User: flenvcenter Topic: Environmental Health-Independent
Category: Drugs
Last updated: Oct 31 2014 02:39 IST RSS 2.0
 
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War on Drugs Doesn't Decrease Use, UK Gov't Report Finds 31.10.2014 CommonDreams.org Headlines
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Ballot Measure To Drug-Test Doctors Draws Backlash 30.10.2014 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
A proposal to randomly drug-test doctors in California is stealing the spotlight from the medical malpractice reform measure it was attached to, and drug-reform advocates have united against it. California residents will vote Tuesday on Proposition 46 , which originally centered on increasing the non-economic “pain and suffering” damages in medical negligence lawsuits from $250,000 -- the lowest in the country -- to $1.1 million. Its author, Bob Pack, whose young children were killed by a driver under the influence of prescription drugs nearly 11 years ago, struggled to find a lawyer to represent him in a lawsuit against the “doctor-shopping” driver because of low potential damages that would have limited attorney fees. According to KQED, Pack said when he began authoring the initiative, medical experts advised him to add a doctor drug-testing provision . Critics have called that addition an attempt to sweeten the appeal of a ballot measure about something else entirely. Under the proposition, doctors ...
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Mandatory Rehab Is Just the Newest Front in the War on Drugs 29.10.2014 Truthout - All Articles
The yard at the Albert M. "Bo" Robinson Assessment and Treatment Center in Trenton, New Jersey, March 13, 2012. The Bo Robinson center is run by a company with deep ties to Gov. Chris Christie that dominates New Jersey's system of large halfway houses, where there has been little state oversight, despite widespread problems. (Photo: Richard Perry / The New York Times) The past few months have seen a wide variety of political leaders extolling the virtues of drug treatment over incarceration. Major Republican figureheads are now on the bandwagon – perhaps none more voraciously than Chris Christie, who recently announced at a summit on addiction destigmatisation, “There but for the grace of God go I – that’s how I look at addiction.” He has also offered a solution: “When you give people the tools to save their own lives, that’s God’s miracles happening in their own lives.” The yard at the Albert M. "Bo" Robinson Assessment and Treatment Center in Trenton, New Jersey, March 13, 2012. The Bo Robinson center ...
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The Device That Could Help Keep Former Inmates Out Of Jail For Good 29.10.2014 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
More than 100 inmates in San Francisco’s jail are now in possession of computer tablets as part of a two-year pilot program allowing them to study using the same technology as students’ outside the system, shedding light on the digital divide so many inmates experience when they re-enter the job force. The tablets were provided last week by Five Keys Charter School , a high school diploma program started by the San Francisco’s Sheriff’s Department in 2003 that has since spread to Los Angeles. Participating inmates will have the tablets for most of the day , NBC Bay Area reported, but they can be deactivated at any time and will only allow access to four secure websites, including a law library and education program. “Tablets are next logical step,” Wendy Still, San Francisco’s chief adult probation officer, told The Huffington Post. “So much of our lives is digital learning.” The $275,000 pilot program is funded by the California Wellness Foundation, the city’s Adult Probation Department and Five Keys ...
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Attack on Canadian Parliament Fuels "Anti-Terror" Laws, Ignoring Ties to Mental Illness, Drug Abuse 28.10.2014 Truthout.com
As Canada mourns the death of a soldier gunned down while standing guard at the National War Monument in Ottawa, Prime Minister Stephen Harper is pushing new antiterrorism legislation that would expand surveillance and intelligence sharing with foreign governments. In the days since the shooting, the gunman, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, has been identified as a convert to Islam with a history of drug abuse, criminal activity and mental illness. The incident came two days after another violent attack on Canadian troops in Quebec. Martin Couture-Rouleau, also identified as a "radicalized" Muslim convert, drove a car into two soldiers, killing one of them. The incidents have sparked fears of blowback shortly after Canada joined the U.S.-led war against Islamic State militants in Iraq. But the violence has also raised questions about Canada’s treatment of the mentally ill and others on the margins. Zehaf-Bibeau had been dealing with a serious crack-cocaine addiction and living in and out of homeless shelters. On ...
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Toronto Elects John Tory As Mayor, Ending Rob Ford Era 28.10.2014 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
ROB GILLIES, Associated Press TORONTO (AP) — Toronto has elected a moderate conservative as mayor, ending the scandal-ridden Rob Ford era. John Tory had 40 percent of the vote, compared to 34 percent for Doug Ford, brother of outgoing Mayor Rob Ford. Left-leaning Olivia Chow was third with nearly 23 percent. The results were announced Monday night with more than 90 percent of polling stations reporting. Rob Ford's four-year tenure as mayor of Canada's largest city was marred by his drinking and crack cocaine use. He announced last month that he wouldn't seek re-election as he battles a rare form of cancer. His brother, a city councilor, ran in his place. Despite the cancer, Ford opted to seek the City Council seat from the Etobicoke district where he launched his political career. He won his old seat in a landslide. After months of denials, the mayor in 2013 acknowledged he had smoked crack cocaine in one of his "drunken stupors," but he refused to resign. The City Council stripped Ford of most of his ...
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Nations Devastated By Ebola Were Already Under Siege In The Global Drug War 24.10.2014 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
West Africa’s public infrastructure is now collapsing under the burden of the Ebola outbreak. But the health and political systems in that region were already under attack from another deadly force -- drug trafficking and the harsh criminal response so frequently wielded in the global war on drugs. What makes it so hard to combat the spread of Ebola in West Africa -- weak public infrastructure, porous borders and high poverty rates -- are some of the same factors that drew the narco-traffickers. And the impulse to focus on law enforcement over medical treatment in these crises can be equally ineffective and ultimately fatal to many. Consider the latest calls to ban travel to the United States from West Africa. They've been resisted by top public health officials , who warn that combating the epidemic requires full knowledge of where people have been and with whom they've been traveling. "Even when governments restrict travel and trade, people in affected countries still find a way to move and it is even ...
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Oregon Anti-Pot Campaign Head Used Gov't Job to Enrich Anti-Pot Crusader 24.10.2014 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
The head of the No on Measure 91 Campaign to defeat marijuana legalization in Oregon is a woman named Mandi Puckett. She works at BestCare Prevention Services in Jefferson County, Oregon.  She's on a leave of absence from BestCare to run the anti-pot campaign, where her strategy is hosting press conferences to frighten moms about marijuana edibles and mailing postcards with enough reefer madness per square inch to make the ghost of Harry J. Anslinger say, "hold up, lady; you'll want to dial that back a bit." I've been digging into the public records for the summer of 2014 from all the public officials involved in Kevin Sabet's Oregon Marijuana "Education" Tour."  The tour was intentionally timed in 2012 and 2014 to sway votes against marijuana legalization as ballots were mailed out for Oregon's last two initiatives; there were no tours in 2011 and 2013 , despite claims from organizers that these were "annual education events." Sabet was set to make over $39,000 in thirteen cities before exposure of ...
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Medical Marijuana Helped Me Survive Cancer Treatment 22.10.2014 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Last November, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Like many others in similar circumstances, I've tackled much of it with humor and a positive attitude and loads of pharmaceuticals with varying unpleasant side effects. It has been an epic battle involving a double mastectomy, radiation therapy, breast reconstruction (a process which left me miserably uncomfortable every single minute), and chemotherapy -- endless needles pumping foreign liquids into my body leaving me weak and nauseous and horribly depressed for days afterward. At one point, many months into my treatment, I was ready to quit. There are no words to adequately describe the discomfort and despair I was feeling. It was at that time a friend of mine offered to get me some medical marijuana from Colorado. I said yes. I was willing to try anything, willing to break the law, for some relief. Before you jump to any conclusions, I'm in my '50s and work in the medical field and am not a recreational pot smoker (or anything else for that matter.) ...
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Colorado Rep. Says State Dept. Took His Bill On Marijuana Edibles 'One Step Too Far' 21.10.2014 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Colorado state Rep. Jonathan Singer (D) told HuffPost Live on Tuesday that state health officials ultimately did the right thing by retreating from their initial call to ban almost all marijuana edible products because such a ban is "unconstitutional." "The state Department Of Public Health took it one step too far," Singer said. The state Health Department's recommendation for a near total ban of all retail marijuana-infused food products in the state was one of several from multiple lawmakers, state marijuana industry representatives and state officials who were taking part in a working group for Singer's bill on Monday. The Health Department's recommendation was the only one calling for a ban, which outraged marijuana industry members. The legality of such a ban was also called into question , since Colorado voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2012 legalizing marijuana in all forms. The House bill's language requires that a working group be assembled before the bill's passage to discuss ...
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Colorado Health Officials Walk Back Proposed Weed-Edibles Ban, Hours After It Goes Public 21.10.2014 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Colorado health officials on Monday backtracked on their call to ban almost all recreational marijuana edibles in the state, just hours after publicly recommending such a prohibition. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment backed away from its recommendation for a ban after outraged marijuana industry representatives argued that state voters made all forms of marijuana legal in 2012. The Associated Press's Kristen Wyatt reported that a Health Department official said a ban "was not our intent." Talk of an edibles ban came as lawmakers, industry representatives and state officials on Monday discussed what should be included in a Colorado House bill that would add restrictions to the sale of edible marijuana products. Marijuana edibles -- food and beverage products infused with compounds derived from marijuana, such as THC or CBD -- have been under fire following two high-profile deaths that may have been linked to the treats. The Health Department's recommendation "is just that, a ...
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HUFFPOST HILL - Congress Successfully Wards Off Ebola Epidemic For Another Day 21.10.2014 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
The next "Sharknado" installment will feature scenes set in Washington, which will likely renew the debate over whether sharknadoes are attributable to human activity. Lanny Davis supports President Obama's Ebola czar pick, so you can pretty much kiss everyone you've ever known or loved goodbye. And Colorado health officials are pushing to outlaw edible marijuana products, saying they appeal to children. We're going to go ahead and put the kibosh on our "Air Bud" line of weed cookies. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Monday, October 20th, 2014: PRESIDENT CONSIDERING ASKING FOR MORE EBOLA FUNDS - Politico: "President Barack Obama is weighing his options for asking Congress for more funding to support the U.S. response to Ebola at home and abroad but has not made any formal requests of lawmakers, the White House said here Monday. 'At this moment we have not made any decisions about whether we need increased resources so there’s no proposal that we are sending up at this time,' White House spokesman Eric Schultz ...
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Most Americans Support Ending Mandatory Minimum Sentencing For Nonviolent Offenders 11.10.2014 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
According to a Reason-Rupe poll released Thursday, 77 percent of Americans support putting an end to mandatory minimum sentencing for nonviolent offenders, most of whom have been convicted of drug-related crimes. While only 17 percent of Americans opposed the proposal, 8 out of 10 respondents think judges should be granted greater discretion in assigning individualized sentences for nonviolent offenders instead of "one size fits all" prison terms. Thursday's poll marks a 6-point increase in support for eliminating mandatory minimum sentences since Reason-Rupe posed the same question in December 2013. In line with last year's results, Democrats in the latest poll were more likely to support reform than independents and Republicans, although a majority in each group backed the proposal. Eighty-one percent of Democrats were in favor of eliminating mandatory minimums. Seventy-three percent of Republicans and 75 percent of independents agreed. In March, Attorney General Eric Holder endorsed a proposal seeking ...
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6,300 Illinois Patients Rush To Apply For Medical Marijuana -- Maybe A Little Too Quickly 10.10.2014 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
More than 6,000 people have already applied to use medical marijuana in Illinois -- but some patients may have signed up a little too quickly. Only 800 of the 6,300 applications started with the state's Medical Cannabis Pilot Program -- about 12 percent -- are considered complete, state officials said Wednesday. “We are encouraged to see people registering for the Medical Cannabis Pilot Program, which will provide patients much-needed relief from dozens of debilitating medical conditions,” Bob Morgan, statewide project coordinator for the Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program, said in a statement. “We will continue to process applications so that registered patients and caregivers will have access to medical cannabis as soon as it becomes available.” Applications must include documents like a doctor certification form and background check information. Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) officials say applicants whose registrations are incomplete will be notified by mail and given 21 days to ...
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Should Medical Marijuana Be Legal in Florida? 9.10.2014 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
In less than one month, Florida will decide if medical marijuana should be legal. Amendment 2 on the ballot "allows the medical use of marijuana for individuals with debilitating diseases as determined by a licensed Florida physician." This proposal amends our state's constitution which requires a super-majority of at least 60 percent of the vote. Currently, the issue is polling at an average of sixty-eight percent. So the question lingers like a roach in an ashtray: should we legalize medical marijuana? This issue is conflicting. Almost everyone I know smokes marijuana. The drug serves purposes, both medicinally and for recreation. The libertarian streak in me does not think the government should control what we put into our own bodies, especially in the privacy of our homes. Furthermore, the current laws around marijuana feel barbaric. No one should be arrested for possessing, cultivating or distributing marijuana. It's a victimless crime. To fill our jails with marijuana users is a waste of resources ...
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California Proposition Would Reinvest Prison Money In Drug Treatment 9.10.2014 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
California voters could strike a blow against mass incarceration next month by passing a referendum downgrading an estimated 40,000 felonies a year to misdemeanors. Cops and prosecutors are fighting against the shift, but so far they're losing in the polls. Besides reducing the prison population, the ballot referendum could be a bellwether in the continuing political turn away from the drug war and toward drug treatment, its supporters say. "We know the system is broken. We've known it for 30 years," said Dionne Wilson, a cop's widow who has become a public face of the campaign . "The people of California have the opportunity now to say we've had enough, we need a new way forward." If approved, Proposition 47 would downgrade non-violent crimes -- such as shoplifting small amounts of property, writing bad checks and most drug possession felonies -- to misdemeanors. Many offenders serving time in county jails would be released immediately, and up to 10,000 state prisoners would be eligible to apply to have ...
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Illegal Marijuana Farms Among Threats To Fisher Populations, Federal Biologists Warn 8.10.2014 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Citing a threat from rat poison used on illegal marijuana plantations, federal biologists on Monday proposed Endangered Species Act protection for West Coast populations of the fisher, a larger cousin of the weasel. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published notice in the Federal Register that it wants to list the fisher as a threatened species in Oregon, California and Washington. The full proposal was expected Tuesday. Other reasons for the proposal include the loss of forest habitat to wildfire, logging and urban development, disease, being eaten by other predators, illegal fur trapping and climate change. The fisher is the second species in the West for which biologists have formally recognized a threat from marijuana cultivation. A recovery plan for coho salmon calls for reducing pollution from pesticides and fertilizers used on pot plantations; decreasing illegal water withdrawals from salmon streams; and easing clear-cut logging. Scientists are also working to see how ...
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Medical Marijuana in California: A Successful Treatment for a Wide Range of Patients 2.10.2014 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Anyone can be a medical cannabis patient in California. This rhetoric has plagued the inaugural medical cannabis state since 1996. Given the absence of a codified list of approved condition from the legislature and willingness of many California doctors to embrace cannabis as a viable treatment and substitute for prescription drugs their patients don't want or can't tolerate, the assumption is that EVERYONE in California is a medical cannabis patient, or has had patient status at one time. Furthermore, because the state has no mandatory registry, it is very difficult to quantify just who is a patient in California. Without hard data, the assumptions flew about wildly, mostly based on observational data, such as who was hanging out at a dispensary, or who was shown on TV obtaining their recommendation on the 5 o'clock news. For years, opponents of medical marijuana have claimed that California's medical marijuana law is a giant con job. But now the data are in, and they suggest that medical marijuana is ...
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Peer-Reviewed Study Refutes Claims of Widespread Abuse in California's Medical Marijuana Program 1.10.2014 Commondreams.org Newswire
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Parents Say Andrew Cuomo Isn't Doing Enough To Help Their Sick Kids Get Medical Marijuana 1.10.2014 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
NEW YORK -- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration has asked the Justice Department twice in as many months for permission to import marijuana from other states on a limited basis so certain critically ill patients aren't forced to wait until New York's medical cannabis law takes effect in January 2016. Despite Cuomo's overtures, several mothers whose kids suffer from debilitating -- and potentially deadly -- seizure disorders say the New York governor isn't doing nearly enough to fight for emergency access to medical marijuana, which has proven successful treating children with similar conditions. "While reaching out to the DOJ is a meaningful first step, there are other additional steps [Cuomo] can and should take," said Missy Miller, whose son, Oliver, had a stroke in utero that now causes hundreds of seizures on any given day. "Every day that passes, we lose more of Oliver to these seizures." Cuomo signed New York's medical marijuana bill into law in July, but the measure specifies it will take ...
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