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  • Thursday, June 07, 2012 12:55 PM | Anonymous

    A new article in the Journal of Medical Toxicology overviews the toxicology of "bath salts," a synthetic cathinone (i.e. MDPV, mephedrone, methedrone).  Bath salts cases are quickly increasing in the Northwest and an understanding of the drug is critical to quickly spotting them at the onset.  

    Recently a Fort Lewis soldier who murdered his wife and child was confirmed to have been snorting bath salts (MDPV in this case) shortly before the incident. Article here.  Second Article here.

    To view the entire toxicology article, click here. 

  • Thursday, June 07, 2012 12:46 PM | Anonymous

    Aaron Deveau, 18, who became the first driver in Massachusetts to be convicted of motor vehicle homicide by texting, has been sentenced to two years in prison and loss of his license for 15 years, the Associated Press reported.

    Prosecutors said Deveau, who pleaded not guilty, was texting on Feb. 20, 2011, when his vehicle swerved across the center line of a Haverhill street and crashed head on into Donald Bowley's truck, killing the 55-year-old father of three.

    "My brother received such severe head trauma that ... there was no hope for him," the victim's sister Donna Burleigh testified in Haverhill District Court.

    Deveau was charged with motor vehicle homicide and negligent operation of a motor vehicle, using a mobile phone while operating a motor vehicle, reading or sending an electronic message, a marked lanes violation, and two counts of negligent operation and injury from mobile phone use.

    To view the entire news article, go here.

  • Wednesday, May 23, 2012 8:16 AM | Anonymous

    Jury Awards More than $21 Million Against Coca Cola in cell phone case.

    Corpus Christi, Texas (PRWEB) May 04, 2012

    Coca Cola Refreshments USA, Inc. today faces a corporate responsibility challenge after Corpus Christi jury awards in excess of 21 Million Dollars in a cell phone distraction injury case heard in the County Court at Law No. 2 in Nueces County, Case No. 10-61510-2.

    Two law firms came together to bring the cell phone distraction case to a jury after it was discovered in the lawsuit that Coca Cola had a vague and ambiguous cell phone policy for its delivery drivers, according to court documents. The jury was to decide whether or not Venice Wilson's injuries were caused by a distracted Coca Cola delivery driver who was on a cell phone.

    The law firms handling the trial, Hilliard, Munoz & Gonzalez through its lead lawyer, Bob Hilliard, and Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys, through its lead lawyer, Thomas J. Henry, discovered flaws in the Coca Cola management cell phone policy which allowed its employees to operate company vehicles throughout the United States while using a cell phone, according to court documents.

    According to court documents, the jury heard overwhelming evidence of how Coca Cola knew of the dangers of using a cell phone while driving, including having a cognitive distraction of 37% while on a cell phone. The jury heard that Coca Cola withheld this information from its employee driver, in addition to the data on the numbers of deaths and injuries arising from cell phone use while operating vehicles, according to court documents.

    When asked about Coca Cola corporate governance, Bob Hilliard, a lead trial lawyer in the case said this:

    "Today's verdict I hope sends a message to corporate America that you can't have employees on a cell phone and endanger the motoring public."

    When asked to reflect on the jury's award, Thomas J. Henry of Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys, a national law firm, stated:

    "From the time I took the Coca Cola driver's testimony and obtained the company's inadequate cell phone driving policy, I knew we had a corporate giant with a huge safety problem on our hands. I also knew that taking on Coca Cola's policy that affects hundreds of thousands of its employees would require assembling a trial team with the horse power necessary to fight and win. More importantly, I knew Mrs. Wilson deserved justice, and the rest of the motoring public deserved safer drivers; so, Bob Hilliard and I decided to put our law firm litigation teams together to shred Coca Cola's policy."

    When asked if he thought the jury connected with him during his closing argument, Bob Hilliard said, "I knew looking into their hearts and minds, after hearing days of trial testimony, that they knew cell phone use while driving was deadly and harmful. The jury knew I gave them evidence to change Coca Cola's policy, and I knew the jury would do justice, and they did. We now have a safer community, state, and country and now Coke gets to join, against their will, other Fortune 500 companies who volunteered to have a ‘no cell phone use while operating company vehicles’ policy.”

  • Monday, May 14, 2012 10:34 AM | Anonymous
    A summary of important Law Enforcement Bills, prepared by WSP staff, is available here.    The summary includes effective dates and hyperlinks to the final bill. 
  • Wednesday, May 09, 2012 10:23 AM | Anonymous

    Trends Report on Changes in the Designer Drug Market:
    Spring 2012


    Hosted by: Barry K. Logan, Ph.D., DABFT, NMS Labs National Director, Forensic Services

    Dr. Barry K. Logan, NMS Labs National Director of Forensic and Toxicological Services, will present fascinating new data on how the identity of compounds available in the synthetic drug market place (cannabinoids and “bath salts”) has changed quarter by quarter since 2010. Compounds have come and gone largely to avoid attempts to schedule them, but some have emerged as major “chemicals of concern.” New compounds are now starting to appear, making obsolete even the latest changes in State and Federal laws designed to control this dangerous and rapidly growing market. Although the synthetic cannabinoid drugs have changed the most, the “Bath Salts/Plant Food” craze has recently developed momentum and is showing signs of expanding in scale and scope. After reviewing the trends in drug availability and their impact on forensic chemistry labs, the presentation will consider the challenges faced by toxicology labs in monitoring synthetic drug use as the menu of substances popular among drug abusers has grown and diversified, and how technological advances are helping with that effort. The presentation will conclude with the latest research reports on adverse effects of the use of these drugs and consideration of what we might expect through the rest of 2012.

    Wednesday, May 23, 2012
    2:00pm - 3:00pm ET
    Includes a Q&A Session following the presentation

    Register online now to attend


  • Wednesday, May 09, 2012 10:20 AM | Anonymous

    The Challenges of Analytical Method Validation of Designer Drugs
    in Non-Biological Samples by GC/MS

    Hosted by: Fran Diamond, NMS Labs Chemistry Technical Leader

    The new wave of designer stimulants that have become available has created new challenges for the analytical laboratories involved in drug identification work. The proliferation of analogous and isomeric forms of these substances has generated the need for new instrument technology, software solutions and scientific vigilance. Discussion will include the multitude of drugs that are available, the approach to analysis by GC/MS, and NMS Labs commitment to finding solutions to this ever changing environment.

    Tuesday, May 15, 2012
    2:00pm - 3:00pm ET
    Includes a Q&A Session following the presentation

    Register online now to attend


  • Monday, April 16, 2012 11:36 AM | Anonymous

    The DEA National Forensic Laboratory Information System (NFLIS) systematically collects results from drug chemistry analyses conducted by state and local forensic laboratories across the country. As a national drug forensic laboratory reporting system, NFLIS provides timely and detailed analytical results of drugs seized by law enforcement.  It is a unique source of information for monitoring and understanding drug abuse and trafficking in the United States, including the diversion of legally manufactured drugs into illegal markets. Findings from NFLIS can also supplement existing drug data sources, including information from drug demand surveys and drug testing programs.  The full report is here.

    Highlights

    From January 2011 through June 2011, an estimated 484,684 distinct drug cases were submitted to State and local laboratories in the United States and analyzed by September 30, 2011 . From these cases, an estimated 827,157 drug reports were identified .

    Cannabis/THC was the most frequently reported drug (277,291), followed by cocaine (166,001), methamphetamine (78,889), and heroin (56,892) . The four most frequently reported drugs accounted for 70% of all drug reports .

    Nationally, reports of oxycodone, hydrocodone, alprazolam, clonazepam, buprenorphine, and amphetamine increased significantly from the first half of 2001 through the first half of 2011 (p < .05) .

    Regionally, reports of hydrocodone and clonazepam per 100,000 persons (aged 15 or older) increased significantly in all four U .S . census regions from the first six months of 2001 through the first six months of 2011 . Reports of oxycodone, alprazolam, and amphetamine per 100,000 persons increased significantly in the Midwest, Northeast, and South . Buprenorphine increased significantly in the West, Midwest, and Northeast .

    More than 72% of narcotic analgesic reports were oxycodone or hydrocodone . Alprazolam accounted for 52% of tranquilizer and depressant reports . MDMA accounted for 32% of hallucinogen reports, and methamphetamine accounted for 83% of stimulant reports .

    From the first half of 2001 through the first half of 2011, cannabis/THC reports per 100,000 persons increased significantly in the Northeast, but decreased significantly in the remaining three U .S . census regions . Cocaine reports decreased significantly in all U .S . census regions . During this same period, methamphetamine reports decreased significantly in the West and Midwest and

    increased significantly in the South . Heroin reports increased significantly in the Midwest . MDMA

    reports per 100,000 persons increased significantly in the Midwest, but decreased significantly in the South .

    Cannabis/THC was the most frequently reported drug in the Midwest (45%), Northeast (34%), and South (30%), and methamphetamine was the most frequently reported drug in the

    West (29%) .

    Nationwide, cannabis/THC, cocaine, and methamphetamine reports exhibited significant decreasing trends between the first six months of 2001 and the first six months of 2011 .

  • Thursday, April 12, 2012 7:42 AM | Anonymous

    pt21_head.jpg

    A Word from MADD's National President

    This April 16th marks a significant anniversary for me and my family. It seems like it was only yesterday when my daughter, Alisa, was enjoying her spring vacation by spending the night at her best friend’s home. They were only 15 years old, with their futures shining brightly before them. But because a 17-year-old decided to drive after drinking, Alisa was killed that evening. That was 20 years ago next week, and my heart is still longing to kiss her one last time.

    April begins prom and graduation season. That is why April 21st is our national PowerTalk21 day. Now is a critical time for parents to begin conversations about the dangers of drinking before age 21, and it is important to continue those conversations frequently. Research shows that three out of four teens say that their parents are the number one influence on their decisions about drinking. Parents, I urge you to have those conversations and keep them going. Also, remind your kids to never ride in the car with someone who has been drinking. Our Power of Parents handbook can help you with suggestions on how to have those discussions.

      Not sure how to do it?  Get a copy of the MADD handbook here. 

  • Friday, March 23, 2012 10:25 AM | Anonymous
    The latest copy of the Drug Enforcement Agency's Newsletter, the Microgram, is available here. 
  • Thursday, March 22, 2012 11:15 AM | Anonymous

    This issue includes legal analysis on the recent Kentucky vs. King decision.  The opinion is important not just because it decides another exigent circumstance case, but because it includes valuble insight into the leanings of our current Supreme Court Justices on 4th Amendment search and seizure cases.  The article and the full FBI bulletin is here.

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