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27th January 2015


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UK news

A multi-faceted approach to new psychoactive substances (PDF)

Slides from presentations at yesterday's event in Birmingham | PHE, UK

Legal highs and prescription drugs face ban in English and Welsh prisons

Justice secretary gets new powers in bid to crackdown on substance misuse linked to rising violence and self-harm in jails | Guardian, UK

Wound Botulism and Drug Use: What Workers Need to Know

There have been a number of suspected cases of Botulism in Glasgow in people who inject heroin | SDF, UK

Written statement to Parliament: Community pubs

Pubs play an important role in our local communities. They provide valuable local hubs that strengthen community relationships and encourage wider social interaction, with each pub also being estimated to contribute £80,000 to the economy annually | Department for Communities and Local Government and Kris Hopkins MP, UK

MDMA deaths: Not educating users on how to test their drugs KILLS, claim DanceSafe

Following a recent spate of MDMA poisoning, including one in Oldham, a leading international drug safety group are calling for the introduction of drug-checking at events like the Warehouse Project | Mancunian Matters, UK

Science 'wrong' in EU's proposed e-cigarette law

Fifteen prominent scientists who have investigated the health consequences of electronic cigarettes have accused European Union regulators of misinterpreting their results. The scientists say the EU aim is to draft an unjustifiably burdensome new law to regulate e-cigarettes | New Scientist, UK

Council backs minimum booze price campaign

The North-East’s biggest council has called for the introduction of a minimum unit price for alcohol | Northern Echo, UK


International news

Cannabis eases chronic pain better than commonly prescribed opioids, study suggests

Some patients who deal with chronic pain reported taking the drug along with their prescribed medication | Independent, UK

Medicinal cannabis: study finds Australians suffering chronic pain get more relief from cannabis than conventional medicines

Australians suffering from chronic pain may get more relief from their symptoms using cannabis than they do from some conventional medications, researchers have found | Sydney Morning Herald, Australia

Bali Nine: how two young Australian men ended up on death row in Indonesia

It’s almost a decade since Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran strapped heroin to nervous drug couriers in the plot that would see them jailed. Everyone agrees they are reformed men now. So why are they marked for execution? | Guardian, UK

Indonesia's Widodo vows no amnesty for death row drug traffickers

Indonesia's president has said he will not compromise over death sentences given to convicted drug traffickers, despite international outcry | BBC, UK

Legal Marijuana Is The Fastest-Growing Industry In The U.S.: Report

Legal marijuana is the fastest-growing industry in the United States and if the trend toward legalization spreads to all 50 states, marijuana could become larger than the organic food industry, according to a new report obtained by The Huffington Post | Huffington Post, USA


Blogs, comment and opinion

Just how hard can it be to purge prisons of drugs?

Chris Grayling’s new zero-tolerance drive could finally see the interests of prison authorities and public converge | Guardian, UK

Why crackdowns on drugs in prisons completely miss the point

This blog was originally written in 2008. We're re-posting it here in light of today's announcement from justice secretary Chris Grayling that he plans to "reinforce the prison estate’s zero tolerance approach to contraband", with new penalties for prisoners found in possession of drugs | Transform Blog, UK

The Guardian view on cigarette packaging: smoking out Conservative thinking

The Tories have finally sucked on an interventionist public health policy – yet somehow they just can’t inhale | Guardian, UK

Mass Executions of Drug Offenders Won’t Help Indonesia

Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo was elected in July 2014. Hailed as a man of the people, his campaign was built on a platform of human rights. He updated Jakarta’s drainage system, kick-started health care reform, and built a reputation as a leader who implements policies based on pragmatism and common sense | Open Society Foundations, USA