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Harm Reduction

Chronicle AM: Trump Could Cut Drug Czar Office, Thousands Protest Duterte's Drug War, More... (2/20/17)

Harm Reduction (STDW) - Mon, 02/20/2017 - 22:02

The drug czar's office could be on Trump's chopping block, asset forfeiture reform advances in two states, a Washington state legislator tries to sic the Justice Department on Seattle, and more.

[image:1 align:left]Marijuana Policy

California Bill to Protect Kids From Weed Would Allow Cops to Inspect Pot Businesses. Assemblyman Adam Gray (D-Merced) has filed Assembly Bill 729, which he said is aimed at putting "safeguards in place" to keep marijuana out of the hands of children. Among its provisions are allowing law enforcement to enter and conduct inspections of pot businesses, requiring retailers to "maintain an unobstructed view for law enforcement into their establishment," and allowing underage sting operations aimed at retailers.

Colorado Bill Would Allow Home Delivery of Weed. A bill filed last week would allow for the home delivery of recreational and medical marijuana. Senate Bill 192 is modeled after Oregon's newly launched home delivery regulations. "This hopefully solves some of the problems as it relates to people concerned about marijuana DUIs or sick patients who don't have access to dispensaries," said lead cosponsor Rep. Jonathan Singer (D-Longmont).

Medical Marijuana

Arkansas House Approves Bill Banning Military Members from Becoming Registered Caregivers. The body approved House Bill 1451 last Thursday. Bill sponsor Rep. Douglas House (R-North Little Rock) said federal law prevents military members from acting in that capacity. The measure now goes to the Senate.

Arkansas Bill Would Ban Smoking Medical Marijuana. State Sen. Jason Rapert (R-Conway) last Thursday filed Senate Bill 357, which would make it illegal to consume medical marijuana by smoking it. The bill also removes a provision in the current law that bars landlords from prohibiting the use of non-smoked medical marijuana, leaving renters wondering if landlords will just bar any use of medical marijuana.

Kentucky Medical Marijuana Bill Filed. Freshman Rep. John Sims (D-Fleminsburg) has filed a medical marijuana bill, House Bill 411, which would give doctors the ability to recommend medical marijuana for patients. Sims said he saw the bill as a tool for reducing opioid addiction in his state.

Wyoming Medical Marijuana Initiative Campaign Ends. Medical marijuana will not be on the ballot next year. Organizers of a signature-gathering campaign failed to hand in signatures to the secretary of state's office by the Valentine's Day deadline. Organizers said they will continue to fight to bring medical marijuana to the Cowboy State.

Asset Forfeiture

Federal Bill Would Use Seized Cartel Assets to Build Border Wall. Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) has filed House Resolution 1067, which would order the Justice Department to issue a report on Mexican drug trafficking organization profits and how the DOJ could "increase assets seized by such cartels" to build President Trump's promised border wall. He's even got a name for the bill that creates a nifty acronym: the "Build Up Illegal Line Defense With Assets Lawfully Lifted (BUILD WALL) Act of 2017.

Arizona Asset Forfeiture Reform Bill Advances. A bill that would require prosecutors to set a higher evidentiary standard -- from "preponderance of the evidence" to "clear and convincing evidence" -- is advancing in the House. House Bill 2477 cleared the Federalism, Property Rights & Public Policy by a 9-0 vote last Tuesday, and passed the Judiciary and Public Safety Committee by the same margin last Wednesday.

North Dakota Asset Forfeiture Reform Bill Advances. A bill that would end civil forfeiture in most cases has passed the House Judiciary Committee. House Bill 1170 now heads for a House floor vote.

Drug Policy

White House Could Cut Funding for Drug Czar's Office. The New York Times reported last Friday that the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP -- the drug czar's office) is on an Office of Management and Budget "hit list" of programs that could be eliminated to reduce federal spending.

Harm Reduction

Washington State Republican Asks Justice Department to Block Seattle Safe Injection Sites. State Sen. Mark Miiloscia (R-Federal Way) has sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions asking him to block Seattle and King County from opening supervised injection sites for drug users. An avowed opponent of the harm reduction measure, Miloscia has already authored a bill in the legislature to block it.

International

More Than a Dozen Dead in Mexico Border Town Shoot-Outs. More prohibition-related violence broke out in Reynosa over the weekend, with at least 13 people killed in gun battles between cartel members and in fighting between authorities and the cartels.

Thousands March in Manila Against Duterte's Drug War. Thousands of Filipino Catholics gathered in Manila Sunday in a "show of force" to protest extrajudicial killings carried out in the name of President Rodrigo Duterte's drug war. Organizers estimated the crowd at 20,000, the largest rally yet against the mass killings.

Categories: Harm Reduction

CN BC: Column: Say No To Legal Heroin

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Mon, 02/20/2017 - 08:00
Vancouver 24hours, 20 Feb 2017 - SAY NO TO LEGAL HEROIN Ends always justify the means for those striving to do good, no matter the cost to life, liberty and truth. The truth about hard drugs, such as heroin, is blunt - it destroys lives and it kills. With each injection, intravenous drug users on the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver are slowly, sometimes quickly, killing themselves. I believe these people are well aware of this fact. How could they not? The risk of death is an ever-present danger that is impossible for any hard-drug user to ignore, let alone plead ignorance.
Categories: Harm Reduction

CN BC: Column: Bad Drug Policy Kills

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Mon, 02/20/2017 - 08:00
Vancouver 24hours, 20 Feb 2017 - BAD DRUG POLICY KILLS Last month, my colleague Laurie P. died of overdose, one of 116 fatal ODs in B.C. in January. She was a harm reduction activist and had a graceful, inclusive style of community organizing.
Categories: Harm Reduction

CN ON: Every Dose A Potential Killer

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Sat, 02/18/2017 - 08:00
The Record, 18 Feb 2017 - WATERLOO REGION - Sally has been taking drugs since her mother introduced her to them when she was 14. Today, the 26-year-old Kitchener woman is on methadone to curb her cravings. But Sally, not her real name, still does illicit drugs like crystal meth.
Categories: Harm Reduction

CN BC: Kelowna Has B.C.As 3rd Highest Number Of Overdoses In January

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Sat, 02/18/2017 - 08:00
The Daily Courier, 18 Feb 2017 - IHA saw largest increase in rate of drug overdose deaths from 2015 to 2016, a 145 per cent jump, from 64 to 158 deaths Kelowna had the third highest number of illicit drug overdose deaths among B.C. cities last month.
Categories: Harm Reduction

CN ON: City Wants Federal Help To Expand Naloxone Program

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Sat, 02/18/2017 - 08:00
Hamilton Spectator, 18 Feb 2017 - Life-saving overdose antidote kits not available on Sundays, public health says The city will put off a request to distribute more life-saving anti-overdose kits until it finds out whether the provincial or federal governments will cover the cost.
Categories: Harm Reduction

CN ON: Health Board Backs Moves Toward City Safe Needle Site

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Fri, 02/17/2017 - 08:00
London Free Press, 17 Feb 2017 - The members of the Middlesex-London Board of Health endorsed Thursday evening a motion to take the "next steps" to set up a supervised-injection site for drug users in London. That essentially means determining what the method will be for moving forward with the project. As part of that, there will be a public consultation before setting up any such site, including talking to the people in the chosen neighbourhood, including residents and business.
Categories: Harm Reduction

CN BC: Drug Reform Day Of Action Planned

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Thu, 02/16/2017 - 08:00
The Georgia Straight, 16 Feb 2017 - On Tuesday (February 21), exactly 914 feathers will hang from the trees in Oppenheimer Park. They will symbolize the 914 people who died of an illicit-drug overdose in B.C. in 2016. The feathers will be carved out of wood and as many as possible will bear the name of somebody who died after taking drugs.
Categories: Harm Reduction

CN BC: MLA Still Supports Legalizing Hard Drugs

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Thu, 02/16/2017 - 08:00
The Georgia Straight, 16 Feb 2017 - In the late 1990s, Sam Sullivan, today the Liberal MLA for Vancouver-False Creek, paid for a 20-year-old sex worker's heroin habit for a period of three weeks. He was a city councillor at the time. The story was front-page news in 2005, when Sullivan made a successful run for mayor. During the campaign, he refused to apologize for helping the girl purchase drugs.
Categories: Harm Reduction

CN BC: Mayor Calls For Drug Injection Rooms In All Government Hotels

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Thu, 02/16/2017 - 08:00
Vancouver Courier, 16 Feb 2017 - The B.C. government owns more than 25 low-income hotels in community hit hardest by overdose drug deaths Mayor Gregor Robertson is calling on the provincial government to set up drug injection rooms in all of the single-room-occupancy hotels it owns in the Downtown Eastside as another measure to prevent people from dying of a drug overdose.
Categories: Harm Reduction

Chronicle AM: House GOP Wants to Drug Test for Unemployment Benefits, More... (2/15/17)

Harm Reduction (STDW) - Wed, 02/15/2017 - 21:56

Vermont's GOP governor throws up an obstacle to marijuana legalization, the House GOP is set to vote to force unemployed workers to take drug tests before receiving their earned benefits, the rightist mayor of South America's largest city turns his back on harm reduction, and more.

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

Oregon Bill Would Limit Pipe, Bong Sales to Pot Shops. Minority whip Rep. Jodi Hack (R-East Salem) has filed a bill that would only allow pot paraphernalia to be sold a licensed marijuana shops. Hack said the measure, House Bill 2556, was aimed at stopping minors from buying the stuff at gas stations, minimarts, and tobacco shops. But smoke shop operators and other retailers are vowing a fight.

Vermont Governor Demands Tough Driving Provisions Before He Will Support Legalization. Gov. Phil Scott (R) says he will not support a legalization bill before the legislature unless it has provisions allowing police to determine is someone is driving while impaired. "Certainly it's still problematic from the standpoint of public safety," said Scott. "I want to make sure that we address those concerns I talked about on the campaign trail in terms of impairment on our highways." He also acknowledged that current tests don't provide clear evidence of impairment, but used that uncertainty to say Vermont should wait and see how other states deal with the issue.

Medical Marijuana

Arkansas Medical Marijuana "Fix" Bills Advance. The House voted Monday to approve two bills aimed at tidying up the state's new medical marijuana law. The measures, both authored by Rep. Doug House (R-North Little Rock) are House Bill 1371, which requires that Arkansans hold 60% ownership interest in pot businesses in the state, and House Bill 1298, which requires that persons, not corporations, hold the licenses. The bills now head to the Senate.

South Dakota CBD Bill Advances. The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Tuesday to approve Senate Bill 95, which would reschedule CBD as a Class 4 drug in the state and remove it from the definition of marijuana under state law. The bill would legalize the possession and use of CBD, but only upon approval by the FDA. That requirement was added in committee.

Drug Testing

House to Vote on Drug Testing the Unemployed. The House was prepared to vote as early as today on House Joint Resolution 42, which would undo Obama administration limits on drug testing people seeking unemployment benefits. Under a compromise to extend unemployment benefits in 2012, the Obama administration agreed to limited drug testing, but only once the Labor Department had identified industries and sectors that "regularly require drug tests." People receiving unemployment benefits are people who have been laid off from work, not people who have been fired for cause, including drug use. People who are fired for cause don't qualify for unemployment benefits.

Arkansas Senate Approves Bill Making Welfare Drug Testing Permanent. The Senate Tuesday approved Senate Bill 123, which would make permanent a welfare drug testing pilot program approved two years ago, even though the pilot program had only two people fail a drug test and 11 decline to take it out of more than 3,000 people who applied for welfare last year. Under the Arkansas law, the children of people who fail a drug test lose their benefits unless their parent undergoes drug treatment at his or her own expense. The bill now goes to the House.

International

Sao Paulo's New Mayor Turns Back on Successful Harm Reduction Program. New Mayor Joao Doria will scale back a successful harm reduction program that provided housing and jobs to people with problematic crack cocaine use and replace it with a coercive and abstinence-based program. The Restart program Doria likes involves the involuntary "hospitalization and confinement of those who are victims of crack so that with medical treatment, they can stay away from drugs," he explained.

Venezuela VP Shrugs Off US Drug Sanctions. The Venezuelan government Tuesday condemned US sanctions imposed a day earlier on Vice President Tareck El Aissami as a "highly dangerous" infringement of Venezuelan sovereignty, while El Aissami himself called it a "miserable and defamatory aggression" that wouldn't distract him from his job. The US accuses El Aissami of facilitating cocaine shipments while he was a provincial governor.

Categories: Harm Reduction

Chronicle AM: NM Senate on MedMJ & Harm Reduction; Iowa Students Win Speech Case, More... (2/14/17)

Harm Reduction (STDW) - Tue, 02/14/2017 - 21:58

Medical marijuana and harm reduction measures advance in New Mexico, a police drug field test kit maker is being sued by a Florida man busted for the glaze on his Krispy Kreme donuts, Idaho considers ending mandatory minimums for drug offenses, and more.

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

Virginia Lieutenant Governor Calls for Decriminalization. Lt. Gov. Ralph Northum (D) called Monday for the decriminalization of small amounts of marijuana, saying enforcement is costly and aimed disproportionately at African-Americans. The move comes weeks after Senate Majority Leader Thomas Norment (R-James City) requested that the Virginia Crime Commission study the issue. That move froze pending decriminalization legislation sponsored by Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria).

Washington State Bill Would Repeal Legalization. Rep. Brad Klippert (R-Kenniwick) has filed House Bill 2096, which would repeal "all laws legalizing the use, possession, sale, or production of marijuana and marijuana-related products." The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Commerce and Gaming.

Wyoming Senate Committee Scales Back Marijuana Sentencing Reforms. The Senate Judiciary Committee voted to amend House Bill 197, weakening proposed sentencing reforms by doubling the period during which previous convictions would result in a longer sentence from five years to 10 years. More importantly, the amendment removes the plant form of marijuana from the bill completely, meaning the new tiered sentencing system would apply only to edibles.

Medical Marijuana

New Mexico Senate Passes Medical Marijuana Expansion Bill. The Senate voted 29-11 Monday to approve Senate Bill 177, which would expand the state's program by increasing the amount of marijuana patients may possess to five ounces and increasing the number of plants commercial providers can grow. The bill now goes to the House.

Drug Policy

Idaho Bills Would Alter State's Drug Laws. The House Judiciary and Rules Committee voted Monday to introduce a package of three bills that would reform the state's harsh drug laws. One bill would end mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses and another would bar the seizure of vehicles for simple drug possession and require that property found near drugs be seized only if it is meaningfully connected to the crime. The third bill, however, is a step in the opposite direction -- it would allow heroin sellers to be charged with murder in the event of fatal overdoses.

Drug Testing

Florida Field Drug Test Kit Company Sued By Man Jailed for Possessing Donut Glaze. A Florida man is suing the police field drug test kit manufacturer Safariland LLC after an Orlando police officer using one of its field kits charged him with possessing methamphetamine although the substance being tested was actually the glaze from a Krispy Kreme donut. The drug test is either ineffective or unreliable, Daniel Rushing charges in his lawsuit, twice registering a positive result for meth and resulting in his false arrest and imprisonment before felony charges were dropped.

First Amendment

Federal Appeals Court Upholds Student Drug Legalization Group's Free Speech Rights. The 8th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday that Iowa State University cannot bar a student group from using the university's logo and mascot on t-shirts calling for the legalization of marijuana. Iowa State NORML had sued in 2014 after the university first gave its okay, but then refused permission after pressure from high-ranking state officials, including the governor's office. Instead, the university suddenly changed its guidelines, with new rules prohibiting designs "that suggest promotion of dangerous, illegal, or unhealthy products." Last year a federal district court filed an injunction prohibiting the school from using its new policy to block NORML from printing new t-shirts, and now the appeals court has upheld that permanent injunction.

Harm Reduction

New Mexico Senate Approves Pair of Harm Reduction Bills. The state Senate Monday overwhelmingly approved two bills aimed at reducing the number of fatal drug overdoses in the state. Senate Bill 47 would improve the state's 911 Good Samaritan law to include alcohol overdoses and eliminate the prospect of criminal liability for violating drug laws while seeking medical assistance for an overdose. Senate Bill 16 would require health care providers to counsel patients on the risk of overdose and to offer prescriptions for the overdose reversal drug naloxone. The bills now go to the House.

International

Trump Administration Accuses Venezuela VP of Drug Smuggling. The Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control has imposed sanctions on Venezuelan Vice President Tareck El Aissami, accusing him of being an international drug kingpin. Treasury said that El Aissimi facilitated drug trafficking in his previous post of Aragua state. The Treasury Department placed him on a list reserved for "specially designated narcotics traffickers," part of what's known as the Kingpin Act.

Categories: Harm Reduction

CN ON: Column: Canada's Opioid Crisis Is Here, And It's Real

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Tue, 02/14/2017 - 08:00
The Peterborough Examiner, 14 Feb 2017 - Last May, Ontario's minister of health, Dr. Eric Hoskins, announced that Ontario would ensure pharmacies dispense Naloxone kits to anyone at risk of an opioid overdose. At last count, seven pharmacies in Peterborough are participating in this attempt to prevent these tragedies from occurring in our communities. People using opioids, whether prescribed or obtained illicitly, or their families and friends, can now get a free rescue drug, Naloxone, to be used in the event of a witnessed overdose. These access points are in addition to the kits that have been available through public health, PARN and Fourcast. But the rescue medication Naloxone, although critical ( just like Epipens are critical to treat anaphylaxis) is not the solution to this opioid crisis that has emerged over the past two decades in Canada. So much more is needed. Canada has one of the highest opioid prescribing rates in the world: four to five times higher than countries like Germany or the UK. Peterborough has the honour of having the sixth highest rate of prescribed opioids in Ontario, where, in 2014-15 almost 2 million Ontarians received a prescription for a narcotic. Almost half of those addicted to opioids report that their introduction to the drug came by way of a prescription for pain for legitimate conditions like broken bones, arthritis or surgery. Although well-intentioned, the proliferation of opioid prescribing for non-malignant and chronic pain that occurred in the 1990s, has had devastating consequences. So much so that now opioid deaths in Ontario hover at about 700 per year, and rival motor ve! hicle collision as a leading cause of accidental death in young adults. Now, one in eight deaths of young adults aged 25-34 are due to opioids.
Categories: Harm Reduction

Canada: OPED: How To Fight The Fentanyl Epidemic

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Mon, 02/13/2017 - 08:00
Globe and Mail, 13 Feb 2017 - As deaths mount, it's time to think the unthinkable and supply users with measured doses of pharmaceutically 'pure' heroin For more than 30 years, until retiring as a physician in Montreal, I cared for and studied people who became infected, sick or died from HIV infection. Now, Canada faces a new epidemic.
Categories: Harm Reduction

CN ON: Waste Needles Make Point

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Mon, 02/13/2017 - 08:00
London Free Press, 13 Feb 2017 - Volunteers clean up 1,000 discards a year in a city weighing supervised drug injection site. Tom Cull has more than 1,000 reasons - discarded needles - for London to support a supervised drug injection site.
Categories: Harm Reduction

Canada: Beyond Harm Reduction

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Sat, 02/11/2017 - 08:00
Globe and Mail, 11 Feb 2017 - Sixteen years after Vancouver formally adopted a 'four pillars' approach to drug strategy, the city - and the province - finds itself in the grip of an overdose crisis, Andrea Woo writes Melody Cooper throws a purple ball across the well-worn grass at the East Vancouver dog park, sending her dog, Squeak, bounding across the field. The Jack Russell-poodle cross is wearing a camouflage coat, pulled taut by a belly that jiggles with each bound.
Categories: Harm Reduction

CN ON: Letter: Inject Some Goals

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Sat, 02/11/2017 - 08:00
London Free Press, 11 Feb 2017 - Regarding the article "Set up safe needle site in London, study says" (Feb. 9). If London is going ahead with safe injection sites why do we not get a doctor or nurse practitioner to run it with the goal of weaning these people off the drug?
Categories: Harm Reduction

CN SN: Plan Takes Shape For Safe Injection Site

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Sat, 02/11/2017 - 08:00
Prince Albert Daily Herald, 11 Feb 2017 - Evert Botha promises his "unwavering support" for the project, and plans to lobby to make it a reality Steps are in motion to bring a safe injection site to Prince Albert, as part of a comprehensive plan for treating infectious disease and drug addiction.
Categories: Harm Reduction

CN ON: Column: Hang Drug Dealers? Readers React

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Sat, 02/11/2017 - 08:00
Toronto Sun, 11 Feb 2017 - Last week, I wrote that unless we use Singapore's solution to hang drug pushers, we will never defeat the opioid epidemic in North America. This week, a strong response from readers. A police officer in a major Canadian city writes, "Thank you for the temerity to write this column. I wonder why we have a law that says a drug is illegal, yet the law supervises injection sites to consume illegal drugs!" He adds, "Unfortunately our law makers do not have the gonads to protect citizens against flagrant abuses. Thanks for your valued columns."
Categories: Harm Reduction

CN BC: 'Significant' Rise In Region Overdose Deaths

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Fri, 02/10/2017 - 08:00
Campbell River Mirror, 10 Feb 2017 - Illicit drug overdoses are claiming lives at rates never seen before, a trend described by the Island's medical health officer as heart breaking. "Unfortunately it's not going away and it's not going away any time soon," Charmaine Enns, Island Health's chief medical health officer, told city council at its Monday night meeting.
Categories: Harm Reduction
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