drugs

Luca Serazzi / Flickr CC - https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

  This story was produced by member station WMFE in Orlando.

After raising four kids as a stay-at-home mom and helping run a successful business, Cindy Culpepper decided to try something new. She started bar tending at a friend’s club in Winter Park. On the nights that drew young crowds, she remembers finding small plastic bags scattered on the bathroom floors.

kratomonline.org

Last year, debates over legalizing marijuana dominated Florida’s legislative session. But during the Legislative session 2015, a different substance could be taking center stage as a freshman state representative from Broward County takes on the feel-good herb called kratom.

Under a bill filed by Kristin Jacobs, kratom would become what’s known as a “Schedule 1” controlled substance. That puts it in the same category as bath salts and other street drugs that have a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use.

freedigitalphotos.net

Rules to govern the so-called "sober houses" that proliferate in Palm Beach and Broward counties have survived one gauntlet of committees in the Legislature and they're ready for a full House vote.

The bill aims to protect the sober houses' complaining neighbors as well as the recovering addicts themselves. Listen to the full story below.

Mexican/U.S. government handout

Mexico's nightmarish, decade-long drug war seemed to start in 2001, when Joaquín Guzmán escaped from a Guadalajara prison inside a laundry truck.

So could this weekend's celebrated capture of Guzmán – the world's most wanted drug lord – mark the ebb of that violence?

Don't count on it – at least not until Mexico addresses more seriously the deep police and judicial flaws that helped make it so hard to collar Guzmán in the first place.

Gina Jordan / WLRN

Miami-Dade County has another chance at getting a program that would enable drug users to safely exchange their dirty syringes.

A bill to create a five-year pilot program has been filed again in Tallahassee, and a University of Miami medical student is behind the push.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Jon-Paul Rios / U.S. COAST GUARD

More of the cocaine smuggled to the United States is passing through the Caribbean, officials said, representing a shift in which drug traffickers are returning to a region they largely abandoned decades ago.

RELATED: Why Uruguay Is Latin America's Marijuana Reform Laboratory

In the last year, over $57 million in illegal assets relating to federal cases in South Florida have been seized by the United States government, according to data provided by the U.S. Attorney’s office in South Florida.

$57,321,390.40 to be exact.

Jeff Hester / Creative Commons/Flickr

For 18 months straight South Florida home prices have been rising. One reason is cash. For every 10 homes sold in July in our region, seven were bought with cash: no mortgage, no credit check.  

Moreover, 90 percent of the cash buyers of Miami condos are foreign, which often means less financial oversight is involved in the purchase.

RELATED: What Kind Of Money Fuels The Miami Real Estate Market?

C. DiMattei

Palm Beach County wants your drugs.

Actually, the county only wants the medications taking up space in your bathroom cabinet, the ones that might end up in the wrong hands. 

At first glance, the receptacles cropping up all over Palm Beach County look like the donation bins that collect old clothes for charity.  But printed on the front of each drop-off box is the urgent instruction to “Deposit Your Unwanted Prescription Drugs Here!” 

Key Foster / Flickr/Creative Commons

Baby boomers have become addicted to drugs at an alarming rate. 

The most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health,  released in 2012, found illicit drug use among people between the ages of 55 and 59 had increased more than any other group.

Sean Winters/Flickr

South Florida may be a source for banned performance-enhancing drugs making their way into major league baseball.

Pill Mills Migrate North To Georgia

Dec 26, 2012
Mouse, Flickr

Florida's war on so-called "pill mill" pain clinics  appears to be pushing the problem into Georgia.

The Wall Street Journal reports that in 2010, there were just 10 pain clinics in the state of Georgia. Today, there are more than 125 clinics  and the state's per capita prescriptions of oxycodone has tripled in the last decade.

City of Bal Harbour

Bal Harbour Police Chief Thomas Hunker remains suspended with pay today in connection with his department's far-ranging anti-drug operations that yielded no prosecutions but kept his officers flush with ready cash.

Hunker is accused of professional misconduct in a Justice Department review of the department project that sent Bal Harbour officers all over the country to pose as money launderers for drug gangs. The department operated under rules that allowed it to keep up to 80 percent of the cash after turning the rest over to the Justice department.

In the early 1990s, Colombian drug cartels had a problem: They had more money than they knew what to do with.

"They were having a very difficult time with just the logistics of laundering millions and millions and millions of dollars every week," says Skip Latson, who worked for the DEA at the time.

So Latson and Bill Bruton, who was a special agent with the IRS, hatched a plan: They'd create a fake, offshore bank catering to the needs of the drug cartel.

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