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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

CN BC: Vancouver Finds Success In Treating Drug Addicts

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Sat, 04/23/2016 - 07:00
New York Times, 23 Apr 2016 - VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Dave Napio started doing heroin over four decades ago, at 11 years old. Like many addicts these days, he heads to Vancouver's gritty Downtown Eastside neighborhood when he needs a fix. But instead of seeking out a dealer in a dark alley, Mr. Napio, 55, gets his three daily doses from a nurse at the Crosstown Clinic, the only medical facility in North America permitted to prescribe the narcotic at the center of an epidemic raging across the continent.
Categories: Harm Reduction

CN BC: Four Dispensaries Allowed to Seek Licences, but Three

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Fri, 04/22/2016 - 07:00
Globe and Mail, 22 Apr 2016 - Four Vancouver cannabis dispensaries that enjoy support from the community can pursue a coveted business licence despite operating closer to schools and community centres than allowed, says the independent panel that can grant exemptions to the city's new bylaw. But three other dispensaries are suing the city, arguing the five members on the Board of Variance unfairly rejected their appeals - under pressure from city staff - to operate within the 300-metre buffer zones.
Categories: Harm Reduction

CN BC: Officials Call For Drug Decriminalization

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Fri, 04/22/2016 - 07:00
Globe and Mail, 22 Apr 2016 - Treating addicts as if they are criminals doesn't help them, nor does it stem public appetite for illicit substances, health experts say Top health officials in British Columbia are calling for a significant change in drug policy that would ensure people who use illicit drugs do not face criminal charges for it.
Categories: Harm Reduction

Singapore: Singapore Will Not Soften Stand on Drugs: Shanmugam

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Fri, 04/22/2016 - 07:00
Straits Times, 22 Apr 2016 - Review Needed Only If There Is Evidence That a Different Model Will Work Better, He Says at UN Singapore will not soften its drug policies, Minister for Home Affairs and Law K. Shanmugam has said at a United Nations meeting, pushing back against calls for a shift in approach to the global war on drugs.
Categories: Harm Reduction

CN BC: Vancouver Fights Opioid Crisis With Prescriptions for

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Fri, 04/22/2016 - 07:00
Boston Globe, 22 Apr 2016 - VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Dave Napio started doing heroin over four decades ago, at 11 years old. Like many addicts these days, he heads to Vancouver's gritty Downtown Eastside neighborhood when he needs a fix. But instead of seeking out a dealer in a dark alley, Napio, 55, gets his three daily doses from a nurse at Crosstown Clinic, the only medical facility in North America permitted to prescribe the narcotic at the center of an epidemic raging across the continent.
Categories: Harm Reduction

Canada: New Rules By Next Spring

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Thu, 04/21/2016 - 07:00
Toronto Star, 21 Apr 2016 - On A Day When Cannabis Culture Is Celebrated, Ottawa Announces Next Step In The March To Pot Legalization OTTAWA - As thousands of people were preparing to gather in the sunshine on the lawn of Parliament Hill for the annual celebration of cannabis culture - and smoke a little, too, in plain view of the police - the Liberal government formally announced its plans to legalize and regulate marijuana.
Categories: Harm Reduction

US CA: Narcan Can Bring Overdose Victims Back From the Dead

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Thu, 04/21/2016 - 07:00
Sacramento News & Review, 21 Apr 2016 - Sacramento's Deadly Fentanyl Outbreak Underscores Antidote's Access Barriers Presh doesn't remember what it's like to come back from the dead. But her mom sure does.
Categories: Harm Reduction

US NY: UN Session on World Drug Problem After 'War Approach'

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Wed, 04/20/2016 - 07:00
The Pretoria News, 20 Apr 2016 - FOR THE first time in 20 years, the UN has convened a special session on "the world drug problem" amid fierce international debate about whether drug users should primarily be punished or rehabilitated. The UN General Assembly Special Session on drugs, which started yesterday and is scheduled to run until tomorrow, was called after Mexico, Colombia and Guatemala appealed to the body to revise the global approach to illegal drugs.
Categories: Harm Reduction

US NY: Illicit Drugs Pose Global Problem

Harm Reduction (MAP) - Wed, 04/20/2016 - 07:00
Los Angeles Times, 20 Apr 2016 - Consumers Number About 246 Million, With the U.S. Leading the Way and Cannabis the Top Narcotic. As leaders from around the world gather in New York for what many are calling the most important summit on illegal drugs in two decades, one thing is clear: The world has a serious drug problem.
Categories: Harm Reduction
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