Skip to Content

Harm Reduction

US: Defense Says Drug Site Reduced Users' Risks

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Tue, 05/19/2015 - 07:00
New York Times, 19 May 2015 - The already novel criminal case against Ross W. Ulbricht, the recently convicted founder of the website Silk Road, has taken yet another unusual turn. Mr. Ulbricht could face life in prison when he is sentenced on May 29 in Federal District Court in Manhattan for his role in running Silk Road, a once-thriving black market for the sale of heroin, cocaine, LSD and other drugs. And although prosecutors have not yet said what length of sentence they will seek for Mr. Ulbricht, 31, they have told Mr. Ulbricht's lawyers that they intend to introduce evidence of six overdose deaths attributable to drugs bought from vendors on Silk Road, according to a recent defense filing.
Categories: Harm Reduction

US PA: Getting The Word Out On Hepatitis C, Treatment

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Sun, 05/17/2015 - 07:00
The Philadelphia Inquirer, 17 May 2015 - Every year, hepatitis C kills significantly more Americans than HIV. Yet the liver-attacking virus doesn't get nearly the popular respect, or trigger the same fears. That understated reputation will be both a help and a hindrance as the public health community tries to control the spread of the virus. New cases of hepatitis C rose 150 percent between 2010 and 2013 nationwide, and even more in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Categories: Harm Reduction

US VA: 'We've Been a Dismal Failure': VA. Police Veterans on

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Wed, 05/13/2015 - 07:00
Richmond Times-Dispatch, 13 May 2015 - Galax Police Chief Rick Clark Jr. has been in law enforcement for about 40 years, long enough to make observations about effective crimefighting policies. Locking up drug addicts is one policy that has not worked out so well, said Clark, who is serving on the Governor's Task Force on Prescription Drug and Heroin Abuse that met Tuesday in Richmond.
Categories: Harm Reduction

CN BC: Column: Almost Legit

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Fri, 05/08/2015 - 07:00
Prince George Citizen, 08 May 2015 - Found a smoker the other day. He was outside the safe injection site, trying to make like he was toking up, but since when do joints come with filters? "Tobacco Police! Freeze!" I said, but he bolted - for about half a block before running out of breath and taking a knee. Not a lot of drawn-out foot chases with smokers. OK, Victoria isn't quite at the point where tobacco is illegal, though it's getting there. As of this spring, the region's smoking ban is being extended to parks, playgrounds and public squares. The no-smoking zone around doorways and air intakes has gone from three metres to seven, effectively making it illegal to smoke on most downtown sidewalks. As of April 1, the only place it will still be legal to light up is the old leper colony on Bentinck Island.
Categories: Harm Reduction

US WA: Column: Come Over To The Green Side

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Wed, 05/06/2015 - 07:00
Seattle Weekly, 06 May 2015 - When deciding what you think about marijuana legalization, it's important to ask, "What's in it for me?" The most recent Pew Research Center poll shows that a majority of Americans nationwide, 53 percent, now support the legalization of cannabis. I'm actually surprised it's that low, but then again, I'm a marijuana columnist.
Categories: Harm Reduction

Chronicle AM: Puerto Rico Okays MedMJ, TX Pot Bills Killed, NV Harm Reduction Bill Moves (5/4/15)

Harm Reduction (STDW) - Mon, 05/04/2015 - 22:02

The Supreme Court wants to know what the Obama administration thinks about that lawsuit over Colorado's pot law, a Hawaii dispensary bill is back from the dead and being considered today, a Nevada harm reduction bill advances, a federal drug defelonization bill is introduced, and more.

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

Supreme Court Asks For Obama Administration Position on Suit Over Colorado Pot Law. The US Supreme Court today asked for the administration's views on the lawsuit filed by Nebraska and Oklahoma against Colorado's marijuana legalization law. This signals that the high court is taking an interest in the case.

Arkansas Attorney General Rejects Wording of Legalization Initiative. Attorney General Leslie Rutledge last Friday rejected the proposed popular name and ballot title of a proposed legalization initiative. "The Arkansas Industrial Hemp and Medical Cannabis Amendment" did not mention any limits on industrial hemp or medical marijuana use, Rutledge said. Petitioners can submit a revised initiative.

Puerto Rico Governor Signs Executive Order Legalizing Medical Marijuana. Puerto Rican Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla Sunday signed an executive order legalizing medical marijuana. The move comes after years of discussion in the US island territory.

Medical Marijuana

Hawaii Dispensary Bill Back from the Dead. Negotiations over the dispensary bill, House Bill 321, collapsed last Friday, but after drama over the weekend, a Senate and House conference committee is set to reconsider the bill today. Sixteen of 25 senators had asked for reconsideration after conference committee chair Sen. Josh Green refused to agree to a final version of the bill. Senate President Donna Mercado then threw him off the committee, and Kim and House Speaker Joseph Souki sent out a letter late Friday saying the bill would be reconsidered today. Click on the link for all the juicy details.

Illinois Advisory Board Votes Against Adding Anxiety and Diabetes. The board has rejected adding anxiety and diabetes to the list of qualifying conditions and diseases, but is still considering whether to add Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

ACLU to Sue Over Firing of Rhode Island Medical Marijuana Patient. The ACLU of Rhode Island says it plans to file a complaint against an employer who refuses to hire medical marijuana patients, even though it is legal in the state. Lawsuits challenging the firing of medical marijuana users have been turned away in California and Michigan.

Harm Reduction

Nevada Assembly Approves Bill With 911 Good Samaritan, Opiate Overdose Reversal Drug Provisions. The lower house voted last Friday to approve Senate Bill 459, a harm reduction bill containing both provisions allowing greater access to the opiate overdose reversal drug, naloxone, and provisions that would reduce -- but not remove -- penalties for those who report drug overdoses. The Senate has already approved it, but it needs one last vote there after changes in the Assembly. Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) supports the bill.

Sentencing

Federal Drug Defelonization Bill Filed. Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) has filed HR 2153, which would make certain federal drug offenses misdemeanors and eliminate the crack/powder cocaine sentencing disparity. The bill has been assigned to the House Judiciary Committee, the House Energy Committee, and the House Education and Workforce Committee.

Categories: Harm Reduction

Australia: Column: We Must Show Some Balls In War On Drugs

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Sun, 05/03/2015 - 07:00
The Sunday Telegraph, 03 May 2015 - THE emotional circus surrounding the executions of Bali Nine drug masterminds Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran is wrong on so many levels. One lowlight was the grandstanding 11th hour intervention by a group of actors telling Tony Abbott to "show some balls".
Categories: Harm Reduction

Chronicle AM: Federal Pot Banking Bill, OK Okays CBD Oil, IN Needle Exchange Approved, More (4/30/15)

Harm Reduction (STDW) - Thu, 04/30/2015 - 22:09

Seventeen congressmembers introduced a federal marijuana banking bill, CBD cannabis oil gets approved in Oklahoma, medical marijuana advances in Louisiana, Indiana approves needle exchange programs, and more.

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

Federal Marijuana Banking Bill Filed. Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) and 16 bipartisan cosponsors yesterday introduced the Marijuana Business Access to Banking Act (HR 7076), which would allow marijuana businesses to open bank accounts. The bill would provide banks with a "safe harbor" so they can offer accounts to such businesses without fear of federal retaliation.

Rhode Island House Committee Hears Testimony on Legalization Bill. The House Judiciary Committee yesterday heard testimony on House Bill 5777, the marijuana regulation, taxation, and legalization bill from Rep. Thomas Slater. No vote was taken; the bill was held for further study. Click on the title link for more hearing details.

Medical Marijuana

Oklahoma Governor Signs CBD Cannabis Oil Bill. Gov. Mary Fallin (R) today signed into law House Bill 2154, also known as Katie and Cayman's Law. It allows for the use of CBD cannabis oil by children suffering from epileptic seizures and sets up a study program.

Louisiana Medical Marijuana Bill Wins Senate Committee Vote. Only a year after overwhelmingly rejecting a similar bill, the Senate Health Committee Wednesday unanimously approved a medical marijuana bill, Senate Bill 143, sponsored by Sen. Fred Mills, Jr. (R-Parks). The bill is set for a Senate floor vote next week. The bill does not allow for smoked marijuana; only marijuana processed into oils.

New Synthetic Drugs

North Carolina House Votes to Ban New Synthetics. The House voted unanimously today to add more compounds to the state's list of illegal drugs. House Bill 341 adds the NBOMe (N-bomb) compounds to the list. The drugs are described as similar to LSD. The bill now heads before the Senate Rules and Operations Committee.

Texas House Approves Bill Giving Cops More Power to Move Against Synthetics. With no debate and on a voice vote, the House Wednesday approved House Bill 1212, which would give law enforcement greater ability to move against synthetic drug manufacturers. A final vote of approval was expected today, and then the bill moves to the Senate. Similar legislation is already moving in that chamber.

Harm Reduction

Indiana Legislature Approves Needle Exchange Programs. Faced with an HIV outbreak in one southwestern county, the legislature last night approved a bill allowing for the establishment of needle exchange programs throughout the state. Gov. Mike Pence (R) says he will sign SEA 461.

International

Canada Supreme Court to Take Up Mandatory Minimum Drug Sentencing. The Supreme Court announced today that it will hear an appeal of mandatory minimum sentencing for drug offenses in the case of R v. Lloyd. Lloyd was arrested carrying small amounts of heroin, crack, and meth, and was subject to a one-year mandatory minimum sentence, but the Provincial Court found that sentence to be cruel and unusual. The BC Court of Appeal overturned the Provincial Court and increased his sentence. Now, the Supreme Court will decide if the sentence violates Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Categories: Harm Reduction

Canada: A Voice in the Senate Who 'Led the Way'

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Wed, 04/29/2015 - 07:00
Globe and Mail, 29 Apr 2015 - Described as an authoritative public servant, parliamentarian leaves behind a legacy of political achievements for the federal Tories For much of his life, Senator Pierre Claude Nolin was a model of Tory partisanship. He was campaign strategist for Brian Mulroney and Jean Charest. He helped Stephen Harper win the 2006 election. He was a leader in the backrooms of conservative politics in Quebec for three decades. Yet, during the short time he was Speaker of the Senate, Mr. Nolin tried to loosen the partisan shackles that constrain his colleagues. And, as a parliamentarian, he followed the directives of his heart even when they were at odds with those of the Conservative leadership.
Categories: Harm Reduction

Chronicle AM: Indonesia Executes Eight Drug Smugglers, OR MedMJ Regulation Bill Advances, More (4/28/15)

Harm Reduction (STDW) - Tue, 04/28/2015 - 21:02

A Maine legalization initiative is moving, an Iowa medical marijuana bill is not, Indiana prosecutors oppose needle exchanges, Indonesia ignores world opinion to execute eight drug smugglers, and more.

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

Maine Legalization Initiative Campaign Getting Underway. State officials signed off today on an initiative petition from Legalize Maine, one of two groups planning a 2016 legalization initiative there. Another group backed by the Marijuana Policy Project is also planning on seeking approval for a petition drive.

Medical Marijuana

Colorado Bill Allowing Probationers, Parolees to Use Medical Marijuana Heads to Governor's Desk. The bill, House Bill 1267, passed the Senate on a 34-1 vote Monday and has already passed the House.

Iowa House Speaker Reiterates He Will Block Medical Marijuana Bill. House Speaker Kraig Paulsen (R-Hiawatha) has repeated that he will not allow a medical marijuana bill to be considered this year. Sen. Joe Bolkcom (D-Iowa City), the sponsor of Senate File 484, had said Monday that the House had a "moral obligation" to consider the bill, which has already passed the Senate. But Paulsen said he didn't understand what Bolkcom meant and that the carefully drawn bill was "virtually a recreational use bill." The session ends May 1.

Oklahoma CBD Cannabis Oil Study Bill Heads to Governor's Desk. The bill, House Bill 2154, passed the House 85-5 today for final approval after it had been modified in the Senate. Now, it's up to Gov. Mary Fallin (R) to sign it.

Oregon Bill to Regulate Medical Marijuana Advances. A bill that puts new limits on medical marijuana growers is moving. The measure, an amendment to Senate Bill 844, is expected to be approved a House-Senate marijuana committee tomorrow. It would limit current growers to 96 plants, new growers to 48 plants. It would limit current residential growers to 24 plants and new ones to 12 plants. But it would also bar cities and counties from banning dispensaries and growing and processing operations.

Harm Reduction

Faced With HIV Epidemic, Indiana Prosecutors Still Say Needle Exchanges are Bad Public Policy. The Association of Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys today told the legislature that needle exchanges are bad public policy because "hard core drug addicts don't care enough to get clean needles" and because such programs "would keep many users out of the criminal justice system," where they could be forced to seek drug treatment. Gov. Mike Pence (R) has instituted an emergency needle exchange program in Scott County, where HIV cases have been popping up on a daily basis, and the legislature is considering whether to allow them statewide.

International

Indonesia Executes Eight Drug Smugglers By Firing Squad. Ignoring international protests, Indonesian authorities today (Wednesday Indonesian time) executed eight convicted drug smugglers at Besi Prison on Nusakambangan Island. Among them were Australian, Brazilian, and Nigerian nationals and one Indonesian citizen. A Filipina woman, Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso, was spared at the last minute.

Colombia Health Ministry Calls for Suspension of Coca Crop Spraying. The ministry is recommending that the country quit using the herbicide glyphosate to spray coca groups. It cites a recent report from the World Health Organization that reclassified glyphosate as "probably carcinogenic to humans." Nearly three million acres of land in the country have been sprayed with the stuff in the past three decades. No word yet on whether President Santos will heed the recommendation.

Categories: Harm Reduction

US MA: OPED: A United Front In The Opioid Battle

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Tue, 04/28/2015 - 07:00
Boston Globe, 28 Apr 2015 - LAST MONTH, one North Shore community was rattled by the news of six heroin overdoses, three of those resulting in death, in just 48 hours. Sadly, this is just more evidence indicating that we are in the midst of an opioid epidemic. The numbers are staggering. Figures that will be released Tuesday estimate there were 1,008 deaths from opioid overdoses in the Bay State in 2014, a 33 percent jump from 2012. Opioids kill more people in Massachusetts than car accidents and guns combined.
Categories: Harm Reduction

CN BC: Column: Feds Should Get Off Their High Horse Over Drug Use

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Mon, 04/27/2015 - 07:00
Metro, 27 Apr 2015 - Rona Ambrose doesn't want Vancouver to discuss regulating medical marijuana dispensaries at Tuesday's city council meeting - as she made eminently clear in a stern letter to Vancouver's Mayor Robertson, who may have paused to wonder what the honourable health minister may have been smoking when she wrote it. We shouldn't be surprised the federal government wants to harsh Vancouver's mellow. The Conservatives have been against Vancouver's progressive drug policies since Insite - North America's first safe-injection site - opened 10 years ago. But that didn't stop us from continuing the fight and becoming international leaders in saving lives through a harm-reduction model.
Categories: Harm Reduction

CN ON: How Drug Treatment Court Rescued Her From The Streets

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Mon, 04/27/2015 - 07:00
Toronto Star, 27 Apr 2015 - Restorative justice advocates say alternative to incarceration is more effective for addicts Most of Kathy Middleton's interactions with police have taken place in cheap motels and crack houses..
Categories: Harm Reduction

US: Michael Botticelli Is a Drug Czar Who Knows Addiction

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Sun, 04/26/2015 - 07:00
New York Times, 26 Apr 2015 - BALTIMORE - Six recovering substance abusers sat in an inner-city treatment center, sharing their stories. When Michael's turn came around, he spoke of his former drug of choice, alcohol, and mentioned the night years ago when he drove drunk on the Massachusetts Turnpike, caused an accident and was arrested before passing out. Michael then pulled out a picture of a friend's brother who recently died from mixing prescription painkillers with alcohol. He described his grief and visceral connection with the struggles of substance abusers in recovery.
Categories: Harm Reduction

US MA: Column: What Price Is Too High For A Miracle Drug?

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Sun, 04/26/2015 - 07:00
Boston Globe, 26 Apr 2015 - Naloxone isn't magic, but its power to rescue a heroin user from the brink of death can certainly seem miraculous. The anti-overdose drug, also known by the brand name Narcan, is easy to administer and has saved thousands of lives. First responders are often awestruck at how swiftly it can revive a dying addict. "It's just incredible," the deputy fire chief in Revere marveled in a public-radio interview last year. "There's somebody who's on the ground who's literally dead. They have no pulse. Sometimes they're blue, sometimes they're black. And you administer this stuff and sometimes in a minute or two or three, they're actually up and talking to you."
Categories: Harm Reduction

CN BC: Vancouver Mayor Waves Off Health Minister's Warning

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Sat, 04/25/2015 - 07:00
Globe and Mail, 25 Apr 2015 - Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson has rejected a warning from the federal Health Minister to scrap a proposal to regulate marijuana dispensaries. The proposal would create a new class of business licence for the operations while imposing hefty fees and restricting where they can be located.
Categories: Harm Reduction

Canada: Feds Concerned Over Marijuana Zoning Rules

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Fri, 04/24/2015 - 07:00
Prince George Citizen, 24 Apr 2015 - VANCOUVER - The federal government is telling the City of Vancouver it does not have the authority to legitimize pot with its proposal to regulate "illegal" medical marijuana dispensaries. Health Minister Rona Ambrose sent a letter to Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson on Thursday saying she was "deeply concerned" by the city's plans to discuss regulation at an upcoming council meeting.
Categories: Harm Reduction

Chronicle AM: Supreme Court Nixes Roadside Waits for Drug Dogs, DEA Head to Resign, More (4/21/15)

Harm Reduction (STDW) - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 22:53

The DEA head is on her way out, the Supreme Court rules on making motorists wait for drug dogs to arrive, Indiana's governor extends an emergency needle exchange, a new report on asset forfeiture abuses in California is out, and more.

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

Washington State Legal Pot Price Declines to $12 a Gram. Pot prices averaged nearly $30 a gram—well above black market prices—when the state's first marijuana retail outlets opened, but that has changed dramatically, according to the State Liquor Control Board. Now, the average retail price of a gram is about $12, as supply expands to meet demand. That's still $336 an ounce, though.

Medical Marijuana

Wyoming Medical Marijuana Initiative Getting Underway. Activists with Wyoming NORML submitted their initiative application with the secretary of state's office Monday. If and when the application is approved, organizers will have until next February to gather 25,673 valid voter signatures to place it on the 2016 general election ballot. A recent poll had support for marijuana at 72% in the Cowboy State.

Asset Forfeiture

New Report Details California Asset Forfeiture Abuses. The Drug Policy Alliance today released a new report, Above the Law: An Investigation of Civil Asset Forfeiture Abuses in California, a multi-year, comprehensive look at asset forfeiture abuses in the state that reveals the troubling extent to which law enforcement agencies have violated state and federal law. The report finds that a handful of LA County cities lead the state in per capita seizures, that some departments rely on asset forfeiture for funding themselves, and that some departments were providing false or incomplete reports to the Justice Department.

Drug Testing

Indiana Welfare Drug Testing Bill Dead. The legislator who unexpectedly proposed adding a welfare drug testing proposal to a social services spending bill has withdrawn it after learning how few people would be tested and how little support there is for it. Rep. Terry Goodin (D-Crawfordsville) said today he would instead seek a study committee to examine how best to fight drug abuse.

Florida Governor Settles on State Employee Drug Testing. Gov. Rick Scott (R) has formally given up on his effort to subject state employees to random, suspicionless drug testing. He reached an agreement Monday with the employees' union that will only allow drug testing in a relative handful of safety-sensitive positions. Of the 1,400 job classifications Scott originally wanted covered, only 267 will be covered.

Harm Reduction

Indiana Governor Extends Emergency Needle Exchange Program. Gov. Mike Pence (R) Monday extended an emergency needle exchange program in Scott County for another 30 days in a bid to get a handle on an injection drug-related HIV outbreak there. The move comes as the legislature heard testimony supporting a bill that would allow similar exchanges elsewhere in the state.

Law Enforcement

DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart Set to Resign. DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart is expected to resign soon, a unnamed "senior administration official" told CBS News this morning. The embattled DEA head has been under fire for years over her leadership of the scandal-ridden agency, but it was her performance at a Capitol Hill hearing last week that sealed her fate. Click on the link to read our feature story on this.

Supreme Court Says Detaining Motorists to Wait for Drug Dogs to Arrive is Not OK. In a 6-3 decision today, the US Supreme Court held that detaining motorists on the side of the highway to await the arrival of a drug dog violates the Fourth Amendment's proscription against unlawful searches and seizures. Writing for the majority, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg noted that police may request drivers licenses, vehicle registrations, proof of insurance, and check for outstanding warrants because all those investigatory actions are aimed at enforcing traffic laws and ensuring that vehicles are operating safely—the ostensible reason for the stops. "A dog sniff, unlike those stock inquiries, lacks the same tie to roadway safety," she said. Prolonging the stop, even for a few minutes, to allow for the arrival of a drug dog was improper, Ginsburg wrote. "A traffic stop becomes unlawful if prolonged beyond the time in fact needed to complete all traffic-based inquiries," Ginsburg said. Click on the link to read our newsbrief and view the ruling itself.

International

Mexicans Capture Gulf Cartel Leader. Mexican authorities confirmed over the weekend that they had captured Jose Tiburcio Hernandez Fuentes, who they described as a Gulf Cartel leader responsible for much of the recent violence in the border city of Reynosa. He was caught despite a shootout between Mexican soldiers and police and around 60 cartel gunmen who tried to rescue him. The Mexicans caught a key Juarez Cartel leader just a day earlier. 

Categories: Harm Reduction

Chronicle AM: Obama on MedMJ; Chicago, NYC Drug Policy Reform Moves, CA Legalization Funds Begin to Flow, More (4/20/15)

Harm Reduction (STDW) - Mon, 04/20/2015 - 22:33

The president suggests he could get behind congressional medical marijuana efforts, a second California legalization initiative has been filed, Weedmaps puts up $2 million for legalization, two of the nation's largest cities are moving toward drug reform, and more. 

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

Alaska Marijuana Control Board Bill Passes. The state Senate last Saturday approved House Bill 123, which would create a Marijuana Control Board. It had already passed the House, but now needs to go back for a concurrence vote after the Senate made changes in the bill. But House Bill 75, which would allow for municipal regulation got stalled on a tie vote. Senate Majority Leader John Coghill (R-North Pole) has asked that the bill be held for reconsideration, and the Senate will again take it up before the session ends.

Weedmaps Kicks In $2 Million for California Legalization Efforts. The marijuana store locator app company has donated $1 million to Californians for Sensible Reform, a campaign committee that says it will back the strongest legalization initiative next year. And it's matched that with another $1 million to Californians for Sensible Reform PAC, which says it will support marijuana-friendly candidates.

Second California Legalization Initiative Filed. Proponents of an open-source legalization initiative, the Marijuana Control, Legalization and Revenue Act of 2016 (MCLR), filed the effort with state officials in Sacramento today. The effort is being spearheaded by Americans for Policy Reform, which includes San Jose dispensary operator Dave Hodges and Sebastopol marijuana attorney Omar Figueroa, among others. Figueroa is also one of two proponents for another legalization initiative, the California Craft Cannabis Act, filed last week. More proposed initiatives are expected to follow. The recommended deadline for beginning signature-gathering is in early July. Stay tuned.

Medical Marijuana

Obama Suggests Support for Senate Medical Marijuana Bill. In an interview aired Sunday night on CNN's Weed 3 special with Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Gupta asked the president if he would get behind the CARERS Act, which would reschedule marijuana and allow states with medical marijuana laws to proceed without threat of federal punishment. "You know, I think I’d have to take a look at the details," Obama replied, "but I’m on record as saying that not only do I think carefully prescribed medical use of marijuana may  in fact be appropriate and we should follow the science as opposed to ideology on this issue, but I’m also on record as saying that the more we treat some of these issues related to drug abuse from a public health model and not just from an incarceration model, the better off we’re going to be."

Asset Forfeiture

Wyoming Legislative Committee Studies Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform. Gov. Matt Mead (R) vetoed an asset forfeiture reform bill earlier this year, but the legislature isn't giving up. The Joint Judiciary Committee met in Riverton last week and has directed staff to draft bills for next year's legislative session.

Drug Policy

Chicago Prosecutor Will Stop Prosecuting Simple Drug Possession. Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez said today she intends to quit prosecuting people arrested for simple drug possession and instead link them to social agencies "for treatment rather than pursuing criminal penalties." Those drug possession felonies accounted for one-quarter of all felonies in the county last year. She also said she is not going to bother to prosecute misdemeanor marijuana possession cases, either.

New York City Legislation Would Create New Office of Drug Strategy. A proposal just offered by New York City council members would create the new office to coordinate official, expert, and community responses to drug use. It would enhance evidence-based drug education and public health interventions and simplify access to medical, social, and psychological services to drug users seeking help. The idea is to reduce the morbidity, mortality, crime, and racial disparities in law enforcement created by a one-sided law enforcement approach to the issue.

Harm Reduction

Indiana Governor Signs Bill to Ease Access to Overdose Reversal Drug. Last Friday, Gov. Mike Pence (R) signed into law SEA 406, which allows family members and friends of drug users to obtain the opiate overdose reversal drug naloxone. Previously, only health professionals could administer the drug.

International

Two More Big Australian States Announce Medical Marijuana Trials. Victoria and Queensland have now joined New South Wales in a clinical trial for medical marijuana. The three most populous states will hold clinical trials of cannabis oil for the treatment of chemotherapy-related nausea, severe epilepsy, and in palliative care.

Mexico Captures Top Juarez Cartel Leader. Federal troops last Friday captured Juarez Cartel head Jesus Aguayo in the town of Villa Ahumada in Chihuahua state. Aguayo took over leadership of the organization after authorities captured his predecessor, Vicente Carillo in October. 

Categories: Harm Reduction
Syndicate content