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▶ How dangerous are legal highs? How long is a piece of string?

Fi Glover investigates legal highs and their dangers. Follow @BBCNewsnight on Twitter https://twitter.com/BBCNewsnight Like BBC Newsnight on Facebook https:/...
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And to think cannabis, ecstasy and LSD are illegal
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Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice
Reason, rationale and evidence is the way forward. Please share and recommend the site!
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PODCAST free download: 11th Community Justice Portal Lecture "Ending Prohibition With a Hangover"

PODCAST free download: 11th Community Justice Portal Lecture "Ending Prohibition With a Hangover" | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it

This socially constructed bifurcation of substances established a Drugs Apartheid that outlawed particular drugs so what we have is a 'War between Drugs' that ultimately became a war on people who used substances that didn't have government approval.

Black and Minority Ethnic groups and the discarded working class have been major casualties in this war. Radical drug law reform rooted in scientific evidence and human rights is needed to end the oppressive and unjust drug laws that have caused more harm than good.

 

Julian Buchanan's insight:

While there is some understandable excitement and celebration at seeing prohibition begin to crumble - these are critical, if not dangerous times of change. Using international examples this lecture will outline the need for change, critically evaluate the risks of particular drug policy changes and explore principles to underpin drug law reform.

 

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VIDEO: Man in New York arrested for allegedly selling unregulated tobacco eventually gets killed by the police

VIDEO: Man in New York arrested for allegedly selling unregulated tobacco eventually gets killed by the police | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
July 18, 2014 New York City police officers killed a man Thursday after he broke up a fight between two other men. The cops placed him in a chokehold and slammed his head to the pavement, piling on top of him as he gasped for air. The continuous pleas for help are hard to listen…
Julian Buchanan's insight:

The man is heard clearly crying out 'I can't breathe' 

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The War on Drugs Comes Home: The Excessive Militarization of American Policing

The War on Drugs Comes Home: The Excessive Militarization of American Policing | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
Neighborhoods are not warzones, and police officers should not be treating us like wartime enemies.
Julian Buchanan's insight:

Disturbing trends...

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Obama says he ended the ‘War on Drugs.’ Don’t believe him

Obama says he ended the ‘War on Drugs.’ Don’t believe him | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it

In its most recent National Drug Control Strategy, released last week, officials promised a more humane and sympathetic approach to drug users and addiction. Out, the report suggests, are “tough on crime” policies. Rather than more police and more prisons, officials talk about public health and education. They promise to use evidence-based practices to combat drug abuse. And they want to use compassionate messaging and successful reentry programs to reduce the stigma drug offenders and addicts face.

Unfortunately, the government’s actions don’t jibe with their rhetoric

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Kevin Sabet's Marijuana Math Doesn't Add Up

Kevin Sabet's Marijuana Math Doesn't Add Up | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
Marijuana ain't alcohol or tobacco. But suppose it was.  Colorado has reportedly raked in about $25 million in taxes, licenses and fees.  Does anyone seriously claim there has been a quarter billion dollars in social costs in Colorado as a ...
Julian Buchanan's insight:

Ideologically driven positions lean upon beliefs rather than evidence to inform their position. Evidence will be selectively used to support the ideology.

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UNAIDS Report: Discrimination of People Who Inject Drugs

UNAIDS Report: Discrimination of People Who Inject Drugs | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it

People who inject drugs continue to face punitive legal
environments, a variety of human rights abuses and
have poor access to services; these and other factors
combine to exacerbate their risks of acquiring HIV.

Julian Buchanan's insight:

See chapter 5 page 170 of the UNAIDS Report "The Gap" on People Who Inject Drugs

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The Failure of Catch and Release Drug Treatment Court | The Fix

The Failure of Catch and Release Drug Treatment Court | The Fix | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it

My son's experience of drug treatment court highlights a system that misunderstands addict psychology with fatal results. At least if he’s in jail, I know he is safe, I thought, desperately, as I accepted the collect charges from my son. I’m not sure if it was his fourth or fifth incarceration since he’d entered the drug treatment court program—I’ve lost count of the seven to 14 day sentences he has “served” for his disease in the last four months (not to mention the associated fees).  

Julian Buchanan's insight:

US based Drug Treatment Courts are based on behaviour modification to monitor and ensure abstinence. They see drug dependence as a disease and set about getting the 'addict' 'clean'.

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British Scientists Show Cannabis Prevents Cancer Tumour Growth

British Scientists Show Cannabis Prevents Cancer Tumour Growth | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
British scientists have proven for the first time that the plant can be used to prevent the growth of tumours. A research team form the University Of East..
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New edition of @5742Days calls for drugs to be legalised and regulated

New edition of @5742Days calls for drugs to be legalised and regulated | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it

Now a new chapter in the anniversary edition of Anne-Marie’s heartbreaking book 5,742 Days: A mother’s journey through loss brings the story up to date with the sentencing of the youth who supplied the MDMA, her public forgiveness of him, and her now public position that drug supply has to be taken out of the hands of criminals and given to pharmacists and GPs. The public response to Anne-Marie’s story has been incredible. She has received letters from all over the world, from prisoners doing time for drug smuggling, members of the House of Lords, other bereaved parents, to worried parents who have their own teenagers to contend with. It is for those teenagers that she has started her campaign.

 
Julian Buchanan's insight:
Tough drug prohibition and criminalisation places our children more at risk of drugs and from the consequences of drugs and drug law enforcement. So what's the point? Decriminalisation and human rights are the way ahead.
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VIDEO 24mins: The USA Drugs War on School Kids - The entrapment of kids with Aspergers

VIDEO 24mins: The USA Drugs War on School Kids - The entrapment of kids with Aspergers | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
This is the story of Jesse Snodgrass, a kid with Asperger's syndrome who was arrested by an undercover cop posing as a student at Jesse's high school. This is the story of how the war on drugs preys o…
Julian Buchanan's insight:

Hard to fathom.

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Magic Mushrooms Change the Human Brain — But Not in the Way You Thought

Magic Mushrooms Change the Human Brain — But Not in the Way You Thought | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
New research reveals an unexpected consequence of taking hallucinogenic mushrooms.
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Daniel Chong is the entirely predictable result of dehumanizing drug offenders #stigma

Daniel Chong is the entirely predictable result of dehumanizing drug offenders #stigma | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
Justice Department releases a report on the college student the DEA left in a jail cell for several days without food, water or a bathroom.
Julian Buchanan's insight:

Stigma is a key issue for people trying to get help with a drug problem: http://www.slideshare.net/JulianBuchanan/sdf-stigma-julian-buchanan

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American Civil Liberties Union Sues To Keep Addicted Women Out of Prison

American Civil Liberties Union Sues To Keep Addicted Women Out of Prison | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it

A statute known as Section 35 allows certain authorities and family members to petition district courts to commit someone deemed a danger to themselves or others because of their drug and alcohol use. But while those who are committed are typically sent to treatment facilities in Brockton and New Bedford, they can be sent to correctional facilities in Framingham and Bridgewater if treatment options are full.

“As Governor Deval Patrick has acknowledged, we are actually the only state that incarcerates people who are suffering from addiction to drugs and alcohol, who haven’t been convicted of a crime. And imprisoning people because they have a disease is wrong, and it’s also unconstitutional,” ACLU staff attorney Jessie Rossman told the News Service.

Julian Buchanan's insight:

Disturbing stuff that people with drug dependency problems in USA can be incarcerated even when they have committed no crime.

However, I'm not sure they have a disease nor am I convinced that detox and abstinence is the answer. 

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INFOGRAPHIC: The funding crisis for harm reduction

INFOGRAPHIC: The funding crisis for harm reduction | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
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VIDEO 17mins Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Prison & the War on Drugs

VIDEO 17mins Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Prison & the War on Drugs | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
America's prisons are broken. Just ask John Oliver and several puppets. Connect with Last Week Tonight online... Subscribe to the Last Week Tonight YouTube c...
Julian Buchanan's insight:

Well worth watching -  using humour to expose the madness and inhumanity of our use of prison

more here: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/07/21/john-oliver-us-prisons-are-full-because-our-drug-laws-are-a-little-draconian-and-a-lot-racist/

 

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The VICE Podcast - Uruguay's President José Mujica | VICE United States

The VICE Podcast - Uruguay's President José Mujica | VICE United States | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
In March we traveled to Uruguay to glimpse how the first nation to legalize and regulate the entire marijuana trade is constructing its laws. Along the way we met and interviewed José Mujica, the coun…
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The World Health Organization calls for the decriminalisation of drug use

The World Health Organization calls for the decriminalisation of drug use | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it

The United Nations' leading health agency, the World Health Organization, has called on countries around the world to end the criminalisation of people who use drugs. The call was made in a report published this month that looked at policy responses for dealing with HIV among key populations – men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs, people in prisons and other closed settings, sex workers and transgender people. The WHO's unambiguous recommendation is clearly grounded in concerns for public health and human rights. Whilst the call is made in the context of the policy response to HIV specifically, it clearly has broader ramifications, specifically including drug use other than injecting.

 

In the report, the WHO says:

 - Countries should work toward developing policies and laws that decriminalize injection and other use of drugs and, thereby, reduce incarceration.

 - Countries should work toward developing policies and laws that decriminalize the use of clean needles and syringes (and that permit NSPs[needle and syringe programs]) and that legalize OST [opiate substitution treatment] for people who are opioid-dependent.

 - Countries should ban compulsory treatment for people who use and/or inject drugs.

 

The report also highlights Portugal's success in decriminalising personal drug possession and treating drug use as a health, rather than a criminal justice issue.

 

See the Approaches to Decriminalizing Drug Use and Possession fact sheet from the Drug Policy Alliance here: http://www.drugpolicy.org/sites/default/files/DPA_Fact_Sheet_Approaches_to_Decriminalization_Feb2014.pdf


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Ziggi Ivan Santini's curator insight, July 18, 4:17 PM

"Rather than punishing people who use drugs but do no harm to others, governments must offer them access to effective HIV and health services, including harm reduction programmes and voluntary, evidence-based treatment for drug dependence!”

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The success of Portugal’s decriminalisation policy – in seven charts by TransformDrugs

The success of Portugal’s decriminalisation policy – in seven charts by TransformDrugs | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it

I thought it might help to highlight the success of this health-centred approach by making a few charts that show the effects it’s had in a range of key areas. (When reading the time series charts, bear in mind that this approach came into force in 2001.)

Julian Buchanan's insight:

Decriminalisation is way to go!

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UNAIDS Report: Harm reduction work

UNAIDS Report: Harm reduction work | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it

Abundant evidence shows that harm reduction programmes can significantly reduce HIV transmission among people who inject drugs. Several countries are demonstrating the benefits of actively scaling up quality programmes that are based on human rights and public health needs.

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First Woman Charged Under Tennessee's Controversial Drugs-During-Pregnancy Law

First Woman Charged Under Tennessee's Controversial Drugs-During-Pregnancy Law | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
The new law has garnered criticism from the state's American Civil Liberties Union and others
Julian Buchanan's insight:

The state extends its powers and control of law enforcement beyond criminal justice to the realm of civil issues - a growing role of the emerging police state

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Moving away from drug courts: Toward a health-centered approach to drug use

Moving away from drug courts: Toward a health-centered approach to drug use | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
The drug court model must be corrected to play a more effective role in improving the well-being of people involved in the criminal justice system who suffer substance use problems.
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Ziggi Ivan Santini's curator insight, July 14, 7:00 AM

Drug courts should be driven by a health-centered approach, should be cost-effective, should focus on high-risk serious offenders, and should employ relevant harm-reduction principles.

 

Drug courts should not receive public funding unless they:

 

 - Target people arrested for more serious offenses who would otherwise face lengthy incarceration terms;

 - Eliminate jail sanctions for simple drug relapse;

 - Allow the use of opioid substitution treatments, such as methadone and buprenorphine, to treat opioid-using participants;

 - Provide opioid-using participants with overdose prevention education, training and naloxone; and

 - Adopt pre-plea rather than post-plea or post-conviction procedures for participant eligibility.

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EMCDDA | European Drug Report 2014 — full package and event information

EMCDDA | European Drug Report 2014 — full package and event information | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it

The EMCDDA presents its annual overview of the European drug situation on 27 May in a multilingual, multimedia information package focusing on today’s rapidly shifting drug phenomenon.

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2014 National Drug Control Strategy | The White House

2014 National Drug Control Strategy | The White House | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it

The Obama Administration’s inaugural National Drug Control Strategy, published in 2010, charted a new course in our efforts to reduce illicit drug use and its consequences in the United States—an approach that rejects the false choice between an enforcement-centric “war on drugs” and drug legalization. Science has shown that drug addiction is not a moral failing but rather a disease of the brain that can be prevented and treated. Informed by this basic understanding, the three Strategies that followed promoted a balance of evidence-based public health and safety initiatives focusing on key areas such as substance abuse prevention, treatment, and recovery.

 
Julian Buchanan's insight:

Read carefully... 
 

It's about abstinence from drugs - preventing anyone from using in the first place.

It's now a medical disease AND a criminal justice issue 

"treatment' for this disease will be 12 step programmes via the Drug Courts where people will need to prove abstinence or be at risk of criminal justice sanctions - maybe prison 

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The Drug Czar Talks About Public Health, But Still Wants to Arrest People for Drugs

The Drug Czar Talks About Public Health, But Still Wants to Arrest People for Drugs | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) released its 2014 National Drug Control Strategy today. The strategy has shifted some from previous years in that it more clearly focuses
Julian Buchanan's insight:

Prohibitionists intent on a war between drugs may continue to use the criminal justice system but that cannot be sustained in the long term and they will ultimately seek to sustain the drug apartheid by shifting to a medicalised disease model of addiction and new controls through drug testing, treatment and Drug Courts.

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UNODC World Drug Report 2014

UNODC World Drug Report 2014 | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Web Site
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The Real Reason Pot Is Still Illegal #WarBetweenDrugs #DrugApartheid

The Real Reason Pot Is Still Illegal #WarBetweenDrugs #DrugApartheid | Drugs, Society, Human Rights & Justice | Scoop.it

Given that Community Anti-Drug Coalition of America (CADCA) is dedicated to protecting society from dangerous drugs, the event that day had a curious sponsor: Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of Oxy-Contin, the highly addictive painkiller that nearly ruined Kennedy’s congressional career and has been linked to thousands of overdose deaths nationwide.

Julian Buchanan's insight:

Governments nor communities have ever been against drugs - they are against particular drugs, and we need to ask tough questions to lift the lid on the reason and rationale that enforces this oppressive Drug Apartheid. This article begins that process.

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