Drugs in the news

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  • Junk policy

    John Marks saw crime rates and junkie numbers plummet in an amazing experiment outlawed by the British government
    The Spectator (UK)
    Saturday, May 9, 2015

    A century ago, in 1914, the United States banned heroin and cocaine, and it then gradually used its diplomatic might to impose this ban across the world. Doctors tried to resist here in Britain and across the world, because they believed that if addicts were forced to buy contaminated drugs from armed criminal gangs, their health would only get worse. Doctors wanted to prescribe drugs to chronic addicts. This resistance only succeeded in one country — Britain, by a doctor called John Marks. This little window of legal drug use continued quietly for decades. 

  • Minister Golding addresses UN Debate on international drug policy

    Jamaica Observer (Jamaica)
    Thursday, May 7, 2015

    Senator Mark Golding, minister of justice, participated in a plenary session with several UN member states at the United Nations in a High Level Thematic Debate on International Drug Policy in preparation for the UN General Assembly Special Session on the World Drug Problem (UNGASS) scheduled for April 19-21 2016. Minister Golding highlighted Jamaica’s perspectives called for open and inclusive discussions, including the creation of an expert advisory group to review the United Nations drug policy control architecture.

  • Minister wants to see supervised 'injection centres' for addicts

    The current situation where people inject on the streets is "not good enough"
    The Irish Independent (Ireland)
    Thursday, May 7, 2015

    Drugs Minister Aodhan O'Riordain from Ireland has said he wants to see legislation introducing injection centres for addicts before the next election. The newly-appointment minister says he wants to see people who inject heroin in alleyways and apartment block stairwells provided with a safe, medically supervised location. O'Riordain replied by saying "legislation will be this year" as he still has "some convincing to do". "I have a short time to deliver these things, nine months max before the next general election."

  • Last flight looms for US-funded air war on drugs as Colombia counts health cost

    Aerial spraying of glyphosate – labelled ‘probably carcinogenic’ by the WHO – has been key to coca eradication efforts for 20 years
    The Guardian (UK)
    Wednesday, May 6, 2015

    fumigationcolombiaFor more than two decades crop dusters have buzzed the skies of Colombia showering bright green fields of coca with chemical defoliant as part of a US-funded effort to stem the country’s production of cocaine. Farmers across the country have long complained that indiscriminate spraying also destroys legal crops, and that the chemical used – glyphosate – has caused everything from skin rashes and respiratory problems to diarrhoea and miscarriages.

  • Obama asked to weigh in on legal marijuana

    Two US states have filed a lawsuit seeking to repeal Colorado’s pot legalisation
    The Independent (UK)
    Tuesday, May 5, 2015

    The US Supreme Court has asked President Barack Obama's administration to take a stance on legal marijuana as it considers a lawsuit seeking to ban Colorado’s legalisation of recreational marijuana. Nebraska and Oklahoma have jointly filed a lawsuit claiming that Colorado’s pot laws have created a “cross-border nuisance” by increasing potential marijuana traffic that could flow through the region. If the US president takes a stance on recreational marijuana it could have big implications on the future of the legalisation movement.

  • More South America teens using cocaine: Report

    A number of South American and Caribbean nations have reported increased use and demand for treatment of heroin
    InSight Crime
    Monday, May 4, 2015

    The Organization of American States' (OAS) latest drug consumption report highlights shifting trends in drug use among youths in the Western Hemisphere. One noteworthy trend is changing cocaine consumption among high school students in South America, when compared to the United States -- the region's largest overall drug consumer. While cocaine use among US high school students has declined since peaking in 1998, consumption in South America has increased, most notably in Argentina and Uruguay, and less so in other nations like Chile and Brazil.

  • BSJ developing plan to ensure Jamaica's ganja is protected

    10% to 15% tax proposed on distributors
    The Gleaner (Jamaica)
    Sunday, May 3, 2015

    The Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ), which was mandated to design a regulatory plan for the decriminalised ganja industry, has developed a 17-step scientific footprint proposal. According to the BSJ, the new ganja industry, which will be standards-led and market-driven, will operate based on a tracking and tracing system. "We will be tracking and tracing the processes involved from seed to sale," BSJ Chairman Professor Winston Davidson said.

  • Legislature considering plans to regulate medicinal pot shops, growers

    A Public Policy Institute of California survey this month found that 53% support legalization
    Los Angeles Times (US)
    Sunday, May 3, 2015

    California lawmakers are wading into the politically sticky issue of regulating medical marijuana, laying groundwork for state control of the sale and cultivation of cannabis with the expectation that voters will legalize recreational use next year. The Legislature is considering multiple — and conflicting — plans to impose the first major statewide restrictions on medical marijuana dispensaries and growers; the billion-dollar-a-year industry is now regulated largely by local governments. The debate has pitted cities and law enforcement agencies against marijuana growers and sellers.

  • New England states racing to legalize recreational pot

    Five state legislatures are working on legalization bills, and two states could put the question to voters
    Portland Press Herald (US)
    Sunday, May 3, 2015

    Propelled by successful campaigns in Western states to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, some advocates and legislators say a marijuana legalization race is developing in New England, with millions of dollars in tax revenue riding on the outcome. Lawmakers in five of the six New England states will consider legalization bills this year and two – Maine and Massachusetts – may put the question to voters in 2016. In New Hampshire, lawmakers are considering bills to decriminalize the drug and establish a study commission to look at legalization.

  • Puerto Rico governor signs order to legalize medical pot

    The order directs the health department to authorize the use of some or all controlled substances or derivatives of the cannabis plant for medical use
    Associated Press (US)
    Sunday, May 3, 2015

    Puerto Rico's governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla signed an executive order to authorize the use of medical marijuana in the U.S. territory in an unexpected move following a lengthy public debate. Garcia Padilla said the island's health secretary has three months to issue a report detailing how the executive order will be implemented, the impact it will have and what future steps could be taken. The order went into immediate effect.

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Study: The ‘gateway drug’ is alcohol, not marijuana

A study in the August edition of The Journal of School Health finds that the generations old theory of a “gateway drug” effect is in fact accurate for some drug users, but shifts the blame for those addicts’ escalating substance abuse away from marijuana and onto the most pervasive and socially accepted drug in American life: alcohol.




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