Tag Archives: drugs

Death of Marie Osmond’s Son Ruled a Suicide

Coroner’s officials say the death of Marie Osmond’s son, 18-year-old Michael Bryan, has been ruled a suicide and that drugs or alcohol didn’t play a role in the teen’s leap from an eight-story balcony in Los Angeles in February. 

Bryan left behind a suicide note, but the coroner’s office wanted toxicology results before ruling on his cause of death.  The findings were released on April 21. 

Bryan was one of five children that Osmond and her ex-husband adopted.  

Osmond and her brother, Donny, took a brief break from their Las Vegas show before returning with a tribute to Bryan in March.

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Nevada Outlaws Get Free Newspaper Fame- for Weeks!

Who says journalism is dead?  Pshaw! It’s merely focused now on the seedier aspects of life and living, displaying alleged outlaws for all to see! 

Mugshot photo galleries are increasingly popular features on newspaper websites, which are on blitzing crusades for ever more page views and the advertising revenue that accompanies additional eyeballs. 

Big newspaper dailies still hanging around, like New York’s Newsday and the Chicago Tribune, have also quickly caught on to the trend.  Mugshot mania is especially prevalent in Florida, where liberal public-records laws make it easier to obtain these photos. 

 “It’s a huge traffic driver for us,” says Roger Simmons, digital-news manager for the Orlando Sentinel, where mug shots garner about 2.5 million page views a month, 6% of the site’s total. The Palm Beach Post estimates its online police blotter, which streams its own ads, drew half of the site’s 45 million page views. 

And Las Vegas has long been the home of local weekly tabloid magazines that display page after page of photographs taken of partygoers in the nightclubs and casinos, partying themselves into oblivion.  It’s worked like magic for them, drawing in readers and advertisers, so why not a theme on a variation? 

That’s the thought of the new kid on the Nevada block, Max Cannon, another publisher of the bleary-eyed and stupefied mugshots.  He’s the founder of Florida-based SafeCITY Publishing, which for $1 offers readers a non-traditional newspaper, Local Mugshots, a brazen photo compendium of people arrested in Nevada for all sorts of nefarious and not so dastardly alleged crimes, including drugs, gang activity, DUIs, sexual crimes- or maybe just an expired driver’s license, much to the chagrin of many. 

After being published in 25 cities across the U.S. – boasting 208 fugitive apprehensions nationwide since 2007 – Cannon has now focused his crosshairs on Nevada, creating the first West Coast version of the publication that has been around for about eight months.  About 15,000 to 20,000 copies are distributed to 80 locations throughout Clark and Washoe counties in Nevada every two to three weeks.  In Las Vegas, it is available at most 7-Eleven, AM/PM and Fills locations, and the distributor is working on increasing its presence to about 20 more locations. 

Canon,  who started the publication about nine years ago in Tennessee, can’t say for certain why it’s been so popular, but conjectures that it’s the possibility of recognizing someone. “There’s a good likelihood that at some point in time, they’re going to see someone that they’re going to see someone they went to school with or with, as opposed to watching something on America’s Most Wanted,” he says. 

Stephen Bates, a UNLV journalism professor who teaches media law, begs to differ, feeling it is doing more harm than good.  “It seems a little irresponsible to feature people who have been arrested and not been charged with any crime. It’s tarnishing people’s reputations.”

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Legal Pot Substitute Sells Like Hotcakes in Las Vegas!

Think what you smell is purely incense?  Think again.  Now, incense has a growing new use– a legal substitute for pot in Las Vegas and elsewhere around the country.

Smoke Depot in Las Vegas currently sells a legal greenish-brown substance called Black Mamba which, for many, creates a highly euphoric feeling similar to marijuana. Collectively known as “Spice,” sister brands include K2, Cloud Nine and Green Buddha. 

All are herbs that, many times, are laced with a variant of THC, the psychoactive substance found in marijuana. Though the canister’s gold-and black wrapper warns: “Not for human consumption,” consumers across the country are smoking Spice like pot and experiencing similar effects. But since it doesn’t contain actual THC, Spice isn’t detectable in drug tests.

Black Mamba has been the preferred brand throughout Las Vegas over the last few months, according to numerous shop owners. They’re so popular that stores like Smoke Dept can’t keep them stocked!  And the skyrocketing sales are primarily attributed to word of mouth advertising due to the nature of the product. 

The products are not cheap. A gram of Black Mamba costs $20 at Smoke Depot and they’ve been selling about 200 grams a week for the past three months.

A number of shops in Las Vegas say they’ve been selling to anyone, including teenagers.

But just because it’s legal doesn’t mean Spice is safe.

In the last two months, a Missouri toxicologist says that he’s seen more than 30 cases of teens with hallucinations, elevated heart rates, vomiting and seizures after using K2.

Las Vegas storeowners say customers are starting to request K2. Spice is still so new that the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services says it hasn’t seen many reports. “It’s on our radar, but there’s not a lot known about it,” spokesman Ben Kieckhefer says.

Users in Las Vegas are experimenting with Black Mamba, K2 and Spice Gold more than any other brands, according to Las Vegas Metropolitan Police narcotics detective Bruce Gentner, and the results haven’t been pretty. “We just had a case where two young men got really sick,” he says. “They bought it at a local smoke shop here, and within minutes of smoking it, they were transported to the hospital with hallucinations, vomiting and panic attacks.” 

Black Mamba comes from a plant called Damiana, grown regionally. In its natural form, it’s used in tea and liquor and is a known sleeping aid and aphrodisiac.

Although Black Mamba is typically Damiana treated with a THC variant called JWH-018, users can’t be sure what they’re getting, says Gary Boggs, executive assistant of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s office of diversion control.

Though prohibited in most of Europe, the main ingredients in most Spice are not regulated in the United States.

The DEA is going through preliminary steps to determine whether the substances in Spice should be federally controlled. Then it will collaborate with the Department of Health and Human Services, a process that could take years.

Kansas recently became the first state to ban the compounds, and two counties in Missouri also have barred the substance. The Missouri Senate will take a second vote to send a bill to the House that would ban it statewide and make possession of Spice a felony. Weber School District in Utah recently banned Spice from school grounds.

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Las Vegas Pot Convention Cancelled

A three-day convention for marijuana supporters will not happen in Las Vegas. Organizers of “Cannapalooza” say the March event at Mandalay Bay has been cancelled. 

According to the group’s website, the hotel “decided to cancel our contract for space,” and the event won’t take place. Organizer Lou Wozinski told the Las Vegas Review-Journal he had set up a meeting with Las Vegas Metro Police on “Cannapalooza” security last month, and found himself in a room with about 100 not to friendly law enforcement officers. 

Wozinski says he “felt ambushed, like General Custer surrounded by Indians.” One day later, Wozinski, says Mandalay Bay officials mysteriously cancelled the convention. 

“Cannapalooza” was billed by organizers as a “fun, safe, educational event,” and the “largest head shop on the planet.” Wozinski says the event would have brought about 50,000 marijuana fans to Las Vegas.

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Ex-Madam Heidi Fleiss Back on Top- Again!

Las Vegas Backstage Access has written many times on the illustrious Heidi Fleiss.

Now, the ex-Madam Heidi Fleiss is back in the news again, and pretty much for the same reason she always made news, selling sex. 

This time however, her source of income is the airing of an HBO special about, Heidi Fleiss’ Stud Farm, her latest sex for money venture in Las Vegas – where anything is legal- well, er…almost.                                                       

Now, fresh off her inpatient drug treatment program stint on VH1’s “Celebrity Rehab 2” with Dr. Drew Pinsky, in September Fleiss was sentenced to three years probation on felony drug charges stemming from her February ’08 arrest in Pahrump, a rural town 45 minutes outside of Las Vegas.

She needs to stay out of trouble, and away from drugs, through 2012.   She promised she would.

The former Hollywood Madam, 43, plans to leave her home in Pahrump and her many birds in January to be on the show, which is in its last season. It was announced in August that Britain’s Channel 4 would pull the plug on the series due to low viewer ratings. 

District Judge John Davis in Pahrump cleared her earliery in the week to travel to London early January for a paid appearance on the reality television show. 

This will be her second appearance on a reality television show, unless you count all of the times her real life has landed her on televison.

Fleiss told the Review-Journal that she was to be paid $10,000 per episode, money she needs as her most recent endeavor, a dog grooming shop in Las Vegas, is apparently all washed up. 

She continues to draw a paycheck from a laundromat she owns in Pahrump called Dirty Laundry. 

Fleiss originally achieved notoriety through her part in an illegal prositution ring in Hollywood, claiming she made in excess of $10 millon a year which involved high profile celebrities, drugs, and all the other assorted benefits of life down under. 

As for her latest venture, there is not much news as to how many episodes HBO will run, or the business end of the deal either.

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Tennis Great, Las Vegan Andre Agassi Admits Using Crystal Meth in Autobiography

In his upcoming book, iconic tennis star, businessman, educator and Las Vegas resident Andre Agassi admits that in 1997 he used the recreational drug crystal meth or “gack,” as his assistant referrred to it, while he was married to Brooke Shields. AndreAgassi3

“I can’t speak to addiction, but a lot of people would say that if you’re using anything as an escape, you have a problem,” he reportedly tells People magazine. 

The book not only details his drug use, but it also touches on his hair loss, his tumultuous marriage to Brooke Shields and how happy he is with his current wife, Steffi Graf. 

Agassi says he was not concerned about revealing his drug use. “I was worried for a moment, but not for long. … I wore my heart on my sleeve and my emotions were always written on my face. I was actually excited about telling the world the whole story.” 

His book, Open: An Autobiography will be in stores on November 9, but is being serialized by the Times of London beginning tomorrow. 

Later, although Agassi tested positive for the drug, he managed to continue to play tennis. 

While the admission now may get him in hot water with the tennis and sports kingdom, it certainly can’t hurt his book sales- or can it?

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It’s Tough, Very Tough Being Heidi Fleiss

The television soap opera Guiding Light recently aired its final episode after running a glorious 72 years.  But, as normally is the case, when one show leaves, something is always right there waiting in the wings to fill the entertainment vacuum.    Sporting a similar theme on a variation, there is the inimitable Heidi Fleiss.  Although she’s not 72 yet – she only looks that old – hardly a day goes by when one drama is replaced with yet another surrounding Fleiss’ colorful and checkered life in and around Sin City-  the city’s monicker and her lifelong passion, no matter how it is packaged.

For today’s update Las Vegas Backstage Access learns that the former “Hollywood Madam” Heidi Fleiss’ Las Vegas dog grooming business has been shut down by a judge as part of a civil lawsuit, just two days after she was sentenced to three years probation on felony drug charges.

Fleiss’ Dirty Dog salon had been open only three days when Clark County District Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez ordered it closed last Thursday.

The ruling was in response to a motion filed by Jeffery Marvian, who claims his estranged wife conspired to sell the business to Fleiss in violation of the couple’s ongoing divorce action.

Marvian’s attorney, Shelley Lubritz, apparently has the smoking gun:  She said she recorded a conversation in which her client’s wife, Nickol Marvian, admitted selling the business to Fleiss and porn star Kendra Jade Rossi behind Jeffery Marvian’s back.

Lubritz said the Marvians took out a $60,000 second mortgage on their home to start the shop, so they both have an interest in the business.

Gonzalez ordered Dirty Dog to remain closed until a Sept. 30 hearing that could determine whether Fleiss will be allowed to reopen the salon.

Fleiss on Friday denied any involvement in a conspiracy and said she is confident the business will be allowed to reopen.

“I’ll just have to tell my side to the judge,” she told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “I already had a sign made up that says I’ll be open on the first (of October). On the first, I’m offering free self-washes to anyone who comes in.”

Last Tuesday, Fleiss was placed on probation for three years stemming from her arrest in the rural Nevada town of Parhrump where she lives. Fleiss pleaded guilty to unlawful use of methamphetamine and possession of the painkiller hydrocodone without a prescription.

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