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Heroin

Chronicle AM: Trump Says He Will Declare National Emergency on Opioids, More... (8/10/17)

Heroin (STDW) - Thu, 08/10/2017 - 20:57

The president says he will formally declare a national emergency on the opioid crisis, Latino legislators embrace marijuana legalization, Utah medical marijuana supporters can begin signature-gathering for their initiative, and more.

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

Latino State Legislators Call for Marijuana Legalization. The National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators adopted a resolution Wednesday calling for marijuana legalization. The group, which represents Latino legislators across the country, cited legalization's impact on reducing the black market and providing tax revenues, as well as the racist origins of marijuana prohibition.

Texas Bill to Reduce Pot Penalties Gets Hearing. The House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee held a hearing Wednesday on House Bill 334, which would decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana. The bill was introduced last month by committee Chairman Joe Moody (D-El Paso) for the legislature's special session. The bill would decriminalize someone's first three pot possession offenses, but prosecutors could charge a misdemeanor for a fourth offense. No vote was taken.

Medical Marijuana

New York Proposes Regs to Expand State's Medical Marijuana Program. The state Health Department has released new proposed regulations that would ease access to the program. Among the proposals are reducing security requirements for registered groups, shortening the length of the course doctors must take to be able to recommend medical marijuana, and allowing two more types of marijuana products to be sold.

Utah Initiative Backers Get Okay to Begin Signature Gathering. The Utah Patients Coalition has received permission from state officials to begin signature gathering for their medical marijuana initiative. The group will need 113,000 valid voter signatures before April 15, 2018.

Heroin and Prescription Opioids

Trump Says He Will Declare National Emergency on Opioids. President Trump said on Thursday that the opioid epidemic is a national emergency and that he will act to officially declare it so. "The opioid crisis is an emergency and I'm saying officially right now it is an emergency," Trump said in remarks reported by Reuters. "We're going to draw it up and we're going to make it a national emergency. It is a serious problem, the likes of which we have never had." Trump's announcement comes a week after a White House commission on the opioid crisis urged him to declare a national emergency. The move could free up more resources to fight the overdose epidemic and give the government more flexibility to deal with the crisis.

Asset Forfeiture

Pair of Congressmen Urge Sessions to Reconsider on Asset Forfeiture. US Reps. John Conyers (D-MI) and Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) have sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions objecting to his plan to expand the Justice Department's civil asset forfeiture program. "I am deeply disappointed by the Justice Department's recent move to reverse its ban on adoptive seizures," said Conyers in a statement. "The prior policy, which was instituted in January of 2015, greatly curtailed this practice, which provides financial incentives for law enforcement to seize the property -- including the homes -- of individuals who may not even be guilty of a crime. I call on Senator Sessions to withdraw the new policy, which is contrary to the growing bipartisan effort to reform our civil forfeiture laws and practices. Indeed, the time has come for Congress to enact the DUE PROCESS Act, a bipartisan bill to significantly alter these laws and increase protections for innocent property owners."

Categories: Heroin

Chronicle AM: Trump Wants More Drug War to Fight Opioids, New Pot Poll, More... (8/9/17)

Heroin (STDW) - Wed, 08/09/2017 - 20:15

A new Quinnipiac poll has support for marijuana legalization at a record high, Trump calls for a return to tough drug war policies to fight opioids, Hawaii gets its first dispensary, and more.

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

Quinnipiac Poll Has Record 61% for Legalization. A new Quinnipiac poll has support for marijuana legalization at 61%, the highest figure ever reported by Quinnipiac and up two points since February. Support was above 50% for all demographic groups except Republicans (37%) and people over 65 (42%). The poll also found that fully three-quarters (75%) of respondents thought the federal government should not enforce federal marijuana laws in states where it is legal. Support for medical marijuana was even higher a near-unanimous 94%.

Medical Marijuana

Hawaii Gets First Dispensary. Maui Grown Therapies opened for business on Tuesday in Kahului. It's the first dispensary in the state to be permitted and open its doors. The store was only open for a couple of hours Tuesday, with the owners saying they were doing a "soft opening." A second dispensary, Aloha Green, was set to open in Oahu on Wednesday.

Heroin and Prescription Opioids

Trump Wants More Drug War, But No State of Emergency for Opioid Crisis. President Trump said Tuesday that a stronger law enforcement is necessary to fight the opioid crisis and criticized the Obama administration for prosecuting fewer drug offenders. He also critically highlighted shorter average sentences for drug offenders under Obama and advocated for abstinence-based drug treatment. But he did not act on a recommendation from his opioid panel headed by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) that he declare a national state of emergency.

Harm Reduction

Seattle Suburb Votes to Ban Safe Injection Sites. The Bellevue City Council voted Monday night to ban safe injection sites even though none had been proposed for the city, the second-largest in Kings County after Seattle. Members said the vote was driven by fears the site could hurt development of a homeless center now being planned. But it is also a sign of broader objections to such facilities in the area and comes after the Metropolitan King County Council voted in July not to spend money setting up sites unless a locale's elected officials first approved it. Safe injection supporters said that vote effectively kills any sites outside the city of Seattle.

International

Tillerson Offers to Help Duterte Fight Drugs -- If Philippines Leader Changes Tactics. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday and told him the US would provide anti-drug assistance if he would rein in his brutal tactics. Tillerson obliquely noted harsh criticisms of the Philippines' bloody drug war by human rights groups and others and suggested the US could help find more suitable tactics. Duterte was noncommittal.

Categories: Heroin

US UT: Couple Arrested After Drugging Heroin-Addicted Newborn To Hide

Heroin (MAP) - Mon, 07/24/2017 - 07:00
Orlando Sentinel, 24 Jul 2017 - SYMPTOMS, POLICE SAY Colby Wilde and Lacey Christenson welcomed their third child into the world on April 9 at Utah Valley Hospital. The doctors, nurses and medical staff eventually cleared out of the room, giving the parents a few moments alone with their new daughter. Unlike most new parents, they did not hold the newborn child, overcome with emotion.
Categories: Heroin

Chronicle AM: MA Legal MJ Bill Heads to Gov, DOJ Restarts Forfeiture Sharing, More .... (7/20/17)

Heroin (STDW) - Thu, 07/20/2017 - 20:01

Massachusetts lawmakers approve the legal marijuana bill, the Justice Department officially resurrects "adoptive sharing" for asset forfeitures, Gallup says more Americans have smoked pot than ever, and more.

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

Gallup Poll Has Number Who Say They've Used Marijuana at All-Time High. Some 45% of American adults have tried marijuana, according to Gallup. That's an all-time high, and it's more than ten times the number (4%) who admitted smoking pot in 1969, the first year Gallup asked the question. About 12% said they currently use marijuana.

Massachusetts Legislature Approves Compromise Legalization Bill. The House and Senate both approved a compromise measure to implement marijuana legalization Wednesday. House Bill 3818 now heads to the desk of Gov. Charlie Baker (R), who is expected to sign it. The bill increases taxes from 12% to up to 20%, and would allow authorities in localities that didn't vote in favor of the legalization initiative to ban pot businesses without a popular vote.

Medical Marijuana

Texas Bid to Expand Medical Marijuana Defeated. An effort to expand medical marijuana in the state was stopped by the House State Affairs Committee Wednesday. Rep. David Knoll (R) had tried to add an amendment to a special session bill authorizing the Texas Medical Board and other agencies, but the amendment never got enough support to come up for a vote.

Asset Forfeiture

Justice Department Brings Back Aggressive Asset Forfeiture Policy. As Attorney General Sessions vowed earlier this week, the Justice Department on Wednesday formally unrolled a revamped "adoptive forfeiture" policy that will allow state and local law enforcement agencies to hand drug cases over to the feds to ensure that the cops get the great bulk -- 80% -- of the proceeds from seizures, in many cases doing an end-run around state asset forfeiture law. The program was halted by then-Attorney General Eric Holder in 2015 after a rising outcry over abuses. The move was praised by law enforcement but criticized by civil rights groups and even some members of Congress.

Heroin and Prescription Opioids

Rhode Island Governor Signs Package of Bills to Fight Opioid Epidemic. Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) Wednesday signed into law three bills aimed at the state's opioid problem. One allows law enforcement to access an electronic prescription database without a warrant, one requires doctors to discuss the risks of addiction with patients when prescribing opioids, and one expands the kind of drugs that can be electronically prescribed. "Every Rhode Island community has been touched by this crisis, and I'll take every step I can to fight back," Raimondo said in a signing statement.

Harm Reduction

California Safe Injection Site Bill Awaits Senate Floor Vote. A bill that would allow supervised injection sites in the state has already passed the Assembly and has now been approved by both the Senate Health Committee and the Public Safety Committee. Assembly Bill 186, sponsored by Assemblywoman Susan Talamantes Eggman (D-Stockton) now awaits a Senate floor vote. If the bill passes, it will go back to the Assembly for concurrence, and then to Governor Jerry Brown's desk.

Categories: Heroin

US NY: Task Force On Heroin, Opioid Addiction To Meet On Long Island

Heroin (MAP) - Tue, 07/18/2017 - 07:00
Newsday, 18 Jul 2017 - A special legislative task force formed to examine the effect of the opioid addiction scourge on Long Island and elsewhere throughout the state is scheduled to meet Wednesday in Mineola. The State Senate's Joint Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction meeting will be held at 4 p.m. at the NYU Winthrop Hospital Research and Academic Center in Mineola, a hospital spokesman said.
Categories: Heroin

US: US Heroin Crisis Is So Bad, It's 'Raining Needles'

Heroin (MAP) - Mon, 07/17/2017 - 07:00
New York Post, 17 Jul 2017 - LOWELL, Mass. -- They hide in weeds along hiking trails and in playground grass. They wash into rivers and float downstream to land on beaches. They pepper baseball dugouts, sidewalks and streets. Syringes left by drug users amid the heroin crisis are turning up everywhere. In Portland, Maine, officials have collected more than 700 needles so far this year, putting them on track to handily exceed the nearly 900 gathered in all of 2016. In March alone, San Francisco collected more than 13,000 syringes, compared with only about 2,900 in the same month in 2016.
Categories: Heroin

Chronicle AM: Dark Web Drug Sales Site AlphaBay Busted, Owner Kills Self in Jail, More... (7/14/17)

Heroin (STDW) - Fri, 07/14/2017 - 19:46

AlphaBay is history, Nevada moves to ease its legal pot shortage, the White House opioid commission misses a deadline -- again -- and more.

[image:1 align:right]Marijuana Policy

Nevada Regulators Approve Emergency Measures to Ease Pot Shortage. The state Tax Commission voted Thursday to let the Department of Taxation to again determine whether limiting marijuana transport licenses to licensed alcohol distributors would result in a shortage of legal marijuana distributors. If the department does make that determination, it could then award transport licenses to previous medical marijuana distributors. "When businesses operate we get the tax revenue and that's what the state wants," testified Deonne Contine, director of the Department of Taxation. "We need to do everything we can to get more distributors licensed so these businesses can continue operating."

Industrial Hemp

Utah Regulators Give Initial Approval for Hemp Research Grows. The state Agricultural Advisory Board on Thursday gave initial approval to a new rule that would allow limited marijuana cultivation for research purposes. The rule would allow anyone with a permit to grow industrial hemp. State universities are already able to cultivate hemp for research purposes under the 2014 federal Farm Bill, but this rule now expands who can grow the plant. The rule is open for public review through the summer and if finalized, would allow the state to begin issuing permits next January.

Heroin and Prescription Opioids

White House Opioid Commission Again Misses Deadline. The president's Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, led by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), will miss a second deadline for filing an interim report. Under a Trump executive order establishing the commission, the panel had until June 27 to file its interim report, but failed to do so and said it would on July 17. Now, in a notice printed in the Federal Register Friday, the commission said it would reschedule its July 17 call until July 31, again missing its deadline. The commission has until October 1 to issue a final report.

Law Enforcement

Dark Web Giant AlphaBay Busted, Owner Hangs Himself in Thai Jail. AlphaBay, one of the largest drug sales websites on the Dark Web, has gone dark. It wasn't, as some suspected, a scam and rip-off by the owners, but the result of a joint law enforcement operation by police in Canada, the US, and Thailand. Canadian citizen Alexandre Cazes, identified as AlphaBay's owner, was arrested July 5 in Thailand, where he owned three luxurious homes. He was found hanged in a Thai jail cell Wednesday.

Categories: Heroin

US OH: Heroin, Cocaine Are Cheap, Potent And Widely Available

Heroin (MAP) - Thu, 07/13/2017 - 07:00
Columbus Dispatch, 13 Jul 2017 - Heroin, cocaine and other illegal drugs remain widely available throughout Ohio, often at bargain prices, a new state report reveals. If that isn't bad enough, the quality of the drugs is "is really good, too good. We've lost 12 friends in the past year (to overdoses)," said one respondent in the just-released Ohio Substance Abuse Monitoring Network Report. The semi-annual statewide report of drug availability trends is done by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.
Categories: Heroin

US PA: How I Loved And Lost My Fiance - A Heroin Addict

Heroin (MAP) - Wed, 07/12/2017 - 07:00
Philadelphia Daily News, 12 Jul 2017 - Chris and I were texting Dec. 11, 2016, when at 3:50 p.m. he went silent. I assumed it was because we were arguing. We were always arguing, ever since his addiction had taken over his life. The signs were there: The man who would write beautiful songs on his guitar became sluggish and angry. He wouldn't spend time with the people who lifted him up and instead sneaked out to see those who enabled his addiction. He stopped going to Narcotics Anonymous meetings and group therapy.
Categories: Heroin

US MI: 87 Pounds Of Heroin Found In Raid Of Novi Apartment Complex

Heroin (MAP) - Tue, 07/11/2017 - 07:00
Detroit Free Press, 11 Jul 2017 - Investigators found more than 87 pounds of suspected heroin Monday during a raid at a Novi apartment, according to a federal criminal complaint. DEA agents and the Oakland County Narcotics Investigation Team entered the Brownstones apartment complex unit shortly after 9:30 a.m. on the 42200 block of Joyce Lane to find three men inside, along with eight bricks of a light-brown substance on a table in plain sight, according to the complaint from special agent Michael Reamer in U.S. District Court.
Categories: Heroin

Chronicle AM: IL Passes Forfeiture Reform, House Heroin Task Force Proposals, More... (6/28/17)

Heroin (STDW) - Wed, 06/28/2017 - 19:57

Utah's new medical marijuana initiative is exposing fissures between the LDS leadership and membership, an asset forfeiture reform bill sits on the desk of Illinois' governor, a bipartisan House heroin task force releases its proposals, and more.

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

Utah Poll Has Strong Support for Medical Marijuana. Just days after the Utah Patient Coalition took initial steps to put an initiative on the November 2018 ballot, a poll it sponsored showed that 73% of Utah voters support the initiative, with only 20% opposed. Support came from all demographic groups, including active Mormons, 63% of whom said they were in favor.

Mormon Church Opposes Utah Medical Marijuana Initiative. The powerful Salt Lake City-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) has come out in opposition to a medical marijuana initiative filed this week by the Utah Patients Coalition. The church acknowledged ongoing interest in medical marijuana and said it supported further research but argued that approval of medical marijuana should come after "the FDA approval process that all other drugs must go through before they are prescribed to patients."

Asset Forfeiture

Illinois Legislature Passes Asset Forfeiture Reform. The legislature last Friday gave final approval to an asset forfeiture reform measure, House Bill 303, that raises the standard of evidence for seizures from probable cause to a preponderance of the evidence and bars seizures of under $500 in most drug cases. The bill does not, however, require a criminal conviction before a seizure can occur -- a sop to prosecutors and law enforcement groups who lobbied for that provision to be dropped. The bill now awaits action from Gov. Bruce Rauner (R).

Heroin and Prescription Opioids

House Bipartisan Heroin Task Force Releases Proposals. A bipartisan group of House members released a raft of proposals Tuesday aimed at fighting the nation's drug problems as "an American issue," not a partisan one. The package of bills from the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force includes increased funding for drug-screening gear at the border, studies on the effects of synthetic drug use, greater flexibility for use of health savings accounts, and creation of treatment centers for infants exposed to opioids during their mothers pregnancy.

International

Georgia Parliament Takes Up Drug Decriminalization. The Parliamentary Health Committee has introduced a bill to decriminalize the possession of all drugs that was developed by the National Drug Policy Platform, a grouping of more than 40 NGOs. The bill would annul the country's much-criticized strict 2007 drug law, as well as making changes to at least 10 criminal and administrative laws. The core principle behind the bill is to shift the country's drug policy away from a criminal justice approach, treating drug use instead as a public health issue. Earlier this month, parliament gave initial approval to marijuana decriminalization. Both pot decrim and broader drug decrim should be addressed during parliament's looming autumn session.

Categories: Heroin

US FL: Desperate For Help, Heroin Addicts Get 'Hijacked' To Florida

Heroin (MAP) - Fri, 06/23/2017 - 07:00
Philadelphia Daily News, 23 Jun 2017 - Alfred LubranoWest Chester addiction psychologist Drew Alikakos dials a number for a local addiction treatment center that he suspects has been illicitly re-routed to a Florida facility. His own phone number was "hijacked" in such a manner. Alfred Lubrano works for the enterprise team. Previously, he wrote about poverty, and before that, he was a feature writer and columnist.
Categories: Heroin

US MD: Maryland's Heroin Fight Turns To Educating Students From

Heroin (MAP) - Mon, 06/19/2017 - 07:00
Baltimore Sun, 19 Jun 2017 - In the ongoing battle to stem the heroin and opiate epidemic in Maryland, the newest focus is a state law that mandates teaching students in elementary schools through college about the dangers of the drugs. Public schools are tweaking drug-education lessons and colleges are preparing sessions for incoming students to comply with the Start Talking Maryland Act, which becomes law July 1.
Categories: Heroin
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