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The drug addiction Newsletter is published periodically, and provides up-to-date information concerning advancements in the treatment of drug addiction, as well as drug addiction trends.
Facts About the Most Used and Abused Drugs from Alcohol to Ecstasy:
Sentencing Debate Raised in Marijuana Case
A 63-year prison sentence given in a first-offense drug case involving a gun has stirred up the debate over mandatory minimum sentences, the New York Times reported Sept. 12.
Weldon Angelos, 25, received the harsh sentence because he was carrying a gun when he sold several hundred dollars worth of marijuana on three separate occasions.
"It would appear effectively to be a life sentence," wrote Federal District Court Judge Paul Cassell in a request to the prosecution and the defense for advice about whether he had any other options than life in prison.
Cassell pointed out that maximum sentences for other federal crimes are much less severe. For instance, hijacking an airplane requires a minimum 25 years in prison; terrorist bombing intending to kill a bystander is 20 years; second-degree murder is 14 years; kidnapping is 13 years; and rape of a 10-year-old is 11 years.
Cassell also noted that Angelos would receive only five to seven years if tried in Utah state courts.
A U.S. Supreme Court decision has called into question sentencing guidelines regarding a judge's discretion in certain cases. A ruling is expected this fall on whether the court ruling made in a Washington case applies to federal guidelines.
"The guidelines always have some sort of escape," said Jeffrey Sklaroff of the New York office of Greenberg Traurig, a law firm that represents 29 former judges and prosecutors who filed a brief in support of Angelos. "A mandatory minimum means what it says: it is mandatory, and it is a minimum."
The group supporting Angelos argues that the mandatory sentence in his case is cruel and unusual punishment prohibited by the Eighth Amendment.
Melodie Rydalch, a spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Paul Warner in Salt Lake City, said his office "will continue to enforce mandatory minimums so long as Congress tells us to."
What is Rapid Detox?
Also referred to as 'ultra rapid opiate detox,' it is a rapid detoxification procedure for opiate based substances and addictions such as heroin, vicodin, methadone, or any prescribed narcotic pain killers.
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