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Latest news: 1-12-2010

Hawaii's meth use rose 33 percent 

HI - Hawaii’s largest, locally owned drug testing company said crystal methamphetamine use is up, and drug prevention organizations said the numbers are alarming.

Diagnostic Laboratory Services released its year-end numbers for 2009 and found that crystal meth use rose 33 percent from 2008.

Full story, KITV-TV

County prosecutor wants prescription requirement for meth chemical

Jennings County, IN - Jennings County Prosecutor Alan Marshall is approaching that county's meth problem with a new, bold approach. Under a proposal submitted Monday night to County Commissioners and the North Vernon City Council, cold medicines containing ephedrine and pseudoephedrine could only be dispersed with a doctor's prescription. He says previous efforts to curb meth use and production briefly worked when certain cold relief products were moved from the medicine aisle to behind the counter, but it has climbed up steadily since.

While there is no state law on the books, Marshall says the individual counties have the autonomy to take such measures on there own. He says a similar measure is the law of the land in the State of Oregon. He says meth labs there have decreased from several hundred per year to just a handful in the past year. Marshall is hopeful for a similar result in Jennings County.

Full story, WCSI-Radio

Celebrity meth problems profiled

Sometimes, it seems like substance abuse and celebrities are like that old song about love and marriage: you can't have one without the other.

Andre Agassi's the latest star to admit a predilection for drugs. In his upcoming autobiography titled "Open," the eight-time Grand Slam champion reveals that he used crystal meth in 1997, around the same time he married actress Brooke Shields, and lied to tennis authorities when he failed a drug test, claiming he "unwittingly" took the substance.

Full story, ABC News

Man convicted in meth case sentenced to life

Honolulu, HI - A former Hawaii man has been sentenced to life in federal prison for shipping about 10 pounds of methamphetamine from Las Vegas to Hawaii.

U.S. District Judge David Ezra in Honolulu sentenced 54-year-old John James Rodrigues of Las Vegas on Monday. There is no parole in the federal prison system.

Prosecutors say Rodrigues was the last member of a large drug trafficking organization that shipped more than a ton of meth from Las Vegas to Hawaii from 2002 to 2005.

In total, 25 individuals were convicted of federal drug charges for their various roles in the conspiracy.

Rodrigues was arrested in 2008 after agreeing to sell meth to an undercover police officer.


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