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Marijuana

US: States Where Pot Is Legal Report Fewer Rx Od Deaths

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 07:00
Albuquerque Journal, 26 Aug 2014 - States that allow medical marijuana have 25 percent fewer prescription drug overdose deaths, a team of researchers reports in a newly released academic paper, suggesting that expanded access to marijuana, often used for its purported pain-alleviating qualities, could have unintended benefits. As awareness of the addiction and overdose risks associated with painkillers such as Oxycontin and Vicodin grows, "individuals with chronic pain and their medical providers may be opting to treat pain entirely or in part with medical marijuana," Colleen Barry, an associate professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said in a statement. Barry was the senior author of the study, which was conducted by researchers from the Bloomberg School and the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
Categories: Marijuana

US: Medical-Marijuana States See Fewer Drug Deaths

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 07:00
Washington Post, 26 Aug 2014 - States that allow medical marijuana have 25 percent fewer deaths from prescription drug overdoses, a team of researchers reports in a newly released academic paper, suggesting that expanded access to marijuana, often used for its purported pain-alleviating qualities, could have unintended benefits. As awareness of the addiction and overdose risks associated with painkillers such as Oxy-Contin and Vicodin grows, "individuals with chronic pain and their medical providers may be opting to treat pain entirely or in part with medical marijuana," Colleen L. Barry, an associate professor in the department of health policy and management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said in a statement. Barry was the senior author of the study, which was conducted by researchers from the Bloomberg School and the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
Categories: Marijuana

US DC: Column: No Mistakes Allowed

Marijuana (MAP) - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 07:00
Washington Post, 26 Aug 2014 - To be young, male and black in America means not being allowed to make mistakes. Forgetting this, as we've seen so many times, can be fatal. The case of Michael Brown, who was laid to rest Monday, is anomalous only in that it is so extreme: an unarmed black teenager riddled with bullets by a white police officer in a community plagued by racial tension.
Categories: Marijuana

Chronicle AM: Oregon Marijuana Legalization Endorsement, PA Mandatory Minimums, Heroin Maintenance, More (8/25/14)

Marijuana (STDW) - 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.)

Categories: Marijuana

US MD: National Geographic Shows Baltimore As 'Heroin Capital

Marijuana (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.

Marijuana (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.
Categories: Marijuana

US FL: Column: Will Medical-Pot Centers End Up in Low-Income

Marijuana (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.
Categories: Marijuana

US: Pot's Bust Or Boon Depends On State

Marijuana (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.
Categories: Marijuana

Australia: Cannabis Plan Has Support, Says MLC

Marijuana (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.
Categories: Marijuana

Australia: Labor Will Pursue Cannabis Reform

Marijuana (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?

Marijuana (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

Marijuana (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 NY: Heroin's Pain: Epidemic's Scourge Reflected In Loved

Marijuana (MAP) - Sun, 08/24/2014 - 07:00
The Observer-Dispatch, 24 Aug 2014 - Owen Kemp's family celebrated his 20th birthday Jan. 12 with everything - Chinese takeout, fireworks, singing and cake. Everything - - except Owen Kemp. The boy who once made goofy faces for the camera, sang "You Are My Sunshine" over and over, loved fishing with his dad and baked apple crisp for his grandparents died of a heroin overdose in November while staying with his grandparents in North Utica.
Categories: Marijuana

US CO: Feds Could Bar Interstate Hemp Oil Sales

Marijuana (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.
Categories: Marijuana

US CO: Colorado's Budding Marijuana Tourism

Marijuana (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.
Categories: Marijuana

US: Pot Law Mayhem Divides U.S. As Travelers Get Busted

Marijuana (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.
Categories: Marijuana

Chronicle AM: AR Initiative Rejected, SWAT Lobby Gears Up, Israel Bans New Synthetics, More (8/22/14)

Marijuana (STDW) - 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.

Categories: Marijuana

CN BC: Views Aired On Harm Reduction

Marijuana (MAP) - Fri, 08/22/2014 - 07:00
Mission City Record, 22 Aug 2014 - Opinions Differ At Public Hearing On Needle Exchange Facilities Harm reduction helped save Erica Thomson's life. The people who reached out to her made her feel worthy and that she was not disposable. Methadone helped get her off drugs, and as long as she was on it, she was permitted to keep her daughter in her care.
Categories: Marijuana

Chronicle AM: OR Dems Just Say Yes, DEA Tightens Screws on Vicodin, CT's First Dispensary Opens, Peru Coca Eradication, Venezuela Plane Shootdowns (8/21/14)

Marijuana (STDW) - Thu, 08/21/2014 - 20:07

Oregon Dems just say yes, Connecticut's first dispensary opens, the DEA tightens the screws on Vicodin, guess who's more likely to get busted for pot in Ferguson, Missouri, and more. Let's get to it:

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

Oregon Democratic Party Endorses Legalization Initiative. Oregon's Democratic Party has endorsed Measure 91, the New Approach Oregon marijuana legalization initiative. "A majority of Americans and large majority of Democrats now support state regulation of legal marijuana use," the party said. "Measure 91 is the right approach to legalization in Oregon, strictly regulating use while funding law enforcement and schools. Vote Yes on 91."

No Decriminalization Vote in Toledo in November. Even though Northwest Ohio NORML turned in sufficient signatures to qualify a decriminalization initiative for the local ballot earlier this month, voters will not have a chance to get their say in November because the city council failed to act by today. The council doesn't have another meeting set until last week. It's unclear if the initiative is now dead, or if it will go on the ballot at a later date.

Medical Marijuana

Connecticut Gets First Medical Marijuana Dispensary. The first dispensary in the state opened Wednesday night in South Windsor. Prime Wellness of Connecticut is the first of six dispensaries approved for licenses by the Department of Consumer Protection. The rest will be opening in coming weeks or months.

Prescription Opiates

DEA Tightens Rules on Popular Pain Relievers. It is about to get more difficult to obtain popular pain medications based on hydrocodone, including widely prescribed drugs such as Vicodin. The DEA announced today that it is moving hydrocodone combination drugs from Schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) to Schedule II. Drugs containing only hydrocodone were already placed on Schedule II, but drug combinations containing hydrocodone plus other substances, such as aspirin or acetaminophen, have been Schedule III since the CSA was passed in 1970.The DEA will publish the final rule establishing the change in the Federal Register tomorrow. It will go into effect in 45 days.

Law Enforcement

Blacks in Ferguson, Missouri, More Than Three Times More Likely Than Whites to Be Arrested for Marijuana Possession. In its podcast this week, Missouri drug reform group Show-Me Cannabis points to the drug war connection in the tensions between police and residents in the predominantly black St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, plagued by more than 10 days of unrest since the killing of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown. Show-Me's John Payne points out that black residents of Ferguson are 3.25 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than whites. Click on the title link to listen to the podcast.

International

West Africa Drugs Commission Head Says Region Must Step Up, Deal With Political Weakness. Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, who also heads the West Africa Commission on Drugs, said countries in the region must confront their political and institutional weaknesses if they are to get a handle on the drug trade. "West Africa is no longer only a transit zone of drugs but an attractive destination where pushers take advantage of the weak political system to perpetuate their trade," he said during a meeting with Ghana's President John Mahama."We believe that we should confront openly the political and governance weaknesses which the traffickers exploit," Obasanjo said. "Drug barons can buy, they can do, and they can undo -- buy officials in the military, security and pervert justice." The commission has called on West Africa to decriminalize drug use and treat the issue as a public health problem.

Peru Aims to Eradicate 75,000 Acres of Coca Plants This Year. Peru's anti-drug agency, DEVIDA, says it has already eradicated 30,000 acres of coca plants this year and plans to eradicate another 45,000 acres by years' end. The eradication is being done manually and in tandem with $90 million crop substitution program. About 125,000 acres are under cultivation for coca. Peru is arguably the world's largest coca producer (vying with Colombia), and 90% of the crop is estimated to be destined for the illicit cocaine trade.

Venezuela Has Shot Down at Least Three Suspected Drug Planes in Last Year. At least three planes flying out of Mexico and suspected of carrying drugs have been shot down over Venezuela since last November. This Vice News report goes into detail on the search for one of the missing pilots.

Categories: Marijuana

US NH: Column: A Short History Of The Spice Trade

Marijuana (MAP) - Thu, 08/21/2014 - 07:00
Union Leader, 21 Aug 2014 - A SPRINKLING of spice. Random thoughts about the drug spice and the crackdown in Manchester. Manchester doesn't have a spice problem, it has a drug problem. Speak to people in Bronstein Park, and it becomes clear that spice is just one patch in the tapestry of this city's drug culture.
Categories: Marijuana
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