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  • ShereeKrider 1:46 am on April 14, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Canadian Cannabis Act, , , Marijuana, medical, personal use,   

    Canada takes action to legalize and strictly regulate cannabis 


    News Release

    From Health Canada

    Proposed legislation would provide regulated and restricted access to cannabis and crack down on impaired driving

    April 13, 2017              Ottawa, ON      

                                                               Government of Canada

    The current approach to cannabis does not work. It has allowed criminals and organized crime to profit, while failing to keep cannabis out of the hands of Canadian youth. In many cases, it is easier for our kids to buy cannabis than cigarettes.

    That is why the Government of Canada, after extensive consultation with law enforcement, health and safety experts, and the hard work of the Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation, today introduced legislation to legalize, strictly regulate and restrict access to cannabis.

    The proposed Cannabis Act would create a strict legal framework for controlling the production, distribution, sale and possession of cannabis in Canada. Following Royal Assent, the proposed legislation would allow adults to legally possess and use cannabis. This would mean that possession of small amounts of cannabis would no longer be a criminal offence and would prevent profits from going into the pockets of criminal organizations and street gangs. The Bill would also, for the first time, make it a specific criminal offence to sell cannabis to a minor and create significant penalties for those who engage young Canadians in cannabis-related offences.   

    In addition to legalizing and strictly regulating cannabis, the Government is toughening laws around alcohol- and drug-impaired driving. Under the Government’s proposed legislation, new offences would be added to the Criminal Code to enforce a zero tolerance approach for those driving under the influence of cannabis and other drugs. Additionally, the proposed legislation would authorize new tools for police to better detect drivers who have drugs in their body.

    Subject to Parliamentary approval and Royal Assent, the Government of Canada intends to provide regulated and restricted access to cannabis no later than July 2018.

    The Government will invest additional resources to make sure there is appropriate capacity within Health Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Canada Border Services Agency and the Department of Public Safety to license, inspect and enforce all aspects of the proposed legislation. These additional resources will also allow the Government to undertake a robust public awareness campaign so that Canadians are well informed about the dangers of driving under the influence of cannabis and other drugs.

    Working in partnership with provinces, territories, municipalities and local communities, the Government will also make appropriate investments to train and equip law enforcement so that Canada’s roads and highways are safe for all Canadians.

    In the months ahead, the Government will share more details on a new licensing fee and excise tax system. It will also continue to engage with all levels of government and Indigenous Peoples.

    Quotes

    “As a former police officer, I know firsthand how easy it is for our kids to buy cannabis. In many cases, it is easier for our children to get cannabis than it is to get cigarettes. Today’s plan to legalize, strictly regulate and restrict access to cannabis will put an end to this. It will keep cannabis out of the hands of children and youth, and stop criminals from profiting from it.”
    Bill Blair
    Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice

    “Today, we are following through on our commitment to introduce comprehensive legislation to legalize, strictly regulate and restrict access to cannabis and to create new laws to punish more severely those who drive under its influence. The Cannabis Act reflects an evidence-based approach that will protect Canadians’ public health and safety. By tackling alcohol- and drug-impaired driving with new and tougher criminal offences, Canadians will be better protected from impaired drivers and the number of deaths and accidents on our roads will be reduced.”
    The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould
    Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

    “The bills we propose today are aiming at putting drug dealers and organized crime out of the cannabis business. It will allow law enforcement to focus on other serious offences, including the distribution of cannabis to children and youth and driving under the influence of drugs. Drug-impaired driving puts the lives and the safety of drivers and passengers at risk every day, and we will lead a wide-ranging campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of driving while impaired. The proposed Bill will also provide more tools and stronger laws to punish more severely drivers who drive under the influence of drugs, including cannabis. We will continue to work with our law enforcement, provincial and territorial partners and stakeholders to develop a consistent enforcement approach and to provide support in building capacity across the country.”
    The Honourable Ralph Goodale
    Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

    “The Cannabis Act will help keep our children safe and address the health risks associated with cannabis. The proposed legislation would allow Canadian adults to possess and purchase regulated and quality-controlled cannabis products, while prohibiting sales to young Canadians and any products, promotion, packaging or labelling that could be appealing to young people.”
    The Honourable Jane Philpott
    Minister of Health

    Quick Facts

    • The Cannabis Act proposes that legal sales of cannabis would be restricted to people who are 18 years of age and over. Provinces and territories could increase the minimum legal age of sale, purchase and consumption.
    • The movement of cannabis and cannabis products across international borders would remain a serious criminal offence.
    • Following Royal Assent, the Government intends to bring the proposed Act into force no later than July 2018. At that time, adults would legally be able to possess up to 30 grams of legal cannabis in public, and to grow up to four plants per household at a maximum height of one metre from a legal seed or seedling. Until the new law comes into force, cannabis will remain illegal everywhere in Canada, except for medical purposes.
    • The provinces and territories would authorize and oversee the distribution and sale of cannabis, subject to minimum federal conditions. In those jurisdictions that have not put in place a regulated retail framework, individuals would be able to purchase cannabis online from a federally licensed producer with secure home delivery through the mail or by courier.
    • The proposed legislation would amend the Criminal Code to modernize and simplify the transportation provisions, strengthen the criminal law responses to impaired driving, and facilitate the effective and efficient investigation and prosecution of drug- and alcohol-impaired driving.
    • To facilitate detection and investigation of drug-impaired driving, law enforcement officers will be authorized and equipped to use oral fluid drug screeners at the roadside.

    Related Products

    – 30 –

    Contacts

    David Taylor
    Office of the Minister of Justice
    613-992-4621

    Media Relations
    Department of Justice Canada
    613-957-4207
    media@justice.gc.ca

    Andrew MacKendrick
    Office of the Minister of Health
    613-957-0200

    Media Relations
    Health Canada
    613-957-2983

    Scott Bardsley
    Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
    613-998-5681

    Media Relations
    Public Safety Canada
    613-991-0657
    media@ps-sp.gc.ca

    Public Inquiries:
    613-957-2991
    1-866 225-0709

    SOURCE LINK

     
  • ShereeKrider 4:27 pm on December 14, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , delayed notice search warrants, , Marijuana, ,   

    Uniting (and) Strengthening America (by) Providing Appropriate Tools Required (to) Intercept (and) Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (hereafter known as the Patriot Act, because that name is long and dumb) 


    Data shows Patriot Act used more often to justify drug warrants, not terrorism ones

    by Miranda Nelson on September 8th, 2011 at 11:24 AM

     

    null

    New York Magazine has put out an incredibly detailed compendium of 9/11 information on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the attacks that left over 3,000 people dead. The September 11 attacks, as you’re well aware, were the impetus (or used as justification, depending on how cynical you are) for pushing through the USA PATRIOT ACT, which was hurriedly signed into law on October 26, 2001.

    One of the main focuses of the Uniting (and) Strengthening America (by) Providing Appropriate Tools Required (to) Intercept (and) Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (hereafter known as the Patriot Act, because that name is long and dumb) is Title II, which is all about surveillance. That’s right: even though those dastardly terrorists who hate our freedom came from overseas (as was the rhetoric beaten into the collective consciousness post 9/11), the U.S. government thought it was prudent to pass a bunch of surveillance laws so it could spy on its own citizens.

    Let me quote the relevant section before we proceed:

    SEC. 213. AUTHORITY FOR DELAYING NOTICE OF THE EXECUTION OF A WARRANT.

    …(b) DELAY- With respect to the issuance of any warrant or court order under this section, or any other rule of law, to search for and seize any property or material that constitutes evidence of a criminal offense in violation of the laws of the United States, any notice required, or that may be required, to be given may be delayed if–

    (1) the court finds reasonable cause to believe that providing immediate notification of the execution of the warrant may have an adverse result (as defined in section 2705);

    Delayed-notice search warrants: we won’t tell you we’re breaking into your house to look around if we think there will be adverse results, like you calling up your terrorist buddies to let them know we’re on to you.

    Something seems wrong with this graph (courtesy New York Magazine).

    But between 2006 and 2009, do you know how many times the Patriot Act was used to issue delayed-notice warrants relating to terrorists and related activities? That would be a whole 15 times—even though the act mentions the word terrorism 161 times and terrorism 175 times.

    Aside: did you know that not a single person has been brought to justice on American soil for those deaths?

    In the same time period, New York Magazine reports that 1,618 delayed-notice search warrants were issued in relation to drugs and related activity. If you had any doubts about the true mandate of the Patriot Act, doubt no longer. Congratulations America on using a senseless tragedy to justify targeting marijuana users!

    And why am I concluding that these people are primarily low-level marijuana offenders and not cocaine smugglers or meth manufacturers? The statistics on arrests and imprisonment make it clear: in 2006, 829,627 marijuana-related arrests were made in the United States, 89 percent of which were for mere possession. Not for growing or selling. Just for holding onto the stuff. In 2010, 50,383 arrests were made in New York City alone for possession.

    The Patriot Act: great for the War on Drugs, bad for anyone who likes to smoke a joint, laughable in regards to stopping terrorism.

    Follow Miranda Nelson on Twitter at @charenton_.

    CONTINUE READING…

     
  • ShereeKrider 6:17 pm on October 12, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Drug Testing index, , , Marijuana, Quest Diagnosis, urine testing kits   

    New Study Confirms Marijuana Use Up Drastically in Workforce 


    Cully Stimson / @cullystimson / October 12, 2016 / comments

    This November, there are a record number of ballot initiatives in at least nine states regarding so-called medical marijuana or outright legalization of the Schedule I drug. The pot pushers, both small businesses and large, want more people smoking, eating, and consuming more pot because it is good for their bottom line.

    Before voting yes, voters—and, in particular, employers—should take a look at more disturbing data that was released two weeks ago at a national conference.

    At the annual Substance Abuse Program Administrators Association conference, Quest Diagnostics—one of the nation’s largest drug-testing companies—unveiled the results of its Drug Testing Index. The index examines illicit drug use by workers in America each year.

    In 2015, Quest examined more than 9.5 million urine, 900,000 oral fluid, and 200,000 hair drug samples. Following years of decline in overall illegal drug usage, the results showed that the percentage of employees testing positive for illicit drugs has steadily increased over the last three years to a 10-year high.

    The Drug Testing Index is an analysis of test results from three categories of workers—including federally mandated, safety-sensitive workers, the general workforce, and the combined U.S. workforce

    Oral fluid drug testing results—best at detecting recent drug usage—showed an overall positivity rate increase of 47 percent over the last three years in the general workforce to 9.1 percent in 2015 from 6.7 percent in 2013.

    According to Quest, the increase was “largely driven by double-digit increases in marijuana positivity.” In fact, according to the report, in 2015 there was a “25 percent relative increase in marijuana detection as compared to 2014.” The report also showed a significant increase in heroin positivity in urine tests for federally mandated safety-sensitive employees.

    Another disturbing trend is the rising positivity rate for post-accident urine drug testing in both the general U.S. and the federal mandated, safety-sensitive workforces. According to the index, post-accident positivity increased 6.2 percent in 2015, compared to 2014, and increased a whopping 30 percent since 2011.

    To those of us who have warned about the growing liberalization of the use of marijuana, from so-called “medical marijuana” to recreational abuse of the Schedule I drug, the results of the index are all too predictable.

    It is also not surprising that none of the major organizations that push for pot legalization and decriminalization of marijuana have written major stories about the Quest Diagnostics report.

    The more people use marijuana, the more likely it is that those who work and are subject to testing will pop positive for marijuana, even in safety-sensitive jobs. Think about that next time you hop on an airplane, ride Amtrak, or go about your daily life thinking everyone is focused on their job and your safety.

    CONTINUE READING…

     
  • ShereeKrider 6:12 pm on October 12, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Drug Addiction, Drug Bust, Marijuana, , prison,   

    Why are more Americans in jail for marijuana use than violent crime? 


    More people in the United States are now in jail for marijuana possession than for all violent crimes combined, a new study finds….On any given day in the US, at least 137,000 Americans are in prison on drug possession, not sales, charges, says a new report that finds that the “tough on drugs” policies may be disproportionately affecting low-income, black Americans.

    By Ellen Powell, Staff October 12, 2016

    More people in the United States are now in jail for marijuana possession than for all violent crimes combined, a new study finds….

    The report, released Wednesday by the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights Watch, points out that violent crime arrests in the US have dropped 36 percent in the past two decades. Meanwhile, arrests for drug possession – including marijuana and other illicit drugs – are up 13 percent. Those arrests tend to be concentrated in neighborhoods with high crime rates, where police officers are on the lookout for any offense. As a result, lower-income, black Americans are most likely to be arrested for possessing even trace amounts of illicit drugs. (Black Americans are 2.5 times as likely to be arrested on drug-related charges, according to federal data, even though they use drugs at the same rate as white Americans.) Those who can’t afford to post bail spend substantial amounts of time in jail, even before their case goes to trial.

    Tougher sentencing was intended to get chronic repeat offenders off the street, reduce drug use, and protect public health. But the “tough on drugs” policy prevalent since the 1980s isn’t working, the report argues. Criminalizing drug possession is derailing individuals’ lives and hurting the families who depend on them, while doing little to prevent drug use and abuse.

    “While families, friends, and neighbors understandably want government to take action to prevent the potential harm caused by drug use, criminalization is not the answer,” Tess Borden, the study’s author, said in a Human Rights Watch press release. “Locking people up for using drugs causes tremendous harm, while doing nothing to help those who need and want treatment.”

    csmarchives/2010/10/1013-wires-marijuana2.jpg

    Test your knowledgeHow much do you know about marijuana? Take the quiz

    The report comes at a time when the Obama administration and a bipartisan effort in Congress has already taken steps at judicial reform. For example, the 2010 Fair Sentencing Act erased a 5-year-minimum sentence for simple crack possession. As The Christian Science Monitor reported, “much of the Obama administration’s work has been done courthouse by courthouse. For one, the Department of Justice has guided prosecutors to curb the use of mandatory minimums for drug crimes. But the president has also made broader strokes.” 

    Since 2014, the Obama administration expanded the criteria for clemency-seekers, leading to hundreds of who were given long-term sentences for drug charges to be released. 

    But the ALCU report says that in some states, such as Texas, a “habitual offender” law means prosecutors still can push for longer sentences, including life sentences, for those with two prior convictions. The actual amount of the drug that individuals possess doesn’t matter.

    And what most concerns many low-income Americans is the impact on families. While the accused are in jail, even before trial, they’re not earning a wage, meaning that in some homes the water and lights could be cut off. A woman in Louisiana with a prison record told the rights groups that because of her probation, her family could not get food stamps for a year. That means her children will be eating whatever she can find in the dumpster, she explained. It can also be hard for those arrested to find a job when they get out. 

    “When you’re a low-income person of color using drugs, you’re criminalized…. When we’re locked up, we’re not only locked in but also locked out. Locked out of housing…. Locked out of employment and other services,” said one New York City man who had been repeatedly arrested for drug charges over the past 30 years.

    Criminalizing drugs, the report says, can actually increase the risks associated with drug use. Driving traffic underground “discourages access to emergency medicine, overdose prevention services, and risk-reducing practices such as syringe exchanges.”

    The report calls for an increase in rehabilitation programs and a move to treat drug use as a public health issue, rather than lumping it in with violent crime. That’s an approach the Obama administration is on-board with, Mario Moreno, spokesman for the Office of National Drug Control Policy, suggested. “We cannot arrest our way out of the drug problem,” he told CBS.

    CONTINUE READING…

     
  • ShereeKrider 1:53 pm on September 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , carrot test, , , Marijuana, natural rights, , Ron Kiczenski   

    Unless we tell the real truth about why folks shouldn’t support "legalization", we are as negligent as the legalization supporters… 


     
  • ShereeKrider 1:27 pm on September 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: gun control, , Keith Lamont Scott, Marijuana,   

    Marijuana Possession Played Key Role in Police Shooting of Keith Scott 


    By Daniel Politi

    610189124-kerr-putney-chief-of-the-charlotte-mecklenburg-police

    Possession of marijuana played a significant role in the police killing of Keith Lamont Scott on Tuesday. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Chief Kerry Putney said during a news conference that officers were trying to serve a warrant for someone else when they spotted Scott rolling “what they believed to be a marijuana ‘blunt’" in his car. At first they allegedly didn’t think much of it, until they saw Scott had a weapon and thought, “uh oh, this is a safety issue for us and the public,” Putney said.

    Putney spoke at a news conference in which he announced police would release body cam and dash cam videos of the encounter.

    Along with the videos, the police also released a statement on what is known about the case. Although at first “officers did not consider Mr. Scott’s drug activity to be a priority” that changed once they saw him hold up a gun. “Because of that, the officers had probable cause to arrest him for the drug violation and to further investigate Mr. Scott being in possession of the gun.”

    The police released photographs of the gun, ankle holster and joint he had on him at the time of the shooting.

    “It was not lawful for [Scott] to possess a firearm. There was a crime he committed and the gun exacerbated the situation,” Putney said. The press conference marked the first time law enforcement had mentioned the detail about the marijuana.

    “Due to the combination of illegal drugs and the gun Mr. Scott had in his possession, officers decided to take enforcement action for public safety concerns,” notes the statement.

    Putney continued to insist that Scott “absolutely” had a gun, although he acknowledged that wouldn’t be clear from the released video. He also stood by earlier statements that the shooting was justified and officers acted lawfully. “Officers are absolutely not being charged by me at this point,” he said.

    The official police statement says officers “gave clear, loud and repeated verbal commands to drop the gun” but Scott “refused to follow the officers repeated verbal commands.” And then Scott “exited the vehicle with the gun and backed away from the vehicle while continuing to ignore officers’ repeated loud verbal commands to drop the gun.” That was seen as “an imminent physical threat” and an officer opened fire. A lab analysis “revealed the presence of Mr. Scott’s DNA and his fingerprints” on the gun that was loaded, notes the police statement.

    Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today’s Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

    CONTINUE READING AND TO VIEW VIDEO!

     
  • ShereeKrider 9:23 pm on September 20, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: addiction, H.B. 1, , , Marijuana, naloxone, , overdose deaths, pill mill bill, Poppy   

    The Law of Unintended Consequences: Illicit for Licit Narcotic Substitution 


    Image result for heroin plant

    Originally written July 15, 2014 at LINK below

    Martin R. Huecker, MD and Hugh W. Shoff, MD, MS

     

    The dealers will not use it. Heroin dealers have explicit knowledge of the addictive properties of their product. The heroin addict is no longer the desperate character living under a bridge. She is a 17-year-old high school senior who runs out of her grandmother’s oxycodone. He is the stockbroker who weighs the economics of purchasing one oxymorphone on the street for $100 or ten doses of heroin for $200. Because these people are ingesting and injecting products of unknown composition and unfamiliar potency, they can potentially overdose. If lucky, they end up in the emergency department rather than the morgue.

    Kentucky ranks third in the nation in drug overdose mortality rate per 100,000 persons, with opioid pills making up the majority.1 In response to these statistics, the State of Kentucky passed House Bill One (HB1) in April 2012, effective October 2012. Also known as “the pill mill bill,” HB1 contains provisions intended to limit opioid prescriptions by pain management physicians and by other acute care providers such as emergency physicians. To prescribe narcotic pain medications, physicians must perform a full history and physical, prescribe only a short course, educate the patient on risks of controlled substances, and obtain a report from a statewide prescription monitoring program (PMP) (Kentucky All Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting [KASPER]).2

    As a result, the number of registered KASPER users in Kentucky has gone from 7500 to 23,000 from December, 2011 to November, 2012. Reports are up from 3300 to 17000 in the same time frame.3 According to the same press release, Kentucky witnessed a decrease of 10.4% total prescriptions in the first six months since HB1 was enacted.3

    Mandating PMP reports, as sixteen states currently do, leads to an increase in reports, but so far no statistical difference in opioid overdose mortality.1,4,5,6 In fact, this legislation may not even lower the rate of opioid consumption, rather may shift which opioids are being prescribed.6

    Researchers in Ohio looked at the impact of real time PMP information on opioid prescriptions. With PMP data, providers changed prescriptions in 41% of cases; 61% giving fewer opioids but 39% prescribing more opioids.7

    House Bill One was intended to and has reduced opioid prescriptions in Kentucky. Forty-four pain clinics in Kentucky closed overnight.8 Preliminary analysis at a large, metropolitan emergency department has shown a decrease in prescriptions for hydrocodone and oxycodone, along with a decrease in ED administration of these medications. This type of “pill mill” legislation has been passed in Louisiana, Florida, Texas and California with varying results.9

    Florida had a sharp decrease in opioid prescriptions after similar legislation. Having 90 of the top 100 physicians on the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) 2010 list of top opioid purchasers, Florida saw the number decrease to 13 in 2011, and zero as of April 2013.10 In 2011, Ohio passed a “pill mill bill” to crack down on pain management clinics.11 This legislation led to seizing of 91,000 prescription pills with 38 doctors and 13 pharmacists losing their medical licenses. In the end, 15 medical professionals were convicted on diversion charges.11 With all of this, pill overdose deaths began to decline, but heroin overdoses “skyrocketed.”11

    The unintended but foreseeable consequence of such measures has been increase in distribution, abuse, and overdose of heroin. Heroin has gained market share in a similar way in the past. In 2010, Purdue Pharma began manufacturing a reformulated OxyContin after a $600 million fine for misrepresentation.12 Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc. followed in 2011 with an Opana ER reformulation. This resulted in making the pills harder to crush into powder for snorting or injecting.13,14 States such as Florida, Ohio, Minnesota, and Utah have seen patients turn to heroin after crackdown on prescription opioid availability.11,14

    The New England Journal of Medicine warned us of what would be a two-fold increase in heroin use after the reformulation of Oxycontin.15 In the 2010 ODLL report, the United States DEA also attempted to warn health care organizations that Oxycontin users might switch to heroin.16,17 The first paper we know of to report this warning was published 3 years later in 2013.16 This paper, a qualitative study of the transition of opioid pill users to heroin users, provides insight into the economic and convenience factors associated with the switch. The researchers interviewed a small sample of heroin users, forty-one in all. All but one of the 19 heroin users aged 20–29 started with pills and progressed to heroin – “termed pill initiates.”16

    Numerous popular news reports directly implicate decreased opioid pill availability in the rise of heroin abuse and overdose.16 However, very little discussion of this phenomenon has entered the emergency medicine literature.

    The drug cartels have capitalized on the United States opioid appetite and now decreased supply of pills. The route from Mexico to Detroit, then south through Ohio, ends up in northern and central Kentucky. The Kentucky State Police recovered 433 samples of heroin in 2010. In 2012 the number was 1349.13 In Lexington, KY, the eight total heroin arrests in 2011 exploded into 160 in the first 6 months of 2013.18,19 Undercover narcotics officers in Lexington find it easier to buy heroin than marijuana.

    Heroin-related overdoses in Kentucky increased from 22 cases in 2011 to 143 cases in 2012, and 170 in the first 9 months of 2013.8,20,21 Kentucky’s percentage of overdose deaths involving heroin went from 3.2 in 2011 to 19.5 in 2012 and up to 26 in 2013.8.21 This phenomenon has occurred in Florida, California, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Washington and Ohio.11,2224

    The emergency medicine literature has minimal recent discussion of heroin overdose management in the ED; nor have we discussed secondary prevention. Supportive therapy suffices in the ED, with liberal naloxone use and airway protection. State and federal actions to curb heroin deaths can be effective. Good Samaritan laws, present in only one third of states, protect from prosecution those lay individuals attempting to help themselves or companions in overdose situations.

    Also present in only one third of states are laws to expand community access to reversal agents such as naloxone. Twenty-two states have laws requiring or recommending education for opioid prescribers. Medicaid expansion to cover substance abuse treatment has occurred thus far in less than half (24) of states.1

    As more states enact measures intended to reduce total opioid prescriptions, legislators and healthcare providers alike must be aware of the predictable and devastating rise in heroin sales, abuse, and overdose. Funding for this legislation should include monies allocated toward substance abuse treatment programs and availability of naloxone. Similarly, pill mill bills could universally be coupled with Good Samaritan laws in anticipation of the increase in parenteral opioid overdoses. Funds could be allocated to lay population education via public service announcements. Stricter punishments for drug traffickers could accompany such legislative changes. Many of these measures have been presented as interventions to combat prescription opioid abuse and can now be applied to the subsequent heroin abuse and overdose dilemma.9

    At the first line of medical care, emergency physicians must be involved in efforts to minimize collateral damage in this long-term process of curing America’s addiction to opioid drugs and their horrible consequences.

    CONTINUE READING…

     
  • ShereeKrider 1:07 pm on July 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , descheduling, , , Marijuana, Medical Maijuana   

    Is pot as dangerous as heroin? Feds’ decision on rescheduling marijuana coming soon 


    El Monte Police Lt. Christopher Williams looks over a portion of about 500 marijuana plants in various stages of growth after serving a search warrant at a home at 4300-block of Huddart Avenue in El Monte on Monday March 9, 2015.

     

    By Brooke Edwards Staggs, The Orange County Register

    Posted: 07/09/16, 8:37 PM PDT

     

    At the same time Californians are preparing to vote on the legalization of adult marijuana use, the federal government is weighing whether pot should continue to be classified as a top-tier narcotic on par with heroin.

    Within a month, the Drug Enforcement Administration is expected to release a much-anticipated decision that could alter cannabis’ ranking in the hierarchy of controlled substances — a formal listing that affects everything from medical research to taxing policy.

    Since the list was created in 1970, marijuana has been ranked in Schedule I — the most restrictive category ­alongside heroin, LSD and peyote. The designation is reserved for drugs the DEA says have no proven medical use and are highly addictive.

    What about Congress?

    Even if the Drug Enforcement and Food And Drug administrations don’t recommend changing where marijuana falls on the controlled substances list, Congress could.

    Elected officials are more likely to be influenced by growing public acceptance of marijuana — particularly if they represent one of 25 states with legal marijuana programs.

    “I think that’s probably an easier sell than the decision coming from doctors and police,” said John Hudak, a deputy director with the Brookings Institution.

    Some members of Congress support rescheduling marijuana, including Sen. Barbara Boxer. Some have even pitched descheduling it, including presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders. But none of those efforts gained traction, and Paul Armentano with the advocacy group NORML isn’t optimistic Congress will act on the issue anytime soon.

    “I’m not aware of a single hearing much less a vote even in a subcommittee that has ever taken place at the Congressional level specific to the notion of reclassifying marijuana,” he said.

    “We’re bound by the science,” said Melvin Patterson, spokesman for the DEA.

    But many experts and advocates say the current classification is increasingly at odds with scientific studies on marijuana, which suggest the drug has medical value in treating chronic pain, seizures and a number of other conditions, with a lower addiction rate than alcohol.

    The DEA ranking also lags behind a growing public consensus. Roughly 80 percent of Americans believe medical marijuana should be legal, according to recent polls, while some 60 percent support legalizing the drug for all adults.

    “In 2016, this notion that cannabis possesses potential harms equal to that of heroin … simply doesn’t pass the smell test,” said Paul Armentano, deputy director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML.

    Medical marijuana is now legal in 25 states. Recreational use is allowed in four states plus Washington, D.C. If California green-lights recreational use this November, one in six Americans would live in a state where adults would be allowed to freely use cannabis.

    The question of how cannabis should be ranked has been hotly debated since Congress placed it in the Schedule I group when it passed the Controlled Substances Act nearly 46 years ago. The drug’s classification has been reviewed periodically, with the latest reexamination prompted by a petition filed with the DEA five years ago by the then-governors of Rhode Island and Washington.

    In April, the DEA advised Congress that it expected to announce a decision in the first half of 2016.

    Patterson said officials now “clearly anticipate something happening in the next month.”

    The agency has several options: keep cannabis as a Schedule I drug; reclassify some or all of its compounds to a lower schedule; or remove the plant from the controlled substances list altogether.

    There is a greater chance than ever that marijuana will be rescheduled, said John Hudak, who studies the topic as a deputy director with the Brookings Institution. But he still expects pot to remain a Schedule I drug.

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    “It needs to cross a threshold that says it has an accepted medical value,” Hudak said. “While there are plenty of patients and doctors who do believe it has medical value, that’s not a universal belief in the medical community.”

    Leslie Bocskor, president of Las Vegas-based cannabis advisory firm Electrum Partners, thinks the odds slightly favor a reclassification of marijuana to Schedule II. That category includes morphine and cocaine, which the DEA says are highly addictive but have some medical value. A form of cocaine, for example, is used by some dentists as a local anesthetic.

    The least restrictive of the five schedule categories, Schedule V, includes cough syrup with a bit of codeine.

    Alcohol and tobacco aren’t included on the DEA’s controlled substances list, even though federal studies have found both are associated with higher dependency rates than marijuana.

    Patterson said the DEA frequently hears from people frustrated that marijuana hasn’t been rescheduled sooner.

    “They have their mind made up on what marijuana does in the short term,” he said. “But what about different strains? What about 10 years from now or even 20 years from now? Long-term effects matter.”

    For the medical marijuana community, even reclassifying cannabis as a Schedule II drug would offer some vindication.

    “At a minimum, it would bring an end to the federal government’s longstanding intellectual dishonesty that marijuana ‘lacks accepted medical use,’ ” Armentano said.

    Such a shift by the DEA also might offer a small boost to at least half-a-dozen states with medical or recreational marijuana initiatives on the ballot this November.

    That potential to give some credence to legalization efforts is one of the reasons a few members of Congress, including Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, and the organization Smart Approaches to Marijuana, or SAM, cite in arguing against reclassifying marijuana.

    “Rescheduling would simply be a symbolic victory for advocates who want to legalize marijuana,” SAM wrote in a policy paper on the issue.

    But both the California and American medical associations say rescheduling pot could lower the barriers a bit for federally sanctioned drug research.

    The DEA has never turned down a marijuana research request that met federal criteria, Patterson said. But experts say red tape related to Schedule I drug research is so formidable that it discourages applications. So while there are tens of thousands of peer-reviewed studies on marijuana, there are few costly and rigorous double-blind, placebo-controlled trials involving cannabis.

    Moreover, researchers say, marijuana studies are saddled with restrictions that don’t apply to other Schedule I drugs.

    Since 1968, for example, the federal government has said only a tightly controlled stock of high-quality marijuana grown under contract by the University of Mississippi can be used for FDA-approved studies. Armentano said that restricts the supply available for research.

    If marijuana were reclassified to at least Schedule III — alongside Tylenol with codeine and anabolic steroids — it would mean the nation’s rapidly growing number of cannabis-related businesses could begin deducting operating expenses from their federal taxes.

    Under a tax rule imposed during the Reagan Administration’s 1980s anti-drug war, businesses dealing in Schedule I or II substances are prohibited from writing off common expenses such as rent, utilities or advertising.

    Harborside Health Center, a large Oakland dispensary, has been battling the IRS over the rule for five years, after being assessed $2.4 million for illegal deductions. A decision in that case is expected soon.

    Even if cannabis was moved down the controlled substances list to the least-restrictive category, the industry would still be likely to face business and regulatory hurdles.

    Armentano likened such a change, should it come, to the first stride in a marathon.

    “Technically, it gets you closer to the finish line,” he said. “But you still have a whole hell of a long way to go.”

    Pot would remain an illegal substance under federal law. Reclassification wouldn’t necessarily open access to banking services, Hudak said. And doctors wouldn’t automatically switch to writing prescriptions, as opposed to “recommendations,” for medical marijuana, since that’s only allowed for FDA-approved drugs.

    “There are certain people who play up rescheduling as an earth-shattering reform,” Hudak said. “It is not.”

    He said sweeping changes would only come in the unlikely event that cannabis was completely descheduled, putting it on par with alcohol.

    That would allow local governments to create cannabis policies free from federal interference, Armentano said, the way they can set their own hours for when bars stop serving alcohol or make entire counties “dry.”

    Armentano isn’t optimistic the DEA will move marijuana to a less restrictive category, but he said there’s been one positive result from the current review.

    “There’s attention being paid to how they handle this situation in a way that just wasn’t there before,” he said. “If the DEA goes down the same path as it has in the past, I think they’re going to have some explaining to do.”

    CONTINUE READING…

     
  • ShereeKrider 12:55 pm on July 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Marijuana, , Shirley Franklin   

    Democrats call for ‘pathway’ to marijuana legalization 


     

     

     

    By David Weigel July 9 at 6:27 PM

    ORLANDO — The Democratic Party endorsed a “reasoned pathway to future legalization” of marijuana and called for the drug to be downgraded in the Controlled Substances Act, in a tense and unexpected victory for supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders.

    Going into the platform committee meeting, Sanders’s campaign had no new language about marijuana. The senator from Vermont had favored state-to-state legalization efforts, and the language approved by the drafting committee called for “policies that will allow more research on marijuana, as well as reforming our laws to allow legal marijuana businesses to exist without uncertainty.”

    But on Saturday afternoon, the committee brought up an amendment that would have removed marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act. David King, a lawyer and Sanders delegate from Tennessee, argued that marijuana was added to the act — giving the drug the same legal classification as heroin — during a “craze” to hurt “hippies and blacks.” The amendment, however, was headed for defeat, with some committee members worrying that it went too far and undermined state-by-state efforts to study decriminalization.

    Arguments stopped when committee members proposed swapping in the language of a rival amendment — one that merely downgraded marijuana from Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substance Act and included the undefined “pathway” to legal status.

    When the vote was called, 81 of the 187 committee members backed the downgrade amendment — and just 80 opposed it. A roar of applause went up from the seats where people not on the committee were watching the votes.

    For the next 10 minutes, that victory was thrown into jeopardy. Former Atlanta mayor Shirley Franklin, the co-chair of the platform committee, entertained a complaint that at least one member might not have been able to vote, lacking the “clicker” that recorded electronic ballots.

    “If you don’t have a clicker, now is the time to ask for one,” Franklin said.

    Arguments broke out, some of them over the black-curtained divider keeping the committee members from the non-voting observers, and one Clinton delegate complained audibly that the Sanders delegates “wanted 100 percent of everything.” (The vast majority of observers, since Friday, have been Sanders backers.) Finally, former senator Mark Pryor (Ark.), a Clinton delegate, walked up to a microphone to announce that opponents of the amendment were unhappy that the compromise language had been replaced — but not unhappy enough to fight about it.

    “We withdraw the objection,” he said.

    There was more celebration in the back of the room. Later, after the unanimous adoption of a tough criminal justice reform plank, the grumbling that ended some sessions was replaced by Sanders voters saying: “Thank you! Thank you!”

    The text of the marijuana amendment:

    Because of conflicting laws concerning marijuana, both on the federal and state levels, we encourage the federal government to remove marijuana from its list as a Class 1 Federal Controlled Substance, providing a reasoned pathway for future legalization

    The text of the criminal justice amendment:

    We will work with police chiefs to invest in training for officers on issues such as de-escalation and the creation of national guidelines for the appropriate use of force, including how to de-escalate situations. We will encourage better police-community relations, require the use of body cameras, and stop the use of weapons of war that have no place in our communities. We will end racial profiling that targets individuals solely on race, religion, ethnicity, and national origin, which is un-American and counterproductive. We should report national data on policing strategies and provide greater transparency and accountability. We will require the Department of Justice to investigate all questionable or suspicious police-involved shootings, and we will support states and localities who help make those investigations and prosecutions more transparent, including through reforming the grand jury process.

    CONTINUE READING…

     
  • ShereeKrider 1:31 am on March 31, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Baby Snatching, , child welfare authorities, Chrons Disease, , Live Free or Die, Marijuana, Shona Banda   

    A personal letter from Shona Banda (Please help Shona Banda!) 


     

     

    https://scontent-atl3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfl1/v/t1.0-9/12809521_1144793475553189_3397047631895080291_n.jpg?oh=8d2f91f06249e7c9e3e5b1ce193884a2&oe=57796DF4

     

     

    Shona Banda’s ~ Live Free or Die·

    Tuesday, March 8, 2016

     

    I want to personally thank you from the bottom of my heart for your contribution that has helped so far in this struggle. The GoFundMe money was raised for legal fees and expenses surrounding the case, the money has been allocated and the site taken down. A new funding site will be made as further legal contributions are needed, and will be handled as the case continues. Legal funds do not account for living expenses. I prefer to work for the money I earn and have been able to get my book “Live Free or Die” ready for a reprinting with a projected date of the first week of April or sooner to be available worldwide.

    I believe in persistence, perseverance, and working hard to achieve goals.

    Many of you have seen what has happened in my life over the course of the last year, when police surrounded my home after my son spoke out in class. You have followed me in the past year as I have attended many court dates, struggled with pain and anguish, and watched me face this court system with my head held high.

    I have a certainty, a clarity in my fight against these unjust laws. I fight with no fear, I hold my head high, knowing I am in truth. Knowing that I have a basic right to life, a basic right to live! I have faced death head on, I have struggled and felt torturous pain inflicted upon me by the barbaric medical system our society clings to and calls normal. I know I can stand tall and proud in truth, knowing it was all foretold.

    Knowing that my journal, of finding how beneficial this cannabis plant was, and being able to share my personal thoughts, feelings, and experiences had to be written and published in 2010. I explain, in detail, my sickness, my life, my family, and how I teach my children; all surrounding the cannabis plant and how this plant made me feel as my body regenerated and healed.

    “Live Free or Die” is a book that has already helped so many worldwide take back their own lives, and folks have been inspired to share their own stories and testimonials to help spread this knowledge.

    Purchasing a signed copy of Live Free or Die helps me and my family in this very hard time, immediately, right now. I wrote this book to help others. I wrote this book to empower anyone who picked it up. I wrote this book to show everyone that LIFE truly matters. History is being made. Now. Own a piece of it, personally signed.

    Purchase your pre-ordered signed copy of “Live Free or Die” here paypal.me/ShonaBanda

    Hardcover $45

    Paperback $35

    Donations of gratuity are also accepted.

    Thank you all for your continued support in this fight.

    Shona Banda ,,

    You can contribute today at https://www.gofundme.com/shonabanda

    http://www.shonabanda.org

    Email: LFODproject@Gmail.com

    ����R+�!g

     

    MORE INFORMATION

     

     

    FACEBOOK PAGE “LIVE FREE OR DIE”

     

    PLEASE DONATE TO THE GOFUNDME.COM ACCOUNT for Shona Banda’s personal expenses

     

     

     

    SOURCE LINK

     
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