Skip to main content

Chronicle AM: Recovery Advocates Urge Funding Addiction Act, South Africa MMJ, More... (11/25/16)

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #951)
Politics & Advocacy

Recovery advocates have organized a call-in to pressure Congress to fund the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, Minnesota may tighten up on opioid prescribing, South Africa advances on medical marijuana, and more.


Move Underway to Get Pot Deliveries in Washington State. Officials in Seattle are working on a draft bill to legalize marijuana delivery services. A similar effort failed in the last legislative session. "As Pete and the Mayor said last January, we support legislation allowing local jurisdictions to opt in to legal, regulated marijuana delivery," said Deputy City Attorney John Schochet, referring to City Attorney Pete Holmes. "We are actively working with the Mayor's office and stakeholders to craft legislation that would allow this."

Heroin and Prescription Opioids

Recovery Advocates Urge Calling Congress on Monday to Get $1 Billion to Address the Opioid Epidemic. The recovery community is urging its members and friends to call Congress Monday to urge it to come up with money to fund the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), which passed Congress this past summer. "We, the 95 member organizations of the Association of Recovery Community Organizations (ARCO) at Faces & Voices of Recovery, urge Congress to authorize $1 billion to fight the opiate addiction crisis. We are on the ground in urban and rural communities across the nation fighting this epidemic and we see first-hand the devastation addiction causes to individuals, their children and families, and communities. Our work brings hope to solving this crisis by helping people find and maintain long-term recovery and rebuild their lives." The CARA would increase access to naloxone, provide increased treatment resources for prisoners and bar the Education Department from asking about drug convictions on student loan forms. It would also "improve prescription drug monitoring programs," something drug reformers tend to be wary about due to their potential impact on the availability of pain medications to patients.

Minnesota Attorney General Recommends Opioid Prescribing Changes. Attorney General Lori Swanson Wednesday issued a report on the opioid problem calling for requiring doctors to check state prescription drug databases before issuing new prescriptions and limiting controlled substance prescriptions to 30 days instead of one year. She also called for increased access to the overdose reversal drug naloxone. "Growing addiction to prescription opioid painkillers is devastating families from all walks of life across all parts of our state,"Swanson said. "We need all hands on deck to push forward solutions, which must involve those in health care, the criminal justice system, patients, families, and policymakers."


Swiss Canton of Zurich Moves to Issue Own Medical Marijuana Cards. Swiss citizens can already use medical marijuana if they have authorization from federal health officials, but that process has proven complicated and over-bureaucratized, so the cantonal government in Zurich has approved Green Party-sponsored legislation that would let the canton issue cards itself. But now the canton must get approval for the scheme from the federal government, so stay tuned.

South Africa Takes Another Step Toward Okaying Medical Marijuana. The government's Medicines Control Council has told parliament that the Department of Health is moving ahead with plans to recognize marijuana as a medicine. The council said that it could be ready by February to start issuing permits to allow the cultivation and sale of medical marijuana. The proposed move would also reschedule marijuana from a banned drug to a prescription one.

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


Mark Mitcham (not verified)

As a recovering alcoholic myself, I am more than "for" recovery -- it saved my life.  But I urge caution in viewing the recovery "community" as a monolith of some kind, with a coherent political agenda.  In our society, recovering addicts have no community, other than some groups like AA (of which I am also a member.)

I am convinced the primary thing this nation needs to do with regard to recovery is to kick all law enforcement types right the fuck out of the building.  Drug use, and correspondingly, drug addiction, are simply not criminal matters, in and of themselves.  Law Enforcement is excused from the discussion; they are Enemy Number One in the recovering addicts' world.

But what about the drug itself? you might ask.  Is that not the primary enemy?

No.  A drug is a chemical without a political agenda of any kind.  To declare war against a drug is to declare war against the drug user.  This will not help the addict, his/her family, or his/her community.

I urge folks to look carefully for the "wolves in sheep's clothing" who say they want to deal with the "addiction problem" instead of saying they want to help addicts recover.  Now check to see if their "solution" is a so-called "free market" solution, which views addicts as just another group of suckers to exploit for profit.  Now check to see if their solution involves law enforcement.  Neither of these is a solution.  Both are entirely un-fucking-helpful.

Get the fucking cops out of here; get the fucking corporate money-grubbers out of here.  This is about compassion for people.  If you're here to make a buck or a bust, just get the fuck on out of here, and don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

Sat, 11/26/2016 - 7:27am Permalink
Don123 (not verified)

Micham, that AA nonsense is all about making people feel they are powerless and their only choice is to go for abstinence instead of moderating their drug use .Abstinence only is just plain dumb and so is all of that religous foundational nonsense attached to it. Religion nutcases and zealots telling people they should go for abstinence only, they should take their own advice first, hypocrites. The whole addiction paradigm is itself ridiculous. Empower yourself, learn to control what goes in your mouth, nose and lungs. We the people have a right to use plants, vines, mushrooms and other recreation al drugs.

Sat, 11/26/2016 - 7:07pm Permalink
Mark Mitcham (not verified)

In reply to by Don123 (not verified)

Suit yourself, friend.  Like I said, nobody has a gun to your head.  Nobody is trying to make you do anything.  So why are you so threatened?

Here's what you don't understand: for SOME alcoholics, moderation is simply not an option.  It's the nature of the illness.  For some alcoholics, it's a binary choice: quit or die.  I don't determine who those people are.  I can tell you for a fact, however, that I am one of them.  Had I not quit drinking, I would be dead now.  That simple.  If you don't have that problem, then you're a lucky individual.  And I wish you well; but I wasn't talking to you.  And if you don't believe me, too bad.

If you insist on the right to take drugs, I support you one hundred percent.  But by the same token, an individual has the right to quit taking drugs, or just quit taking one particular drug, if they so choose.  If you believe in the right to decide for yourself what does and what doesn't go into your body, then you have nothing to bitch about.  You can't have it both ways.  To us, we encounter judgmental people like yourself all day long.  That's another good reason to go to an AA meeting: to get away from people like you, for just an hour or two.

Sat, 11/26/2016 - 8:38pm Permalink

Add new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.