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Denver Voters May Have a Chance to Legalize Magic Mushrooms

Alternet - Thu, 03/08/2018 - 12:32
A municipal voter initiative to do just that is getting underway now.

oters could have an opportunity to legalize psychedelic mushrooms in Colorado if a group of activists are cleared to start a petition drive.

Nearly two dozen activists from Colorado for Psilocybin met Monday with city officials in Denver, and they’re optimistic they can soon take the next step in legalizing “shrooms,” reported Colorado Public Radio.

The group touted several recent scientific studies showing the medical benefits of using psilocybin, the active ingredient in psychedelic mushrooms, and called for an end to felony charges for possession of the drug.

Under the preliminary proposal that voters may consider, anyone caught with more than 2 ounces of dried mushrooms or 2 pounds of uncured “wet” mushrooms could be cited and fined up to $99 for a first offense, and an additional $100 for subsequent offenses.

Tyler Williams, of the Psilocybin Decriminalization Initiative, said marijuana legalization provided a helpful template for their initiative.

“I’m a big believer in cognitive liberty, and so whatever people decide to consume I think is up to them,” Williams said. “I think people should be informed about what they are consuming, and they shouldn’t have to be afraid of going to jail for that.”

Activists cited two studies that found psilocybin helped cancer patients deal with stress on a long-term basis, and other studies found the drug can help patients manage depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

“It’s helped me tremendously with my own mental health and on top of that, with creativity, and really being able to just explore different aspects of myself, and really get some healing from the inside out,” said activist Kevin Matthews, who said he was diagnosed with depression as a teenager.

The activists and city officials discussed phrasing for the initiative, and they must next submit the petition materials for review by the Denver Elections Division.

If the petition is approved at that point, then advocates can begin gathering signatures in hopes of placing the measure on November’s ballot.

California voters may consider a similar measure later this year.

 

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Israel's parliament unanimously votes to progress cannabis decriminalisation - The Independent

Google - Cannabis - Thu, 03/08/2018 - 11:36

The Independent

Israel's parliament unanimously votes to progress cannabis decriminalisation
The Independent
A bill to decriminalise cannabis use passed was unanimously in its first reading in Israel's parliament. The proposal would mean those caught smoking marijuana would be fined rather than arrested and prosecuted. First-time offenders would be fined 1 ...

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One State Forces Opioid Abusers to Get Help. Will Others Follow?

Alternet - Thu, 03/08/2018 - 11:01
This is kind of creepy. Most people defined as drug addicts say they don't need treatment. Should we listen to them?

TAMPA, Fla. — In an opioid epidemic that is killing more than a hundred Americans every day, many families of overdose victims feel helpless when it comes to convincing their loved ones to seek treatment.

Police and other first responders — who often rescue the same people again and again — are similarly frustrated about their lack of authority to detain users long enough for their heads to clear so they can consider treatment.

But here in Tampa, police, health care professionals and families have a powerful legal tool not available in many other places: the 1993 Marchman Act. Families and health care professionals can use the state law to “marchman,” or involuntarily commit people into substance abuse treatment when they are deemed a danger to themselves or others.

Although the statute applies to all jurisdictions in the state, court records show that it has been employed in Tampa and surrounding Hillsborough County far more than anywhere else. Hillsborough County accounts for less than 7 percent of the state’s population and more than 40 percent of its Marchman commitments.

Police use the Marchman Act to pick up people without a court order and take them to a designated stabilization and assessment center. Addiction professionals use the law when a patient fails to show up for treatment. And parents and friends use it when they fear a loved one’s life is at risk.

Across the country, state lawmakers are grappling with how to give first responders and medical professionals the same kind of legal leeway — without violating drug users’ civil liberties.

“It’s been one of the most hotly debated opioid issues of the past year,” said Sherry Green, a consultant and former legal analyst with the National Alliance for Model State Drug Laws.

Tampa’s success with the Marchman Act could be a model.

Treatment Coercion

More than 400 people in Tampa and surrounding Hillsborough County were involuntarily committed into addiction assessment and treatment last year, according to circuit court records. More than two-thirds completed their court-ordered programs.

That’s a success rate that substantially exceeds the 50 percent threshold most researchers use in determining whether an addiction treatment is effective, said David Gastfriend, senior research scientist at the Public Health Management Corporation in Philadelphia.

Nearly 12 million Americans have an addiction to opioid painkillers and heroin, according to the most recent survey from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Only 1 in 5 are receiving treatment.

A shortage of treatment capacity is part of the problem, addiction experts say, but denial and refusal to seek treatment is the primary reason. The vast majority of Americans with a drug addiction do not receive treatment because they say they do not need it.

Research also shows that people who are coerced into treatment either through criminal courts or employer or family intervention are just as successful at beating their addictions as those who voluntarily enter treatment.

That’s why governors and lawmakers want to find legal methods to push people into treatment in the vulnerable moments after they’ve been rescued from an overdose and are in contact with police and medical professionals who can help.

At least 33 states have laws that technically allow loved ones and others to involuntarily commit people who put their lives at risk by using drugs, according to the National Alliance for Model State Drug Laws. But since they can only be implemented with a judge’s approval, typically during business hours, commitment laws have been largely ineffective at preventing people who are rescued from an overdose from walking away, using drugs again and overdosing.

Florida has the oldest law authorizing emergency detention for drug and alcohol users without court involvement. Colorado and Minnesota have similar emergency commitment statutes, and a handful of other states have emergency provisions on the books that are seldom used, according to Green.

Detention Orders

“There’s a great deal of frustration among first responders who revive or resuscitate individuals and then watch them get up and walk away,” said Kentucky state Rep. Kimberly Moser, a Republican.

Under a bill Moser proposed last month along with four other Republican House members, first responders would have the authority to sign a 72-hour noncriminal “detention order,” requiring an overdose victim to be transported to a hospital or treatment facility to be held until an addiction assessment is completed and a treatment plan developed.

Moser’s bill would complement, but not amend, an existing civil commitment law in Kentucky. Casey’s Law has been used successfully by hundreds of families for more than a decade to coerce loved ones with dangerous drug addictions into treatment. That law requires a court proceeding, which can take days or weeks.

In Massachusetts, a similar emergency commitment bill, which Republican Gov. Charlie Baker first proposed in 2015, would allow medical professionals and first responders to detain patients who have been revived from a drug overdose and transport them to a specialized addiction facility for emergency assessment and treatment.

Baker’s proposal would amend the state’s existing court-involved civil commitment law (known as Section 35), and give designated receiving facilities up to 72 hours to engage patients in treatment.

Opposed by major medical groups as well as the American Civil Liberties Union, the Massachusetts bill is part of the governor’s comprehensive plan to stem the state’s raging opioid epidemic.

Last year, Indiana enacted a law calling for limited use of emergency commitment in three counties for people who are revived from a drug overdose. The program, still in the development phase, requires counties to keep records on how many patients are committed, what type of treatment they receive, and how many are completing treatment.

Critics in Indiana, Kentucky and Massachusetts argue that a shortage of treatment slots would make it difficult to find a facility capable of emergency care.

“One of the frustrations is that people who voluntarily seek treatment often can’t access care when they need it,” said Dr. Sarah Wakeman, who heads addiction services at Massachusetts General Hospital. “I wouldn’t suggest that involuntary treatment is the way to go.”

Nowhere to Go

Florida has long had a disproportionate share of the nation’s rehabilitation centers and residential addiction treatment facilities, but as the opioid epidemic worsens, the state’s treatment capacity has been stretched thin.

Still, the state has designated a handful of treatment facilities to accept Marchman Act patients in Hillsborough County. Professionals at those places say they rarely have to turn away a patient because of a lack of capacity.

“We may not be able to give them the level of service they need, particularly if they need a bed,” said Mary Lynn Ulrey, CEO of DACCO, a community-based treatment service provider here in Tampa. “But we immediately engage them in an appropriate level of service and move them into a more intensive level of service within a few days.”

Tampa is one of only four places in Florida with a locked central receiving facility where police can take adults and children with mental illness and addiction and have them evaluated for treatment.

Elsewhere in Florida and in much of the country, hospital emergency departments, crisis centers and addiction treatment centers serve as the first stop for police who rescue opioid users from an overdose. Many of those places are unlocked and ill-equipped to perform an emergency addiction assessment on an unwilling drug user.

In Kentucky, Moser said the state plans to use federal and state grants to create secure triage centers in rural areas where there are no hospitals or addiction treatment centers within 50 miles.

And in Massachusetts, at legislative hearings on Baker’s emergency commitment proposal, physician groups and hospitals argued that in many parts of the state there would not be enough room at local hospitals and treatment facilities.

Why Tampa?

Here in Tampa there’s little mystery why the Marchman Act is more widely used than anywhere else in Florida. A circuit judge here, infamous among some drug users who weren’t quite ready to quit, has dedicated his career to helping people with addictions find treatment and turn their lives around, whether they want to or not.

When he’s not hearing Marchman cases, Judge Jack Espinosa Jr. is presiding over drug courts, family courts and juvenile cases. And he does everything in his power, addiction professionals say, to ensure that people who are ordered into treatment stay there.

Marchman Act orders are civil proceedings. Police don’t arrest the people they pick up under the law’s emergency powers. Instead, they bring them to health care professionals who stabilize and assess them to determine the nature and severity of their addiction.

Once a health care professional has recommended a treatment plan — which can range from six months of outpatient counseling with medication to three days of detox and 30 days of residential treatment at an average cost of $5,500 to $7,000 — Espinosa is then asked to order the person to complete it.

If a patient doesn’t show up for treatment on any given day, a sheriff’s deputy is sent to pick the person up. “I use the common law powers of contempt of court to enforce the order,” Espinosa explained.

“We have better outcomes with our Marchman Act patients than with any of our other patients,” said Linda Mann, an addiction specialist at DACCO. “They know Espinosa will send the sheriff around. That gives us leverage we don’t have with our other patients.”

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Senate Could Vote To Let Marijuana Businesses Use Banks This Week - Forbes

Google - Cannabis - Thu, 03/08/2018 - 08:58

Forbes

Senate Could Vote To Let Marijuana Businesses Use Banks This Week
Forbes
Under the current federal prohibition of cannabis, many banks refuse to do businesses with marijuana growers, processors and sellers that operate legally in accordance with a growing number of state laws. As a result, many cultivators and dispensaries ...

and more »
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Police probe of Brazilian marijuana researcher sparks protests - Nature.com

Google - Cannabis - Thu, 03/08/2018 - 07:08

Nature.com

Police probe of Brazilian marijuana researcher sparks protests
Nature.com
Carlini, 87, is one of the pioneers of medical marijuana research. He has investigated the drug since the 1950s, and has published several seminal papers on the anticonvulsive properties of cannabinoids. “Carlini is an outstanding scientist,” says ...

and more »
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First Nations demanding a cut of cannabis tax after pot legalization - CBC.ca

Google - Cannabis - Thu, 03/08/2018 - 02:00

CBC.ca

First Nations demanding a cut of cannabis tax after pot legalization
CBC.ca
A leading voice on First Nations finances wants the federal government to surrender taxation powers over cannabis to band councils, arguing Indigenous peoples should get a cut of the billions of dollars in revenue expected from legalization. Manny ...

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AK: SitNews: Column - More Failures in Florida Than a Lack of Gun Control By RICK JENSEN

Drug News Bot - Thu, 03/08/2018 - 01:34
sitnews.us (US) The shiny, new FBI call center in West Virginia did not even forward warning calls to the FBI office in Miami. If Sheriff Deputy Peterson did take FBI active shooter training, then he disregarded the fact that he was taught to enter the building and engage the shooter prior to backup arriving. If he did not take the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT),he was unqualified for s... (Thu Mar 08 18:34:20 2018 PST) [$drug_related(70%), $drugwar_propaganda(100%), $propaganda_theme1(100%), $propaganda_theme2(50%), $propaganda_theme3(65%), $propaganda_theme5(60%), $prohibition_agency(70%), $youth(60%), $school(100%)]
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AK: States mull 'sanctuary' status for marijuana businesses - Petersburg Pilot

Bot - Cannabis - Thu, 03/08/2018 - 01:32
petersburgpilot.com (US) Some states that have legalized marijuana are considering providing so-called sanctuary status for licensed pot businesses. (Thu Mar 08 18:32:32 2018 PST)
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AK: Borough assembly approves Scow Bay lease application for boat ramp - Petersburg Pilot

Drug News Bot - Thu, 03/08/2018 - 01:32
petersburgpilot.com (US) Borough assembly approves Scow Bay lease application for boat ramp - Petersburg Pilot Borough assembly approves Scow Bay lease application for boat ramp A Petersburg man in his second round of proceedings with the borough assembly has been approved to build a Scow Bay boat ramp that he will pay for. (Thu Mar 08 18:32:32 2018 PST) [$drug_related(50%), $drug_ngo(50%), $drug_reform_ngo(50%), $ramp(50%), $govt_prohib_other(50%), $school(100%)]
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AK: States mull 'sanctuary' status for marijuana businesses - Petersburg Pilot

Drug News Bot - Thu, 03/08/2018 - 01:32
petersburgpilot.com (US) Some states that have legalized marijuana are considering providing so-called sanctuary status for licensed pot businesses. (Thu Mar 08 18:32:32 2018 PST) [$drug_related(100%), $drugwar_propaganda(100%), $propaganda_theme7(100%), $illegal_drugs(100%), $govt_prohib_other(100%), $legalization(100%), $plants(100%), $intoxicant(100%), $cannabis(100%), $cannabis_industry(85%), $school(100%), $msm(50%), $mockingbird(50%), $assoc_press(50%)]
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AK: opioids - The Northern Light

Drug News Bot - Thu, 03/08/2018 - 01:32
thenorthernlight.org The Northern Light Murals of opioid addictions, recoveries and hope ... (Thu Mar 08 18:32:07 2018 PST) [$drug_related(100%), $drugwar_propaganda(60%), $addiction(60%), $propaganda_theme2(60%), $propaganda_theme5(60%), $illegal_drugs(100%), $opioid(100%), $narcotic(100%), $youth(60%), $school(100%)]
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AK: Murals of opioid addictions, recoveries and hope - The Northern Light

Drug News Bot - Thu, 03/08/2018 - 01:32
thenorthernlight.org Recoveries and hope A beginning painting class at UAA created three murals depicting individuals who are recovering from. Or are still addicted to. A beginning painting class at UAA created three murals depicting individuals who are recovering from. (Thu Mar 08 18:32:07 2018 PST) [$drug_related(100%), $drugwar_propaganda(95%), $propaganda_theme1(80%), $addiction(60%), $propaganda_theme2(95%), $propaganda_theme5(60%), $propaganda_theme6(65%), $illegal_drugs(100%), $drugs(90%), $chemicals(100%), $euphoric_depressant(100%), $analgesic(100%), $opioid(100%), $narcotic(100%), $opiate(100%), $heroin(100%), $various_drugs(90%), $various_illegal_drugs(60%), $youth(60%), $school(100%), $meeting(60%)]
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AK: Marijuana and Alcohol Issues and the Permanent Fund Dividend - KYUK

Bot - Cannabis - Thu, 03/08/2018 - 01:29
kyuk.org (US) Marijuana and Alcohol Issues and the Permanent Fund Dividend ! KYUK Marijuana and Alcohol Issues and the Permanent Fund Dividend ... (Thu Mar 08 18:29:39 2018 PST)
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AK: Marijuana and Alcohol Issues and the Permanent Fund Dividend - KYUK

Drug News Bot - Thu, 03/08/2018 - 01:29
kyuk.org (US) Marijuana and Alcohol Issues and the Permanent Fund Dividend ! KYUK Marijuana and Alcohol Issues and the Permanent Fund Dividend ... (Thu Mar 08 18:29:39 2018 PST) [$drug_related(100%), $illegal_drugs(100%), $chemicals(50%), $plants(100%), $intoxicant(100%), $depressant_intoxicant(50%), $alcohol(50%), $cannabis(100%)]
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AK: 11th Annual Running of the Reindeer! - KWHL

Bot - Cannabis - Thu, 03/08/2018 - 01:28
kwhl.com Alaska Senate refuses to hear measure on marijuana policy (Thu Mar 08 18:28:36 2018 PST)
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AK: Alaska Senate refuses to hear measure on marijuana policy - KWHL

Bot - Cannabis - Thu, 03/08/2018 - 01:28
kwhl.com Alaska (AP) b The Alaska Senate was supposed to consider a measure Wednesday saying the federal governmentb s new enforcement policy on marijuana is an affront to Alaska voters. (Thu Mar 08 18:28:36 2018 PST)
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AK: 11th Annual Running of the Reindeer! - KWHL

Drug News Bot - Thu, 03/08/2018 - 01:28
kwhl.com Alaska Senate refuses to hear measure on marijuana policy (Thu Mar 08 18:28:36 2018 PST) [$drug_related(100%), $illegal_drugs(100%), $plants(100%), $intoxicant(100%), $cannabis(100%), $cannabis_industry(50%), $cannabis_jobs(50%), $aggrandizement(100%)]
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AK: Alaska Senate refuses to hear measure on marijuana policy - KWHL

Drug News Bot - Thu, 03/08/2018 - 01:28
kwhl.com Alaska (AP) b The Alaska Senate was supposed to consider a measure Wednesday saying the federal governmentb s new enforcement policy on marijuana is an affront to Alaska voters. (Thu Mar 08 18:28:36 2018 PST) [$drug_related(100%), $drugwar_propaganda(100%), $propaganda_theme7(100%), $illegal_drugs(100%), $drug_law(100%), $govt_prohib_other(100%), $legalization(100%), $plants(100%), $intoxicant(100%), $cannabis(100%), $cannabis_industry(50%), $cannabis_jobs(50%), $legalism(65%), $aggrandizement(100%), $msm(50%), $mockingbird(50%), $assoc_press(50%)]
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AK: Musher speaks out in anonymous letter following dog doping allegations

Drug News Bot - Thu, 03/08/2018 - 01:26
ktuu.com (US) The statement says that Musher X was told by the race marshal that there had been a positive drug test. (Thu Mar 08 18:26:59 2018 PST) [$drug_related(100%), $drugwar_propaganda(70%), $explicit_propaganda(70%), $propaganda_theme2(70%), $illegal_drugs(100%), $drugs(90%), $opioid(100%), $narcotic(100%), $various_drugs(90%), $various_illegal_drugs(100%), $drug_test(100%), $aggrandizement(100%)]
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AK: Dallas Seavey demands drug test results from race organizers

Drug News Bot - Thu, 03/08/2018 - 01:26
ktuu.com (US) The musher is at the center of the controversy after his dogs tested positive for a prohibited opioid following the 2017 Iditarod race. (Thu Mar 08 18:26:59 2018 PST) [$drug_related(100%), $drugwar_propaganda(50%), $propaganda_theme3(50%), $illegal_drugs(100%), $drugs(90%), $pharms(100%), $non_opiate_synthetic_analgesic(100%), $opioid(100%), $narcotic(100%), $tramadol(100%), $various_drugs(90%), $various_illegal_drugs(100%), $drug_test(100%), $aggrandizement(100%)]
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