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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 22, 2012/ 2 Tamuz, 5772

Bath salts controversy --- when politicians become pushers

By Glenn Garvin



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) I'll bet none of Miami's city commissioners has ever heard of Gabi Price. That's sad for many reasons, including the fact that knowing her story might have saved the commissioners from elevating their ordinary jackassery to international levels last week.

Gabi was just 14 when she collapsed and died while attending a party in the British port city of Brighton in 2009. Police, not troubling themselves to wait for an autopsy, announced she had died after taking a drug known to English teenagers as "meow-meow" and sold legally on the Internet under the label "plant food." Two people were arrested on suspicion of supplying her the drug.

If the cops didn't have to wait for an autopsy, there was certainly no reason to expect Great Britain's tabloid press to do so. The drug that's cheap, easy to order as pizza ... and totally legal, screamed London's Daily Mail. "Ban this kiddy crack now!" demanded a columnist in the Mirror. And as meow-meow's death toll mounted — cops and newspapers blamed it for 18 deaths over the next few months — a ban seemed to make good sense.

Well, except for the fact that the whole thing was almost purely fictional, even by the flexible standards of the Brit tabloids. When autopsies and toxicological reports finally started rolling in, it turned out that only one of the 18 deaths might reasonably be attributed to meow-meow.

In some cases, meow-meow was only one small part of exotic cocktails of drugs including amphetamines, morphine and methadone. In others, the victims had serious health complications, sometimes massive: One man, who died after injecting himself with four massive doses of meow-meow during an orgy, was also an insulin-dependent diabetic who was HIV positive and suffered from chronic renal disease, high blood pressure and coronary artery disease.

Gabi? She hadn't taken meow-meow at all. Her autopsy showed she died of a streptococcal infection, an untreated case of the flu. "She was branded a druggie, but she was just a little girl who died," said her brokenhearted mother.

Why it would have been worth the Miami city commission's time to learn Gabi's story is that the demon drug that was originally blamed for her death was mephedrone, a chemical cousin to "bath salts," the drug that supposedly turned a North Miami Beach man into a face-chewing zombie last month.

Actually, almost anything can be inside those little bags marked bath salts; as Reuters columnist Jack Shafer reported recently, cops have sometimes found they contain nothing more sinister than a mixture of caffeine and aspirin. (If you find that alarming, keep in mind it's essentially the formula of Excedrin and a lot of other headache remedies.)

But most commonly bath salts are a synthetic version of cathinone, a compound contained in the leaves of the khat plant, which people in the Horn of Africa and the Arabian peninsula have been chewing for a mild high for centuries without turning into voracious zombies.

If bath salts and meow-meow are cousins, our drug panic is practically an identical twin of the one in Britain. Just like the Brits, we didn't wait for drug tests or other concrete evidence that Rudy Eugene was under the influence of bath salts when he attacked a homeless man over the Memorial Day weekend, just accepted the wild guesswork of a single cop. Three weeks later, there's still not a shred of evidence that bath salts had anything to do with the zombie incident.

But over at the city commission, they don't need no stinking evidence to know what happened or what to do about it. The commissioners last week banned the sale of anything called "bath salt" or "bath salts." In civilized, literate parts of the world, laws banning drugs contain their actual chemical formulas.

Ha! Our commissioners don't need no stinking science, either. Just a package with the name bath salts is illegal now, which is going to come as a surprise to all the nice ladies who buy vanilla-scented crystals to dissolve in their baths. (The commission apparently thought it had gotten around that by extending the ban only to packages under 16 ounces, but a lot of cosmetic bath salts come in eight-ounce packets.) Not to be outdone, several other local city councils, as well as the Miami-Dade County Commission, are poised to jump off the same bridge.

These bans aren't going to do a thing to remove bath salts — the ones that make you high — from public consumption. Dealers will just start labeling them "plant food" or some other banal phrase, as the Brits did. Even a less forthrightly stupid approach than that of the Miami city commissioners will face serious difficulties. Because the psychoactive compound in bath salts is synthetic, chemists can tinker just slightly with the molecule to produce a substance that's technically different enough to be legal. That's why bath salts are still on sale around the United States even though the DEA outlawed them in 1993.

The only thing the panic over bath salts is likely to do, in the end, is sell more bath salts. Scottish public-health researcher Alasdair J. M. Forsyth, who studied Great Britain's panic over mephedrone in 2009, discovered that Google searches of the phrase "mephedrone buy" skyrocketed every time a new atrocity story broke into the news. "News of drug deaths causes more interest in the drug, including buying it," he wrote.

That's right: Our politicians are pushers.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.

Glenn Garvin is a columnist for the Miami Herald

Previously:



4/26/12: When R2D2 and C3P0 go to war
2/16/12: The profound lies of Deep Throat
12/22/11: Great moments in history? Not so much
11/30/11: Giving bullies a veto on the First Amendment
09/15/11: ‘Bloodsucking Progressives Must Die’ video game is acceptable?
06/28/11: Send this one back where it came from
06/23/11: Doesn't this president remind you of someone?
05/26/11: A new standard of racial correctness
05/12/11: ‘Vast wasteland’ speech 50 years later
04/13/11: Bay of Pigs fiasco offers lessons for Obama's Libya adventure
03/03/11: Inconvenient truth for teachers' unions
07/10/10: Still looking to score
06/22/10: Ripe for fraud and abuse
05/25/10: Big Brother picks your pocket
11/04/09: Have conservatives scored a stealth prime time drama?
08/27/09: Left's been out for blood, too
08/13/09: What's not being celebrated
07/31/09: Pay-or-play means more lost jobs
07/16/09: OAS turns a blind eye to violations by left
07/02/09: Nothing so shocking about this coup
06/22/09: Libs' darling strikes out
06/03/09: Yes, America should read Sotomayor's speech in context
05/20/09: ‘Bloody’ mission goes awry
05/07/09: The problem is they aren't just goofin'
04/30/09: Why can't students say ‘guns’ in school?
04/08/09: When non-U.S. citizens vote
03/2e/09: Of course the AIG bonus boys — the ‘best and the brightest‘ — deserve their loot
03/12/09: No choice in Free Choice Act

© 2009, The Miami Herald Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

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