OxyContin-Maker Purdue Kept Quiet While A Los Angeles Drug Ring Thrived
The drugmaker tracked the clinic that was prescribing a jaw-dropping amount of OxyContin — one employee wrote in an email: "I feel very certain this is an organized drug ring...” — but said nothing to the DEA until years later, according to the Los Angeles Times. The paper also looks at the Washington city that was ravaged by the drug ring.
Los Angeles Times:
Inside An L.A. OxyContin Ring That Pushed More Than 1 Million Pills. What The Drugmaker Knew
In the waning days of summer in 2008, a convicted felon and his business partner leased office space on a seedy block near MacArthur Park. They set up a waiting room, hired an elderly physician and gave the place a name that sounded like an ordinary clinic: Lake Medical. The doctor began prescribing the opioid painkiller OxyContin – in extraordinary quantities. In a single week in September, she issued orders for 1,500 pills, more than entire pharmacies sold in a month. In October, it was 11,000 pills. By December, she had prescribed more than 73,000, with a street value of nearly $6 million. (Ryan, Glover and Girion, 7/10)
Los Angeles Times:
How Black-Market OxyContin Spurred A Town's Descent Into Crime, Addiction And Heartbreak
For years, Jevon “Goldie” Lawson dealt crack on the steps of a 7-Eleven in a rough part of this blue-collar town. He smoked the rocks he didn’t sell and often appeared as strung out as his customers. But in 2008, he moved into a $400,000 house, started driving a champagne-colored Humvee, and made himself the star act of his own hip-hop label. He abandoned the crack business. Found something better, he told associates. (Ryan, Glover and Girion, 7/10)
Meanwhile, many await DEA's decision on reclassifying marijuana —
Orange County Register:
Is Pot As Dangerous As Heroin?
At the same time Californians are preparing to vote on the legalization of adult marijuana use, the federal government is weighing whether pot should continue to be classified as a top-tier narcotic on par with heroin. Within a month, the Drug Enforcement Administration is expected to release a much-anticipated decision that could alter cannabis’ ranking in the hierarchy of controlled substances – a formal listing that affects everything from medical research to taxing policy. Since the list was created in 1970, marijuana has been ranked in Schedule I – the most restrictive category – alongside heroin, LSD and peyote. (Edwards Staggs, 7/11)