Chronicle AM: Oregon Marijuana Legalization Endorsement, PA Mandatory Minimums, Heroin Maintenance, More (8/25/14)

The Oregonian says legalize it, so do Vermont GOP gubernatorial candidates, LEAP founder says legalize heroin, a Pennsylvania court throws out mandatory minimums, Vancouver's SALOME participants will get their heroin, and more. Let's get to it:

Diacetylmorphine (pharmaceutical heroin) will soon be on its way to Vancouver. (wikimedia.org)
Marijuana Policy

Oregon's Largest Newspaper Endorses Measure 91. In a Sunday editorial, the Oregonian has endorsed marijuana legalization in general and New Approach Oregon's initiative, Measure 91, in particular. Click on the title link to read the newspaper's reasoning.

Vermont GOP Governor Candidates Agree Marijuana Should Be Legal. In interviews with Vermont Public Radio, all three Republican gubernatorial candidates said they agreed that marijuana should be legalized. Steve Berry of Wolcott, Scott Milne of Pomfret and Emily Peyton of Putney are competing in tomorrow's primary. Peyton and Berry came out strongly for legalization, while Milne said he would sign a bill if it got to his desk. Milne is the leading contender.

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Upholds Eviction of Public Housing Tenant for Marijuana Criminal Activity. With marijuana decriminalized in the state, can a public housing tenant still be evicted for possession of less than an ounce? That question remains undecided after the state's high court sidestepped it in Figgs v. Boston Housing Authority. A lower court had held that the tenant could not be evicted for simple possession, but the high court reversed, saying the facts in the case showed not just possession, but also that the tenant's roommate sold marijuana and possessed a weapon. Figgs is going to have to find a new place to live now.

Medical Marijuana

Arizona Advocates File Lawsuit over PTSD Treatment Restrictions. The Arizona Cannabis Nurses Association filed a lawsuit last Friday challenging limits imposed on patients with PTSD who seek to use medical marijuana. Health Director Will Humble has ruled that PTSD patients can only use medical marijuana if they are already getting some other form of treatment for PTSD. The lawsuit is in Maricopa County District Court.

Kansas Democratic Party Endorses Medical Marijuana. Kansas Democrats now formally support medical marijuana, they announced during their statewide Demofest convention Saturday night. "Kansas Democrats support the availability of marijuana for medical use and protection of patients from criminal arrest and prosecution." the plank says. The platform link wasn't working as of Tuesday night, but you can try it here.

Sentencing

Pennsylvania Superior Court Rules Mandatory Minimums Unconstitutional. In a decision last week, the court has thrown out the use of mandatory minimum sentences as violating the constitution. The ruling came in Pennsylvania v. Newman, where James Newman had received a mandatory minimum 5-year sentence for possession of drugs and a gun. Relying on a line of federal court decisions beginning with Apprendi v. New Jersey, the Superior Court held that, in sentences based on the elements of the crime, jurors -- not judges -- must find that those elements existed.

California Fair Sentencing Act Heads for Governor's Desk. After a final Senate concurrence vote last Thursday, the Fair Sentencing Act is now headed for the desk of Gov. Jerry Brown (D). The act, Senate Bill 1010, would eliminate the sentencing disparities between crack and powder cocaine offenses by reducing the penalty for crack offenses.

Heroin

Boston Globe Op-Ed Calls for End to Heroin Prohibition. A Sunday op-ed in the Globe published by former New Jersey narcotics officer and Law Enforcement Against Prohibition founder Jack Cole forthrightly calls for ending heroin prohibition. Police efforts to repress heroin "did more harm than good, and the harder my colleagues and I tried, the more damage we did," he writes. "As a police officer, I understand the instinct to mete out punishment, send a message, put somebody away for abusing drugs. Nonetheless, my experience has shown me that it is futile, counterproductive, and dangerous to try to arrest our way out of this very real problem." There's much more; click on the title link to read the whole thing.

International

Number of Disappeared in Mexico Keeps Rising. The number of people who have vanished since former President Felipe Calderon initiated his drug war in 2006 has increased to some 23,000, according to the Interior Ministry. More than 12,000 disappeared during the Calderon sexenio, and nearly 10,000 more have vanished during the first two years of the Enrique Pena Nieto presidency. Human rights groups say these official numbers are low.

Two-Thirds of Canadians Support Marijuana Law Reform. A new Forum Research poll finds that 66% of Canadians favor either legalizing and taxing marijuana or taking pot possession out of the criminal code (decriminalizing it). Some 35% said legalize it, while another 31% said decriminalize it. Only 16% said they were happy with the marijuana law status quo.

Canada's SALOME Study Will Get Prescription Heroin By Christmas. Vancouver heroin addicts participating in the Study to Assess Longer-term Opioid Medication Effectiveness (SALOME) will have legally prescribed heroin by Christmas, their attorney said last week. They won the right to use heroin as a maintenance drug after the BC Supreme Court in May granted them an injunction exempting them from a federal government ban on such uses. The pharmaceutical grade heroin is coming from a European manufacturer.

Australian National Council on Drugs Softens on Medical Marijuana. The Australian National Council on Drugs today released Medicinal Use of Cannabis: Background and Information Paper, which concedes that pharmaceutical marijuana products are effective for treating some forms of pain, reducing nausea, and helping people with wasting syndrome. The backgrounder comes as clamor grows, especially in Victoria, for legalizing medical marijuana.

(This article was published by StoptheDrugWar.org's lobbying arm, the Drug Reform Coordination Network, which also shares the cost of maintaining this web site. DRCNet Foundation takes no positions on candidates for public office, in compliance with section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and does not pay for reporting that could be interpreted or misinterpreted as doing so.)

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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salome: oral heroin

i thought that study had been done a couple of years ago. i remember having read about it here, but never having seen the results.

the oral heroin trial seems very interesting. i always thought what's the point of methadone when oral heroin probably provides the same practical benefit and feels a lot more like what users actually want (in fact, i suppose it feels exactly the same just more subtle and longer lasting). functionality and retention rate would probably be higher because participants would probably feel better on heroin than on methadone. can't wait to see the results of this study.

In the prohibitionist's

In the prohibitionist's world, anybody who consumes the slightest amount of marijuana responsibly in the privacy of their own homes are "stoners" and "dopers" that need to be incarcerated in order to to protect society. In their world, any marijuana use equates to marijuana abuse, and it is their God given duty to worry about "saving us all" from the "evils" of marijuana use. Who are they to tell us we can't choose marijuana, the safer choice instead of alcohol for relaxation, after a long, hard day, in the privacy of our own homes? People who use marijuana are smart, honest, hard working, educated, and successful people too, who "follow the law" also.(except for their marijuana consumption under it's current prohibition of course) . Not the stereotypical live at home losers prohibitionists make us out to be. We are doctors, lawyers, professors, movie stars, and politicians too. Several Presidents of The United States themselves, along with Justin Trudeau, Bill Gates, and Carl Sagan have all confessed to their marijuana use. As have a long and extensive list of successful people throughout history at one point or other in their lives. Although, that doesn't mean a damned thing to people who will make comments like "dopers" and "stoners" about anybody who uses the slightest amount of Marijuana although it is way safer than alcohol. To these people any use equals abuse, and that is really ignorant and full of hypocrisy. While our society promotes, glorifies, and advertises alcohol consumption like it's an All American pastime. There is nothing worse about relaxing with a little marijuana after a long, hard day, than having a drink or two of alcohol. So come off those high horses of yours. Who are you to dictate to the rest of society that we can't enjoy Marijuana, the safer choice over alcohol, in the privacy of our own homes? We've worked real hard our whole lives to provide for our loved ones. We don't appreciate prohibitionists trying to impose their will and morals upon us all. Has a marijuana user ever tried to force you to use it? Probably not. So nobody has the right to force us not to either. Don't try to impose your morality and "clean living" upon all of us with Draconian Marijuana Laws, and we won't think you're such prohibitionist hypocrites. Legalize Nationwide! Support Each and Every Marijuana Legalization Initiative!

in response to the salome oral heroin comment

Hey, SALOME is pretty much finished and it was a total success just like NAOMI was however it wasn't just oral heroin, in fact, from everything i read, i dont know that there was oral heroin, from what i understand they were using prepared injection ampules but i could be wrong, what i do know is that all the controversy going on regarding the patients and their prescription heroin is BECAUSE the trial is over and because the trial had found, conclusively for the SECOND TIME that HEROIN > METHADONE > STUPID *** SUBOXONE that they were going to continue to treat the patients with heroin when the trial was over.

 

RENA AMBROSE, piece of crap conservative minister in Canada saw this and immediately moved in to stop this from happening, you see when NAOMI the original experiment years ago, ended, there was a major issue with how to handle things at the end of the trial and it was a mess and nightmare because everybody was put back on methadone (IF THEY STAYED IN TREATMENT which most didnt because they were there in the first place cause methadone doesnt work lol)

 

so to avoid that outcome again, they intended to continue to use heroin after SALOME but like i said, the minister got involved, the patients challenged the minister in court and recently the verdict was that the patients won the minister lost. so the patients will now get free heroin forever and god bless them for it.

 

However the real problem is now what to do about everybody else in Canada (and the rest of the world really) that needs this but that cant get it.

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