Prison guards warned not to turn blind eye to pot-smoking inmates
Prison guards who turn a blind eye to “low-level” recreational drug use among inmates such as smoking marijuana can expect “significant consequences”, the Queensland Corrective Services Commissioner has warned.
In evidence to the Crime and Corruption Commission’s Flaxton inquiry, Dr Peter Martin said while he supported the “sensible, pragmatic application” of local decision-making by prison managers, it did not extend to turning a blind eye to unlawful behaviour.
“I have responsibilities to government and under the Corrective Services Act, as a … commissioner, I need to act always (sic) consistent with law,” Dr Martin said.
Dr Martin told the inquiry that unlike academics who could put forward suggestions on how best to manage prisons, he was responsible for justifying his actions.
“Turning a blind eye to unlawful behaviour, having regard to the fact that in my position … representing government when the law reflects the will and perspective of government, is a non-negotiable hard limit that knocks up against not only what I can do, but also my personal hard values, ” he said.
“And I’m unflinching, completely unequivocal on that point, notwithstanding the fact that the sensible pragmatic application of a local policy for very good and valid reasons is a very different issue… I have the responsibility, I have to act in accordance with the law and I take my responsibilities very seriously.”
The Commissioner said an example of good, discretionary decision-making by prison staff would be keeping a TV on beyond the normal finish time to let inmates watch a sports match that had gone into extra time… “But that does not extend to turning a blind eye to corrupt, unethical behaviour. I absolutely draw a very, very hard line … and there would be very significant consequences for those who chose to take a different approach.”
Legalize will not see an increase in cannabis uptake! So the pre-legalization mantras went – despite axiomatic principles that accessibility, availability and accessibility ALL increase consumption. And, look who the largest demographic of toxin takers are? The most vulnerable to harm – the young!
One in seven U.S. adults used marijuana in 2017
(Reuters Health) – With more and more states legalizing marijuana, whether for medical use, recreational use, or both, increasing numbers of Americans are using cannabis. A new survey finds that one in seven had used marijuana in 2017, with smoking being the most common manner of consumption, according to a report published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
People were more likely to vape or to consume marijuana as an edible in states where recreational use has been legalized, researchers found in the nationally representative survey of 16,280 U.S. adults.
Overall, 14.6 percent said they had used cannabis in the past year, while 8.7 percent said they had used the drug in the past 30 days. A greater proportion of people, 20 percent, reported using marijuana in the past year if they lived in a state where recreational use was legal, as compared to just 12 percent in states where it was completely illegal. In states where medical marijuana was legal, 14 percent of those surveyed said they had used in the past year.
While 12.9 percent reported smoking marijuana, 6 percent said they had consumed edibles, 4.7 percent reported vaping, 1.9 percent said they had used concentrates and 0.8 percent reported using topical versions of cannabis.
“There are increasingly novel forms of marijuana available and the risks of these products to health are unknown,” said study coauthor Dr. Salomeh Keyhani of the University of California, San Francisco. “THC (the psychoactive component) is very high in some forms of marijuana, the concentrates, for example. We don’t understand the impact of products with high THC.”
Keyhani is concerned about the rapidly changing landscape. “It seems like the current regulatory structure is not keeping pace with commercialization,” she said. “There is commercialization without uniform standards on the types of products that can be sold or marketed to the public.”
Cannabis use was inversely related to age. Younger people were more likely than older ones to use, with those between 18 and 34 reporting the highest use.
Smoking was the most common form of cannabis use, at 55 percent.
Marijuana found in breast milk up to six days after use
Researchers report 63 percent of breast milk samples from mothers using marijuana contained traces of the drug
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA – SAN DIEGO
With the legalization of marijuana in several states, increased use for both medicinal and recreational purposes has been documented in pregnant and breastfeeding women. Although national organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that breastfeeding mothers do not use marijuana, there has been a lack of specific data to support health or neurodevelopmental concerns in infants as a result of exposure to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or other components of marijuana via breast milk.
Cannabinoids — marijuana’s active compounds, such as THC — like to bind to fat molecules, which are abundant in breast milk. This stickiness has suggested that, in women who use marijuana, these compounds can end up in breast milk, raising concerns about their potential effects on nursing babies.
“We found that the amount of THC that the infant could potentially ingest from breast milk was relatively low, but we still don’t know enough about the drug to say whether or not there is a concern for the infant at any dose, or if there is a safe dosing level,” said Chambers, co-director of the Center for Better Beginnings at UC San Diego. “The ingredients in marijuana products that are available today are thought to be much more potent than products available 20 or 30 years ago.”
For complete story https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-08/uoc–mfi082318.php
Opioid addiction isn’t going away and it will continue to grow for several years
The etiology of the current opioid epidemic can be traced to a series of events which began around 2000. The perfect storm. First, pain pills became stronger, impacting the neurobiology of the brain significantly. Second, the pressure was placed on physicians to treat pain as one would treat an abnormal vital sign (rating of pain became a common question).
Third, pain clinics opened to better treat pain but just made patients more addicted to the opioids being prescribed. By 2013-2014 in Tennessee, where I see patients, there were 333 pain clinics and more than 8.5 million prescriptions written for pills such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, and oxymorphone.
The United States was the leading user of oxycodone, and this placed Tennessee as one of the prominent users of oxycodone in the world. Against this backdrop of pill availability, was an unawareness by many providers that opioids could be as addictive as they are.
One of the most significant problems that currently exists is a lack of access to care. Opioid addiction is a chronic condition that does not respond to short-term treatment. It requires long-term, recovery-oriented services. The occurrence of withdrawal from opioids, as well as the triggers to use opioids, are so severe that relapse is typical in an individual who tries to maintain abstinence.
It is for this reason that medication is used as a maintenance treatment to prevent withdrawal, keep engagement and allow the individual to participate in behavioral therapies to build on strengths and address needs. This life course perspective changes the treatment concept from a short stay and discharges to a more integrated long-term recovery.
It is this need for long-term recovery management that makes opioid addiction comparable to other chronic primary health disorders. Recovery over a lifetime must be maintained, and to do so requires a high standard of quality of care and engagement in behavioral counseling and medication-assisted treatment (MAT). To accomplish this requires more access to care that is committed to sustained recovery.
Cannabis cleanse? Why big tech is giving pot businesses the boot
YouTube and others are erasing the accounts of marijuana brands, limiting their ability to advertise themselves
Neither Google nor Facebook, the two most important internet companies, accepts marijuana advertising and both have been known to erase cannabis-related accounts without warning. Both companies say they want to allow discussions around the drug but not facilitate commerce. While attitudes about cannabis have been changing, it remains illegal almost everywhere they reach.
That approach has created problems for the marijuana companies trying to get their brand out.
Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, is the dominant platform in the cannabis world. It’s where aficionados go to discover the latest pipes, the dankest crops and endless memes of cartoon characters getting high. For those in the know, Instagram can also be a place to search for unsanctioned cannabis markets.
Facebook and the cannabis industry have more or less reached a detente where companies can post but not advertise. But there are exceptions, and enforcement can be spotty or arbitrary. A Facebook spokesperson said the company has been cracking down on opiate sales, which has probably resulted in a “shadow ban” that can make cannabis-related pages harder to find through Facebook searches, including those from mainstream media sources and government agencies.
The lack of receptiveness from Facebook and Google is a serious concern for pot companies, which are limited in their access to traditional advertising through print media, radio, television and billboards.
B.C. files lawsuit against opioid makers and distributors for deceptive marketing
VANCOUVER – PUBLISHED AUGUST 29,
OxyContin pills are arranged for a photo at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vt. The B.C. government has announced a lawsuit against Purdue and dozens of other companies for their role in fuelling Canada’s opioid epidemic.
TOBY TALBOT/THE CANADIAN PRESS
British Columbia is suing Purdue Pharma and dozens of other opioid manufacturers for what the government alleges was “corporate corruption and negligence” that fuelled the overdose crisis, killing thousands of Canadians.
The lawsuit, first reported by The Globe and Mail, is the first case against opioid manufacturers filed by a government in Canada. Attorney-General David Eby said he would be asking other provinces to join.
The lawsuit targets 40 manufactures and distributors, including Purdue, whose OxyContin pain pill has been implicated in triggering Canada’s opioid epidemic. The list of defendants includes brand-name and generic manufacturers and alleges they deceptively marketed opioids as both being less addictive than actually known and for conditions they were not effective in treating.
“While much attention has been focused on the effects of street drugs contaminated by illicit fentanyl and carfentanil, there is another side of this crisis,” Mr. Eby said Wednesday outside the Supreme Court of British Columbia. “We allege that Purdue was not alone in their illegal actions to drive profits.”
The allegations have not been proven in court and the companies have not yet filed statements of defence.
REMISSION/RECOVERY FROM CANNABIS USE DISORDERS: UPDATE