Scotland: Children Casualties of Drug Induced Family Breakdown

Parents’ drug and alcohol abuse named among causes of family breakdown in Scotland

By BEN BORLAND March 10, 2018

A DAMNING new report has revealed the extent of the breakdown of family life for Scotland’s most troubled children over the past decade.

Families are more likely to breakup now than they were 10 years ago

The findings present a shocking picture of soaring drug and alcohol abuse, criminality and violence among today’s feckless parents.

Also, the number of children being taken into care has risen and families are more likely to be broken up by the state than they were a decade ago.

More generally, across the whole of Scotland, young people are facing more “complex” lives as a result of growing ethnic diversity and widespread drug and alcohol abuse.

Researchers from the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration (SCRA) took two sample groups of looked-after children, the first born in 2003 and the second born in 2013, and examined how their lives have changed.

They found the younger group were more likely to suffer “family fragmentation”, with more children living apart from their siblings and/or parents, instability as a result of the care system and “problem parents”.

Scotland’s most troubled children are those who suffer ‘family fragmentation’

It is clear we all need to work together to make changes to improve the lives of some of our most vulnerable children

Malcolm Schaffer, SCRA’s Head of Practice and Policy

The children born in 2013 were far more likely to have a parent who was a drug abuser, involved in offending, in prison, a victim or perpetrator of violence or suffering from isolation, bereavement or mental illness.

Underlining the importance of our Crusade for the Children of Alcoholics, 45 per cent of the younger group had a parent with an alcohol abuse problem – up from 43 per cent of those born in 2003.

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Canada: Weapon Wielding Warriors on Weed! OHS issues, hmmm???

Military wrestling with marijuana legalization: Vance

February 26, 2018

OTTAWA — Defence chief Gen. Jonathan Vance says the military is currently wrestling with the implications of marijuana legalization, including whether to set certain time periods between when a service member uses the drug and when they go on duty.

Vance says he does not envision a complete ban or prohibition on military personnel or even certain occupations such as pilots and that he plans to take a common-sense approach that follows the law of the land.

But he says service members do dangerous and serious work and he doesn’t want them to do it stoned, which is why certain restrictions will need to be adopted, as is already the case with alcohol.

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USA: Opioid Crisis Continues!!!

Opioid crisis: overdoses increased by a third across US in 14 months, says CDC

Results show opioid overdoses increasing across all regions and in most states, for most men and women and most age groups

Jessica Glenza in New York @JessicaGlenza

Wed 7 Mar 2018 05.29 AEDTLast modified on Wed 7 Mar 2018 05.44 AEDT

The contents of a drug overdose rescue kit at a training session on how to administer naloxone, which reverses the effects of heroin and prescription painkillers, in Buffalo, New York, on 13 May 2015. Photograph: Carolyn Thompson/AP

Opioid overdoses increased by roughly 30% across the US in just 14 months between 2016 and 2017, according to a new report by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The CDC called the data a “wake up call to the fast-moving opioid overdose epidemic”. It recorded 142,000 overdoses in US hospital emergency departments between July 2016 and September 2017.

Although not all overdoses in the study were fatal, they are part of the grim toll opioids have taken. In the US in 2016, illicit and prescription drug overdoseskilled 64,000 people.

“Our results through September 2017 show opioid overdoses are increasing across all regions, most states for most men and women and most age groups,” said Dr Anne Schuchat, acting director of the CDC.

“We’re currently seeing the highest overdose death rates ever recorded in the United States.” Schuchat later added: “The infrastructure to fully tackle this problem is fragile.”

The CDC’s Vital Signs study looked at two data sets. The first, the Enhanced State Opioid Overdose Surveillance (ESOOS) program, is a snapshot of emergency department data from 16 states.

Eight of those states included saw “substantial” overdose increases of at least 25%. Two states reported overdoses more than doubled – including in Wisconsin with 109% and Delaware with 105% increases. Another dramatic increase occurred in Pennsylvania, where overdoses went up 81%.

Overdoses also increased in “cities and towns of all types”, the report said. Overdoses are often associated with rural America but metropolitan areas with 1 million or more people saw the steepest increase, at 54%.

While the CDC did not look at the source of opioids, Schuchat said illicit fentanyl-laced heroin is “a very major problem right now”.

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Dramatic Increases in Fatal Drugged Driving Crashes, Workplace Accidents, Arrest Rates, Black Market Activity in States That Have Legalized Marijuana


Contact: Colton Grace (864)-492-6719

(Alexandria, VA) – Today, Smart Approaches to

Marijuana (SAM), the leading, nonpartisan U.S. organization offering a science-based approach to marijuana policy, released the most comprehensive study to date today entitled: Lessons from Marijuana Legalization in Four U.S. States and D.C. This study, validated by scientists from around the country, found that since legalization, marijuana use has soared, the black market is thriving, and communities of color are being negatively affected.

The study found that legalized states are leading the nation in past-year marijuana use among every age group. Among

those states, Colorado currently holds the lead for first-time marijuana use among youth aged 12-17, representing a 65% increase since legalization. Young adult use is also highest in legalized states. Further, the number of young people arrested for marijuana use in Colorado saw an increase from 2015-2016.

Not only are more young people being arrested for marijuana use in states that have legalized the substance, but Colorado has also seen an increase in the amount of youth on probation who have tested positive for the drug.

This rise in youth use of marijuana is particularly frightening to see given the longterm implications involved with young people becoming addicted to marijuana. “Since commercialization, those of us in addiction treatment have been seeing an increase in the number of patients who have become addicted to marijuana. Their symptoms, particularly sleep disturbance, appetite disturbance and psychosis, don’t consistently remit after ninety days of treatment,” said Bari Platter, Clinical Nurse Specialist at the University of Colorado Hospital’s CeDAR (Center for Dependency, Addiction and Rehabilitation). “We need to do more research about the devastating long-term effects of marijuana before considering commercialization in other states,” continued Platter.

Some supporters of legalization have argued that the relaxing of marijuana laws would lead to lower rates of alcohol consumption. The data prove otherwise. In the immediate year following legalization of marijuana, there was a clear drop off, but by year three alcohol consumption was at a multi-year high.

Commercialization advocates have long argued that legalization will reduce black market marijuana activity in legalized states. However, criminal activity has only been amplified. In 2016 alone, Colorado law enforcement confiscated 7,116 pounds of marijuana, carried out 252 felony arrests, and made 346 highway interdictions of marijuana headed to 36 different U.S. states. The U.S. mail system has also been affected by the black market, seeing an 844% increase in postal marijuana seizures. Narcotics officers in Colorado have been busy responding to the 50% increase in illegal growing operations across rural areas in the state.

“It’s very concerning that this data is not what we’re hearing in the news, but is instead spin jobs, incomplete information, and biased information promoted and pushed by Big Marijuana,” said Dr. Aaron Weiner, PhD, Director of Addictions at Linden Oaks Behavioral Health. “It’s impossible to read this brief and not want push back to keep our kids and young adults safe from this predatory industry,” Wiener continued.

One of the most common arguments prevalent amongst the pro-marijuana lobby is that the legalization of the substance will greatly assist communities of color. The study found that the common disparities among use and criminal offense rates continue among race, ethnicity, and income levels. The District of Columbia saw public consumption and

distribution arrests nearly triple and a disproportionate number of those marijuana-related arrests occur among African-Americans.

Finally, the study found a disturbing trend in that drugged driving and motor vehicle fatalities have increased in states that have legalized recreational marijuana. The number of drivers in Colorado intoxicated with marijuana and involved in fatal traffic crashes increased 88% from 2013-2015 and marijuana-related traffic deaths increased 66% between the four-year averages before and after legalization.

“The gradual normalization of marijuana commercialization in Colorado and other states means people become accustomed to the rise in THC-impaired driving fatalities or to witnessing psychosis induced by marijuana,” said Dr. Christine Miller, PhD, former instructor and research associate at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

“The marijuana industry is actively working to become the next Big Tobacco. The use of THC candies and drinks are catering to young people and getting them into the drug at an early age,” said SAM President Kevin Sabet, PhD. “At a time when our nation is struggling with a crippling opioid epidemic, the last thing we need is young people getting caught up in drug use thanks to a relaxing of drug laws. This study should serve as an eye-opener for our policy makers at both the state and federal level,” continued Sabet.

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GLOBAL: United Nations Report Scolds Countries for Cannabis Legalization

United Nations Report Scolds Countries for Cannabis Legalization


The United Nations International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) recently issued its 2017 annual report, and the takeaway with regard to cannabis is clear: The INCB is deeply concerned with the spread of adult-use legalization.

Countries pursuing legalization are acting in ‘clear violation’ of the UN’s 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, says the International Narcotics Control Board.

The report contains stern warnings, accusing countries like Uruguay of acting in “clear violation” of global drug control accords.

The Board, which monitors compliance with international drug control treaties, is made up of individuals, not U.N. member states. That’s meant to protect it from political pressure. The Board’s charter also stipulates, however, that it must include individuals with “medical, pharmacological or pharmaceutical experience.” That means Big Pharma is well represented, while advocates for cannabis legalization—whether medical or adult-use—have no seat at the table.

International drug control treaties, signed by most member states decades ago, are meant to prohibit the proliferation and non-medical use of of dangerous drugs. Cannabis is specifically covered under most of the treaties.

However, in recent years countries like Uruguay have legalized and regulated the non-medical use of cannabis. Canada is planning to legalize later this year. In the United States, nine states and the District of Columbia have implemented some form of adult-use legalization.

That does not sit well with the INCB. “Governments and jurisdictions in North America have continued to pursue policies with respect to the legalization of the use of cannabis for non-medical purposes, in violation of the 1961 Convention as amended,” states the Board’s 2017 report.

Warnings to Uruguay, Jamaica

The Board strongly cautioned Uruguay, which legalized cannabis nationally in 2013, and currently sells cannabis in pharmacies, that the nation is “acting in clear violation” of the drug treaties.

“The limitation of the use of controlled substances to medicinal and scientific purposes is a fundamental principle to which no derogation is permitted under the 1961 Convention as amended,” the INCB report says.

The U.N. board members also criticized Jamaica for legalizing cannabis for religious use three years ago. Cannabis is considered a religious sacrament among adherents of the Rastafarian religion. Rastafarians take their spiritual name from Ras Tafari Makonnen Woldemikael, (Emperor Haile Selassie I, of Ethiopia). Selassie is considered a direct descendent of King Solomon.

While the U.N. claims to promote global religious tolerance, the INCB strongly disagrees with the religious nature of the rasta cannabis ceremony.

“The Board reminds the Government of Jamaica, and all other parties, that under article 4, paragraph (c), of the 1961 Convention as amended, only the medical and scientific use of cannabis is authorized, and that use for any other purposes, including religious, is not permitted,” the report states.


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USA: Drug Dealers & Death Penalty

Donald Trump calls for drug dealers to face death penalty

Mar 11, 2018

Donald Trump has called for drug dealers to face the death penalty in a bid to tackle the opioid epidemic ravaging the United States.

In a speech on Sunday (AEST), Mr Trump argued America should adopt similar drug policies to those in Singapore, where he claimed there was “no problem”.

The President, who announced a 90-day public health emergency in October, said he had been impressed by the Asian nation’s approach during discussions with Singaporean officials.

“These guys don’t play games,” Mr Trump told a rally in Pennsylvania.

“I said, ‘How are you doing on drugs?’ ‘No problem’. I said, ‘What do you mean no problem?’ ‘That means if we catch a drug dealer, death penalty’.

“And they don’t have a problem.”

Mr Trump argued that in the US, people convicted of murder often received a life sentence or the death penalty, but drug dealers did not, despite killing “thousands of people”.

“I don’t know if you’re ready. I don’t know if this country’s ready for it, but I think … it’s a discussion we have to start thinking about.”

Though Mr Trump’s remarks on Sunday were not scripted, he also suggested executing drug dealers earlier in the month.

And the Trump administration is said to be examining policy changes that would allow prosecutors to seek the death penalty, according to The Washington Post.

Last year, a United Nations study found the US led the world for drug overdose deaths. It had 27 per cent of all fatalities, but only 4 per cent of the world population.

Meanwhile, a third of all drug overdose victims in 2016 had taken synthetic opioids like fentanyl, according to the National Institute for Drug Abuse.

Singapore has among the lowest rates of drug abuse in the world, but its drug policies are often described by critics as draconian.

The country imposes a mandatory death penalty on a person carrying a specified quantity – for example at least 500 grams of cannabis, 30 grams of cocaine or 250 grams of methamphetamine.

The burden of proof also falls on the defendant, rather than the authorities.

It means anyone who owns a car or house where drugs are found is presumed to have possessed them, while a person can also be arrested merely for being in the presence of drug users.

Critics of Mr Trump’s call have suggested capital punishment could drive drug users further underground and could lead to fewer people seeking treatment.

Public health experts have urged the government to provide more funding for cash-strapped treatment centres in the worst-hit states, such as West Virginia.

For More


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USA: ‘Blaze Haze’ still hasn’t stupefied the majority!


March 2018

A poll in November found that only 23% of Illinois residents support the legalization of recreational marijuana, while 69% support other options such as maintaining the current decriminalization law.  Pollsters interviewed 625 registered voters in Illinois by telephone, making the margin of error plus or minus 4 percent.

We constantly hear that the majority of Americans support legalization of marijuana. What reports don’t always reveal is that results always depend on how the questions are asked.  When voters know there’s the option of decriminalization, the polls are very different, as was the case in New York.

The Mason-Dixon Poll stated: “Now I want to ask a few questions more specific about marijuana policy in Illinois.  Currently, possessing 10 grams of marijuana, enough for about 30 joints is not a crime in Illinois. Instead, it is a civil violation, like a traffic ticket.  Many people call this policy ‘decriminalization.’  Medical marijuana use is also legal in Illinois.  Knowing that personal possession is already decriminalized in Illinois, which one of the following marijuana policies do you prefer: (order rotated)

  • Keep the current policy of decriminalization and medical marijuana
  • Keep the current policy of decriminalization but repeal medical marijuana
  • Change the current policy of decriminalization by legalizing commercial production, use and sale of marijuana for recreational use
  • Make all marijuana illegal. “

In Illinois, by far the largest groups wants to keep the things the same, 47%.  The voters identified as conservative, 31%, moderate, 38% and liberal, 29% and not sure, 2%.   Almost half of these voters registered as Democrats, 46%, while 28% are registered as Republicans and 26% are Independents.

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USA: NY – Once It Was Overdue Books. Now Librarians Fight Overdoses.

Matt Pfisterer, the director of the Middletown Thrall Library in New York, who once revived a woman with the overdose-reversing drug naloxone. Ryan Christopher Jones for The New York Times

MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. — The director of the public library in this Hudson Valley town calls his assistant and security guard “Starsky and Hutch.” They have been trained to spot signs of overdose in library patrons — paleness and shortness of breath when it is heroin; sudden collapse when it is fentanyl — and administer the drug naloxone. They patrol the bathrooms and stacks at the Middletown Thrall Library, checking on anyone who is dozing.

“It’s easier to call the police, to wait for E.M.S.,” said the library director, Matt Pfisterer, who had to decide whether to use the overdose-reversing drug himself a few years ago, after he found a woman lying in the grass outside, unconscious and covered with ants.

“You don’t know how they’re going to react,” he said. “But when it comes down to it, you ask, ‘Do I want to see this person dying in front of me?’ ‘No.’ So you take the leap.”

The opioid epidemic is reshaping life in America, including at the local public library, where librarians are considering whether to carry naloxone to battle overdoses. At a time when the public is debating arming teachers, it is another example of an unlikely group being enlisted to fight a national crisis.

Philadelphia became the poster child for naloxone-toting librarians last year after the Inquirer wrote about a library where one woman had revived several people. Cities including Denver and San Francisco have also started training library staff to use the drug, which comes in the form of a nasal spray and is commonly known by the brand name Narcan.

Will Hopper, a former police officer, is now one of the security guards at the Middletown Thrall Library in Middletown, N.Y. Ryan Christopher Jones for The New York Times

But outside major cities, librarians are weighing whether to stock the drug, too. Across New York State, like in much of the country, they describe struggling with overdoses — one more sign of the severity of the opioid crisis, which killed roughly 64,000 people in the United States in 2016, and of the rise in heroin and fentanyl abuse.

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USA: Colorado Children Committing Suicide – Cannabis Contribution Clear


1/3/2018 Statistics and Toxicology Reports Reveal Marijuana – Suicide Link

The increasing number of youth suicides seems to be tied to two factors, bullying and marijuana.  Although bullying may be a reason that youth turn to marijuana, in doesn’t resolve the underlying issues making them depressed or upset.  The outcomes for trying to resolve such issues using marijuana are very poor, and in fact marijuana usually makes problems much worse.

Colorado has tracked suicides before and after legalization, and policy makers should be alarmed by the results.

The numbers show an increasing number of suicides by year and by age group.  The youngest group (10 – 14 yo) have increased nearly 270% from 2005-08 to 2013-16.  The next age group (15 – 19 years)  increased by 133% over the same period. The 20-24 years group increased by 128% over the same time period. All of these jumps are very significant.

Total Number of CO Suicides by 4 Yr Blocks and Age
Total 10-14 yo 15-19 yo 20-24 yo
2005-2008 (4 yrs) 3108 23 169 273
2009-2012 (4 yrs) 3674 45 171 294
2013-2016 (4 yrs) 4265 62 225 350
2009 = Yr Med MJ Commercialization (legal sales) started
2013 = Yr Recreational MJ sales started

This Graph Demonstrates Clear Relationship Between Cannabis Legalization and Suicide Rates

Note in the below graph that suicide rates were falling in Colorado prior

to medical marijuana legalization. Then they started to rise. They fell off slightly but then skyrocketed when Colorado voters decided to green light the recreational marijuana industry.

The percent of marijuana found in bodies of all suicide victims DOUBLED (from 8.1% prior to legal mj sale, 8.7% during the years of medical mj sales, TO 16% in recreational mj sales years) since recreational sales of marijuana started in 2013 from the preceding two time frames.  THIS should be extremely concerning….  Yet legislators are plowing ahead ….


Toxicology on kids with completed suicide from Colorado 2004-2015 (no data for ’16, ’17).

One scientific study shows the risk of suicide amongst heavy teen marijuana users is around nearly 7x greater than non-users.

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UK: Skunk now ruling the market and the minds of the users!

Mental illness risk as ‘skunk’ drives out milder cannabis

Chris Smyth, Health Editor – February 28 2018, The Times

Almost all cannabis sold on British streets can cause psychosis after weaker forms were driven from the market.

The most potent “skunk” accounts for 94 per cent of all cannabis seized by police, up from half in 2005, according to the first study for almost a decade.

Dealers are thought to be pushing higher-strength products to get recreational users hooked, with the milder hashish form barely available, researchers say.

Skunk, also known as sinsemilla, is made from unpollinated cannabis and contains higher levels of THC, a psychoactive compound, than herbal marijuana or resin, also known as hashish.

Now researchers at King’s College London have analysed almost 1,000 samples

“The increase of high-potency cannabis on the streets poses a significant hazard to users’ mental health,” said Marta Di Forti, senior author of the paper. “It’s a big worry. It’s pretty much the only kind of cannabis you can buy out there.”

For complete article

For help and great info on Skunk issue got to CannabisSkunkSenseUK

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