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The Daily Buzz: December 22, 2014

Hopes for sentencing reform in 2015; UK cracks down on drugged driving with roadside "drugalyzers;" and Michael Phelps seeks help for alcohol problem after admitting to DUI.

1 Substance

2014 Has Been a Good Year for Sentencing Reform—Will 2015 Be Better?
In a country with a shameful incarceration rate—with nearly half of federal prisoners incarcerated for drug offenses—some steps in the right direction have been made, such as changing US Sentencing Commission guidelines and the passage of Prop. 47 in California. With possibilities like the Smarter Sentencing Act being reintroduced in 2015, could better news lie ahead?

UK Tackles Drugged Driving in Christmas Crackdown
The UK is tackling drunk driving and drugged driving this holiday season with the aid of new “drugalyzers,” which analyze samples of saliva instantly to detect both illegal and legal drugs, like opioids and anti-anxiety medications.

Is Marijuana More Addictive These Days?
Whether or not marijuana addiction is real has long been debated. In this video, Dr. Samuel Ball of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University claims that yes, marijuana is addictive, and that it is becoming more so than in the past, due to higher levels of THC.

Canadian Soldiers Prefer Pot
Addictive or no, marijuana remains the No. 1 drug used by members of the Canadian army, according to a new report based on blind drug tests. But cocaine is apparently gaining popularity.

Michael Phelps Pleads Guilty to DUI and Admits Alcohol Problem
The US Olympic Gold medalist swimmer pleaded guilty to charges of drunk driving back in September. The 29-year-old told the judge he’s seeking help for his drinking: “I now have the tools to move past this,” he said. “What I did was wrong, and I made a bad mistake.” Phelps was sentenced to a year in prison, but his sentence has been suspended indefinitely.

Jackie Chan’s Son Indicted for Drugs
China has been cracking down on drug use this year by arresting high-profile celebrities as a warning. Jaycee Chan, the 32-year-old son of the film legend Jackie, has now been indicted following his arrest a few months ago for marijuana possession. He faces up to three years in prison.