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1US NY: There's A New Condition Eligible For Medical Marijuana In NYWed, 15 Nov 2017
Source:Journal News, The (NY) Author:Vaughn, Natasha Area:New York Lines:Excerpt Added:11/15/2017

ALBANY - New Yorkers who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder will now be able to use medical marijuana as a form of treatment.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a law Saturday that added PTSD to the list of conditions eligible for medical marijuana in New York.

"As of today, marijuana will be legalized if a doctor authorizes and finds the condition of PTSD for a veteran, and I think that can help thousands of veterans. It's something that we've been talking about for a long time, and I'm glad we're taking action," Cuomo said.

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2 US NY: NY Governor Signs Bill To Allow Medical Marijuana For PTSDSat, 11 Nov 2017
Source:Ft. Worth Star-Telegram (TX)          Area:New York Lines:31 Added:11/14/2017

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation to add post-traumatic stress disorder to the list of ailments that can legally be treated with medical marijuana.

The PTSD bill was part of a package of legislation that Cuomo signed Saturday to mark Veterans Day.

The Democratic governor said 19,000 New Yorkers with PTSD could be helped by medical marijuana.

He said the potential beneficiaries include veterans as well as police officers and survivors of domestic violence, crime and accidents.

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3 US NY: Racial Disparity Found In Local Marijuana Arrests, Study SaysTue, 14 Nov 2017
Source:Buffalo News (NY) Author:Fairbanks, Phil Area:New York Lines:107 Added:11/14/2017

In just three years, the number of marijuana arrests in Buffalo dropped by more than half.

At the same time, the overwhelming majority of people arrested continued to be people of color.

A new study, released Tuesday, found 86 percent of the people arrested for marijuana possession in Buffalo during the five year-period ending last year were black or Hispanic.

In Erie County, people of color accounted for 77 percent of all marijuana possession arrests over the same five-year period, according to the study.

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4US NY: Who Wants To Grow NY Hemp?Fri, 22 Sep 2017
Source:Journal News, The (NY) Author:Vaughn, Natasha Area:New York Lines:Excerpt Added:09/26/2017

ALBANY -- New York is looking for industrial hemp growers.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday that an application period is open to participate in the state's Industrial Hemp Agricultural Research Pilot Program.

The program is open to researchers, farmers and businesses who wish to research, grow, manufacture and produce industrial hemp in New York.

"By expanding industrial hemp research, we are opening the doors to innovative ideas that could provide a major boost to our farms and communities, creating new jobs, and laying the foundation for future economic growth," Cuomo said in a statement.

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5 US NY: Canadian Trucker Who Transported $120 Million In Cocaine GetsWed, 16 Aug 2017
Source:Buffalo News (NY) Author:Fairbanks, Phil Area:New York Lines:73 Added:08/16/2017

Prosecutors say the false compartments in Harinder Dhaliwal's tractor trailers was the innovation that allowed more than 3 tons of cocaine to move through Buffalo.

By Dhaliwal's own admission, the 6,600 pounds of cocaine he and others smuggled into Canada had a street value of $120 million.

A federal judge on Wednesday sentenced the 47-year old Brampton, Ont., man to 20 years in prison.

"There is no other case like this," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy C. Lynch. "We've never seen this amount of drugs before."

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6 US NY: Oped: Another Voice: Legalized Marijuana Is Here To StayFri, 11 Aug 2017
Source:Buffalo News (NY) Author:Shifman, Neal Area:New York Lines:72 Added:08/11/2017

Whether you love it or hate it, it's a fact that 29 states so far have some form of marijuana decriminalization or legalization, with more considering the possibility. People have strong opinions about the legalization of marijuana -- but how often are those opinions based on science and an understanding of evolving best practices?

It's high time we have a national conversation that is rational, science-based and open-minded around the many public health implications. Substance use disorders, youth prevention, drugged driving, health effects, pesticides -- the list is long, and these questions make it a complex process for states working to translate policy and legislation into reasonable regulation.

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7US NY: Medical Marijuana: Lozenges, Lotions Coming To New YorkThu, 10 Aug 2017
Source:Journal News, The (NY) Author:Campbel, Jon Area:New York Lines:Excerpt Added:08/10/2017

ALBANY - New York will allow ointments, lozenges and chewable tablets as part of its medical marijuana program while the state's training program for doctors will be cut in half, the Department of Health announced Thursday.

Health regulators on Thursday proposed a new set of regulations that would further expand the state's medical marijuana program, which the state has tried to broaden as it faced criticism from patient advocates and marijuana companies for its restrictiveness.

The new rules, which can take effect as soon as late September, ease the state's restrictions on the type of marijuana products available to certified patients by allowing lotions, ointments, patches, certain chewables and lozenges.

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8 US NY: Report Reveals 'Safe House' Where Heroin Users Shoot Up UnderTue, 08 Aug 2017
Source:New York Post (NY)          Area:New York Lines:92 Added:08/08/2017

NEW YORK -- A safe haven where drug users inject themselves with heroin and other drugs has been quietly operating in the United States for the past three years, a report reveals.

None were known to exist in the US until the disclosure in a medical journal, although several states and cities are pushing to establish these so-called supervised injection sites, where users can shoot up under the care of trained staff who can treat an overdose if necessary.

In the report released Tuesday, two researchers said they've been evaluating an underground safe place that opened in 2014. As a condition of their research, they didn't disclose the location of the facility -- which is unsanctioned and potentially illegal -- or the social service agency running it.

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9 US NY: What Drug-Dealing 'Darknet' Sites Have In Common With EbaySun, 23 Jul 2017
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Jesdanun, Anick Area:New York Lines:95 Added:07/28/2017

NEW YORK (AP) - AlphaBay, the now-shuttered online marketplace that authorities say traded in illegal drugs, firearms and counterfeit goods, wasn't all that different from any other e-commerce site, court documents show.

Not only did it work hard to match buyers and sellers and to stamp out fraud, it offered dispute-resolution services when things went awry and kept a public-relations manager to promote the site to new users.

This screen grab provided by the U.S. Department of Justice shows a hidden website that has been seized as part of a law enforcement operation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration and European law enforcement agencies acting through Europol. On Thursday, July 20, 2017, authorities announced that two of the world's most notorious "darknet" marketplaces, AlphaBay and Hansa, have been knocked out in a one-two punch that officials say yielded a trove of new intelligence about drugs and weapons merchants that operate from hidden corners of the internet. (U.S. Department of Justice via AP)

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10 US NY: Task Force On Heroin, Opioid Addiction To Meet On Long IslandTue, 18 Jul 2017
Source:Newsday (NY) Author:Irizarry, Lisa Area:New York Lines:44 Added:07/21/2017

A special legislative task force formed to examine the effect of the opioid addiction scourge on Long Island and elsewhere throughout the state is scheduled to meet Wednesday in Mineola.

The State Senate's Joint Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction meeting will be held at 4 p.m. at the NYU Winthrop Hospital Research and Academic Center in Mineola, a hospital spokesman said.

Similar meetings have been held around the state as the task force seeks to understand how the increase in overdoses and addiction connected to heroin and other opioids is impacting communities.

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11 US NY: As States Keep Saying Yes To Marijuana, Attorney General SaysSun, 16 Jul 2017
Source:Boston Globe (MA)          Area:New York Lines:113 Added:07/19/2017

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has compared cannabis to heroin.

NEW YORK - In a national vote widely viewed as a victory for conservatives, last year's elections also yielded a win for liberals in eight states that legalized marijuana for medical or recreational use.

But the growing industry is facing a federal crackdown under Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has compared cannabis to heroin.

A task force Sessions appointed to, in part, review links between violent crimes and marijuana is scheduled to release its findings by the end of the month. But he has already asked Senate leaders to roll back rules that block the Justice Department from bypassing state laws to enforce a federal ban on medical marijuana.

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12 US NY: New York Makes Bid To Grow More Hemp - For Industrial PurposesWed, 12 Jul 2017
Source:Buffalo News (NY) Author:Precious, Tom Area:New York Lines:67 Added:07/14/2017

Now the state is taking steps to increase the crop.

"We want to be the nation's leader in hemp production,'' Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday shortly before signing legislation intended to boost the commercialization of industrial hemp, which is used in some 25,000 products from cosmetics and animal feed to clothing and biofuels.

The state is also pumping $10 million into research for the now-fledgling industry, State Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball said, after the federal government in 2014 relaxed rules governing the growing of the crop. Industrial hemp, unlike its marijuana cousin, contains no or minimal levels of tetrahydrocannabinol, the ingredient that gets users high.

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13US NY: Veterans To Cuomo: Allow Medical Marijuana For PTSDWed, 05 Jul 2017
Source:Journal News, The (NY) Author:Campbell, Jon Area:New York Lines:Excerpt Added:07/07/2017

ALBANY - Veterans groups are pressing Gov. Andrew Cuomo to allow those with post-traumatic stress disorder to use medical marijuana, urging him to sign a bill that will soon head to his desk.

The state Senate voted late last month to add PTSD to the list of illnesses and ailments eligible for the state's medical-marijuana program, about six weeks after the Assembly voted to do the same.

It remains unclear, however, whether Cuomo will sign the bill that could significantly expand the number of eligible patients in New York's medical-marijuana program, which is among the more restrictive in the nation.

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14 US NY: Schools, On Guard Against Deadly Opioids, Stock NaloxoneTue, 04 Jul 2017
Source:Newsday (NY) Author:Tyrrell, Joie Area:New York Lines:162 Added:07/05/2017

School districts on Long Island and statewide are stocking naloxone onsite in school buildings to have the opioid antidote at the ready because of the growing issue of abuse of the deadly drugs, educators and health officials said.

At least 340 schools across the state, including dozens on Long Island, have provided training for school nurses or other personnel about how to administer naloxone, according to the state Education Department.

The Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, based in Westbury, also has seen interest grow in instructing school personnel about the antidote, said Reisa Berg, director of education and prevention.

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15 US NY: Wilson Man Admits Smoking Pot Before Fatal Porter CollisionFri, 23 Jun 2017
Source:Buffalo News (NY) Author:Prohaska, Thomas J. Area:New York Lines:82 Added:06/23/2017

A Wilson man said Friday that he was under the influence of marijuana when he caused a fatal crash last summer in Porter.

Michael A. Buchalski II, 22, of Randall Road, pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide and driving while impaired by drugs, in exchange for a two-year sentence - one year on each count - in the Niagara County Jail.

State Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr. scheduled sentencing for Aug. 11. The judge also revoked Buchalski's bail and sent him to jail immediately to begin serving his time for causing the death of Michael G. Willimott Jr., 38, of Niagara Falls.

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16 US NY: States Medical Marijuana Licensing Panel Found To Have LittleThu, 04 May 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:McKinley, Jesse Area:New York Lines:134 Added:05/08/2017

ALBANY - When the State of New York approved the use of medical marijuana in 2014, the applicants to dispense the drug were vetted and reviewed by a panel of experts said to have deep backgrounds in several fields.

The identities of the panel's members had been a mystery since. By July 2015, the panel had chosen five companies that would receive exclusive statewide medical marijuana licenses, a potentially lucrative award in a state with nearly 20 million residents and hundreds of thousands of potential patients.

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17 US NY: In School Nurses Room: Tylenol, Bandages And An Antidote ToWed, 29 Mar 2017
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Harris, Elizabeth A. Area:New York Lines:152 Added:03/29/2017

At every school in New Rochelle, just north of the Bronx, in Westchester, there is a locked medicine cabinet in the nurse's office, stocked with things like EpiPens for allergic reactions, inhalers for asthma, Tylenol for aches and pains.

Now, those cabinets also include naloxone, an antidote for people who are overdosing on opioids like heroin. Given as an injection or a nasal spray, naloxone can quickly revive someone who is not breathing. The city keeps it in every nurse's office, including in its elementary schools.

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18US NY: Make Medical Marijuana Accessible To Patients, Advocate SaysSat, 21 Jan 2017
Source:Journal News, The (NY)          Area:New York Lines:Excerpt Added:01/26/2017

[photo] Kate Hintz of North Salem, with her daughter, Morgan Jones, diagnosed with Dravet syndrome. Hintz, director of Compassionate Care New York, says the state must expand access with more dispensaries.(Photo: COURTESY/Jennifer Tonetti Spellman.)

The problems with New York's medical marijuana program are well documented.

From the day the Compassionate Care Act was signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, patient advocates knew that the law -- a compromise born of a nearly 20 year struggle -- was seriously flawed.

Those flaws are numerous, and they all work against patients: a very limited number of eligible conditions, restricting patient certification only to physicians, severely restricting the number of producers and dispensaries, limiting to five the number of products a company could sell, and prohibiting forms of the medicine that have proved popular and effective in other states.

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19 US NY: 'Mom Guilt' Is Here To Stay -- But LSD Isn't The Only AnswerTue, 24 Jan 2017
Source:New York Post (NY) Author:Riley, Naomi Schaefer Area:New York Lines:94 Added:01/24/2017

Mom guilt is here to stay. The stress of trying to be a calm, nurturing parent while also trying to keep our jobs, stay on top of school notices and remain married isn't going away. Not to mention the feeling that we're doing none of them particularly well.

But that won't stop some people from trying anything. Author Ayelet Waldman, for instance, tried LSD. In her new book, "A Really Good Day," she documents her experiment with "microdosing," taking very small quantities of LSD -- enough to make you calmer, more aware of your environment, more able to focus on your work, but without all those wacky hallucinations.

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20US NY: Carlucci: Opioid Deaths Rising In RocklandThu, 19 Jan 2017
Source:Journal News, The (NY)          Area:New York Lines:Excerpt Added:01/20/2017

[photo] The state senator wants more drug disposal sites and access to medication to treat addiction.

NEW CITY - Opioid deaths, including fatal heroin overdoses, are on the rise in Rockland County, where state Sen. David Carlucci is pushing a pair of proposals to help addicts.

There were 37 opioid deaths in Rockland last year, up from 25 in 2015, according to a report from the Rockland County Medical Examiner's Office.

That's compared to 36 opioid deaths in total between 2003 and 2009 in Rockland, according to Carlucci's office.

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21 US NY: Editorial: Senseless Limits On Marijuana ResearchTue, 17 Jan 2017
Source:New York Times (NY)          Area:New York Lines:68 Added:01/20/2017

Even as more and more states allow their residents to use marijuana, the federal government is continuing to obstruct scientists from studying whether the drug is good or bad for people's health.

A report published last week by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine points out that scientists who want to study cannabis have to seek approvals from federal, state and local agencies and depend on just one lab, at the University of Mississippi, for samples. As a result, far too little is known about the health effects of a substance that 28 states have decided can be used as medicine and eight states and the District of Columbia have approved for recreational use.

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22 US NY: 19 Deaths In 19 Days In Suspected Opiate OverdosesThu, 19 Jan 2017
Source:Buffalo News (NY)          Area:New York Lines:109 Added:01/19/2017

Nineteen suspected opiate deaths in the first 19 days of January have Erie County on pace for 365 deaths in 2017.

It could be worse. Last year started more deadly.

During the early weeks and months of 2016, the epidemic was claiming so many lives that county officials projected more than 500 people would die that year. The pace, however, slowed as the county took aggressive steps, including promotion of the widespread use of the opiate antidote Naloxone.

By year's end, 247 people had died in confirmed overdoses, with 77 more suspected deaths, officials said Thursday.

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23 US NY: Women Are More Susceptible To Cocaine Addiction: StudySat, 14 Jan 2017
Source:New York Post (NY)          Area:New York Lines:68 Added:01/15/2017

Women can blame their cocaine addictions on their biology, according to a new study that claims that ladies are more susceptible to the drug's addictive qualities.

Hormonal fluctuations during the menstrual cycle, specifically spikes in estrogen, intensify the drug's pleasurable effects, according to researchers at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai on The Upper East Side.

"Our study will change the way we think about addiction research to emphasize the need to further understand female subjects, as most research on addiction has been conducted in male subjects," the study's lead author, Dr. Erin Calipari, said in a statement.

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24 US NY: Pot Grower Serving 20 Years Seeks Clemency From ObamaSun, 15 Jan 2017
Source:Buffalo News (NY)          Area:New York Lines:173 Added:01/15/2017

Joseph Tigano III is spending 20 years in prison for growing marijuana.

He grew a lot of it. No one disputes that. And this was his second felony conviction. So no one, not even Tigano's lawyers, suggests the Cattaraugus County man should go unpunished.

But 20 years?

Even the federal judge who sentenced Tigano in 2015 thought it was too heavy a price to pay.

"It is much greater than necessary," U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford said at the time, "but I do not have a choice."

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25US NY: Cuomo Proposes Decriminalizing MarijuanaThu, 12 Jan 2017
Source:Rochester Democrat and Chronicle (NY) Author:Spector, Joseph Area:New York Lines:Excerpt Added:01/12/2017

ALBANY - Gov. Andrew Cuomo is making another pitch for the state to decriminalize possession of some marijuana.

Cuomo quietly included the proposal in a 380-page State of the State message that he provided late Wednesday to the state Legislature.

"The illegal sale of marijuana cannot and will not be tolerated in New York state, but data consistently show that recreational users of marijuana pose little to no threat to public safety," is on Page 191 of Cuomo's message.

The idea will again stoke a debate in Albany after the issue gained prominence in 2012 -- when the Democratic governor first made the push to decriminalize possession of marijuana.

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26US NY: Expedited Medical Marijuana Bill On Cuomo's Desk - Vote Up!Thu, 12 Jan 2017
Source:Rochester Democrat and Chronicle (NY)          Area:New York Lines:Excerpt Added:01/12/2017

A bill that would expedite patients' access to medical marijuana has been sent to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's desk.

Cuomo will have until Nov. 11 to either sign or veto the bill, which the state Legislature passed in late June.

The Medical Marijuana Expedited Access bill comes after a state medical-marijuana program was passed in 2014 and is set to be up and running by January. It allows for medical marijuana in non-smokeable forms for patients suffering from severe illnesses, particularly children is chronic epilepsy.

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27US NY: NY Wants To Double Medical Marijuana GrowersWed, 11 Jan 2017
Source:Journal News, The (NY)          Area:New York Lines:Excerpt Added:01/12/2017

ALBANY -- State regulators want to double the number of companies growing and selling medical marijuana in New York to keep pace with patient demand.

The state Department of Health issued a report this week with 12 recommendations to improve the state's medical marijuana program, which launched in January and has faced criticism from patient advocates who say there are too many barriers to getting the drug.

Among them were proposals to increase the number of marijuana companies who can operate in New York from five to 10, which would increase the number of allowed dispensaries in New York from 20 to 40.

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28 US NY: Council Candidate Slams Possibility Of Heroin InjectionSun, 01 Jan 2017
Source:New York Post (NY)          Area:New York Lines:43 Added:01/05/2017

A Brooklyn Republican who has his sights set on a City Council seat slammed the lawmaking body Sunday for bankrolling a feasibility study on whether to open injection facilities for heroin addicts.

"It's basically a taxpayer-funded shooting gallery for heroin junkies to allow them to legally shoot up," Bob Capano told John Catsimatidis on his 970 AM talk show Sunday.

"Any funds spent on this issue should be focused on breaking the addicts' dependency on drugs, not taking a step that basically decriminalizes the use of heroin."

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29 US NY: Editorial: Recent Advances Represent Only A Start In TheTue, 03 Jan 2017
Source:Buffalo News (NY)          Area:New York Lines:80 Added:01/03/2017

The opioid epidemic ripping throughout the nation and our own backyard will not be stopped without the multi-pronged approach that is thankfully occurring on all levels of government.

Local, state and national leaders have stepped up to provide assistance. Police, fire departments, ambulance crews, hospital staffs and others are on the front lines of this fight.

Last month proved deadly in Erie County, with public officials reporting at least 42 suspected opioid overdose deaths, half of them since Dec. 19 and six alone on Dec. 27.

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30 US NY: $260m 'Cocaine Cowboy' Put His Whole Life On Social MediaFri, 30 Dec 2016
Source:New York Post (NY)          Area:New York Lines:77 Added:12/31/2016

Helicopter rides, a Cobra sports car and a bikini model girlfriend were all part of the glamorous life caught on Instagram of one of the alleged members of Australia's largest cocaine cartel.

Tattooed muscleman Darren Mohr's glittering lifestyle, which he documented on social media, shows him sunning himself in exclusive locations, flying around in a helicopter, at a yacht club during the Monaco Grand Prix, and posing with luxury cars, his girlfriend and his pet dog and macaw.

But Mohr's high life all came to an end Tuesday when the 42-year-old was arrested and handcuffed on a footpath in Sydney's eastern suburbs.

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31US NY: New NY Laws: Battling Heroin, Increasing Minimum WageFri, 30 Dec 2016
Source:Journal News, The (NY)          Area:New York Lines:Excerpt Added:12/30/2016

A new year brings new laws in New York, including stronger treatment options for opioid addiction and increasing the state's minimum wage.

New York's minimum wage increases Dec. 31, 2016.

ALBANY -- A new year brings new laws in New York, including stronger treatment options for opioid addiction and increasing the state's minimum wage.

Many of the state's new laws each year are pegged to the start of the calendar year, and in the case of the higher minimum wage, it starts Saturday, Dec. 31.

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32 US NY: Lost lives: Faces Of The Opioid EpidemicFri, 30 Dec 2016
Source:Buffalo News (NY)          Area:New York Lines:116 Added:12/30/2016

Several dozen people who lost loved ones to heroin and opiate addiction gathered at Canalside Saturday to mourn and to raise awareness. (Maki Becker/Buffalo News)

Kelly Taylor couldn't talk publicly about the fact that two of her sons died of heroin overdoses.

It wasn't just grief.

She knew people judged her. Self-doubt silenced her.

But Taylor and others who have endured the agony of losing loved ones to the opiate epidemic say there is no longer room for shame and silence.

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33 US NY: With Legal Pot Comes a Problem: How Do We Weed Out ImpairedThu, 29 Dec 2016
Source:New York Observer, The (NY) Author:Grant, Igor Area:New York Lines:133 Added:12/30/2016

On Nov. 8, 2016 voters in California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada approved ballot measures to legalize recreational cannabis. It is now legal in a total of eight states. And this creates potential problems for road safety. How do we determine who's impaired and who's not?

The effects of alcohol vary based on a person's size and weight, metabolism rate, related food intake and the type and amount of beverage consumed. Even so, alcohol consumption produces fairly straightforward results: The more you drink, the worse you drive. Factors like body size and drinking experience can shift the correlation slightly, but the relationship is still pretty linear, enough to be able to confidently develop a blood alcohol content scale for legally determining drunk driving. Not so with marijuana.

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34 US NY: Reports: Deaths From Fentanyl Surpass Heroin DeathsThu, 29 Dec 2016
Source:Newsday (NY)          Area:New York Lines:31 Added:12/29/2016

NEW YORK - Health officials say the synthetic opioid fentanyl has surpassed heroin as the leading cause of overdose deaths on Long Island.

The New York Times reports that fentanyl killed at least 220 people on Long Island in 2016.

Fentanyl can be 100 times as potent as heroin and is much cheaper because it can be made in a lab.

The numbers from Long Island are part of a national pattern. Fentanyl fatalities have surpassed those from heroin in other parts of the country including New England.

The medical examiners of Long Island's two counties, Nassau and Suffolk, compiled the overdose statistics there.

Suffolk County Medical Examiner Dr. Michael Caplan said the influx of illegally manufactured fentanyl from overseas requires "a multidisciplinary intervention from all levels of government."

[end]

35US NY: Editorial: Not Open For BusinessSun, 25 Dec 2016
Source:Rochester Democrat and Chronicle (NY)          Area:New York Lines:Excerpt Added:12/28/2016

There is a place in city of Rochester where people from all walks of life have been gathering. About half of them come from the city, the other half drive in from the suburbs, or even farther, to get here every day. It is a hub of diversity, unlike any other in the Finger Lakes region. Men and women, young and old, business executives, soccer moms, students. They drive shiny BMWs, family minivans, and pickup trucks with antlers mounted on the hood.

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36 US NY: Medical Pot In Hospitals Rules ProposedTue, 27 Dec 2016
Source:Times Herald-Record (Middletown, NY) Author:Walsh, James Area:New York Lines:91 Added:12/28/2016

The state Department of Health has proposed amending its regulations to allow hospitals to develop procedures under which patients could take medical marijuana and other medications brought from home.

While not specifically outlawed now by department regulations, the amendment would give explicit permission for hospitals to formulate their own rules about patient use of medical marijuana, Jill Montag, a Health Department spokeswoman, said in an email.

Hospitals that want to permit self-administration of medical marijuana or other medications "must develop and follow policies and procedures to ensure the safe self-administration and security of the medication," according to the Health Department's proposed amendment to the state's Medical Marijuana Program.

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37 US NY: Marijuana Arrests Outnumber Those For Violent Crimes, StudyWed, 12 Oct 2016
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:William, Timothy Area:New York Lines:118 Added:10/17/2016

Arrests for possessing small amounts of marijuana exceeded those for all violent crimes last year, a new study has found, even as social attitudes toward the drug have changed and a number of cities and states have legalized its use or decriminalized small quantities.

And a disproportionate number of those arrested are African-Americans, who smoke marijuana at rates similar to whites but are arrested and prosecuted far more often for having small amounts for personal use, according to the study. The arrests can overwhelm court systems.

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38 US NY: Tallying The Toll Of A Staten Island Drug Wave In Flowers ForMon, 10 Oct 2016
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Wilson, Michael Area:New York Lines:122 Added:10/13/2016

They are not like other mourners. They are raw. "Hysterical crying," said Jackie Berger, a florist.

Some arrive at the other extreme, showing quiet resignation, even relief.

"They knew this day was coming," said Frank Lettera, a funeral director.

They are the parents and relatives of young men and women who died on Staten Island after overdosing on heroin. The grieving families are passing through the rituals of death in numbers never seen before: a record 72 suspected overdoses so far this year. That number far surpasses the previous record of 41, in 2014.

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39 US NY: Staten Island Confronts Rise In OverdosesMon, 03 Oct 2016
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Wilson, Michael Area:New York Lines:237 Added:10/06/2016

The man entered the Red Robin restaurant inside the Staten Island Mall two minutes after 6 p.m. on a Friday. He walked straight past the booths and tables and entered the men's room.

A manager would find him there seven minutes later, lying on the floor with a needle and foaming at the mouth.

His name was Jonathan Ayers, 27, and he was declared dead within the hour that evening, Sept. 9, apparently of a heroin overdose.

Mr. Ayers's fatal overdose was the latest addition to a body count without precedent. So far in 2016, there have been 71 deaths that appear to be from heroin overdoses on the island, the Richmond County district attorney's office said, already on pace to more than double the record set two years ago. Nine people died of heroin overdoses in a recent 10-day period, prosecutors said.

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40 US NY: LTE: What We Can Do To Reduce Opioid OveruseTue, 06 Sep 2016
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Gan, T. J. Area:New York Lines:45 Added:09/07/2016

To the Editor:

Re "Safer Alternatives to Opioids" (editorial, Aug. 30):

As an anesthesiologist and president of the American Society for Enhanced Recovery, I applaud the surgeon general's campaign addressing the overprescribing and misuse of opioids.

While I agree that minimizing opioid use will take a concerted effort by all those involved in the health care system, hospitals, in particular, have a critical role. Although often overlooked in the opioid discussion, hospitals have become an inadvertent gateway to opioid use in America. A recent survey found that one in 10 patients became addicted or dependent on opioids following a surgical procedure, and 91 percent of surgeons felt pressure to prescribe more opioids than a patient needed, in part because of the need to score well on patient satisfaction evaluations.

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41 US NY: LTE: What We Can Do To Reduce Opioid OveruseTue, 06 Sep 2016
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:King, Steven A. Area:New York Lines:32 Added:09/06/2016

To the Editor:

As a physician who specializes in pain management, I agree that we are overusing opioids and underusing other treatments. Certainly, the lack of insurance coverage for many of these other treatments is a significant problem.

There is an even more important factor, however, that hinders patient access to them. Most physicians receive little education on pain management in medical school and in postgraduate training. It is unrealistic to expect physicians to recommend treatments about which they possess little knowledge.

If the surgeon general really wants to have an impact on how we treat pain in this country, he needs to address this.

Philadelphia

[end]

42 US NY: Editorial: Safer Alternatives To OpioidsTue, 30 Aug 2016
Source:New York Times (NY)          Area:New York Lines:58 Added:08/30/2016

About half of opioid overdose deaths involve prescription drugs. With that stark fact in mind, the surgeon general, Dr. Vivek Murthy, sent an unusually direct plea last week to 2.3 million doctors and other health care workers to help fight the opioid epidemic by treating pain "safely and effectively." A website for his "Turn the Tide" campaign highlights alternative, nonaddictive treatments for pain. Not only doctors but also policy makers, insurance companies and other players in the health care system should pay attention.

[continues 334 words]

43 US NY: In Expansion, State's Medical Marijuana Program WillTue, 30 Aug 2016
Source:New York Times (NY)          Area:New York Lines:137 Added:08/30/2016

ALBANY - Moving to address complaints about New York's new medical marijuana program, the state's Health Department is making substantial changes to expand access to the drug, including allowing home delivery, quite likely by the end of September.

The program, which saw its first dispensaries open in January, has struggled to gain broad traction in the medical community and with potential patients. Advocates for the medical use of marijuana have said the program, allowed by a 2014 law signed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, was too restrictive, and its regulations too cumbersome to fulfill its mandate.

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44 US NY: Column: Harsh Drug Sentences Take Their Toll on BlackMon, 15 Aug 2016
Source:Record, The (Troy, NY) Author:Tucker, Cynthia Area:New York Lines:82 Added:08/15/2016

On a Sunday morning in late July, in a small town in southwest Alabama, Barbara Moore Knight gave her fellow church members news that brought spontaneous applause and murmurs of "Amen!" She told them that her son, James LaRon Knight, was among the drug felons whose sentences had been commuted by President Barack Obama the week before.

In 2004, Knight was convicted of conspiracy to sell cocaine. Although the crime was nonviolent, he was sentenced to more than 24 years in a federal prison. The sentence was a travesty, an unduly harsh punishment for a family man never accused of running a substantial criminal enterprise.

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45 US NY: OPED: Sentences Full Of ErrorsSun, 14 Aug 2016
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Holder, Eric H. Jr. Area:New York Lines:163 Added:08/14/2016

Washington - As a college student in Virginia, Corey Jacobs started selling drugs with the help of a group of friends to make some extra money. A Bronx native, Mr. Jacobs was no kingpin, and no aspect of their drug conspiracy involved violence. Now age 46, Mr. Jacobs has served 16 years of a sentence of life without parole in the federal system.

No question, Corey Jacobs should have gone to prison for his felony. But does he deserve to die there?

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46 US NY: Editorial: Stop Treating Marijuana Like HeroinSat, 13 Aug 2016
Source:New York Times (NY)          Area:New York Lines:81 Added:08/13/2016

Supporters of a saner marijuana policy scored a small victory this week when the Obama administration said it would authorize more institutions to grow marijuana for medical research. But the government passed up an opportunity to make a more significant change.

The Drug Enforcement Administration on Thursday turned down two petitions - one from the governors of Rhode Island and Washington and the other from a resident of New Mexico - requesting that marijuana be removed from Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act. Drugs on that list, which include heroin and LSD, are deemed to have no medical use; possession is illegal under federal law, and researchers have to jump through many hoops to obtain permission to study them and obtain samples to study. Having marijuana on that list is deeply misguided since many scientists and President Obama have said that it is no more dangerous than alcohol.

[continues 485 words]

47 US NY: PUB LTE: Treating Heroin AddictsSun, 07 Aug 2016
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Heimer, Robert Area:New York Lines:38 Added:08/07/2016

Naloxone saves lives after a heroin overdose, but does it also encourage addiction?

To the Editor: In an effort to be balanced, the article notes that critics' opposition to naloxone is based on the premise that it gives drug users a safety net, allowing them to take more risks and seek higher highs, resulting in multiple overdoses. These claims are refuted by studies in New York, San Francisco and here in Connecticut of overdose risks, undertaken before widespread availability of naloxone, in which a strong predictor of an overdose was a previous nonfatal overdose. To date, no evidence has been presented that naloxone availability or use in response to overdoses increases risk-taking or overdose frequency. Instead, there is plenty of evidence that it saves lives and provides those individuals an opportunity to seek treatment. The critics' disparaging of the lifesaving benefits of naloxone is just another example of the stigmatization of those with the chronic disorder of opioid abuse that brands such individuals as unworthy of efforts to reduce their mortality.

New Haven

The writer is a professor at the Yale University School of Public Health.

[end]

48 US NY: PUB LTE: Treating Heroin AddictsSun, 07 Aug 2016
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Szalavitz, Maia Area:New York Lines:33 Added:08/07/2016

Naloxone saves lives after a heroin overdose, but does it also encourage addiction?

To the Editor: The same arguments about encouraging more risk taking were made earlier about needle exchange programs to fight H.I.V., delaying their implementation by years. But when New York State stopped heeding the naysayers and did expand access to clean needles, H.I.V. infection rates in drug users, which had stood at 54 percent in 1990, fell to only 3 percent by 2012. Now state health officials call the formerly contentious practice "the one intervention which could be described as the gold standard of H.I.V. prevention." Let's not make the same mistake by spreading similarly baseless fears about naloxone.

New York

The writer is the author of "Unbroken Brain: A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding Addiction."

[end]

49 US NY: Editorial: Mercy Is Too Slow At Justice DepartmentSun, 07 Aug 2016
Source:New York Times (NY)          Area:New York Lines:66 Added:08/07/2016

President Obama last week commuted the prison terms of 214 federal inmates who were sent to prison under draconian, '80s-era laws that have since been revised. Among them were 67 people serving life sentences, nearly all of them for nonviolent drug offenses.

Mercy was granted in these cases. But the federal clemency system - which moves far too slowly and is too often blocked by politics in both the Justice Department and the White House - was never intended to manage miscarriages of justice that happen on a vast scale, as was the case when so many Americans were sent to prison under the "tough on crime" policies of the 1980s.

[continues 378 words]

50 US NY: LTE: Treating Heroin AddictsSun, 07 Aug 2016
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Bell, Charlotte Area:New York Lines:38 Added:08/07/2016

Naloxone saves lives after a heroin overdose, but does it also encourage addiction?

To the Editor: You say naloxone "carries no health risk; it cannot be abused and, if given mistakenly to someone who has not overdosed on opioids, does no harm." In fact, like most drugs, naloxone can have adverse effects, most of which are mild, but some, such as severe hypertension, decreased platelet function, coma and death, are very significant. Severe hypertension and tachycardia can likely be exacerbated in patients who have taken amphetamines or cocaine in addition to opioids, causing heart attack or stroke. Fortunately, most overdoses treated with naloxone occur in young patients who tolerate side effects. However, I am concerned about propagating the myth that this drug is completely safe and thereby inadvertently adding a new game to the highs of addiction - get high, push the experience to near death, make sure naloxone is handy for reversal, and repeat. We may indeed see more complications if patients are using multiple rounds of opioids and naloxone.

Milford, Conn.

The writer is an anesthesiologist.

[end]


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