Chronicle AM: Naloxone News in NC & NYC, DC Pot Social Club Fight, CO Pot Tourism, More (12/10/15)

Legal weed is drawing tourists to Colorado, DC activists fight for pot clubs, a federal appeals court rules that all students at a technical college can be subjected to drug testing, there's naloxone news from New York City and North Carolina, and more.

NCHRC reports 1,500 overdoses prevented with Naloxone in 2 1/2 years.
Marijuana Policy

Legal Marijuana is Boosting Colorado Tourism. Pot businesses have long claimed as much, and now they have some solid evidence. A Colorado Tourism Office study released Wednesday shows that the state's marijuana laws influenced nearly half (49%) of decisions to vacation in the state. Some 22% of survey respondents said marijuana was "extremely influential" in their decision to visit Colorado. Twenty percent said it was "very much influential" and nearly 7% said it was "somewhat influential."

DC Activists Fight Back Against Bill That Would Ban Pot Clubs. The city council is today hearing a bill that would make permanent a ban on businesses allowing patrons to smoke marijuana on premises, but that's not sitting well with the people who got weed legalized in the District. "It's unnecessary. The current law prohibits any venue from selling marijuana or promising marijuana in exchange for admission. But what they're doing with this bill is banning any kind of use of use outside the home. There's a big problem with that, because there are lots of people who have nowhere to use their cannabis," said Adam Eidinger, the man behind the District's successful 2014 legalization initiative. Eidinger is warning that if the council passes the bill, he could push more ballot initiatives, including one allowing marijuana to be treated like tobacco and one that would impose term limits on council members.

Illinois Lawmaker Files Decriminalization Bill. Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) announced today that she is filing House Bill 4357, which would make possession of up to 10 grams a civil offense punishable only by a fine. A similar bill passed earlier this year only to be vetoed by Gov. Bruce Rauner (R), who proposed amendments to it at the time of his veto. The new bill addresses those amendments.

Michigan Legalization Campaign to Extend Signature Gathering. MI Legalize is extending its signature gathering campaign and turning to paid circulators to qualify for next year's general election ballot. Under state law, petitioners have 180 days to gather signatures, but that is a clock that runs backward from the time signatures are actually turned in. The campaign's original turn-in date was December 21, but it will now go longer. That means early gathered signatures may not be counted. For example, if the campaign turned in signatures on January 21 instead of December 21, the first 30 days' worth of signatures would not be counted, but more recent signatures would.

Medical Marijuana

Georgia Medical Marijuana Commission Rejects Growing It In-State. The Commission on Medical Cannabis voted 9-5 against allowing medical marijuana to be grown in the state, but the main proponent of expanding the program, Rep. Allen Peake (R-Macon) said he was still optimistic he can get in-state cultivation approved. "I think we can still make a compelling argument to the governor," Peake said. "I think we can address the fears of law enforcement. I think we can address the issue of potential demand. I'm absolutely certain we can provide legislation that both maximizes the benefit for our citizens and minimizes the risk to public health in our state."

Missouri Medical Marijuana Initiative Approved for Circulation. Secretary of State Jason Kander (D) has approved a medical marijuana initiative for signature-gathering. Read the initiative here.

Drug Testing

Federal Appeals Court Rules Missouri College Can Drug Test All Students. The 8th US Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis ruled Monday that the Linn State Technical College can require all students to take drug tests. The appeals court decision overturns a federal judge's 2013 decision that the college could only drug test students in five particularly safety-sensitive programs. The school policy had been challenged by the ACLU of Missouri, which said such widespread, suspicionless drug testing violated the Fourth Amendment.

Harm Reduction

New York City Makes Overdose Reversal Drug Naloxone Available Without a Prescription. Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) announced Monday that the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone (Narcan) will now be available without a prescription in pharmacies in the city. "The deaths are what we all struggle to avoid… but that's just the tip of the iceberg," de Blasio said during his announcement at a YMCA. "For every death, there are literally hundreds who struggle with addiction."

North Carolina Sees 1,500 Lives Saved With Overdose Reversal Drug Naloxone. In just under 2 ½ years, more than 1,500 overdose deaths have been prevented with the use of the overdose reversal drug naloxone (Narcan), the North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition reported today.

Law Enforcement

Rep. Steven Cohen Rips Use of Student Snitches. In the wake of a 60 Minutes report last Sunday and earlier reporting by Reason, Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) ripped into the practice of using nonviolent, first-time drug offenders as confidential informants. "It's time for the Department of Justice to take a close look at how the behavior of confidential informants not only threatens to ruin young lives, but in some cases, end their lives," he said, adding that he intends to file reform legislation.

International

Scotland To Begin Ticketing, Not Prosecuting, People With Pot. Starting next month, Scottish police will issue warnings to people caught with marijuana rather than prosecuting them. The move is part of a broader effort to change how police deal with petty crime, freeing them up to deal with more serious offenses.

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Ban should be rejected by Council

It's Unnecessary, No it's idiotic. This ban will allow Law Enforcement to behave as if weed is still illegal. This ban is an attempt for some on the city council to retain the sentiments of prohibition while appearing to appeal to their constituents who voted  favor of legalization. I hope the DRCNet continues thier coverage on this story to see how this debate plays out and what reformers can take away from it.

"The sentiments of prohibition"

Agreed.  And, in the same news report, we find Missouri hell-bent on drug testing all college students, because... well, again, because of the sentiments of prohibition.  That's a phrase I like, it describes very well the lunatic mindset of our opponents.  Now that we've called bullshit on all their lies, they simply breeze past all logic and reason -- they're just not in the "mood" for that kind of thing, facts and such, they're just not feeling it!  Of course, they still want us dead, shot, locked up, crushed and destroyed, punished and humiliated, but not for any actual meaningful reason, just for... you know, sentimental reasons.

We're ready to address the addiction,violence and crime that can be associated with drugs and the drug trade in particular: it's called harm reduction.  It's rational.  It works.  But it is not sentimental.

Well.  Sorry to harsh their mellow, but prohibition must die.  But it's like the living dead, you know?  They just won't go down, no matter how dead they are!  So some advice from Return of the Living Dead: "You gotta just keep chopping them up into little pieces, until there is nothing left to come after you!"  (Metaphorically and politically speaking, of course!  Love and Peace, people!  Puff puff pass!)

NYC Naloxone

This is hardly news, hardly exciting & barely helpful - the naloxone "news". The whole "naloxone" being available easier, more conveniently, equipped on first responders and or police, has been a headline in drug reform communities for the past two years just about. I often feel like this is just being repeated at various places because the main (THE ONLY) issue for most "drug" reform places is marijuana legalization and I understand that, I think this is because, the majority of reformers, the majority of people in control of the various sites and organizations, are pot smokers, love pot and pot is their priority. I don't condemn this at all, in fact, I completely understand.

 

It's very rare to find a heroin loving person with the time, means, ability to maintain a website. We're either sleeping on cardboard boxes on the sidewalk, every waking second in fear of being dope sick, or the rare few that are in a more stable position, often live in shame, yes, you don't see many pro heroin T shirts like those McDonalds Marijuana shirts, pot leaf tattoos, etc. etc. Though I myself have a pin that says "I shoot heroin for world peace" and various pro heroin T-shirts (one great one I have says "I dont care who wins the Superbowl, I'm here for the free heroin"

SO Naloxone, here's the deal with Naloxone. I say this ad nauseum everywhere so lets just get this out of the way for context, I spent most of my adult life homeless heroin purveyor in NYC. All the stereotypical stuff I've done it, lived it, continue to live it, in various ways. I am not ashamed at all, I love heroin, if I hadn't found opiates I'm afraid to think of what would have come of me and my sanity. I think crippling depression would have lead to an early death for me. So no, I'm not ashamed of the things I did and do and use. I think getting over the shame is a huge obstacle.

 

OK Naloxone yea right sorry. So I've had a kit of it in my work box for about a year now. I got it without a prescription from a needle exchange in Brooklyn (the one on Broadway, under the J/M tracks, to those in the know). It's extremely easy to get. Problem is, it doesn't really matter at the end of the day. I think the amount of OD's prevented or saved by Naloxone is insignificant in comparison to the amount of ODs and LIVES that would be saved if heroin was legal or at the least, heroin maintenance treatment.

 

So many times I've been present at OD's, one time in the bathroom of a popular chain store near St Marks place which is in the LES of NYC and the place I'm talking about is one of the best places to go to do your thing. Late at night with an old timer he OD'ed, somehow or another the EMS were called. They came, they barely got a few specks of units of the Naloxone into the old timer when he started to realize what they were doing, he ripped the naloxone out of his arm, the EMS was trying to put it back in he cussed the dude to kingdom come, refused the naloxone and did his best to get out of there.

 

One time in Union Square park very recently, sitting amongst my social caste over there, we hear an angry noise and then the following enraged comments "I just got naloxoned. The first person to look at me is going to get their rear end kicked." A friend of ours, fellow user, slow, with a certain biological social impairment didn't hear the angry person and looked at him and said "what did you say?" that angry person proceeded to storm over to the timid fellow and beat him brutally and he was hospitalized. Such was his rage and incapability to process and think straight after having his "life saved" by Naloxone.

 

The thing most people don't realize is the severity of dope sickness. You have to realize for most "junkies" (and I use the word with the utmost affection) the leading motivator in so much of our behavior is NOT TO BE SICK, to say that dope sickness is the most horrible pain in the world is an understatement. You have to realize that Naloxone, may save a life, OK but it also IMMEDIATELY gets rid of every ounce of opiate in your brain, flushing you with the most horrible pain and sickness in the world, AMPLIFIED, immediately. Screw being greatful for having your life saved, NO, its so bad you WISH YOU WERE DEAD anyway.

 

I don't know if they can make an Anti- OD drug that DOESNT do that. The most evil abomination in the world, SUBOXONE, it seems, was deliberately made to *PUNISH* us heroin users. The fact is nobody wants to be naloxoned when they OD. Naloxone isn't a great stepping stone to solve the so called "heroin question."

 

Here in America we are DOMINATED by that sexually perverse, EVIL *RELIGIOUS* cult of the 12 Step philosophy (AA, NA, ?A etc etc) who preach total 100% abstinence in everything. In their efforts to totally abolish all drugs, their completely extremist thinking, it makes me wonder if the Naloxone, the Suboxone is but a bi product of that philosophy.

 

The truth is, when a product costs at least 100 dollars a day and you HAVE TO have it every day, mayhem and madness will ensue. This product that costs 10 cents to produce, should cost a dollar a bag, theres still 90 cents profit. LOL. The solution is, again, legalization and or heroin maintenance or at the least proper opiate maintenance (roxi, oxy, dilaudid, etc.) We need to abolish that Harrison Narcotics Tax act.

 

And lastly, my advice to anyone dealing with the shame of using, don't deny it, don't hide it, embrace what you do. You know you love what you do. All that talk about "this is it! this is the last time! im not doing this again tomorrow!" you know you are, why deny yourself? You do it because of societal pressures, but we both know, you and I, that society has it wrong about this, they haven't even done it, how could they possibly no? They don't know. They tell you not to do it because someone else whose never done it and just hates it ignorantly told them to tell you not to do it. So the next time someone gives you that once over to see if you're "straight" or not, you look them in the eye and say yeah I just did a few bags, so what? Whats that got to do with you and me? What does what I do in the privacy of the bathroom or my bedroom or wherever, have to do with anything between you and me, right now? Nothing. Mind your business. You do the things that make you happy, let me do the things that I enjoy, don't judge me, I don't judge you and your yoga classes, calorie counting, sex obsession, TV/Video game obsession, so don't judge me. Just my advice. It works for me.

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