Tag Archives: drug policy

Why the Legal Challenge to Colorado’s Adult-Use Marijuana Law Will Fail

6 Mar

A suit has been filed in federal court, by a handful of Colorado sheriffs among others, asking for Colorado’s legal adult-use program to be ended. There is one argument of significance:

The sheriffs, and some other prohibitionists, are asserting that when the state is put into the position of licensing and regulating activities that violate the CSA, they can be argued to be in violation of federal law.

That argument is not original, we’ve actually been hearing it mentioned in other parts of the country. I’ll get back to that in a minute.

The counter-argument to the CSA concern has always been that there is a 10th amendment to the US constitution, which is a guarantee of states’ rights. Also these are intra-state concerns and not inter-state concerns, so the interstate commerce clause of the US Constitution should prevent Congress from interfering with a state program. The two arguments together are quite powerful.

Unfortunately those arguments have been tried, and have failed, in the past. The Raich v Gonzalez case was decided by the Supremes back in 2005. A decade can be a long time in legal terms. We have a new court now, with new judges, and we have new attorneys who have the benefit of all the trial transcripts and motions and appeals histories. There are lawyers out there who have spent the past 10 years learning and studying and devising ways to win on those constitutional arguments.

And we’ve got a lot more than just that. When the Raich case first went to trial, we had very limited experience with regulated state medical marijuana programs. There were no state legal adult use programs. The justices and the attorneys on both sides had no data, no real world experience, on which to draw. They justified over-riding the commerce clause concerns because of the possibility that there might be public health or public safety concerns. And now, 10 years later, we have several states running regulated medical marijuana programs and the states of Washington and Colorado running legal adult-use marijuana programs. We have research and evidence showing that these programs have had a positive impact on public health, and a positive net impact on public safety.

This suit being brought against the state of Colorado by the sheriffs, it’s not an isolated thing. Prohibitionists around the world and around the nation are networked, they work together, they share information. I said before, I’ve heard some of these arguments recently. The state of Oregon is working to implement its own legal adult-use marijuana program. That state’s legislature is being lobbied by the Association of Oregon Counties and the League of Oregon Cities to give local governments more power and authority to ban marijuana businesses and to impose local taxes. Officials from those organizations have made some not-so-subtle threats that if they don’t get their way, some city or county might file suit in federal court, using the same arguments about the CSA that the Colorado suit mentions, to try and stop the Oregon legal adult-use program.

Significantly, those Oregon attorneys conceded that it’s only the regulation and licensing of sale and commercial production that could be challenged that way, and that personal use possession and cultivation could not be challenged with that argument. But I digress.

Doing a little more research, it appears that these arguments were developed in earlier cases, in Michigan and also in Oregon. They’ve been refining and expanding on these arguments over the years, and they’ve been learning from their losses. The prohibitionists think that they know what they’re doing. They don’t seem to understand that our side has also spent the past decade working and learning and sharing information, and learning from our losses as well as our victories. And we’ve been researching and assessing these programs, and their impacts on public health and public safety, and so have the states running these programs.

The prohibitionists want a replay of Raich v Gonzalez. But they must not realize what they’re asking for. The justice who wrote that decision, John Paul Stevens, retired in 2010. Federalism is making a resurgence. The evidence on marijuana legalization is finally in and it is clear that legalization is a good thing on several levels, having positive impacts on public safety and public health. The train has left the station, the tracks are clear, and this time around there are no stops until we have reached our final destination: the end of prohibition.

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 War Facts Newsletter – Vol. 4, No. 1, Jan. 2014

8 Jan

What’s New At Drug War Facts – Vol. 4, No. 1, January 2014

Issue In Focus

The new Monitoring the Future Survey results for 2013 were released recently.

In discussing the new data in a video released on YouTube, Dr. Nora Volkow, the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, said this: “If we compare the numbers that were, for example, in 2000 regular users, and now in 2013, we have seen increases in those numbers. But in 2000, at the 2000 level of 9 THC was at least half of the levels that we observe now, at least half. So that means that not just were there less kids taking the drug regularly, but even those that were taking it regularly were taking a much less potent drug.”

It almost sounded like she was asserting that THC levels have doubled but that’s not what she said. She did definitely assert that in 2000, cannabis was much less potent.

The short version of this report is, she was wrong. This isn’t just some political hack, or an uninformed blogger. She’s the director of the government’s National Institute on Drug Abuse, she’s supposed to be the government’s science person on drugs. That’s not acceptable.

Let’s look at what’s known. These data are available through drugwarfacts.org, in the marijuana section, where you can find a table of average THC levels of seized samples of cannabis as reported by the University of Mississippi’s Potency Monitoring Project.

These are the only data on this, they’re the same data Nora Volkow has. The Project stopped testing domestic samples a few years ago, the last domestic cannabis data are from 2010. Samples of non-domestic cannabis – imports from Mexico, Jamaica, Canada, and so many other countries – continue to be tested, but only preliminary data for 2012 are currently available.

Average THC potencies are given for two grades of cannabis: low-end commercial grade – what they call simply “marijuana” – and high-end sinsemilla-type cannabis. The overall combined average they report includes a few samples of ditchweed, so we’ll stick with specific data for “marijuana” and “sinsemilla”, and since 2010 is the last year with domestic data, we’ll use it for comparison.

In 2000, non-domestic commercial grade marijuana averaged 5.10% THC. The non-domestic sinsemilla type averaged 12.87%. Domestic commercial grade marijuana averaged 3.96% THC, and domestic sinsemilla type averaged 12.72%.

In 2010, non-domestic commercial grade marijuana averaged 6.69% THC. Non-domestic sinsemilla type averaged 12.81% THC. Domestic commercial grade marijuana averaged 2.79% THC, and domestic sinsemilla type averaged 11.84%.

So only one category shows an increase in average potency from 2000 to 2010 is for non-domestic commercial grade cannabis – an increase of 31%, going from 5.1 to 6.69% THC. The others all show decreases, in fact the average THC of domestic commercial grade dropped by 29.5%.

There are fluctuations: In 2011, the average THC in non-domestic commercial marijuana was down to 5.6%, the average for non-domestic sinsemilla type was 13.47%. They stopped testing domestic samples in 2010, remember, and for what it’s worth those numbers were much lower in 2009, when domestic commercial averaged 2.43% THC and domestic sinsemilla type averaged only 7.37%.

So, Nora Volkow’s statement? Maybe not a flatout lie, but inaccurate and misleading at best. The point is, don’t just trust authority. Always question, always check, and the fact-checker’s best friend is Drug War Facts. Eventually, hopefully, we’ll get complete potency data for 2012, and when that’s available, you’ll find it at drugwarfacts.org.

Help Spread the Word!

Check out the new Drug Policy Facts podcast! You can download and subscribe from
http://www.podcastgarden.com/podcast/drugwarfacts.

Follow us on Twitter! Drug War Facts is @DrugPolicyFacts – follow us for information and breaking news about drugs and drug control policies.

Give us a “Like” on Facebook! The Drug War Facts page is at https://www.facebook.com/DrugWarFacts

Put a Drug War Facts banner on your blog or website! DWF banners and graphics are available at
http://drugwarfacts.org/cms/?q=banners
More graphics will be available soon, including data tables from the pages of DWF!

Notable New Facts

(Drug Offenders in US Prisons 2012)
Federal: On Dec. 31, 2012, there were 196,574 sentenced prisoners under federal jurisdiction. Of these, 99,426 were serving time for drug offenses, 11,688 for violent offenses, 11,568 for property offenses, and 72,519 for “public order” offenses (of which 23,700 were sentenced for immigration offenses, 30,046 for weapons offenses, and 17,633 for “other”).

State: On Dec. 31, 2011, there were 1,341,797 sentenced prisoners under state jurisdiction. Of these, 222,738 were serving time for drug offenses, of whom 55,013 were merely convicted for possession. There were also 717,861 serving time for violent offenses, 249,574 for property offenses, 142,230 for “public order” offenses (which include weapons, drunk driving, court offenses, commercialized vice, morals and decency offenses, liquor law violations, and other public-order offenses), and 9,392 for “other/unspecified”.
Source: E. Ann Carson and Daniela Golinelli, “Prisoners in 2012: Trends in Admissions and Releases, 1991-2012” (Washington, DC: US Dept. of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics, Dec. 2013), NCJ243920, Table 5, p. 3, and Appendix Table 10, p. 43.

(US Population Under Community Supervision Declining) “During 2012, the number of adults under community supervision declined for the fourth consecutive year. At yearend 2012, an estimated 4,781,300 adults were under community supervision, down 40,500 offenders from the beginning of the year (figure 1). About 1 in 50 adults in the United States was under community supervision at yearend 2012. The community supervision population includes adults on probation, parole, or any other post-prison supervision. (See BJS definition of probation and parole.)
“The decline in the total number of adults under community supervision is attributed to the drop in the probation population as probationers accounted for the majority (82%) of adults under community supervision. The decline of 38,300 offenders in the probation population (from an estimated 3,981,000 to 3,942,800) accounted for about 95% of the decline in the overall community supervision population. The parole population declined by about 500 offenders during 2012, falling from an estimated 851,700 to 851,200.”
Source: Laura M. Maruschak and Thomas P. Bonczar, “Probation and Parole in the United States, 2012” (Washington, DC: US Dept. of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics, December 2012), NCJ243826, p. 1.

“Any Illicit Drug. The index of any illicit drug use tends to be driven by marijuana, which is by far the most prevalent of the many illicitly used drugs. In 2013, the proportions of students indicating any use of an illicit drug in the prior 12 months are 15 percent, 32 percent, and 40 percent in grades 8, 10 and 12, respectively—higher than a year ago by 1.5, 1.6 and 0.6 percentage points for the same grades (only the change at 8th grade is statistically significant). For the three grades combined, the rate is up by 1.3 percentage points, also a statistically significant increase. The percentages indicating any use in their lifetime are 20 percent, 39 percent and 50 percent. In other words, half of America’s high school seniors have tried an illicit drug by the time they graduate and four in 10 have used it in just the past year.
“But it should also be noted that fully half of today’s seniors have not tried an illicit drug by the end of high school,” said Lloyd Johnston, the principal investigator of the study.
Source: Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., & Schulenberg, J. E. (December 18, 2013). “American teens more cautious about using synthetic drugs.” University of Michigan News Service: Ann Arbor, MI, p. 2.

“Originally approved for use in the treatment of opioid dependence by the United States Food and Drug administration (FDA) in 1984, naltrexone is a competitive μ-opioid receptor antagonist with negligible agonist effects, blocking euphoric and physiological effects of opioid agonists.11,12 Naltrexone does not cause the development of dependence or tolerance over time, and dosing cessation does not result in withdrawal.13
“Orally dosed naltrexone is subject to first pass metabolism, where it is converted to active (6-β naltrexol) and inactive metabolites.14 ­First-pass metabolism of orally dosed naltrexone is high, evidenced by the peak dose of naltrexone and its ­metabolites 1 hour after oral dosing.15 Serum ­half-life for chronic oral administration is approximately 10 hours.15 The half-life, when compared to naloxone, another μ-opioid antagonist, is longer, and naltrexone is able to block the agonist effects of other opioids for 48 hours.16 Oral dosing is accomplished by either 50 mg daily dosing or three times weekly dosing with two 100 mg doses and one 150 mg dose.”
Source: Kjome, Kimberly L. and Moeller, F. Gerard, “Long-Acting Injectable Naltrexone for the Management of Patients with Opioid Dependence,” Substance Abuse: Research and Treatment 2011:5 1–9, doi: 10.4137/SART.S5452.

Notable New Sources

E. Ann Carson and Daniela Golinelli, “Prisoners in 2012: Trends in Admissions and Releases, 1991-2012” (Washington, DC: US Dept. of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics, Dec. 2013), NCJ243920, Table 5, p. 3, and Appendix Table 10, p. 43.

Laura M. Maruschak and Thomas P. Bonczar, “Probation and Parole in the United States, 2012” (Washington, DC: US Dept. of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics, December 2012), NCJ243826, p. 1.

Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., & Schulenberg, J. E. (December 18, 2013). “American teens more cautious about using synthetic drugs.” University of Michigan News Service: Ann Arbor, MI, p. 2.

Kjome, Kimberly L. and Moeller, F. Gerard, “Long-Acting Injectable Naltrexone for the Management of Patients with Opioid Dependence,” Substance Abuse: Research and Treatment 2011:5 1–9, doi: 10.4137/SART.S5452.

Walmsley, Roy, “World Prison Population List (Tenth Edition)” (Kings College, London, England: International Centre for Prison Studies, 2013), p. 1.

Media

Check out the new Drug Policy Facts podcast! You can download and subscribe from
http://www.podcastgarden.com/podcast/drugwarfacts.

Drug Truth Network Radio segments:
Full half-hour news programs:
Century Of Lies, 12/15/13, White House drug policy conference http://www.drugtruth.net/cms/node/4647
3-minute news segments:
420 News, 12/1/13, Interviews with Ethan Nadelmann and Neill Franklin: http://www.drugtruth.net/cms/node/4627
420 News, 12/7/13, MDMA, Emergency Room Visits, and Young People: http://www.drugtruth.net/cms/node/4640
420 News, 12/27/13, New Monitoring the Future survey http://www.drugtruth.net/cms/node/4662
420 News, 12/30/13, Correcting NIDA Director Nora Volkow http://www.drugtruth.net/cms/node/4667

Doug McVay is also a regular blogger at CelebStoner dot com.

– See more at: http://www.drugwarfacts.org/cms/node/3520#sthash.BPHQSUNH.dpuf

Drug Policy Facts Podcast #9 Is Online!

8 Jan
The new Drug War/Drug Policy Facts podcast is dedicated to the 55,014 people now in state prison serving time for drug possession. This week: a new prisoner report; survey shows majority support for marijuana legalization; Playing Safe(ly) with Eddie Einbinder; harm reduction & drug user organizing with Ruth Kanatser; and talking weed with Mickey Martin. Download and subscribe from http://www.podcastgarden.com/episode/drug-policy-facts-9_8866

Drug War Facts Newsletter – Vol. 3, No. 2, March 2013

8 Mar

The latest issue of the Drug War Facts Newsletter is now available at
http://www.drugwarfacts.org/cms/node/3146
and also below.
Subscribe to the DWF Newsletter and stay up to date on the latest drug control policy research, data, and statistics! It’s easy – here’s the link:
http://www.drugwarfacts.org/cms/subscriptions

——————————————–

What’s New At Drug War Facts
Volume 3, Issue No. 2
March 2013

Current data. New research. Evolving policies.

The one constant in life is change. In the policy world, keeping up to date is important. Using outdated data can get you in trouble, certainly damage your credibility.

For example, on Feb. 16, 2013, a Rhode Island legislator was called out by PolitiFact Rhode Island, a partnership of PolitiFact.com (the Pulitzer Prize-winning Web site of the Tampa Bay Times) and the Providence Journal for making the claim that young people find marijuana easier to get than alcohol.
“Rhode Island State Rep. Edith Ajello says studies indicate minors find it easier to get marijuana than alcohol,” http://www.politifact.com/rhode-island/statements/2013/feb/16/edith-ajello/rhode-island-state-rep-edith-ajello-says-studies-i/

As Politifact put it, “If she’d referred to how easily young people could purchase one or the other, and she’d said it in 2009, there would be more support. But all the most recent, credible, national studies we found showed that teenagers report it’s easier to get alcohol than marijuana.”

Why 2009? For years, researchers with the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) found that young people reported it was easier to buy marijuana than to buy beer, “buy” being the operative verb. In 2010, CASA changed the wording of its survey question. Rather than ask “Which is easier to buy?” as they had done for years, CASA began asking instead “Which is easier to get?”
CASA, “National Survey of American Attitudes on Substance Abuse XVII: Teens,” August 2012.

Click to access 20120822teensurvey.pdf

Figure 7.H on page 29 of that CASA report shows that in 2009, 14% of youth reported beer was easier to buy. This was similar to previous years: 2006, 14%; 2007, 17%, and 2008, 15%. In 2010, after the wording was changed, 26% reported beer was easier to “get.” That beer figure has remained fairly static since: 23% in 2011 and 24% in 2012.

The percentage responding that marijuana is easiest to get took a big dive in 2010 to 15% from 26% the year before (when CASA asked about buying), then went up to 22% in 2011, then down to 19% in 2012 – which are close to the figures for earlier years (21% in 2006, 19% in 2007, 23% in 2008, and 26% in 2009 reporting marijuana was easier to “buy”).

The number reporting that cigarettes are easiest to get or to buy has changed very little over the time period; no changes due to the change in the question are noticeable (28% in 2006, 26% in 2007, 25% in 2008, 26% in 2009, 27% in 2010, 26% in 2011, and 27% in 2012.

Here’s another example: In 2002, the Justice Policy Institute issued a report titled “Cellblocks or Classrooms.”

Click to access 02-09_REP_CellblocksClassrooms_BB-AC.pdf

The title of that report’s Finding Number 3 was: “Nearly a third More African American Men Are Incarcerated than in Higher Education.”

JPI has come under fire for that statement in recent years – most notably in the film Hoodwinked
Release: JPI Stands by Data in 2002 on Education and Incarceration, Oct. 3, 2012
http://www.justicepolicy.org/news/4458
but also by people such as Professor Ivory Toldson of Howard University. In his April 20, 2011 piece in Empower Magazine, “Cellblock vs. College: A Million Reasons There Are More Black Men In College Than In Prison And Why More Work Needs To Be Done,”
http://www.empowermagazine.com/cellblock-vs-college/
Professor Toldson writes:
“When reviewing Cellblocks or Classrooms, there’s no evidence that the authors intended to sensationalize problems facing black men in the United States. More meaningful and palatable lines like “choose classrooms over cellblocks” were written with more prominence. Today, the widespread and contentious notion that “there are more black men in jail than in college” is not the fault of the Justice Policy Institute. Rather, it is the fault of journalists looking for a sound bite, politicians trying to arouse a crowd, program managers and researchers who would rather assert the need to exist than to demonstrate the efficacy of their techniques, and the list goes on of people who feel the need to be intentionally provocative. Lost in the feedback are young black men who are trying to reconcile such an ominous conclusion with their reality.”

Here then are the numbers, which support what Professor Toldson wrote.

A search through the Education Department’s National Center for Education Statistics’ Integrated Post‐Secondary Education Data System (IPEDS) finds that in the 2009-2010 school year, there were 1,347,485 Black or African-American male students enrolled in Title IV 2- and 4-year colleges (including public as well as private for- and nonprofit schools).
http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/datacenter/
http://nces.ed.gov/datalab/tableslibrary/viewtable.aspx?tableid=8531

The Drug War Facts section on Race and Prison
http://www.drugwarfacts.org/cms/Race_and_Prison
actually has newer data, so looking back at “Prisoners in 2010,” a report by the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=2230
we see that in 2010 there were a reported 561,400 non-Hispanic Blacks under state and federal jurisdiction. In addition, according to BJS’s publication “Jail Inmates at Midyear 2010 – Statistical Tables”

Click to access jim10st.pdf


there were 283,200 Black/African-American inmates of either gender in local jails. So there were a maximum of 844,600 Black/African-American men behind bars that year – many fewer than were in college.

Things change. If you’re an activist or engaged in policy debate, it’s important to keep up with these changes, and stay current. Up-to-date fact items are always to be found on the Drug War Facts website. Be sure to check back from time to time. You can also keep track of new fact items as they’re added by subscribing to our RSS feed at
http://www.drugwarfacts.org/cms/tracker/1/feed

Help Spread the Word!

Put a Drug War Facts banner on your blog or website! DWF banners and graphics are available at
http://drugwarfacts.org/cms/?q=banners
More graphics will be available soon, including data tables from the pages of DWF!

Give us a “Like” on Facebook! The Drug War Facts page is at https://www.facebook.com/DrugWarFacts

Follow us on Twitter! Drug War Facts is @DrugPolicyFacts – follow us for information and breaking news about drugs and drug control policies.

Favorite new items:

“In 2010, there were 38,329 drug overdose deaths in the United States; most (22 134; 57.7%) involved pharmaceuticals; 9429 (24.6%) involved only unspecified drugs. Of the pharmaceutical-related overdose deaths, 16,451 (74.3%) were unintentional, 3780 (17.1%) were suicides, and 1868 (8.4%) were of undetermined intent. Opioids (16,651; 75.2%), benzodiazepines (6497; 29.4%), antidepressants (3889; 17.6%), and antiepileptic and antiparkinsonism drugs (1717; 7.8%) were the pharmaceuticals (alone or in combination with other drugs) most commonly involved in pharmaceutical overdose deaths. Among overdose deaths involving opioid analgesics, the pharmaceuticals most often also involved in these deaths were benzodiazepines (5017; 30.1%), antidepressants (2239; 13.4%), antiepileptic and antiparkinsonism drugs (1125; 6.8%), and antipsychotics and neuroleptics (783; 4.7%).”
Source: Christopher M. Jones, PharmD, Karin A. Mack, PhD, and Leonard J. Paulozzi, MD, “Pharmaceutical Overdose Deaths, United States, 2010,” Journal of the American Medical Association, February 20, 2013, Vol 309, No. 7, p. 658.
http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1653518
This item and more in Annual Causes of Death http://www.drugwarfacts.org/cms/Causes_of_Death

“We identified cohorts of individuals hospitalized in California from 1990 to 2005 with ICD-9 diagnoses of methamphetamine- (n = 74,170), alcohol- (n = 592,406), opioids- (n = 68,066), cannabis- (n = 47,048), cocaine- (n = 48,949), or polydrug-related disorders (n = 411,175), and these groups were followed for up to 16 years. Age-, sex-, and race-adjusted standardized mortality rates (SMRs) for deaths due to MVAs were generated in relation to the California general population. Standardized MVA mortality ratios were elevated across all drug cohorts: alcohol (4.5, 95% CI, 4.1–4.9), cocaine (3.8, 95% CI, 2.3–5.3), opioids (2.8, 95% CI, 2.1–3.5), methamphetamine (2.6, 95% CI, 2–3.1), cannabis (2.3, 95% CI, 1.5–3.2) and polydrug (2.6, 95% CI, 2.4–2.9). Males and females had similar MVA SMRs.”
Source: Russell C. Callaghan, Jodi M. Gatley, Scott Veldhuizen, Shaul Lev-Ran, Robert Mann, and Mark Asbridge, “Alcohol- or Drug-Use Disorders and Motor Vehicle Accident Mortality: A Retrospective Cohort Study,” Accident Analysis and Prevention, 53 (2013) 149–155, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aap.2013.01.008.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23434842
This item and more in Drugged Driving http://www.drugwarfacts.org/cms/chapter/Drugged_Driving

“In December 2009, the GOC [Government of Colombia] approved a law that prohibited the possession and consumption of small, “personal,” amounts of illegal drugs. However, in August 2011, the Colombian Supreme Court overturned this law, finding that Legislative Act No. 2, 2009, which banned the personal use of drugs, “implies the nullification of fundamental rights, and it represses and sanctions with the severest punishments (imprisonment) the personal decision to abandon one‘s personal health, a choice that corresponds to their own decision and does not infringe on the rights of other members of society.” The Supreme Court then set the “personal amount” of drugs at 20 grams of marijuana and 1 gram of cocaine.”
Source: United States Department of State Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, “International Narcotics Control Strategy Report: Volume I: Drug and Chemical Control (Washington, DC: March 2012), p. 174.

Click to access 187109.pdf


This item and more in Colombia http://www.drugwarfacts.org/cms/chapter/Colombia

New Research Material:

Russell C. Callaghan, Jodi M. Gatley, Scott Veldhuizen, Shaul Lev-Ran, Robert Mann, and Mark Asbridge, “Alcohol- or Drug-Use Disorders and Motor Vehicle Accident Mortality: A Retrospective Cohort Study,” Accident Analysis and Prevention, 53 (2013) 149–155, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aap.2013.01.008.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23434842

“Colombia: Evaluation of Progress in Drug Control 2007-2009.” Organization of American States (OAS) Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) Multilateral Evaluation Mechanism (MEM). Washington, DC: January 2011. OAS/Ser.L/XIV.2.48, CICAD/docx.1843/10, p. 34.

Click to access Colombia%20-%205th%20Rd%20-%20ENG.pdf

Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., & Schulenberg, J. E. (2013). Monitoring the Future national results on adolescent drug use: Overview of key findings, 2012. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan, p. 52, Table 2.

Click to access mtf-overview2012.pdf

Christopher M. Jones, PharmD, Karin A. Mack, PhD, and Leonard J. Paulozzi, MD, “Pharmaceutical Overdose Deaths, United States, 2010,” Journal of the American Medical Association, February 20, 2013, Vol 309, No. 7, p. 658.
http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1653518

Media Appearances:

Drug Truth Network Radio segments:
Feb. 16, 2013: New Monitoring The Future Survey Report
http://www.drugtruth.net/cms/node/4231
Feb. 22, 2013: Fact-checking the Drug Czar
http://www.drugtruth.net/cms/node/4239
Feb. 24, 2013: GAO report on efforts to control methamphetamine production
http://www.drugtruth.net/cms/node/4241
March 10, 2013: Fact-checking the fact-checkers
http://www.drugtruth.net/cms/node/4260

DWF Editor/CSDP Board Member Doug McVay also appears regularly on the weekly half-hour news shows Cultural Baggage
http://www.drugtruth.net/cms/views/latest_cb
and Century of Lies
http://www.drugtruth.net/cms/views/latest_col

The Drug Truth Network has begun production of a video news show focused on the drug war, for which DWF Editor Doug McVay is creating content. The Unvarnished Truth is broadcast weekly via Houston’s HMSTV, and is available to view online at
http://www.drugtruth.net/cms/unvarnished_truth

UK Home Office Minister Orders Review of Drugs Policies

7 Mar

The UK’s Home Office Minister, Theresa May, has ordered an ” international “what works” study of drug laws, including Portugal’s policy of scrapping criminal penalties for personal possession.” Read more at http://www.csdp.org/cms/node/23#sthash.CyufklMW.dpbs

Canadian Drug Policy – Support for Reform Grows In Spite of US Pressure

20 Jan

The US Office of National Drug Control Policy today released its first-ever National Northern Border Counternarcotics Strategy. According to Benjamin Tucker on ONDCP’s official blog:

 The Strategy outlines new actions that seek to reduce the two-way flow of illicit drugs between the United States and Canada by increasing coordination among Federal, state, local, and tribal enforcement authorities, enhancing intelligence-sharing among counterdrug agencies, and strengthening our Nation’s ongoing counterdrug partnerships and initiatives with the Government of Canada and Canadian law enforcement agencies. The Strategy places a special emphasis on improving cooperation with tribal governments, devoting an entire chapter to enhancing law enforcement coordination on tribal lands. By strengthening integrated cross-border law enforcement between our two countries, the Strategy supports a key area of cooperation outlined by President Obama and Prime Minister Harper in the Beyond the Border declaration.

The big question is, how badly will US officials strongarm the Canadian government into continuing to tow the drug war line? Canada’s current Prime Minister and governing party notwithstanding, Canadians have been growing more and more supportive of drug policy reforms, as evidenced by a new poll. According to the National Post’s blog on Jan. 17, 2012:

Released on Tuesday, the poll suggests 66% of  Canadians are in favour of the legalization or decriminalization of marijuana, with just 20% supporting leaving the laws as they are now.

The poll, conducted by Toronto-based Forum Research Inc., showed that residents of British Columbia were the most likely to support marijuana laws reform, with 73% of respondents indicating laws should be changed. Quebec had the lowest support for reforms, though the majority of respondents, 61%, supported changing marijuana legislation.

Politicians in Canada are slowly catching up with the public. The National Post also  noted that:

This public support comes on the heels of a new party policy approved at the Liberal Party of Canada’s renewal convention pushing for the legalization and regulation of marijuana. While it was the Liberals’ youth wing who initially put forward the motion, the poll shows it’s baby boomers who are the most likely to respond favourably to new marijuana legislation.

Gov. Gary Johnson interviewed by Joe Schrank of The Fix

15 Jan

This November 2011 article and video interview with presidential candidate and former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson is from The Fix, “a daily website about alcoholism, addiction, recovery and the drug war.” It is well worth checking out. Here are the closing paragraphs:

Johnson’s willingness to break step with the vast majority of US politicians on prohibition is brave, although a trailblazer is often doomed to forge a path that others later follow with more success. His views on marijuana aren’t at odds with US voters. But the powerful TV networks and party establishment are proving slower to follow public opinion, which leaves him starved of publicity.

And that’s a shame. Without the full participation of a dissenting voice like Johnson’s, drug and addiction issues are set to receive little airtime in the 2012 presidential campaign. The Fix has asked several other candidates for an interview or statement on their drug policy and received no response—except from a spokeswoman from the Michele Bachmann campaign, who simply replied, “What drug policy?” Whatever your views on prohibition, this lack of political scrutiny of a vital policy area—directly affecting many millions of Americans and others around the world, and perceived by many to be failing—is anything but healthy.

http://www.thefix.com/content/video-gop-candidate-gary-johnson-visits-fix9245

%d bloggers like this: