Daily news - 6th June 2018

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UK news

Bestival to provide drug testing in attempt to prevent deaths

Bestival has announced it will offer drug testing for festival-goers at this year's event | BBC, UK

Local police 'struggling with drug networks', says NCA head

The structure of policing is partly to blame for the "exponential" growth of drugs networks, the head of the National Crime Agency has told MPs | BBC, UK

London gangs driven by desire to profit from drug trade, study finds

Focus has shifted from turf wars to business-led ethos, says Waltham Forest report | Guardian, UK

Police warning as two women fall ill after taking ‘Snapchat pills’

A police force has warned the public of taking illegal drugs with catchy names after two people were left in hospital after taking “Snapchat pills” | ITV, UK

Psychiatrists accept kickbacks as a reward for referring rich patients suffering from addictions to top clinics

Psychiatrists have been receiving large kickbacks from private clinics as a reward for referring wealthy patients suffering from addictions, an exposé found yesterday | Mail Online, UK

Foetal Alcohol Syndrome

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people have been diagnosed with Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder in (a) the North East and (b) England in each of the last three years | They work for you, UK

Drugs: Barnsley

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department is taking steps to ensure that recovery services for drug addiction in Barnsley are receiving sufficient funding | They work for you, UK

Mother reveals five-year-old son given ketamine for seizures

A mother-of-three campaigning to have medicinal cannabis made available on the NHS to treat her five-year-old son’s epilepsy seizures has revealed that doctors gave him ketamine | Scotsman, UK

Innovating for Improvement: Supporting the workforce - open for funding applications

£1.7m available for up to 23 clinical teams to test and develop innovative ideas and approaches to improve health and social care delivery or the way people manage their own health care in the UK | The Health Foundation, UK

News & updates May 2108: treatment cuts, small measures, new strategy, MUP 'loopholes'

Selected media stories since the April roundup | Alcohol Policy UK, UK

Customs officers confiscate hidden haul of cigarettes

A man has been charged after customs officers seized 3.6m suspected illicit cigarettes in North Lanarkshire | BBC, UK

The 1975 singer Matt Healy opens up about rehab: 'I didn’t wanna make a record as a junkie'

Matt Healy, the lead singer of Manchester rock band The 1975, has revealed that he beat drug addiction by going to rehab in Barbados and working with horses | Telegraph, UK


International news

Take a look inside the world's largest legal cannabis farm - video

Canada is on the verge of legalising marijuana for recreational use. The BBC visited a huge cannabis farm in British Columbia, which the operators say is the largest facility of its kind in the world | BBC, UK

All eyes on Canada as first G7 nation prepares to make marijuana legal

From crime to health to business, Canada’s decision to legalize marijuana is a grand progressive experiment that promises to answer a host of questions | Guardian, UK

How do you market weed when you can't market weed?

Canadian cannabis vendors are trying to carve out market share for a product they can’t legally sell yet … or advertise. So they’re getting creative | Guardian, UK

Everything you wanted to know about cannabis legalization but forgot to ask

Where can you buy it? Can you grow your own? Can you smoke and drive? And will Canada legalize other drugs now, too? | Guardian, UK

These are the world’s best selling cannabis strains

Legal cannabis production and consumption is being given the green light in more countries and American states as each year passes, here we compile the best selling strains | Metro, UK

Latin America must make drugs legal to stop killings says UN chief

Alicia Bárcena, who heads the Santiago, Chile-based Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, said that countries in the region needed to look at drastic measures to tackle the trade, which kills tens of thousands of people each year | Newsweek UK

'Largest-ever' Lebanese hashish haul fills entire football field

Lebanese security forces have made the country’s biggest-ever drugs bust after confiscating 15 tonnes of hashish, which had been prepped to be shipped abroad | Telegraph, UK

'Sin tax' looms on tobacco and alcohol in Nigeria as fears grow of a public health crisis 

Nigeria’s government defied private-sector opposition to impose a new “sin tax” on Monday amid fears that growing tobacco and alcohol consumption could threaten a public health crisis | Telegraph, UK

Africa’s First Medical Cannabis Dispensary Opens in South Africa

In a milestone moment, the first legal medical cannabis dispensary in the African continent has opened | Talking Drugs, UK

Member of Bali Nine drug smuggling gang dies in prison

A member of the Bali Nine drug smuggling gang has died of stomach cancer, an Indonesian justice ministry official has said | Guardian, UK

Drugnet Ireland (PDF)

Includes articles on reducing stigma, alcohol and suicide and Pregabalin | HRB, Ireland

European Drug Report 2018 - launch information

Report to be launched on on 7th June at 10am | EMCDDA, Portugal

Fortieth meeting of the Expert Committee on Drug Dependence

The Fortieth meeting of the Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD) will be held in Geneva, Switzerland, 4-7 June 2018.  The 40th ECDD will be a specially convened session dedicated to carrying out pre-reviews of cannabis and cannabis-related substances: Cannabis plant and cannabis resin / Extracts and tinctures of cannabis /Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) /Isomers of THC | WHO, Switzerland

WHO and EU clash with tobacco industry over plain packaging effectiveness

The drive to impose plain packaging on tobacco products, in the hope of discouraging current and potential smokers, has pitted the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the EU against the tobacco industry | Euractiv, Belgium

New Study Finds One in Four 12th Graders More Likely to Use Marijuana If Legalized

Monitoring the Future study finds percentage of 12th graders admitting they would use marijuana reaching levels never before seen in 43-year history | SAM, USA

She Went to Jail for a Drug Relapse. Tough Love or Too Harsh?

As soon as Julie Eldred was granted probation for stealing jewelry to buy drugs, she got busy fulfilling the judge’s conditions. She began an intensive all-day outpatient treatment program. She even went an extra step and started daily doses of Suboxone, a medication that can quell opiate cravings | NYTimes, USA

Opioid use may affect treatment for alcohol dependence

New research indicates that opioid misuse and the use of cannabis and other drugs may compromise the effectiveness of treatments for alcohol use disorder | EurekAlert, USA

How does alcohol influence the development of Alzheimer's disease?

Research has found that some of the genes affected by alcohol and inflammation are also implicated in processes that clear amyloid beta -- the protein that forms globs of plaques in the brain and which contributes to neuronal damage and the cognitive impairment associated with Alzheimer's disease | Science Daily, USA

JUUL sales among young people fueled by social media, says study

It also criticizes federal researchers for failing to take into account the impact of advertising on these platforms and focusing instead on outdated modes of data collection | Washington Post, USA

The abuse potential of medical psilocybin according to the 8 factors of the Controlled Substances Act

This review assesses the abuse potential of medically-administered psilocybin, following the structure of the 8 factors of the US Controlled Substances Act (CSA) | Science Direct, USA

Mushrooms Aren't Magic

When Spanish Catholics subjugated the Mesoamericans, they eradicated a religion but not its chief sacrament. Psilocybin mushrooms continued to grow throughout Central America and to clandestinely fuel the trips of indigenous psychonauts | Reason, USA

Mental-health experts underscore dangers of youth cannabis use

Dianne McIntosh is continually alarmed by the teens who come into her Vancouver office telling the psychiatrist that they use cannabis to treat their mental-health issues because it's a natural – and harmless – substance | Globe and Mail, Canada

Psychedelic drug use associated with reduced partner violence in men

In a new study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, researchers from UBC's Okanagan campus have discovered that men who have used psychedelic drugs in the past have a lower likelihood of engaging in violence against their intimate partners | Medical Xpress, Canada

Police can now deny you entry into festivals, even if you’re not in possession of any drugs

Police have slapped festival-goers attending the upcoming Above Beyond headline event with a tough new crackdown | news.com.au, Australia

Housing NZ to start referring drug-using tenants to agencies, but no evictions

In a complete turnaround in policy, Housing New Zealand is now not only tolerating illegal drug use in its properties, it is referring tenants to addiction services and other agencies that will help them get their lives back on track | NZHerald, New Zealand

Plain package cigarettes now in full effect but critiqued

From today, it is illegal for tobacco companies in New Zealand to sell cigarettes in branded packaging but the implementation has had a mixed response | Scoop, New Zealand

Family appeals to Government for change after medical cannabis costs plunge them into debt

A family which has begun dipping into its retirement savings to pay for their son's medical cannabis treatment has made an emotional plea to Government to make the drug more affordable and accessible | NZHerald, New Zealand


Blogs, comment and opinion

I served 20 years for cannabis. Now the police are cashing in on it

The same authorities who hounded dealers are now investors in cannabis – and there’s still no amnesty for past convictions. The hypocrisy is staggering | Guardian opinion, UK

Global Histories of Cannabis

Today’s post comes from Lucas Richert and James H. Mills, professors at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow and the organizers of the Cannabis: Global Histories conference, held April 19-20, 2018. They discuss the importance of developing a “big picture narrative” about the history of cannabis, and, as countries across the world reconsider marijuana laws, emphasize the need for this global approach | Points blog, USA

Recovery porn: a story of healers and hustlers

The field of addiction treatment is facing a growing cultural backlash that threatens its future as a viable social institution | William L. White Papers, USA