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Drug Policy Facts Podcast for 08-26-14: Research news plus the future of medical cannabis in WA.

26 Aug

This week: research on the impact of medical cannabis laws on opioid overdose deaths, and part two of our special coverage of Seattle Hempfest. It’s the drug policy facts podcast for August 26, 2014.

Drug Policy Facts Podcast #13 Is Online!

5 Feb
Let nations rejoice, the new Drug Policy Facts Podcast is online!
This week features audio from a landmark hearing on Capitol Hill on federal marijuana policy, a report on the environmental impact of drug trafficking and transshipment, and a look at the lessons we can learn from the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman.
Download, listen, and subscribe from:
#DrugWar #DrugFacts #DrugPolicy #DrugPolicyReform #mmot #HarmReduction

Drug War Facts Podcast #11 Is Online!

22 Jan

The new Drug Policy Facts Podcast is online! Listen, download and subscribe from

This week’s show: Washington and Colorado reach the Super Bowl; President Obama admits marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol; NIDA’s drug facts week is Jan 27-Feb 2; and more Nixon White House tapes, this week discussing heroin and the creation of the first drug czar’s office, the Special Action Office for Drug Abuse Prevention.

Knowledge is power. Get the facts.

New Report Shows Drop in Heroin, Crack Use in England

6 Mar

The UK’s National Treatment Agency has released a new report showing a dramatic drop in the use of heroin and crack cocaine in England, particularly among young people.

On March 6, 2013, <a href=>the NTA announced</a> that:

According to the new estimates, the number of heroin and crack users fell to 298,752 in 2010-11, from a peak of 332,090 in 2005-06. The number of people injecting drugs has also fallen significantly, from 129,977 in 2005-06 to 93,401 in 2010-11.

These reductions in use are mirrored by a fall in numbers entering treatment for dependency.  The number of people starting a new treatment programme for addiction to heroin and/or crack fell from 64,288 in 2005-6 to 47,210 in 2011-12.

However behind this positive picture, an older and vulnerable population of users poses major challenges for local treatment systems. While more and more people have been helped to recover from addiction to heroin and crack, thus contributing to the fall in numbers using these drugs, the proportion of over-35s in treatment has increased and these are more entrenched users who are harder to help. The annual increases in recovery rates seen since 2005-06 will become increasingly difficult to sustain in this environment.


A copy of the full report as well as supporting data are available for download from

Major investigative report from The Bangkok Post: Myanmar’s Rising Drug Trade

11 Feb

From the story:


“Critics say that the ceasefire agreements signed with ethnic armies are driven by a desire to capitalise on the country’s booming narcotics business not a desire for change and that the army and politicians are padding their coffers with the proceeds.”

More here:

UNODC Issues Full Afghan Opium Survey for 2011

15 Jan

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime issued its full Afghan Opium Survey for 2011 on Jan. 12, 2012. According to the UNODC press office:

The full Afghan Opium Survey for 2011 points to a dramatic increase of 133 per cent in the farm-gate value of opium compared with 2010 (the summary findings of the survey were issued in September 2011).  Released today by the Ministry of Counter-Narcotics of Afghanistan and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the survey reveals that the farm-gate income generated by opium probably amounted to $1.4 billion, equivalent to 9 per cent of the GDP of Afghanistan in 2011.

Even more striking is the potential income derived from opium production. Export earnings from Afghan opiates may be worth $2.4 billion – equivalent to 15 per cent of GDP. Such vast sums cannot easily be earned in other ways. “Opium is therefore a significant part of the Afghan economy and provides considerable funding to the insurgency and fuels corruption,” said Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of UNODC.

Almost 60 per cent of farmers surveyed in 2011 said that they were motivated primarily by the high prices fetched by opium poppy cultivation, which will continue to remain attractive if it reaps bumper profits, according to the survey. Compounding the problem was a simultaneous drop in the price of wheat. In 2011, the gross income from opium was 11 times higher than that from wheat, the biggest difference in income since 2003.

In 2010, plant diseases wiped out much of the opium yield and the resulting scarcity of fresh opium triggered a speculative rise in prices. While higher prices had been expected in 2011 after opium yields returned to pre-blight levels, the 2011 values far exceeded expectations. The gross per-hectare income from opium cultivation ($10,700) also reached levels not observed since 2003.

Around 90 per cent of the world’s opium comes from Afghanistan. The survey showed that the area of land used for opium poppy cultivation in 2011 was 131,000 hectares, 7 per cent higher than in 2010. The amount of opium produced increased by 61 per cent, from 3,600 metric tons in 2010 to 5,800 metric tons in 2011.

The report is available from here.

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