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Chronicle AM: ME Lawmakers Try to Save MJ Reg Bill from Veto, Denver SIF Advances, More... (11/6/17)

Cocaine (STDW) - Mon, 11/06/2017 - 20:30

Maine's governor vetoes the marijuana regulation bill, but the legislature will attempt an override today; a plan for a safe injection site in Denver advances, a Michigan roadside drug testing pilot program gets underway this week, and more.

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

Maine Governor Vetoes Bill to Regulate Legal Marijuana Production, Sales. Gov. Paul LePage last Friday vetoed the bill that would regulate legal marijuana commerce in the state. In his veto message, he cited a number of concerns, including how the Trump administration is going to deal with the conflict between state and federal law. "Until I clearly understand how the federal government intends to treat states that seek to legalize marijuana, I cannot in good conscience support any scheme in state law to implement expansion of legal marijuana in Maine," the governor explained.

Maine Lawmakers Meet Today to Try to Override Governor's Veto. The legislature is set to meet at 4:00pm today in a bid to override Gov. LePage's veto of the marijuana regulation bill. The bill passed the Senate, but not the House, by a veto-proof majority earlier this year.

Medical Marijuana

Ohio Announces First Licensees for Medical Marijuana Production. State officials announced last Friday they had issued 11 Level II medical marijuana licenses. The licenses will allow holders to begin medical marijuana growing operations.

Drug Testing

Michigan Roadside Drug Testing Pilot Program Begins This Week. Michigan State Police are set to begin a pilot program in five counties to do roadside oral fluid drug tests of drivers in a bid to reduce drugged driving. The counties included are Berrien, Delta, Kent, St. Clair and Washtenaw. Under the program, officers trained in "drug recognition" will be able to require drivers to submit to a preliminary saliva test if they suspect he is impaired. The tests will look for the presence of marijuana, amphetamines, methamphetamines, benzodiazepines, cocaine and opiates.

Harm Reduction

Walgreen's to Carry Opioid Overdose Reversal Drug, No Prescription Needed. Walgreen's drugstores will soon stock the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone (Narcan) at its thousands of locations across the US, and it will be available over the counter, no prescription needed. Walgreen's is the nation's second largest drugstore chain with more than 8,000 stores. "By stocking Narcan in all our pharmacies, we are making it easier for families and caregivers to help their loved ones by having it on hand in case it is needed," Walgreen's vice president Rick Gates said in a statement. "As a pharmacy, we are committed to making Narcan more accessible in the communities we serve."

Denver Starts Down Path Toward Safe Injection Sites. Seattle and San Francisco are the US cities closest to opening safe injection sites for drug users, but now Denver is making a move in the same direction. A legislative committee last week gave unanimous approval to a plan to open a pilot site in the city. But that's just a first step: The next step is to get the legislation through the General Assembly when the legislature convenes in January.

International

Colombia, UNODC Sign Cooperation Agreement on Coca and Cocaine. In a deal announced last Friday, Colombia and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) have agreed to cooperate on the county's coca reduction strategy. Under the deal, the UNODC will help Colombia implement "alternative and sustainable development programs in areas affected by coca cultivation," according to a press release from the Colombian presidency. The plan is estimated to require $315 million in funding over the next four years. The question is whether Colombia has the political will to come up with the money.

Categories: Cocaine

CN BC: Tougher Charges For Fentanyl Dealers Not The Answer: Experts

Cocaine (MAP) - Thu, 10/19/2017 - 07:00
Globe and Mail, 19 Oct 2017 - Health and legal experts are urging caution about the idea of charging fentanyl dealers with manslaughter, saying such a move would do little to deter sellers and could instead punish those who are already struggling with substance-use disorders. B.C. Solicitor-General Mike Farnworth mentioned the idea to reporters at an unrelated event last week, saying it was raised at a recent meeting of federal and provincial public safety ministers.
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Chronicle AM: Dallas Ends Marijuana Possession Arrests, Drug Czar Nominee Names, More... (10/18/17)

Cocaine (STDW) - Wed, 10/18/2017 - 20:43

Dallas gives up on arresting pot possessors, the DOJ gives up on prosecuting the Kettle Falls Five, there's a new list of possible drug czar nominees, and more.

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

Pro-Legalization Congressman Plans to Target Anti-Marijuana Lawmakers. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), one of the leading advocates for marijuana legalization on Capitol Hill, told a cannabis industry meeting Tuesday that he is taking the offensive against lawmakers who try to block marijuana reform measures. And his first target is House Rules Committee Chair Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), who has used his position to block numerous marijuana measures. "We're going to be putting up some billboards in Pete Sessions's district. It's going to feature a veteran and ask the question why Pete Sessions doesn't want him to have access to his medicine," Blumenauer said in remarks reported by Marijuana Moment. "We're going to make the point that there are consequences. This is not a free vote. People are going to take a position one way or another. And if they are going to be part of an effort to deny people access to medicine that can be transformational… this is going to be part of the political landscape this year."

New Hampshire Legalization Commission Meets, Hears Criticism. At the first meeting of a legislative commission charged with studying the effect of marijuana legalization, advocates criticized the commission's makeup and said it was squandering an opportunity for an honest review of issues around legalization. "Sadly, the commission includes staunch opponents of reform such as the Association of Chiefs of Police and New Futures, but supportive organizations such as the ACLU-NH were excluded in the language of the final bill," said Matt Simon, New England Political Director for the Marijuana, in remarks reported by NH1. "Additionally, none of the six legislators who were appointed to the commission has ever publicly expressed support for ending marijuana prohibition."

Dallas to Join Other Major Texas Cities in Not Arresting Pot Possessors. A decade ago, the state legislature passed a law allowing police to ticket and release people caught with up to four ounces of marijuana, yet only a handful of localities have taken advantage of that law. Now, Dallas is one of them. The city council voted 4-1 Tuesday night to allow police to just issue tickets, joining Austin, Houston, and San Antonio.

Medical Marijuana

Justice Department Drops Kettle Falls Case, Concedes It Is Blocked From Prosecuting. The DOJ Tuesday filed a motion to stay the case of the Kettle Falls Five, a group of Washington state medical marijuana patients and producers who had been pursued and prosecuted after a 2012 raid. In the filing, Justice Department officials conceded that an amendment barring the use of federal funds to go after medical marijuana in states where it is legal blocked them from proceeding with the case.

Arkansas Regulators Swamped With Applications, May Push Back Licensing to 2018. Deluged with applications to grow and sell medical marijuana, the state Medical Marijuana Commission has set December 15 when it will start receiving applications, but says even that date could be pushed back as hundreds of applications come in. That means there's still no approximation of the data medical marijuana will actually be available on store shelves in the Razorback State.

Asset Forfeiture

Justice Department Sets Up Oversight Unit for Asset Forfeiture Program. Attorney General Sessions is setting up a Justice Department unit to oversee the equitable sharing asset forfeiture program, which allows state and local law enforcement to let the federal government "adopt" their cases so they can avoid state laws that limit where the proceeds go. Former Attorney General Eric Holder had stopped the controversial program, but Sessions reinstated it, calling it an "extremely valuable" tool for law enforcement. In a memo Tuesday, Sessions ordered Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to name a director to review the policy and take action if needed.

Drug Policy

With Marino Out, Here Are Possible Drug Czar Nominees. There's a short list of possible nominees to head the Office of National Drug Control Policy after Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA) was forced to withdraw over his championing of a bill blocking the DEA from going after opioid pain pills it suspected were being diverted from legitimate medicinal use. Among the possibilities are former New Hampshire Republican congressmen Frank Guinta, who headed a congressional heroin task force; Trump opioid commission member and Harvard psychiatrist Dr. Bertha Madras, outgoing New Jersey Gov. Christ Christie (R), who heads the opioid commission; Florida Republican Attorney General Pam Bondi, and acting ONDCP head Richard Baum.

Foreign Policy

Trump Extends US "Emergency" Regarding Colombia Drug Trafficking. The White House announced Monday that it is maintaining a national emergency over the "extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy" posed by Colombian drug traffickers. The "emergency" has been in effect since 1995, and allows the government to quickly free up funds to protect threatened interests. Colombia is the home of the vast majority of cocaine consumed in the US.

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CN ON: Column: Justin Trudeau's Quest To Be Crowned King Of Weed

Cocaine (MAP) - Sun, 10/08/2017 - 07:00
Toronto Sun, 08 Oct 2017 - Since doper Marc Emery has claimed title of the Prince of Pot, perhaps it is time to crown Justin Trudeau the King of Weed. Thus far, it seems reefer royalty is our prime minister's primary quest, as he is obsessed with pot's legalization - by Canada Day 2018, come hell or high times - while spending little time on substantive issues other than taxing small business out of business.
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CN BC: Expert Calls For Drug Decriminalization

Cocaine (MAP) - Thu, 10/05/2017 - 07:00
Prince George Citizen, 05 Oct 2017 - VANCOUVER - Canada's political leaders must take bold action by joining forces to decriminalize illicit drugs and save lives in the midst of an unprecedented overdose crisis, a leading drug-policy expert says. Donald MacPherson of the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's stance on legalizing marijuana to protect youth and stop the flow of profits to organized crime must also apply to drugs that have killed thousands of Canadians.
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CN BC: Decriminalize Drugs To Fight Overdoses: Expert

Cocaine (MAP) - Thu, 10/05/2017 - 07:00
The Record, 05 Oct 2017 - VANCOUVER - Canada's political leaders must take bold action by joining forces to decriminalize illicit drugs and save lives in the midst of an unprecedented overdose crisis, a leading drug-policy expert says. Donald MacPherson of the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's stance on legalizing marijuana to protect youth and stop the flow of profits to organized crime must also apply to drugs that have killed thousands of Canadians.
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Chronicle AM: Houston Quits Trying "Trace Amount" Drug Cases, US Chides Colombia, More... (9/28/17)

Cocaine (STDW) - Thu, 09/28/2017 - 20:12

San Antonio quits arresting small-time pot violators, Houston quits prosecuting folks caught with trace amounts of drugs, Vermont begins pondering how to do pot legalization, the US chides Colombia on coca and the FARC, and more.

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

Vermont Marijuana Commission Begins Legalization Study. The state Marijuana Advisory Commission is holding its first meeting today. The commission is charged with studying the best way to legalize marijuana in the state. Gov. Phil Scott (R) empaneled the commission after vetoing a legalization bill in May. In his veto message, Scott said he wasn't opposed to legalization, but had concerns about underage use and impaired driving. The commission is set to report back to the legislature in January.

San Antonio to Quit Arresting People for Pot Possession. Authorities in Bexar County (San Antonio) announced Wednesday that they will no longer arrest small-time marijuana and other misdemeanor offenders, instead issuing them citations. People cited must complete a program before charges are dismissed. San Antonio now joins Harris County (Houston) and Dallas in enacting policies to no longer arrest small-time pot offenders.

Medical Marijuana

Michigan Lawmakers Seek to Keep Dispensaries Open. As the state prepares to shift to a new regime allowing licensed dispensaries, the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs has tentatively asked all existing dispensaries to shut down by December 15 and seek licenses. But some legislators have filed House Bill 5014, which would allow dispensaries to stay open while their license applications are pending before the department. A Senate version of the bill is expected to be filed shortly.

Law Enforcement

Houston Stops Prosecuting Cases of Trace Amounts of Drugs. Harris County (Houston) District Attorney Kim Ogg has quit pursuing thousands of "trace drug" cases, where people are charged with drug possession based on drug residues left in baggies or syringes. Ogg actually quietly implemented the policy in July, but has gone public with it now. The move will save the county the cost of prosecuting somewhere between 2,000 and 4,000 felony cases each year.

Sentencing

New House Bill Creates Incentives to Reduce Crime, Incarceration at Same Time. Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-CA) filed the Reverse Mass Incarceration Act of 2017 on Wednesday. Companion legislation, Senate Bill 1458, was filed in June by Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT). The bill would essentially reverse the 1994 crime bill, which provided incentives to states to increase prison populations. It would instead pay states to decrease incarceration rates through incentivizing grants.

International

US Ambassador to Colombia Says FARC Has Not Complied With Peace Deal. "The FARC have not complied, in my opinion, with their obligations under the agreement," US Ambassador to Colombia Kevin Whitaker said during a recent interview with El Tiempo. Whitaker claimed the leftist rebels continued to encourage coca cultivation in some parts of the country and said they should not be involved in government-sponsored crop substitution programs. Whitaker's comments are in line with other US officials, who have become increasingly critical of the peace deal between the FARC and the government as coca and cocaine production have increased in the past two years.

Philippines Claims It Doesn't Allow Extrajudicial Killings in Drug War. In a statement released as Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano met in Washington with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the Philippines government denied it had a policy of killing suspected drug users and dealers. "Contrary to media reports, Cayetano also clarified to Tillerson that the Philippines does not have a state policy allowing extrajudicial killings, especially of illegal drug suspects," the statement read. The statement also welcomed further cooperation with Washington and reiterated the "seriousness" of the country's "drug problem." Thousands of people have been killed since President Duterte unleashed his drug war, but the Philippines claims it only kills suspects who were violently resisting arrest.

Categories: Cocaine

CN ON: Fantino Turns Over New Leaf

Cocaine (MAP) - Thu, 09/28/2017 - 07:00
NOW Magazine, 28 Sep 2017 - Toronto's former chief is not the only ex-cop or politician looking to profit from legal marijuana, but he may be the biggest hypocrite among them Julian Fantino has turned over a new leaf on marijuana. The former Toronto police chief, OPP commish and Harper-era cabinet minister will serve as executive chair of something called Aleafia Inc., which describes itself on its website as a "total health network."
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US CT: Police: Shootings That Left 2 Dead Were Drug-Related

Cocaine (MAP) - Mon, 09/25/2017 - 07:00
Hartford Courant, 25 Sep 2017 - Two men were killed in Hartford in a few-hour span Friday into Saturday. Six people were shot, two fatally, in separate narcotics-related shootings in Hartford Friday night and Saturday morning, police said.
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US: Column: How To Win A War On Drugs

Cocaine (MAP) - Sun, 09/24/2017 - 07:00
New York Times, 24 Sep 2017 - Portugal treats addiction as a disease, not a crime. LISBON - On a broken-down set of steps, a 37-year-old fisherman named Mario mixed heroin and cocaine and carefully prepared a hypodermic needle. "It's hard to find a vein," he said, but he finally found one in his forearm and injected himself with the brown liquid. Blood trickled from his arm and pooled on the step, but he was oblivious.
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CN ON: Cops In Drug Case 'Ignorant Of The Law'

Cocaine (MAP) - Thu, 09/21/2017 - 07:00
Toronto Star, 21 Sep 2017 - Toronto judge excludes evidence of drugs found in strip search Another unlawful strip search, another crumbling criminal case. A Toronto judge has thrown out all drug evidence seized from Stuart MacPherson, finding Toronto police had no reasonable grounds to pull back his pants and boxer shorts at the scene of his arrest to locate concealed drugs near his tail bone.
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US AZ: High Time Hold Up

Cocaine (MAP) - Thu, 09/21/2017 - 07:00
Tucson Weekly, 21 Sep 2017 - Your meds are safe for a little while longer. Congressional lawmakers bought a little more time for the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment by extending the current federal budget with a disaster relief bill signed by President Donald Trump earlier this month. The clause is set to expire with the rest of the bill on Dec. 8.
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CN ON: We've Got To Get The Marijuana Facts Out: Resident

Cocaine (MAP) - Thu, 09/21/2017 - 07:00
Markham Economist & Sun, 21 Sep 2017 - To tackle organized crime and those who lure young people into marijuana use, we need to legalize marijuana. This was one of the messages MP Bill Blair had at a town hall discussion at Cornell Community Centre Sunday.
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CN QU: Editorial: Where There's Smoke ...

Cocaine (MAP) - Wed, 09/20/2017 - 07:00
The Record, 20 Sep 2017 - It's been almost two full years since young Justin Trudeau and his Liberal party performed one of the most impressive revivals of a political party in Canadian history, regaining power from the Royal Canadian Harper Government and providing the country what was, in contrast, a progressive, marketing friendly face to the world. In addition, Young Justin has benefited from the stark contrast between his own public persona and that of the pustule of awfulness that has infested the American White House this year. For many progressives around the world, he has come not only to represent a kind of politics in direct opposition to his American counterpart and a signal of hope to ease the despair of those who see in Trump the moral, economic, and social failure that he represents. Nevertheless, at half way through his initial mandate, the youthful Prime Minster is being called to account for the aftermath of some of his most ambitious - and daunting - promises.
Categories: Cocaine

CN ON: Jimi Hendrix's Best Christmas Present Ever

Cocaine (MAP) - Sun, 09/17/2017 - 07:00
Toronto Star, 17 Sep 2017 - After getting arrested at Pearson for drug possession, trial was like a 'nightmare' for legendary star In 1969, legendary rock musician Jimi Hendrix declared Canada had given him "the best Christmas present" when a Toronto jury acquitted him of drug possession charges.
Categories: Cocaine

CN ON: City's Ranking 'Wake-Up Call'

Cocaine (MAP) - Sat, 09/16/2017 - 07:00
The Expositor, 16 Sep 2017 - Report puts Brantford at top in province for emergency room visits due to opioid poisoning, A report putting Brantford at the top of the provincial list for emergency room visits due to opioid overdoses is a "wake-up call," says Ruth Gratton.
Categories: Cocaine

CN ON: Editorial: Decriminalize All Drugs? Not A Bad Idea

Cocaine (MAP) - Sat, 09/16/2017 - 07:00
Toronto Star, 16 Sep 2017 - NDP leadership candidate Jagmeet Singh's recent promise that, as prime minister, he would move quickly to drop criminal penalties for possession or purchase of small amounts of all drugs will no doubt seem radical to many. Broad-based decriminalization would be a stark reversal after decades of increasingly punitive policies. And this would certainly add a layer of complication to the already-complicated task of legalizing marijuana, which Ottawa and the provinces are struggling to do by next summer. The Trudeau government's current position on decriminalization is understandable: Ottawa already has its hands full with pot.
Categories: Cocaine

CN SN: Legalization Looming

Cocaine (MAP) - Thu, 09/14/2017 - 07:00
Moose Jaw Times-Herald, 14 Sep 2017 - Province turns to citizens for consultation on how marijuana should be sold in Saskatchewan Love it or hate it, legislation that legalizes pot in Canada is coming. The provincial government launched a survey last week, seeking the public's response to questions ranging from where and how marijuana should be sold, to a minimum age for users, and priorities when it comes to enforcement and education. These are some of the top concerns for users, sellers, legislators, and law enforcement alike.
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CN ON: Larkin Says New Pot Law Brings 'A Lot Of Worry'

Cocaine (MAP) - Thu, 09/14/2017 - 07:00
The Record, 14 Sep 2017 - Waterloo Regional Police Chief Bryan Larkin says police are gearing up for the July 1 deadline when pot will be legal in Canada but he says there is "trepidation and worry" about the upcoming law. Larkin, who is president of the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police, said any new legislation and public policy brings "a lot of trepidation" and "a lot of worry."
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.
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