The Ambien Angle in Heath Ledger’s Death

The Ambien Angle in Heath Ledger's Death

The foreign press is starting to jump on the idea that Ambien contributed somehow to the death of actor Heath Ledger. See, for example, this Sydney Morning Herald article suggesting that “hundreds have had bizarre and potentially dangerous reactions to the drug” in Australia. I have little to add to this, other than to note more »

  READ MORE

Repeater

Repeater

I was joking with another attorney the other day that I learned political theory from Fugazi, and it’s at least partly true. It was actually sort of a cross between Fugazi and the Frankfurt School. Anyway, this old video won’t mean much to anybody who isn’t already a fan of this band — in fact, more »

  READ MORE

“Don’t Take Me For Granted”

Don't Take Me For Granted 2

One of the tricky things about writing this blog is that I get a lot of emails and comments from folks who have had drug problems — either problems with addiction or problems trying to get medication to get their addiction in check. I get these emails and hear these stories, but I don’t really more »

  READ MORE

Class Action Suit Targets Ambien

Class Action Suit Targets Ambien

Following up on Rep. Kennedy’s recent Ambien-related mishap, the Boston Globe notes that a class action lawsuit was filed in March against Ambien manufacturer Sanofi-Aventis by “several hundred patients who claim the drug caused them to awake in trance-like states and drive cars or engage in other strange behavior, which they often did not remember.” more »

  READ MORE

The Ambien Defense

The Ambien Defense

A North Carolina woman charged in four arson blazes has suggested that Ambien may have caused her behavior: “Her lawyer said she has been taking the prescription sleep aid, Ambien, periodically for the past several years. He said that may have been a factor in the crime.” That defense seems unlikely to succeed because the more »

  READ MORE

Ambien and Mens Rea, Take Two

Ambien and Mens Rea, Take Two

Back in May of 2006 this blog noted some of the potentially complicated issues that can arise in criminal cases where the defendant claims his or her behavior was related to use of the drug Ambien. The issue arises in cases like the one I noted last June where a woman claimed that the drug more »

  READ MORE

Sleeping Pills vs. Salvia and the Rhetoric of Risk

Sleeping Pills vs. Salvia and the Rhetoric of Risk

Many times when legislators speak about the need to criminalize the hallucinogenic plant salvia divinorum, they cite the risk that somebody could drive when under its influence, a scenario that suggests that salvia is dangerous even if people normally just sit around in their living room while they use it and don’t harm anyone. (See, more »

  READ MORE

Naval Base on Jeju

Jeju naval base plan

I am an American, but I have lived and worked in South Korea as an ESL teacher for the past ten years. America has a few military bases set up throughout Korea, which causes concern and problems throughout the peninsula. Some of the old timers claim that the American military presence is necessary due to more »

  READ MORE

I Believe: 100 Words on Why Drug Policy Reform Matters

I Believe: 100 Words on Why Drug Policy Reform Matters

Drug policy is a complicated issue. Is there anything anybody can say in 100 words that would make you change your mind about the way we deal with drugs? Here’s my stab at it. What’s yours? I believe that America needs to change the way it deals with drugs. The war on drugs has made America more »

  READ MORE

Abigail Alliance Letter in Washington Post

Abigail Alliance Letter in Washington Post

The president of the Abigail Alliance — the group that was the petitioner in that recent DC Circuit case on access to lifesaving drugs that have not yet received full-blown FDA approval — has a letter to the editor in today’s Washington Post. The last graph says: We are confident that access to these drugs more »

  READ MORE