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October 12, 2013 | By Robert Hilburn
Johnny Cash's life in the 1960s is mostly remembered as a time of glorious achievement - from the landmark prison albums at Folsom and San Quentin to the launch of the ABC-TV series featuring such guests as Bob Dylan and the Doors that led to his becoming a giant figure in popular culture, a symbol to millions, no less, of the best of American social values. But Cash also experienced excruciatingly dark times in the decade, fueled by drugs and guilt over the breakup of his marriage.
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NEWS
April 24, 2014 | Scott Martelle
Score this Secrecy 1, Transparency 0. Earlier this week, the Oklahoma Supreme Court stepped up and issued an indefinite stay of execution for convicted rapist-murderer Clayton Lockett, to provide time to review a lower court ruling that the state's law masking the supplier of execution drugs was unconstitutional. The issue comes down to transparency. With the growing shortage of execution drugs, driven by manufacturers' reluctance to provide them to prisons, states are having trouble buying what they need to kill inmates.
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NEWS
October 8, 2012 | By Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times
Chances are, your medicine cabinet contains some pills that are past their expiration date. You might even have some pain relievers, some cough syrup or some sleeping pills that were purchased back when Richard Nixon was in the White House. But you can't seem to throw them away because you suspect they might still be OK to take. If you've wondered whether medicines really do need to be tossed after their expiration date, you're got some company at the California Poison Control System, UC San Francisco and UC Irvine.
NATIONAL
April 23, 2014 | By Timothy M. Phelps
WASHINGTON -- The Justice Department announced a new initiative Wednesday to encourage nonviolent prisoners who have served at least 10 years to apply for what is expected to be a large-scale grant of clemency in President Obama's waning years in office. Deputy Atty. Gen. James M. Cole announced that a new pardons attorney would take over a beefed-up office to handle requests that will be actively solicited throughout the federal prison system from thousands of prisoners who meet six criteria.
SPORTS
October 23, 1998 | JEFF GOTTLIEB, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Olympic sprint champion Florence Griffith Joyner died after suffering an epileptic seizure, according to autopsy results released Thursday, and her family and friends say they hope the findings will put to rest rumors that drug use contributed to her death. Griffith Joyner died last month in her sleep at age 38. Her husband, Al Joyner, bitterly criticized those who suggested that she took performance-enhancing drugs.
NATIONAL
February 24, 2012 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
The cost of executions is soaring, especially in the state that conducts the most: Texas. The reason? The necessary drugs have become increasingly hard to get. A year ago it cost the Texas Department of Criminal Justice $83.55 for the drugs used to carry out an execution -- sodium thiopental, pancuronium bromide and potassium chloride. Then last March the state was forced to replace sodium thiopental with pentobarbital after the U.S. supplier of the former drug halted distribution amid international protests.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 29, 2013 | By Christie D'Zurilla
For years, rumor had it that Bobby Brown had introduced Whitney Houston to drugs - but Michael Houston, one of the singer's two older brothers, has revealed to Oprah Winfrey that the real story was quite different. It's a story that has Michael Houston "living, but not alive" since his younger sister's death almost a year ago. "I feel responsible for what I let go so far," he told Oprah in a Monday interview on OWN that primarily featured mother Cissy Houston, who has a new tell-all memoir out. In that book, Cissy says she didn't understand her children doing drugs then, and she doesn't understand it now. Said Michael Houston, "We were always, you know, being together most of the time, and her following behind me -- I taught her to drive.
SPORTS
February 4, 2013 | By Mike DiGiovanna
"Drugs had destroyed my body and my mind and my spirit. I could no longer experience happiness or surprise. I couldn't remember the last time I felt spontaneous joy. Why was I even alive?" Josh Hamilton in his autobiography, "Beyond Belief" WESTLAKE, Texas -- It was 2 a.m. when Josh Hamilton, strung out on crack cocaine, his once-robust 6-foot-4, 230-pound body withered to 180 pounds, most of his $3.96-million signing bonus squandered on booze and drugs, staggered up the steps to his grandmother's house in Raleigh, N.C. Homeless, dirty and barely coherent, Hamilton was a few days removed from a suicide attempt -- an overdose of pills -- and in the fourth year of a harrowing drug addiction that caused the former can't-miss prospect to be banned from baseball for three full seasons.
NEWS
April 4, 2014 | By Scott Martelle
The state of Texas on Thursday executed a man named Tommy Sells after a series of whipsawing court decisions that ultimately denied Sells his due process right to investigate whether the lethal injection met constitutional standards. This is no defense of Sells. If evil exists in this world, he was it , responsible for a series of known heinous murders, and who knows how many others. But that is still insufficient cause for the government to kill him. It is sufficient cause to have locked Sells away from society until he died of natural causes.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 2, 2012 | Steve Lopez
Illegal drugs by the tons are smuggled into California each year by sea, by land and by air. Cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine and heroin are either produced in or pass through Mexico, where 50,000 people have been killed in the last six years in an escalating war among cartels. Some of the victims have been beheaded, mutilated or left hanging from bridges, not necessarily because of their involvement in the trade, but as a diabolical demonstration that the drug lords will stop at nothing to dominate the market.
NATIONAL
April 23, 2014 | By Lalita Clozel
WASHINGTON - The Food and Drug Administration plans to begin regulating electronic cigarettes for the first time, banning sales to minors and requiring manufacturers to put health warnings on the nicotine-delivering devices that have become a multibillion-dollar industry, according to officials who described the agency's proposal. But the agency will stop short of steps that many public health advocates and some members of Congress have called for, including restrictions on television advertisements and flavorings, such as pumpkin spice or chocolate, that may target younger consumers, officials said.
SCIENCE
April 23, 2014 | By Mary MacVean
Two drugs given to people who suffer migraines reduced the frequency of their headaches in early trials, scientists said. The test results “may potentially represent a new era in preventive therapy for migraine,” Dr. Peter Goadsby, an author on studies of both drugs, said in a statement. One of the researchers called migraine headaches the third most common medical disorder in the world. Both drugs must undergo larger trials to confirm the results. Both drugs are intended to prevent rather than treat migraine headaches, and the studies of them are the first to test monoclonal antibodies for migraine prevention, the scientists said.
BUSINESS
April 22, 2014 | By Ricardo Lopez
Swiss pharmaceutical titan Novartis AG on Tuesday announced an overhaul of its operations that involved several multibillion-dollar deals with GlaxoSmithKline intended to allow Novartis to focus on its oncology business and boost profitability, the companies said. The spate of deals follows recent consolidations in the pharmaceutical industry with large price tags, including the $5.6-billion acquisition of an Anaheim specialty drug firm by Irish pharmaceutical company Mallinckrodt this month.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 17, 2014 | Bloomberg News
Gene Estess, a broker who gave up the pay and perks of Wall Street for a second career helping New York City's homeless, has died. He was 78. He died April 9 at his home in Brooklyn, N.Y., according to his wife, Pat Schiff Estess. The cause was lung cancer, diagnosed about six months ago. Raised in Illinois on the Mississippi River, Estess found himself unable to ignore the inequality on the streets of New York. He remained interested in poverty and homelessness while living in the leafy suburb of Armonk in Westchester County and working as an options specialist at L.F. Rothschild & Co., an investment bank and brokerage firm.
SCIENCE
April 16, 2014 | By Karen Kaplan
Free samples of prescription drugs may seem like a great deal for patients. But even when doctors think they're doing patients a favor by handing out the freebies, the real beneficiaries are the drug manufacturers, according to new research in the journal JAMA Dermatology. Medical groups have grown increasingly wary about free drug samples, and they've already been banned by Kaiser Permanente, many academic medical centers, the Veterans Health Administration, the U.S. military and plenty of private medical clinics.
NATIONAL
April 16, 2014 | By Timothy M. Phelps
WASHINGTON - Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. has been crusading for more lenient treatment for nonviolent drug offenders, making it a top priority before he is expected to leave office this year. Recently, however, he has been forced to confront an epidemic of deaths from heroin and prescription drug abuse, one that his opponents have cited as a reason for not loosening drug sentences. In prepared remarks for a speech Wednesday, Holder cited the "stunning rise in heroin and prescription opiate overdose deaths" and vowed the Justice Department was committed to "rigorous enforcement" of the drug laws and "robust treatment" of drug addicts.
NEWS
November 9, 2011 | By Melissa Healy / Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Forget about rock 'n' roll: When rats are administered the highly addictive stimulant methamphetamine and allowed to engage in sexual behavior while high, all they want is more of both. That's the raw finding of a study published Tuesday by the Journal of Neuroscience. It's important because many who use methamphetamine report that it enhances their sexual experience. But because it also reduces their inhibitions , those abusers are more likely to engage in risky sexual behavior , including unprotected sex and anal intercourse.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 15, 2013 | By Scott Glover and Lisa Girion
A Southern California pain doctor who was featured in a 2012 Times investigative article on patient overdose deaths was arrested Tuesday on seven counts of illegally prescribing narcotics and other widely abused drugs. Dr. John Dimowo is charged with prescribing Vicodin, Norco, Adderall and Xanax to undercover agents who pretended to be patients but had no legitimate need for the drugs. Dimowo was not charged in connection with any patient deaths. The Times reported in November that five of Dimowo's patients fatally overdosed on medications he prescribed between 2009 and 2010, coroner's records show.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 14, 2014 | By Dan Weikel
Ken Dobson, a retired police officer, said he received quite a welcome when he landed his single-engine Cessna in Detroit two days after leaving his home in Palm Desert. Five sheriff's cars surrounded the plane and deputies got out with guns drawn. Then a helicopter arrived with four federal agents and a drug-sniffing dog. They demanded to see Dobson's pilot's license, asked about the flight and mentioned that his long trip from Southern California was suspicious. Fearing he would lose his flight credentials if he didn't cooperate, Dobson consented to a search of his plane.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 14, 2014 | By Diana Marcum
A nearly yearlong investigation has led to the dismantling of a drug organization that distributed narcotics from Mexico to the Central Valley, and from there all over the country, authorities said Monday. At a Fresno news conference, California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris said that a task force led by the Department of Justice had arrested 11 people and seized 56 pounds of methamphetamine, four kilograms of cocaine, 942 marijuana plants, one vehicle and nearly $269,000 in cash. The alleged network was known as the Magana organization and Harris said it was based in Tulare County.
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