Breaking News:Save Marijuana Legalization

Chronicle AM: BC Pilot Program Will Provide Free Opioids to Entrenched Users, More... (12/21/17)

Austin mellows out on pot policy, the VA lets doctors talk about -- but not recommend -- medical marijuana to patients, British Columbia is set to begin a pilot project of giving medical-grade opioids to chronic users, and more.

BC health officials are going to start giving hydromorphone (Dilaudid) to chronic opioid users. (Wikimedia)
Marijuana Policy

Austin, Texas, to Allow Small-Time Marijuana Possessors to Take Class, Avoid Charges. People caught with less than two ounces of marijuana will be able to avoid criminal charges if they take a four-hour class on drug abuse and the effects of marijuana on the body under a policy unanimously adopted by Travis County commissioners Wednesday. Houston is already doing something similar. About 2,000 people get arrested for pot each year in Travis County, a disproportionate number of whom are black or Hispanic.

Medical Marijuana

New Veterans Administration Rules Let Docs Talk About -- But Not Recommend -- Medical Marijuana. Under a new VA directive, doctors can "discuss with the veteran marijuana use, due to its clinical relevance to patient care, and discuss marijuana use with any veterans requesting information about marijuana." But they can't recommend it: "Providers are prohibited from completing forms or registering veterans for participation in a state-approved marijuana program."

Utah Poll Has Strong Support for Medical Marijuana Initiative. A new UtahPolicy poll finds that nearly three-quarters (73%) of respondents support a proposed medical marijuana initiative. That figure includes 61% of people who describe themselves as "very active" Mormons. The church opposes the initiative. The initiative will go on the November 2018 ballot if petitioners can come up with 113,000 valid voter signatures by the spring.

International

British Columbia Pilot Project to Hand Out Free Opioids to Users. The BC Center for Disease Control has won permission to begin a pilot project where medical-grade opioids will be provided at no cost to at-risk users. The move is aimed at reducing fatal drug overdoses, as well as reducing costs associated with drug use and addiction. Under the program, chronic opioid users registered with the agency will be given three free doses of hydromorphone (Dilaudid) daily. The annual cost for the drug for each user will be under $700, less than the cost of a single emergency call to medical first-responders. The program is set to begin in April.

Mexico to Legalize Marijuana-Based Products Next Year. The country's health regulatory agency, Cofepris, announced Wednesday that Mexico will legalize the sales of marijuana-based foods, drinks, cosmetics, and other products early next year. Mexico has legalized the use of marijuana for medical and scientific, but not recreational purposes.

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substitution therapy

The government of BC has finally taken a step towards giving addicts hydromorphone instead of heroin?Why would they do this when the two drugs are very different and the idea is to save lives?If you agree to hand out a clinical narcotic,why a substitute?I have done hydromorphone.It isn't heroin and it has a half life that's half of what heroin is?Anyone who's truly addicted to heroin won't like hydromorphone.If they happen to be on the methadose program,they won't feel a thing.Vancouver already has a heroin program.The permissions to use heroin are already in place.If they truly want to save lives,give the addicts what they want.Some will be fine with hydromorphone but for everyone that is.There'll be another who won't like it at all.This is all about semantics and politics.I know their heart must be in the right place?So why go 1/2 way when they're almost there already.I applaud their doing something.I just wish they'd consulted some addicts and not just the medical community.Even those working daily with addicts have no clue.This program has a 50% chance.It could have been 100% with just a little guts.

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