User: flenvcenter Topic: Environmental Health-Independent
Category: Drugs
Last updated: May 23 2015 24:38 IST RSS 2.0
 
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Colombia considers unleashing caterpillar army to attack cocaine crops 22.5.2015 TreeHugger
From the 'what could ever go wrong' file.
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Hillary Clinton Campaign Begins Drafting Policy Solutions To Heroin Epidemic 19.5.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
WASHINGTON -- After hearing story after story from voters on the campaign trail about heroin's toll, Hillary Clinton instructed her policy team to draw up solutions to the burgeoning opiate epidemic . A Clinton aide told The Huffington Post that the Democratic presidential candidate decided to make mental health and drug addiction a major campaign issue after stops in Iowa and New Hampshire, where she kept hearing from people that the problem needs more attention. It's the type of issue that may not get much attention inside the Beltway and on Sunday talk shows, but opiate addiction has become a devastating problem. Clinton brought it up on Monday during a stop in Iowa, telling supporters that she wants to " end the stigma against talking about it ." “When I started running, when I started thinking about this campaign, I did not believe I would be standing in your living room talking about the drug abuse problem, the mental health problem, and the suicide problem," she said at the home of one of the ...
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How States Are Putting The Overdose Antidote Into The Hands Of Ordinary People 18.5.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — At the front of a classroom, health worker Cheryll Moore demonstrates "the nod" — a jerk of the head forward and then quickly back — a telltale sign of heroin use, though not necessarily of an overdose. "In that scenario, they can go either way," she said. "I would not leave them alone." After an hour or so of instruction that includes spotting signs of a life-threatening overdose, the class of ordinary people — couples, co-workers, parents, retirees and others — leaves with two vials of the prescription heroin antidote naloxone, better known by its brand name, Narcan. It's part of an effort to make naloxone available to more people than just police, paramedics and the addicts themselves. Because of naloxone's effectiveness in nearly instantaneously bringing overdose victims back from near-death, New York and a handful of other states are making the lifesaving drug available to virtually anyone willing to be trained to use it, hoping to better the odds it will be there when ...
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There's Been A Sudden, Alarming Spike In Hospitalizations Caused By Synthetic Marijuana 8.5.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A huge nationwide spike in hospitalizations last month caused by a class of drugs often called "synthetic marijuana" illustrates the potency and dangers of the chemicals used to make them and the shifty tactics authorities believe manufacturers are using to evade regulation. Poison control centers nationwide reported 359 cases in January of illnesses from synthetic cannabinoids, which mimic the effects of the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana but can be far more potent. There were 273 in February and 269 in March. But the number skyrocketed to just over 1,500 in April, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers. "This is the worst outbreak of drug abuse that I've lived through," said Dr. Steven Marcus, executive director of the New Jersey Poison Information and Education System at the New Jersey Medical School at Rutgers University, who has been monitoring the recent spike. "It's almost as if someone had made a witches' brew of these cannabinoids. This ...
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It's Time For The UN To Reform Its Global Drug Policies, Human Rights Groups Say 7.5.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
A coalition of more than 100 human rights organizations and drug policy groups is urging the United Nations to reform global drug policies and respect governments that move away from prohibition. "Existing US and global drug control policies that heavily emphasize criminalization of drug use, possession, production and distribution are inconsistent with international human rights standards and have contributed to serious human rights violations," reads the letter issued Tuesday from groups including the American Civil Liberties Union, Human Rights Watch and Global Exchange. "The criminalization of personal drug use and possession for personal use infringes on the right to privacy and basic principles of autonomy on which other rights rest." The letter, coordinated by David Borden, executive director of StoptheDrugWar.org, comes as the U.N. convenes Thursday in New York to discuss global drug policies in preparation for the upcoming U.N. General Assembly Special Session on Drugs -- the first comprehensive ...
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Montana Governor Signs Law To Protect Innocent People From Having Their Property Seized By Police 7.5.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D) signed a bill Tuesday that will overhaul the state's civil asset forfeiture laws. The set of reforms, which will go into effect in July, was approved with overwhelming bipartisan support in the state legislature last month. Bullock's signature came hours before the deadline for him to sign or veto bills from the legislative session. Civil asset forfeiture is a controversial legal tool that allows police to seize property they suspect of being related to criminal activity, without first obtaining a conviction or even charging its owner with a crime. Property -- including cash, jewelry, cars and houses -- is then turned for a profit, part of which flows back to the department that made the seizure. This process often forces owners to wage costly court battles to prove their property was obtained legally. Critics also claim it has created a system of "policing for profit" that leads officers to prioritize seizures so they can use the resulting funds to pad their ...
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Bill Clinton: I Support Hillary's Efforts To Change My Criminal Justice Policies 6.5.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Former President Bill Clinton thinks it's a good thing that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is breaking from his criminal justice policies. During an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour that aired on Wednesday, the former president said that his tough crime policies had punished too many people. "The problem is the way it was written and implemented we have too wide a net. We have too many people in prison. And we wound up spending -- putting so many people in prison that there wasn’t enough money left to educate them, train them for new jobs and increase the chances when they came out that they could live productive lives." Bill Clinton took a similar position on his policies in an introduction he authored to a book of essays on criminal justice reform last month, saying that his policies went too far . The comments came after Hillary Clinton said last week that there was something "profoundly wrong" with the American criminal justice system and that she supported reforms that ...
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What Hillary Clinton Could Do About the Opioid Crisis 6.5.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
During a recent campaign stop, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton promised to make the "quiet epidemic" involving heroin and prescription opioids an important part of her presidential campaign -- and, presumably, of her presidency, should she be elected. She mentioned the issue of substance misuse again in her highly publicized speech on criminal justice reform last week. As someone intimately familiar with the devastating impact of this public health crisis on individuals, families and communities, I was very pleased to hear this, and thought of several ways she could make good on her pledge. Here are five simple steps Clinton could take, as candidate or President, that could significantly shape the course of opioid addiction in the United States. 1. Define the problem in the right way. All too often we hear the problem labeled as a prescription drug abuse crisis or heroin abuse crisis. Using language like this is not only inaccurate, but also misleading. It suggests that the main problem is people ...
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Governor of Puerto Rico Signs Executive Order to Legalize Medical Marijuana 4.5.2015 Commondreams.org Newswire
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Puerto Rico Governor Signs Order To Legalize Medical Marijuana 4.5.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Puerto Rico's governor on Sunday 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. Gov. Alejandro 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. "We're taking a significant step in the area of health that is fundamental to our development and quality of life," Garcia said in a statement. "I am sure that many patients will receive appropriate treatment that will offer them new hope." 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. Garcia said the government also will soon outline the specific authorized uses of marijuana and its derivatives for medical purposes. He noted that medical ...
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Indiana Legislature Legalizes Syringe Programs to Counter Growing HIV/AIDS Epidemic; Governor Pence Expected to Approve 30.4.2015 Commondreams.org Newswire
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Congress Should End Medical Marijuana Gag Order on V.A. Doctors 30.4.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
As soon as this afternoon, the U.S. House of Representatives will be voting on the FY2016 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill, which sets the budget for the Veterans Administration (V.A.). Representatives Blumenauer (D-OR), Heck (R-NV), Gibbard (D-HI), Reed (R-NY), Lee (D-CA), Rohrabacher (R-CA), and Titus (D-NV) will be re-introducing the Veterans Equal Access Amendment (VEAA) , which would lift the gag. Under V.H.A. Directive 2011-004 , V.A. physicians are explicitly forbidden from being able to fill out recommendation forms or even offer their medical opinion about whether a veteran patient might benefit from participating in a state medical marijuana program. This means that veterans who are dependent on the V.A. for their health care are denied equal access to state medical marijuana programs.  This means that veterans must go out of pocket and establish a patient-doctor relationship with a new physician, something that can cost hundreds of dollars or more. This is ...
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Your Pregnancy May Subject You to Even More Law Enforcement Violence 23.4.2015 Truthout.com
(Image: Jared Rodriguez / Truthout )As calls to end police violence swept the nation during the summer of 2014, the New York City Police Department demonstrated that pregnancy is no protection against brutality. Sandra Amezquita was five months pregnant when police threw her, belly first, onto the ground. An officer straddled her body, adding his weight to the pressure, before handcuffing and arresting her. Her offense? Trying to stop them from harassing her 17-year-old son, who had been arrested for robbery the year before. A member of El Grito de Sunset Park, a neighborhood police watchdog group, recorded the entire event and posted it online. The video sparked outcry and local protests, drawing attention to the fact that women - even women who are visibly pregnant - are not immune to police violence. That same summer, Idaho police shot and killed Jeanetta Riley, a pregnant mother of three who pulled a knife on her husband when he attempted to take her to the hospital after she had threatened ...
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Young Girl Could Treat Her 'Uncontrolled' Epilepsy With Medical Marijuana -- If Only She Had Access To It 23.4.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
A video released Wednesday tells a powerful and all-too-common story . A child who suffers from severe seizures can't find relief using traditional medicine. Her family wants to try medical marijuana, a substance that has been proven to treat children with similar disorders. But her state bans them from obtaining it. The video, produced by Learn Liberty at the Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University and sponsored by Drug Policy Alliance, tells the story of a 7-year-old girl from Ohio named Sophia Nazzarine who was diagnosed as an infant with "uncontrolled" epilepsy -- a form of of the disease that is so severe that anti-seizure medications on the market can't effectively treat the condition. Before Sophia was one year old, she suffered up to 20 seizures a day , and as her parents explain in the video, they have tried every available traditional medical option to help their daughter. For most of her life, Sophia has routinely taken multiple pharmaceutical medications, but the drugs fail to ...
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Friday Talking Points -- Chasing The Scooby Van 18.4.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Strange but true, the "Scooby van" is now part of our political lexicon. Hillary Clinton herself is apparently to blame for this one, as this was the playful name she came up with for the van she used to get from New York to Iowa this week. The media, as it will be doing for the next year and a half over pretty much any new aspect of Hillary Clinton's campaign (and we do mean "any new aspect at all -- even the laughably trivial"), quite predictably, freaked out. Looking at the "Scooby van" through the lens of talking points (as we are wont to do, here), we have to say that one thing struck us about Hillary's choice: her inattention to the proper geeky level of detail. Ask any Scooby Doo fan, and they'll tell you the van in question was actually called "The Mystery Machine." Hillary is showing the same level of cultural tone-deafness as when she flubbed her big opening line, saying: "Live from New York, it is Saturday Night!" She may not have been the only guest host in the entire history of the show ...
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Obama Signals Support For Changing Course In Federal War On Medical Marijuana 18.4.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
In an interview that will air for the first time this weekend as part of CNN's latest installment of its medical marijuana documentary series "WEED 3," President Barack Obama signals support for medical marijuana and for rolling back the federal government's war on drugs. CNN's chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta, a vocal supporter of the legalization of medical marijuana , asks Obama in the documentary if he supports the goals of a historic Senate bill introduced in March that seeks to make several major changes in federal law, including drastically reducing the federal government's ability to crack down on state-legal medical marijuana programs, encouraging more research into the plant and reclassifying marijuana as a less dangerous drug. "You know, I think I'd have to take a look at the details," Obama began in response, "but I'm on record as saying that not only do I think carefully prescribed medical use of marijuana may in fact be appropriate and we should follow the science as opposed to ...
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Mother Fighting for Custody, Son Taken by Police After Classroom Comments About Marijuana's Benefits 18.4.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
A mother already suffering from a debilitating medical condition now must fight the state of Kansas to maintain her parental rights . Shona Banda, a well-known activist, published a book "Live Free or Die" detailing how she found relief from Crohn's disease after using cannabis oil. Banda's primary concern now is keeping custody of her son. This because her son's school contacted child protective services after he attempted to argue about the harms of marijuana during a classroom talk. Child Protective Services then removed Banda's son from the school. This story may seem ridiculous to some. The reality is this happens all the time in our country and it is a lesser-known atrocity of the drug war. Due to mandatory reporting requirements, the staff at the school may have been under a duty to involve Child Protective Services if Banda's son admitted marijuana was in his home. This type of blanket approach is rarely in the immediate best interests of the child and reflects the immense amount of stigma ...
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Indiana Families Deserve an Effective Syringe Exchange Policy 15.4.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Indiana's Republican Governor, Mike Pence, is implementing a 30-day syringe exchange program in Scott County to combat escalating HIV/AIDS infection rates. It is part of a public health emergency he declared to keep Hoosiers safe. This plan is welcome news but one program operating in one county for one month is not going to stop an epidemic. Some legislators want real reform and the governor should work with them. Thousands of lives are at stake. Syringe exchange programs are not new. They operate in dozens of U.S. states and are the cornerstone of fighting HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C and other infectious diseases in many countries around the world. In addition to preventing the spread of infectious diseases these programs offer critical health services to people who inject drugs, and often are a bridge to drug treatment. The programs also help get contaminated syringes off the streets, keeping neighborhoods safe, while ensuring that when police officers search suspects they don't accidentally prick ...
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On the News With Thom Hartmann: Earth May Be on the Brink of a Mass Extinction, and More 14.4.2015 Truthout - All Articles
In today's On the News segment: If we want any chance to prevent the next mass extinction, we'd better break our addiction to fossil fuels; a new report says medical marijuana works on brain tumors, but that won't stop the Justice Department from going after pot users; ALEC is threatening to sue groups like Common Cause and the League of Conservation Voters; and more. TRANSCRIPT: Thom Hartmann here - on the best of the rest of....Science and Green news..... You need to know this. The more we learn about previous mass extinctions, the more we recognize that we're on the brink of triggering the next one. Earlier this month, an team of international researchers say that changes in the biochemical makeup of the ocean were a primary factor in the Triassic mass extinction 200 million years ago. According to their study, which will appear in an upcoming edition of the journal Geology, the ocean around the supercontinent Pangaea became toxic because of oxygen-depletion. Although previous studies have documented ...
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Devil's Bargain: A Former Medellin Cartel Official Has Been A DEA Informant For 27 Years. Now He Wants Out. 9.4.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Carlos Toro, seen at his Miami home in 1982, has been on both sides of the drug war, first as a Medellín cartel member and later as a confidential DEA informant. (Photo courtesy of Carlos Toro) “You're lying to me," the man said. Carlos Toro took a gulp of wine and tried to maintain his composure. For years, he had dreaded hearing those words. It was February 2011, and Toro, who was then 61, had come to this upscale steakhouse in Madrid expecting a casual meal between two friends with business to discuss. His companion was a South American diplomat and high-level cocaine trafficker eager to break into the European drug market, where a kilo purchased for less than $1,000 wholesale back home could sell for more than $40,000 on the street. Toro was a onetime top official in the Colombia-based Medellín cartel, which dominated the global cocaine market in the 1970s and '80s. In his sharply tailored blazer and slacks, a shock of thinning, gray hair atop his head, Toro certainly looked the part of a ...
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