drugs

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A cousin of one of the world's most notorious drug lords who prosecutors say was working to distribute cocaine in the United States has been sentenced in a New Hampshire court to 16 years in federal prison.

Manuel Jesus Gutierrez-Guzman, cousin of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, was sentenced Friday. He pleaded guilty in October to his role in a conspiracy to expand the reach of his cousin's drug empire into New England by distributing 1,000 or more kilograms of cocaine and other drugs. He was arrested in Spain in 2012.

Daniel S Hurd via Flickr CC

 

Efforts to combat the state's growing heroin and opioid abuse problems have become the latest political football in the budget battle between Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan and Republican lawmakers.

The debate will play out Wednesday when a legislative committee must decide whether to accept $112,500 in grant money to continue paying Hassan's senior director for substance misuse and behavioral health, known as the state's "drug czar." Hassan appointed Jack Wozmak in January.

 

The cousin of one of the world's most notorious drug lords is set to be sentenced for his role in trying to expand the violent cartel's reach in Europe and the United States.

Jesus Gutierrez-Guzman has pleaded guilty to planning to distribute more than 1,000 kilograms of cocaine in the United States. He faces at least 10 years in prison when he's sentenced Monday.

He said he represented Joaquin Guzman, known as "El Chapo," in talks with undercover FBI agents. He said the violent Sinaloa drug gang could supply thousands of kilos of cocaine.

Logan Shannon / NHPR

Human beings spend a lot of time satisfying primal urges, but relatively little talking about or studying them. On today’s show, what we can learn by studying hedonism.

Also, hell can mean a bad day, other people, or a threat to sinners, but it wasn’t always so. We'll talk about how hell has evolved, from a place of flaming torture, to tangible horrors here in the real world.

And, at the height of the Ebola epidemic last fall, the hardest hit areas in West Africa not only struggled with containing the virus, but respectfully burying the dead. We’ll take a look at how funeral rites were handled during history’s worst epidemics.

Listen to the full show or click read more for individual segments.

Russell Darling via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/7uLMhV

Human beings spend a lot of time satisfying primal urges, but relatively little talking about or studying them. On today’s show, what we can learn by studying hedonism.

Then, at the height of the Ebola epidemic last fall, the hardest hit areas in West Africa not only struggled with containing the virus, but respectfully burying the dead. We’ll take a look at how funeral rites were handled during history’s worst epidemics.

Listen to the full show or click read more for individual segments.

zoecormier.com

Zoe Cormier is a scientist turned science journalist. Her first book, Sex, Drugs, & Rock ‘n Roll, is a collection of surprising and revealing research into the biology and neurochemistry of hedonism and the human pursuit of pleasure. And while some may wag a finger at those who indulge in sex, drugs, and even rock and roll, Zoe is quick to point out that these indulgences are a vital component in what defines us. 

Nor are these specific aspects of our condition that should be repressed. 

Listen to Virginia's entire interview with Zoe below. 

Earlier this month, the Berlin City Council adopted a ban on synthetic marijuana. Now  Littleton is considering the same thing, but it has decided to let voters decide..

The ordinance will go on the ballot because there’s a controversy in town about a ban, says Milton Bratz, the chairman of the select board.

Credit Taber Andrew Bain

It will soon be easier for police to reverse heroin and opioid overdoses.

Governor Maggie Hassan and the Department of Safety will create a new license for police that would allow them to administer a nasal spray called as naloxone, or Narcan. Narcan is what’s called an opioid antagonist, and it can save people in the throes of an overdose.

Police in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island have access to the drug.

Manchester police made more drug arrests in 2014 than in the previous year.

Manchester police recorded 155 drug-related arrests for the year. That’s up from 83 the previous year, an increase of about 85%. Major dragnets like those in March and November netted close to 60 alleged low level dealers.

Brian Leveille, the head of Manchester’s Special Investigations Unit, says the amount of heroin and oxycodone seized more than doubled from 2013.

Vaporizers_ / Flickr/CC

This week, The Exchange will play the five best shows of 2014, as voted by you. Here's a November program on the science of marijuana. With legalization in two states now, and a growing number of others allowing medical use of marijuana, advocates and opponents alike are looking for answers to back up their positions.

Courtesy of MPD

Police in Manchester are dealing with a recent spate of fatalities caused by drug overdoses.

Between Nov. 26 and Dec. 7, the city saw six overdose deaths.

Sgt. Brian O’Keefe says the department is waiting for toxicology results to confirm, but the suspicion is heroin use was involved in each case.

“Heroin today is roughly 30 to 40 percent purity," he said. "So if they add a few percentage of more pure ingredients such as heroin to the current product on the market, that can cause the uptick in fatalities.”

Carol Robidoux

  The Manchester Police Department along with various local and federal law enforcement agencies have arrested 23 low-level drug dealers in the city.

One city resident police arrested was found with about 140 grams of heroin in his home which holds a street value of $14,000.

Chief David Mara says the arrests serve as a deterrent to people engaged in illicit drug activity and improves the city’s quality of life.

Courtesy image/Manchester PD

Governor Maggie Hassan has declared a state of emergency in the wake of more than 40 synthetic marijuana overdose cases since Monday.

Synthetic cannabinoids, also known as spice, has been linked to a jump in overdoses in Manchester and Concord. The powers of Governor Hassan’s executive order to seize the drug sold ostensibly as incense in corner stores, applies only to the bubblegum-flavored variety of a brand called ‘Smacked!.’ Health Commissioner Nick Toumpas says other brands called ‘Green Giant’ and ‘Crazy Monkey’ may also be dangerous.

MPD

Over the last two days, police in Manchester arrested 30 street-level heroin dealers. Three were on Wednesday and at least 27 on Thursday since 5 o’clock in the morning.


Governor Maggie Hassan, during her State of the State Address, criticized efforts to legalize marijuana. Hassan expressed concerns about New Hampshire’s current drug problem.


Vaporizers_ / Flickr Creative Commons

Those hoping for the legalization of marijuana in New Hampshire now say they have momentum on their side, coming from several different directions. First, after years of defeats, supporters saw their first real victory in the Granite State last year when medicinal pot was voted into law. Second, marijuana legalization has now passed in two states, Colorado and Washington. And third, a new legalization bill this year passed the house by a slim margin.

It came as a surprise to many people when Vermont's governor recently devoted his entire 2014 State of the State address to what he called a "full-blown heroin crisis."

While it may not fit Vermont's bucolic image, the state's addiction problem has long been acknowledged. And as the state has expanded treatment, it's also been coming to grips with one of the most difficult and emotional aspects of the issue: addicted mothers.

Police in Salem are investigating three drug overdoses in the city, less than a week after a similar series of overdoses in Portsmouth.

On Tuesday police in Salem found a man unconscious and not breathing. He was revived at a local hospital. They believe he is acquainted with a couple found in a similar state in a vehicle on Monday.

New Hampshire has seen a growing number of heroin deaths and overdoses in recent months.

Portsmouth police say they've made a ninth arrest in connection with a months-long heroin ring investigation.  The ninth suspect--21-year old Chelsea Glover of Milton--was arrested Friday night on charges of selling heroin. She was being held on $5,000 bail.   Seven other people have been charged with felony-level drug offenses. One was charged with misdemeanor trespassing.

N.H. High School Asks Parents To Join 'Molly' Conversation

Sep 12, 2013
tanjila via Flickr Creative Commons

A New Hampshire high school has sent out an email to parents asking them to talk to their children about the party drug "Molly," which has been linked to two college student deaths.

School officials said they have not seen any evidence of Molly, considered a slang reference to the drug Ecstasy, on campus at Pembroke Academy. But they said they want the parents of their 875 students to know more about the drug.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

Manchester police have seized the largest amount of heroin in the city’s history.


Sara Plourde / NHPR

With any black market, it's impossible to track the full extent of its reach. One way to estimate the relative quantity of various drugs in the city is to track undercover drug buys and seizures by the police department. This system of measurement, however, is an imperfect science; large busts (see: cocaine, 2009) skew numbers for a particular year, throwing off the curve, and budgetary and tactical considerations can restrict potential drug buys.

via buzzfeed.com

Breaking Bad follows a high school science teacher who cooks up meth with a former student, kicking off a fast slide into murder, extortion and unsavory partnerships as a bona fide drug lord. Too crazy to be true…right? Well, maybe not. In 2011, police in California arrested Stephen Kinzey; professor by day, outlaw biker and meth distributor by night. Kinzey has been out on bail since his initial arrest. The preliminary hearing to determine whether or not the case against him is strong enough to go to trial was scheduled for June, it’s since been delayed.

Natasha Vargas-Cooper wrote about the real-life Walter White for BuzzFeed, and took the time to talk with us. She’s also a frequent contributor to The Atlantic, and The New York Times among others.

Chris Valdes and Ted Griswold via Kickstarter

Los Tigres del Norte’s 1972 breakthrough hit, “Contrabando y Traicion” – is a song which, despite its cheery tone and instrumentation, tells the dark tale of two lovers trafficking marijuana in the tires of their car…a story that ends in betrayal and murder.   The song is what is called a “narco-corrido”, or drug ballad.  After returning from a two-year stint teaching grade-school in one of the most dangerous parts of Honduras, Ted Griswold and Chris Valdes find themselves wanting to return… they’re raising funds on Kickstarter for a documentary film about Honduras’ most famous underground drug-ballad band, Los Plebes de Olancho.

JulianBleecker via Flickr Creative Commons

In a story riddled with cliché, world renowned particle physicist, Paul Frampton, was arrested in a Buenos Aires Airport last year for checking a bag stuffed with a half million dollars full of cocaine. Like a CSI plot gone off the rails, his explanation defied common sense: his online girlfriend/Czech bikini model forgot it at the airport and asked him to bring to her.

The rest of New England now allows use of marijuana for certain health conditions.  And with a Governor-elect saying she’s open to the idea here….supporters are feeling hopeful.  But opponents still have many concerns, among them: that medical marijuana would be hard to control, encouraging use by those who aren’t even sick. 

Guests:

International Drug Bust Has Local Ties

Sep 4, 2012
Todd Bookman / NHPR

The Department of Justice announced a major drug bust today involving members of a Mexican cartel. 

Undercover agents from the FBI and Boston Police Department tracked the suspects for three years as part of Operation Dark Water. Posing as European drug traffickers, they met with members of the Sinaloa Cartel at undisclosed locations in New Hampshire, Florida and the Virgin Islands.

Hospitals Go High Tech to Secure Drugs

Jul 16, 2012
Todd Bookman / NHPR

Denis Fortier is Director of Pharmacy at Cheshire Medical Center in Keene. When he started in the field 30 years ago, that job involved loading carts with Dixie cups full of prescriptions.

Corrections Officer Charged with Smuggling

Jul 13, 2012

A corrections officer at the Cheshire County Jail has been arrested for smuggling drugs into the facility.

Mike Doughty’s 2005 album Haughty Melodic was a breakthrough for the singer-songwriter…before going solo, Doughty had founded and fronted the 90’s band Soul Coughing…which he disbanded in 2000, much to the chagrin of die-hard fans. But  there was a reason beyond the typical story of egos and bad record deals for that band’s demise…one that Doughty hints at in haughty melodic’s biggest hit, "Looking at the World from the Bottom of a Well.”

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