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Latest news: 08-10-2010

"Legalize drugs" says former Mexican president

Vicente Fox, the most recent former president of Mexico, is calling for the legalization of narcotics. In a post at his personal blog  published over the weekend, the former president says: "We must legalize the production, distribution, and sale of drugs." Fox, whose election in 2000 ended more than 70 years of one-party rule in Mexico, argues that legalizing drugs would "strike and break" the economic power of drug-trafficking cartels operating in Mexico. "We need to break the balance between criminals, markets, transfer routes, and criminal associations sheltered by corruption, intelligently, with much less doses of violence," Fox writes.

Full story, The Los Angeles Times

Feds say store owner lived a double life as meth ring-leader

TX - Mohammad Zahid owns convenience stores and a home in suburban Sugar Land, and he has two kids in college — one a medical student. If federal agents have it right, the 54-year-old who emigrated from Pakistan more than 20 years ago also lived a double life. Far from his family residence on a tree-lined street was a string of younger lovers, a drug habit and a Houston condo, from which he allegedly dispensed wildly addictive methamphetamine over games of pool. A federal indictment borne from Operation Agent Orange states the man known as "Z" is part of a 35-person plot that connects Houston to Mexico. All face at least 10 years and as long as life in prison if convicted in the drug-trafficking conspiracy. "It is a large organization, as large as they come for crystal meth on this side (of the border)," testified Agent John Schwartz, of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Full story, The Houston Chronicle

Idaho Meth Project to continue after art contest

ID - Megan Ronk and her two co-workers put a lot of work, sweat, and time into the recently-concluded Paint the State contest, a challenge that allowed teens to create unique works of art for the chance to win up to $6,500 in prize.  Ronk says she is happy with the results of the art contest, adding she and her crew plan to continue to push forward with the work of Idaho Meth Project in upcoming months. Here’s what Ronk had to say about the Paint the State challenge: We were extremely pleased with the success of the 2010 Paint the State contest.  As you could see from the awards ceremony on Friday, hundreds of teens, parents, clubs and organizations were proactively involved in spreading the ‘Not Even Once’ message in communities throughout Idaho this summer.  This is the exact type of grass-roots mobilization that is an objective of the Idaho Meth Project.  Based on Paint the State’s success, it is something we would to hope to replicate again in the future.  We have done a number of large-scale events since the Idaho Meth Project’s inception (including concerts, air shows and Paint the State), so our board of directors will continue to evaluate which of these programs help us best further our goal toward reducing meth use among teens and young adults.

Full story, The Idaho Reporter

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