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Chronicle AM: Bratton Blames MJ for Prohibition Violence, Opioid Prescriptions Decline, More... (5/23/16)

Canada (STDW) - Mon, 05/23/2016 - 19:18

Bill Bratton misses the point on prohibition and violence, Nebraskans will have to wait for medical marijuana, Fentanyl is displacing heroin in Vancouver, and more.

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

New York City's Top Cop Blames Marijuana Legalization -- Not Prohibition -- for Black Market Violence. NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton Sunday criticized states that have legalized weed because there is violence around the black market in his city, which hasn't legalized weed. "Here in New York, the violence we see associated with drugs, the vast majority of it, is around the issue of marijuana, which is ironic considering the explosion in use of heroin now in the city," Bratton said. "Interestingly enough, here in New York City most of the violence we see -- violence around drug trafficking -- is involving marijuana and I have to scratch my head as we are seeing many states wanting to legalize marijuana, and more liberalization of policies."

Medical Marijuana

No Medical Marijuana Initiative for Nebraska This Year. Cornhusker medical marijuana advocates have decided to delay a petition drive to get the issue on the ballot until 2018. They cited the late start this year and the expense involved.

Rhode Island Senate Approves Adding PTSD to List of Qualifying Conditions. The Senate last Friday unanimously approved a bill that will add PTSD to the list of debilitating medical conditions that qualify a patient for medical marijuana. The bill now heads to the House.

Heroin and Prescription Opioids

Opioid Prescriptions are Falling for the First Time in 20 Years. Two reports from health information providers show that opioid prescriptions have declined in recent years. IMS Health reported a 12% decline in opioid prescriptions nationally since 2012, while Symphony Health Solutions reported an 18% drop during those years. IMS said prescriptions have fallen in 49 states, with only South Dakota showing an increase. The figures could have implications not only for overdose and addiction rates, but also for pain patients. "The climate has definitely shifted," said Dr. Daniel B. Carr, the director of Tufts Medical School's program on pain research education and policy. "It is now one of reluctance, fear of consequences and encumbrance with administrative hurdles. A lot of patients who are appropriate candidates for opioids have been caught up in that response."

International

In Vancouver, Heroin Has Been Displaced by Fentanyl. The synthetic opioid has been identified in half of all drug overdoses in the city this year, which is on track to exceed last year's drug overdose toll. Advocates for drug users in the city's Downtown East Side say there's no more heroin on the street after it has been pushed out by the cheaper and more potent Fentanyl. "Traditionally, heroin comes in about four different colors,"said the longtime drug advocate Hugh Lampkin of the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users, describing a bland palette of beiges, browns and blacks. "Well now you're seeing multiple colors, like colors of the rainbow: green and pink and orange and white... Right away, when you see these colors that's a pretty good indicator that it's fentanyl that you're doing. The people who are controlling the supply, they're passing off what should be heroin as fentanyl because of the close proximity of the high."

Afghans Celebrate Bumper Opium Harvest. Hundreds of laborers from across the Pashtun heartland gathered in Naqil, Uruzgan province, to harvest a bumper crop of opium poppies and celebrate with after-work games in a festival-like atmosphere. "This is the only time of the year to make money," said Afzal Mohammad, who came all the way from Kandahar, standing amid chest-high poppy stalks nearby. "People work here for about 15 days and then are jobless for the rest of the year."

Categories: Canada

Canada: OPED: Why We Need To Clear The Smoke Over Pot Shops

Canada (MAP) - Mon, 05/23/2016 - 07:00
Globe and Mail, 23 May 2016 - The federal Liberal government intends to fulfill its election promise and legalize recreational use of marijuana across Canada some time next year. Meanwhile, a British Columbia Supreme Court decision in February, which held that the mail-order federal program to obtain physician-authorized marijuana is neither affordable nor accessible, created a legal lacuna when it comes to accessing marijuana even for medicinal use.
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Canada: Tobacco, Marijuana Are Exactly the Same When It Comes

Canada (MAP) - Mon, 05/23/2016 - 07:00
Globe and Mail, 23 May 2016 - Is eating a pot brownie each day to help with your chronic pain as bad for you as regularly lighting up a cigarette? Canadian life insurers say the two activities pose the same risk and demand the same higher premiums from clients. The insurance industry's national trade association argues the standard policy among insurers of tacking on increased costs to marijuana users - regardless of whether they smoke, vape or eat the drug - is based on available research. The group also suggests pricier premiums could be due to the severity of a medical marijuana patient's underlying conditions.
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CN ON: PUB LTE: Regulate, Donat Ban, Pot Dispensaries

Canada (MAP) - Sun, 05/22/2016 - 07:00
Toronto Star, 22 May 2016 - Re The case for legalizing cannabis, Opinion May 17 I agree that marijuana dispensaries need regulation. All businesses do, for a variety of reasons. However, the panic about dispensaries is overboard.
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CN ON: Column: No Bang For Taxpayers' Buck With Pot Charges

Canada (MAP) - Sun, 05/22/2016 - 07:00
Toronto Sun, 22 May 2016 - U.S. President Barack Obama recently used the twilight of his tenure to again grant clemency to almost 60 non-violent drug offenders. With those commutations, Obama has now reduced the sentences of 300 federal prisoners in order to secure their release, more than the last six presidents combined.
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CN ON: Column: No Bang For Taxpayersa Buck With Pot Charges

Canada (MAP) - Sun, 05/22/2016 - 07:00
Ottawa Sun, 22 May 2016 - U.S. President Barack Obama recently used the twilight of his tenure to again grant clemency to almost 60 non-violent drug offenders. With those commutations, Obama has now reduced the sentences of 300 federal prisoners in order to secure their release, more than the last six presidents combined.
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CN MB: Column: No Bang for Taxpayers' Buck With Pot Charges

Canada (MAP) - Sun, 05/22/2016 - 07:00
Winnipeg Sun, 22 May 2016 - U.S. President Barack Obama recently used the twilight of his tenure to again grant clemency to almost 60 non-violent drug offenders. With those commutations, Obama has now reduced the sentences of 300 federal prisoners in order to secure their release, more than the last six presidents combined.
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CN ON: Mayor High On People Power

Canada (MAP) - Sat, 05/21/2016 - 07:00
Toronto Sun, 21 May 2016 - They may have the pot but Mayor John Tory says he's got the people. Tory said Friday that when it comes to the city cracking down on the booming marijuana dispensary business, there is "substantial" public support.
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CN QU: LTE: Driving and Weed: A Definite Buzzkill

Canada (MAP) - Sat, 05/21/2016 - 07:00
Montreal Gazette, 21 May 2016 - Re: "How stoned is too stoned?" (NP Montreal, May 18) An Australian government study of impairment of pilots concluded that "residual effects of cannabis can persist for up to 24 hours. These effects include persisting difficulty with psychomotor tasks and interference with cognitive function."
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CN NF: I Called Him An Angel Amongst Us

Canada (MAP) - Sat, 05/21/2016 - 07:00
The Telegram, 21 May 2016 - Paul Morrissey, marijuana oil advocate, dies at 67 J.P. Morrissey says he couldn't have had a better father than Paul Morrissey, an advocate for an unconventional method of cancer treatment, who died Thursday.
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CN ON: City Continues Warning Landlords To Close Pot

Canada (MAP) - Sat, 05/21/2016 - 07:00
Toronto Star, 21 May 2016 - Sixty-four landlords have now received warning letters about renting space to tenants selling marijuana in unlicensed storefront operations across Toronto. Property owners are told they have three days to shut the businesses down or potentially face stiff fines for contravening zoning bylaws.
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CN BC: Overdose Survivors At Higher Risk Of Drug Death, Study

Canada (MAP) - Fri, 05/20/2016 - 07:00
Globe and Mail, 20 May 2016 - British Columbia researchers have determined a straightforward method for health-care professionals to effectively identify people at a heightened risk of dying from a future drug overdose. Scientists at the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV-AIDS revealed those who have recently survived a non-fatal overdose are more likely to die from a subsequent overdose.
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Canada: LTE: Driving Under The Influence

Canada (MAP) - Fri, 05/20/2016 - 07:00
National Post, 20 May 2016 - Re: How Stoned Is Too Stoned?, May 18. In light of the tremendous lack of awareness on the impact of marijuana on the ability to drive safely, the federal government must commit to a massive public education program before making any changes to the ease of access to this psychotropic drug. This is not something that should be left to the pot industry to orchestrate.
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CN ON: Pro-Pot Folks Smokina Mad Over Crackdown

Canada (MAP) - Fri, 05/20/2016 - 07:00
Toronto Sun, 20 May 2016 - The crackdown on marijuana dispensaries has begun, but advocates of the storefronts are fuming they haven't been given a chance to be heard at City Hall. On Thursday, several pro-pot people - some rooting for medical marijuana patients, others for dispensary owners - were appalled when the city's licensing committee deferred discussion on marijuana dispensaries till the end of June.
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CN SN: Editorial: Salute To Fighting The Good Fight

Canada (MAP) - Fri, 05/20/2016 - 07:00
Moose Jaw Times-Herald, 20 May 2016 - There was a day where the fight against marijuana was considered crucial to the health of our nation and most people were on the same page. Pass on grass was a common sentiment. Now, as we are well into the 21st century, attitudes have changed dramatically, and recreational marijuana use is more socially acceptable than it has ever been. In more and more jurisdictions in North America, the use of pot has been or soon will be legalized, or decriminalized, and that includes right here in Canada.
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CN ON: LTE: Oh Cannabis

Canada (MAP) - Fri, 05/20/2016 - 07:00
Standard Freeholder, 20 May 2016 - Oh Canada Our home and bountiful land Where generous people dwell Always willing to offer a helping hand Where citizens have always been very keen At enduring decades of restrictions To eliminate the scourge of nicotine
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CN ON: City Begins Crackdown On Pot Shops

Canada (MAP) - Thu, 05/19/2016 - 07:00
Globe and Mail, 19 May 2016 - The City of Toronto began its crackdown on the proliferation of illegal marijuana dispensaries on Wednesday, going after the owners of the properties rather than the sellers of the products. Letters from the city and the Toronto Police Service were sent informing landlords of buildings that contain dispensaries that the shops violate local by-laws, and the property owners are subject to stiff financial penalties. Until the city sent out the notices, operators of the dispensaries expected to be the ones facing fines, as much as $50,000.
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CN ON: Warnings Issued To Unlicensed Pot Shops

Canada (MAP) - Thu, 05/19/2016 - 07:00
Toronto Star, 19 May 2016 - Dispensaries cropping up in Toronto while marijuana remains illegal in Canada The city's crackdown on unlicensed pot dispensaries began Wednesday as Toronto police delivered warning letters to property owners across the city.
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CN ON: Residents' Opinions Shift on Pot Shops

Canada (MAP) - Thu, 05/19/2016 - 07:00
Toronto Star, 19 May 2016 - But Forum Research poll finds that almost half are still fine with medical marijuana dispensaries A shrinking but sizable number of Torontonians think the medicinal marijuana dispensaries popping up all over the city should be allowed to remain open.
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Canada: PUB LTE: Going To Pot

Canada (MAP) - Thu, 05/19/2016 - 07:00
National Post, 19 May 2016 - Re: How Stoned Is Too Stoned, May 18. As a psychiatrist, I don't see many marijuana success stories. I am concerned that the powerful new hydroponic varieties of weed and those always unpredictable edibles will be all the more impairing on alertness challenges like driving a car. The actions of marijuana on young, still developing brains can be damaging, especially in users who have strong family histories of addiction or other mental illness. Weekend recreational use is one thing, daily use quite another. When all is said and done, I am warily in favour of legalization, if only because jails and criminal records are worse for your well-being than soft drugs. Here's hoping that even more widespread marijuana use doesn't do to our society what vodka has done to Russia.
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