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Chronicle AM: House Blocks MJ Banking, No Prostitutes for DEA, Thai Meth Policy, More... (6/23/16)

Methamphetamine (STDW) - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 20:32

House Republicans blocked an effort to open up banking for marijuana businesses, an Oregon worker fired for medical marijuana use wins his job back, DEA agents get new marching orders on hookers, the Thai government grapples with methamphetamine policy, and more.

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

House Turns Back Effort to Give Pot Businesses Access to Banks. The Republican-led House Wednesday voted down an amendment to the FY 2017 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act that would have blocked federal regulators from punishing financial institutions for working with state-legal marijuana businesses. A similar amendment had passed the Senate last week.

Nevada Legalization Effort Has Raised Nearly $300,000 This Year. The Nevada Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol has raised $285,000 so far this year, with more than half coming in a two-day period earlier this month when local marijuana companies made significant donations. The campaign's legalization initiative has qualified for the November ballot. Opposition groups made no reports of donations this reporting period.

Oregon Takes in Nearly $15 Million in Pot Taxes So Far This Year. As of May 30, the state Department of Revenue had processed $14.9 million in marijuana tax payments this year, the agency said Wednesday. Medical marijuana dispensaries authorized to sell to any adult 21 or over began collecting the tax in January.

Medical Marijuana

New Mexico Auditor Bemoans Delays in Processing ID Cards. The state auditor and the attorney general are investigating a backlog of medical marijuana ID card applications as requests for the cards surge. The state has 30 days to issue the issue the cards, but the Department of Health said it is taking 45-50 days, and the auditor's office said it had complaints of wait times of up to 90 days.

Oregon Worker Fired for Medical Marijuana Wins Jobs Back. An arbitrator has ordered Lane County to reinstate a worker it fired because he used medical marijuana to deal with the side effects of cancer treatment and it has ordered the county to give him nearly $22,000 in back pay. Michael Hirsh had been employed as a senior programmer for the county before he was fired in December after two employees reported smelling pot smoke on his clothing.

Heroin and Prescription Opioids

New York Governor Signs Heroin Bill Package. Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) Wednesday signed into law a package of bills aimed at the state's heroin and prescription opioid problems. The bills, which address prevention, treatment, and insurance coverage, should produce an additional 270 treatment beds and more than 2,000 slots for drug treatment programs. The bills also require insurance companies to wait 14 days before denying coverage to drug users deemed in need of drug treatment, and it limits initial prescriptions for opioids for severe pain to seven days.

Law Enforcement

No Prostitutes for DEA Agents. In the wake of scandalous behavior by DEA agents in Colombia during the 2012 Summit of the Americas, the DEA has instituted a one-strike policy for agents caught patronizing prostitutes. "Solicitation of prostitution on duty or off duty, whether you're in a jurisdiction where it is legal or illegal, first time offense -- removal," DEA administrator Chuck Rosenberg told a Senate panel Wednesday.

International

UN Releases Annual Global Drug Report -- 250 Million Adults Used a Drug Last Year. The UN Office of Drugs and Crime has released the World Drug Report 2016, and notes that 5% of the adult population has used at least one drug in the past year. The UN also reported that the number of people classified as suffering from a dependency disorder climbed to more than 29 million, up from 27 million the previous year.

Thailand Won't Legalize Meth, But Will Remove it From List of Dangerous Drugs. Thai Justice Minister Paiboon Koomchaya has walked back talk about legalizing the amphetamine, but now says the country will work to reform its drug laws by removing meth from its list of hard drugs like heroin and recognizing a distinction between traffickers and users, workers, and addicts.

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Chronicle AM: Times of London Calls for Drug Decrim, Microsoft Enters MJ Business, More... (6/17/16)

Methamphetamine (STDW) - Fri, 06/17/2016 - 21:04

Three reports on marijuana policy are released, Microsoft gets in the marijuana business, the Times of London calls for drug decriminalization and hints at legalization, a Thai minister reiterates his call for regulating meth, and more.

[image:1 align:right]Marijuana Policy

Brookings Institution Releases Research Papers on Legalization and Regulation. One paper is "Bootleggers, Baptists, bureaucrats, and bongs: How special interests will shape marijuana legalization," in which Brookings Senior Fellows Philip Wallach and Jonathan Rauch ask: Why did marijuana legalization recently break through in the face of what had long been overwhelming interest-group resistance? How might key social and bureaucratic actors reorganize and reassert themselves, and as legalization ushers in a "new normal" of marijuana-related regulation and lobbying, what kinds of pitfalls and opportunities lie ahead? The second paper is "Worry about bad marijuana -- not Big Marijuana," in which Rauch and Senior Fellow John Hudak examine a concern that many critics and proponents of marijuana legalization share: the potential emergence of Big Marijuana, a corporate lobby akin to Big Tobacco that recklessly pursues profits and wields sufficient clout to shape regulation to its liking. Hudak and Rauch ultimately argue against alarmism, concluding that "policy should concern itself with harmful practices, not with industry structure, and it should begin with a presumption of neutrality on issues of corporate size and market structure."

Transnational Institute Releases Report on Marijuana Regulation and UN Treaties. The report, "Cannabis Regulation and the UN Drug Treaties: Strategies for Reform," which was compiled by a group of experts in the United States, Mexico, the Netherlands, Canada, and the United Kingdom, makes clear that the problem is not that countries are pursuing reforms to legally regulate cannabis, but rather the antiquated drug treaty provisions that explicitly block such reforms. Overcoming that hurdle, the report argues, does not require a global consensus to rewrite the UN drug treaties -- a difficult task under current conditions -- but can be achieved by procedures available to individual countries and groups of countries under international law.

Microsoft Enters the Marijuana Business. The tech giant announced Thursday that is forming a partnership with a marijuana-focused software company called Kind Financial, which provides "seed to sale" services for marijuana growers. The move makes Microsoft the first major tech company to get involved with the growing legal marijuana industry.

Michigan Legalizers Sue Over 180-Window for Signatures. MI Legalize, the group seeking to get its legalization initiative on the November ballot, filed suit Thursday in the state Court of Claims seeking to overturn a new law and an old policy that render invalid any signatures gathered outside of a 180-day window. Michigan officials ruled that the campaign came up short after they rejected signatures from the beginning of the petition drive because they had been gathered outside that window.

Medical Marijuana

New Jersey Assembly Passes PTSD Bill. The Assembly approved the bill Thursday, and a Senate committee approved a similar measure the same day. The bills would allow patients suffering from PTSD to use medical marijuana with a doctor's recommendation.

Asset Forfeiture

Delaware Legislature Passes Mild Asset Forfeiture Reform Bill. The Senate unanimously approved House Bill 309, which would force the state's Special Law Enforcement Assistance Fund to disclose the specific items and programs its civil asset forfeiture fund paid for. The measure has already passed the House and goes to the desk of Gov. Jack Markell (D). A bill that would have abolished civil forfeiture was filed, but never moved this year.

International

The Times of London Calls for Drug Decriminalization, Hints at Legalization. England's most prestigious newspaper has declared itself in favor of treating drug use and possession as a public health issue rather than a criminal one. In a leading article, "Breaking Good", the paper supported the call earlier this week from the Royal Society for Public Health for drug decriminalization. The newspaper said that although it is "radical advice," it is "sound" and ministers should "give it serious consideration." In an editorial in the same issue, the Times went a step further: "The government should be encouraged to think of decriminalization not as an end in itself but as a first step towards legalizing and regulating drugs as it already regulates alcohol and tobacco."

Thai Minister Defends Call for Legalizing Meth. Facing criticism, Justice Minister Paiboon Koomchaya held firm Friday to his call to regulate instead of prohibit methamphetamine. He said it is impossible to eliminate dangerous drugs, so there should be a proper way to live with them. He added that crackdowns on users and sellers had filled the country's prisons, but not prevented drug use.

Categories: Methamphetamine

Chronicle AM: UK Public Health Groups Call for Decrim, MPP Endorses Gary Johnson, More... (6/16/16)

Methamphetamine (STDW) - Thu, 06/16/2016 - 21:56

Busy, busy: There's movement on marijuana banking, Gary Johnson picks up MPP's endorsement, a leading California cannabis oil producer gets busted, the AMA casts on leery eye on patient pain reports, a congresswoman wants to drug test the rich, British public health groups call for decrim, the Thai government wants to end the war on meth, and more.

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

Senate Committee Approves Measure to Ease Pot Businesses' Access to Financial Services. The Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday voted 16-14 to approve an amendment that would bar the Treasury Department from punishing banks that do business with state-legal marijuana businesses. The amendment is part of the FY 2017 Financial And General Government Services Appropriations Act, which now heads for a Senate floor vote.

Marijuana Policy Project Endorses Libertarian Gary Johnson for President. MPP has formally endorsed Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson for president, saying he was the obvious choice as the most pro-marijuana legalization candidate on the ballot. The group said its endorsement was based solely on his marijuana policies.

New York Assembly Passes Bill to Seal Records for Misdemeanor Marijuana Convictions. The Assembly has passed Assembly Bill 10092, which will seal the conviction records of people charged with misdemeanor offenses. Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said the move was in response to New York City police charging people with misdemeanors for possession of marijuana in public. Simple possession is decriminalized in the state.

Medical Marijuana

Leading California Medical Marijuana Oil Maker Busted.Police, including DEA agents, raided five properties associated with a well-known medical marijuana products manufacturer in Northern California's Sonoma County Wednesday morning, detaining at least nine people and arresting one on suspicion of felony drug manufacture for his role in cannabis oil production.The operation raided was Care By Design (CBD Guild), which produces CBD-rich cannabis oils for use in sprays, gels, and cannabis oil cartridges for vaporizers. The company offers products with five different ratios of CBD to THC so "patients can adjust their cannabis medicine to suit their specific conditions and personal preferences." Police accused the operation of using dangerous and illegal butane extraction for their oils, but Care By Design says that is not the case.

Heroin and Prescription Opioids

AMA Resolutions Aim to Curb Opioid Abuse, Will Ignore Patients' Pain Reports. At its annual meeting in Chicago, the American Medical Association (AMA) approved a number of resolutions aimed at curbing the misuse of prescription opioids. One called for removing any barriers to non-opioid pain therapies, one calls for promoting increased access to the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone (Narcan), but "the group also voted in favor of efforts to remove pain as a vital sign in professional standards, as well as disconnecting patient satisfaction scores from questions related to the evaluation and management of pain," a move that may not bode well for chronic pain patients.

Asset Forfeiture

Company Now Offers Asset Forfeiture Insurance to Cannabusinesses. CBZ Insurance Services is now offering coverage to protect state-legal marijuana businesses from the threat of seizure and asset forfeiture. The company's "search and confiscation" coverage applies only to entities that are state-legal and are found innocent of any raid-related charges. "A legally operating cannabis business has unique challenges other types of businesses don't have," said CBZ's Jeffrey Rosen. "One challenge is the threat of being shut down at any time by law enforcement. Whether you're a grower, distributor or manufacturer, search and seizure coverage is the best protection for a company's assets."

Drug Testing

Congresswoman Wants to Drug Test the Rich Before Approving Tax Deductions. US Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI) has called for requiring wealthy Americans to undergo a drug test before approving their tax deductions. Moore said she will file the bill because she is "sick and tired, and sick and tired of being sick and tired, of the criminalization of poverty," referring to efforts pushed by Republican governors and legislators to impose drug testing requirements on people seeking public benefits. "We're not going to get rid of the federal deficit by cutting poor people off SNAP. But if we are going to drug-test people to reduce the deficit, let's start on the other end of the income spectrum."

International

British Public Health Bodies Call for Drug Decriminalization. Two leading public health bodies say drug use is a health issue, not a criminal one, and have called for drug decriminalization. The Royal Society for Public Health and the Faculty of Public Health said that criminalizing drug use has not deterred people from using drugs, and that those harmed by drug use are harmed again by punishment. "We have taken the view that it is time for endorsing a different approach," said Shirley Cramer, chief executive of the Royal Society. "We have gone to our stakeholders and asked the public and tried to gain some consensus from our community and the public, because that is very important." The society has detailed in its new line in the aptly named report Taking a New Line on Drugs.

Thailand Government Proposes Ending War on Meth and Regulating It Instead. Thai Justice Minister Paiboon Koomchaya has suggested removing meth from the country's dangerous illicit drug list and putting it in the same category as medicinal drugs, with controls -- not bans -- on distribution, sale, and use of the drug. Current measures to suppress the drug have not worked, he said. Paiboon's comments came in a discussion of the UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs (UNGASS), which met in April. "The world has now surrendered to drugs, and has come to think of how to live with drugs. It is like a man suffering from cancer and having no cure and he has to live a happy life with the cancer," Gen Paiboon said. The government has drawn up a bill that would do that, he said.

(This article was prepared by StoptheDrugWar.org"s lobbying arm, the Drug Reform Coordination Network, which also pays 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: Methamphetamine

CN ON: Accuracy Of Drug Scanners Questioned

Methamphetamine (MAP) - Tue, 06/07/2016 - 07:00
Kingston Whig-Standard, 07 Jun 2016 - The leader of an advocacy group supporting family members of inmates in federal institutions says something needs to be done to correct the high numbers of false positives for drug residue picked up on ion mobility spectrometry (IMS) devices, or ion scanners. These false positives have resulted in visits by family members being rejected or changed to a higher security setting.
Categories: Methamphetamine

Philippines: PNP: No Proof Top Officials Into Drugs

Methamphetamine (MAP) - Tue, 06/07/2016 - 07:00
Philippine Daily Inquirer, 07 Jun 2016 - THE OUTGOING chief of the Philippine National Police yesterday shrugged off Presidentelect Rodrigo Duterte's allegations that three "police generals" were involved in corruption or illegal drugs. PNP Director General Ricardo Marquez told reporters that an investigation had been in progress even before Duterte told his supporters at a thanksgiving party on Saturday in Davao City that corruption in the police ranks should stop and that he was asking three "generals" assigned at headquarters to resign.
Categories: Methamphetamine

US CA: Edu: Column: It's Not Easy Banning Green

Methamphetamine (MAP) - Thu, 06/02/2016 - 07:00
The Daily Californian, 02 Jun 2016 - His left hand was pressed firmly into his temple as he leaned in and whispered, "Okay, once I finish this goddamn computer science project I'm going to make some Amsterdam tea." I muffled my naturally thunderous laughter as we we sat in the center of the Engineering Library. A moment of comfortable silence between friends followed, with only keyboard sounds filling the space. I didn't resume studying, for I was distracted by his plans, and it wasn't because of his choice of euphemism. I began to reflect on his announcement. It would not have been any different had he said he was going to smoke a cigarette or take a shot when his work was complete. Nothing would have changed.
Categories: Methamphetamine

Australia: Critical Airline Staff Test Positive

Methamphetamine (MAP) - Mon, 05/09/2016 - 07:00
Daily Mail, 09 May 2016 - A number of critical airline staff have tested positive for hardcore drugs and alcohol while on the job, leaving passengers concerned about the protocols in place to keep them safe in the air. At least 14 Australian airline and airport employees operating in 'safety sensitive' roles came to work affected by alcohol and drugs in 2015, according to The Daily Telegraph.
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Australia: Safe Trip

Methamphetamine (MAP) - Sun, 05/08/2016 - 07:00
The Age, 08 May 2016 - What if LSD could treat PTSD, or magic mushrooms could help you quit smoking? Overseas research is advanced, but trials of psychedelic drugs can't get approval in Australia. Are we missing out on cures? Konrad Marshall reports. When Martin Williams' research plan was first rejected by an ethics committee in 2012, he understood why.
Categories: Methamphetamine

US OH: Growing Pot Not So Rare In Appalachian Region

Methamphetamine (MAP) - Sun, 05/08/2016 - 07:00
Columbus Dispatch, 08 May 2016 - WAVERLY, Ohio - Sure, some people grow marijuana in Pike County. And, yes, some people nurture the tender plants near clearings where the sunshine will hit them and where a water source - generally the Scioto River or one of its feeder creeks - is readily available.
Categories: Methamphetamine

US: Sea Change As Drugs Scourge Grips White Americans

Methamphetamine (MAP) - Sat, 05/07/2016 - 07:00
The Age, 07 May 2016 - Addiction to painkillers is putting many Americans on a road that leads to heroin and an early grave, writes Andrew Purcell. The United States is in the grip of an unprecedented epidemic. In 2014, more than 47,000 people were killed by an overdose more than were killed by guns, or died in traffic accidents.
Categories: Methamphetamine

US: Sea Change As Drugs Scourge Grips White Americans

Methamphetamine (MAP) - Sat, 05/07/2016 - 07:00
Sydney Morning Herald, 07 May 2016 - 'This generation is really sick' Addiction to painkillers is putting many Americans on a road that leads to heroin and an early grave, writes Andrew Purcell. The United States is in the grip of an unprecedented epidemic. In 2014, more than 47,000 people were killed by an overdose - more than were killed by guns, or died in traffic accidents.
Categories: Methamphetamine

Australia: We Can't Win War On Ice, Says Premier

Methamphetamine (MAP) - Thu, 05/05/2016 - 07:00
West Australian, 05 May 2016 - Colin Barnett has suggested the war on the drug ice is all but unwinnable, saying its supply into the WA market is "not possible" to stop. Speaking at a conference held by the WA Council of Social Services yesterday, the Premier painted a bleak picture of efforts to control the methamphetamine trade.
Categories: Methamphetamine

CN BC: Sparse Turnout At Surrey Crime Forum

Methamphetamine (MAP) - Wed, 04/27/2016 - 07:00
Cloverdale Reporter, 27 Apr 2016 - He watched in disbelief as his friend was dragged to death under the carriage of an SUV. But the horrific incident was just the start of his gang life, a road that would eventually take him to a stint in North Fraser Correctional Centre - which he described as one of the scariest places he's been.
Categories: Methamphetamine
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