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Harm Reduction

CN BC: Revelstoke Secondary School Receives Naloxone Kits

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Wed, 11/08/2017 - 08:00
Revelstoke Times Review, 08 Nov 2017 - Staff at Revelstoke Secondary School now have a new tool to keep students safe. The high school received two Naloxone kits at the end of September. Naloxone is used to counteract the effects of an opioid overdose.
Categories: Harm Reduction

Chronicle AM: CA Magic Mushroom Initiative Approved for Signature Gathering, More... (11/7/17)

Harm Reduction (STDW) - Tue, 11/07/2017 - 20:24

The Maine legislature fails to override the governor's veto of the pot regulation bill, a California initiative to legalize magic mushrooms gets the okay for signature gathering, North Dakotans will wait another year for their medical marijuana, and more.

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

Maine House Fails to Override Veto of Marijuana Regulation Bill. The House voted Monday to sustain Gov. Paul LePage's (R) veto of a bill providing a legal regulatory framework for marijuana commerce. What happens next is unclear. A moratorium on recreational sales expires on February 1. The legislature reconvenes in January, but there is little indication political dynamics will change between now and then. If the moratorium is not extended and a new bill passed, the law as passed by voters in 2016 would go into effect. "I feel like we legalized gasoline, but not gas stations," Rep. Martin Grohman told the Portland Press-Herald.

Medical Marijuana

North Dakota Says Medical Marijuana Still a Year Away. The state Health Department Monday announced proposed administrative rules for such things as lab testing, security requirements, and transportation regulations, and added that the proposed rules will be open for public comment until December 26. The department also said it doesn't expect the drug to be available for sale to patients for another year -- two years after it was approved by voters.

Heroin and Prescription Opioids

Florida's Largest Insurer Stops Covering Oxycontin. The state's largest health insurance company will stop covering OxyContin, the brand name prescription opioid, beginning January 1, in a bid to reduce overdoses and opioid dependence. Instead, Florida Blue will start covering an alternative opioid that isn't crushable for injection or snorting, reducing its potential for abuse, the company said Monday. That other drug is Xtampza ER, which also contains oxycodone, but which is designed to deter abuse because the pills cannot be crushed for snorting or injection.

Psychedelics

California Magic Mushroom Legalization Initiative Approved for Signature Gathering. An initiative that would legalize psilocybin, the psychoactive ingredient in magic mushrooms, has been approved for signature gathering by state officials. The California Psilocybin Legalization Initiative needs 365,880 valid voter signatures by April 30 to qualify for the November 2018 ballot.

Sentencing

Massachusetts Sentencing Reform Bill Filed. House leaders Monday proposed sweeping changes to the state's criminal justice and sentencing laws. It's a mixed bag: Some provisions would allow for the expungement of marijuana offenses and end some mandatory minimum drug sentences, but others would increase sentences for dealing in opioids. The bill also includes pre-trial diversion programs and bail reforms. The House will debate the measures next week. The Senate has already passed its own version of a criminal justice reform bill.

International

Canada's Newest Safe Injection Site Approved in Ottawa. Health Canada has given final approval for a safe injection site in Ottawa, which will be housed in a trailer in a hospital parking lot. Operators said they expected to begin welcoming clients today.

Dutch Localities Line Up for Regulated Marijuana Cultivation Pilot Project. Some 25 of the country's 380 local authorities have applied to participate in pilot schemes to allow the regulated growth of marijuana to supply the nation's fabled cannabis cafes. Among those councils which have come forward are Breda, the Noord-Brabant town of Cuijk, and Rotterdam, where mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb wants the experiment to cover distribution as well. The government is expected to announce which locales win spots in the pilot program next year.

Categories: Harm Reduction

CN ON: OPED: How Canada Can Properly Deal With The Opioid Crisis

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Tue, 11/07/2017 - 08:00
Toronto Star, 07 Nov 2017 - Canada's response to the opioid crisis has been fragmented and marginally effective at best. We deserve a better approach, and the answers are out there. Other countries are effectively dealing with the issue and Canada should be more open to learning from them. There are several key steps we can take to ensure Canadians with addiction can lead healthier, happier and more productive lives. First, we need to recognize this is actually a crisis. Do you remember SARS and how it impacted every Canadian with a focused response from our public health teams? Forty-four Canadians died from SARS. How about AIDS at its peak in 1995? We all were aware of the crisis and as Canadians we worked together diligently to help. That year about 1,400 people died from AIDS. Compare this to over 2,400 Canadians dying from opioid overdoses in 2016 and the number likely to double in 2017.
Categories: Harm Reduction

Chronicle AM: ME Lawmakers Try to Save MJ Reg Bill from Veto, Denver SIF Advances, More... (11/6/17)

Harm Reduction (STDW) - Mon, 11/06/2017 - 20:30

Maine's governor vetoes the marijuana regulation bill, but the legislature will attempt an override today; a plan for a safe injection site in Denver advances, a Michigan roadside drug testing pilot program gets underway this week, and more.

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

Maine Governor Vetoes Bill to Regulate Legal Marijuana Production, Sales. Gov. Paul LePage last Friday vetoed the bill that would regulate legal marijuana commerce in the state. In his veto message, he cited a number of concerns, including how the Trump administration is going to deal with the conflict between state and federal law. "Until I clearly understand how the federal government intends to treat states that seek to legalize marijuana, I cannot in good conscience support any scheme in state law to implement expansion of legal marijuana in Maine," the governor explained.

Maine Lawmakers Meet Today to Try to Override Governor's Veto. The legislature is set to meet at 4:00pm today in a bid to override Gov. LePage's veto of the marijuana regulation bill. The bill passed the Senate, but not the House, by a veto-proof majority earlier this year.

Medical Marijuana

Ohio Announces First Licensees for Medical Marijuana Production. State officials announced last Friday they had issued 11 Level II medical marijuana licenses. The licenses will allow holders to begin medical marijuana growing operations.

Drug Testing

Michigan Roadside Drug Testing Pilot Program Begins This Week. Michigan State Police are set to begin a pilot program in five counties to do roadside oral fluid drug tests of drivers in a bid to reduce drugged driving. The counties included are Berrien, Delta, Kent, St. Clair and Washtenaw. Under the program, officers trained in "drug recognition" will be able to require drivers to submit to a preliminary saliva test if they suspect he is impaired. The tests will look for the presence of marijuana, amphetamines, methamphetamines, benzodiazepines, cocaine and opiates.

Harm Reduction

Walgreen's to Carry Opioid Overdose Reversal Drug, No Prescription Needed. Walgreen's drugstores will soon stock the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone (Narcan) at its thousands of locations across the US, and it will be available over the counter, no prescription needed. Walgreen's is the nation's second largest drugstore chain with more than 8,000 stores. "By stocking Narcan in all our pharmacies, we are making it easier for families and caregivers to help their loved ones by having it on hand in case it is needed," Walgreen's vice president Rick Gates said in a statement. "As a pharmacy, we are committed to making Narcan more accessible in the communities we serve."

Denver Starts Down Path Toward Safe Injection Sites. Seattle and San Francisco are the US cities closest to opening safe injection sites for drug users, but now Denver is making a move in the same direction. A legislative committee last week gave unanimous approval to a plan to open a pilot site in the city. But that's just a first step: The next step is to get the legislation through the General Assembly when the legislature convenes in January.

International

Colombia, UNODC Sign Cooperation Agreement on Coca and Cocaine. In a deal announced last Friday, Colombia and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) have agreed to cooperate on the county's coca reduction strategy. Under the deal, the UNODC will help Colombia implement "alternative and sustainable development programs in areas affected by coca cultivation," according to a press release from the Colombian presidency. The plan is estimated to require $315 million in funding over the next four years. The question is whether Colombia has the political will to come up with the money.

Categories: Harm Reduction

Canada: Ottawa To Launch Public Consultations On $1-A-Gram Pot Tax

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Mon, 11/06/2017 - 08:00
Globe and Mail, 06 Nov 2017 - The federal government is moving on a number of fronts as it pushes toward the legalization of cannabis by next summer, including launching public consultations on the proposed excise tax of $1 a gram. In addition, federal officials are putting the finishing touches on complex regulations that will set the rules for the production and distribution of cannabis "from seed to sale." Once they are made public in coming weeks, the regulations will be the subject of separate consultations, with the government seeking input of everyone from producers to consumers to health experts.
Categories: Harm Reduction

CN ON: Column: Crushing High Hopes

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Mon, 11/06/2017 - 08:00
Toronto Sun, 06 Nov 2017 - Years ago, when Justin Trudeau stepped onto a platform in a Vancouver park and proclaimed through a cloud of sweet-smelling haze that a federal Liberal government would legalize marijuana, there was much excitement within the cannabis community. With last week's announcement by Trudeau's provincial Liberal cousins, the realities of draconian regulation in Ontario have resulted in the crushing disappointment of those long-forgotten high hopes.
Categories: Harm Reduction

CN ON: Ontario Gives Drug-Use Site A Heated Tent

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Fri, 11/03/2017 - 07:00
Globe and Mail, 03 Nov 2017 - Structure is meant to be temporary solution as temperatures drop, while Toronto officials race to get indoor location approved Toronto's illegal, activist-run overdose-prevention site in the city's Moss Park now has the use of an insulated, heated, military-style medical tent, complete with a generator - all courtesy of the provincial government.
Categories: Harm Reduction

CN ON: Province To Open Moss Park Injection Site

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 07:00
Toronto Star, 02 Nov 2017 - Government will work with harm-reduction workers operating pop-up site Ontario is dispatching its Emergency Medical Assistance Team to set up a tent in Moss Park to provide a heated and insulated space for safe injections.
Categories: Harm Reduction

CN ON: Ottawa Urged To Expedite Approval For Drug-Use Site

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 07:00
Globe and Mail, 02 Nov 2017 - The City of Toronto and the province are asking the federal Minister of Health for the "immediate approval" of a proposed indoor supervised drug-use site at an east-end homeless centre where an illegal outdoor site has been operating for months. In a letter to Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor dated Oct. 31, Toronto Mayor John Tory and Ontario Health Minister Eric Hoskins say the illegal site, set up in Moss Park near Sherbourne Street and Queen Street East, has saved many lives since it was launched in August by reversing overdoses in a neighbourhood that had been hit by an increase in such deaths.
Categories: Harm Reduction

CN BC: Harm-Reduction History Revealed In New Book

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 07:00
The Georgia Straight, 02 Nov 2017 - Here in Vancouver, it's tempting to praise ourselves for our forward-thinking approaches to illicit drug use. We're home to Insite, the first supervised-injection facility in North America, the success of which paved the way for Health Canada to start approving prospective supervised-injection sites in other cities across the country this year. We're also home to the first and only prescription heroin program on the continent, which has proven how life-changing it can be for a person entrenched in opiate addiction to have access to a clean, regulated supply of drugs. But Vancouver's Downtown Eastside remains the epicentre of a provincewide overdose crisis that has killed a record-breaking 1,013 British Columbians through the first eight months of this year. That put us on track to exceed 1,500 overdose deaths by the end of 2017. "That's hard to even comprehend," says Travis Lupick, a reporter with the Georgia Straight. His first book, about Vancouver's history of drug-user activism and its new growth in the U.S., is out November 1 through Arsenal Pulp Press.
Categories: Harm Reduction

CN BC: SFU Prof Criticizes Unfair Bail

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 07:00
Metro, 01 Nov 2017 - Conditions can push people to commit crimes: Study Releasing people on bail on the condition they do not go to the Downtown Eastside sets them up for failure, according to research from three Canadian universities.
Categories: Harm Reduction

CN BC: Report Slams Court-Imposed 'Red Zones' On Offenders

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 07:00
Globe and Mail, 01 Nov 2017 - When Lisa was released on bail, following an arrest for possession for the purpose of trafficking, British Columbia's Provincial Court ordered the Downtown Eastside resident to stay away from the busy hub of Hastings Street. But she says that condition, that she stay away from the street where she was arrested, made little sense.
Categories: Harm Reduction

CN ON: Talks To Move Illegal Toronto Drug-Use Site Indoors Fail

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 07:00
Globe and Mail, 01 Nov 2017 - Talks to move Toronto's illegal popup supervised drug-use site inside a nearby homeless centre have failed, but the harm-reduction activists who have been setting up their tents in an east-end park every evening say they plan to stay put. The crowdfunded, volunteer-driven Toronto Harm Reduction Alliance (THRA) has operated its controversial pop-up site in Moss Park near Sherbourne and Queen Streets since August, with tacit approval from police and city officials amid a growing number of opioid overdose deaths.
Categories: Harm Reduction

Canada: Ottawa Adds $36-Million In Funding For Cannabis-Education

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 07:00
Globe and Mail, 01 Nov 2017 - The federal government will be spending an additional $36.4-million over five years to educate Canadians on the dangers of using cannabis at a young age and impaired driving, hoping to address growing concerns over the drug's legalization. The new money comes in addition to $9.6-million in previously announced spending on public awareness campaigns, with eight months to go before the government's July 1 deadline to legalize cannabis for recreational use by adults.
Categories: Harm Reduction

CN BC: Scheer Stands By Harper-Era Opioid Plan

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 07:00
Globe and Mail, 01 Nov 2017 - Tory Leader open to new ideas for tackling crisis in B.C., but remains leery of supervised drug-use sites and further decriminalization Federal Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says he is trying to keep an open mind on options for dealing with the opioid overdose crisis in British Columbia, but is not backing off key tenets on harm reduction his party pushed in government.
Categories: Harm Reduction

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

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

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

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

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

Medical Marijuana

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

Heroin and Prescription Opioids

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

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

Harm Reduction

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

Sentencing

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

International

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

Categories: Harm Reduction

CN BC: Editorial: Discarded Needles Just The Tip Of The Opioid Crisis

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Thu, 10/26/2017 - 07:00
Comox Valley Record, 26 Oct 2017 - As little as five years ago, we imagine most people would have scoffed at the idea of needing a special group to pick up discarded needles in the community. Though the Comox Valley is not as badly affected as others, which are in the middle of a needle epidemic directly related to the opioid crisis that has killed so many across B.C. in the last several years, it isn't immune, either.
Categories: Harm Reduction

CN ON: Don't Cluster Safe Injection Sites, Councillors Warn

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Wed, 10/25/2017 - 07:00
The Record, 25 Oct 2017 - WATERLOO REGION - Potential locations for supervised injection sites in Waterloo Region will be made public by January, as Waterloo Region Public Health begins a feasibility study into whether the harm reduction service is needed here, what concerns the community might have and how to address them. A supervised injection site would provide a safe, clean place for people to use their own drugs under the care of trained staff. Its goals would be to reduce overdose rates and overdose deaths; reduce transmission of diseases from shared needles; help drug users connect to other health and social services, including drug treatment; and reduce drug use in public places and the amount of unsafely discarded needles and other litter.
Categories: Harm Reduction

CN ON: New Option To Safe Needle Disposal Launched

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Wed, 10/25/2017 - 07:00
The Chatham Daily News, 25 Oct 2017 - A pilot project was launched Tuesday to provide the first outdoor after-hours needle disposable drop box, with the aim of curbing the high rate of hepatitis C, locally. The sharp disposal kiosk is located on the property of AIDS Support Chatham-Kent at 67 Adelaide St. S. in Chatham, which has partnered with the ChathamKent Public Health Unit to provide a safe place to dispose of needles.
Categories: Harm Reduction

CN AB: Site Will Be 'Clean And Safe Space'

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Sat, 10/21/2017 - 07:00
Lethbridge Herald, 21 Oct 2017 - Supervised drug consumption site set to open Jan. 2 What's old will be renewed again in a bid to save lives from the rising number of drug overdoses in Lethbridge. Government officials and local media received a tour Friday of the city's future supervised consumption site, currently under construction.
Categories: Harm Reduction
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