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US MO: OPED: Missouri Must Monitor Prescription Drug Sales

Top Stories (MAP) - Mon, 10/13/2014 - 07:00
Columbia Daily Tribune, 13 Oct 2014 - Over the past two decades a silent epidemic has swept the nation, killing tens of thousands of people. The health care industry is quietly battling the problem of prescription drug abuse but has yet to make substantial progress. The release of long-acting opioid pain medications by drug companies has led to their use in the management of chronic pain. Though the management of chronic pain is not a direct misuse of the drug, the U.S. has seen a dramatic rise in opioid prescriptions: 402 percent between 1997 and 2007. As a third-year medical student, I see the significant problem this poses for physicians. Drugs prescribed with the best intent, for what physicians believe to be real health problems, become easily diverted, which is a nice way of saying the drugs are sold for recreational use. A 2010 study found that 6 of the top 10 substances abused by seniors in high school were pharmaceuticals. This abuse has become so severe that deaths from prescription drug overdose rose by 118 percent from 1999 to 2011. These numbers have helped drug overdose become the leading cause of injury-related death, beating out motor vehicle accidents.
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Italy: Italy's Army Ordered to Start Potting Marijuana

Top Stories (MAP) - Mon, 10/13/2014 - 07:00
Scotsman, 13 Oct 2014 - ITALY legalised marijuana for medical use last year, but the high cost of buying pot in a pharmacy meant that few people signed up. Now, the government has found a solution get the army to grow it.
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US OK: Editorial: Considerable Downside to Decriminalization

Top Stories (MAP) - Mon, 10/13/2014 - 07:00
The Oklahoman, 13 Oct 2014 - MARIJUANA legalization was highlighted in a recent debate between Oklahoma candidates for a U.S. Senate seat. This issue continues to bubble up in political discussions, so it's important that associated policy decisions be based on facts. Research continues to identify significant consequences to recreational marijuana use. The Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate, state Sen. Connie Johnson of Oklahoma City, supports decriminalizing marijuana use. She defended that stance in the debate. Her opponent, U.S. Rep. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma City, isn't a fan of that idea.
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US FL: A New DUI Law With Marijuana?

Top Stories (MAP) - Sun, 10/12/2014 - 07:00
Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 12 Oct 2014 - Two years from now, Florida police may have a new category of impairment to consider: driving under the influence of a physician-recommended intoxicant. Assuming Amendment 2 passes on Nov. 4 allowing the use of medical marijuana in the state, residents would be able to treat a raft of conditions - ranging from cancer to glaucoma - with the plant.
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US OR: Editorial: It's Time To Legalize Marijuana

Top Stories (MAP) - Sun, 10/12/2014 - 07:00
The Mail Tribune, 12 Oct 2014 - In 2012, we recommended voters reject a ballot measure that would have legalized recreational marijuana because it was badly written and likely to create more problems than it solved. This year, a group of legalization advocates have put forward a very detailed, carefully worded initiative that has none of the drawbacks of the 2012 measure. We think Ballot Measure 91 strikes the right balance between Colorado's overly permissive law and Washington state's excessively restrictive statute. Voters should approve it.
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US WA: Pipe Dreams

Top Stories (MAP) - Sun, 10/12/2014 - 07:00
The Herald, 12 Oct 2014 - Glass Bong Maker Doesn't Have to Disguise the Purpose of His Functional Art Anymore For Jared Betty, the glass pipe has gone from being half empty to half full. Recreational pot in Washington has been a boon for the glass artist specializing in pipes.
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Canada: Political Pandering or Reefer Madness?

Top Stories (MAP) - Sun, 10/12/2014 - 07:00
Ottawa Sun, 12 Oct 2014 - Raging Debate Over Marijuana Law Reform Tough for Lawmakers, Leaders to Ignore The battle lines have long been drawn. Factions from either side of the political fence waging full-scale propaganda campaigns and stockpiling ammunition for the unavoidable clash.
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US DC: Simple Vote On Legalizing Pot In DC Is Not So

Top Stories (MAP) - Sun, 10/12/2014 - 07:00
Washington Post, 12 Oct 2014 - SIMPLE VOTE ON LEGALIZING POT IN D.C. IS NOT SO SIMPLE Contradictions Leave Even Supporters Wondering What Initiative Might Accomplish The campaigns for and against legalizing marijuana in the nation's capital are not exactly sophisticated - no targeted robo-calling, no TV commercials, no get-out-the-vote drive.
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US MD: Medical Marijuana Fees Stir MD. Debate

Top Stories (MAP) - Sun, 10/12/2014 - 07:00
Baltimore Sun, 12 Oct 2014 - Advocates Say State Licensing Costs, Among Highest in U.S., Could Hurt Program, Patients With Maryland's proposed licensing fees for growing and selling medical marijuana among the highest in the nation, some advocates warn that the steep costs could drive off applicants, crippling the nascent program and limiting access to treatment for tens of thousands of state residents.
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US CA: Measure C: Should Shasta Lake Tax Medical Marijuana

Top Stories (MAP) - Sun, 10/12/2014 - 07:00
Record Searchlight, 12 Oct 2014 - SHASTA LAKE, California - Measure C would impose a sales tax on the two medical marijuana collectives in the city of Shasta Lake, 530 Collective and Queen of Dragons. The idea, originally proposed by Jamie Kerr, owner of 530 Collective, could bring the city an additional $175,000 to $200,000 in sales tax revenue a year, according to initial estimates by John Jones, the city's finance and general services manager. That translates to around a 60 percent increase in the city's annual sales tax revenue.
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CN NK: RCMP Suicide Stirs Treatment Debate

Top Stories (MAP) - Sat, 10/11/2014 - 07:00
Globe and Mail, 11 Oct 2014 - Death of Mountie who smoked medicinal marijuana for PTSD highlights lack of strategy for dealing with trauma in first responders Ron Francis's family and friends filled a big white wooden church near the Saint John River on a sunny Friday - more than 250 people jammed into the pews and along the back and side walls for the RCMP corporal's funeral.
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US NY: OPED: Nation Has Reached the Tipping Point on Marijuana

Top Stories (MAP) - Sat, 10/11/2014 - 07:00
Buffalo News, 11 Oct 2014 - In a recent Viewpoints article, Kevin Sabet made some valid points about risks associated with legalizing marijuana. But his fears can be addressed. Properly tailored legalization legislation can prevent a Big Tobacco takeover of marijuana production and sales. And we can and should strictly limit advertising and implement effective measures to prevent the targeting of youth. The marijuana issue has reached a tipping point. Despite intransigence on the federal level, Colorado and Washington have legalized cannabis for recreational use by adults, and 23 states have shown compassion by enacting medical marijuana laws.
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US FL: S. Fla. Doctors Say Marijuana Hasn't Had Proper Study

Top Stories (MAP) - Sat, 10/11/2014 - 07:00
The Palm Beach Post, 11 Oct 2014 - Physicians Warn Push for Medical Pot Touts Safety Without Proof. WEST PALM BEACH - Physicians fret that voters view marijuana as a harmless substance that might even be a cure-all. The reality, several South Florida doctors said Friday, is that marijuana is little studied and barely understood.
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US CT: Connecticut Medical Marijuana Activists Want Whole Flower

Top Stories (MAP) - Sat, 10/11/2014 - 07:00
New Haven Register, 11 Oct 2014 - Marijuana activists in Connecticut are asking the Department of Consumer Protection to offer whole cannabis buds in the state's medical marijuana program, rather than ground-up plants. Peter Mould of North Haven is executive director of Connecticut NORML, which advocates for reform of marijuana laws. He and others claim that homogenizing the plant, which the state requires, results in the degradation of the cannabinoids, the actual essential oils that are in the flower, Mould said.
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US AZ: Arizona's Top Health Officer Want to Limit Marijuana Prescriptions

Top Stories (MAP) - Sat, 10/11/2014 - 07:00
Verde Independent, 11 Oct 2014 - PHOENIX -- Arizona's chief health officer is proposing to make it more difficult to add new conditions to the list for which doctors can recommend the drug. The change would require "clear and convincing evidence' published in peer-reviewed scientific journals, that there is some benefit from the use of marijuana to humans for the specified medical condition. State Health Director Will Humble said that probably means multiple articles.
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US: Series: Asset Seizures Fuel Police Spending

Top Stories (MAP) - Sat, 10/11/2014 - 07:00
Washington Post, 11 Oct 2014 - Police agencies have used hundreds of millions of dollars taken from Americans under federal civil forfeiture law in recent years to buy guns, armored cars and electronic surveillance gear. They have also spent money on luxury vehicles, travel and a clown named Sparkles. The details are contained in thousands of annual reports submitted by local and state agencies to the Justice Department's Equitable Sharing Program, an initiative that allows local and state police to keep up to 80 percent of the assets they seize. The Washington Post obtained 43,000 of the reports dating from 2008 through a Freedom of Information Act request.
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Chronicle AM: VT Pot Poll, OH College Student Athlete Drug Test Bill, Drugs and Pregnancy, More (10/10/14)

Drug War Chronicle - Fri, 10/10/2014 - 20:21

The legalization initiatives in DC and Oregon pick up endorsements, Colorado legal marijuana sales keep on increasing, a Vermont poll has a plurality for legalization, drug use among pregnant women is in the news, Mexico busts another cartel leader, and more. Let's get to it:

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

Gary Johnson Group Endorses DC Legalization Initiative. The Our America Initiative, a non-partisan group headed by former Republican New Mexico and Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson, has endorsed the Measure 71 marijuana possession and cultivation legalization initiative. The Our America Initiative includes ending marijuana prohibition in its list of national projects, along with ending warrantless NSA spying, abolishing the IRS, and requiring presidential debates to include all viable candidates.

Oregon Social Workers Endorse Legalization Initiative. The Oregon chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) has endorsed the Measure 91 legalization initiative. "We conclude that the measure's approach to marijuana use as a public health issue is more consistent with the social work profession's mandate, than Oregon's current treatment of non-medical marijuana use," the group said in a statement. Click on the title link for more.

Vermont Poll Finds Narrow Plurality of Voters Favoring Legalization. A WCAX TV poll found that 49% of respondents support marijuana legalization, with 43% opposed. The issue has polled better in previous polls, but those were polls of the general population -- not voters. Support is strongest among youthful respondents at 59%, but that is the age group least likely to vote.

Colorado Legal Marijuana Sales Up 10% in August. The state Department of Revenue reported Thursday that marijuana retailers sold $33 million in recreational weed last month, up 10% over the previous month. So far this year, marijuana sales (recreational and medical) have generated $45.2 in tax revenues.

Drug Testing

Ohio Bill Would Make College Athletes Take Mandatory Drug Tests. A bill filed Wednesday, House Bill 633, would make Ohio the first state in the nation to require mandatory, suspicionless drug testing of student athletes at public colleges and universities. The bill would require all athletes to be drug tested during an annual physical and before any championship games. Colleges and universities would also have to adopt policies to punish athletes caught using substances banned by the NCAA, including marijuana, but not alcohol. Rep. Peter Beck (R-Macon) said he doesn't believe there is a drug problem among college athletes, but he wants any using drugs to be found and placed in drug treatment. The state legislative session ends in December.

Pregnancy

Call for Justice Department to Renounce the Criminalization of Pregnancy. Some 48 reproductive justice, drug reform, women's rights, and civil liberties groups led by National Advocates for Pregnant Women have sent a letter to the Justice Department calling on Attorney General Holder to move away from policies that enhance criminal sentences for crimes committed while pregnant. The letter was inspired by the case of Tennessee woman Lucy Weld, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to manufacture meth and was hit with an additional six years in prison because she was pregnant when she committed the offense. The federal prosecutor in the case, US Attorney William Killian, used the case to "send a message" that he would seek sentencing enhancements in similar cases.

Growing Calls for Drug Testing of Pregnant Women. Faced with a growing number of infants born exposed to drugs while still in the womb, medical and other groups are increasingly calling for universal drug screening and/or drug testing of pregnant women. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials are calling for verbal drug screening followed by a drug test if necessary and agreed upon. The American Medical Association also endorses universal screening. But pregnant rights advocates argue that screening for drug use is more likely to lead to punishment or loss of custody rather than drug treatment. "Instead, what we see over and over again is that screening is used as a tool for reporting mothers to child welfare services and police enforcement," said Kylee Sunderlin of National Advocates for Pregnant Women. "So even if the screening is universal, the reporting is not, which means that low-income women and women of color will continue to be vastly over-represented in punitive child welfare interventions and, in some states, arrests." Click the link for more details.

International

Mexico Nabs Another Cartel Capo. Mexican federal police Thursday arrested Vicente Carrillo Fuentes, reputed head of the Juarez cartel, in a "routine traffic stop" in Torreon. Carillo Fuentes is the brother of Amado Carillo Fuentes, who picked up the sobriquet "Lord of the Skies" for using jet liners to fly drug loads from South America to Mexico before his death in a botched cosmetic surgery operation in 1997. Vicente Carillo Fuentes is just the latest cartel leader busted or killed during the Pena Nieto presidency. Hector Beltran Leyva was captured just last week; Sinaloa cartel head Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman was captured in February, Zetas leader Miguel Angel Trevino was captured in July 2013, and Gulf cartel head Jorge Eduardo Costilla was caught in September 2012.

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US FL: Scott, Chist Draw Differences on Medical Marijuana and

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 10/10/2014 - 07:00
Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 10 Oct 2014 - Gov. Rick Scott and Charlie Crist leveled a host of negative charges against each other on Friday. But for the first time in the campaign, Crist and Scott traded their blows face-to-face, in the first of three debates in the final weeks of their high-stakes, big money contest. Before the debate, which was hosted by the Spanish-language Telemundo network and broadcast Friday evening, the candidates had spent some $55 million on more than 100,000 television spots savaging one another, with three out of four ads containing a negative message.
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US PA: Delay on Marijuana Bill Will Hurt Children

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 10/10/2014 - 07:00
The Citizens' Voice, 10 Oct 2014 - It looks like the medical marijuana bill currently sitting in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives is probably off the table this year. How sad for the many young children suffering from severe seizures and other medical problems that SB 1182 is designed to help.
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US MA: Review: 'Messenger' Delivers Political Expose

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 10/10/2014 - 07:00
Boston Herald, 10 Oct 2014 - Like that on-the-nose title, "Kill the Messenger," based on a book of the same name, may be too obvious for its own good. The story of reallife San Jose Mercury News journalist Gary Webb, who uncovered a plot by the CIA to fund Contra guerrillas in Nicaragua with drug money, features a powerful turn by actor/producer Jeremy Renner. Is it possible that when Reagan-era America declares a "War on Drugs," the CIA would engineer such a heinous plot, fueling a crack cocaine epidemic and decimating inner cities? It apparently is. Instead of being feted for his investigative reporting skills, Webb, a solid family man with three happy kids and a loving wife (Rosemarie DeWitt), who has forgiven him for a past infidelity, draws the ire not only of the government, but also such "venerable" institutions as The New York Times and The Washington Post because he had the nerve to scoop them.
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