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Chronicle AM: New England Pot Polls, First FL MedMJ Dispensary Set to Open, More... (7/20/16)

Treatment (STDW) - Wed, 07/20/2016 - 20:22

A Massachusetts poll has the marijuana legalization initiative losing, a New Hampshire poll shows record support for legalization, Florida's first dispensary gets the okay to open, Illinois protects drug court participants' opioid treatment access, and more.

[image:1 align:left]Marijuana Policy

Massachusetts Poll Has Legalization Initiative Losing, But… A new poll from Gravis Marketing has 51% opposed to the legalization initiative sponsored by the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, with only 41% saying they would vote for it. The poll was commissioned by a conservative political action committee called Jobs First, and Gravis used "instant voice recognition" to conduct the survey. Gravis said the poll's margin of error was +/- 3.3%.

New Hampshire Poll Has Record Support for Legalization. A whopping 61% of respondents said they supported legalizing small amounts of marijuana in a new WMUR Granite State poll. The strong support for freeing the weed comes as even as 43% of respondents named illegal drug use as the most important problem facing the state. Illegal drug use has been cited as the state's top problem in every WMUR since October 2015.

Medical Marijuana

Florida's First Dispensary Gets Okay to Open. The state Department of Health Wednesday granted a formal Authorization to Process and Authorization to Dispense to the Trulieve dispensary in Tallahassee. The shop will begin selling low-THC marijuana products beginning immediately, with high-THC products available early next month.

Heroin and Prescription Opioids

Illinois Governor Signs Bill to Protect Drug Court Participant Opioid Treatment Access. Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) last week signed into law a bill that will prevent drug court judges from barring participants from using medications doctors prescribe to treat opiate addiction. The measure will go into effect January 1.

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Chronicle AM: Obama to Sign Opioids Bill, CO Legal MJ Fueling Economic Growth, More... (7/15/16)

Treatment (STDW) - Fri, 07/15/2016 - 20:55

A new report finds legal marijuana has been good for Colorado's economy, the White House announces President Obama will sign CARA, and more.

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

Report Finds Legal Marijuana Bolstering Retail, Manufacturing in Colorado. In a new report, the University of Colorado Leeds School of Business finds that the state's marijuana industry is bumping up retail sales and hiring in manufacturing. Recreational cannabis sales began in 2014. That year, "We had a 3.5% increase in employment. In 2015, a 4.9% increase in food-manufacturing employment," the report said. "The data doesn't allow us to slice and dice to say, 'These are indeed edibles or not,' but the recognition is this is where they would be classified." Likewise, chemical manufacturing jobs vanished at a rate of 2.2% a year from 2002 to 2012, but increased 2.1% in 2013, 1.4% in 2014, and 3.9% last year. Chemical manufacturing includes producing cannabis oils.

Heroin and Prescription Opioids

Obama Will Sign Opioids Bill Despite Lack of Funding. President Obama will sign into law the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (S. 524) even though Congress failed to adequately fund it, the White House said Wednesday. The bill "falls far short" of necessary funding, but Obama will sign it "because some action is better than none." More funds could be appropriated in the future, but that's by no means a done deal.

International

Peru Takes Aim at Coca Cultivation in the VRAEM. The country's anti-drug agency, DEVIDA, said Thursday in is ready to eradicate coca plants in the remote and lawless Valleys of the Rio, Apurimac, and Mantaro Rivers (VRAEM) region of south-central Peru. The government has held off on eradication in the region, a major coca producer and home to a remnant of the Shining Path rebels. About three-quarters of the country's coca is grown there, and DEVIDA is ready to go after it. "Today I can say that the conditions are now entirely there for a drastic reduction in the coverage of coca in the VRAEM," Devida chief Alberto Otarola said in a news conference. "No part of Peru should be exempt from the rule of law."

Categories: Treatment

Chronicle AM: Congress Passes Opioid Bill, RI Gov Signs PTSD Bill, MT Init Qualifies, More... (7/14/16)

Treatment (STDW) - Thu, 07/14/2016 - 20:34

Governors use their bill-signing pens in Rhode Island and North Carolina, a new poll has surprisingly strong support for marijuana legalization in Wisconsin, Montanans will vote on medical marijuana in November, and more.

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

Wisconsin Poll Has Strong Majority for Marijuana Legalization. A Marquette Law School poll released Wednesday has a whopping 59% support for freeing the weed in the Badger State. The poll question asked whether pot should be "fully legalized and treated like alcohol." The level of support is up dramatically from September 2014, when voters asked a similar (but not identical) question about legalization only gave it 46% support.

Medical Marijuana

Montana Medical Marijuana Initiative Qualifies for the Ballot. An initiative aimed at reestablishing the state's medical marijuana system has qualified for the November ballot, state officials said Wednesday. The I-182 initiative would reverse restrictions imposed by the legislature in 2011 and, after lengthy court challenges, set to go into effect on August 31. Voters had approved the state's medical marijuana system in 2004.

Rhode Island Governor Signs Bill to Allow Medical Marijuana for PTSD. Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) Wednesday signed into law a bill that will allow medical marijuana to be recommended for the treatment of PTSD symptoms.

Heroin and Prescription Opioids

Congress Passes Major Heroin and Opioids Bill, But Doesn't Adequately Fund It. The Senate voted Wednesday to send opioid legislation known as the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) to President Obama for his signature. The House voted last week 407-5 to approve CARA. The bill advances a large number of treatment and prevention measures intended to reduce prescription opioid and heroin misuse, including evidence-based interventions for the treatment of opioid and heroin addiction and prevention of overdose deaths. This bill, however, does not provide federal funding. Republican leadership have maintained that opioid funding must be appropriated through regular order and have repeatedly pledged to fund the programs authorized in CARA this year. Advocates urge Congress to deliver on this promise.

Harm Reduction

North Carolina Governor Signs Bill to Allow Needle Exchanges. Gov. Mike McCrory (R) Monday signed into law House Bill 972, which authorizes the operation of needle exchange programs by local governments.

International

Indian MP Calls for Legalization of Recreational Drugs. MP Dr. Dharamvira Ghandi said Wednesday he is crafting an amendment to the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act to legalize recreational drugs. Gandhi has been working with Delhi-based lawyers and professionals on a draft of the bill. He says drug prohibition has failed. "Punitive measures to combat the supply of drugs failed miserably, as demand for drugs had exhibited an exponential growth, leading to creation of drug mafias that provided continuous supplies, regardless of the harshest provisions for punishment," he said. "It has dawned upon countries worldwide that by decriminalizing certain substances that pose minimal health risks, and by following harm reduction policies, the demand for harmful and killing medical drugs had dropped drastically, along with the offences committed. Certain Indian states are currently facing a massive drug problem, with citizens between 15-40 years of age abusing drugs, and this has caused considerable harm to society in general, and the youth in particular."

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Chronicle AM: House Passes Opioid Bill Without $$, CA Drug Felonies Plummet, More... (7/11/16)

Treatment (STDW) - Mon, 07/11/2016 - 20:13

California felony drug arrests are down, Colombian coca production is up, the Arizona marijuana legalization initiative is trailing in a new poll, Congress moves toward final passage of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, but there's a fight over funding, and more.

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

Arizona Poll Has Legalization Initiative Trailing. A new poll from O.H. Predictive Insights has the legalization initiative sponsored by the Arizona Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol losing on election day. The poll found 52.5% opposed, with only 39% in favor. The initiative has not yet officially qualified for the ballot, but is expected to after supporters handed in 100,000 more signatures than needed, providing plenty of cushion for invalidated signatures. The campaign does have significant resources; it looks like it will need them to turn the numbers around.

Arizona Supreme Court Rules Mere Smell of Marijuana is Grounds for Search, Even Though It's a Medical Marijuana State. The state's high court ruled Monday that the mere smell of marijuana is sufficient grounds to obtain a search warrant, even though the state has legalized medical marijuana. But the court also held that the legal foundation for such a search can go up in smoke if police have evidence the suspected marijuana use or possession is legal under state law. The case is State v. Sisco.

North Dakota Legalization Initiative Campaign Comes Up Short. North Dakotans will not be voting on marijuana legalization this fall. Sponsors of the initiative conceded Monday they only had about 10,000 signatures, and they needed 13,452 valid signatures to qualify. Monday was the deadline for turning in signatures.

Medical Marijuana

Illinois Medical Marijuana Sales Continue Climbing. The state saw $2.57 million in medical marijuana sales in June, up from $2.3 million in May, according to figures from the state Department of Agriculture. Sales total $13.8 million since the first dispensaries started operating last November. The numbers should increase even further once two new qualifying conditions -- PTSD and terminal illness -- come on line. They've already been approved, but the Department of Health is in the midst of preparing new rules and application forms.

North Dakota Medical Marijuana Initiative Campaign Hands in Signatures. The North Dakotans for Compassionate Care campaign handed in some 15,500 raw signatures for its medical marijuana initiative Monday, the last day for handing them in. The campaign needs 13,452 valid voter signatures to qualify, so there is very little cushion for invalidated signatures. Stay tuned.

Heroin and Prescription Opioids

House Approves Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, But Without Requested Funding. The House last Friday gave final approval to S. 524, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), but beat back Democratic efforts to provide additional funding for it. The Obama administration had asked for $1.1 billion, and House Democrats tried in vain last week to $925 million in funding. The White House has suggested it may veto the bill if no extra funding is attached. House Republicans said funding was available elsewhere. The measure is a conference committee compromise, with the Senate set to give final approval this week.

Sentencing

California Drug Felony Arrests Plummet in Wake of Prop 47. What happens when you change drug felonies to misdemeanors? Drug felonies plummet. Felony drug arrests in California dropped between 68% and 73% between 2014 and 2015 according to new data from the California Attorney General. Marijuana felonies followed a similar curve, dropping from 13,300 in 2014 to 8,856 last year. On the other hand, misdemeanor drug arrests nearly doubled, from 92,469 in 2014 to 163,073 last year.

International

Poll Finds Majority of British MPs Favor Medical Marijuana. Some 58% of British MPs back the use of medical marijuana, according to the polling firm Populus. Only 27% were opposed. Support was strongest among Scottish National Party MPs (88%), followed by Labor (60%), and even 55% of Tories were on board.

Colombia Coca Boom Underway. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime reported last Thursday that coca cultivation had increased by 39% last year and nearly doubled since 2013. Some observers speculate that it reflects coca growers' belief that this could be the last chance to grow the cash crop before a peace deal between the government and the leftist guerrillas of the FARC takes hold. Colombia government officials said the largest increases in cultivation are in areas controlled by the FARC.

Categories: Treatment

CN MB: High Hopes For New Pot Shop

Treatment (MAP) - Sat, 07/09/2016 - 07:00
Metro, 09 Jul 2016 - Owner doesn't expect trouble from police. Winnipeggers green with envy over the lack of marijuana dispensaries sprouting up as they have in other cities can finally chill as there's a new pot shop in town.
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US OR: State Launches Medford Campaign to Deter Pot Use Among

Treatment (MAP) - Sat, 07/09/2016 - 07:00
The Mail Tribune, 09 Jul 2016 - State Hopes to Prevent and Delay Usage by Underage People Less than two years after recreational marijuana was legalized in the state, the Oregon Healthy Authority is launching a program to dissuade young residents from using it. The message: Marijuana can affect brain development, impair abilities and jeopardize people's health and careers.
Categories: Treatment

CN ON: Editorial: Fighting A Scourge

Treatment (MAP) - Sat, 07/09/2016 - 07:00
Toronto Star, 09 Jul 2016 - Medical experts across Canada and the United States have been sounding loud warnings for the past few years about the explosion of deaths related to overdosing on opioid-related drugs. One U.S. authority compares the epidemic to the rapid spread of AIDS in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Now there's new evidence about the disproportionate impact on one specific group - recently released prisoners. And it underlines the need for more robust services to treat them in the crucial first days when they are returning to the community.
Categories: Treatment

Canada: Pain Sufferers Are Not Addicts, Group Says

Treatment (MAP) - Sat, 07/09/2016 - 07:00
Medicine Hat News, 09 Jul 2016 - It is time to stop the war on chronic pain patients who are treated as though they are opioid addicts, says the Chronic Pain Association of Canada. "The large majority of pain patients are not addicts or abusers. Most do not get high from taking prescription opioids, even if they become physically dependent on them in controlling their pain," said executive director Barry Ulmer.
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CN ON: Growing Like Weed

Treatment (MAP) - Fri, 07/08/2016 - 07:00
Ottawa Sun, 08 Jul 2016 - Illegal Pot Stores Sprouting Up Across Ottawa Welcome to the National Cannabis Region. Two marijuana dispensary chains have opened up shops in Ottawa, and with Stittsville also set to get a dispensary, Ottawa will soon be home to six marijuana storefronts.
Categories: Treatment

CN ON: City In Talks On Cannabis Dispensaries

Treatment (MAP) - Thu, 07/07/2016 - 07:00
The Barrie Advance, 07 Jul 2016 - There are at least three illegal medical marijuana stores in Barrie, alleges Ward 2 Coun. Rose Romita, and she questions why they haven't been shut down. The city, Barrie Police Service, Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit and the Crown attorney's office are working together to figure out what to do about them.
Categories: Treatment

CN ON: Column: Let's Avoid A Massive Pot Bureaucracy

Treatment (MAP) - Thu, 07/07/2016 - 07:00
St. Thomas Times-Journal, 07 Jul 2016 - Everyone has their own way of celebrating Canada Day. For some it involves a touch of vice. Like having one drink too many. But many Canadians opted for a more relaxed approach and decided to get stoned.
Categories: Treatment

CN ON: Fatal Drug Overdoses High Among Released Prisoners, Study

Treatment (MAP) - Thu, 07/07/2016 - 07:00
Toronto Star, 07 Jul 2016 - Research shows death rate is 12 times higher for people who were jailed in past year A new study into drug overdose deaths in Ontario among recently incarcerated adults points to the need for better services to treat them in the community.
Categories: Treatment

Chronicle AM: MA Init Passes Two Hurdles, Feds Ease Docs' Buprenorphine Limits, More... (7/6/16)

Treatment (STDW) - Wed, 07/06/2016 - 20:03

It's a two-fer for Bay State legalizers today, the feds move to ease the opioid problem, Italy's top anti-Mafia and anti-terrorism prosecutor comes out for marijuana legalization, and more.

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

Massachusetts Legalization Initiative Turns in Final Batch of Signatures. The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Tuesday handed in some 25,000 signatures to comply with a final signature gathering requirement before its legalization initiative can appear on the November ballot. Proponents only need 10,971 valid voter signatures for the measure to qualify for the ballot. The campaign already successfully completed a larger signature gathering campaign in the spring, but had to do a second round under state law after the legislature refused to act on the initiative petition.

Massachusetts Supreme Court Okays Legalization Initiative for Ballot… With Changes. The state's Supreme Judicial Court Wednesday ruled that the legalization initiative from the Massachusetts Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol can appear on the November ballot. But the court also massaged the language of the title -- changing it from "Marijuana Legalization" to "Legalization, Regulation, and Taxation of Marijuana" -- and the summary language that will appear on the ballot. The new summary reads as follows: "A YES VOTE would allow persons 21 and older to possess, use, and transfer marijuana and products containing marijuana concentrate (including edible products) and to cultivate marijuana, all in limited amounts, and would provide for the regulation and taxation of commercial sale of marijuana and marijuana products." (Changes highlighted in bold).

Heroin and Prescription Opioids

Feds Raise Patient Limits for Buprenorphine Docs. The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has nearly tripled the number of opioid-addicted patients who can be prescribed buprenorphine by a single doctor. Under old rules, doctors were limited to treating 100 patients; now, the cap has been set at 275. The drug is used to help wean people off heroin and prescription opioids.

International

Italy's Anti-Mafia Prosecutor Says Legalize "Soft Drugs." As the Italian parliament prepares to take up marijuana legalization later this month, the country's top anti-Mafia and anti-terrorism prosecutor, Franco Roberti, has endorsed the proposal, calling for the legalization of "soft drugs" as a means of redirecting police resources and weakening the finances of terrorist groups. Under prohibition, he said, "cannabis production is one of the main financing sources of terrorists. If we want to give a blow to the Mafia and the Taliban, we must remove this extraordinary financing channel from illegality."

Bolivia's Coca Crop is Under Control, UN Says. Bolivia has brought the number of acres under coca cultivation down to 50,500, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime reported Tuesday. Since farmers are allowed to plant 50,000 acres to supply the country's traditional and industrial coca market, that means that only 1% of production is destined for the illicit market. Cocaine continues to be exported through Bolivia, the agency said, but it coming from Peru.

Categories: Treatment

CN QU: Jean Coutu Won't Lobby For The Right To Sell Medical Pot

Treatment (MAP) - Wed, 07/06/2016 - 07:00
Globe and Mail, 06 Jul 2016 - The chief executive of Jean Coutu Group Inc., one of the country's largest pharmacy chains, said Tuesday he is open to selling medical marijuana but won't lobby the federal government to do so. "We're not going to actively pursue this," Francois Coutu said following the company's annual general meeting at its new headquarters and automated distribution centre in Varennes, Que.
Categories: Treatment

Canada: Will Canada Be The New Cannabis Capital?

Treatment (MAP) - Sun, 06/12/2016 - 07:00
Los Angeles Times, 12 Jun 2016 - The Move to Legalize Marijuana Represents a Huge Market for U.S. Investors. OTTAWA - Colorado and Washington may have jumped ahead in the race to become North America's marijuana kings, but Canada is now positioned to take a lead in the booming multibillion-dollar industry.
Categories: Treatment

US OR: OPED: Take It Slow On Edible Marijuana

Treatment (MAP) - Sat, 06/11/2016 - 07:00
The Mail Tribune, 11 Jun 2016 - We've reached another green-letter day in the state of Oregon's continuing experiment with legalizing recreational marijuana: Beginning Thursday, edible pot products are available for retail sale in registered medical marijuana dispensaries across the state. Not in Linn County, though: At this writing, no medical marijuana dispensary in the county legally can sell recreational marijuana, and that includes edibles intended for recreational users. Local governments throughout the county (including Linn County) have barred medical dispensaries from selling recreational pot. Voters in each of those jurisdictions will get a chance in November to decide the fate of those restrictions.
Categories: Treatment

US TX: Justices: Obtaining Evidence Illegally Doesn't Bar

Treatment (MAP) - Sat, 06/11/2016 - 07:00
Austin American-Statesman, 11 Jun 2016 - JUSTICES: OBTAINING EVIDENCE ILLEGALLY DOESN'T BAR SEIZURES High Court: Civil-Asset Forfeiture Is Not Subject to Criminal Court Rules. Law enforcement can seize private property that was used in the commission of a crime, even if evidence of wrongdoing was illegally obtained by police, the Texas Supreme Court ruled Friday.
Categories: Treatment

CN ON: Pot Law Could Spark More Change

Treatment (MAP) - Sat, 06/11/2016 - 07:00
London Free Press, 11 Jun 2016 - The Trudeau government's plans to change the legal status of marijuana may have some unintended consequences, including making more potent drugs harder to find. That's according to one former dealer in London who, like the other small-time operators who make up the bulk of the city's underground sales force, sold mostly marijuana for about a year before moving on to legitimate pursuits.
Categories: Treatment

US CA: Lawsuit Seeking Protected Pot Use for Kenwood's

Treatment (MAP) - Sat, 06/11/2016 - 07:00
The Press Democrat, 11 Jun 2016 - A Sonoma County-related lawsuit that attempted to establish the use of marijuana as a protected sacrament for use in religious ceremonies was tossed out in federal court this week. The claim that Sonoma County sheriff's officers destroyed sacramental marijuana plants belonging to a Kenwood church was dismissed after the attorney for the church failed to show up in federal court.
Categories: Treatment

US NJ: Shutdown of Trenton Police Facebook Triggers Outcry

Treatment (MAP) - Sat, 06/11/2016 - 07:00
The Trentonian, 11 Jun 2016 - TRENTON - Trenton Police's Facebook status is nonexistent. The department removed its Facebook page sometime Thursday amid allegations that negativity hurled at the department, partially over the arrest of a lightning rod marijuana activist, was being scrubbed from its social media page.
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