Chronicle AM: CA Judge Rules for Growers, CT Judge Rules for Patient, More... (8/11/17)

Federal judges stuck up for California marijuana growers and a Connecticut medical marijuana patient, another Seattle suburb goes NIMBY on safe injection sites, and more.

Connecticut fed judge: Medical marijuana user denied job for positive drug test can sue. (Wikimedia.org)
Marijuana Policy

California Federal Judge Blocks Prosecution of Marijuana Growers. A federal district court judge in San Francisco ruled on Tuesday that federal prosecutors cannot move forward with their prosecution of two Humboldt County pot growers because the pair was in compliance with state laws. Judge Richard Seeborg held that the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment blocked such prosecutions, and the case is closed unless or until that amendment expires.

Nevada Opens Up Marijuana Distribution Rights. The state Department of Taxation concluded Thursday that there weren't enough liquor distributors who wanted to transport marijuana to pot shops and decided to open the business up to other potential distributors. "The capacity of only liquor wholesalers to serve the market seems lacking," said Deonne Contine, executive director of the tax department, in remarks reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "I think the evidence is fairly clear today that this market needs to be opened up," she said.

Medical Marijuana

Connecticut Federal Judge Rules Employee Not Hired Because of Medical Marijuana Can Sue. A federal district court judge in New Haven ruled on Tuesday that a woman who was using medical marijuana in compliance with state law can sue an employer who rescinded her job offer after she tested positive for marijuana. The woman had previously disclosed her medical marijuana use and had quit her former job when, one day before she was supposed to begin her new job, the company notified her it was rescinding the offer. The ruling echoes one last month in Maine's Supreme Judicial Court, and may signal the beginning of judicial recognition of the employment rights of medical marijuana users.

Arkansas Hasn't Seen Any Grow or Dispensary Applications Yet. With the state halfway through its application period for medical marijuana grow and dispensary licenses, state officials said Friday that they had yet to receive any applications, but they weren't worried. "We are not concerned, as we understand the applications require detailed and specific information that will take time to complete," Department of Finance and Administration spokesman Scott Hardin told the Associated Press. "Applicants are likely performing their due diligence to provide quality applications." The deadline for applications is September 18.

Harm Reduction

Another Seattle Suburb Rejects Safe Injection Sites. The city council in south suburban Federal Way voted Tuesday night to ban safe injection sites in the city. The vote comes after a King County task force recommended opening two safe injection sites in the county, which includes Seattle. Another Seattle suburb, Bellevue, approved a similar NIMBY ban just days ago. One safe injection is set for Seattle; the other is supposed to open in one of the suburbs.

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Hmmmm

Portugal is held up as the gold standard for "decriminalizing" drugs and not "judging" the addict.  Their programs has some success due to wrap-around services and is mandatory.  Drug dealing is still illegal and dealt with harshly.  Other EU countries tried to emulate the program.  With the 2008 recession, their budgets were slashed for the addicts in program and caused overdoses, increased crime, and increased disease transmission, increased homelessness.  Can you see us having an Injections Site AND wrap-around services?  I don't believe there will be funding for both.  Why not use any proposed funding and increase needed detox/rehab facilities and sober living environments along with all the needed physical/mental health and social services.  The way I see it, Injections Sites are prolonging the suffering and misery of the addict with the usual end result of death.  Which would be more compassionate? http://www.globaldrugpolicy.org/Issues/Vol%201%20Issue%203/A%20Critical%20Evaluation.pdf THE JOURNAL OF GLOBAL DRUG Policy AND PRACTICEA Critical Evaluation of the Effects of Safe Injection Facilities Garth Davies, Simon Fraser University Conclusion: Taking Causality SeriouslyOn the subject of the effects of SIFs, the available research is overwhelmingly positive. Evidence can be found in support of SIFs achieving each of the goals listed at the beginning of the evaluation. In terms of our level of confidence in these studies,the assessment offered here is far less sanguine. In truth,none of the impacts attributed to SIFs can be unambiguously verified. As a result of the methodological and analytical problems identified above, all claims remain open to question. http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ahc-asc/pubs/_sites-lieux/insite/index-eng.php Vancouver's INSITE service and other Supervised injection sites: What has been learned from research?             Final report of the Expert Advisory Committee http://www.kiro7.com/news/local/councilwomans-idea-for-seattle-safe-injection-site-locations-belltown-lake-city/466411868 "At the Vancouver site, the manager said since opening in 2003, the overdose death rate in the area around the clinic has dropped 35 percent. But the clinic also estimates 15 to 20 percent of people using the site come from other parts of the country specifically for it." http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/health/is-vancouvers-safe-drug-use-site-a-good-model-for-seattle/"Although research appears to bear that out, many of the studies that attest to Insite’s success are small and limited to the years after the center opened. For instance, a 2011 study published in the journal The Lancet found a 35 percent reduction in overdose deaths in the blocks surrounding Insite, versus 9 percent in the rest of Vancouver. But that often-cited study looked only at the period two years before and two years after the center opened, not the ensuing decade." http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/health/is-vancouvers-safe-drug-use-site-a-good-model-for-seattle/        "Although Insite is paired with a drug-treatment center, called Onsite, Berner and other critics point out that completion rates are low. Of the 6,500 people who visited Insite last year, 464 were referred to Onsite’s detox center. Of those, 252 finished treatment." The Vancouver Insite was placed in a crime-ridden, drug-ridden, low-income neighborhood. It only got worse. http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/health/is-vancouvers-safe-drug-use-site-a-good-model-for-seattle/  "Although the Insite center is a model, the Vancouver neighborhood surrounding it is nothing to emulate, advocates acknowledged. “If I came from a city like Seattle and I went to that Insite place, it would scare the hell out of me,” Kral said. “I would think, ‘Are we going to create one of those?’ ”"  http://news.nationalpost.com/news/vancouvers-gulag-canadas-poorest-neighbourhood-refuses-to-get-better-despite-1m-a-day-in-social-spendingVancouver’s ‘gulag’: Canada’s poorest neighbourhood refuses to get better despite $1M a day in social spending What do you think would happen if this was placed in a middle-class neighborhood, or, ANY Santa Cruz neighborhood? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=audzsuRMWBE&t=586shttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwJkqTZ5H_s http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/brian-hutchinson-thousands-of-used-drug-needles-have-become-the-new-normal-for-vancouver4/27/2016Brian Hutchinson: Finding used drug needles in public spaces has become the new normal for Vancouver http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/mark-hasiuk/insite-vancouver_b_3949237.html "Ten years later, despite any lofty claims, for most addicts, InSite's just another place to get high." The 100% positive studies on Vancouver's Insite (Safe Injection Facility) was done  "Early last decade, Montaner and Kerr lobbied for an injection site. In 2003, the Chretien Liberals acquiesced, gave the greenlight to B.C.'s Ministry of Health, which, through Vancouver Coastal Health, gave nearly $1.5 million to the BC Centre (that's Montaner and Kerr, you remember them) to evaluate a three-year injection site trial in Vancouver. I asked him about the potential conflict of interest (lobbyists conducting research) and he ended the interview with a warning. "If you took that one step further you'd be accusing me of scientific misconduct, which I would take great offense to. And any allegation of that has been generally met with a letter from my lawyer." Was I being unfair? InSite is a radical experiment, new to North America and paid for by taxpayers. Kerr and company are obligated to explain their methods and defend their philosophy without issuing veiled threats of legal action." In the media, Kerr frequently mentions the "peer review" status of his studies, implying that studies published in medical journals are unassailable. Rubbish. Journals often publish controversial studies to attract readers -- publication does not necessarily equal endorsement. The InSite study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, a favourite reference of InSite champions, appeared as a "letter to the editor" sandwiched between a letter about "crush injuries" in earthquakes and another on celiac disease." Really? What kind of "science" produces dozens of studies, within the realm of public health, a notoriously volatile research field, with positive outcomes 100 per cent of the time? Those results should raise the eyebrows of any first-year stats student." And who's more likely to be swayed by personal bias? InSite opponents, questioning government-sanctioned hard drug abuse? Or Montaner, Kerr and their handful of acolytes who've staked their careers on InSite's survival? From 2003 to 2011, the BC Centre received $2,610,000 from B.C. taxpayers to "study" InSite. How much money have InSite critics received?" There has never been an independent analysis of InSite, yet, if you base your knowledge on Vancouver media reports, the case is closed. InSite is a success and should be copied nationwide for the benefit of humanity. Tangential links to declining overdose rates are swallowed whole. Kerr's claims of reduced "public disorder" in the neighbourhood go unchallenged, despite other mitigating factors such as police activity and community initiative. Journalists note Onsite, the so-called "treatment program" above the injection site, ignoring Onsite's reputation among neighbourhood residents as a spit-shined flophouse of momentary sobriety." http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ahc-asc/pubs/_sites-lieux/insite/index-eng.php   Reducing the Transmission of Blood-Borne Viral Infections & Other Injection Related Infections      "Self-reports from users of the INSITE service and from users of SIS services in other countries indicate that needle sharing decreases with increased use of SISs. Mathematical modeling, based on assumptions about baseline rates of needle sharing, the risks of HIV transmission and other variables, generated very wide ranging estimates for the number of HIV cases that might have been prevented. The EAC were not convinced that these assumptions were entirely valid.      SISs do not typically have the capacity to accommodate all, or even most injections that might otherwise take place in public.                                 Several limitations to existing research were identified including:      Caution should be exercised in using mathematical modelling for assessing cost benefit/effectiveness of INSITE, given that:        There was limited local data available regarding baseline frequency of injection, frequency of needle sharing and other key variables used in the analysis;        While some longitudinal studies have been conducted, the results have yet to be published and may never be published given the overlapping design of the cohorts;        No studies have compared INSITE with other methods that might be used to increase referrals to detoxification and treatment services, such as outreach, enhanced needle exchange service, or drug treatment courts.    Some user characteristics relevant to understanding their needs and monitoring change have not been reported including details of baseline treatment histories, frequency of injection and frequency of needle sharing.    User characteristics and reported changes in injection practices are based on self-reports and have not been validated in other ways. More objective evidence of sustained changes in risk behaviours and a comparison or control group study would be needed to confidently state that INSITE and SISs have a significant impact on needle sharing and other risk behaviours outside of the site where the vast majority of drug injections still take place." "It has been estimated that injection drug users inject an average six injections a day of cocaine and four injections a day of heroin. The street costs of this use are estimated at around $100 a day or $35,000 a year. Few injection drug users have sufficient income to pay for the habit out through employment. Some, mainly females get this money through prostitution and others through theft, break-ins and auto theft. If the theft is of property rather than cash, it is estimated that they must steal close to $350,000 in property a year to get $35,000 cash. Still others get the money they need by selling drugs." https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/massive-price-hike-for-lifesaving-opioid-overdose-antidote1/Massive Price Hike for Lifesaving Opioid Overdose Antidote Suddenly in demand, naloxone injector goes from $690 to $4,500 Should we follow the money?  Who would be profiting bigly from the increased use of naloxone? http://www.bcmj.org/premise/supervised-injection-sites%E2%80%94-view-law-enforcementSupervised injection sites—a view from law enforcement Jamie Graham, former chief of Vancouver Police has outlined the successful model of dealing with an epidemic: Support, mandatory treatment, abstinence, and counseling as all part of the solution. My recover(ed)(ing) addict friends say they would agree. https://mosaicscience.com/story/iceland-prevent-teen-substance-abuseIceland knows how to stop teen substance abuse but the rest of the world isn’t listening In Iceland, teenage smoking, drinking and drug use have been radically cut in the past 20 years. Emma Young finds out how they did it, and why other countries won’t follow suit. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/05/05/pigeon-nest-needles-highlights-vancouvers-drug-problem/101323878/ Pigeon nest of needles highlights Vancouver's drug problem Some graphs about how overdoses in Vancouver, BC have increased:   https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4937e3e285c02900541696be294c99859dd986654fc2ea3b3b1f41f673618dc7.png One more: https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d2f8aa542d4033a1f198a3b0e3e802482a4becf1e45b04e77079e989e5c6460a.jpg

re: hmmmmm

tl;dr

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