User: flenvcenter Topic: Environmental Health-Independent
Category: Drugs
Last updated: May 01 2016 01:42 IST RSS 2.0
 
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Walgreens Broaches Possible Health Benefits Of Medical Marijuana 1.5.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Walgreens wants to talk about marijuana. In what appears to be an unprecedented move for a company its size, Walgreens published a discussion of the possible health benefits of medical marijuana on its health and wellness blog  this week. In the post, titled "Clarifying Clinical Cannabis," a resident pharmacist at the company takes a look at medical marijuana's side effects, the debate about its medicinal properties and its legality: "Research has indicated it may impair your lungs, memory and judgment. However, research has also shown marijuana provides pain relief in ways traditional pain medicines don’t. Medical marijuana can improve appetite and relieve nausea in those who have cancer and it may help relieve symptoms such as muscle stiffness in people who have multiple sclerosis." It's not exactly clear what the company's intentions are. Its parent company, Walgreen Co., isn't ready to say it's throwing its hat in the ring of an industry whose recreational and medical sales topped out at  $5.4 ...
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Americans Are As Worried About Bad Water As Heroin 30.4.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
WASHINGTON -- Contaminated drinking water ranks behind only cancer and heroin abuse as a serious health problem facing the U.S., according to a new survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation. The poll asked whether people considered a range of health problems "extremely serious." Thirty-five percent felt that way about contaminated drinking water, the same percentage as for heroin abuse.  The water crisis in Flint, Michigan, has focused national attention on the problem of aging water systems with crumbling pipes that deposit lead in people's drinking water.  In Flint, the pipes crumbled extra quickly after the city started pumping water from the Flint River in April of 2014. Contrary to regulatory requirements, state regulators told city officials not to treat the water with anti-corrosion chemicals designed to reduce the amount of lead that leaches from pipes into the water. Research eventually showed higher blood lead levels in Flint children following the water switch. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) ...
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This Opioid Treatment Model That Provides All Levels Of Care Is Spawning Imitators 27.4.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
This piece comes to us courtesy of Stateline. Stateline is a nonpartisan, nonprofit news service of the Pew Charitable Trusts that provides daily reporting and analysis on trends in state policy. BALTIMORE — Dr. Kenneth Stoller held court on the sidewalk outside the Broadway Center for Addiction on a sunny afternoon last week, chatting with a troop of lingering patients. He beamed as he patted a young man on the shoulder and said he’d see him tomorrow. “It’s important for patients to see this as a place that’s safe and accepting,” he said. “For some, it’s the first place they’ve gotten positive reinforcement in their lives.” Operated by Johns Hopkins Hospital and located two blocks from its main campus, the Broadway Center — or “911” as it’s called because of its address at 911 N. Broadway — has provided methadone maintenance therapy for people with opioid addiction for more than two decades. But unlike most of the roughly 1,400 methadone clinics across the country, the Broadway Center offers not only ...
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Podcast: What’s with the Western pot boom? 21.4.2016 High Country News Most Recent
Amid a patchwork of regulations, marijuana is becoming a legitimate industry.
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Landmark UN Session Falling Short of Lofty Goal to End War on Drugs 20.4.2016 CommonDreams.org Headlines
Deirdre Fulton, staff writer

World leaders are gathered in New York this week for the first United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on drugs in almost two decades, with the lofty goal of ending the failed War on Drugs.

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Thursday Press Conference: World Leaders Call for Decriminalization and Regulation of Drugs during Historic UN Special Session 20.4.2016 Commondreams.org Newswire

On Thursday April 21 – the last day of the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on drugs – several members of the Global Commission on Drug Policy will hold a press conference in New York. The Global Commission will evaluate the outcome of the UN meeting and call for concrete steps to ensure more effective drug policy reform in the years ahead. The UNGASS is taking place in New York from April 19-21 and is the first such gathering of governments in 18 years.

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Ahead Of A Key Meeting, Russia Is Driving Global Drug Policy Into The Ground 13.4.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
As the first major global meeting on drug policy in two decades approaches, Russia is quietly emerging as a powerful force working to perpetuate the war on drugs in the face of growing weariness with the quagmire worldwide. Later in April, the United Nations will convene a special session on drug policy aimed at shaping the global approach in the decades to come. Key nations convened last month in Vienna to move the negotiations forward ahead of the gathering, and Russia threw up roadblocks at every opportunity. The Russian representative dominated the talks, according to one non-American delegate who took part in the negotiations. The Russian Federation pushed back against the medical use of painkillers for palliative care, against needle exchange, against educating doctors or the public about opioids, against the use of Naloxone -- an overdose reversal drug -- in any setting outside a medical facility, against the entire concept of “harm reduction,” against substitute opioid treatment and, in the end, ...
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On the News With Thom Hartmann: Treasury Department Cracks Down on Corporate Inversions, and More 11.4.2016 Truthout - All Articles
In today's On the News segment: The US Treasury Department is cracking down on corporate inversions; the US ranks 14th in the world for financial literacy; Obamacare has not led to the end of employer-provided health coverage; and more. TRANSCRIPT: Thom Hartmann here -- on the best of the rest of Economic and Labor News... You need to know this. The US Treasury Department is cracking down on corporate inversions. In response to the proposed merger between pharmaceutical giants Allergan and Pfizer, the Treasury Department proposed new rules that would "wipe out" the massive tax benefits of the largest corporate inversion in our nation's history. If those two companies had been allowed to merge, Pfizer would have been able to claim the lower corporate tax rate from Ireland, where Allergan is headquartered. That would have allowed Pfizer to skip out on paying their taxes on at least $40 billion dollars of profit that company earned while headquartered in the United States, then stashed away in overseas tax ...
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Nebraska and Oklahoma vs. Colorado: Irony Flows 8.4.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
The U.S. Supreme Court recently declined to hear a lawsuit brought by Nebraska and Oklahoma opposing Colorado's regulation of the sale and cultivation of legalized marijuana. The reaction has been a mixed bag. The challenge and its ultimate dismissal have provided a smorgasbord of topics to be served up and savored -- from scholarly debates on jurisdiction, federalism, states' rights and constitutional law, to crystal ball predictions as to what this foretells for the future of marijuana legalization. As a former prosecutor, what is striking to me is that throughout the fabric of this diverse commentary, a common thread steadily rocks along embroidering its name across the landscape -- irony. Nebraska and Oklahoma did not challenge Colorado's legalization of marijuana. They conceded that Colorado has the power to legalize the production, distribution, possession and use of marijuana. Rather, they criticized the Justice Department for turning its back on enforcing federal law, thereby allowing it to be ...
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Tuesday: California Assembly Committee Hearing on Supervised Consumption Services for People Who Use Drugs 4.4.2016 Commondreams.org Newswire

Tuesday, April 5, the California Assembly Public Safety Committee will hold a legislative hearing on AB 2495 (Eggman) to permit localities to establish supervised consumption services (SCS), which allow individuals to consume controlled substances in a safe space, provide sterile equipment, and connect patients to treatment, medical care, and other social services.

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"2 Steps Forward, 1 Step Back": Will Obama's New Opioid Proposal Continue the Failed War on Drugs? 30.3.2016 Democracy Now!
President Obama has unveiled a series of steps aimed at addressing the epidemic of opioid addiction in the United States. In 2014, a record number of Americans died from drug overdoses, with the highest rates seen in West Virginia, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Kentucky and Ohio. Many states reported even higher death tolls in 2015. We speak with journalist Maia Szalavitz and Michael Collins of the Drug Policy Alliance about Obama's proposal. "I think the best thing we can say about the proposal is it's two steps forward and one step back," Collins says. "There is a lot of positives in the announcement—emphasis on harm reduction, treatment, overdose prevention—but at the same time the Obama administration is still beholden to the criminalization of drug users." "Watch Part 2 of our interview here":http://www.democracynow.org/2016/3/30/if_addiction_is_a_disease_why.
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Wave Goodbye To Harsh Tennessee Law Targeting Pregnant Drug Users 23.3.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
A controversial Tennessee law that explicitly makes it a crime to use drugs while pregnant will officially die this summer.   In 2014, when the state passed the so-called fetal assault law over vocal opposition by medical health professionals, it  included a built-in expiration date . On Tuesday, a committee of state legislators considered a bill to permanently extend the law and voted to defeat it. The law will expire in July.  Tennessee's legislation, the first of its kind in the country, has been roundly criticized for discouraging pregnant women from seeking critical prenatal care and drug treatment. An estimated 100 women have been arrested under the law since it passed. Allison Glass, state director of Healthy and Free Tennessee, a nonprofit women’s advocacy group, called the bill's expiration a huge victory for Tennessee. "This would have extended a dangerous and harmful law that has jailed pregnant women and new mothers who have used drugs, instead of working to ensure that they have access to ...
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Rep. Cummings Rips Pharma Company For Price Gouging On Heroin Overdose Drug 23.3.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
WASHINGTON -- In his opening remarks at the Full House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing on the heroin epidemic , Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) slammed the pharmaceutical company that makes the overdose antidote naloxone for profiting off the crisis. “We can no longer allow drug companies to keep ripping off the taxpayers for life-saving medications,” Cummings said. “Cities all around the country have recognized the need to equip their first responders, police officers and public health officials with naloxone -- a drug that can reverse opioid overdoses in a matter of minutes.” Because of those life-saving properties, the medication has become essential in the public health response to the rise in overdose deaths. State after state -- including places like Kentucky and New York  -- have passed laws making naloxone available without a prescription. Chains such as Kroger and CVS recently announced that they would be selling it essentially as an over-the-counter medication.  Cummings said ...
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Paul Ryan's Commitment To 'Regular Order' Collides With Major Heroin Legislation 23.3.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
WASHINGTON -- Shortly after the Senate passed a sweeping bill to combat the opioid crisis, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) spoke about the need for action. "There's also a crisis at home I want to touch on," Ryan said unprompted at a press conference earlier this month. "This is one of those times where we all may know -- we certainly do in my family -- we all may know other families who have been affected by this growing epidemic, this problem. It destroys lives. It is destroying families. It destroys whole communities. So I want to commend the Senate for passing a bill to improve treatment and recovery programs to address this growing opioid epidemic." The House, he added, was hard at work. "Our committees are looking at this right now and a number of our members have been working on this issue,” Ryan said. “We need to make addressing this opioid epidemic a priority, and that is exactly what the House will do. And we want to commend our friends in the Senate for quick action on this issue." At least ...
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The Amazing Contortions of 'Progressives' for Hillary Clinton 21.3.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
And let's see, since 2001, "Republicans -- the current version -- do this, not Democrats." So since Libya and Honduras happened while Obama was president, I guess you're agreeing with me, Milt, that the current DNC president is a Republican. Here's Milt defending Hillary->'s recent conversion to the pro-gay marriage camp (emphasis mine): I really hate to break it to this idiot, but the total acceptance of gay marriage as a right is even fairly new for many progressives. I remember walking with a very prominent GAY progressive friend through DuPont Circle in DC and we both agreed that marriage was probably too much to ask for, and that was 2003. The change was very rapid and took everyone by surprise. For a politician to have supported it ten years ago would have been career suicide. It's pretty telling from a Hillary-> supporter that he'd discuss a right as "too much to ask for". That's another one of our points, Milt. People with principles who believe in a right never think it's too much to ask for -- ...
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The U.S. Wants To Adopt A More Humane Drug Policy. Just Be Careful What You Call It. 19.3.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
A report this week claiming that a top U.S. drug official derided harm reduction strategies as a coded way to describe drug legalization was actually a mischaracterization.  Harm reduction policies aim to curb the harmful consequences associated with illicit drug use, while recognizing that totally eradicating drugs is unrealistic. Vice News reported  that William Brownfield, the assistant secretary of state in charge of international narcotics and law enforcement affairs, “startled activists when he said harm reduction had become a 'backhanded way to describe legalization'" at the U.N. Commission on Narcotic Drugs session that concluded in Vienna on Thursday. It would have been a disheartening remark for drug reformers who will be pushing for the U.S. and other member nations to move away from draconian prohibitionist policies at next month's U.N. special session on drugs . And, indeed, The Huffington Post spoke with multiple advocates who attended the conference and were alarmed at the report. In ...
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Senate Passes Amendment To Dramatically Improve How Doctors Treat Heroin Addiction 17.3.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
WASHINGTON -- The Senate health committee on Wednesday passed a measure that would dramatically expand access to a key treatment in the effort to slow the heroin epidemic. The amendment , pushed by Sens. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and passed unanimously, would increase access to buprenorphine (commonly sold as Suboxone) for opioid addicts. When included with counseling, known as medication-assisted treatment, buprenorphine can provide addicts with one of the best chances at a recovery , public health experts say. But under current federal regulations, a doctor must first take a daylong course before being certified to prescribe the medication. In their first year of prescribing, they are only permitted to treat 30 patients with the medication at any one time. For the following years, the patient limit can move up to 100. The upshot: Long waiting lists and long drives stand between addicts and evidence-based, effective treatment. The Huffington Post highlighted the issue last year in an ...
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Heroin Bill Moving In Congress, But Leaving A Critical Piece Behind 16.3.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
WASHINGTON -- Last week, the Senate took a major step forward in the effort to combat the opioid epidemic, sending a sweeping piece of legislation to the House for consideration. With more than 90 House co-sponsors, roughly a third of them Republicans, the bill's leaders are optimistic it could become law this year. But a critical piece is missing from the package. In mid-February, the National Governors Association  came forward with its  own list of proposals  on how to address the opioid epidemic that has ravaged so much of the U.S. The organization included in its four-page policy brief a call to scale back federal restrictions on buprenorphine -- a medication that public health officials see as essential to treating those suffering from opioid addiction. That effort is largely missing from the Senate bill, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act . Under federal regulations, a doctor must first take a daylong course before being certified to prescribe buprenorphine. In their first year of ...
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How The Hell Do You Lose An Election To Rob Ford? 14.3.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
To anyone living outside of Toronto, its former mayor, Rob Ford, must seem like the least daunting candidate in the history of politics. His limitations as a candidate are easily found on YouTube: viral clips of the sweaty, rotund man, his voice pinched, smoking crack cocaine. Never mind the personal demons -- he can also be found making crude oral sex jokes about a female lawmaker, intimidating a reporter and uttering racist remarks. The campaign ads write themselves.   And yet Ford remains in office, much to the disbelief of those who have failed to defeat him. In the latest episode of the Candidate Confessional podcast, we interviewed one of the many who have lost to Ford in the hopes that he could maybe explain the man’s hold on power.   Andray Domise ran against Ford in 2014 for a seat on the city council representing Toronto's Ward 2. At the time, Ford was recovering from cancer and had left the mayor's race to take a stab at regaining his old council seat. Although he had experience as a community ...
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World Leaders Call Upcoming UN Special Session An "Historic Opportunity" to End Failed War on Drugs 11.3.2016 Commondreams.org Newswire

A bold public statement was released today by the Global Commission on Drug Policy stating that “an historic opportunity to achieve more humane and effective drug policy is at risk.”  The Commission is referring to the 2016 United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on drugs -- a meeting of all UN member states to evaluate the current state of international drug control.

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