Archive for May, 2010

A&E and Reality tv

Posted in TV with tags , , , , on May 30, 2010 by corecompany

I had a brief yet glorious career as part of A&E’s galaxy of stars. Me, dog the bounty hunter, and the guy with the disturbing hair that catches raccoons in peoples attics. The short version is that it sucked, the experience sucked, it took forever and nothing really happened, and now it’s over. A rant will ensue, make no mistake. Is it the anger of a disgruntled would be/ never was star? I guess there is an element of that but not really, I have other offers from other TV networks trying to get their share of the addiction/recovery pie. Is this right? Watching people and their dissent into the fray of addiction? Who knows, there are valid arguments for and against, maybe it’s two rights clashing?  As with everything dealing with addictive disease, there are no easy answers.

I don’t hate A&E for the obvious oversight that had “One Man Rehab” continued they would have expanded their audience to include teen girls with a crush on me. Not to mention the publicity they would have received when I was named “the sexiest interventionist alive” by People magazine. I hate A&E because they pulled the plug on their support of the recovery rally in New York City. The recovery rally is/was a critical event. It was a celebration of people in recovery complete with a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, speaker, music, etc. It put addiction on the same plane as other diseases, like HIV, breast cancer, etc. They all have walks in the city, our city, the metropolis of the American dream, New York, New York.  The exec’s at A&E have been avoidant, non responsive and dodged the questions regarding the event entirely. They have said they will be “doing something” but are non-committal as to what that “something” is, also they won’t answer how much money they will commit to the event, Additionally, they have told me the “permits alone will cost between 20 and 35k”. The city says ‘a few hundred-dollar processing fee”. So what’s going on? I really don’t know but whatever it is, it’s not good.  It’s not an expansion of the event, it’s an erosion of it. They killed it.

A&E is certainly under no obligation to underwrite an event for the recovering community. It needs to be said that not doing so is just not cool, ethical, or respectable. “Intervention” is their highest rated show, they make millions from it and yet they can no longer sponsor the event supporting the very community that made their show a hit. In my view that is like having a show called “final stages of AIDS”, making millions and then avoiding the people who organize the HIV bike ride events.

To add to their “dick” status, when it has been suggested that other sponsorship be sought they get angry and scold stating “this is exclusively an A&E event!” Is that right? The recovery rally is an event owned by A&E? I thought it was a community event sponsored by A&E. Again, what dicks.

I am on the hunt for someone else to step up to the plate and do what is right. Surprise! It’s not easy to find someone to cozy up to addiction. Even more of a reason that A&E sucks, now we have little time to put this together. So they pulled the plug and are holding us hostage, well they have tried to hold us hostage. Maybe they did, I don’t know.

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Keeping Students Safe and Drug Free

Posted in Current Events, Uncategorized with tags , , , on May 21, 2010 by corecompany

There was a story in the Herald-News regarding the drug policy of Lincoln-Way high school and the zero tolerance policy on drugs and alcohol. It seems some parents think the policy is too strict. They appealed to the school board and the school board rejected the idea of changing the policy, citing reasons of keeping students “safe and drug-free”. Sure we all want that but if they were doing that would they need such a harsh penalty?

I like adolescent kids, I like their humor and their culture, although I hate rap and so I give them more latitude than most. The idea of an adolescent not trying intoxicants or waiting until marriage to have sex is fine, I guess, but not realistic. It’s a tough thing with adolescents because they certainly respond to narrow limits and boundaries, especially boys, but is it fair to think they won’t step outside of that boundary? It’s not. Kids don’t have the cognition for risk assessment that some adults have, that’s why they drive too fast, eat shitty food and act like assholes half the time (again, at least the boys do). When my son reaches the age of teen angst he will be told that intoxicants are not part of our family, I don’t give a monkeys balls what everyone else does, and we won’t accept drinking, or drug use and I will urine screen and breathalyze him. Do I expect that he won’t try things? No I do not.

There is growing literature out there about teenage drug use. Most of it says if they can delay their experimentation or trial period until the age of 21 they are exponentially less likely to develop a chronic problem. What’s the best way to steer kids clear of drugs. I really wish I knew. What I do know is that this kind of fear tactics (one strike and you’re out) doesn’t work. What they do is create a system of fear and secrecy, two things that never help any community with chemical use.

The school district in question has 7,000 students. Do they have any peer driven AA meetings, alternatives to teenage culture that does not include drinking? I’ll bet they don’t.  For years New York State had the Rockefeller drug laws. Mandated sentencing with no latitude, treatment alternatives, or discretion allowed. This sounds like that. Did the laws help the state, community, or addicts? No and this won’t help the high school system doing this either.  Ok, parents, let’s have another meeting and I will come and speak. They will dismiss me as a loud mouth, opinionated jerk, but when I get through with them, you will feel better.

Medical Marijuana Makes Sense!

Posted in Drug Reform, Uncategorized with tags , , , on May 5, 2010 by corecompany

Medical Marijuana is a topic that comes up when talking drug reform and policy. Currently 14 states have decriminalized medical Marijuana. Is this a good idea? In California one can go into a Marijuana dispensary and have a brief phone consultation with a doctor and they will give you a prescription for just about anything that ails you.  There are those who say this is a thin veneer for legal marijuana; that this is a not so clever street corner scam.  I am not so sure. I think more research is needed but there does seem to be some medicinal value, especially for cancer patients.

Illinois is the latest state to take on the medical marijuana issue. It may not fly there. The police are warning that this will only lead to “more crime”. That is a weak and frankly stupid argument. In one of the more bizarre comments I have seen, Phil Cline, former Chicago police superintendent says, “ The passing of this bill is going to lead to more crime and drug use. Street gangs (and by that he means black people) will open marijuana dispensaries and they’ll use the profits to buy guns and drugs and to bail out other gang members (again, black people).  Too bad he said this because there are people who will believe this because Cline has been a high-ranking police official. What is the truth about the legalized medical marijuana? Are they a good idea? Do they help people? Or are they, what people say, just a way to legalize marijuana.

If we have learned anything from prohibition it should be that taxing and regulating reduces crime. Has Cline not read the history of his own city where blood and violence in the alcohol trade were part of the daily life in Chicago during prohibition? Let’s say gang members open medical marijuana dispensaries. On a way, they have marijuana dispensaries already. They do dispense the product. If they dispensed the product out of a medical dispensary they have to pay taxes and don’t need guns. Kind of like, oh, alcohol a far more damaging substance than Marijuana.  As a side note, ALL states have decriminalized, taxed, and regulated alcohol. So in other words, yes, medical marijuana dispensaries are a thinly veiled way to legally distribute the product, but is legally dispensing the product legally a bad idea? No, no it is not.