Drugs in the news

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  • How our tax dollars are used to fund opposition to marijuana legalization, in a clear violation of ethics

    The links between SAM and the federally funded HIDTA groups
    The Influence (US)
    Wednesday, October 19, 2016

    This year the pharmaceutical, alcohol and prison food industries have all weighed in to oppose marijuana legalization initiatives across the country. This comes as little surprise: These industries all have financial interests in keeping marijuana illegal. By funding anti-legalization efforts, they’re simply admitting it. What surprises me is that the public is still largely unaware of how government resources – at federal, state and local levels – are used in the same fashion, in a blatant conflict of interests. (See also: Five biggest lies from anti-pot propagandist Kevin Sabet)

  • These British police forces have stopped arresting drug users

    The schemes have so far been successful in engaging certain drug users, reducing re-offending and keeping people out of the costly justice system
    Vice (UK)
    Wednesday, October 19, 2016

    People caught carrying personal amounts of drugs, including cocaine and heroin, are being diverted away from the criminal justice system in what could mark the first step towards the decriminalisation of drugs in Britain. In a move that appears to fly in the face of the Home Office's official anti-drug reform mantra, both Durham and Avon & Somerset Police forces have for several months been operating "diversion" schemes which have resulted in scores of drug users avoiding court, jail and a criminal record.

  • Medical marijuana and the green rush are changing Chile

    70 percent of the population agrees with the use of medical marijuana, and 51 percent is in favor of legalizing it
    Merryjane (US)
    Tuesday, October 18, 2016

    chile-no-presos-plantarIn Santiago alone, there are more than 500 grow shops. This explosive expansion that has occurred since 2010 has exceeded all projections. The marijuana community simply overwhelmed the authorities. What once was considered perhaps a trend it is now here to stay. In this short period of time, the cannabis market has nestled deep within the Chilean consumer – a fact that raised concerns among traditional congressmen and society. None of that could stop what was about to happen.

  • What’s next for kratom after the DEA blinks on its emergency ban?

    Public pressure keeps the herbal supplement unregulated for now, encouraging users and researchers seeking a safer alternative to opioids
    The Scientific American (US)
    Monday, October 17, 2016

    Researchers and users of kratom were stunned by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s abrupt withdrawal of its stated plan to place the Southeast Asian plant under an emergency ban in the United States. One reason for the famously tough federal agency’s unusual move was “a large volume of phone calls from the American public” as well as messages from the scientific community and letters from members of Congress, says DEA spokesperson Russ Baer. Restrictions would have heavily encumbered research efforts. (See also: Regulate quality, dosage and purity of Kratom)

  • Police arrest more people for marijuana use than for all violent crimes — combined

    Drug-possession arrests skyrocketed from fewer than 200 arrests for every 100,000 people in 1979 to more than 500 in the mid-2000s
    The Washington Post (US)
    Wednesday, October 12, 2016

    us-flag-barbed-wireOn any given day in the United States, at least 137,000 people sit behind bars on simple drug-possession charges, according to a report released by the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights Watch. Nearly two-thirds of them are in local jails. The report says that most of these jailed inmates have not been convicted of any crime: They're sitting in a cell, awaiting a day in court, an appearance that may be months or even years off, because they can't afford to post bail.

  • The DEA is withdrawing a proposal to ban another plant after the Internet got really mad

    U.S. lawmakers were among the groups expressing their displeasure with the DEA's intent to ban kratom
    The Washington Post (US)
    Wednesday, October 12, 2016

    kratomThe Drug Enforcement Administration is reversing a widely criticized decision that would have banned the use of kratom, a plant that researchers say could help mitigate the effects of the opioid epidemic. Citing the public outcry and a need to obtain more research, the DEA is withdrawing its notice of intent to ban the drug, according to a preliminary document that will be posted to the Federal Register. Since announcing their intent to ban kratom, the DEA received numerous comments from members of the public challenging the scheduling action.

  • Americans’ support for marijuana legalization is now higher than ever

    As younger people grow up and increasingly dominate politics, it’s going to be much more difficult for lawmakers to oppose relaxing marijuana laws
    Vox (US)
    Wednesday, October 12, 2016

    pew-cannabis-sep2016Five states will vote on whether to fully legalize marijuana in November. And supporters of those initiatives just got some pretty good news: Support for marijuana legalization in the US has reached historic highs. A Pew Research Center survey of 1,201 US adults, conducted in late August and early September, found that 57 percent support legalization, while just 37 percent oppose it. That’s up from 53 percent support in 2014 and a near reversal from just a decade ago, when 32 percent backed legalization and 60 percent opposed it.

  • Pot stock hits record high as more U.S. states press ahead with legalization

    Adults living in states permitting recreational use would more than double to 23 per cent of the U.S. population if all five ballot questions pass next month
    The Globe and Mail (Canada)
    Wednesday, October 12, 2016

    cannabis-investingAs polls indicate California, Massachusetts, Maine, Nevada and Arizona are poised to approve referendums dramatically expanding legal U.S. cannabis use, investors looking for a play in the burgeoning legal U.S. marijuana industry are turning to a company known mainly for its lawn-care products. California alone could triple the nation’s $6-billion (U.S.) legal marijuana industry if voters there approve recreational use next month, according to a Sept. 12 report from Cowen & Co.

  • France's first injection room for addicts opens in Paris

    A similar room is set to open in Strasbourg soon, and more may be rolled out to other cities as well
    The Local (France)
    Tuesday, October 11, 2016

    France's first supervised drug centre or "salle de shoot" opened in Paris near the Gare du Nord train station. The area is a known hotspot for drug addicts, many of whom loiter around the nearby Gare du Nord and often shoot up in public toilets and car parks, leaving their syringes behind on the ground. It is expected to help 200 drug addicts a day, in a "safe" place where they can bring their own drugs and inject them under the watchful eye of healthcare professionals who'll provide sterile needles. (See also: France to open first safe-injection room for drug addicts)

  • Marijuana's Moment

    As many as five states could approve its recreational use this November, potentially signaling a point of no return for legalized pot
    The Atlantic (US)
    Tuesday, October 11, 2016

    legalize-cannabisMeasures to legalize and regulate the sale of cannabis are on the ballot in California, Arizona, Massachusetts, Maine, and Nevada, and recent polls show the “yes” vote is winning in all five states. Approval would mark the biggest advance yet for advocates in the decades-long fight over legalizing marijuana — one that they believe could ultimately force the federal government to end its prohibition of the drug. Recreational marijuana users can now legally light up a joint in states representing about 5 percent of the U.S. population. By the time Americans wake up on November 9, that percentage could be swelling to more than one-quarter.

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