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US: Marijuana May Curb Overdoses

Top Stories (MAP) - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 07:00
Los Angeles Times, 26 Aug 2014 - Prescription Drug Deaths Drop in States That Allow Medical Cannabis, Study Finds. Could medical marijuana be an antidote for the nation's scourge of fatal overdoses caused by prescription pain medication? A new study suggests the answer is yes, and it's set off a flurry of medical debate over the risks and benefits of making cannabis more widely available to patients.
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US CA: Obit: Entrepreneur Founded University Of Phoenix

Top Stories (MAP) - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 07:00
Los Angeles Times, 26 Aug 2014 - JOHN SPERLING, 1921-2014 John G. Sperling, a poor boy from the Missouri Ozarks who survived a cruel childhood to become a college professor and a billionaire with an idea for a university that launched a revolution in higher education, has died. He was 93.
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US: Medical Marijuana Could Help Counter Painkiller Deaths

Top Stories (MAP) - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 07:00
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 26 Aug 2014 - A new study suggests medical marijuana could be an antidote for the nation's scourge of painkiller overdose deaths and it has set off a flurry of medical debate over the risks and benefits of making cannabis more widely available to patients. The new research, published Monday in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, finds that deaths associated with the use of opiate drugs fell in 13 states after they legalized medical marijuana. Compared to states with no formal access to marijuana, those that allowed certain patients legal access to cannabis saw a steady drop in opiate-related overdoses that reached 33 percent, on average, six years after the states' medical marijuana laws took effect.
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Chronicle AM: Oregon Marijuana Legalization Endorsement, PA Mandatory Minimums, Heroin Maintenance, More (8/25/14)

Drug War Chronicle - Mon, 08/25/2014 - 19:45

The Oregonian says legalize it, so do Vermont GOP gubernatorial candidates, LEAP founder says legalize heroin, a Pennsylvania court throws out mandatory minimums, Vancouver's SALOME participants will get their heroin, and more. Let's get to it:

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

Oregon's Largest Newspaper Endorses Measure 91. In a Sunday editorial, the Oregonian has endorsed marijuana legalization in general and New Approach Oregon's initiative, Measure 91, in particular. Click on the title link to read the newspaper's reasoning.

Vermont GOP Governor Candidates Agree Marijuana Should Be Legal. In interviews with Vermont Public Radio, all three Republican gubernatorial candidates said they agreed that marijuana should be legalized. Steve Berry of Wolcott, Scott Milne of Pomfret and Emily Peyton of Putney are competing in tomorrow's primary. Peyton and Berry came out strongly for legalization, while Milne said he would sign a bill if it got to his desk. Milne is the leading contender.

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Upholds Eviction of Public Housing Tenant for Marijuana Criminal Activity. With marijuana decriminalized in the state, can a public housing tenant still be evicted for possession of less than an ounce? That question remains undecided after the state's high court sidestepped it in Figgs v. Boston Housing Authority. A lower court had held that the tenant could not be evicted for simple possession, but the high court reversed, saying the facts in the case showed not just possession, but also that the tenant's roommate sold marijuana and possessed a weapon. Figgs is going to have to find a new place to live now.

Medical Marijuana

Arizona Advocates File Lawsuit over PTSD Treatment Restrictions. The Arizona Cannabis Nurses Association filed a lawsuit last Friday challenging limits imposed on patients with PTSD who seek to use medical marijuana. Health Director Will Humble has ruled that PTSD patients can only use medical marijuana if they are already getting some other form of treatment for PTSD. The lawsuit is in Maricopa County District Court.

Kansas Democratic Party Endorses Medical Marijuana. Kansas Democrats now formally support medical marijuana, they announced during their statewide Demofest convention Saturday night. "Kansas Democrats support the availability of marijuana for medical use and protection of patients from criminal arrest and prosecution." the plank says. The platform link wasn't working as of Tuesday night, but you can try it here.

Sentencing

Pennsylvania Superior Court Rules Mandatory Minimums Unconstitutional. In a decision last week, the court has thrown out the use of mandatory minimum sentences as violating the constitution. The ruling came in Pennsylvania v. Newman, where James Newman had received a mandatory minimum 5-year sentence for possession of drugs and a gun. Relying on a line of federal court decisions beginning with Apprendi v. New Jersey, the Superior Court held that, in sentences based on the elements of the crime, jurors -- not judges -- must find that those elements existed.

California Fair Sentencing Act Heads for Governor's Desk. After a final Senate concurrence vote last Thursday, the Fair Sentencing Act is now headed for the desk of Gov. Jerry Brown (D). The act, Senate Bill 1010, would eliminate the sentencing disparities between crack and powder cocaine offenses by reducing the penalty for crack offenses.

Heroin

Boston Globe Op-Ed Calls for End to Heroin Prohibition. A Sunday op-ed in the Globe published by former New Jersey narcotics officer and Law Enforcement Against Prohibition founder Jack Cole forthrightly calls for ending heroin prohibition. Police efforts to repress heroin "did more harm than good, and the harder my colleagues and I tried, the more damage we did," he writes. "As a police officer, I understand the instinct to mete out punishment, send a message, put somebody away for abusing drugs. Nonetheless, my experience has shown me that it is futile, counterproductive, and dangerous to try to arrest our way out of this very real problem." There's much more; click on the title link to read the whole thing.

International

Number of Disappeared in Mexico Keeps Rising. The number of people who have vanished since former President Felipe Calderon initiated his drug war in 2006 has increased to some 23,000, according to the Interior Ministry. More than 12,000 disappeared during the Calderon sexenio, and nearly 10,000 more have vanished during the first two years of the Enrique Pena Nieto presidency. Human rights groups say these official numbers are low.

Two-Thirds of Canadians Support Marijuana Law Reform. A new Forum Research poll finds that 66% of Canadians favor either legalizing and taxing marijuana or taking pot possession out of the criminal code (decriminalizing it). Some 35% said legalize it, while another 31% said decriminalize it. Only 16% said they were happy with the marijuana law status quo.

Canada's SALOME Study Will Get Prescription Heroin By Christmas. Vancouver heroin addicts participating in the Study to Assess Longer-term Opioid Medication Effectiveness (SALOME) will have legally prescribed heroin by Christmas, their attorney said last week. They won the right to use heroin as a maintenance drug after the BC Supreme Court in May granted them an injunction exempting them from a federal government ban on such uses. The pharmaceutical grade heroin is coming from a European manufacturer.

Australian National Council on Drugs Softens on Medical Marijuana. The Australian National Council on Drugs today released Medicinal Use of Cannabis: Background and Information Paper, which concedes that pharmaceutical marijuana products are effective for treating some forms of pain, reducing nausea, and helping people with wasting syndrome. The backgrounder comes as clamor grows, especially in Victoria, for legalizing medical marijuana.

(This article was published by StoptheDrugWar.org's lobbying arm, the Drug Reform Coordination Network, which also shares 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.)

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Did You Know D.A.R.E. Lacked Scientific Evaluation Until 2009?, from ProCon.org

Drug War Chronicle - Mon, 08/25/2014 - 17:02

Did you know the D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program was excluded from the Dept. of Education's "National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices" until 2009, because it didn't have a "scientifically tested," "evidence-based" curriculum? Read the details on dare.procon.org, part of the ProCon.org family.

Follow Drug War Chronicle for more important facts from ProCon.org over the next several weeks, or sign up for ProCon.org's email list or RSS feed.

Read last week's ProCon.org "Did You Know" Chronicle blurb here.

ProCon.org is a web site promoting critical thinking, education, and informed citizenship by presenting controversial issues in a straightforward, nonpartisan primarily pro-con format.

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US PA: OPED: High And 'Near-Broken Societies'

Top Stories (MAP) - Mon, 08/25/2014 - 07:00
Tribune Review, 25 Aug 2014 - Four-star Marine Corps Gen. John Francis Kelly is commander of the U.S. Southern Command, which is responsible for security planning and military operations in Central and South America and the Panama Canal. Regarding the growing number of unaccompanied minors piling up at the southern U.S. border, escaping the escalating violence in their hometowns in Central America, Kelly in an essay last month in the Military Times said he spent more than a year "observing the transnational organized crime networks" in Central America.
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US MD: National Geographic Shows Baltimore As 'Heroin Capital

Top Stories (MAP) - Mon, 08/25/2014 - 07:00
Baltimore Sun, 25 Aug 2014 - If you thought 'The Wire' made Baltimore look bleak... Drug sales in broad daylight at Lexington Market. An addict telling viewers Baltimore "is where you want to be for heroin," and then letting the camera watch her cook and shoot up in her car on a street that appears to be in Hampden after she scores.
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US NJ: Cannabis College Convenes In A.C.

Top Stories (MAP) - Mon, 08/25/2014 - 07:00
Philadelphia Daily News, 25 Aug 2014 - Medical Use Gathers Momentum ATLANTIC CITY - It was always just weed, grass or pot. No one ever called it marijuana when he was growing up in South Philly, and as far as Jeffrey Matteo knew, all it ever did was get you high, hungry and tired.
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US FL: Column: Will Medical-Pot Centers End Up in Low-Income

Top Stories (MAP) - Mon, 08/25/2014 - 07:00
Sun-Sentinel, 25 Aug 2014 - TALLAHASSEE - Here's one aspect of Florida's medical-marijuana debate getting little airplay: Would the dispensaries be crowded into poor and minority neighborhoods? If voters statewide pass Amendment 2 this fall, the dispensaries have to open somewhere. Critics of legalizing marijuana such as Attorney General Pam Bondi and others have warned it could lead to pill-mill-like explosions of dispensaries "on every street corner." But there is some evidence that they may be concentrated in poorer, urban and disproportionately minority areas, not suburban strip malls.
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US: Pot's Bust Or Boon Depends On State

Top Stories (MAP) - Mon, 08/25/2014 - 07:00
Orlando Sentinel, 25 Aug 2014 - CHICAGO - America is two nations when it comes to marijuana: In one it's legal, in the other it's not. The result is that people like B.J. Patel are going to jail. The 34-year-old Arizona man may face a decade in prison and deportation following an arrest in 2012.
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Australia: Cannabis Plan Has Support, Says MLC

Top Stories (MAP) - Mon, 08/25/2014 - 07:00
The Mercury, 25 Aug 2014 - A PARLIAMENTARY inquiry into medical cannabis has been flooded with support from Tasmanians. About 100 submissions have been sent to an Upper House inquiry set to begin hearings within weeks. Independent MLC Ruth Forrest said people seemed to be in favour of the economic benefits of a new industry, as well as the potential health benefits of cannabis for medical purposes.
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Australia: Labor Will Pursue Cannabis Reform

Top Stories (MAP) - Mon, 08/25/2014 - 07:00
The Age, 25 Aug 2014 - Medical cannabis will be legalised in Victoria if Labor seizes power at November's state election. Under the proposal, Victorians with terminal illnesses or life threatening conditions such as cancer, Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis would be able to access medicinal marijuana without breaking the law.
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CN ON: Column: Law Goes To Pot?

Top Stories (MAP) - Sun, 08/24/2014 - 07:00
Toronto Sun, 24 Aug 2014 - B.C. Store Owner Argues Police Can't Enter His Premises Because He Posted a Sign and Wrote Them a Letter Timothy Lee Felger owned and operated a retail outlet, DaKine Store, in Abbotsford, British Columbia.
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US IN: Column: Anti-Drug Meatloaf Will Make Us All More Sober

Top Stories (MAP) - Sun, 08/24/2014 - 07:00
Post-Tribune, 24 Aug 2014 - Once upon a time, I stood in a batter's box and faced a baseball pitcher who threw so hard I could not even see the ball. I just heard it go by. The 1960s were like that, too. I apparently missed the 1960s though I was standing in the batter's box.
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US CO: Feds Could Bar Interstate Hemp Oil Sales

Top Stories (MAP) - Sun, 08/24/2014 - 07:00
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 24 Aug 2014 - WRAY, COLO. - Behind a tall curtain of corn that hides their real cash crop from prying eyes, the Stanley family is undertaking an audacious effort to expand their medical marijuana business to a national market. For years the five Stanley brothers, who sell a nonintoxicating strain of cannabis that has gained national attention as a treatment for epilepsy, have grown medical marijuana in greenhouses, under tight state and federal regulations. But this year they are not only growing marijuana outdoors by the acre, they also plan to ship an oil extracted from their plants to other states.
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US CO: Colorado's Budding Marijuana Tourism

Top Stories (MAP) - Sun, 08/24/2014 - 07:00
Baltimore Sun, 24 Aug 2014 - Legalization Has Led to an Influx of Visitors Looking to Partake of a Little Weed Crested Butte, Colorado's wildflower capital, nestles in the Elk Mountain Range of west-central Colorado, where lupine, aster, mule's ear and a host of other dazzlers dot the fields. But currently the hottest tourist attraction is weed.
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US MA: OPED: End the Prohibition of Heroin

Top Stories (MAP) - Sun, 08/24/2014 - 07:00
Boston Globe, 24 Aug 2014 - A Cop's Experience Tells Him the Drug War Is Doing More Harm Than Good FOR 14 of the 26 years I served with the New Jersey State Police, I worked undercover narcotics. On the job, I saw first-hand the addictive power of opiates. Yet I also came to understand that the destruction of whole communities did not primarily result from the use or misuse of those drugs. No, the damage came from people - cops - - doing what I did: dragging buyers and sellers away from their families and slamming them into the criminal justice system, depriving both them and their neighborhoods of all hope. I witnessed people we disparagingly called "junkies" dying with needles in their arms not because heroin is a poison but because the heroin was poisoned. I did more harm than good, and the harder my colleagues and I tried, the more damage we did.
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US: Pot Law Mayhem Divides U.S. As Travelers Get Busted

Top Stories (MAP) - Sat, 08/23/2014 - 07:00
Register Citizen, 23 Aug 2014 - CHICAGO - America is two nations when it comes to marijuana: in one it's legal, in the other it's not. The result is that people like B. J. Patel are going to jail. The 34-year-old Arizona man may face a decade in prison and deportation following an arrest in 2012. On a trip in a rented U-Haul to move his uncle from California to Ohio, he brought along some marijuana, which is legal for medicinal use in his home state.
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Chronicle AM: AR Initiative Rejected, SWAT Lobby Gears Up, Israel Bans New Synthetics, More (8/22/14)

Drug War Chronicle - Fri, 08/22/2014 - 20:52

It's back to the drawing board for an Arkansas legalization initiative, we have a pair of Minnesota court cases, the Michael Brown killing starts bleeding into drug-policy related areas, Israel bans new synthetics, and more. Let's get to it:

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

Arkansas Attorney General Rejects Wording for Legalization Initiative. Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has rejected the proposed wording for a prospective 2016 legalization initiative, the Cultivate Hemp and Regulate Marijuana Amendment. The name and ballot title are ambiguous and have "misleading tendencies," McDaniel wrote. Read the opinion here.

Fewer Than One in Five New Yorkers Oppose Marijuana Reform. According to a new Quinnipiac Poll, only 19% of New Yorkers oppose legalizing marijuana for personal or medical use, while 44% say it should be available for medical purposes and another 35% say it should be legal for personal use.

Asset Forfeiture

Minnesota Supreme Court Rules Evidence from Illegal Search Can't Be Used in Asset Forfeiture Proceedings. The state high court ruled Wednesday that evidence derived from a traffic stop that was determined to be unlawful cannot be used to seize someone's property. The court held that Fourth Amendment proscriptions against unlawful search and seizure apply to civil cases as well. The case is Daniel Garcia-Mendoza v. 2003 Chevy Tahoe.

Drug Testing

Minnesota Drug Testing Law's Worker Protections Don't Extend Outside State, Federal Court Rules. The state's Drug and Alcohol Testing in the Workplace ACT (DATWA) doesn't apply to state residents working or applying to work outside the state, a federal court has ruled. DATWA provides employees with the right to challenge positive drug test results and to try to seek treatment before being fired, but in Olson v. Push, Inc, the court ruled that those protections did not apply to drug tests taken for employment outside Minnesota.

Law Enforcement

SWAT Lobby Gears Up to Keep Access to Surplus Military Equipment. In the wake of unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, after the police killing of Michael Brown, the practice of equipping local law enforcement with surplus military equipment has come under significant criticism. Now the "SWAT lobby," in the form of the National Tactical Officers Association, is moving to ensure that access to military hardware remains unimpeded. It sent a mass email to all congressional offices lamenting the situation in Ferguson, but the bottom line was that police need that surplus military equipment.

Race

The Return of the Drug Crazed Negro. Reason magazine's Jacob Sullum has penned a piece noting the revival of a century-old racist trope -- that of the drug-crazed black man -- in the wake of the police shooting of 18-year-old black man Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Sullum notes that conservative commentators have been quick to speculate that he was hopped up on PCP or some other drug that made him crazy enough to attack a cop. Autopsy results say he had smoked marijuana.

International

Young Europeans Split on Marijuana Legalization. The European Union's polling arm Eurobarometer has found Europeans 15 to 24 divided on legalization. According to its poll of 13,000 respondents, 45% favored marijuana legalization, with 53% opposed. European youth was much more unified when it came to other drugs -- more than 90% said drugs like cocaine, ecstasy, and heroin should be illegal.

Israel Bans 10 New Synthetic Drugs. Health officials in Israel have banned 10 new synthetic drugs, or "kiosk drugs," as they are known there. They include synthetic cannabinoids, stimulants, and hallucinogens.

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CN BC: Group Of Vancouver Addicts Will Receive Heroin By

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 08/22/2014 - 07:00
Toronto Star, 22 Aug 2014 - Health Ministry 'Disappointed' With B.C. Supreme Court Decision on Prescribing Drug A group of Vancouver drug addicts is slated to become Canada's first recipients of legally prescribed heroin by Christmas.
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