EMCDDA releases its first analysis on monitoring drug-related homicide in Europe
An EMCDDA Paper released today provides an overview of the information available on drug-related homicide (DRH) in Europe. This first snapshot provides practitioners and policymakers with the current state of the art on this topic. It is part of the EMCDDA’s efforts to expand its monitoring in the drug-related crime area in order to fully comprehend the broader ramifications of the drugs phenomenon.
Since 2013, the EMCDDA has been working on improving its framework for monitoring the supply side of the drugs problem to reflect the changing nature of drug markets and their wider harms and impact (1). The effects of drugs and drug markets reach beyond those who are directly exposed to drugs in terms of health or social problems. The issue is of serious concern in relation to the overall security situation in Europe and deeply affects communities at large, as drug use and drug markets can act as cross-cutting facilitators of acts of violence.
1000 BIBS PLACED OVER DISPENSARIES IN DENVER
Doctors tell women not to smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol when pregnant, so why would anyone think it’s ok to smoke pot? It turns out that 69% of marijuana dispensaries in Colorado were giving this bad advice.
Marijuana Accountability Coalition (MAC), in partnership with Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), launched the “Don’t Hurt Our Future” Campaign. CBS TV in Denver featured their activity on the nightly news. Watch the video of May 30, 2018 from the TV clip:
As recently reported, nearly 70% percent of marijuana dispensaries in Colorado were found to be recommending high-potency THC products to mothers. These dispensaries and some websites promote pot as a remedy for symptoms of morning sickness.
Volunteers from MAC and SAM began at the governor’s mansion and distributed 1,000 bibs on the doors of pot dispensaries in Colorado.
The problems with marijuana in pregnancy
According to the Centers for Disease Control, marijuana use during pregnancy could result in low birth weight and other developmental issues in the womb. Parents Opposed to Pot tracks reports of babies who died in infancy because the moms smoked pot during pregnancy. Pot smoking leads to low birth weights and more fragile babies. Nine of 106 child abuse deaths we found over five years included low birth-weight babies who had THC in their system.
For complete article http://www.poppot.org/2018/05/31/1000-bibs-placed-over-dispensaries-in-denver/
New Report Advises Parents about Teen Marijuana Use
May 29, 2018
Talking to your teens about drug use can already be a little uncomfortable. But what if you live in a state where using recreational marijuana is legal for adults? That can certainly make the conversation a little bit trickier, especially considering such laws make many teens believe the drug isn’t harmful.
Washington is one of the states where recreational marijuana use is legal for adults over the age of 21 (Although, keep in mind, marijuana use is still ILLEGAL on the federal level no matter where you live). “A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Underage Marijuana Use,” a publication produced by Seattle Children’s Hospital and the UW Social Development Research Group, provides good guidance for parents on how to talk to teens about marijuana, the effect of the drug on the teenage body, and the answers to some commonly asked questions about marijuana such as:
Isn’t marijuana natural and therefore OK for teens to use?
There are many natural things that are not good for our bodies. Regardless of it being “natural” or not marijuana can harm youth health.
Isn’t it better for my child to consume marijuana at home where I can make sure they stay safe?
Research shows that teens who use alcohol at home are actually more likely to abuse alcohol when not at home. The same holds true for marijuana.
What about marijuana brownies and cookies? Aren’t they safer than smoking marijuana?
Marijuana, no matter how it is used, is harmful to teen health. Some marijuana products that are eaten or vaporized are more potent than smoked marijuana.
I smoked when I was a kid, why deny a rite of passage?
Keep in mind that most teens do not use marijuana, so it is not really a rite of passage. Today’s marijuana is more potent than the marijuana that was available in the past. In addition, some marijuana products being sold are “concentrates” and are even more potent and dangerous to teen health.
Mental Health and Drug Abuse
May is Mental Health Awareness Month May 29, 2018
Scientists have long made the link between mental health disorders and substance abuse. In fact, the co-existence of both is referred to as “co-occurring disorders.”
According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 8.2 million adults over the age of 18 had co-occurring disorders (see a diagram from the survey below).
Schizophrenia: Consider schizophrenia. About 50 percent of people suffering from the disorder have also abused illegal substances at some point during their lives, according to the article “Treating Substance Abuse among Patients with Schizophrenia” published in Psychiatry Online.
“It is widely assumed that patients with schizophrenia use substances to reduce psychotic symptoms and alleviate the sedating side effects of neuroleptics. However, the most common reasons given for use of alcohol and other drugs are to “get high” and to reduce negative affective states including social anxiety and tension, dysphoria and depression, and boredom.”
Researchers have made a connection between schizophrenia and marijuana use in particular. Use of the drug causes symptoms of schizophrenia – like hallucinations and paranoia – to get worse.
Teens dealing with a social anxiety disorder are more likely to start using marijuana at an earlier age, according to a study from Case Western Reserve University School.
What are reasons for the connection? There are young users who take the drug to appear more fun and to “alleviate the social anxiety of making friends,” according to the recent “Canadian Youth Perceptions on Cannabis” report, where interviewers spoke to youth participating in the study. In addition to that, both “cannabis intoxication” and withdrawal from the drug can lead to anxiety.
Cannabis puts 27,000 people a year in hospital: Rise in admissions could be due to increase in use of super-strength ‘skunk’, warns MP
Tens of thousands of people are ending up in hospital with cannabis-related health problems, official figures have revealed.
There were 27,501 admissions linked to cannabis in England in 2016/17, a 15 per cent rise in just two years from 23,866 in 2014/15.
Labour MP Jeff Smith, who requested the figures on cannabis-related hospitalisations, said the large increase was ‘a concern’.
The influential medical journal The Lancet has just taken the unprecedented step of branding cannabis a ‘huge risk to health’.
The journal was reflecting on results from the 2018 Global Drug Survey, which asked 130,000 people in 44 nations about their use of drugs. The Lancet said: ‘Globally, cannabis is still the top illicit drug used and, with the concurrent use of tobacco, remains a huge health risk.’
Opioid News & Tool kit
Opioid Resources from Drug Free America Foundation
Opioid Toolkit https://dfaf.org/Opioid%20Toolkit.pdf
Opioid Use During Pregnancy https://dfaf.org/Opioid%20Toolkit.pdf
Opioids in the Workplace https://dfaf.org/Opioids%20in%20Workplace_85x11.pdf
Justin Trudeau stated he would legalize marijuana if he became prime minister. Instead of taking on Big Tobacco and pushing for a financial settlement for the damage inflicted on the Canadian public by the tobacco industry, a settlement worth in the tens, if not hundreds, of billions of dollars, Trudeau decided once in power to focus his government’s energies on commercializing an additional smoked product.
Bill C-45, the draft legislation to legalize pot in Canada for adults of 18 years of age and older, allows for marijuana to be consumed through smoking devices for the first year of implementation. Access to edibles will follow.
Norman Bosse, the Child and Youth Advocate for New Brunswick, prepared a risk assessment of Bill C-45, recommending that it be amended to better protect children. Bosse called for a ban on the smoking of marijuana in homes where kids reside. This wasn’t given serious attention by either provincial or federal parliamentarians.
The Senate, the chamber of sober second thought, passed over the right children have to security of self under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms by not making amendments to address kids’ exposure to second-hand smoke in the home. Officials engaged in months of discussion over far less important aspects of the legislation than the pivotal issue of the protection of children from the consequences that can befall them from adult use of marijuana, a psychotropic, genotoxic and carcinogenic product.
The gold standard in tobacco prevention is de-normalization strategy. De-normalization aims to tackle the predatory behaviours of addiction for profit industries. Legalization discussions in the House of Commons and the Senate ignored de-normalization strategy and the lessons learned from decades of tobacco control.
Discussions swirled around prosperity for the emerging marijuana industry and funding opportunities for hungry research institutes, institutes who survive on government grants and corporate dollars, which places them in a precarious position when asked to weigh in on the government’s pot agenda.
For complete article http://theprovince.com/opinion/op-ed/pamela-mccoll-xxx
Hon. Anne C. Cools: Honourable senators, I rise to speak to third reading of Bill C-45, An Act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other Acts.
I must inform you that I have absolutely no will to vote in favour of this bill, and I have not been prompted by any good reason as to why I should. In my view, this bill is unconscionable and morally objectionable. I have had great difficulty accepting the fact that Canada’s national government is leading on the legitimation of the frequent and recreational consumption of cannabis, known as marijuana, and does so despite the abundant and copious evidence in its possession that cannabis is a dangerous psychoactive narcotic.
The Government of Canada is well informed and fully aware that cannabis legalization is not solely a matter of the government’s presenting and providing cannabis as a harmless and healthy form of recreation and entertainment. The real issue here is that marijuana is, in fact, a mind-altering drug and is most harmful to the human mind, the brain, and the cognitive functions of its users, whether frequent or occasional, and most particularly to the minds of our youth.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines psychoactive as “affecting the mind or behavior.” In addition, The Oxford English Dictionary defines psychoactive as “Of a drug: that possesses the ability to affect the mind, emotions, or behaviour.”
Colleagues, I believe that the consequence of cannabis decriminalization and legalization is a much deeper issue than the properties of the drug itself. As Deputy Chair of our Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade, I was struck and impressed by the quality and quantity of concerns raised by many witnesses regarding Canada’s obligations, conventions and international treaty agreements.
Mr. Bruno Gélinas-Faucher, a PhD candidate in International Law at Britain’s Cambridge University, testified before our Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, a committee which I must add is ably chaired by our honourable colleague, Senator Andreychuk, on March 29, 2018. He informed, as recorded in this committee’s report on Bill C-45, at page 11, that:
. . . this is not minor at all. Legalizing cannabis will lead to the violation of a fundamental principle that is at the very heart of the conventions.
Honourable senators, this witness, Mr. Gélinas-Faucher, cited documents from Global Affairs Canada, obtained through an access to information request. These documents recognized that the legalization of cannabis would have “a significant impact” on Canada’s obligations under the international drug control conventions.
Colleagues, I believe that this bill, which will make drastic and radical behavioural and social changes, has not been sufficiently and vigorously thought through, nor have our Canadian citizens and our international partners been sufficiently consulted.
Colleagues, testifying before the Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade, many witnesses raised the important question, being the extent of the impact of Canada’s legalization of cannabis on our population.
In a written brief to our Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, the quasi-judicial control body called the International Narcotics Control Board, which was established by the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961, and which is also responsible for the implementation of the United Nations drug conventions, wrote that Bill C-45 is “incompatible with the treaty obligations to which Canada is bound.”
The International Narcotics Control Board further noted, and is recorded in our Foreign Affairs Committee’s Report at page 11, that:
. . . it “views any legislative measure aimed at legalizing and regulating the use of controlled substances for non-medical purposes as a fundamental breach of the international treaty provisions to which State parties to the international drug control conventions are held.”
Accordingly, the International Narcotic Control Board further noted that:
. . . the legalization and regulation of cannabis for non-medical purposes . . . as foreseen in Bill C-45, cannot be reconciled with Canada’s international obligations . . . .
Colleagues, section 91 of our Constitution Act, 1867, is headed “Powers of the Parliament,” and informs us that the fundamental purpose of government is:
91. It shall be lawful for the Queen, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate and the House of Commons, to make Laws for the Peace, Order, and good Government of Canada, in relation to all Matters not coming within the Classes of Subjects by this Act assigned exclusively to the Legislatures of the Provinces; . . .
Honourable senators, I do not believe that Bill C-45 can possibly be for the peace, order and good government of Canada. As a senator, I feel morally and politically bound to use my intellect at all times. For many reasons, I have simply not been persuaded that Bill C-45 is legally, morally and spiritually sound. I sincerely believe and I know that psychoactive drugs are a mighty foe to our society and to our young people. I believe that I have a duty to uphold those whom I do not know, and the many who have no voice, to speak on these issues.
Colleagues, a worrisome characteristic of cannabis that should preoccupy us is that whereas the human body can process and excrete alcohol quickly, the human body is slow to discharge marijuana, which can reside and remain in the body for up to four weeks.
Throughout this debate, I have rarely heard this health question raised. For myself, this health fact this is not one that I can ignore. The slow exit of cannabis from the human person should be a source of concern to all senators.
I maintain that cannabis is a very dangerous drug, which many have been persuaded to think is less dangerous and less harmful than cocaine and heroin.
Honourable senators, I shall close with Saint Thomas Aquinas.
Every judgement of conscience, be it right or wrong, be it about things evil in themselves or morally indifferent, is obligatory, in such wise that he who acts against his conscience always sins.
Honourable senators, from where I look out at life and at these issues which deeply affect our youth and young people, I am convinced that Bill C-45 cannot possibly be for the peace, order and good government of Canada. I shall vote with my conscience.
I thank honourable senators for their attention in this very important matter.