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Harm Reduction

Chronicle AM: CA Will Vote on Legalization, Veterans' MedMJ Fight Not Over Yet, More... (6/29/16)

Harm Reduction (STDW) - Wed, 06/29/2016 - 20:32

That nation's most populous state will vote on marijuana legalization in November, federal legislators keep fighting for medical marijuana access for veterans, a New Jersey needle exchange bill nears passage, the ACLU goes after the Border Patrol for abuses at interior check points, and more.

[image:1 align:right]Marijuana Policy

It's Official -- California Will Vote on Marijuana Legalization in November. A broadly-backed initiative to legalize marijuana in the country's most populous state will be on the California ballot in November. The secretary of state's office made it official Tuesday afternoon, certifying that a random sample of more than 600,000 signatures turned in showed there were enough valid signatures to qualify the measure. "Today marks a fresh start for California, as we prepare to replace the costly, harmful and ineffective system of prohibition with a safe, legal and responsible adult-use marijuana system that gets it right and completely pays for itself," said Jason Kinney, spokesperson for the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA).

Medical Marijuana

Eleven Lawmakers Ask House and Senate Leadership to Restore Medical Marijuana Language in VA Bill. The move comes after language allowing VA docs to recommend medical marijuana passed both the House and Senate, only to be mysteriously dropped in conference committee. "We feel the failure of the Conferees to include either provision is a drastic misfortune for veterans and is contrary to the will of both chambers as demonstrated by the strong bipartisan support for these provisions," the supporters wrote to congressional leaders on Tuesday. Among the signatories were Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Sens. Steve Daines (R-MT) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR). Other signatories to the letter, all Democrats, include Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Barbara Boxer of California, Cory Booker of New Jersey, Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Ron Wyden of Oregon, and Reps. Jared Polis of Colorado, Dina Titus of Nevada and Ruben Gallego of Arizona.

Illinois Judge Orders State to ADD PTSD to Medical Marijuana List. A Cook County judge has ordered the state Department of Public Health to add post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to the list of diseases eligible to be treated with medical marijuana. The sternly worded ruling also said the department's director, Niray Shah, an appointee of Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, had engaged in a "constitutionally inappropriate private investigation" before deciding to rule against adding PTSD after the medical marijuana advisory board had recommended adding it. The court accused Shah of applying his own standard of medical evidence that "appears nowhere in the Act or the department's rules" and "was contrary to the plain language of the department's rules."

Los Angeles County Extends Ban on Medical Marijuana in Unincorporated Areas. County supervisors voted Tuesday to extend by a year a temporary ban on medical marijuana cultivation and distribution in unincorporated areas. The county enacted a 45-day ban earlier this year and then extended it by another month before now extending it for another year. County planning officials said the ban was needed as they study how to regulate medical marijuana, but advocates retorted that the supervisors should concentrate on actually regulating the industry, not on extending bans.

Harm Reduction

New Jersey Needle Exchange Bill Nears Passage. The Senate Monday gave final approval to a bill that would allow localities across the state to enact needle exchange programs. The Assembly is expected to approve changes in the Senate version of the bill Thursday. The measure, Assembly Bill 415, would then await the signature of Gov. Chris Christie (R) to become law. The state enacted a law allowing pilot needle exchange programs a decade ago.

Law Enforcement

ACLU Accuses Border Patrol of Wrongful Detentions, Seizures The ACLU of Arizona Tuesday filed a formal complaint with the Department of Homeland Security and its constituent agency, US Customs and Border Protection, demanding an investigation into "abuses arising from Border Patrol interior operations." "At the same time the Justice Department and the Obama administration are rightly urging local police to adopt 'best practices' -- ending racial profiling, collecting stop data, and curbing police militarization and asset forfeiture abuses -- we see the nation's largest law enforcement agency, CBP, rejecting those commonsense reforms," said James Lyall, a staff attorney with the ACLU. "The federal government is effectively saying, 'Do as I say, not as I do,' which leaves Border Patrol free to target citizens and non-citizens alike with these increasingly extreme and abusive practices."

Categories: Harm Reduction

South Africa: Stop War On Drugs, Increase Support

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Tue, 06/28/2016 - 07:00
Cape Argus, 28 Jun 2016 - Project Seeks to Break the Cycle of Trauma With New Solutions FIFTY drug addicts are to take part in pioneering substitution therapy trials, using methadone in a bid to wean them off whoonga/heroin. The ground-breaking demonstration project is scheduled to start in October and will last 18 months. It will evaluate improvements to drug addicts' quality of life under treatment, as well as looking at the cost-effectiveness of using opioid substitution therapy in the state health system .
Categories: Harm Reduction

South Africa: Pilot Plan For Addicts

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Mon, 06/27/2016 - 07:00
The Daily News, 27 Jun 2016 - FIFTY Durban drug addicts are to take part in pioneering substitution therapy trials, using methadone in a bid to wean them off whoonga/heroin. The groundbreaking demonstration project is scheduled to start in October and will last 18 months. It will evaluate improvements to the quality of life of drug addicts under treatment, as well as looking at the cost-effectiveness of using opioid substitution therapy in the state health system .
Categories: Harm Reduction

CN ON: Tory, Saunders Support Injection Sites

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Sat, 06/25/2016 - 07:00
Globe and Mail, 25 Jun 2016 - Mayor says rising toll of overdose deaths in Toronto 'cannot be acceptable to anyone in a caring city such as ours' Toronto Mayor John Tory and police Chief Mark Saunders are not opposing a proposal that would see three existing harm-reduction clinics in the city set up supervised drug-injection sites, where addicts can shoot up with a nurse looking on.
Categories: Harm Reduction

CN ON: Ontario Not Expecting Much Cash From Weed

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 07:00
Toronto Star, 23 Jun 2016 - The cash-strapped Ontario government is not banking on a financial windfall from the looming legalization of recreational marijuana, says Finance Minister Charles Sousa. With officials at Queen's Park preparing for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's federal legislation next year, Sousa emphasized that no cannabis tax bonanza is anticipated.
Categories: Harm Reduction

US NV: Out Of Harm's Way

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 07:00
Reno News & Review, 23 Jun 2016 - There's An Antidote for Heroin Overdose, and a Former Addict Is Among Those Working to Spread It Far and Wide Joshua Livernois woke up hazy, sick and splashed with Dr. Pepper in a hospital bed in Salinas, California. He couldn't piece together the events of the previous day or so, and he's still not even sure which year it was, probably 2005 or '06. He'd been using heroin off and on for about 10 years and almost daily for five.
Categories: Harm Reduction

Thailand: Editorial: Let's Kick The 'War On Drugs' Habit

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Wed, 06/22/2016 - 07:00
The Nation, 22 Jun 2016 - Justice Minister Paiboon Koomchaya's Readiness to Declassify Yaba Signals a Sounder Strategy If national governments have learned nothing from the futility of waging a "war on drugs", in some countries at least, common sense seems to be finally seeping in.
Categories: Harm Reduction

Thailand: Ampthetamine Policy Has 'Lost Its Way'

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Wed, 06/22/2016 - 07:00
Bangkok Post, 22 Jun 2016 - Has Thailand's tough policy on narcotic drugs created a monster out of methamphetamines resulting in the poor being punished with the heaviest sentences, and prison overcrowding? An article published on the online outlet Thai Publica in July last year by Mutita Chuachang about the need to rethink the country's policy on ya ba has resurfaced recently. The content is relevant to the Justice Ministry's controversial proposal to remove crystal meth from the illicit dangerous drug list and shift the drug policy away from heavy suppression.
Categories: Harm Reduction

CN ON: Injection Site To Be Secure

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Tue, 06/21/2016 - 07:00
Metro, 21 Jun 2016 - Group seeks to address fears as proposal to go to council The group that is proposing to create a supervised injection site in Sandy Hill said it will have security on site to address fears about an increase in drug-related crime - something Ottawa police chief Charles Bordeleau said is a significant concern.
Categories: Harm Reduction

CN ON: Safe Injection Sites Probed

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Tue, 06/21/2016 - 07:00
Toronto Sun, 21 Jun 2016 - Community meeting held Lily Lin doesn't want a safe injection site opening in Queen West. But she says residents are afraid to speak out against them. Lin was among a group of 80 people who went attended the second community consultation meeting on placing a safe injection site in the area.
Categories: Harm Reduction

CN ON: Injection Sites Must Be Spread Around: Fleury

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Mon, 06/20/2016 - 07:00
Metro, 20 Jun 2016 - Councillor ready for site but wants more than one An Ottawa councillor says he welcomes a supervised injection site downtown - but only if there are similar services across the city. On Monday, Rideau-Vanier Coun. Mathieu Fleury and five other councillors on the board of health will debate a staff report that recommends opening a supervised injection site in the city.
Categories: Harm Reduction

CN ON: OPED: The Case For Prescription-Only Marijuana

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Fri, 06/17/2016 - 07:00
Toronto Star, 17 Jun 2016 - As an epidemiologist and a parent, I am perplexed with the recent momentum toward legalizing marijuana. Of all the arguments I have heard, I have yet to hear any that are compelling enough to remove the drug from prescription status. One argument I have heard is that marijuana is harmless. This argument ignores the fact that numerous studies have reported harm in peer-reviewed academic journals. A summary of the evidence, published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2014, concluded, "Marijuana use has been associated with substantial adverse effects, some of which have been determined with a high level of confidence." Some of those effects were addiction to marijuana and other substances, motor vehicle accidents and chronic bronchitis.
Categories: Harm Reduction

Chronicle AM: UK Public Health Groups Call for Decrim, MPP Endorses Gary Johnson, More... (6/16/16)

Harm Reduction (STDW) - Thu, 06/16/2016 - 21:56

Busy, busy: There's movement on marijuana banking, Gary Johnson picks up MPP's endorsement, a leading California cannabis oil producer gets busted, the AMA casts on leery eye on patient pain reports, a congresswoman wants to drug test the rich, British public health groups call for decrim, the Thai government wants to end the war on meth, and more.

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

Senate Committee Approves Measure to Ease Pot Businesses' Access to Financial Services. The Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday voted 16-14 to approve an amendment that would bar the Treasury Department from punishing banks that do business with state-legal marijuana businesses. The amendment is part of the FY 2017 Financial And General Government Services Appropriations Act, which now heads for a Senate floor vote.

Marijuana Policy Project Endorses Libertarian Gary Johnson for President. MPP has formally endorsed Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson for president, saying he was the obvious choice as the most pro-marijuana legalization candidate on the ballot. The group said its endorsement was based solely on his marijuana policies.

New York Assembly Passes Bill to Seal Records for Misdemeanor Marijuana Convictions. The Assembly has passed Assembly Bill 10092, which will seal the conviction records of people charged with misdemeanor offenses. Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said the move was in response to New York City police charging people with misdemeanors for possession of marijuana in public. Simple possession is decriminalized in the state.

Medical Marijuana

Leading California Medical Marijuana Oil Maker Busted.Police, including DEA agents, raided five properties associated with a well-known medical marijuana products manufacturer in Northern California's Sonoma County Wednesday morning, detaining at least nine people and arresting one on suspicion of felony drug manufacture for his role in cannabis oil production.The operation raided was Care By Design (CBD Guild), which produces CBD-rich cannabis oils for use in sprays, gels, and cannabis oil cartridges for vaporizers. The company offers products with five different ratios of CBD to THC so "patients can adjust their cannabis medicine to suit their specific conditions and personal preferences." Police accused the operation of using dangerous and illegal butane extraction for their oils, but Care By Design says that is not the case.

Heroin and Prescription Opioids

AMA Resolutions Aim to Curb Opioid Abuse, Will Ignore Patients' Pain Reports. At its annual meeting in Chicago, the American Medical Association (AMA) approved a number of resolutions aimed at curbing the misuse of prescription opioids. One called for removing any barriers to non-opioid pain therapies, one calls for promoting increased access to the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone (Narcan), but "the group also voted in favor of efforts to remove pain as a vital sign in professional standards, as well as disconnecting patient satisfaction scores from questions related to the evaluation and management of pain," a move that may not bode well for chronic pain patients.

Asset Forfeiture

Company Now Offers Asset Forfeiture Insurance to Cannabusinesses. CBZ Insurance Services is now offering coverage to protect state-legal marijuana businesses from the threat of seizure and asset forfeiture. The company's "search and confiscation" coverage applies only to entities that are state-legal and are found innocent of any raid-related charges. "A legally operating cannabis business has unique challenges other types of businesses don't have," said CBZ's Jeffrey Rosen. "One challenge is the threat of being shut down at any time by law enforcement. Whether you're a grower, distributor or manufacturer, search and seizure coverage is the best protection for a company's assets."

Drug Testing

Congresswoman Wants to Drug Test the Rich Before Approving Tax Deductions. US Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI) has called for requiring wealthy Americans to undergo a drug test before approving their tax deductions. Moore said she will file the bill because she is "sick and tired, and sick and tired of being sick and tired, of the criminalization of poverty," referring to efforts pushed by Republican governors and legislators to impose drug testing requirements on people seeking public benefits. "We're not going to get rid of the federal deficit by cutting poor people off SNAP. But if we are going to drug-test people to reduce the deficit, let's start on the other end of the income spectrum."

International

British Public Health Bodies Call for Drug Decriminalization. Two leading public health bodies say drug use is a health issue, not a criminal one, and have called for drug decriminalization. The Royal Society for Public Health and the Faculty of Public Health said that criminalizing drug use has not deterred people from using drugs, and that those harmed by drug use are harmed again by punishment. "We have taken the view that it is time for endorsing a different approach," said Shirley Cramer, chief executive of the Royal Society. "We have gone to our stakeholders and asked the public and tried to gain some consensus from our community and the public, because that is very important." The society has detailed in its new line in the aptly named report Taking a New Line on Drugs.

Thailand Government Proposes Ending War on Meth and Regulating It Instead. Thai Justice Minister Paiboon Koomchaya has suggested removing meth from the country's dangerous illicit drug list and putting it in the same category as medicinal drugs, with controls -- not bans -- on distribution, sale, and use of the drug. Current measures to suppress the drug have not worked, he said. Paiboon's comments came in a discussion of the UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs (UNGASS), which met in April. "The world has now surrendered to drugs, and has come to think of how to live with drugs. It is like a man suffering from cancer and having no cure and he has to live a happy life with the cancer," Gen Paiboon said. The government has drawn up a bill that would do that, he said.

(This article was prepared by StoptheDrugWar.org"s lobbying arm, the Drug Reform Coordination Network, which also pays the cost of maintaining this web site. DRCNet Foundation takes no positions on candidates for public office, in compliance with section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and does not pay for reporting that could be interpreted or misinterpreted as doing so.)

Categories: Harm Reduction

CN BC: Five More City Injection Sites Pitched

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Thu, 06/16/2016 - 07:00
Metro, 16 Jun 2016 - Applications being led to help stem drug overdoses Vancouver Coastal Health will soon file applications for five new supervised injection sites in response to the shocking spike in overdose deaths, council heard Wednesday.
Categories: Harm Reduction

US DC: Vancouver Drug Doc In Washington

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Thu, 06/16/2016 - 07:00
Metro, 16 Jun 2016 - Safe Injection Site Physician Testifies on Opioid Epidemic The U.S. Senate turned to Vancouver for answers to America's drug woes on Wednesday, flying in the B.C. doctor behind a prescription heroin study to testify about his pioneering treatment trial.
Categories: Harm Reduction

US DC: U.S. Senate Struggles With Injection Sites

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Thu, 06/16/2016 - 07:00
Globe and Mail, 16 Jun 2016 - Committee Tries to Understand Supervised Clinic Concept As Crosstown Clinic Physician Testifies to Its Efficacy Members of a U.S. Senate committee looking to confront drug abuse struggled with the concept of prescription heroin and raised concerns about supervised-injection sites increasing crime as they heard testimony on Wednesday from a B.C. doctor who helped lead one of the most radical interventions in North America.
Categories: Harm Reduction

Chronicle AM: CA ACLU Endorses AUMA, Nadelmann Testifies at Senate Hearing, More... (6/15/16)

Harm Reduction (STDW) - Wed, 06/15/2016 - 21:06

Summer is here, and the initiative campaigns are heating up, DPA head Ethan Nadelmann slams drug prohibition at the Capitol, New York legislators announce agreement on a heroin and prescription opioids package, and more.

[image:1 align:right]Marijuana Policy

Arizona Anti-Legalization Group Gets Big Donation From Electric Utility. A group organized to defeat the Arizona Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol's legalization initiative has received a $10,000 donation from the state's largest electric utility. Arizona Public Services made the donation to Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy because the company is concerned about employment law language in the measure, "especially considering the public safety aspects involved in providing reliable electric service to APS customers. But the initiative's language says "[it] does not affect the ability of employers to enact and enforce workplace policies restricting the consumption of marijuana and marijuana products by employees."

California ACLU Formally Endorses AUMA Legalization Initiative.The ACLU of California Tuesday endorsed the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA). "The disastrous war on marijuana in California continues to ensnare thousands of people -- particularly young people of color -- in the criminal justice system every year," said Margaret Dooley-Sammuli, criminal justice and drug policy director with the ACLU of California. "It is time to move from prohibition to regulation. AUMA will establish a controlled and regulated market for adults, significantly reduce the harm done to young people under current marijuana laws, and generate substantial revenue for drug education and for the communities most devastated by the war on drugs."

Medical Marijuana

Arkansas Initiative Campaigns Face Ticking Clock. Two separate medical marijuana initiative campaigns have until July 8 to get enoughvoter signatures to qualify for the November ballot. The Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act of 2016 campaign says it has gathered some 70,000 signatures so far. It needs 67,000 valid ones to qualify. The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment of 2016 says it has 40,000 signatures; because it is a constitutional amendment, it needs 85,000 valid signatures to qualify.

Washington Lawsuit Challenges New State Medical Marijuana Law. Seattle attorney and marijuana activist Douglas Hiatt has filed a lawsuit seeking an injunction to block the July1 implementation of the Cannabis Patient Protection Act, arguing that the law's folding of medical marijuana into the recreational marijuana market will cause harm to patients.

Heroin and Prescription Opioids

New York Leaders Reach Agreement on Heroin, Opioids Bill Package. Legislative leaders announced Tuesday they had agreed on a package of bills aimed at growing heroin and prescription opioid use in the state. The bills would mandate insurance coverage for overdose reversal drugs, ease getting insurance coverage for drug treatment, and reduce prescription limits for opioids from 30 days to seven days, among other provisions.

Drug Policy

Ethan Nadelmann Testifies at US Senate Committee Hearing. The Drug Policy Alliance head testified before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee as part of a round table on drug policy. "The war on drugs in this country and around the world has been a monumental disaster," Nadelmann said. "We developed an addiction. It was an addiction to drug war thinking, drug war ideology, and drug war policies." Nadelmann wasn't alone in criticizing drug prohibition; Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) also criticized it, saying prohibition now fuels drug cartels, just as alcohol prohibiton fueled gangsters.

International

Dutch Justice Minister Rejects Study Calling for Legal Marijuana Production. Justice Minister Ard van der Steur told members of parliament that last week's study finding legalizing pot production would have public health and human rights benefits would have no impact on his government's policies regarding cannabis cafes. The conservative government has moved to restrict them and refused to countenance creating a legal supply system for them.

Categories: Harm Reduction

CN ON: HIV Epidemic Hits City

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Wed, 06/15/2016 - 07:00
London Free Press, 15 Jun 2016 - New stats on HIV and Hepatitis C among drug users backs calls for safe injection sites Those pushing to build safe injection sites in London seized upon stats Tuesday that show an epidemic of HIV and Hepatitis C among drug users in the city.
Categories: Harm Reduction

CN ON: Attorney General Voices Support For Supervised

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Wed, 06/15/2016 - 07:00
Metro, 15 Jun 2016 - Ontario's new attorney general says Ottawa should heed the advice of its top doctor, who is publicly urging the city to support supervised injection sites. In his first interview since Monday's cabinet shuffle, Ottawa Centre MPP Yasir Naqvi expressed support for the controversial sites as a means to reduce harm to drug addicts.
Categories: Harm Reduction

CN BC: B.C. Drug Deaths Top Toll From Crashes

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Wed, 06/15/2016 - 07:00
Surrey Leader, 15 Jun 2016 - Most Overdose Fatalities Tied to Fentanyl New statistics show 308 B.C. residents died of illicit drug overdoses in the first four months of 2016, up 75 per cent from the 176 deaths in the same January to May period of 2015.
Categories: Harm Reduction
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