Chronicle AM: ID CBD Bill Passes, Another OH Legalization Init, NV Heroin Maintenance Hearing, More (4/7/15)

Busy busy in Ohio, Arizona Supreme Court upholds patient rights, Idaho legislature approves CBD bill, Nevada legislature hearing about heroin-assisted treatment today, Rand Paul announces, and more.

Pharmaceutical diacetylmorphine AKA diamorphine AKA heroin. It could be coming to Nevada. (wikipedia.org)
Marijuana Policy

Another Ohio Legalization Campaign Gets Underway. Cleveland-based Ohioans to End Prohibition has begun initial signature-gathering for a proposed 2016 initiative that would allow adults to grow up to six plants and possess up to 100 grams (3.5 ounces) and would allow for marijuana commerce. The group needs to get a thousand valid voter signatures before moving to the next phase, where state officials will vet the initiative's language. The group would then need to gather more than 300,000 signatures to qualify for the 2016 general election ballot. Another group, Responsible Ohio, is already gathering signatures for a 2015 initiative.

Medical Marijuana

Arizona Supreme Court Rules Probationers Can Use Medical Marijuana. In two rulings today, the state high court barred courts and prosecutors from denying registered patients the right to use medical marijuana while on probation or parole. The cases are Arizona v. Farrell and Reed-Kaliher v. Arizona.

Connecticut Legislative Committee Approves Medical Marijuana Expansion.The committee endorsed Senate Bill 1064 after lengthy debate. The bill would be a significant expansion of the state's medical marijuana system and would allow children with specified diseases to participate, but they wold be limited to using low-THC, high-CBD cannabis oils. The bill now goes to the full Senate for consideration.

Idaho Legislature Approves CBD Cannabis Oil Bill. A bill that appeared dead only a week ago has now passed both houses of the legislature and heads for the desk of Gov. Butch Otter (R). The bill is Senate Bill 1146.

Illinois Officials Ponder Adding 14 More Qualifying Conditions. The state Medical Cannabis Advisory Board is now reviewing 22 petitions requesting the addition of some 14 diseases or medical conditions to the list of those that qualify for medical marijuana. The board will hold a hearing in May and then make recommendations to the director of the Department of Publich Health, who will make the ultimate decision. Click on the link to see the whole list.

Drug Policy

Rand Paul Announces Republican Presidential Nomination Bid. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul today announced he is seeking the Republican presidential nomination. Paul has been a voice for drug reform in the Senate, calling for the federal government to let states set their own marijuana policies and filing bills on sentencing reform, industrial hemp, and medical marijuana.

Heroin

Nevada Senate Holding First Ever US Hearing on Heroin Maintenance. The state Senate is holding a hearing on Senate Bill 275, which would establish a four-year heroin maintenance (or heroin-assisted treatment) pilot program. This is the first time such a proposal has gotten a legislative hearing anywhere in the US. Witnesses will include Drug Policy Alliance executive director Ethan Nadelmann and Dr. Martin Schecter, principal investigator for Canada's North American Opiate Medication Initiative (NAOMI).

Harm Reduction

Pennsylvania State Police to Start Carrying Opiate Overdose Reversal Drug. Gov. Tom Wolf (D) formally announced today that state troopers will start carrying the opiate overdose reversal drug naloxone. About 30 states have naloxone legislation, but in only a few do police forces routinely carry the drug.

International

Chile Marijuana Legalization Bill Advances. A bill that would allow people 18 and older to grow up to six marijuana plants passed the congressional health committee Monday and now goes for a floor debate in the Chamber of Deputies. If the bill passed the chamber, it then goes to the Senate. The bill also allows people to possess up to 10 grams, but bars the public use of pot. Chile already allows for medical marijuana and was preparing for its first legal harvest this week.

This article was prepared by StoptheDrugWar.org's lobbying arm, Drug Reform Coordination Network, which also pays 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.)

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Heroin maintenance

With the coming legalisation of cannabis,the cartels with huge infrastructure investments are going to be switching to the hard drugs to maintain their market share.Mexico is already said to be providing 100% of the #4 heroin sold in Amerika.As a resident of Vancouver,BC,Canada.I can attest to the fact that Americans are no longer coming to our city to buy the drug.In fact,the city is no longer a major source of heroin at all.Recent busts have shown that the drug Fentanyl is being sold as not only heroin.It is also being sold as oxycontin in pill form.Fentanyl is a big pharma concoction that mimics opiates but only affects two of the three brain sensors for opiates.It does not increase the dopamine and is therefore without the euphoria that heroin users are familiar with.I'm sure the idea was that without the euphoria,the abuse would cease.As usual with these things,the results are the opposite.Fentanyl is now the most abused drug amongst health care workers as it is not picked up on the usual drug screen process.Recent studies have shown that in spite of claims of the addictive qualities of heroin.People are put on the drug for pain in hospitals all the time and leave as clean as when they entered.That seems to be in opposition to everything we have been told about heroin.It would seem that there is more to addiction than just the drug.The numbers on heroin addiction are pretty clear.There are a certain number of addicts who can be reached with treatment programs and a small percentage who,no matter what,will never stop using the drug till they are dead.Currently,there are 129 addicts in Vancouver on heroin maintenance.This program(Nevada)is said to be for around 400.I know that the first study done in Vancouver(NAOMI)included over a thousand patients but not all at once.With an addict population that was estimated to be over 30,000 in the early 70's when such numbers were kept,129 patients doesn't even incl;ude all the homeless addicts.Currently,most long time heroin addicts are being maintained on methadose.A drug that is far worse than the old methadone hydrochloride we used to be given.There is no valid reason to keep long time addicts on a drug that is worse in every way than the heroin they were using and would still rather have.Heroin is benign to bodily functions.Methadone is not.The excuse was that it was too unsanitary using needlesbut with needle exchanges and safe injection sites that is no longer valid.The only reason to have methadone instead of heroin is ideology.There is no valid medical justification for methadone and certainly not for methadose.

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