LONDON (Reuters) - A devout Christian who said an accident at work boosted his libido and wrecked his marriage as he turned to prostitutes and pornography was awarded more than 3 million pounds in damages on Tuesday.
Stephen Tame, 29, from Suffolk, suffered severe head injuries in a fall, transforming him from a loyal newlywed into a "disinhibited" character who had two affairs.
He was in a coma for two months after falling from a gantry while working at a bicycle warehouse shortly after his marriage in January 2002. Doctors said it was a miracle he survived.
Awarding him 3.1 million pounds in compensation at London's High Court, Judge Michael Harris said: "His life and the life of his young wife were shattered".
His former employer, Professional Cycle Marketing, of Essex, had argued through their lawyers that his injuries were not as bad as suggested in court.
"No honey, it was the injury that made me see all those hookers and have sex with them, honest."
HAWTHORNE, Fla. - A North Carolina woman was arrested after complaining to a police officer that the crack cocaine she had just purchased wasn't very good, authorities said.
Eloise D. Reaves, 50, approached the Putnam County sheriff's deputy at a convenience store Friday, telling him that another man had sold her "bad crack" that contained wax and cocaine.
She pulled an alleged crack rock out of her mouth and placed it on the deputy's car for inspection, the Palatka Daily News reported for Tuesday editions.
The deputy told Reaves that she would be arrested if the crack tested positive for cocaine.
She was charged with possession of cocaine and bonded out for $1,504.
What part of "to serve and protect" don't you understand?
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. growers produce nearly $35 billion (18 billion pounds) worth of marijuana annually, making the illegal drug the country's largest cash crop, bigger than corn and wheat combined, an advocate of medical marijuana use said in a study released on Monday.
The report, conducted by Jon Gettman, a public policy analyst and former head of the National Organisation for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, also concluded that five U.S. states produce more than $1 billion worth of marijuana apiece: California, Tennessee, Kentucky, Hawaii and Washington.
California's production alone was about $13.8 billion, according to Gettman, who waged an unsuccessful six-year legal battle to force the government to remove marijuana from a list of drugs deemed to have no medical value.
Tom Riley, a spokesman for the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy, said he could not confirm the report's conclusions on the size of the country's marijuana crop. But he said the government estimated overall U.S. illegal drug use at $200 billion annually.
Gettman's figures were based on several government reports between 2002 and 2005 estimating the United States produced more than 10,000 metric tons of marijuana annually.
He calculated the producer price per pound of marijuana at $1,606 based on national survey data showing retail prices of between $2,400 and $3,000 between 2001 and 2005.
The total value of 10,000 metric tons of marijuana at $1,606 per pound would be $35.8 billion.
By comparison, the United States produced an average of nearly $23.3 billion worth of corn annually from 2003 to 2005, $17.6 billion worth of soybeans, $12.2 billion worth of hay, nearly $11.1 billion worth of vegetables and $7.4 billion worth of wheat, the report said.
Gettman said the 10-fold increase in U.S. marijuana production, from 1,000 metric tons in 1981 to 10,000 metric tons in 2006, showed the country was failing to control marijuana by making its cultivation and use illegal.
"Marijuana has become a pervasive and ineradicable part of the economy of the United States," he said. "The contribution of this market to the nation's gross domestic product is overlooked in the debate over effective control."
"Like all profitable agricultural crops marijuana adds resources and value to the economy," he added. "The focus of public policy should be how to effectively control this market through regulation and taxation in order to achieve immediate and realistic goals, such as reducing teenage access."
Riley said illegal drug use was a "serious part of the economy," but he rejected the notion of an economic argument for legalizing marijuana.
He said marijuana use was an "inherently harmful activity" with serious physical and mental health consequences. He said more American teens were in treatment centres for marijuana dependency than for all other drugs combined.
That's because treatment is the preferred method of dealing with teens caught using marijuana. Harder drugs usually bring jail time, and alcohol & tobacco usually get little or no attention.
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 19 (Reuters Life!) - Lonely Malaysian men used to travel to Vietnam to shop for "mail order" brides. Now, to the disgust of women's groups, the brides come to them.
Dozens of young Vietnamese girls are paraded at coffee shops in Malaysian towns for prospective grooms to view, in trips arranged by Malaysian agents, the Star newspaper said on Tuesday.
The girls are looking for a better life and their poor families each receive dowries of 20,000 to 30,000 ringgit ($5,600 and $8,500), depending on a girl's beauty, said Malaysian politician Michael Chong, who deplored the new practice.
The men were mainly rich singles or divorcees, Chong told the Star, adding that they would previously have chosen Vietnamese brides from photos and flown to Vietnam to fetch them.
Women's rights groups were appalled at the new trend.
"This practice can be classified as an extreme form of sexual slavery conducted under a sham legal framework," Maria Chin Abdullah, head of a Malaysian women's group, told the newspaper.
"No honey, it was the injury that made me have all those Vietnamese women over to the house and have sex with them, honest."