gambling games leading to real-life problem gambling, report says

By ABC Social Affairs Correspondent, Norman Hermant People who play simulated gambling games for free online are more likely to become problem gamblers in real life, according to a report from the Australian Gambling Research Centre (AGRC). Report’s key findings:Children are more exposed to gambling than ever beforeOnline games are blurring the lines between simulated and real gamblingThe games create unrealistic expectations about real-life gamblingThe report also said the easy access to free gambling games on smart phones and tablets was a major concern. The AGRC — part of Federal Government’s Australian Institute of Family Studies — said more and more people saw gambling as a part of everyday life and they were being exposed to gambling at younger ages than ever before. “Young people today are growing up around these electronic games,” said Anna Thomas, one of the authors of the Is It Gambling Or A Game? report. “This

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Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health

SAMHSA IS PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE THE RELEASE OF FACING ADDICTION IN AMERICA: THE SURGEON GENERAL’S REPORT ON ALCOHOL, DRUGS, AND HEALTH. THIS LANDMARK REPORT WAS DEVELOPED AS A COLLABORATION BETWEEN SAMHSA AND THE OFFICE OF THE SURGEON GENERAL. Today, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy published a landmark report on a health crisis affecting every community in our country. Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health is a comprehensive review of the science of substance use, misuse, and disorders. Nearly 21 million people in America have a substance use disorder involving alcohol or drugs, an astonishing figure that is comparable to the number of people in our country with diabetes and higher than the total number of Americans suffering from all cancers combined. But in spite of the massive scope of this problem, only 1 in 10 people with a substance use disorder receives

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The Hidden Costs of Marijuana Use in Colorado: One Emergency Department’s Experience

Kenneth Finn, MD, President Springs Rehab, PCRochelle Salmore, MSN, RN, NE-B, Nurse Scientist, Penrose St. Francis Health Services (retired) ABSTRACT Purpose: This study aims to assess potential health care costs and adverse health effects related to cannabis use in an acute care community hospital in Colorado, comparing study findings to those medical diagnoses noted in the literature. Little information is available about specific hospital health care costs, thus this study will add to the knowledge gap and describe charges and collections from visits of these patients in one hospital’s Emergency Department (ED). Objective: Review diagnoses of cannabis users visiting a local ED and outline the potential financial and health effects of these patients on the health care system. Design: An Institutional Review Board (IRB) approved retrospective observational study of patients seen in the ED from 2009 to 2014 with cannabis diagnoses and positive urine drug analyses (UDA) matched with hospital

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Women Starting to Match Men’s Drinking Habits

By ROBERT PREIDT HEALTHDAY November 25, 2015, 10:55 AM American women are catching up to men when it comes to using and abusing alcohol, a new government report shows. The researchers analyzed data from 2002 to 2012 and found that reported alcohol consumption in the previous 30 days rose among women, from almost 45 percent to more than 48 percent, while it fell among men, from slightly more than 57 percent to just over 56 percent. “We found that over that period of time, differences in measures such as current drinking, number of drinking days per month, reaching criteria for an alcohol use disorder, and driving under the influence of alcohol in the past year, all narrowed for females and males,” study leader Aaron White, senior scientific advisor to the director of the U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), said in an institute news release. “Males still

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Being Hung Over at Work Costs the U.S. $77 Billion a Year

NEW ESTIMATES SAY EXCESS ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION COST THE U.S. ECONOMY A QUARTER-TRILLION DOLLARS IN 2010. By John Tozzi http://www.bloomberg.com Drinking too much has well-known personal costs—headaches, nausea, and regrettable 4 a.m. text messages. The Centers for Disease Control has put a figure on how much it costs the American economy: $249 billion. That includes spending on health care as well as the economic toll of lost productivity, car crashes, crime, and deaths attributable to excessive alcohol consumption. The biggest economic drag from tipplers manifests in the workplace. Alcohol cost $77 billion in impaired productivity at work in 2010, according to the CDC’s breakdown published in the American Journal of Preventive Health. Adding in absenteeism and other factors, the total productivity toll from excess drinking approached $90 billion. That’s not counting losses from alcohol-related deaths. The CDC has previously estimated that one in 10 deaths of working-age Americans are caused by

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Can we please stop pretending marijuana is harmless?

The truth is it can indeed mean trouble, especially for young people.By Dr. Sushrut JangiThe Boston Globe These days, it’s become fairly square to criticize marijuana and its rush toward legalization. Twenty-three states have condoned the drug in some form, with four permitting recreational use, and Massachusetts is set to vote on permitting it next year. The proposed federal CARERS Act of 2015 would let states legalize medical marijuana without federal interference and demote pot from a Schedule I drug — one with high abuse potential — to Schedule II. The path toward nationwide decriminalization is looking unobstructed. But underscoring the incredible momentum to legalize marijuana is the misconception that the drug can’t hurt anybody. It can, especially young people. The myth that marijuana is not habit-forming is constantly challenged by physicians. “There’s no question at all that marijuana is addictive,” Dr. Sharon Levy tells me. She is the director of the Adolescent Substance

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LES BERNAL, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF STOP PREDATORY GAMBLING WITH DAN DAILY, CAPITOL JOURNAL

Recently, Stop Predatory Gambling’s national director, Les Bernal, was in Alabama helping ALCAP speak out against several pro-gambling bills that have been introduced in this 2015 Legislative Session.  He sat down with APT’s Dan Daily, host of the Capitol Journal, to discuss the issue.  The interview begins at nine minutes and thirty seconds (9:30) into the program.

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$14.4 million Medicaid fraud may be state’s largest ever

By Joe DugganWORLD-HERALD BUREAUwww.omaha.com LINCOLN — The pharmacist lost his composure in court Tuesday as he admitted to pulling off perhaps the biggest Medicaid fraud ever in Nebraska.As Scott Tran tearfully uttered the words “guilty, your honor,” he was confronted by the reality that he will spend up to 10 years in prison before spending the rest of his life trying to pay back the $14.4 million he stole from the state and federal health care program. “It’s the biggest one I’m aware of in Nebraska,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan Everett said after the hearing in U.S. District Court in Lincoln.Most of that staggering sum ended up in the casinos of Council Bluffs, according to Omaha attorney Clarence Mock, who represents Tran. His client once paraded as a high roller at the blackjack table, but he was really consumed by addiction, Mock said. Click here to read the rest of

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The Advice College Kids Aren’t Getting About Drinking

By: Lindsey Tanner Associated Press Government researchers say “deplorably” few college students are warned by doctors about the danger from alcohol and drugs or encouraged to reduce drinking or substance use. Their survey suggests that most doctors ask college students and other young adults about alcohol or drug use at regularly scheduled visits. But doctors don’t go much beyond that initial question less than half of the time. The study by National Institutes of Health researchers was published Monday in JAMA Pediatrics. Some highlights about the findings: THE SURVEY About 2,100 college students and other young adults across the country were asked in 2012 and 2013 if they’d seen a doctor in the previous year and had been asked and counseled about their drinking, smoking and drug use. Participants had taken part in an earlier government health survey while in high school. In the new survey, most attended college but

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REPORT: MARIJUANA COMMERCIALIZATION FAILING IN COLORADO

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (RMHIDTA) report shows significant increases in traffic fatalities, child poison control exposures, hospitalizations, youth use, amongst other alarming data, detailing how Colorado’s experiment with retail marijuana regulation is a public health and safety failure. DENVER, CO – The Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (RMHIDTA) has released its updated report, “The Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado The Impact, Volume 3,” which outlines the most alarming data to date, demonstrating how Colorado marijuana legalization policies have harmed public safety and health. Click here for a pdf copy of this report. Highlights from the report show serious changes since 2014, when retail marijuana businesses began operating in Colorado, including:Traffic deaths: A 32 percent increase in marijuana-related traffic deaths in just one year from 2013Driving under the influence: Toxicology reports with positive marijuana results of active THC for primarily driving under the

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Colorado Adult Marijuana Use Now Almost Double the National Average

Denver is home to the most number of marijuana stores – and leads the state with 18.5% of adults as current users (DENVER, CO) – A new statewide study funded by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment found that 13.6% of Colorado adults are regular users of marijuana – almost double the rate (7.4%) of the entire country, according to recent Health and Human Services studies. 1 in 5 marijuana users in the state also reported driving after using marijuana. DETAILS OF THE SURVEY INCLUDED: 1 in 3 users are daily users Black adults in Colorado are using at almost 50% higher than the state average for adults; Hispanics have the lowest use rates Low income Colorado adults are using at higher rates than the state average Almost a third of 18-24 year olds are using marijuana Almost a third of gay and lesbian adults are using marijuana

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Alabama religious leaders v. state alcohol laws. Who’s winning?

By Kay Campbell | [email protected]  Town by town, county by county, Alabama’s laws limiting or prohibiting the sale of alcohol have been falling – usually over the protests of at least some religious leaders. “The role of any pastor is that of a shepherd — to protect the people in the church, to evangelize, and to never condone or compromise with evil,” said Father James Henderson, a Charismatic Episcopal priest. “We don’t have a choice but to take the view that we have to stand against anything evil. New alcohol sales is one of those evils. I’m not going to say someone who drinks a glass of wine now and then is going to hell, but in a community like Priceville, if you have the choice to adopt it or not – it’s always better to not.” Even more than the changing laws, what worries the Rev. Joe Godfrey, executive

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Alabama lawmakers acquire taste for Sunday sales, draft beer

By Mike Cason | [email protected]  People in more than a dozen Alabama cities and six counties could soon be able to buy alcohol on Sunday or buy draft beer because of new legislation. The Alabama Legislature this year approved more than 20 bills to expand the availability of alcoholic beverages, mostly by allowing Sunday sales and draft beer in cities and counties where those were prohibited. That’s about twice as many alcohol bills as normal from lawmakers. In the previous 10 years, they never approved more than nine, according to the Legislature’s online bill tracking system. A lobbyist for a faith-based group watched the surge and says he’s disappointed to see more ways to sell a product that causes much misery. Click here to read the rest of the article.

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National study finds rising rate of marijuana exposure among children 5 years old, younger

Researchers urge states to put child safety requirements in place when considering marijuana legalization NATIONWIDE CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL Debates about legalizing marijuana have focused on crime rates, economic benefits, and health effects among adults. But a study published today from researchers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital shows that the risk to young children of swallowing, breathing in or otherwise being exposed to marijuana also needs to be considered. The study, published online today in Clinical Pediatrics, found that the rate of marijuana exposure among children 5 years of age and younger rose 147.5 percent from 2006 through 2013 across the United States. The rate increased almost 610 percent during the same period in states that legalized marijuana for medical use before 2000. In states that legalized marijuana from 2000 through 2013, the rate increased almost 16 percent per year after legalization, with a particular jump in the year that marijuana was legalized.

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NATIONAL STOP PREDATORY GAMBLING WEEK OF PRAYER

September 20-27 has been designated as the “National Stop Predatory Gambling Week of Prayer” by the national organization, Stop Predatory Gambling (SPG). ALCAP’s Director Emeritus, Dr. Dan Ireland, helped to organize this movement in the 1990s and ALCAP’s Executive Director, Dr. Joe Godfrey, currently serves on the Board of Directors. Given the fact that many Republican legislators are beginning to push the idea of expanding gambling in our state, we need for God’s people to fervently pray that God will help these legislators, opinion writers, business leaders and others to see that gambling is an evil force that can potentially hurt every citizen in our state. Gambling is both a moral issue and it is a failed public policy everywhere it has been tried – it does not work! Please go to www.ALCAP.com and www.StopPredatoryGambling.org to read the facts. ALCAP is calling on churches and concerned individuals to plan one

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Is That Legal?

The following article entitled, “Is That Legal?” was taken from the ivotevalues.org website. It provides pertinent information concerning what churches and pastors can and cannot do in order to maintain a local church’s tax-exempt status. Click here for the brochure “Is That Legal?” Good question! Many are confused about what is and what is not legal given the IRS restrictions on political activity by tax-exempt organizations. While it is impossible to lay out a definitive list of do’s and don’ts since the IRS interprets what is and isn’t legal, the resource below is offered for general guidelines: CHURCHES MAY DO THE FOLLOWING: Sermons on moral and social issues and civic involvement Educate on political process and political/social/legislative issues Distribution of candidate surveys and incumbent voting records (avoid editorial opinions and make sure they cover a wide range of issues) Encourage members to voice their opinions in favor or in opposition to certain legislation.*

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Keep the Drinking Age High

Tamika C. B. Zapolski Assistant professor of psychology at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis www.nytimes.com Alcohol use in the United States is a serious public health concern, particularly among teenagers and young adults. The key to preventing alcohol abuse is to communicate the risks, harm and disapproval of its use among young people. Recent results from a national survey found that by eighth grade, approximately 27 percent had used alcohol, which increased to 66 percent by 12th grade. Additionally, a second national survey indicated that among high school seniors, about 20 percent binge drank, consuming more than 5 drinks in one occasion, during the two-week period preceding the survey. Heavy drinking is associated with negative social, mental and physical health outcomes — including risk of violent behavior, sexual assault, accidents that cause injury, additional drug use, poor academics, legal troubles, and family and interpersonal problems. Those most likely to experience harm

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Jackpot fatigue keeps lottery sales in slump for 18 states

Michael Symons, Asbury Park (N.J.) Press 4:43 p.m. EDT May 26, 2015 TRENTON, N.J. — The New Jersey Lottery is suffering from jackpot fatigue, but the entire state budget is feeling run down. States with jackpot fatigue need increasingly bigger jackpots to lure in casual players who buy lottery tickets only when a prize is huge. People once impressed with a $100 million payout shrug until it reaches $300 million. Then fewer people play, so it takes longer to get to staggering prizes. Sales of Mega Millions and Powerball multistate games were down 30% through the end of March, New Jersey officials said. At that pace, sales of those games, which have accounted for around 15% of all New Jersey Lottery sales in recent years, would drop by $130 million this fiscal year. “It appears to be a national phenomenon,” said David Rosen, the Legislature’s budget officer. “Maybe it’s gambling

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FIRST-PERSON: Convoluted reasoning

by Jeff Iorg MILL VALLEY, Calif. (BP) — A very successful political consultant in the Bay Area, who has helped elect a number of local officials, was arrested and charged with multiple counts of child pornography earlier this month. At his arraignment, the evidence presented reportedly included some particularly heinous depictions of sexual acts involving children. The political fallout has been dramatic and immediate. Former clients, particularly those now in office, have rushed to outdo themselves with denials of any and all relationship with their former confidant. He is radioactive — political death to anyone associated with him. While his purported actions are deplorable, watching politicians scramble to find the moral high ground on this issue has been frustrating at best, comical at worst. They are applying a double standard to his behavior which reveals the convoluted reasoning prevalent in making and enforcing laws these days. In light of current

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Same-sex marriage now legal in Alabama

by Neisha Roberts/The Alabama Baptist MONTGOMERY Ala. (BP) — What once read “bride and groom” on Alabama marriage licenses now reads “spouse and spouse.” Gay “marriage” was made legal Feb. 9 after the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta did not issue an extended stay request from Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange’s office over a recent ruling by U.S. District Judge Callie V.S. Granade. The state waited in anticipation to see if the U.S. Supreme Court would step in to extend the stay, but the waiting ended in disappointment for those supportive of biblical marriage. The Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions voted unanimously at its Feb. 6 meeting to “express moral outrage, intense grief and strong disagreement over court rulings that have set our culture in a direction against the biblical definition of marriage” in its Resolution on Reaffirmation of Biblical Marriage. See related story. Rick Lance, ABSBOM

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Why Colleges Haven’t Stopped Binge Drinking

By BETH MCMURTRIE | THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION New York Times Despite decades of research, hundreds of campus task forces and millions invested in bold experiments, college drinking in the United States remains as much of a problem as ever. More than 1,800 students die every year of alcohol-related causes. An additional 600,000 are injured while drunk, and nearly 100,000 become victims of alcohol-influenced sexual assaults. One in four say their academic performance has suffered from drinking, all according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. The binge-drinking rate among college students has hovered above 40 percent for two decades, and signs are that partying is getting even harder. More students now drink to get drunk, choose hard liquor over beer and drink in advance of social events. For many the goal is to black out. Click here to read the rest of the article.

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Poarch Creeks open to Alabama gambling compact; say it’s up to governor to initiate

By Mike Casonwww.al.com MONTGOMERY, Alabama The vice chairman of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians said it’s up to the governor whether to open talks about an agreement to share revenue from expanded gambling. Robert McGhee said the tribe has not heard from state officials and has not contacted any since talk has bubbled up in recent weeks about a state-tribal gambling compact. “The Poarch Creeks will always be open to the possibility,” McGhee said. “It just depends on if it’s something that’s favorable for the tribe and the state.” Gov. Robert Bentley has said he expected a compact to be one proposed solution to the state’s General Fund budget problems. The governor has said he does not think gambling is a good way to fund government but that he’s open to considering a state-tribal compact and a lottery. Bentley spokeswoman Jennifer Ardis said today the governor has not made

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The Gospel, Homosexuality and the Future of Marriage

Dr. Joe Godfrey, Executive Director of ALCAP I had the opportunity to attend a conference October 27-29, 2014 in Nashville, TN that was hosted by the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. The conference title was, “The Gospel, Homosexuality and the Future of Marriage,” and it provided pastors and denominational leaders with a great deal of information and resource material that will help Christians deal with this issue in their churches and communities. Click here to watch the videos of the various sessions.

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State-run lottery grows government at the expense of the poor and uneducated: opinion

By Cameron Smith With budgetary challenges again facing the State of Alabama, politicians are mulling the idea of a state-run lottery to provide an infusion of cash. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Parker Griffith has actively campaigned for a lottery to fund education. Governor Robert Bentley has responded by discussing how the proceeds of a lottery should be spent in the event that the Alabama Legislature and the people of Alabama decide to permit a state lottery. The appeal of a lottery is clear. Consenting adults play a game of chance, and a portion of the proceeds fund government programs, education or otherwise. Unfortunately, the reality of a state-run lottery is far less convenient. The first problem is that state-run lotteries only return 20% to 40% of their sales for state programs. Consider the Missouri Lottery. In a state similar to Alabama in terms of population, the lottery generated slightly more than

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SPEECH OFHON. FRANK R. WOLFOF VIRGINIAIN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Mr. WOLF. Mr. Speaker, I have long been opposed to any expansion of legalized gambling and have continually sought to raise awareness of the dangerous economic and social costs of gambling. That is why I want to submit for the RECORD a statement I received from two of the foremost experts on the harms of state-sponsored gambling, Tom Grey, and the National Director of Stop Predatory Gambling, Les Bernal. Statement by Les Bernal, National Director, Stop Predatory Gambling and Tom Grey, Senior Advisor to Stop Predatory Gambling Today, we would seek to speak for the “losers.” The “losers” are those citizens sacrificed by our government in its failed experiment of sponsoring and promoting gambling to extract as much money as possible from the public. “Losers” isn’t a term we coined. That’s the word used by a slot machine designer at America’s biggest maker of electronic slot machines, International Gaming Technology

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Mixing alcohol and movie theaters stirs emotions: ‘Our children have nowhere to go’

By John Sharp [email protected]  September 09, 2014 www.al.com MOBILE, Alabama – A decision on whether to grant a liquor license to a west Mobile multiplex cinema to sell beer and wine is on hold for about one month so Mobile City Council members can address concerns from residents who fear mixing alcohol in a family-friendly establishment. Residents voiced their opposition before the council Tuesday on the proposed liquor license to Carmike Inc., to allow restricted beer and wine sales inside Wynnsong 16, 785 Schillinger Road South. Parents, a pastor and concerned citizens said the mix of alcohol into the theater could allow for dangerous driving along Schillinger Road, will be hard for authorities to monitor and hurts the family-friendly atmosphere of the movie complex, among other things. “Our children have nowhere to go,” Karen Swanson, a mother of a 19-year-old, said. “Everywhere he goes, there is alcohol. If he says

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Alcohol’s Effects On The Brain and Body

Alcohol is one of the most dangerous substances on the planet. Someone dies from alcohol use every ten seconds, and one night of binge drinking can take a huge toll on your immune system. Dr. Samuel Ball of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASAColumbia) reveals the myriad effects alcohol has on your brain and body

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Alabamians Get the Most Out of Their Alcohol Control System

By Mac Gipson Earlier this year, a Washington Post article hailed Alabama along with Alaska as “national leaders” when it comes to taxing alcoholic beverages. “They are the only states that claim a spot among the top five with the highest excise taxes each for beer, wine and spirits, according to the free market-oriented Tax Foundation,” the newspaper reported. That national ranking is something Alabamians should view with great pride. Not because we should feel glee in having high taxes. But because Alabama’s “sin taxes” are doing exactly what the vast majority of our citizens should want them to do: Raise badly needed revenue to help pay for essential state services, while helping control the consumption of alcohol and its negative consequences. Recently, using information from the Beer Institute, The Post took a look at the other side of the alcohol issue – consumption. As illustrated by a series of

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Alcohol is still the deadliest drug in the United States, and it’s not even close

By Harold Pollack Which intoxicating substance is associated with the most lethal violence? Devotees of the Wire might presume that cocaine or maybe heroin would top the list, especially if you asked the worst causes of violence in poor, minority communities. The correct answer, by far, is alcohol. It’s involved in more homicides than pretty much every other substance, combined. Alcohol’s relative importance has grown over the last fifteen years, as aging populations of cocaine users account for a declining proportion of violent crime. Here in Chicago, positive cocaine screens in the Cook County Jail are down by about half when compared with ten or twenty years ago. The same is true in many other cities. Surveys of people incarcerated for violent crimes indicate that about 40% had been drinking at the time they committed these offenses. Among those who had been drinking, average blood-alcohol levels were estimated to exceed

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SEC teams get Jell-O molds, but Baptist leader concerned they’ll be used for drinking games

By Greg Garrison August 07, 2014 With college football season arriving this month, Jell-O this week announced a different kind of ranking: a Top 20 list of teams that will have their own Jell-O Jigglers University Mold Kits. Eight Southeastern Conference teams made the cut. Alabama is on the list; Auburn is not. Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas A&M are also included. The non-SEC schools featured are Florida State, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, North Carolina, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, UCLA, USC and Wisconsin. “We are excited to fun up tailgates and viewing parties with our expanded line of University Mold Kits,” said Hermes Risien, Jell-O Brand Assistant at Kraft Foods, in a press release. Risien said that the choices were made using special marketing data, according to the Houston Chronicle. “We determined school choice by a combination of local retailer support and fan base to develop

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Adolescents Who Behave Aggressively Are More Likely to Abuse Alcohol

Adolescents who behave aggressively are more likely to abuse alcohol as compared to their peers, a team of Finish researchers stated.   Teenage aggression in high schools has been on the rise, leading researchers explored the complex predictors linked with youth aggression. Researchers at the University of Eastern Finland evaluated the association between psychological problems and alcohol use in 4074 Finnish adolescents aged between 13-18 years. They found that aggressive behavior increased adolescent drinking; however, they found no association between depression and anxiety to increased alcohol use. Around 60 percent of the total number of participants consumed alcohol. Among 15-year-olds, more than 50 percent reported consuming alcohol. However, no significant difference was noticed between alcohol use among boys and girls. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism stated that teens don’t drink alcohol often; but when they do, they drink more than adults. More often than not, teens indulge

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Alabama’s alcohol consumption pales in comparison to other states

BY CLIFF SIMS According to the Beer Institute (yes, that’s a real thing), there are over 21,000 Alabamians employed in alcohol industry-related jobs. The industry as a whole produces an estimated $2 billion economic impact on the state, including $465 million in annual tax revenue. But as massive as it sounds like the alcohol industry is in the Yellowhammer State, Alabamians as a whole actually consume a good bit less alcohol than citizens of most other states around the country, especially when it comes to hard alcohol. Thanks to a series of maps put together by the Washington Post, we can easily see how Alabama’s alcohol consumption stacks up. Click here to read the rest of the article.

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COALITION OPPOSING MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION LAUNCHES NATIONAL CAMPAIGN TODAY IN THE NEW YORK TIMES

By samadmin Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), co-founded by fmr. Congressman Patrick Kennedy, organizes broad coalition and responds to recent legalization editorial WASHINGTON– Project SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana), a nonpartisan alliance of lawmakers, scientists and other concerned citizens, chaired by former Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy and directed by former White House adviser Kevin A. Sabet, was joined by the American Society of Addiction Medicine and dozens of other groups in launching a new, full-page ad in the New York Times today in response to the recent pro-marijuana editorial. The ad – “Perception/Reality” – depicts a young laid-back man’s face (“perception”) juxtaposed over the body of high-powered business executive’s body (“reality”) implying that if America is not careful, we will soon have a very large, powerful marijuana industry on our hands. Below the image, the copy reads:“The legalization of marijuana means ushering in an entirely new group of corporations whose

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Minimum Legal Drinking Age Makes Johnny a Little Safer

By Dr. Mark Creech There is a great restaurant near my office that I visit for dinner at least five days a week.  The staff has become like family to me. When they’re not so busy, the servers will stop to talk for a little while, which is always nice. One young server, Johnny, seems to have taken an interest in my work and often parks himself next to my stool at the grill. He’s clean-cut, very well-mannered, and good at making conversation. He’s truly a likeable guy. Recently, during a time when Johnny wasn’t serving, I noticed there was a celebration going on in one of the back dining areas. Johnny soon came around the corner from that gathering to say he was enjoying himself with his family and a few friends in honor of his birthday. Johnny was now 21 years old. With rapturous joy, he hailed his

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Obama’s LGBT Executive Order Endangers Religious Liberty

President Obama signed an executive order Monday barring federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity – ignoring the pleas of Christian and other faith leaders to include an exemption for religious organizations. “Thanks to your passion and advocacy and the irrefutable rightness of your cause, our government – the government of the people, by the people and for the people – will become just a little bit fairer,” the president told a gathering in the White House. The executive order would prevent Christian and other religious organizations with federal contracts from requiring workers to adhere to the tenets of their religious beliefs. Christianity Today reports the order could impact religious non-profits such as World Vision, World Relief and Catholic Charities. Click here to read the rest of the article.

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Alcohol provides no heart health benefit: new multi-center study published in The BMJ and co-led by the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Results call into question previous studies suggesting one drink per day may promote cardiovascular health PHILADELPHIA – Reducing the amount of alcoholic beverages consumed, even for light-to-moderate drinkers, may improve cardiovascular health, including a reduced risk of coronary heart disease, lower body mass index (BMI) and blood pressure, according to a new multi-center study published in The BMJ and co-led by the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The latest findings call into question previous studies which suggest that consuming light-to-moderate amounts of alcohol (0.6-0.8 fluid ounces/day) may have a protective effect on cardiovascular health. Click on the following link to read the rest of the article: http://www.stonehearthnewsletters.com/alcohol-provides-heart-health-benefit-new-multi-center-study-published-bmj-co-led-perelman-school-medicine-university-pennsylvania/alcohol/

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Teens Drawn to Heavily Advertised Alcohol Brands: Study

TUESDAY, July 8, 2014 (HealthDay News) — The brands of alcohol favored by underage drinkers are the same ones that are heavily advertised in magazines read by young people, a new study reveals. The findings provide further evidence that alcohol ads can encourage young people to drink. They also show that the alcohol industry’s voluntary advertising standards are inadequate, according to the authors of the study in the July issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. “All of the ads in our study were in complete compliance with the industry’s self-regulatory guidelines,” lead researcher Craig Ross, of Virtual Media Resources in Natick, Mass., said in a journal news release. Click here to read the rest of the article.

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The Argument Against a Lottery… In the Words of Liberals

Alabama Citizens for Media AccountabilityMediaAccountability.org There has been a distinct resurrection of discussion in Alabama’s media about allowing a vote on a state lottery as we consider whom we will elect in November.Proponents of a state lottery argue that it is a way to make up the shortfall in higher education budgets, both providing for more scholarships and lowering tuition rates without directly increasing taxes. Many states, including our neighbor Georgia, have used the lottery to fund scholarships for qualifying college students as well as primary and secondary education classrooms. But are the promises of a lottery too good to be true? As much as lottery proponents in Alabama like to tout the benefits that may come from extending the lottery into our state, they are seemingly reluctant to share many of the negatives that often accompany lotteries. Interestingly enough, reporters at several liberal media outlets are more forthcoming in

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Drinking behind 1 in 10 deaths of working-age adults

One in 10 deaths among working-age adults between 2006 and 2010 were attributable to excessive drinking, researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report. A study published in Preventing Chronic Disease found that excessive alcohol use — which includes binge drinking, heavy weekly alcohol consumption and drinking while underage or pregnant — was responsible for approximately 88,000 deaths between 2006 and 2010. The lives of those who died were shortened by about 30 years. About 70% of those deaths were working-age adults between the ages of 20 to 64, said Mandy Stahre, epidemiologist at the Washington State Department of Health and author of the study. “We’re talking about a large economic impact, people who are contributing to society,” Stahre said. “They’re in the prime of their lives, whether they’re building up careers or midcareer. A lot of attention we tend to focus on is maybe college drinking or

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3.3 Million Deaths Due to Alcohol Consumption in 2012

UNITED NATIONS, May 12 (UPI) –Alcohol consumption was responsible for 3.3 million deaths worldwide in 2012, the World Health Organization said in a new report.  The report, which examined trends in 194 WHO member countries, noted Europe has the world’s highest per capita consumption rate of alcohol, although the rate has remained stable in the past five years. Drinking increased in Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific regions in that time. It noted alcohol-related mortality is more commonplace for men than women — with 7.6 percent of deaths among men and 4 percent among women globally related to excessive drinking. Yet a similar 2011 study found 6.2 percent of all male deaths and only 1.1 percent of female deaths involved alcohol, which suggests a more substantial increase for women in alcohol-related deaths. Click here to read the rest of the article.

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Powdered Alcohol: Potential Damage for Underaged

The federal government admitted Monday that its recent approval of Palcohol—a powdered alcohol which turns water into vodka and rum—was actually done in “error.”  The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau granted Palcohol “label approval” on April 8 only to withdraw it 13 days later. “TTB did approve labels for Palcohol,” it said in a statement. “Those label approvals were issued in error and have since been surrendered.”  Palcohol’s parent company Lipsmark said in a statement that “there seemed to be a discrepancy on our fill level, how much powder is in the bag” and that the approvals were surrendered on the afternoon of April 21. “This doesn’t mean that Palcohol isn’t approved,” it said. “It just means that these labels aren’t approved. We will re-submit labels.” Palcohol will have to resubmit labels for approval to the bureau, which is part of the Department of Treasury. To read more click

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Parents Influence Teens’ Drinking Decisions: Survey

Parents do have an influence on teens’ decisions about drinking, according to a new survey by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). Teens are much less likely to drink if their parents tell them underage drinking is completely unacceptable, the survey found. To read more click here.  

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Believe it or not, drinking isn’t the only way to consume alcohol: You can inhale it, too.

BY TYLER WELLS LYNCH It’s a method some parents found out about the hard way, when their kids overdosed on “smoked” booze, but it’s also a growing trend in high-end bars and restaurants. To the average drinker, it probably sounds pretty weird, but fans of e-cigarettes and oxygen bars will understand why this is an increasingly popular idea. Vapors contain few calories, carry virtually no impurities, and are absorbed directly into the bloodstream. That means you get drunk more quickly and more efficiently, though the speed of absorption does raise some legitimate health concerns. (We’ll get to those a little later.) The thing is, while these facts are pretty well-known, few care enough to concoct an elaborate heating vessel and carry it around with them just to get drunk a little more efficiently. Click here to read the rest of the article.

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Buying Liquor Could Get Way Easier

Huffpost Politics February 14, 2014 Pew’s Stateline  | by  Elaine S. Povich This piece comes to us courtesy of Stateline. Stateline is a nonpartisan, nonprofit news service of the Pew Charitable Trusts that provides daily reporting and analysis on trends in state policy.
 In Shrewsbury, Pa., near the Maryland state line, a square cinderblock building sports huge painted images of beer and soda bottles painted on the side. The sign on the private business reads, “Beer and Soda.” Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett and some state legislators would like to add “Liquor” to that. As it stands now, liquor is sold only in the approximately 600 stores run by the state. The latest push to privatize liquor stores in Pennsylvania is among several proposals in state legislatures this year dealing with the sale of liquor, wine and beer. A similar attempt in Pennsylvania failed last year, as it has before, amid legislative

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Why Marijuana Should Remain Illegal

by David Brumbelow(David is a pastor and author of “Ancient Wine and the Bible.” gulfcoastpastor.blogspot.com.) Washington State has become the second state to legalize marijuana. Christians need to be prepared to speak to this issue. REASONS TO OPPOSE MARIJUANA ARE HERE GIVEN IN THE FORM OF QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS. Marijuana is no more harmful than alcohol, and alcohol is legal.  Alcohol is America’s number one drug problem.  Why should we now unleash another harmful drug on America? When marijuana has been legalized, it has led to an increase in crime and societal problems.  Alcohol and marijuana have been classified as “gateway drugs,” drugs that often lead to harder drugs.  Isn’t one legal gateway drug enough? We have not won the war against drugs, including marijuana.  So why not legalize it?  We haven’t won the war against murder either.  Should we therefore legalize murder?  Should we just tax murder?  Of course not. Passing

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ABC Board joins in “Under Age, Under Arrest” to keep alcohol away from kids

(Opinion from ALCAP – The Birmingham News) When I talk to schoolchildren and young adults about the use of alcohol, I give them four sound reasons why they shouldn’t drink. One, alcohol is a mind-altering and addictive drug.  Studies show that young people who start drinking in their teen years are much more likely to become problem drinkers and alcohol dependent.  In fact, according to government surveys, of adults who started drinking before age 15, about 40 percent say they have the signs of alcohol dependence.  That rate is four times higher than for adults who didn’t drink until they were 21. Two, alcohol kills. Nationwide, about 5,000 people under the age of 21 die each year from car crashes, homicides, suicides, alcohol poisoning and a variety of injuries as a direct result of underage drinking, reports the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.  That doesn’t count the hundreds

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Energy drinks, alcohol don’t mix, study finds

By Anna Orso STATE COLLEGE — Vodka Red Bulls and Jäger Bombs, enjoying a recent spurt in popularity, can cause strokes, alcohol poisoning and other health problems, experts at Penn State and the University of Michigan found. Manufacturing highly caffeinated alcoholic beverages is banned in the United States because the popular Four Loko caused dozens of alcohol-related illnesses, but that doesn’t stop teens and young adults from mixing or ordering dangerous cocktails. And it’s not just these fizzy concoctions stirring up trouble. Lead author Megan Patrick, a researcher with Michigan’s Institute for Social Research, said simply drinking an energy drink the same day as alcohol is a recipe for health risks. “The message here is that consuming alcohol and energy drinks on the same day is associated with more serious alcohol consequences,” she said. “These drinks don’t have to be combined in the same glass in order to have overlapping

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Under Age, Under Arrest: ABC Board warns McAdory students about dangers of drinking

BY  CAROL ROBINSON | [email protected]    MCCALLA, Alabama – Don’t drink under age. Don’t drink and drive. Best yet, don’t drink at all. That was the message given Tuesday morning to juniors and seniors at McAdory High School as The Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board continued its new public awareness campaign called, “Under Age, Under Arrest” to fight underage and binge drinking. “We felt like we needed to get the message out to young people,” said ABC administrator Mac Gipson. “I’ve had some concerns since I’ve been administrator with some of the binge drinking situations, especially at the university campuses.” “There is no better time to catch them than now, when they’re experimenting,” he said. “We want to at least try to avoid the situation they get into in college when they get set free.” The campaign includes public service announcements and programs at high schools and colleges. The first

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How the Brain Gets Addicted to Gambling

Scientific AmericanAddictive drugs and gambling rewire neural circuits in similar waysBy Ferris Jabr When Shirley was in her mid-20s she and some friends road-tripped to Las Vegas on a lark. That was the first time she gambled. Around a decade later, while working as an attorney on the East Coast, she would occasionally sojourn in Atlantic City. By her late 40s, however, she was skipping work four times a week to visit newly opened casinos in Connecticut. She played blackjack almost exclusively, often risking thousands of dollars each round—then scrounging under her car seat for 35 cents to pay the toll on the way home. Ultimately, Shirley bet every dime she earned and maxed out multiple credit cards. “I wanted to gamble all the time,” she says. “I loved it—I loved that high I felt.” In 2001 the law intervened. Shirley was convicted of stealing a great deal of money

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‘Drunkorexia’ is the newest fad for college students

A NEW TREND AMONG COLLEGE STUDENTS TRYING TO AVOID THE “FRESHMAN 15” COULD LAND THEM IN THE HOSPITAL. (SOURCE: KKCO/CNN)A NEW TREND AMONG COLLEGE STUDENTS TRYING TO AVOID THE “FRESHMAN 15” COULD LAND THEM IN THE HOSPITAL. (SOURCE: KKCO/CNN) GRAND JUNCTION, CO (KKCO/CNN) – A new trend among college students trying to avoid the “freshman 15” could land them in the hospital.  It’s called “drunkorexia,” and a new study says 40 percent of college students are doing it.  “I’ve done it once and I was very sick after it I just didn’t like the feeling of not having anything in my stomach,” said college student Dominic Lanciaux.  Lanciaux learned his lesson after one night of partying without eating left him really sick the next day.  Click here to read the rest of the story.

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Attorney General Luther Strange Announces Decisive Court Victory In Gambling Case

(MONTGOMERY)- Attorney General Luther Strange is pleased to announce that Houston County Presiding Circuit Judge Michael Conaway has issued a decisive ruling in a case involving so-called “electronic bingo.” The final ruling today was the culmination of a joint law enforcement effort by the Alabama Department of Public Safety, Houston County Sheriff Andy Hughes, District Attorney Doug Valeska and Attorney General Luther Strange. Law enforcement officers seized 691 illegal slot machines and gambling devices and $288,668.62 in cash proceeds from the Center Stage casino in Houston County last year. The Judge’s ruling today came after prosecutors from Attorney General Strange’s Office presented evidence in a three day trial in Houston County. The machines will be destroyed and the money forfeited to the General Fund. “The decision from Judge Conaway in Houston County Circuit Court marks a good day for the rule of law,” said Attorney General Strange. “In a detailed

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More People Using E-Cigarettes to Smoke Marijuana

By Join Together Staff A growing number of people are smoking marijuana out of e-cigarettes, NBC New York reports. Marijuana in liquid and wax forms used in e-cigarettes and vapor pens does not create an odor. Because the devices don’t produce a flame, a person smoking marijuana in an e-cigarette can take a puff and then quickly put it in a pocket. Local law enforcement officials and drug counselors are concerned about the trend, particularly in minors. Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a survey that showed use of e-cigarettes among middle and high schools students doubled from 2011 to 2012. The CDC found 10 percent of high school students had tried an e-cigarette last year, compared with 5 percent the previous year. According to the survey, 1.8 million middle and high school students said they tried e-cigarettes last year. Detective Lt. Kevin Smith, who

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How Often Do Gamblers Really Win?

New data provide some answers on the real odds on gamblingBy MARK MAREMONT and ALEXANDRA BERZON The casino billboards lining America’s roadways tantalize with the lure of riches. “Easy Street. It’s Only a Play Away,” screams one in Arizona. “$7.1 Million Every Day. We’re a Payout Machine,” reads another.But how often do gamblers really win? What are the chances that a gambler will win on a single day or over a longer period? Don’t bother to ask the casinos. Although they gather vast quantities of data about their customers for marketing purposes, including win and loss tallies for many regulars, casinos keep such information a closely-guarded secret. Now, thanks to an unprecedented trove of public data detailing the behavior of thousands of Internet gamblers over a two-year period, The Wall Street Journal can provide some answers. Click here to read the entire article.

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More People Using E-Cigarettes to Smoke Marijuana

By Join Together Staff A growing number of people are smoking marijuana out of e-cigarettes, NBC New York reports. Marijuana in liquid and wax forms used in e-cigarettes and vapor pens does not create an odor. Because the devices don’t produce a flame, a person smoking marijuana in an e-cigarette can take a puff and then quickly put it in a pocket. Local law enforcement officials and drug counselors are concerned about the trend, particularly in minors. Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a survey that showed use of e-cigarettes among middle and high schools students doubled from 2011 to 2012. The CDC found 10 percent of high school students had tried an e-cigarette last year, compared with 5 percent the previous year. According to the survey, 1.8 million middle and high school students said they tried e-cigarettes last year. Detective Lt. Kevin Smith, who heads the Narcotics Unit for the

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Three-star admiral fired as No. 2 nuclear commander

Associated Press WASHINGTON – The Navy says a three-star admiral was notified Wednesday that he has been relieved of duty as second-in-command at the military organization that oversees all U.S. nuclear forces. He is under investigation in a gambling matter. The Navy’s top spokesman, Rear Adm. John Kirby, said that Vice Adm. Tim Giardina will drop in rank to two-star admiral as a consequence of being removed from his position at U.S. Strategic Command.Giardina is being reassigned to the Navy staff pending the outcome of a Naval Criminal Investigative Service probe of allegations that he used counterfeit gambling chips at a casino in Iowa, not far from his base in eastern Nebraska. The removal of such a high-ranking commander of nuclear forces is extremely rare in the U.S. military.

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College Students’ Drinking Habits Formed in First Six Weeks of College: Expert

By Join Together Staff | October 7, 2013  College freshmen’s drinking habits are often formed during the first six weeks of school, according to an expert from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). In the first six weeks, first-semester freshmen often start drinking or increase the amount they drink, says Aaron White, Program Director of NIAAA’s College and Underage Drinking Prevention Research. They may drink because of student expectations and social pressures, he notes. “Students show up with all these expectations about the role that alcohol is going to play in their lives in college, and they just get a little bit nuts with the freedom,” he said. In many cases, college freshmen are living away from their parents for the first time, and they often have easier access to alcohol, even though drinking is illegal for those under 21. However, many new college students already have experience with alcohol

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Legalized Pot Would Mean More Addiction

By Kevin A. Sabet, Special to CNNupdated 12:58 PM EDT, Wed October 2, 2013 (CNN)– “The war on drugs has failed” is a mantra often heard in policy and media circles these days. But not only is the phrase outdated (the 1980s called — they want their slogan back), it is far too simplistic to describe both current drug policy and its outcomes. The latest incarnation of this ill-advised saying can be found in a report arguing that since cannabis and heroin prices have fallen while their purity has increased, efforts to curb drug use and its supply are doomed to failure. This leads some to highlight the possibility of alternatives in the form of “regulation” (e.g., legalization) of drugs. But a closer look at the data — and the implications for a policy change to legalization — should give us pause if we care about the dire consequences drug

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Wal-Mart Sells Coors About at Cost to Be Largest Beer Seller

By Minsi Chung and Renee Dudley – Sep 16, 2013 Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is so committed to becoming America’s biggest beer retailer that it has been selling Budweiser, Coors and other brews almost at cost in at least some stores. The markup on a 36-pack of Coors Light cans at a Los-Angeles-area store was 0.6 percent, compared with 16.2 percent for a package of Flaming Hot Cheetos, according to internal documents reviewed by Bloomberg. Companies typically don’t release information about markups so the March data provide a rare glimpse of Wal-Mart’s alcohol pricing strategy. Wal-Mart’s push into beer is part of a plan to double alcohol sales by 2016 and seize a larger slice of a U.S. beer market worth about $45 billion. While founder Sam Walton frowned on drinking to excess, selling cheap suds is a way to lure shoppers who typically buy other products at the same time.

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Some Teens, Young Adults Abusing Alcohol by “Vodka Eyeballing”

Updated: Sep 18, 2013 11:03 PM CDT By Sherea Harris BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) – Vodka eyeballing appears to be a new way some teenagers and young adults are abusing alcohol. On YouTube there are videos of people experimenting with so called vodka eyeballing. Each person taking a shot glass or entire bottle of vodka straight to their eyeball. All reacting the same way as if it’s very painful. Click here to read the rest of the story: http://www.myfoxal.com/story/23471555/some-teens-young-adults-abusing-alcohol-by-vodka-eyeballing

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Last Call

Industry giants are threatening to swallow up America’s carefully regulated alcohol industry, and remake America in the image of booze-soaked Britain. http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/magazine/november_december_2012/features/last_call041131.php?page=5

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Police say teens using vodka-soaked tampons to get drunk

By Kim I. Hartman Phoenix – Teenagers have found a new way of getting drunk by inserting vodka-soaked tampons into their vaginas, says a Phoenix police resource officer. And it’s not just girls; boys are inserting the alcohol-drenched feminine hygiene products in their rectum. The disturbing trend, first noted by the Oxford Journals in 1999, said the teens experience “rapid onset of effects, lower doses of alcohol are required for intoxication, and the reduced likelihood of recent alcohol consumption being being detected on the breath,” all contributed to the popularity of this method of abusing alcohol. KPHO in Phoenix, Arizona, reported on the problem in local high schools and said the growing number of incidents related to students immersing tampons in vodka has school officials concerned for student safety.”This is not isolated to any school, any city, any financial area,” Officer Chris Thomas, a school resource officer, said. “This is

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Light drinking linked to slight breast cancer risk

(Link to USAToday article) November 2, 2011 (Reprinted in The Birmingham News on 12/1/11) The link between alcohol and breast cancer isn’t new, but most previous studies found no increased risk for breast cancer…. The new research provides compelling evidence…experts say. Click here to read the article.

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2C-I or ‘Smiles’: The New Killer Drug Every Parent Should Know About

By Piper Weiss, Shine Staff – Healthy Living – Thu, Sep 20, 2012 3:18 PM EDT Witnesses described the 17-year-old boy as “shaking, growling, foaming at the mouth. “According to police reports, Elijah Stai was at a McDonald’s with his friend when he began to feel ill. Soon after, he “started to smash his head against the ground” and began acting “possessed,” according to a witness. Two hours later, he had stopped breathing. The Grand Forks, North Dakota teenager’s fatal overdose has been blamed on a drug called 2C-I. The night before Stai’s overdose, another area teen, Christian Bjerk, 18, was found face down on a sidewalk. His death was also linked to the drug. 2C-I – known by its eerie street name “Smiles” – has become a serious problem in the Grand Forks area, according to local police. Overdoses of the drug have also been reported in Indiana and

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CAN A CHRISTIAN DRINK ALCOHOL?

By: Barry L. Cameron Crossroads Christian Church On Monday night, news broke that Olympic gold medalist snowboarder, Shaun White, had been charged with vandalism and public intoxication. On my Facebook wall, I posted the following comment: “This just in . . . and the gold medal for character enhancement, once again, goes to alcohol.” For years, well-meaning, sincere Christians have debated the subject of drinking. Let me be clear by saying there isn’t a single verse in the Bible that says a Christian cannot have a drink; although the Bible clearly warns about the destructive and addictive nature of alcohol (Proverbs 20:1; 21:17; 23:29-35; Ephesians 5:18) and is very clear that drunkenness is always wrong (Romans 13:13; Galatians 5:19-21; 1 Peter 4:3; Habakkuk 2:15; 1 Corinthians 5:11). The Bible is also clear that mature Christians should avoid causing others to stumble by drinking (Romans 14:21), and that leaders ought to avoid drinking alcohol (Proverbs 31:4-7) and cannot be

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Liquor Privatization: The Fallout

The unintended (and intended) consequences of privatizing Washington state liquor sales. By Erica C. Barnett Be careful what you wish for. On November 8, 2011, after a $22 million campaign financed primarily by Costco, Washington residents voted overwhelmingly to privatize the state’s liquor sales and distribution system. On June 1, after a series of thwarted lawsuits by privatization opponents including the Washington Association for Substance Abuse and Violence Prevention, hundreds of new, privately run stores opened their doors across the state. Proponents of privatized liquor sales argued that the switch would generate hundreds of millions in new tax revenue, promote competition and lower prices, and increase access to liquor of all kinds, including high-end specialty brands. Opponents, meanwhile, argued that private booze sales would incite a flood of underage drinking, drive prices up, reduce consumer choices, and harm Washington state’s homegrown wine, beer, and craft-distillery industries. While it’s still too

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Majority in U.S. Drink Alcohol, Averaging Four Drinks a Week

Beer edges out wine by 39% to 35% as drinkers’ beverage of choice Source: Gallup by Lydia Saad Americans’ drinking habits held steady in the past year, with 66% saying they consume alcohol and drinkers consuming just over four alcoholic drinks per week, on average. Beer continues to be Americans’ preferred drink, although wine remains a close second, with liquor favored by 22%. The findings are from Gallup’s annual Consumption Habits poll, conducted July 9-12. Although 66% of Americans say they “have occasion to drink alcoholic beverages such as liquor, wine, or beer,” a third of these say they had no drinks in the seven days prior to the survey. This leaves roughly four in 10 Americans (44%) who appear to be regular drinkers, consuming at least one alcoholic beverage in the past week. While only 12% of drinkers report consuming eight or more drinks in the past week —

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National Alcohol Experts: Alcohol is Different, Requires Effective Regulation

LANSING — Alcohol is different from other consumer products and requires different laws, a panel of alcohol policy experts said at a Center for Alcohol Policy forum this week in Lansing. Brannon Denning, professor at Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law and CAP Advisory Council member, began the session by providing a global perspective on alcohol regulation, discussing factors that influence alcohol laws such as religion, ethnicity, climate and history. He recounted the history of America’s experience with alcohol, noting how unique it is for a product to be the subject of two constitutional amendments. America’s history of abuses with alcohol leading up to national Prohibition is important to remember, he argued, in order to understand why we have the state-based alcohol regulatory system that we have today. “According to national polling, over three-fourths of people say they understand that alcohol is different and needs different rules,”Denning said. Steven Schmidt, senior vice president of public policy

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ALCAP Alert! 7/9/2012

My friend, Eunie Smith, President of the Eagle Forum of Alabama, brought the following video to my attention. It is an open letter from Jay Dennis, Pastor of First Baptist Church of Lakeland, FL (a.k.a., The Church at the Mall). I would add one important point to Pastor Dennis’s message. When he talks about the Commandment, “Do not steal,” he addresses the “redistribution of wealth” concept. I would add that America’s growing addiction to gambling (both by individual citizens and by local, state and the federal governments), runs counter to this Commandment, as well as several other Commandments.

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Dallas NAACP Seeks End To Texas Lottery

By Dugald McConnell and Brian Todd, CNNupdated 12:06 PM EDT (CNN) — The NAACP chapter in Dallas is calling for an end to the Texas state lottery, saying the game drains the finances of low-income ticket-buyers who can least afford it, especially minorities. “It’s an addiction,” chapter President Juanita Wallace said. “Many, many people have actually spent all their money in hope of getting out of a situation, when in fact, they’re getting themselves into a worse situation.” She said one man she knew died last week without health insurance. “He had an insurance policy,” she said, “and he withdrew all of the funds from the policy, actually, to play the lottery.” Wallace also believes that minorities are disproportionately drawn to playing the lottery. “The way things are set up in the store is targeted for black people and poor people,” she said. A spokeswoman with the Texas Lottery Commission

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ANR Announces Winners of 2011 Smokefree Indoor Air Challenge Award

Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights (ANR) is pleased to announce the winners of the annual ANR Smokefree Indoor Air Challenge Award, which recognizes the states that achieve the greatest number of strong local smokefree laws each year – either by passing new ordinances or strengthening existing laws. The 2011 winners are based on the analysis of all new laws enacted during 2011 that meet the ANR Foundation’s criteria for 100% smokefree bars, restaurants, and non-hospitality workplaces. Congratulations to all the winners! First Place (Tie): Alabama and California It’s not often that Alabama and California are mentioned together as smokefree leaders, but now they are. Both states will be receiving the famous ANR crystal award for their significant accomplishment in leading the U.S. local smokefree movement in 2011. Alabama led the nation in having enacted the greatest number of strong, new smokefree laws in 2011. This is a landmark achievement for public health

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Fast food + Alcohol = ‘Fast Drunks’

One News Now Chris Woodward, Reporter/Anchor The White Castle hamburger chain is considering the idea of selling alcohol at more of its restaurants, but one group doesn’t think alcohol should be given any more outlets. At this time, White Castle is only testing beer and wine sales at a location in Lafayette, Indiana. A spokesman for the chain tells Associated Press that the company has not decided whether to expand alcohol sales, but he notes that customers have reacted positively to the fact that alcoholic beverages are being offered. Dr. Mark Creech of the Christian Action League and the American Council on Alcohol Problems says it is all about marketing more outlets. “Marketing 101 is [the] more outlets [you have, the more] you sell of your product. That’s why McDonald’s has an outlet seemingly on every corner,” he explains. “And the same is true for alcohol. If you have more outlets, you’re

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Study Connects Alcohol and Sex

Creech says study should motivate to address alcohol use and abuse, not promote safe-sex One News Now Chris Woodward, Reporter/Anchor January 3, 2012 A new study out of Canada’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health confirms that unprotected sex is more likely to occur after drinking, so one pastor thinks that should motivate Christians to address the abuse of alcohol rather than promote the message of safe sex. Though the topic is not popular today, Dr. Mark Creech of the Christian Action League and the American Council on Alcohol Problems says the fact remains that where disease prevention is concerned, the failure rate for condoms is really high. He thinks people ought to realize that sex within the context of a life-long monogamous marriage — what it is intended for — is always safe. “Protected promiscuity is not a part of God’s plan,” he notes. “But what I think we can learn

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Teens exposed to alcohol branding in music

The Birmingham News The average American teen is heavily exposed to alcohol brand names in popular music, according to a study published online in the journal Addiction. Researchers ana­lyzed 793 of the most popular songs in the youth market between 2005 and 2007 and found that brand names came up about a quarter of the time alcohol was mentioned. There were about 3.4 alcohol brand references per hour of music, and the average teen hears about 2.5 hours of music per day, meaning they’re get­ting significant annual exposure, the authors said. Mentions of alcohol brands are the most common in rap, R&B and hip-hop songs and were more often positive than negative, the study found.

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Local Governments in Southern States Look to Alcohol to Boost Revenues

By Join Together Staff From The Partnership at Drugfree.org Local governments in southern states are starting to look to alcohol sales as a way to boost revenues. In Harrison, Arkansas, stores began selling beer and wine earlier this year, the Associated Press reports. The city hopes it will bring in up to $200,000 annually from alcohol-related sales taxes and fees—which represents about 1 percent of the budget. The city of 13,000 residents, in the Ozark Mountains, finds tourists are staying longer ever since voters approved alcohol sales in the city last year. “We’re a pretty poor county, and we just can’t afford to say we don’t want anyone’s business,” Gerald Ragland, Harrison’s Finance Director, told the AP. Until last year, Boone County, where Harrison is located, was “dry,” as were many municipalities across the South. Critics of the move to allow alcohol sales in Harrison said dry laws help prevent

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Grapes and Grape Juice are Just as Effective as Wine for Preventing Heart Disease

Drinking red wine has been touted over the years as way to reduce heart disease risk but new studies have found that eating grapes and drinking grape juice is just as beneficial without the negative effects of alcohol. This article discusses the benefits of eating grapes and drinking grape juice over drinking red wine. [Read more: http://healthmad.com/health/grapes-and-grape-juice-are-just-as-effective-as-wine-for-preventing-heart-disease/#ixzz12RbM1nbn] Over the years numerous studies have reported that drinking red wine may decrease the risk of heart disease, but in truth, simply eating grapes or drinking grape juice can supply the same healthy benefits. Eating Grapes for Heart Disease Prevention According to Martha Grogan, M.D. of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, drinking grape juice and eating grapes can produce the same heart-healthy effects as red wine. Grapes and grape juice contain the same antioxidants, flavonoids and resveratrol, as red wine. These are the basic components that provide the heart-healthy effects. Grogan says that

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Finnish researchers recommend banning higher-alcohol content drinks

The Sun Daily The study says restricting the availability of higher-alcohol drinks in Alko, the state monopoly liquor store, will save around 350 people a year from alcohol-related deaths. HELSINKI (Sept 8, 2011): Finnish researchers are recommending that beer and other drinks with more than 3.5% alcohol be banned from grocery stores to curb alcohol-related deaths. The joint study by three research institutes said that restricting the availability of higher-alcohol drinks in Alko, the state monopoly liquor store, would save around 350 people a year from alcohol-related deaths. Around 3,000 people die in Finland each year because of diseases or incidents related to alcohol. The suggested ban would be modelled on a similar move by neighbouring Sweden in 1977, which helped curb alcohol-related deaths. Finland’s current limit for alcohol content at grocery stores is 4.7%. The report on Thursday said Finland’s alcohol consumption is now highly problematic, having tripled from

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Short-term drink deterrent

The Birmingham News College freshmen who take an online al­cohol prevention course may drink less, but the effects don’t last long, according to a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Researchers looked at the effectiveness of a commercial course against binge drinking called AlcoholEdu, which is often offered just before freshmen arrive on campus. They conducted a rando­mized trial at 30 public and private univer­sities in the United States, giving half the freshmen the course and then following up with surveys with some of them. They found that students who took the class re­ported significantly less alcohol use and binge drinking during the fall compared with the other students. But the results didn’t last into the spring semester; the au­thors suggest that other methods are needed to reinforce the message. [NOTE: Colleges could use the American Character Builders kit, “Alcohol–It’s a Killer!” as a follow-up later in the

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Liquor Store Density Linked to Youth Homicides

UC Riverside researchers also find connection between sales of single-serve containers of alcoholic beverages and violent crime. RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Violent crime could be reduced significantly if policymakers at the local level limit the number of neighborhood liquor stores and ban the sale of single-serve containers of alcoholic beverages, according to separate studies led by University of California, Riverside researchers. In the first of two groundbreaking studies published in the September issue of the journal Drug and Alcohol Review – “Alcohol availability and youth homicide in 91 of the largest U.S. cities, 1984-2006” – researchers found a correlation between the density of alcohol outlets and violent crime rates among teens and young adults ages 13 to 24. Study authors were sociology professors Robert N. Parker and Kirk R. Williams, co-directors of the Presley Center for Crime and Justice Studies at UCR; Kevin J. McCaffree, UCR research assistant; sociology professor Emily

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Blood Spilled at Games Because of Alcohol Sales Must Stop!

By Gregg Doyel CBSSports.com National Columnist That spillage of blood the other night in San Francisco, where two NFL fans were shot in the parking lot and a third was beaten in a Candlestick Park bathroom? Don’t obscure the truth by blaming that on the passion of football or the hatred of gangs. That wasn’t 49ers vs. Raiders. It wasn’t Nortenos vs. Surenos. It was Budweiser vs. the bloodstream. And Budweiser, or whatever those animals were guzzling, wins every time. Which is why I’m not particularly impressed with all the anguish coming out of the 49ers, the Raiders or the NFL after those two shootings and that one beating at Candlestick. They can talk all they want, but I don’t hear solutions. I hear tut-tutting. I hear tsk-tsking. What I don’t hear is anyone — not a team, not the league — announcing that alcohol will no longer be sold in

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Facebook Linked to Teenage Drinking, Drug Use

Reuters American teenagers of middle and high school age are more likely to smoke, drink and use drugs if they also spend time on social networking sites, according to a new study by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University. The study, released Wednesday found that teens spending any time at all on social networking sites were five times more likely to smoke cigarettes, three times more likely to drink and twice as likely to smoke marijuana. It lists Facebook and Myspace specifically, though it casts a much wider net. CASA Columbia surveyed 12-to-17 year olds asking whether they spent any time on social media sites, finding that 70 percent of the teens they surveyed do use the sites. The survey also found that 40 percent of all teens have seen pictures on those sites of kids drinking or using drugs and that half of those

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Congress may OK online gambling

By JOSH KOSMANLast Updated: 4:10 AM, August 17, 2011 Americans appear closer than ever to being able to gamble online — as a bill aimed at legalizing Internet casino gaming could find its way before Congress by the end of the year, people close to the matter tell The Post. The confidence over the federal legalization of online poker and other games comes as momentum in Washington builds behind the effort. “I think there is becoming a feeling in Congress that this is something that needs to be regulated and be done,” a source close to the discussions said. “I believe there is a possibility a bill will pass towards the end of the year.” “The only question is how it is structured,” according to Roger Gross, the publisher of Global Gaming Business magazine. The momentum is clear in at least three ways:Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Republican Jon

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No Convictions in the Alabama bingo trial; judge to set new trial date on mistrials (updated)

Published: Thursday, August 11, 2011, 2:34 PM Updated: Thursday, August 11, 2011, 4:20 PMBy Kim Chandler — The Birmingham News MONTGOMERY, Alabama — The jury in the Alabama bingo corruption trial handed down no convictions in the case. The jury was unable to reach a verdict on many charges, and it said defendants were not guilty on the rest. The judge is declaring mistrials on the charges for which the jury could not reach a unanimous verdict, and he said he would set a new trial date within a month. [Click here to read the entire story.] ALCAP RESPONSE:Though the gambling corruption trial resulted in no convictions for the nine defendants and a mistrial has been declared on several of the counts, the fact remains that gambling and corruption go hand-in-hand. It is always difficult to prove intentions when money changes hands. The fact that the gambling bosses gave large

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Risky Business: Teens Buying Fake IDs from Overseas Via Internet

by JIM AVILA (@JimAvilaABC) , BRINDA ADHIKARI AND ENJOLI FRANCIS Aug. 5, 2011 (ABCNEWS.com) They can arrive in jewelry boxes, playing cards and even inside a game of Chinese checkers — illegal IDs from China, mailed to your waiting teenager. “They hide [fake IDs] behind things … and inside boxes,” said Sheriff Tom Dart of Cook County, Ill. “This is full service. They want to make sure their customers are happy. They are very accommodating.” One website refers to the fake IDs as “novelty items.” “The Internet so readily makes these [fake IDs] available that anybody looking for them can find them literally with a quick mouse click,” Dart said. Working with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement and other agencies in Chicago, Dart has confiscated more than 1,700 IDs hidden in boxes arriving from China at the airport in the last six months. Most of them were on their way to 17- to

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Pabst’s Horse of a Different Color: Colt 45 Enters Controversial Ring

By DAVID KESMODEL This isn’t your father’s Colt 45. The new owners of that malt-liquor brand, with the help of rapper Snoop Dogg, plan to unveil next month a label called Blast by Colt 45. The beverage will contain fruit flavors and 12% alcohol by volume, about twice the level of the original version of Colt 45. Click here to read the rest of the article.

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Alcohol Energy Drinks Banned In Alabama

By Paris Jackson BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — A few well-known drinks popular among students on college campuses have been banned. Alcohol and caffeine mixed beverages are now illegal to sell in the state of Alabama. The Alabama alcoholic beverage control board banned the malt drinks in February. The ABC board sent out notices to Alabama distributors about the ban. Many manufacturers have now re-formulated these drinks taking out the caffeine. The popular alcohol drink, Four Loko, was known as “black out in a can” or “liquid crack”. Last year, the drink contained caffeine and 12% alcohol, which experts say is a dangerous combination. “One of the problems with these types of drinks is that they’re very high in caffeine and very high in alcohol. What you end up having is what people are calling, a wide awake drunk,” UAB Nutrition Sciences Assistant Professor, Beth Kitchin. Following a warning from the FDA,

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Tuscaloosa voters overwhelmingly approve Sunday alcohol sales

By Chris Pollone TUSCALOOSA, Ala– Voters in the West Alabama city of Tuscaloosa have overwhelmingly approved Sunday alcohol sales. With nearly all the ballots counted, YES votes outnumbered NO votes by nearly a 4 to 1 margin. Sunday alcohol sales have long been a source of contention in Tuscaloosa. The city was the largest in Alabama not to allow alcohol to be sold on Sunday. Proponents said allowing alcohol to be sold seven days a week will be an economic windfall for the city. Chad Smith, owner of Alcove International Tavern, said if some University of Alabama fans choose to stay an extra day after home football games, it might entice larger restaurant and hotel chains to open in the city. The first day of Sunday alcohol sales will be March 6. Unless the city council votes otherwise, businesses which currently sell alcohol will be allowed to sell it when

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The rot in values that is causing America’s decline

By SHMULEY BOTEACH Thrift, hard work, close-knit families, a pioneering spirit, a love of adventure, a rejection of indolence, faith-based ethics, a God-centric society, a belief in spreading freedom and democracy – where did that all go? Science and math. Science and math. President Barack Obama’s new mantra is science and math. If only America’s students focused on science and math, he told us in his State of the Union address, then we’ll be as innovative as China and will no longer have to farm out the building of wondrous handheld gadgets. The gods of science and math will make our economy blossom. But missing from the president’s new, post-midterm vision for America is any mention of the rot in values that is causing our decline. The reason we don’t excel in education is not because our schools focus on philosophy and the humanities to the exclusion of science and math, but rather because we

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Working to Separate an Unhealthy Combination – Alcohol and Sports

from the Fresh Story Blog – 2/1/11 A new study has found that alcohol and sports make a truly dangerous combination, with one in every 12 fans leaving major sporting events drunk. The study was reported online in January this year, and will be published in the April 2011 print edition of the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. Researchers from the University of Minnesota conducted the research following 13 baseball games and three football games in 2006. Fans volunteered to participate in an anonymous breathalyzer test as well as a brief verbal survey as they were leaving the event stadium. The study is the first ever in the U.S. to measure blood alcohol content levels in fans after professional sporting events. Here’s a summary of what they learned: One in 12 fans was legally intoxicated when he or she left the event. Fans under the age of 35 were nine

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Mobile County health officials want cities to go smoke-free

BY RENA HAVNER PHILIPS, PRESS-REGISTER MOBILE COUNTY HEALTH OFFICIALS WANT MORE LOCAL CITIES TO BAN SMOKING IN RESTAURANTS, BARS AND OTHER PUBLIC PLACES. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS) The Mobile County Health Department and other local agencies are launching a two-year campaign to try to encourage nine local municipalities, including Mobile, to prohibit smoking in public places. That would include restaurants, bars, hotels, shopping malls and other facilities. “We’re not saying that you can’t smoke,” said the health department’s Missy Wilson, who is administering the grant. “We’re saying we don’t want to breathe your smoke.” According the health department: 22 percent of Alabamians smoke, but that number is slightly higher in Mobile County. Second-hand smoke is the third most preventable cause of death in the United States, causing at least 35,000 deaths each year from heart disease and 3,000 more from lung cancer. Waiters and waitresses who work in restaurants that allow

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Georgia Facing a Hard Choice on Free Tuition

Kendrick Brinson for The New York Times Robbie Ottley, left, Katie Black and Josh Delaney, Hope scholarship students at the University of Georgia, discussed the program. By KIM SEVERSON ATHENS, Ga. — Students here at the University of Georgia have a name for some of the fancy cars parked in the lots around campus. They call them Hopemobiles. But there may soon be fewer of them. The cars are gifts from parents who find themselves with extra cash because their children decided to take advantage of a cherished state perk — the Hope scholarship. The largest merit-based college scholarship program in the United States it offers any Georgia high school student with a B-average four years of free college tuition. But the Hope scholarship program is about to be cut by a new governor and Legislature facing staggering financial troubles. [Click here to read the entire story of how the Georgia Lottery

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Alcoholic Whipped Cream: Another Binge Drink in a Can?

By Meredith Melnick Four Loko is so last season. There’s a new faddish booze-infused product whipping up interest from public-health experts: alcoholic whipped cream. According to a report in the Boston Herald, products like Cream and Whipped Lightning are appearing on liquor store shelves all over the country. They look innocent enough: they are canisters of whipped dairy, like the Reddi-wip used on top of ice cream sundaes and waffles. But unlike the standard variety, the alcohol-charged “whipahol” Cream packs a 30-proof wallop. That’s 15% alcohol by volume, containing about as much or slightly less alcohol as drinks like Bacardi Mojito and Bailey’s Irish Cream. Another brand, Whipped Lightning ranges from 16% to 18% alcohol by volume, equivalent to the alcohol contained in three or four beers — that is, if you ingest the entire canister. Although alcoholic whipped cream isn’t likely to get kids as wasted as quickly as Four

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Citing crime, Dutch may crack down on marijuana tourism

Baptist Press Citing crime, Dutch may crack down on marijuana tourism AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (BP)–Acknowledging that marijuana decriminalization has led to an increase in crime and societal problems, the new Netherlands conservative-leaning government wants to crack down on drug tourism by limiting marijuana sales in so-called “coffee shops” to Dutch residents.The proposal was outlined weeks ago when the coalition government detailed its goals but is getting more attention now because Ivo Opstelten, the government’s minister of security and justice, said the government is serious about the proposal. Millions of tourists from all over Europe come to the Netherlands each year to smoke pot, which is relatively cheap at the coffee shops, or marijuana cafes. There are hundreds of such shops in Amsterdam and elsewhere. “No tourist attractions. We don’t like that,” the minister, Ivo Opstelten, said during an interview with Netherlands media Nov. 17, Reuters reported. “The heart of the problem

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Study: Alcohol more lethal than heroin, cocaine

By MARIA CHENG The Associated Press LONDON — Alcohol is more dangerous than illegal drugs like heroin and crack cocaine, according to a new study. British experts evaluated substances including alcohol, cocaine, heroin, ecstasy and marijuana, ranking them based on how destructive they are to the individual who takes them and to society as a whole. Researchers analyzed how addictive a drug is and how it harms the human body, in addition to other criteria like environmental damage caused by the drug, its role in breaking up families and its economic costs, such as health care, social services, and prison. Heroin, crack cocaine and methamphetamine, or crystal meth, were the most lethal to individuals. When considering their wider social effects, alcohol, heroin and crack cocaine were the deadliest. But overall, alcohol outranked all other substances, followed by heroin and crack cocaine. Marijuana, ecstasy and LSD scored far lower. The study

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Riley Targets Poarch

By Staff Reportswww.brewtonstandard.com Now that the State of Alabama is fully enforcing its gaming laws, the Poarch Band of Creek Indians are the latest target of Gov. Bob Riley’s anti-gambling movement. For over a year, Riley’s anti-gambling task force was on a mission to rid the state of gambling establishments as it traveled county-by-county raiding such facilities. Now, with only three months left in his administration, Riley is preparing to ask federal officials to shut down the state’s Indian casinos owned by the Poach Band of Creek Indians based out of Atmore. “Gov. Riley has said that once the state has proven its determination to combat illegal gambling in our state, then the federal government will have to address the issue at Indian casinos,” Press Secretary Todd Stacy said. “There are still cases ongoing, however, the state’s determination to enforce the law has certainly been proven.” Stacy said that determination

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Experts Question Controversial New Study About Moderate Drinking During Pregnancy

Doctors and children’s health experts are speaking out against a controversial study recently published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, which suggests that “light consumption” of alcohol during pregnancy may not be harmful to babies. The study flies in the face of the extensive body of research substantiating the dangers of drinking while pregnant. The study in question tracked data from more than 11,000 children born between September 2000 and January 2002. Mothers in the study were categorized as those who never drank; light drinkers – one to two drinks per week; moderate drinkers – three to six drinks per week; or heavy drinkers – seven or more drinks per week. Children in the study were monitored to the age of five, at which time the researchers reported that there was little difference between the children of abstainers versus light drinkers. Critics of the study point out that it

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Caught on Tape: A Lobbyist’s Golf Party for Lawmakers

Alabama Bingo Scandal Brought On By Loose Laws, Say Critics By DAN LIEBERMAN The arrest of four Alabama state legislators and three lobbyists has exposed what has long been a too cozy relationship between the two groups, say critics. The indictment handed down earlier this month alleges that Alabama legislators and lobbyists broke the law by trading votes for cash and other perks in order to pass pro-gambling legislation. But what is actually permitted under Alabama law is also shocking, according to good government advocates, and a symptom of a larger national problem. Alabama allows lobbyists to spend up to $250 a day on an individual legislator without disclosure – or more than $90,000 a year, an amount that Ellen Miller of government watchdog The Sunlight Foundation calls “outrageous.” “That’s a lot of money,” said Miller, executive director of the DC-based group. “It has to be one of the worse

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Doctors: Alcohol-Caffeine Drinks Pose Health Risk to College-Age Fans

Doctor Says Teen Suffered Heart Attack After Drinking High Octane Beverage By CLAYTON SANDELL and LYNNE GUEY Concern over a controversial beverage concoction of caffeine and booze, that some experts say may not even be legal, could be posing a new health threat for the drinks’ biggest fans: college-age people. Two weeks ago, an athletic, otherwise perfectly healthy 19 year-old man arrived at the emergency room at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia. “He had chest pains, he was sweaty, short of breath,” said Dr. Robert McNamara, who heads the department of emergency medicine. The patient was suffering a heart attack. Tests, however, showed the man had none of the usual signs of an unhealthy heart or arteries. The symptoms were extremely unusual for such a young person, said McNamara, who added they’re typically seen in people who overdose on cocaine or speed. After further questioning, the patient admitted he’d been

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Cheap, deadly ‘cheese’ mix of heroin, crushed Tylenol PM aimed at kids

BY Simone WeichselbaumDAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER Federal officials are warning New York cops to be on the lookout for a cheap – and potentially deadly – heroin cocktail aimed at teens. Cops across Manhattan were recently told to watch out for “cheese,” a mix of heroin and crushed Tylenol PM. Cheese sells for as little as $2 a hit and delivers a euphoric high followed by drowsiness. To keep the high, users need to snort it up to 15 times a day – along with a potentially lethal dosage of acetaminophen. Cheese, which came on the radar in Dallas in 2005, has not been seen much in New York, but heroin use among teens is on the rise in the city – and the Drug Enforcement Agency fears cheese could be the next step. “It’s the makings of a recipe for disaster,” said John Gilbride, who heads the Drug Enforcement

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Milton McGregor, Alabama legislators indicted in bingo probe; lobbyists among 11 charged in federal vote-buying scheme

Published: Tuesday, October 05, 2010, 5:30 AM Updated: Tuesday, October 05, 2010, 12:48 PMCharles J. Dean — The Birmingham News Country Crossings owner Ronnie Gilley is led away in handcuffs by U.S. Marshals as they leave the the U.S. Marshals’ office for the federal courthouse. ( The Birmingham News / Joe Songer ) In one of the biggest investigations of corruption in the history of the Alabama State House, federal agents Monday arrested four state senators, several powerful lobbyists and Milton McGregor, who has dominated the world of Alabama gambling for a quarter century. In all, 11 people were indicted in a broad vote-buying scheme in which federal prosecutors allege millions of dollars in campaign contributions, a $1 million-a-year job and election-year assistance were offered in exchange for critical yes votes on a gambling bill that went before legislators last spring. Prosecutors said the casino owners, legislators and lobbyists formed

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Rendell’s something-for-nothing scheme leaves Pennsylvania in a fiscal mess

Outgoing Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell’s primary legacy will be the introduction of casinos across the state. To sell his predatory gambling plan politically, he tied it to “tax relief.” So what does the future look like for the state’s taxpayers as Rendell leaves office? According to today’s Philadelphia Inquirer “the state’s budget gap could widen to $4 billion. The state also needs to fill a $472 million hole for highway capital projects. The extra pension costs, which escalate in 2013, could be from $3 billion to $5 billion.” The government program of predatory gambling is a public policy failure. Pennsylvania will not meaningfully improve its fiscal situation until it pulls back from a policy that worsens budget deficits and leads to higher taxes for every citizen. From blog on Stop Predatory Gambling website.

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Alcohol Taxes Series, Article 2: Most State Alcohol Tax Policies Still Stuck In The Past

In spite of the deep recession and troubling budget shortfalls, alcohol tax policies in many states haven’t been updated for decades and remain stuck in the 20th century. According to the U.S. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, at least 46 states have struggled with budget shortfalls for the 2011 fiscal year. Nevertheless, most state alcohol taxes (especially beer taxes), have been untouched for decades. For example, here’s a list of 10 states and the year when beer taxes were last raised: To view map, click here. Wyoming – 1935 Pennsylvania – 1947 Louisiana – 1948 Michigan – 1966 West Virginia – 1966 North Dakota – 1967 Georgia – 1967 Wisconsin – 1969 North Carolina – 1969 South Carolina – 1969 (Source: Center for Science in the Public Interest,States Ranked by Alcohol Tax Rates: Beer) In fact, there are only eight states that have raised beer taxes at all since the

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“Why settle for a ‘better’ Cullman when we already have the BEST?”

Ken Allen, Pastor, Eastside Baptist ChurchSeptember 24, 2010 Can anyone see this scenario? The “wet” side needs more signatures as the deadline approaches. In comes a development that has been on the radar before the recession started. Someone says, “We need a medium to get our propaganda out – ah yes, The Cullman Times.” I don’t know if this scenario is true or not, I’ll leave it to the readers to decide. The Cullman Times did not even publish an article or quote anyone showing the ills of alcohol or if it has helped or hurt or had no effect on cities like Decatur or Birmingham. And although our city and county leaders did not say in Sunday’s articles, “I’m for going wet,” their sentiment gave them away. By the way – did anyone notice all of the positives about Cullman in Sunday’s articles: “Growing town in a market that’s not

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Glorious grape juice

BY STEPHANIE RAYMOND Move over red wine, purple grape juice is proving to be just as beneficial to our health without the negative effects associated with alcohol consumption. Packed full of powerful antioxidants that have been shown to do everything from reducing inflammation to discouraging artery-blocking clots, studies have found that as little as two cups (500 mL) of purple grape juice consumed daily may do wonders for our health. Heart healthy Researchers from the Université de Strasbourg in France have found that purple grape juice is just as effective as red wine at increasing nitric oxide production in the arterial lining. Nitric oxide causes the arteries to relax and widen, allowing blood to flow freely. Purple grape juice’s ability to lower blood pressure has been attributed to this artery-widening effect. In one study researchers found that when hypertensive men drank purple grape juice daily for eight weeks, the participants

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Racing Commission props up abusive greyhound racing

Birmingham News / Letter to the EditorSeptember 12, 2010 As an advocate for racing greyhounds, I’ve watched the battle over electronic bingo with concern. Alabama’s three dog tracks are all losing money on live racing. Milton McGregor’s losses on dog racing at VictoryLand have been subsidized by the casino there, until its recent closure. The other two tracks, however, have been barely hanging on, hoping for expanded gambling to prop up dog racing at their facilities. But when VictoryLand’s casino stopped lining McGregor’s pockets, he turned to the Birmingham Racing Commission for a handout to keep the Birmingham Race Course open (“Commission OKs city race course funds,” The News, Thursday). He is worth millions of dollars, yet the county will spend $400,000 in public funds to make “improvements” to one of his two dog tracks, which is losing money hand over fist. Additionally, despite his claims of benevolence for the

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Retired Judge Speaks Out on 21 Law – and the Debate Continues

Ron Bogle is a retired Superior Court Judge from North Carolina who recently published a column in The Herald Sun about the debate on lowering the national drinking age. Bogle provided a brief history of the 21 law as well as the recent movement to lower the drinking age led by John McCardell, currently university president in Tennessee. As Bogle’s column described, McCardell is a frequent speaker for the alcohol industry who continues to call for lowering the drinking age to 18. The movement initiated by McCardell has actually resulted in a national discussion about the 21 law, which is probably not exactly what he intended. That’s because there is now an overwhelming amount of evidence that shows the 21 law has reduced underage drinking and saved thousands of lives. As Bogle wrote in his column: “With current medical research confirming the health dangers of teen drinking and more supportive of continuation

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Playing games with Internet gambling law

By Doug Carlson – Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberties Commission Internet gambling—illegal in the United States—suffered a serious blow in June as long-delayed regulations to put the squeeze on industry profiteers and consumers evading the law finally took force. The regulations are the cornerstone of a 2006 law to block U.S.-based customer transactions to offshore online gambling merchants, thereby slowing cash flow offshore to a trickle. The plan is working. Yet some in Washington are already plotting its undoing. Congress is considering legislation that not only would repeal the law that authorized the new regulations but also would leap a frightful step further—legalize Internet gambling. The Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act (H.R. 2267) sailed through the House Financial Services Committee last week in a 41-22 vote. Seven Republicans gave their approval, while four Democrats held the line in opposition. To see how all members of the

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Should Internet Gambling Be Legalized?

[NOTE: The following article is a New York Times op-ed by Les Bernal, Executive Director of Stop Predatory Gambling, a national organization with which ALCAP is associated.] The potential boon for cash-strapped states versus the social costs associated with addiction. A Predatory Business Les Bernal is the executive director of Stop Predatory Gambling, a nonprofit group that is against casinos and state lotteries. Internet gambling is one of the most predatory businesses in the world which is why public opinion polls show that two out of three Americans oppose its legalization. Allowing Internet gambling is like opening a Las Vegas casino in every house, apartment and dorm room in America. It is totally different from social gambling like playing cards at the kitchen table or buying a square in the Super Bowl office pool. Instead, it represents one of the purest forms of predatory gambling, which is the practice of using gambling to

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Teaching children to drink sensibly may not be sensible

The idea that parents can prevent alcohol misuse in their children by teaching them to drink responsibly at home is a popular one in many parts of Europe and elsewhere. But it may owe more to folk lore than to science, according to a new study in the January 2010 issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. In a study of 428 Dutch families, researchers found that the more teenagers were allowed to drink at home, the more they drank outside of home as well. What is more, teenagers who drank under their parents’ watch or on their own had an elevated risk of developing alcohol-related problems. Drinking problems included trouble with school work, missed school days and getting into fights with other people, among other issues. The findings, say the researchers, put into question the advice of some experts who recommend that parents drink with their

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College Drinking – Who’s Problem Is It?

At the American College Health Association’s annual meeting held in June this year, one college health official gave a speech on student alcohol abuse with a frank and peculiar conclusion that colleges simply can’t do anything to stop it. That’s the gist of a presentation given by Edward Ehlinger, director and chief health officer of Boynton Health Services at the University of Minnesota. As reported in USA Today, Ehlinger spoke at the meeting about alcohol as a problem for society, not for colleges. “I don’t think the problem of alcohol is an underage problem,” he said. “It is not a college or university problem. I think alcohol is a community problem – it is a societal problem. We need to be humble about the fact we don’t know what the heck we’re doing and we need to do something different.” Ehlinger’s comments would seem to support efforts by groups like the

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Nevada Leads Nation in Unemployment Rates

Christian Science Monitor For the first time in four years, Michigan does NOT have the highest unemployment rate in the United States. That dubious distinction now belongs to Nevada. Unemployment at 13.6 percent is nothing to brag about, but it’s better than the 14 percent in Nevada, the new No. 1 in unemployment among the states. And the trends don’t look so good in Nevada. Its labor force has been shrinking, which usually helps suppress official unemployment counts. Nevertheless, unemployment shot up compared with 13.7 percent in April. One reason for the difference is that manufacturing tends to recover early after a recession, while services (like Nevada’s big tourism and hospitality industries [a.k.a. “casino gambling enterprise”]) tend to recover later. Nevada holds one other dubious title among the states: It has the nation’s highest foreclosure rate. 

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San Bernardino Bans Single Beer Sales in Response to Study

On May 3, 2010, the city of San Bernardino, California, banned single sales of beer and other alcohol products, partly in response to a research project that shows a definite link between alcohol and crime. As reported in the San Bernardino County Sun, research conducted by Professor Robert Nash Parker at the University of California Riverside was a significant factor in the City Council’s decision. The San Bernardino County Public Health Department assisted Professor Parker in the study, which analyzed city crime data and alcohol outlets selling single-serve size beer and malt liquor. The study concluded that areas with a high availability of single-serving beer and alcoholic beverages were more likely to have higher rates of crime and violence. In the research project’s final report, professor Park wrote, “We would expect that if alcohol from single serve containers is being immediately consumed, rates of violence would tend to be higher around

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Study Shows Drinking on the Rise Among Teens

After making great strides in previous decades, one study shows that teen drinking is now on the rise. The study was conducted by the Partnership for a Drug Free America among 9-12 grade students in 2009 and was released in March this year. The study’s results showed a considerable increase in students who admitted to drinking in the past month – up to 39 percent or 6.5 million students. In 2008, the number of students who reported drinking over the past month was 35 percent, or 5.8 million teens. One newspaper in New Jersey reported on and confirmed the study’s results at local high schools such as Holmdel High School, where teachers and counselors are not surprised by the increase in drug and alcohol use in teens. Jon Gaspich, a student assistance counselor in New Jersey’s Toms River Regional Schools District, commented on the study and his own experience in

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Dothan’s Country Crossing bingo casino decides not to reopen

BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Press-Register/Bill Starling)Country Crossing owner Ronnie Gilley, seen here on Tuesday Nov. 17, 2009, says he has considered reopening Country Crossing’s electronic bingo casino on Thursday but decided against it. DOTHAN — The developer of the Country Crossing electronic bingo development in Dothan says he won’t reopen immediately. Developer Ronnie Gilley had contacted employees about reopening Country Crossing on Thursday. But he announced Wednesday he’s postponing it. Gilley said the owners of the electronic bingo machines at Country Crossing will not give their support because the governor’s gambling task force has threatened a raid. Country Crossing’s casino, restaurants and inn have been closed since late January to prevent a raid by the task force.

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Geneva approves alcohol sales

By Greg Phillips Geneva voters decided overwhelmingly Tuesday to allow the sale of alcohol within the city limits. With 946 supporting the sale of alcohol in the city and 498 opposing it, Geneva Mayor Wynnton Melton said the message was clear. “I’m shocked, to tell you the truth. I’m not shocked at all that it went wet, but I’m shocked at the margin of victory and voter participation in a one-issue election,” Melton said. “The numbers are almost at a two-to-one ratio. It’s a very distinct message sent to the leadership of the City of Geneva that people feel strongly about this.” The vote will have some tangible benefits for the town. With the additional money from taxes and licenses, Melton estimated the city will see between $50,000 and $100,000 of additional annual revenue. 

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Alcohol and Gambling Often Go Together for a Reason!

Watanabe restates his casino losses OMAHA WORLD-HERALD Terry Watanabe has given new heft to his unofficial title as Vegas’ biggest loser. Watanabe alleges in his latest court filings that in a single year he gambled away $189 million — an average of more than a half-million dollars a day — at two Las Vegas casinos owned by Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. His total losses over a two-year period hit $200 million, said Pierce O’Donnell, his attorney from Los Angeles. Watanabe, a former Omaha businessman, is embroiled in a dispute with Harrah’s on several legal fronts. He is believed to be one of Vegas’ all-time biggest “whales” — the name used for high-rolling gamblers. Watanabe faces criminal charges for allegedly skipping out on $14.7 million owed to Harrah’s. And, in rebuttal, Watanabe filed a civil complaint alleging that Harrah’s took advantage of his gambling addiction and allowed him to gamble when drunk. In

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Andy Rooney segment on 60 Minutes, May 16, 2010:

“I have good news for you tonight. According to an American Gaming Association report, revenue from casino gambling fell by almost two billion dollars last year. A lot of people are out of work and it turns out that when people are unemployed, they gamble less. You’d think they might gamble more but they don’t. There’s some good things about everything, I guess. In 2008 the casinos earned $32.5 billion. Last year they earned only $30.7 billion. I use the words “earned” and “only” loosely but casino income was down a lousy little two billion dollars last year. It’s enough to bring tears to your eyes. It’s a law for people to protect themselves by wearing seat belts for their own safety when they’re in car. How come the government doesn’t protect citizens from losing their money by making gambling in casinos illegal? There should be a sign in front

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Chips are down for US casinos as revenues slide

by Bob Lever (AFP) 3/7/10 WASHINGTON — US casinos have run into a string of bad luck as the recession and other factors cut into gambling revenues, even as more states move to get a piece of the action. Gaming revenues in the 12 US states authorizing casinos fell 5.7 percent in 2009 to 30.7 billion dollars, according to a preliminary estimate by the American Gaming Association, a trade group. This followed a 4.6 percent drop in 2008 gross gaming receipts, the figures showed. Gaming industry analysts say the recession has hit gambling along with all other consumer and leisure activities. But some say other factors are hurting casinos, including new entertainment offerings such as Internet gambling, which is illegal in the United States but according to some surveys is still widely practiced. A study by market research firm Mintel showed that 30 percent of adults visited a casino in

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House committee approves gambling bill

BY GEORGE ALTMAN Mobile Press-Register photo: Visitors to the Wind Creek Casino in Atmore play some of the electronic bingo machines at the facility, which is owned by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians. A bill in the Alabama Legislature would allow state-regulated facilities to offer the same games that are offered at Indian casinos. MONTGOMERY, Ala. — A bill that would allow state-regulated casinos to offer the same games as Indian casinos, as well as shield cruise ship casinos from gambling raids, passed a House committee on Wednesday. The approval, on a voice vote, followed hours of discussion before the House Tourism and Travel Committee, mostly by members of the public. State House security estimated that 450 to 500 people came to see the first vote on a gambling bill in the 2010 legislative session. Among them were several representatives of Country Crossing, a new gambling and country music venue

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CITIZENS FOR A BETTER ALABAMA PRESS STATEMENT

MEDIA CONTACT: [email protected] CASINO BOSS ADMITS ORDERING INVESTIGATION OF OPPONENTS “Sounds Like Something Straight Out of a Mob Movie” MONTGOMERY, AL – Eric Johnston, president of Citizens for a Better Alabama made the following statement today: “So if you’ve ever wondered what a casino mogul does with the millions he’s made off Alabamians who lost their hard-earned money at his casino, now you know.” “In an article appearing in today’s edition of the Mobile Press-Register, casino boss Milton McGregor admits he hired a private eye to follow a law enforcement official who disagreed with him about gambling in Alabama. McGregor then claims he threatened to expose him, if the Governor did not. That sounds like something straight out of a mob movie.” “Alabamians should pay attention to this. The evidence that casinos and gambling bring increased crime and corruption is indisputable. Milton McGregor has just helped prove that point with

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Gov. Bob Riley asks Alabama Supreme Court to declare all electronic bingo illegal

Riley: Machines are illegal KIM CHANDLER Birmingham News staff writer MONTGOMERY – Gov. Bob Riley said Thursday he has urged the Alabama Supreme Court to rule that the slots look-alike game of electronic bingo is illegal across the state. Riley and St. Clair District Attorney Richard Minor filed a joint brief with the court earlier this month asking the court to issue a ruling in a St. Clair County bingo case that declares all of the machines illegal. The Alabama Supreme Court in June issued a 6-3 order delaying enforcement of a St. Clair judge’s ruling that allowed the games to be installed at the American Legion Hall in Ashville. Riley urged the court to use the opportunity to issue a broader ruling on the machines. “Ultimately, only this court can put a statewide end to the cancer of slot machines masquerading as `electronic bingo,’” Minor and lawyers for the governor

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Mexico’s new drug law a ‘tragic surrender’

By Art Toalston WASHINGTON (BP)–A new law in Mexico decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana and other narcotics — including cocaine and heroin — will inflict “a serious setback” to the battle against drugs in the United States, a Southern Baptist policy expert has predicted. “We now have an entire country on our southern border that is a haven for drug abuse,” Barrett Duke, vice president for public policy and research for the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, noted in an Aug. 29 blog. “Our southwestern states will suffer first from this tragic surrender as more drug-addicted people come across the border. Then the rest of the country will feel it as they move inland,” Duke wrote. “Inspections at the border will become more difficult as well, as more people attempt to cross into the country with their ‘legal’ drug amounts. You can be sure that U.S. relations with Mexico are

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The President’s “Beer Summit” was a bad idea!

The following open letter to President Barack Obama has been distributed to news outlets throughout the nation by Dr. Dan Ireland, Executive Director of the American Council on Alcohol Problems (ACAP) and the Director Emeritus of ALCAP. It addresses the inappropriateness of the recent “Beer Summit” held by the President in the White House Gardens. The White House1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NWWashington, DC 20500 Dear Mr. President, With your recent “Beer Summit” you have provided a tremendous complimentary boost to the alcohol industry at the public’s expense. As the American Medical Association as well as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention point out, alcohol is a drug. As reflected by the millions of alcoholic and problem drinkers in the United States, alcohol is an addictive drug as well as a killer drug. The Surgeon General says the nation averages 100,000 deaths a year due to alcohol abuse. As I’m sure

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New study shows 1 in 25 deaths worldwide attributable to alcohol

New study shows 1 in 25 deaths worldwide attributable to alcohol, but CAMH researcher sees glass as half full For Release: June 26, 2009, (Toronto) Research from Canada’s own Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) featured in this week’s edition of The Lancet shows that worldwide, 1 in 25 deaths are directly attributable to alcohol consumption. This rise since 2000 is mainly due to increases in the number of women drinking. CAMH’s Dr Jürgen Rehm and his colleagues found that alcohol-attributable disorders are among the most disabling disease categories within the global burden of disease, especially for men. And in contrast to other traditional risk factors for disease, the burden attributable to alcohol lies more with younger people than with the older population. Dr. Rehm still takes an optimistic ‘glass half full’ response to this large and increasing alcohol-attributable burden. “Today, we know more than ever about which strategies can

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“What can I do to make a difference?”

Often, people will ask me, “What can I do to make a difference in my community, in our state and in our nation?” The following is an edited version of my response to someone asking that very question. Of course, there are a number of other actions that an individual can take, but these are given as a way of triggering other ideas in your own mind. While I don’t mention it in the list below, prayer should certainly head the list! As Christians, we are called by the Apostle Paul in Romans 13 to pray for our government leaders. Stand up and let your voice be heard concerning the moral issues confronting our nation! Make contact with your United States Senators (Shelby and Sessions) and with your U.S. Representatives (depends on where you live). Let them (or someone in their local or Washington offices) know where you stand on specific

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Predatory Gambling, Democracy and the American Dream

Summary : “It’s predatory, deceptive, addictive and undermines the purpose and promise of America.” An Overview No major public policy issue exists in America that is more talked about yet less understood than casino-style gambling. While there are many well-intentioned public officials, reporters, editorial writers and bloggers who discuss the issue in terms of state revenues and potential jobs, most know virtually nothing about the product design, the technology, the marketing and the business model used by the casino trade. Most don’t even use the products frequently, if at all. And most don’t have personal relationships with the out-of-control gamblers who make up nearly all of the profits. The debate on slot machines and casino-style gambling is not about jobs and revenues. Nor is it about whether we “permit” gambling. It’s not about buying a square in the Super Bowl office pool or playing poker with the guys from the neighborhood

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Big Losers: The Casino Industry’s Ideal Customers

Asst. Prof. Natasha Schull has studied gambling in Las Vegas for 15 years. Photo: Ed Quinn Natasha Schull, who was raised in New York’s Greenwich Village, first encountered Las Vegas on the way to college, when her connecting flight was delayed there for a few hours. “It was the most bizarre place I’d ever been. I wasn’t familiar with malls or theme parks or any of the elements that you see exemplified in Las Vegas,” she says. “I was immediately fascinated.” Schull, who has studied gambling in Las Vegas for the past 15 years, is a cultural anthropologist and assistant professor in MIT’s Program on Science, Technology, and Society. She recently wrote Machine Zone: Technology and Compulsion in Las Vegas, a book based on her research on compulsive gamblers and the engineers who design the slot machines they play. The book will be published next fall. She also has created

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Glitzy Video Slots Seen as Particular Addiction Risk

By Carey GoldbergGlobe Staff / March 7, 2009 Among addiction specialists, video slot machines have come to be known as the “crack cocaine” of the gambling industry. The mechanical wheels of spinning fruit used in the old one-armed bandits have gone the way of the typewriter. Modern-day slot machines are computerized sound-and-light shows so skillfully designed to keep players glued to their seats that some have been known to wear adult diapers to avoid bathroom breaks. As state Treasurer Timothy P. Cahill promotes the idea of licensing three slot parlors in Massachusetts, some mental health and gambling specialists warn that the newer machines deliver such potent gambling highs that they can be particularly addictive. The video slots allow players to gamble incredibly rapidly, winning or losing a game every several seconds without a break, to the point that their brains are undergoing the equivalent of an intravenous drip of an

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