USA: DEA Media Release – China crack down on Fentanyl precursors


January 05, 2018 – Contact: DEA Public Affairs – (202) 307-7977

China announces scheduling controls on two fentanyl precursor chemicals

WASHINGTON – China’s Ministry of Public Security last week announced scheduling controls on two fentanyl precursor chemicals – NPP and 4ANPP, substances that can be used to make illicit drugs. The scheduling controls will take effect on February 1, 2018 and is the result of the ongoing collaboration between the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Government of China and their shared commitment to countering illicit fentanyl-class substances.

“Fentanyl compounds significantly contribute to the current opioid crisis in the United States. By stemming the chemicals used to make these substances, this latest Chinese scheduling action will help save lives,” said DEA Acting Administrator Robert W. Patterson. “This scheduling action is an important step and a testament to the progress our countries are making together in addressing this epidemic.”

DEA and Chinese officials maintain frequent contact to collaborate and share data on the threat from fentanyl-class substances and their impact on the United States. Information-sharing includes scientific data, trafficking trends, and sample exchanges. This dialogue has resulted in improved methods for identifying and submitting deadly substances for government control.

The Chinese Government previously controlled four fentanyl-class substances – carfentanil, furanyl fentanyl, valeryl fentanyl, and acryl fentanyl – which took effect on March 1, 2017, and another four new psychoactive substances/fentanyl-class substances – U-47700, MT-45, PMMA, and 4,4’ DMAR – which took effect on July 1, 2017.



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Contact: SAM Press Office/Luke Niforatos          FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE; 303-335-7584           January 4, 2018 

DOJ Decision Will Dry Up Money To Marijuana Industry

(January 4, 2018 – Alexandria, VA) – The Department of Justice will announce today it will rescind lax marijuana policy guidance to US Attorneys (the so-called “Cole Memo”) and instead allow US Attorneys to exercise discretion in going after marijuana cases. The new memo will not call for arresting users or others with low-level involvement in marijuana, but instead makes investing in the marijuana industry a risky move.
“This is a good day for public health. The days of safe harbor for multi-million dollar pot investments are over,” said Kevin A. Sabet, a former Obama Administration drug policy adviser who is now head of the anti-legalization group Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM). “DOJ’s move will slow down the rise of Big Marijuana and stop the massive infusion of money going to fund pot candies, cookies, ice creams, and other kid-friendly pot edibles. Investor, banker, funder beware.”
The Cole Memo and its compliance was blasted by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) in a 2016 report. The lead GAO author stated that DOJ “has not documented its plan for monitoring the effects of the state marijuana legalization.” A recent poll also found that when voters had more choices than just legalization or prohibition, support for legalization fell by 30%. Most voters were comfortable with laws removing criminal penalties for use but not legalizing sales, which the Cole Memo permitted.
“The Cole Memo had been waived around by money-hungry pot executives for years, searching for legitimacy among investors and banks,” remarked former Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy, a SAM Honorary Advisor. “It’s time we put public health over profits. This is a sensible move that now must be followed up with action so we can avoid a repeat of the nightmare of Big Tobacco.”
“Marijuana, along with alcohol and tobacco, are the three drugs we need to stop our youth from trying,” said Dr. Robert DuPont, the first Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse and second White House drug czar. “DOJ is doing the right thing by putting a stop to this wink and nod policy of allowing marijuana legalization.”
Corinne Gasper, who lost her daughter Jennifer to a driver high on marijuana, stated, “All too often, marijuana has been seen as benign. An industry not unlike Big Tobacco has downplayed its harms, aided by laws allowing officials to look the other way. For the sake of so many families, I hope those days are now over.”
SAM, a non-profit organization founded by a former member of Congress and a former Obama Administration drug policy advisor, applauded the news. SAM’s Science Advisory board consists of more than a dozen top researchers in the field of marijuana policy ranging from institutions such as Harvard and Johns Hopkins.
Dr. Stuart Gitlow, the former President of the American Society of Addiction Medicine, stated, “This is the right move by DOJ. To protect public health, we must choke the large amounts of funding spent by Big Marijuana to hook kids on highly potent THC products.”
Justin Luke Riley, the Denver-based leader of the Marijuana Accountability Coalition stated, “Recovery from addiction is so much harder when you are bombarded with the kind of pot commercialization we see here in Colorado. DOJ should be applauded for trying to put a stop to the shameless promotion and advertising that is killing our community.”
Ron Brooks, the former head of the National Narcotics Officers Association Coalition, stated, “This is the kind of leadership that will save lives. For too long law enforcement has been handcuffed by vague and unenforced policy guidance.”
Will Jones, a DC-resident who is fighting for social justice in minority communities commented, “Since the Cole Memo was released, the pot industry has relentlessly opened more pot shops in poorer, communities of color. Arrests are even higher now in many jurisdictions than before legalization.”
“Focusing enforcement resources on incarcerating low-level, nonviolent offenders will always be wrong and counterproductive,” said Kevin Sabet, President of SAM. “But there is an urgent need for Federal officials to reassert targeted control over an exploding industry that is undermining public health and safety in our communities. This is a major blow to an industry that is corrupting our politics and lying to voters in a steadfast pursuit to put profit over public health and safety. Today’s policy change will undoubtedly extend a chilling effect we have seen on marijuana legalization initiatives across the nation this year, and – hopefully – encourage lawmakers to stop and look at what science tells us about the unintended consequences of legal marijuana. Like the tobacco industry before it, well-heeled lobbyists from the marijuana industry have been touting marijuana commercialization as the panacea for every contemporary challenge we face in America, but the truth is, the health and safety costs caused by the commercialization of cannabis are outweighing any tax revenues collected.”
About SAM 

S mart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) is a nonpartisan, non-profit alliance of physicians, policy makers, prevention workers, treatment and recovery professionals, scientists, and other concerned citizens opposed to marijuana legalization who want health and scientific evidence to guide marijuana policies. SAM has affiliates in more than 30 states.


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USA: ‘Cole Memo’ Rolled Back!

If You Don’t Like Federal Marijuana Laws, Change Them — Don’t Ignore Them

Sessions has repealed 25 other Obama Justice Department “guidance documents.” The “Cole Memo” was an inherently dishonest backdoor gift to white-collar, Wall Street pot dealers.

Yet many of us, like the Cory named “Gardner,” who love seeing any lawless thing Obama did rolled back, suddenly find ourselves awkwardly supporting this one.

Americans enjoy a modicum of protection from illegal drugs stemming from duly enacted and thoroughly adjudicated federal laws separating legal and illegal controlled substances. Should one state be allowed unfettered production of any dangerous substance if it cannot prevent the flow of that substance into neighboring states? Should Colorado replace, or even in effect partner with Mexican drug cartels, enjoying huge profits from drugs distributed to neighboring states that are left only with the downsides?

With the secretive Cole Memo, Barack “pen and phone” Obama effectively voided federal law, for a time, and foisted a new pot industry onto an unsuspecting public.

Setting aside one’s views of pot legality, consider the process. Passing ballot measures is extremely expensive. Passing good laws is, in essence, free. If legal pot makes sense, why would pot proponents not make their case before the public and lawmaking bodies, holding public hearings to change the law?

It is clear that consultants to would-be pot investors informed them that pot is illegal under federal law and 50 state statutes because legalization cannot withstand the scrutiny of public hearings and dueling experts. Thus, the well-heeled pot industry chose the path of backroom deals and direct democracy. They financed ballot issues nationwide that exploited the natural tendency of people of good will to want to ease the suffering of medical patients. They lobbied heavily for the Cole Memo, which gave pot investors the green light to put millions of dollars into state ballot measures, knowing the Obama administration would look the other way.

For complete article


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USA: TEDxPrincetonU “The False Dichotomy of Legalization and Criminalization”

New TEDx talk by SAM President Kevin Sabet online now!

TedX PrincetonU talk by Kevin Sabet, entitled:
TEDxPrincetonU talk by Kevin Sabet
“The False Dichotomy of Legalization and Criminalization”


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USA: Drug Overdose Deaths in the United States, 1999–2016

Key findings Data from the National Vital Statistics System, Mortality

● In 2016, there were more than 63,600 drug overdose deaths in the United States.

● The age-adjusted rate of drug overdose deaths in 2016 (19.8 per 100,000) was 21% higher than the rate in 2015 (16.3).

● Among persons aged 15 and over, adults aged 25–34, 35–44, and 45–54 had the highest rates of drug overdose deaths in 2016 at around 35 per 100,000.

● West Virginia (52.0 per 100,000), Ohio (39.1), New Hampshire (39.0), the District of Columbia (38.8), and Pennsylvania (37.9) had the highest observed age-adjusted drug overdose death rates in 2016.

● The age-adjusted rate of drug overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids other than methadone (drugs such as fentanyl, fentanyl analogs, and tramadol) doubled between 2015 and 2016, from 3.1 to 6.2 per 100,000.

Complete Report Drug Overdose Deaths in the United States, 1999–2016


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USA: California Green Gold…Maybe Not?

Legal Weed Isn’t The Boon Small Businesses Thought It Would Be

As California opens its market Jan. 1, Washington state’s experience serves as a warning.

By Lester Black

The business of selling legal weed is big and getting bigger. North Americans spent $6.7 billion on legal cannabis last year, and some analysts think that with California set to open recreational dispensaries on Jan. 1 and Massachusetts and Canada soon to follow, the market could expand to more than $20.2 billion by 2021. So it’s no surprise that you see eager business people across the country lining up to invest millions of dollars in this green rush.

But here’s a word of warning for those looking to dive head-first into these brand-new legal weed markets: The data behind the first four years of legal pot sales, with drops in retail prices and an increase in well-funded cannabis growing operations, shows a market that increasingly favors big businesses with deep pockets. As legal weed keeps expanding, pot prices are likely to continue to decline, making the odds of running a profitable small pot farm even longer.

Washington offers a cautionary tale for would-be pot producers. The state’s marijuana market, for which detailed information is available to the public, has faced consistent declines in prices, production consolidated in larger farms and a competitive marketplace that has forced cannabis processors to shell out for sophisticated technology to create brand new ways to get high.

“A lot of people (in Washington) are surprised, and a lot of people are in denial about the price dropping,” said Steven Davenport, a researcher with the RAND Corporation. “The average price per gram in Washington is about $8, and it’s not clear where the floor is going to be.”

For more


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S.A.M. : DOJ Needs to Hear About Cannabis Chaos & Carnage

Dear Friend,
By now, you’ve seen the news. The Cole Memo, which has shielded marijuana businesses from accountability, has been rescinded. The marijuana industry is reeling, with its stocks dropping and investors nervous about their future profits.
But this policy change is under attack from Big Pot. They desperately want to see it reversed, and they will stop at nothing to get their addiction-for-profit business model back on track.
The Department of Justice needs to hear from you. Even if you disagree on other matters, they need to hear your stories of how high-potency pot and edibles have harmed you, your family, and your community. Please thank them for taking action to protect public health by rescinding the deeply flawed Cole Memo.
We’ve started the message. We just need you to add your personal story. Please take a few moments to compose your thoughts, then click the link below to get started.
Kevin Sabet
SAM Action

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. Learn more about  SAM  Action and its work at visit


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UK: Diversion Program – Rehab better than jail!

Criminals could avoid jail if they go to rehab under plans being considered by ministers to tackle racial bias

Teenage inmates at a Young Offenders facility CREDIT: HEATHCLIFFE O’MALLEY

19 DECEMBER 2017 • 12:01AM

Criminals will have charges dropped if they go to rehab under plans being considered by the Government to tackle racial bias in the justice system.

David Lidington is in talks with the Mayor of London to extend a pilot scheme which would allow those accused of low-level crimes to get treatment for alcohol or drugs rather than go to court.

The plan formed part of a comprehensive review by Labour MP David Lammy about the way black and minority ethnic people are treated by the criminal justice system.

Accepting the need to do more the justice secretary confirmed the Government is looking at each of the 35 recommendations made by Mr Lammy in a bid to improve the treatment of BAME people.



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USA: Sessions Address Legal Dissonance in Drug Law

Legalized marijuana use threatened as Sessions rescinds Obama-era directive that eased federal enforcement

By Matt ZapotoskySari Horwitz and Joel Achenbach January 4 at 3:42 PM 

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has rescinded several Obama-era directives that discouraged enforcement of federal marijuana laws in states that had legalized the substance.

In a memo sent to U.S. attorneys Thursday, Sessions noted that federal law prohibits the possession and sale of marijuana, and he undid several previous Obama administration memos that advised against bringing weed prosecutions in states where it was legal to use for recreational or medical purposes. Sessions said prosecutors should use their own discretion — taking into consideration the department’s limited resources, the seriousness of the crime, and the deterrent effect that they could impose — in weighing whether charges were appropriate.

“It is the mission of the Department of Justice to enforce the laws of the United States, and the previous issuance of guidance undermines the rule of law and the ability of our local, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement partners to carry out this mission,” Sessions said in a statement. “Therefore, today’s memo on federal marijuana enforcement simply directs all U.S. Attorneys to use previously established prosecutorial principles that provide them all the necessary tools to disrupt criminal organizations, tackle the growing drug crisis, and thwart violent crime across our country.” For complete story RESCIND


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AUSTRALIA: OTC Meds Abused By One Million!

Prescription drugs misused by 1 million Australians in year, report shows

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report also finds ‘substantial rise’ in drug-induced deaths involving prescription drugs


Oxycodone painkillers

Oxycodone, morphine and codeine accounted for 550 drug-induced deaths in Australia in 2016, new analysis shows. Photograph: John Moore/Getty Images

Australian Associated Press Tue 19 Dec ‘17 10.28 AEDT

One million Australians misused pharmaceuticals in the previous 12 months, a new report has found.

Analysis by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare showed the misuse of powerful prescription medications for non-medical reasons was rising and accounted for more drug-induced deaths than illegal drugs.

“Over the past decade, there has been a substantial rise in the number of deaths involving a prescription drug, with drug-induced deaths more likely to be due to prescription drugs than illegal drugs,” said an institute spokesman, Matthew James.

For more Nearly 4% of Australians Hitting Hillbilly Heroin!


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