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Chronicle AM: TX Pot Bill Filed, Another MO Legalization Initiative, KY Heroin Bill, More (12/15/14)

Heroin (STDW) - Mon, 12/15/2014 - 22:08

Texas begins heading down the path of marijuana reform, a Missouri legalization initiative seeks to really free the weed, Rep. Andy Harris isn't very welcome in DC these days, Kentucky tries to deal with heroin again this year, and more. Let's get to it:

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

Texas Bill to Reduce Pot Penalties Filed. State Rep. Joe Moody (D-El Paso) today introduced a bill that would remove the threat of arrest, jail, and a criminal record for small-time marijuana possession. The measure is House Bill 507. "Our current marijuana policy in Texas just isn't working," Rep. Moody said at an Austin press conference. "We need a new approach that allows us to more effectively utilize our limited criminal justice resources. This legislation is a much-needed step in the right direction." The legislation is being backed by Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy, a coalition that includes the Marijuana Policy Project, the ACLU of Texas, and Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition.

Another, Looser Missouri Legalization Initiative Effort is Underway. Show Me Cannabis has some competition. The marijuana reform group has a legalization initiative pending, but now, there's another, less restrictive initiative also in the works. A team from KC NORML last week submitted a petition to put its own measure on the ballot. The Missouri Cannabis Restoration and Protection Act would remove marijuana from the state's list of controlled substances, free anyone imprisoned for marijuana-only convictions, bar police from charging drivers with DUI if the only drug they test positive for is marijuana, and put no limitation on the number of plants people can grow. Once approved by state officials, the initiative will need 160,000 valid voter signatures -- 8% of registered voters in at least six of the state's eight legislative districts -- to qualify for the ballot.

DC Businesses Tell Maryland Congressman Who Tried to Block Legalization to Stay Away. Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) is not very welcome in the District these days. He has been the primary mover behind Republican efforts to block voter-approved legalization in DC. While his rider blocking legalization was included in the recent omnibus spending bill, whether it will actually stop DC legalization remains to be seen. Now, there is a Blacklist Andy Harris movement, and at least one business, has put up a sign displaying his face along with prominent text reading "Not Welcome."


Kentucky Omnibus Heroin Bill Increases Sentences, Has Harm Reduction Provisions. Senate Budget Committee Chairman Chris McDaniel has pre-filed a bill, Senate Bill 29, that attempts a broad response to the state's issues with heroin. The bill would allow for increased access to the overdose reversal drug naloxone, create a 911 Good Samaritan provision to try to reduce overdose deaths, and fund drug treatment. It would also increase sentences for some heroin dealing offenses. A similar bill failed to get through the legislature last year.


Uruguay Sees First Marijuana Expo. Uruguay is the first country to legalize marijuana commerce, and now it's had its first marijuana trade show. Expocannabis opened in Montevideo over the weekend.

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CN BC: Local Heroin

Heroin (MAP) - Sat, 12/06/2014 - 08:00
The Economist, 06 Dec 2014 - LOCAL HEROIN Legal Narcotics In A Liberal City THE people queuing up at the Providence Crosstown Clinic are pioneers of a sort. They are heroin addicts whose habits have resisted conventional treatment. They hope to become the first in North America to get their fixes legally as part of a treatment programme rather than just for a clinical trial. "It's heroin that you know is good," says one addict waiting outside, who aspires to join the queue.
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US MD: City Raises Estimate Of Number Of Heroin Users

Heroin (MAP) - Thu, 12/04/2014 - 08:00
Baltimore Sun, 04 Dec 2014 - Task Force Puts Total at 19,000, Up From 11,000, Based on National Data Baltimore officials have again adjusted the estimated number of heroin users in the city - to nearly 19,000, up from11,000. The new figure comes from a task force Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake appointed in October to study heroin use and treatment, and is based on data from a national survey of drug use.
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UK: Column: The Lessons Of Alex Norton's Heroin Admission

Heroin (MAP) - Mon, 12/01/2014 - 08:00
The Herald, 01 Dec 2014 - Drug-use confessions by those in the public eye have a lot of power to shape perceptions, writes SHONA CRAVEN While most of us are well aware of how addictions shatter families and blight communities, the addict - particularly the heroin addict - remains an unfathomable "other".
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US OH: Sen. Brown Touts Bill To Help Heroin Addicts

Heroin (MAP) - Mon, 12/01/2014 - 08:00
The Blade, 01 Dec 2014 - Would Make It Easier to Give Anti-Addiction Medication to Help Users U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D., Ohio) was in Toledo today to generate support for a bill he's co-sponsoring that would make it easier to give anti-addiction medication to help heroin users break their heroin habit.
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CN BC: Prescription Heroin To Hit Vancouver Streets In A First For

Heroin (MAP) - Thu, 11/27/2014 - 08:00
The Georgia Straight, 27 Nov 2014 - STARTING THE WEEK of November 23, doctors will administer prescription heroin to a select group of patients in Vancouver. It will be the first time that heroin, or diacetylmorphine, is given to patients anywhere in North America outside of an academic study.
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CN BC: Heroin Addicts Authorized To Get Drug

Heroin (MAP) - Sat, 11/22/2014 - 08:00
Globe and Mail, 22 Nov 2014 - North American first comes after more than a year of battles between doctors and federal Health Minister In a North American first, heroin addicts in Vancouver will soon receive prescription heroin outside of a clinical trial.
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US MD: OPED: Md. Must Address Heroin Deaths

Heroin (MAP) - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 08:00
Baltimore Sun, 10 Nov 2014 - Once largely relegated to Baltimore City, heroin use and its related adverse consequences are spreading to every part of the state, and an increasing number of Maryland's citizens are dying of heroin overdoses. This shift reflects national trends showing a 74 percent increase in heroin use from 2009 to 2012 and a doubling of heroin overdose rates in 28 states sampled by the Centers for Disease Control. After a sharp reduction in heroin overdose deaths from 2007 to 2010, Maryland heroin deaths have risen to mirror these increases, reaching 464 deaths in 2013. In Baltimore City, conversely, the number of heroin overdose deaths had declined from its peak in 1999 to a low of 76 in 2011 and has not risen as sharply as it has in other parts of the state. This recent statewide rise in overdose deaths appears to be driven by two factors: changes in the availability of prescription opioids and a decreasing price for heroin.
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