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US WA: Editorial: It's Time to Face the Region's Opioid

Top Stories (MAP) - Tue, 03/08/2016 - 08:00
Seattle Times, 08 Mar 2016 - As a new task force convenes to address the region's heroin epidemic, King County residents should prepare to support numerous options for treating a growing number of addicts. THE horrendous effects of heroin addiction can be felt everywhere, from homeless encampments under bridges and on the streets of glittering downtown Seattle to rural communities throughout the state.
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US MA: State Lawmakers Draw Battle Lines Over Marijuana

Top Stories (MAP) - Tue, 03/08/2016 - 08:00
Boston Globe, 08 Mar 2016 - A scathing Senate report to be released Tuesday says that if residents legalize recreational marijuana in Massachusetts this fall, the state should promptly temper their vote by outlawing home cultivation, imposing a significant tax on the drug, and prohibiting some marijuana-infused edible products. The report by a special Senate committee does not take an official stance on the proposed ballot question but warns of legalization's dangers. The authors note that it could make it easier for children to access the drug and create difficulties for law enforcement officers in determining and proving someone is too high to drive.
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US OH: Marijuana Push Continues In Ohio

Top Stories (MAP) - Tue, 03/08/2016 - 08:00
Dayton Daily News, 08 Mar 2016 - Issues Proposed for Ballot; Legislative Study Underway. The push to legalize marijuana isn't going away in Ohio. Two medical-marijuana issues are proposed for the fall ballot, and the legislature is looking into legislation regarding potential medical uses for pot.
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US FL: End-Of-Life Marijuana Bill Heads to Scott, Who Is 'Iffy'

Top Stories (MAP) - Tue, 03/08/2016 - 08:00
The Palm Beach Post, 08 Mar 2016 - TALLAHASSEE - A measure allowing terminally ill patients to use fullstrength marijuana in the last year of their lives is now before Gov. Rick Scott. Following emotional testimony Monday, the state Senate approved the legislation (CS/HB 307) on a 28-11 vote. It cleared the House 99-16 last week.
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US FL: Gov. Scott Gets Medical-Pot Bill

Top Stories (MAP) - Tue, 03/08/2016 - 08:00
Orlando Sentinel, 08 Mar 2016 - TALLAHASSEE (AP) - Florida's latest medical-marijuana legislation is headed to Gov. Rick Scott. The Senate on Monday approved a House version of a bill (HB 307) that expands the use of the Right to Try Act, allowing the use of medical marijuana of all strengths for patients with terminal conditions. The bill, which passed 28-11, also adds regulations to the framework of the state's nascent cannabis industry covered by the 2014 Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act. Most of the debate on the Senate floor dealt with concerns about the regulatory and economic structures. - --- MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom
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US MD: OPED: Supervised Injection Saves Lives

Top Stories (MAP) - Tue, 03/08/2016 - 08:00
Baltimore Sun, 08 Mar 2016 - Maryland has made many important strides in the fight against opioid addiction, but with 887 people dead in 2014 because of overdose or poisoning and a shocking increase in crime and violence related to drug addiction last year, we need more than a just steps in the right direction. We need to take a leap. That's why supervised injection facilities (SIFs), like those proposed in a bill sponsored by Del. Dan Morhaim, must be considered. SIFs are places where adult, long-time injection drug users are supervised by clinically trained staff while they consume.
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US DC: When The Innocent Are Treated Like Criminals

Top Stories (MAP) - Tue, 03/08/2016 - 08:00
Register Citizen, 08 Mar 2016 - WASHINGTON - Sallie Taylor was sitting in her apartment in Northeast Washington one evening in January 2015 watching "Bible Talk" when her clock fell off the wall and broke. She turned and looked up. Nine District of Columbia police officers smashed through her door, pointed a shotgun at her face and ordered her to the floor. "They came in like Rambo," said Taylor, a soft-spoken 63-year-old grandmother who was dressed in a white nightgown and said she has never had even a speeding ticket.
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Israel: Cannabis Start-Ups Pave the Way for the Rise of a

Top Stories (MAP) - Tue, 03/08/2016 - 08:00
Jerusalem Post, 08 Mar 2016 - In Israel, Where Pot Innovation Runs Deep, Companies Seek First-Mover Advantage The way Prof. Raphael Mechoulam remembers it, the toughest part about experimenting with cannabis was taking it on the bus.
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Chronicle AM: Iran to Hang 100 Drug Prisoners, Boston Safe Space for Heroin Users Coming, More... (3/7/16)

Drug War Chronicle - Mon, 03/07/2016 - 21:45

Iran is reportedly about to execute a hundred drug offenders, Florida's Volusia County becomes the latest locale to decriminalize pot in the Sunshine State, Oregon's governor signs pot bills into law, New Mexico's governor signs a naloxone (Narcan) bill into law, and more. 

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

Legislator's Speech Kills West Virginia Bill to Increase Marijuana Sentences. Delegate Bill Flanigan (R-Morgantown) took to the House floor last week to explain how medical marijuana helped him deal with cancer, and immediately after his speech, the House voted 59-40 to kill House Bill 4576. The bill would have increased penalties for bringing drugs, including marijuana, into the state. The bill would have increased the mandatory minimum sentence for importing marijuana from one to five years and increased the maximum sentence from five to 15 years.

Florida's Volusia County the Latest to Decriminalize. Following the path of counties and municipalities in South Florida and the Tampa Bay area, Volusia County has become the first in Central Florida to decriminalize small-time pot possession. The county council voted unanimously to grant police discretion to ticket people arrested with 20 grams or less instead of arresting them. The ordinance will take effect April 1 and cover unincorporated Volusia, including the beaches, which are under county control.

Oregon Governor Signs Marijuana Bills. Gov. Kate Brown (D) has signed into law two bills that adjust the state's legal marijuana program, Senate Bill 1598 and House Bill 4014. The former makes it easier for some medical marijuana growers to enter the legal marijuana market by removing some bureaucratic requirements, while the latter removes a two-year residency requirement for industry participants.

Medical Marijuana

South Dakota Medical Marijuana Initiative Gets Second Chance. State officials will recheck the validity of signatures on the New Approach South Dakota medical marijuana initiative after proponents officially challenged an earlier count that found they came up short on signatures.  Last month, state officials disqualified the initiative after a 5% random sample found that nearly half of them were invalid. Secretary of State Shantel Krebs said last Friday that her office will conduct a new 5% random sampling "in order to maintain confidence in the petition process." It's still a long shot—the group gathered 16,543 raw signatures and needs 13,871 to qualify for the ballot. That means if even 20% of the raw signatures get thrown out—not an at all unusual event—the initiative effort will fail.

Asset Forfeiture

Florida Senate Unanimously Passes Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Bills. The Senate last Friday approved Senate Bill 1044, which does not end civil asset forfeiture, but tightens procedural and evidentiary requirements for law enforcement. Companion legislation, House Bill 889, has passed all committees and now awaits a House floor vote. The two bills are identical and will head for the desk of Gov. Rick Scott (R) if the House bill passes.

Harm Reduction

New Mexico Governor Signs Opioid Overdose Prevention Bill. Gov. Susanna Martinez (R) last Friday signed into law House Bill 277, sponsored by Rep. Terry McMillan (R-Las Cruces). The new law allows for the possession, distribution, and storage of the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone (Narcan®) and removes fears of civil liability for people using it to save lives. It has an emergency clause, which means it goes into effect immediately.

Boston to Set Up Safe Space for Heroin Users. It sounds pretty much like a supervised injection facility without the injecting. The Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program plans to open this month a room with a nurse, some soft chairs, and basic life-saving equipment for heroin users to sit and chill under medical supervision after injecting elsewhere. "It’s not a place where people would be injecting," the group's medical director, Jessie Gaeta said. "But it’s a place where people would come if they’re high and they need a safe place to be that’s not a street corner, and not a bathroom by themselves, where they’re at high risk of dying if they do overdose."

International

Iran Set to Execute Another 100 Prisoners for Drug Crimes. The Norway-based Iran Human Rights Groups said last Friday that sources in and out of Ghezel Hessar prison have confirmed that around a hundred prisoners' death sentences had been reviewed and approved by the country's Islamic Revolutionary Court, and that the inmates have been told they should prepare for death. The group estimates that Iran has hung more than 1,800 people for drug offenses in the past five years.

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Ethan Nadelmann: We Hit A Drug Policy Tipping Point

DrugSense Blog - Tue, 10/29/2013 - 16:25
The HCLU has several videos from the 2013 international drug policy reform conference in Denver on their Youtube channel.
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Hundreds of Medical Marijuana Supporters Protest Obama in Oakland as Feds Escalate War on Pot

Alternet - Tue, 07/24/2012 - 18:00
Demanding answers for unjustified federal raids and threats, patients challenged the DEA's claim that marijuana has no medical use.
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We Can't End AIDS Until We End the Drug War

Alternet - Tue, 07/24/2012 - 18:00
The end of AIDS is not just possible -- but predictably achievable -- if we end the war on drugs.
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4 Major Ways Countries Have Reduced Drug-Related Disease and Death -- Are We Americans Too Conceited to Imitate Them?

Alternet - Tue, 07/24/2012 - 00:00
Over the past two decades, a number of countries have implemented evidence-based programs that reduce the harms associated with drugs -- but the U.S. isn't listening.
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It's Not Just NYC: Across America, Only Black and Brown People Get Arrested for Pot

Alternet - Mon, 07/23/2012 - 06:00
The racial ratios of reefer roundups are as bad as New York's—if not worse—in scores of other U.S. cities.
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Will Compliance With State Medical Pot Laws Finally be Admissible in Federal Prosecutions?

Alternet - Sat, 07/21/2012 - 02:00
A bipartisan effort has reintroduced the Truth in Trials Act again -- but will unprecedented federal crackdowns help push it through the House?
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Infographic: How Drug War Fuels the Global HIV Pandemic

Alternet - Sat, 07/21/2012 - 00:00
Drug criminalization and mass incarceration force drug users away from public health services and into hidden environments with higher HIV risks.
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Europe Field-Tests the Drug Policy Spectrum

Alternet - Fri, 07/20/2012 - 21:00
Two trends are emerging in European countries' drug policies; the expensive and failing approach of criminalization and one based on scientific evidence and harm reduction.
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7 States Moving Toward Drug Sentencing Reform

Alternet - Fri, 07/20/2012 - 18:00
These states are not undertaking a radical rethinking of the rote resort to incarceration, but they are nibbling at the edges, particularly when it comes to drug offenders.
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Marketing the Munchies: How Fast Food Companies Target Stoners

Alternet - Fri, 07/20/2012 - 00:00
From 420 calorie burritos to Taco Bell's "Fourth Meal," fast-food companies are pushing products to stoners like never before.
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How Weed Can Protect Us From Cancer and Alzheimer's

Alternet - Thu, 07/19/2012 - 18:00
Hardly the harmful intoxicant that many once thought it was, cannabis is a nourishing plant that actually improves and prolongs life.
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