Drugs in the news

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  • As B.C. heroin flap shows, drug laws are not about improving health

    The Globe and Mail (Canada)
    Friday, November 28, 2014

    heroin_syringeIf you’ve ever had surgery, you owe a debt to heroin-assisted therapy, and not because you were probably doped up on morphine in post-op. Rather, it’s because of William Halsted. Appointed the first chief of surgery of Johns Hopkins in 1889, the man now known as “the father of surgery” proceeded to revolutionize the craft during his more than 30-year career. Mr. Halsted introduced the use of surgical gloves and complete sterility, performed the first radical mastectomy and developed new stomach and intestinal surgeries. And one more thing: During his entire time at Johns Hopkins, Mr. Halsted injected himself with morphine on a daily basis.

  • Into the breach: Drugs, control, and violating bad laws in good ways

    Rick Lines
    Thursday, November 27, 2014

    An October statement on drug control from the US State Department has prompted much comment and speculation at home and abroad. Delivered by Ambassador William Brownfield, the ‘Brownfield Doctrine’, as it has been named by some commentators, lays out a four pillar approach the United States will follow in matters of international drug control.

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  • Uruguay pushes back start of marijuana sale in pharmacies

    Reuters
    Wednesday, November 26, 2014

    Uruguay could start selling marijuana in pharmacies in March 2015, the head of the National Drugs Board said, although the government had initially been aiming for year-end. A variety of hurdles are preventing the government from making its deadlines in implementing the measures passed into law last December. Even the plan to start selling marijuana in March, when President Jose Mujica leaves office, looks ambitious as the government is still tendering cultivation licenses.

  • Marijuana’s big-money Marley Brand makes a splash

    The subsidiary of Seattle-based Privateer Holdings is met with few tough questions, showing what a difference a year makes
    Seattle Weekly News (US)
    Tuesday, November 25, 2014

    Last week, NBC’s Today Show giddily announced an exclusive: Privateer Holdings, the Seattle marijuana company long acclaimed locally for its straight, corporate image and Ivy-League-educated bosses, was launching “the first global pot brand” based on the legacy of Bob Marley. The company is likely to start selling pot overseas, says Privateer public-relations director Zack Hutson, previously a spokesperson for Starbucks. “We’re in discussions with a distributor in Israel” – a country with a federally legal medical-marijuana system. Hutson also cites Uruguay and the Netherlands as potential early markets.

  • Marijuana industry sets its sights on the mainstream

    The appeal to the marijuana industry is simple: "The future of this industry depends on the present – don’t screw it up"
    The Huffington Post (US)
    Monday, November 24, 2014

    Marijuana is growing up. As Colorado and Washington’s recreational marijuana industries blossom and new markets in Oregon and Alaska begin to take shape, so-called ganjapreneurs are looking for ways to take cannabis mainstream. Before long, they hope, marijuana products will be as widely available as alcohol – and just as socially acceptable. While marijuana businesses may have dreams of mass market sales and global domination, for the moment, they seem to be taking the "go slow" approach.

  • Pro-marijuana groups eye Northeastern states, including Maine

    The Washington Post (US)
    Sunday, November 23, 2014

    maine2Marijuana advocates want to take their legalization drive — so far the province of Western states — to the Northeast, and they say the first state to do it here might be Maine. The Pine Tree State has a long history with cannabis — Maine voters approved medical marijuana legalization 15 years ago, becoming the first New England state to do so. Now, national marijuana advocates say, the state represents a chance for pro-marijuana forces to get a toehold in the Northeastern states they have long coveted.

  • The great American relapse

    An old sickness has returned to haunt a new generation
    The Economist (UK)
    Saturday, November 22, 2014

    The face of heroin use in America has changed utterly. Forty or fifty years ago heroin addicts were overwhelmingly male, disproportionately black, and very young. Most came from poor inner-city neighbourhoods. These days, the average user looks different. More than half are women, and 90% are white. The drug has crept into the suburbs and the middle classes. And although users are still mainly young, the age of initiation has risen: most first-timers are in their mid-20s. The spread of heroin to a new market of relatively affluent, suburban whites has allowed the drug to make a comeback, after decades of decline.

  • Vancouver addicts soon to receive prescription heroin

    The federal Health Minister objected to Health Canada’s approval of the treatment
    The Globe and Mail (Canada)
    Saturday, November 22, 2014

    In a North American first, heroin addicts in Vancouver will soon receive prescription heroin outside of a clinical trial. Doctors at the Providence Crosstown Clinic received shipment of the drug this week for 26 former trial participants and will begin administering the drugs next week. In all, 120 severely addicted people have received authorization from Health Canada to receive the drugs; the rest are expected to get them soon. This development comes after more than a year of battles between Vancouver doctors and federal Health Minister Rona Ambrose.

  • Cannabis legalisation returns to Swiss agenda

    The idea is to set up clubs where anyone over 18 can smoke marijuana in a regulated setting
    Swissinfo (Switzerland)
    Friday, November 21, 2014

    Switzerland has always played a pioneering role in drug policy. In 1986, it was the first to open shelters for addicts and in 1994 it medically prescribed heroin. Today, its cities are looking at introducing cannabis social clubs – a controversial issue. "We propose experimenting with a possible new model because we need evidence of how the black market, crime and public health would change as a result of regulation," former interior minister Ruth Dreifuss, also a member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, explained. "The pilot project will give us experience and facts so we can design a new policy."

  • Will Guatemala really explore marijuana legalization in 2015?

    In an interview with teleSUR Perez Molina said that his government would follow the example of Uruguay by taking a decision on legalizing marijuana in early 2015
    Talking Drugs
    Friday, November 21, 2014

    Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina in a recent interview mooted the idea of his country legalizing marijuana next year. Can we really expect bold changes in Guatemalan drug policy in the near future? Speaking to TeleSur, President Perez said that Guatemala was watching Uruguay's experiment with marijuana legalization and would likely take a decision on whether to pursue regulation itself in 2015.

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