UK: The Walking Dead? Welcome to the ‘freedom’ of Drug Use!

Outcry over drug abuse after photo shows ‘spice zombies’ slumped on bench in town centre

Police say fighting substance use is a ‘priority’ amid fears of endemic sweeping Britain

A widely-shared photo showing three men slumped in a zombie-like trance in a Welsh town centre has prompted fears that use of the drug spice is getting out of control in parts of Britain.

The image – taken in Bridgend – shows the trio sprawled on and around a bench. One is semi-naked.

All three appear to have taken the psychoactive substance, which can leave users in a catatonic state for hours at a time.

The picture – taken on Tuesday afternoon – has been shared almost 2,000 times on social media. A second later emerged showing a fourth man unconscious on another town bench.

The person who took it but asked not to be named told “It’s terrible…There was kids in the background and walking past.”

It appears to add to growing concerns that use of spice in Britain is turning into an epidemic. Similar photos from Manchester, Liverpool, Blackpool, Wolverhampton, London and Cambridge have all been shared in the past. In March, a 14-year-old died in Stockport after taking the drug. Just last month, health officials warned that abuse of the drug in prisons was creating a health crisis.

As the latest picture was eliciting horrified reactions online, South Wales Police moved to reassure residents that fighting the drug was a priority.

“Tackling the illegal drug supply on our streets is a priority for us as this kind of criminal activity has a hugely detrimental impact on our communities,” he said.

He added: ““We recently held Operation Pacific in the town centre which targeted county lines and the supply of drugs. This led to a number of arrests.

For complete article Is this the best our new amoral ‘freedom’ can produce?


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

USA: Dangers of Pot – Boston Globe

Dear friend,

The piece shared below is a new opinion editorial written by SAM founder and president, Dr. Kevin Sabet,  that was published today in the Boston Globe.

Please feel free to send this to  and also share on social media by clicking the links above.
Thanks for all you do.

The Dangers of Pot
By Kevin Sabet  July 25, 2018
Pot shops will soon be officially open for business in Massachusetts. While this may be good news for the marijuana industry and its lobbyists, state officials need to proceed with caution – especially when regulating high-potency pot products such as gummies, lollipops, and other treats aimed at children. The fact is that we really don’t know what’s in these products, nor do we know about their long-term effects. More awareness is desperately needed about the dangers of today’s highly potent marijuana. Public health – not the pot industry – should be leading this conversation.
Make no mistake: Pot is no longer about Woodstock – it’s about Wall Street. Replicating the playbook of Big Tobacco, the marijuana industry routinely manufactures and markets kid-friendly products with the intent of creating life-long customers. Some of these new edibles and vaping extracts are 99 percent THC, the ingredient in marijuana that gets you high. Compare this to the 5 percent potency of the average joint in the 1970s.
While more research and data are needed to understand what these newly engineered products do to your brain, the negative impact of marijuana commercialization is already being felt in other legalized states. In the years since these states moved to liberalize their pot laws, drugged driving deaths have increased, emergency room visits  have risen, and more young people  are using marijuana. Last month, the National Institutes of Health  released a study finding that 1 in 4 12th-graders reported that they would try marijuana for the first time, or use it more often, if marijuana were legalized.
That’s why it is so critical to launch an aggressive public health education campaign in our schools and communities. Studies have shown that children who use any drug are more likely to develop an addiction or substance-use disorder. According to the  Center on Addiction , 90 percent of all addictions start during adolescence, and 17 percent of adolescents and teens who begin using marijuana develop a marijuana-use disorder. Our brains are rapidly developing – and are highly susceptible to addiction – until at least our mid-20s. Industries that depend on addicted users have always targeted the young and vulnerable.
What the marijuana industry will not tell you is that regular, heavy marijuana use during adolescence is associated with an 8-point drop in IQ – a loss that is not reversed when marijuana use stops. We also know   from several studies that heavy marijuana use among adolescents is associated with lower grades and exam scores, and a lower satisfaction with life. People who use marijuana are less likely to graduate from high school and enroll in college and more likely to earn less income.
Pot potency should be capped. The marijuana industry’s influence on rule-making should be halted. And protections for vulnerable populations should be established and strictly enforced. In Colorado,  an undercover study recently found that 69 percent of randomly selected marijuana stores recommended THC products to treat pregnancy-related nausea in the first trimester. Fewer than 1 in 3 of these stores recommended consulting a doctor.
Our choice was never between locking up users or commercializing an addictive substance. But now that we have forsaken a sensible policy of decriminalization for a commercial regime that thrives on addiction, the stakes are too high to let the marijuana industry define the terms of regulation. Public officials have a responsibility to curb industry influence, enforce rigorous THC standards, protect vulnerable populations, and launch comprehensive public health campaigns. Our children, communities, and families deserve nothing less.
Kevin Sabet is a former three-time White House drug policy official and president of SAM, Smart Approaches to Marijuana
Originally published in the July 25th, 2018 edition of the Boston Globe


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

USA: S.A.M Opens New York Office

JULY 26, 2018
CONTACT: Pat Brogan
SAM Action Opens Office in Manhattan
(New York, New York) -  In response to the marijuana industry’s wide expansion into the state, Smart Approaches to Marijuana Action (SAM Action), a non-profit 501 (c)(4) organization opposed to the legalization and commercialization of marijuana, whose sister organization SAMwas founded by former Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy, is proud to announce the opening of our New York office in the West Village of Manhattan. This office will serve as a critical center of collaboration and work for SAM Action and it’s New York affiliate, SAM-NY , as well as regional partners . Check out the video announcement of our office by clicking here or on the image below.
“ SAM has now grown to almost a dozen employees around the country, and we are thrilled to be able to plant a flag in the historic West Village neighborhood of New York. As 311 calls for marijuana problems skyrocket in the city, New Yorkers deserve better,” said Kevin Sabet, President of SAM Action. “And we will be keeping a watchful eye down the road on Wall Street, where investors are hopping onto the ‘green rush’ in pursuit of profits over public health. We also will be active in Albany.”
A recent Emerson College poll found more than half of New Yorkers oppose the full legalization of marijuana when given the full range of options on drug policy. The poll also found that 76% of New Yorkers did not support marijuana advertising, 73% did not support public use of marijuana, 58% did not support marijuana stores in their neighborhoods, and half of New Yorkers were against marijuana candies, gummies, cookies, and other edibles. The New York State Department of Health released a study recommending the state legalized the drug for recreational use. SAM is currently evaluating this report with its award-winning scientific advisory board will soon release a response.
“The SAM family has successfully worked hard across the river in New Jersey this year to thwart marijuana commercialization and we intend to do the same in New York,” said Sabet. “I look forward to the ways this new office space will allow our team to expand in ways we’ve never been able to before to better push back against Big Marijuana.”
To learn more about the efforts in New York, please visit To keep up with actions in other states, head over, and to learn more about action at the federal level, as well as learning more about the impact of marijuana legalization, check out
About SAM Action

SAM Action is a non-profit, 501(c)(4) social welfare organization dedicated to promoting healthy marijuana policies that do not involve legalizing drugs. SAM Action engages in high-impact political campaigns to oppose marijuana legalization and commercialization. Under the IRS code, political activity cannot be deducted for tax purposes. Your contribution will be used for maximum impact, but is not tax-deductible as a charitable contribution (IRC § 170) or business expense (IRC § 162(e)(1)).


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

UK: Middle-aged stoners, stupefied and seriously stifling health & well-being

Rise of the middle-aged pothead: Huge rise in over-40s becoming addicted to super-strength ‘skunk’

Camilla Turner, education editor  15 JUNE 2018

There has been a 114 per cent rise in those aged over 40 seeking help from drug clinics, citing cannabis as their primary health concern

It used to be thought of as the drug of choice among the younger generations. But now researchers have found a huge increase in cannabis use among those aged over 40 who have become addicted to super-strength skunk.

Using data from Public Health England, researchers from York University examined trends in the characteristics of people seeking help from specialist drug treatment services over the past decade.

They found that there has been a 114 per cent rise in those aged over 40 seeking help from drug clinics, citing cannabis as their primary health concern.

For complete article


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Global: Cannabis NOT HELPING!

We wanted to make sure you had seen four key studies from the past week:

  • groundbreaking study in The Lancet found that marijuana use over four years actually made it harder for patients to cope with chronic pain, and did not reduce their use of opioids.
  • A study in Frontiers in Psychiatry found that increasing self-exposure to non-medical marijuana was a predictor of greater odds of opioid dependence diagnosis.
  • A study in the International Review of Psychiatry found an increased rate of serious mental illness in states that had legalized medical marijuana.
  • In JAMA: “(The) associated acute and long-term psychoactive effects on brain function (of marijuana) are…known. Expanding use of cannabis among pregnant and lactating women (as likely will occur with legalization) may lead to increased risk from fetal and child exposures if the teratogenic potential of cannabis remains underappreciated.”

Additional Resources on Link Between Marijuana and Opioids

These articles follow other warnings from medical professionals: the recent editorial published in the Journal of the Society for the Study of Addiction, which cautions against drawing policy conclusions from population studies, and the editorial comment from the American Society of Addiction Medicine on February 20, 2018. And don’t forget NIDA’s rigorous study showing pot users are twice as likely to have abused opioids and have an opioid use disorder than non-marijuana users.

SAM has published a one-pager describing the overwhelming link between marijuana and opioid abuse. While not every marijuana user will go on to use heroin, nearly all heroin users previously abused marijuana. We need smart policies that discourage use, get people back on their feet, and restore people to participate in and contribute to society. States that have legalized marijuana, by contrast, see increased drugged driving, increased arrests of minority youth, and increased emergency room visits. Colorado is experiencing the highest number of drug overdoses in its history. Legalization is a failed experiment.

Please visit to learn about a smarter approach.

Sincerely, Dr. Kevin Sabet President, Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM)                         Affiliated Fellow, Yale University

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Global: Dr DuPont on the Imperative of Primary Prevention & Treatment


JUNE  2018

Reducing Future Rates of Adult Addiction Must Begin with Youth Prevention

The United States is confronting a public health crisis of rising adult drug addiction, most visibly documented by an unprecedented number of opioid overdose deaths.1 Most of these overdose deaths are not from the use of a single substance – opioids – but rather are underreported polysubstance deaths.2 This is happening in the context of a swelling national interest in legalizing marijuana use for recreational and/or medical use.  As these two epic drug policy developments roil the nation, there is an opportunity to embrace a powerful initiative.  Ninety percent of all adult substance use disorders trace back to origins in adolescence.3 4 New prevention efforts are needed that inform young people, the age group most at-risk for the onset of substance use problems, of the dangerous minefield of substance use that could have a profound negative impact on their future plans and dreams.

Moving Beyond a Substance-Specific Approach to Youth Prevention

The adolescent brain is uniquely vulnerable to developing substance use disorders because it is actively and rapidly developing until about age 25.  This biological fact means that the earlier substance use is initiated the more likely an individual is to develop addiction.  Preventing or delaying all adolescent substance use reduces the risk of developing later addiction.

Nationally representative data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows that alcohol, tobacco and marijuana are by far the most widely used drugs among teens.  This is no surprise because of the legal status of these entry level, or gateway, drugs for adults5 and because of their wide availability.  Importantly, among American teens age 12 to 17, the use of any one of these three substances is highly correlated with the use of the other two and with the use of other illegal drugs.6 Similarly for youth, not using any one substance is highly correlated with not using the other two or other illegal drugs.

For example, as shown in Figure 1, teen marijuana users compared to their non-marijuana using peers, are approximately 8 times more likely to use alcohol, 12 times more likely to binge drink or drink heavily, 13 times more likely to smoke cigarettes and 9 times more likely to use other illicit drugs, including opioids.  There are similar data for youth who use any alcohol or any cigarettes showing that youth who do not use those drugs are unlikely to use the other two drugs.  Together, these data show how closely linked is the use by youth of all three of these commonly used drugs.

Figure 1. Past Month Prevalence of Alcohol, Cigarette and Other Illicit Drug Use among Youth Aged 12-17 by Past Month Marijuana Use


These findings show that prevention messaging targeting youth must address all of these three substances specifically.  Most current prevention efforts are specific to individual substances or kinds and amounts of use of individual drugs (e.g., cigarette smoking, binge drinking, drunk driving, etc.), all of which have value, but miss a vital broader prevention message.  What is needed, based on these new data showing the linkage of all drug use by youth, is a comprehensive drug prevention message:  no use of any alcohol, tobacco, marijuana or other drugs for youth under age 21 for reasons of health.7 8 This no use prevention message provides clarity for young people, parents, physicians, educators, communities and for policymakers.  It is not intended to replace public health prevention messages on specific substances, but enhances them with a clear focus on youth.

Some claim adolescent use of alcohol, cigarettes and marijuana is inevitable, a goal of no use of any drug as unrealistic and that the appropriate goal of youth prevention is to prevent the progression of experimentation to later heavy use or problem-generating use.  These opinions are misleading and reflect a poor understanding of neurodevelopment that underpins drug use.  Teens are driven to seek new and exciting behaviors which can include substance use if the culture makes them available and promotes them.  This need not be the case.  New data in Figure 2 show over the last four decades, the percentage of American high school seniors who do not use any alcohol, cigarettes, marijuana or other drugs has increased steadily.  Fifty-one percent of high school seniors have not used any alcohol, cigarettes, marijuana or other drugs in the past month and 26% have not used any alcohol, cigarettes, marijuana or other drugs in their lifetimes.  Clearly making the choice of no use of any substances is indeed possible – and growing.

Figure 2. Past Month Trends among High School Seniors in Abstaining from Alcohol, Cigarettes, Marijuana and Other Illicit Drugs


Sowing the Seeds for a New and Enduring Parents’ Movement

Key lessons for the future of youth prevention can be learned from the past.  Substance use peaked among high school seniors in 1978 when 72% used alcohol, 37% used cigarettes, and 37% used marijuana in the past month.9 These figures have since dropped significantly (see Figure 3).  In 2016, 33% of high school seniors used alcohol, 10% used cigarettes and 22% used marijuana in the past month.  This impressive public health achievement is largely unrecognized.

Figure 3. Percentage of U.S. High School Seniors Reporting Past Month Substance Use, 1975-2016


Although the use of all substances has declined over the last four decades, their use has not fallen uniformly.  The prevalence of alcohol use, illicit drug use and marijuana use took similar trajectories, declining from 1978 to 1992. During this time a grassroots effort known as the Parents’ Movement changed the nation’s thinking about youth marijuana use10 with the result that youth drug use declined a remarkable 63%.  Rates of adolescent alcohol use have continued to decline dramatically as have rates of adolescent cigarette use.  Campaigns and corresponding policies focused on reducing alcohol use by teens seem to have made an impact on adolescent drinking behavior.  The impressive decline in youth tobacco use has largely been influenced by the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement which provided funding to anti-smoking advocacy groups and the highly-respected Truth media campaign.  The good news from these long-term trends is that alcohol and tobacco use by adolescents now are at historic lows.

It is regrettable but understandable that youth marijuana use, as well as use of the other drugs, has risen since 1991 and now has plateaued.  The divergence of marijuana trends from those for alcohol and cigarettes began around the time of the collapse of the Parents’ Movement and the birth of a massive, increasingly well-funded marijuana industry promoting marijuana use.  Shifting national attitudes to favor legalizing marijuana sale and use for adults both for medical and for recreational use now are at their highest level11 and contribute to the use by adolescents. Although overall the national rate of marijuana use for Americans age 12 and older has declined since the late seventies, a greater segment of marijuana users are heavy users (see Figure 4). Notably, from 1992 to 2014, the number of daily or near-daily marijuana uses increased 772%.12 This trend is particularly ominous considering the breathtaking increase in the potency of today’s marijuana compared to the product consumed in earlier decades.13 14 15 These two factors – higher potency products and more daily use – plus the greater social tolerance of marijuana use make the current marijuana scene far more threatening than was the case four decades ago.

Figure 4. Millions of Americans Reporting Marijuana Use, by Number of Days of Use Reported in the Past Month


Through the Parents’ Movement, the nation united in its opposition to adolescent marijuana use, driving down the use of all youth drug use.  Now is the time for a new movement backed by all concerned citizens to call for no use of any alcohol, tobacco, marijuana or other drugs for youth under age 21 for reasons of health.  This campaign would not be a second iteration of the earlier “Just Say No” campaign. This new no-use message focuses on all of the big three drugs together, not singly and only in certain circumstances such as driving.

We are at a bitterly contentious time in US drug policy, with front page headlines and back page articles about the impact of the rising death rate from opioids, the human impact of these deaths and the addiction itself.16 At the same time there are frequent heated debates about legalizing adult marijuana and other drug use.  Opposing youth substance use as a separate issue is supported by new scientific evidence about the vulnerability of the adolescent brain and is noncontroversial.  Even the Drug Policy Alliance, a leading pro-marijuana legalization organization, states “the safest path for teens is to avoid drugs, including alcohol, cigarettes, and prescription drugs outside of a doctor’s recommendations.”17

This rare commonality of opinion in an otherwise perfect storm of disagreement provides an opportunity to protect adolescent health and thereby reduce future adult addiction.  Young people who do not use substances in their teens are much less likely to use them or other drugs in later decades.  The nation is searching for policies to reduce the burden of addiction on our nation’s families, communities and health systems, as well as how to save lives from opioid and other drug overdoses.18 Now is precisely the time to unite in developing strong, clear public health prevention efforts based on the steady, sound message of no use of any alcohol, tobacco, marijuana or other drugs for youth under age 21 for reasons of health.

Robert L. DuPont, M.D.

President, Institute for Behavior and Health, Inc.

Former Director, National Institute on Drug Abuse (1973-1978)

Former White House Drug Chief (1973-1977)

We published another article by Dr. DuPont on addiction and Drug Policy Reform. For more than 40 years, Robert L. DuPont, MD has been a leader in drug abuse prevention and treatment. Among his many contributions to the field is his leadership as the first Director of the NIH National Institute on Drug Abuse (1973-1978) and as the second White House Drug Chief (1973-1977). Dr. DuPont has written for publication over 400 professional articles and 15 books and monographs on a variety of health-related subjects. His books include Getting Tough on Gateway Drugs: A Guide for the FamilyA Bridge to Recovery: An Introduction to Twelve-Step Programs and The Selfish Brain: Learning from Addiction. A graduate of Emory University, Dr. DuPont received an MD degree in 1963 from the Harvard Medical School.

For complete article PARENTS OPPOSED TO POT


1 Hedegaard, M., Warner, M., & Minino, A. M. (2017, December). Overdose deaths in the United States, 1999-2016. NCHS Data Brief, 294. US Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Available:

2Florida Drug-Related Outcomes Surveillance and Tracking System (FROST), University of Florida College of Medicine.

3The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University. (2011). Adolescent Substance Use: America’s #1 Public Health Problem. New York, NY: Author. Available:

4Among Americans age 12 and older who meet criteria for substance use disorders specified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition (DSM-IV).

5Marijuana remains illegal under federal law but is legal in some states for recreational use the legal age is 21, and in some states for medical use, the legal age is 18. Nationally the legal age for tobacco products is 18 and for alcohol it is 21.

6DuPont, R. L. (2017, October 23). For a healthy brain teens make “One Choice”. Rockville, MD: Institute for Behavior and Health, Inc. Available:

7DuPont, R. L. (2015).  It’s time to re-think prevention: increasing percentages of adolescents understand they should not use any addicting substances. Rockville, MD: Institute for Behavior and Health, Inc.

8Chadi, N., & Levy, S. (2017). Understanding the highs and lows of adolescent marijuana use. Pediatrics, 140(6). Available:

9Miech, R. A., Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., Schulenberg, J. E., & Patrick, M. E. (2017). Monitoring the Future national survey results on drug use, 1975–2016: Volume I, Secondary school students. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan. Available at

10Dufton, E. (2017). Grass Roots: The Rise and Fall of Marijuana. New York, NY: Basic Books.

11Geiger, A. (2018, January 5). About six-in-ten Americans support marijuana legalization. Washington, DC: Pew Research Center. Available:

12Caulkins, J. (2017, November 7). Psychoactive drugs in light of libertarian principles. Law and Liberty. Available:

13ElSohly, M. A., Mehmedic, Z., Foster, S., Gon, C., Chandra, S., & Church, J. C. (2016). Changes in cannabis potency over the last 2 decades (1995-2014): Analysis of current data in the United States. Biological Psychiatry, 79(7), 613-619.

14World Health Organization. (2016). The Health and Social Effects of Nonmedical Cannabis Use. Geneva, Switzerland: Author. Available:

15Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area. (2017, October). The Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado: The Impact, Volume 5. Denver, CO: Author. Available:

16E.g., Seelve, K. Q. (2018, January 21). One son. Four overdoses. Six hours. A family’s anguish. New York Times, p.A1. Available:

17Drug Policy Alliance. (2018). Real drug education. New York, NY: Author. Available:

18The President’s Commission on Combatting Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis. (2017). Final Draft Report. Available:

Parents Opposed to Pot is totally funded by private donations, rather than industry or government. If you have an article to submit, or want to support us, please go to Contact or Donate page.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Global: Bup, Treatment, Recovery and who says???

buprenorphine published–17% respond

A new JAMA study

concludes, “Long-acting buprenorphine depot formulations appear to be efficacious for treatment of opioid use disorder.”

Keep reading.

They compared the effectiveness of sublingual (oral) and long-acting injections of buprenorphine to see if the long-acting injections are as effective as the sublingual version.

The study was 24 weeks. That’s better than we usually see.

They used two measures to compare them:

  1. Average percent of opioid-negative urine samples for 24 weeks.
  2. Percent of subjects with negative urine screens for illicit opioid use for at least 8 of 10 drug screens at prespecified points during weeks 9 to 24. (This was the criteria for being classified as responding to the treatment.)

Measure 1

  • Sublingual buprenorphine – 28.4% (1099 of 3870) of urine screens were negative for opioids.
  • Long-acting injectable buprenorphine – 35.1% (1347 of 3834) of urine screens were negative for opioids.

This means that 71.6% and 64.9% of the drug screens were positive for opioids. It’s also worth noting that they do not report whether they also screened for any other drugs.

Measure 2

  • Sublingual buprenorphine – 14.4% (31 of 215) of these subjects were negative for opioids in 8 out of 10 urine screens at prespecified points during weeks 9 to 24.
  • Long-acting injectable buprenorphine – 17.4% (37 of 213) of these subjects were negative for opioids in 8 out of 10 urine screens at prespecified points during weeks 9 to 24.

So, this measure doesn’t tell us much about what happened during weeks 1 to 8, but we know that 85.6% and 82.6% of subjects screened positive for opioids at least 3 times during the 10 testing points over weeks 9 to 24.


Do we know anything about the number of subject who achieved recovery during this 6 month study?

Not really.

What we know

  • There was a lot of opioid use by subjects.
  • 15.8% of all subjects screened negative for opioids >80% of the time at those 10 testing points.

What we don’t know

  • Did any subjects successfully abstained from opioids?
  • Despite the high rates of opioid use, did some subjects migrate toward something resembling stable recovery?
  • What were the rates of alcohol and other drug use?
  • What kind of quality of life improvements were made over the course of the 6 months?
  • What was the retention rate? (There’s no mention of dropout. If dropout was not an issue, how did they achieve that?)
  • How would these subjects have done if they were offered the gold standard treatment?
  • What other services/supports subjects received.*

Press releases about this study refer to it as effectivepositive and promising. Keep in mind, when people say maintenance medications are the most effective treatments, this is what they are talking about.

It’s not that these medications can’t be or shouldn’t be part of the treatment system. In fact, I believe that they ought to be available to every single person who wants them. At the same time, when some patients, families, providers, and other systems are reluctant to embrace these outcomes, there may be reasons other than stigma or ignorance.*

For complete article


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

GLOBAL: W.F.A.D. 2018 Conference Resources


6th World Forum Against Drugs, the 25th ECAD MAYORS’ CONFERENCE

Without your participation the Conference wouldn’t have reached its goal of sharing best experiences, knowledge and new research amongst different actors within the field. Together we work for a drug free world!

You can find presentations and statements at the conference website: and access the conference photos here.

If you would like to continue receiving information from WFAD you can sign up to our newsletter by becoming a member, or by following us on Facebook and Instagram.

To register yourself or your organization as a member of WFAD, apply here:

If you would like to continue receiving information from ECAD you can sign up to our newsletter here or access our website at

To subscribe to Judge Peggy Hora’s (Justice Speakers Institute) newsletter on Drug Treatment Courts and/or other justice issues, go to where you can sign up for the newsletter on the right side of the page.

The organizing committee sees how valuable cooperation between cities and civil society is and look forward to continued collaboration!

Best wishes,

The organizing committee



Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

UK: Cannabis & Psychosis – It’s a done deal!!!

One in six cases of psychosis are linked to cannabis use, claims psychiatric expert

  • Professor Robin Murray said that smoking cannabis is linked to psychosis
  • He said 50,000 people have the condition due to smoking cannabis as teenagers
  • His comments follow a renewed debate over the legalisation of the drug PUBLISHED: 25 June 2018

A psychiatric expert has claimed one in six people with psychosis in Britain would never have developed it if they had not smoked cannabis.

Professor Robin Murray, an authority on schizophrenia at King’s College London, said about 50,000 people were now diagnosed as psychotic solely because they used the drug while teenagers.

Many had no family history of psychosis and would have had no risk of developing the disease if they had not smoked high-strength cannabis, he claimed.

Professor Robin Murray said one in six people with psychosis in Britain would never have developed it if they had not smoked cannabis. Stock picture

The academic’s comments follow a renewed debate over the legalisation of the drug, following the first ever NHS prescription for cannabis oil being given to 12-year-old Billy Caldwell to treat his epilepsy last week.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists has also spoken out to warn that cannabis use doubles the risk of someone becoming psychotic, after former Tory leader William Hague suggested it should be decriminalised for recreational use.

Professor Murray said: ‘If you smoke heavy, high-potency cannabis, your risk of psychosis increases about five times.

‘A quarter of cases of psychosis we see in south London would not have happened without use of high-potency cannabis. It is more prevalent in that area, but the figure for Britain would be one in six – or approximately 50,000 people.’

For complete story


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

UK: Pill Testing Back Flip, Why? Because it’s Toxic you git!

Britain’s biggest festival organiser dismays campaigners by backtracking on support for drug testing

‘Considering the huge profits made by companies like Festival Republic from ticket sales, they should be funding essential services like The Loop to protect festival goers from avoidable harm’

There have been several drug-induced deaths at events run by Festival Republic in recent years ( )

The UK’s largest festival organiser has reversed its previous support for drug testing facilities in a U-turn that drew criticism from experts and campaigners.

Festival Republic – which organises Reading and Leeds Festivals, among others – said testing “has the ability to mislead” and cast doubt on the growing body of evidence which suggests testing festival goers’ drugs for potency and impurity, as well as providing individualised advice, reduces drug-related harm.

“Determining to a punter that a drug is in the ‘normal boundaries of what a drug should be’ takes no account of how many he or she will take, whether the person will mix it with other drugs or alcohol and nor does it give you any indicator of the receptiveness of a person’s body to that drug.”

Such a licence is unlikely to materialise since the government’s current position is that “no illegal drug can be assumed to be safe and there is no safe way to take them”.

Steve Moore, the director of VolteFace, a drugs policy think tank, said that “festival organisers can no longer shun responsibility by hiding behind the ‘zero tolerance’ mantra” after last weekend’s tragic deaths, given “what we know about that the dangers of the current illicit drug market”.

“As businesses that legitimately profit from facilitating hedonism on a vast scale they have to be at the forefront of investment in harm reduction and lobbying public authorities for the legal clearances to do so,” he said.

The Home Office said earlier this week: “Drugs can devastate lives, ruin families and damage communities. This government’s approach remains clear that we must prevent drug use in our communities and support people through treatment and recovery.

“No illegal drug can be assumed to be safe and there is no safe way to take them.

“Our drug strategy brings together police, health, community and global partners to tackle the illicit drug trade, protect the most vulnerable and help those with a drug dependency to recover and turn their lives around.”

In comments on his change of stance on drug testing, Mr Benn told The Independent: ”Yes, this has been a change but it’s a minor change. However, the change developed after much discussion with medical professionals, police forces and licensing authorities.”

“There are no safe illegal drugs.”

For complete article (cited 20/6/18)


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment