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INTERNATIONAL: Het marijuanadebatt pA% Drugnews Cafe - Drugnews

Drug News Bot - Fri, 11/03/2017 - 00:03
drugnews.nu (Europe) Het marijuanadebatt pC% Drugnews CafC) - Drugnews "Nej, Sverige ska inte legalisera cannabis" Stor bryggare satsar i cannabisfC6retag Nya Zeeland ska folkomrC6sta om cannabis "Nej, Sverige ska int... (Fri Nov 03 01:03:03 2017 PDT) [$drug_related(100%), $drugwar_propaganda(98%), $propaganda_theme1(80%), $propaganda_theme2(60%), $use_is_abuse(75%), $propaganda_theme4(75%), $propaganda_theme7(98%), $dissent_attacked(70%), $propaganda_theme8(70%), $illegal_drugs(100%), $drugs(95%), $prohibitionist(80%), $government_prohib(66%), $prohibition_agency(66%), $plants(100%), $pharms(100%), $nsai(100%), $nonnarcotic_analgesic(100%), $analgesic(100%), $anesthetic(100%), $intoxicant(100%), $opioid(100%), $medical_cannabis(50%), $narcotic(100%), $cannabis(100%), $acetaminophen(100%), $fentanyl(100%), $various_drugs(95%)]
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CANADA: Making Pictures With Professional Photographer John Enman - Barriere Star Journal

Bot - Cannabis - Fri, 11/03/2017 - 00:02
barrierestarjournal.com (US) Exploring the usefulness of pot A Thompson Rivers University professor aims to unlock potentially beneficial properties of cannabis Officials will discuss potential changes to deferred debt. (Fri Nov 03 02:02:06 2017 PDT)
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CANADA: It's time to get your annual flu shot - Barriere Star Journal

Bot - Cannabis - Fri, 11/03/2017 - 00:02
barrierestarjournal.com (US) You will help to protect the people you are visiting from getting a potentially serious illness. (Fri Nov 03 02:02:06 2017 PDT)
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CANADA: Rift over hub site - The Belleville Intelligencer

Drug News Bot - Fri, 11/03/2017 - 00:02
intelligencer.ca (Canada) We have to move forward," said Garry Laws, the executive director of Addictions and Mental Health Services-Hastings Prince Edward. ... (Fri Nov 03 02:02:37 2017 PDT) [$drug_related(60%), $drugwar_propaganda(100%), $addiction(60%), $propaganda_theme2(100%), $propaganda_theme3(50%), $gateway(55%), $propaganda_theme4(55%), $moral_imperative(100%), $illegal_drugs(60%), $aggrandizement(100%), $meeting(100%)]
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CANADA: Making Pictures With Professional Photographer John Enman - Barriere Star Journal

Drug News Bot - Fri, 11/03/2017 - 00:02
barrierestarjournal.com (US) Exploring the usefulness of pot A Thompson Rivers University professor aims to unlock potentially beneficial properties of cannabis Officials will discuss potential changes to deferred debt. (Fri Nov 03 02:02:06 2017 PDT) [$drug_related(100%), $drugwar_propaganda(70%), $propaganda_theme2(50%), $propaganda_theme3(50%), $propaganda_theme5(70%), $illegal_drugs(100%), $plants(100%), $intoxicant(100%), $cannabis(100%), $youth(70%), $school(100%), $aggrandizement(100%), $meeting(75%)]
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CANADA: It's time to get your annual flu shot - Barriere Star Journal

Drug News Bot - Fri, 11/03/2017 - 00:02
barrierestarjournal.com (US) You will help to protect the people you are visiting from getting a potentially serious illness. (Fri Nov 03 02:02:06 2017 PDT) [$drug_related(100%), $drugwar_propaganda(90%), $propaganda_theme1(90%), $propaganda_theme2(85%), $propaganda_theme3(75%), $propaganda_theme5(80%), $illegal_drugs(100%), $plants(100%), $intoxicant(100%), $cannabis(100%), $youth(80%), $school(100%), $aggrandizement(100%), $meeting(75%)]
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CANADA: Drug charges - Barrie Examiner

Drug News Bot - Fri, 11/03/2017 - 00:01
thebarrieexaminer.com (Canada) More than 6.5 ounces of cocaine were found inside. (Fri Nov 03 02:01:44 2017 PDT) [$drug_related(100%), $drugwar_propaganda(50%), $propaganda_theme3(50%), $illegal_drugs(100%), $drugs(90%), $chemicals(100%), $euphoric_stimulant(100%), $stimulant(100%), $cocaine(100%), $various_drugs(90%), $various_illegal_drugs(100%)]
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Word marijuana has racist past, say those who want it banished from the lexicon - Ottawa Citizen

Google - Cannabis - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 15:31

Ottawa Citizen

Word marijuana has racist past, say those who want it banished from the lexicon
Ottawa Citizen
It's a long-standing debate in the cannabis world, but the question is now slipping into the mainstream as the drug is on the edge of becomingly legal for recreational use. Many people aren't aware of the history of the term marijuana, which is linked ...

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State Colleges Now Teaching Cannabis, and Harvard Is Playing Catch-Up - Leafly

Google - Cannabis - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 15:07

Leafly

State Colleges Now Teaching Cannabis, and Harvard Is Playing Catch-Up
Leafly
More than half of all US states in have legalized medicinal cannabis, and eight and Washington, DC, have legalized adult use. As we reported earlier this year, those legal cannabis markets support nearly 150,000 full-time jobs as of 2017. The green ...

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Is Marijuana Good for Health? How Drug Laws Restrict Research of Cannabis Treatments - Newsweek

Google - Cannabis - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 14:25

Newsweek

Is Marijuana Good for Health? How Drug Laws Restrict Research of Cannabis Treatments
Newsweek
On Wednesday, Pennsylvania's health department unveiled a landmark registry for its residents who use medical marijuana. The new website will serve as a one-stop hub connecting patients and caregivers to growers, dispensaries, labs and physicians.
More than 1000 register for medical marijuana on Pennsylvania's first dayTribune-Review
Lehigh Valley's first medical marijuana doctors namedPocono Record
Medical marijuana in Pennsylvania: How patients can sign upAllentown Morning Call
lehighvalleylive.com -Sharonherald -The Philadelphia Tribune
all 62 news articles »
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White House Opioid Commission Blows Teachable Moment

Alternet - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 14:17
Click here for reuse options! The "just say no" approach is not only ineffective, it's harmful to preventing drug abuse.

The White House Commission on the opioid crisis released its final report on November 1st. The report contained a range of recommendations including increasing the number of drug courts and launching a public campaign to prevent abuse of opioids and to challenge the stigma associated with its use.  

While much of the focus on the Commission’s final report is understandably on critiquing its recommendations, there is a larger issue at play—what is absent from the report altogether. The Commission blew an opportunity to share with the public what is well-known and understood by public health and addiction experts on the frontlines of the opioid epidemic—that there are proven harm reduction and treatment interventions that will be far more effective at curbing overdose fatalities than any supply reduction or enforcement strategy.

By adopting an integrated approach to prevention, education, harm reduction, including ensuring widespread distribution of naloxone, and evidence-based treatment it is possible to dramatically reduce the number of deaths related to opioid use.

Prevention programs should focus on empowering and educating people, especially young people who are dying preventable deaths, about opioids. While understanding the root causes of problematic drug use is complicated, educating and empowering those who use or may be considering using opioids is a move away from the hopelessness that appears to be driving opioid use in young people.

What we do know is that campaigns based on orders to “just say no” fail in part because they do not engage young people or provide realistic and safe options for people who may choose to use despite potentially negative consequences.

Harm reduction strategies and programs have a strong track record of improving the health of people using opioids and preventing overdose deaths.  There are a wide range of well-established harm reduction practices.  Some are as simple of teaching young people how to stay safe when partying. Other proven measures are setting up safe consumption sites, enacting Good Samaritan laws that encourage people to seek help when someone is in distress without fear of punishment and ensuring that people in the best position to reverse an overdose—people who use drugs themselves or their friends and families—have easy access to the overdose antidote medication naloxone.

Another life-saving harm reduction technique is to give people who use opioids a means of testing the substance they are using to see if it has been adulterated with fentanyl or some other substance that could lead to an overdose or other adverse reaction.

Harm reduction programs enable people with expertise in drug use to engage with those who are using problematically, earn their trust, and potentially guide them toward voluntary treatment programs. Judgment and the threat of being punished for drug use drives people who use drugs underground and into greater danger of an overdose or other adverse reaction. Harm reduction, on the other hand, saves lives.  And yet, the term “harm reduction” is not even mentioned throughout the Commission’s 100+ page report.

There were, however, some glimmers of hope in the Commission’s recommendations, such as calling for increased access to evidence-based addiction treatment with medications such as methadone and buprenorphine. But, there are serious reservations about how President Trump’s analysis will influence the implementation of even the best recommendations and legitimate concerns that ramping up a failed war on drugs will lead to more preventable deaths.

Punitive responses to opioid drug use, including the promotion of drug courts which are integrated into the criminal justice system, not only fail to protect the lives of people who use drugs, but by portraying opioids and fentanyl as “bad” drugs, people seeking palliative care are also made to suffer. Opioids, including fentanyl, can be used to great effect therapeutically. Opioids can also lead to deadly overdoses. Doubling down on a punitive approach to drug use will impact both people’s access to pain medicines as well as their willingness to voluntarily seek help and treatment for any problematic drug use. Creating drug policies that are grounded in public health principles and informed by compassion, not judgment, means that the government can implement measures that save lives and reduce suffering.

This piece originally appeared on the Drug Policy Alliance blog.

 

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Ontario cannabis law would punish homeless recreational weed users - VICE News

Google - Cannabis - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 12:58

VICE News

Ontario cannabis law would punish homeless recreational weed users
VICE News
Ontario tabled its law on cannabis legalization this week that would ban users from consuming the drug outside of “private residences,” a move slammed by critics as favouring “the elite” since homeless people, and many renters and condo residents could ...

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6 Ways to Save Money by Making Your Cannabis Last Longer - Leafly

Google - Cannabis - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 12:48

Leafly

6 Ways to Save Money by Making Your Cannabis Last Longer
Leafly
Every time I get to the bottom of my cannabis jar, I find myself thinking, “Damn, I already smoked all of that?!” Don't be like me—there are ways to make your cannabis purchases last longer between dispensary visits, and as long as you have some ...

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The FDA Just Torched 4 Companies for Claiming Marijuana Products Can Treat Cancer - Fortune

Google - Cannabis - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 10:45

Fortune

The FDA Just Torched 4 Companies for Claiming Marijuana Products Can Treat Cancer
Fortune
As medical and fully legal recreational marijuana become increasingly common in America, claims about cannabis' health effects have finally been getting serious scrutiny. The medical literature to date paints a mixed picture of marijuana's effect on ...
FDA warns companies marketing unproven products, derived from marijuana, that claim to treat or cure cancerFDA.gov
Companies claim marijuana makes cancer “commit suicide,” FDA ...Ars Technica
FDA cracks down on bogus marijuana "cures" for cancerCBS News
New York Daily News -Bloomberg -Marijuana Moment -FDA
all 62 news articles »
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The Big Smoke: how would decriminalising cannabis change London? - Time Out (blog)

Google - Cannabis - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 10:44

Time Out (blog)

The Big Smoke: how would decriminalising cannabis change London?
Time Out (blog)
If the Daily Mail is to be believed, then Ital Simpson, aka north London rapper Black the Ripper, is a 'hooligan'. His pro-cannabis YouTube stunts have included hotboxing the London Eye, the tube, a polling station and even an EasyJet plane. 'They ...

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The Feds Think Pot Is a Greater Threat Than Opioids

Alternet - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 10:31
Click here for reuse options! Prosecutorial priorities appear skewed.

By now, anyone who is awake is aware that the country is experiencing a lethal opioid crisis. Opioid overdose deaths are at record highs, President Trump has declared a national public health emergency, and Congress is considering an ever-growing number of bills aimed at addressing the crisis.

Someone needs to tell the DEA and the Justice Department. While their public policy pronouncements identify opioids as a key concern, a look at who is actually being prosecuted for federal drug offenses shows that heroin and prescription opioid cases account for only a small fraction of all federal drug cases.

Most tellingly, at a time when more than 60 million Americans enjoy legal marijuana in their home states and when opinion polls show strong and increasing majorities in favor of legalization nationwide, drug agents and federal prosecutors are still devoting more resources to marijuana than to heroin.

And it's not just marijuana. The feds also pursued more cases against methamphetamine offenders and cocaine offenders than they did against heroin dealers, even though the number of heroin and prescription opioid users far outnumbers either the meth or the cocaine using populations and even though meth and cocaine are far less implicated in the overdose crisis than heroin and prescription opioids.

Rhetoric is one thing; what actually happens on the ground is another. And as these 2016 statistics from United States Sentencing Commission demonstrate, heroin and prescription opioids have not been a high priority for either the DEA agents who bring cases or the US Attorneys' offices that prosecute them.  

According to the data, only 14.2% of federal drug prosecutions went after heroin. That's a 29% increase over 2012, but still only a small percentage of all drug cases. An additional 2.8% of cases involved oxycodone, but that figure has been declining for the past several years and is largely a remnant of pill mill prosecutions from early in this decade. Many of the oxycodone cases came from the Eastern District of Kentucky, one of the epicenters of the pill mill phenomenon.

Marijuana cases, on the other hand, made up 17.6% of all federal drug prosecutions last year—more than the heroin and oxycodone cases combined. And remember, this was last year, when the Obama administration was in power. While it's too early for 2017 statistics, it's probably safe to assume that a Justice Department led by marijuana foe Jeff Sessions is not going to oversee a decrease in pot cases.

But what the feds really have their eyes on is meth and cocaine. Meth accounted for a full third (33.6%) of all federal drug prosecutions, while powder and crack cocaine cases accounted for another 27.9%. The numbers don't lie: Federal drug enforcement efforts emphasize meth and coke, and then marijuana, over heroin and prescription opioids.

Anti-prohibitionists will argue that there should be no drug prosecutions; that drug prohibition only exacerbates the problems related to drug use, and that's a fair point. But we live in a prohibition regime, and the priorities of DEA agents and US attorneys in that regime are fair game. That the feds make marijuana a higher prosecutorial priority than heroin is just absurd. 

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Marijuana In Casinos? Not Until Federal Law Changes, Vegas Congresswoman Says - Forbes

Google - Cannabis - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 09:33

Forbes

Marijuana In Casinos? Not Until Federal Law Changes, Vegas Congresswoman Says
Forbes
The Las Vegas Democrat has sponsored or signed onto bills and amendments that would protect state laws from Justice Department interference, allow marijuana businesses to use banks and let military veterans access medical cannabis recommendations ...

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Italian court rules its 'okay for Rastafarians to smoke marijuana when meditating' - The Independent

Google - Cannabis - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 09:28

The Independent

Italian court rules its 'okay for Rastafarians to smoke marijuana when meditating'
The Independent
An Italian court has acquitted a man of cannabis possession because he is a Rastafarian and was using the drug to meditate. The 30-year-old was arrested in May last year after police found eight grams of cannabis in his pocket and a further 50 grams at ...

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If You Can't Afford $4,500 for a Dose of Medicine, You Don't Get to Live

Alternet - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 08:51
"We face a choice—watch as price-gouging constricts access to naloxone or do something about it."

The war on opioids is in full force, and we are losing. More than 64,000 Americans will die overdose deaths this year. Tighter regulations on prescription narcotics may just be shifting those with opioid addictions back to heroin cartels. During his last term, President Obama signed a bill funding $1 billion into programs combating opioid addiction, including programs that increased access to naloxone, the antidote for opioid overdoses. The current administration announced this year its plan to grant $485 million from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to states to fight opioid addiction. At the same time, synthetic opioids like carfentanil are proving highly resistant to common doses of naloxone, sometimes requiring 10 or more doses of naloxone to reverse an overdose.

The opioid crisis quickly became a state of emergency. More than 40 states responded by making naloxone available without a prescription for the express purpose of enabling family members to revive their loved ones in case of overdose. Other local initiatives have involved the push to make naloxone available to all first responders, including the police and even their K9s who may be exposed to lethal levels of opioids at crime scenes.

While these initial strides have helped to combat deaths from opioid overdose, the financial burden is becoming exhausting. Naloxone has been on the market since 1971 and became generic in 1985. The drug itself is cheap, with current wholesale price cited as $0.33 for a 2ml vial or $11.70 for 10 2ml vials by the International Medical Product Guide. Comparatively, in the US, a simple vial of naloxone is 40 times that price. Price-gauging poster child Mylan of the now infamous EpiPen scandal sells naloxone at $23.72/ml, Hospira sells it at $14.25/ml, Amphastar at $19.8/ml and West-Ward at $20.40/ml.

These prices are for the drug naloxone only, and do not include any of the delivery devices like auto-injectors or nasal injectors. As a result, they are only helpful to medically-trained persons like paramedics, often funded by state and local taxpayer dollars. Citing cost concerns, communities have begun to propose "one and done" or "three strikes" rules where people are limited on the number of overdose responses they get from city ambulance services -- so the next time they call, the city will just let them die. Middletown, Ohio, was one of those cities -- a town that is on track to spend over $2 million this year responding to opioid addiction problems, with $100,000 on Narcan alone.

With government capabilities already limited by cost, the burden of life-saving shifts to private (usually lay, non-medically trained) consumers of naloxone, almost always family members of an opiate user. These loved ones need a naloxone option that is easy to deliver in a crisis, without the training required for syringes and measurements needed to use simple vials of naloxone. This is where the price gouging becomes more appalling. For a drug that costs as low as $0.16/ml, current naloxone options for the lay consumer are exorbitantly cost prohibitive. The naloxone auto-injector by Kaleo Pharma costs $4,500, and the naloxone nasal spray by Adapt Pharma, a simple plastic nasal sprayer that could be manufactured for pennies, now costs $110. This is the price to save a life now, with a generic drug that has been on the market for nearly 50 years.

This is concerning, especially for people living in poverty who are disproportionately affected by addiction. Concerned by the public health ramifications of this, earlier this year,  31 US senators sent a letter to Kaleo, maker of Evzio, demanding an explanation for not only the cost of the drug, but also the 600 percent price hike in the drug. Like Mylan during the EpiPen scandal, Kaleo responded by citing donations of its product to various agencies, as well as a complicated web of rebates and discounts. These do make the drug more affordable for some patients, usually those with insurance, but more often than not, this results in increased market share as consumers are swayed to use the product and not enough impact from a population health perspective. Already, Kaleo has maxed its donations of product, but many that received those devices now rely on it. Meanwhile, Kaleo is enjoying a 20 percent overall market share on the retail naloxone dispensed. For the 40-64-year-olds that most often need naloxone, Kaleo holds an even more solid 50 percent of the market share.

Pharmaceutical price gouging has created a situation where access to life-saving medicines is limited by profit margins. As government agencies are already struggling with costs, the burden gets shifted to the private consumer. In that market, the message is clear: If you can't afford $4,500 for a dose of medicine, you don't get to live. In a way, haven't these pharmaceutical companies now become the "death panels" in the "rationing of health care" that we once so feared during the initial Affordable Care Act debates?

Naloxone is a life-saving drug, one that serves the public in an increasingly important way as we continue to search for other ways to limit the devastation caused by the ongoing opioid crisis.

As one example, Harm Reduction Therapeutics is a nonprofit pharmaceutical company that is working to maximize naloxone's over-the-counter availability while minimizing the price and financial burdens to consumers, first responders, and state and local governments. Co-founder and CEO Michael Hufford noted that "philanthropic foundations backing this new nonprofit pharmaceutical model will help with an urgently needed response to the opioid crisis, while realizing a tremendous return on their investment, measured not in dollars, but in lives saved."

With such public impact, it is time to stop relying on "pharma bros" and start creating and incentivizing nonprofit or government and academic-sponsored institutions for an alternative.  Store shelves need to be flooded with easy-to-use naloxone devices that are sold for what they cost to make and distribute. Only then will the supply of this life-saving generic drug begin to meet the tragic demand for it.

In the words of Hufford, "As lives are lost every day from opioid overdoses, and debate continues as to whether it formally constitutes a crisis, we face a choice -- watch as price-gouging constricts access to naloxone or do something about it. We have chosen to do something about it."

Correction: This article incorrectly stated the amount of funding for fighting opioid addiction provided by legislation signed by President Obama. The 21st Century Cures Act, a bill signed into law by Obama last year, provides $1 billion in opioid funding. 

Copyright, Truthout. Reprinted with permission. 

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Could Cigarettes and Booze Be the Real "Gateway Drugs"?

Alternet - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 08:37
Using these legal substances preps the brain for cocaine addiction, new research suggests.

 

 

Alcohol reshapes the brain in ways that make rats more likely to become cocaine addicts

The idea of a "gateway drug" may sound like a throwback to the "Just say no" era. But new research offers fresh evidence that alcohol and nicotine — two psychoactive agents that are legal, ubiquitous and widely used during adolescence — ease the path that leads from casual cocaine use to outright addiction.

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