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Chronicle AM: Marijuana Initiatives, CT SWAT Lawsuit, ISIS Burns Syria Pot Fields, More (8/27/14)

Methamphetamine (STDW) - Wed, 08/27/2014 - 20:48

Local marijuana initiatives move forward, the Oregon initiative is set to get a high-profile endorsement, a lot of people want to start medical marijuana businesses in Nevada, ISIS is burning pot fields in Syria, there's a harm reduction pre-event ahead of NYC's Electronic Zoo festival this weekend, and more. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:right]Marijuana Policy

City Club of Portland Draft Report Endorses Oregon Legalization Initiative. The influential City Club of Portland has issued a draft report in support of Measure 91, the legalization initiative sponsored by New Approach Oregon. If approved by City Club members, the recommendation will be a powerful, high-profile endorsement of the measure. It picked up the endorsement of the state's largest newspaper, The Oregonian, on Sunday.

Santa Fe County Commission Approves Decriminalization Initiative, But…. The commission voted Tuesday to put the initiative on the November ballot, but questions remain about whether there is enough room on a crowded ballot to add the measure to it. State officials have outlined their concerns, but County Clerk Geraldine Salazar said she is confident those issues can be overcome. Stay tuned.

York, Maine, Activists Hand in Initiative Signatures. Citizens for Safer Maine is handing in more than 900 signatures today for its initiative that would legalize the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana. The initiative needs 641 valid voter signatures to qualify. The signature turn-in comes after town selectmen voted against putting the measure on the ballot.

Medical Marijuana

Maryland Medical Marijuana Rules Come Under Fire. The state commission charged with writing the rules for medical marijuana in the state heard an earful from physicians, patients, advocates, and potential growers at a hearing Tuesday. They criticized the proposed rules as too burdensome and vague, and said they would preclude a dispensary from operating anywhere in the city of Baltimore. The commission has three weeks to finalize the rules, and the hearing in Annapolis was the first public hearing.

More Than 500 Apply for Nevada Medical Marijuana Business Licenses. The state has received applications from more than 500 people to run dispensaries, grows, testing labs, and edible and infused product companies. Under a new state law, up to 66 medical marijuana businesses will be licensed. State officials will score the applications and announce their selections in November, with the first medical marijuana sales expected early next year.

Harm Reduction

DanceSafe to Do Harm Reduction Event Ahead of NYC Electronic Zoo Music Festival. The rave culture harm reduction group DanceSafe is hosting a "Surviving Zoo" event tomorrow night ahead of this weekend's Electric Zoo music festival. They will be giving away gift bags containing drug information cards, earplugs, and condoms, and will be offering personal drug testing kits for sale. Click on the link for more details. Last year, two people died from drug use at Electronic Zoo, and festival organizers have responded by adding more law enforcement and making attendees watch an anti-drug PSA before entering.

Drug Policy

British Drug Reform Group Transform Publishes Drug Debater's Guide. The Transform Drug Policy Foundation today made available Debating Drugs: How to Make the Case for Legal Regulation. "This is a guide to making the case for the legal regulation of drugs from a position of confidence and authority. Organized into 12 key subject areas, it provides an at-a-glance summary of the arguments for legal regulation, followed by commonly heard concerns and effective responses to them. It is the product of Transform's extensive experience debating the issues around legal regulation, and running workshops to equip supporters of reform with the arguments and nuanced messaging needed to win over a range of audiences." Check it out.

Drug Reform Funder John Sperling Dies. John Sperling, best known as the founder of the University of Phoenix, has died at age 93. Along with George Soros and Peter Lewis, Sperling was one of the troika of deep-pocketed funders whose financial support helped secure the passage of California's medical marijuana and sentencing reform initiatives (Prop 215 and Prop 36, respectively). He also helped fund Arizona's medical marijuana initiative, Prop 200.

Law Enforcement

Federal Court Says Lawsuit Over Fatal Connecticut SWAT Drug Raid Can Continue. A US federal appeals court has ruled that police cannot claim immunity to quash lawsuits filed in the wake of a botched 2008 raid that left one man dead and the homeowner wounded. In the raid, a heavily armed SWAT team shot and killed Gonzalo Guizan and wounded Ronald Terebesi as the two men were watching television. The ruling said that because police responded with unnecessary and inappropriate force, they are not protected by "qualified immunity." Police were responding to a claim by a stripper that she had seen a small amount of cocaine in Terebisi's home. They found only a personal use quantity of the drug and no weapon.


ISIS Burns Syrian Marijuana Fields. As if we didn't have enough reasons not to like these guys. Amateur video posted on the internet reportedly filmed recently in Akhtarin, near Aleppo, purportedly shows ISIS members burning a marijuana field. Syrian human rights observers reported that ISIS had captured the village from rival Islamists weeks ago. Click on the link to see the video.

Australia's Victoria Labor Party Vows Harsh New Laws Against Meth. The opposition Labor Party is hoping to gin up votes ahead of November's elections by vowing to crack down on meth if elected. Leader Daniel Andrews is calling for new criminal offenses to be enacted and penalties of up to 25 years in prison for sales to minors. New offenses would include writing or circulating meth "cookbooks" and owning or operating properties that "turn a blind eye" to meth production, as well as selling meth near a school.

Categories: Methamphetamine

US CA: Column: MDMA, M.D.

Methamphetamine (MAP) - Wed, 08/27/2014 - 07:00
SF Weekly, 27 Aug 2014 - MDMA, M.D. Terrorism is alive and well, Americans aren't feeling any more "free," and those WMDs never did turn up. But the War on Terror did accomplish one thing: After 13 years of conflict, America is closer than ever to legalized and legitimized medical MDMA.
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US WI: Meth Use Climbs As Price Of Heroin Skyrockets

Methamphetamine (MAP) - Sun, 08/24/2014 - 07:00
La Crosse Tribune, 24 Aug 2014 - Methamphetamine use is climbing as desperate heroin addicts search for a cheaper way to get high and avoid a fatal overdose. "Meth has never gone away," said Tom Johnson, who heads a regional drug task force. "We just never gave it enough credit."
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Japan: Dealing With Addiction: Japan's Drug Problem

Methamphetamine (MAP) - Sat, 08/23/2014 - 07:00
Japan Times, 23 Aug 2014 - With Popular Singer-songwriter Ryo Aska Appearing In Court On Drug Charges On Thursday, We Examine The Darker Side Of Substance Abuse Some kid shot up a dose again tonight Pushed back by his other self Even if you were to buy your dream You need self-control No one talks about hopes and dreams All that's there is something better, something new, a better way The name is "Kicks Street" - the city of desire
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US WA: Despite National Declines, Meth Still Rampant In Yakima

Methamphetamine (MAP) - Wed, 08/20/2014 - 07:00
Yakima Herald-Republic, 20 Aug 2014 - Methamphetamine may be on the decline nationally, but officials say the stimulant's use is still going strong in Yakima County. "We see the occasional prescription drug deal and still see some marijuana cases, but those are related to juveniles in school," said John Durand, chief criminal deputy for the Yakima County Sheriff's Office. "I would say meth is the big one right now."
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US MI: Medical Marijuana Numbers Decline

Methamphetamine (MAP) - Sun, 08/17/2014 - 07:00
Livingston County Daily Press & Argus, 17 Aug 2014 - Livingston County Sees 22 Percent Drop in Patients Over Two-Year Period While Colorado is smoking pot -- medical and recreational -- by the ton, according to a recent report, the number of medical marijuana patients in Livingston County has decreased.
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Australia: How The Drug 'Ice' Brings Lives Undone

Methamphetamine (MAP) - Sat, 08/16/2014 - 07:00
Illawarra Mercury, 16 Aug 2014 - The drug that dragged down Harriet Wran from a life of private schools and luxury apartments has no respect for social class or status. Grinspoon lead singer Phil Jamieson became withdrawn and paranoid, stealing money from his band to feed his daily addiction. Two-time world surfing champion Tom Carroll recently described how ice made him "completely manic", saying: "It was killing me from the inside out."
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US MN: Elk River City Council Considers Adding A Drug Detective

Methamphetamine (MAP) - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 07:00
Star News, 14 Aug 2014 - Elk River may add a new weapon to the local war on drugs. Funding for a new drug task force detective is in the city's preliminary budget for 2015. Council members heard more about the position during a budget work session Monday and expressed some support for it. But a final decision won't be made until the budget is finalized later this year.
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US CA: Column: Legalizing Pot Would Lead To Positive Social

Methamphetamine (MAP) - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 07:00
Tahoe Daily Tribune, 13 Aug 2014 - Regular readers of this column know I have argued that marijuana is far safer than alcohol. Also, that the criminalization of marijuana usage, a central component of the failed "War on Drugs," really amounts to a War on Citizens, particularly citizens of color. Now, the New York Times, in an unprecedented series of editorials, forcefully contends that the time has come to end the federal prohibition against marijuana and allow the states to make their own rules about this drug (See N.Y. Times, July 27, 2014).
Categories: Methamphetamine

US OK: OPED: Legalizing Would Create Public Hazard

Methamphetamine (MAP) - Sun, 08/10/2014 - 07:00
Tulsa World, 10 Aug 2014 - Many believe that reform to drug laws is appropriate, and I welcome that debate. I believe we need to continue to explore evidence-based prevention, access to treatment, and alternatives to incarceration. But substance abuse is a public health issue, as well as a criminal justice problem. I do not believe that legalization of marijuana solves the issues raised in the debate on drug policy. We must consider the public health problems associated with increased availability of marijuana. A review of some of the facts cited by the Office of National Drug Control Policy is important for people to consider before they decide this issue.
Categories: Methamphetamine

Canada: Party Drug Strategy Sought For Festivals

Methamphetamine (MAP) - Sat, 08/09/2014 - 07:00
Toronto Star, 09 Aug 2014 - Recent deaths prompt calls for harm-reduction policies instead of idea that substances can be banned from music events Two families are gathering for funerals this weekend, mourning after yet another Canadian music festival was hit by tragedy.
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US FL: OPED: War on Drugs Not Working As Low-Level Offenders

Methamphetamine (MAP) - Sat, 08/09/2014 - 07:00
Orlando Sentinel, 09 Aug 2014 - On May 12, 1996, Miami police raided the home of Richard Brown on a false tip that the 73-year-old retiree with no criminal record was selling drugs. After busting the door open, police claim that Richards began firing a gun, prompting officers to pump 123 rounds into his body. However, a later investigation revealed that the gun police allege Brown had used had no traces of his fingerprints on them. Brown's 14-year-old great-granddaughter, Janeka, reported he was not holding a gun when he instructed her to take shelter in a bathroom moments before he was killed.
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US NM: Column: NM Delegation Talks Pot Policy

Methamphetamine (MAP) - Sun, 08/03/2014 - 07:00
Albuquerque Journal, 03 Aug 2014 - Did you see the "Meet the Press" segment on marijuana legalization last Sunday? If not, you didn't miss much - except the irritating spectacle of smug Beltway insiders making lame jokes about one of the most interesting public policy experiments of our time.
Categories: Methamphetamine

US PA: Six From Drug Squad Charged

Methamphetamine (MAP) - Thu, 07/31/2014 - 07:00
The Philadelphia Inquirer, 31 Jul 2014 - Federal Indictment Details Racketeering, Civil Rights Abuses, Robbery, Extortion. Stories of shakedowns, brutality, kidnapping, and theft have dogged a group of the city's Narcotics Field Unit officers for nearly a decade. But despite multiple investigations, cases against them never stuck.
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US NY: Editorial: Let States Decide On Marijuana

Methamphetamine (MAP) - Sun, 07/27/2014 - 07:00
New York Times, 27 Jul 2014 - In 1970, at the height of his white-hot war on crime, President Richard Nixon demanded that Congress pass the Controlled Substances Act to crack down on drug abuse. During the debate, Senator Thomas Dodd of Connecticut held up a package wrapped in light-green paper that he said contained $3,000 worth of marijuana.
Categories: Methamphetamine

CN ON: Cops Putting Drugged Driving To Test

Methamphetamine (MAP) - Thu, 07/24/2014 - 07:00
The Barrie Advance, 24 Jul 2014 - Const. Chris Allport is quick to judge your footwork, balance and hand movements. But he's not a local dance instructor, he's a Barrie Police drug recognition evaluator. And he's watching your every move.
Categories: Methamphetamine

US WA: Feds Target Growing Hash-Oil Explosions

Methamphetamine (MAP) - Wed, 07/23/2014 - 07:00
Seattle Times, 23 Jul 2014 - 8 People Charged in Blasts Over Past Year Dangerous Manufacturing Process Is Illegal The chemical process used to make hash oil - a method so fraught with volatility that police compare it to making methamphetamine - has come under attack by the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Categories: Methamphetamine

US GA: Column: Obama Says He Ended the 'War on Drugs:' Don't

Methamphetamine (MAP) - Sat, 07/19/2014 - 07:00
Ledger-Enquirer, 19 Jul 2014 - If the Obama administration is to be believed, America's infamous "War on Drugs" is over. In its most recent National Drug Control Strategy, released last week, officials promised a more humane and sympathetic approach to drug users and addiction. Out, the report suggests, are "tough on crime" policies. Rather than more police and more prisons, officials talk about public health and education. They promise to use evidence-based practices to combat drug abuse. And they want to use compassionate messaging and successful reentry programs to reduce the stigma drug offenders and addicts face. Unfortunately, the government's actions don't jibe with their rhetoric.
Categories: Methamphetamine

US CA: Pot's Popularity, State Law Create Tough Times For

Methamphetamine (MAP) - Tue, 07/15/2014 - 07:00
The Virgin Islands Daily News, 15 Jul 2014 - LOS ANGELES - Julie Shemitz watched warily as the judge asked prospective jurors whether they or anyone close to them had a card for medical marijuana. Ten hands lifted, a third of the jury pool. "Look at all those hands," the judge said.
Categories: Methamphetamine
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