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Chronicle AM: WA Ponders Personal NJ Grows, Trump Chastises Colombia Over Coca, More... (9/15/17)

Cocaine (STDW) - Fri, 09/15/2017 - 21:10

The only legal marijuana state that doesn't allow personal cultivation will revisit the issue, the president chides Colombia and Colombia reacts, there's strong support for legalization in New Jersey, and more.

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

California Governor Vetoes Marijuana Packaging Bill. Gov. Jerry Brown (D) has vetoed Senate Bill 663, which would have specified conditions under which cannabis packaging would be deemed attractive to children and therefore banned. Although the bill was approved unanimously by the Assembly and Senate. Brown does not want new marijuana regulations except those developed through his office and regulatory agencies.

New Jersey Poll Has Strong Support for Legalization. A new Quinnipiac poll has support for legalization at 59% among state voters. But the poll questions didn't ask about regulated and taxed sales; it only asked whether respondents supported "allowing adults to legally possess small amounts of marijuana for recreational use." The state is expected to see a strong push for legalization in the legislature next year.

Washington to Consider Whether to Allow Personal Pot Grows. The state Liquor and Cannabis Control Board announced Thursday that it will hold a hearing on October 4 to seek public input on whether to allow residents to grow pot plants for their own use. Washington is the only legal pot state that bars personal grows, but the state legislature approved a bill telling the agency to look into options for allowing personal grows.

Medical Marijuana

Delaware Governor Signs PTSD Bill. Gov. John Carney (D) has signed into law a bill that allows people with PTSD to more easily qualify for medical marijuana. The new law allows PTSD patients to get a recommendation from any licensed physician; the old law required they receive recommendations only from licensed psychiatrists.

International

Trump Threatens to Decertify Colombia as Drug War Partner. In comments Wednesday as the State Department rolled out its annual list of reliable drug war partners, President Trump delivered not so veiled threats to Colombia over increased coca cultivation. Trump said he "seriously considered" decertifying the country because of the "extraordinary" growth in coca cultivation and cocaine production last year. He said he decided against decertification this year because the Colombian military is close partners with the US, but that he would keep it as an "option" and that he expected "significant progress" from Colombia in reducing output.

Colombia Rejects Trump Criticism. The government of President Juan Manuel Santos took issue with Trump's comments: "Colombia is without a doubt the country which most has fought drugs, and which has had the most success on that front," the government said in an early morning statement. "No one has to threaten us to confront this challenge."

Ontarians Are Liking the Notion of Government-Run Pot Shops. A Campaign Research poll released Thursday found that the province's plan to restrict marijuana sales to a government monopoly has fairly strong public support. Some 51% backed the idea, with 35% opposed and 14% with no opinion.

Categories: Cocaine

Chronicle AM: House Blocks Sessions Civil Asset Forfeiture Move, More... (9/13/17)

Cocaine (STDW) - Wed, 09/13/2017 - 20:42

The House votes to defund Attorney General Sessions' newly revived Equitable Sharing asset forfeiture program, Maine lawmakers want a 20% sales tax on weed, Duterte allies in the Philippines vote to defund the country's human rights commission over its critique of the drug war, and more.

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

Maine Lawmakers Want to Double Pot Sales Tax. In a draft bill released Tuesday, the legislature's marijuana legalization committee is recommending a 20% sales tax on recreational marijuana. Earlier, the committee had supported a 10% excise tax and a 10% sales tax, but now it's going all sales tax.

Medical Marijuana

Arizona Supreme Court Refuses to Lift Restrictions on Medical Marijuana for PTSD. The state Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected without comment an argument from the Arizona Cannabis Nurses Association that the former state health director had illegally imposed restrictions on when doctors can recommend the drug for PTSD. The high court's decision leaves intact an earlier Court of Appeals ruling upholding the restrictions. Attorneys for the association say they may take the case to federal court on equal protection grounds.

Asset Forfeiture

House Slaps Down Sessions' Move to Reinstate Equitable Sharing Program. In a surprise move, the House voted virtually unanimously Tuesday to curb federal asset forfeitures, a slap in the face to Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Sessions had reinstated a federal civil asset forfeiture program that allowed state and local law enforcement to evade state forfeiture restrictions by handing their cases over to the feds, with the feds then returning 80% of the money to the seizing agency. The move came in a voice vote on an amendment to the Justice Department appropriations bill, which was sponsored by strange bedfellows Reps. Justin Amash (R-MI), Mark Sanford (R-SC), Raúl Labrador (R-ID), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Ro Khanna (D-CA) and Don Beyer (D-VA).

Foreign Policy

Feinstein, Grassley Fret Over Colombian Cocaine. The two senior senators, chair and co-chair of the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Affairs, expressed worries Tuesday that a peace deal between Colombia and the leftist rebels of the FARC had led to a surge of cocaine being imported into the US. Feinstein also used the Senate hearing to express concern that the Trump administration will not adequately fund interdiction law enforcement efforts.

International

Philippine Congress Budgets Measly $20 to Fund Human Rights Commission. No, that's not a typo, and no, we didn't forget some zeroes. Lawmakers allied with President Rodrigo Duterte voted Tuesday to allocate just 1,000 pesos (USD $20) for the Commission on Human Rights, which has repeatedly criticized Duterte's bloody drug war, which has left thousands dead at the hands of police and vigilantes. The funding move was explicit retaliation for the commission's criticism of the human rights disaster. In a Facebook post responding to the move, UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial killings Agnes Callamard said Filipinos deserved an independent organization that could hold the government accountable for its misdeeds. "Instead they are getting a 'war on drugs' which, by the president's own account, has failed to curtail addiction rates, while creating a climate of fear and insecurity, feeding impunity, and undermining the constitutional fabrics of the country," she wrote. "If the Philippines Congress is looking for public money being wasted, damaging and hurting the Philippines society, this is it."

Categories: Cocaine

CN QU: Edu: Editorial: McGill Cannot Ignore The Fentanyl Crisis

Cocaine (MAP) - Mon, 09/11/2017 - 07:00
The McGill Daily, 11 Sep 2017 - Content Warning: drug use and overdose Last week, public health officials in Montreal warned of an imminent fentanyl crisis that poses a serious risk to the city's drug users. Fentanyl is an opioid prescribed to relieve chronic pain, but its intensity is 40 times that of heroin, and its toxicity 100 times that of morphine. Fentanyl can be found in opiates, as well as party drugs such as cocaine, PCP, and MDMA. Because it's often present without the consumer's knowledge, it can easily cause a fatal overdose. In British Columbia, 706 overdose deaths from January to July 2017 involved fentanyl. In Montreal, there have been 24 confirmed drug overdose cases since the beginning of August 2017. Faced with this growing public health crisis, the McGill community must waste no time in supplying the tools and information necessary to keep students safe.
Categories: Cocaine

Canada: Feds Green-Light $274 Million For Policing Efforts

Cocaine (MAP) - Sat, 09/09/2017 - 07:00
Winnipeg Free Press, 09 Sep 2017 - OTTAWA - The Trudeau government has earmarked just over $274 million to support policing and border efforts associated with the plan to legalize recreational marijuana use. The government said Friday it is committing $161 million of the money to train front-line officers in how to recognize the signs and symptoms of drug-impaired driving, provide access to drug screening devices and educate the public.
Categories: Cocaine

CN BC: Feds Not Looking To Decriminalize Illicit Drugs

Cocaine (MAP) - Fri, 09/08/2017 - 07:00
Prince George Citizen, 08 Sep 2017 - VANCOUVER - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has closed the door on decriminalizing illicit drugs to combat a national overdose crisis but British Columbia's addictions minister says unprecedented deaths are a "wake-up call" to reconsider that stance. Trudeau said decriminalization is not the approach Canada will take to deal with deadly overdoses often involving the opioid fentanyl.
Categories: Cocaine

Trump BS Alert: The Border Wall Won't Stop Drug Smuggling [FEATURE]

Cocaine (STDW) - Wed, 09/06/2017 - 22:15

This article was produced in collaboration with AlterNet and first appeared here.

[image:1 align:left caption:true]President Trump sure loves his border wall. It was a staple of his campaign rhetoric, and despite Mexico's firm insistence that there is no way it's ever going to pay for it, Trump's desire for it is unabated. Now, he's threatening to shut down the government unless he can persuade the Congress to make American taxpayers pay for it.

Last week, Trump claimed that "building the wall will stop much of the drugs coming into the county." That claim is yet another example of what CNN contributor Fareed Zakaria pungently referred to as Trump's primary political product: bullshit.

Here's what Trump claimed during his joint press conference last Monday with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto:

"The wall will stop much of the drugs from pouring into this country and poisoning our youth. So we need the wall. It's imperative… The wall is needed from the standpoint of drug -- tremendous, the drug scourge, what's coming through the areas that we're talking about… So we will build the wall, and we will stop a lot of things, including the drug -- the drugs are pouring in at levels like nobody has ever seen. We'll be able to stop them once the wall is up."

And here's the reality: Trump's own DEA and outside experts agree that building a wall along the 1,700 mile land border with Mexico will have little impact on the drug trade. Not only do drugs from Latin America enter America by sea and air as well as across the Mexican border, but the vast majority of drugs crossing the land border do so not in unfenced desert expanses, but through official ports of entry.

Mexican drug trafficking organizations "transport the bulk of their drugs over the Southwest Border through ports of entry (POEs) using passenger vehicles or tractor trailers," the DEA said in its 2015 National Drug Threat Assessment. "The drugs are typically secreted in hidden compartments when transported in passenger vehicles or comingled with legitimate goods when transported in tractor trailers."

Here's how the DEA detailed trafficking methods for various drugs:

Methamphetamine: "Traffickers most commonly transport methamphetamine in tractor trailers and passenger vehicles with hidden compartments. In addition, traffickers send methamphetamine through various mail services or by couriers traveling via bus or commercial airline.

Heroin: "Most heroin smuggled across the border is transported in privately-owned vehicles, usually through California, as well as through south Texas."

Cocaine: "Tractor trailers and passenger vehicles are frequently used to transport multi-kilogram quantities of cocaine. Cocaine is hidden amongst legitimate cargo or secreted inside of intricate hidden compartments built within passenger vehicles."

Marijuana: "Large quantities of marijuana are smuggled through subterranean tunnels."

A May 2017 DEA intelligence report obtained by Foreign Policy echoed the 2015 assessment. It, too, found that drugs coming from Mexico went indeed cross the border, but they mainly do so concealed in vehicles using ports of entry -- not those unfenced expanses. That report also noted that drugs headed for the Northeast United States, especially from Colombia -- the world's leading cocaine producer, as well as source of opium and heroin second only to Mexico in the US market -- come more often by plane and boat.

Drug traffickers "generally route larger drug shipments destined for the Northeast through the Bahamas and/or South Florida by using a variety of maritime conveyance methods, to include speedboats, fishing vessels, sailboats, yachts, and containerized sea cargo," the report found. "In some cases, Dominican Republic-based traffickers will also transport cocaine into Haiti for subsequent shipment to the United States via the Bahamas and/or South Florida corridor using maritime and air transport."

That report did not address the border wall, but its examples of how and where drugs enter the country show that in many cases, building a wall wouldn't make a scintilla of difference: "According to DEA reporting, the majority of the heroin available in New Jersey originates in Colombia and is primarily smuggled into the United States by Colombian and Dominican groups via human couriers on commercial flights to the Newark International Airport," the report found.

The report concluded with recommendations for reducing the drug trade, but none of them were about building a border wall. Instead, targeting foreign drug trafficking networks within the US "would be an essential component to any broad strategy for resolving the current opioid crisis."

It's not just his own DEA that is giving the lie to Trump's bullshit. His own chief of staff, John Kelly contradicted the president's position at a congressional hearing in April. Illegal drugs from Mexico "mostly come through the ports of entry," he said. "We know they come in in relatively small amounts, 10, 15 kilos at a time in automobiles and those kinds of conveyances."

Drug trafficking experts agreed with Kelly and the DEA -- not Trump.

Brookings Institution senior fellow and long-time analyst of drug production and trafficking Vanda Felbab-Brown summed things up bluntly in an essay earlier this month: "A barrier in the form of a wall is increasingly irrelevant to the drug trade as it now practiced because most of the drugs smuggled into the US from Mexico no longer arrive on the backs of those who cross illegally."

"The wall won't stop the flow of drugs into the United States," she told Fact Check last week.

Other experts contacted by Fact Check concurred. University of Maryland criminal justice professor and founder of the RAND Drug Policy Research Center Peter Reuter pronounced himself skeptical that a wall would have any impact on the drug trade.

"The history is that smugglers eventually figure a workaround," he said. "There have been many promising interdiction interventions -- none of them have made more than a temporary dent."

And Middle Tennessee State University political science professor Stephen D. Morris, whose research has largely focused on Mexico, came up with two reasons the border wall would not stop drugs.

"First, as you say, most drug shipments come disguised as commerce and are crossing the border by truck or in cargo containers. Human mules, to my knowledge, bring in a small fraction," he said. "Second, smugglers adapt. Whether it is tunnels, submarines, mules, drones, etc., they are good at figuring out new ways to get drugs to those in the US who will buy them."

It is a shame that Donald Trump's ascendency has so coarsened and vulgarized our national political discourse. But his lies demand a forthright response. Bullshit is bullshit.

Categories: Cocaine

UK: Teen Died After Five Bags Of Ecstasy 'Exploded' In Her

Cocaine (MAP) - Tue, 09/05/2017 - 07:00
New York Post, 05 Sep 2017 - A teenage law student from Britain died while on holiday in Ibiza after five bags of ecstasy exploded in her stomach, an inquest heard. Rebecca Brock, 18, was discovered with a pool of blood next to her head in a hotel room after traveling to the party island for a friend's birthday.
Categories: Cocaine

CN AB: Drug Overdose Support Group Rallies

Cocaine (MAP) - Tue, 09/05/2017 - 07:00
Fort McMurray Today, 05 Sep 2017 - An opioid crisis is bringing together friends and family members of overdose victims who want to support others going through the same pain. Fort McMurray residents Mari-Lee Paluszak, 55, and Holly Meints, 51, both lost sons to accidental overdoses last year. Both attended Overdose Awareness Day at the Wood Buffalo Regional Library last Thursday to help put a face to the drug overdose problem, and to promote a support group for people suffering the same grief as their own. Their new group, On A Dragonfly's Wings, is meant to provide mutual support for grieving family members of overdose victims.
Categories: Cocaine

CN AB: Experts Overwhelmed

Cocaine (MAP) - Sun, 09/03/2017 - 07:00
Edmonton Sun, 03 Sep 2017 - Chief medical examiner's office pores over deaths in opioid fight EDMONTON - In the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner each morning, medical examiners, investigators, and morgue staff divide the stack of files containing unexplained deaths that have come in from the night before.
Categories: Cocaine

CN ON: Pot Chain Chief Faces N.s. Drug, Weapon Counts

Cocaine (MAP) - Sat, 09/02/2017 - 07:00
London Free Press, 02 Sep 2017 - An East Coast entrepreneur who is wanted by London police faces 10 drug and weapons charges in his home province after police raided five marijuana dispensaries there. London police issued an arrest warrant for Malachy McMeekin, of Cole Harbour, N.S., after raiding five pot shops in March.
Categories: Cocaine

CN ON: Column: High Time For New Fix To Opioid Crisis

Cocaine (MAP) - Sat, 09/02/2017 - 07:00
North Bay Nugget, 02 Sep 2017 - There are a lot of very smart people in North Bay. It would be interesting to see if the bright lights here can find an opportunity hiding in the weeds to solve the opioid crisis. And I'm not referring to emergency funding injections or quick-fix policy.
Categories: Cocaine

Canada: Column: Narcos Continues Its Brilliant Epic About The Drug

Cocaine (MAP) - Sat, 09/02/2017 - 07:00
Globe and Mail, 02 Sep 2017 - The point of Narcos was never Pablo Escobar. For its first two seasons the series rooted itself firmly in the rise and fall of Escobar, the most notorious of maniacal drug kingpins, and a performance by Wagner Moura as Escobar was as emphatic as it gets. But Narcos was always planned as a vast epic about the drug trade - what fuels it, who runs it and how every lame attempt to curb it goes awry. Two years ago when I spoke with Jose Padilha, the Brazilian director, producer and screenwriter who is an executive producer on Narcos, he said it's about, "What cocaine is - it's cheap to make, it's a natural product and it makes the human brain go haywire. The American approach to dealing with the cocaine problem is basically fighting cocaine by fighting supply. So yeah, you wage war on the Medellin Cartel. You kill Pablo Escobar. And then it goes to Cali. Then you wage war on Cali. And then it moves on and then it goes to Mexico. It's always there."
Categories: Cocaine

Chronicle AM: White House Seeks MA MedMJ Data, Ecstasy for PTSD Advances, More... (8/28/17)

Cocaine (STDW) - Mon, 08/28/2017 - 20:32

The White House is sniffing around Massachusetts medical marijuana patient data, the FDA has granted breakthrough drug status for MDMA as a treatment of PTSD, the DEA warns of a looming tide of cocaine, the State Department's top anti-drug official calls it quits, and more.

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

White House Seeks Massachusetts Data On Medical Marijuana Users. The National Marijuana Initiative, part of the Trump administration's anti-drug task force, has asked the state Department of Public Health to provide data on the health conditions cited by medical marijuana users. The department has already provided data on patient by age and gender, but said it was considering whether to hand over additional data.

Tennessee Lawmakers to Study Whether to Legalize Medical Marijuana. Lt. Gov. Randy McNally (R) and House Speaker Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) announced in a letter last Friday that they are forming an ad hoc committee to study whether the state should legalize medical marijuana. The lawmakers said they would undertake a comprehensive review of the matter. The committee will consist of 10 legislators.

Ecstasy

FDA Grants Breakthrough Therapy Designation for MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy for PTSD. The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) announced last Friday that Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation to MDMA for the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). MAPS and the FDA have also reached agreement under the Special Protocol Assessment Process (SPA) for the design of two upcoming Phase 3 of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for patients with severe PTSD. MDMA-assisted psychotherapy is a novel treatment package that combines psychotherapeutic techniques with three administrations of MDMA as a pharmacological adjunct. By granting Breakthrough Therapy Designation, the FDA has agreed that this treatment may have a meaningful advantage and greater compliance over available medications for PTSD.

Drug Policy

State Department's Top Anti-Drug Diplomat Joins Exodus, Resigns. William Brownfield, the US Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs ("drugs and thugs"), has announced he is quitting at the end of September. Foreign Policy had reported that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was considering Brownfield for a position as top envoy to Latin America, but instead Brownfield is leaving. His departure is only the latest of top officials from Foggy Bottom, including Brownfield's wife, Kristie Kenney, one of the department's senior foreign service officers, a few months back. Also resigning Friday, was Tracey Ann Jacobsen, the acting director of the Bureau of International Organization Affairs. Earlier in the week, Foreign Policy reported that the department's top official for European affairs, John Heffern, was forced out of his job, adding to "concerns of a growing wave of resignations by foreign policy professionals who are either being pushed out or resigning over frustration with an administration that has downgraded the importance of Washington's diplomatic corps."

Search and Seizure

Indiana Appeals Court Rules Genital Search for Blunt too Intrusive. The state Court of Appeals ruled last week that a police officer's search that included touching a woman's genitals was unconstitutional. Taccasia Porter had been convicted of marijuana possession, but appealed her conviction, arguing that the marijuana found in her underwear shouldn't have been admitted as evidence because it was the fruit of an unlawful search. The appeals court agreed, saying that while an initial search was lawful, the hands-down-the-pants search was not. "While the initial pat-down search was permissible, we find that the subsequent search ran afoul of both the federal and state constitutions," wrote appellate Judge John G. Baker. "All of this took place in a public area on the side of a road, with no evidence that any precautions were taken to protect Porter's privacy from pedestrian or vehicular passers-by or the two men on the scene," the opinion said. No word yet on whether prosecutors will appeal.

International

DEA Report Says Colombia Cocaine Expansion Fueling Rise in Use and Supply in the US. An August DEA Intelligence Brief notes that US cocaine supplies are at the highest levels since at least 2007 and the usage has jumped to the highest levels since 2009. The report also says that cocaine production and US border seizures "have reached the highest levels ever observed. The DEA argued that cocaine supply and us in the US will continue to rise barring a change in US drug habits, cartel behavior, or "a significant shift in the Government of Colombia's policies."

Trudeau Government Not Decriminalizing More Drugs Than Marijuana. Responding to calls from public health and political figures in British Columbia to decriminalize drugs in a bid to combat the opioid overdose epidemic, federal Health Minister Jane Philpott says no way. "Our government is currently working on the legalization, strict regulation, and restriction of access to cannabis, in order to keep it out of the hands of youth, and profits out of the hands of criminals," she said in a statement last week. "We are not looking to decriminalize or legalize other illicit substances at this time."

Mass March for Philippine Teen Drug War Victim.More than a thousand people joined the funeral procession last Saturday for Kian Delos Santos, 17, who was gunned down by Philippines police days earlier as part of their bloody anti-drug campaign. His killing has galvanized opposition to the year-long campaign undertaken by President Rodrigo Duterte upon his inauguration last year, which has resulted in thousands of deaths and increasing attention to charges that police are systematically executing suspected drug users and dealers.

Categories: Cocaine

Chronicle AM: Sessions' Crime Task Force Doesn't Recommend Going After Legal Marijuana, More... (8/7/17)

Cocaine (STDW) - Mon, 08/07/2017 - 20:41

The attorney general's crime task force has little new to say about grappling with legal marijuana, Sessions sends another letter to another governor, the US leans on Colombia over coca, and more.

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

Sessions' Crime Task Force Refrains from Recommending Legal Marijuana Crackdown. The Justice Department's Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety has failed to come up with policy recommendations that could weaponize Attorney General Sessions' efforts to wage war on legal marijuana, the Associated Press reported Friday. The task force report instead urges officials to continue to study whether they want to roll back the clock on the Obama-administration's laissez-faire approach to states that have legalized medical or recreational marijuana. The report did, however, call for officials to continue to oppose congressional moves to block funding for the department to go after medical marijuana in states where it is legal.

Sessions Sends Letter to Colorado Questioning State's Management of Legal Marijuana. Attorney General Sessions has sent a letter to Colorado officials accusing the state of failing to keep marijuana from being diverted out of state or keeping it away from kids. The letter was dated July 24 and cited a Rocky Mountain HIDTA report from last September to raise "serious questions" about the states oversight of its legal marijuana program. "Please advise as to how Colorado plans to address the serious findings in the Rocky Mountain HIDTA report, including efforts to ensure that all marijuana activity is compliant with state marijuana laws, to combat diversion of marijuana, to protect public health and safety, and to prevent marijuana use by minors," Sessions wrote in the letter obtained by the Cannabist. Sessions has sent similar letters to the governors of Oregon and Washington.

Maine Public Safety Panel Rejects Per Se DUID for Marijuana. A Department of Public Safety committee charged with addressing marijuana and driving has decided the state does not need a DUID law for pot that sets a blood-level limit for THC. Committee Chair Scot Maddox said the state's existing laws against impaired driving would suffice, but that lawmakers should provide more money to train police to recognize pot-impaired drivers.

Medical Marijuana

Texas Bill Would Expand Medical Marijuana Qualifying Conditions. State Sen. Jose Menendez (D-San Antonio) Senate Bill 79 last year, but it hoping it will be taken up during the legislature's special session, which still has 10 days left. Under current law, only people suffering from intractable epilepsy can use medical marijuana. This bill would expand the list of qualifying conditions to include PTSD, cancer, traumatic brain injury, and other "debilitating conditions."

International

US-Colombia Tensions Over Coca. At a congressional hearing last week, the State Department's Assistant Secretary for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs ("drugs and thugs") William Brownfield said the US could not support elements of Colombia's efforts at coca crop substitution and alternative development because the FARC is involved and the US considers the FARC a terrorist organization. But it is precisely the FARC with whom the Colombian government signed its peace deal. Brownfield also called for limits on voluntary coca eradication agreements and insisted the Colombian government implement "a robust forced manual eradication effort." In remarks to the press afterward, Brownfield threatened Colombia with "bilateral political problems" if a solution acceptable to Washington is not found, Insight Crime reported.

Categories: Cocaine

Chronicle AM: Sessions' Crime Task Force Doesn't Recommend Going After Legal Marijuana, More... (8/7/17)

Cocaine (STDW) - Mon, 08/07/2017 - 20:41

The attorney general's crime task force has little new to say about grappling with legal marijuana, Sessions sends another letter to another governor, the US leans on Colombia over coca, and more.

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

Sessions' Crime Task Force Refrains from Recommending Legal Marijuana Crackdown. The Justice Department's Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety has failed to come up with policy recommendations that could weaponize Attorney General Sessions' efforts to wage war on legal marijuana, the Associated Press reported Friday. The task force report instead urges officials to continue to study whether they want to roll back the clock on the Obama-administration's laissez-faire approach to states that have legalized medical or recreational marijuana. The report did, however, call for officials to continue to oppose congressional moves to block funding for the department to go after medical marijuana in states where it is legal.

Sessions Sends Letter to Colorado Questioning State's Management of Legal Marijuana. Attorney General Sessions has sent a letter to Colorado officials accusing the state of failing to keep marijuana from being diverted out of state or keeping it away from kids. The letter was dated July 24 and cited a Rocky Mountain HIDTA report from last September to raise "serious questions" about the states oversight of its legal marijuana program. "Please advise as to how Colorado plans to address the serious findings in the Rocky Mountain HIDTA report, including efforts to ensure that all marijuana activity is compliant with state marijuana laws, to combat diversion of marijuana, to protect public health and safety, and to prevent marijuana use by minors," Sessions wrote in the letter obtained by the Cannabist. Sessions has sent similar letters to the governors of Oregon and Washington.

Maine Public Safety Panel Rejects Per Se DUID for Marijuana. A Department of Public Safety committee charged with addressing marijuana and driving has decided the state does not need a DUID law for pot that sets a blood-level limit for THC. Committee Chair Scot Maddox said the state's existing laws against impaired driving would suffice, but that lawmakers should provide more money to train police to recognize pot-impaired drivers.

Medical Marijuana

Texas Bill Would Expand Medical Marijuana Qualifying Conditions. State Sen. Jose Menendez (D-San Antonio) Senate Bill 79 last year, but it hoping it will be taken up during the legislature's special session, which still has 10 days left. Under current law, only people suffering from intractable epilepsy can use medical marijuana. This bill would expand the list of qualifying conditions to include PTSD, cancer, traumatic brain injury, and other "debilitating conditions."

International

US-Colombia Tensions Over Coca. At a congressional hearing last week, the State Department's Assistant Secretary for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs ("drugs and thugs") William Brownfield said the US could not support elements of Colombia's efforts at coca crop substitution and alternative development because the FARC is involved and the US considers the FARC a terrorist organization. But it is precisely the FARC with whom the Colombian government signed its peace deal. Brownfield also called for limits on voluntary coca eradication agreements and insisted the Colombian government implement "a robust forced manual eradication effort." In remarks to the press afterward, Brownfield threatened Colombia with "bilateral political problems" if a solution acceptable to Washington is not found, Insight Crime reported.

Categories: Cocaine

CN ON: Editorial: Toronto Needs Help Dealing With Legalized Weed

Cocaine (MAP) - Thu, 07/27/2017 - 07:00
York Guardian, 27 Jul 2017 - Drugs cost money. This is a universal truth: whether it's the legal kind like alcohol or tobacco, or the banned stuff like cocaine or heroin, or, for now, marijuana, a habit is going to take a chunk out of anyone's paycheque in addition to their life expectancy.
Categories: Cocaine

CN BC: Cannabis Edibles Aid Addicts

Cocaine (MAP) - Thu, 07/27/2017 - 07:00
The Georgia Straight, 27 Jul 2017 - A Downtown Eastside activist and a local entrepreneur are hoping to spearhead the first nonprofit organization of its kind with support from Vancouver's cannabis community. The vocal support of Sarah Blyth, the founder of the Overdose Prevention Society for grassroots, peer-led harm reduction led to the establishment of several safe-consumption sites in Vancouver and beyond.
Categories: Cocaine

CN AB: Opiates, Meth Pose Big Problem For Police

Cocaine (MAP) - Wed, 07/26/2017 - 07:00
Medicine Hat News, 26 Jul 2017 - A "huge spike" in opiate and methamphetamine seizures this past year poses a deadly and multifaceted problem for local law enforcement, says a police inspector. "We are hugely concerned with meth," said Insp. Brent Secondiak, speaking about the 2016 annual police report released last week.
Categories: Cocaine

CN ON: Wayhome Festival Revises Policy, Allows Attendees To Bring

Cocaine (MAP) - Wed, 07/26/2017 - 07:00
Globe and Mail, 26 Jul 2017 - An Ontario music festival has reversed a policy that would have banned attendees from bringing their own injectable naloxone kits, saying patrons will be able to trade syringes of the opioid-overdose antidote for a nasal spray that has the same effect. The WayHome Music and Arts Festival, taking place this weekend near Barrie, Ont., says it changed its policy after hearing concerns from those who planned to attend.
Categories: Cocaine

CN AB: Police Chief Encouraged By Crime Dip

Cocaine (MAP) - Wed, 07/26/2017 - 07:00
Metro, 26 Jul 2017 - Calgary's police chief said his officers haven't changed their approach when it comes to marijuana, despite a slight dip in pot-related crimes being reported in 2016. Numbers released yesterday by Statistics Canada show Calgary's police-reported crime declined significantly last year, unlike other major Canadian cities which mostly saw an increase.
Categories: Cocaine
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