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1 US CT: Police: Shootings That Left 2 Dead Were Drug-RelatedMon, 25 Sep 2017
Source:Hartford Courant (CT) Author:McWilliams, Kathleen Area:Connecticut Lines:96 Added:09/27/2017

Two men were killed in Hartford in a few-hour span Friday into Saturday.

Six people were shot, two fatally, in separate narcotics-related shootings in Hartford Friday night and Saturday morning, police said.

As of Sunday morning, victim identifications were being withheld, but Deputy Police Chief Brian Foley said at least one of the victims was from out of state.

Foley said the two shootings immediately appeared to be narcotics related, with heroin, cocaine and other drugs found at the scene. Police said they believed multiple guns were involved and at least one of the shootings was described as a "gunfight."

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2 US CT: Oped: Should Parents Lie About Smoking Pot?Fri, 07 Jul 2017
Source:Hartford Courant (CT) Author:Pelham, Teresa M. Area:Connecticut Lines:88 Added:07/11/2017

"Hey, Mom. Have you ever smoked weed?"

The only question perhaps trickier than this would include either algebra or an unwanted marriage proposal.

I kind of thought I didn't have to worry anymore about getting asked this question. The teen questioner and I had just sat down to lunch at Plan B with his grandmother. It totally threw me off.

Years ago I remember seeing a public service advertisement by the Office of National Drug Control Policy showing a coffee mug that read "#1 Hypocrite." The organization's stance was that parents should not be honest about any past drug use with their children. If we are, it surmised, kids could look at our successful lives and think that using drugs won't negatively affect their future.

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3 US CT: As Marijuana Debate Continues, A Little Girl's Life Is ChangedTue, 04 Jul 2017
Source:Hartford Courant (CT) Author:Vella, Vinny Area:Connecticut Lines:314 Added:07/05/2017

There are good days for West Tarricone. Days when she can laugh and live like any other 9-year-old. Days when she can play with her brother, Blake, and watch "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" on her iPad.

But there are also bad days. Days when her body weathers 100 seizures. Days when it has closer to 1,000 - some lasting more than 90 minutes.

Lately, she's been having more good days thanks to Connecticut's new experiment with medical marijuana.

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4 US CT: Oped: Forum: Clergy Support Regulating Marijuana Like AlcoholThu, 29 Jun 2017
Source:New Haven Register (CT) Author:Praver, Rabbi Shaul Marshall Area:Connecticut Lines:80 Added:07/03/2017

As clergy, we write in support of proposals to tax and regulate marijuana in Connecticut. It may seem counterintuitive for a rabbi and a minister to adopt this view. We believe, however, that people of faith have a special responsibility to speak about what policies serve our communities best.

Of course, we recognize that marijuana should not be used by youth and can become addictive for some individuals at any age. Given these realities, our focus must be not to prohibit all use, but to respond in the most effective way to the possibility of abuse. Regulation and education - not prohibition - are the best path. We learned this a long time ago concerning alcohol.

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5 US CT: Malloy Announces Legislative Proposals To Help Curb OpioidThu, 26 Jan 2017
Source:Hartford Courant (CT)          Area:Connecticut Lines:44 Added:01/28/2017

[photo] This Feb. 19, 2013, file photo, shows OxyContin pills arranged for a photo at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vt. (Toby Talbot / AP)

Flanked by commissioners from a half-dozen state agencies, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced legislative pointed at prescription drugs, a dangerous pathway to opioid addiction.

"Every city and every town in the country has been touched in some way by substance abuse -- and in particular the growing prescription pain killer epidemic. Our local communities are no exception. This is a complex crisis that does not have one root cause, nor does it have a simple solution," Malloy said in a statement. "Addiction is a disease, and together we can treat and prevent it. Our work on this front will not be finished until our communities and our families are no longer struggling with the grave costs of this illness."

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6 US CT: CDC: Connecticut Second In Percent Increase Of SyntheticSun, 22 Jan 2017
Source:Hartford Courant (CT)          Area:Connecticut Lines:116 Added:01/23/2017

[photo] In this Aug. 9, 2016, photo, a vial containing 2mg of fentanyl, which will kill a human if ingested into the body, is displayed at the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Testing and Research Laboratory in Sterling, Va. A 2mg dose of fentanyl is fatal to 99 percent of humans. A novel class of deadly drugs is exploding across the country, with many manufactured in China for export around the world. The drugs, synthetic opioids, are fueling the deadliest addiction crisis the U.S. has ever seen. (Cliff Owen / AP)

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7 US CT: City Devastated By Oxycontin Use Sues Purdue Pharma, ClaimsTue, 17 Jan 2017
Source:Hartford Courant (CT)          Area:Connecticut Lines:181 Added:01/17/2017

[graphic] This motion graphic shows how OxyContin flowed out of Los Angeles.

A Washington city devastated by black-market OxyContin filed a first-of-its-kind lawsuit against the painkiller's manufacturer Thursday, alleging that the company turned a blind eye to criminal trafficking of its pills to "reap large and obscene profits" and demanding it foot the bill for widespread opioid addiction in the community.

The suit by Everett, a city of 100,000 north of Seattle, was prompted by a Times investigation last year. The newspaper revealed that drugmaker Purdue Pharma had extensive evidence pointing to illegal trafficking across the nation but in many cases did not share it with law enforcement or cut off the flow of pills.

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8 US CT: Strung Out At 4 A.M.: Emergency Room Doctors Treating HeroinSun, 15 Jan 2017
Source:Hartford Courant (CT) Author:Budde, Kristin S. Area:Connecticut Lines:118 Added:01/16/2017

At four in the morning, the hospital's emergency department lights fluoresce directly into your brain. Everyone, everything looks green, especially the midnight heroin users. They are always shivering. Partly the withdrawal, partly the cold, damp Connecticut weather. They tend not to have proper jackets.

On a stretcher in the hallway, a 25-year-old "opioid withdrawal" is curled up with three hospital blankets pulled over his head. I gently shake his leg, but nothing is really gentle here. I introduce myself and whisper a question about what brought him in. No response.

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9 US CT: Three Dead From Suspected Overdoses Within 16 Hours InFri, 13 Jan 2017
Source:Hartford Courant (CT)          Area:Connecticut Lines:91 Added:01/14/2017

Three Dead From Overdoses In Hartford

[photo] Hartford police discuss what's needed to address the opioid crisis after three die in a short time from suspected opioid overdoses.

Within a 16-hour span that ended Thursday afternoon, police said that three people died from suspected overdoses. Investigators believe opioids are to blame, possibly the powerful synthetic fentanyl.

"We suspect, only based on patterns of what we've seen lately, that fentanyl will be an issue with these," Deputy Chief Brian Foley said Thursday afternoon. He noted that it's too soon to know for sure, but the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will do autopsies on the victims.

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10 US CT: Ct Mom Believes Marijuana Plant Oil Can Help Kids WithWed, 04 Jan 2017
Source:Hartford Courant (CT)          Area:Connecticut Lines:69 Added:01/04/2017

Fighting Epilepsy: Should Children Be Given Controversial Cannabis Oil?'

Kim Hearn believes marijuana plant oil can help her 10-year-old son, who has epilepsy.

Each morning, Kim Hearn attaches a feeding tube to her son before outfitting him in specialized clothes that lend support to his torso, ankles and legs. A seizure often disrupts the process. It's a rigorous routine for this Stratford mom but it's nothing, she says, compared to what the 10-year-old, who can't speak or sit on his own, endures: "Sean just accepts it."

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11 US CT: Convicted Heroin Dealer Gets 34 MonthsSat, 31 Dec 2016
Source:Hartford Courant (CT) Author:Rondinone, Nicholas Area:Connecticut Lines:29 Added:01/02/2017

A New London man guilty of selling heroin that was believed to have caused a fatal overdose was sentenced Monday to 34 months in prison, federal officials said.

Rudy Hernandez, 43, pleaded guilty in July to distribution of heroin, according to the U.S. Attorney's office. He also faces three years of supervised release.

Authorities learned that a 25-year-old man in Groton, who had fatally overdosed, had arranged to buy heroin from someone who purchased the drug from Hernandez, the U.S. Attorney's office said.

In April, law enforcement searched his home and found heroin and cocaine, according to officials.

Hernandez has been in federal custody since April.

[end]

12 US CT: 5 Books Richard Branson Thinks You Should ReadSat, 31 Dec 2016
Source:News-Times, The (Danbury, CT) Author:Weller, Chris Area:Connecticut Lines:40 Added:12/31/2016

Richard Branson, the Virgin Group Founder and self-described tie-loathing billionaire, still finds time in his busy schedule to read.

As part of Facebook's recent #ReadToLead hashtag, Branson offered up the handful of titles that kept his attention in 2016.

We can't guarantee you'll follow in the entrepreneur's footsteps, but the books could certainly set you in the right direction.

[non-drug policy sections, skipped]

"Ending the War on Drugs" by Richard Branson Amazon

Edited by Branson himself ("I couldn't resist sneaking in a book I contributed to," he writes) "Ending the War on Drugs" is a compilation of essays about the global drug war and the many failed attempts to end it.

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13 US CT: Canada Takes Next Step Toward National MarijuanaFri, 30 Dec 2016
Source:News-Times, The (Danbury, CT)          Area:Connecticut Lines:105 Added:12/31/2016

While the US federal government remains stubbornly opposed to legalizing marijuana, our neighbor to the north is increasingly interested in cannabis commerce and moving away from pot prosecutions.

Even as voters in more U.S. states approved legalized recreational marijuana this November - and 28 states have legalized medical marijuana - the federal government still lists marijuana as an illegal drug.

However, just north of the border, Canadian leaders have started moving in the opposite direction.

Justin Trudeau, the prime minister of Canada and leader of the Liberal Party, created a committee in the summer of 2016 to look into the issues surrounding making marijuana legal for recreational use across the entire country.

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14 US CT: Inmate Forced To Take Drugs Will Represent Himself At TrialSun, 25 Dec 2016
Source:Hartford Courant (CT) Author:Eaton-Robb, Pat Area:Connecticut Lines:75 Added:12/28/2016

Should Connecticut compensate a prison inmate who was injected with psychotropic drugs against his will? A trial set for January, in which the inmate is representing himself, will decide.

The inmate, Kacey Lewis, was taken from his cell, shackled and subdued with pepper spray for some of the 42 injections he received from the medical staff at Northern Correctional Institution in Somers, according to court records.

U.S. District Judge Vanessa Bryant found the prison staff violated Lewis' rights to due process and ordered the civil trial, scheduled for the first week of January, to determine whether he is entitled to financial damages or other relief. The trial also will determine whether medical staff violated Lewis' rights against cruel and unusual punishment by being deliberately indifferent to his medical needs and through the suffering caused by the injections.

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15 US CT: 'An Opportunity To Be A Healer Again'Tue, 06 Sep 2016
Source:Register Citizen (CT) Author:Stannard, Ed Area:Connecticut Lines:169 Added:09/07/2016

Dr. Stephen Brown has become a believer in medical marijuana.

Since registering as a certifying physician 15 months ago, Brown has seen about 700 patients, and he believes it has helped a majority of them.

While certifying patients is required under state law for patients to buy medical marijuana, Brown takes pride in his physician's role. He spends time with each patient, takes a detailed medical history and follows up.

Brown was a reconstructive surgeon who retired from surgery when it became too physically taxing. He had started his career in the Army, repairing cleft lips and palates in a Saigon field hospital during the Vietnam War.

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16 US CT: 'An Opportunity To Be A Healer Again'Sun, 04 Sep 2016
Source:Middletown Press, The (CT) Author:Stannard, Ed Area:Connecticut Lines:171 Added:09/05/2016

Doctor Becomes Believer in Healing Power of Medical Marijuana

Dr. Stephen Brown has become a believer in medical marijuana.

Since registering as a certifying physician 15 months ago, Brown has seen about 700 patients, and he believes it has helped a majority of them.

While certifying patients is required under state law for patients to buy medical marijuana, Brown takes pride in his physician's role. He spends time with each patient, takes a detailed medical history and follows up.

Brown was a reconstructive surgeon who retired from surgery when it became too physically taxing. He had started his career in the Army, repairing cleft lips and palates in a Saigon field hospital during the Vietnam War.

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17US CT: High Court Sides With Pot-smoking EmployeeSat, 20 Aug 2016
Source:San Diego Union Tribune (CA)          Area:Connecticut Lines:Excerpt Added:08/20/2016

A Connecticut state worker fired after he was caught smoking marijuana on the job was punished too harshly and should get his job back, the state Supreme Court ruled Friday.

Gregory Linhoff was fired from his maintenance job at the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington in 2012 after a police officer caught him smoking pot in a state-owned vehicle. He was arrested, but the charges were later dismissed.

State officials said firing the New Hartford resident was the only appropriate penalty for his conduct. An arbitrator disagreed and overturned the firing, saying Linhoff instead should be suspended without pay for six months and be subject to random drug testing for a year after he returned to work.

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18 US CT: OPED: The Missing Scientific Case for Medical MarijuanaMon, 15 Aug 2016
Source:New Haven Register (CT)          Area:Connecticut Lines:66 Added:08/15/2016

The federal Drug Enforcement Administration has just issued a helpful reminder to all Americans. In denying a petition to loosen restrictions on marijuana, the agency repeated that the drug has "no currently accepted medical use" in the U.S.

This may come as a surprise, given that 25 states already allow doctors to prescribe marijuana to treat maladies from PTSD to Alzheimer's disease. Yet the truth is, research has yet to find firm evidence that marijuana can alleviate physical suffering.

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19 US CT: OPED: Learning From Europe On Drug PolicySun, 24 Jul 2016
Source:Day, The (New London,CT) Author:Stewart, Ryan V. Area:Connecticut Lines:113 Added:07/24/2016

America's drug policies are largely misguided.

Many people, from common citizens to seasoned politicians, are aware of this, and have sought to change these laws in response to the needless incarceration of indulgers and addicts and, as a consequence, an ever-expanding population of prison inmates - the largest in the world.

However, the ethos of the War on Drugs has, since the early 1970s, remained a powerful motivation for lawmakers and justice officials to maintain the status quo.

According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, as of Jan. 30, 2016, the U.S. prison population was made up in large degree of drug offenders, with 46.6 percent of all inmates having been incarcerated for such offenses. The second-largest group of inmates by offense, classed under "Weapons, Explosives, Arson," made up just 16.9 percent.

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20 US CT: Column: Can Americans Hold Ourselves Together As aMon, 11 Jul 2016
Source:Register Citizen (CT) Author:Allen, Danielle Area:Connecticut Lines:85 Added:07/12/2016

Without a doubt, we Americans are in a bad way. The senseless deaths this week in Baton Rouge, La., Falcon Heights, Minn., and now Dallas are devastating beyond comprehension for the victims and their families. Each shooting is also an act in a shared national tragedy. The problems go down to the very roots.

The question of whether as a country we are headed in the right or wrong direction can no longer be answered simply with reference to policy matters such as the economy, education or foreign relations. Instead we face the fundamental question of whether we, the people, as a single people, are holding together and can hold together.

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