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Chronicle AM: NIH Awards Grant to Study MedMJ and Opioids, Hawaii Dispensary Woes, More... (8/14/17)

Drug War Chronicle - Mon, 08/14/2017 - 20:03

The National Institute of Health is ready to see what impact medical marijuana can have on opioid use, Hawaii's first dispensary hits a (temporary) regulatory hurdle, human rights groups warn on the Philippines and Indonesia, and more.

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

Marianas Islands Legalization Bill Refiled. Sen. Sixto Igisomar has refiled a marijuana legalization bill, Senate Bill 20-62. This version of the bill is not yet available on the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands legislative website, but last year's version is available here. The bill would not legalize marijuana by itself, but would allow a popular vote on the question: "Should the commonwealth legalize and regulate marijuana by approving the CNMI Cannabis Act of 2018?" If approved by a majority of voters, it would then become law.

Medical Marijuana

NIH Awards Grant to Study Marijuana and Opioid Addiction. The National Institute of Health last week awarded a $3.8 million grant to researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Health System to study the effects of medical marijuana on opioid use and addiction. The study will examine chronic pain patients suffering from HIV in hopes of developing rigorous evidence to back a growing number of anecdotal claims that marijuana can reduce the resort to opioid pain relievers and treat the associated pain.

Hawaii's First Dispensary Temporarily Shuttered By Bureaucratic Delays. Maui Grown Therapies, the state's first permitted medical marijuana dispensary, had to suspend sales just five days after opening due to supply issues because of delays at the Hawaii State Labs Division. The dispensary was set to begin sales to walk-in customers Monday, but now has to hold off until, it hopes, Wednesday.

International

Is Indonesia Embracing Philippines-Style Drug War? Death Toll Mounts. Amnesty International has reported that at least 55 people have been killed under an apparent "shoot on sight" policy aimed at drug offenders in the archipelago. The victims were killed "without judicial process," the human rights group noted. President Joko Widodo and National Police Chief General Tito Karnavian have repeatedly expressed frustration with drug trafficking and what they call lenient punishment for them. On June 21, Widodo reiterated an earlier order for law enforcement to shoot drug dealers without compunction.

Human Rights Watch Says Philippines Drug Testing of College Students Threatens Their Safety. The Philippines Commission on Higher Education has approved a plan for mandatory drug testing of college students, but Human Rights Watch warns that "mandatory drug testing of students puts them in the crosshairs of Duterte's abusive drug war, risking the creation of school-to-cemetery track for students testing positive for drugs." The rights group also scored the plan because it allows police to "carry out any drug-related operation within the school premises," allowing "police to extend their anti-drug operations to colleges and university campuses, putting students at grave risk." More than 8,000 people have been killed since President Duterte unleashed his brutal crackdown last year.

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CN NS: 'This Is Medicine, Not About Getting High'

Top Stories (MAP) - Mon, 08/14/2017 - 07:00
The News, 14 Aug 2017 - Medicinal marijuana dispensary in Stellarton offers variety of products This isn't your grandma's home remedy. Although maybe it is - maybe your grandma is totally on board with medical marijuana taking away the aches and pains that can come with old age.
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CN NS: City Looks Into Pot Planning

Top Stories (MAP) - Mon, 08/14/2017 - 07:00
Metro, 14 Aug 2017 - Staff suggest HRM consider how to handle legalization Halifax is starting to think about how legal marijuana will roll out in the municipality. In a staff report coming to regional council's meeting on Tuesday, staff recommend starting the process to consider amending land-use bylaws to determine the best places for marijuana-production facilities and dispensaries in the municipality ahead of next summer's promised legalization.
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CN BC: RCMP Constable Inspired Cheech And Chong Character

Top Stories (MAP) - Mon, 08/14/2017 - 07:00
Globe and Mail, 14 Aug 2017 - Abe Snidanko, the relentless narcotics officer who was feared by the scourge of Vancouver's hippies and lampooned by the stoner comedy duo of Cheech and Chong, has died. He was 79. Constable Snidanko's name became a byword for the conflict between the establishment, including mayor Tom Campbell, and a burgeoning counterculture scene in the West Coast city.
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CN MB: Pallister Still Hazy On Pot Plan, But Help Could Be On The Way

Top Stories (MAP) - Mon, 08/14/2017 - 07:00
Winnipeg Free Press, 14 Aug 2017 - IN his struggles to come up with a regime to control the sale of recreational marijuana, Premier Brian Pallister may have found a powerful ally. Shoppers Drug Mart. Despite a looming July 1, 2018 deadline to have a system in place, the province has been very reluctant to talk about how it would like to handle the production, distribution and sales of recreational pot. Last month, Justice Minister Heather Stefanson issued an expression of interest to find potential partners and solutions to handle all aspects of legalized marijuana.
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CN AB: Pot Legalization Survey Generates Huge Response

Top Stories (MAP) - Mon, 08/14/2017 - 07:00
Metro, 14 Aug 2017 - Albertans have a lot to say about legalizing cannabis outside medical purposes, judging by the number of people who shared their thoughts with the province in a recent survey. Just over 45,000 Albertans took the online questionnaire about how the province should approach legalization, according to the Justice and Solicitor General's office.
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CN ON: Crackdown On Opioids Fuels Heroin Increase

Top Stories (MAP) - Mon, 08/14/2017 - 07:00
London Free Press, 14 Aug 2017 - The deadly painkiller fentanyl, thrust under a spotlight by a rare warning by three health agenices and city police, isn't the only dangerous street drug raising eyebrows in London. Heroin is also showing up, in levels-those who work with addicts say they haven't seen before.
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US: Marijuana States Try To Curb Smuggling, Avert Us Crackdown

Top Stories (MAP) - Mon, 08/14/2017 - 07:00
Philadelphia Daily News, 14 Aug 2017 - In response, pot-legal states are trying to clamp down on "diversion" even as U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions presses for enforcement of federal laws against marijuana. Tracking legal weed from the fields and greenhouses where it's grown to the shops where it's sold under names like Blueberry Kush and Chernobyl is their so far main protective measure.
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Canada: 'Zero Tolerance' Approach Urged On Pot Use By Drivers

Top Stories (MAP) - Mon, 08/14/2017 - 07:00
Toronto Star, 14 Aug 2017 - Mental health group recommends strict rules on legalized weed sales When it becomes legal next July, recreational marijuana should be sold with more restrictions than that other weed - tobacco - says the Canadian Mental Health Association's Ontario branch.
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US TN: Opioid-Related Hospitalizations More Than Triple For Tennessee

Top Stories (MAP) - Sun, 08/13/2017 - 07:00
Knoxville News-Sentinel, 13 Aug 2017 - The rate of hospitalizations for Tennesseans 65 years and older due to painkillers has more than tripled in a decade. Older adults are being hospitalized for reasons that range from falls and auto accidents after taking pain pills to unintentional overdoses, interactions with other medications and weakened kidney or liver functions in aging bodies that fail to metabolize the drug in the same way as younger people.
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CN ON: Editorial: A Sensible Approach To Dealing With Drug Abuse

Top Stories (MAP) - Sun, 08/13/2017 - 07:00
Toronto Sun, 13 Aug 2017 - In the wake of a recent spike in drug deaths in Toronto, municipal politicians have suddenly gone into overdrive suggesting ways to combat this scourge. In the space of a week we went from Mayor John Tory leading a plan to speed up the completion of three previously approved supervised drug injection sites in Toronto, to Board of Health Chairman Joe Mihevc suggesting it's time to consider decriminalizing heroin and other drugs.
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CN MB: Hidden Danger

Top Stories (MAP) - Sat, 08/12/2017 - 07:00
Winnipeg Sun, 12 Aug 2017 - Family finds drug paraphernalia tucked away in hotel room A Winnipeg hotel is changing protocols for housekeeping staff after a family found a syringe and "rocks" of drugs inside their room last weekend.
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CN ON: Advocates Renew Call For City To Act On Overdoses

Top Stories (MAP) - Sat, 08/12/2017 - 07:00
Toronto Star, 12 Aug 2017 - People on the frontlines of the opioid overdose crisis say they know exactly what needs to be done to save lives and tackle the "public health emergency." Build safe affordable housing, expedite the opening of the safe injection sties, expand the distribution of overdose-reversing naloxone and drug-testing kits, and increase funding for harm-reduction staff positions.
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CN ON: Harm Reduction Workers Want Action On Toronto Opioid 'Crisis'

Top Stories (MAP) - Sat, 08/12/2017 - 07:00
The Record, 12 Aug 2017 - TORONTO - Harm reduction workers in Toronto are calling for the immediate opening of interim safe injection spaces and social housing with a focus on helping drug users as the city deals with a spike in opioid overdoses. The demands were among a list of measures issued by the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty and other advocacy groups on Friday, as they called for a declaration of a public health emergency over the issue and asked for the wide distribution of drug testing kits in the city.
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CN ON: Advocates Call For Interim Drug-Use Sites In Toronto

Top Stories (MAP) - Sat, 08/12/2017 - 07:00
Globe and Mail, 12 Aug 2017 - The city is also being urged to declare a public-health emergency amid a string of overdoses and suspected related deaths Harm-reduction workers in Toronto are calling for the immediate opening of interim supervised drug-use spaces and social housing with a focus on helping drug users as the city deals with a spike in opioid overdoses.
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CN MB: Criminals Paying For Mounties' Fentanyl Safety Gear

Top Stories (MAP) - Sat, 08/12/2017 - 07:00
Winnipeg Free Press, 12 Aug 2017 - MANITOBA RCMP officers are being equipped with special masks and goggles to protect them in the event they're exposed to fentanyl, a potentially deadly synthetic opiate. They will also switch to black latex gloves instead of the standard-issue blue ones to better detect the white powder.
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CN MB: Pot Legalization Dominates Roundtable

Top Stories (MAP) - Sat, 08/12/2017 - 07:00
Brandon Sun, 12 Aug 2017 - Initially slated to address the national opioid crisis, the majority of questions addressed during Friday's roundtable discussion centred on the legalization of recreational marijuana. Brandon-Souris Conservative MP Larry Maguire and Conservative Party of Canada health critic Rachael Harder headed the roundtable discussion at the Trails West Inn, whose question period quickly pushed aside the opioid crisis, which hasn't impacted Brandon as heavily as it has some other areas of the nation.
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Chronicle AM: CA Judge Rules for Growers, CT Judge Rules for Patient, More... (8/11/17)

Drug War Chronicle - Fri, 08/11/2017 - 19:55

Federal judges stuck up for California marijuana growers and a Connecticut medical marijuana patient, another Seattle suburb goes NIMBY on safe injection sites, and more.

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

California Federal Judge Blocks Prosecution of Marijuana Growers. A federal district court judge in San Francisco ruled on Tuesday that federal prosecutors cannot move forward with their prosecution of two Humboldt County pot growers because the pair was in compliance with state laws. Judge Richard Seeborg held that the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment blocked such prosecutions, and the case is closed unless or until that amendment expires.

Nevada Opens Up Marijuana Distribution Rights. The state Department of Taxation concluded Thursday that there weren't enough liquor distributors who wanted to transport marijuana to pot shops and decided to open the business up to other potential distributors. "The capacity of only liquor wholesalers to serve the market seems lacking," said Deonne Contine, executive director of the tax department, in remarks reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "I think the evidence is fairly clear today that this market needs to be opened up," she said.

Medical Marijuana

Connecticut Federal Judge Rules Employee Not Hired Because of Medical Marijuana Can Sue. A federal district court judge in New Haven ruled on Tuesday that a woman who was using medical marijuana in compliance with state law can sue an employer who rescinded her job offer after she tested positive for marijuana. The woman had previously disclosed her medical marijuana use and had quit her former job when, one day before she was supposed to begin her new job, the company notified her it was rescinding the offer. The ruling echoes one last month in Maine's Supreme Judicial Court, and may signal the beginning of judicial recognition of the employment rights of medical marijuana users.

Arkansas Hasn't Seen Any Grow or Dispensary Applications Yet. With the state halfway through its application period for medical marijuana grow and dispensary licenses, state officials said Friday that they had yet to receive any applications, but they weren't worried. "We are not concerned, as we understand the applications require detailed and specific information that will take time to complete," Department of Finance and Administration spokesman Scott Hardin told the Associated Press. "Applicants are likely performing their due diligence to provide quality applications." The deadline for applications is September 18.

Harm Reduction

Another Seattle Suburb Rejects Safe Injection Sites. The city council in south suburban Federal Way voted Tuesday night to ban safe injection sites in the city. The vote comes after a King County task force recommended opening two safe injection sites in the county, which includes Seattle. Another Seattle suburb, Bellevue, approved a similar NIMBY ban just days ago. One safe injection is set for Seattle; the other is supposed to open in one of the suburbs.

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CN YK: Survey Opens On Yukon's Pot Plans

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 08/11/2017 - 07:00
Yukon News, 11 Aug 2017 - Territory will likely have 'phased-in approach' to new weed laws The territorial government wants to know what the public is looking for in upcoming marijuana legislation. In an online survey, open until Sept. 30, the government is asking Yukoners to answer questions about where cannabis could be consumed in public, how it will be sold, the legal age for consumption, and whether any changes need to happen to the territory's occupational health and safety or driving laws.
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US OH: Marijuana Cultivation Warehouse Approved For North Toledo -

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 08/11/2017 - 07:00
The Blade, 11 Aug 2017 - The site of the proposed warehouse is vacant land at Jason Street and Cassandra Drive. A Cleveland-based company that has applied for a state license to grow medical marijuana won approval Thursday from the Toledo Plan Commission to build a 60,000-square-foot cultivation warehouse near Alexis Road and Suder Avenue.
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