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CN BC: Man Acquitted After Judge Throws Out Evidence He Had A

MAP Drugnews - Top Stories - Tue, 11/28/2017 - 01:00
Vancouver 24hours, 23 Nov 2017 - A man has been acquitted after evidence that he had checked in a suitcase containing a large quantity of drugs at Vancouver International Airport was thrown out of court. David Edward Herman checked in two pieces of luggage when he arrived at the airport for a flight to Toronto on March 17, 2013.
Categories: News Feeds

CN BC: Feds Seek Input On Pot Regulations

MAP Drugnews - Top Stories - Tue, 11/28/2017 - 01:00
North Shore News, 24 Nov 2017 - North Shore residents should be able to buy marijuana in either private or government-run outlets, similar to liquor stores, but there should be strict regulations banning youth under 19 from accessing weed and roadside suspensions for drivers impaired by pot. Local municipalities also want a cut of marijuana revenues to help with enforcement of the rules and a say about where pot shops are set up.
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CN BC: Marijuana Dispensaries Not Welcome In DNV

MAP Drugnews - Top Stories - Tue, 11/28/2017 - 01:00
North Shore News, 24 Nov 2017 - The District of North Vancouver is going to fight another pot shop in the courts. The municipality filed court documents Nov. 15 in B.C. Supreme Court, asking for an order that the owners of Medicinal Mary Jane Iprio Inc. operating at 1488 Pemberton Ave. stop selling marijuana and marijuana products, in contravention of local bylaws.
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CN ON: Supervised Injection Site Eyed For Downtown Core

MAP Drugnews - Top Stories - Tue, 11/28/2017 - 01:00
Hamilton Spectator, 23 Nov 2017 - Mayor backs scheme, says time to get it out of alleyways and off railway lands A decision on whether to authorize a supervised injection site in Hamilton's core is expected to be made Dec. 4 by the Board of Health.
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CN NS: Safe Needle Disposal Program Open To All

MAP Drugnews - Top Stories - Tue, 11/28/2017 - 01:00
Cape Breton Post, 23 Nov 2017 - Most pharmacies won't ask what needles are used for Used needles or other sharps never have to be discarded in bottles, garbage or public spaces because of the Safe Sharps Bring-Back Program. The Pharmacy Association of Nova Scotia (PANS) administers the program for residential sharps users. Although it is not intended for people who use intravenous drugs, most pharmacies won't ask what the needles are being used for.
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CN ON: More Pot Wars

MAP Drugnews - Top Stories - Tue, 11/28/2017 - 01:00
Toronto 24hours, 23 Nov 2017 - Organization wants billboard near music school taken down Should a billboard claiming that marijuana legalization isn't harmful be hanging over a kids' music school in North York? That's the question being posed by Prevent, Don't Promote, an organization opposed to the legalization of marijuana in Canada.
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Sacramento to Consider Greenlighting Jan. 1 Cannabis Sales - Leafly

Google - Cannabis - Mon, 11/27/2017 - 18:21


Sacramento to Consider Greenlighting Jan. 1 Cannabis Sales
Sacramento may also join the growing number of jurisdictions adopting equity programs designed to address inequities in how cannabis laws are enforced. The council at Tuesday's meeting will consider a package of legislation aimed at removing barriers ...
Recreational Cannabis in New Jersey Could Put a Dent in Pennsylvania's Medical Marijuana IndustryMERRY JANE
The drug war destroyed black neighborhoods. This Sacramento weed policy could helpSacramento Bee (blog)
Sacramento To Vote Tuesday On Legalizing Recreational MarijuanaCapital Public Radio News -The Spokesman-Review
all 21 news articles »
Categories: News Feeds

Surrender Your Guns, Police Tell Hawaiian Medical Marijuana Patients - Leafly

Google - Cannabis - Mon, 11/27/2017 - 17:54


Surrender Your Guns, Police Tell Hawaiian Medical Marijuana Patients
The clash between state marijuana laws and federal firearms law—which prohibits all cannabis patients and consumers from purchasing firearms—is a growing point of legal contention in the 29 states with medical marijuana laws. The Honolulu letters ...

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High DIY: How to Infuse a Home-Delivered Meal Kit With Cannabis - Leafly

Google - Cannabis - Mon, 11/27/2017 - 16:33


High DIY: How to Infuse a Home-Delivered Meal Kit With Cannabis
As a person who prides herself in serving up tasty dinners on the cheap, the idea of meal kit services kind of kill the fun for me. It's exciting when I figure out how to whip up a dope meal for less than $4 per serving, and grocery shopping is like ...

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Is recreational marijuana about to be legalized? - Dearborn Press and Guide

Google - Cannabis - Mon, 11/27/2017 - 16:20

Dearborn Press and Guide

Is recreational marijuana about to be legalized?
Dearborn Press and Guide
Members of the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol carry cases full of signed petitions to legalize recreational marijuana. In all about 350,000 signatures were turned in to be verified. Photo courtesy of Facebook.

and more »
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Two Tasmanians now legally using cannabis to treat ailments - The Mercury

Google - Cannabis - Mon, 11/27/2017 - 16:08

The Mercury

Two Tasmanians now legally using cannabis to treat ailments
The Mercury
In September, the Tasmanian Government introduced a Controlled Access Scheme under which patients could be prescribed medicinal cannabis after referral by a specialist. Health Minister Michael Ferguson today said two patients were now able to access ...

and more »
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Amid the stampede into Bitcoin and cannabis, be sure to avoid the Stampeders' fate - Financial Post

Google - Cannabis - Mon, 11/27/2017 - 14:12

Financial Post

Amid the stampede into Bitcoin and cannabis, be sure to avoid the Stampeders' fate
Financial Post
In conclusion, moderating return expectations for the broader equity market does not mean now is the time to be taking material excess risk by return-chasing euphoric sectors such as bitcoin and marijuana. That said, while having a smaller component ...

and more »
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Study Explores Chemical Links Of Cannabis, Exercise, And Sexual Bliss - Forbes

Google - Cannabis - Mon, 11/27/2017 - 13:50


Study Explores Chemical Links Of Cannabis, Exercise, And Sexual Bliss
Scientists are homing in on biological reasons for the age-old "cannabis makes sex better" theory, though there'll need to be plenty of further research to come. A new study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine has seemingly uncovered a chemical link ...

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Under Trump, Drugs Are Pouring Across America's Border Like Never Before

Alternet - Mon, 11/27/2017 - 12:51
Despite the chest thumping, the dope just keeps coming.



Drug Seizures by Immigration Agents See Six-Year High

Drug traffickers are sending a deluge of illicit and prescription drugs across the border, a sign traffickers aren’t intimidated by President Donald Trump’s beefed-up border security. Custom ...

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Inside Crackland: The Open-Air Drug Market That São Paulo Just Can't Kick

Alternet - Mon, 11/27/2017 - 12:06
Cracolândia is unlike nearly anything in any city in the world – sometimes thousands of addicts congregating openly in the city’s bustling downtown core.

“It’s a horrible life. You don’t eat. You don’t sleep. Any money you can get goes on crack,” says Felipa Drumont.

Drumont is 26, trans, homeless and addicted to crack. For the last four years, she has lived on the streets of an area of central São Paulo that has become infamous: Cracolândia, literally “Crackland”.

Here, hundreds of people sit in the middle of the street, wrapped in blankets, and smoke crack openly. Others wander, wild eyed, looking for tin cans and other recyclables to sell. Most are skinny and gaunt, faces contorted from years of drug abuse. There is garbage everywhere and a thick smell of body odour.

Police patrol the perimeter, just metres away. They keep an eye on things but don’t intervene with the drug-taking or dealing. Instead, they mostly watch for other crimes, such as robbery. Municipal officers and NGO workers hover nearby.

Even more surprisingly, on weekdays, there are also workers with backpacks and suited office types, who scurry past on the opposite side of the street. Despite being a scene of intense urban degradation, Crackland in fact sits on prime real estate.

It is next to Luz, the city’s biggest and busiest train station. Less than 100m away is a neoclassical style concert hall that last year hosted a performance by American jazz legend Herbie Hancock. There are private technical colleges nearby, and a leisure centre. The office of South America’s biggest newspaper, Folha de São Paulo, known sometimes as the New York Times of Brazil, is a few blocks away.

None of it makes much difference to the addicts. Some exchange jokes or handshakes with each other, but most just look bewildered and lost.

It is unlike nearly anything in any city in the world. To some, including the current mayor, João Doria, that makes it an embarrassment.

After taking office in January, the business mogul declared war on Crackland. Early on a drizzly Sunday morning in May, Drumont watched as helicopters appeared overhead, and a veritable battalion of 900 armed police and security agents descended on the addicts. She says the police used rubber bullets and stun grenades to disperse the crowd.

“The police turned up throwing bombs at everyone,” she recalls. “Thank god I wasn’t injured, but I was terrified.”

Drumont and hundreds of other addicts scattered. Many took refuge in a nearby gas station; others checked themselves in for treatment at government programmes, or were accompanied by city social services to packed homeless shelters.

After breaking up the crack market, police raided local properties, seized drugs and guns, and arrested dozens of suspected traffickers.

Local government officials heralded the operation a success. Doria, triumphant, declared: “Crackland is over and won’t come back.”

Six months later, Crackland continues, just metres away from where it was cleared.

Hamsterdam, Brazil

For readers familiar with the American TV series The Wire, Crackland looks like “Hamsterdam” – a section of vacant city blocks where, in an attempt to bring down street crime, Baltimore police set up a “free zone” for drug dealers and addicts.

There are, however, two key differences. First, Cracolândia isn’t located in vacant land, but right in the middle of the bustling downtown core. The area has been gentrifying, and an ambitious revitalisation is planned for 2018, including 1,200 new apartments.

The second difference is that this brazen drug scene has been a stubborn fixture of downtown São Paulo for more than two decades.

After Cracolândia first appeared in the 1990s, when the highly addictive smoked form of cocaine entered the city’s narcotics market, a succession of governments have tried – and failed – to end it, mostly via repressive policing.

Since then, the fluxo (“flow”), as the concentration of users is known, has moved around the neighbourhood, chased from street to street by heavy-handed police operations.

In 2008, mayor Gilberto Kassab sent police to disperse the addicts, just as his successor Fernando Haddad would nine years later. Kassab, as Doria did, declared: “Crackland no longer exists.”

In 2012, the city’s then-justice secretary said the same thing, this time in relation to a crackdown dubbed “Operation Pain and Suffering”.

Both times, the addicts simply regrouped down the street.

After the raid in May, Cracolândia re-formed just 400m away, in a park. Drumont followed: the raid didn’t dissuade her from taking crack. “I used even more drugs because I was nervous and scared,” she says.

Nevertheless, for those who say Crackland must go, the tactics enjoy broad approval. Supporters consider Crackland a menace, arguing that it gives power to organised crime, degrades the city and perpetuates a cycle of drug addiction and misery.

Exact data is scarce, but it is thought Brazil is home to the highest number of crack users in the world. According to the last national crack survey in 2014 by the Fiocruz medical institute, there are around 370,000 regular users in 27 city state capitals and the federal district. 

Brazil shares porous borders with all of the main cocaine-producing nations: Bolivia, Colombia and Peru.

São Paulo is also the base of Brazil’s most powerful drug trafficking gang, the PCC (“First Command of the Capital”). Authorities say the PCC plays a controlling role in supplying Crackland.

According to them, the crackdown was necessary to break the hold of drug trafficking in the neighbourhood.

“With the [May] operation, the state retook territory that was dominated by drug traffic, facilitating the work of health and social workers,” says Floriano Pesaro, social development secretary for São Paulo state government.

As evidence for the success of their strategy, they point to a study – commissioned by the state government – showing that Crackland has got smaller: from 1,861 users before the operation in May to 414 in July, a reduction of 77%.

Clarice Sandi Madruga, coordinator of the survey, says there are many reasons for the drop. Some addicts have sought help, she says; others used the opportunity of the operation to flee from debts with drug dealers.

What’s more, she says, as many as one third of current Crackland residents are new arrivals who come for the services, such as health treatment and meals (provided by City Hall), and the relative safety. (Drumont corroborates that claim: for junkies, she says, there is a certainly safety in numbers, providing you don’t break the rules, such as stealing from others.)

For Madruga, notwithstanding the fact that Crackland still exists, the combination of a bit of carrot and a lot of stick has worked. “Something needed to be done,” she said.

Addicted and abandoned

But if many Paulistanos supported the raid – 60%, according to a poll by Datafolha – many others did not.

They argue that Crackland is symptomatic of the city’s wider problems: of poverty, homelessness and inequality. They say Cracolândia, for all its problems, acts as a refuge for the city’s addicted, downtrodden and abandoned.

“The effort by the São Paulo government is a classic example of the ‘war on drugs’ approach that for decades has failed to reduce drug use, driven people who use drugs away from essential health services, and given rise to widespread human rights violations,” says Cesar Munoz, senior researcher at Human Rights Watch.

Even inside government, some officials are irate, seeing in the raid the same old discredited tactics.

“The traffickers they arrested are just small-time dealers,” says Arthur Pinto Filho, a senior official of the Public Prosecutor’s Office for Human Rights in Public Health of the state of Sao Paulo.

“The traffic continues,” he adds. “It was a huge waste of public money: they are in the same spot. It was a step backwards. This is the same thing that has been done for years and never worked.”

Although everyone agrees Crackland is smaller than it was at its peak, many are sceptical of the government’s explanation, and say it’s probably due to a simple fact: police violence.

“Even if there was a reduction of this size, it’s not because of treatment, stopping to use or quality of life,” says Thiago Calil of the NGO É de Lei, who has worked in the region for 13 years. “[Addicts] are leaving the centre because there is huge police repression.”

City Hall employs more than 150 health workers in the Crackland area. Two of them, not authorised to speak on record, said that the police raids had increased mistrust and made it more difficult to approach addicts to help.

Yet another criticism is that raids merely disperse users into “mini-Cracklands”, of dozens rather than hundreds of addicts. At least 22 of these have been identified across the city.

“We understand from our teams that users have gone from the centre, and are using crack in other scenes, more on the outskirts of the city,” said Calil.

Better 22 mini-Cracklands than one big Cracolândia, argues Felipe Sabara, secretary of social assistance at São Paulo city government. He claims it’s easier to provide social assistance to users if they are less concentrated.

“The more people there are, the bigger density the crowd, the harder the approach,” Sabara says, blaming organised crime and the connection that users establish with their turf.

Sabara says his team is expanding outreach services across the city to deal with the dispersal, and disputed the accusation that City Hall merely wants to sweep Crackland under the rug in order to help gentrify the neighbourhood.

“We are doing the opposite,” he says. “We are resolving the problem.”

Still, Pesaro is under no illusions that Crackland has easy solutions. “We know that it will be a difficult and long process,” he adds.

Even Doria has backpedalled, now noting that Crackland is a historic problem, and saying the focus should be “to reduce it sensibly and end the 24-hour drug shopping mall”.


Six months since the raid, Drumont is now two months clean. She lives in Tent 2, a structure set up by City Hall in the heart of Crackland, where she gets a bed and meals as part of a programme called Redemption.

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NIDA Study Finds Underage Cannabis Use Alters Brain Connectivity - Leafly

Google - Cannabis - Mon, 11/27/2017 - 11:31


NIDA Study Finds Underage Cannabis Use Alters Brain Connectivity
WASHINGTON – Cannabis consumers who start using marijuana in their teens may be altering the hardwire hubs that route signals within the brain. When it comes to cognitive tasks like working memory and inhibitory control, though, regular cannabis ...

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Merger madness: Canada's marijuana industry enters consolidation ... -

Google - Cannabis - Mon, 11/27/2017 - 04:00

Merger madness: Canada's marijuana industry enters consolidation ...
Pot companies established in the Wild West days before legalization are now growing up and settling down. A round of merger consolidation is underway ...
Deal-Making in the Cannabis Industry Hits an All-Time High: What It Means for Marijuana StocksMotley Fool

all 25 news articles »
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