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The Lead

Lab Delays Lead to False Drug Convictions

April 21, 2014 4:16 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Lengthy crime lab delays have forced at least 21 people across Texas to serve time on drug possession charges when the substance they had wasn't illegal, according to a published report.                  

Colorado Deaths Stoke Worries about Pot Edibles

April 21, 2014 11:58 am | by Sadie Gurman, Associated Press | News | Comments

The two recent deaths have stoked concerns about Colorado's recreational marijuana industry and...

Ohio Bans Two Chemicals Used to Make Synthetic Drugs

April 18, 2014 11:30 am | by Ann Sanner, Associated Press | News | Comments

Ohio officials are hoping the new rule will help stymie illegal-drug makers who tweaked the...

Mexico Arrests Mayor for Drug Cartel Extortion

April 17, 2014 11:53 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Prosecutors in western Mexico arrested the mayor of a city that once served as a stronghold of...

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Forensics Class at Boys' Latin School Uses Maggots for Criminal Investigation

April 15, 2014 12:25 pm | by The Boys' Latin School of Maryland | News | Comments

It's typical for students in Jim Haluck's honors forensics course at The Boys' Latin School of Maryland, to learn about a variety of materials throughout the year. Recently, however, students were talking quite a bit about the new lab entitled Sarcophaga bullata, which deals with meat and maggots in an attempt to determine if drugs were used by a hypothetical deceased human body.

The Growing Drug Trade in the Oil Patch

April 15, 2014 11:49 am | by Sharon Cohen, Associated Press | News | Comments

The oil boom in the Bakken shale fields has touched off an explosion of growth and wealth on this remote wind-swept prairie. Big money is raining down in small towns. Oil rigs light up the night sky. But the bonanza suddenly flourishing here has also brought with it a dark side: a growing trade in meth, heroin, cocaine and marijuana, the shadow of sinister cartels and newfound violence.

Drug Tampering at Florida Lab Prompts Changes

April 14, 2014 11:19 am | by Melissa Nelson-Gabriel, Associated Press | News | Comments

Florida prosecutors will drop some drug cases and more closely scrutinize drug evidence after a former state crime lab analyst was accused of stealing narcotics from evidence bags, replacing them with over-the-counter medicine.       

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Heroin's Corrosive Effect in New Hampshire

April 7, 2014 10:18 am | by Jeremy Blackman, Concord Monitor | News | Comments

While heroin abuse has plagued the Northeast for decades, it has swelled in recent years as supply has risen and prescription pills have become more costly and more difficult to find.                   

Hand-held Treatment for Overdoses is Approved

April 4, 2014 11:44 am | by Sabrina Tavernise, The New York Times | News | Comments

Federal health regulators approved a drug overdose treatment device that experts say will provide a powerful lifesaving tool in the midst of a surging epidemic of prescription drug abuse.                 

Indiana Leads Nation in Meth Lab Seizures

April 3, 2014 1:54 pm | by News-Sentinel | News | Comments

Indiana has achieved the dubious distinction of leading the U.S. in methamphetamine lab seizures — a whopping 1,800 of them last year, according to state and federal statistics.                 

Synthetic Marijuana Creating Danger for First Responders

April 2, 2014 12:14 pm | by Shaley Sanders, KTRE | News | Comments

When first responders receive a call, they can never be sure of what they might encounter — and when synthetic marijuana is involved, their jobs can be that much harder.                    

Synthetic Drugs Emerging in Asia

April 1, 2014 1:18 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Methamphetamine is the drug of choice in Asia but new synthetic drugs have found their way in the region, with authorities always playing catch up with traffickers, international drug enforcers say.               

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Police Warn of 'Fake Weed' Dangers

March 31, 2014 1:02 pm | by Karen Madden, Wisconsin Rapids Tribune | News | Comments

Manufacturers frequently put fake weed in foil pouches sealed in containers with nice labels. The packaging gives the impression the product is made in a clean factory that is regulated and inspected.               

Synthetic Drugs Created Faster than the Law

March 28, 2014 12:14 pm | by Ben Proulx, Fort Saskatchewan Record | News | Comments

Synthetic cannabinoids — a chemically-created mimicry of marijuana — have proven to be laying in legal limbo. However, the synthetic substances have become an enforcement issue for police.                 

Fluorescent Sensor Detects GHB

March 28, 2014 11:10 am | by National University of Singapore | News | Comments

A Chemistry team from the National University of Singapore has developed for the first time a fluorescent sensor that detects the presence of GHB.                                

Smoke Shop Owners Arrested in Synthetic Marijuana Crackdown

March 27, 2014 1:00 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Baton Rouge police have arrested the owners of two smoke shops after authorities raided their shops during a crackdown on the sale of synthetic marijuana.                           

New Black Market Designer Drugs: Why Now?

March 26, 2014 2:47 pm | by Daniel DeNoon, WebMD | News | Comments

Most of the new designer drugs have psychedelic properties, although many have mixed features of psychedelics and other drug classes such as stimulants or amphetamines. They are dangerous for users who don't know what they're getting — or getting into.

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Designer Drugs Enter US - Legally

March 25, 2014 12:36 pm | by CBS News | News | Comments

Recreational drugs are being cooked up in labs overseas. Many of these so-called designer drugs are being imported legally in amazing quantities.                             

Testing Synthetic Marijuana's Legality

March 21, 2014 2:35 pm | by Kiran Chawla, FOX8 | News | Comments

Louisiana Department of Health & Hospitals Secretary Kathy Kleibert signed an Emergency Rule recently adding eight more synthetic cannabinoids, commonly known as Synthetic Marijuana, to the state's banned list.          

Synthetic Drug Trafficking Operation Detailed in Search Warrants

March 21, 2014 9:42 am | by Regina Zilbermints, Des Moines Register | News | Comments

A centralized network of traffickers working with one supplier funneled synthetic drugs into the Des Moines, Iowa area, generating hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue, authorities contend in search warrants filed in Polk County District Court.

Police Link Designer Drug to Two Deaths

March 19, 2014 4:11 pm | by Paul Walsh and Pam Louwagie, Star Tribune | News | Comments

A synthetic drug, possibly designed to mimic cocaine or LSD, is suspected of contributing to the deaths of a teenage girl and a young man in Mankato, Minn., at separate homes, and authorities are worried there is “more of this potentially deadly substance out there.”

Russian Drug Eyed in Nine North Texas Deaths

March 19, 2014 1:06 pm | by KCENTV | News | Comments

A dangerous Russian drug that has suddenly become popular in North Texas may have contributed to at least nine recent deaths in Tarrant County, including four in just the past three months.                 

Jury Returns Guilty Verdicts in Synthetic Marijuana Case

March 18, 2014 4:14 pm | by Mary Drier, Tuscaloa Today | News | Comments

A year-long investigation by several law enforcement agencies and a five-day trial results in guilty verdicts against two Michigan residents from incidents involving the sale of synthetic cannabinoids.             

Inside the Barely Legal World of Designer Drugs

March 17, 2014 11:15 am | by Rachel Martin, NPR | Podcasts | Comments

Designer drugs are altered at the molecular level to mimic illegal drugs, while staying inside the law. NPR's Rachel Martin talks with author Mike Power about how these drugs are made and sold.

Chemist Wins Forensic Science Award

March 11, 2014 12:42 pm | by Maryland Gazette | News | Comments

Michael Smith, a supervisory chemist at Fort George G. Meade's Forensic Toxicology Drug Testing Laboratory, was presented a lifetime achievement award from the American Academy of Forensic Sciences.               

North Dakota Synthetic Drug Cases Fell Sharply after 2012

March 3, 2014 11:35 am | by Jenny Michael, The Bismark Tribune | News | Comments

Statistics from the North Dakota State Crime Laboratory show that new approaches to fight the use and distribution of synthetic drugs in the past year may be working.

Faster Anthrax Detection Could Save Millions of Dollars, Speed Bioterror Response

February 28, 2014 2:46 pm | by Paige Blankenbuehler, Univ. of Missouri | News | Comments

Scientists have proved a new method for anthrax detection can identify anthrax quicker than any existing approach.                                       

Toxicology Expert Lifts Kerry Kennedy's Defense

February 26, 2014 12:14 pm | by Joseph Berger, The New York Times | News | Comments

On the second day of Kerry Kennedy’s misdemeanor trial on charges of driving under the influence of a sleeping pill, the prosecution’s pharmaceutical expert said that the drug, a generic version of Ambien, could render users incapable of recognizing that their driving was impaired.

Additive Leads to Spate of Heroin Overdose Deaths

February 24, 2014 10:21 am | by John Barry and Ryan Blessing, The Bulletin | News | Comments

Drug overdose deaths in Eastern Connecticut are skyrocketing. Officials are worried about the increasingly devastating impact of heroin in the region, and there has been a new, recent twist — heroin that is spiked with a potent painkiller for a lethal combination.

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