Chronicle AM: Late Uncertainty on CA Initiatives, FL Heroin Deaths at Record High, More (10/2/15)

There are signs of dissension around the ReformCA legalization initiative, Oklahoma medical marijuana supporters are searching for signatures, a federal bill to require police to report lethal force incidents is introduced, and more.

Heroin killed a record number of people in Florida last year, but more died of prescription drug overdoses. (NJ State Police)
Marijuana Policy

Last Minute Uncertainties for California's ReformCA Initiative. There are signs the unified front behind the pending ReformCA legalization initiative isn't as unified as was thought. The LA Weekly is reporting that one of its key backers, the Drug Policy Alliance, might go its own way. "We want to have a plan B option that's ready to go in case [another] initiative doesn't represent and uphold the values and principles," said Lynne Lyman, the DPA's California director. "We're most concerned about a case where it doesn't move forward." DPA, NORML, and the Marijuana Policy Project had been listed on the ReformCA website as supporters; now they're not. MPP has confirmed that it asked for its name to be removed. But Dale Gieringer, a spokesman for ReformCA, downplayed the situation. "It's not that chaotic. It will all be clear in a few days. It's about last-minute negotiation."

Medical Marijuana

Oklahoma Initiative Signature Gathering Goes Forward. The Green the Vote medical marijuana initiative campaign was doing signature gathering in Ardmore Thursday. The group has 90 days to gather 130,000 valid voter signatures to qualify for the November 2016 ballot.

Heroin and Prescription Opiates

Florida Heroin Deaths at All-Time High. Heroin was detected in 447 fatalities last year, according to state medical examiners. That's more than double the 199 people who died with heroin in their bodies in 2013. Fentanyl was also surging; there were 538 deaths of people who had the powerful prescription opioid in their systems, nearly double the 292 from the previous year. While heroin deaths were at record levels, more than twice as many (978) people died with oxycodone in their systems. There were 8,587 fatal drug overdoses reported in Florida last year; many of them included multiple substances.

Drug Policy

New Hampshire GOP Lawmakers Want Online Drug Dealer Registry. Three GOP lawmakers have presented slightly different bills that would create an online drug dealer registry similar to sex offender registries, but advocacy groups said such a move is unfair and unnecessary. "It's a stupid, gratuitous and entirely unnecessary proposal," said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance. ''It reminds me of the sort of foolish rhetoric and foolish laws that flowed from back at the height of the drug war." Click on the title link for more detail.

Law Enforcement

Federal Bill Requiring Police to Report Use of Lethal Force Filed. Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) Thursday filed S. 2112, "a bill to require law enforcement agencies to report the use of lethal force, and for other purposes."

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FLA Heroin

Wow! I can't believe this! I mean, yes I can believe this it's just crazy. Listen to this though, this is what I immediately thought about - it was about.... 4 years ago maybe when I was homeless in Florida. I was homeless in the West Palm Beach, Pompano Beach, Del Rey (rehab capital of the world lol) area. Even at that late date it was still pill mania out there... lol, i remember so many times going into the mall parking lots of various CVS and  other chain pharmacies and youd invariably see an old person in the passenger side of a car with a "gangsta" in the drivers seat inevitably there to buy up the entire prescription of the old person. I mean guys the pill situation by then was massive... I had been there prior to 2011 i was there in 2003 and it wasnt anything like that... in '03 you were paying 8 dollars for a Roxi 30. By 2011 having been fed up with homeless heroin life in NYC and reminiscing and missing those 2003 florida days (and other reasons too) I went back but it was nothing like it used to be, it was 100x blown up. instead of 8 dollar pills you were paying 30 AT LEAST. And you were never guaranteed to get the ones you liked because it was so bad that the pharmacies had posted up on their front doors that they were sold out and back ordered for months on oxy and roxi so the dealers instead of giving you the blue 30s theyd make up for it with the 15's... (cuz, duh, 15 + 15 = 30 so you'd get two pills of the 15s instead of 1 of the 30s).

 

BUT one night the cops just really had to have a hard on for me so this one particular night they were relentless and luckily for me I noticed them prowling and swear to God just about 5 minutes before they rolled up on me I had JUST thrown away a bag full of needles and other paraphenelia.

 

Anyway that particular cop ended up being a nice enough dude he explained how the city was "incorporated" and thus i would be woken up and harassed if i was seen sleeping in public, he took me to a hospital where i was able to sleep but the thing is on the way to the hospital he explained he stopped me cuz i fit the bill of the typical person they stopped, white, looked late teens to early 30s and he explained how absolutely insane the pill situation was and he told me then in 2011 that it had been *4* FOUR years since anyone in his department had seen a bag of heroin. So to have heard that from the cop and to read this now... i have no doubt the suppression of the pill mills and the war on pills the cops were raging out there had finally made heroin return to FLA. Good job cops. heh.

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