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Chronicle AM: AAA Slams Per Se Marijuana Drugged Driving Laws, Brit College Hands Out Pill Test Kits, More... (5/10/16)

Drug War Chronicle - Tue, 05/10/2016 - 20:38

In a major study, AAA finds no scientific basis for drugged driving laws that assume impairment based on THC levels, Orlando becomes the latest city to downgrade small-time pot possession, the Ohio House approves a medical marijuana bill--but no smoking--an English university begins handing out pill test kits to students, and more.

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

AAA Study: No Scientific Basis for Laws Regulating Marijuana and Driving. A new study from the American Automobile Association's Safety Foundation has found that per se limits (those that base an assumption of impaired driving on a specified level of THC in one's system) are "arbitrary and unsupported by the evidence."  Six states have  per se marijuana impaired driving laws, while nine states have zero tolerance marijuana DUID laws, and the AAA calls for scrapping them. They should be replaced by police officers trained to detect impairment, with a THC test as a back-up, the automobile club said.

Orlando "Decriminalizes" Pot Possession. The city council voted 4-3 Tuesday to adopt a revised measure that makes possession of 20 grams or less of weed a violation of city code. Police officers will have the discretion to issue civil citations instead of arresting violators. The fine is $100 for a first offense, $200 for a second,  and a third offense will generate a mandatory court appearance.  Small-time pot possession remains a misdemeanor under state law.

Medical Marijuana

Ohio House Approves Medical Marijuana Bill. The House voted 71-26 Tuesday to approve a medical marijuana bill, House Bill 523. Patients under a doctor's supervision could use marijuana oils, tinctures, edibles, and vapors, but could not smoke it, nor could they grow their own.  The bill specifies 18 conditions for which medical marijuana could be used and now goes to the Senate.  Meanwhile, activists are working to get a more patient-friendly medical marijuana initiative on the November ballot.

Harm Reduction

Maryland Governor Signs Needle Access Expansion Bill. Gov. Larry Hogan (R) Tuesday signed into law Senate Bill 97, which will allow thousands of Marylanders to access life-saving needle exchange programs.  The bill passed both chambers with overwhelming support. Maryland ranks 2nd nationally in new per capita HIV infections, and needle exchanges are a proven method of reducing and preventing new infections.

International

British University Handing Out Drug Test Kits to Students. In what as described as a first of its kind harm reduction effort, Newcastle University and the local Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) chapter have joined forces to distribute drug test kits so students can check and see if they drugs they are about to consume are safe or not.  “Although drugs are illegal, statistics suggest lots of young people still use illegal drugs, and that the prevalence of this use is even higher within student communities," said SSDP President Holly Robinson.  “We recognize the safest way to take drugs is not to take drugs but, as some individuals will always choose to take them, we believe it is important to make information and services available to minimise the risks."

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US OH: Dealing With Heroin

Top Stories (MAP) - Tue, 05/10/2016 - 07:00
Morning Journal, 10 May 2016 - Detective Discusses Epidemic During Senior Coffee Hour Waging a war on drugs in Lorain County hasn't been an easy task and there's still plenty of work to be done, according to Detective Gregg Mehling with the Lorain County Sheriff's Office Drug Task Force.
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US: Supervised Safe Havens For Heroin Use Get Serious Look

Top Stories (MAP) - Tue, 05/10/2016 - 07:00
Oneida Daily Dispatch, 10 May 2016 - Across the United States, heroin users have died in alleys behind convenience stores, on city sidewalks and in the bathrooms of fast-food joints - because no one was around to save them when they overdosed. An alarming 47,000 American overdose deaths in 2014 - 60 percent from heroin and related painkillers like fentanyl - has pushed elected leaders from coast to coast to consider what was once unthinkable: government-sanctioned sites where users can shoot up under the supervision of a doctor or nurse who can administer an antidote if necessary.
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US: Weed Behind The Wheel

Top Stories (MAP) - Tue, 05/10/2016 - 07:00
Garden Island, 10 May 2016 - Study: No Scientific Basis for Laws on Marijuana and Driving WASHINGTON (AP) - Six states that allow marijuana use legal tests to determine driving while impaired by the drug that have no scientific basis, according to a study by the nation's largest automobile club that calls for scrapping those laws.
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US: Driving Stoned Is Difficult To Gauge

Top Stories (MAP) - Tue, 05/10/2016 - 07:00
Chicago Tribune, 10 May 2016 - Study: Measuring Pot Like Alcohol in Blood Unreliable Legal blood limits for marijuana are not an accurate way to measure whether someone was driving while impaired, and can lead to unsafe drivers going free while others are wrongfully convicted, according to a new study.
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US OH: Column: Pot Laws And Attitudes Are All Over The Map

Top Stories (MAP) - Tue, 05/10/2016 - 07:00
Columbus Dispatch, 10 May 2016 - You might not like President Barack Obama's political philosophy or leadership style, but you have to admit that he is one cool president. If you're unconvinced, consider his speech at the White House Correspondents' Dinner on April 30. His poise and charm were on full display, and his comedic timing was impeccable.
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US FL: Orlando Approves Citations For Marijuana

Top Stories (MAP) - Tue, 05/10/2016 - 07:00
Orlando Sentinel, 10 May 2016 - Orlando on Monday became the latest Florida municipality and the first city in Central Florida to effectively decriminalize small amounts of marijuana, passing an ordinance that will allow officers to issue citations rather than make arrests. The controversial measure, which was supported by Mayor Buddy Dyer and Orlando police Chief John Mina, was approved by the City Council on a 4-3 vote. It will take effect Oct. 1. The measure was opposed by the two former police officers on the council, Tony Ortiz and Samuel Ings, as well as Commissioner Jim Gray. The ordinance passed both public readings by the same slim margin.
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US FL: Medical-Marijuana Challenge Involves Licenses for

Top Stories (MAP) - Tue, 05/10/2016 - 07:00
Orlando Sentinel, 10 May 2016 - TALLAHASSEE - A new law that protects five nurseries may have given more ammunition to "ganjapreneurs" seeking an entry into what could be one of the nation's largest medical-marijuana markets come this fall. The law was intended to inoculate from pending legal challenges the five growers, and their teams of consultants and investors, selected by Florida health officials in November to serve as medical marijuana dispensing organizations, responsible for growing, processing and distributing cannabis products to a limited population of patients. While the law did just that, it also gave at least one losing applicant new grounds for its existing complaint.
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US: Setting DUI Limits for Marijuana Won't Work, AAA

Top Stories (MAP) - Tue, 05/10/2016 - 07:00
Washington Post, 10 May 2016 - There Is No Reliable Number That Can Predict Impairment, Study Says There is a legal limit for drunk driving, but when it comes to marijuana, new research shows it may be impossible to say just how high is too high to drive.
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US: A Bitter Pill: How the Appalachians Became the Centre of

Top Stories (MAP) - Tue, 05/10/2016 - 07:00
The Guardian, 10 May 2016 - After the Factories and Mines Closed, Drug Abuse Filled the Vacuum. Overdoses Are Now Common but Help Is Hard to Find, Writes Chris Arnade On the outskirts of Kingsport, Kim, a therapist, faces a small group of people sitting on folding chairs. She's trying to help them rid their lives of illegal drugs.
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Chronicle AM: Global Marijuana Marches, Voters Split on Legalization in MA Poll, More ... (5/9/16)

Drug War Chronicle - Mon, 05/09/2016 - 20:59

They marched for weed in Buenos Aires and Rio de Janiero, New York and Toronto, and many other cities; a Massachusetts poll shows a dead heat for legalization there, Missouri looks set to vote on medical marijuana this year, and more.

[image:1 align:right]Marijuana Policy

Massachusetts Poll Shows Voters Evenly Split on Legalization Initiative. A new Suffolk University/Boston Globe poll has a ballot proposal to legalize marijuana trailing narrowly, but within the poll's margin of error. The poll had support at 43%, with 46% opposed. The margin of error is +/- 4.4 percentage points. This is a sobering poll result for legalization fans; initiative experts like to see support in the 60% or above range before a campaign begins.

Medical Marijuana

Medical Marijuana Local Issues on California June Ballot. Two northern California counties and two northern California cities will be voting on medical marijuana-related issues in the June 7 election. In Nevada County, Measure W would prohibit all outdoor marijuana grows and limit indoor grows to 12 plants; in Yuba County, Measure A would allow limited outdoor marijuana cultivation and Measure B would authorize one dispensary for every 20,000 residents; in Sacramento, Measure Y would impose a 5% gross receipts tax on cultivation and manufacturing businesses (requires two-thirds majority); and in Davis, Measure C would allow the city to impose a tax of up to 10% on businesses selling marijuana, although it doesn't currently allow them.

New Approach Missouri Medical Marijuana Initiative Campaign Hands in Signatures. Supporters of the group's medical marijuana initiative handed in some 260,000 raw signatures Sunday. They only need 167,000 valid voter signatures to qualify for the November ballot. Even if 30% of the signatures are disqualified, campaigners would still have enough to qualify.

Drug Testing

Alaska Republicans Endorse Drug Testing Welfare Recipients. At its annual convention at the end of April, the state Republican Party endorsed mandatory drug testing of welfare recipients. The notion was voted in as a plank in the state party platform.

International

Global Marijuana Marches All Over the Place. This past weekend was the date for the annual world-wide Global Marijuana March, and march they did in an estimated 829 cities in 72 countries. Thousands came out in Buenos Aires, thousands more in Rio de Janeiro, thousands more in Cologne, Germany, and an estimated 20,000 in Toronto, among others. The US also saw marijuana marches in Texas and New York City, among other places.

Colombia Authorizes Use of Glyphosate for Manual Coca Fumigation. Less than a year after the country banned the aerial spraying of the herbicide glyphosate to kill coca plants, Colombia's National Narcotics Council has authorized the use of the plant-killer in manual eradication. The move comes as coca cultivation is reportedly on the rise in some parts of the country.

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CN BC: Editorial: Yes To Legalization, No To Lawlessness

Top Stories (MAP) - Mon, 05/09/2016 - 07:00
Globe and Mail, 09 May 2016 - Once upon a time, you needed a duly completed doctor's prescription to get hold of medicinal marijuana. Then a few of Canada's pot dispensaries branched into the brave new world of remote video diagnosis. No one should be surprised that some now content themselves with vague complaints of a non-specific ailment - uh, my back hurts - if they bother with the charade at all. Yes, cannabis is going to be a legal substance soon, perhaps as early as this time next year. But a great many folks appear to have forgotten that it's still very much illegal. Besides which, legalization does not mean the absence of rules - quite the opposite.
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US: Drug Shoot-Up Rooms Get Serious Look in U.S.

Top Stories (MAP) - Mon, 05/09/2016 - 07:00
The Daily Local, 09 May 2016 - Across the United States, heroin users have died in alleys behind convenience stores, on city sidewalks and in the bathrooms of fast-food joints - because no one was around to save them when they overdosed. An alarming 47,000 American overdose deaths in 2014 - 60 percent from heroin and related painkillers like fentanyl - has pushed elected leaders from coast to coast to consider what was once unthinkable: government-sanctioned sites where users can shoot up under the supervision of a doctor or nurse who can administer an antidote if necessary.
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US: Once Unthinkable in U.S., Drug Shoot-Up Rooms Get Serious

Top Stories (MAP) - Mon, 05/09/2016 - 07:00
Pottstown Mercury, 09 May 2016 - Across the United States, heroin users have died in alleys behind convenience stores, on city sidewalks and in the bathrooms of fast-food joints - because no one was around to save them when they overdosed. An alarming 47,000 American overdose deaths in 2014 - 60 percent from heroin and related painkillers like fentanyl - has pushed elected leaders from coast to coast to consider what was once unthinkable: government-sanctioned sites where users can shoot up under the supervision of a doctor or nurse who can administer an antidote if necessary.
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US: Looming Marijuana Ruling Could Limit Federal Prosecutions

Top Stories (MAP) - Mon, 05/09/2016 - 07:00
Pottstown Mercury, 09 May 2016 - SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Rolland Gregg and his family have fought federal marijuana charges for more than three years, arguing that the roughly 70 marijuana plants investigators found on their Washington property were for their own medicinal use and fully complied with state law. A federal jury last year convicted Gregg, his mother and his wife of growing 50 to 100 marijuana plants - amounts their attorney said are in compliance with state medical marijuana law. With prison sentences looming, they have now turned to a recent act of Congress that they say should have stopped the U.S. Department of Justice from prosecuting them because they were doing what their state allowed. Marijuana is illegal under federal law, and the DOJ disagrees with Gregg's understanding of the new law.
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US: Lawmakers Weigh Injection Sites

Top Stories (MAP) - Mon, 05/09/2016 - 07:00
The Saratogian, 09 May 2016 - Citing a Surge in Overdose Deaths, Many Begin to Discuss Using Supervised "Shoot-Up Rooms" Across the United States, heroin users have died in alleys behind convenience stores, on city sidewalks and in the bathrooms of fast-food joints - because no one was around to save them when they overdosed.
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US: Drug Shoot-Up Rooms Get Serious Look in US

Top Stories (MAP) - Mon, 05/09/2016 - 07:00
The Record, 09 May 2016 - Across the United States, heroin users have died in alleys behind convenience stores, on city sidewalks and in the bathrooms of fast-food joints - because no one was around to save them when they overdosed. An alarming 47,000 American overdose deaths in 2014 - 60 percent from heroin and related painkillers like fentanyl - has pushed elected leaders from coast to coast to consider what was once unthinkable: government-sanctioned sites where users can shoot up under the supervision of a doctor or nurse who can administer an antidote if necessary.
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US: Sanctioned Injection Sites Would Save Lives, Some Say

Top Stories (MAP) - Mon, 05/09/2016 - 07:00
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 09 May 2016 - The idea, spurred by a rise in drug overdose deaths in the U.S., has worked elsewhere Across the United States, heroin and other drug users have died in alleys behind convenience stores, on city sidewalks and in the bathrooms of fast-food joints - because no one was around to save them when they overdosed.
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US: Sanctioned Heroin Sites Considered

Top Stories (MAP) - Mon, 05/09/2016 - 07:00
Albuquerque Journal, 09 May 2016 - Users Could Get Quick Overdose Treatments Across the United States, heroin and other drug users have died in alleys behind convenience stores, on city sidewalks and in the bathrooms of fast-food joints - because no one was around to save them when they overdosed.
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US: Once Unthinkable, Drug Shoot-Up Rooms Getting Serious Look

Top Stories (MAP) - Mon, 05/09/2016 - 07:00
Tulsa World, 09 May 2016 - The Supervised Injection Rooms Are Considered for "Out of Control" Problem. Across the United States, heroin users have died in alleys behind convenience stores, on city sidewalks and in the bathrooms of fast-food joints - because no one was around to save them when they overdosed.
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