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Harm Reduction

Chronicle AM: CA Legalization Init Hands in Plenty of Signatures, CT Passes Sweeping Opioids Bill, More... (5/4/16)

Harm Reduction (STDW) - Wed, 05/04/2016 - 21:24

Californians will have a chance to vote on marijuana legalization this year, Oakland moves ahead with medical marijuana expansion, Connecticut passes a sweeping bill aimed at the opioid crisis, and more.

[image:1 align:right]Marijuana Policy

California AUMA Legalization Initiative Hands in Signatures. Supporters of the Sean Parker-backed Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) legalization initiative handed in some 600,000 signatures Tuesday. They only need 365,000 valid voter signatures to qualify for the November ballot. It looks very much like California will vote on legalizing marijuana this fall. Under the AUMA, adults 21 and over could possess and transport up to an ounce and grow up to six plants. The AUMA would also create a system of licensed and regulated marijuana cultivation and commerce.

After Killing Legalization, Vermont House Approves Move to Develop System to Regulate Legal Marijuana. Legalization is dead for this year, but the House Tuesday voted to approve a measure that would begin the development of system to regulate legal adult marijuana use. The House approved House Bill 858 after amending it to include language establishing a commission to "propose a comprehensive regulatory and revenue structure that establishes controlled access to marijuana in a manner that, when compared to the current illegal marijuana market, increases public safety and reduces harm to public health." The commission would be required to provide its recommendations to the legislature by the end of the year.

Medical Marijuana

Oakland Approves Medical Marijuana Expansion. The city has given its okay for a plan to license up to eight more dispensaries a year, as well as creating the city's first-ever licenses for farms, kitchens, and labs. The move came on a pair of unanimous city council votes after 16 months of laying the political groundwork. The council must come back later and approve the changes one more time before they're final.

Colorado Legislature Approves Bill to Help Young Medical Marijuana Patients. The legislature has approved House Bill 1373, which orders school districts to come up with policies to accommodate students who are medical marijuana patients. The measure does not allow smokeable marijuana at school, nor does it require school employees to administer marijuana-based medicines. That will be left to parents or primary caregivers. Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) is expected to sign the bill into law.

Ohio Medical Marijuana Bill Won't Allow Smoking. Vaping is okay, but toking is not under House Bill 523, the bill being considered by the legislature. The bill would also bar home cultivation. Proposed ballot initiatives, however, would allow both smoking and home cultivation, so the legislature's effort to undercut initiatives by passing its own bill may still not be enough to blunt the popular measures.

Heroin and Prescription Opioids

Connecticut Legislature Approves Sweeping Opioids Bill. The state Senate Tuesday passed comprehensive opioid legislation that would put a one-week cap on first-time opioid prescriptions to treat acute pain. The bill would also require localities to ensure that first responders have access to the overdose reversal drug naloxone, limit liability for health care providers who administer naloxone, and strengthen the state's prescription monitoring system. Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) is expected to sign it shortly. 

Categories: Harm Reduction

Chronicle AM: VT Legalization Bill Killed, Feds End Seizure Action Against Harborside Dispensaries, More... (5/3/16)

Harm Reduction (STDW) - Tue, 05/03/2016 - 20:29

Marijuana legalization is dead in Vermont this year, Tennessee cuts repeat pot possession penalties, the German health minister says medical marijuana is coming early next year, and more.

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

Tennessee Reduces Repeat Marijuana Possession Penalties. Gov. Bill Haslam (R) has signed into law House Bill 1478, which eliminates a provision in state law that makes a third conviction for pot possession a felony. Instead of facing one to six years in state prison, third offenders will now face up to a year in jail.

Vermont House Votes Down Pot Legalization Bill. The House voted 121-28 today to kill the marijuana legalization bill passed by the Senate in February. While Senate Bill 241 is dead, the House continues to work on a proposal to expand decriminalization from one ounce to two and to allow individuals to grow up to two plants. Stay tuned.

Medical Marijuana

Feds End Attempt to Shut Down, Seize California's Harborside Dispensaries. Federal prosecutors have reached a "historic agreement" with Harborside to end their efforts to seize the Oakland and San Jose dispensaries for violating federal drug laws. In return, Harborside agrees not to pursue further legal action against the federal government. "We are gratified that the government has finally seen fit to lay down its arms against Harborside in this case," said Harborside attorney Henry Wykoski. "The will of the people is for medical cannabis dispensaries to operate free from federal threats of closure. We hope we are on the cusp of a policy change and that the Department of Justice will no longer target state-legal dispensaries for forfeiture."

Illinois Medical Marijuana Board Okays New Health Conditions. The board voted Monday to add 10 qualifying conditions for medical marijuana use. Among them were PTSD and chronic pain, which were rejected earlier this year by Gov. Bruce Rauner (R). The board members also said they doubted the conditions would be approved and complained that Rauner's standards for approving new conditions are too strict.

Harm Reduction

North Carolina Needle Exchange Bill Filed. State Sen. Stan Bingham (R-Guilford County) has introduced Senate Bill 794, which would allow needle exchanges to operate legally in the state. The bill is set for committee assignment sometime this week.

International

German Health Minister Says Medical Marijuana Coming Early Next Year. Health Minister Hermann Groehe said Tuesday that the country will legalize medical marijuana early next year. "Our goal is that seriously ill patients are treated in the best possible way," Groehe said, adding that he will present draft legislation to the cabinet Wednesday.

Categories: Harm Reduction

Chronicle AM: ME to Vote on Pot Legalization, AK Could See "Pot Cafes," AB Passes CBD MedMJ Bill, More... (5/2/16)

Harm Reduction (STDW) - Mon, 05/02/2016 - 20:55

Lots of Maine news today, Alaska could see "pot cafes," a New Hampshire asset forfeiture bill gets gutted under police pressure, and more. 

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

Alaska Marijuana Draft Regulations Include Pot Cafes. Alaska could become the first legalization state to actually allow social pot smoking in designated businesses. The state's Marijuana Control Board has crafted draft regs that would allow users to toke up inside retail stores. The draft regs are now awaiting public comment. While "public" pot smoking is banned, the regs create an exemption for retail stores to seek an "onsite consumption endorsement" to their licenses. Stores with that endorsement could then set aside an area for people to consume marijuana.

California GOP Opposes AUMA Legalization Initiative. The state Republican Party has voted at its convention over the weekend to oppose the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) pot legalization initiative. "We must not turn this plague loose on our children and the people of California," said Sen. Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber, who also called marijuana an "entry-level" drug that leads to addiction. California Democrats have endorsed the initiative.

It's Official: Maine Will Vote on Legalization in November The final obstacle to a popular vote was removed last Friday, when state legislators punted on their chance to act on the citizen legalization initiative, opting instead to send the question to the voters instead. Earlier, the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, which organized the state's legalization initiative had to go to the courts to force recalcitrant state officials to properly count all the signatures, and they did so.

Vermont House Takes Up Marijuana Legalization Today. The House is considering legalization today, albeit in a roundabout fashion. One House committee rejected the legalization measure, Senate Bill 241, while another amended it to legalize possession and personal cultivation, but not regulated, legal marijuana commerce. The Senate responded by pasting SB 241 into another bill, House Bill 858, which the House is considering today. Stay tuned!

Medical Marijuana

Alabama Passes CBD Medical Marijuana Bill. Both houses of the legislature have now approved "Leni's Law," which would allow people with seizure disorders or other debilitating medical conditions to use CBD cannabis oil to treat their ailments. Gov. Robert Bentley (R) is expected to sign the bill into law.

Connecticut Medical Marijuana Expansion Bill Passes Legislature. A bill that would allow children with certain debilitating medical conditions to use medical marijuana has passed out of the legislature after a final Senate vote last Friday. Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) is expected to sign House Bill 5450 into law.

New Hampshire's First Dispensary Opens. The Sanctuary Alternative Treatment Center opened in Plymouth last Saturday. It's the first dispensary in the state to open for business. It only took nearly three years after the state's medical marijuana law was approved for this to happen.

Asset Forfeiture

New Hampshire Asset Forfeiture Bill Scaled Back Under Police Pressure. The state Senate last Thursday stripped a provision from an asset forfeiture reform bill that would have directed funds seized by police to the state's general fund rather than to the agency that seized them. The move came after police chiefs said not letting them keep the goodies would "handcuff" them.

Oklahoma Governor Signs Asset Forfeiture Reform Bill. Gov. Mary Fallin (R) last Thursday signed into law a bill that will allow people whose property is subject to asset forfeiture to recover attorney fees when they challenge the seizures. The new law goes into effect November 1.

Drug Policy

Maine Decriminalizes Drug Possession, Moves to Adopt Pre-Arrest Diversion Program. Last Thursday, a bill that would make simple drug possession a misdemeanor instead of a felony passed into law without the signature of Tea Party Gov. Paul LePage. The bill, LD 1554, decriminalizes the possession of up to 200 milligrams of heroin. Earlier this month, the legislature also approved a bill that would fund Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) programs, which have proven successful in Seattle and other cities.

Harm Reduction

Maine Legislature Overrides Governor's Veto of Overdose Reversal Drug Bill. The legislature voted last Friday to override gubernatorial vetoes of LD 1457 and LD 1552, which would allow access to naloxone without a prescription and provide public funding for needle exchange, respectively. Gov. Paul Le Page had claimed "naloxone does not save lives, it merely extends them until the next overdose" and complained that the $70 cost would not be repaid.

International

Canada Supreme Court Throws Out Mandatory Minimums for Drug Traffickers. In a decision last Friday, the high court ruled mandatory minimums for repeat drug offenders are unconstitutional. The case is R. v. Lloyd.

Categories: Harm Reduction

US: US Facing Not One, But Two Opioid Epidemics

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Mon, 05/02/2016 - 07:00
Boston Globe, 02 May 2016 - The headlines have become grimly familiar: "More than 20 overdose deaths hit Middlesex in 3 weeks," "Opioid overdoses kill 10 people in 12 days in Sacramento area," "Opioid abuse has death grip on Tennessee." But there's a problem with this umbrella term "opioids." It hides the fact that Americans are actually dying from two separate scourges: some are succumbing to heroin, others to prescriptions drugs like OxyContin, Percocet, and Vicodin.
Categories: Harm Reduction

Singapore: Editorial: Soft Drug Policies A Risky Addiction

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Mon, 05/02/2016 - 07:00
Straits Times, 02 May 2016 - The long war on drugs is taking its toll elsewhere, it seems, with some countries pushing for a less hardline approach. What the new approach, euphemistically named "harm reduction", embodies in reality is that the war is already half lost. It assumes that since a world free of drugs is plausibly impossible, policies should be tailored to minimise the harm associated with their use. The approach includes the provision of clean needles for drug abusers and supervised injection sites.
Categories: Harm Reduction

US CT: Examining Opioid Addiction Treatment

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Sun, 05/01/2016 - 07:00
New Haven Register, 01 May 2016 - Dr. Leana Wen, a practicing emergency care physician and Baltimore's health commissioner, has seen what addiction does to patients. Speaking to reporters this month in Baltimore, Wen recalled a patient, who developed an addiction and would lie about illnesses to ensure she had access to treatment, but then died of a heroin overdose after multiple attempts to get appropriate treatment.
Categories: Harm Reduction

CN BC: Vancouver's Oldest Marijuana Shop Wins Appeal

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Thu, 04/28/2016 - 07:00
Vancouver Courier, 28 Apr 2016 - The oldest medicinal marijuana dispensary in Vancouver cleared a big hurdle Wednesday in its battle to keep its doors open for its 6,000 members and continue operating on Commercial Drive. The B.C. Compassion Club, which was founded in 1997 and moved to Commercial Drive in 1998, won its appeal Wednesday from the Board of Variance, overturning an earlier decision by the city that ruled the dispensary was too close to two schools to operate under the city's new regulations for pot shops.
Categories: Harm Reduction

CN BC: Trudeau Government Promises Marijuana Legislation Next

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Thu, 04/28/2016 - 07:00
Vancouver Courier, 28 Apr 2016 - Organizer of today's 4-20 protest at Sunset Beach predicts bigger events when pot legalized An organizer of today's 4-20 marijuana protest at Sunset Beach is welcoming the news that Canada's health minister announced that the Trudeau government will introduce legislation next spring to legalize marijuana.
Categories: Harm Reduction

CN ON: Residents Upset Over Potential Safe Injection Site Near

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Thu, 04/28/2016 - 07:00
City Centre Mirror, 28 Apr 2016 - With a safe injection site potentially slated to open up at The Works near Yonge and Dundas, some members of the public are angry over a lack of public consultation prior to the location being selected. At a public meeting on Wednesday, April 20, Toronto Centre-Rosedale (Ward 27) Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam, City of Toronto Medical Officer of Health Dr. David McKeown and The Works manager Shaun Hopkins offered up some facts and details about safe injection sites in general.
Categories: Harm Reduction

US FL: OPED: Obama Must Do More To Fight Heroin

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Thu, 04/28/2016 - 07:00
Orlando Sentinel, 28 Apr 2016 - President Obama's administration has missed opportunities to stem the opioid overdose crisis, and therefore it's no great surprise that heroin overdose deaths have tripled since 2010. The administration dragged its feet on requiring mental health and addiction treatment to have the same insurance coverage as physical ailments; inexplicably, it took five years to write the federal regulations needed to implement the 2008MentalHealth Parity and Addiction Equity Act. Many insurance plans still ignore the need for parity, studies show. The administration is only this month finalizing rules to implement parity for mental health and addiction treatment in Medicaid...
Categories: Harm Reduction

CN BC: DTES Funding Switch Shuts Out Drug Centre

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Thu, 04/28/2016 - 07:00
The Georgia Straight, 28 Apr 2016 - Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) has initiated a shakeup among community services in the Downtown Eastside. The regional health-care provider has eliminated funding for the Drug User Resource Centre (DURC), which has operated on East Cordova Street across from Oppenheimer Park since 2003.
Categories: Harm Reduction

Chronicle AM: CT Opioids Bill Passes House, CA Drug Sentence Reduction Bill Killed, More... (4/26/16)

Harm Reduction (STDW) - Tue, 04/26/2016 - 18:20

DC marijuana activists scored a White House meeting, Montana medical marijuana patients catch a temporary break, hemp states could be protected from federal interference, Canada just says no to decrim ahead of pot legalization next year, and more.

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

White House Staffers Meet With DC Marijuana Activists. Adam Eidinger and Nikolas Schiller of the DC Cannabis Campaign met with White House staffers Monday and urged them to commit the administration to a marijuana policy summit at the White House. They didn't get any answers from the staffers, but Eidinger said they did get "a lot of nods, a lot of smiles."

Nebraska and Oklahoma Try Again to Derail Colorado's Pot Legalization. After being turned away by the US Supreme Court in their bid to overturn marijuana legalization in Colorado, the two neighboring states have asked to be added to another case at the US 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver brought by opponents of legalization. The case consolidates two separate lawsuits brought by a group of county sheriffs and the owners of a rural property, and now, Nebraska and Oklahoma hope it will include them, too.

Medical Marijuana

Iowa CBD Medical Marijuana Expansion Bill Killed. A Republican-backed bill to expand the number of ailments for which Iowans could use CBD cannabis oil was defeated in the House Monday. Democrats said the proposal did not go far enough, while some Republicans objected to any effort to legalize marijuana, medicinal or otherwise. The bill was defeated 61-36.

Montana Supreme Court Delays Enforcement of Medical Marijuana Rollback. The state high court said it will delay enforcement of its February ruling dramatically rolling back the state's medical marijuana program. The court said its ruling would now not go into effect until August 31. Montana activists and medical marijuana industry spokesman have said the rollback would force the closure of dispensaries and leave patients in the lurch. Supporters are also working on an initiative campaign to put a revamped medical marijuana system before the voters in November.

Hemp

Senate Committee Approves Amendment to Block Federal Interference With Hemp. Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) offered an amendment to the Senate Commerce, Justice, and Science appropriations bill that would prevent the federal government from interfering with implementation of state hemp laws, and the Appropriations Committee passed it last Friday. More than half the states have laws allowing farmers to cultivate hemp, but they faced the prospect of the DEA taking action against them. That will end if the amendment survives the rest of the appropriations process.

Heroin and Prescription Opioids

Connecticut House Passes Comprehensive Opioid Bill. The House Monday unanimously approved House Bill 5053, which would widen access to the overdose reversal drug naloxone, put a seven-day cap on first-time opioid prescriptions, strengthen the prescription monitoring program, provide a release from liability for Good Samaritans who administer naloxone, and add staffing for emergency medical care and the Alcohol and Drug Policy Council. The bill now goes to the Senate.

Sentencing

California Bill to Reduce Drug Sentences Fails. A bill to repeal sentencing enhancements for certain drug offenses died in the Senate Monday after some senators warned that it would favor drug dealers. The measure, Senate Bill 966, filed by Sen. Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles), would have repealed a law that adds three years in prison for people convicted of drug distribution offenses if they have previously been convicted on similar charges. All Republican members voted against it, as did three Democrats, while five more Democrats abstained. The bill lost 18-16.

International

Canada Will Not Decriminalize Marijuana Possession Ahead of Legalization. The Liberal government has made it clear that it will not move to end marijuana possession arrests ahead of its push to legalize marijuana, which it said it will undertake next year. "The current provisions of the CDSA [Controlled Drugs and Substances Act] regarding marijuana will remain in place until they are replaced by new legislation that will legalize and strictly regulate marijuana, Ian McLeod, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice, said. "Marijuana will not be decriminalized prior to legalization."

Categories: Harm Reduction

CN BC: Editorial: Drug War Continues To Rage In Province

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Tue, 04/26/2016 - 07:00
The Daily Courier, 26 Apr 2016 - British Columbia has become the first province in Canada to declare a public-health emergency because of fentanyl-related deaths. Dr. Perry Kendall, the provincial health officer, took this step after fatalities associated with the prescription painkiller surged. In B.C., 76 people died in January. If these fatality rates remain constant, as many as 900 British Columbians could die in 2016.
Categories: Harm Reduction

CN ON: Teaching Cops To Detect Impaired Drivers

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Tue, 04/26/2016 - 07:00
Shoreline Beacon, 26 Apr 2016 - Under the watchful eye of police officers, volunteers were "dosed" with controlled amounts of alcohol at a Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST) Drug Recognition Evaluation (DRE) workshop hosted by Saugeen Shores police, April 18-21, at the Port Elgin Plex. After being trained in the theory of alcohol and drug impairment, the officers from Saugeen Shores, Owen Sound, Perth and Wellington Counties, Wingham, the OPP, RCMP and the military police, tested their competency and proficiency to spot impaired volunteers, according to Middlesex detachment OPP Constable Emmett Murchland, who ran the workshop with seven other instructors.
Categories: Harm Reduction

US MA: Overwhelmed by Overdoses, Clinic Offers a Room for Highs

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Tue, 04/26/2016 - 07:00
Boston Globe, 26 Apr 2016 - It has become a grim workplace routine: the "code blue" crackling over the loudspeaker. The all-hands-on-deck emergency response. Then, in more than half the calls, the discovery of a nonresponsive person - - blue lips, shallow breathing, and constricted pupils, all telltale signs of a drug overdose. "It's happening everywhere," said Dr. Jessie Gaeta, chief medical officer at Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, headquartered in the South End neighborhood infamously nicknamed Methadone Mile.
Categories: Harm Reduction

Chronicle AM: NE Ends Civil Asset Forfeiture, New England Pot Politics, Mexico Marijuana Reforms, More... 4/25/16

Harm Reduction (STDW) - Mon, 04/25/2016 - 20:02

Marijuana policy is keeping state houses busy in New England, Nebraska becomes the 10th state to end civil asset forfeiture, Maine's Tea Party governor vetoes a Naloxone bill, Mexico's president expands marijuana reforms, and more.

[image:1 align:right]Marijuana Policy

DC Marijuana Activists Meet Today With White House. Two members of the DC Cannabis Campaign (DCMJ) were set to meet with Obama administration officials at the White House today. DCMJ head Adam Eidinger said he had been requesting a "Bud Summit" with Obama's leading drug advisors for years, but had no response until his group demonstrated in front of the White House on April 2. "This is an opportunity for the White House to meet with serious and committed cannabis activists and hear our case for why it's in President Obama's best interest to work with the attorney general to fully remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act," DCMJ co-founder Nikolas Schiller said in a statement.

Connecticut Legalization Bill Dies. There will be no marijuana legalization in Connecticut this year. Rep. Juan Candelaria (D-New Haven), sponsor of the legalization bill, withdrew it last Wednesday after first attempting to add it as an amendment to a related bill. The bill had been declared dead earlier in the session, and Candelaria's move last week was a last ditch effort to keep it alive.

Illinois Decriminalization Bill Advances. A bill that would decriminalize the possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana was approved by the Senate last week. A similar measure was approved by the legislature last year, only to be vetoed by Gov. Bruce Rauner (R). This year's bill lowers the decrim limit from 15 grams to 10 grams, making it a bit more palatable to the governor. A spokesman for Rauner said he was "encouraged" that legislators heard his concerns and would be monitoring the bill's progress. The bill now goes to the House.

New Hampshire Decriminalization Bill Dies. The Senate voted last week to kill House Bill 1631, which would have decriminalized the possession of up to half an ounce of marijuana. This is the seventh time the House has approved decriminalization, only to see it shot down by the Senate. New Hampshire is the only state in New England that has not decriminalized small time pot possession. This year, the legislation ran up against concern over heroin and prescription opioid abuse. "We are in a war, and the last thing we need is to tell our citizens it is OK to use a little marijuana or any other illegal substance," said Sen. Gary Daniels (R-Milford).

Rhode Island Poll Has Support for Legalization at 55%. A new Brown University Taubman Center for American Politics and Policy poll has two-thirds (67%) supporting medical marijuana and a solid majority (55%) in favor of marijuana legalization. This as a legalization bill has been stalled this year. "I know public officials are being very thoughtful and careful on this issue," pollster James Morone said. "But it's hard to see in the long run how legalization won't happen because there is so much strong support among young people. But I would emphasize 'in the long run.' I think anytime you have voters under 44 years old supporting something by 72 percent, it's just a question of time," he added. "Like same-sex marriage around the country, it's being driven by the demographics around the country. It's the exact same dynamic."

Vermont Legalization Bill Amended. The state's legalization bill, Senate Bill 241, faces an uncertain fate after the House Ways and Means Committee approved it, but only after amending it to allow residents to grow and possess small amounts of pot, but not to allow regulated sales. Another House committee had rejected legalization, and a third House committee now has it under consideration. If the House manages to pass some version of the bill, it will have to be reconciled with the version passed earlier by the Senate.

Medical Marijuana

Senate Appropriations Committee Votes to Prevent DEA from Undermining State Medical Marijuana Laws. The committee voted last week 21-8 to approve an amendment offered by Senator Mikulski (D-MD) to protect state medical marijuana laws from federal interference by the Department of Justice and Drug Enforcement Administration. After decades of inactivity on marijuana reform, Congress has moved at lightning pace to advance marijuana reform in recent years. Last week the Senate Appropriations Committee voted to allow Veterans Administration doctors to recommend marijuana. The Committee approved similar amendments last year as well as an amendment to allow state-legalized marijuana businesses to access banks and other financial services. The Mikulski amendment is expected to pass the full Senate as well as the House. Similar amendments were passed by Congress last year and the year before.

DEA Approves Colorado-Funded Study on Marijuana and PTSD. The DEA gave the go-ahead for the ground-breaking study last week. It's the first time the agency has given permission to use raw marijuana in a controlled clinical trial for PTSD. Enrollment in the study could begin as early as next month. The study is one of nine funded by historic grants from the Colorado Health Department, which are in turn funded by medical and legal marijuana fees and tax revenues.

Connecticut House Approves Medical Marijuana for Kids. The House voted overwhelmingly last week to expand the state's four-year-old medical marijuana program to include children. The bill also includes a provision to create a Board of Physicians to review requests for new ailments to be added the list of qualifying conditions, which currently lists 17 diseases or syndromes. The bill now goes to the state Senate.

Asset Forfeiture

Nebraska Latest State to Institute to Abolish Civil Asset Forfeiture. Last week, Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) signed into law LB 1106, which eliminates civil forfeiture in the Cornhusker State. The bill had passed the legislature a week earlier on a vote of 38-6. Nebraska becomes the 10th state to eliminate civil asset forfeiture. Now, if Nebraska cops want to seize cash and property, they must first obtain a criminal conviction. The bill also imposes some limits on state law enforcement participation in the federal "equitable sharing" program, under which police can end run state laws directing where seized assets go by turning the busts over to the feds, who in turn give back 80% of the value of seized goods to the arresting agency.

Harm Reduction

Maine Governor Vetoes Bill Seeking to Increase Access to Life-saving Overdose Antidote Naloxone. Gov. Paul LePage last week vetoed the bill last week, arguing that "naloxone does not truly save lives; it merely extends them until the next overdose." Every state in the nation, with the exception of five, have either passed or are in the process of passing naloxone access legislation, and thirty states currently allow for sales of the overdose antidote without a prescription. The bill, LD 1547, could still be revived, though. On Friday, the legislature will take up all bills vetoed by Le Page, including LD 1547. Two-thirds votes in both the House and the Senate would be needed to override the veto.

International

Mexican President to Push Broader Marijuana Decriminalization, Medical Marijuana. President Enrique Pena Nieto used his speech before the UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on Drugs last week to call for decriminalizing up to an ounce of marijuana and legalizing the medicinal use of the plant. Currently, only up to five grams is decriminalized. "We Mexicans know all too well the range and the defects of prohibitionist and punitive policies, and of the so-called war on drugs that has prevailed for 40 years," Pena Nieto said. "Our country has suffered, as few have, the ill effects of organized crime tied to drug trafficking. Fortunately, a new consensus is gradually emerging worldwide in favor of reforming drug policies," he said. "A growing number of countries are strenuously combating criminals, but instead of criminalizing consumers, they offer them alternatives and opportunities."

Categories: Harm Reduction

CN BC: Pro-Legalization Officer Thinks Others Hold Similar

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Mon, 04/25/2016 - 07:00
Globe and Mail, 25 Apr 2016 - A Victoria police officer who won a human-rights complaint against the force says "on the ground" experience led him to support drug legalization - and he says he doesn't think he's alone on the force. Constable David Bratzer was awarded $ 20,000 last week after the B. C. Human Rights Tribunal ruled the Victoria Police Department violated his rights by preventing him from advocating for legalization.
Categories: Harm Reduction

UK: Column: Legalise Cannabis - but There's No Fire Without

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Mon, 04/25/2016 - 07:00
The Courier, 25 Apr 2016 - Laws on Tobacco Smoking Should Extend to Marijuana It's time to legalise marijuana, then ban it again. Here's why. The Canadian government chose April 20 to make the announcement that cannabis will be legalised next spring, in the latest progressive move by the new Liberal government. The news had been coming for a while, because it was an election pledge last year but the date was significant because it was "4-20", when weed enthusiasts get together to call for changes in the law. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government beat them to it with a morning announcement.
Categories: Harm Reduction

CN BC: Pro-Harm Reduction Victoria Cop Awarded $20,000

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Mon, 04/25/2016 - 07:00
Vancouver 24hours, 25 Apr 2016 - A Victoria police officer who was repeatedly told by management to limit his public views on drug policy has been awarded $20,000 by the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal. Const. David Bratzer's run-ins with senior officers in his department began after he joined The Law Enforcement Against Prohibition advocacy group in 2007.
Categories: Harm Reduction

US VA: Opiate Deaths Kept Increasing In Va. In 2015

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Sun, 04/24/2016 - 07:00
Richmond Times-Dispatch, 24 Apr 2016 - Toll Tied to 40% Spike in Heroin Overdoses Michael Carter felt a brief flash of relief before searing grief consumed him. His son's life had ended, but so, too, had the nights spent wondering when police would show up at his Hanover County home to tell him Graham had fatally overdosed.
Categories: Harm Reduction
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