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Chronicle AM: House Passes Unemployment Drug Test Bill, Houston Decriminalizes, More... (2/16/17)

Cocaine (STDW) - Thu, 02/16/2017 - 22:03

The House approves a bill that could open the door to states drug testing people seeking unemployment benefits, harsh sentencing bills advance in Ohio and Kentucky, Houston decriminalizes marijuana possession (in most cases), and more.

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

Arizona PAC Plans to File 2018 Legalization Initiative. A political action committee called Safer Arizona was set to file a marijuana legalization initiative with state officials Thursday. Arizona voters narrowly devoted a similar measure last year, but organizers say this one will have some differences, including requiring that people be at least 21 before they can buy it. They will have to gather 150,000 valid voter signatures by July to qualify for the 2018 ballot.

Guam Legalization Bill Gets Hearing. In a hearing Tuesday on a marijuana legalization measure, Bill 8-34, representatives of the judiciary said they took no position on the bill, but cautioned that implementing legalization would require a review of the island territory's entire criminal code. Guam Customs and Quarantine acting chief, Maj. Phillip Taijeron also testified, saying he supported the will of the people. "If the will of the people is to enact Bill 8-34, then I am in support of Bill 8-34," Taijeron said.

New York State Assembly Passes Landmark Legislation to Seal Past Marijuana Possession Convictions. The Assembly voted Tuesday in favor of Assembly Bill 2142, which would seal the criminal records of people who have been unjustly and unconstitutionally arrested for simple possession of marijuana in public view. The vote was 95 in favor and 38 opposed.This sealing legislation has taken on increased importance amid the Trump Administration’s rhetoric and actions targeting immigrant communities. On the national level, simple marijuana possession is the fourth most common cause of deportation, according to the report "Secure Communities and ICE Deportations: A Failed Program?" Sealing records will provide a measure of protection for immigrants by making it difficult or impossible for immigration authorities to meet their legal burden of proof for a judge to find a lawful permanent resident deportable. Additionally, sealing will guard against the Trump administration's Executive Order targeting noncitizens with any criminal arrests and/or convictions for deportation. If the arrest is also sealed and the sealed information is not shared with the FBI, these individuals may be at lower risk of becoming an enforcement target.

Houston to Decriminalize Marijuana Possession. The nation's fourth largest city is ready to decriminalize small-time marijuana possession. As of March 1, under a new "Misdemeanor Marijuana Diversion Program," in most circumstances people caught with an ounce or less will face no jail, no tickets, no court appearances and no criminal record. Houston and surrounding Harris County have spent $200 million prosecuting 100,000 pot possession cases in the past decade, with "no tangible public safety benefit," said District Attorney Kim Ogg (D), who took office this year.

Medical Marijuana

Indiana Senate Passes Limited CBD Bill. A measure that would allow people with epilepsy to use low-THC cannabidiol oil passed the Senate Tuesday. The measure, Senate Bill 15, now moves to the House.

Virginia Republicans Kill CBD Expansion Bill. Patient advocates burst into tears Wednesday night as six House Republicans voted to kill a major expansion of the state's CBD law, which limited its use to people with epilepsy. Senate Bill 1298 would have expanded the law to allow its use for treatment for 13 more conditions, but the bill was killed by a 5-6 party line vote in the subcommittee that writes criminal law.

Asset Forfeiture

Colorado Cops Lobby Hard, Defeat Asset Forfeiture Reform. A proposal to expand oversight of police seizures of property was defeated in a party line vote in a Senate committee Wednesday, with Republicans casting all the "no" votes. The measure, Senate Bill 17-136, would also have prevented law enforcement agencies from turning property over to the federal government to get around state restrictions unless the property was worth more than $50,000. The vote came after a parade of law enforcement officers testified against the bill.

Drug Testing

House Approves Measure Aimed at Expanding Drug Testing of People Who File for Unemployment Assistance. The House approved H.J. Res 42, which would repeal a recently finalized Department of Labor rule that interpreted a 2012 federal law that permits states to drug test people who file for unemployment insurance in certain circumstances. Advocates see the repeal of the Department of Labor rule as a first step by some Republicans in Congress at undoing federal restrictions on states conditioning receipt of unemployment and other forms of public assistance on a drug test. The measure now goes before the Senate.


Kentucky Senate Passes Bill Toughening Penalties for Heroin, Fentanyl Sales. The Senate voted unanimously Thursday to approve a bill increasing penalties for people trafficking even the smallest amounts of heroin and fentanyl. The measure, Senate Bill 14, rolls back sentencing reforms enacted in 2011. Under those reforms, trafficking less than House Bill 4, which reverses a state Supreme Court ruling that only the weight of actual cocaine -- not filler -- be used when imposing stiffer sentences for possession and trafficking. Under the bill, prosecutors would be able to sentence defendants based on the weight of the entire mixture. Under the bill, a pound of powder that contained only a gram of cocaine would be considered a pound of cocaine for sentencing purposes. The bill now moves to the Senate.

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US: OPED: LSD To Cure Depression?

Cocaine (MAP) - Mon, 02/13/2017 - 08:00
New York Times, 13 Feb 2017 - Psychedelics, the fabled enlightenment drugs of the '60s, are making a comeback - this time as medical treatment. A recent study claimed that psilocybin, a mushroom-derived hallucinogenic, relieves anxiety and depression in people with life-threatening cancer. Anecdotal reports have said similar things about so-called microdoses of LSD.
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CN ON: Overdoses Raise Fear Of Fentanyl-Laced Cocaine

Cocaine (MAP) - Fri, 02/10/2017 - 08:00
The Expositor, 10 Feb 2017 - OHSWEKEN - Police say they are trying to determine whether cocaine laced with fentanyl is circulating on Six Nations after one man died of an overdose and a second man had to be rushed to hospital. Six Nations police Chief Glenn Lickers said in a statement Thursday that an investigation has been launched to determine the source of the suspect cocaine ingested by both men.
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CN ON: RMC Blind Drug Test Called 'Good Assessment'

Cocaine (MAP) - Thu, 02/09/2017 - 08:00
Kingston Whig-Standard, 09 Feb 2017 - Despite a completely clean campus always being the goal, top brass at Royal Military College are pleased with the results of a blind drug test conducted in mid-October that weren't exactly perfect. "Having now tangible, fact-based information is really great. It gives us a good assessment of the current situation," Brig.-Gen. Sean Friday, commandant of RMC, told the Whig-Standard on Wednesday. "The whole idea of a blind drug test is so that we can get actual information to see if our [Canadian Armed Forces] drug control program at large is succeeding or not."
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CN ON: Set Up Safe Needle Site In London, Study Says

Cocaine (MAP) - Thu, 02/09/2017 - 08:00
London Free Press, 09 Feb 2017 - A startling dissection of drug use in London - with the personal illnesses and public ills exposed - has laid on the table a compelling case for a supervised injection site in the city. But the sticky questions of exactly where the site or sites should go, whether the city can take the other steps necessary to make a site worthwhile, and how crystal meth and fentanyl will play a role remain unanswered.
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CN BC: Editorial: Let's Come Down Hard On Pushers Of Fentanyl

Cocaine (MAP) - Thu, 02/02/2017 - 08:00
The Now, 02 Feb 2017 - Finally some good news related to fentanyl. That is, there's now less of the deadly filth on the streets, since the Surrey RCMP recently busted three suspects and seized thousands of doses of illegal drugs.
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CN BC: Fernie Prepares For Fentanyl

Cocaine (MAP) - Thu, 02/02/2017 - 08:00
The Free Press, 02 Feb 2017 - All first responders in the Fernie area are now equipped to take on a potential opioid crisis. Fernie Fire and Rescue were the last group in the area to become trained in opioid overdose situations by BC Emergency Health Services. The main area of focus for training was on Naloxone, the antidote for opioid overdoses.
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CN BC: Drug Responders Meet PM

Cocaine (MAP) - Thu, 02/02/2017 - 08:00
The Georgia Straight, 02 Feb 2017 - Last Sunday (January 29), Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould sat down in Vancouver with a roomful of people on the frontlines of B.C.'S fentanyl crisis. Trudeau, who was in Vancouver for the Chinese New Year parade, attended the morning meeting at SUCCESS'S Pender Street offices in Chinatown. There were about a dozen stakeholders there for the private meeting at the social-services agency, including Vancouver's police and fire chiefs. Three points were repeated by just about everyone in attendance, according to interviews with five of those people.
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CN NF: Deadly Drug Wave Ahead

Cocaine (MAP) - Mon, 01/30/2017 - 08:00
The Telegram, 30 Jan 2017 - Get ready for the worst, intervention counsellor warns province Andy Bhatti has spent the majority of his life surrounded by hard drugs. As an interventionist, he can talk to you eloquently about the dangers of drug use, quote Canadian statistics, and offer his ideas about what programs and services are needed in order to help drug users and stop overdoses.
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CN ON: Sarnia Judge Rules Search Of Teen Unlawful

Cocaine (MAP) - Fri, 01/27/2017 - 08:00
The Observer, 27 Jan 2017 - The search of a teenager by Sarnia police as a common practice for detained persons was ruled unlawful leading to dismissal of drug charges in Sarnia court this week. Sarnia police were raiding a family member's house in 2015 when the adult teenager was seen leaving the premise. The teenager was detained by an officer and asked if he had anything to harm an officer. The teen said he had cocaine and "weed." A search - which the officer testified was for officer safety - turned up cocaine and marijuana. Defence lawyer Luigi Perzia argued Wednesday there was a total absence of justification for an officer-safety search. He sought exclusion of the drug evidence due to a rights violation.
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US MD: Opioid Users Filling Maryland Hospital Beds And Emergency

Cocaine (MAP) - Thu, 01/26/2017 - 08:00
Baltimore Sun, 26 Jan 2017 - Family members of those who died of opioid overdoses embrace at the "Fed Up!" rally to end the opioid epidemic on September 18, 2016 in Washington, DC. Some 30,000 people die each year due to addiction to heroin and other opioids. Family members of those who died of opioid overdoses embrace at the "Fed Up!" rally to end the opioid epidemic on September 18, 2016 in Washington, DC. Some 30,000 people die each year due to addiction to heroin and other opioids. (John Moore)
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Canada: Study Finds Gangs Traffic Cannabis Less Than Other Drugs

Cocaine (MAP) - Tue, 01/24/2017 - 08:00
Globe and Mail, 24 Jan 2017 - Canada's organized-crime groups and gangs are much less likely to produce and traffic marijuana than they are other illicit drugs such as cocaine and crystal methamphetamine, according to a new federal study that tracked drug violations from police forces in four cities across three provinces. The new report from Statistics Canada analyzed all drug-related violations over a two-year period in Victoria, Vancouver, Regina and Waterloo, Ont., and found that police linked organized crime to 39 per cent of all cannabis-trafficking charges and 6 per cent of cases involving the production of marijuana.
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CN BC: Smoking Linked To Higher Death Rate For Drug, Alcohol

Cocaine (MAP) - Sat, 01/21/2017 - 08:00
Prince George Citizen, 21 Jan 2017 - Tobacco-related illnesses account for a surprisingly large number of deaths among individuals diagnosed with alcohol- and drug-use disorders, according to a University of Northern British Columbia study. A team led by Russ Callaghan, an associate professor in UNBC's Northern Medical Program, looked at statewide linked hospital and death records in California over a 16-year period - from 1990 to 2005 - and found 40-to-50 per cent of deaths in the alcohol and drug groups were smoking-related.
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CN ON: Police To Offer Nasal Naloxone To Those Overdosing On

Cocaine (MAP) - Sat, 01/21/2017 - 08:00
The Record, 21 Jan 2017 - WATERLOO REGION - Waterloo Regional Police officers will be carrying nasal naloxone beginning in February. Front-line officers are currently going through training on naloxone - a drug used to temporarily reverse the effects of opioid overdoses, said Insp. Mike Haffner.
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CN NS: Saliva Needed For Roadside Drug Tests

Cocaine (MAP) - Fri, 01/20/2017 - 08:00
Metro, 20 Jan 2017 - Police forces in Canada testing out devices over February Next time you come across a police checkpoint in Halifax, you might be asked to help test a roadside drug-screening device. Halifax Regional Police (HRP) began a new Public Safety Canada pilot project a week and half ago, and have until the end of February to collect 100 saliva samples from anyone who'd like to anonymously volunteer for the testing in a regular traffic stop.
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US MD: Bid To Alter Drug Laws And Allow Some Early Prison Releases

Cocaine (MAP) - Wed, 01/18/2017 - 08:00
Baltimore Sun, 18 Jan 2017 - [photo] A cell at El Reno Federal Correctional Institution in Oklahoma. President Obama toured the prison last week. (Saul Loeb / AFP-Getty Images) A bipartisan push to reduce the number of low-level drug offenders in prison is gaining momentum in Congress, but proposals may disappoint advocates hoping to slash the mandatory minimum sentences that are seen as chiefly responsible for overcrowding in the nation's detention facilities.
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US NJ: Wayne Police: Woman's Heroin Stamped 'Suicide Squad'

Cocaine (MAP) - Wed, 01/18/2017 - 08:00
Herald News, 18 Jan 2017 - [Name redacted] of Denville, was charged by Wayne police with possession of heroin.(Photo: Courtesy of Wayne Police) [Name redacted], 26, of Denville was arrested and charged with possession of 39 bags of heroin, among other charges, on Jan. 4.
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CN NF: Letter: Weed - After It's Legal

Cocaine (MAP) - Mon, 01/16/2017 - 08:00
The Labradorian, 16 Jan 2017 - What can we expect with the legalization of marijuana? Proponents argue that legalization will reduce crime, lower criminal justice costs, improve public health, improve traffic safety and stimulate the economy. Opponents argue that legalization will spur marijuana and other drug and alcohol use, increase crime, diminish public safety and lower educational achievement.
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US NY: Women Are More Susceptible To Cocaine Addiction: Study

Cocaine (MAP) - Sat, 01/14/2017 - 08:00
New York Post, 14 Jan 2017 - Women can blame their cocaine addictions on their biology, according to a new study that claims that ladies are more susceptible to the drug's addictive qualities. Hormonal fluctuations during the menstrual cycle, specifically spikes in estrogen, intensify the drug's pleasurable effects, according to researchers at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai on The Upper East Side.
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CN BC: 'Incredible Benefit' To Overdose-Prevention Sites, Ask

Cocaine (MAP) - Fri, 01/13/2017 - 08:00
Kamloops This Week, 13 Jan 2017 - There's been an "incredible benefit" to last month's creation of overdose-prevention sites in Kamloops, said Bob Hughes, something that goes beyond ensuring drug users are safe - many of them are talking with the medical staff there about some of the reasons they are in their lifestyles. The executive director of ASK Wellness Centre said that as staff hand out safe drug-use equipment - a program the agency has done for years to help combat infections and other diseases associated with drug use - they're also looking for opportunities to ask clients about housing needs other health issues and whether they're ready to try rehabilitation programs or other services that might see them make changes in the way they live.
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