User: flenvcenter Topic: Environmental Health-Independent
Category: Drugs
Last updated: Sep 18 2014 03:53 IST RSS 2.0
 
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Medical Marijuana Advocates Say Bruce Rauner's Blowing Smoke With Criticism Of Illinois Law 18.9.2014 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Illinois' medical marijuana law "stinks" and should have been vetoed, the state's Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner said during a Tuesday press conference. Reading from prepared statements, Rauner blasted the state's medical marijuana pilot program as incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn's (D) "secret, insider process" that "leaves a lot of questions left unanswered." The state, which began accepting applications earlier this month, will grant licenses for up to 22 cultivation centers and 60 dispensaries across Illinois. Under the law, which passed with bipartisan support, applicants' names and certain other information will not be made public. Referring to Illinois' jailed Democratic ex-governor, who is currently serving a 14-year sentence on corruption charges, Rauner called the process for awarding licenses "so overtly corrupt, it would made Rod Blagojevich blush." In addition to saying he would have vetoed medical marijuana, Rauner said the state should auction off licenses to the highest ...
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Five Ways to End the Drug War; Start by Decriminalizing Drug Use 11.9.2014 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
The international drug control regime is broken. Past approaches premised on a punitive law enforcement paradigm have failed, emphatically so. They have resulted in more violence, larger prison populations, and the erosion of governance around the world. The health harms associated with drug use have gotten worse, not better. The Global Commission on Drug Policy instead advocates for an approach to drug policy that puts public health, community safety, human rights and development at the center. Below I have listed the five pathways to ending the drug war recommended by the Global Commission on Drug Policy that I chair. (Other members of the commission, ranging from Kofi Annan to Paul Volcker to former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo are listed after the recommendations.) 1. Putting health and community safety first requires a fundamental reorientation of policy priorities and resources, from failed punitive enforcement to proven health and social interventions. Both the stated goals of drug control ...
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Booze or Pot? No Question Which Substance Is More Harmful to Health 10.9.2014 Truthout - All Articles

Why is marijuana a schedule I controlled substance when all the objective evidence yields the conclusion it is far safer than alcohol? It makes no sense to arrest, prosecute and incarcerate those who choose to responsibly consume an objectively safer alternative.

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Terminal Cancer Patient Sentenced To Probation, Instead Of Prison, For Growing Marijuana 10.9.2014 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
A terminal cancer patient who faced up to 15 years in prison for growing marijuana that he says was used to treat his tumors was instead sentenced to probation by an Iowa judge Tuesday. The Quad-City Times' Brian Wellner first reported the surprise ruling Tuesday afternoon: BREAKING: Judge Latham sentences Benton Mackenzie to probation. #mackenzie #cancer #marijuana — Brian Wellner (@brianwellner) September 9, 2014 Benton Mackenzie, 48, faced at least three and as much as 15 years in prison, but District Judge Henry Latham instead chose to grant Mackenzie a three-year probation, Wellner reported . About a dozen demonstrators rallied in support of Mackenzie outside Scott County Courthouse in Davenport, Iowa before the ruling came down, holding signs that read "Stop arresting patients" and "Treating illness is a right." The use of medical marijuana is currently illegal in Iowa in nearly all cases. Since his conviction earlier this year, Mackenzie has been traveling to Oregon, where marijuana is legal for ...
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Citing Failed War on Drugs, World Leaders Call for Widespread Decriminalization 9.9.2014 CommonDreams.org Headlines
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World Leaders Call For Massive Shift In Global Drug Policy 9.9.2014 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
In a report to be released Tuesday, the Global Commission on Drug Policy , a panel of prominent political figures and activists, will call upon governments around the world to decriminalize drug use and legalize marijuana. Members of the commission, including former Secretary General of the United Nations Kofi Annan, former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo, former U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Paul Volcker and Virgin Group founder Richard Branson, are calling for drug policies shaped by a greater emphasis on public health, as well as alternatives to incarceration for nonviolent drug crimes. The participating members also say it is time to permit the legal regulation in all countries of psychoactive substances like cannabis and coca leaf. "The import of the Commission's report lies in both the distinction of its members and the boldness of their recommendations," said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, a partner organization of the commission, in an email to The Huffington ...
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Change Of Habit: How Seattle Cops Fought An Addiction To Locking Up Drug Users 28.8.2014 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Jeremy Bradford and a friend were walking through downtown Seattle one summer night in 2011, looking for a place where they could share the contents of the baggie in Bradford’s pocket, when they ran into a man who told them about a spot under the freeway. A narrow trail led through a thicket of blackberry brambles to a small clearing. Eight or nine people were sitting around on salvaged chairs and mattresses, smoking cigarettes and talking. Bradford didn’t feel like he belonged there. “You have two types of people in the crack world -- crackheads and smokers,” he said. He still thought of himself as a smoker, someone with too much self-respect to live in the weeds under a highway. But there he was. He took a seat on a mattress, held a flame to the end of a thin glass tube and inhaled. In another life, Bradford supervised 13 soldiers as a corporal in the Marines, and later sold good suits in the men’s section of a department store. He was “a preppy black guy in Armani,” he said, a man who took pride in ...
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Fewer Pain Pill Overdoses In States With Legal Medical Marijuana 26.8.2014 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
States that have legalized marijuana for medical use have lower rates of prescription painkiller overdose deaths than states that have not, new research suggests. In a study published Monday in the latest issue of JAMA Internal Medicine , researchers found that although overdose deaths from opioid painkillers -- like OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin -- have increased in the U.S. over the course of the last decade, they were 25 percent lower in states that implemented medical marijuana laws than other states. The reason for the association was unclear. The study was led by researchers from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center. "Prescription drug abuse and deaths due to overdose have emerged as national public health crises," Colleen L. Barry, senior author of the study and associate professor in the health policy and management department at the Bloomberg School, said in a statement. "As our awareness of the addiction and overdose risks ...
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Female Inmates Should Soon Have This Basic Human Right Protected In California 21.8.2014 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Legislation sparked by a media report and a state audit that found female prisoners were being unlawfully sterilized in California's prisons heads to Gov. Jerry Brown's desk this week for the Democrat's signature. The worst allegations suggested that women were coerced into sterilizations. The bill, SB 1135 , would prohibit sterilization for birth control purposes in the state's prisons and jails. The procedure would still be allowed in cases of medical emergency or treatment of a diagnosed condition. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation would also be required to provide the women with a follow-up psychological consultation and to report sterilization data on its website. The bill received final yes votes in the California State Assembly and the California State Senate earlier this week. Last year the Center for Investigative Reporting wrote that between 2006 and 2010, 148 female inmates in California received tubal ligations without required state approvals. According to CIR, ...
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No Charges In 3 Deadly Beatings At Rikers Island, Despite Homicide Rulings 20.8.2014 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
NEW YORK (AP) — Agitated and hallucinating from alcohol and heroin withdrawal, inmate Angel Ramirez took a swing at a jail guard and missed. What followed, according to investigative documents obtained by The Associated Press, was a quick punch back from the guard that put Ramirez on the floor. Then he was dragged away, beyond the view of security cameras, and three other guards were called in. Inmates later told investigators they heard screaming and the sickening crack of nightsticks against bone. Ramirez, 50, died of numerous blunt-impact injuries that included a ruptured spleen, shattered ribs and a stomach filled with blood. When a jail investigator interviewed the guards — eight months later — they insisted Ramirez was struck only once and only in self-defense. That July 2011 case is among three deaths in New York City's jails over the past five years in which inmates were alleged to have been fatally beaten by guards. Yet in none of those cases was anyone ever charged with a crime. "It's ...
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A New Vision to Fix the Tragedy No One Ever Thinks About 19.8.2014 Commondreams.org Views
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Florida Group Suggests Medical Marijuana Will Lead To Date Rape By Pot Cookie 18.8.2014 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
There's been a lot of chatter about Florida's upcoming vote on medical marijuana legalization bill, Amendment 2. But No On 2 , a campaign partially funded by Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson , is taking the talk in a new, low direction: suggesting that legalizing marijuana used for people with seizure disorders and diseases would lead to date rape by pot cookie. Post by No On 2 . "Will the new face of 'date rape' look like a cookie?" the ad asks, showing a man and woman facing a picnic table holding a plate of chocolate chip cookies. A large, white arrow points to the man's back pocket, where lurks, through Photoshop, a packet labeled "Marijuana Cookies." The ad received a hefty amount of ridicule on both Facebook and Twitter . " I don't think they understand how pot works ," read one response. “ I absolutely thought it was fake . I thought it was a joke,” Florida state Sen. Jeff Clemens (D-Lake Worth) told WPTV. “I think any woman should find that offensive to somehow suggest that if you use ...
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What You Need To Know Before You Reuse That Plastic Water Bottle 14.8.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
If it's just filled with water, what's so bad about not washing my water bottle? The answer: If you have a bottle that you use every day for water-drinking purposes, congratulations! We're all about hydration here at Healthy Living. But here's a question for you: When's the last time you actually washed that water bottle? After all, if it's just filled with water, it's not actually dirty, right? Not exactly, especially if you're using a disposable water bottle that isn't really meant to be used more than once. In an article in a 2007 issue of the journal Practical Gastroenterology , experts pointed out that commercial bottled water manufacturers don't recommend that consumers reuse their disposable bottles. That's because "everyday wear and tear from repeated washings and reuse can lead to physical breakdown of the plastic, such as visible thinning or cracks. Bacteria can harbor in the cracks, posing a health risk," they wrote. In addition, "reuse of plastic water bottles can lead to bacterial ...
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Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin Announces Support For Medicinal Cannabis Oil 13.8.2014 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) announced her support for the legalization of medicinal cannabis oil (CBD) on a strictly supervised, trial-only basis for sick toddlers suffering from strokes and seizures in a press release Wednesday. “I do support allowing potentially life-saving medicine to find its way to children in need,” Fallin said in a statement Wednesday. “I am very interested in allowing limited, heavily supervised use of non-intoxicating CBD to be delivered on a trial-basis to sick children in Oklahoma.” Urging state lawmakers to advance “policies that can help sick Oklahoma children,” Fallin also expressed support for an interim legislative study by state Rep. Jon Echols (R) on allowing the state to conduct medical trials for the use of non-intoxicating CBD on children with severe seizure disorders. The conservative governor maintained firm opposition to the legalization of medical marijuana for adults, however, warning that broader legislation would enable “healthy adults and teenagers to find ...
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Crowdsourcing Medicines Just Like Movies 12.8.2014 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
In an e-mail, Denver Post editor Greg Moore explains how marijuana medicines are evaluated for safety and effectiveness -- not by scientists, not by doctors, not by the Food and Drug Administration, but by social media. The newspaper publishes a blog called The Cannabist . Staff writers review marijuana strains , list and describe 92 that are available in Colorado, and provide links for each to Leafly.com so browsers can find just the right strain to ease their symptoms or treat their conditions. "What Leafly is doing is not all that different from, say, Rotten Tomatoes ," Moore explains. "In both cases, the market determines the value of its information and they both use the crowd to evaluate products." Rotten Tomatoes is a social media website whose members evaluate movies. This was Moore's reply to physicians who had written him and The Cannabist editor Ricardo Baca to express their serious concerns about the paper's recommending marijuana strains to "treat" mental illnesses. These include: 88 ...
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Cat Who Ingested Heroin Saved By Overdose Drug 6.8.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
EXTON, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania veterinarian has used an overdose reversal drug to save a kitten that had been given heroin.

Police said Tuesday they arrested the suburban Philadelphia man who abused the cat.

West Chester resident James Myers faces charges including animal cruelty and drug possession. He's in custody and can't be reached for comment. It's unclear if he has a lawyer.

Police in West Whiteland Township say an officer spotted Myers' car parked in the middle of a street Sunday with a door open.

The officer says under the door he saw an injured black kitten with a rope around its neck and several teeth knocked out. Police say they found bundles of heroin and dozens of needles in the car.

Authorities say the veterinarian revived the cat with Narcan, an antidote for opium-based drug overdoses.
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Obama Won't Legalize Pot Just Because The New York Times Told Him 30.7.2014 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
The White House has responded to New York Times editorials this week supporting marijuana legalization, saying ending U.S. pot prohibition isn't the "silver bullet solution." The Office of National Drug Control Policy staff, while acknowledging the criminal justice system needs reform, argues in a blog post published Monday night that a series of Times editorials that began Sunday "ignores the science" and "fails to address public health problems" associated with a possible increase in marijuana use. "The New York Times editorial team failed to mention a cascade of public health problems associated with the increased availability of marijuana," the blog post reads. "While law enforcement will always play an important role in combating violent crime associated with the drug trade, the Obama Administration approaches substance use as a public health issue, not merely a criminal justice problem. "Any discussion on the issue should be guided by science and evidence, not ideology and wishful thinking," the ...
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Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley Calls Prison Reform Advocates 'Crazy' To Sue State 30.7.2014 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) knows his state has a serious prison problem, but he had some harsh words for reform groups suing the state over alleged shortcomings in providing inmates health care, Alabama Media Group reported. “You all are crazy to sue us,” he told an audience Monday at the state’s annual Alabama Sheriffs Association convention. “What good does it do to sue us?” Last month, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and the Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program (ADAP) filed a lawsuit against the state for discriminatory and dangerous inmate health care policies, including failure to treat hepatitis C cases and serious wounds, placing inmates under “do not resuscitate” or “allow natural death” orders without their knowledge and keeping disabled inmates segregated and deprived of accommodations, the lawsuit alleges. Bentley, Alabama Media Group reported, said he wants to solve these problems and address the overarching issue of prison overcrowding but believes such lawsuits command time ...
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The Silent Anguish of Pregnant Women Who Struggle With Addiction 28.7.2014 Truthout.com

In early July, Mallory Loyola, 26, was charged with assault after her newborn girl tested positive for meth. Loyola is the first woman in the state to be arrested under a new Tennessee law that allows the state to criminally charge mothers for the illegal use of a narcotic drug while pregnant, if their children are harmed or addicted to the drug. Many medical experts and reproductive rights advocates warn that this kind of legislation is detrimental to women and worry that similar legislation will be passed in other states.

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World Health Organization Calls For Decriminalizing Personal Drug Use 24.7.2014 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
The World Health Organization came out publicly, if quietly, in support of the decriminalization of personal drug use in a report released last week. The 159-page report , which focused primarily on HIV prevention and care worldwide, included a brief section discussing "good practice recommendations concerning decriminalization." In it, WHO offered the following recommendations: Countries should work toward developing policies and laws that decriminalize injection and other use of drugs and, thereby, reduce incarceration. Countries should work toward developing policies and laws that decriminalize the use of clean needles and syringes (and that permit NSPs [needle and syringe programs]) and that legalize OST [opioid substitution therapy] for people who are opioid-dependent. Countries should ban compulsory treatment for people who use and/or inject drugs. The recommendations refer specifically to the decriminalization of personal drug use, not the decriminalization of drug cultivation, production and ...
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