Daily news - 20th July 2018

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UK news

Advice on scheduling of cannabis-based medicinal products

Advice from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) to the Home Office about the scheduling of cannabis-based medicinal products | ACMD, UK

Make cannabis-based medicines legal, say UK drug advisers

Advisory council’s recommendation may pave way for loosening of laws | Guardian, UK

Opiate and crack cocaine use: prevalence estimates by local area

Estimates of the number of opiate and crack cocaine users in local areas from 2014 to 2015 | PHE, UK

Policing Cannabis in North Yorkshire

Despite the importance of the issue, remarkably little research has been conducted on the policing of cannabis possession. This study aimed to explore the enforcement of cannabis possession offences by North Yorkshire Police – a police force, which while having the lowest crime rate in England, was ranked 14th for drug offences in 2016. The study (PDF) involved a detailed analysis of police data and interviews with 37 police officers over 2017 to 2018 | N8 Policing Research Partnership, UK

Police in North Yorkshire say cannabis laws have 'no impact'

Police officers in North Yorkshire believe cannabis laws have "little or no impact" on offenders' use of the drug | York Press, UK

'Legal highs' crackdown reduces hospital admissions

Restrictions on the use of so-called legal highs have led to an 80% reduction in hospital admissions, an Edinburgh University study has found | BBC, UK

British intelligence uses child spies in covert operations

British police and intelligence agencies are using children as spies in covert operations against terrorists, gangs and drug dealers | Guardian, UK

Kent mum calls for medicinal cannabis help for daughter

A mother is calling for her eight-year-old daughter to be able to take medicinal cannabis oil for her seizures | BBC, UK

Getting ready for the Recovery Games

The Recovery Games is set to take place on Friday August 17th in Doncaster with over 600 competitors going head to head in a day of fun packed gladiator style games and obstacle courses | RDASH NHS, UK

Blenheim celebrates official launch of new young people’s drug and alcohol service for Westminster

Insight Westminster, Blenheim’s new Westminster-based young person’s drug and alcohol service funded by Westminster Council, held their official opening in Rembrandt Gardens on the afternoon 17th July 2018 | Blenheim, UK

Anti-drug graffiti appears in Reading

Graffiti against an "epidemic" of drug use and anti-social behaviour has sprung up in a town overnight | BBC, UK


International news

Vaping and using nicotine patches in pregnancy linked to cot death

"Using e-cigarettes or nicotine patches during pregnancy could increase the risk of cot death in newborns, an early study has found," Sky News reports | NHS Choices: Behind the headlines, UK

World's biggest tobacco firm under fire over 'disgraceful' PR stunt

NHS staff told to reject offer by makers of Marlboro cigarettes to help them quit smoking | Guardian, UK

Second chances: how ex-convicts are lighting up the cannabis industry

New Massachusetts law aims to help those previously jailed for non-violent marijuana offenses by training them to work in the legal pot industry | Guardian, UK

Alcohol-related liver disease deaths among millennials increased 10% each year since recession, according to study

Young adults seeing greater increases in liver disease deaths than any other group, researchers say | Independent, UK

Lebanese parliament to legalize cannabis cultivation

Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri announced, Wednesday, “The Lebanese Parliament is preparing to study and adopt the legislation necessary to legislate the cultivation of cannabis and its manufacture for medical uses in the manner of many European countries and some US states.” | MEMO, UK

Supervised injection centre may facilitate users of crack and cocaine as well as heroin users

Minister for Drugs Strategy, Catherine Byrne, says she will decide on whether the injection centre's remit should be widened after it has been in operation for six months | Irish Examiner, Ireland

Activities of Irish psychiatric units and hospitals 2017. Main findings

There were 16,743 admissions to Irish psychiatric hospitals and units during 2017 according to the latest figures from the Health Research Board (HRB); a decrease of 547 from 2016.  Depression, schizophrenia, mania and neurosis account for almost two-thirds of all admissions | Health Research Board, Ireland

Decriminalizing pot doesn't lead to increased use by young people

As a handful of states have legalized marijuana for recreational use, some others have taken less dramatic steps toward decriminalizing pot by reducing the legal penalties associated with marijuana possession | Medical Xpress, USA

These pills could be next US drug epidemic, public health officials say

The growing use of anti-anxiety pills reminds some doctors of the early days of the opioid crisis | Medical Xpress, USA

Coffee shop serves hope to people recovering from addiction

A Pennsylvania town's newest coffee shop is offering people recovering from opioid addiction a fresh start, one steaming cup of java at a time | Medical Xpress, USA

Uruguay marks a year of pot pharmacies - "it's like selling aspirin"

Enrique Curbelo is delighted. Selling cannabis has allowed the affable 76-year-old to keep his privately owned pharmacy in Montevideo open in a market dominated by big chains | Medical Xpress, USA

How recreational cannabis will be packaged

In March, Health Canada released a report that summarized the regulation of its recreational cannabis consultation period. Come legalization, packaging for cannabis products must have a single colour with a standardized font style, cannot have “embossed, shiny or metallic” designs on it, and the use of branding and logos will be limited | Vancouver Weekly, Canada

ANPUD launches short films competition

The Asian Network of People who Use Drugs (ANPUD) launches a regional level short films competition to celebrate 10 years of it’s journey | ANPUD, Thailand

What does the research evidence tell us about what Australians think about the legal status of drugs? A 2018 update

This bulletin summarises data from a nationally representative survey of Australians (The National Drug Strategy Household Survey) which asks people their opinions about the legal status of drug in 2016 | NDARC, Australia

A closer look at promising pill for ice addiction

A world-first trial is underway, signalling a new frontier in the way that ice addiction will be treated in the future | The New Daily, Australia

Pill testing at festivals has hidden benefits that could reduce drug taking

Australia's first pill testing trial, held at Canberra Groovin' The Moo this year, brought out critics who thought testing results in more drug taking and higher rates of drug-related harm, but this doesn't check out | abc.net.au, Australia

Smoking in Victoria could be gone by 2025 

Victoria could go almost smoke-free by 2025 reportedly under a plan backed by 25 of the state’s health groups | news.com.au, Australia

Would you wear cannabis perfume? Tipped to be 'the scent of summer'

Cannabis has become so ubiquitous that its smell is now being bottled and sold as "the scent of the summer" by one of Britain's biggest perfume retailers | NZHerald, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

‘Under One Roof’

On the 4 July I took part in a panel at Homeless Link’s annual conference. Although I don’t start as Director for another month or so, I have been able to make a few events and meetings to get to know key partners and ascertain the lie of the land. My first proper day’s work for Collective Voice was therefore marked by attending a national conference outside my sector and speaking off the cuff in front of 200 people!| Collective Voice blog, UK

Policing of cannabis possession is largely accidental – and many officers don’t think it makes a difference

The legal status of cannabis, and in particular its medicinal benefits, have been much debated in parliament and the press in recent months. During this time, we have been interviewing police officers in North Yorkshire, England, about the day-to-day policing of cannabis possession | Conversation, UK

CBD Oil: what you need to know

There’s plenty of anecdotal evidence that Cannabidiol (CBD) oil – a concentrated oily extract made from cannabis – can help treat a variety of ailments | Conversation, UK

Teenagers today are so glued to screens that they aren’t getting drunk or pregnant – how boring

The media alarms accentuating and reprimanding the antics of teenagers over their alleged excessive and dangerous behaviour is sensationalist | Independent voices, UK

Brian Boyd: HSE giving out the wrong line about cocaine

Safety campaign should tell middle classes moral truth about dangerous grubby drug | Irish Times opinion, Ireland

Forces of necessity: The role of lay knowledge and advocacy in the re-medicalization of cannabis, 1973-2004

In March 2018, the case of Alfie Dingley, a six year old boy with epilepsy, hit the headlines as his mother campaigned for access to cannabis oil to help alleviate his seizures. But what was the background to activism for access to cannabis on medical grounds? | Points blog, USA

Cannabis legalization in Canada: how might ‘strict’ regulation impact youth?

Canada is on course to become, in October 2018, the second country in the world, after Uruguay, to federally legalize cannabis for recreational use | DEPP editorial, Canada