1/1/2020 - 31/12/2021
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1 Mexico: Oped: End The War On Drugs NowFri, 20 Nov 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Grillo, Ioan Area:Mexico Lines:128 Added:11/20/2020

MEXICO CITY - On June 17, 1971, President Richard Nixon stood in front of the White House press corps and made his historic declaration of a new type of war. "Public Enemy No. 1 in the United States is drug abuse," he said. "In order to fight and defeat this enemy, it's necessary to wage a new all-out offensive."

It would be a government-wide effort, and rally the United States's power abroad to stem the supply of drugs. Among the countries targeted was Mexico, which was home to abundant marijuana production and had been resistant to aerial crop spraying.

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2 US: Oped: 50 Years After The Start Of The War On Drugs, AmericansMon, 16 Nov 2020
Source:Hill, The (US DC) Author:Ofer, Udi Area:United States Lines:109 Added:11/20/2020

Next year will mark 50 years since President Richard Nixon declared drugs "public enemy number one," launching a new war on drugs that has pumped hundreds of billions of dollars into law enforcement, led to the incarceration of millions of people - disproportionately Black - and has done nothing to prevent drug overdoses. In spite of the widespread, growing opposition to this failed war, made clear yet again on Election Day, punitive policies and responses to drug use and possession persist. As President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris prepare to take office, it is abundantly clear that they have a mandate from the electorate to tackle this issue.

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3US PA: Oped: Philadelphia Case Could Clear The Way For Safe InjectionMon, 16 Nov 2020
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Boudin, Chesa Area:Pennsylvania Lines:Excerpt Added:11/18/2020

All eyes were on Philadelphia this month, as the outcome of the election rested in poll workers' hands. It's not surprising that the citizens of Philly were ready for change - they've faced a disproportionately heavy toll as a result of the current administration's ineffective coronavirus policies. And that toll has tragically included an increased rate of deadly opioid overdoses.

But Philly isn't alone - overdoses tragically have increased in communities across the nation, from San Francisco to Burlington, Vt.

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4 US: Column: Republicans and Democrats Agree: End The War On DrugsSun, 08 Nov 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Kristof, Nicholas Area:United States Lines:107 Added:11/08/2020

One of America's greatest mistakes over the last century was the war on drugs, so it's thrilling to see voters in red and blue states alike moving to unwind it.

The most important step is coming in Oregon, where voters easily passed a referendum that will decriminalize possession of even hard drugs like cocaine and heroin, while helping users get treatment for addiction. The idea is to address drug use as a public health crisis more than as a criminal justice issue.

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5US: 4 States Ready To Roll With Recreational PotThu, 05 Nov 2020
Source:USA Today (US) Author:Cannon, Jay Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:11/05/2020

Americans were still waiting for clarity on the presidential race Wednesday morning. Perhaps lost in the frantic haze of election night was the legalization of recreational marijuana in four states.

Arizona, New Jersey, South Dakota and Montana all passed legislation Tuesday permitting the possession of weed by adults, which means 15 states have legalized recreational weed or voted to legalize it.

South Dakota and Mississippi passed initiatives to allow medical marijuana, which means 36 states permit the legal distribution of medical weed, according to a tally by NORML, a nonprofit marijuana public advocacy group.

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6 US OR: Oregon Votes To Decriminalize All Drugs, Allow Psilocybin ForThu, 05 Nov 2020
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Morrison, Donald Area:Oregon Lines:100 Added:11/05/2020

Oregon became the first state in the nation to decriminalize the possession of all illegal drugs and also legalize the use of psilocybin-the active ingredient in hallucinogenic mushrooms-for mental health treatment, after voters passed a pair of ballot measures this week.

Both are the first of their kind in any U.S. state and represent the next frontier in the relaxation of drug laws beyond marijuana.

With results from 76% of precincts reporting early Wednesday morning, 59% of Oregonians approved Measure 110, the drug decriminalization referendum, and 56% voted for Measure 109 on psilocybin therapy, according to the Associated Press.

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7Canada: Canadian Study Finds A Link Between Starting Medical CannabisThu, 29 Oct 2020
Source:Regina Leader-Post (CN SN) Author:Stelmakowich, Angela Area:Canada Lines:Excerpt Added:10/29/2020

43.5 per cent of study participants who used marijuana as a substitute for alcohol decreased the frequency of their drinking.

Authorized medical marijuana patients who began using cannabis to help reduce their drinking report experiencing a reduction or even discontinuation of alcohol use, notes new research out of the University of Victoria.

The finding reflects feedback from 2,102 patients registered with Tilray, a medical cannabis research and production company in Canada. The input was received as part of the Canadian Cannabis Patient Survey 2019, which gathered details on patient demographics, patterns of weed use and self-reported use of prescription drugs, alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs before and after starting medical cannabis.

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8 US: State Ballots Show A Shifting Debate On Legalizing DrugsTue, 27 Oct 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Johnson, Kirk Area:United States Lines:160 Added:10/27/2020

Oregon has an addiction problem. Pockets of rural poverty, chronic homelessness and cities with lots of young people have given the state one of the highest rates of substance abuse in the nation. It is also, because there is so little money allocated to it, one of the toughest places to get treatment.

A proposed solution on the ballot next week would be one of the most radical drug-law overhauls in the nation's history, eliminating criminal penalties entirely for personal use amounts of drugs such as heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine. Tax revenues from drug sales would be channeled toward drug treatment.

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9 US: Marijuana May Trip Up The HeartTue, 27 Oct 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Brody, Jane E. Area:United States Lines:156 Added:10/27/2020

Do you have the heart to safely smoke pot? Maybe not, a growing body of medical reports suggests.

Currently, increased smoking of marijuana in public, even in cities like New York where recreational use remains illegal (though no longer prosecuted), has reinforced a popular belief that this practice is safe, even health-promoting.

"Many people think that they have a free pass to smoke marijuana," Dr. Salomeh Keyhani, professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, told me. "I even heard a suggestion on public radio that tobacco companies should switch to marijuana because then they'd be selling life instead of selling death."

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10 US: Pot Stocks Stage A Muted Election RallyWed, 21 Oct 2020
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Ryan, Carol Area:United States Lines:66 Added:10/21/2020

A victory for the Democratic Party in next month's presidential election would be a game changer for the cannabis industry. Despite their reputation for overexuberance, pot investors are reacting with level heads.

Since mid-August, the 10 largest North American pot stocks by market value are up 20%, according to Viridian Capital Advisors. This is relatively muted compared with the 83% rally seen in the three months before the 2016 election.

Americans have been buying a lot of pot during the Covid-19 pandemic, which may also explain why stocks are rising. Sales in seven large states where cannabis is legal, tracked by research company Headset, were up 51% from January through September compared with the same period of 2019. Consumers have had more leisure time at home and federal stimulus money to spend. Alcohol companies have enjoyed similar tailwinds.

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11 Lebanon: Crisis Erases Farmers' Income From Reliable Crop: HashishMon, 19 Oct 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Hubbard, Ben Area:Lebanon Lines:167 Added:10/19/2020

YAMOUNEH, Lebanon - In a Lebanese farming village of rocky soil and stone villas, cannabis grows everywhere.

It fills the fields that surround the village and lines nearby roads where the army operates checkpoints. It sprouts in the weedy patches between homes and is mixed with other colorful blooms in flower beds.

There is a cannabis crop near the mosque, and down the road from a giant yellow flag for Hezbollah, the militant group and political party whose leaders forbid its use on religious grounds.

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12 New Zealand: Oped: Canada's Legalisation ExperienceThu, 15 Oct 2020
Source:Gisborne Herald (New Zealand) Author:Elrod, Matthew Area:New Zealand Lines:83 Added:10/15/2020

It's been fascinating to watch the debate over cannabis law reform in New Zealand from Canada, especially the arguments based on how well or how poorly legal regulation has been playing out in my country. It's also interesting - and amusing - to read the sometimes apocalyptic or pollyannaish predictions about what will happen in New Zealand if voters endorse the Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill (CLCB), with no regard for evidence from overseas.

It might have appeared out of the blue when Canada legalised cannabis almost two years ago, but we were finally following the unanimous recommendations of a non-partisan senate committee from 2002.

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13 US: PUB LTE: Black Parents Can't IndulgeSat, 10 Oct 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Coles, Tehra Area:United States Lines:38 Added:10/10/2020

Re "Parents' Little Helpers" (Sunday Styles, Oct. 4):

To be a Black mother is to be in a constant state of alertness when it comes to protecting your family from the government. As a Black woman, mother and lawyer, I am no different in that regard.

Most Black mothers wouldn't publicly label themselves a "wine mom" or admit to smoking pot. No one remotely aware of the government's racist practice of separating Black families for such behavior through the so-called child welfare system would.

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14 US NJ: Marijuana Is On The Ballot In New Jersey. Who Knew?Tue, 06 Oct 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Tully, Tracey Area:New Jersey Lines:204 Added:10/06/2020

For two years, New Jersey lawmakers had failed to mobilize enough support to pass a bill to fully legalize marijuana. Instead, they agreed in December to put the question directly to voters: "Do you approve amending the Constitution to legalize a controlled form of marijuana called 'cannabis'?"

Then March roared in, and the world turned upside down.

The coronavirus took a firm hold in the United States and Black Lives Matter protesters filled streets from coast to coast.

More than 16,000 New Jersey residents have since died from the virus. Unemployment has soared. Ballots for November's election, which is being conducted almost entirely by mail, have already begun to arrive at voters' homes.

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15 US: Parents' Little HelpersSun, 04 Oct 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Grose, Jessica Area:United States Lines:231 Added:10/04/2020

7:51 p.m.: It's exactly 125 days tomorrow. I am pretg drink.

7:52 p.m.: Drunk.

7:52 p.m. I can tell. :-)

I have a years-long WhatsApp message group with a handful of fellow mothers of small children from across the United States and Canada. Since the pandemic began, what I refer to as "mom chats after dark" start at around 7:30 p.m., Eastern Standard Time. That's when the children are asleep, and a wave of inebriation begins on the shores of the Atlantic and crashes across the continent. The above message was from July, when we hit 125 days of lockdown.

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16 New Zealand: Ardern Admits To Inhaling, Kiwis ShrugFri, 02 Oct 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Cave, Damien Area:New Zealand Lines:138 Added:10/02/2020

SYDNEY, Australia - The question from the debate moderator in New Zealand was simple and to the point: "Jacinda Ardern, have you ever used cannabis?"

"Yes I did," said Ms. Ardern, the country's popular prime minister, "a long time ago."

The moderator paused, looking surprised. Then the audience applauded.

Ms. Ardern later declined to say whether she supported the legalization of marijuana, which New Zealanders will decide in a referendum with the national election on Oct. 17. But by that point in the debate on Wednesday, she had already won another smiley-face emoji from the global left, while reminding voters that she hadn't always been so earnest.

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17 Canada: Oped: Canada Faces Its Own Opioid Crisis. It ShouldTue, 15 Sep 2020
Source:Washington Post (DC) Author:Moscrop, David Area:Canada Lines:102 Added:09/15/2020

In July, the Canadian province of British Columbia experienced its fifth straight month with more than 100 overdose deaths - and its third above 170 lives lost.

Globally, the World Health Organization reports approximately 500,000 deaths from drugs, over 70 percent of them tied to opioids. In Canada, from January 2016 through December 2019, more than 15,000 people died from apparent opioid-related causes. In 2019 alone, there were over 21,000 "suspected opioid-related overdoses" across nine provinces and territories, excluding Quebec (for which data wasn't provided). The opioid crisis clearly persists at home and abroad.

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18 Costa Rica: Psychedelic Therapy In The Jungle Soothes The Pain ForSun, 30 Aug 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Londono, Ernesto Area:Costa Rica Lines:333 Added:08/30/2020

GIGANTE, Costa Rica - There was a ghostlike quality to Rudy Gonsior, an American former Special Forces sniper, on the morning he arrived at a jungle retreat to see if a vomit-inducing psychedelic brew could undo the damage years of combat had done to his mind.

Glassy-eyed and withdrawn, he barely spoke above a whisper and was much quieter than the six other veterans who had come to dredge up painful memories of comrades fallen in battle, thoughts of suicide and the scar that taking a life leaves on the psyche.

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19US GA: Disagreement On DecriminalizationFri, 28 Aug 2020
Source:Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA) Author:Murchison, Adrianne Area:Georgia Lines:Excerpt Added:08/28/2020

Johns Creek officials disagreed on decriminalization of marijuana during a Monday meeting. City Council members opposed to a reduced penalty for simple possession said they were concerned that marijuana is a gateway to more dangerous drugs.

Council members Chris Coughlin, Erin Elwood and Stephanie Endres proposed that a person in possession of less than one ounce of cannabis face no jail time and a fine of not more than $75.

The current fine for simple possession is up to one year in prison and a $1,000 fine.

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20 US: Portrait Of A Drug Czar Without The BlemishesTue, 11 Aug 2020
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Moynihan, Colin Area:United States Lines:156 Added:08/11/2020

Harry J. Anslinger's pioneering work as head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics has largely been unsung, though experts see him as the founding father of America's war on drugs.

In 2014, the Drug Enforcement Administration raised his profile with a symposium that focused on the decades he spent creating national drug policy, starting in the 1930s. Following that, in 2015, the agency's museum opened an exhibition: "A Life of Service: Harry Jacob Anslinger, 1892-1975."

When that closed in 2017, the D.E.A. Museum & Visitors Center created a virtual version, which is displayed on its website.

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