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CN NF: N.L. Gov Wrestling With Pot Legalization Issues

MAP Drugnews - Top Stories - Thu, 08/24/2017 - 23:00
The Telegram, 24 Aug 2017 - A majority of interest groups want the government to sell cannabis through a Crown corporation like the NL Liquor Corp., whereas most members of the public want to see stand-alone stores selling marijuana once it's legalized. The issue of how legalized marijuana will be sold is shaping up to be one of the most thorny issues for the provincial government to address, based on a report on public sentiment around legalization.
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CN BC: Drug Problem Not Getting Better: RCMP Insp. Hunter

MAP Drugnews - Top Stories - Thu, 08/24/2017 - 23:00
Alberni Valley News, 24 Aug 2017 - B&E numbers on the rise in Port Alberni The Port Alberni RCMP's officer in charge says the city's opioid crisis is not getting better. Inspector Brian Hunter was in council chambers on Aug. 14 to present the quarterly report for the RCMP department.
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B.C. medical marijuana firm issues recall over tainted drugs - The ... - The Globe and Mail

Google - Cannabis - Thu, 08/24/2017 - 18:13

The Globe and Mail

B.C. medical marijuana firm issues recall over tainted drugs - The ...
The Globe and Mail
The recall announced Thursday stems from a crackdown by the federal department in March after months of product recalls dogged the medical-cannabis ...
Ladysmith medical marijuana firm issues recall over chemicals in ...Times Colonist

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Denver's first-in-the-nation program for social marijuana use at businesses is officially accepting applications - The Denver Post

Google - Cannabis - Thu, 08/24/2017 - 14:44

The Denver Post

Denver's first-in-the-nation program for social marijuana use at businesses is officially accepting applications
The Denver Post
But Denver Department of Excise and Licenses officials dispute that claim and say they're now ready to begin accepting cannabis consumption establishment licenses. Next month, the department plans to begin accepting applications for a second license ...

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High Times Cannabis Cup Canada adds Lil' Kim as headliner -

Google - Cannabis - Thu, 08/24/2017 - 13:24

High Times Cannabis Cup Canada adds Lil' Kim as headliner
High Times' purchase of the Vancouver Island festival follows the recent acquisition of a $70-million stake in the magazine by a group of investors that includes Damian Marley. The High Times Cannabis Cup Canada will take place at Laketown Ranch in ...

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Hiding Opioid Addiction Treatment in Plain Sight

Alternet - Thu, 08/24/2017 - 12:36
Click here for reuse options! We should be reducing the stigma attached to addiction, not hiding drugs that could save lives.

On my way to meet a friend, I walked through the Grand Central subway station and found myself confronted by a massive advertising campaign. Giant faces taking up much of the wall stared at me―black, white and Hispanic, all between 20 and 40 years old, looking serious and healthy. Big signs asked “What is Vivitrol?” and said “Ask your healthcare provider,” adding “There’s another option.”

But they never said what Vivitrol is for,  at least not until a final panel crowded with text revealed the condition.

As an internist who sees patients in an opioid treatment program, what strikes me about this ad campaign is that it barely mentions the problem the drug is used to treat. Its goals are to put the name of the drug into the minds of the public, and to suggest that Vivitrol is another (and presumably better) treatment option. Better than what? And what does it do, anyway?

Here’s what commuters in a hurry would miss: Vivitrol is a drug used to treat opioid addiction.

That’s what makes this campaign so fascinating—and distressing. The invisibility of the problem of opioid addiction reflects our society’s ongoing stigmatization of addiction and treatment for it. The ad panels with concrete information about Vivitrol―what it’s used for, side effects, appropriate and inappropriate patients―are few and far between, and written in a font far smaller than that used in the other panels.

Opioid addiction has created a national crisis. An estimated 142 people die from opioid overdoses every day in our country. In 2016, more than 1,300 people died of such overdoses in New York City alone, a huge increase from the 630 opioid-overdose deaths recorded in 2015. The White House panel commissioned to study the problem has recommended declaring a national emergency in response to the epidemic.

Despite all the publicity about recent celebrity deaths due to opioids, people with opioid addiction are reluctant to disclose their condition, even to family, close friends and doctors. They fear judgment from all those who see addiction as a sign of weakness or a personality defect, rather than the disease my colleagues and I see every day.

Examining Treatment Options

Of course, I already know what Vivitrol is, what it’s used for and what the other treatment options are. For more than 10 years I have prescribed methadone and buprenorphine to my patients, nearly all of whom suffer from opioid addiction and its many complications. I have seen methadone and buprenorphine allow people to regain control of their health and lives, find jobs and homes, repair relationships and return to their faith communities.

I don’t recall ever seeing an ad for methadone or buprenorphine outside a medical journal.

At this point there is a paucity of data to support the efficacy of Vivitrol. It appears to work better than no treatment, but that’s pretty much all we can say about it. There has not been a study that compares it to methadone or buprenorphine. Because patients must completely abstain from any opioid use for at least three days before starting Vivitrol, getting them to start the medication can be challenging. And they are more likely to leave treatment than patients on methadone or buprenorphine. Since opioid addiction is a chronic disease requiring lifelong monitoring and treatment, patients who are not being treated are likely to relapse. Methadone and buprenorphine work well; we know this from dozens of studies done over several decades. But although the evidence supports their use, these drugs are no longer under patent protection and are not profitable enough to merit significant advertising campaigns.

I have never treated a patient with Vivitrol, and out of the hundreds of patients I have seen over the years, only two have ever asked me about it. For many of my patients, most of whom are mature adults with decades-long histories of addiction, Vivitrol may never be a good option.

When the drug was first approved in 2010 to treat opioid addiction, I was extremely dubious about its utility. Early studies of oral naltrexone (the generic name for Vivitrol) did not support its use as an effective treatment for opioid addiction. My experience treating patients with methadone and buprenorphine successfully made naltrexone seem like a poor choice when better treatments were available. Since then a lot has changed, including my opinion about Vivitrol. The injectable formulation of Vivitrol improves rates of compliance with the treatment and therefore its effectiveness.

The opioid crisis has exploded in our nation, and the typical course of opioid addiction has changed. People are starting opioid use at younger ages and becoming addicted more quickly, and their lives are unraveling faster. Vivitrol may work better in people with shorter histories of addiction. We need all the treatment options we can get for patients with different histories, needs and levels of support at home. What remains largely unchanged, however, is the stigma of opioid addiction and addiction treatment.

Bias Versus Effectiveness

Methadone and buprenorphine are often disregarded as treatments that allow for “real” recovery because they are opioid agonists―medications that activate the same receptors as those activated by abused opioids. However, when used to treat opioid addiction, methadone and buprenorphine do not provide the euphoric high caused by heroin and other abused opioids. Opioid agonist drugs keep people with opioid addiction from feeling physical and psychological withdrawal and craving opioids. They are able to stabilize their often chaotic lives and focus on goals other than their next oxycodone pill or bag of heroin.

If this is not real recovery, I don’t know what is.

Still, I look forward to learning more about Vivitrol, and how best to use it to help my patients, from clinical studies—not advertising.

Also, I wish there were greater efforts to spread the word about treatments that we know help people suffering from opioid addiction. To their credit, many local health departments (including our own New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene) have pushed the opioid crisis into the public eye with public service announcements about overdose prevention. I look forward to seeing more public health efforts to throw some light on opioid addiction treatment and the many paths to recovery, including methadone and buprenorphine.

We need to show the public that recovery from opioid addiction is possible and to reduce the stigma attached to addiction and treatment, and expose patients to all of the effective medications we use to treat this terrible and growing problem.


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For the Stylish, Socially Conscious Purveyors of Legalized Cannabis, the Future Is Looking Very Green, Indeed -

Google - Cannabis - Thu, 08/24/2017 - 10:44

For the Stylish, Socially Conscious Purveyors of Legalized Cannabis, the Future Is Looking Very Green, Indeed
It is a truth universally acknowledged that in 2017, a millennial with any access to money must be in want of experiences on which to spend it. For the pioneers of the cannabis “green rush,” those venture capitalists and M.B.A. types who've sensed the ...

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To Understand the Forces Favoring and Opposing Legal Marijuana, Study Arizona. - Entrepreneur

Google - Cannabis - Thu, 08/24/2017 - 10:05


To Understand the Forces Favoring and Opposing Legal Marijuana, Study Arizona.
Fortune reports that U-Haul gave $25,000 to oppose cannabis decriminalization legislation, and “A pharmaceutical company that is working on a synthetic version of marijuana's psychoactive ingredient, Insys Therapeutics Inc., has given at least $500,000 ...
Calling All Marijuana Entrepreneurs: Shark Tank of Cannabis Wants YouWestword
Hemp Cannabis Product Sales Projected To Hit $1 Billion In 3 YearsForbes
Florida Struggles to Keep Up With Medical Cannabis Patient ApplicationsMERRY JANE
KIEM -Saipan Tribune -Miami Herald
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'Disjointed': The Marijuana Sitcom Made for Killjoys Who Don't Smoke Pot

Alternet - Thu, 08/24/2017 - 09:40
There are probably decent arguments for why you may want to watch this sitcom, but... we forgot them. Heh. Heh.

Sometimes smoking pot can make a person feel stuck — as in, the body can’t move, or be moved to move. Such a state goes well with the “Netflix and chill” ethos because if you’re locked inside it, odds are you have nothing better to do. Or even if you do, you’re not going to do it. Weed is hilarious like that.

Such a haze may also lead to heady musings, such as the notion that “bad” and “failure” can be mutually exclusive terms when it comes to television. Most of us know terrible television when we see it. But for reasons unknown, or the reason specified above, we keep on watching. Weed has a tendency to make failure bearable.

Then there are puzzles like Netflix’s “Disjointed,” premiering Friday. Created by David Javerbaum, formerly a writer for “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” and network comedy generator Chuck Lorre, “Disjointed” blunts its potential by tracing the linework of an established and well-traversed comedic niche with the same broad strokes Lorre employs in shows like “Two and a Half Men” and “Mike & Molly.”

Marijuana still isn’t legal for recreational use in most states, but pot is mainstream enough for the average viewer to know how mundane and widespread cannabis use is. Countless series have featured characters who smoke, and recent shows such as HBO’s “High Maintenance” depict users that hail from a variety of social strata leading normal productive lives.

There exists a poignant subplot in “Disjointed” involving the dispensary’s security guard Carter (Tone Bell), a veteran haunted by a frightening tour in the Middle East that left crippling scars in his psyche. Through Carter’s story, the show takes creative departures from the standard sitcom format using beautiful, haunting animated sequences, allowing viewers to gain a sense of his troubled interior state. These inventive visual soliloquies hint at a capacity for originality that could have made “Disjointed” a distinct entry into this subset of the comedy genre.

“Disjointed” also has characters hallucinating conversations with people who aren’t actually there and uninspired weed-centric fake commercials (though one insurance commercial spoof is legitimately funny). Above all, it asks us to connect to the crunchy owner of the shop where all the blazing takes place, a woman just wants to get people high, man, without the bummer of responsible business ownership.

In these ways and others, “Disjointed” huffs down every cliché about marijuana and the degenerates who use it, blowing them back in our faces with such knee-slappers as “stoners love a good sh*t joke.” It’s as if Javerbaum and Lorre wrote this alleged comedy for people who harbor disdain for cannabis culture, perhaps with the notion that what they’ll see will change their minds. This presumes people will want to watch the Netflix comedy for more than a few minutes and, you know, binge this thing.

If that happens, thank the show’s star Kathy Bates.

Bates can sell just about anything to Middle America, even a second-rate multi-camera laugh-in filmed before a live studio audience. “Disjointed” marks the award winning actress’ second go at helming a series after starring in NBC “Harry’s Law,” although she previously worked with Lorre on a “Two and a Half Men” guest star gig.

Here she plays dispensary owner Ruth Feldman, an old-school hippie who hangs charms in her hair and dedicated her life to legalization before opening Ruth’s Alternative Caring in Los Angeles. Ruth spends her days consistently, proudly and stubbornly getting high, talking about being high and shirking off the duties of entrepreneurship because, guess what? She’d rather be high.

Consistent with Lorre’s network comedy style, most of the action takes place within Ruth’s consumer space, her office and the dispensary’s grow room in back. Her staff of “budtenders” includes Pete (Dougie Baldwin), the resident botanist who speaks to his plants in an Australian accent for reasons unknown (other than the fact the actor who plays him is an Aussie). Then there’s Jenny (Elizabeth Ho), who introduces herself as the shop’s “tokin’ Asian” — allowing a pause for laughs — and Olivia (Elizabeth Alderfer), the obligatory cute white girl, a Lorre comedy staple.

Aaron Moten plays Ruth’s biracial son Travis, and he chafes at his mother’s lack of motivation even as he takes steps to give Ruth’s Alternative Caring a web presence. Ruth, meanwhile, is disappointed in Travis because he went to business school.

Travis sees the growth potential of his mother’s business, recognizing that the mainstreaming of cannabis and the spread of legalization places her on the edge of a pot boom. In essence, he’s the actual brains of this outfit. But Ruth is a soft, old school lefty radical who doesn’t want to become The Man, or the Wo-Man, and just wants to give people her “healp.” Did we mention that she’s stoned all the time?

Notice how tightly the simplistic comedy formula that made “Two and a Half Men” a gigantic hit is rolled into “Disjointed”: A misbehaving central character is joined at the hip to a straitlaced, exasperated awkward sidekick. Together they’re surrounded by gentle buffoons. Toss them dialogue that sets up obvious punchlines and leaves spaces for gales of cued-up laughter and blam, you’ve got enough bland content for 20, half-hour episodes.

“Disjointed” is a stoner comedy for people who don’t get stoned, written by people who I suspect either haven’t been high for a very long time, have never gotten high, or thought that they were smoking weed that one time but were actually inhaling burnt oregano laced with bath salts. Like a lonely, virginal mathlete who wants to befriend the burners in his dorm, the show’s humor is enthusiastic, harmless and not as convincing in its familiarity with the subject matter as it wants us to think it is.

It also proves that creating a winning pot comedy requires its own potent strain of expertise, including knowing how to balance sophomoric humor, honest insight and ludicrous situations to achieve euphoric effects. “Disjointed” never hits such heights, and that leads a person to have renewed appreciation for the series and films that do.

You would have to be very, very high — as in, melting into the couch — to dedicate 10 hours of your life to this show. But even that might not help, since that state tends to make time stretch out. No amount of green can make this experience palatable.


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Judge Nixes Indiana’s Civil Forfeiture of Vehicles

Alternet - Thu, 08/24/2017 - 09:06
A state law that allowed police to keep seized cars for months without a hearing has been blocked.

INDIANAPOLIS (CN) — Though Attorney General Jeff Sessions is increasing use of civil forfeiture to seize money and property from people not convicted of a crime, a federal judge ruled that Indiana’s law on seizure and forfeiture of vehicles is unconstitutional because it violates due process.

“We plan to develop policies to increase forfeitures,” Sessions said on July 17. “No criminal should be allowed to keep the proceeds of their crime.”

Civil forfeitures, however, allow the government to take money and property from people who have not been convicted of a crime, or even charged with one.

In the Indiana case, Indianapolis police arrested Leroy Washington in September 2016 and charged him with selling marijuana. They towed his car and held it for forfeiture.

In November that year, Washington demanded the return of his car and filed a federal class action against the police, the mayor and the county prosecutor. He challenged the constitutionality of the Indiana law that allows police to seize and hold a vehicle for three to six months without a hearing or judicial oversight.

Indianapolis officials argued that “the Constitution does not require any procedure prior to the actual forfeiture proceeding.”

But on Aug. 18, Chief U.S. District Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson granted Washington summary judgment, finding that the Indiana law violates the Due Process Clause of the Fifth and 14thAmendments, and enjoined the state from enforcing it.

Washington has regained possession of his car, but Magnus-Stinson found him a proper representative of the class because he “has continued to diligently pursue this case.”

She certified the class and ruled that the case is not moot due to Washington’s reclamation of the vehicle.

“Defendants have not indicated any intention to cease enforcement of the statute, and defendants do not dispute that 169 vehicles have been seized for forfeiture between Nov. 2, 2016 and Feb. 13, 2017,” Magnus-Stinson wrote.

She noted that the statute does not allow the vehicle owner to claim the property via replevin.

“It is evident to this court that a three- to six-month deprivation is a lengthy one, and could cause significant hardship to the individual whose vehicle is seized,” the judge wrote.

She added that the lack of an interim remedy, such as retrieval of the vehicle after posting bond, “particularly burdens individuals who lack the financial resources to secure another vehicle during the pendency of proceedings, or who are unable to access reliable public transportation.”

Magnus-Stinson stated that “robust procedural safeguards” are important due to the government’s “direct pecuniary interest” in the result of forfeiture proceedings.

“The property may be sold in a public sale, with the proceeds divided, pursuant to the statute, between the seizing law enforcement agency and the common school fund,” she ruled.

In granting a permanent injunction, Magnus-Stinson said, “this court will not attempt a constitutional rewrite of the statute.”


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What are tenants' rights under proposed marijuana laws? | CTV News - CTV News

Google - Cannabis - Thu, 08/24/2017 - 08:44

CTV News

What are tenants' rights under proposed marijuana laws? | CTV News
CTV News
With the federal government's plan to legalize recreational marijuana by July 2018, landlords across Canada have been raising concerns about marijuana use ...

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Lagunitas Unleashes New IPA Made With Cannabis - Eater

Google - Cannabis - Thu, 08/24/2017 - 07:04


Lagunitas Unleashes New IPA Made With Cannabis
California-based brewery Lagunitas, which was recently purchased by Heineken International, has unleashed a beer containing cannabis extracts. The IPA, however, does not contain any THC, the compound that causes the marijuana-related high; instead, ...
Lagunitas rolls out a cannabis beerLos Angeles Times

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Here's what Jeff Sessions got wrong on marijuana, according to Washington state officials - The News Tribune

Google - Cannabis - Thu, 08/24/2017 - 07:02

The News Tribune

Here's what Jeff Sessions got wrong on marijuana, according to Washington state officials
The News Tribune
Officials in Washington state think U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has it all wrong when it comes to the state's legal marijuana market. Last week, Gov. Jay Inslee and State Attorney General Bob Ferguson, both Democrats, fired off a letter saying ...
Colorado Defends Its Legal Marijuana Program In Strong Letter To Jeff SessionsHuffPost
Colorado gov responds to Sessions marijuana letter questioning state's regulatory regimeThe Cannabist

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NL marijuana survey: What people want and what they don't - -

Google - Cannabis - Thu, 08/24/2017 - 06:29

NL marijuana survey: What people want and what they don't -
The Newfoundland and Labrador government says a lot of people responded to consultations about legalizing marijuana but they don't agree on everything.
VOCM - Huge Response to Provincial Cannabis Survey Calls for ...VOCM

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Wed, 12/31/1969 - 16:00