Drugs

ORANGE BEACH, Ala. (AP) — Police in a coastal Alabama city are investigating after more than $1 million worth of marijuana and cocaine washed ashore.

Orange Beach police tell WALA -TV beachgoers found the drugs last week. One package contained 21 pounds of marijuana and one kilogram of cocaine. Another bundle contained 38 kilograms of cocaine.

Orange Beach is on the Gulf of Mexico about 50 miles southeast of Mobile, Ala.

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GADSDEN, Ala. (AP) — Authorities in Alabama say a woman being booked into the Etowah County Detention Center was found to have hidden drugs on her person.

News outlets report 38-year-old Carrie Fay Drake is charged with offenses including promoting prison contraband. She has since posted bail and been released.

A former Auburn University lab technician accused of distributing a chemical similar to a date-rape drug has pleaded guilty in federal court.

Court documents say Stephen Howard's guilty plea to three counts of possessing and distributing a form of butanediol was accepted yesterday by U.S. District Judge Charles Coody.

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the chemical known as BD is odorless and colorless and is used as a sedative.

Alabama has one of the highest rates of prescription drug abuse and a state task force is attempting to do something about it.  The Alabama Drug Abuse Task Force announced the "Zero Addiction" campaign today with a website and radio and television ads.

The television and radio spots will begin airing in the next two weeks. A website lists treatment facilities and options in each Alabama county.

Task Force Chairman Barry Matson says they hope to spark honest conversations in families.

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama lawmakers are trying to shield the identities of companies that provide the state with execution drugs, but even without it, the Alabama Department of Corrections releases little information about the process of putting a person the death.

The prison system declined to release the suppliers and other information about the process of execution. The Associated Press requested information about drug purchases, as well as the execution protocol, including the procedures to make sure an inmate is unconscious.