Carol Falkowski’s drug (presentation) bust: no recording or questions allowed; no mention of Northfield’s drug problem

IMG_5142I walked into the Northfield Middle School auditorium tonight and saw Northfield School Board member and NTV manager Paul Hager setting up his camera to tape the presentation by Carol Falkowski, former Hazelden researcher and director of the Chemical Health Division at the Minnesota Department of Human Services.

I showed somebody my handy-dandy digital audio recorder and told them I, too, was going to record her presentation, as I planned to post it here on Locally Grown. They told me taping wasn’t allowed. I explained to them that I was pretty sure it was only the small breakout sessions after her presentation where taping wouldn’t be allowed, for obvious privacy reasons.

I saw Falkowski preparing to step on stage to make her way to the podium so I hustled down, introduced myself as a co-author of a popular blog in town and asked if I could record her presentation. She said, “No. Why would I allow that?” I said, “Because there are many people who aren’t here tonight who might like to hear your remarks.” She shook her head and said no. There was no time for me to argue with her.

I then saw that Paul Hager wasn’t setting up his camera. He was taking it down, as he’d evidently just been told by Northfield High School Assistant Principal Marnie Thompson that Falcowski had likewise declined to give permission to have her presentation videotaped.

I found Marnie in the hallway after the presentation and asked her what the rationale was for not allowing taping. She said it was Falkowski’s request and she didn’t know what her reasons were. She didn’t learn this until just a few minutes before show time.

Falkowski then emerged from the auditorium so I asked her. She explained that since her presentation is always changing and being updated with new data, she prefers to not have her presentations archived in case they get shown at a later time with outdated information.

I argued that using media to leverage her presentation to wider audience was much more important. Only about 75 people attended her presentation but if it had been recorded, hundreds and perhaps thousands could benefit from it via airing on NTV, tape/DVD in the schools and community ed classes, and audio here on Locally Grown and on KYMN. My wife Robbie argued that many parents can’t easily attend a weekday 7 pm meeting because of work and other conflicts.

I lauded Falkowski for her MPR Midday interview in July, Drug use in small towns and beyond, but I told her that the audio of that broadcast was still on the MPR web site and would likely remain there for years to come. “What’s the difference?” She said something to the effect that that was public radio. I countered that NTV/community access television is just as public as MPR, and so are many community websites like (I didn’t think of it at the time but I could have also asked her why she has her Drug Abuse Trends in Minneapolis/St. Paul 2007 on the internet, as that’ll also be around for years to come, too.) She said, “I’m sorry, we just disagree on this.” I asked her to reconsider her position on this for future presentations and she indicated that she’d think about it.

I was so angry about all this that I never got around to asking her or Marnie or anyone else from the sponsoring organizations:

  • Why didn’t Falkowski address what she wrote in her research report, Drug Abuse Trends in Minneapolis/St. Paul 2007, about Northfield: “Outside of the Twin Cities metro area, heroin addiction emerged among high school students in Northfield, Minnesota…” These kids can only get help for this kind of addiction at the california rehabilitation center.
  • Why not allow time for audience questions?

I’m guessing that the organizers directed her to not address her Northfield-related heroin remarks and that they did not want a Q&A session. What their rationale was, I don’t know, but I’m willing to listen.

I’m also interested in discussing why only 75 or so people attended this forum.

And if anyone reading this attended any of the breakout sessions after the Falkowski presentation, I’d really like to hear your report.

Update 10/31/07 9 am: Falkowski is a former Hazelden researcher. I’ve edited the text above to reflect that.


  1. Anne Bretts said:

    Griff, that’s a broad assumption to make, that the organizers didn’t want her to share information. Why not just ask the organizers directly, instead of posting an assumption and then asking them to confirm or deny. Perhaps the speaker didn’t have any direct information on Northfield. After all, there was only one brief anecdotal sentence in her Hazeldon report last summer.
    I agree that it was disappointing that she didn’t allow taping and didn’t have any local insights. I’m sure it was a disappointment to the organizers, who were excited about the program.
    I believe 75 people came because those are the people with some connection to or curiosity about the problem. For example, people who go to cancer presentations tend to be those who have the disease, are worried about it or know someone who has it.
    Sadly, drugs are not a community problem, they are a problem for the people who do drugs, their families and friends, and the police, treatment professionals, and others who have to deal with them.

    October 30, 2007
  2. Lisa Guidry said:


    I disagree drugs are a community problem. Just look at all the car breakins, & stolen items that are used to purchase drugs. Northfield has a problem with drugs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 31, 2007
  3. Griff Wigley said:

    In today’s Northfield News:

    Article: Parents gather to prevent drug use; Speakers share tips, stories, resources

    Editorial: For city’s youth, let’s work together

    In Saturday’s paper, a column by managing editor Jaci Smith: Come join the conversation about drug use.

    The first time I recognized that heroin had a chokehold on the city of Northfield was the day I received a packet of newspapers from publisher Sam Gett as part of the interview process for the managing editor’s job. The edition I received featured the story of a young person’s struggle with addiction. I remember remarking to my husband, “What have we gotten into here?” At that point, I thought the chokehold was the drug’s grip on the community’s youth.

    The second time I realized that heroin had a chokehold on the city was the day in late August I was sitting in a conference room with Northfield High School Principal Joel Leer and Superintendent Chris Richardson, listening to them talk about their disappointment in an editorial we’d written asking why the district wasn’t considering the use of drug-sniffing dogs in the schools.

    October 31, 2007
  4. Anthony Pierre said:

    What kind of researcher doesn’t want their research broadcast to a larger audience?

    Answer that.

    October 31, 2007
  5. Ray Cox said:

    I agree with Griff….it would have been good to record the presentation and discussion. As so often happens in Northfield, there were multiple events taking place on Tuesday evening. Ellen and I elected to hear the Limestones at the Public Library last night. It was a great concert. I would like the opportunity to here Ms. Falkowski’s presentation on drugs—hard to be in two places at the same time.
    And Anthony makes a good point about reaching a wider audience. It sounds like Ms. Falkowski reached 75 people last night, but Griff and Paul were prepared to reach a lot more with their electronic equipment.

    October 31, 2007
  6. Tracy Davis said:

    Griff, you’re much kinder, and more careful, than I am. I’d have just turned on my recorder and blogged it without asking permission. (We could always pull the post later if we got a “cease and desist”.)

    Gotta keep those attorneys in business.

    October 31, 2007
  7. Jeff Moravec said:

    Just a clarification on the speaker. She is a former Hazelden researcher. She left that position to join the state’s chemical health division.

    October 31, 2007
  8. Griff Wigley said:

    Thanks, Jeff. I’ve edited the text of my blog post and noted the change at the bottom.

    October 31, 2007
  9. Curt Benson said:

    Griff, I agree with your post. I was on the committee that set up the meeting. I suggested Falkowski for the keynote speaker. She works for the State of Minnesota. Her info belongs to us. It should be as available as possible. I think it would have been a much better presentation if she would have taken questions and addressed the actual Northfield situation.

    Falkowski’s MPR show that Griff linked above was much better, as she took questions from the show host and from callers. Please give it a listen.

    I thought the two “break out” sessions I attended were much better as the speakers interacted with the listeners. When I have time, I’ll post a bit more on that.

    The turn out was disheartening. This was a community meeting. I didn’t see the mayor, city administrator or city councilors. Where were they? …compiling lists of more dirt on each other, I’d guess.

    October 31, 2007
  10. Christine Stanton said:

    Griff, I just wrote a lengthly post from my notes last night, and for some reason it was lost when I posted it. (Maybe I was not supposed to “say it.”)

    The handout–“Signs of possible drug or alchohol problems” has some very good information on it. Would it be possible for you to post that?

    I took notes at Sarah Shippy’s breakout session, which were a part of my “post that did not get posted.” Maybe I will try to write it again later.

    October 31, 2007
  11. Griff;

    I was trully hoping to read the presentation on drugs on your blog, I have come to trust on the public coverage of these kinds of events, though it is always better to attend them, I cannot go around spreading the word by myself, I always use printed materials when passing the word around on issues like this. We hardly ever get Latino representatives in these settings, and when we do, the word never travels to the families with kids who could be at risk either on the gang or drug related issues in Northfield.

    We have been organizing (together with other Latino/a leaders) a network that promises to bridge some of this information divide, but we depend on disemination of these facts by organizations like yours, the NN’s and other media outlets, when you get denied such access, I trully feel powerless.

    I was infurated when I read your entry, I also know Paul Hager and his committment to informing the community. Whatever you do to follow-up on this, know that you can count on my support. Meanwhile, let’s keep trying to address this issue from within our community, it does not look like outside folks have done anything positive to help solve this problem.

    I am sure the school district is going to go after her head for having done this, after all, they sponsored this as a communtiy event and from what you said, they probably did not anticipate this attitud.

    October 31, 2007
  12. I also meant to say that some of us are doing out best on informing a selected group of leaders in the community as a way to diseminate information where it may matter the most. I depend on you and other local media being able to cover these events, I cannot attend every meeting that matters and I cannot repeat everything that is said, printed and on-line information is my primary source.

    October 31, 2007
  13. This is at least four or five different kinds of BS.

    She is a public employee, and I’m assuming she was hired / asked to speak here in that capacity. Not only should she not refuse to have her remarks recorded for the betterment of public knowledge concerning an issue she obviously cares about, but also she should not even be allowed to do so. (Once again, assuming she was asked to speak as a state employee and not as a private contractor.)

    Researchers of all stripes regularly give talks containing time-sensitive data; people are generally aware that the data applies to specific time periods and the speeches can easily be formatted to point this out. “For the years 2001-2004 inclusive, our data showed etc…”, for instance.

    She regularly gives talks and interviews to all sorts of media outlets, both public and private, for profit and not.

    A bust indeed.

    I hope the school district does take issue with this.

    October 31, 2007
  14. Scott Oney said:

    I attended the “Drugs 101” breakout session presented by Scott Robinson of the Rice County Sheriff’s Department. It was definitely the high point of my evening. His focus was mainly on meth, which reflected his experiences in investigation, but he addressed other drugs that parents might be concerned about as well. He had also brought an extensive show-and-tell display that included paraphernalia that parents of pot smokers might be likely to find lying around their houses and wonder about, but his focus wasn’t on how to bust your own kid. He seemed more concerned with actual bad guys, and he came across as genuinely passionate when, after showing a video that outlined the experiences of a young female meth user, he said that no young person should ever have to go through anything like that.

    Deputy Robinson mentioned a couple of things in passing that are worthy of note. Early in his talk, he mentioned that he’s recently been seeing a lot of crack sold in the area. It’s easy to imagine crack taking hold in Northfield in the same way that heroin did, with young people making a similar confusion between stigma and cachet, so this is probably another drug we should be on the lookout for. (I think it’s important to go on record with the following: Captain Schroeder of the Northfield PD was in the audience, so two summers from now, when 250, or 25, crackheads turn up at the high school, don’t let him tell you he only heard about it 40 days ago from an assistant. I don’t think he’d try to pull that, though.)

    One topic that hasn’t really been discussed locally is the prostitution that, everywhere in America, parallels drug use. (If you have high levels of addiction, you also get high levels of prostitution, which is generally more profitable than, say, stealing CDs out of parked cars.) In addition to the girl on the video, who was apparently traded by a third party for meth, Deputy Robinson related the experience of a local investigator, who was solicited by a female with the phrase “Buy me a gram?” We’ve seen so little action against prostitution locally that one might wonder if it had somehow been legalized, but it hasn’t. This, again, wasn’t a main point of the presentation, but it’s encouraging to see someone in local law enforcement acknowledge the link between drugs and prostitution.

    October 31, 2007
  15. “Why would I allow that?”

    What a terrifying question. Normally, speakers are speaking to be heard; obviously, then, the default must be that they wish to be heard, and would probably like to be recorded and played back.

    The question, then, is why not?

    Did she make unsupportable claims? If so, being unrecorded helps her avoid getting busted on it. Perhaps that’s why.

    Is she primarily focused on the money some people get paid for speaking, and worried that tapes of her speeches would somehow impact the bottom line? I hope not. Wouldn’t you expect the opposite, though, that a recording of a powerful speech would inspire listeners to try to book the speaker?

    But really, it comes down to the surreal notion that one would need special reasons to allow dissemination of information. That’s just crazy talk. I suppose, perhaps, the best thing to do would be to simply observe that she apparently had nothing she could stand behind to say, and go look elsewhere for information about the issue.

    October 31, 2007
  16. Thank you Peter for your report. If you were at the event, please report on it, it is the only way for those of us who could not attend to get more information. I would like to request that folks include more facts if they have them. Also issues of structure of the drug networks that they may have learned. The issue of prostitution as part of the structure of drug dealing and use is something that I was not thinking as part of this whole thing though it is so obvious once it is on the table.

    I am sure that there are many other issues that we need to be considering that will sound just as obvious when people report on them. I am also wondering if anybody heard anything related to local gangs and drug dealing. If so, please report.

    Thanks for making this forum possible, please keep facts, information and strategies discussed coming, I don’t really care about critizising the presenter, city or school officials, but I do care about the content from the perspective of using this information to inform people in the Northfield Latino community and ensuring that folks out there know what their kids may be exposed to.

    Remember, it is a different world out there, different culture, different perspectives on life and the city, the only thing that does not change are the facts about how this whole drug infrastructure came about, how it works currently and what people said at the meeting about how to deal with it.

    October 31, 2007
  17. Jane McWilliams said:

    Re: Post #1, if drugs weren’t a community program, why was the forum held?Don’t we all have a stake in the welfare of our neighbors?

    I, too, had a conflict, so couldn’t attend, but I hope that Ms. Falkowski’s remarks did what keynoters usually do, launch her hearers toward activism. And, I’m assuming that the small group sessions provided those 75 people with concrete ways to deal with this issue, which has touched all our lives one way and another. I’ll look to the folks who attended to help the rest of us to work for change. Reginaldo seems to be on his way toward that outcome.

    October 31, 2007
  18. Tracy Davis said:

    Thank you for the report, Scott…. I’d be interested to hear from anyone else who attended (I wasn’t able to).

    This story has two angles – one, what those who attended heard; and two, why more people weren’t able to hear the presentation (i.e., understanding the reason for the media restrictions).

    I assume the school district (funded by property taxes) had to pay something to get Ms. Falkowski down here to speak, but I haven’t called to verify that. Does anyone know? If so, then it’s certainly a legitimate question to ask as a citizen.

    October 31, 2007
  19. Christine Stanton said:

    Okay, I just tried to make another, somewhat lengthly post about the meeting last night, which I attended. And, again, when I clicked “say it” it was somehow lost–gone–unposted. Now, I am really thinking that I am not supposed to post anything!

    Reginaldo, one of the sites that Carol Falkowski referenced was:
    This site has a Spanish tab that might be useful to you.

    October 31, 2007
  20. Larry Werner said:

    Clearly Falkowski doesn’t understand how a public official’s obligation to the public, which includes the media that inform the public. I would hope someone lets the governor’s office know that a state official spoke in Northfield on a very important subject and refused to allow her presentation to be recorded. As a recently-retired Star Tribune editor, I find this unconscionable. She should be reported to her bosses in St. Paul. And if she can’t stand the public heat, she should return to Hazelden.

    October 31, 2007
  21. Curt Benson said:

    Christine, I hope your comments eventually post, I want to hear about your experience. I went to one break out session with Ms. Shippy, I think it was a different one than yours. Since the sessions were driven, in part, by audience questions, we must have heard different information. I didn’t take notes, not thinking that I’d post this, but here’s my recollections:

    Shippy provides chemical dependency treatment services for the school district and to the general public. She explained the services she provides, including how one can qualify to pay for the services if they can’t afford them.

    One parent, who indicated that she had a child affected by the opiate addiction (I think) told Shippy she felt “betrayed” and asked for an explanation of when the problem in town surfaced and how it was communicated. Shippy said that she first noted a big problem with Oxycontin about fifteen months ago. She said community groups, including the police, were told about it then. She said that in her experience, Oxycontin is always associated with heroin. She said she noted the heroin problem increasing about eight months ago. She also said that the numbers–150 to 200 opiate users in town, were accurate. IIRC, she said that the problem first surfaced in high school aged kids, but most of those affected were not enrolled in the school system.

    A couple people asked about drug testing kits, for testing their kids, asking about specific types of tests. I just found this to be incredibly sad, what else can I say?

    Another parent said she wished there was a parent support group in town for families struggling with this problem. I remember this was a suggestion at the Armory meeting sponsored by the Key as well. Anyone have any ideas on how to start such a group?

    October 31, 2007
  22. Griff Wigley said:

    Good idea, Larry! Here’s the [corrected] email I sent to Wes Kooistra, Assistant Commissioner for Chemical and Mental Health Services, MN Dept of Human Services

    To: Wes Kooistra,
    Subject: Carol Falkowski’s drug presentation in Northfield

    Dear Commissioner Kooistra,

    I wanted to inform you that many Northfield area citizens and community leaders were very unhappy this week when Carol Falkowski, Director of the Chemical Health Division in your Minnesota Department of Human Services, did not allow her Tuesday, Oct. 30 community presentation on drugs to be recorded for community access television and other local media.

    Please see this link for my entire explanation of what transpired, and some of the reaction from local citizens.

    Ms. Falkowski’s presentation was quite good and needs to be seen and heard by many more parents and youth in the area. Unfortunately, we now have no way to do this, which is very disappointing.

    If you have questions, I’d be very happy to speak to you about this by phone, as would others, I’m sure, who work with the local organizations who hosted the forum. I’d be happy to put you in touch with them via phone and/or email.


    Griff Wigley

    Co-host, Locally Grown

    1133 Heritage Drive
    Northfield, MN 55057 USA
    Office: 507/573-4535
    Mobile: 507/319-5541
    IM (AIM, Yahoo, MSN, Google): griffinjay
    Skype: griff_wigley

    October 31, 2007
  23. Griff Wigley said:

    Christine, I’m so sorry you’re having tech problems. I don’t know what could be causing that but I’ll ask Sean to investigate.

    Can you email me your comments? I’ll make sure they get added here. Thanks a ton for continuing to try, and again, my apologies.

    October 31, 2007
  24. John George said:

    This is an interesting event, but, I wonder, since we have free speech in this country, do we also have freedom from being recorded? Does Ms. Falkowski have authority to make this determination when she speaks publicly? Also, just because a person is a government official, does this automatically obligate them to be recorded when they speak somewhere? Just wondering.

    My personal opinion is that if what you are going to say is accurate and has applicable information for people, and is not a source of income for you, then why try to hide it? The whole episode just seems to fan the flames of suspicion in Northfield, and I certainly don’t think we need any more winds blowing on that wildfire. It will be interesting to see how Ms. Korbel answers your inquirey, Griff.

    November 1, 2007
  25. John, I agree with the second half of your remarks in comment #25.

    Regarding your questions, and reminding everyone that I am no legal scholar, I would guess that in these circumstances, there is no way Ms. Falkowski should be able to deny being recorded. 1. Free, public event 2. Public setting 3. Open to all 4. Talk given by a public official 5. Containing data presented (and probably gathered) under the auspices of a public agency 6. Being recorded by public media 7. Said recordings are not commercial products.

    I think there are other circumstances where a public official should be able to speak “off the record”, but these were not those circumstances. Obviously, there would be something very wrong with someone recording her conversation with a friend as they took a stroll in a public park, for instance. That’s perhaps an oversimplified example.

    If a movie were being shot that happened to include parts of the speech, then that movie’s producers would probably need to get a release, whether it’s a public official or not.

    The only thing I think might have been confusing to her would be the nature of the organizations recording her. Technically, this blog isn’t public media; although, I would think Northfield TV, at least, would have been hard to confuse with a non-public entity.

    My advice (with hindsight being 20/20): I actually would have recorded it anyway and used the material. I don’t think there’s any recourse Ms. Falkowski could have had to stop you using material gathered in the above-listed circumstances. Provided, of course, you were using them in an honest manner and not in a commercial product.

    I yield the remainder of my typing to those of more learned judicial backgrounds.

    November 1, 2007
  26. kiffi summa said:

    Has anyone asked the school district/organizing parties for their opinion on this?
    I’m sure there was an expectation of a recording being used to further disseminate info to those who could not attend.
    What was the school district’s direction/expectation in their discussions with the speaker?

    November 1, 2007
  27. Susan Ecklund said:

    I attended the meeting on Tuesday night, hearing Carol Falkowski’s keynote talk and then going to the Drugs 101 session presented by Scott Robinson, which I found very informative. Besides screening part of a video about a meth user and showing a display of drugs and paraphernalia, he reminded listeners that as of January Rice County will no longer be part of a five-county drug task force but will fund its own task force. He expects that this new entity will be able to make significant progress. His commitment was clearly conveyed, and I thank him for his contribution to the evening.

    I could not stay for another breakout session but wished I had had time to attend the one where recovering young people talked about their experiences.

    This is just my observation about people I saw in attendance at the meeting: Many of them are dedicated, involved parents who have devoted many years to child-rearing but whose lives have still been touched by serious drug and alcohol problems. I have attended Family Education classes with many of the mothers I saw on Tuesday night (beginning almost twenty years ago); other parents I came to know through our children’s mutual activities such as the Northfield Youth Choir. I have seen many of them time and time again at school conferences, district band concerts, and other activities. And they keep showing up at these meetings.

    I think something more needs to be done besides telling parents to be involved with their kids and keep communication open. That’s what the parents at Tuesday’s meeting have been trying to do for years. When things are going wrong, kids typically want their parents to leave them alone and often don’t think their parents have anything worthwhile to say.

    What can we do beyond trying to address these problems on an individual level? Support groups certainly could help parents who feel as if they are struggling alone, but I think we also need to make sure that other key community players, such as law enforcement and adults who are responsible for our children’s well-being at school (and not just at the high school, but at the middle school, the ALC, and ARTech), are doing all they can. In the Drugs 101 session, Scott Robinson said it’s not possible to win the war on drugs but that we can win the battle. I think it is time for Northfield to define the battle that this town wants to fight, and then devote our efforts and energies to that goal. And the battle needs to be on a larger scale than within individual families.

    One absolutely key aspect of the battle, obviously, is reducing the supply of drugs in this community. How can this be accomplished? Would it be possible to agree that this is one of the most important battles for us to face right now, and then do so?

    I hesitate to write because, like many others, I would guess, I feel as if I have so few concrete suggestions. I am writing anyhow, though, because it seems so crucial to maintain this discussion, and perhaps to elicit participation from others who might have valuable ideas. There are many young people in this town who need help. There are many parents who are worried, sad, or discouraged. But most of them are not ready to give up. What can we do that will really make a difference?

    November 1, 2007
  28. Christine Stanton said:

    I attended Sarah Shippy’s first breakout session. The following is a list of some of the things I learned:

    – Oxycotin and heroin are both considered pain-relievers.

    – Oxycotin has the same effect as heroin when crushed.

    – Vicodin and codeine are also considered pain-relievers.

    – They are all a part of the class of drugs known as opiates.

    – Users tend to have a preferred drug.

    – Users seek drugs that offer the same effect.

    – Physical addiction happens rapidly with opiates.

    (On a side note, patients who have surgical procedures are many times sent home with pain-relievers. Many times they do not use all the pills and the remaining pills sit idle and forgotten in the medicine cabinet. These pills have become the target of some teens and/or their friends looking to get high. Please check your medicine cabinets and those of elderly relatives for these types of pills and dispose of them.)

    – Marijuana is considered a hallucinogenic like LSD

    – Chemicals in the brain under-produce in mental illness.

    – Drugs tell the brain what chemicals to produce.

    – The symptoms and responses of mental illness and drug use are the same

    – The behavioral patterns of addiction tend to happen all at once.

    – The reasons for experimental substance use and addiction are the same, but what happens when use occurs is different.

    Carol Falkowski and Sarah Shippy both emphasized the importance of parents and kids keeping the lines of communication open. From what they said and what I heard at the second breakout session I attended—“From a Kids Point of View”—I see that advice to mean that parents should not shut their teens out or be unwilling to discuss difficult topics with their teens. On the flip side, parents should also not try to be their child’s “best friend.”

    Since the event, I have taken the advice of the presenter and looked at the National Institute on Drug Abuse website.

    Much of the information she presented plus more can be found on that website.

    November 1, 2007
  29. Christine Stanton said:


    November 1, 2007
  30. Griff Wigley said:

    Was that a drug test, Christine? 😉

    November 1, 2007
  31. John George said:

    Griff- The interesting thing about a drug test is that if you are present, you fail; and if you are absent, you pass! How is that for logic?

    Brendon- In your post #26, your first paragraph is certainly logical, and, I think, reasonable expectations. The unfortunate thing I have observed about government is that it is usually illogical and seldom meets reasonable expectations.

    November 1, 2007
  32. Griff Wigley said:

    Thanks much for those notes, Christine. You wrote that “Marijuana is considered a hallucinogenic like LSD.”

    I didn’t realize this. I see on the Wikipedia entry for cannabis it says:

    While many drugs clearly fall into the category of either Stimulant, Depressant, Hallucinogen, or Antipsychotic, cannabis, containing both THC and CBD, exhibits a mix of all sections, leaning towards the Hallucinogen section due to THC being the primary constituent.

    November 4, 2007
  33. Griff Wigley said:

    I heard back from the commissioner. Unfortunately, I wrote to the wrong one. Duh! Comment #23 above now edited to reflect that I’ve sent it to Wes Kooistra, Assistant Commissioner for Chemical and Mental Health Services, MN Dept of Human Services… who would be Falkowski’s immediate boss.

    November 5, 2007
  34. John George said:

    Christine- I just noticed this comment in your post #29, “…parents should also not try to be their child’s ‘best friend.’ ” What a great observation! This is key to parent/teen relationships. Many parents have seemingly forgotten, or at least turned away from, how to be a parent. The mistaken idea is that being your child’s “best friend” is the only way to keep in communication with them. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Children, especially teens, need to know there is someone in authority over them who cares enough for them to set boundaries and lead them in how to walk inside those boundaries. If we want to walk in proper authority in our lives, we need to learn how to walk “under” authority. I believe this is best demonstrated by parenting.

    November 5, 2007
  35. Griff Wigley said:

    Was there any discussion at this forum about Northfield doctors getting licensed to prescribe Buprenorphine? The newspaper wrote about this problem back in July and I seem to remember that the training was supposed to happen this fall sometime.

    My son Tyson alerted me to this April 05 article in Wired about bupe:

    The Bitter Pill: Buprenorphine could end heroin addiction, curb disease, and cut crime. But bureaucrats, doctors, and much of the treatment industry are just saying no. A case study in why the best technology doesn’t always win.

    I wonder if it’s gotten any better. The drug company’s web site only lists 11 physicians currently licensed in Minnesota.

    November 9, 2007
  36. Christine Stanton said:

    Griff, I believe Sarah Shippy said that there are (two) doctors in Northfield that are now trained to administer buprenorphine.

    I read your link to The Better Pill. The fact that buprenorphine is not made by a pharmaceutical company is very interesting. That fact explains why not more doctors are trained to administer it.

    After reading the article, I could not help thinking about my own buracratic experience with methadone. In 1991 our five-year old daughter died from cancer. In the months before her death, we dealt with pain medications. Morphine has adverse side affects, so we tried methodone and it relieved her pain without making her “loopy.” When the time came that she was not able to take medication orally, we had to switch to a different medication. Because methadone was used by drug addicts, it was very difficult to get for intravenous use. Needless to say, finding the right intravenous medication was difficult. If we had had access to intravenous methadone the transition would have been easier.

    According to the article The Better Pill, it seems that methadone has run its course in helping addicts. If methadone was marketed for cancer pain, it might be more accessible to those who could really benefit from its advantages for managing pain.

    November 10, 2007
  37. Griff Wigley said:

    I’ll forever remember Carol Falkowski for her baffling refusal to let me record her presentation here in Northfield so I could help spread her message.

    So when I saw this Carleton College Tweet yesterday, I thought of her again:

    FYI this week’s @CarletonCollege convocation WON’T be live streamed or available on demand, per request from speaker.

    Why would astronomer, lecturer and author Phil Plait not want to have his presentation streamed or captured, especially knowing what we know now about the importance of TED Talks?

    Since June 2006,[1] the talks have been offered for free viewing online, under Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs Creative Commons license, through[8] As of November 2011, over 1,050 talks are available free online.[9] By January 2009 they had been viewed 50 million times. In June 2011, the viewing figure stood at more than 500 million,[10] reflecting a still growing global audience.[11]

    October 11, 2012
  38. Sean Fox said:

    A note went around to the Carleton community this morning that: “Due to copyright restrictions associated with material he is presenting, there will not be a webcast of Phil Plait’s convocation on Friday.”

    That’s fairly typical in my experience with putting materials from speakers online. They use materials in their presentation (photos or video clips usually) to which someone else holds the copyright. In the context of a single presentation to a limited audience they can claim the use of the materials falls under fair use; they aren’t breaking any laws. But to post that same material permanently, as would be the case if the talk were archived by Carleton or streamed in such a way that they couldn’t be sure others wouldn’t archive it,would be a violation of copyright law. Phil and/or Carleton would be liable for damages. And thanks to industry lobbying those damages are huge.

    Phil is just different than many speakers in that he’s aware of the issue and willing to go to the effort to make sure things are handled correctly.

    October 11, 2012

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