January 22, 2006
What is happiness in America? Is it a matter of culture, or chemistry? How do we create it - and make it last? To consider such questions, Baltimore filmmaker and educator Lee Boot has created Euphoria, an ingenious documentary with "chapters" illustrated by fantastical visual metaphors. Imagine bargain hunters transplanted to the beach at Assateague Island, flexing, stretching, then racing their shopping carts toward the ocean, scooping up random objects in a frenzy of consumerism. Or think of children playing in an abandoned industrial park: As they try to shove inflated beach balls into briefcases that won't close, they embody the American quest to combine work with play.
November 18, 1993
This week, mega-superstar Michael Jackson admitted an addiction to painkillers.Last week, actor River Phoenix's autopsy revealed an overdose of cocaine and heroin caused his death.When celebrities are arrested, confess or worse -- die -- because of drugs, does all the media attention help the struggle to control the drug epidemic?"What it does is focus the general public's attention on the use of drugs by celebrities or middle-class people," says Richard Lane, director of Man Alive Research Inc., a Baltimore methadone treatment center.
December 23, 1990
Colombia's new policy of shielding drug traffickers from extradition in exchange for confessions and promises to quit the trade raises troubling questions. Five traffickers have turned themselves in so far, under a decree issued by President Cesar Gavira. That includes Fabio Ochoa Vasquez, one of the alleged leaders of the Medellin cocaine cartel, who is charged with helping to kill a federal informant.Fabio Ochoa, 33, had not been charged with a crime under Colombian law but has been indicted in the United States of murder and smuggling in $1 billion worth of illicit drugs.
August 13, 1997
WESTMINSTER HIGH School's Thomas William McDonald was a good kid -- friendly, cooperative, a respectable student with a knack for computers. Not the kind of youngster a teacher or a parent would suspect of using drugs. Yet he is dead, a few weeks shy of 17, after inhaling propellents from two cans of potpourri-scented air freshener. It is hard to imagine a more senseless way to die.The dialogue about how to save America's youth from drugs centers on the illegal stuff: cocaine, marijuana, heroin, PCP. So do in-school and community-based drug education efforts.
December 9, 1993
No one expected Dr. Joycelyn Elders' tenure as surgeon general to be marked by quiet discretion. She is outspoken and forthright, as her fellow Arkansan, President Clinton, knew when he appointed her. Even so, he may have been caught off guard by her remarks at the National Press Club this week. In reply to a question, she said she believed it would be worthwhile to examine whether legalization of drugs would cut the crime rate. The White House lost no time in saying that the issue would remain unstudied.
April 14, 1993
WASHINGTON -- Drug-use among eighth-graders increased unexpectedly last year -- a development that may be a warning to the nation of the human cost of shifting attention from the war on drugs, according to a respected University of Michigan study released yesterday.The annual survey of nearly 50,000 eighth-, 10th- and 12th-grade students nationwide found that 13- and 14-year-olds reported "modest but statistically significant" increases from 1991 and 1992 in the use of marijuana, cocaine, crack, LSD, other hallucinogens, stimulants and inhalants.