International Drug News
The Hillsboro Argus, 18 May 2018 - After U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued his memorandum on marijuana in January, I committed to taking a methodical and thoughtful approach to developing an enforcement strategy for Oregon. In early February, our marijuana summit brought together more than 130 people from 70 organizations representing a wide range of interests, values, and perspectives. Among those in attendance were Gov, Kate Brown, representatives from 14 U.S. Attorney's offices, Oregon congressional delegation staff, and members of the Oregon Legislature. The summit featured presentations by state officials, policymakers, federal and state law enforcement agencies, industry representatives, adversely affected landowners, public health organizations, banking executives and tribal leaders.
Nelson Star, 18 May 2018 - Open letter sent to federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould and her B.C. counterpart David Eby Jessika Villano sells a potent array of dried cannabis, oils, salves and even bud-infused bath bombs at Buddha Barn Medicinal Society - all grown and processed by small-scale British Columbia producers.
Philadelphia Daily News, 16 May 2018 - In Oregon and Denver, where marijuana is legal for recreational use, activists are now pushing toward a psychedelic frontier: "magic mushrooms." Groups in both states are sponsoring ballot measures that would eliminate criminal penalties for possession of the mushrooms whose active ingredient, psilocybin, can cause hallucinations, euphoria and changes in perception. They point to research showing that psilocybin might be helpful for people suffering from depression or anxiety.
New York Times, 16 May 2018 - After years of halting steps, top prosecutors and elected officials in New York City on Tuesday made a sudden dash toward ending many of the marijuana arrests that for decades have entangled mostly black and Hispanic people. The plans, still unwritten and under negotiation, will rise or fall on the type of conduct involving marijuana that officials decide should still warrant arrest and prosecution. The changes appear likely to create a patchwork of prosecution policies across the city's five boroughs, and are unlikely to restrict police officers from stopping and searching people on suspicion of possessing a drug that is now legal in a number of states.
New York Times, 15 May 2018 - The New York Police Department has claimed that more black and Latino people are arrested for petty marijuana offenses because complaints are more voluminous in neighborhoods where black and Latino people predominantly live. That excuse was blown apart this weekend by a Times investigation showing that the complaints about marijuana use do not fully account for the racial arrest gap - and that, when complaints were held constant, "the police almost always made arrests at a higher rate in the area with more black citizens." These findings reflect the extent to which marijuana use has been informally legalized for white, middle-class citizens even as it has remained punishable under the law for black and Latino New Yorkers.
New York Times, 15 May 2018 - The district attorneys in Manhattan and Brooklyn are weighing plans to stop prosecuting the vast majority of people arrested on marijuana charges, potentially curbing the consequences of a law that in New York City is enforced most heavily against black and Hispanic people. The Brooklyn district attorney's office, which in 2014 decided to stop prosecuting many low-level marijuana cases, is considering expanding its policy so that more people currently subject to arrest on marijuana charges, including those who smoke outside without creating a public nuisance, would not be prosecuted, one official familiar with the discussions said.
New York Times, 15 May 2018 - Microdosing is hot. If you haven't heard - but you probably have, from reports of its use at Silicon Valley workplaces, from Ayelet Waldman's memoir "A Really Good Day," from dozens of news stories - to microdose is to take small amounts of LSD, which generate "subperceptual" effects that can improve mood, productivity and creativity. Michael Pollan's new book, "How to Change Your Mind," is not about that. It's about macro-dosing. It's about taking enough LSD or psilocybin (mushrooms) to feel the colors and smell the sounds, to let the magic happen, to chase the juju. And it's about how mainstream science ceded the ground of psychedelics decades ago, and how it's trying to get it back.
New York Times, 14 May 2018 - If you've walked around New York City lately, there's a good chance you've smelled weed. People smoke walking their dogs in the West Village, and they smoke in apartment building lobbies in the South Bronx. They smoke outside bars and restaurants and in the park. White people largely don't get arrested for it. Black and Hispanic people do, despite survey after survey saying people of most races smoke at similar rates.
New York Times, 14 May 2018 - They sit in courtroom pews, almost all of them young black men, waiting their turn before a New York City judge to face a charge that no longer exists in some states: possessing marijuana. They tell of smoking in a housing project hallway, or of being in a car with a friend who was smoking, or of lighting up a Black & Mild cigar the police mistake for a blunt. There are many ways to be arrested on marijuana charges, but one pattern has remained true through years of piecemeal policy changes in New York: The primary targets are black and Hispanic people.
Hamilton Spectator, 11 May 2018 - It's all about harm reduction and improving community health outcomes No doubt some Hamiltonians are chuckling to hear city council is considering banning sugary drinks from city buildings to protect people's health.
Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, 11 May 2018 - Amid budding efforts to research the medical benefits of marijuana, a simple problem has emerged -- how do you research marijuana if no one can produce it under federal law? Despite a solution proposed in mid-2016, which allowed the Drug Enforcement Administration to approve marijuana manufacturers, only the University of Mississippi has been approved, despite dozens of applications to do so. And there's no sign the DEA intends to approve others anytime soon.
Philadelphia Daily News, 08 May 2018 - A Pennsylvania legislator introduced a bill Monday that would give medical marijuana patients a chance of expunging a conviction of marijuana possession if the charge resulted from their use of cannabis for medical purposes. The bill is sponsored by State Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery), and does not have any support yet from Republicans who control the legislature. To be expunged, patients would have to prove they had a doctor's diagnosis for one of the 21 approved serious health conditions at the time of the conviction. The patient would also have to provide evidence they were using cannabis to treat the condition.
The Blade, 07 May 2018 - Northwest Ohio Syringe Services has begun distributing fentanyl test strips to active users of opioids and other drugs. The exchange, a program through the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department, is part of a larger strategy of harm reduction to keep people with addiction issues healthy while using, and provide them with resources and help when they want to seek treatment. Fentanyl has become the scourge of anyone trying to fight Ohio's opioid epidemic: deadly in small quantities and appearing in an increasing number of fatal overdoses.
Boston Globe, 05 May 2018 - THE WAR ON DRUGS? From Wall Street to Silicon Valley, industries across America are struggling to redress decades of discrimination and boost the ranks of minorities and the disenfranchised in their workforces.
Toronto Star, 04 May 2018 - The Senate seems determined to slow the Liberal government's timeline for marijuana legalization and Justin Trudeau seems just as determined to deliver his legalization on time - give or take a few weeks. The prime minister will get his way, but that doesn't mean the Senate, and Indigenous leaders, are not flagging some important issues.
Boston Globe, 04 May 2018 - Dr. Nora D. Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, was in Boston on Thursday to speak at a symposium sponsored by Boston University's Clinical and Translational Science Institute and Boston Medical Center's Grayken Center for Addiction. Before her talk, she sat down with the Globe to talk about marijuana legalization and the opioid crisis. Here are edited excerpts: * Dispensaries that sell legal marijuana will soon open in Massachusetts. What are your thoughts on pot legalization?
Toronto Sun, 03 May 2018 - Canada is squandering first-mover advantage with cannabis, the most significant consumer product launch in history, at a time when our economy is starving for growth. How do you choke on $60 billion-plus of growth opportunity and hundreds of thousands of purposeful jobs? You roll it into the hands of the federal government, and they then shotgun it out to ten provinces, three territories and all the bureaucrats and bulls* that comes with this plan. There is no efficiency or scale.
The State, 01 May 2018 - The number of hemp farmers in SC is growing fast. How high will it get? Less than a year into the program, the number of farmers growing hemp in South Carolina could double. That's because the South Carolina Department of Agriculture is making more permits available for farmers looking to participate in the Industrial Hemp Pilot Program.
Winnipeg Free Press, 01 May 2018 - Cannabis sales likely won't prove a financial bonanza. Those counting on help from cannabis sales to balance the provincial budget are in for a disappointment. As far as Statistics Canada can tell, cannabis prices in this country have been dropping for the past three years, perhaps the past dozen years. Since weed-market watchers in the United States have found roughly the same thing, it's probably true.
Toronto Star, 01 May 2018 - OTTAWA - A Senate committee says Ottawa should put off legalizing marijuana for a year until Canada and First Nations can negotiate tax sharing, produce culturally appropriate education materials and ensure First Nations are able to regulate for themselves whether they want pot to be legal in their communities or not. The Senate Aboriginal Peoples committee released a report Tuesday after studying the impact the government's legalizing pot bill could have on Indigenous communities.