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.

For more https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/28/nyregion/librarians-opioid-heroin-overdoses.html

 

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USA: Colorado Children Committing Suicide – Cannabis Contribution Clear

HIGH PERCENTAGE OF YOUTH SUICIDES IN COLORADO INVOLVE MARIJUANA

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 ….

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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.

For complete article http://www.poppot.org/2018/03/01/high-percentage-of-youth-suicides-in-colorado-involve-marijuana/

 

 

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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 https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/mental-illness-risk-as-skunk-drives-out-milder-cannabis-wgd58b56l

For help and great info on Skunk issue got to CannabisSkunkSenseUK

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USA: M.U.D – Dope Addiction Not an Issue…Really it’s not??

BEATING THE MARIJUANA ADDICTION NIGHTMARE

27/2/2018

It’s crazy how I feel so much hurt still; I cried while I was writing this. It’s been an addiction nightmare. The last time I wrote to you, it was just a temporary break from all of our drama.  I had hoped, but my daughter was not cured of her marijuana addiction at that time.  Read Marijuana Addiction is Real for background on this story. Here’s my follow-up report.

It’s been a long difficult journey with my daughter due to her drug abuse problem. She would sometimes tell me she’d hear voices and that she needed help. At first, I just thought she was kidding which I regret, but these were signs of drug abuse which I didn’t recognize at that time. She now has opened up to me, she said the first drug she tried was marijuana and it was in middle school. She also began to drink alcohol with her friends at that time. She then tried marijuana again at age 15 with her boyfriend who was known to have a marijuana drug addiction problem. It was as if that one drug was leading her to more drugs; marijuana was obviously her gateway to other illicit drugs.

She was admitted into a behavioral hospital for a few days after she overdosed on 3 tabs of LSD acid; it was scary seeing her drugged, calling for me even though I was there holding her while she attempted to open the window at a third-story apartment where we used to live. I had to call for help in fear she’d jump; she was 15 years old at that time.

Seeing a doctor, and why that didn’t work

The doctor diagnosed her as being bipolar and recommended she start taking psychiatric medications, but I refused and picked her up from the hospital. My fear was that she would start mixing the pharmaceutical pills with illicit drugs which would have caused her to get worse, and accordingly she did get worse. I tried my best to get her help with counseling and other behavioral centers that don’t medicate patients, but she always refused and per the HIPPA laws it was her choice even as a teen. Even so, her medical insurance would only have covered 50% of mental health cost.

Her mental condition worsened, and it was a continuous finding of a variety of drugs and paraphernalia in her room, some of which I didn’t understand at that time. I’d find pharmaceutical pills such as opioids and Xanax pills which were not prescribed to her. I would find my missing spoons in her room, black tar substance on the window panes, torch lighters, strange looking orange flakes.  Now I know this was hash oil which I refer to as man-made marijuana crack weed. It also can be called shatter and dabs. Many of these products are sold online and accessible to anyone including teens.

For complete story http://www.poppot.org/2018/02/27/beating-marijuana-addiction-nightmare/

 

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Australia: S.A. MP wants compulsory Rehabilitation for ICE users!

Xenophon wants ice ‘scourge’ tackled

SA Best leader Nick Xenophon wants to halve ice use by 2020 and force users into rehab. (AAP)

SA-BEST leader Nick Xenophon has called on the next state government to tackle the growing ice epidemic with plans for mandatory rehabilitation for users.

Ice users in South Australia should be forced into rehabilitation with Nick Xenophon calling for the “scourge” to be a key priority of the next state government.

The SA-BEST leader also wants to halve ice use by 2020, in a policy released ahead of the March state election.

If his party wins the balance of power, Mr Xenophon says he’ll push for legislation establishing mandatory rehab and detox facilities for ice users within the first three months.

The former senator said police were shocked at the extent of ice use in the regional centre of Murray Bridge, east of Adelaide, during a recent murder investigation.

“The fact that a senior respected police officer was shocked by what was found is a wakeup call for all of us,” Mr Xenophon said on Tuesday.

Health Minister Peter Malinauskas said the government was “open-minded” to the idea of a mandatory rehabilitation service, and intended to consult broadly on its merits.

“It is something that we think should be an option of last resort,” he told reporters.

Also, on the campaign trail on Tuesday Labor pledged an extra $70 million for mental health services if returned on March 17, including $17.2 million for drug and alcohol outreach programs.

For more https://www.sbs.com.au/news/xenophon-wants-ice-scourge-tackled

 

 

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Australia: Rise is WA health costs scary: report (AOD and Mental Health key elements)

The Sustainable Health Review has found a “scary” increase in WA health spending has to be reined in.

Spending on health is almost out of control in Western Australia and had more than doubled in the last decade representing nearly $1 in every $3 the government spends, a new report has found.

Health is the biggest cost for the state budget: employing 30,000 staff, representing almost $9 billion, or 30 per cent, and accounting for more than half of every new dollar spent between 2013/14 and 2016/17.

It is on track to reach 38 per cent of the budget in 2026.

Other major issues were a growing and ageing population, inequity in health outcomes, wealth disparity, mental health, and drug and alcohol issues, all of which impact upon the sustainability of the health system…”The rate of growth is scary, a 49 per cent increase in emergency department attendances (2005-15) and 39 per cent per cent in hospitalisations,” Ms Kruk said.

for more https://www.sbs.com.au/news/rise-is-wa-health-costs-scary-report

 

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Australia: Drug Testing Welfare Recipients not dead yet?

Welfare drug test plans make a comeback

Controversial welfare drug test plans have been revived by Social Services Minister Dan Tehan, who wants opponents to “be brave” and support them.

Controversial plans to drug test welfare recipients will help reassure taxpayers their money isn’t being used to subsidise drug dealers, the federal government says.

The coalition introduced laws into parliament on Wednesday to set up a trial in which people on welfare will be drug tested and offered treatment.

“The community has a right to expect that taxpayer-funded welfare payments are not being used to fund drug addiction, and that job seekers do all they can to get a job,” Social Services Minister Dan Tehan told parliament on Wednesday.

“We don’t want our welfare system subsidising drug dealers.”

Mr Tehan said the trial would be rolled out across three sites in NSW, Queensland and Western Australia from April, if it passes parliament.

The government will provide up to $10 million for additional drug and alcohol treatment support across the three sites.

There will also be $1 million for an independent, third party evaluation of the trial which Mr Tehan said would prevent “unintended consequences”.

He said the proposal wasn’t about penalising people with drug abuse issues.

“It is about finding new and better ways of identifying these jobseekers and ensuring they are referred to the support and treatment they need,” he said.

Anyone who tests positive will be shunted onto cashless welfare cards, while those who fail more than once will be referred to medical professionals for treatment.

Jobseekers who refuse a drug test will have their payments cancelled and they’ll be barred from reapplying for four weeks.

Mr Tehan has urged opponents to “be brave” and back the trial.

For complete story https://www.sbs.com.au/news/welfare-drug-test-plans-make-a-comeback

 

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Holland: The Price of Permission is now Presenting – Police Powerless!

Netherlands becoming a narco-state, warn Dutch police

Officers say many victims do not report incidents and organised gangs have a free rein

Daniel Boffey in Brussels Wed 21 Feb 2018

The Netherlands is starting to resemble a narco-state with the police unable to combat the emergence of a parallel criminal economy, a report from the Dutch police association has warned.

“Only one in nine criminal groups can be tackled with the current people and resources,” the report given to the De Telegraaf newspaper says. “Detectives see that small criminals develop into wealthy entrepreneurs who establish themselves in the hospitality industry, housing market, middle class, travel agencies.”

Critics of the Dutch gedoogbeleid (tolerance policy) towards the sale of cannabis in coffee shops, and the legal status of prostitution in the country, claim the Netherlands has been inadvertently promoted as a major hub for the trafficking of drugs and people.

A large majority of ecstasy taken in Europe and the US comes from labs in the south of the country, which are increasingly run by Moroccan gangs involved in the production of cannabis. Half of the €5.7bn a year of cocaine taken in Europecomes through the port of Rotterdam, according to Europol.

While there has been a 25% drop in the number of recorded crimes over the past nine years, to below 1m, the paper reported that 3.5m crimes go unregistered every year. The report also raised fears that the authorities were being put at “an insurmountable disadvantage”.

Amsterdam’s police chief, Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg, claimed his force was spending 60% to 70% of its time attempting to combat gang-related hit-jobs.

For complete article https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/feb/20/netherlands-becoming-a-narco-state-warn-dutch-police

 

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USA: NJ – Pot Promises Failed – The People Don’t Want it!

COALITION OF PARENTS, LAW ENFORCEMENT, RELIGIOUS LEADERS, AND EMPLOYERS TESTIFY AGAINST MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION AT LEGISLATIVE BLACK CAUCUS HEARING

At a hearing of the New Jersey Legislative Black Caucus, coalition members of New Jersey Responsible Approaches to Marijuana Policy (NJ-RAMP) expressed their opposition to the legalization and commercialization of recreational marijuana in New Jersey.

Parents, law enforcement professionals, religious leaders, employers, and addiction professionals offered testimony, insights and expertise on a multitude of issues including health concerns, increase in youth use, drugged driving, and arrest rates among minorities.

According to news reports, a number of legislators would rather see decriminalization than legalization in New Jersey.  The Black Caucus prefers decriminalization as more helpful to minorities.

Nevada law enforcement official cite social costs and increase in crime

Todd Raybuck, a police captain in Las Vegas, Nevada, discussed the increase in crime and strengthening of the black market since recreational marijuana was legalized:

“The lure of increased tax revenue and claims of a regulated system that will eliminate the criminal element and repair historical harms to the minority community is intoxicating. Yet, as we are learning in Nevada, the financial gains from the marijuana industry do not adequately support the resources needed to control the effects of marijuana legalization. And, the promises of a regulated industry that will weed-out the illegal marijuana market and improve social conditions in disadvantaged neighborhoods are contrary to the reality.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department is already seeing a negative impact on crime and the black market. In 2017, homicides related to an altercation over drugs increased 21% compared to 2016. Marijuana was the cause of the altercation in 53% of those homicides. In 2017, 58% of all drug related murders (24) involved marijuana.”

Legalizing doesn’t improve social justice issues

Will Jones, Communications Specialist for Smart Approaches to Marijuana, and a resident of Washington, DC, spoke about the false promise of social justice reform and pointed to statistics that show minority arrests related to marijuana are up in legalized states. In the two years after Colorado legalized marijuana, the number of Hispanic and Black kids arrested for marijuana-related offenses rose 29 and 58 percent, respectively. In the same period, the arrest rate for White kids committing pot offenses dropped eight percent.

“To continue to legalize and commercialize marijuana is to continue an addictive industry to profit off minorities and the marginalized.  It’s time for us to wake up and realize that legalizing marijuana only reinforces the pillars of racial inequality in our country,” Jones said.

For complete article http://www.poppot.org/2018/02/22/nj-black-caucus-highlights-harms-pot/

 

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USA: Democrats Want Weed

Democrats Forming Marijuana Legalization Consensus
Posted by CN Staff on February 15, 2018 at 05:45:36 PT
By Tom Angell, Contributor
Source: Forbes 

cannabisWashington, D.C. — Support for marijuana legalization is quickly becoming a mainstream consensus position in the Democratic Party. Two of the party’s leading potential 2020 presidential candidates joined together this week in support of far-reaching legislation that would end the federal prohibition of cannabis and encourage states to legalize the drug.“Legalizing marijuana isn’t a matter of if, it’s a matter of when,” Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) said about the legislation, the Marijuana Justice Act, which he introduced last August.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), who signed onto the bill as a cosponsor on Wednesday and did a Facebook Live chat with Booker about it, called cannabis legalization “a social justice issue and a moral issue that Congress needs to address.”

The vocal pro-legalization support from the two senators, who are widely considered to be weighing campaigns for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020, signals that a shift toward marijuana reform advocacy that has been underway in the party for some time is elevating to a near consensus.

And polling shows that Democratic voters are in support of the move.

Gallup found last year that 72 percent of Democrats back marijuana legalization, and a Quinnipiac University survey last month showed that 95 percent of the party’s voters support medical cannabis.

The latter poll also showed that just 12 percent of Democrats want the federal government to interfere with the implementation state marijuana laws.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent who caucuses with Democrats, also supports legalization. The senator, who introduced legislation to deschedule marijuana during his nearly successful campaign for the party’s 2016 presidential nomination, is reportedly considering another run in 2020.

Last week, Sanders’s campaign organization launched an online petition calling for an end to marijuana prohibition and the broader “war on drugs.

For complete story WeWantWEED

 

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