August 31: Worldwide Overdose Consciousness Day

Greater than 64,000 individuals died from an unintentional drug overdose final 12 months, making it the main reason behind demise amongst People below 50. What’s irritating – and provides purpose for hope – is that these deaths are largely preventable and might be considerably decreased by implementing efficient, evidence-based drug insurance policies.

In anticipation of Worldwide Overdose Consciousness Day on August 31, specialists from the Drug Coverage Alliance can be found for in-studio, distant and cellphone/Skype interviews to deal with the next matters and extra:

  • Maria McFarland Sánchez-Moreno, government director of the Drug Coverage Alliance, on the Trump Administration’s counterproductive technique round opioids and the function the drug struggle performs in worsening the disaster, in addition to life-saving coverage options to the disaster.
  • Michael Collins, DPA nationwide affairs knowledgeable, on present federal legislative proposals that may be useful in lowering overdose deaths, in addition to disastrous payments at present in play.
  • Lindsay LaSalle, DPA senior employees legal professional, on her latest report An Overdose Loss of life Is Not Homicide: Why Drug-Induced Murder Legal guidelines Are Counterproductive and Inhumane.
  • Kassandra Frederique, DPA New York State Director, on how supervised consumption websites in New York and different exhausting hit areas can assist scale back overdose deaths and crime and the way the present opioid disaster engendered a distinct set of responses than previous drug crises that have been seen as primarily affecting Black and Latinx communities.
  • Laura Thomas, DPA California Director, on how extra communities throughout the nation wish to supervised consumption websites and different health-centered approaches in addressing the overdose disaster and myths and information surrounding these approaches.  
  • Sheila Vakharia, DPA coverage knowledgeable, on how the present disaster is about extra than simply opioids and in addition consists of elevated overdose and deaths from stimulant medication like cocaine and methamphetamine, and efficient, evidence-based methods that can curtail this new section of the overdose disaster.
  • Stefanie Jones, Director of DPA’s Safer Partying marketing campaign, on drug schooling and hurt discount efforts like drug checking to forestall medical emergencies and overdose inside pageant, live performance and membership settings.

Final Fall, the Drug Coverage Alliance a launched complete motion plan to deal with growing charges of opioid use and overdose.  The plan marks a radical departure from the punitive responses that characterize a lot of U.S. drug coverage and as an alternative focuses on scientifically confirmed hurt discount and public well being interventions that may enhance remedy outcomes and scale back the unfavourable penalties of opioid misuse, comparable to transmission of infectious ailments and overdose.

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Fentanyl Seizures Across the U.S. Skyrocket 

Record-setting seizures of fentanyl prove this deadly drug is still on the rise.

Record-setting seizures of fentanyl prove this deadly drug is still on the rise.

Fentanyl. Two milligrams of this stuff can kill an adult. That’s less than a pinch of salt. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that’s up to 50 times more powerful than heroin.

In recent years, fentanyl has become more prevalent across the nation, adding to the already staggering death toll of the opioid epidemic. Its increasing presence is easily seen in the alarming amounts seized by officials around the nation. 

Let’s have a look at some of those seizures, shall we?

In the Midwest

Nebraska police recently seized 118 pounds of pure fentanyl. This sets a record for one of the largest seizures in U.S. history. The stash was “enough to kill more than 26 million people.” 

Before they realized it was fentanyl, officers assumed the white powder substance was cocaine. This traffic-stop seizure, however, turned out to be Nebraska’s biggest bust ever – worth about $ 20M.

In the East

Last summer, New Jersey authorities caught two men in possession of nearly 100 pounds of fentanyl. The shipment, discovered in June 2017, was the largest seizure in the history of New Jersey. The stash “contained more than 18 million lethal doses,” making it enough to kill every person in New Jersey and New York City combined. 

This record-breaking fentanyl seizure is part of an ongoing increase of fentanyl use in the state. As of 2015, only around two percent of the heroin tested by New Jersey State Police was laced with fentanyl. By the end of 2017, authorities found it in around 33 percent of tested heroin.

In the Ports

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Field Operations (CBP) reports similar increases in their seizures. In 2013, the CBP seized 2.4 pounds of fentanyl and other opioids. In 2017, the total was over 71,000 pounds.

In fentanyl alone, the CBP seized 951 pounds througout 2017, which was twice as much as 2016’s total. They’d already seized 934 pounds of fentanyl in the first six months of 2018.

Where’s it Coming From?

The CDC reports that over half of all opioid overdose deaths in 2016 involved fentanyl.

Most of it reaches our country via the U.S. Postal Service. This entity handles 1.3 million packages from overseas every single day. With this kind of volume, it’s easy for illegal shipments to slip through. 

The CBP also reports significant increases in shipments they must monitor. Over the past six years, they’ve seen a five-fold increase in the number of shipments handled by international mail and express facilities. The JFK International Airport in New York alone handles 1 million parcels a day.

According to the DEA, China is a major source country of fentanyl. Thousands of Chinese labs manufacture the substance for shipment to the U.S.

While the drug is legal to use in some cases of severe pain relief, fentanyl is often sold for a high profit margin on the illegal market instead. Once on the streets, it becomes a potent killer, contributing to the 115 opioid-related deaths in the U.S. every day.

Additional Reading: Fentanyl is a Ticking Time Bomb.

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Stark Racial Disparities and Disturbing Development in Washington D.C. Marijuana Arrests Regardless of Legalization

Whereas Possession Arrests Stay Low, Alarming Development in Marijuana Distribution Arrests and Public Consumption Prices

Just lately launched information from the District of Columbia’s Metropolitan Police Division exhibits that racial disparities in arrests for marijuana stay excessive, regardless of marijuana turning into authorized for grownup use in 2015. In 2017, 86% of arrestees have been Black, even though Black residents make up solely round 47% of the District’s inhabitants. 

Although arrests for possession stay low, arrests for distribution and public consumption have elevated considerably. MPD greater than quadrupled arrests for distribution (75 to 403) and greater than tripled arrests for public consumption (85 to 265) from 2015 to 2017. Racial disparities are disturbingly excessive for each costs, 2017 information exhibits 92% (369 of 403) of arrestees for distribution have been Black, and 75% (200 of 265) of arrestees for public consumption have been Black. 

Under is an announcement from Kaitlyn Boecker, Coverage Supervisor of the Drug Coverage Alliance

“Because of Congressional interference prohibiting the District from regulating marijuana, fairly than gathering tax income and making certain product security, we’re losing sources and wreaking havoc on younger individuals’s lives with continued arrests for marijuana use.

The conflict on medication has all the time been a conflict on individuals, significantly on individuals of shade. Initiative 71 was handed by voters largely to get rid of racial disparities in marijuana arrests, however as a consequence of racial bias and uneven enforcement, 4 years later Black males proceed to be overwhelmingly focused for arrests. The overwhelming majority of District voters rejected marijuana prohibition and its legacy of biased enforcement by voting to legalize grownup use, possession and cultivation of marijuana. Regardless of this, MPD continues to arrest our residents for marijuana, quadrupling arrests for distribution and tripling arrests for public consumption from 2015 to 2017.  That is unacceptable, marijuana arrests don’t advance public well being or security, and violate the desire of the voters. 

We all know the general public well being penalties of an arrest far outweigh the general public well being penalties of marijuana use. Even the NYPD has lately introduced a shift to their coverage on public marijuana use, particularly due to the problem of racial disparities in enforcement. It’s absurd that regardless of legalization within the District, MPD continues to make such arrests; as former MPD Chief Cathy Lanier mentioned years in the past, ‘All these arrests do is make individuals hate us.’ ”
 

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Overdoses Occur…Even at Remedy Amenities

Treatment centers aren't immune to on-site drug abuse and overdoses.

Treatment centers aren’t immune to on-site drug abuse and overdoses.

More than 64,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2016, according to data from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention – a number double what it was a decade ago.

And while overdoses can occur anywhere, sometimes they happen where you’d least expect…like inside a treatment facility.

It’s More Common Than You Think

A Sarasota facility recently made headlines when eight of its patients overdosed at the same time.

Here’s how the official story goes: One of the facility’s residents brought in “liquid ecstasy,” an odorless and colorless drug known for its euphoric effects. Once the staff realized what happened, all eight were rushed to Sarasota Memorial Hospital.

“Situations like this happen to most residential facilities,” said the facility’s vice president of outpatient and youth services.

And it’s true. According to the article, Manatee County law enforcement records listed numerous instances where officers responded to emergency overdose situations at drug treatment centers in the area. One of those facilities saw a shocking 40 overdoses in the past five years.

But sadly, it’s not just the patients who are succumbing to their disease – sometimes it’s the staff members, too. Earlier this month, two counselors died at a southeastern Pennsylvania addiction facility after overdosing on opioids. Six patients living at the halfway house found the counselors in separate rooms, surrounded by used needles and small drug baggies. Their bodies later tested positive for heroin and fentanyl.

Why Are Overdoses Prevalent?

Even though a facility’s doors are locked, substances still manage to find their way in. Residents often smuggle drugs inside by hiding small stashes inside bras or belts, while others rely on visitors to pass drugs off during visitation.

Believe it or not, a frightening number of new patients overdose in treatment center lobbies while filling out admission paperwork. Says the chief executive officer at one facility, “They want to get that one last fix before they come in.”

These overdose headlines highlight just how powerful the disease of addiction is. When a person uses, dopamine is released in the reward pathway of the brain. Once addicted, brain chemistry is altered to the point where the brain re-prioritizes what matters most. Things like eating, sleeping, holding down a job, and maintaining relationships fall by the wayside. Drug use becomes more important than survival itself, and the possibility of overdose is not a deterrent.

Here’s the good news: relapse and overdose aren’t inevitable parts of the recovery process. If you’re ready to get clean and sober, with hard work, persistence, and a commitment to change, you can achieve long-term sobriety.

Learn more about treatment options for alcohol abuse and addiction.
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It’s True – Girls Do Expertise Dependancy In a different way

Ever wonder how addiction impacts women differently than men?

Ever wonder how addiction impacts women differently than men?

Women experience a wealth of unique health challenges, many of which remain under-treated or poorly addressed. Addiction is no exception, according to Dr. Lipi Roy, a physician specializing in addiction.

In a recent Forbes article, Dr. Roy points out the main gender differences between men and women as they apply to substance use disorder treatment. She also says a lot of the research into addiction was historically male-centered until the 1990s, when agencies finally required studies to include women in their research.

“While men are more likely than women to develop addiction, women are more likely to face greater challenges. Women experience addiction-related medical or social consequences faster than men, find it harder to quit, and are more vulnerable to relapse,” says Roy.

Gender and the Rate of Addiction

Without a doubt, the effect of substances and the rate of addiction differ by gender. Here’s a few examples:

  • Women are more likely to be prescribed opioids than men and to continue them long-term.
  • Women’s increased risk of opioid misuse is emotionally-related; in men the risk is related to legal or behavioral problems.
  • Women are more likely to be prescribed prescription painkillers at higher doses than men and become dependent more quickly.
  • The CDC cited a 400 percent increase in prescription-related overdoses among women between 1999 and 2010, while men saw only a 237 percent increase in that same timeframe.
  • Overdose deaths among women tripled between 2010 and 2013, according to the National Center for Health Statistics
  • Alcohol kills more women than opioids. According to the CDC, in 2010, 26,000 women died from alcohol abuse, while 13,000 died from opioid abuse.
  • Alcohol dependence develops more quickly in men than women.
  • Alcohol-related brain injury and liver disease develops faster in men than women.
  • Women are more prone to the effects of alcohol – they weigh less, have more fatty tissue, and possess lower levels of the enzymes needed to metabolize alcohol.
  • Women face greater risks from smoking, including higher incidences of lung cancer and heart attack.

Effective Treatment Strategies for Women

Exposure to drugs and alcohol also increases the risk of pregnancy-related complications, such as neonatal abstinence syndrome and stillbirths. Research shows that 80 percent of all pregnancies among women with substance abuse disorders are unplanned. This same group of women are also prone to co-occurring illness, such as post-natal depression.

So, what are the most effective strategies for women? Roy suggests treatment programs that provide comprehensive services tailored to care for women and their unique needs — with pregnant women as a priority. She refers to the American Society of Medicine and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism recommendations that we need to screen women in order to provide family planning services and determine their mental health needs. Most importantly, Roy says we need to stop treating mothers with SUD as child abusers, and help them receive the care they need.

Additional Reading: My Journey Through Alcohol Dependence and Postpartum Psychosis

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Sufferers Discover Quitting Antidepressants…Miserable

What symptoms occur when you stop taking antidepressants?

What symptoms occur when you stop taking antidepressants?

Nancy went through a rough time after losing her daughter. To deal with the depression, her doctor prescribed medication.

Nearly two years later, Nancy has a new grasp on life, a mending heart, and a strong support network. She is ready to stop taking her antidepressant medication, but she’s finding it nearly impossible. She’s battling headaches, insomnia, and nausea. She has no energy and overall feels terrible. In fact, she feels almost as bad as she did before she started taking the medication.

She worries she’s addicted and will have to continue the drug use indefinitely. Nancy finds that extremely…depressing.

Why It’s So Hard to Get Off Antidepressants

Nancy isn’t alone in her depression-related struggle. Every patient who’s given an antidepressant medication is warned about the potential side effects. Few, however, are made aware of the side effects of stopping the medication. Common withdrawal symptoms include the unpleasant experiences Nancy’s having: fatigue, nausea, headache, and insomnia.

The side effects make it difficult to stop using the medication. Unfortunately, doctors seem unsure about what to do for these patients. Antidepressants were originally designed for short-term use. Patients were expected to take them for six to nine months. However, with a growing number of people on these drugs long-term (nearly 25 million Americans took antidepressants for at least two years, with 15.5 million on them for at least five years), doctors are finally realizing the absence of a safe plan to discontinue antidepressant use is a serious problem.

The difficulty Nancy and others experience when trying to quit antidepressants is often referred to as “discontinuation syndrome.” Users don’t expect this syndrome, were never warned about this syndrome, and often go back on the drug as a result of this syndrome. Other than a label for their condition, the medical field has offered little to this suffering population. The New York Times reports there are no guidelines, no customized solutions, and no methods for identifying at-risk individuals.

That’s not to say researchers haven’t looked into the issue; they’ve polled users suffering from antidepressant withdrawal symptoms. One study found that over half classified their symptoms as severe, and another discovered nearly half of users felt addicted to their prescription medication.

Can You Ever Ween Off?

All hope is not lost. While it can probably feel like the medical profession is unable to help problem, patients can – and do – recover. Many have turned to “microtapering.” This involves slowly reducing the amount of medication over a long period of time, in order to slowly lessen and eventually eliminate any withdrawal symptoms.

For those who want a faster fix, it might be tough. Patients should always consult with their doctor before stopping medication. If a cold-turkey approach is approved, the patient may simply need supervision and support to work through the symptoms until withdrawal has ceased. If a dependence has developed, they will need further recovery support to find complete freedom from the medication.

Additional Reading: Depression, Chronic Pain and Taming the Opioid Epidemic

 
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Governor Cuomo Strikes Ahead on Legalizing Marijuana for Grownup Use in New York State

Right this moment, Governor Andrew Cuomo introduced his place endorsing marijuana legalization in New York.

This is a crucial step for Governor Cuomo to acknowledge the Division of Well being report and transfer New York ahead to finish prohibition that has been so devastating to people and communities. Nonetheless, it’s essential that the work group embody people who find themselves straight affected and public defenders in addition to community-based organizations who’re on the entrance traces.

The New York State Division of Well being not too long ago launched an influence evaluation of marijuana legalization. The report concludes that the advantages of taxing and regulating marijuana far outweighs any potential unfavourable penalties. The research was commissioned by Governor Cuomo and introduced in his deal with on the chief finances proposal.

 

Under is an announcement from Chris Alexander, Coverage Coordinator for the Drug Coverage Alliance.

 

“We’re happy that the Governor has studied the prevailing proof and knowledge offered within the Division of Well being report and precisely concluded that legalizing marijuana for grownup use is the precise alternative for New York. Marijuana prohibition has devastated our communities, saddled tons of of 1000’s with felony data, acted as an simply accessible device for racially biased policing, and stunted the alternatives for whole generations of principally New Yorker’s of shade.

 

We’re hopeful that because the Governor and the Legislature transfer ahead with marijuana coverage reform that they acknowledge that any motion to legalize marijuana should additionally embody broad document clearing provisions, should create a various and inclusive business, and assure vital neighborhood reinvestment to restore the hurt that has been carried out. We look ahead to participating with the Governor’s workplace and the Legislature on the methods to advance reform in New York.”

 

Be taught extra at smart-ny.com.

 

Background:

 

Momentum for marijuana reform is constructing steadily in New York. A ballot of New York voters launched in late 2017 confirmed that 62% of New Yorkers help making marijuana use authorized in New York for adults over 21, and greater than 60% help taxing and regulating marijuana as a approach to deal with the state’s looming finances deficit.

 

Legalizing marijuana for grownup use in New York holds vital felony justice reform potential. Below the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, which is at present pending within the legislature, individuals who have been convicted of low-level possession (together with possession in public view) and low-level sale can have that offense vacated from their document. Different offenses associated to possession or sale that have been beforehand misdemeanors or felonies could be reclassified and sealed. Individuals at present incarcerated for such offenses would both be launched or have their sentence appropriately lowered pursuant to the brand new statute.

 

That is essential as a result of marijuana prohibition enforcement has devastated communities throughout New York State, primarily these of shade and low-income communities. Greater than 800,000 folks have been arrested for possession of small quantities of marijuana in New York State over the previous 20 years, with over 700,000 arrests by the NYPD alone. Consequently, tons of of 1000’s of individuals should deal with felony data that yield vital collateral penalties for them—and their households, together with restricted entry to housing, employment, and schooling alternatives.

 

Legalizing and regulating marijuana may also present a chance, as a result of income it would generate, for the communities which were most devastated to begin to restore the harms of the drug battle. The potential tax income for New York from a authorized marijuana market is appreciable: An official research by the NYC Comptroller in 2018 estimated potential tax income for a authorized marijuana market in New York State could be greater than $ 1.three billion yearly.

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Westchester Report Reveals Stark Marijuana Arrest Disparities

White Plains, NY — Right this moment, WESPAC Basis, Westchester Coalition for Police Reform, and the Drug Coverage Alliance launched a report highlighting marijuana prohibition enforcement practices in Westchester County and their disparate impression on Black and Latino residents.

The report, Marijuana Arrests and Enforcement in Westchester County, reveals that marijuana prohibition in Westchester county has largely focused individuals of shade and that the harms of prohibition—together with elevated obstacles to increased schooling, housing, and employment alternatives—have been born nearly completely by Westchester’s Black and Latino residents.

Primarily based on in depth evaluation of knowledge from the state Division of Prison Justice Providers, the report discovered that, much like New York Metropolis, these being arrested for low-level marijuana possession in Westchester have been largely younger individuals and largely individuals of shade. The report reveals that though solely 14 p.c of Westchester County’s residents are Black, Black individuals comprised over half (52 p.c) of these arrested for low-level marijuana possession in Westchester County from 2013-2017. Latino individuals have additionally been disproportionately impacted, comprising simply 26 p.c of residents, however 34 p.c of arrestees. These disparities exist regardless of information exhibiting comparable charges of use throughout racial and ethnic teams.

The disproportionate arrests amongst Black individuals for low-level marijuana possession holds true no matter whether or not communities have a large proportion of Black residents. Over the previous 5 years, the typical arrest charge for Black individuals (182 per 100,000 inhabitants) was about 9 instances that of whites (15) County-wide.

The report additionally paperwork how youth particularly are targets of marijuana enforcement in Westchester County. In 2017, 58 p.c of individuals arrested for low-level marijuana possession in Westchester County have been 25 years previous or youthful, and practically one in three (29 p.c) have been below the age of 20.

“Arrests for marijuana possession take an infinite toll on black and brown communities, destroying households, careers, houses and lives. The disparities in who’s arrested for marijuana use are a stark barometer of racially biased policing on this county and throughout the state. Legalizing, and regulating, marijuana is a essential racial justice problem and a typical sense public well being coverage,” mentioned Shannon Wong, Westchester Coalition for Police Reform member and Chapter Director, New York Civil Liberties Union.

Advocates within the prison justice area from throughout the state have pushed for the decriminalization of low-level marijuana possession for years citing the racially disproportionate enforcement and the devastating collateral penalties that may accompany a marijuana arrest or conviction, and are actually calling for legalization rooted in racial and financial justice.

“The legalization of marijuana is a racial justice problem in New York State. Westchester County has one of many highest charges of disproportionate marijuana policing in New York State which have precipitated hurt in communities of shade. The WESPAC Group wish to see these communities who’ve been most impacted by marijuana policing to be the primary to learn from its legalization by way of new enterprise improvement and entrepreneurship,” mentioned Nada Khader, Govt Director of WESPAC.

9 states and the District of Columbia have now ended marijuana prohibition and instituted insurance policies to tax and regulate marijuana — transferring oversight of marijuana insurance policies from the prison justice system to regulatory our bodies. Information from these states on developments in use and public security present that marijuana legalization has had no discernible adverse impression. And most significantly, individuals are not being confronted each day with the specter of criminalization due to their use.

Momentum is constructing for marijuana coverage reform in New York State, and advocates throughout Westchester County and the state are calling for an finish to marijuana prohibition and signing on to the Begin SMART NY marketing campaign to tax and regulate marijuana. The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (Krueger/Peoples-Stokes), which might legalize marijuana for grownup use in New York and reclassify or seal data for prior marijuana arrests, is pending within the legislature. Moreover, the New York State Division of Well being not too long ago launched its report on the impression of marijuana legalization for the state, concluding that “the professionals of a regulated program outweigh the cons” and endorsing legalization and measures to handle the collateral penalties individuals face for a previous marijuana possession conviction.

“As states throughout the nation proceed to re-envision their marijuana insurance policies, it’s crucial that New York flip the web page on marijuana prohibition and the in depth harm it has completed to communities. We have now seen how different states have successfully shifted away from criminalization and are as an alternative reinvesting in communities and offering financial alternatives. There may be ample proof that ending marijuana prohibition is a great approach for New York coverage makers to uphold the rights of all New Yorkers and help financial development. In the end, one of the simplest ways to handle the disparities and challenges posed by prohibition is to create a system to tax and regulate marijuana that can restore and reinvest in communities which have been most harmed by the marijuana arrest campaign,” mentioned Chris Alexander of the Drug Coverage Alliance. 

Learn the total report: http://smart-ny.com/marijuana-arrestswestchester

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Governor Cuomo Releases Report Recommending New York State Legalize Marijuana for Grownup Use

Right now, Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Division of Well being launched an impression evaluation of marijuana legalization. The report concludes that the advantages of taxing and regulating marijuana far outweighs any potential unfavourable penalties. The examine was commissioned by Governor Cuomo and introduced in his deal with on the manager price range proposal.

Beneath is an announcement from Chris Alexander, Coverage Coordinator for the Drug Coverage Alliance:

“We’re happy that the Governor and the State Division of Well being have totally studied the prevailing proof and precisely concluded that legalizing marijuana for grownup use is the best alternative for New York. Marijuana prohibition has devastated our communities, saddled a whole bunch of hundreds with felony data, acted as an simply accessible device for racially biased policing, and stunted the alternatives for complete generations of principally New Yorker’s of colour.

“Now that the report has been launched and its conclusions offered, we’re hopeful that the Governor and the Legislature can totally shift to inspecting the “how” and transfer on from the “if”. Any motion to legalize marijuana should additionally embrace broad document clearing provisions, should create a various and inclusive business, and assure important group reinvestment to restore the hurt that has been achieved. We sit up for partaking with the Governor’s workplace and the Legislature on the methods to greatest transfer New York ahead.”

Be taught extra at smart-ny.com.

Background:

Momentum for marijuana reform is constructing steadily in New York. A ballot of New York voters launched in late 2017 confirmed that 62% of New Yorkers help making marijuana use authorized in New York for adults over 21, and greater than 60% help taxing and regulating marijuana as a method to deal with the state’s looming price range deficit.

Legalizing marijuana for grownup use in New York holds important felony justice reform potential. Underneath the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, which is at the moment pending within the legislature, individuals who have been convicted of low-level possession (together with possession in public view) and low-level sale can have that offense vacated from their document. Different offenses associated to possession or sale that had been beforehand misdemeanors or felonies might be reclassified and sealed. Individuals at the moment incarcerated for such offenses would both be launched or have their sentence appropriately diminished pursuant to the brand new statute.

That is essential as a result of marijuana prohibition enforcement has devastated communities throughout New York State, primarily these of colour and low-income communities. Greater than 800,000 folks have been arrested for possession of small quantities of marijuana in New York State over the previous 20 years, with over 700,000 arrests by the NYPD alone. In consequence, a whole bunch of hundreds of individuals should cope with felony data that yield important collateral penalties for them—and their households, together with restricted entry to housing, employment, and schooling alternatives.

Legalizing and regulating marijuana may also present a chance, because of the income it would generate, for the communities which were most devastated to begin to restore the harms of the drug conflict. The potential tax income for New York from a authorized marijuana market is appreciable: An official examine by the NYC Comptroller in 2018 estimated potential tax income for a authorized marijuana market in New York State can be greater than $ 1.three billion yearly.

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What’s the Take care of Kratom?

Kratom only started circulating widely in the US in the last six years. Currently, it is a legal substance in the US on a federal level.

Kratom only started circulating widely in the US in the last six years. Currently, it is a legal substance in the US on a federal level.

Kratom is a new drug, recently introduced to American markets. Its usage has stirred a debate between ardent followers and stalwart opposition about whether it’s a new, all-natural dietary supplement and possible painkiller, or just another opioid to add to the pile. Here’s an FAQ to shed some light on the substance.

What is kratom?

Mitragyna speciosa. This Southeast Asian tree and close relative of the coffee plant has long been a controversial plant in its

native land. Some locals use it as traditional medicine, some farmworkers use it as a stimulant before a long day in the fields, others mix it into alcoholic cocktails for recreation. Its leaves contain compounds that produce mind-altering effects, making the plant a source for painkillers and recreational drug use. People in America have found many uses for it in the past six years, ranging from dietary supplement to coffee substitute, from opioid withdrawal medicine to recreational substance.

What are the effects of kratom?

Kratom’s chemical makeup affects the brain in ways similar to stimulants and opioids. The plant contains two compounds that interact with opioid receptors in the brain. These chemicals can cause mild stimulation in small doses, alleviate pain in medium doses, and induce euphoria in large doses. Individuals who use kratom as a stimulant experience increased alertness and energy.

Its health and behavioral effects, which can range from mild to severe, include:

  • Sweating
  • Itching
  • Nausea; Vomiting
  • Dry mouth
  • Loss of appetite
  • Constipation
  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations
  • Nervousness
  • Respiratory depression

Does kratom make you “high?”

Kratom affects the brain by altering its chemistry. Similar to opioids, it can produce a euphoric effect, or “high.” The compounds in opioids cause a flood of the brain’s neurotransmitters, which regulate moods and influence decisions. They cause a person to feel euphoric and reduce the sensations of anxiety and pain. Kratom interacts with the body in a similar way but its effects vary on the dosage taken. These effects of kratom come on quickly and typically last five to seven hours.

Can you overdose on kratom?

While there is no official medicinal research, overdose from kratom is highly unlikely, unless it is taken in anomalously large amounts or mixed with other substances. While kratom hasn’t been linked to overdose, there have been deaths reported by the FDA, where it is possible that kratom reacted negatively with other opioid and alcoholic substances, inducing a fatal overdose.

Is kratom addictive?

As with other drugs that produce opioid-related effects, kratom can be addictive. With continued use, it can also cause physical dependence, leading to withdrawal symptoms if the user stops taking it. These symptoms include hostility, irritability, insomnia, muscle aches, jerky movements and aggression. People seeking to beat kratom addiction have found behavioral therapy helpful.

Is kratom legal?

Kratom only started circulating widely in the US in the last six years. Currently, it is a legal substance in the US on a federal level. It is often marketed as a dietary supplement and sold in powder or tablet form in tobacco and head shops.

However, some states have banned the substance or are currently working to ban it. The FDA and DEA came close to placing kratom on the list of Schedule 1 drugs (which includes heroin and LSD), but withdrew the decision after massive public outcry, specifically from recovering opioid addicts who used kratom to ease withdrawal symptoms. The future of the drug’s legality is still up in the air.

Learn more about treatment options for alcohol abuse and addiction.

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Senate Democratic Chief Chuck Schumer Introduces Invoice to Decriminalize Marijuana on the Federal Degree

Invoice Additionally Takes Steps to Restore Harms of Prohibition, Together with New Grant Program To Facilitate Expungement for Individuals Convicted of Marijuana Possession
 
DPA Assertion: Schumer’s Invoice Demonstrates Legitimacy of Marijuana Reform, however It’s Solely a First Step

Right this moment, Senate minority chief Chuck Schumer launched laws that might decriminalize and de-schedule marijuana on the federal stage by eradicating it from the Managed Substances Act.

“Senate minority chief Chuck Schumer’s introduction of federal marijuana decriminalization laws demonstrates the legitimacy of marijuana reform and is a testomony to the success of state-level marijuana reforms all throughout the nation,” mentioned the Drug Coverage Alliance’s Queen Adesuyi. “It reveals that the talk has shifted from whether or not we should always reform our marijuana legal guidelines to how. As we stand on the horizon of ending marijuana prohibition, lawmakers throughout the nation are working to incorporate measures that start repairing the harms of marijuana criminalization.”

The invoice would additionally take some preliminary steps towards decreasing the decades-long injury of marijuana criminalization. One provision would offer $ 20 million yearly for state and native packages to expunge or seal the legal information of individuals convicted of marijuana possession.  It additionally creates a small enterprise belief fund on the federal stage (primarily based on a fraction of the cash generated by the marijuana business) to offer loans to small companies owned by girls and socially and economically deprived people.

9 states and D.C. have legalized marijuana, and 30 states and D.C. have accredited medical marijuana. Nationally, polls constantly present that almost two-thirds of U.S. adults favor marijuana legalization.

Sen. Cory Booker’s Marijuana Justice Act has additionally been launched in each the Home and Senate, gathering quite a few high-profile co-sponsors, together with Senators Kamala Harris and Jeff Merkley final month. This farther-reaching invoice wouldn’t simply decriminalize marijuana – however finish federal marijuana prohibition – whereas additionally together with a wider vary of provisions to restore communities most affected by the conflict on medication.

Earlier this yr, Vermont grew to become the primary state to legalize marijuana by means of the state legislature. New York, New Jersey, New Mexico and quite a few different states have additionally launched payments to legalize marijuana this yr.

The proof to date reveals that legally regulating and controlling marijuana has enabled states to efficiently set security requirements, prohibit youth entry, and enact laws that restrict the potential harms of marijuana use. States are selecting to cease losing cash imposing petty marijuana offenses, and to as an alternative generate hundreds of thousands of a yr in tax revenues.

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June 26: Activists in Tons of of Cities Throughout the Globe Stage Actions Calling for Drug Coverage Reform

‘Assist. Don’t Punish’ Actions a Counter-Demonstration to United Nations ‘Anti-Drug Day’, Usually Utilized by Governments to Tout Punitive Insurance policies

NYC Motion: Rally in Entrance of United Nations Headquarters

On Tuesday, June 26, activists will collect at 1:30 pm at Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza, reverse the United Nations Headquarters in New York, to name for world drug coverage reform as a part of the Assist. Don’t Punish World Day of Motion. The annual day of motion coincides with the United Nations’ Worldwide Day Towards Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. The motion in New York will happen after the launch of the United Nations Workplace on Medicine and Crime 2018 World Drug Report.

Governments all over the world usually select to make use of this present day to have fun their contributions to the worldwide ‘conflict on medicine’. Previously, some governments have even commemorated it by holding executions or public beatings of drug offenders. For instance, from 2009 to 2014, China unveiled executions and different harsh punishments within the lead-up to the Worldwide Day Towards Drug Abuse and in 2008, Indonesia cited the day because it resumed executions after a four-year hiatus.

Nevertheless, over the previous few years, advocates all over the world started to plan counter-demonstrations beneath the worldwide marketing campaign banner of Assist. Don’t Punish, aimed toward reclaiming the message and selling drug coverage reforms primarily based on public well being, growth, and human rights. Final 12 months, 206 cities in 93 international locations held numerous, inventive, and impactful occasions. This 12 months, occasions are being deliberate in cities in dozens of nations throughout six continents. The motion in New York Metropolis will unite New Yorkers with these preventing for drug coverage reform internationally, in a present of solidary and to display the breadth and energy of this motion.

Assist. Do not Punish Day of Motion

When: 1:30 pm
The place: Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza, East 47th Road and 1st Avenue, New York
What: Rally in entrance of the United Nations Headquarters to oppose punitive drug insurance policies and to name for world drug coverage reform that promotes well being and human rights. Further data right here.

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New York State Well being Commissioner Howard Zucker to Permit Sufferers who’re Prescribed Opioids to Entry the State’s Medical Marijuana Program

DPA Assertion: Marijuana Vital Software to Fight Opioid Disaster, Research Present Broad Entry is Key

The New York State Well being Commissioner Howard Zucker introduced that sufferers who’re prescribed opioids may have entry to the state’s medical marijuana program.

There’s a rising physique of scientific literature suggesting that authorized entry to marijuana can cut back using opioids in addition to opioid-related overdose deaths. As a latest journal article particulars, there are at the least three main methods marijuana can play a task in decreasing opioid use and misuse: as a therapy for persistent ache earlier than turning to opioids; as a part of an opioid discount technique for sufferers already utilizing opioids; or along side methadone therapy to extend success charges. Further analysis exhibits the potential for marijuana to assist cut back opioid withdrawal signs and subsequently assist ease sufferers away from opioid use. Research have proven that sufferers see marijuana as a viable different to prescription opioid ache remedy, with fewer unwanted side effects and decrease potential for problematic use.

Under is a press release from Melissa Moore, New York Deputy Director, Drug Coverage Alliance Drug Coverage Alliance.

“We applaud the announcement from New York State Well being Commissioner Howard Zucker to permit sufferers who’re prescribed opioids to entry the state’s medical marijuana program.

“Clearly marijuana alone won’t be the reply to New York’s downside with opioid misuse and overdose deaths, however accessible proof signifies that it must be used with different hurt discount methods (akin to increasing naloxone entry, establishing safer consumption websites, and the decriminalizing all substance use) as a part of a essentially numerous and revolutionary method to this combatting this disaster.

“Analysis has proven that broader legal guidelines for marijuana entry (i.e., people who coated extra situations and created simpler affected person entry) have been extra prone to cut back overdose deaths. We urge New York State to maneuver towards legalizing marijuana for grownup use, as research in different authorized states have demonstrated that vital numbers of individuals have been utilizing marijuana obtained from the adult-use market to deal with ache.”

Learn the actual fact sheet about Marijuana and Opioids: http://smart-ny.com/marijuana-and-opioids

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This Thinker Says Dependancy Stigma Prevents Restoration

Unfounded stigmas and stereotypes can block access to addiction treatment.

Unfounded stigmas and stereotypes can block access to addiction treatment.

Thousands of people are unnecessarily dying because we misinterpret how those struggling with addiction think, according to a philosopher, German Lopez.

After a year of reporting on the crisis, Lopez claims the stigma against addiction “is the single biggest reason America is failing in its response to the opioid epidemic,” and to overcome that stigma, we need to first understand it.

In 2016, 42,300 people died of an opioid overdose. Yet treatment programs, medically assisted treatment (MAT), and harm reduction policies (like needle exchanges and supervised injection sites) exist. Lopez argues that the success of these programs has been inhibited by the perception that addiction is a moral failing, along with the myth that helping a person suffering is somehow enabling them, rather than helping them find sobriety.

Cursed By Stigma?

A recent Vox report featured a felony treatment court judge referring to MAT as a “crutch.” That same judge went on to say that, according to the former health and human services secretary, Tom Price, the person is “just substituting one opioid for another.” In Indiana, county commissioner Rodney Fish blocked a needle exchange program, quoting the bible in his reasoning.

While advocacy groups and people speaking openly about recovery have helped change the perception of addiction, there are still many who believe it is a matter of choice – that we have the power of choice to take the drugs over the negative consequences. In choosing drugs, we’re viewed as having weak character or poor judgement.

It is this kind of stigma that Lopez claims is doing the real damage. Philosophically, he believes this is caused by the misguided belief that people always do what they think is best, and that their actions reflect their values and beliefs. Yet, when people take drugs and develop substance use disorder, the power of choice has gone. They are motivated much less by their morals and values and more by their need to fulfill a physical addiction.

The Flawed Philosophy of Addiction

Lopez argues that this flawed philosophy of addiction is what shapes our treatment of it, whether we’re aware of that or not. This is evident in the idea that someone has to hit a rock bottom – to experience the grave consequences of their choices – before they can find recovery.

Another example of that philosophy is that MAT and needle exchange programs are viewed as a means of enabling, mitigating the issues, and leaving the underlying problems unresolved. If that were the case, then why are more and more people finding recovery before they get to deaths door?

Could we adopt a more sympathetic view of substance use disorder? Lopez argues we can. In doing so, he suggests that we need to change our perception of addiction. For example, we must recognize that powerful drugs have the power to hijack rational choice in favor of pleasure.

It is by understanding these scientific facts, as opposed to unfounded judgments, that we might start viewing addiction as a disease instead of a moral failing…and improve our chances of beating this epidemic.

Additional Reading: Wasn’t My Rock Bottom Low Enough For You?

Image Source: iStock

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Canada Turns into Second Nation within the World – And First G-20 Nation – to Legally Regulate Marijuana

Final night time, the Canadian Senate authorised The Hashish Act, making Canada the second nation on the earth to legally regulate all features of the marijuana market – together with manufacturing, sale and consumption – following Uruguay’s historic transfer to take action in 2013. The invoice has already handed the Home of Commons and has the help of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Liberal Celebration.

“Canada ought to be applauded for taking daring and decisive steps in direction of ending the failed prohibition of marijuana,” stated Hannah Hetzer, Senior Worldwide Coverage Supervisor for the Drug Coverage Alliance. “Canada’s progress will provoke help for drug coverage reforms within the U.S. and all around the globe.”

Invoice C-45 permits for the possession of as much as 30 grams of dried marijuana for adults over the age of 18, stipulates that marijuana should be bought in plain packaging with restricted branding, and units penalties for driving below the affect and gross sales to minors.  Canada can have a decentralized mannequin, which implies that every province might be chargeable for a lot of the decision-making on regulatory implementation, together with issues comparable to dwelling cultivation, public use, and zoning.

“Canada’s decentralized system will give provinces the liberty to tailor marijuana legalization to their native wants and contexts, permitting us to check and be taught from the numerous completely different fashions that may emerge,” added Hetzer. “Canada ought to be certain that the harms of marijuana prohibition are rectified, particularly by expunging individuals’s marijuana arrest data and by investing in communities most harmed by prohibition.”

Medical marijuana has been authorized in Canada since 2001, and Prime Minister Trudeau and his Liberal Celebration included marijuana legalization of their 2015 marketing campaign platform.

Beginning with Colorado and Washington in 2012, 9 U.S. states and the District of Columbia have now legalized marijuana for grownup use.  As detailed in a current DPA report, From Prohibition to Progress: A Standing Report on Marijuana Legalization, the proof to this point exhibits that legally regulating and controlling marijuana has enabled U.S. states to efficiently set security requirements, prohibit youth entry, and enact rules that restrict the potential harms of marijuana use. Constructing on these constructive outcomes, New York, New Jersey, New Mexico and quite a few different states are presently contemplating legislative proposals to legalize marijuana.

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Advocates Say Finish the Arrests, Problem Carve-Outs in Mayor de Blasio’s New Marijuana Enforcement Plan

New York—Advocates, group organizations, and Council Members held a press convention and rally difficult Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD’s newly-announced marijuana enforcement coverage, urging the Mayor to finish racially biased marijuana arrests fully. The Mayor and NYPD Commissioner introduced the coverage shift yesterday within the fruits of their 30-day assessment interval to evaluate marijuana enforcement in NYC.
 
Resulting from exclusions within the Mayor’s new coverage, advocates raised considerations that racial disparities in marijuana arrests might proceed—and maybe enhance. They stood strongly against marijuana persevering with for use as a pretext for pointless NYPD interactions with group members.
 
Advocates emphasised that there isn’t a public security justification for arresting anybody for marijuana, particularly given the acute racial disparities in arrests that the 30-day assessment interval was meant to handle. Additional, advocates demanded that the Metropolis’s coverage shift take away any carve-outs (reminiscent of permitting NYPD to arrest folks on parole or probation for marijuana possession or smoking) and pushed again on insurance policies permitting marijuana to nonetheless be used as a pretext for any cease, harassment, or ID verify of group members.
 
Beneath the brand new NYPD coverage, marijuana can nonetheless be used as a instrument for legislation enforcement to criminalize probably the most weak New Yorkers: younger folks, non-citizen immigrants, people who find themselves homeless, and communities of colour.
 
“The affect of routine surveillance, stops, and arrests by police on younger folks is incontrovertibly damaging to their skill to proceed residing full lives, and sustaining their respect and dignity. Marijuana is commonly the excuse used to provoke pointless and life altering interactions between the police and younger folks. The Mayor’s new marijuana coverage will fall far wanting decriminalizing our neighborhoods and conserving younger folks out of a system that’s designed to lure them in cages. Marijuana will nonetheless be a pretext for stops in our communities and a prison summons will nonetheless entrap Black and Latinx youth within the prison authorized system,” mentioned Darian Agostini, Make The Highway New York.
 
“The carve outs primarily create a state of affairs the place officers nonetheless have broad discretion—which we all know doesn’t work and is an enormous issue driving the racial disparities now. We want clear-cut coverage saying no arrests, no justification for placing folks into the prison system—interval,” mentioned Kassandra Frederique, New York State Director, Drug Coverage Alliance. “Summonses generally is a backdoor into the prison justice system, as a result of an arrest warrant is issued for individuals who miss courtroom. This subject needs to be a civil matter—not a prison one.”
 
The carve-out permitting officers to nonetheless make an arrest if they’re unable to confirm an individual’s ID or handle is very problematic. People who find themselves homeless typically don’t have regular entry to identification paperwork and already face elevated criminalization—which once more calls into query the premise for such a carve-out. Organizations that work with younger folks spoke out that youth–who are one of many precept targets of present marijuana enforcement–might not possess ID persistently, and will due to this fact be topic to arrest and saddled with a prison report.
 
That exclusion might additionally affect noncitizen immigrants, who generally battle to acquire identification—and face extraordinarily excessive penalties for a misdemeanor arrest, together with deportation. Immigration activists juxtaposed this exclusion and criminalization with the Mayor’s touting of NYC as a sanctuary metropolis and claims that he’s shielding immigrants from ICE throughout the federal crackdown.
 
“Within the present political local weather, immigrant New Yorkers who’ve any contact with the police, particularly those that get arrested, threat triggering an ICE arrest. Beneath this NYPD coverage, immigrants with out ample identification can be arrested and positioned within the crosshairs of ICE. Those that have ID and are issued a summons should still face disproportionate, harsh immigration penalties; even a marijuana violation may end up in the deportation and everlasting separation of an immigrant from their household and group. We’re deeply disenchanted that this coverage continues to feed the deportation machine, undermining town’s dedication to defending immigrant communities,” mentioned Marie Mark, Supervising Legal professional, Immigrant Protection Challenge.
 
“NYC shouldn’t be actually a sanctuary metropolis if we criminalize folks due to their immigration standing, their lack of entry to identification, or their lack of economic sources,” mentioned Chris Alexander, coverage coordinator, Drug Coverage Alliance.
 
Public defenders took subject with the exemption for New Yorkers who’ve previous involvement with the prison justice system, who can be topic to arrest below the brand new coverage simply due to their history–even in the event that they’re making an attempt to maneuver on with their lives.
 
“I’ve PTSD from being in jail for 30 years and the one factor that helps me with nervousness and stress is marijuana, which I’m not allowed to make use of as a result of I’m on parole. It’s not proper that I can’t get the medication I would like, however different folks can, with none issues. It’s discrimination,” mentioned David Schermerhorn, a Group Chief with VOCAL-NY.
 
“Brooklyn Defender Providers has represented 1000’s of New Yorkers, largely folks of colour, who had been arrested and prosecuted, evicted from NYCHA, subjected to little one removing by ACS, denied skilled licenses, or put into deportation proceedings based mostly on private marijuana use. It’s time to finish these harsh penalties and restore the hurt. We help the Marijuana Taxation and Regulation Act, however till it turns into legislation, the Metropolis ought to finish its punitive responses to marijuana use throughout companies. Within the meantime, we admire that District Legal professional Eric Gonzalez will transfer to vacate previous low-level marijuana convictions,” mentioned Lisa Schreibersdorf, Government Director of Brooklyn Defender Providers.
 
“The pronounced and longstanding racial disparity on this metropolis’s arrests for marijuana-related offenses is an affront to the idea of equal remedy below the legislation for all.  What most wants to vary is discriminatory policing that unfairly targets our indigent communities of colour; amending our marijuana coverage would take away what has been a key driver of that. Steps should even be taken to alleviate the hurt prompted to anybody unfairly focused up to now, reminiscent of these unduly burdened with a prison report for conduct society is more and more viewing as benign. New York County Defender Providers joins the decision for significant reform on this metropolis’s legislation enforcement marijuana coverage to handle this inequity,” mentioned Stan German, Government Director of New York County Defender Providers.
 
Folks arrested for a low-level marijuana offense will be saddled with a prison conviction that may make it troublesome to get and hold a job, preserve an expert license, acquire instructional loans, safe housing, and hold custody of a kid—exactly the collateral penalties that the Mayor and different Metropolis elected officers have acknowledged are extraordinarily damaging and mustn’t proceed.
 
“Invoice de Blasio informed ‘A Story of Two Cities’ at his mayoral marketing campaign kickoff, however he’s created a plan with carve-outs to make sure that enterprise continues as standard. Mr. Mayor, Black and brown folks from poor communities shouldn’t be town’s ticket to extra money — cease feeding us into the prison justice system and foster care via biased enforcement. We want a good, simply, and equitable NY,” mentioned Joyce McMillan, Little one Welfare Organizing Challenge.
 
Advocates confused that the damaging results of marijuana enforcement prolong past arrests and pushed the Mayor to additionally instruct NYC companies (NYCHA, Administration for Youngsters’s Providers, skilled licensing boards, and so on.) to handle the harms attributable to previous arrests and reform their insurance policies round marijuana.
 
“Mayor Invoice de Blasio’s reforms fall quick of what’s actually wanted to undue a long time of zealous and racially biased marijuana enforcement. New Yorkers of colour will nonetheless be marginalized by these proposed ‘carves outs,’ and our non-citizen purchasers additional threatened by the identification requirement. The proposal additionally doesn’t handle the large tradition shift that should happen at dozen of companies to eradicate collateral penalties that usually embrace eviction from NYCHA, misplaced youngsters to foster care, denial licenses and others nightmarish outcomes. Till full legalization involves New York, decriminalization efforts should not be reform in title solely,” mentioned Anthony Posada, Supervising Legal professional of the Group Justice Unit at The Authorized Help Society.
 
“If the mayor wished to create a plan to make racial disparities in marijuana enforcement worse, he’s completed it with this. By permitting the NYPD to create a plan that feeds off of and widens disparities within the prison justice system, Mayor de Blasio has failed to indicate management. The try to maneuver some arrests to summonses additionally does nothing to handle disparities. The de Blasio administration refuses to satisfy its dedication to publicly report the demographic knowledge on every explicit kind of summons, hiding the racial disparities within the summons system. Subsequently, all this plan will do is push the racial disparities to the summons system after which conceal them from the general public. The NYPD should cease its discriminatory concentrating on of sure New Yorkers for marijuana enforcement – that’s the way in which to finish the racial disparities.” mentioned Monifa Bandele, a spokesperson for Communities United for Police Reform and Senior Vice President at MomsRising.
 
“New Yorkers, and particularly younger folks, mustn’t face prison prices for utilizing marijuana, interval,” mentioned Laurie Parise, Government Director of Youth Characterize. “To carve folks out based mostly on previous justice system involvement, which we all know from all the info and reporting out there is racially biased within the first place, undermines your complete purpose of lowering racial disparity in marijuana arrests.”
 
Metropolis Council Members who held hearings on marijuana enforcement earlier this 12 months and have steadily pressed the NYPD and Metropolis Corridor to reform marijuana enforcement additionally spoke out in opposition to the exclusions within the new coverage and the necessity to actually finish marijuana arrests for all New Yorkers:
 
“The Mayor’s new marijuana enforcement coverage is a marginal enchancment, however an actual missed alternative to essentially change how the Metropolis polices marijuana possession and smoking. The legalization practice in New York has left the station. The Mayor ought to get on it,” mentioned Council Member Rory I. Lancman.
 
“I be part of the Drug Coverage Alliance, my Metropolis Council Colleagues, advocacy teams, and group members in calling for the top of racist marijuana enforcement in New York,” mentioned Council Member Antonio Reynoso. “We will not ignore the toll that unjust policing practices and enforcement requirements are having on our communities of colour. The Mayor and the NYPD must cease tweaking inherently unhealthy insurance policies and totally halt the pursuit of prison motion in opposition to misdemeanor marijuana offenses; it’s time to stress our State legislature to legalize marijuana and start a sturdy dialogue of the small print relating to its regulation.”
 
“Regrettably, this marijuana enforcement coverage remix displays the Metropolis nonetheless has but to actually acknowledge the historic and basic racial bias that has disproportionately burdened of communities of colour,” mentioned Black, Latino and Asian Caucus co-chair Council Member I. Daneek Miller. “Ten thousand fewer arrests per 12 months will solely end in better numbers of summonses for these New Yorkers, together with the numerous who’ve already handed via the prison justice system and can possible be ensnared once more below the NYPD’s new tips. The Administration ought to return to the drafting board and work extra intentionally with stakeholders representing the women and men stricken by the unequal policing of marijuana to develop a wise coverage that satisfies the necessity for public security in a altering panorama however does not add to their hardship.”

“Marijuana needs to be totally legalized. Over a long time, tens of 1000’s of our neighbors, disproportionately lower-income New Yorkers of colour, have suffered the results of the over-policing of marijuana. So long as a prison framework is in place, these similar communities will proceed to endure. I stand able to work with officers on the state and native stage to understand a authorized, regulated system for adult-use marijuana in order that we are able to construct a fairer justice system and put money into our communities. That is the answer New Yorkers deserve,” mentioned New York Metropolis Comptroller Scott M. Stringer.

“Marijuana criminalization has compelled numerous black and brown communities right into a damaged prison justice system that strives to bury them below a rug fairly than handle the crux of what plagues our communities, the jail industrial advanced. The Mayor’s current announcement reinforces the criminalization that has already ravaged our communities for many years and any Marijuana decriminalization that features a carve-out solely serves to perpetuate the very crimes in opposition to our communities that we search to handle,” mentioned Jorge Vasquez, Affiliate Counsel at LatinoJustice PRLDEF.

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What Each Mother or father Must Know About Teen Rehab

What Every Parent Needs to Know About Teen Rehab

Here's what you need to know about addiction treatment for teenagers.

Here’s what you need to know about addiction treatment for teenagers.

Gavin’s family knows he needs help. Gavin knows he needs help. At 16, he is on a destructive path of addiction that will soon lead to overdose and death if he doesn’t change direction – fast. But the thought of rehab is frightening – to both Gavin and his parents.

What goes on in there? What will happen to him? Is it even worth the time, effort, and money?

These are common questions among parents and teenagers. The thought of your child going to rehab can be intimidating, especially for teens. Knowing what to expect and how it can benefit your teen can help. Here’s the scoop…

What Goes on in There?

Each treatment center may vary on the details, but teens can generally expect the following activities and therapies while in rehab:

  • Daily therapy sessions
  • Consistent medical check-ups
  • Academic work
  • Regular meals and snacks
  • Adequate exercise
  • Supervised free time with peers also in recovery
  • A strict routine and structure (possibly with tiered levels, with increasing amounts of freedom based on success)

What Are Some Benefits of Teen Rehab?

A teen recovery program can provide multiple benefits to teens and their families. A few list-toppers include:

  • New environment: When a teen enters rehab, they enter a fresh environment. They are removed from the normal pressures of their lives, including their usual triggers to use drugs. They can focus solely on their recovery. The time away gives them a fresh start, fresh perspective and fresh opportunities.
  • Breathing room: When a teen is struggling with addiction, the entire family is affected. When the teen enters rehab, it gives the entire family a much-needed break. The daily storm of life quiets. Parents can step back and take a deep breath. The physical distance between family members can help start a healing process.
  • Open learning: Teens are often more flexible and more open to new ideas than adults. They have not lived a life filled with drug use. They are still open to change. They are often able to absorb new information better and learn more quickly than adults. When put in an environment that guides them to learn healthier patterns of behavior, many teens do quite well.
  • Healthy structure: While in rehab, the teen will adhere to a strict schedule. Most kids thrive on routine. They know what to expect each day, so life doesn’t feel out of control. This structure helps teens develop healthy routines and focus on establishing and maintaining their sobriety.
  • Family support: Teen rehab typically includes family therapy. This can prove helpful during the teen’s stay, as well as when it’s time for the teen to come home. Final sessions cover how the teen should transition back into family life and what rules are appropriate for parents to establish. Family support can prove invaluable to creating a healthy environment at home.

Learn more about treatment options for alcohol abuse and drug addiction.

Image Source: iStock

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Advocates Slam Mayor de Blasio’s New Marijuana Arrest Plan

Wednesday at Midday: Marijuana Justice Rally at Metropolis Corridor Steps

In response to Mayor de Blasio’s announcement about new insurance policies for marijuana arrests, VOCAL-NY and the Drug Coverage Alliance launched the next assertion, attributable to Civil Rights Marketing campaign Director Nick Encalada-Malinowski and Drug Coverage Alliance New York Director Kassandra Frederique.
 
“It is irritating that because the New York State Well being Division strikes towards legalization, the Metropolis is constant its shameful historical past of racist marijuana enforcement. Additionally it is complicated as a result of the brand new coverage doesn’t seem to deal with racial disparities in any respect, which was the problem that supposedly prompted this in-house evaluate.

“The exceptions that the Mayor has laid out — arrests for folks on parole or probation, folks with prison data, folks with warrants or missing ID, or for ‘officer discretion’ — will compound present collateral penalties and all however assure the established order of racial disparity continues.

“People who find themselves straight impacted weren’t consulted within the Mayor’s evaluate of NYPD enforcement, and though DPA spoke with NYPD the coverage shift is just not reflective of our joint place: we have now firmly mentioned there ought to be no arrests, no summonses, no utilizing marijuana as a pretext for police interactions, and the start of a course of to restore the huge hurt attributable to NYPD’s enforcement of marijuana prohibition which has virtually completely focused communities of colour.”

Tomorrow, June 20, advocates, neighborhood members, and NYC elected officers will maintain a press convention and rally to deal with NYC’s new marijuana coverage and name on the Mayor to additionally instruct the Metropolis’s businesses (NYCHA, Administration for Youngsters’s Providers, skilled licensing boards) to deal with the harms attributable to previous arrests and reform their insurance policies round marijuana.

What:       Marijuana Justice Rally
When:      June 20 at Midday
The place:     Metropolis Corridor steps NYC
                 https://www.fb.com/occasions/237366417036735

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New York State Well being Commissioner Howard Zucker Speaks Out in Favor of Marijuana Legalization in New York, Says DOH Will Launch Examine Quickly

The New York State Well being Commissioner Howard Zucker at the moment spoke out in favor of legalization marijuana for grownup use in New York and stated that the Division of Well being shall be releasing a full research on the subject within the coming days. The research was commissioned by Governor Cuomo and introduced in his tackle on the manager funds proposal.

Commissioner Zucker additionally introduced that sufferers who’re prescribed opioids can have entry to the state’s medical marijuana program.

Under is a press release from Kassandra Frederique, New York State Director for the Drug Coverage Alliance.

“We welcome Commissioner Zucker’s feedback in favor of legalizing marijuana for grownup use in New York and sit up for reviewing the total research from the Division of Well being. There’s ample proof that ending marijuana prohibition is a great manner for Gov. Cuomo and the Legislature to uphold the rights of all New Yorkers and help financial and racial justice. We urge New York coverage makers to get on board with legalizing marijuana for grownup use, which is supported by a majority of New Yorkers.

In the end, one of the simplest ways to handle the disparities and challenges posed by prohibition is to create a system to tax and regulate marijuana that may restore and reinvest in communities which have been most harmed by the marijuana arrest campaign, as set forth within the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, which is pending within the Legislature.”

Be taught extra at smart-ny.com.

Background:

Momentum for marijuana reform is constructing steadily in New York. A ballot of New York voters launched in late 2017 confirmed that 62% of New Yorkers help making marijuana use authorized in New York for adults over 21, and greater than 60% help taxing and regulating marijuana as a option to tackle the state’s looming funds deficit.

Legalizing marijuana for grownup use in New York holds vital felony justice reform potential. Below the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, which is at the moment pending within the legislature, individuals who have been convicted of low-level possession (together with possession in public view) and low-level sale can have that offense vacated from their document. Different offenses associated to possession or sale that had been beforehand misdemeanors or felonies could be reclassified and sealed. Individuals at the moment incarcerated for such offenses would both be launched or have their sentence appropriately diminished pursuant to the brand new statute.

That is essential as a result of marijuana prohibition enforcement has devastated communities throughout New York State, primarily these of colour and low-income communities. Greater than 800,000 individuals have been arrested for possession of small quantities of marijuana in New York State over the previous 20 years, with over 700,000 arrests by the NYPD alone. Consequently, a whole lot of hundreds of individuals should cope with felony information that yield vital collateral penalties for them—and their households, together with restricted entry to housing, employment, and schooling alternatives.

Legalizing and regulating marijuana will even present a possibility, as a result of income it can generate, for the communities which have been most devastated to begin to restore the harms of the drug struggle. The potential tax income for New York from a authorized marijuana market is appreciable: An official research by the NYC Comptroller in 2018 estimated potential tax income for a authorized marijuana market in New York State could be greater than $ 1.three billion yearly.

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The Pot Trade Is Overwhelmingly White, and One Congresswoman Needs to Change That

Rep. Barbara Lee of California has crafted a decision to assist open up the marijuana trade to folks of coloration

As reported by Rolling Stone, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, a California Democrat and progressive chief who was first despatched to Washington by Oakland voters in 1998…is formally introducing the RESPECT Decision, the primary laws ever launched in Congress that offers with the racial disparity within the nation’s pot trade head-on, which she has completely shared with Rolling Stone.

“It is essential that Congress members take steps to attach these dots from the start, simply so we do not see the marijuana trade a long time later and begin complaining about it then. We’re choosing up on the inequities now.” – Queen Adesuyi, Drug Coverage Alliance

Learn the complete article right here.

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