User: flenvcenter Topic: Environmental Health-Independent
Category: Drugs
Last updated: Jun 25 2015 04:37 IST RSS 2.0
 
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Vancouver Becomes First Canadian City To Regulate Medical Marijuana 25.6.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Vancouver, Canada, became the first city in the country to regulate and license its booming medical marijuana industry on Wednesday, despite warnings from the federal government. After four nights of public hearings , the Vancouver City Council voted 8-3 in favor of a bylaw to control the "grey market" of marijuana dispensaries . While all marijuana is illegal under federal law, Vancouver has seen an explosion in dispensaries in recent years and is now home to about 100 of them . “These new rules will give the City the tools we need to properly manage dispensaries, while enabling those who provide a vital medical service,” Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson said in a statement emailed to The Huffington Post. “This is a common sense approach to a complicated issue, which has been made worse by the lack of action from the Federal government.” Under the new rules, dispensaries must remain 300 meters (0.2 miles) away from schools, community centers and other pot shops. They must also deny entry to anyone under ...
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China's Communist-Capitalist Ecological Apocalypse 21.6.2015 Truthout - All Articles
331 394 *Projected Chinese consumption in 2035 is calculated assuming per-capita consumption will be equal to the current US level, based on projected GDP growth of 8 percent annually. Latest year figures for grain, oil, coal, fertilizer and paper are from 2008. Latest year figures for meat and steel are from 2010. Source: Earth Policy Institute, 2011 How can this happen? What would the rest of the world live on? Already, as resource analyst Michael Klare reviews in his latest book, The Race for What's Left (2012), around the world existing reserves of oil, minerals and other resources "are being depleted at a terrifying pace and will be largely exhausted in the not-too-distant future." B. Airpocalypse Now Decades of coal-powered industrialization combined with the government-promoted car craze since the 1990s have brought China the worst air pollution in the world. Scientists have compared north China's toxic smog to a "nuclear winter" and the smog is also sharply reducing crop yields. Lung cancer is ...
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US Prisons Block Access to Lifesaving Addiction Medication 18.6.2015 Truthout - All Articles
Why are prison bosses ignoring medical treatments that reduce crime and save lives? In a March 2014 memo to fellow executive staff, top health officials in the Bureau of Prisons admitted something that researchers have known for years - the federal prison system's drug treatment programs were failing to successfully treat prisoners with opiate abuse disorders. The officials wrote that "abstinence-based programs such as ours" only work for about 10 percent of participants suffering from opiate addiction. The memo would come as no surprise to policymakers at the United Nations, the World Health Organization and even the White House, who recognize that opiate addiction is a chronic illness and recommend making drugs like methadone and Suboxone available to prisoners instead of simply locking them up and expecting them to stay sober thereafter. As the Obama administration's latest drug czar, Michael Botticelli, said last year as he released a grim report on the number of people with substance abuse disorders ...
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Obama Administration Cracks Down On Trans Fats 16.6.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is cracking down on artificial trans fats, calling them a threat to public health. The Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday that it will require food companies to phase out the use artificial trans fats almost entirely. Consumers aren't likely to notice much of a difference in their favorite foods, but the administration says the move will to reduce coronary heart disease and prevent thousands of fatal heart attacks every year. Scientists say there are no health benefits to trans fats, which are used in processing food and in restaurants, usually to improve texture, shelf life or flavor. They can raise levels of "bad" cholesterol and lower "good" cholesterol, increasing the risk of heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States. The fats are created when hydrogen is added to vegetable oil to make it more solid, which is why they are often called partially hydrogenated oils. Once a staple of the American diet — think shortening and microwave ...
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Friday Talking Points -- Bernie Sanders Shows Democrats What 'Family Values' Should Mean 13.6.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
We begin with a story which is just ripe for mixing a few metaphors: The Iowa Republican Party just announced today that they are cancelling the Iowa Straw Poll. The metaphors can immediately get twisted, since "the final straw which broke the camel's back" doesn't really work -- it'd have to be "the final straw which broke the elephant's back," of course! Then there's always the classic anti-war spin on things: "What if they gave a straw poll and nobody showed up?" And finally, the most delicious piece of irony: Michele Bachmann will go down in history as the winner of the final Iowa Straw Poll, held back in 2012. Remember the reign of President Bachmann? Me neither. The Iowa Straw Poll had already outlasted whatever usefulness it may or may not ever have had, even back in 2012. It's not some centuries-old tradition, as the first one was held in 1979. Its core reason for being has always been to transfer money from all the Republican presidential campaigns directly into the coffers of the state ...
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How Supercharged Blue Heroin Ravaged This Small Town In Ohio 11.6.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
MARION, Ohio (AP) — The usual handwringing over the heroin problem turned into panic in this small city in May when a supercharged blue-tinted batch from Chicago sent more than 30 overdose victims to the hospital and two to the morgue in a 12-day stretch. Like many places in America, Marion — an hour's drive north of the capital, Columbus — has gotten used to heroin. Emergency crews in the city of 37,000 have become accustomed to treating an overdose patient about once a day for the past year or so. But they were stunned when the unprecedented onslaught began on May 20. They say if it hadn't been for naloxone, an antidote carried by paramedics, most of the survivors probably would have died, too. They ranged in age from their late teens to early 60s. "We were going from one to another to another, sometimes going back to the same house twice in one day for two different people," said Police Chief Bill Collins, who called for help from state and federal agencies. They hope to find the source of so-called ...
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Chris Christie Declares War On Drugs A 'Failure,' But Still Doesn't Think Recreational Pot Should Be Legal 8.6.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) said on Sunday that the United States locks up too many nonviolent drug offenders -- but also that he would reinstate federal prosecutions for states that allow residents to legally use marijuana if he were president. Christie, who has not yet declared that he is running for president, said the country needs to do more to help people who abuse drugs get the treatment they needed. "What I've been saying in New Jersey is that we can no longer incarcerate our way out of this problem. We need to give treatment," he said on CBS's "Face The Nation." "No other disease do we say to folks, 'no, no, no, you don't deserve treatment.' That somehow it's a moral failing. This is a disease like anything else. I think quite frankly the war on drugs has been a failure." But when it comes to marijuana, which Christie has called a "gateway drug," the New Jersey governor said that, as president, he would prosecute states that allowed for recreational marijuana use. Cannabis remains illegal ...
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Innovative Drug Policies You May Never Have Heard of But Need to Know About 6.6.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
June 17 marks the 44th anniversary of President Richard Nixon's war on drugs. America's longest war has destroyed millions of lives, and turned the U.S. into the world's leading incarcerator with less than five percent of the world's population but nearly 25 percent of its prisoners. Instead of the "drug-free America" promised by this disastrous war, drugs are as available as ever and overdose deaths have skyrocketed, overtaking car accidents as the leading cause of accidental death. Punitive policies and ignorance have destroyed millions of families. This all might sounds hopeless, but there's good reason for hope. Innovative drug policies being practiced around the world are keeping people out of prison, getting help for those who need it, reducing HIV, crime and overdose deaths. To truly treat drug use as a health issue and end our country's unwinnable war, we need to implement three proven strategies. 1) Drug Decriminalization No other health issue is criminalized like drug use and addiction. With ...
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As New York's Stringent Medical Marijuana Program Takes Shape, A Dispensary Could Come To Brooklyn 5.6.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Brooklyn could become home to one of the 20 medical marijuana dispensaries expected to open across New York state as early as next year. A company called PalliaTech announced Thursday it has signed a lease on a 3,000-square-foot space in downtown Brooklyn, where it hopes to dispense cannabis products to patients as part of the state’s new, highly regulated medical marijuana program. The lease, however, is contingent upon PalliaTech winning one the five coveted vendor licenses set to be issued by the state’s Department of Health. The deadline for license applications is Friday. The state Department of Health wouldn’t say how many companies like PalliaTech had applied ahead of Friday’s deadline, but a spokesperson said the five vendor licenses will be awarded next month. PalliaTech’s executive vice president, Andrei Bogolubov, told The Huffington Post the application process has been “much more demanding” than in other states where medical marijuana has been legalized. That’s because New York’s medical ...
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New Psychoactive Substances Ban Won't Even Achieve Its Aims 29.5.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
The UK Government yesterday announced its plans to introduce a blanket ban on all new psychoactive substances (NPSs as they're known), in a move that follows in the steps of Ireland's ban in 2010. Following the recent spate of hospitalisations and deaths from one such substance, 'Spice', this may seem like the logical step, especially for a government that proscribes to the the idea that prohibition is the preferred way to tackle drug use, rather than regulation of substances that have been shown to have a low and acceptable level of toxicity. (The overwhelming evidence indicates that prohibition is not the best way to deal with drug use, but that is an argument for another day.) However, the proposed bill will have much deeper effect than simply adding a few more names to the the list of already banned substances. In particular, it could lead to some wholly unintended consequences, whilst failing to solve many of the issues surrounding NPSs in the first place. The bill plans to ban the supply, ...
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Conservative State Senator Has Made Some Real Progress In Legalizing Medical Marijuana 28.5.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
This story was originally published by Ozy . It’s a crisp Thursday afternoon in the Deep South — Dallas, Georgia , to be specific, population 11,000. A movie theater is packed with some 50 people angling for a clear sight line to the screen. Presiding over the occasion, before the theater lights dim, is one 54-year-old good Southern boy Allen Peake, who styles himself as a Romney-esque business conservative (minus the Ivy League chin and head full of hair). When the silver screen finally glows, it’s what we’ve all been waiting for: a documentary touting the health benefits of medical marijuana. Confused? Don’t be. State Rep. Peake is a true conservative in all the ways that matter, from immigration to taxation. Except when it comes to toking . As far as that goes, Bible Belt-dwelling Peake leans left. And why? Empathy, he’ll tell you. Not for the stoners , but for the sick. Peake, surprisingly enough, has made some real progress in legalizing medical marijuana. Patients in Georgia now can, thanks to a ...
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An Open Letter to Oregon Senator Jeff Kruse 27.5.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Dear Senator Kruse, I was forwarded a letter you had written in response to recent legislative attempts at re-regulating medical marijuana. You open with a condemnation of those who have petitioned you with threats and vulgarity. While I do not fault you for disrespecting those tactics, I would hope you can appreciate the emotion driving those letters and calls. These people are frightened of being subject again to loss of health and liberty. Stress may sometimes lead them to abandon civility, but it does not diminish the validity of their concerns. What catches my attention is your immediate dismissal of the term cannabis not in favor of the commonly-used marijuana but in favor of the term pot. I understand a need for shorthand, but your particular choice of the word pot, followed by your tale of personal addiction to it (as well as LSD, cocaine, and methamphetamine, I have learned), makes me wonder how much understanding and respect you have for those of us who, unlike you, have managed a healthy and ...
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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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