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Heroin

Chronicle AM: Bratton Blames MJ for Prohibition Violence, Opioid Prescriptions Decline, More... (5/23/16)

Heroin (STDW) - Mon, 05/23/2016 - 19:18

Bill Bratton misses the point on prohibition and violence, Nebraskans will have to wait for medical marijuana, Fentanyl is displacing heroin in Vancouver, and more.

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

New York City's Top Cop Blames Marijuana Legalization -- Not Prohibition -- for Black Market Violence. NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton Sunday criticized states that have legalized weed because there is violence around the black market in his city, which hasn't legalized weed. "Here in New York, the violence we see associated with drugs, the vast majority of it, is around the issue of marijuana, which is ironic considering the explosion in use of heroin now in the city," Bratton said. "Interestingly enough, here in New York City most of the violence we see -- violence around drug trafficking -- is involving marijuana and I have to scratch my head as we are seeing many states wanting to legalize marijuana, and more liberalization of policies."

Medical Marijuana

No Medical Marijuana Initiative for Nebraska This Year. Cornhusker medical marijuana advocates have decided to delay a petition drive to get the issue on the ballot until 2018. They cited the late start this year and the expense involved.

Rhode Island Senate Approves Adding PTSD to List of Qualifying Conditions. The Senate last Friday unanimously approved a bill that will add PTSD to the list of debilitating medical conditions that qualify a patient for medical marijuana. The bill now heads to the House.

Heroin and Prescription Opioids

Opioid Prescriptions are Falling for the First Time in 20 Years. Two reports from health information providers show that opioid prescriptions have declined in recent years. IMS Health reported a 12% decline in opioid prescriptions nationally since 2012, while Symphony Health Solutions reported an 18% drop during those years. IMS said prescriptions have fallen in 49 states, with only South Dakota showing an increase. The figures could have implications not only for overdose and addiction rates, but also for pain patients. "The climate has definitely shifted," said Dr. Daniel B. Carr, the director of Tufts Medical School's program on pain research education and policy. "It is now one of reluctance, fear of consequences and encumbrance with administrative hurdles. A lot of patients who are appropriate candidates for opioids have been caught up in that response."

International

In Vancouver, Heroin Has Been Displaced by Fentanyl. The synthetic opioid has been identified in half of all drug overdoses in the city this year, which is on track to exceed last year's drug overdose toll. Advocates for drug users in the city's Downtown East Side say there's no more heroin on the street after it has been pushed out by the cheaper and more potent Fentanyl. "Traditionally, heroin comes in about four different colors,"said the longtime drug advocate Hugh Lampkin of the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users, describing a bland palette of beiges, browns and blacks. "Well now you're seeing multiple colors, like colors of the rainbow: green and pink and orange and white... Right away, when you see these colors that's a pretty good indicator that it's fentanyl that you're doing. The people who are controlling the supply, they're passing off what should be heroin as fentanyl because of the close proximity of the high."

Afghans Celebrate Bumper Opium Harvest. Hundreds of laborers from across the Pashtun heartland gathered in Naqil, Uruzgan province, to harvest a bumper crop of opium poppies and celebrate with after-work games in a festival-like atmosphere. "This is the only time of the year to make money," said Afzal Mohammad, who came all the way from Kandahar, standing amid chest-high poppy stalks nearby. "People work here for about 15 days and then are jobless for the rest of the year."

Categories: Heroin

US CA: Column: Kids, Cartels, And Heroin

Heroin (MAP) - Thu, 05/19/2016 - 07:00
SF Weekly, 19 May 2016 - Just after noon on May 3, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom stood in front of a well-dressed crowd at the Commonwealth Club - an "unusual coalition" of Republicans, doctors, environmentalists, and former cops, as one member put it - talking at length about marijuana. Specifically, the still-magnetic former San Francisco mayor and likely frontrunner for governor in 2018 railed about how much he hates the stuff.
Categories: Heroin

Chronicle AM: Shocking Forfeiture Poll, Oakland Racial Balance in MJ Industry Bill, More... (5/18/16)

Heroin (STDW) - Wed, 05/18/2016 - 20:54

Organized opposition is trying to emerge in California, legalization in Oregon is creating jobs and payrolls, Oakland attempts to redress racial imbalance in the legal marijuana business but catches some flak, and more.

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

California Dems Tied to Law Enforcement Oppose Legalization Initiative. A pair of state Democratic lawmakers with "deep law enforcement ties" have come out in opposition to the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) legalization initiative. Assemblyman Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove), a former Sacramento County sheriff's official who regularly warns against drug liberalization, and Sen. Cathleen Gagliani (D-Stockton), "the Democratic senator most aligned with law enforcement," have joined with Republican colleagues to oppose the measure. The initiative is favored by many Democratic elected officials, including Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Oregon Legalization Creates Jobs, Payrolls. Retail cannabis employees will be paid nearly $46 million this year, and that number is set to increase in the future, according to a new report from local marijuana industry consulting firms. Legalization has also created at least 2,165 jobs, with more to come, the report said.

Medical Marijuana

Oakland Passes Marijuana Ordinance Designed to Encourage Minority Participation. The city council Tuesday unanimously approved a medical marijuana ordinance with an "equity program" that would reserve half of the city's new cannabis permits for people who live in a designated high-crime police beat in East Oakland or were imprisoned for marijuana-related crimes in Oakland in the past 10 years. But the plan is coming under fire from industry leaders who say it may actually be counterproductive to encouraging minority participation and could undercut a pot economy expected to boom if and when the state legalizes marijuana.

Heroin and Prescription Opioids

New York State Senate Releases Heroin Report. The GOP-dominated body has released a report on heroin and prescription pain pill use that recommends 48 changes to state law and policy, including increased penalties for the sale and possession of opioids. The report also calls for increased prevention, treatment, and harm reduction measures. The report includes a package of bills that were expected to be passed Tuesday night. Stay tuned.

Asset Forfeiture

Southern California Poll Finds 10% Report Having Cash or Property Seized Without a Conviction. The survey, conducted by Public Policy Polling, looked at Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties, and also found that 19%o of respondents said they knew someone who had experienced the same. The poll, sponsored by the Drug Policy Alliance, comes as a push is underway to get a civil asset forfeiture reform bill, Senate Bill 443, through the Assembly. The bill passed the Senate last year, but was blocked in the Assembly by law enforcement lobbying. It is still alive, though, and hopes are that it can get through the Assembly this year.

Categories: Heroin

Chronicle AM: MJ Taxes Could Generate Billions, Canada to Allow Prescription Heroin, More... (5/16/16)

Heroin (STDW) - Mon, 05/16/2016 - 20:08

A Tax Foundation study finds that legal pot could generate $28 billion a year in tax revenues, CBD cannabis oil isn't enough for Oklahoma medical marijuana activists, Canada will allow prescription heroin, and more.

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

Study Finds Legal Marijuana Could Generate Billions a Year in Tax Revenues. A new report from the Tax Foundation estimates that a nationwide "mature marijuana industry" could generate up to $28 billion a year in federal, state, and local tax revenues. That would include $7 billion for the feds, $5.5 billion in business taxes, and $1.5 billion from income and payroll taxes. The report also estimated that a 10% federal surtax could generate $5.3 billion a year.

Veterans, DC Activists to Rally at White House on May 20. Organizers with the Weed For Warriors Project and the DC Cannabis Campaign are planning to rally in front of the White House to call on the Obama administration to end federal marijuana prohibition. The date, May 20, marks the 124th anniversary of the birth of arch-prohibitionist and proto-drug warrior Harry Anslinger, head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics for three decades in the mid-20th Century.

Medical Marijuana

Montana Medical Marijuana Supporters Appeal to US Supreme Court. The Montana Cannabis Industry Association last Thursday filed a petition with the US Supreme Court seeking to reverse a state Supreme Court decision that guts the state's once-thriving medical marijuana industry. Petitioners argue that the state Supreme Court mistakenly held that marijuana is universally illegal under federal law and point to the Obama administration's decisions to allow states to implement their own marijuana laws.

Oklahoma Governor Signs CBD Cannabis Oil Bill. Gov. Mary Fallin (R) has signed into law a CBD cannabis oil expansion bill. Last year, the state approved the use of the oil, but only for people under 18. This bill removes that age restriction.

Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Advocates Begin Initiative Signature Gathering Campaign. CBD cannabis oil isn't enough for Oklahomans for Health, which began gathering signatures over the weekend for a full-blown medical marijuana initiative. The group has 90 days to gather 66,000 valid voter signatures to get the measure on the November ballot.

Heroin and Prescription Opioids

Congress Passes Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act. Both houses of Congress have approved the measure, Senate Bill 524 and HR 953, which now goes to President Obama. The bill would expand the availability of naloxone, increase prescription drug monitoring programs, increase jail- and prison-based drug treatment, and bar the Education Department from asking about drug convictions on federal student loan application forms, among other provisions. The bill does not include extra funding to pay for its measures.

Obama Administration Calls on Congress to Fund $1.1 Billion for Opioid Effort. Last Thursday, as Congress was passing the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, the Obama administration noted that Congress didn't allocate money to pay for it and called on Congress to come up with $1.1 billion in additional spending to do so.

International

Canada to Allow Prescription Heroin. Health Canada announced Friday that it is proposing new regulations to allow access to prescription heroin under its Special Access Program (SAP). That program allows for emergency access to drugs for serious or life-threatening conditions when conventional treatments have failed or are unsuitable. "A significant body of scientific evidence supports the medical use of diacetylmorphine, also known as pharmaceutical-grade heroin, for the treatment of chronic, relapsing opioid dependence. Diacetylmorphine is permitted in a number of other jurisdictions, such as Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Switzerland, to support a small percentage of patients who have not responded to other treatment options, such as methadone and buprenorphine," the statement said.

Macedonia Will Have Medical Marijuana by Month's End. Health Minister Nikola Todorov said Saturday that medical marijuana products will be in pharmacies across the country by the end of the month. The country had earlier amended its Law on the Control of Drugs and Psychotropic Substances to allow the move.

Categories: Heroin

In Cutting Edge Move, Canada to Allow Prescription Heroin

Heroin (STDW) - Mon, 05/16/2016 - 19:40

This article was produced in collaboration with AlterNet and first appeared here.

Health Canada announced Friday that it is proposing new regulations to allow access to prescription heroin under its Special Access Program (SAP). That program allows for emergency access to drugs for serious or life-threatening conditions when conventional treatments have failed or are unsuitable.

[image:1 align:left caption:true]"A significant body of scientific evidence supports the medical use of diacetylmorphine, also known as pharmaceutical-grade heroin, for the treatment of chronic, relapsing opioid dependence. Diacetylmorphine is permitted in a number of other jurisdictions, such as Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Switzerland, to support a small percentage of patients who have not responded to other treatment options, such as methadone and buprenorphine," the statement said.

The move is yet another reversal of hardline Conservative drug policies by the Liberal government headed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, which was elected last fall. The Trudeau government has pivoted sharply away from Conservative positions in favor of mandatory minimum drug sentences and against marijuana legalization, and now is moving to undo Conservative efforts to block the limited use of prescription heroin.

Canadian scientists had laid the groundwork for prescription with the North American Opiate Medication Initiative (NAOMI), which first tested "heroin-assisted maintenance" in Vancouver a dozen years ago, and which was followed by the Study to Assess Long-Term Opioid Maintenance Effectiveness (SALOME) between 2005 and 2008. SALOME examined whether giving hard-core heroin users heroin was more effective than giving them methadone.

SALOME showed that the users in the study were more likely to stay in treatment, reduce other illegal drug use, engage in fewer other illegal activities and have better physical and mental health outcomes if given heroin than if given methadone. But when that study ended in 2008, researchers were faced with the ethical dilemma of cutting off the patients whose lives were being improved by prescription heroin.

The doctors began applying for, and receiving, permission under the Special Access Program, and Health Canada approved those applications in 2013. But that infuriated the Conservatives, and then-Health Minister Rona Ambrose introduced new regulations to bar doctors from prescribing "dangerous drugs" such as heroin, cocaine, and LSD.

Former SALOME participants launched a constitutional challenge to the ban and in 2014 won a temporary injunction giving them the right to continue to receive prescription heroin while the case was being decided. Now, with Health Canada's move, the federal government will no longer attempt to block prescription heroin.

That was good news for the Pivot Legal Society, which argued the case for continuing the prescriptions, and for Providence Health Care, in whose Crosstown Clinic in Vancouver's Downtown Lower East Side the heroin was administered.

"Allowing access to diacetylmorphine, or medical heroin, to patients who need it, ensures that life-saving treatments get delivered to vulnerable people suffering from chronic opioid use," the two groups said in a joint statement.

Canada is leading the way on cutting edge responses to heroin addiction in North America. In addition to the groundbreaking NAOMI and SALOME studies, which cannot be replicated in the US under current law and regulations, Canada has also had safe injection sites operating in Vancouver for more than a decade. We still don't have any of those in the US.

Categories: Heroin

US IL: Heroin Deaths: Tragedy or Murder?

Heroin (MAP) - Sun, 05/15/2016 - 07:00
Chicago Sun-Times, 15 May 2016 - Authorities Are Filing More Drug-Induced Homicide Charges, but Complex Cases Show It's Hard to Decide Whether Offenders Deserve Prison or Treatment When police and paramedics arrived at her aunt's apartment in Carol Stream, Adrianna Diana told them she and her friend Christopher Houdek had cooked and shot up heroin the night before.
Categories: Heroin

Canada: Health Canada Overturns Ban On Medical Heroin

Heroin (MAP) - Sat, 05/14/2016 - 07:00
Globe and Mail, 14 May 2016 - Health Canada has moved to allow doctors to apply for special access to prescribe pharmaceutical-grade heroin to severe addicts, which would overturn a ban imposed by the previous Conservative government. The federal department said in a statement issued on Friday that a "significant body of evidence" supports the medical use of diacetylmorphine, also known as pharmaceutical-grade heroin.
Categories: Heroin

CN AB: Cleanup of 'Heroin Island' Imminent: Councillor

Heroin (MAP) - Wed, 05/11/2016 - 07:00
The Calgary Sun, 11 May 2016 - The city and province appear to have gotten the point about the needle-littered expanse dubbed "heroin island." Three weeks after Calgary mom Jasmine Van Dyk raised the alarm about a trove of used needles and trash strewn over a small island on the Bow River in the northwest neighbourhood of Montgomery, the area councillor says efforts are underway to clean up the potentially dangerous mess.
Categories: Heroin

US OH: Dealing With Heroin

Heroin (MAP) - Tue, 05/10/2016 - 07:00
Morning Journal, 10 May 2016 - Detective Discusses Epidemic During Senior Coffee Hour Waging a war on drugs in Lorain County hasn't been an easy task and there's still plenty of work to be done, according to Detective Gregg Mehling with the Lorain County Sheriff's Office Drug Task Force.
Categories: Heroin

US: Supervised Safe Havens For Heroin Use Get Serious Look

Heroin (MAP) - Tue, 05/10/2016 - 07:00
Oneida Daily Dispatch, 10 May 2016 - Across the United States, heroin users have died in alleys behind convenience stores, on city sidewalks and in the bathrooms of fast-food joints - because no one was around to save them when they overdosed. An alarming 47,000 American overdose deaths in 2014 - 60 percent from heroin and related painkillers like fentanyl - has pushed elected leaders from coast to coast to consider what was once unthinkable: government-sanctioned sites where users can shoot up under the supervision of a doctor or nurse who can administer an antidote if necessary.
Categories: Heroin

US: Sanctioned Heroin Sites Considered

Heroin (MAP) - Mon, 05/09/2016 - 07:00
Albuquerque Journal, 09 May 2016 - Users Could Get Quick Overdose Treatments Across the United States, heroin and other drug users have died in alleys behind convenience stores, on city sidewalks and in the bathrooms of fast-food joints - because no one was around to save them when they overdosed.
Categories: Heroin

US: Idea of State-Run 'Safe Houses' For Heroin Users Gaining

Heroin (MAP) - Mon, 05/09/2016 - 07:00
Appeal-Democrat, 09 May 2016 - Across the United States, heroin users have died in alleys behind convenience stores, on city sidewalks and in the bathrooms of fast-food joints - because no one was around to save them when they overdosed. An alarming 47,000 American overdose deaths in 2014 - 60 percent from heroin and related painkillers like fentanyl - has pushed elected leaders from coast to coast to consider what was once unthinkable: government-sanctioned sites where users can shoot up under the supervision of a doctor or nurse who can administer an antidote if necessary.
Categories: Heroin

US: Heroin Shoot-Up Rooms Proposed

Heroin (MAP) - Mon, 05/09/2016 - 07:00
Commercial Appeal, 09 May 2016 - Federal Law Prohibits Sites That Would Give Supervision, Antidote Across the United States, users of heroin and other drugs have died in alleys behind convenience stores, on city sidewalks and in the bathrooms of fast-food joints - because no one was around to save them when they overdosed.
Categories: Heroin

US: Heroin Havens

Heroin (MAP) - Mon, 05/09/2016 - 07:00
The Citizens' Voice, 09 May 2016 - Once Unthinkable in US, Drug Shoot-Up Rooms Get Serious Look Across the United States, heroin and other drug users have died in alleys behind convenience stores, on city sidewalks and in the bathrooms of fast-food joints - because no one was around to save them when they overdosed.
Categories: Heroin

US MA: Heroin, Prescription Opioids Form Especially Toxic Mix

Heroin (MAP) - Mon, 05/02/2016 - 07:00
Boston Globe, 02 May 2016 - The Massachusetts heroin epidemic is unlike any other in the United States. The overdose rate in the state is more than twice the national average. And deaths from prescription opioids like OxyContin are only slightly less harrowing. Unusual, too, is the degree to which these two scourges are feeding off each other. A substantial and spiking number of overdoses in Massachusetts involves both heroin and prescription drugs, something you rarely find elsewhere in the United States.
Categories: Heroin

US FL: OPED: Obama Must Do More To Fight Heroin

Heroin (MAP) - Thu, 04/28/2016 - 07:00
Orlando Sentinel, 28 Apr 2016 - President Obama's administration has missed opportunities to stem the opioid overdose crisis, and therefore it's no great surprise that heroin overdose deaths have tripled since 2010. The administration dragged its feet on requiring mental health and addiction treatment to have the same insurance coverage as physical ailments; inexplicably, it took five years to write the federal regulations needed to implement the 2008MentalHealth Parity and Addiction Equity Act. Many insurance plans still ignore the need for parity, studies show. The administration is only this month finalizing rules to implement parity for mental health and addiction treatment in Medicaid...
Categories: Heroin

US: Could Marijuana Help Treat Heroin Addiction?

Heroin (MAP) - Wed, 04/27/2016 - 07:00
The Day, 27 Apr 2016 - Concord, N.H. (AP) - The growing number of patients who claim marijuana helped them drop their painkiller habit has intrigued lawmakers and emboldened advocates. Some are pushing for cannabis as a treatment for the abuse of opioids and illegal narcotics like heroin, as well as an alternative to painkillers.
Categories: Heroin

US: Could Marijuana Help Treat Painkiller, Heroin Addiction?

Heroin (MAP) - Wed, 04/27/2016 - 07:00
Albuquerque Journal, 27 Apr 2016 - Idea Intrigues Doctors and Lawmakers in States Hit Hard by Addiction CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - The growing number of patients who claim marijuana helped them drop their painkiller habit has intrigued lawmakers and emboldened advocates, who are pushing for cannabis as a treatment for the abuse of opioids and illegal narcotics like heroin, as well as an alternative to painkillers.
Categories: Heroin

US: Could Marijuana Help Treat Painkiller and Heroin Addiction?

Heroin (MAP) - Wed, 04/27/2016 - 07:00
Daily Times, 27 Apr 2016 - CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - The growing number of patients who claim marijuana helped them drop their painkiller habit has intrigued lawmakers and emboldened advocates, who are pushing for cannabis as a treatment for the abuse of opioids and illegal narcotics like heroin, as well as an alternative to painkillers. It's a tempting sell in New England, hard hit by the painkiller and heroin crisis, with a problem: There is very little research showing marijuana works as a treatment for the addiction.
Categories: Heroin

UK: Police Chief Who'd Legalise Heroin Is Given Top Job

Heroin (MAP) - Sat, 04/16/2016 - 07:00
Daily Mail, 16 Apr 2016 - A CHIEF constable who wants to legalise drugs has been charged with overseeing how officers tackle the menace nationwide. Mike Barton believes some Class A and B drugs should be made legal and, in some cases, handed out for free to addicts.
Categories: Heroin
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