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Marijuana

Chronicle AM: Trump Opioid Commission Calls for More Drug Courts, More... (11/1/17)

Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 20:02

President Trump's opioid commission issues its recommendations, El Paso becomes the latest Texas locale to ease marijuana possession penalties, would-be Arkansas medical marijuana providers file suit over an application process that excluded them, and more.

[image:1 align:right caption:true]Marijuana Policy

Delaware Marijuana Task Force Report to Be Delayed. The legislative task force studying whether to legalize marijuana has delayed issuing its final report from the end of January to the end of February. The delay was requested by the Keep Delaware Safe and Healthy Coalition, a coalition of influential groups opposed to legalization.

New Jersey Court Rules State Must Consider Reclassifying Marijuana. An Appellate Division court ruled 2-1 Tuesday that the state must at least consider removing marijuana from its list of controlled substances. The ruling came in a case brought by two plaintiffs, a man serving a life sentence for marijuana trafficking and a young girl with epilepsy who uses marijuana for medical reasons. The court did not order the state to reclassify the herb, but said the head of the Division of Consumer Affairs should have considered reclassification instead of just flatly denying a petition to do so.

El Paso Becomes Latest Texas Locale to Not Automatically Arrest for Marijuana Offenses. El Paso county commissioners voted on Monday to approve a program under which first-time offenders caught with less than two ounces of weed can avoid arrest and criminal charges. The state passed a law allowing for the down-grading of pot possession offenses in 2014, but it has only been implemented in Austin, Dallas, and Houston.

Medical Marijuana

Arkansas Business Applicants Sue Over Rejected Bids. A group of applicants seeking to open some of the first medical marijuana businesses in the state filed lawsuits last week charging that the state Medical Marijuana Commission erred in its initial assessment of applications, where it rejected several applicants for failing to meet minimum requirements. The lawsuits seek a temporary restraining order to force the commission to include the plaintiffs' applications during a final scoring review.

Heroin and Prescription Opioids

White House Opioid Commission Issues Recommendations. President Trump's commission on the opioid crisis called Wednesday for the nationwide expansion of drug courts and more access to alternatives to opioids for people suffering pain as part of a series of recommendations for shaping drug policy to more effectively address the crisis. The 56 recommendations also include requiring doctors to show they have training in the safe provision of such drugs before their DEA licenses are renewed, requiring health care providers to use prescription drug monitoring databases, and easing Medicaid and insurance payments for opioid drug treatment. The recommendations contain no provision for increased funding.

Categories: Marijuana

US: Oped: 'Just Say No'? Antidrug Ads Rarely Work, And Even Risk A 'Yes'

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 07:00
New York Times, 01 Nov 2017 - In declaring the opioid epidemic a public health emergency last week, President Trump promised that the federal government would start "a massive advertising campaign to get people, especially children, not to want to take drugs in the first place." But past efforts to prevent substance abuse through advertising have often been ineffective or even harmful. Perhaps the most famous American antidrug advertisement featured a sizzling egg in a frying pan to the sound of ominous music and a stern voice-over warning, "This is your brain on drugs." A sequel to this ad featured Rachael Leigh Cook smashing an egg and the better part of a kitchen to dramatize the impact of heroin.
Categories: Marijuana

CN NS: No Weed, Nova Scotia?

Marijuana (MAP) - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 07:00
Metro, 01 Nov 2017 - Survey says majority won't buy marijuana when legalized Pot doesn't look like it will be popular in this province when it's finally legalized. A new survey released Tuesday says the vast majority of Nova Scotians don't plan to buy marijuana for personal use once it's legalized in Canada.
Categories: Marijuana

Chronicle AM: Germany's Merkel May Agree to Legalization as Part of Coalition, More... (10/31/17)

Marijuana (STDW) - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 20:13

Marijuana decriminalization takes center stage in Virginia drug policy debates, Germany's Angela Merkel may agree to legalize marijuana in a bid to build a governing coalition, and more.

[image:1 align:left caption:true]Marijuana Policy

Virginia Crime Commission Briefed on Marijuana Stats. The state Crime Commission was briefed Monday on the results of a months-long study examining the costs and consequences of marijuana arrests in the Old Dominion. The study found there were more than 133,000 pot possession arrests in the state in the past 10 years, but that relatively few people went to jail for it in the state. The study was prompted by a proposal to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.

Virginia Senate Majority Leader Will File Decriminalization Bill. State Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment (R) said Monday he plans to file a bill that would decriminalize small-time pot possession for first offenders. Norment said the bill is still being drafted, but would make first-time possession a civil offense punishable by a fine, mandatory education, and a drivers' license suspension.

Drug Testing

West Virginia Welfare Drug Testing Program Gets Underway. Under a program that took effect last week, state residents who apply for welfare must now undergo a drug screen questionnaire, with those whose responses are deemed suspicious required to take and pass a drug test. People who fail a drug test will be required to undergo drug treatment at their own expense -- while being denied funds that could help pay for it.

International

Germany's Merkel May Agree to Marijuana Legalization as Part of Coalition Deal. Reports from German media suggest that Prime Minister Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union Party may agree to support marijuana legalization as part of an effort to form a coalition government with two parties that want to free the weed, the Free Democrats and the Greens. Marijuana policy would be addressed at the end of coalition talks, the reports said.

Categories: Marijuana

Two NYPD Cops Charged with Raping Teen After Busting Her for Marijuana

Marijuana (STDW) - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 18:21

A New York City grand jury indicted two Brooklyn narcotics officers late last week on charges they raped an 18-year-old woman after arresting her for smoking marijuana. The alleged victim says she was assaulted while handcuffed in the back of a police van in the parking lot of a Chipotle restaurant in September.

[image:1 align:left]The two narcotics officers, Eddie Martins and Richard Hall, now face charges of first degree rape. The alleged victim, who posts on social media under the name Anna Chambers, including posts about the case, says that both narcs forced her to perform oral sex on them, and that one of them raped her. She alleges that she and two young men were pulled over by Martins and Hall for smoking pot, and that they targeted her after finding prescription drugs in the car. The narcs told her companions to leave before ordering her to undress so they could "search for drugs."

They didn't find any drugs on her, but handcuffed the teen anyway before coercing her into sex, her attorney, Michael David, told the New York Post.

"You'll spend three hours in the precinct," they allegedly told her. They also allegedly said: "This is what you're going to do for us, and we'll let you go," David said.

"There was zero consent," David said. "The cops were over 6 feet tall. She's very petite, like 5-2 and maybe 100 pounds. There's nothing she could do."

The grand jury issued the indictments October 26 after hearing a week of testimony, including testimony on the stand from Chambers herself. The narcs were not arrested upon indictment, but are expected to turn themselves in this week. They have been placed on modified duty and stripped of their guns and badges and are now suspended without pay. They're looking at between three and 25 years in prison if convicted.

The detectives, from NYPD's Brooklyn South narcotics squad, have not denied that they engaged in sex acts with the alleged victim, but claimed they were consensual. They also spent the past week trying to discredit and impugn their accuser.

In a letter to prosecutors, lawyers for the narcs pointed out that she had filed a $50 million claim against the city in October and that she had posted "provocative" selfies on her Instagram and Twitter accounts after the assault. The lawyers called on prosecutors "to further investigate Chambers' dubious claim before you ask the grand jury to return an indictment against Martins and Hall."

Chambers furiously rejects the narcs' claim that the sex was consensual, her lawyer said.

"She was shocked that the [cops] would say it was consensual after everything that was done to her. She wanted to get the word out," David explained. 'She just wants everybody to know it's an absolute lie that this was consensual. She was raped. She was viciously, brutally raped in handcuffs. It's the truth," he said.

"She's embarrassed," David continued. "She's very depressed over this. Her whole life had changed after this experience. She's afraid of the police, and she really wants justice to be served here."

After the attack, Chambers did what victims are supposed to do: She sought help at NYU Langone Hospital, which performed a rape kit on her that found the cops' DNA. She reported a sexual assault to police. She confided to friends after it happened. And she filed a civil lawsuit. And now, the criminal justice system swings into action against the perpetrators.

One of the reasons the war on drugs is so loathed is that it provides the opportunity for crooked cops to abuse their power in ways that have been alleged in this case. One wonders how many similarly abused women have not come forward.

Categories: Marijuana

Chronicle AM: Second Australia SIJ Coming, DEA Adds Heroin Enforcement Teams, More... (10/30/17)

Marijuana (STDW) - Mon, 10/30/2017 - 19:45

The Victoria state government has approved a safe injection site in Melbourne, a new report warns that high taxes on legal marijuana could push people to the black market, New Jersey adds some new qualifying conditions for medical marijuana use, and more.

[image:1 align:right caption:true]Marijuana Policy

Report: High Legal Pot Taxes Could Push Consumers to Black Market. California retail marijuana taxes, which could reach as high as 45% in some cases, could potentially push consumers out of legal pot shops and into the black market, according to a new report from the credit rating agency Fitch Ratings. "The existing black market for cannabis may prove a formidable competitor to legal markets if new taxes lead to higher prices than available from illicit sources," the report says.

Medical Marijuana

New Jersey Adds Five New Qualifying Conditions. The state's Medical Marijuana Review Panel has officially approved five new qualifying conditions for medical marijuana use. They are anxiety, chronic pain related to musculoskeletal disorders, migraines, chronic pain of visceral origin, and Tourette's Syndrome. The panel rejected adding chronic fatigue syndrome and asthma as qualifying conditions.

Heroin and Prescription Opioids

DEA Creates Six New Heroin Enforcement Teams. The DEA has announced the establishment of six new enforcement teams focused on heroin and fentanyl. The teams will operate in New Bedford, Massachusetts; Charleston, West Virginia; Cincinnati, Ohio; Cleveland, Ohio; Raleigh, North Carolina; and Long Island, New York. The DEA got funding in its Fiscal Year 2017 appropriations to pay for the teams.

Public Health Experts Issue Report With Comprehensive Recommendations for Opioid Crisis.
Experts from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in collaboration with the Clinton Foundation have issued a report with comprehensive recommendations for stemming the opioid crisis. Among its 10 priority recommendations are: expanded electronic opioid prescription monitoring, policies in line with CDC Opioid Prescribing Guidelines, clear guidance on opioid disposal and "take back" programs, increased federal funding for drug treatment in the most hard hit communities, and cheaper naloxone.

International

Taliban Now Making Heroin -- and Increased Profits. For years, Afghanistan's Taliban have profited from opium poppy production, using the proceeds to finance their war, but now, Afghan and Western officials say that more than half of Afghan opium is being processed in-country, and that is leading for increased profits for the Taliban, for whom the drug trade consists of about 60% of its income.

Australia to Get Second Safe Injection Site, in Melbourne. The Victoria state government cabinet has approved a safe injection site for the North Richmond area of Melbourne. It is set to open next year. At the same time, the state government is also moving to crack down on heroin traffickers by reducing the amounts of heroin needed to impose harsh sentences.

Categories: Marijuana

CN ON: Weed Rules Still Hazy: Councillor

Marijuana (MAP) - Mon, 10/30/2017 - 07:00
Toronto Sun, 30 Oct 2017 - Weed rules still hazy: Councillor There are still many concerns to address as the provincial government moves forward this week with its anticipated marijuana legislation, Councillor Cesar Palacio says.
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CN BC: Kelowna Making Plans For Pot

Marijuana (MAP) - Sat, 10/28/2017 - 07:00
Kelowna Capital News, 28 Oct 2017 - Kelowna city staff say cannabis should only be sold from storefront dispensaries licenced by the provincial government and under rules similar to existing liquor stores. And their locations and operations should be controlled by municipal land use zoning and bylaws. Those are the key recommendations in a report to go to city council Monday morning after the province asked municipalities across the B.C. for input about how marijuana and cannabis products should be distributed once the federal government makes them legal next July.
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CN ON: Ontario Takes First Steps To Roll Out Pot Stores

Marijuana (MAP) - Sat, 10/28/2017 - 07:00
The Record, 28 Oct 2017 - TORONTO - Municipalities in Ontario will find out in the coming weeks where the government wants to locate the first batch of provincially run cannabis stores once recreational marijuana is legalized next summer. In a letter to local authorities sent Friday, Finance Minister Charles Sousa said Ontario's store roll out aims to achieve the right geographic distribution across the province and to reduce the number of illegal marijuana dispensaries that have opened since the federal government announced its plans to legalize pot.
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CN AB: NDP To Roll Out Its Cannabis Legislation In Fall Sitting

Marijuana (MAP) - Sat, 10/28/2017 - 07:00
Globe and Mail, 28 Oct 2017 - Alberta will introduce legislation laying out its plan for cannabis legalization, and also make a final call on whether storefront sales will be managed by government monopoly or private interests, before the end of the year. Alberta laid out the broad strokes of its cannabis plan earlier this month. But NDP government House Leader Brian Mason said Friday the province will introduce two pieces of legislation in the fall sitting: One will deal with the road-safety and impairment aspects of cannabis and the other dealing with cannabis regulation, including distribution, sales, where it can be consumed and the minimum legal age. He added that, across the country, everyone is scrambling to have their own province-specific laws in place before Ottawa's July 1, 2018, deadline for recreational marijuana legalization.
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CN AB: Column: Despite Fanfare, Medical Benefits Of Marijuana Remain

Marijuana (MAP) - Sat, 10/28/2017 - 07:00
Medicine Hat News, 28 Oct 2017 - Many Canadians can hardly wait for the day that the recreational use of marijuanabecomes legal. As a medical doctor, I'm far less enthusiastic. I worry about two things: The experimental nature of marijuana in medical practice and the public health consequences of legalized marijuana. Before you write me off as overly prudish or an anti-marijuana conservative, let me say out of the gate that I'm not opposed to legalized marijuana in principle - I'm just paying attention to the evidence, or rather, the lack of it. My concern is that as marijuanabecomes more easily available, Canadians may become more inclined to self-medicate with this so-called "miracle drug."
Categories: Marijuana

CN AB: Former Cop Urges Caution Regarding Cannabis In The Workplace

Marijuana (MAP) - Sat, 10/28/2017 - 07:00
Medicine Hat News, 28 Oct 2017 - Ed Secondiak began his Friday lecture on cannabis in the workplace by cautioning against potential dangers of the soon-to-be-legalized substance. "We would consider marijuana a dangerous drug simply because impairment is not recognized by the individual or perhaps the person (working) with them," said Secondiak, a former drug enforcement RCMP officer who now works with ECS Safety.
Categories: Marijuana

CN BC: Quesnel Council Council Digs Into Cannabis Legalization

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 10/27/2017 - 07:00
Quesnel Cariboo Observer, 27 Oct 2017 - Mayor and council of the City of Quesnel developed, discussed and passed a response to provincial government for policy considerations for a regulatory framework for non-medical cannabis in British Columbia at its Oct. 24 meeting. Following the 2015 federal election, the Liberal government started working on its campaign promise to legalize cannabis across the country.
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CN BC: Neis Excuses Herself From Pot Talk

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 10/27/2017 - 07:00
The Daily Courier, 27 Oct 2017 - West Kelowna councillor declares conflict of interest during discussion of B.C.'s policy on sale of marijuana West Kelowna city Coun. Rosalind Neis did not participate this week in discussions about how marijuana should be distributed when it is legalized.
Categories: Marijuana

CN BC: Council Blowing Smoke For Provincial Government

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 10/27/2017 - 07:00
The Daily Courier, 27 Oct 2017 - COUNCIL BLOWING SMOKE FOR PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT At a special council meeting, Tuesday city council lit up its marijuana advice for the provincial government. Mayor Doug Findlater and his council provided feedback for the ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General on the legalization of non-medical marijuana. Council came up with these suggestions:
Categories: Marijuana

CN AB: Editorial: Hands Off The Weed!

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 10/27/2017 - 07:00
The Calgary Sun, 27 Oct 2017 - To paraphrase rock outfit The White Stripes: Premier Rachel Notley, we've said it once before but it bears repeating. Do not listen to public sector unions when it comes to marijuana sales in Alberta.
Categories: Marijuana

Chronicle AM: Trump Declares Opioid Emergency, SF SIJ Could Come Soon, More... (10/26/17)

Marijuana (STDW) - Thu, 10/26/2017 - 20:49

The president declares the opioid crisis an emergency, but not enough of one to actually need funding; lawmakers go after the DEA over West Virginia pain pill deliveries, a St. Louis alderman files a marijuana legalization measure, the US Sentencing Commission issues a report on mandatory minimums, and more.

[image:1 align:left caption:true]Marijuana Policy

St. Louis Ordinance Would End Local Marijuana Prohibition. Alderman Megan Green has filed an ordinance that would end enforcement of any laws that allow "the civil or criminal punishment for the use or possession of marijuana or marijuana paraphernalia against any individual or entity," with some specified exceptions. Under the bill, pot could be used, sold, and grown in the city. The bill gets a first reading Friday, and Green says she's confident it can pass in coming weeks. Stay tuned.

Medical Marijuana

Lawmakers Call for VA to Research Medical Marijuana for Veterans. A group of lawmakers who sit on the House Veterans' Affairs Committee wrote a letter Thursday to Veteran Affairs Secretary David Shulkin urging him to use his agency to research medical marijuana. The VA "is uniquely situated to pursue research on the impact of medical marijuana on veterans suffering from chronic pain and PTSD given its access to world class researchers, the population it serves, and its history of overseeing and producing research resulting in cutting-edge medical treatments," the lawmakers wrote. Shulkin has yet to respond.

Heroin and Prescription Opioids

Trump Declares Opioid Crisis a Public Health Emergency, But Provides No Funds. President Trump announced Thursday that he had directed the Department of Health and Human Services to declare a public health emergency around the opioid crisis. But he declined to declare a national emergency, which would have allowed for the rapid allocation of monies to address it. Trump's declaration carries no funding with it, but would allow some grant money to be used to combat opioid abuse.

Lawmakers Take DEA to Task Over Spread of Opioids. Members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee threatened to subpoena the DEA over its slow response to their questions about how wholesale drug distributors poured millions of opioid pain pills into West Virginia. Members said the committee had been waiting six months for answers from the DEA about which companies had sent nine million pills to the town of Kermit, WV (pop. 392), over a two-year period. Members did not express any concerns about how a crackdown on pain pill prescribing might impact chronic pain patients.

Harm Reduction

San Francisco Could See Safe Injection Sites Within a Year, Official Says. Safe injection sites in the city could be open in eight to 12 months if a proposal to create them gets approved, Department of Public Health Director Barbara Garcia told supervisors on Wednesday. Even if the plan was approved immediately, it would take time to obtain funding, establish protocols, hire and train staff, and set up the program, she said.

Sentencing

Sentencing Commission Issues Report on Mandatory Minimums. The US Sentencing Commission has issued a report on the use and impact of mandatory minimum sentencing for drug offenses. The report finds, among other things, that mandatory minimums continue to be imposed and result in long sentences in the federal system, but that they were being used less often last year. The report also noted that mandatory minimums may be applied more broadly than Congress intended, but that laws allows for departures from the harsh sentences "result in significantly reduced sentences when applied."

International

Colombia Will Move to Decriminalize Small-Time Coca Farming. The government will introduce legislation that would make the cultivation of up to just under ten acres of coca a non-punishable offense. More than 100,000 families earn a living from coca farming, with the average planting being less than an acre. This move would provide some breathing room for farmers caught between drug gangs on one hand and police on the other. The move was part of the peace deal agreed to with the leftist rebels of the FARC, but this is the first step toward actually implementing it.

Categories: Marijuana

Chronicle AM: New Gallup Poll Has Record Support for Marijuana Legalization, More... (10/25/17)

Marijuana (STDW) - Wed, 10/25/2017 - 20:54

Nearly two-thirds of Americans now support marijuana legalization, and even more in Connecticut, the House passes a bill increasing funding for drug interdiction, the GAO reports on five years of US drug war spending in Latin America, Afghanistan has a whopping record opium crop, and more.

[image:1 align:right caption:true]Marijuana Policy

Gallup Poll Has Legalization Support at Record High, Approaching Two-Thirds. A Gallup poll released Wednesday has support for marijuana legalization at a record high 64%, up four points from last year and twice as high as just 17 years ago. The poll also includes another first: For the first time, a majority of Republicans support legalization.

Connecticut Poll Has Legalization Support Above 70%. A new Sacred Heart University Institute for Public Policy poll has support for legalization at a whopping 70.6%. That includes both "strongly support" and "somewhat support." Among people under 35, 83.2% wanted to legalize it, and even 73.6% of residents with children in the household were supportive. Legalization should be on the legislative agenda next year.

Washington State Marijuana Sales Top $1 Billion Mark This Year. By the end of September, retail marijuana sales topped $1.1 billion, according to data released by the State Liquor and Cannabis Board. That's just short of Colorado's figure of $1.118 billion so far this year.

Heroin and Prescription Opioids

Bill Would Create Federal Task Force to Fight Fentanyl and Heroin. US Reps. Katherine Clark (D-MA) and Evan Jenkins (R-VA) filed HR 4090, the Fentanyl and Heroin Task Force Act, on Monday. The bill would create a multi-agency task force including members of Customs and Border Protection, the Drug Enforcement Agency, the FBI, Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations, the IRS, the International Trade Administration, the Office of National Drug Control Policy and the US Postal Inspection Service. The task force would coordinate federal efforts to go after fentanyl trafficking groups and identify the sources of heroin and fentanyl production and distribution. The bill has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee.

House Passes Bill to Beef Up Customs, Border Patrol to Wage Drug War. The House voted 412-3 to approve HR 2142, the INTERDICT Act. The bill appropriates funds to pay for new screening devices, laboratory equipment, facilities, and personnel needed to enforce prohibition against fentanyl and other synthetic opioids. A companion measure in the Senate hasn't moved yet.

Foreign Policy

GAO Report: US Spent $39 Billion Fighting Drugs in Western Hemisphere in Five Years. Between 2010 and 2015, US agencies implementing the National Drug Control Strategy spent $39 billion trying to block the flow of drugs from Latin America into the United States. That includes the Defense Department, Homeland Security's ICE, Homeland Security's CBP, the Coast Guard, the Justice Department's DEA and Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces, the State Department, and the Agency for International Development. Given the huge drug flows from south of the border, it doesn't seem to be working that well.

State Department Wants Stronger Anti-Drug Efforts from Mexico. A day after the DEA identified Mexican drug trafficking groups as the key criminal threat in drug enforcement, Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan told a business meeting in Mexico that Mexico needed to do more to help. "More rigorous, collaborative efforts to confront the threat posed by the production and distribution of heroin and fentanyl are a priority for the United States," Sullivan said in remarks reported by ABC News.

International

Afghanistan Has Record Opium Harvest This Year. The opium poppy crop this year is a record and more than double last year's crop, according to Afghan Counter-Narcotics Minister Salamt Azimi. He blamed high levels of insurgency for preventing eradication programs from operating. Last year's crop was estimated at 4,700 tons, but this year's will likely exceed 10,000 tons.

Categories: Marijuana

Chronicle AM: DEA Annual Threat Assessment Released, Trump Opium Event Thursday, More... (10/24/17)

Marijuana (STDW) - Tue, 10/24/2017 - 20:09

The White House could announce a national opioid emergency on Thursday, the DEA releases its annual drug threat assessment, the Maine legislature approves a marijuana regulation bill, and more.

[image:1 align:left caption:true]Marijuana Policy

Maine Legislature Passes Marijuana Regulation Bill, Governor May Veto. The legislature approved a bill to regulate the state's impending legal marijuana market Monday, but not by big enough a margin to withstand an expected veto by Gov. Paul LePage (R). The bill would set up a licensing system and set a 10% sales tax and a weight-based excise tax for transactions between growers and retailers. If LePage vetoes the bill, the result could be "chaos" that would throw "oxygen onto the fire of the black market," said Sen. Roger Katz (R-Augusta) in remarks reported by the Bangor Daily News. LePage has said he wants to postpones retail sales until next year.

Heroin and Prescription Opioids

White House to Host Opioid Event on Thursday. The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy has announced that it will host an event Thursday on "the nationwide opioid crisis." The announcement did not make clear what the event will be, but could be the declaration of a national emergency around the opioid crisis. President Trump surprised his advisors last week by saying he would make such an announcement this week.

Trump Opioid Commission Member Not Optimistic. In an interview Monday, Trump opioid commission member former Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) said he was not optimistic that any recommendations from the commission will lead to any effective action to ameliorate the opioid crisis. Kennedy told the Washington Post "the worry is that" the commission's final recommendations, set for release next week, "won't be adopted."

Drug Store Group Offers Recommendations to Ease Opioid Crisis. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores, which has been criticized on some fronts for contributing to the crisis, has suggested four public policy initiatives that could help rein it in. Among the policy prescriptions are a seven-day limit for initial opioid prescriptions, nationwide electronic prescription monitoring, the use of manufacturer-funded envelopes to return unused opioids, and regulation of synthetic opioids. The association did not address the impact such policy prescriptions could have on chronic pain patients.

Law Enforcement

DEA Releases 2017 National Drug Threat Assessment. The agency released its annual report Monday, and it concentrates on the opioid crisis. The report notes the high number of prescription opioid overdose deaths, warns that heroin is a "serious public health and safety threat," notes the rise of fentanyl, says "the methamphetamine threat remains prevalent," "the cocaine threat continues to rebound," and that the emergence of new psychoactive substances remains "a challenge," among other findings. It qualifies Mexican drug trafficking organizations as "the greatest criminal drug threat in the United States."

Categories: Marijuana

Canada: Column: Legal pot: Health Ministers Should Be Better Prepared

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 10/24/2017 - 07:00
Globe and Mail, 24 Oct 2017 - Drugs - legal and illegal - have so come to dominate the conversation among federal, provincial and territorial ministers of health that perhaps we should start calling them ministers of drugs? At their most recent meeting, held last week in Edmonton, they discussed the following issues: legalization of cannabis, opioids and the overdose crisis, pharmacare, mental health and addiction, tobacco control and antimicrobial resistance as a result of overuse of antibiotics.
Categories: Marijuana
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