EFFACING THE SCREAM – Confronting Drug Legalisation

Those seeking to legalise all currently illicit drugs have exploited one particular strategy which has yielded results for more than a decade.  It is a strategy which uses the weight of the public’s fortuitous naivete regarding the complexities of drug policy, striking at the emotional level with arguments which appear to time-poor individuals in the midst of minimal media debate to have substance when reflection shows otherwise.

The appeal to the plebiscite and the opinion poll has been the legalisation lobby’s chosen strategy for influencing or forcing legislative change, and it is a play which is used with a great deal of confidence due to hundreds of millions of contributed dollars from some of the world’s richest men who have queued to bankroll their cause.  Since New York financier George Soros donated $550,000 in 1996 to legalise home-grown medical cannabis in California’s successful Proposition 215 plebiscite, the ability of the lobby to out-advertise their opponents by marshalling 25 advertising dollars for their every $1, as detailed by Gil Kerlikowski of the US Drug Enforcement Administration regarding a more recent plebiscite, has ensured the legalisation agenda’s continued advance.   In the UK it has more recently been Virgin’s Sir Richard Branson who has reached into his own deep pockets.

Chasing the Scream, a new book published earlier this year by Johann Hari, focuses and refines the drug legalisation lobby’s previous arguments, and has been released to rapturous reviews worldwide.  “Chasing the Scream is an absolute gem, and I honestly feel that it’s one of the best examinations of drug policy that I’ve read,” says one Goodreads review.  But if ruse has been the major stock-in-trade of the legalisation lobby, Hari’s new book takes an even bigger lend of reader’s lack of drug policy knowledge.

The lobby’s constant resort to ruse is exemplified in the Guardian’s 2014 British Drugs Survey which asks respondents a quintessentially leading question, “Do you believe that the ‘War on Drugs’ can ever be won?”  The question is outright deception simply because the UK has never had a war on drugs, where it has rather offered a drug strategy which is only a slightly lesser shadow of our Australian drug policy where we have done everything possible to facilitate the use of illicit drugs in this country.  For the last 30 years we have spent more than half a billion dollars on our world-leading needle and syringe programs, methadone programs and more recently an injecting room.  Alongside our harm reduction programs we have had a Tough on Drugs strategy which introduced more prevention strategies between 1998 and 2007, still no war on drugs, which halved our cannabis use, decreased heroin use by 75%, reduced amphetamine use by 40%,  but failed to reduce cocaine and ecstasy use which increased by 15% and a disturbing 46% respectively.

Of course, policing illicit drug use is no more a war on drugs than the policing of rape, paedophilia, stealing or drink driving.  All are capable of being titled a ‘war’ on activities which society condemns, but no opinion poll will ever indicate that the public believes that those ‘wars’ could ever be won, far less abolished, simply because they can’t.  While ‘blitzes’ on drink driving or speeding are frequently declared in this country, there is no suggestion they be discontinued because that war can’t ever be won.  Yet the drug legalisation lobby will use the Guardian poll’s 87% who believe the obvious, that any War on Drugs can’t be won, to tell politicians that the public’s view implies policy failure which must be terminated.  By deceptively titling every country’s necessary policing of illicit drug use a ‘War on Drugs’ the drug legalisation lobby seeks only to befuddle the public’s perceptions of the aims of drug policy.

Hari’s approach is not limited to the underhanded titling all illicit drug policy a war on drugs, but rather a far more explicit, creative rewriting of drug policy history, manufacturing an illusion that the historic international agreements prohibiting the recreational use of opium, heroin and cocaine in 1912 and of cannabis in 1925 are really all the work of one devious, dishonest US bureaucrat, Harry Anslinger.  That Anslinger led the US Federal Bureau of Narcotics from 1930 through to 1962, commencing years after these agreements were established, does not deter Hari from rearranging history to suit his thesis that Anslinger treacherously beguiled and bewitched the entire world into prohibiting the very drugs which Hari believes are largely beneficial with significantly less harm than alcohol or tobacco.

To make this thesis work Hari has to creatively unhinge his creative assertions from verifiable fact, fact that is eminently verifiable given every Anslinger file from his 32 years at the Bureau is still archived at Pennsylvania State University.  Hari’s treatment of Anslinger commences with, “From the moment he took charge of the bureau, Harry was aware of the weakness of his new position.  A war on narcotics alone—cocaine and heroin, outlawed in 1914—wasn’t enough.  They were used only by a tiny minority, and you couldn’t keep an entire department alive on such small crumbs.  He needed more.”

Such a creative rearrangement of history ignores the fact that Anslinger, when commencing his work in 1930 at the Bureau, did everything he could to avoid the public hue and cry led by various newspapers and legislators in the Southwest regarding the use and effects of marijuana.  Anslinger maintained that cannabis was not being imported as was opium or cocaine, but rather domestically grown, and should therefore be controlled by each State rather than the Federal Government’s 1914 Harrison Act.  It was not until 1937 that Anslinger begrudgingly acceded to pressure, a very different reality to Hari’s inversion of facts to suit his emotionally appealing but fanciful polemic which carefully avoids the reality of how and why these prohibitions were initially instituted.

For Hari’s book to influence any unversed reader, he needs to carefully conceal the harsh realities of public attitudes towards illicit drugs which led to those international Conventions 18 years before Anslinger took control.  They were the very same attitudes seen in opinion polls today.  Every 3 years, the National Drug Strategy Household Survey asks 25,000 Australians about their drug use and their attitudes to drugs and national drug policy.  97-99% do not approve the regular use of heroin, cocaine, speed, ice and ecstasy, while 90% do not approve the regular use of cannabis.  And we can be sure Australians are not naïve in their distaste for drugs.  Up to 46% have experimented with illegal drugs, and the high percentages for disapproval of drugs indicates that almost all have come to reject them.  Australia, too, has had the highest levels of drug use in the developed world, with the highest heroin and amphetamine use, second highest cannabis use and fourth highest cocaine use before Tough on Drugs worked to effectively reduce most of these.  There are few families in Australia not touched by illicit drug use in some way.

Any national community which sees new substances presenting unacceptable dangers to the fabric of their society maintains the democratic right to expect its government to prohibit the behaviours which large majorities condemn.  To position these negative attitudes towards drugs, which have remained largely unchanged for the last century, as the product of a conniving US bureaucrat requires an inexcusable, illogical displacement and rearrangement of history, which Hari has  crafted.

His view on drugs is glib.  Says Hari, “Some drug use causes horrible harm, as I know very well, but the overwhelming majority of people who use prohibited drugs do it because they get something good out of it— a fun night out dancing, the ability to meet a deadline, the chance of a good night’s sleep, or insights into parts of their brain they couldn’t get to on their own. For them, it’s a positive experience, one that makes their lives better.”  What Hari’s book wishes to advance is that all humans should be liberated to indulge their intoxicant of choice, based on his assertion that all cultures over the millennia, until today, have been supportive of intoxication.  A more accurate assessment is that of Theodore Dalrymple who states, “Man’s desire to take mind-altering substances is as old as society itself: as are attempts to regulate their consumption. If intoxication in one form or another is inevitable, then so is customary or legal restraint upon that intoxication. But no society until our own has had to contend with the ready availability of so many different mind-altering drugs, . . .”

But Hari’s book goes further, blaming the stigmatisation of drugs and drug users on the very act of governments prohibiting these drugs, such is his inversion of reality.  Conversely, a Quantum Market Research survey conducted annually with more than 1,000 Australians asks, amongst other questions, what respondents consider most socially unacceptable, with remarkably uniform responses year on year.  While child pornography tops the list typically at 96%, public intoxication comes in fourth (80%) after the use of hard drugs (92%) and use of designer drugs (88%).  Hari’s thesis that prohibition creates a conditioned intolerance towards illicit drugs cannot explain this public intolerance of intoxication, with no prohibition of alcohol to shape public attitudes.  Hari’s hypothesis fails to find support in real-world data.  It is consequently clear that the community desires the prohibition of particular drugs because it believes their use is a self-indulgent form of recreation which presents unacceptable harms, not because of the mystifying hidden influences of drug prohibitions.

Hari’s silence about the 1925 Geneva Convention, which added cannabis to the list of internationally prohibited substances, and of the intent of both the 1912 and 1925 international Conventions which willed the elimination of all recreational non-medical use of harmful substances is inexcusable.  In his attempts to disparage Anslinger, he circumspectly avoids mention of the international agreements made well before the advent of Anslinger.  Anslinger did indeed work toward tightening the early Conventions in order that they more effectively fulfil their originating intention of eliminating all recreational drug use, but he was never the de novo author of those intentions.

The unreliability of Hari’s allegations against Anslinger extends to his exploitation of the race card.    Writes Hari of his homeland Britain, “just as in the United States, our drug war began in a race panic,” despite the fact that US opium addiction largely gained a foothold via treating wounded soldiers with opium during the American Civil War of 1861-65.  The apprehension of Fitzhugh Ludlow in an 1867 edition of Harper’s Magazine urging that ‘the fearful (opium) habit is gaining ground’ is representative of numerous statements in the US press over the following 40 years, with negligible mention of Orientals.

Regarding cannabis, it is documented fact that Mexicans introduced the recreational use of marijuana (a Mexican word) to the United States and that it was almost entirely confined to the barrios and ghettos in which Mexicans and African Americans lived.  As late as 1966, epidemiologist Lee Robins’ who was subsequently entrusted by the US Government with testing every soldier returning from Vietnam for heroin use, found negligible drug use in her white study populations while experimentation in the black communities she studied was at 50%.  If drug use was not rampant in most white communities until after Anslinger’s tenure, what are we to make of Hari’s accusations of a race panic?  Anslinger’s pursuing cannabis or opiate-using black musicians, where drug use was at that time chiefly centred, was entirely to be expected when as role models to their own communities their unchecked use of substances advertised the wrong message.

Along with previous legalisation apologists, Hari ridicules Anslinger’s views concerning cannabis harms, particularly his promotion of cannabis as a cause of drug-related violence and madness.  Despite the lampooning of the lobby there is now a copious science indicating a dose-response relationship between cannabis and psychosis with a February 2015 Lancet study finding that daily users of high THC cannabis have a fivefold risk of psychosis.  Previous studies had indicated a doubling of psychosis risk from lower THC cannabis use.

Studies in 2003 by Niveau & Dang and in 2007 by Howard & Menkes have investigated the effect of cannabis on a particular neural mechanism controlling impulse and found a connection with violence and aggression.  It stands to reason that the lowering of inhibitions via intoxication will create a greater expression of violence in those so predisposed, whether by alcohol or cannabis.  In the Geneva Convention discussions of 1925, the Egyptian delegate M. El Guindy implored the prohibiting of cannabis on the basis of ‘madness’ associated with its use, but also that its intoxication ‘takes a violent form in persons of violent character.’   Contrary to Hari’s assertions, Anslinger was never alone in linking violence and madness with cannabis use and modern science exposes Hari’s scorn.

The 2012 Australian Institute of Criminology DUMA study on the degree to which crime is drug and alcohol-related found that self-report by police detainees attributed as many offences to cannabis use as to heroin or amphetamines during the study period, the result of the higher number of cannabis users.  36% recorded that they were high on cannabis at the time of the crime with another 15% claiming they were ‘hanging out’ for cannabis.  It is notable that these are effects of the drug itself, not of its prohibition.  Only 9% of those attributing their crime to cannabis cited their need for money to buy it where the higher prices resulting from prohibition could be held responsible.

This raises the most serious issue with the legalisation lobby’s attack on the United Nations’ long-standing drug Conventions.  The lobby’s history of consistently downplaying the harms of illicit drugs must necessarily lead to increased experimentation with these substances – in 2010, 47% of Australians who had never used illicit drugs cited health reasons as a major deterrent so the real health harms of drugs must be known for informed decisions about drugs.  Hari’s book very typically downplays the harms.  Then, to quell any fears about the illicits he juxtaposes the legal drugs thus, “At the moment, we have a licensed and regulated way to sell the two deadliest recreational drugs on earth—alcohol and tobacco.”

Chasing the Scream’ continues to downplay cannabis as a ‘soft’ drug, presenting less harm to users than alcohol and tobacco.  Yet an abundant science of more than 20,000 peer-reviewed journal studies indicates that it is anything but soft.  Cannabis is the main gateway drug to cocaine and heroin use.  Cannabis users are 50% more likely to develop an alcohol disorder as well as presenting a fourfold risk of depression and threefold higher ideation of suicide.

Cannabis causes amotivational syndrome, depresses the immune system, affects verbal learning, organisational skills, coordination and memory where loss of the latter can become permanent.  It also creates problems with attention.  Cannabis intoxication causes vehicle collisions due to slower reactions and when combined with alcohol, as is frequently the case, yields a 16 times higher risk of accident than with either drug used alone.  Issues with fertility, effect on the unborn, problems with the respiratory tract such as bronchitis, heart disease and cancers render a profile for cannabis that combines the harms of both alcohol and tobacco.

There is a well-documented withdrawal syndrome, indicating that cannabis is addictive.  In 2009, the same New Labour Government that downgraded the classification of cannabis from Class B to Class C in 2004 reclassified it Class B on the basis of the number of young people seeking rehabilitation for addiction to cannabis.  Yet with all of the discovered harms of cannabis above, the main promotional line from the legalisation lobby is that nobody has ever died from smoking cannabis.  Their juxtaposition of the toxicity of heroin, cocaine and amphetamines with the lower toxicity of cannabis is another ruse.  Intriguingly, death from tobacco toxicity is also rare, but on the lobby’s deceptive logic, that would make tobacco harmless.  It is anything but.

To downplay the harms of illicit drugs, Hari appeals to a 2010 study by the long-term drug legalisation campaigner David Nutt, claiming that cannabis, cocaine and heroin are safer than alcohol.  This study is exposed by the fact that heroin annually kills 1 out of every 100 dependent users from overdose alone, while tobacco kills  at worst 1 in every 180 annually from all causes.  There is only one alcohol-related death yearly for every 2,600 current users, despite alcohol being anything but harmless.  Another typical sound-byte from the legalisation lobby, is ‘alcohol causes the most harm’, but this because 200 times more Australians use alcohol than illegal opiates.  Comparisons on anything other than per capita harm can only be based on a desire to mislead the public.

In Australia opiate fatalities peaked at 1,115 in 1999 against an opiate using population estimated at 100,000.  Comparatively driving accidents in 1999 killed 1,764 against a population of roughly 12 million drivers.  Additionally, heroin and morphine prematurely age long-term users, contributing to life-threatening illnesses and death decades before those in a normal population.  The fact that Nutt was able to publish this study in the prestigious Lancet clearly owes more to the Lancet’s Chief Editor, Sir Richard Horton, being a key member of the international drug legalisation lobby, and certainly not the merits of the study itself.  Horton is a Science Board member in the International Centre for Science in Drug Policy.

For complete paper go to Effacing the Scream

Gary Christian is the Secretary of Drug Free Australia and also coordinates 24 national and international Fellows for the organisation, including addiction medicine specialists and medical doctors, epidemiologists, social researchers and psychologists, including a US Drug Czar to two US Presidents.  He has worked in the Australian welfare industry for 22 years, including 17 years in Senior Management for Mission Australia and ADRA Australia.

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USA Cannabis Legalization Implications – I.T.F.S.D.P paper

CONSEQUENCES OF MARIJUANA LEGALIZTION IN THE UNITED STATES AND THE INTERNATIONAL IMPLICATIONS

The international illegal drug trade represents a multi-faceted challenge which has implications for the global community. Not only can international drug trafficking undermine political and regional stability, it can also bolster the role and capabilities of transnational criminal organizations in the drug trade. The illegal drug trade and addiction create sweeping negative consequences to individual communities, economic development, and place an additional burden on national public health infrastructures.

International efforts to combat drug trafficking are based on a long-standing and a robust set of multilateral commitments. Despite these multilateral commitments established to curb the supply of illicit substances, there are a growing number of incongruities appearing between various countries’ drug policies and their approaches. These discrepancies are being observed by independent advocates as well as other members of the international community. In recent years, an increasing number of international advocates, including several former and sitting heads of states, have begun to call for a reevaluation of current international drug policies.

Some countries are turning away from the international conventions and unified drug control regime and are moving toward decriminalization or full legalization of certain drugs. Both domestic and international debates are now occurring. This is shifting priorities and resources among various approaches to counter narcotics, including supply and demand reduction; the distribution of domestic and international drug control funding; and the relative balance of civilian, law enforcement, and military roles in anti-drug efforts.1

For complete paper click here UNGASS Paper 2016 (Final Version)

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America’s drug experiment has been a disaster

The legalisation of cannabis financed by Soros and encouraged by Obama will lead to social decay, writes Melanie Phillips in the Times

Fresh research has shown once again that cannabis is intensely harmful. A Swedish study of more than 45,000 men, published by The American Journal of Psychiatry, has revealed that those who used marijuana more than 50 times in their late teens were 40 per cent more likely to die by the age of 60 than those who never used it.

Study after study has flagged up the damage cannabis does to users and others in their ambit. Long-term potheads display on average an eight-point decline in IQ over time, a higher risk of psychosis and permanent brain damage.

They display more antisocial behaviour, such as stealing money or lying to get a job. They manifest more depression and demotivation, and conversely also a greater association with aggression and violent death.

Scientists from Britain, the US, Europe and Australia recently warned that the threat to mental health from heavy cannabis use was serious enough to warrant a global public health campaign.

If cannabis were legalised or decriminalised, more would use it. Untold millions more would then be enslaved to this drug. Given its numerous devastating side-effects, not to mention the gateway it provides to other illegal drugs, this would amount to a social catastrophe.

Almost without public comment, however, that is precisely what America is inflicting upon itself. It was President Obama who started this ball rolling. In his 2008 presidential campaign, he said he supported the “basic concept of using medical marijuana”. Subsequently, his administration has winked at serial violations of federal drugs laws.

Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia have legalised cannabis for “medical” purposes. Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington have gone further and made recreational cannabis legal.

In Britain, many have fallen for the legalisers’ seductive siren song

Two years ago, Obama said he was “encouraged” to see states allowing greater access to marijuana. One wonders if he is encouraged by the outcome. The US government’s national survey on drug use and health reported in 2014 that one in ten Americans over the age of 12 had used an illicit drug in the previous 30 days, a higher percentage than in every year from 2002 to 2013.

In part, it said, this reflected the rising use of cannabis which had reached a similar record level. By an amazing coincidence, it turns out this rise was fastest in those states that had legalised the drug. Colorado legalised medical marijuana in 2006 and its recreational use in 2012. Now it leads the country in cannabis use by 12 to 18 year-olds over the past month, with Oregon fifth and Washington in sixth place. Between 2007 and 2009, an average 5.6 per cent of Colorado’s high school students tested positive for cannabis. By 2012 this had soared to 57 per cent.

Of course it doesn’t stop there. “Soft” drugs open doors to hard drugs. So the US is also buckling under a wave of heroin and opiate addiction, described by a medical witness to the Senate judiciary committee last January as a “public health epidemic”.

While Obama lifted the bar, this epidemic is principally the result of the transnational multi-million dollar campaign to legalise drugs, funded in large measure by the financier George Soros…

For complete article go to… America\’s Drug Experiment Has Been A Disaster

 

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UNGASS 2016 defeats Pro-drug liberalisers!!!

Strip away the spin and the world has again trashed drugs – thanks Russia and Iran

From 19-21 April, for the first time in almost 20 years, the United Nations held a General Assembly Special Session on the world drug problem and policy. This session, in New York, was the grand finale of heavily financed global pro-cannabis, pro-legalisation media manoeuvres. Taking up the rear, personal attacks including internet trolling were used to silence individuals wishing to prevent and reduce drug use worldwide – as my own and this website’s experience can attest.

According to the Washington Times, over $48million was poured into this campaign by George Soros alone, a man feted for his philanthropic funding of international-policy and journalism schools and scholarships in strategic areas.

Another $70million of his firepower was directed to pro-legalisation organisations, enabling groups such as the International Drugs Policy Consortium (IDPC, funded also by unwitting taxpayers via the EU Commission) and Stop The Harm, to smash their way via a further 213 organisations into UNGASS debates.

“The pro-legalisation movement hasn’t come from a groundswell of the people. A great deal of its funding and fraud has been perpetrated by George Soros and then promoted by celebrities,” confirmed John Walters, former director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

There was a Parthian shot. On the last day of the week, hors de combat, The Guardian proclaimed: “Legalise all drugs,’ business and world leaders tell UN”. Actually, the world leaders had agreed and signed the UN document. The Guardian referred merely to former leaders, members of the Soros-funded GCDP.

For complete article go to… http://www.conservativewoman.co.uk/deirdre-boyd-strip-away-the-spin-and-the-world-has-again-trashed-drugs-thanks-russia-and-iran/

 

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ITFSDP – Press Release

April, 14, 2016

International Task Force on Strategic Drug Policy Releases Recommendations on International Drug Control in Preparation for the United Nation’s General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS)

(St. Petersburg, FL) Members of the International Task Force on Strategic Drug Policy (ITFSDP) have analyzed marijuana legalization in key states within the United States noting various consequences of this failed policy. Further, Task Force members stand in support of our international drug treaties and intend to work to preserve them, along with public health and safety, through a set of policy recommendations that will be discussed at UNGASS 2016.

“ITFSDP supports and promotes drug demand reduction principles and sound drug policies. The Task Force also advances communication and cooperation among non-governmental organizations who are working to reduce illicit drug use.  Our members anticipate having their voices heard on key drug policy issues at UNGASS 2016,” said Calvina Fay, executive director of Drug Free America Foundation, Inc. and ITFSDP member. “Our work is more important than ever because drug legalization advocates are pushing more countries to adopt liberalized drug policies that include the legalization of drugs such as marijuana and other policies that do not bring those struggling with addiction to sobriety. These recommendations put forth by the Task Force  are meant to drive the message home to member states that it is essential for every drug policy and activity to reduce and prevent drug demand,” concluded Fay.

According to former member of the International Narcotics Control Board and Professor at the University of Michigan, Ambassador Melvyn Levitsky, “The intention of our Task Force is to promote core principles of effective drug policies which include prevention, treatment and supply reduction. These policies have been clearly formulated as recommendations that accord with the obligations set forth in the three international conventions on drug control signed and ratified by virtually every country in the world. It is imperative to communicate consistent, effective, science-based research findings to the international community in order to bridge drug policy disparities among the signatory countries.”

If you would like to set up an interview with Calvina Fay, Ambassador Levitsky or other Task Force members, please contact Lana Beck at (727) 828-0211 or (727) 403-7571. The paper, which includes the recommendations, is titled, Consequences of Marijuana Legalization in the United States and the International Implications, can be found on the ITSDP’s website.

The International Task Force on Strategic Drug Policy is a network of professionals and community leaders who support and promote drug demand reduction principles, develop community coalitions and strive to advance communication and cooperation among non-governmental organizations who are working to stem illicit drugs and promote sound drug policy around the world. http://www.itfsdp.org/

Read Paper Here - ITFSDP – UNGASS Paper 2016

 

For More Information Contact: Lana Beck (727) 828-0211 or (727) 403-7571

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Global Scientists call for action on Cannabis Damage

Cannabis: scientists call for action amid mental health concerns

The warning from scientists in the UK, US, Europe and Australia reflects a growing consensus that frequent use of the drug can increase the risk of psychosis in vulnerable people, and comes as the UN prepares to convene a special session on the global drugs problem for the first time since 1998. The meeting in New York next week aims to unify countries in their efforts to tackle issues around illicit drug use…

“It’s not sensible to wait for absolute proof that cannabis is a component cause of psychosis,” said Sir Robin Murray, professor of psychiatric research at King’s College London. “There’s already ample evidence to warrant public education around the risks of heavy use of cannabis, particularly the high-potency varieties. For many reasons, we should have public warnings.”

For Complete Article go to https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/apr/15/cannabis-scientists-call-for-action-amid-mental-health-concerns

 

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Compulsory Rehab Trial For Western Australia

Compulsory’ long-term rehab trial planned for WA’s drug addicts and alcoholics

Andrea Mitchell, the new Mental Health Minister, has given the Mental Health Commission the go-ahead to develop a service model to trial a “compulsory treatment facility”.

With methamphetamine use in WA double the national average, Ms Mitchell wants the centre open “before 2020”.

She said there were parents “begging” for sons and daughters ravaged by the drug to be “kept” in rehab longer.

“This Government has heard the outcry from the community,” she said.

“There are families who are begging for an alternative option for their children who are affected by drugs and alcohol, particularly in relation to meth.

For complete article go to Compulsory Rehab For WA

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Synthetic Cannabis and other N.P.S Easy to Get

Shortcut to chaos, crime and crazy

Synthetic drug raid reveals scary reality

 

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Legalizing marijuana will increase our opiate epidemic

Legalizing marijuana will increase our opiate epidemic

BY  | MARCH 3, 2016, 14:23 EDT

PP

We have, for some time, known that the more marijuana there is in our communities, the more opiate and heroin use rises. Now, brain science is beginning to explain why.

Studies reveal that the cannabinoid-opioid systems of the brain are intimately connected. There is a functional interaction between the mu and Cb1 receptors of the brain and these receptors commonly exist together on brain cells. In the areas of the brain where cannabinoids bind, opioids bind as well. If you modify one system, you automatically change the other.

The mechanism is not yet well understood.  With marijuana research, we are where we were in the 1920s and 30s with tobacco research linking smoking to cancer. More research is needed. But, ultimately, cannabinoids and opioids are known to strictly interact in many physiological and pathological functions, including addiction. Overall, evidence confirms a neurobiological convergence of the cannabinoid and opioid systems that is manifest at both receptor and behavioral levels.

- See more at: http://newbostonpost.com/2016/03/03/legalizing-marijuana-will-increase-our-opiate-epidemic/#sthash.L1rAe1JE.dpuf More Cannabis – More Opium

 

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Experts challenge Vancouver’s safe injection stats

Drug intervention experts and law enforcement officials who lived through the Vancouver safe injection site experience insist there was no decrease in either overdoses or drug-related crime.

Dr. Colin Mangham, a researcher and consultant in drug prevention for 37 years, told the Sun from B.C. last week he was “shocked at how weak” the research was into the effectiveness of InSite, the safe injection site set up in 2003 by Vancouver Coastal Health in the city’s Downtown East Side.

Mangham says the 30-35% reported decline in fatal overdoses among those using InSite was subject to “interpretation bias” — meaning the same people who created the program did the research on it.

Retired Vancouver cop John McKay, the inspector assigned to the area from 2003 to 2006, writes in a statement to the respected Lancet medical journal in 2012 that the 65 police officers assigned to the area once InSite opened were “integral” to the lowered overdose rates.

McKay said by phone last week they quickly realized they had to adopt a strategic policing effort because the impact of InSite was huge on surrounding Gastown and Chinatown. He said people were living on the streets injecting, dealers were there (having recognized that their clients were permitted to be in possession of the illegal drugs), “human defecation was everywhere,” there were needles in the alleyways and “a lot of violence.”

Young students at one school situated about five or six blocks away from InSite constantly had to watch for abandoned needles in the schoolyard, he adds.

“Harm reduction for drug addicts is harm production for the rest of the community because of the behaviour of the people (the addicts),” McKay says.

For complete article go to Insite Injecting Room \’WEAK\” evidence

 

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