Cocaine

Chronicle AM: NM Marijuana Poll, House Passes Limited Prison Reform Bill, More... (5/23/18)

Cocaine (STDW) - Wed, 05/23/2018 - 19:30

A solid majority of New Mexicans support marijuana legalization, the House passes a limited prison -- but not sentencing -- reform bill, an Open Society Foundations report calls for increased opportunities for legal coca sales in Colombia, and more.

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

New Mexico Poll Has Strong Support for Legalization. A poll from Research & Polling Inc. conducted in March but not released until yesterday has support for marijuana legalization at 63%. Respondents were asked if they would support a bill to legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana. Support was up 2% over a similar poll in 2016.

Medical Marijuana

West Virginia Bid for Special Session to Address Marijuana Banking Issues Fizzles. The legislature concluded its may interim meetings Tuesday without securing enough signatures in the House of Delegates to force a special session to address marijuana banking issues. The legislature needed three-fifths of members in both the Senate and the House to force a special session. Enough senators signed on to meet that bar, but not enough delegates did.

Prison Reform

House Passes Prison Reform Bill Backed By Trump. The House easily passed a bipartisan prison reform bill Tuesday, but it faces a murky future in the Senate. House Resolution 5682 aims to reduce recidivism by providing training programs for prisoners. Powerful senators, including Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), however, are holding out for a more substantive bill that includes not just prison reforms, but also sentencing reforms. "For that deal to pass the Senate, it must include sentencing reform. At least as of now, that's something Sen. Durbin and I still are sticking together on," Grassley said at a Tuesday event on criminal justice reform.

International

Open Society Report Calls for Boosting Colombia's Legal Coca Market to Reduce Violence. A new report from Open Society Foundations calls on Colombia to move away from traditional drug eradication measures that have not proven successful and instead create policies that encourage coca farmers to stay out of the black market. The report says both international and Colombian law allow coca to be grown for legal purposes, and Colombia should move to increase that prospect.

Categories: Cocaine

CN ON: Column: Enabling Drugs While Shunning Sugar

Cocaine (MAP) - Fri, 05/11/2018 - 07:00
Hamilton Spectator, 11 May 2018 - It'€™s all about harm reduction and improving community health outcomes No doubt some Hamiltonians are chuckling to hear city council is considering banning sugary drinks from city buildings to protect people's health.
Categories: Cocaine

US OH: Needle Exchange Program Offers Fentanyl Test Strips

Cocaine (MAP) - Mon, 05/07/2018 - 07:00
The Blade, 07 May 2018 - Northwest Ohio Syringe Services has begun distributing fentanyl test strips to active users of opioids and other drugs. The exchange, a program through the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department, is part of a larger strategy of harm reduction to keep people with addiction issues healthy while using, and provide them with resources and help when they want to seek treatment. Fentanyl has become the scourge of anyone trying to fight Ohio's opioid epidemic: deadly in small quantities and appearing in an increasing number of fatal overdoses.
Categories: Cocaine

US: More Businesses Are Mellowing Out Over Hiring Marijuana Smokers

Cocaine (MAP) - Wed, 05/02/2018 - 07:00
Boston Globe, 02 May 2018 - WASHINGTON - FPI Management, a property company in California, wants to hire dozens of people. Factories from New Hampshire to Michigan need workers. Hotels in Las Vegas are desperate to fill jobs. Those employers and many others are quietly taking what once would have been a radical step: They're dropping marijuana from the drug tests they require of prospective employees. Marijuana testing - a fixture at large American employers for at least 30 years - excludes too many potential workers, experts say, at a time when filling jobs is more challenging than it's been in nearly two decades.
Categories: Cocaine

CN BC: Liberal Party Members Overwhelmingly Vote For Decriminalizing

Cocaine (MAP) - Mon, 04/23/2018 - 07:00
The Straight, 23 Apr 2018 - The Liberal Party of Canada has voted in favour of removing criminal penalties for the personal possession of drugs. It'€™s one of a number of policies that the party selected as priorities at a convention in Halifax on Saturday (April 21).
Categories: Cocaine

CN ON: Ontario Tory Leader Doug Ford Says He's Dead Against

Cocaine (MAP) - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 07:00
Globe and Mail, 20 Apr 2018 - Doug Ford says he is "dead against" supervised injection sites and believes the focus should be on drug rehabilitation instead. And if elected premier of Ontario in June, the Progressive Conservative Leader says he will do everything he can to fight the opioid crisis and get people who are struggling with addiction the help they need.
Categories: Cocaine

US: Column: We Scorned Black Addicts But Support White Addicts. Why?

Cocaine (MAP) - Wed, 04/18/2018 - 07:00
Chicago Tribune, 18 Apr 2018 - We have been here before -- a raging epidemic of addiction that destroys lives, families and communities. Who was on the front line in the 1990s, when the drug was crack and the addicts were mostly black? Drug czar William Bennett. His weapons were prosecution and prison.
Categories: Cocaine

US: 'El Chapo' evidence: Killings, Prison Breaks And 7 Tons Of

Cocaine (MAP) - Thu, 04/12/2018 - 07:00
Los Angeles Times, 12 Apr 2018 - U.S. prosecutors say their evidence against notorious Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman includes killings, torture, kidnappings, prison breaks and even an attempt to smuggle seven tons of cocaine in cans of jalapenos. A government memo filed Tuesday also says there's evidence that Guzman was involved in a 1992 drug-gang shootout at a Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, nightclub that left six people dead.
Categories: Cocaine

Europe's Top Five Cities for Cocaine, Ecstasy, and Speed Use

Cocaine (STDW) - Thu, 04/05/2018 - 23:57

Do you want to know Europe's true party capitals? The European Monitoring Commission on Drugs and Drug Abuse (EMCDDA) is here to help. Last month it released its latest annual report on drug use levels in 56 European cities in 19 countries.

[image:1 align:right caption:true]The report relied not on survey results or extrapolations from drug seizures, but a much more direct method: an analysis of daily wastewater samples in the catchment areas of wastewater treatment plants over a one-week period. Researchers analyzed the wastewater from approximately 43 million people, looking for traces of four illicit drugs: amphetamine, methamphetamine, cocaine, and MDMA (ecstasy).

The epidemiological analysis of wastewater is "a rapidly developing scientific discipline with the potential for monitoring close to real-time, population-driven trends in illicit drug use," the EMCDDA points out. Their researchers can now use it to estimate levels of drug use by measuring the levels of drugs and their metabolites excreted into the sewers by urine.

So, which cities are doing the most drugs? We'll give you the top five for each drug, as well as a bit of discussion below:

Amphetamines (milligrams/1,000 people/day)

Eindhoven (Netherlands)     271.7

Antwerp Zuid (Belgium)      268.8

Saarbrucken (Germany)        242.0

Oostende (Belgium)               236.4

Mainz (Germany)                    226.9

The loads of amphetamine detected varied considerably across study locations, with cities in the north and east of Europe reporting much higher levels than in the south. Amphetamine, a working man's drug, was also found more evenly throughout the week than the party drugs, which tend to show up more in weekend samples. Of the top 15 cities, nine were in Germany, three each in Belgium and the Netherlands, and one in Iceland. Berlin came in 10th, Amsterdam 11th.

Cocaine (milligrams/1,000 people/day)

Barcelona (Spain)                  965.2

Zurich (Switzerland)             934.4

Antwerp Zuid (Belgium)      822.9

St. Gallen Hofen (Switzerland)      821.7

Geneva (Switzerland)           794.8

Cocaine use is highest in western and southern European cities, particularly in Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, and the UK, but Switzerland, with three of the top five and five of the top 10 cokiest cities, certainly deserves mention. Year-to-year figures show that an upward trend first reported in 2016 continues.

MDMA (Ecstasy)(milligrams/1,000 people/day)

Amsterdam (Netherlands)    230.3

Eindhoven (Netherlands)     165.1

Antwerp Zuid (Belgium)      95.3

Zurich (Switzerland)             85.2

Utretcht (Netherlands)          59.8

The Dutch really love their E, taking three of the top five spots, and nearby Antwerp is really starting to look like an unsung drug hotspot, appearing in all three top fives so far. Berlin, Barcelona, Geneva, and Paris are all in the top 10, but at use levels only about one-fifth of Amsterdam.

Methamphetamine (milligrams/1,000 people/day)

Chemnitz (Germany)            240.6

Erfurt (Germany)                 211.2

Budweis (Czech Republic)      200.2

Brno (Czech Republic)            105.7

Dresden (Germany)              180.2

Like plain old amphetamine, meth use generally concentrated in northwest Europe, although the Czech Republic is certainly cranking, too, as it traditionally has. It is most popular in eastern Germany, Finland, and Norway.

One city worth mentioning is notable for its absence from these top fives: Lisbon. Portugal is the only country in Europe to have decriminalized the use and possession of all drugs, but its capital and largest city consistently ranked low-to-middling in drug use levels: The wastewater in Lisbon contained zero methamphetamine, came in 11th for Ecstasy use, 45th for amphetamine use, and 28th for cocaine use.

Those figures from Lisbon strongly suggest that other countries can decriminalize drug use and possession without seeing their populations turned into deranged party animals. In the meantime, the real party animals might want to head to Antwerp.

Categories: Cocaine
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